Home Shanty, Shanty, Shanty

January 2017 UPDATE: My Building Permit has been approved! It is a 30 day process apparently, so in this town it seems October 14 to January 9 consists of 30 days…. ah well, at least it’s DONE! More to come… 🙂
I bought a house!

Well, not really a house. I bought a project. A several year, labor-intensive project.

There is no septic, (but a former outhouse, and updated compost toilet) no water, (but formerly a pipe that ran to the main house that broke 30 years ago, according to the neighbor), and no real ‘house’…but it does have electricity….

It was all overgrown, and lovely- a real old Vineyard camp.  Swoon. It has 3 structures on it, and sits on .29 acre of sweet old farm land, tucked away back from the main road, but only a 15 minute walk to town. I am now the proud owner of land with structures on it! An opportunity for a ton of sweat equity, and a chance to officially get to know the inner workings of town government, zoning, permitting, board of health and general bureaucratic bs. Haha! The price was great (for this market).  I’d been working hard and saving and waiting and pursuing and doing due diligence to find an opportunity like this- and with many many blessings, hard work and extremely good fortune- this one landed in my lap. I used intuition and vibe to guide me, I kept my vibration high and my thoughts positive and and had a LOT of blessings and signs along the way. More on that later….(keep reading)


My Trophy Home. Home Shanty! A Wing And A Prayer. It’s been a LONG time coming.

The big, newer building is a whopping 26′ x 12′; an ‘accessory structure’ built in the 90’s- complete with painted T-111 siding and a new roof. This was to become the main house: solidly built, clean and dry, sheet-rocked and insulated and has full electricity-(but no water or septic)  and is set up on blocks.

I have since discovered a former permit from the 80’s or 90’s to install a 3-bedroom septic and build a 3-bedroom house… more on that later.

The older structure is called the “Lilliput”, built in 1921, and was a 2-bedroom at one point  A husband, wife and 2 children lived there. The second part of that structure was demolished some time ago, and only remains as a 12′ x 16′ x 7′ high moldy, rotted tear-down. It was extremely cute and charming though, and when I first saw it, I fell in love. There were a mass of tiger lilies in bloom in the front. The feeling of this land is so sweet.


The “Liliput”, built in 1921. Tiger lilies, small white stone foundation and a ton of charm. This is the most valuable piece of property on the property, as it is the proof of being a pre-existing dwelling; complete with kitchen, bathroom, electric and kerosene stove and one bedroom (formerly 2). Sadly, a total tear-down.

The third structure was a simple metal storage shed, creaky, rusty, and badly leaking.



The land was all overgrown, a tangle of weeds and vines- but was also a wonderland of plants and trees and greenery and native species and jungle. Birds and bees and bugs and all sorts of wonderful life. I have lived in a 2nd floor apartment on main street for 12 years, and was craving craving to have my feet on the earth again. I had been petitioning the universe that I needed my OWN dirt and my OWN land to dig in. Careful what you wish for 😉

I will never forget the first moment turning the corner in the high grass and seeing the Momma Tree in the back. Huge, lovely, beautiful old old mother tree, some kind of Norway maple I think. My jaw dropped and my heart soared I knew the moment I set foot on this property that it felt like home.


The Momma Tree. I was so happy that I was chosen to be her new protector. Or was she becoming mine? 🙂

I had already begun the process of looking and talking to the banks several months prior. I walked in confidently to one lender’s office in the early spring to see what I could qualify for, and told her to mark my words- I didn’t know how, where or what-but I would be buying a home this year. There was another property that had come up ‘as-is’, and was going to meet with my realtor on Saturday morning to put in an offer. I looked 3 times, measured, researched… I could have made that one work,the neighborhood was nice,  but it needed a lot of work… and I wasn’t in love- just ‘meh’.

