December 22, 2013 § 2 Comments
Alright! It is officially done! I have moved my site, RIGHT in the middle of a very heavily trafficed week (I have always had a knack at timing ;-) ) If you happened to bookmark the link to my old address I just wanted to update it that I am 100% back on at www.MiniMotives.com, no wordpress, please feel free to update your bookmarks and follow along there for all future updates!
December 19, 2013 § 74 Comments
Well today was a much better day than yesterday! As most of my friends and family know I have been in a lot of media circuits lately, that is really really awesome and I am SUPER glad that more intentional and sustainable ways to live are becoming ‘trendy’ that is not however why I started this project, it has nothing to do with that. I am a very very small part of the entire tiny house community, the notion of living smaller and more intentional lives with less financial strain is not new, or unique, this is merely my version of it! I started this because this is my life, I am an intentional person, I wanted to learn about construction, I want to try out different technologies, I want to inspire and teach others on some level I didn’t want to pay rent, I didn’t want to be a slave to a bank again, I want to be self reliant. Honestly when I started I don’t think I expected anyone but my family to ever visit my page and even that was a stretch. I posted diligently as I worked my tail off mostly as a challenge to myself. I have made so many friends through this process and have been so lucky to help ad a little part of my shape to the tiny house community which is really just some of the most amazing, thoughtful and genuine people I have had the pleasure of interacting with. I have no idea why but all of the sudden, 2 years after the start of my build I am done and just following through on the deal and posting about how it is to actually live in a tiny house (because that is critical to know too!) and it has gained popularity. That’s cool! Not at all why I did this though but very cool none the less, I’m so glad this idea appeals to others! There are several sensationalized articles about my story though which have been circulating that make it seem like this is a project born out of necessity, it’s not. This is a very calculated and intentional action on my part to better my career, to better my life and to just do something I thought was cool! I in no way require extra media attention but I am SO glad to be able to be an inspiration to some. All that being said, I almost shut the whole thing down yesterday!
People are cruel! Comment after comment attacking me as a person, attacking my values in life, my choices, false assumptions about my financials, my political affiliations, my child, my family, my dog. All things that are so deeply personal to me, and all very harshly criticized from people who know very little about me and have never ever met me. I know you have to have thick skin for this crap but I didn’t ask for it and I was not ready for it, I just wanna do my projects people! If it’s not your thing you don’t have to look! I’m not sure what happened to the saying ‘if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all’. Yesterday it brought me to tears, if you are one of the few reading this that does actually know me you KNOW how hard that is to do! Like I say, today is a much better day, I chose not to read any comments made on the posts about my project and my life. (Except one well written post (though based on the same false premises) which has had VERY VERY few negative comments (I read maybe 3-4 out of over 2000, yes, I read them all because they were so positive!), Viral Nova, I am impressed with how you write and with your audience because those people made me feel great and it is how you write about the content that starts the conversation off on a positive note! Thank you for your coverage even though the facts are slightly off.
Ok, so, I shook it off, I made some smart ass remarks to the most cruel of the commenters (though they were kept respectful because two wrongs don’t make a right and pretty quick I will have to teach a tiny human these things, and the best way to teach is by example!). So, for those of you who were cruel (I doubt any of them actually found their way to my site, usually they just judge from afar) mission accomplished, you hurt me. I hope it’s out of your system and you can go on living a little lighter now, I have nothing for you but kindness. I don’t stay down too long and what you may not know or even care to acknowledge is that I lead an amazing life in my own right, I have helped to make it that way (I promise, its not all dumb luck though there is PLENTY of that). I hope everyone is as lucky as me though sadly I know they aren’t. I hope I can be an inspiration of sorts for someone even through the hateful comments, I hope others don’t get down and stop their dreams because of men people. Your life matters and it’s important to follow your guts! I am always here to ask questions, to give advice on things I have experience with when wanted, I want nothing but to help others. For the cruel people out there, you don’t win, this is still my project, my house and I am loving it as I sit here, debt free (like completely, it CAN happen, I just paid off my car this month! wewt!) in my tiny house, built with my own two hands, drinking my cocoa with my handsome (but poor poor abused, as some tend to think) Denny Dog curled up on top of me! He has a whole house, all be it a tiny one and he chooses to nap ON ME. And I love him for it! Life is good, some people are mean. I’m moving forward.
