I saw the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, last week with Janet and my family. And it's stuck with me. I won't spoil it for you. But PLEASE GO SEE IT! Then message me and let's talk about it :) I don't think any of the Star Wars movies have captured the feeling of Hope so beautifully, nor the amazing way that insignificent people can come together to create change. Tiny ants with a big belief in the potential of their combined actions. It's one of those movies that I want to go rewatch, for all the little things I missed and for that reminder of bravery. For that reminder of Hope in the face of improbability. For the reminder of Hope in the face of a corrupt, powerful man. For the reminder of Hope in the face of dangerous uncertainty, and weapons of words and steel that can threaten an entire planet. It reminds me to have Hope for this new era and new year -- but even more so: it reminds me to do the brave, hard work that is required to build Hope. Hope doesn't happen by dreaming, but Hope is built when we awake to the potential of our actions. Hope is built when we choose the power of our actions. Even when it is uncomfortable and hard. Especially when it is uncomfortable and hard.
You know how people sometimes choose a word or theme to describe the way they want to navigate the upcoming year? You guessed mine :-) 2017, for me, is about Hope. And as, Rogue One taught me, hard fucking work.
If you are like me, and frightened about the impact of this past election (or what to led to it) -- feel free to message me. For those in my local area: some friends and I have started getting together, to be there for each other and also to explore what hard work we can begin doing within our community (and within ourselves). Are you far away? Send me a message or share what you are doing in 2017 to create more tangible Hope. Let's inspire each other!
Resolve & Connect
In addition to commiting to Hope for 2017 (or maybe as a part of it), I am also making New Year's resolutions for the first time in many, many years. Here they are, in no particular order:
Today is officially day #2 of my first ever staycation. It's also my first ever real vacation, beyond a day take off here or there to attend special events. I get an entire week, bordered by two weekends to make it feel even longer. And it's total magic. Autumn is my favorite season, and October is my favorite month. It feels somehow like a new year to me each time as we transition into a new season of intention.
I've discovered a new mantra for this week (and hopefully one I'll take back into regular life). Take Your Time. I tend to always feel rushed. Stressed. Shoulders held high and tight, breath shallow, thoughts racing. I don't sink fully into my showers, into my cups of coffee, into my conversations. This week is remembering to loosen my shoulders. To take my time in every moment. To remember that this time is mine; this present moment is sacred. I don't believe in any particular god, but I think that being alive is simply Divine. I think being surrounded by the Present Moment is Divine. I think this every-day, mundane life is holy.
It's amazing having the time for all three of my major home-pursuits: housework, special projects, and cozy relaxation. My dishes are done. My workshop is almost done being organized (special project #1), and today I'm curling up inside with Luke Cage episodes and my little just-spayed kitty Peppermint. It's grey out, and I have a clear view of falling leaves from my table. Tomorrow will be another garage/workshop day. Maybe I'll start on project #2 (building a desk). Maybe I won't. Either way, it's okay.
It's always summer so suddenly. This spring, I started a #60daysoftinyhouse challenge for myself to work steadily towards tiny house goals. I did pretty well until the end of May, then just dropped off the radar.
My roommate//bestie Olive and I moved out of our lovely little Hickory House, and Janet (+ puppy Chester) + our friend Zach moved into an amazing duplex in the country. The new place is awesome. But moving definitely sucks! It took us basically the month of June to clean, unpack, get settled, and figure out our new normal. We didn't get much of the prep work done for the tiny house that needed to happen, plus getting the trailer back a month later than we anticipated put us way behind in schedule. Let's be real though, even if we'd had the trailer first thing -- moving would have seen that we'd still be behind!
I'm not complaining though. Baker Iron Works did a fantastic job on the foundation of our tiny house. We have new axles, wheels, springs -- it went from 7,000lb weight capacity to 12,000lb :-D He also added reinforcement along the frame itself and added angle iron on the sides so that we can attach bolts up through the bottom of the trailer, up through the subfloor, and have threaded rods bolted up through the top plate of the walls! They gave a lot of their time to make a beautiful, strong foundation for us to build on. I couldn't be more grateful!
