We’ve done a real good job of highlighting all our successes so far, but I did want to reveal a few of the not-so-joyous frustrations we’ve encountered over the past few weeks to give everyone a true picture of what’s been going on around here.
The biting insects are insidious. We never encountered swarms of this invasive force before on our previous visits, so we’ve been pretty perturbed at the flesh-attacking flies and gnats. When I remember, I dab a little lavender oil on my person, which seems to help some. We have OFF!, but I am trying to avoid those chemicals if I can. A little hydrocortisone cream helps to ease the itch at night when I just can’t stand it anymore. Our putting screens in the front door windows should help quite a bit. Radar’s new name is ‘Mighty Bug Hunter!’
I go to bed with dirty feet. Despite our superb shower set-up, it’s not possible to sufficiently soap and scrub most evenings. And, the apres-shower walk usually generates a nice light coating of dust on the way back to the yurt. I’m having a real hard time swapping my flip flops for socks and work boots, so the result is some pretty shady arrangement of scaly, dusty feet under the sheets. I keep thinking I’ll come up with some sort of a daily foot bath routine, but that is a luxury for a later day. It’s a good thing my husband is madly in love with me!!
Our platform sucks. Despite our best efforts to be frugal and crafty, this platform is just not gonna cut it for winter. There are gaps and holes, soft spots and random elevations. We’ve talked about a variety of options to shore up the floor without a huge investment in cash and labor, but we may just have to call our friends back at Groovy Yurts and see if they can deliver one of their pre-fab insulated tongue-and-groove SIP platforms this fall, requiring us to take down and set-up the yurt. At least we’d get to catch up again with our charismatic ‘Yurt Daddy,’ Yves Ballenegger!
Fetching water is a pain in the ass. Until we have stores of caught rainwater, find a natural seep, or pay to drill a deep well, we will be tied to the municipal supply. Setting up a purchase account with the village was easy enough so we can fill up to 3,000 gal at any time with our own hose for $21.60/mo., and it’s much more conducive than plugging quarters into the convenience store vending machine for 30 cents a gallon, but still a major chore to ensure we have fresh water for drinking, cooking, and washing. Even maneuvering and regulating flow from the 5-gal containers causes some distress when all you really want to do is wash your hands or rinse a plate. We have 550 gallons of tank to fill, so we’ll be giving that spigot in town a workout!
Meals are pretty civilian without refrigeration. Actually, we’ve been only eating two ‘quasi-cooked’ meals a day (our new diet plan), taking care to use up any available fresh produce or rations from the cooler first. We’re still talking camping food at this point like PB&J, fried potatoes and farm-fresh eggs, chips and salsa, bean burritos, shells and cheese, cantaloupe, bagels, smoked oysters and saltines, tomato sandwiches, etc. No real chance of having a productive garden at this point for canning/drying in time for winter, so we’re going to have to rely on store-bought dried goods. I guess being 20+ pounds overweight is going to pay-off in this case!
I brought entirely too much crap with me. Still heaped in cardboard boxes under tarps or inside the 3-room tent on loan from Ben’s dad, my ‘valuables’ lie in wait until they can be properly attributed and made useful. In anticipation of severe weather forecasts, I’m scurrying to harbor the most sentimental and costly items before the boxes melt in the rain and the contents decay. I’ve also been scouting the local scene for thrift stores and flea markets where I might be able to unload some less necessary stuff if we can’t soon raise a couple outbuildings for storage. Glad we had only the ‘small’ UHaul!
All this being what it is, I absolutely LOVE my days here, and thank my lucky stars that I have what I have. To combat my intermittent grumbling, I think about the 65M people forcibly displaced from their homes as refugees. I think about how 702M people on this planet are living in extreme poverty while the wealthy become even more far removed. I’m so incredibly proud of how far we’ve come in confidence and means to be able to raise a flag on our own land and live life on our terms. It’s a true and intense feeling to gaze at the sacred Southwest vista in my underwear watching the glorious sunset at the end of a productive day. I finally feel at home, dirty feet and all!!