I happened to be on-line about midnight on Friday when this listing hit my inbox. I was moved. I met with my realtor the next morning for coffee, and I said, “by the way, this other one came up in the listing last night, and I’m going to drive by after I meet with you- if you want to come along.” We visited the property at 10 am, and my jaw dropped (and his did, too). I loved the land, I saw the potential, the lot was big, the neighborhood was quiet. Luckily also the back door was unlocked, so I got to go inside and verify it was well built, clean, dry and solid.  I had an offer in before 5 pm that evening.


The entire 26 ‘ x 12’ trophy house. Yup. The value is in being ‘pre existing, non-conforming’. That’s huge. I can build off of this.

The Red Cardinal

It was a crazy summer, the whole process- the time involved took away from my work much more than I’d expected. The P&S got pushed off 5 times. At the last moment, the seller almost pulled, thinking she would take it off the market and fix it herself and keep it. Tension, insanity, doubt, reassurance, frustration-  but mostly remembering to breathe and trust the universe and to trust all the signs I had been given along the way.

I kept asking for guidance, for something to to let me know I should pursue this, and that I was on the right track, making a good decision. The right decision. It was a big investment. It was a big project. But during the time of negotiating, I would go over and just be on the land, sit with the trees and the birds, bathe in the sun. It all felt so right, like no other had. I went inside, and on a sunny, peaceful summer day I lay on the make-shift staged bed, with the window open, the sun streaming in, and had the most blissful calm feeling of peace, and home. Finally, I was home.

The red cardinal has always been a symbol for me, since my mother passed in 1985, of divine interaction and confirmation.I always knew she was around when the cardinal said hello, and inevitably the cardinal would come when I asked for guidance or connection.

I knew this place was meant to be mine, but as I walked across the lawn that day, again, I asked the universe for a sign. Just then, a red cardinal flew right by me, so close he almost clipped me! I guess they are not used to people being there! I knew I had my answer. Thanks, mom. Each time I got stressed, or doubted, or delayed in the process, I would ask again, and each time, a red cardinal would show up.

I had not seen inside of the Liliput building yet, but I had my offer in and was moving forward with it. Then, finally the seller’s realtor met us with a key to the liliput, and- literally- on the lawn walking over to the building with the realtor, I again asked for assurance and guidance that I was making the right decision.

She opened the door, and I stood in the doorway, face to face with this, and my jaw fell.

A painting done by the previous owner.

I didn’t need to ask again.


By mid-August we finally closed, at 30k less than asking, (!!!) I asked for, and got the Red Cardinal painting in the closing. I also got the blue seagull painting that was in the newer house. I had already been thinking of the process of getting the property as “A Wing And A Prayer“, and also one of my favorite, and my mother’s favorite books being  Jonathan Livingston Seagull, so that painting also spoke to me.

And then, after 26 long, frustrating years of trying and trying and trying to buy a home and getting nowhere- I finally had the key in my hand. Home. I finally have my Home.

Home Shanty. 🙂 Om Shanti. ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः

On closing day after passing papers, my dear friend Uma and I brought the harmonium and dholak and chanted under the big momma tree- to Ganesh and Durga and Shiva and Lakshmi and Sarsvati and RadhaKrishna and SitaRam, and we sang to the land to cleanse and bless this new chapter and recieve this beautiful blessing. Soon after, my dear friend Annie brought a rock from Sedona for the tree, and her beautiful wooden flute, and played the most beautiful otherworldly sounds, bringing in a higher vibration, blessing and cleansing the land, and bringing in the magic.

I went there the very next day, rolled up my sleeves and started clearing vines.  I really got to look at what I’d just gotten myself into. Yup, I’m crazy, But I’m sooooo happy and in love.

4 thoughts on “Home Shanty, Shanty, Shanty

  1. I’m loving everything you’ve done and are doing. I found your page looking for U-haul RV conversion ideas! I’m struggling with my own indecision… truck, bus or tow a cargo trailer… LOL

    • Thank you, Elizabeth! I was at that indecision place for a while ! 🙂 I went with the truck because it’s easy to park and because I can have access from the driver’s seat to the back without going outside.

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