Friday, December 31, 2010

The new Cool, Welcome to the 21st Century

I've already begun to downsize my "stuff."  I've managed to eject several things that have been simply occupying space in my universe by passing them on to someone who will appreciate them more and possibly use them.  I didn't use these things that have left my grasp but I did appreciate them.  That's why I didn't simply throw them away.  Admittedly, simply disposing of things may have an adverse affect on our environment so the second part of my two pronged attack on consumerism is to want less; to buy less, and to appreciate and use the things that I do purchase.  Here is a great article from Ecominima that I found about facing the New Minimalist Century.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Marksbury Farm Market now open

I believe in shopping locally when I can.  I figure if'n I have to give my hard earned money to somebody, I'd just as soon give it to somebody I know, or someone locally instead of giving it to someone I don't know.  I am excited to promote the new Marksbury Farm Market that is now open on KY Highway 27 South of Rocky Top in Garrard County.  I grabbed this picture from their Facebook photo gallery.  The Advocate Messenger newspaper did a pretty good story on them a little while ago and that story has been bouncing around inside my head trying to get out since I read it.  You can find them just off the road behind Camp Dick Elementary: they're address is 73 Fisher Ford Road, Processing Facility at 7907 Nicholasville Road
LancasterKY, 40444.
I like this idea for all the reasons that Farmer's Markets are great but support the local economy is tops on my list.  Some of these people may be my friends and neighbors so I'm all about helping them succeed.  Also, buying foods that are locally produced means I get the best quality for my family and getting the best for my family has always been a primary objective for me.  I've also posted a real good article about eating locally produced foods on my Facebook page that I found posted by Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life blog.

Now, I have to admit that I have not been into the market yet.  But I intend to begin to shop there once I figure out how to get to the property and what types of foods that I can replace from my normal marketing list.  And this relates in a sort of parallel way to my post from yesterday about homegrown prosperity.  I just love the synergy of all this type of stuff.

Hey, that's about it for today.  Hope y'all are planning to be safe as part of your New Year's celebration.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Homemade Prosperity by Shannon Hayes — YES! Magazine

This article by Shannon Hayes is just great. She has outlined the precept of escape from the monster of consumerism:

Caught in the consumer trap? Radical Homemaker Shannon Hayes discovered that producing what she needs at home lets her live on a fraction of what she thought she needed.
Shannon has decanted the elements of sustained living in her review of the evolution of consumer mentality. I know that this is probably not new news to many but the direct presentation of so very refreshing that I fell in love with this ideal the first time I read about the shift away from the "buy it now" mentality that I was awed. I strongly recommend that you stop by Shannon's blog as well as read her article: Homemade Prosperity by Shannon Hayes — YES! Magazine

Pumping ions: gyms generate clean energy from muscle power | Eartheasy Blog

This is too cool to pass up. I found this link while reading on the website blog about creating our own power from exercise machines. Of course, like so many of these interesting ideas, this concept is still in it's infancy and needs some real engineers to work out (hahaha) the mechanics of how to convert and capture the energy that we expend while riding an exercise bike or an elliptical, but it's possible. I would guess that this really cool idea will not take off because most people don't want to fool around with the mechanics of the collection. Most will just as soon jump on the equipment and workout. I would consider this "working off" my energy consumption requirements. Shoot, if'n this could charge my cell phone or laptop, I'd be real close to zero emissions in no time. Of course I'd have to add a space in the Tiny House for an elliptical or spin bike to be used as a generator, but the additional space would be well worth the modification for self sufficiency.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I feel like I should apologize for being absent for a few days.  I have really enjoyed the time spent with family but I am amazed how many of my fellow bloggers have unplugged themselves from their blogs and simply laid off.  I guess it shouldn't really surprise me but I am surprised.  It would seem that many find it appropriate to take some time off during the holidays and concentrate on family and friends so I don't feel so bad about not being here.

Hey, maybe y'all have been unplugged also, so we really didn't miss each other all that much.  Maybe everyone just focused on the important things like family and just let the Internet go to hell on it's own.  I doubt that...most probably it's just me and my inexperience as a blogger.  Most everyone else already knew that the blog traffic would be down anyway so they just used the slow spot for fun times at home.

Pretty cool in any case.  I'm glad to be back and looking forward in anxious anticipation of the new year and the ever changing landscape of Tiny Houses.

Speaking of Tiny Houses, I spent some time with a good friend, Tim, to find out that I am not restricted by the 120 square foot building restriction that constrains most enthusiasts of the Tiny House Movement.  Tim would know because he is one of the building inspectors here in Central Kentucky.  I availed myself of his handbooks and manuals and stuff to review the local as well as national building codes to make this determination.  We spent the best part of an hour discussing the nuances of the code to determine what restrictions apply when building on my own land and how I can proceed with our plans while maintaining a quality building that adheres to code.  I am pretty excited about this news.  This means that Laura and I have some new design questions to discuss.

Hey, I gotta get otta' here.  Thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I have been working on reducing my stuff from a monster of a pile to a smaller more manageable heap.  I posted a few things on Craig's List and am not having any luck selling things.  I may end up simply giving things away to actually get rid of them.  That will prove more emotionally difficult but I intend to follow through anyway.  I just want to be owned by less stuff.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ride on Ghost Rider

OK, I'll admit before I make you read this entire post that it's kinda sappy and introspective focus is probably motivated by the holidays.  There, I said it, and if'n that makes you sick because you just can't stand another version of "It's a Wonderful Life" story, you can just stop reading here.

