This is not a cohesive update at all, I am back at my ‘better to post something than nothing’ post though. I do have some very cool miscellaneous updates though, long over due of course! I have a plan in action that will hopefully get me on a better track for keeping up with my updates! I am going to try my hand at just setting a schedule to post my updates ,that way it doesn’t all just build up and become a daunting thing to approach! So, after this update I will be shooting for Monday, Wednesday, Friday and a Sunday post, each day posting on one topic, be it my family/pregnancy/Denny, my tiny house, my current craft projects or my miscellaneous day, that is what I am hoping for, if I can stay disciplined it would be awesome :). But for now there is a little of everything!
So, Denny is getting neutered this weekend, he’s excited ;-). I think he thinks I say ‘tutored’ though, he loves learning! Terrible joke! It’s time, I feel bad for kids when I take him on walks, Great Danes are big dogs… any way you look at it… we are also going to go to our first Great Dane Meet-up, I am excited to see how he does with other danes, when we go to the park he mostly loves hanging out with the littlest pups there, I think it will be good for him to meet other big dogs! I am excited to meet new friends too, it seems that dog parks are really great places to meet people in general! He is pretty funny at night, when I let him out before bed he does a perimeter check around the house, its always a counter clockwise motion, he circles the whole thing, then does his business then comes in ready to zonk out, in the morning though the last thing he wants is to get out of bed, turns out if a hundred pound dog doesn’t want to do something then there is not very much I can do to change his mind… fortunately James is usually around to let him potty a little later in the mornings…
My pregnancy update, this is fun, I am back on track with my weight gain, I am not sick as a dog all the time, I am perpetually uncomfortable with my lady parts apparently being the size of a soccer ball right now. Turns out that makes me hunch over which isn’t good for a newly broken back, I got a sling thing though and it seems to help… if I can just find out where Denver hid it… I definitely look pregnant now, there is no mistaking it! She is SUPER active still and her kicks are getting stronger and stronger, I guess the calcium is hitting her bones and making her less like rubber, so that’s good! Yesterday I was working on my laptop and it was just barely against my stomach and she kicked it and it moved… not real impressive of a story but I was alone in the house and it freaked me out! When my midwife measured me I was bigger than ‘normal’ by 5 centimeters (they measure from the top of my pubic bone to my belly button), so apparently that means she had her growth spurt early, even though I think she hit her growth spurt just after the appointment, I will be excited at my next one to see if my midwife agrees. I have gained a total of 15 pounds even. That is right on track with where I ‘should be’. MiniMiller’s heartbeat is right on point and she measures right around 14 inches long and comes in just under 2 pounds. The most shocking part is that technically she is able to survive, with help, outside of me right now, that blows my mind. I will go ahead and try to keep her in there as long as possible though, it’s probably best for everyone :). In the following weeks we will be working on putting some body fat on her! Other than all that, it still sucks to be pregnant, some girls just rock this, it is NOT my ‘thing’! oye! I think I should have been born a guy, it seems so much easier! I’m sure I’ll get on with the whole ‘miracle of life’ thing after MiniMiller comes but for now oye! BTW, Hazel Annabelle is the name that is sticking the hardest… Stays with Greg’s astute observation of her initials being H.A.M. too!
Tiny house update! My water froze last night! Oh noes! thankfully it happened AFTER the hard piping and nothing broke! When I went and checked this morning it looked like in one of Denver’s perimeter checks he may have bumped a panel of my skirting apparatus… there was a big hole in the insulated portion so I am pretty sure that is what went wrong. Still, it’s going to get a lot colder (down to 9 degrees tonight!) so I am going to have to figure out something else… For now, because its dark when I get up for work and its dark when I get home (I hate daylight savings, even though it really isn’t what’s to blame for the short days) I just shut off the water and I will figure it out this weekend when I have some daylight to work by. These are those cold weather things that you folks down south don’t have to work with Lucky! Other than that the house is doing awesome! The radiant floor heat is NOT enough to keep things heated but with my small supplemental heater it’s not a problem.
So this evening I am in the process of transferring my website (paying WordPress to transfer it since I have had a few difficulties with how the site transfers) to a hosted site so if anything goes awry that is why, I wish I could stay on the free WordPress site but I have enough pictures and data to use up my allotted space, so I must move on!
