Moving Day.

We officially live in CO now! Two days ago we took our last trip from Utah to CO, with lots of wonderful help from our buddy Dave. The drive was fairly uneventful (Zeppy did poop in my backseat, which was lovely), and it felt like pure paradise when we got here. We celebrated with lots of beer (and rum, oy) and a campfire. We even got our first “welcome to the neighborhood” from the local wildlife when a skunk decided to spray my car as we drove past it.


Thanks Dave!


Dave and R discussing important issues over beer.


Amelia’s protector.


Mmmm, campfire.

The animals have been settling in pretty nicely and we’ve started a few projects. We have so much to do we NEED to prioritize. Luckily we talked to a guy who knows about insulation who recommended we don’t insulate underneath our cabin, so we decided to forgo that project. Talk about a weight off our shoulders. We figure if it gets stupid cold this winter we can always do that later. 


Storage loft is the best thing. BEST.


Even the kitty is exhausted.

Tomorrow we’re getting insulation, plywood, and lumber delivered, and it’ll be time to insulate, build bathroom walls, and start building stairs. In the meantime today I’ll start clearing a spot for Amelia’s enclosure, after we finish our beers here in town! And it might even rain today (which would be wonderful!).


Bug Spray.

So along the same lines as my sunscreen post, I also wanted to experiment with my own natural bug repellents. A couple of months ago we were headed up to our ranch for a camping weekend, and monsoon season had started, so I decided to whip up a bug spray and see what happened. Here’s what I put together the first time:

  • 2 oz distilled h20
  • 2 oz witch hazel extract
  • 20 drops lemon eucalyptus EO (essential oil)
  • 20 drops citronella EO
  • 10 drops close EO
  • 10 drops lemongrass EO
  • 10 drops peppermint EO
  • 10 drops lavender EO

I had found a couple of cool websites with various recipes and which oils repel which types of bugs, and so I wanted to do a little of each and just see. In SW Colorado there are mosquitos, cedar gnats, flies, and ants that are the annoying insects. When we were there the mosquitos weren’t bad but the cedar gnats were terrible. And those things leave painful little red welts all over you (and all over Loki, poor guy). Well, the bug spray did not work. It may have repelled the little buggers a bit, but overall it was not a success. So I scratched that.


Vile, useless creature.

Then, we went to Southern Minnesota for a couple of weeks to visit R’s family before our big move. In August. Hot. Humid. Sticky. Itchy. Minnesota. I brought all my oils with me and tried something different. I did this:

  • 1/2 cup witch hazel extract
  • 100 drops lemon eucalyptus EO
  • 50 drops citronella EO
  • 50 drops lemongrass EO

Yay oils!

I went on the strong side… because I got destroyed by mosquitos the first couple of days. It’s like they knew I wasn’t from there. After this mixture, R and I sprayed it on ourselves then went outside into the long grass and stood there. And we watched in amazement as the mosquitos would land on our arms, then just take off.


They don’t seem to bother her… she’ll just eat them.

The only drawback is you do have to reapply the spray “often.” By often I mean once an hour maybe. But it smells nice, and leaves no sticky, greasy, or disgusting residue on your skin. You don’t feel like you need a shower the moment you spray it on. I made this spray recipe twice while we were there, and it worked like a charm. Hooray!

If you want a good recommendation for witch hazel and oils, check out these guys:


We got our cabin!

The cabin!

The cabin!

Our 12×18 cabin got delivered a couple of weeks ago, and we are just stoked. It’s just a shell, so we have to install insulation, flooring, walls, everything. It came with two lofts: one for sleeping, one for storage. We’ll be figuring out how to build a bathroom, stairs, a kitchen. It’s honestly smaller and set up closer to the road than we would prefer, but until we can afford a yurt a little further down on our ranch, this is what we have! We’ll be living the tiny house way. Or as R prefers to call it, a “mini house.”

Celebrating with Loki.

Celebrating with Loki.

From the back.

From the back.

We are still in Utah for the next two weeks until we make our final move to the ranch. And just about the moment we move, we have things that need to be accomplished right away. We’ll have about 6 weeks of decent weather before the snow starts flying, so you can imagine all that we need to do to make the cabin survivable for the winter. At nearly 7600′, there will be just a little snow and cold we’ll have to contend with. Our very first project will be putting insulation on the bottom side of the cabin, which means jacking it up, putting blocks underneath it, and getting under there to tack in 2″ extruded foam insulation. That’s FIRST. Then, ya know, about a million other things…

There's our bedroom up there.

That’s our bedroom up there.

But for now, look how rad our little cabin looks!

The view from what will be our bathroom.

The view from what will be our bathroom.