But if you're still with me, I want to tell you about a really cool lesson that I've learned over the last few years that became focused this morning at 5:00 a.m. as I was riding that torture machine we like to call the elliptical.  No, it's not really torture and I do get a chance for some personal time to reflect and review.  That's what was happening when Reba came on my headphones (yes, I wear headphones listening to music AND reflect on some personal issues at the same time) with the narrative story of The Christmas Guest.  This is a touching story about the love we are suppose to share all year and how that love is focused at Christmas as we infuse everything about our lives with the love of Jesus.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Greener all the time

Here's another great idea that I found from the people for saving some money, if you're willing to spend some money up front.  LED light bulbs for everyday use.

Now I know that most people are gonna freak out about paying an average price of $35 for a light bulb.  Hell, I find myself flinching as I type that figure.  But the savings over the projected life span of the bulbs you are replacing can be enough to justify the expense, maybe.  (Updated)

Monday, December 20, 2010

More than a little weird

This is the movie poster from the 1988 Rowdy Roddy Piper movie, They Live, although it doesn't really convey the real message of consumerism that is being foisted on the American public.

This is a real cheesy movie about some aliens that have taken over th earth but the message is very relevant to the issues facing our country, our economy, and many of those struggling to make ends meet while conforming the "rules" or standards of what society considers normal.  If you decide to watch this film, I would suggest at least a six pack and maybe a 12 pack to get through the entire ordeal.  And smile, cause you just gotta laugh at some of the acting and actions sequences.

From a Tiny House perspective, this fuels the fire for opting out of the ideal that bigger is better and that maybe we don't have a responsibility to shop our way out of an economic crisis.

More see walking on mortgage as viable plan

I was reading the MSNBC web site this morning when a comment in an article jumped out at me that I felt related to the Tiny House movement as an explanation for the paradigm shift in the perception of housing that makes a Tiny House so very popular.

The title article quotes Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac:
“The mindset of why people purchase a home has changed over the past decade.”  In the early 2000s, as home prices rose sharply and steadily, many buyers saw their home as an investment. But in the wake of the housing bust, it's clear that a home has become far more of a “utility” — a form of shelter — than an investment.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pretty Excited about the Interstate bicycling system

I was reading on EarthEasy today and found this news bite about an Interstate Bicycling System that is being pursued by enthusiasts of bicycling  and adventure cycling.  Now, before you start to think that I'm a tree-hugger or that I have gone all environmental on you, let me set you straight: I have always thought to do what I could to conserve our natural resources.  There, if that makes be a environmental bunny lover tree-hugger, so be it!  So when I read about this idea of being able to bicycle around the entire country, I freaked!  This could be so very cool!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Very green idea for your chainsaw

I'm off topic again but I found this article this morning and just had to share it with you because it's so very weird-like me.  While searching through some news links I discovered a recommendation to use Canola Oil for your chain saw bar oil to lessen the effect on the environment.  How cool is that?!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chocolate Holiday Treat

OK, I know this isn't really related to a Tiny House and I know that cooking and shopping are not really part of anything related to the point or purpose of this blog, but hey, it's my post so...

I believe  that we have concluded our holiday preparations and while looking around I found a recipe for something sweet that is very appropriate for the holiday menu.  I lifted this image from my favorite food site, and I can recommend this delicacy for it's simplicity and as well as is yummyness.  Someone brought some of this to work and it is wonderful.  I'm trying it out for Christmas this year.

Thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Busy busy busy...

There is another major weather event scheduled for our area.  Keep your head down.  I have been busy working on a severe computer problem so I have been online much today except to read today's edition of the Toilet Paper about Miley Cyrus' Salvia experience.  This was a big wakeup call for me 'cause I guess I'd been livin' under a rock for about five or ten years.  You should check this out.

But hey, I gotta go slay a computer dragon, so...let's get out there and make it a great day!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I have begun downsizing

I have started my quest to rid myself of stuff.  Today I managed to cast off two items that have been owning me for a long time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Kerabatsos Day

Theodore Donald ("Donnie") Kerabatsos, friend to Dude and Walter and a shining example to us all of why we should remain out of our element from time to time. He was the walrus, and one of us.  Donnie was one of the ultimate Dudes of the 1998 movie, The Big Lebowski, a great movie about nothing, man.  On this day, dudeists the world over pause to reflect on Donnie's contribution to the move, the world, and the Zen of being a Dude.  Thanks Donnie.

How to Live with Just 100 Things

This is one of the more informative articles relating one man's experience with How to Live with Just 100 Things

Miss Minimalist, my new favorite place

I just wanted to credit Miss Minimalist, Francine Jay with motivating me to begin my weight reduction program.  No, I'm not talking about losing body weight, but stuff.  I have begun the process of reducing my stuff.  I have started sorting things that have owned me for more than 50 years and managed to get rid of a few things that were basically junk but wouldn't leave me, alone.  I have secretly begun to dispose of junk and will be selling or giving away all of my excess.

Mobile Gardening for small spaces, or anywhere

A few years ago I found a gardening system that was being sold at ridiculously high price called Earth Boxes.  These planting boxes employed a very efficient growing system that almost takes care of itself but including a reservoir for watering your plants.  Fortunately for me, I was able to resist the allure of this dynamic planting system.  However, this morning, I found an alternative the Earth Boxes that Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life had posted on his blog.  I lifted this image from Ryan's page.  Thanks Ryan.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Minsumer Movement: A Quiet Revolution

OK, this is getting dangerous.  I have been reading too much of Miss Minimalist and The Minsumer Movement.  I find that I am liking it waaay too much.  This minimalist stuff is making lots of sense to me and I have been thinking of downsizing my stuff.  Yup, I am seriously thinking of shaking off the consumer mentality of having things and learning to live more freely by not being "owned" my by stuff.  Having all this stuff just seems to make me have to fix it or take care of it or protect it or "something it."

