Living Tiny & The First Fire (ooohhhh, aaaahhhh)

So I’ve been doing this “tinyhouse” thing for awhile now. I feel like I’m educated enough at this point to have some viable input on what it’s like to live in a tinyouse. So here is my take thus far.

First, it’s small. If you don’t like small spaces you’re better off somewhere else. Try living in one room of your house for two months and you will soon see. Every time I turn around the dog is in the way. I’m constantly moving object A,B,C,D to get to object E, then realize I need object A but, objects B,C and D have now just been put in front of it. It’s like a Circus of discord. But… you do get used to it. I’ve learned over these past few months how to deal with these frustrations.

Second, lofts suck. Up, down, up, down. Rusty, my dog, needs to be carried up at night and carried down in the morning. He’s fat (well husky at least). Myles was a one hand lift. Rusty needs to be “fireman” carried up and down from the loft. My upper arms are getting a workout and so are my legs. And here’s a kicker- middle of the night bathroom breaks! Do you understand how frustrating it is getting out of the cozy bed in the brisk midnight air and have to climb down from the loft so you can piss? Even worse, Rusty needs to piss too! It didn’t take me long doing this routine until I had the bright idea of getting a urinal. Problem solved. Except for Rusty.

Third, it can get b-o-a-r-I-n-g. Living in such a tiny space FORCES you to get out and do “something.” I’d like to tell you how outdoorsy I’ve become but, alas. Don’t get me wrong I do fish, ride the 4-wheeler, garden and hike. Just not as much as I should. Mostly because of the weather being too hot or too cold. I have a television in the tinyhouse but there is no cable or antenna yet so it’s a useless “wall ornament.” I get a weak internet signal in the loft where I can twitter or watch Netflix but, in the summer the loft is scorching during the day even with the windows open and the fans going. I need air conditioning! So most of the time I spend my days in the big house with Ma and Pa where the internet is strong, the television gets channels and the air is cooled.

Fourth, daily chores. Small spaces get dirty QUICK. Everyday I vacuum the loft and sweep the main floor. Next I have to empty the urinal and composting toilet “liquids” bottle. This is a nasty job and quite stinky too. If you don’t do it everyday the whole damn house will smell like piss. Then I do any dishes and empty the catch bucket under the sink. A light dusting. Then back up to the loft to make the bed. Normally this isn’t such a chore, but when your celling is only 4ft. high it’s a nightmare on your back and knees. It’s not much but, having to do these things daily gets to be a pain… literally.

Those are my biggest complaints. Yep, that’s it. Everything else is BEAUTIFUL. I pretty much knew about the things above before I signed up, having read blogs and spoken to so many people before going this route. I am living my dream and everyday I DO pinch myself to make sure I’m in reality. It’s quiet, peaceful and best of all… PAID FOR. Tinyhouse living allows me time to do the things in life that I choose to do. I will get a job this winter to keep busy and to build my savings back up. I won’t be constrained to my job like I was before, working only part time and doing things that I find enjoyable. I wont be worrying about creditors and debt collectors and I wont be busting my ass trying to stay afloat and ahead of the “game.”

I’ve been getting along splendidly with my parents. I’ve taken over all the yard duties for my Dad and help my Mom with house chores. It’s kind of cool actually- we’ve become quite the “tribe.” I look at other cultures and see this type of lifestyle a lot. The family unit all living together and helping each other out. I get land to live on and in return they get help keeping the place up. And it’s a big place. 32 acres of lakeshore property and a house with 4 bedrooms 3 bathrooms plus an upstairs and downstairs living area. That’s a lot of vacuuming, scrubbing and dusting. So it’s not like I sit on my ass and watch t.v. and play on the internet all day.

