Month: February 2011

Turn your shed into a Tiny House

When Crystal and I first talked about tiny houses we found inspiration in the most….well, (dare I say????) obvious of places. We were not sure what less than 200 square feet would look like, let alone feel like inside. So we headed to the local box home improvement store. It was there that we found the Best Barns Woodville model. Measuring roughly 10ft. x 12ft. it was ideal for us to get our bearings on a small space. We took a look inside and talked for several minutes on how we would convert such a simple space into a home. Within moments though we had plotted out a bed space, a kitchenette, a commode and sink; it was all coming together and quite quickly! For a moment we even considered how the space would be to just outright buy and convert to a cabin-esque sort of house. It was at least a start though and a point we often come back to when we find ourselves becoming too elaborate or trying to squeeze too much into our Tiny Home. You can only imagine my surprise then when I came across the post yesterday on the Tiny House Blog by Christina Nellemann titled, A Tiny House for College Students. According to Nellemann 85% of college graduates move back home upon graduation. Interesting fact considering in the year 2000 only 32%...

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How to Live Simple With a Car in Tow

America has long had a love affair with the automobile. Far from a mere instrument of transportation, the car has been an American icon for almost a century, often being treated with more affection than the owner’s family. Fueled greatly by the post-war, baby boomer years of consumption, the automobile became a work of art, and stylistically so. Oft characterized as “she” and lovingly so, the 1950s automobile had both its woes and rewards. Those who let theirs go, often wish they had not. Overall, they were not frumpy, which cannot be said of the big-box and smaller cracker-box utility vehicles from General Motors’ militaristic Hummer to the practical Honda FIT and Toyota Scion. But times have changed and many have exchanged art for reliability, comfort, convenience and advancing technology. And while many urban (and even some suburban) dwellers are opting to go car-free and craft a pedestrian or pedal friendly lifestyle, there are still those in the heartland that depend on transportion to some extent for connection to the outside world, supplies for the homestead, and all forms of entertainment; including me. It all began nearly two weeks ago when the right, rear brake began locking up on our 21-year old Ford Ranger we affectionately named ‘Trusty Rusty.’ We started by replacing the wheel cylinder, then a brake pad, then a brake line – we were throwing good money after...

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Buying Beef From a Local Farm

It was just after the first U.S. case of mad cow disease was confirmed in December of 2003 that it became clearer to me than ever that my diet needed to consist of more natural, organically produced meat. That was also the first year my folks took a step into a more eco-responsible diet as well. My family collectively purchased 1/2 side of Angus beef and a 1/4 side of hog. Both animals were raised responsibly and were harvested to our specifications. Why should we care though? Today’s industrialized process reduces the nutritional value of the meat, stresses the animals, increases the risk of bacterial contamination, pollutes the environment and exposes consumers to a long list of unwanted chemicals. Not to mention the sort of treatment given to the animals when they are maturing. You may remember the viral video of the sick and twisted commercial farms both here and here. (warning: videos are quite graphic in nature) Such is the reason a number of people choose to go vegetarian or even vegan. There is a growing lack of respect and stewardship for animals and the role they play in our world. Before factory farming gained popularity in the 1960’s (motivated largely by a growing export in beef by the American gov’t as well as an insurgence in public school lunches and menu options), cattle were raised on family...

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Where In The World… tiny revolutionnnnnn

Before I began to write this post I kept hearing in my head, “Where in the world are those Tiny r(E)volution people?” But due to my sitcom-induced and afternoon special infused upbringing I heard that magical group Rockapella singing it instead. I have been more or less absent from Twitter, Facebook, HOMEGROWN, the Tiny House Forum, and a few other places I am usually beating about. Sure I have had some pretty cool guest blog posts this week (here and here) as well as my weekly Farmers’ Almanac posts, in addition to fleshing out a new site for an awesome new film project, working my day job, and continuing to keep the Tiny r(E)volution fires burning (literally….that’s right, more dead and diseased trees were fallen and burned this week), but I just haven’t been all that communicative or even present. It all started last weekend when Crystal and I prepared to go run a few errands only to find that our 21-year old Ford Ranger (somewhat visible here) – appropriately named Trusty Rusty – had a rear tire that was locked up. While one would spin with all of its might the other kept us from moving as it sat motionless; seemingly dead. We borrowed a vehicle and finished our errands. But as the next day came my brother-in-law took to tracking down the issue. We chased the problem...

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Project 333 – Phase 2 – Week 4

I’ve gotten to the point where I honestly don’t remember having more than 33 items of clothing. My wardrobe seems robust. My look(s) seem fresh. I have dressed appropriately for all occasions including the obligatory family holidays. Perhaps the thing that has recently been on my mind is the emphasis on numbers. One of the reasons I started the project was to do just what was outlined in the rules. What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes. Back in the fall (I am a veteran of both phases) I meticulously chose my 33 items keeping in mind which tshirts could double as undershirts and outer tees, which jeans made me feel good as well as look good, what shoes would be worn and which were “just because,” and if there were any coats I would definitely need as the winter came about. I was sure to stick to just 33 items. As the days grew considerably shorter and the sky more dreary I daily chose from fewer items of clothing opting instead for warm, comfy clothing over stylish, more colorful pieces. By Christmas I even had doubts I would continue with the project. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be and 33 seemed to be a rather random number. I could easily do 25 or even 20! And that is when it...

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