So, what do you think?

No real progress

I have been patiently waiting for my unofficial-supplier to provide me with more pallets as building materials without any results.  It would seem that I may need to shop elsewhere.  However, I believe that this lull in productivity may be attributed to the seasonal respite that afflicts many service industry operations.  So, I will practice patience while I review my options.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

living small is enticing

Well, I've searched all of the blogs that I've been reading lately to find that most of my fellow bloggers seem to be distracted or are not posting much new news.  So, I've broken out of my comfort zone to research some new areas of interest to discover Ms. Francine Jay.  A.K.A. Miss Minimalist and her blog.  I confess that I have been fascinated by the general topic of living simply for a long time and have been intrigued by uncluttered space as well as the minimalist mindset.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gypsy Wagon on Tiny House Blog

George over at Paleotool Wordpress Blog has presented this finished product reflecting months of loving labor on his Gypsy Wagon as reported on the Tiny House Blog hosted by Kent Griswold.  George has been working on his Vardo Wagon and has completed this mini RV dream Tiny House that really captures the spirit of the Tiny House movement.  I've lifted this picture from George's web blog.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nothing new or newsworthy

I've searched the web for something interesting to share with you today and can't find anything with redeeming value.  I could hang around and tell you something about the weather, like it's COLD outside.  But, then you already know that if you're still above ground 'cause it's one of those things that you just can't miss this morning.

It would seem that most of my fellow bloggers are being distracted by the impending holiday fervor and there was not much new news this morning.  I know that I am still on look out for good deals as well as free salvaged supplies.  I have my eye on an exterior storm door that one of my neighbors has put out into what looks like a scrap pile.  I intend to let some time pass to see if'n they rehang that bad boy by the first of the New Year and if'n they don't, I'll offer 'em about $20 for it.  It's real nice black metal door that has some of those decorative bars on the the outside.  Could be a nice addition to the Tiny House HideAWay destined for Rebel Ranch by us 2Coyotes.

In any case, keep warm any way you can.  Hey, thanks for stopping by.  I gotta run.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tools of the trade

Kent Griswold of the Tiny House Blog has posted an intriguing article about a piece of equipment that I am lusting after.  It's a saw.  Actually, a modified table saw.  But the reason that I am lusting after this baby is because I am planning on building a Tiny House in a remote location where there is no power and the saw is question is a DeWalt cordless rechargeable saw that would be sooo sweet in the back field/woods location where I would like to build.  This little baby, designed by Mel Koresh of Pro-Tech Siding Contractors, looks like just the ticket so save me from a boat load of hand saw cuts.  I lifted this picture from Kent's blog spot so kudos to Kent for this lead.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Off topic post, but I just had to say this...

Ok, I was reading around the internet today and found something that I believe is important, and a little funny.  So, I decided that I would deviate from the topic of Tiny Houses to share something that is personal as well as important to me.  I own a gun.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dan Phillips, builder and philosopher on consumerism

I found this video posted over th The Tiny Life blog as I was so captivated by this speaker that I had to share it with you.  This is a little long but well worth the time.  Dan Phillips have leads us on a tour of a number of Tiny Houses he has built while relating his ideals about recycling and reusing materials that others consider scrape or waste.  This goes along pretty well with the Story of Stuff you see listed just to the right on the opening page of this blog.

Building a Composting Toilet

Derek Diedricksen is an inventor and author of Relaxshax blog, discussing a topic that is very personal to all of us.  Derek has been world famous for his You Tube videos like the one in the second half of this post.  "Deek" has a real good time creating and sharing both projects and his videos on You Tube that most of us would never consider.  I have seen a number of his videos and each one will leave you smiling if not laughing out loud.  You can more of Derek's adventures on You Tube by searching for videos relating to Tiny Yellow House.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

After two years of eco-living, what works and what doesn't...

Susan Carpenter has written an very informative article titled, "After two years of eco-living, what works and what doesn't" for the Los Angles Times that has been picked up by a number of newspapers including the Advocate Messenger here in Danville, KY.  This article is very well written and is based on first hand experience providing clear results on some clever ideas for sustainable living.  I like this article for the clarity and perspective it brings to each of the items that have been addressed and I highly recommend reading this one.

Thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

It has started snowing!

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later and actually I am glad that it waited until December 1st.  Now I can officially join in the coming holiday festivities with gusto!  I just can't get into the spirit of Christmas before Thanksgiving and I actively resent Christmas Carols and decorations before then.  It just seems wrong somehow.  Maybe because it feels like you're insulting the memory and intention of Thanksgiving.  Call me crazy, lots of people do so you'd be in good company, but I just gotta wait until after Thanksgiving before I can feel Christmasy.

The arrival of winter weather will put a serious cramp in the plans of many people who don't like the cold or being outside.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tiny House News on

BIG Big news posted over on by the Associated Press that outlines the expanding interests in Tiny Houses and the people who are joining in the movement.  Although I don't really consider this a movement as much as a tiny hobby that seems to be getting bigger and bigger.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The leftovers are gone

Thanksgiving has gone into the record books and the turkey hangovers are distant memories.  Most of the leftovers ended up in the cook pot for a fantastic turkey vegetable soup that warmed us all weekend as we ran in and out of the house working on winterizing projects.  We needed the extra boost received from the hot soup because Saturday's weather was less than friendly for being outside.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ready for the next holiday

Thanksgiving still hung in the air like the smell of roasted Turkey and pumpkin pie and we turned our attention to the next family gathering. Black Friday settled with the thump of stuffed shopping bags retrieved from the local mall, I say local but the reality is about 50 miles off, and the mixed containers of Christmas decorations seemed to materialize from their hiding places. The stockings hung, jalapeno Garland draped, and the chrome tree assembled; Christmas was in full decoration, inside.