Does that mean we'll start building ASAP? Unfortunately, as we're learning, everything takes like 3x longer than we think it will. If we kicked everything into high gear and got all the prep work done, we'd be lucky to begin building in August. And I don't feel confident we'd get everything dried in by the time the weather gets bad. We'll be slow poke learn-building, and I don't want to take a winter gamble with all our materials. Plus we spent all the money I had saved to upgrade the trailer (necessary and well worth the spending!). Janet and I decided to wait till as soon as it gets decent in spring to begin building -- which gives us time to save up money the rest of the year, and get every last little thing in place.
I'll still be working on things over the summer. Let me know if you want to come over and help build shelving, grind rust off the trailer, punch out nails in reclaimed boards, or take a look at my (almost, but not quite finished) framing plans ;-)
Save/Prep/Buy tools & materials: now -- till April 2017
Begin building: Spring 2017
Finish exterior: Fall 2017
Work on interior: Winter 2017
Finish completely: Fall 2018?
This is just a little tiny house update! There's been lots of beautiful life things too. We didn't have internet the first half of June, and I got used to living off of social media. It's been sort of wonderful, but then again it's always nice to look back on fun times with friends and be able to share it with those who care :-) Like pictures of our new kitten that Janet brought home last month. She is literally the cutest!
I may have cried a little when we made the decision to push building back another year. This is the 3rd July in a row that I've found myself not ready to build and that can feel hopeless! The first July I had just graduated from massage school and was building my business, last July I was moving + building my business + waiting on a friend for framing plans (I decided to make them myself). There will be NO MOVING next year! We already talked with the landlord to let him know we want to re-rent :-))
But the good part? We'll be actually really prepared. Physically, financially. And it'll be good for Janet and I to live our first year together without the stress of a giant project. PLUS I GET TO ENJOY THIS SUMMER! I want to go camping, and hiking, and kayaking :-) I want to lay in my hammock for a nap and not feel guilty for not working on the tiny house. I'll have more balance. Working towards this dream, but with time breathe and rest. To appreciate this place we've moved to, with its trees and beauty. Because I guess that's what this tiny house adventure is really all about <3
Hello! The new moon was this past Monday and I forgot to let you know something important. I'm in the middle of #60daysofTinyHouse (where I work towards Luna's creation every single day, and post on facebook or instagram to keep myself accountable) and won't be posting a new blog until I finish the framing plans! I was going to share a jpeg of the newly created floorplan, but I think it'll make more sense when you can see it as 3D model in SketchUp :-) If you want to stay up to date on it's progress, feel free to follow me on social media!
Also, something not important whatsoever but for some reason exciting: I just passed 2k followers on Pinterest! I remember when I passed my first thousand -- I was in massage school sitting next to my friend Jess and freaking out about it. I mean, who are all these strangers who like my boards? Best guess: other people obsessed with tiny houses. Cuz I have an absurd amount of tiny house boards. I like to keep organized, you know?
Do you have any tiny house related pinterest boards for me to follow? (or homesteading. or vegan recipes. or self-care. or wise woman inspiration. or cool tattoos. or herbalism. or.... do I have a pintrest problem?). In all seriousness though: Pinterest has been key in my planning process! I just wikipedia'd it to see when the site was created, and came across this: Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann summarized the company as a "catalog of ideas," rather than as a social network, that inspires users to "go out and do that thing."
Okay Ben! I will :-)
SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS! Momentum is picking up as we head towards spring, and the attention to tiny details (thanks, Monday's Full Moon in Virgo) and solid planning is showing up more and more. I'm going to start using the hashtag #60daysofTinyHouse to motivate myself and post (fb, instagram, snapchat, whatever -- all under tinyhomemaker) each day to keep this ball rolling.
My golden/27th birthday is in April, and some major shifts have been happening for me. I wouldn't call it a quarter (+) life crises, but more like a quarter (+) life clarity. New priorities! Melding practicality and the dream of a vibrant life. It's exciting!
