Category Archives: Tiny House

General tiny house ideas

Travel Trailer Update – Framing, Check!

We got done framing our mini beast!  I feel like the hardest step is behind us!  Once we got the interior panels up our thunder was taken but we had to finish framing (gluing and stapling) the exterior front/back and roof.  That involved bending more sheets of 1/4″ plywood to the right curve.  It’s really been a rewarding process and James and I haven’t even fought about it for a long time!  We’ve been quite the pair and we both agreed that it’s pretty cool to be with someone who likes these sorts of projects as much as we each do… I don’t think any of our ex’s have been as cool as each of us (hahahahaha!) It’s been fun and relaxing with the bonus of a sense of accomplishment!!

Denver and the kids seem to like it too… we’ll see if that is really true once we’re 1,000 miles from ‘home’.  I think the next steps are to move inside.  We will be busy with some travel and our latest sad news for at least a couple weekends but when we get to get back to it I think we will start inside.  We have to pound in some of the staples, fill them and probably paint and then we’re going to build out the kitchen first, then the couch/bed probably.  Then bathroom and bunks most likely.  After that we will insulate and finish the exterior.  We’ve got room to do what we want when we want so that all may change.  We are not planning on running any plumbing or electric in the walls so that will be added after we have some stuff to work with.  We’re looking at being both on grid and off grid compatible so the systems have been somewhat complex (compared to our tiny house!).  Here are some photos of our progress to date and some cute kids I know too!

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We’re Getting Evicted!

Three and a half years of bliss!  That’s a pretty good run!  We got our Notice of Violation in the mail last Tuesday.  It’s been a roller coaster of emotions to say the least.  Overall we feel blessed to have gotten so long in our home.  We feel convinced that it is more important than ever to get this incorporated  into some recognized code so that zoning areas can start to incorporate this sort of lifestyle choice into our towns and cities. James and I have worked really hard for 5 years to get some official recognition, we had hoped it came faster but our tiny house advocacy is not ending simply because we can’t live in our house anymore.  IF anything, it has just become that much more important!


(I know my address is on there, it’s been pretty out there as is, if you subscribe to My Newsletter it’s there too.  I didn’t feel the need to hide it… besides, it won’t be my address much longer! ;-))

While not unexpected the letter is still a punch to the gut.  We are just getting hunkered down for winter.  It came two days prior to me speaking at a state wide planning convention about tiny houses (it’s hard to want to rally support when you just got knocked down emotionally like this…).  Also, 10 days AFTER receiving the letter we are literally flying to Kansas City to defend tiny houses to the ICC Board.  While advocating nationally this becomes a first hand issue for us.  The timing of it all is just… weird…

So, some of the questions I’ve had…

Do you want to know who turned you in?  No, not really.  It is anyone’s right to complain.  What I wish is that it was ‘acceptable’ to live in my house.  We have had a lot of development happening in our neighborhood and a lot of attention locally over one particular, 50 unit development going in across the street.  If I had to guess I would say it has something to do with that and I would guess it was either one of those developers or someone who thinks I may somehow be tied to making that development possible… either way whomever complained has the absolute right to do that!  This is their neighborhood too!

So what are you going to do now?  What recourse do you have? None.  We have no recourse.  I knew this when I started building and we have advocated an awful long time now to get tiny houses recognized as ‘legit’ but as of now, they still aren’t.  I have set up a meeting with the code enforcer and planning department for Tuesday, I hope to have more info to share after that but I know my odds of being able to continue living in my house at my current location are slim to none.  I will hope for the best and expect the worst.  We hoped to get things changed in time for us but even if we don’t make the cut I will continue advocating for this lifestyle choice, it NEEDS to be legal, safe and accessible.  The health of our residents, our planet and our families depend on it!

My primary goal Tuesday will be to get an extension on the timeline.  We are so consumed with this national hearing (sign it, seriously, and share it with others, it will help show the importance of this being addressed!) on this exact issue that we will have 4 days once we return from Kansas City to move.  Without an extension it will be darn near impossible to accomplish the move let alone the re-homing of our family.   I am hopeful we may be granted the extension but even still, I looked up rent on places and it seems we are looking at a minimum of $1,200 a month just to rent a place.  We do own the main house but we have no interest in evicting our current tenants.  With us leaving on a trip in 6-7 months for a year it will be even harder to find a short term rental and will likely be looking at much more money.  Something will work out, we always have family even if not near the life we have built here…  None of the options seem ideal by any stretch… Something will work out though, I am confident of that, the fates have been very gracious to us and our karma is pretty decent I suspect! I am choosing to trust the natural order of things!

Can you just move out of town and live? I suppose we could but that  if we had a lead somewhere or more time to find land… but it is not a lifestyle choice WE want to make.  For us being in a community is pretty important, we are invested in our city and our neighborhood and I hope to be able to work something out.  We do eventually plan on building something on the lot our tiny house currently sits on, it may be time to move up those plans – though I would really hate to nix our travel plans… something will need to give… I have no idea… but I don’t WANT to feel pushed out of my community… I just don’t feel like that would be a healthy choice for us.

I wish the moving out of our house was happening on our terms but it is what it is.  We have a few ideas to proceed forward but I don’t really want to list them until we get a chance to talk with the City folks.   It’s sure sad for us since most of those options don’t include being able to stay in our home.  I mean, we just got Hazel’s bed ‘perfect’ (in her words).  Miles hasn’t even had a chance to really use his bed.  They love our tiny house as much as James and I do!  It feels like we are being uprooted.  I really don’t want to have to go get a ‘real’ job and put my kids in daycare just to help pay a ton in rent each month.  Right now we are able to afford me staying home to raise our kids because we choose a lifestyle where the housing doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.  There just aren’t any words beside ‘sad’ that cover our emotions over the whole thing.