However, the hanging of the lights remain. Aarrrgggg! I like to make a bigger fuss than is justified but it is my contribution to the traditional ceremony of celebratory trimmings.

So, we're almost ready and it is appreciably cold enough to freeze my hands as I hang the outside decorations today. Happy Holidays everyone!

Let's get out there and freeze, er...ahem..., make it a great day!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Slowin' down

I don't know about y'all but I feel life slowing down for the holidays.  And that seems contradictory to what I have been expecting because usually it seems that we feel the pressure of the holidays pressing in on us and just want to run away and hide, like in a Tiny House.  (Maybe that's part of the allure of a "Hideaway" like a Tiny House?)

Monday, November 22, 2010

When scavenging, if you snooze, you lose...

and that's what happened to me this weekend.  I'd blame Silas, my grandson, but he's so little that it seems so very wrong to blame him.  Even if he could talk (he's only 15 months old an still learning verb conjugation and syntax; to talk) I'm not sure that placing blame on Silas would be credible since he wasn't driving (good thing) and he couldn't actually stop me from collecting a load of pallets that were available if I'da wanted to right then.  That's Silas with Chuck pictured in my post from yesterday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hangin out with Silas

Just out back with Silas and Chuck the cow. Silas wants to call Chuck, "Guck."  Silas is visiting for the weekend and he loves to help feed the animals.  Chuck thought Silas was something to eat, but Chuck thinks everything is something to eat.  We stopped Chuck from eating Silas...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Friday, November 19, 2010

Designing: Two doors, or not two doors?

Laura and I have been discussing the idea of having two doors in our cabin/Tiny House.  This design issue presents a large number of questions that must be answered before the first board is laid down.  I like the idea of having two access points but I am even more enamored by the idea of having two exits.  I have been thinking a lot about this design issue for a few weeks and I keep turning it over and over in my head because of a number of issues.

The obvious problems became crystal clear to me as I was reading a blog posted by a fellow minimalist and blogger, Ryo Chijiiwa of Laptop and a Rifle.  I have been reading Ryo for some time and was reading some of his older posts when I came across a July 16th, 2010 post relating the details of a very harrowing experience that focus the light of attention like a laser beam on this issue.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Slow down during the holidays?

For most people, the holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year's represents a hectic time.  Shopping, and work are combined with wrapping and running to create mayhem.  From partying at corporate dinners, family gatherings, and friends just hanging out, it can seem like an endless opportunity to simply over-stuff and over-book yourself into a time crunch corner.  Getting other things done like the of construction of a Tiny House can take a back seat to many seasonal social obligations.

Another aspect of the celebratory atmosphere with regards to Tiny Houses would be entertaining in a Tiny House.  Obviously, you won't be playing Twister.  But I would be interested to hear from those who do entertain more than one other individual at their Tiny House.  Now, of course it can be done, and most party games would be out of the questions.  Hey, even doing "Quarters" in such tiny quarters could be hazardous.  But I would be willing to bet that in some extreme Southern climes that outside events continue unimpeded by cold weather but in the Northern half of the United States, I would bet that one option, for hosting a Christmas or New Years party could be to invite guests on a rotational basis.  But, since I don't actually have a Tiny House yet, let's hear your ideas!  If anyone has hosted a party at their Tiny House, I'd be interested to hear how you managed the festivities.

Hey, thanks for stopping by.  Now, let's get out there and make it a great day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Micro Hydro-Power Bucket

Yup, I have another post for today because this is simply too cool to let it go without showing you guys!  This project is a little expensive but you can build a back up power source for about $400.
I found this news on The Tiny Life blog where Ryan Mitchell has been sharing some really great stuff. Ryan lifted it from the Vancouver Hack Space and this video is just under three minutes but it looks pretty good.  Special thanks to Ryan and those people at the VHS.

As a side note, Ryan also has some great design ideas posted that enable someone to use all the space in your Tiny House.  Pretty creative.  I especially like the idea for the location of a tub, if'n I was going to have a tub that is.  Check it out!

Thanks again for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Big Blow

Stanford, Kentucky recorded record wind speeds at 58mph last night as a sustained low pressure cell stirred up trouble for most of Central Kentucky yesterday and last night.  We had porch furniture flipped over when I arrived home from work and the welcome mat was in the front yard.  Our wind chimes were singing a staccato tune that was almost unintelligible.  All this adds up to some frightening news for the Dollar General Store employees in Stanford where the record wind speeds tore a large section of roofing loose at about 5:00 pm. (Video)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tired of those pesky telemarketers always calling you?

I know that I have not been posting about my Tiny House like I had hoped I would and I know that if you come here to read about a Tiny House that you are probably getting pretty disappointed about not finding anything useful or fulfilling about Tiny Houses.  Sorry.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make any real progress on my Tiny House plans because of the weather, deer hunting season, or lack of information relating to local regulations regarding the construction of a Tiny House here in Central Kentucky.  Although, I do have plans to meet with a local building inspector to get some first hand information regarding opportunities.

So, what about those pesky telemarketers?  Well, there is a service provided by the government that will prevent those creepy calls from every getting to you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

VirtualTinyHouseConference #3

There's another Tiny House Conference being hosted online to allow individuals interested in sharing ideas and gathering to find answers to issues and problems.  The conference is being hosted at Towards a Better Tiny House by 

This newest conference is titled VirtualTinyHouseCon #3 and is scheduled for Nov. 20 8 to 9 Pm Eastern Time.  You will need to sign in to participate but there is no software to download and it is pretty quick and painless.

