This is another epic post that interweaves several themes lately on my mind: visceral and spiritual design, pursuing passion, connectedness, wabi sabi, reflection, simplicity and, as always, art, nature and transformations. If you are designing or about to start construction on a tiny house, and are a hurried and pragmatic sort, skip down to the 10 tiny thoughts section; otherwise, come take a meditative stroll with me and see why Tassajara has been such a formative part of my tiny house journey…
Posts Tagged With: nature
It’s my day off and I should be out Christmas shopping or replacing my one pair of jeans that just blew out (the downside of downsizing), but instead I feel the need to write about poetry.
Yesterday I was trapped thirteen floors above downtown Oakland, breathing recycled air and banging my head on my desk, but when I got home my spirits soared. Dian Sousa’s new book of poetry, The Marvels Recorded In My Private Closet, was sitting on my doorstep, waiting to be let in.
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.
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
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
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
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
When I was in film school, I wrote a short screenplay called Shear Madness about a sheep and a hairdresser who was waiting to hear if she had breast cancer. It was a strange, dark little serio-comedy; probably a good thing it didn’t go further than paper. What interested me was playing with various takes on the words shear/sheer and madness.
I had to look up the terms for this kind of word play, which opened up a whole new esoteric world. According to Wikipedia: “In linguistics, a homonym is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings. Thus homonyms are simultaneously homographs (words that share the same spelling, regardless of their pronunciation) and homophones (words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of their spelling). The state of being a homonym is called homonymy.” Try saying that three times fast! Homophones that are spelled differently are called heterographs. Confused yet?
In that weird cyclical nature of life, shear/sheer and madness – in all their heterographic and homonymic splendor – have come up again 17 years later as I find myself pondering plywood and wool for my tiny house. Continue reading
There’s a delectable tension between being still and not so still. Each bear gifts and each have limits. Tiny houses on wheels embody a beautiful blending of the two.
This has been on my mind for two reasons. One is that I got the call that my trailer is ready, which excites me to no end. The other reason is that after I wrote my post on designing sparefully, which included a lot about the importance of being still, I noticed that WordPress lists my user name as the author: notsostill. That made me laugh. It also made me reflect on the role of stillness in my life – or rather, the lack thereof – and why a tiny house on wheels is so perfect for me. Continue reading
Valentine’s Day tends to annoy me with its Hallmark triteness but it’s notable in that it signals the start of skunk mating season.
I know this because I lived in a cabin in the redwoods that had a bit of a skunk problem. Okay, it was a big problem. About this time a couple years ago, all olfactory hell broke loose. Continue reading