mooretrees journal

Where are you and where are you going?
mooretrees
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

@animal we haven't harvested enough to sell, though that would be awesome. I'm up for it, but likely this season is too far gone to find any big hauls now. Still working on my exercising streak, thanks for the encouragement!

@bigato, I'll ask the friends that I have old letters from and see if they are interested in getting them back.

mooretrees
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

May Numbers:

Expenses

Food $422
Health/medical $39
Home $950
Transportation $243 (registration bumped this up, includes insurance for car + motorcycle and fuel)
Personal $43 (bird id flashcards and take out pizza)
Pets $34
Utilities $405
books $26
entertainment $81 (Netflix and a few movies for our son)
garden $190 (seeds, compost and a few starts)
skoolie $170
Coffee business $521 (loan for roaster, state licensing and rent for roaster)
Son $17.87
Total: $3,079

Income

Savings $600
Paycheck $4,406
401(k) $762
HSA $645
Totals $6,412

Savings rate: 31%

Savings rate is meh. The coffee business ate up a good chunk of money that we should be able to recoup now that market season is happening. I see some other areas that need attention: garden (last month I said I'd spend less!), food, entertainment....We've cancelled netflix, we weren't actually using it very much anyways. I have lowered my 401 k contributions because I'd like less money tucked out of reach. I initially used the before tax vehicles (HSA/401k) as forced savings plus lowered tax bill. Now I feel more confident that I can save money after taxes. I'll still do the matching, and likely keep the HSA at it's current level ($215/paycheck) because that makes me feel good.

Really what I see are past choices (mortgage) hamstringing us for more aggressive savings. The house and utilities are just so damn much, especially now that my paychecks are 20% less. Anyway, we're working on that so it's more just a note to anyone out there: be very careful about long term loans. We might try and get a nursing student in a few months, I'll put some feelers out in a bit. Likely wouldn't happen until September.

mooretrees
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Got a few days off before I work the weekend. Spent today recovering from staying up too late watching a show. I don't really watch shows and I'm usually too tired to stay up too late. But sometimes I get a Friday night late night wind and burn the torch at both ends. We went up to scout firewood and found a good bunch of morels. DH is going to add them to a red sauce for pasta tonight.

We went out over the weekend and cut down a pretty decent sized larch tree for firewood. We don't have hard woods out here and larch is the highest quality wood for burning. It's split and ready to be stacked to season. The three of us go to the woods to cut wood. DH runs the chainsaw and DS and I hide in the truck until he's finished. This time I was able to get out of the truck and help load most of the wood. DS was in the cab of the truck with his ear protection on watching me work. He stood on the back seat of the truck bouncing and screaming his head off while I loaded the rounds. Kids are freaking weird. I was able to get most of the wood loaded so that DH could just focus on bucking. It's fun to huck the rounds. They weren't huge, but it felt like a good workout.

My first peas are ready and the lettuce is getting so close. I've planted another packet of winter squash and we're hopefully going to be overrun with them in 100 days.

Money:
I'm watching the mortgage rates and will consider refinancing if they drop low enough. Or, at least I'll do some calling around for quotes and see if it makes sense for us. I changed my 401k contributions and this paycheck Friday should be a bit bigger than the recent ones. Talk at the water cooler is that we'll go back to full time in July. I'm ready for it. I have enjoyed these reduced hour months. But I want to have my regular paychecks back and get this savings rate much higher. I hope I can maintain a good attitude once I get back to full time. But, I just need to keep my eyes on the prize and keep exercising!

Skoolie progress:
Not much has changed, but we've got all the insulation ordered (cool $1300 for the wool bates and shipping :evil: :evil:), the 2x4's for building the floor, felt wool for going under the 2x's (breaking the thermal bridge) and the sub floor plywood. Once the felt wool arrives, DH will be able to start building the furrowing strips for the insulation. Pictures once the flooring has started.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

@MEA I guess it'll be luxurious by the time we're in it. I did push for a rustic, rough camping set up initially to get us into it and out of the mortgage, but corona kinda slowed us down. By the time we're in it, it will have water, heat, electricity and more. Still probably on the low end for some skoolie conversions out there, but definitely not 'live in old bus' style. We visited a guy who was doing that exact skoolie life, it was pretty dirty and grungy. He had a piano and a wood stove, plastic shelves and was totally happy. I was inspired, but want a little bit nicer home. Plus, we're not planning on following the warm weather which means more aggressive insulation and stuff. Anyway, glad you're following the build.

The mushrooms we found were morels, pretty common out here and in the Midwest I hear. Hard to mistake them for anything else which is pretty reassuring ;) .