I got my 1st deer

I have been hunting for many years and have hunted deer but I have never had a shot. Opening day, Saturday morning at about 8:00 am I was able to change that.  I said a silent prayer for this opportunity and am thankful for the blessing.  Although this is only a 4 point buck, it is exactly what I wanted because he will end up in the freezer and help to lower our grocery bill for the winter.  I was not interested in any trophy.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Made in USA

OK, I'm don't normally "forward" emails.  The practice of forwarding emails usually bothers me a little, mostly because I figure if you have something to tell me that I would hope you'd take the time to call me or actually write me a note yourself rather that simply "forwarding" me something.  I confess that most of the time if I receive a forwarded email I just delete them.  Don't get me wrong, I'll glance at them but I won't actually read them because I figure if you couldn't be bother to type something about the contents, why should I be bothered..., that's just me being grouchy I guess.

Green stuff

No, I don't mean money, which is what I think about when ever I think of green stuff, 'cause, you know we all want more of the green stuff, money that is, to help assuage our financial burdens.

However, this is not about money, but rather about simple ways to act in a more responsibly green manner without impinging our wallet even more.  I sometimes read some of the posting about going green and advice that you find can actually cost you money instead of saving money and stuff.  So, when I was reading my morning news this morning and my "Life Goes Strong" newsletter included this article about simple ways to be more green, I felt compelled to pass this along.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Big weekend, gotta take 'er easy though...

OK, so I've been rattling a lot about Amazon and all that up in arms stuff about immoral or disgusting products and pictures and stuff they are selling.  Yuch!  But that's really just my opinion and of course you can form your own because we all have one and, well, you get the picture.  Anyway, this weekend in the opening weekend of modern rifle deer hunting in most of the state of Kentucky.  That means that there will be a lot of people going fully armed into the woods looking to shoot something.  So, don't let it be you.  By that I mean, be prepared and stuff.  Kentucky hunting regulations stipulate that all hunters need to be properly outfitted with at least a blaze orange hat as well as a blaze orange body covering above the waist.  That means a vest at least but of course the more orange you wear the more you are likely to be observed as not being a deer.  So, well, you get my point.  Maybe if you plan to go hiking in the woods during the next seven days, you might want to consider some special clothing that includes being seen.  And of course, take it easy...
This is a big weekend for many and I will be out there looking for a deer of my own.  While it may be an exciting opportunity to commune with nature and flex some testosterone filled muscles, I plan to take it easy too.  That was the one lesson that I learned from my dad while he was imparting gun safety as well as marksmanship. He would say, "this is supposed to be fun while keeping it safe, so have fun."  I'll be working on that as I apply some of my best Dudeist theology because, after all, the dude abides...

Hey, thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and chill.

More trouble for

Well, it's sad to say that Amazon has not found the strength of character to completely eliminate the entire volume of objectionable materials that they have been marketing.  I have not done an comprehensive search of their catalog of materials but a child advocate named Maureen Flatley did as part of her job.  Ms. Flatley reported in this article from my daily news feed from MSNBC that there are many products that Amazon and other retailers are promoting that are creating real problems.  So, I'm back on my boycott until Amazon cleans up their site and their act.  Too bad because I really like Amazon but I will not patronize a site that presents this type of disgusting garbage under the protective blanket of free speech.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Amazon rejects Pedophile's Guide

I wanted to update you on the news I told you about yesterday. had been selling a Pedophiles Guide online and MSNBC reported a growing outrage to marketing of this ebook.  Well, MSNBC reports that they have removed it from sale and if you try to search for it you will receive an error message.  Thank you Amazon for this tough and responsible decision.

American Spirit

Kent Griswold has a very charming article posted on his blog site at Tiny House Blog from Walt Barrett.  Walt has written about his parents and their Tiny House.  This is an exceptional post that includes a You Tube video produced by Walt that includes a tour of his parents home; the house he grew up in as well as narrative about the construction of that Tiny House.

Walt has shared some very interesting and personal information about his parents that I believe personifies the American spirit of independence and fortitude.  Their strength and conviction have obviously been conveyed to their family and is displayed in Walt's presentation and intentions to support and help others.  I'd encourage you to visit Kent's blog and watch Walt's video.  I found it personally inspiring.

On this holiday, Veteran's Day, let's remember that it is this type of "stick-to-it" attitude that made our country great.  Walt's dad, like so many veterans, never accepted defeat and individuals like him continue to volunteer in service to our country.  I would like to say Thank You to each and every one of them for the gift of freedom that they have provided.  If you see a veteran, today or any other day, remember the debt that they have paid for each one of us.  You may not agree with the conflict in which they served, but the sacrifice they made in service, stands as a testament to the American Spirit.

Thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Amazon sells "Pedophile's Guide"

OK, Oh boy, am I fired up!  Here's a link to a news article posted on MSNBC right now about selling a book titled: "The Pedophiles Guide to Love & Pleasure."  This kind of crap has got to stop and I suggest that we stop it right here, right now.  NO ONE BUY ANOTHER THING FROM AMAZON.COM until they stop marketing this kind of crap!

With this in mind, I remember a movie that was playing in theaters last year called The Box.  This story was about a magic box that had a button which, if pushed, would provide an individual with $1,000,000.00.  Problem was that if you pushed the button, someone else would DIE when you get your million dollars.  Oh, don't worry, it wasn't someone you knew.  But the problem was that, well, you should watch this movie to see the catch.

