Saturday, July 27, 2013

Glamping, anyone?

So, in just a few days we will be packing up the car and driving to Minnesota to go camping with several friends.

One of those friends is the author of the upcoming book Martinis and Marshmallows: A Field Guide to Luxury Tent Camping. When I say we're "camping" I really mean we are building a temporary village and spending a week in pure comfort, opulence, and bliss.

This isn't camping. This is glamping.

Photo from a Symposia - 7 course meal and conversation - that our camp hosted the last time we went glamping. 

Preparing for a glamping trip like this isn't unlike preparing to live in our tiny house. Of course, our tiny house is off the grid so our experience is very different from other tiny house dwellers. I have spent this last week gathering all of the things we need to set up our camp. I promise to get lots of photos. I'm really excited about our set up this year.

For instance, many glampers will skip the sleeping bag and opt for luxurious linens for their air mattresses. We will often use plastic bins or drawers to store our clothes rather than a back pack. We make a lot of use of out door lighting.

And, most importantly, don't forget 3 o'clock cocktails.

I absolutely can't wait to head up to Minnesota with friends and spend a week in our own community that we will build with our own hands and enjoy together.

Me using our camp oven last year.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Another Delay for 120 Ideas for Tiny Living

Writing a book is hard. 

Due to some technical difficulties in the formatting of the book, there will be another delay in the publication of 120 Ideas for Tiny Living.

I want this book to be perfect for you so please bear with me in this process. 

I had originally planned that the book would be out in the Spring of this year. Then editing proved to be a bigger challenge than expected and I pushed it out to Summer. Now, it might be looking like Fall.

Please stay tuned for more information on 120 Ideas for Tiny Living.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Rainy Day on the Mountain

This morning was beautiful. The sun was shining and the sky was a stunning shade of perfect blue. We ate our lunch outside on the Folk N' Ale - cheese, salami, and crackers.

Piglet sleeping in the warm and dry tiny house.
Now, the sky is dark and it is raining. These pop up showers are completely normal in the mountains of Western North Carolina. They are caused by weather fronts backing up over the mountains. Matt was outside clearing an area under two large trees for us to do our next outdoor project. He called to tell me he walked all the way up to the ridge where there are huge granite outcroppings. He is waiting out the rain under a large rock ledge.

I was about to put the laptop away because I am done with my work for the day when I thought of this poem by Shel Silverstein. Enjoy.

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can't do a handstand--
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said--
I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Welcome to Life in 120 Square Feet

We've had the pleasure of attending a number of events recently and we know we've met a lot of new people. I wanted to take a moment to welcome all new readers to the blog.

Matt and I try to answer questions quickly, so if you have anything you want to know feel free to ask it here or you can private message us on the Facebook page.

I also wanted to share the video tour of our house which is available on YouTube and also linked at the top of this page.

And if you're interested in a photos of our entire build process, you can check it out at Flickr. There are TONS of photos, so be warned you could be there for hours! 

Thanks for being part of our tiny living journey. Let us know if there is any way that we can help you.

Monday, July 8, 2013

My Tiny House Soundtrack 2013 Edition

Last year, in September, I shared this post about some music I was listening to. I love music and I think you might, too. Here is some stuff I listening to right now.

So, one of my favorite singer/songwriters is Mike Doughty was in the group Soul Coughing in the 90s. I own all of his solo albums and listen to them regularly. Imagine my surprise when the local radio station played this song - a bluegrass cover of Mike Doughty's "American Car." I loved it and immediately added it to my iTunes library.

For a complete change of pace, another favorite singer/songwriter is Jonathan Coulton, a master of geeky music. We have a Roku and there is a JoCoRoku station which I frequently have on. There are way too many songs to list but this one is a favorite. It is about George Plimpton and being the best you that you can be.

Lastly I want to share this song. It is another bluegrass tune that I can't get enough of these days. It is Steve Martin (yes, THE Steve Martin) and Edie Brickell (best known from the New Bohemians in the early 90s)...and it is about Asheville.

These songs aren't specifically about Tiny Living but they do speak to me and I hope you enjoy them as well. What kind of music inspires you? 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Why I Work From Home

Not too long ago, I posted about what I do for a living.

Part and parcel of that experience is the fact that I work from home 100% of the time. Many tiny house dwellers chose to build a second, smaller structure to act as an office or a studio. I have specifically chosen not to do that and I wanted to tell you why.

My entire goal for simplifying my life and working as a freelancer was to be able integrate my work and my life as much as possible. 

I don't want my work to be a separate thing that I "go to." I want it to organically be part of my life. When I work I don't just sit at the computer for 8 hours straight. However, my time away from my desk isn't really considered a break, either. Everything is fully integrated. My "work" is something I love to do so I don't usually need to find motivation.

Don't get me wrong - there are days that I would rather go outside and play than stay in and work at the computer but it is pretty easy to manage because when I want to go outside, I do.

My work does define me to some degree, but not in the sense that I am a workaholic who has a hard time balancing my home life and my job. When I use to talk about Work/Life balance to my employees and clients I didn't really understand what it could mean. I have come to realize that it can mean that my work and my life influence and enhance each other.

I don't see a big difference between what I do and how I live. I don't even think there are words for it in the English language. We are so ingrained to see work in terms of "Career" or "Job" that there is a sense of separation that is inherent in it. The closest I have come to the right phrase to convey what I fell about working is "Work/Life Blend." Even still, that article makes a case for 24/7 connection to your job and working on vacations, which isn't exactly what I mean.

I don't want to "take vacation time" to begin with. I want to be flexible to travel whenever I want and if have to meet deadlines while I am away from home then it is just part of my working experience. This concept is best known as location independence.

I am living my life. Part of my life is writing and that is how I get paid and how I am able to participate in the economy. I can call it work if you like because there isn't a better word, but that isn't how I think of it. It is just life for me.