I should also note, because it is FAR more important I have received some of the kindest messages I have ever seen over the last few days, those are FAR more precious to me. I have not had time to respond to all yet because they are all coming at once and way faster than I can reply, rest assured, if you wrote me you WILL hear back from me. If you don’t in the nest 5 days, please nudge me again, I am trying my best not to overlook anyone! THANK YOU to all the kind people, so much! Like Mr. Rogers’ mom said, ‘look for the helpers’. There are a lot of helpers in the world, a lot of very nice people, you make the world a better place, or at least MY world better!
Some really great things that I have had the opportunity to take part in just because I decided to do this crazy little project and document it. These are things I NEVER even thought would remotely happen, those wild cards you keep on you bucket list that you don’t REALLY expect to come true :)
- I’ve been in a movie (TINY: A Story About Living Small).
- I have been filmed for hours and will be on Extreme Homes on HGTV next month! (January 2014).
- I have been on a live network interview across the nation.
- I have met some of the most kick ass people I never knew existed! HERE
- I’ve gotten to be interviewed on the radio.
- I will be published in a book next spring, more on that as it develops.
- I get to be a speaker at the first ever Tiny House Conference in North Carolina next April (with MiniMiller)
- I built my own frickin house!
- I have been published in magazines.
- I was on the front page of the 4th most traffic website in the whole world!
- I have inspired strangers, they told me so! (could be my favorite of all)
So, even though some people are mean I am getting to do so many amazing things that I would have never got to do if I didn’t step out, take a risk and follow my gut to do what I wanted to do! Who knows what more is to come!
With all of that, some of the most common questions I have seen are answered here:
- Contrary to what a lot may think, I am not doing this to promote any business scheme, this has been my own personal project and hobby for the last two years, that is all. I did not start this blog to make money (though I have been doing ok there surprisingly!), I started this blog to document what I am doing and how the house is put together so that when I need to pound a hole in the wall I know where the wires are etc… and the own personal goal from my bucket list of keeping a blog, I just think they are neat. I have a very good job that I love a lot, doing very different kinds of architecture.
- I am not going to build any more tiny houses, I am not going to force them on anyone, this is my own personal project done for my own hands on experience. They are HARD, they take HUGE amounts of dedication and strength and hard damn work! One is enough!
- My dog is not abused, he is VERY spoiled if anything. Great Danes are very calm and docile dogs, a hyper dog would not do well in a tiny place in my opinion, I’ve owned a chihuahua, it would be much more cruel to make him live here, that little guy needed room, Denny, he is happy as a clam to nap on my lap all day, or in my bed (he is much better at the stairs now!)… and we do get out quite a bit.
- This is not the product of a divorce, that happened SEVERAL years prior and has zero bearing on any of this, I am not even sure how it got thrown into the mix… it’s very strange to me.
- I did go through a foreclosure, I could have paid the mortgage, the bank would not take my ex’s name off the loan, they forced the foreclosure saying that it was my only option. Still I tried to do right and sell the house, no beans, our systems is very topsee-turvey right now. I have been in the guts of the market crash, I have seen how mishandled and misappropriated bank loans are, I won a lawsuit with them because THEY mismanaged. They lost me as a customer, and I lost my house which turned out to be for the best, even though it was horrible for a lot of years (not an exaggeration at all, 2007-2012) of my life. Happy to talk further about this if there are opinions but do not judge me on it, I did more than most and everything to ‘make things right’. I do not ever want to be dependent on a bank again, especially for my home.
