Posts from the “Little House” Category

Rainy days

Posted on October 29, 2017


Rainy days in the tiny house are a strange animal. The house seems smaller in this weather with the windows closed and no excuse to take the baby outside. Lily mopes on the bed as the scent of wet dog slinks down from the loft. A gray gloom settles over the living space. We have to turn on the lights.

Yet we can hear the rain's flowing applause on the metal roof, and it is one of the coziest sounds I've ever heard. It makes me want to curl up in a blanket, and also to hug Seth. After all, he put on this roof. He is the reason why we have such a snug, dry house. His enduring quest for perfection, his love of the craft combined with (ahem) my ability to score a mean Craigslist deal.

We set out through the patchy showers this morning to visit a potential new house site. It's set in among the woods, with horses nearby, and trees all around. As you can see, there's space enough for growing as well.

Will this become our new landing pad? We're not sure, we have a lot to discuss with the landowners and each other. There are neighbors to consider, regulations and rent and commutes and things. And that indecision is part and parcel of owning a tiny house. Where do you put it? Will it work? Will we be happy? And safe? The tiny house doesn't eliminate these questions. I'd hazard a guess that it causes more questions than a big house because everything is so out of the ordinary on the tiny scale. But if you disagree, by all means chime in. I've never owned a non-tiny house.

It's nighttime now, and raining in gusts and waves. The baby is asleep. Mama is nearly there too. Yes we have questions and uncertainties, the stress of finding a parking site when our house isn't universally accepted and a wintertime deadline. But we also have the swelling and ebbing of rain on the roof. And that counts for quite a lot.

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Rainy day at home

Posted on July 24, 2017

It's raining again today, another wet day in a wet summer. Addie and I were at the farm earlier, walking through the chill damp to get the babies to sleep, and although we were well wrapped I was still wet from the knees down at the end of the morning. The unseasonable rain throws it into relief; I am grateful for this good roof over our heads. The roof was one of the last bits of work Seth and I built together last year before I fell pregnant and we curtailed my workload. But I am still in awe of this shelter we created. How much I used to take for granted! I never thought about what goes into a roof until we built…

Celebrating 

Posted on June 18, 2017

Thirty-two years ago this month, my parents welcomed me earth-side. It was just after sunrise. Now with both feet firmly planted in my thirties, I’m loving where this decade has brought me. Motherhood! Tiny house! Outside every day! I have farms, farmers, friends, and family whom I care about, and the sweetest, roundest baby I could have ever dreamed up. 

Eight years ago this month, Seth and I married each other. We stood on a back porch overlooking a lake. It rained all day and our guests wore flowers in their hair and temporary tattoos on their skin. Seth and I vowed to love each other and grow side by side. Every day we are fulfilling that promise.

Today we celebrated the afternoon six months ago when Seth became a father. We spent the day at the beach where Seth passed his summer vacations growing up, splashing in tidal pools and strolling through shops. There may have been a chocolate frappe involved. This lovely day was our gift to ourselves. Although we had a dozen other things we could have done for the house, the shore beckoned, and we followed, giving ourselves a break from all things build and easing into a slower rhythm for this one day, attuning ourselves to the great, breathing ocean. I’ve heard it said that the cure for all things is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. Yes, yes. This, I believe, is true. 

This week is the summer solstice, a day for looking forward. Birthday, anniversary, fathers day, and the sun. June, you bring us so much joy. 

Life with baby in the tiny house 

Posted on June 5, 2017

The second biggest question we get about living in the tiny house is this: “How’s it going with a BABY in the TINY house?” (The first question people ask is invariably about our toilet.) It’s going well, I think? I haven’t had kids in a standard-sized house so it’s hard to compare, but so far Addie is a happy little bug. We don’t have a ton of toys for her because we have no place to put them, which means we spend a lot of time talking to the baby and including her in our daily activities as she plays with bowls or fruit or balls of yarn. She can see us from just about anywhere we put her. She sees us in all…

Daydreaming and handcrafting

Posted on June 2, 2017

When will I ever learn to leave the baby alone while she’s napping? We nap together, you see, and it’s so easy to lean down and kiss her head. And then she stirs and wants to nurse again. I don’t mind. Clearly I am not napping at the moment, despite Seth’s unusually strict instructions before he left for work to get some sleep today after a wakeful night with Addie.  No, I’m dreaming instead. Of knitting and woodworking and painting and gardening. We’re at the point in our little house where we we’re close to finish-work projects. We’re not there yet; I can’t sew couch cushions or paint cabinets doors for example. But I can think about these things now that we’re getting used…

Water usage in the tiny house

Posted on March 22, 2017

Happy world water day!  I’ve been thinking about our water usage for a while, and it seemed only fitting to write about it on the day the UN has designated to talk about the water crisis across the world. Seth and I are lucky to be using very little water per day at the moment.  Right now our tiny house doesn’t have a working shower or sink.  We have plans for both.  I had hoped to get them in before the baby arrived, but sometimes life gets in the way.  And research!  Always with the research.  At any rate, we have water plumbed into the tiny house, but we don’t have permanent receptacles for it, and we use a composting toilet.  This makes our water usage…

Insulation and air sealing

Posted on February 27, 2017

If I’m starting to sound like a broken record, it’s because air movement is a big deal in our little house.  We seal gaps because it makes for less moisture coming in from the outside and fewer drafts, AKA a warmer, drier house with less chance of mold.  So we’ve spent a fair amount of time doing this to the inside as well as the outside. We air sealed the inside of the house by spreading silicone sealant into gaps and cracks — most notably in the large spaces around the windows and doors.  If the gap was wider than 1/2″, we filled it with backer rod first, and then spread sealant over it.  Side note: if you ask for backer rod at Home Depot, there’s an…

A little more on siding prep

Posted on February 17, 2017

In going over the photos for the trim post, I realized that we never mentioned the black strips that we put over the Blueskin under the siding.  This is a product called Cedarvent. It’s basically strips of plastic that are corrugated like cardboard. We’re using it here kind of like a rain screen: the siding repels most of the water from the house, but in case any rain gets behind the siding we want it to be able to drain away.  This is where Cedarvent comes in. It makes the siding sit away from the Blueskin by about 3/16″ and allows the water to roll down without soaking into the back of the cedar. We’re not pushing the product or anything.  We purchased it outright and…

Trimming the outside

Posted on January 31, 2017

One of the things that Seth has been saying all along is that trim makes the style of the house.  He’s said it about both the inside and the outside.  It’s a good thing he’s been so adamant because when it comes to details like that, I don’t really have an opinion.  Isn’t that terrible?  For me, aesthetics generally take a backseat to price, so I expected to wing it when it came time to do the trim.  Seth, though, has had an idea in mind of building a house inspired by the Craftsman era of design: 1920s bungalows full of simple lines, natural light, and beautiful wood.  We looked at pictures online for months.  Truly one of the nicest rabbit holes we’ve followed in…

Cedar siding and Vermont Natural Coatings

Posted on January 14, 2017

Way way back, almost a year ago now, we purchased cedar clapboards for the tiny house.  Sheesh, was it really that long ago?  Yes, Instagram tells me it was last February.  We got the clapboards delivered with the intention of staining them over the course of the winter so that we could install them in the spring and summer. Time ran away from us, and it was a while before we got the siding up and running. As per usual, the research phase made up the bulk of the delay.  We wanted to find an eco-friendly coating for the siding, one that would bring out the beauty of the wood, protect it from the elements, and be ok for the environment and for people with…