Bottom line: If we continue to accept this type of marketing by we are actually pushing the button on another box.  Don't let anyone have that kind of control on you.  Choose to defeat this type of marketing and not support the promotion of this kind of sick publication.  Just stop them by not buying anything from until they stop selling this type of crap!

UPDATE: As reported on MSNBC, as of November 11th, 2010 Amazon has removed the Pedophile's Guide from their site.  Thank you Amazon for this decision.  I hope you can move fully toward this responsible decision in all matters and items of similar disgusting value.

Big Problems!

Well, I've uncovered a couple of problems for Tiny Houses proposed within the state of Kentucky.

First, the Kentucky Building Code, Ninth Edition, 2007, Revised March 2010, includes prescribed Occupant Load:
...the occupant load shall not be less than that
number determined by dividing the floor area
under consideration by the occupant as set forth in
Table 1004.1.1.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just tryin' to chill, Dude, even in a Tiny House...

So, I was rifling through my huntin' gear this morning because I couldn't find my compass and being lost in the woods in the dark with a unknown number of individuals all fully armed and stoked on caffeine and wanting to shoot something tends to make me nervous.  So,... I thought,... if'n I had my compass, at least I could minimize the probability of getting lost.  Or, maybe not.  But at least I could feel prepared to be lost.  In any case, I was trying to be prepared.  So, I felt better about myself, if not about those others guys and gals tottin' guns and bein' lost.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Virtual Tiny House Conference

Event announcement:

Gregor Folouk hosts a blog called Towards a Better Tinyhouse that I check out regularly.  Greg has shared some very valuable information but he has decided to take sharing to the next level and host a virtual event in the form of an online conference for people interested in chatting about Tiny House subjects.  Greg's conference will have a number of chat rooms that will have a predefined topic for discussion as well as some open forum areas for individuals to share personal experiences and stories as well as ask general questions of those who already have experience in the Tiny House arena.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

We got our cow

Well, actually, he's a steer now, but let's not talk about that, OK.  Makes me a little, ah-hum, uncomfortable. Anyway, "Chuck" will be living with us for about a year, but we haven't told him what happens after that because we don't want to upset him.  He may have an aversion to the freezer but that will be his destination none the less.  It's another way that we've discovered to be green and get a great price on beef.  This way, we eliminate all the Styrofoam packaging and plastic wrap as well as seriously cut our grocery bill for meat by more than half.  We did this two years ago but made a major mistake in calculations when we failed to get a replacement for the last calve that we feed up for slaughter.  So, we are out of freezer beef and buying regularly from the grocery store.  We won't make that mistake again.  I've only just made it in from the barn where we were making Chuck comfortable and getting a place ready for another load of alfalfa hay that we are buying from our next door neighbor.  You see, we don't have enough land to raise our own hay crop and carrying livestock as well but our neighbor grows a major crop of hay each year to sell to everyone around here.  By buying our hay locally, it's uses less gas to put into the supply chain and we help support someone that we know as a neighbor and friend.  It's a pretty good arrangement.  Thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make a a great day.

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Taking liberties...

I debated about posting the following information because while I believe in referencing other blogs through the obvious employment of links I was not sure I wanted to reference something from so very long ago.  The post to which I am referring is from December of 2007 and was originally included as content on a Tiny House blog that I found while researching related links for building information.  I've taken the liberty to borrow the concept from Kevin and recirculate it here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Now here's something you don't see everyday...

I was reading my daily email from Mother Earth News when I came across a reference to a book that may be of interest to many involved in Tiny Houses.

This book is titled Holy Shit, Managing Manure to Save Mankind by Gene Logsdon.  I looked this book up at and it is available from them as well.  It looks like it could be pretty good and a direct reference for those of us interested in maintaining a Tiny House off the grid, without connections to the giant utility companies.  You might want to check it out...

Thanks again for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!


I went to pick up the free windows offered by a friend and found that I may not be able to use them.  Sadly, the casement was not included and I am not secure enough in my woodworking skills to be able to rebuild the window case/frame.  I bet that windows could prove to be one of the most expensive parts of a Tiny House.  I intend to investigate this more this morning but I would welcome any comments about this problem because I am still feeling afraid of these windows but also wishing that I could use them.  They include the wood frames around the panes as well as the spring loaded aluminum side tracks as the opening/closing mechanism.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Raining again

I feel like Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh because I feel like complaining about the weather, even when I know it will have no real effect and only make me sound like a whiner.  It wasn't supposed rain so I put one of the dogs in the outside kennel for the day.  She smell like wet blanket when we get home.  Yuck.  But she did ask to stay outside, so I'm blaming her, cause I can and she can't really defend herself.  Anyway, we are supposed to pick up our free windows today.  THAT will be no fun in the rain either.  So, this is my real reason for being critical or whiny, or whatever...BLAH!

I can still hope the sun will shine this afternoon.  I haven't checked the radar so it may.  OK, I accept full responsibility for my actions because I didn't check the radar before I made any of the above decisions..."stinkin' dummy rain...oh, well, I guess I'll just be wet, no one cares anyway..." (That's my best impersonation of Eeyore)

So, let's get out there and make is a wet and soggy great day!  And thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I've been offline

I contracted a viral infection that knocked me off my feet for a few days but I'm back.  I probably could have managed to only be out for one day if I would have taken better care of myself but I pushed ahead when I should have laid down and taken it easy.  Maybe some day I'll learn, but maybe not...