I lit my first fire in the woodstove this morning. Which means that yes, I did finally get the stove hooked up. Everything worked the way it should, meaning I didn’t burn the place down. I’m surprised how little wood I had to use to warm it up. A few sticks the size of my thumb and a 12″ piece about the thickness of my wrist. This lasted almost 4 hours. I’m hoping I can get away with not having to use more than a few cords of wood this winter, which would be good being as how I’ve yet to split any. That’s next weeks project along with pulling the boats and dock out for the season. I didn’t build a deck yet but, I did fashion a fancier set of stairs that will get me by until spring. I added a few shutters to “fancy” up the façade and I put in a new table and some new décor. It has an amazing felling inside, very tranquil especially at night.

After spending some time grieving the loss of Myles, I’ve decided to take in another dog. I’m traveling to the cities on Monday to pick up a three year old rat terrier named Bella who is in need of a good home. She is tan and white in color and is supposed to be a “cuddler” and gets along well with other dogs. Hopefully everything works out and I’ll be posting pics of her next week.

Rusty and I took a walk along the beach this morning and he somehow lost his collar? Todays task is to try to find it. I may cut some wood (probably not… I’m a procrastinator ya know). I’m already working on my other “get er done” for the day (this update). I think maybe I will take out the camera and snap a few shots of the changing leaves. Other than that… it’s wide open. I’m living the tiny life. And man, life is good!

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Just a quick tip for you herb gardeners out there. Instead of using twine and tying a bunch of knots to bundle your herbs for drying. Tie a bunch of clothes pins on a piece of string spaced about 8 inches apart. Clip your herbs into these and hang to dry. Now you aren’t tying knots constantly and wasting your twine 🙂

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Running out of room!

The final piece of the puzzle arrived today in the form of three (very heavy) canvas sacks. All the pieces of the tipi are here and ready for spring. I’m running out of room for all this “stuff”. I’ve been ordering so much online that the UPS driver calls me her “ordering King.” I’ve had deliveries literally every day for the past week… but hey, these are things I NEED 🙂

I took advantage of the wonderful break in cold to do some ice fishing. I went with my Cousin and fished my parents lake, as well as lake Bemidji… Bemidji was a bust, but my parents lake was full of beautiful sunfish (and a few small northerns and pesky perch) [featured photo above courtesy of Dave Wagner]. I made the mistake of leaving  my fish on the ground when my Mom came out with the dogs… needless to say, that Big Bastard of a Tibetan Mastiff ran off with one of them… scooped it up off the ground and went running across the lake with it’s fin sticking out of its mouth. When we started yelling for him to “drop it” he only ran faster. He ate the damn thing and I don’t think he felt the least bit guilty for doing so. Here is a picture of the culprit:

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Gene and I also went fishing and that’s where I caught that beautiful Walleye that I posted previously. It tasted AMAZING… Gene wasn’t a fan of the Cajun shore lunch I breaded it in, he’s got a stomach like an old lady and the first bite elicited a run for the jar of Tums. I know how to get all the fish to myself now… hehe

Also this week, Gene and I became members of the local snowmobile club. Yeah for social networking. It was nice to get out and meet some of the locals. I was quite surprised that the majority of club members are, for lack of a better word, much older. That’s okay, I like the ambiance of an older crowd… quiet and laid back. There is a totally different “vibe” up here in the woods… time goes by in a different fashion than what I’m used to with city life. I like that there is never a need to “hurry” up here… the pace is slow, but steady. If something needs to get done and doesn’t, well… there is always tomorrow.

Gene introduced me to a new t.v. show, “Shameless.” I’ve been staying up late trying to catch up on the older episodes. I got the DVD’s of the first three seasons and will be passing it along to my Mom when I’m finished… it’s no Breaking Bad, but it’s pretty damn good and I’m a big fan of William H. Macy… I’m from Minnesota and all, you know… we all love the movie Fargo up here!!

Not much else is new. I haven’t butchered the rabbits yet. I still have a week to get it done and I’m hoping for another spell of warm weather. I prefer to butcher in the garage, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate I may need to utilize the basement. I’ll just have to keep the dogs locked upstairs so they don’t see how evil Daddy is. They are unwise to my wicked ways 🙂

That’s all for now. Here are some fishing pictures for your viewing enjoyment. Stay warm!

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