Friday, July 24, 2009

God gave us rain to get things done

Yet another tropical storm moving through here, we had a great downpour on Tuesday but this one is supposed to be even heavier. We can expect to see daylight on Sunday, whoopee.

The squirrel family has vacated the premises, however the mother returns periodically to gnaw on a set of deer antlers hung in the porch. Crazy squirrel. I have left a message with the owners of the house, asking how important those antlers are to them anyway, should I be protecting them with my life or can I let her gnaw away to her heart's content?

[Mike tells me that rodents eat discarded antlers for the calcium; it makes sense that a nursing mother would be gnawing on these antlers, even trying to make her nest nearby! However he says best to discourage her, it can only end badly if I end up having to resort to desperate measures to keep her out of the house]

The blue jay population here has exploded, all of a sudden I have eight at a time arriving at the feeder. They are remarkably civilized though, the finches and juncoes continue to use the feeder unmolested by the jays.

Today I had to take down the hummingbird feeder to replenish the syrup, and I saw one of the hummers investigating the seed feeder while it was down. There was a goldfinch in the seed feeder, the hummer came right up to the goldfinch and hung in the air inches away from it for several seconds, as if speculating on whether it was worth chasing off the goldfinch for the sake of seeds it can't eat. Those little hummers are crazy!

Sheila and I managed to get in a dog walk before the rain got really heavy, it may be a couple of days before we get out again. Sheila says her brother used to say, God gave us rain so we could get things done. Well, with all this rain, She sure must want a lot done!

Anyway. The big news is that I have more or less gotten the go-ahead to start building a tiny house on a flatbed trailer. I have a source for a trailer (kind of) lined up, thanks to Sheila's husband Alden, and a location to build at, thanks to Mike and Fritz. Basically the same place as where I built the kayak last year, the Garden House. So today in the rain I have been doodling plans.

I am thinking about getting a trailer custom made, which Alden tells me will only be a bit more expensive than buying one new. I suppose I could buy a used trailer but I don't really want to mess around hunting down the exact trailer I want. I don't know yet if it is doable or if the cost is really reasonable, but that is the next thing on my list, talk to people who know such things.

I came up with this idea well over a year ago, almost two years ago, and at the time there was a little bit of information on the internet but not a lot. One guy, Jay Shafer, building them on the west coast, and another guy, Kevin Rose, who built one in Vermont. Since then the idea has really taken off and there are all kinds of websites devoted to the idea and implementation. I've mentioned the idea to a lot of people and several have actually known what I was talking about. An idea whose time has come I guess.

There are lots of pros and cons to the idea but it is something I just want to do, something I have wanted to do for awhile. Of course buying a ready-made trailer home would probably be cheaper, but this is not about the money. I just want to do it.

For what it would cost to build this house on a trailer, I could probably build a larger cabin, the fact that it is on a trailer makes it cost more; below a certain size there are no cost savings in going small. But it is portable. But I will need a bigger stronger vehicle than I have to move it. Alden points out that it will not be all that stable on highways, it will be vulnerable to big winds and buffeting by passing semis. But I don't plan to spend a lot of time on highways with it. I like that it is tiny, I've been slowly downsizing for a number of years and this seems like the next logical step. In the past 15 years I've gone from a 3-bedroom rowhouse to a 2-bedroom condo to a 1-bedroom walk-up, why not a trailer next?

This past winter I've been doing some internet research on materials and furnishings for this trailer, and since arriving here I've been browsing around for tiny fridges and freezers and so forth. You can get tiny composting toilets, even tiny hand-run washing machines! Marine stores are good sources for stuff for tiny living spaces.

So God gave us rain to get things done, I am using the rain to doodle my tiny house on a trailer.

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For a really comprehensive source on the tiny house "movement", go to the Tiny House Blog.


Barbara Anne said...

Intrepid Anne is creating! Look out world, she'll soon "Have house, will travel!"

This is so very interesting! Will you likely leave it in that part of NS or would you possibly drive it all the way across CA? It would be lovely to have a home waiting for you when you summer there with your dear friends.

I cannot fathom how you have been able to divest yourself of so many "things" and can happily do with so little. My life and home are full of things I love for all sorts of reasons and these links to loved ones that I can hold, touch, dust, and see are a delight. How did you do it? As you can tell, I have only gotten a little way into Marian's book, "The Lilypad List" and have a lot to learn.

Good luck with the antlers!


Annie said...

Hi Barbara Anne,

It's a very long term project, I don't expect to finish it before next year. Travelling with it will depend on how road-worthy it turns out to be, I'm not counting on it.

As for divesting myself, all I can say is, it's hard and it takes time and effort, and it's an ongoing project. One thing I have learned: if you get rid of something you care about and regret having gotten rid of it, life goes on anyway.

But if you truly delight in what you have, then why get rid of it? I think you have to be motivated, you have to believe your life will be better without it.

Hugs to you,