- The kid (the one I will be having in March :)) will be very well loved and adored by BOTH of her parents. I do not happen to believe in marriage, never really have, I believe in love and kindness, that is my driving force. Marriage in my experience is the ‘best way to ruin a relationship’ (I may be jaded ;-) ). That said, I LOVE that other people feel differently! To each their own. Her dad is not out of the picture though, like it was greatly assumed, he will be very involved in raising his daughter too and, like me can’t wait to meet her! He shares a lot of the same ideals that I do. She will be just fine and will have two parents who love her more than the world and a whole bunch of family, all in town, from both sides!
- She will sleep in a co-sleeper which I am building that will be located right next to my bed, I will be making a rail for the loft (though it’s more for Denny cause hes a klutz and rolls way too close to the edge of the bed for my comfort!)
- Babies do not NEED a high chair, a stroller, a crib, a playpen, a this or a that… babies need love, they need support, they need shelter, they need food and they need sleep. She will have everything she needs and more!
- This is not a retirement home. I have a three year plan for living here. You can see hints of my next big project starting to pop up on the right of the screen :). I intend to build a slightly bigger but still very small strawbale house on a foundation for my next home/office.
- The medical bills for the broken back and foot did cost slightly more than the house, it was not ‘worth it’ but accidents happen, I do not regret it. I was able to pay off all of my medical bills and if you add that into the cost of the house I am still sitting around $100.00/s.f. which is pretty close to the going rate. Without med bills my house is about half that, slightly less.
Please people, if there is one thing I have learned it is that I will never read the ‘news’ the same again, take EVERYTHING with a grain of salt. Be kind and respectful. Internet machos are hurtful, I have grown some thicker skin, I just hope others don’t get discouraged all together by people like the commenters I have got the joy of hearing from! Thank you to every single supporter, if you’ve contacted me you will hear back from me, give me a couple days to catch up! :)
And some pictures to end on, I hope everyone has a VERY merry Holiday season!
December 13, 2013 § 18 Comments
I have been in the process of moving over my website, I am running out of space on my free WordPress site but it would also be nice to be able to have a little more flexibility. I thought it would be a much easier process than it’s proving to be. Thanks for bearing with me while I do very little posting and try to get that all figured out.
James took a little recording of Christopher and Merete’s live interview for their TV debut of TINY: A Story About Living Small of which I got to be a part. I’m not sure if I am allowed to be posting it but I will until told otherwise, for anyone who missed it you can watch the B-rated version here :). He was recording this in his dining room while I was being interviewed about 25 feet away outside, and the dog was messing with something, those are the distractions :).
I promise to have some more updates soon, I have to figure a couple things out with the new set-up but then I have a whole list of posts I have been accumulating to update on including heating a tiny house in – degree weather (hint-it’s been a challenge!), frozen pipes (also fun!) baby stuff, Denny’s big medical procedure and lots of miscellaneous! :)
December 4, 2013 § 10 Comments
This is not a cohesive update at all, I am back at my ‘better to post something than nothing’ post though. I do have some very cool miscellaneous updates though, long over due of course! I have a plan in action that will hopefully get me on a better track for keeping up with my updates! I am going to try my hand at just setting a schedule to post my updates ,that way it doesn’t all just build up and become a daunting thing to approach! :) So, after this update I will be shooting for Monday, Wednesday, Friday and a Sunday post, each day posting on one topic, be it my family/pregnancy/Denny, my tiny house, my current craft projects or my miscellaneous day, that is what I am hoping for, if I can stay disciplined it would be awesome :). But for now there is a little of everything!