A couple quick things, Ryan and I are doing another Tiny House Chat on Tuesday night, log in if you can! We have Hari and Karl from TinyHouseFamily.com and Ms. Kristie Wolfe from TinyHouseOnThePrairie.net, we are going to talk about tiny houses for the holidays, get some awesome creative ideas from Kristie and some family advice from Hari and Karl, it’s just going to be a fun one. I nice end to wrap up a great year of Chats!
Ryan has been organizing the first annual Tiny House Conference which is coming up at the beginning of April 2014. There are going to be some great opportunities to meet some neat people and learn more than you want to know about tiny houses and tinyhousers! I am stoked to get to go, and MiniMiller will be making her way so long as all goes as planned! For a little while Ryan is offering $50.00 off if you use the code MM2013, so if you can’t think of what to get the minimalist in your life it could be a good option… ;-), experiences are always better than ‘things’ (well, that is just opinion I guess).
I think that that is all I have for now, below are a couple other things including a tremendous act of kindness I was the lucky recipient of, my interview on Aljezeera with Christopher and Merete a co-sleeper mini-update and some misc. stuff, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
Long over-due update :). I have been juggling quite a bit as of lately so I have been torn away from consistent updates but here is one! So, I have been dealing with my bank to talk about financing for a place, I was looking at a property to have as a rental that I could park my tiny behind. The trick is a foreclosure that is on my history, even though the foreclosure process started 7 years ago (wow, that’s a while) it didn’t finalize until 2 years ago, yeah, it was a MISERABLE 5 year process. So, because that is on my record I knew there would be hoops to jump though but I decided to see how bad it was anyway. The loan officer was genuinely shocked at the situation and the fact that I have pristine credit, if I didn’t have the blackmark I would be the ideal candidate and eligible for the best rates. She went so far as to check into alternates to an FHA loan which would typically be my ONLY option with a foreclosure until a full 7 years after the final date of foreclosure. FHA is not all bad or good, what it does require though is that I pay mortgage insurance the full term of the loan instead of the typical first 20%, since I planned on putting 20% down it didn’t feel great to know I would be paying about 160 buck a moth for ‘extra’ purely because ‘technically’ I didn’t meet the requirements for a conventional loan, even though by the bankers own words I am a much better candidate than most conventional loan candidates. Also, and FHA loan comes with a higher interest rate than conventional. So, She took some info and talked to her bosses and said she would get back to me…
A couple days later she called me back with ‘good news’, which is in fact good news, but not great. After talking to her supervisor and their supervisor my bank said that they were willing and able to ‘portfolio’ me which means basically that they will personally be loaning me the money rather than a mortgage company. What this does for me is get me a ‘conventional loan’, my payments would be going to them, I wouldn’t have to pay mortgage insurance for the duration of the loan. This is good news! The bad news is of course they would add their cut on top of it. The ‘going-rate’ for a 15 year loan is 3.2%, for a 30 year loan it is 4%. They would only go at a 30 year term and at 5.125%… When you calc out the math I would be paying almost double what I would over the term of the loan. My ideal of course would be to put 20% down, pay a 15 year loan, on the house I was looking at the payment is right around $750.00/month. On a 30 year term the payment would be around $520.00/month. Now the house I was looking at I think could easily be rented out for $800.00 a month so really, either of these are fine. What they ended up offering me was a payment around $760.00/month but for 30 years. So, if I am prepared to pay $750.00/month for 15 years and what I was offered was essentially $750.00/month for 30 years… I don’t like that and I am not comfortable, even though it is ‘do-able’, signing up for another 30 year commitment if I am not completely comfortable with the terms. Yes, I could probably refinance in a couple years, who’s to say where rates will be though… It would be an added stress I really don’t need at this point.