Anyway, I have an appointment to collect a load of used windows being donated by a friend who is remodeling their house.  This includes an excellent 32" exterior door with a window.  I think this is a rare find because most doors, particularly exterior doors tend to be wider, say about 36" and may be hard to fit into the end of a Tiny House or cabin.  This 32" model should be a perfect fit and I'm pretty excited to have scored it.  I'll see if I can get some pictures when I get them home.  Of course, I would have already had these treasures at home and safely stored away if I had been able to get out this last weekend to get them.  So, I missed my first chance and am feeling pretty lucky that my friends have been so accommodating as to hold on to these supplies for me.  Many places would have disposed of them if you're not on time to collect the pieces being offered.  I feel blessed with good friends like these.

Hey, thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

Hey, it's the weekend and I hope everyone is having a great holiday full of spooky stuff.  We partied last night, in costume, and had a great time.  However, that's the last time that I dress in costume wearing a mask.  Wow!  Was that thing hot.  I took my Batman mask off after about an  house and the inside of it was totally soaked with sweat.  Yuch!

Laura and I hiked out into the back-back field this afternoon to double check the placement of our new cabin so I could get some pictures.  This first one is from our driveway across the field looking at the access to the area.  It's hard to tell, but we will have to carry all of our materials through a gate at the back of the filed shown, just past the horse standing under the tree, and across a ravine.

This next shot shows Laura hiking through the ravine and up the other side.  Before you get to thinking that we're idiots and just making things hard on ourselves, let me say that we plan to use our four-wheeler "Teddy" as much as possible.

This last one is the picture of the spot we have selected for the location of our shed/cabin thingy.  I will be calling the Planning/Zoning department this week to double check that I am allowed to build storage shed in this area of my property.  We are going to proceed with the assumption that if we stay under 120 square feet, that we won't need any permits for our shed.  Also, there will be no "improvements" like water, plumbing, or electricity so we should be OK, but I want to check just to be sure.  Laura's holding her hands out to display the orientation of the 8 X 15 structure and how it will lay out on the land.

I still have a few pallets to strip but I have contracted a bad cold that has really worn me down.  I was going to visit with Silas, my grandson, to share in his first Halloween, but I don't think it's a good place to share my virus with him or his parents so I'll be sitting this one out.  Anyway, this is the spot.  Laura asked if'n we need to mark it with an "X" or something but I'm pretty sure it's not going anywhere.  So, that's the spot.
Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you're planning a safe an scary Halloween.  Let's get out there and make it a great day and a scary night!

Friday, October 29, 2010

On Walden Pond

I have been reading Thoreau's book, On Walden Pond, and have found it incredibly interesting.  There are many people who associate with the Tiny House Movement that cite Walden as one of their motivators in creating a "hide-a-way" cabin in the woods.  Tiny House Design has posted a fantastic link to Derek “Deek” Diedricksen's visit to Thoreau's cabin that includes a video tour.  Deek is the author of the book Humble Homes Simple Shacks… and micro house creations like the Boxy Lady. You really gotta check this out if you into Tiny Houses.

I'll be posting more stuff later tonight but I just had to share this link quickly.  I hope you'll come back later.  In any case, thanks for stopping by.  Now, let's get out there and make it a great day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Goofing off

Thanks for stopping by.

OK, I'm gonna freely admit that last night when I should have been stripping pallets I was goofing off.  But, this being the end of the month and Laura's job in transportation means that the last week of each month is usually extremely hectic, so when she arrived home on time, I felt justified to take advantage of the situation as it presented itself and we just vegged.  We have been running in opposite directions so it was just a natural thing to do, especially since she suggested that we do something different with our evening.  It was a great idea and we simply enjoyed each other's company.

But, I'll expected to attack those remain pallets this evening.  And, I hope to get the chance to hike out into the back field and get a few shots of potential locations for the cabin.  Stay, let's get out there and make it a great day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fantastic new Tiny House under construction

in Northern Minnesota.  Y'all should take some time to read about the big dreams of Kyle Hart.  Kyle has started a blog at Big dreams of a Little House that I'm following that will document the progress that he and his dad are making on the construction of his Tiny House.  There are some pretty cool pictures of the work they are doing as well as some pretty well thought out research for materials and heating options.  Keep up the good work Kyle!

Oh ya...

The clouds have cleared and it's gonna be a beautiful day.  I was able to ride my motorbike to work this morning and all is right with the world.  I should be able to finish stripping the last three pallets that I have in stock for disassembly and I'll be looking to my supplier for acquiring some more as soon as possible.

Great news about finding a construction part I was looking for to help with the foundation of the cabin.  I was reading another blog yesterday from Country Plans and found a reference to post & beam foundations that I first discovered at Coyote Cottage.  The part that I have been searching for is called an Elevated Post Base manufactured by Simpson and it allows you to incorporate a post & beam foundation that may include an adjustable leveling feature.  This may not seem like much but it sounds quite functional to me and I am pretty excited about this little idea.  This will allow us to create a solid foundation without the expense and equipment required to dig footers or mix concrete in an area where there is no power or water and we don't want to disturb the natural surroundings for this project.  I found the EPB44T at Lowe's in our area but you can find these things at other suppliers.  I borrowed the image below from the web site County Plans.
Little things like this can make building a deck or Tiny House quite a bit easier by minimizing the labor involved in foundation work.  Pretty cool idea, really.

Ultimately, I hope to use our cabin as a proof of concept build for a mobile Tiny House that we will put on an 18 foot trailer.

Hey, the sun is shinning and it's gonna be a great day.  Let's get out there and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Raining, finally, and I'll try to be happy...

It's raining here, finally.  Most of my neighbors are happy because it seems we have not had any appreciable amount of rain for months.  The weather service reports that we are behind in annual rainfall and I know that this rain is vital for so many reasons, but I find it difficult to be happy about it.  I'll continue to try but I was planning on working outside until these showers hit.

