Friday, September 28, 2012

Real Life in 120 Square Feet

I've been very busy the last week so I haven't updated here much. I thought I would just stop by and say hi.

I've been doing some other tiny house related stuff, like the Tiny r(E)volution Podcast. I also did a guest post for Tiny House Listings which is about to turn into more posts for them. And I've been happily writing away for Tiny House Talk. I really wasn't sure what was going to happen when I quit my job and started writing and I am very pleased so say that I have been able to do blogging for these find Tiny House websites.

In other news, my mom is coming to visit today. She hasn't been to see the tiny house in several years. I'm not even sure the roof was on yet - or it might have just been finished then. She is currently on a road trip with my Aunt (her sister, obviously). The started in Michigan, where my mom lives, and went to Indiana and Nashville already. Asheville is their stop today. They'll come up to the tiny house first and then we will go to dinner and tomorrow we're going to show them the area. They don't know this yet, but we found a really cool orchard off of the Blue Ridge Parkway that seems like a great way to start the day tomorrow. It is just past Mt. Mitchell. Then we'll go downtown and shop and eat in the afternoon.

I am looking forward to it. It is always fun for someone to come up to the house and see what we did. And I love showing Asheville to people because this is such a great town.

I have some ideas for some things next week. I started playing around with SoundCloud - an audio recording site. I really enjoyed doing the podcast and was thinking about making some recordings of my own. They will be posted here, of course, when they're done.

Oh, and here's Piglet.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Jazzing the place up a bit

We had always intended to do some additional decorative trim on the house. But we spent a lot of time focusing on the necessary construction projects and put off things like trim. We even decided to build the outdoor kitchen and Folk N Ale before finishing the trim on the outside of the house.

But the wait is over! We have trim!

The look we were going for is sort of a Board and Batten look. Except, we don't have boards and battens - we have stained plywood siding and some 1X2s to cover up some seams. In fact, we did some serious debating whether we wanted to put our "battens" ever foot like traditional board and batten. We finally settled on putting them ever two feet because we liked the way it turned out. Heck, we can always add the additional pieces if we ever decide to change it up.

So here is what we have.

You can't really tell in this photo but the windows and window trim are the same gray as the metal roof.

While we were working on the house, Piglet was pretty upset that she was left out. Or, left in as the case may be.

Piglet! We're out here!

I'm really happy with the way it looks. Also, the dark wood stain with the gray was intended to match the barn that was already on the land.

Here is an old photo of the barn in winter from January 2009. Oh, and my Element - super cute!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gray Water Treatment and Artificial Wetland

I promised a while back to show you our artificial wetland. This is how we process our gray water. We got the idea from a book called Healing Appalachia, which is a fantastic resource for folks living in our part of the country.

In the book was an idea for a gray water treatment system that would process your waste water - the kind you get from washing yourself or your dishes or whatever. (This is not what is referred to as "Black Water" which is something all together different - and is handled with the composting toilet system.) This system filtered the water so by the time it made it back into the environment it was clean again.

We used the idea from the book, and some other resources, and modified it to fit our land and our overall design. We still use the right types of rocks to act as the filtration source but we created a system that worked for us.

Also, we do only use biodegradable soaps and shampoos in our house, which makes the process a lot better overall.

The small pot sitting on the rocks has small drainage holes in the bottom. We pour the gray water (which is collected in a bucket that hangs under the drain from the house) into that pot and it slowly drains into the largest of the green pots. From there, the water drains through layers of pumice, pea gravel, and drainage rocks through the rigid gray tube to the next size pot. It goes through the same layers there and then into the third before draining into the plants on the edge of our tumbleweed house clearing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tiny r(E)volution Podcast with Andrew Odom

I had a really great time talking with Andrew of Tiny r(E)volution yesterday. And, I'm really happy with the results of that conversation. You can check out the podcast at his Blog Talk Radio page

Listen to internet radio with the Tiny rEvolution on Blog Talk Radio

Doing this podcast has given me some ideas for future projects! Stay tuned for what they might be.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Piglet Thinks We Bought Her a Blanket

Piglet has been sad that she hasn't been showcased on this blog in recent weeks. She has been upstaged by a stupid car and some podcast thing.

Piglet does not tolerate this. So she sat on the tablet.

Is this the right lighting for my complexion?

In other news, Piglet also believes we bought her a nice new blanket. It has been getting colder at night on the mountains and one crisp evening where the light blanket did nothing to keep me warm, I demanded we go in search of a new comforter. When we first moved in we used our sleeping bag in the loft. This was because I was afraid that Piglet would fall out of the loft if she got to comfortable and too close to the edge of the bed. But I hated it. It was ugly. So we went to a few random stores and got a new blanket. We didn't bring a color sample and we would have gotten a neutral tone, but then we saw this green one and thought we would give it a whirl. Turns out, it is a really perfect shade of green. We are now styling for cool fall nights here at the mountain.