But first: the near-future!
MARCH+ APRIL: I want to have the framing plans + materials lists finished by my birthday! This includes comparing my inventory of what I have to what materials the plans call for, and seeing how far I am from that goal!
MAY: pack up the house and get my garage full of building materials ready for transportation!
JUNE 1st: Move into an amazing duplex with my girlfriend Janet, the puppy Chester, and our friend Zach. This place is amazing and the perfect place to build! My current home has super low electrical wires over the driveway, and unfortunately won't be safe to build a house under. Thankfully, we found an even better place! It has an attached two car garage (yayyy, room for lumber!) and a separate gravel pad (a shed used to live on) that is PERFECT for me to park the trailer on and build around. The duplex is ten minutes out in the country, sits on eight acres and is surrounded by trees while overlooking a valley. The master bedroom has a row of bay windows with a gorgeous view, and we have a nice upper-level deck we share with the neighbors as well as our own back patio with a fireplace. We might need to have a housewarming gathering and invite ya'll over :-)))
JUNE 2nd: BEGIN FRAMING IN THE SUBLFOOR! HOLY COW! <3 This summer and fall, the #1 goal is to get the exterior finished before it gets too cold to continue working. This means: subfloor, walls, windows, door, roof and all of the exterior finishes that go with them. Read more below!
Today marks me and Janet's official one year anniversary :-D <3 I can't believe that a year could go by so quickly -- and yet, I can't imagine my life without Janet (and I sure don't want to)! 2015 was one of the most magical years yet, and so much of that is due to the goofiest, kindest, most considerate girlfriend a Hannah could ask for and our uber goober puppy sidekick ;-) Chester turns one in April, and I SO want to have a puppy birthday party for him :-D
I'll stop gushing (although I may have gone a little crazy finding photos of us from the past year. Feel free to browse through them!). I'm supposed to leave for work in ten minutes! Ooops :-D
TINY HOUSE UPDATE: One of my best friends, Jess (who travelled through massage school with me and beyond), came over yesterday and helped me really sort out half of the giant mess of a garage. I'm SO THANKFUL! Tomorrow afternoon, I hope to make more progress. Why? I need to see exactly what I have! My goal is to finish the framing plans by end of March (using the Tiny Nest Project design tutorial, my many books, and Google Sketch Up Make).
ALSO I got my final window for the tiny house! I'll post a follow up all about the windows soon, with pictures and numbers. Because holy amazing deals! <3
I'm thinking of doing an instagram series (#60daysofTinyHouse) to keep myself motivated to make progress every day! I'll let you know :-)
In the meantime, my year with Janet <3 I don't have time to re-arrange them chronologically or add captions -- maybe another day?
Things are a little wild right now! I'm moving out of Alchemy this weekend, and meeting with the landlord on Monday to finish up. EEEK! So much to get done and caught up with. Moving and unpacking, last year's bookwork for my accountant, and the garage is still this looming thing. My next project downstairs is building free-standing shelves to hold the pallet wood + an attached bin to hold plywood and metal roofing. Wish me luck! Till then, two reminders I love:
If you know me, you know that I like saving things from the landfill. ((I may get a little annoyed when I see people throw away obvious recyclables. C'mon folks, it's really not that hard!)). When it comes to tiny-house-ing, I go nuts over clever reuses of old things <3 As I think about Luna's bathroom, I also think about how much I miss having a bathtub (my current duplex is shower-only). But I don't want to increase the demand for the production of fiberglass (all that plastic), can't find many used bathtubs around here --not to mention they are usually a pretty penny brand new or used. I've thought for a while about those galvanized tanks, but haven't found any used. They also don't look very comfortable, which was confirmed by a woman who has one in her house.
Thanks to the Tiny House People facebook group I belong to, I discovered Peter Matheson and his 125 Sq. Ft. Tiny House on Wheels in British Columbia. Not only is his house gorgeous, but his bathtub is one of the coolest upcycles that I've ever seen.
