On plumbing, meditation & healthful hearts

tassajara urinal

Urinal at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.

Oh, oh, oh, everything changes…
~ Eurythmics, “This Is The House”

I got my new wave, granola self through freshman year at college on that song. That and my dad’s stock advice whenever we were going through childhood trials and tribulations: “The tide comes in [said on a rising intake of breath then long pause before the exhalation]; the tide goes out.” It was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but, as much as I was impatient for answers, there’s a certain comfort in the way it puts our small personal worries in perspective. It also is a reminder that everything is in constant flux. Apparently that holds true for the plumbing plans in my tiny house as well.
Continue reading

Categories: design, PAD, tangents, thoughts on tiny | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

Tiny House, Big Heart – help Kim rebuild her tiny house!

tinyhouseonfire

From Kim:

“Last summer, the tiny house on wheels I was building burned to the ground in a mysterious fire that started in the barn adjacent to my house. I had spent several years working extreme hours to raise the capital for the project and spent countless hours figuring out the logistics of building my tiny dwelling. The house was halfway done at the time of the accident and the loss was devastating emotionally and financially. But with the help of many dear friends and community members I’m ready to raise the funds necessary to start over.

Please check out the fundraising campaign and help me rebuild my tiny dream. Thanks!”

kim langston

She’s got an awesome indiegogo campaign going to rebuild her tiny house, offering custom artwork and cds of Northwest artists and musicians for those who contribute. Help spread the tiny house love!

For more information, visit Tiny House, Big Heart.

Categories: thoughts on tiny | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Letting go

Loon Lake last summer, Sierra Mountains

6.

This river that is mine now
This morning it was yours
And by afternoon it will have nearly reached
the sea
In this way
Don’t we always learn the most
By letting go of what is right in front of us?

~ Meg Hutchinson

This is a fragment of a poem singer/songwriter/poet Meg Hutchinson wrote recently. I believe the genesis was from a place of grieving over the loss of her dog, but it has been resonating with me on so many levels the last couple of weeks.

Feelings of loss, yes, definitely – both on a personal note and as part of humanity. Boston; West, Texas; Bangladesh… Strangely, Meg wrote this just before the horrific events of last week and yet the first few lines capture so well the sense of common bonds and empathy, and the shared, collective wave of grief passed hand to hand like a tragic baton, across the country and around the world. Continue reading

Categories: tangents, thoughts on tiny | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Trundling along…

Butcher block

Butcher block samples made from reclaimed wood at Sustain Eco-Interiors + Design

Up until last weekend when I took a trip up to Oregon, there wasn’t much to report on my design process (hence the digression into the swamp). Since a number of you have asked what’s happening, here’s where I am at the moment:

Designing & research

I’ve been pretty hunkered down trying to develop my final plans. I’ve downloaded free or inexpensive plans to use as reference, bought books on framing and building principles, and have been reading up on various strapping methods, insulation types, venting requirements, green construction materials, whether or not to apply advanced framing practices, and countless other minutiae, some important and some less so.
Continue reading

Categories: design, PAD | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

PAD Design Workshop April 27-28

 Portland Alternative Dwellings

PAD Design workshop

In addition to their upcoming hands-on build workshop on April 19-20, PAD is offering another design workshop the following weekend. I took the design class last fall and it was incredibly useful. You can sign up for both days or just one depending on your interests:

Continue reading

Categories: PAD | Tags: , | Leave a comment

On being lost in a swamp – the end

Lion's Mane

Lion’s Mane. Source: Congaree National Park

This is the third, and final, installment of the swamp saga. If you want to catch up, read the beginning and the middle.
________

So where were we? Oh yes, we were still lost in the miasma, losing all definition of where our bodies ended and the swamp began. And running short on food. The only good thing about those best-forgotten days was Peter came back from his vomitous, stygian trip to Hades. There wasn’t much he could do but he at least he was now our fearless leader again as we paddled in circles. Once in a while we would hear a plane fly high overhead and we’d try to find an opening in the trees, waving our paddles frantically. Surely they would send a search party at some point. But nothing. Nada. Back to paddling. Continue reading

Categories: tangents, thoughts on tiny | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

PAD’s Tiny House Build Workshop April 19-20

Portland Alternative Dwellings

PAD construction workshop

You too could have a drill in your hand and a happy smile on your face!

From the good folks at PAD:

La Casa Pequena: A Two Day Tiny House Earth Day Build

We are super excited to let you know about our upcoming (first of the season!) hands-on tiny house construction workshop: La Casa Pequena!

During this 2-day intensive building workshop you will construct the shell of a tiny house–including building the floor frame, installing insulation, framing the walls, sheathing the assembly, wrapping the house, installing windows, and anchoring to the trailer.  You will experience the building of many of the major components of a super tight tiny house. You will be busy!
Continue reading

Categories: PAD | Tags: , | Leave a comment

On being lost in a swamp – the middle

Eastern screech owl

Eastern screech owl. Tiny package, big voice. Photo: Congaree National Park

This is the second installment of my tale of being lost in a swamp. If you want to see how we got here, click to the beginning.
____________________

When last we left our band of intrepid, if terrified, paddlers, we were experiencing a harrowing night. Turns out the shrieking monkey slaughter sounds were pint-sized screech owls, not much bigger than starlings, but that didn’t do much to calm our pounding hearts. I don’t think any of us slept much. We were all totally out of our element. We’d left the last comfort zone miles back, somewhere by the fried quail. Continue reading

Categories: tangents | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

On being lost in a swamp – the beginning

Eastern cottonmouth

Eastern cottonmouth. Source: Congaree National Park.

Way back in the days of yore, I spent a week lost in a swamp. I’m not exactly sure what this has to do with tiny houses, but it’s been coming up for me a lot lately and I thought I’d share my tale of adventure. I will try to find some brilliant analogy by the time I get to the final installment!
______________

I went to college in Ohio and being from Oregon, it was a little too far and too expensive to go home on breaks. I found out that another student, a tall, strapping blonde named Peter, nicknamed Bam Bam, led outdoor trips. I went on an awesome backpacking trip of his in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, wading through bright yellow leaves, the crystal blue of the great lake shining through white birch trees. That trip went off without a hitch, other than someone, perhaps me, forgot to wash out the shampoo bottle we used to hold the Yukon Jack we warmed ourselves with after fast baths in the icy waters.

Spring rolled around and I was again adrift come break time. When Peter suggested canoeing in what was then the Congaree Swamp National Monument in South Carolina, I was immediately on board. Continue reading

Categories: tangents | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

What’s your nest size?

Cliff swallow

Cliff swallow. Credit: Cephas

Bras are composed of over 20 different pieces. Each designer decides how these pieces fit together based on 3 to 4 fittings done on a fit model, whose measurements are intended to represent the designer’s idea of the perfect woman. Therefore, with different designers using different fit models, and the added complexity of different countries producing their versions of a B cup, it’s never one size fits all…

~ True & Co.

Like with brassieres, shoes, and pretty much everything else in life, there is no one perfect nest size that fits everyone. We all have different needs and circumstances, and these change over time. You may have a large family or many pets, you may have physical challenges or limitations, you may suffer from claustrophobia or like to pace in large circuits late at night. You may have lived in small spaces all your life and just crave a change. A tiny house may not be the answer for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be an honorary tiny houser.

The tiny house movement is more about making conscious decisions than it is about the size of your house’s footprint. It is a particular mindset, a unique investigation for each individual, a way of living in the world.

There’s no one right answer. It’s the questions that are important. Continue reading

Categories: thoughts on tiny | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.