I was really feeling a rush to get somewhere before winter hit but I decided the best thing would probably be to just sit put until it thaws again next spring. At that point I have a feeling that things will be in a different spot, perhaps I’ll be eligible for a better deal. I am also keeping my eyes open for places that ‘fit’ that may have owner financing. Even though that is usually at a higher rate I would MUCH rather have that extra going to a real person than the banking industry, call me jaded :). I looked at moving to a couple different places around town, either with individuals or a semi-RV park situation. The rates were either just as high as renting an apartment OR the people seemed weird. I didn’t think it wise to have a baby be born around someone who may or may not me ‘weird’, it didn’t feel great either in my gut. And if I am going to have to pay 450-600 a month plus utilities just to park my house I am going to store it and just rent a place where I don’t have to juggle space and constraints. he whole point of building this is NOT paying someone else rent. I was blown away that it costs as much to rent a bare piece of property as it does to rent one with a house on it to use… dumb. But now I know it could be pretty lucrative to just buy bare land, zone it as an RV park for tiny houses/RVs, if I charged half the price I would be doing pretty darn good! So… I am staying put for the winter. That is that story.
Because I am staying put I had to winterize, it’s already been down to freezing temperatures. Daylight savings time messed with that process quite a bit but I finally got it done yesterday. My house is officially officially complete! I went out to celebrate with my brothers and Gia and I forgot all about the shirley temples! I’ll have to try again! My brothers are always putting on dinner parties, I don’t have enough house to have them over for dinner though so the thing I get to do is save money and take them out for a nice dinner every now and again :). So that is just what we did! It was awesome and it feels pretty damn good to be done even with all the non-glamorous work. The skirting is not pretty but it is very functional, just keep that in mind :). I suppose even putting a coat of paint on it would make it prettier, but I didn’t do that…
There is even a Denver update in there, he’s as handsome and sweet as ever! Branching out at the dog park and making bigger dog friends :). He is the best dog ever, I really recommend Danes to tiny house people, it baffles most but they are GREAT small space dogs, he is an old soul, not a ton of energy, totally content to crash out most of the day. He goes to bed before me every night, steals my pillow. He doesn’t think he can get up the stairs by himself, even though he can. He gos and puts his front feet half way up then looks at me and whines for me to help him. Of course I can’t lift his heavy butt up there anymore so I just place his feet for him and he walks up them. I think he thinks I’m lifting him but he just needs to work on his confidence :), he will get it again soon!
And MiniMiller is growing leaps and bounds, I’m pretty sure she will be just as fidgety as her mom AND dad (she’s got no choice in the matter) if how much she flips around is any indicator. 24 hours a day there and somersaults being done in my belly. Denver seems to be paying more attention to her too, he likes to lay his head on my belly which he’s never really done before. Random kids walk up to me and stare at me and chatter at me, kids have always liked me but I think they are showing me more attention, it’s weird… and at the dog park so many dogs seem to walk well out of their way to come and smell me, even with all the distractions they are interested in me more than others, a couple of their owners have even mentioned that they were oddly drawn over. Because of these occurrences I tend to believe what they always say about kids and pets being in tune with pregnancies. My next appointment happens to be the same day as Ryan’s and my next Tiny House Chat on the 19th, I’ll have another update then, I am pretty excited and blown away that in about 5 months I’ll be a mom, that’s a pretty cool big deal!
Which brings me to my next point, Ryan and I have a Tiny House Chat on the 19th, this one is going to be awesome! Please, make the time to join us if you can! Here is the information to log in and what it is all about. Take a few minutes, watch THIS TED talk. We will be talking to him and the folks over at Found House. 3D printed houses, Ikea style :). If this was a kit for your own tiny house would you look into it? I think this is an amazing concept that could change the face of so much! Making affordable housing available to all!
I have had a couple questions on the format of the Tiny House Chat. I want to clear up some of it, don’t worry, you do not need a camera or a microphone to log in. What happens is that Ryan and I appear on camera with (usually) our two guest hosts the four of us are the only ones with voice and camera, to chat about whatever our topic is for the month. Everyone else logs in and is linked via a chat room which we can all see. (people seem reluctant to appear on camera, so don’t worry, unless you’re a guest host you won’t, and let me know if you want to be a guest host and/or have an idea for a show topic!) So basically it is an hour long chat session with tons of people who have the same interests. There is a lot of discussion between chatters as well as questions interacting directly with the four hosts. It works best when we get lots of chat/host interaction on the topic at hand. Typically we have 30-45 people logged in but we have the ability to go up to 200 right now. If we ever have more than that we can look at upgrading our service to accommodate more, so share the word!
What questions do you have about 3D printed houses for these guest hosts??