we live HERE now.

So we’re officially “camping” in Argie. Permanently.

view of Argie from the rear.

We made our deadline Dec. 1, so we moved in Nov. 30, the last day of the month. Barely made it, but we made it. Once we moved all of our junk in, the most important project became storage spaces. It’s not a lot of space, so it gets disorganized very quickly when you introduce a lot of foreign matter. So I’ve been building shelves and putting up closet rods.

Instead of having dressers, we’ll put our clothes on shelves and in cubbies, in addition to hanging things on rods. For the plywood, I used the wood from our catamaran setup from the James River Batteau  Festival. This is wood that floated 160 miles with us from Lynchburg to Maidens Landing on the James River. Pretty cool.

cubbie zone.
the shop: where I spend (most of) my free time.
yeah, it’s from that…

Some of it is old barn wood from Ambrosia, which is my mom’s mom’s (grandma’s) farm birthplace, in Somerset, PA. The barn’s still there. I reckon it’s wood that got taken off, replaced, and kept. It’s hemlock, an evergreen, real lightweight stuff.

hemlock shelf.
the hemlock shelf is also our current table/chair/couch/etc.

And some is barn wood we got from Danielle’s Aunt Stacy and U.K. (Uncle Kevin). A patient of Aunt Stace has an old barn that’s falling down in Goochland (I think). Its red and white oak, dense and heavy. It’s the same wood I used for the counter extension.

This wood starts out as gnarly, weathered, gray wood, so I have to plane it down to let the purdy red oak show. One of the belts on the planer, an old leather one, finally gave out. It’s a very old planer, a big planer. It does up to 24″ boards; it’s from the early 1900’s. It’s a BEAST. So I had to go to Sutton & Clark (conveyor belts, gaskets, hydraulic lines: industrial stuff) and talk to Glen. I asked him to make me a new belt and shorten an existing one that he had made years ago. It took a couple trips to get it straight. It’s insane how much difference 3/16″ can make in a belt. So I got the boards planed down to turn into cabinets for kitchen stuff. I’ll give you an update once I get those finished.

We find new stuff that needs done on a weekly basis. In the past week we’ve found  new leaks (air and water) and found our tankless hot water heater won’t cut it. So I reckon we’ll send it back and get one with a mini-tank.

I’m pretty stoked that it hasn’t been too cold yet this winter. There were quite a few drafty spots that didn’t get sealed up until we were already staying in it. So I put some spray foam in holes and put some foam tape around the door to help seal it up. There’s probably still a few spots that will get their insulation “taken to the next level”once it gets colder. We also did “round two” of waterproofing the roof and seams. Even managed to ditch the old antenna off of the roof!

sawin’ off that ol’ antenna!
liberation station.

For now though, plenty warm. We got a space heater and a heated blanket. Once it’s in its permanent location, we’ll build a room directly outside, with a woodstove. I can’t wait; I get pumped thinking about Argie’s future! Danielle and mom are still getting the rest of the curtains finished, which will definitely increase our level of warmth. We’ll probably get a couple of rugs, too.

Last week we were outside of Argie, and Danielle points at the rear and says, “Looks like we’ve got water leaking from somewhere.” I say, “I think that’s just condensation dripping.” She says, “That’s definitely leaking from the inside.” I lay on the ground underneath, and yep, she’s right. It was leaking from behind the bathtub, so we went ahead and ripped that out along with the useless (wasn’t hooked up the water line) sink, so all that’s left at the back of the trailer is the toilet.

tearing this pup apart!

I swear at Argie quite a few times a day. Danielle reminds me not to get too overwhelmed.  It’s another item on our seemingly infinite list of “stuff” to do. This is a fun project. It’s a rewarding project. Sometimes, it’s a “stress you the frigg out” project. Our list of what needs done stays at the same length. Yet, every once in a while we take a break and enjoy our new surroundings.

taking the dogs for a walk on the Ashland trolley line.

Tasks get completed; new tasks get added. And that’s OK. You gotta keep doing, gotta keep moving. You stop moving, you start dying. Even though I get stressed out at all the stuff to do, it’s good for me, and we value the tasks that keep us going and growing.
Matty P.




  1. And these are the times that you will (one day) cherish, sitting around a fire out and remembering where you began. You guys are truly awesome! Thank you for sharing the ups and downs , ins and outs on this new (ahem) trail(we) you are traveling . Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

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