August 11, 2014 § 11 Comments
There is so much I love about my tiny house, my favorite part seems to change every day but there are a few things I have noticed over time that I just love about this project. At this moment, in no particular order here is my top 10 list:
1. Endless hot showers in my oversized shower! Man I love my showers, it was a big priority going into this. I built an oversized shower at 42″x36″. I have an on demand hot water heater si I never run out of water. I can literally take an hour long shower if I want! Well so long as Hazel lets me… I think my dad has rubbed off on me too (he’s a plumber), it’s kind of cool to harness the power of water and use it for a shower… I’m not sure I ever appreciated that before…
2. Lounging on the patio in the spring reading a book. There is a beautiful and aromatic apple tree right off my patio, in the spring it is one of the most pretty things I’ve ever seen. Add in the patio lights and a little fading sunlight, me curled up in the chair on the patio with a book/sketchpad/journal/staring into space and you have one of my most favorite zen moments.
3. Sitting in the living room watching rain drip from the windows. This is similar to point one, I am not harnessing the power of water but sheltering myself from it. I remember the first rain I was so scared to see how things held up, if there were any leaks (there was one, I fixed it!). It turns out it is a pretty awesome feeling to have built yourself a weather-proof shelter! It can get cold and bitter and RAINY here in the fall, I love sitting on the couch and watching the rain drip off the window flashing, the way it should. It’s a detail I never would have cared about had I not put the flashing there myself.
4. Cooking while watching a movie. I’m not much of a movie buff and James isn’t much of a cook. We can both do those separate things though and still get to hang out! In the tiny house we can both kick back and do what we love without having to go to separate areas. He chills out on the couch with a movie and a browser and a notepad and I fiddle about in the kitchen and we can still chat and bond.
5. My toilet. My toilet is awesome. I love that I am not wasting so much water that we work so hard to clean. I love that it is all handled right at my house. I love that there is no splashing, no smells and it’s not freezing in the middle of the night (there is a small heater in it). People may not believe it but I love it so much better than a standard flush toilet (and I was very leery going into this project!)… Poor Hazel is going to be confused though when it is potty training time. She’s going to wonder where the sawdust is at the grocery store potty!
6. Having everything I love in one spot. I admit this one has taken time and honestly I still have stores in mom and dads basement (all kids do that, right?). I can say though that I have everything that I care about under my roof. There are bags of old dresses I didn’t quite have the heart to get rid of just yet, there are stuffed animals I may want to give to Hazel later, there are things that sit somewhere just because there is somewhere to sit them but anything that is important to me is in my house. It hasn’t always been like that I have felt very spread out previously just because I moved so often there were a lot of home bases. Some may think in the small house it would be harder to keep everything near and dear… well near. It’s not, everything has a place. It’s nice to have it all at home for once!
7. Saving money. Self explanatory. Just before Hazel was born I was able to pay off all of my debt. All of it. when I took home my paycheck once a month it was all mine. Yeah I have bills to pay but no debt, insurance and groceries and a little rent, that’s it. I have even got rid of my phone. How would it be to take your whole paycheck and just stick it in your bank account? The answer is pretty awesome! With that little cushion I built up before Hazel was here I decided it was ok if I just don’t go back to work until I need more money. I do side jobs as I want to and try to monetize this site as much as I can while still being human (I don’t push anything I don’t truly believe in) because if I can live off of that stuff then I can stay home even more with her! So, if you want you can buy my ebook ;-) (just kidding… sort of)
8. Hearing my dog snore at night. There is no particular reason for this, and perhaps it would still occur in a bigger house but it is comforting to know he is close enough for me to hear him. In the back of my mind,while I sleep I know I am protected.
9. Inspiring others. I had no idea when I started this that anyone would be interested in reading my blog, it was just a place I could document my build and update it from any computer. Then it became a challenge. Then it just became a part of the process. Somewhere along the line it got popular enough for me to feel jazzed and inspired to keep going! It got me through the hard spots, I could think through problems here and get feedback from others. I remember the day that I got 32 hits in one day. In one single day 32 people read MY words, they read about MY project. It was amazing! Then, a little later I got my first email from someone that called themselves ‘my fan’, it said I had inspired them. I had a fan? I couldn’t fathom that. My weird little project inspired someone to do something in their life, I don’t even know what honestly but I had a fan! That is a cool and encouraging feeling! One single person’s life was altered by something I did. I have a very hard time fathoming that to this day, I can only hope it is altered in the most positive way! Today I get several thousand people visiting my site every single day. I love that people seek me out because they somehow found something in me that is inspiring. Those people are my inspiration too, I mean I’m just a weirdo, they give me someone to be accountable to!
I think inspiring is one of the very best names to be called and I have had way more than my fair share of kind people calling me that. It’s amazing!
10. Getting recognized at the dog park/grocery store/public. I have been recognized on the streets as the girl in TIME, the girl in Dwell. My dog has fans, there is an s on that, he has more than one! Hazel has been called so many beautiful things by people who don’t even really know how amazing she is! She has fans, I have fans, sure some of it is cringe-worthy but SO many people are SO nice to hear from!
So that’s my list, what is your favorite part about living tiny? If you’re not quite there what do you imagine will be your favorite part?
July 20, 2014 § 13 Comments
Yeah, I had a flood on Saturday night. I had just taken off to a BBQ at my brothers house, James stayed home and worked. He was unloading lumber from his truck for his project and heard water flowing by the tiny house. He came to examine and found an inch of water covering my whole floors and pouring out! I am so glad he didn’t come with me to the BBQ, I left about 6:30, everything was fine. I got a call from him at 7:30 that the place was completely flooded and he turned off the water. I enjoyed the rest of the night and made it back home around midnight. He estimates that ‘whatever happened’ was only happening 10-15 minutes before he caught it and it completely flooded the house! I can’t imagine the problems we would have had if he had come to the BBQ and it was going for five hours! 15 minutes did a lot of damage! OYE, I may not have a habitable house if it were 5 hours! So grateful he was around to catch it!
So, I wake up this morning determined to find out what was going on. I turned the water on for a second and completely soaked the floor. It was long enough to tell that the water heater had broken. Opening the cupboard water was just pouring out the bottom of the water heater. Unplug and mop up.
Called my dad, aka the best plumber in town! He comes over, we dismantle the hookups and pull the unit out. It is a TIGHT space, took a bit of craftiness!
As soon as we remove the unit the inlet literally falls out of the unit The water intake appears to have completely broken off. Dad and I both cannot figure out why. It has been working great for over a year and it just decides one saturday night to just snap off. If I had moved the house anytime recently I suppose I could see that happening but there has been zero stress or extensive use, no crazy water pressure no hiccups whatsoever until the unit just broke and flooded my house! Now that I know the issue I have looked up eccotemps (I have the eccotemp FVI 12-lp) warranty, it states there is a 2 year warranty, I have put in a ticket and hopefully they will cover it and get me some hot water again soon. For now it looks like I’ll be homesteading style (boils some water!) for Hazels baths and maybe just shower at my families house… rather inconvenient. Even though it was bad it could have been SO much worse! I left a towel on the ground in the bathroom which prevented a bunch of water from going down into my toilet and messing with that! I am super glad I did rigid insulation in the floor, had I done batt or some other kinds I would have to potentially fix that, they get destroyed with moisture. Most definitely go with rigid or spray in insulation in your floors! I am so grateful things weren’t worse! I’ll keep you updated on the status of my hot water :). I would love to hear what others’ experiences have been with Eccotemp, I have heard very good things overall, thoughts?