An iPhone image of Carson Mansion on a sunny day… Now I really know I’m in Eureka!
California is a big beautiful state, and I’m a fifth generation Southern Californian. I love my sunny beautiful state! But in the last decade I’ve become heat sensitive, so I started to look for alternative locations where I could live a more normal life, year-round. I found Eureka, in Northern California fairly early in my search–it has some of the coolest summers in the entire United States *and* it has a lot of authentic Victorian architecture, including the most recognized Victorian home in the United States, which for me is a huge draw! So while it may seem sudden, and completely unexpected to even those of you who know me well, I’ve actually been considering moving to Eureka for over seven years.
Why this summer? I graduated law school in May, and my plan was to put down forever roots in my old hometown of Fallbrook, in San Diego County. I love Fallbrook more than I’ve ever loved any other town! And it breaks my heart to imagine never moving back, but this year the heat has been brutal, and I’m tired of living a compromised life. I want to feel good all the time. I want to enjoy summer again. I just want more.
So I’m headed to Eureka. I’ll leave at the end of this month–just me, my tiny house, my cats, and my VW convertible. I’m excited and sad and scared and happy all at the same time. It’s definitely going to be an adventure!
Redwoods and the ocean? Could these photos be any more Humboldt County? Maybe! But in this case the first image is a redwood tree in Idyllwild, and that’s the beach in Malibu, so Southern California, rather than Northern California. But to me it’s proof that some of what I love about where I live now, can be found where I’m headed.
Wish me luck!
It’s official! I have a Juris Doctorate!
I signed up for the LSAT in June of 2013, got a high enough score to qualify for a full scholarship at two different law schools, and by that fall I was enrolled as a 1L at Trinity Law School.
Law school was fun! It was also the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The graduation ceremony itself was a lot more emotional than I expected–it’s a big deal to graduate! I’m proud to have finished, and proud to have earned my Juris Doctorate.
Next up? Studying for the California Bar Exam!
We usually don’t see much of the deer when it snows–they stay down in a meadow nearby. And we’ve got a lot of fresh snow right now, so I was surprised to see several of them in the back yard this morning.
This little male is about about a year-and-a-half old now, and once he was weaned he stopped coming as often as the girls in his family. So it was fun to see him, and see how his once-nubby little antlers are developing!
Mama Deer had her baby, and he’s beautiful! She brought him around to see us for the first time today.
The first task was to remove half of the deck boards. They’re 2x6s, so heavy, and a solid deck wasn’t necessary, so to make the load lighter, I planned to remove every other one–and of course they were bolted on with hardware that required a lot of strength to remove!
Because I wanted my house to be 10’6″ wide, instead of the traditional 8’6″ wide, I needed to build over the wheel wells, so my foundation framing is done with 2×10 Douglas Fir–which makes the foundation tall enough to clear my wheels wells.
Each 2×10 was 10’6″ or 12′ in length, and so over 100 pounds. I definitely needed to hire someone strong to help get the foundation done.
The foundation framing with 2x10s is 24″OC, which is normally just fine–but I wanted to make sure my floor didn’t flex too much, so I decided to insert a 2×4 joist in between each of the 2×10 joists, so my floor would be supported every 12″ instead of every 24″. Why a 2×4? Because they’re much lighter than a 2×10 or even a 2×6, and since it was only to keep the floor from flexing too much, even a 2×4 was sufficient. You can see the blocking on the far left, for the porch, and the blocking in the far center, for the toilet, and blocking around each wheel well.
Matthew, the guy I hired to put the foundation together, felt that we needed more bulk at the front end of the trailer, so he used one 10’6″ 2×10, and then glued and screwed two pieces of 2×10 to it, to make it double in width, and then used Simpson Strong Ties at the join. The join is on the inside, and the full size 2×10 is on the outside, so it’s plenty strong.
Right before the first layer of 1/2″ plywood sheathing got dropped on top… I wanted to document the Simpson Strong Ties that were used in the foundation. Each 2×10 joist had a 2×10 joist hanger on both ends, and the 2×4 joists, had 2×4 joist hangers on both ends. And where we needed blocking, for the porch, corner Gusset Angles were used.
A shot of both a 2×10 and the 2×4 joist hangers, along with a corner tie, all by Simpson Strong Ties. You can also see how the foundation hangs off the edge of the trailer, by about a 12″ on each side.
The foundation with two layers of 1/2 plywood, glued and screwed down. Why two layers of 1/2″ instead of one layer of 3/4″? Two reasons! First, I could lift a 1/2″ piece of plywood, and I wasn’t sure how much help I would need to build the foundation, so I whenever I could make a choice that meant I could do the work if needed, I did. And second, by gluing and screwing down one layer of plywood first, and then gluing and screwing down the second layer, with overlapping seams, I ended up with a floor that is one big glued piece of plywood, rather than a floor made up of individual pieces that might shift or move on their own. It was just one more way to make my foundation and floor as stable and strong as possible.
Yes, we have deer in Idyllwild! And Mama Deer is pregnant again. She’s not only wider across, but she’s spending a lot of time in our yard again, where she can safely rest, and not have to worry about dogs or tourists–a sure sign a baby is on the way. Soon!
One of my favorite things about going “home” to Fallbrook is getting to visit some of my favorite restaurants on the planet! Can’t you just taste those yellow raisins, and the cheese, and all those little seeds? Fallbrook does salad like nowhere else I know of… And the clam chowder? I could eat it everyday, happily.
It was great to share lunch at Garden Center Cafe with one of my very favorite people, Julie Reeder. And I also got to see my old friend Camereno! We worked together at Main Street Cafe, twenty years ago!
My heart belongs to Fallbrook, but San Diego is where I was born and where I got my fashion sense! Sandals, wrap-around everything, with sun-streaked and wind-swept hair. 91X on the radio, playing Nirvana, and my car’s convertible top down. Near perfection!
One more, just because it’s pretty.
And it reminds me of when I used to shoot hot rock stars on the beach…
I had just taken the road that veers off Mission, near the Valley Fort, when I had to wait for this gorgeous bird, as he crossed the road. But I’m fine with that!
It’s not often–even in Fallbrook–that you see such an elegant peacock on the loose…