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

I’m back to full time work and likely to get overtime as my county is exploding with covid 19 cases. A local church is the epicenter. I’m trying to anticipate how long this will be going on; minimum a month? If these church people were attending church like everything was normal than the numbers of non church people infected is going to be high. So maybe two plus months? I’ve got a few coworkers out for a few weeks and likely to lose a handful more this week.
We’re healthy and I’ve been careful at work and outside. My exposure to a known positive coworker was limited and hopefully before they were infectious. We’ll see.
I hope this doesn’t come off wrong, but there is an exciting piece of this for me. I think I have a little of an adrenaline junky in me. I’m good at my job and now I’ll really be able to help people. I’ll see how I feel in a couple of weeks. Wish us luck!

classical_Liberal
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

mooretrees wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:20 pm
I hope this doesn’t come off wrong, but there is an exciting piece of this for me.
Absolutely not! Healthcare, generally, has become pretty convoluted. Too much BS, and too little patient care. In those circumstances in which you can actually focus on helping people with 100% of your effort... actually save or change lives for the better... Those are the best reasons to be part of healthcare. It's just too bad that this focus seems to often isolated to emergency events, and not enough in our daily practice.

Thanks for all you're doing for your community!

mooretrees
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

We've lost three, maybe four coworkers to quarantine in the last week. I've picked up extra shifts and work goes by so fast it is almost easy. I have had a hard time winding down at night. My solution is to sneak into bed and snuggle with my son. His steady breathing helps me relax and fall asleep.

Our whole lab got tested yesterday and I'm waiting to hear my results. I hope we don't lose anyone else as scheduling is getting rough. The hospital has cancelled any surgery that requires admitting a patient, but we are still doing a lot of day surgeries.

Skoolie:
The wool should get here today! DH has started prepping for its arrival. We bought a large slab of felted wool to line the side of the 2x4's that are in contact with the metal floor. He's started cutting the felt, experimenting with different tools to cut it. So far the best tool is a knife he made to skin an animal. Made means he turned a big knife into a smaller knife with a different angle to the blade. Hope that makes sense. So the process will be: glue the felted wool to the 2x4, screw it into place, rinse and repeat with the whole floor. It seems like the wool insulation should be pretty simple to deal with. Just unroll it and put into place. It doesn't have any rigidity, so the walls and ceiling will be a little tricky.

Now I need some days off so he has time to work! We're not going to the farmers market for at least a week, I need a whole day off and I want to see how the rate of infections goes.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

My covid-19 test came back negative, so that's good. I'm not sure the sensitivity of the test, I keep hearing that this particular test/sample combination (Abott/nasal swab) is prone to false negatives. I'll do some research when I have time but for now I'm symptom free.

I worked seven days in a row, had today off and then work the next six days. This is not the way I want to live. I've never pursued overtime and this is why, living like this sucks. This is an anomaly and hopefully the staffing shortage will be fixed when employees come back from quarantine in another week. I've been meditating and working out every day to deal with the excessive amounts of adrenaline I'm feeling at work. The exercise helps tremendously. Also, most everyone I work with is working longer or more days so we're all in this together. My supervisor said I've picked up the most shifts. Not my norm, usually I'm very protective of my time off. This is a weird time.

DH has the furrowing strips cut and placed in the skoolie. He's got a kreg jig on order to attach the pieces together. He says he'll use it a lot when doing the cabinets later on. The wool is here, still on the pallet waiting for us to be ready. Maybe in a few days we'll unwrap it and install it.

I've harvested peas and lettuce and the kale is still going strong. My squash are taking off and I keep finding new ones I planted and then forgot about. One thing I don't know if we've had in other years is the noise of a millions crickets we're getting right now. I can't remember if this is how it's always been. The grass is really high in the back yard and I'm wondering if that is contributing? I like it. Feels slightly like we're in the country.

ertyu
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by ertyu »

Glad test came back negative. Hopefully it's not a false reading. I have heard this same story - covid, staffing shortage, we need to work harder - from many corners, and I really wonder whether staff will indeed fully come back and whether this situation will not normalize. In your particular situation, people may well return, but hearing it so much from so many different corners is really making me wonder about the overall state of affairs. I also don't want this to become the new normal, and I'm glad I'm almost done with savings. You guys are also almost on the road. Here's to getting out of this scot free.

Hail_Diogenes
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by Hail_Diogenes »

Also glad to hear your test came back negative. I'm sure you can't wait for this bs to end.

I might have missed this (I'm trying to read like 10 people's journals at one so that happens a lot lol), but do you plan to live full time in the skoolie? Will you bring your pets with you?