So, Denny is getting neutered this weekend, he’s excited ;-). I think he thinks I say ‘tutored’ though, he loves learning! ;-) Terrible joke! It’s time, I feel bad for kids when I take him on walks, Great Danes are big dogs… any way you look at it… we are also going to go to our first Great Dane Meet-up, I am excited to see how he does with other danes, when we go to the park he mostly loves hanging out with the littlest pups there, I think it will be good for him to meet other big dogs! I am excited to meet new friends too, it seems that dog parks are really great places to meet people in general! He is pretty funny at night, when I let him out before bed he does a perimeter check around the house, its always a counter clockwise motion, he circles the whole thing, then does his business then comes in ready to zonk out, in the morning though the last thing he wants is to get out of bed, turns out if a hundred pound dog doesn’t want to do something then there is not very much I can do to change his mind… fortunately James is usually around to let him potty a little later in the mornings…
My pregnancy update, this is fun, I am back on track with my weight gain, I am not sick as a dog all the time, I am perpetually uncomfortable with my lady parts apparently being the size of a soccer ball right now. Turns out that makes me hunch over which isn’t good for a newly broken back, I got a sling thing though and it seems to help… if I can just find out where Denver hid it… I definitely look pregnant now, there is no mistaking it! She is SUPER active still and her kicks are getting stronger and stronger, I guess the calcium is hitting her bones and making her less like rubber, so that’s good! Yesterday I was working on my laptop and it was just barely against my stomach and she kicked it and it moved… not real impressive of a story but I was alone in the house and it freaked me out! When my midwife measured me I was bigger than ‘normal’ by 5 centimeters (they measure from the top of my pubic bone to my belly button), so apparently that means she had her growth spurt early, even though I think she hit her growth spurt just after the appointment, I will be excited at my next one to see if my midwife agrees. I have gained a total of 15 pounds even. That is right on track with where I ‘should be’. MiniMiller’s heartbeat is right on point and she measures right around 14 inches long and comes in just under 2 pounds. The most shocking part is that technically she is able to survive, with help, outside of me right now, that blows my mind. I will go ahead and try to keep her in there as long as possible though, it’s probably best for everyone :). In the following weeks we will be working on putting some body fat on her! Other than all that, it still sucks to be pregnant, some girls just rock this, it is NOT my ‘thing’! oye! I think I should have been born a guy, it seems so much easier! I’m sure I’ll get on with the whole ‘miracle of life’ thing after MiniMiller comes but for now oye! BTW, Hazel Annabelle is the name that is sticking the hardest… Stays with Greg’s astute observation of her initials being H.A.M. too! :)
Tiny house update! My water froze last night! Oh noes! thankfully it happened AFTER the hard piping and nothing broke! When I went and checked this morning it looked like in one of Denver’s perimeter checks he may have bumped a panel of my skirting apparatus… there was a big hole in the insulated portion so I am pretty sure that is what went wrong. Still, it’s going to get a lot colder (down to 9 degrees tonight!) so I am going to have to figure out something else… For now, because its dark when I get up for work and its dark when I get home (I hate daylight savings, even though it really isn’t what’s to blame for the short days) I just shut off the water and I will figure it out this weekend when I have some daylight to work by. These are those cold weather things that you folks down south don’t have to work with :) Lucky! Other than that the house is doing awesome! The radiant floor heat is NOT enough to keep things heated but with my small supplemental heater it’s not a problem.
So this evening I am in the process of transferring my website (paying WordPress to transfer it since I have had a few difficulties with how the site transfers) to a hosted site so if anything goes awry that is why, I wish I could stay on the free WordPress site but I have enough pictures and data to use up my allotted space, so I must move on! :)
A couple quick things, Ryan and I are doing another Tiny House Chat on Tuesday night, log in if you can! We have Hari and Karl from TinyHouseFamily.com and Ms. Kristie Wolfe from TinyHouseOnThePrairie.net, we are going to talk about tiny houses for the holidays, get some awesome creative ideas from Kristie and some family advice from Hari and Karl, it’s just going to be a fun one. I nice end to wrap up a great year of Chats!
Ryan has been organizing the first annual Tiny House Conference which is coming up at the beginning of April 2014. There are going to be some great opportunities to meet some neat people and learn more than you want to know about tiny houses and tinyhousers! I am stoked to get to go, and MiniMiller will be making her way so long as all goes as planned! For a little while Ryan is offering $50.00 off if you use the code MM2013, so if you can’t think of what to get the minimalist in your life it could be a good option… ;-), experiences are always better than ‘things’ (well, that is just opinion I guess).
I think that that is all I have for now, below are a couple other things including a tremendous act of kindness I was the lucky recipient of, my interview on Aljezeera with Christopher and Merete a co-sleeper mini-update and some misc. stuff, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!