I have been collecting pallets from a local company that offers them for free and I have been spending time in the driveway disassembling them for the oak lumber from which they are made.  Some of the 2" X 3" timbers are over twelve feet long and I am excited to have such good quality materials for constructing our cabin.  I have been pulling these pallets apart and removing most of the nails.  I have been stacking this lumber in our driveway and I plan to move this cache of wood to the barn while I continue to collect more as it becomes available.  It's slow work because these pallets don't want to give up their former life or those spiral cut nails so some of them end up left in the wood.  I was surprised to pull the heads off of many of these reluctant nails but I have still been able to remove most of them.

The weatherman is forecasting severe weather for this afternoon and evening so we will be loosing most if not all of the remaining leaves of the season.  I was hoping to get a picture of the area we have chosen for the cabin, but I may not be able to if the weather comes whuppin' in here like they say it will.  There won't be any outside work done tonight if that happens.

Well, I suppose we do need some rain and I'll jus' have to learn to accept it for the blessing that it is.  It'll give me a chance to practice my patience as a minister in the Church of the Dude.  We just need to chill and take a break from all this tension and take 'er easy for this evening.  Hey, thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lucky find last week

One of the women I worked with is remodeling her home and I had a chance to speak with her husband about their project.  Turns out that they are working on a major job at their home much like Laura and I have undertaken and they will have lots of cast-offs that I may find interesting; windows and such.  I inquired about the opportunity to preview those items before they were official consigned to the dumpster and they said, "Yah, sure!"  This is really cool because I already know that they have a 32" exterior door that I can claim and put to good use.  I am looking forward to the opportunity to visit their place to look around at some of the windows that they will be replacing.  Turns out they haven't even pulled the old windows from their home yet so I have connected and exactly the right time to help with the removal before it becomes a burden to them.  This makes it a win-win for everyone.  I am feelin' pretty excited about this opportunity.

This morning while reading the Tiny House Blog I came across another blog that has been in existence for some time about the Shed of Reality hosted by Kate Johnson.  I am enthralled by Kate's artist's shed and some of the design ideas that she has incorporated into her artist's studio.  As I read her postings it became apparent that I have been designing our "Get-a-way Cabin" including the construction restrictions that are required of a Tiny House on a trailer.  Specifically, the 13'6" height restriction that is required to clear the bridge and freeway overpasses if you intend to tow your Tiny House on the road.  However, since we have decided to plant our cabin in our field without plans to move it, we are free to make it a little taller and implement some of Kate's ideas on utilizing vertical storage space.  I know this seems like a "duh" thing but I have been thinking of being "mobile" for so long that I had developed tunnel vision in my design considerations.  So, we may be reaching a little higher in the height of our cabin.  We will want to remain under the 120 square foot restriction for our county to avoid the building permit requirements.  This will technically be a storage shed without electricity or water so we are able to minimize the related expenses like permitting and stuff like licensed electricians and plumbers.  Not that there is anything wrong with those guys, because everyone has to make a living and stuff.

So, anyway, onward,...and in our case upward, just a little.  Thanks for stopping by.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

New beginnings...

This is the first post for our new blog site.  I wanted to begin at the beginning where we are still in the planning stages of our Tiny House to be built on Rebel Ranch in Lincoln County, Kentucky.  I have been researching this project for some time now and have been joined by my wife, Laura, in examining construction methods as well as design ideas for our project.  A few of the places that I have been reading regularly include Jay Shafer's Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, Tiny House Designs, The Tiny Life, and Tiny House Blog.  I would encourage anyone interested in the Tiny House movement to visit these sites.

I am pretty excited and have been having a very hard time containing my enthusiasm to the current remodeling projects that we have undertaken in our home.  We have been working of a significant number of remodeling projects that I have secretly been using at OJT (on-the-job-training) to improve my lack of formal construction knowledge that will be required to build our Tiny House.  It has been a tremendous learning experience and while I have been telling myself that each job is one step closer to the Tiny House project, it has made the act of patience much easier to absorb because I can convince myself that the remodeling is actually bringing me that much closer to beginning the Tiny House.  I know that this is a weird idiosyncrasy that amounts to psychologically tricking myself into completing my "honey-do" list.  But, hey, it works for me.

Another weird thing that we do around Rebel Ranch is name everything.  Yup, everything.  Cars, trucks, dogs, horses, goats, motorcycles.  We name it all.  That way, when we're discussing which field what animal is grazing in, we can be specific.  This naming fascination has been extended to the Tiny House project and I have begun thinking of names for the Tiny House; "Love Shack" or "Get-a-way Cabin" are on the top of the list right now, but it will be a while before we settle on anything.  What we have found is that most of these things have a way of naming themselves, like the goats that were borne early one morning at just about breakfast time.  They became "biscuit" and "gravy" and I was always hungry when we started talking about those two.  Anyway, the Tiny House will most probably name itself somewhere along the way so I'm in no rush to settle on anything specific right now.

The biggest question we have been wrestling with is location.  Where on our small farm do we want to build.  We have discussed this twice and I feel like Laura and I have a general understanding about placing the Tiny House in the "back-back" field.  (I know, that's a crazy name for field, but it works for us.)  That would mean that all materials and supplies would be packed in for construction since we can't drive back there because it's on the opposite side of a semi-deep dry steam bed that is too dangerous to attempt to cross with anything other than an ATV four-wheeler.  We may be forced to press "Teddy" into service for delivering some of the building materials and act as gopher to pick up those things that we usually forget and have to go back to the big house for.

Well, I will get some pictures of the proposed location for our Tiny House and promise to put them up here very soon.  I intend to document as much of the construction process as possible.  Thanks for stopping by our 2 Coyotes blog spot.  Let's get out there and make it a great day!