I'm so jealous of that project. Sounds like it'll be worth the work.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Hail_Diogenes wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:59 pm
Also glad to hear your test came back negative. I'm sure you can't wait for this bs to end.

I might have missed this (I'm trying to read like 10 people's journals at one so that happens a lot lol), but do you plan to live full time in the skoolie? Will you bring your pets with you?

I'm so jealous of that project. Sounds like it'll be worth the work.
Yep, we're planning on living in it. We'll rent out our house as a back up plan if we don't like the skoolie life. I'm excited to try it out and I don't really worry too much if we will like it or not, I think we'll love it. We are bringing our pets, two dogs one cat. I'm more concerned about the cat as she likes to wander during nice weather. The dogs are small and should be pretty easy to transition to this life.

We've started with the insulation! We were going to get some more wood for firewood, but our truck connection's Dad was sick, not sure if it was covid-19, but we are staying away. So instead, DH made some progress on the insulation and I worked on the yard.

ImageIMG_0278 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/187380966@N03/]/url], on Flickr

The 2x4's are all attached and it's pretty easy to cut the wool to fit the open areas.

This wool insulation is amazing. So soft, slightly smelly and luxurious feeling. I took more photos but my kid is half naked in most of them, just rolling around bare bottomed on the wool, so not gonna post those (though they are really cute). The floor insulation is supposed to be about 3 1/2 inches, so DH was going to fluff it up before we put the sub floor on top of it. I had vacillated about doing all of the insulation sheep's wool or doing some rigid foam for the flooring. I struggle with impatience, so anything that seems faster is attractive. But, DH wanted to do all wool and I'm so happy he persisted. It feels great knowing how much less of a negative footprint the wool has, even with all of the travel it has done. And it's so cool that we could be in the bus chatting while DH worked on it and not endangering our son's life.

We have more wool for the walls and ceiling that will gone in closer to when we'll put the walls up. Once the sub floor is down, then we'll start laying out floor plans with tape. Then, the next HUGE project is what we're calling the caboose raise. The ceiling is fairly low, even though we're not tall people. The flooring is eating up about five or more inches, which will really make a difference in the head space. We didn't want to do a roof raise of the whole roof. DH came up with the idea of raising the center of the bus, where the curved ceiling starts to flatten out, about 8-10 inches. We'll only do it in the kitchen and living room area, as the bedrooms shouldn't need the higher ceiling to feel comfortable. He also will add some windows to the raise and get some more natural light. He's nervous about it, something about cutting into a perfectly good roof scares him! He felt the same way when he put the chimney in our house.

So, progress continues. I've recognized that my original Thanksgiving deadline was pretty unrealistic. Easter is the next hopeful deadline. That gives us one more winter in the big house and hopefully enough time to spread out the cost and still save money.

ertyu
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by ertyu »

Looking great and inspiring!

classical_Liberal
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

It's really coming along!

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Alice_AU
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by Alice_AU »

Looks beautiful! Love it how you painted the floor cheerful red even though nobody will see it - that’s a proper attention to detail :-)

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Thanks everyone! I always want faster progress, but I am happy progress is happening. DH is covering up the wool now, which is a little sad, but once the sub floor is on then we can start trying out floor plans with tape.

_bb_
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by _bb_ »

This is so freaking, cool!

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

No progress on the school bus today, we did go cut a cord of wood though. Man am I worn out! I'm glad I've been exercising more consistently, but hauling rounds around on uneven ground for a few hours will beat any exercise class. Our son is okay hanging out in the truck cab so I try and rush around hauling and loading rounds while DH bucks the wood. My goal is to load all the wood myself. I get back in the habit from my tree climbing days of running to get rounds and hustling. We would seriously run at that job. It was where I learned to work hard at the ripe old age of 29. It was a point of pride for the groundsmen to get everything taken care so that the tree climbers didn't have much to do when they got back to the ground.

Been spending a little bit these past few days on books and clothes. My bestie is into shibori and I'm sending her some white shirts for DS and I so she can make something beautiful for us. I'm not worried about the spending, clothes are not a problem area for us. I have bought a pair of overalls this year and now two shirts. Clothes horse I am not. Food however, is a problem area. I'm hoping to do some more batch cooking and do a better job with food spending. Last week we ate pinto beans for five days straight. I can't believe I never knew how delicious pintos were before! Also, we weren't gassy at all, which is weird. I think I soaked the beans for 24 hours, which might be the key? I don't mind the gas from beans, just a little nerve wracking to deal with it at work.