Still, I can think of a million ways it can be worse, and only one way it could be better (that we didn’t have to move).  At least there isn’t yet snow on the ground.  At least I’m not pregnant, and we no longer have little tiny babies.  We are tough, we are resilient and we try to be adventurous.  We are looking at this as another adventure.  An opportunity to take things to the next level maybe?  Perhaps an opening to have an ‘official case study’?  The good news is there are options.  I am not sure how much those will cost or how feasible they will be but there ARE options.

I can’t wait to see how it works out! Ha!

(in case you didn’t see it… sign this it will help us show the board in Kansas City that there is a NEED to classify this sort of housing.  It IS a legit choice.  It is affordable.  It is healthy.  It is fabulous and others need to be able to choose to live in tiny houses without fear of eviction!)

Tiny Houses Meet IRC – Help!

Help write tiny houses into the IRC – Last 5 Days to Prep!


(If you haven’t heard about this effort yet you can read about it HERE)

To help sign this petition, it cost nothing and could go a long way in helping show the need to get this addressed!

At this point there are SO many hurdles that have flown by:

  • A proposed code incorporating tiny houses is written. (The Morrison’s are A-MAZ-ING!)
  • It’s on the agenda at the national ICC hearing (kind of a huge deal)
  • Fundraising goals have been achieved (the following people will be speaking at the hearing on behalf of tiny house – Andrew Morrison, Gabriella Morrison, Macy Miller, Beth Ann Norrgard, Zack Giffin, Meg Stephens, James Herndon, Martin Hammer, David Latimer, Jeremy Weaver, Christopher Flener, and David Eisenberg)
  • Flights and hotels have all been booked. (Would not have been possible without this community!  We have a powerful team assembled and what I think are REALLY good odds!)

We only have a few more needs

The hard stuff is done, now the details:

  • First – If you are in support of tiny houses being written into the 2018 IRC sign THIS PETITION. (this will be used to show the voting members that this change IS needed, lots of support is good – goal 25,000+ – so SHARE!!)
  • Second, we are compiling letters from building officials across the country. (contact your building department ASAP and ask them “Would having a tiny house code appendix in the IRC be helpful for them?” If they say yes, then ask them if they are willing to add their name and title to a short letter stating as much. More HERE if you are willing)
  • Last, come support the proposal at the hearing!  If you are in the Kansas City area October 22-25th, come to the hearing with us, stand (or raise your hand) in favor of the proposal when asked!  This will make a huge impact and if a respectful crowd is drawn it will be completely unprecedented and speak volumes about the importance of this addition.  More on that HERE

You can read more about this effort from the Morrisons, HERE.

Don’t forget, sign the petition HERE (and read the comments if you want to get a happy feeling of what it sounds like when people come together for good and lift one and other up – definitely not your usual internet comments!)

Thank You for your support and efforts!

The Big Adventures of Tiny House!


We’re going to be in a book!  So what we paid for it! You can too!  ha!

This is an awesome children’s book written by Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrated by Courtnay Fletcher.  I heard the reading in Colorado Springs at the Jamboree (which by the way was just announced to be back in 2017!)

It is a cute and powerful kids story, I liken it to Dr. Seuss’s ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go’… it’s not really the same but it has such a positive, realistic and fun message that is empowering!   Every kid should have it read to them at least once!

SO, it is an indie production meaning that it has to be funded before it becomes real.  The good news is it is already funded!  I just want to mention it still in case you have any kiddos in your life that would benefit, you can still pre-order it which will allow them to order more books to donate to kids in need.  It’s a great book, by great people doing great things!

I put $650 into it myself to get Denver in it as a character!  (it’s also a Xmas gift for the kids… ). I think I annoyed my way into Courtnay and Susan’s good side because they said they will put D’s sidekicks, Miles and Hazel in there too :).  So I bought them a great memory and I hope they will read it to their own kids one day and point out where they are!

We are so glad to get to contribute to this and become a part of it!  I seriously just love it!

If you want in too there are some great incentive still left.  Or if you were interested there is time to pre-order still!  6 days left! Or just put it on your radar to check out at your local library!  It’s wonderful!

Pre-Order Here.

“He could be a home anywhere, because home wasn’t a place.
Home was a feeling, a smile on your face.
It was friendship and singing and a full happy heart.
It was sharing good meals, and where you hung up your art.
Whether you anchored in place, or decided to roam,
What called to your heart could still be called home.”

Camper is looking Camper-y

We have been working, it feels slow but people keep telling us we are making quick progress… so that’s good…  We have plenty of work to do still, including doing all the framing on the exterior.  We are putting it back together the exact same way we took it apart.

We have a roof!  The exterior will be aluminum again, new stuff though.  The interior finish is this 1/8″ mahogany plywood.  We are debating between white washing it or just painting it white… I think it’s not quite pretty enough to white wash… but maybe….

It was a PITA to get this stuff up but we are happy to have that hurdle past us!  Getting closer to the fun stuff every day!  Here are some project photos, followed by family stuff:

This has to be just a quick update so I am not being as detailed as usual, I have a few time sensitive things in the works right now including an APA (American Planning Association) presentation later this week, and the BIG Kansas City ICC hearing coming up in two weeks (sign your support HERE!).  Something is better than nothing though… or at least thats my motto….

In between the birthdays (James, Me, Miles) I have worked on Hazels mural more, and gotten a game plan for Miles’s.