Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Goodbye, Element

I've written before about the things I couldn't live without in my tiny house and the tools that were most important while we were building.

One of our first trips after buying the land. 

But there has been an unsung hero in our tiny house journey: our 2003 Honda Element.

Matt bought the car new in 2003 the day we moved down to Atlanta from Michigan. See, he was driving a used Saturn and I was driving an old station wagon (a car I miss dearly but was totally impractical for Georgia). So I sold the car to my brother, who drove it for a while after that, and we moved down in the Saturn.

But, of course, we needed a new car and Honda had just released the Element - a quirky, shoebox of a car. Eventually, over time, the Element became mine.

We used that car to travel all over the south east exploring our new home. We drove it up to Michigan, even in a blizzard, multiple times.

And, most importantly, it was the car the enabled us to build the tiny house.

You can fit a surprising amount of things in a Honda Element. In fact, we've never lost the "that won't fit in there" argument.

Brush hog? Yep.
8 foot 2X4s? Yep.
Lots of them? Yep. 
A small cement mixer and about a million bags of cement? Yep.

We've camped in the Element. We've gotten lost in the Smoky Mountains in the Element. We've helped people get their cars out of the snow with the Element.

And, after we found ourselves spending so much more time in town at the city bungalow, the Element became less essential. I work from home, I'm within walking distance of a number of things, and if Matt and I go somewhere together we take his car. I was driving the car, on average, about twice a month. It was just taking up space in front of our house.

So I sold the Element. I posted the ad on Craiglist and less than 3 hours later, it was driving off with its new owner.

Thank you, Element, for helping us make our dreams happen. Thank you for driving back and forth from Atlanta to Asheville countless times between 2007 and 2012 from the time we bought our land to the time we finished our tiny home. Thank you for helping us make our dreams come true. Hopefully you'll have a few more good years and be a good car for someone who really needs a reliable set of wheels. 




Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gnomes for Everyone!

"Hahahahahah! I get it! GNOME Chomsky!"

That is every conversation I've ever had with everyone who visits our tiny house for the first time.

Sitting on our porch is a little Travelocity gnome that was given to me by my sister and her family for Christmas a few years ago. Our tiny home was nearly complete and they decided we needed a tiny gnome.

And then - because we are unoriginal and great big nerds - we couldn't pass up a chance to give him a punny name straight out of the video game Left4Dead2. In a game-within-a-game, called Guardin' Gnome, you can use the red-capped gnome as your only weapon to fight off the zombies. And, in the game, the gnome is cleverly named "Chompski," after both the American philosopher (Noam Chomsky) and how zombies bite (Chomp Chomp).

That, my friends, is the long story behind the name of our little porch gnome.

In fact, Chomsky is such a part of our tiny house journey that he warranted his very own section in my book, 120 Ideas for Tiny Living.

So when I got an email from THE BEST BUSINESS EVER, I couldn't possibly pass up the opportunity to share it with all of you.

If you've been reading this blog for very long at all you know that I include very little advertising. I almost never promote other products directly. But for the chance that all of you can have you very own tiny house gnome, I had to bend my own rules.

The owners of Gnome Depot have offered a special discount for readers of Life in 120 Square Feet!  The first 100 readers who use the code 120FEET will get 5% off the purchase of their very own gnome! Get one for your tiny house - or your not so tiny house - today!

Go get your very own Chomsky. Also, I think "Alaska" would make an excellent Gnome name.