DH just bought a crazy expensive mountain bike. He sold his mountain bike a few months ago and is using his stimulus check plus his Dad gave him most of his stimulus check for this. So, it'll only be a little bit out of pocket. He's excited. I'm shocked how much these bikes cost. I didn't have much input into the purchase, nor did I want it. We share money just about 100% of the time and he's really on board with all that I've pushed us to do over the years. I did ask that he sell his old mountain bike before he bought a new one, so he's met my only criteria. I'm a little sad that his stimulus check is leaving our savings account, but I also feel that he should have the right to spend it how he wants. I saved mine, but that is my choice too. Also, I had a moment where I thought about buying a stand up paddle board. I quickly got over it. But now I realized my sister has one she's never used, so I might try and buy it from her with my stimulus check. Am I thinking of spending money now because he did? Maybe.

Wish me luck getting a child to bed during the fourth of July ridiculousness.

ertyu
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by ertyu »

Writing on July 5, hope that went alright :lol:

It now occurs to me that living in the schoolie will require a very different food/refrigerator strategy than living in a house with a full size fridge. In that sense, the changes you're making to how you handle food are also in effect a preparation for going on the schoolie. Sounds like you guys are having a fun time, awesome!

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

ertyu wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:37 am
Writing on July 5, hope that went alright :lol:

It now occurs to me that living in the schoolie will require a very different food/refrigerator strategy than living in a house with a full size fridge. In that sense, the changes you're making to how you handle food are also in effect a preparation for going on the schoolie. Sounds like you guys are having a fun time, awesome!
Well, he slept fine, but I sure struggled ;) . Oh well. As far as the food, all of what you're thinking is right. I don't really know how things will change for us, but any improvement in efficiency with food will help.

I've got lentils on the stove and another lentil salad planned for tomorrow. Also thinking of making potato salad as that is a great cool weather meal.

Sub floor is finished! It's always shocking how long it takes to do things. DH has skills, but still is not journeyman level for building. So each project takes more time. Also, maybe I've mentioned how impatient I am :roll: ? So much for me to learn.

I've been meaning to write about reading The Long Descent by John Michael Greer. Really deserves a special post, but dinner is cooking and I've got a dirty kid to feed and bathe. Anyway, this book was really good and stirring. I didn't know much about peak oil and haven't read much about some of his main points to why we're not facing this crisis head on: the myth of progress and the myth of collapse. I know I am afflicted with the myth of progress likely more than I realize. I am glad I read this book after starting on ERE, as I think his 'what to do' is the weak area. He has some great discussions of how things might slowly disintegrate, but if I was reading this without a year of thinking about ERE, I think I would have felt lost and wildly overwhelmed. As it was, I could see clearly how ERE is peak oil in disguise, and really am again sincerely amazed that Jacob synthesized all of these different ideas into ERE.

I'm reading it again as I tend to burn through books and miss things. His focus on the four horsemen of the long descent was interesting and relevant for right now. Another book that Jacob recommended, The Coming Plague, has story after story of public health failures. The resurgence of STD's in the 60's and 70's, the terrible failure of the world to deal quickly with HIV/AIDS. Really, failure to respond appropriately seems to be the norm for us as a species with diseases. Witness our current situation for another example.

A few of my takeaways from my first reading of the Long Descent are an increased focus on getting to be more skilled at gardening and taking more interest in wilderness first aid. That one might not seem so obvious, but any increase in skill with first aid/health that doesn't rely on modern medicine is useful I think. We go and cut wood out of cell range and with dangerous machines, so anything I can do to prepare for some bad chainsaw/axe accident is probably smart. Also, I have a small male child who is physically adventurous. We're going to have accidents for the next 15 plus years and I don't have a lot of skill in assessing when and if we can handle something or if we need to see a doctor. Eventually I'd like for DH and I to take a wilderness first aid class, primarily because they probably do a lot of scenarios. I firmly believe in practice for stressful situations, and not trying to figure something difficult out with adrenaline pumping through. I've got some experience with life and death situations (removed from patients, but dealing with drs/nurses who are actively trying to save lives) and I know it's so easy to make little mistakes because adrenaline is a powerful hormone.

Well, there's crying in the kitchen so I need to head out and help get dinner on the table. We've got the table in the back yard set up, laundry is drying on the line and yummy lentils are on the menu. Cheers all!

AxelHeyst
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

JMG gets more in to practical “what to do” type advice in Green Wizardry. Also Retrotopia is a fun fictionalized version of JMGs advice/outlook applied at a society level, which I think you would enjoy quite a bit.

I took the WFR course in Fall 2018. Definitely recommend - not only did I learn good skills etc, it was super fun and I made a few friends that I still keep in touch with (in fact the vanfriend who sheltered in place with us this March was a WFR friend). You’re right, it was 50% scenarios. I’m looking forward to the three year recert, which is almost entirely scenarios from what I’m told.

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