That wasn't the photo I wanted. And no, the blanket isn't just for you! 
See, it even matches the trees!  

I promise there has been more exciting happenings than just a new blanket. Some of the information is not for public knowledge...yet. I have also been failing at taking photos of some of our cooking creations, so one of these days I'll put up a photoless Tiny Table post and just tell you what we made and you can determine from there if it would be worth trying for yourself.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tiny r(E)volution Pod Cast: Next Tuesday

I have had the pleasure of getting to know quite a few people within the Tiny House Movement. One such person is Andrew Odom of Tiny r(E)volution. Andrew is always presenting new information,  blogging about tiny houses, and starting project after project - all while building his tiny house and raising his young daughter. He is a force to be reckoned with.

Well, Andrew has asked me to be the next edition of the Tiny r(E)volution Podcast. This will happen on Tuesday, September 18th at 2:30pm. It features a live chat so be sure to log in about 15 minutes before the show starts to be involved.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I need to know what you want to hear about!

Are there aspects of our tiny life you are most interested in? Do you have questions about any of our systems? Do you want to know how we constructed anything? Do you want to know how we manage to stay sane in 120 square feet? Do you want to know how much Piglet sleeps during the day?

Let me know in comments what you want to hear about and I can put together some things for the show.

I can't wait to "talk" to you all then!

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Tiny House Soundtrack

There are two most important aspects to the way I live. Number one, of course, is living in a tiny off the grid cabin. But number two is the fact that this cabin is located in a very specific part of the country - the Smoky Mountains. This part of Appalachia has a rich cultural history and I am merely a newcomer to the experience.

One of the things that has become very important to me since moving down south is the music of the region. I had no idea how much I would like bluegrass, and more specifically some of the newer bluegrass music that has come out in recent years.

I thought I might share my 5 favorite albums. This music makes me feel at home here on our mountain.

1. Among the Oak and Ash - Devil Ship
I have been a fan of Josh Joplin since long before I moved to the south. I discovered his project, Among the Oak and Ash, several years ago when they released their first (self titled) album. The idea was to take traditional folk music from Appalachia and put it to a more rock sound. I think it was quite successful. I absolutely adored their second album, Devil Ship. The musicians changed from the first to the second album. Here is a sample for you.

2. Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden
I discovered this great band actually on the Hunger Games Soundtrack. So I bought this album. It quickly became a favorite. They are a unique blend of old and new music mixing traditional Appalachian porch music with beat box. Don't worry, I'll give you a sample as well. This is my favorite song on the album.

3. Old Crow Medicine Show - OCMS
This is a softball when it comes to "newgrass music." Most people know who they are in mainstream music today. It is hard not to share "Wagon Wheel," their most popular song. Instead I will share this one.

4. The Felice Brothers (Self Titled)
I didn't think I really liked this band the first couple times I heard them. They are a folk/country brand from upstate new york. But I have really fallen in love with them. Check out my favorite song "Frankie's Gun."

5. Sarah Jarosz - Song Up in her Head
Other than Josh Joplin, Sara Jarosz is the only other musician on this list I have seen play live. She is an amazing performer. This was her first album and I really love it. Check out my favorite track from that one.

I hope you've enjoyed this short musical interlude! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A short geek break...

Living in 120 Square Feet doesn't mean we exist in a bubble. Occasionally we leave our mountain for events around the country. That is part of what our new mobile lifestyle allows for us. This Labor Day Weekend we attended Dragon*Con in Atlanta.

This was our 6th year attending and it is one of my favorite events. I look forward to it all year (I am already looking forward to next year!). It is a place where geeks and fans of all kinds come together to celebrate SciFi and Fantasy Culture. We enjoy celebrity encounters, great costumes, and lots of social fun.

This year we went big. Even Matt got into costuming, which is not something he's done much of before. I thought I would just share some of my favorite photos with you all.

The Dude Abides!

Here we have Zombie Kenny Rogers, Zombie Neil Diamond and Zombie Dolly Parton
And here are the zombies performing for Aaron Douglas of BattleStar Galactica.

And her is me as Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory. I'm in front of a Tardis.

I also have a photo of me with a group of "Soft Kitties," which makes much more sense.

Here is a pretty awesome Iron Man

On Sunday night our zombies decided to get zombie eye contact lenses.

And finally, our zombies performed at the official Dragon*Con Karaoke. I wish I had some video. Zombie Dolly and Kenny had a great performance of "Zombies In The Stream". Everyone was on their feet. Then Zombie Neil rocked out Sweet Caroline! 
Dragon*Con is always a great time, but it is intense. I am glad to be back on the mountain. I missed our tiny house. I missed Piglet (who spent the weekend at Camp Kitty in Georgia). Now we plan to stay put and have no travel plans at all for the next couple of months. I am looking forward to it.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.