Pete took an old chest freezer and converted it into a soaking tub (similar in style to the Japenese Ofuro). It also doubles as his shower tub. Make sure to check out the TinyHouseTalk article to see pictures!
When I left a comment asking him about the process he used to convert the chest freezer, this is what he (very promptly) replied:
a) cut hole in freezer base for drain assembly AFTER checking floor at drain location to avoid cutting through framing and trailer rails,
b) flip over and install (the freezer, not you).
a) email me, asking for more complete description and photos.
b) wait 2 weeks or so for my tiny house update on this website which will include tub installation.
…and a lovely new year to you as well.
I'm officially a Pete Matheson fan. I can't wait for his tiny house update about the tub installation! On that note, does anyone have a broken or unwanted chest freezer laying about? :-D
Wait -- wasn't the new moon on Friday? Isn't this blog post LATE?
I know you're keeping a strict eye on the movement of the solar system (wink) -- and you're right! I'm slightly behind in my blogging schedule. HERE'S WHY:
These two weeks//till the end of January is a pretty wild time for me. I'm getting in all my last-chance-to-enjoy-the-Alchemy-space clients while picking up addition hours at Driftless, plus preparing my garage and house AND things at Alchemy for the move that will happen starting next week. EEEK! Janet and Logan (remember Logan? He's responsible for the awesome load of reclaimed lumber that I got in November!) helped me dismantle a ton of pallets, and now the garage is almost all sorted out and ready for a tour. YAY! I can't wait till my new schedule starts and the transition is complete :-)
Starting end of January, I will have every other Thursday, Friday, Saturday, + Sunday free (aka: to dedicate to Tiny House things!). The weeks in between I'll be doing massages at another massage therapist's office one of those days (one Friday and one Saturday a month).
What's the plan? January is finishing getting organized/sorted out. February I will dive head first into the "Design Your Own Tiny House Sketchup Tutorial video course" by TinyNestProject and work on framing plans! YEEEEHAW!
I also found my final window -- for the loft -- on Craigslist, and will be picking that up the end of January. EXCITING THINGS FRIENDS, EXCITING THINGS! Here's to a magnificent 2016 -- where anything can happen :-D
Happy Christmas for everyone who celebrates it (and happy "all the stores are closed in America" for everyone else ;-) <3 I am so full of happiness and love right now! Christmas is my favorite holiday, with all the beautiful lights and the coziness and the food and family in a fabulous mood. I watched It's a Wonderful Life last night with the family and it reminded me yet again how BLESSED I am to be surrounded by all this amazing community, love, and beauty. So here is some love back to you!!! <3
And for some extra fabulous Christmas-ness, it's the full moon in Cancer today! Astrology is a fun second language you can use to explore elements of your life in new ways. Language is powerful and lets you toss around ideas in ways that you might not have thought to before! So what is Cancer about?
Cancer, in the natural/base zodiac chart, appears in the fourth house. The twelve zodiac signs make a circle chart that is split into twelve sections, each section (or "House") representing a different area of life. That's where you find each sign and planet that best correspond with that area of life. The House, the Sign, and the Planet all are like three different ways of saying the same thing.
Cancer and the 4th House represent the "Home" area of life. Nurturing, comfortable, emotional depth, food and cheer, the intimate life. The moon is the "planet" that rules both Cancer and the 4th House!
With the moon currently in Cancer on Christmas Day, that might make us feel EXTRA home and family appreciative! Good food, nourishing and nurturing each other, connecting and loving <3
Whether or not you believe that the moon physically or actually affects you (beyond your bloodstream and the ocean waves), it's just a fun reminder to embrace the beauty of what December 25th is all about.
For some it's the family that travelled to Bethlehem, for some it's the family that travelled across state lines or across town to congregate. I can't wait to spend next Christmas with Janet and Chester, and everyone else I love and someday to enjoy waking up to Christmas Day in my tiny home <3
I believe you become a healthier person
-- mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually --
the moment you start living the way you believe you should,
whatever that may be." - Mark Boyle