Monday, November 3, 2014

(Nov 2) Trimming the Shower and Enjoying the Woods

Had plans on Saturday so we only made it out for an afternoon on Sunday. The weather was inspirational! High of about 65° and a very slight breeze. We arrived and Kim got busy with ripping some cedar we had to trim out the shower. My first thought was getting a fire started in the chiminea. Finding wood was no problem as the property is still littered with old and new limbs downed from the storm last month. :( I broke out the chain saw and made quick work of a couple of them. One small limb had fallen on the roof but we haven't found any permanent damage. We really have only two fears from living in the woods.  Well if you ask Kim there are more than two, but one is the nightmare I've had about getting eaten by termites and the other is having one of the really large trees (60'-80' Oaks and Elms) fall on our Tiny House, especially when we're in it! There, I've said it out loud. Maybe this counts in the "face your fears" department.  Kim's fears are the tree-falling-on-the-house and snakes.  Honestly we have only seen one cotton mouth and he was gone as soon as the creek dried up and a couple tiny non poisonous ones that even Kim thought were handsome.  She was absolutely not a fan of the cotton mouth.  He was fairly snarly.  That's about it though. I don't have doubts about the lifestyle that living there will afford. I don't have fears about feeling cramped or closed in by the small footprint. I have lots of woods to work and play in and a pasture full of cows behind us to keep me amused. Kim got her trim put up in the shower and we decided to sit and enjoy the fire for a bit.

More so than usual, the birds came in waves to the feeder today. There were periods where they would all disappear and then, 15 minutes later, they would show back up, all at once, multiple breeds including lots of woodpeckers. Usually, it's a steady stream from 9:00 in the morning until about 5:00 at night. Missing today though were the Cardinals. They seem to be the early risers, sometimes showing up before the sun and usually the last to leave the feeders at night. Maybe the abundance of berries we saw in the woods this week are keeping them happy. After the fire burned down a bit we decided to take a walk and headed towards the back of the property. About half way there, we detoured and made our way along a wide path towards the North. We found a very pretty little spot that we hadn't seen before. There was actually some elevation and a gentle slope down a couple hundred feet away to a dry creek bed.  Funny how we can have areas on our own property that we haven't seen for the 2 years we've been exploring. We found more trees that were broken and ravaged by the storm. Definitely the most damaging in this area for years.  Across a flat creek area there were 2 50' Oaks in the back of the property, broken in half and mounded into a huge debris pile. I may buy a new chain saw before I tackle them or it may just become a bird/snake/raccoon/squirrel/lizard nature preserve. :) I'd have to get pretty bored or desperate for firewood to tackle it any time soon. Having said that, I did get pretty inspired by cutting up some of the wood that's close to the cabin. There are a number of old and dry downed trees, maybe 20-25 that are within a visible circle around the camp that I am going to target now that the weather is out of the 90s. After our walk, we plotted and planned our attack of the bathroom door challenge. Kim has really wanted a sliding barn door for quite a while.  However, we may settle on hanging a curtain in the short term and putting in a sliding barn door for the permanent solution. We really don't want to put the door on the outside wall though since it would narrow the limited space between the bed. Right now, that space is budgeted at about 15". Putting the door on that side would reduce that to about 12". We are also at a quandary about placement of the major kitchen components. We've come to the conclusion we'll end up with a small (not tiny) fridge with a freezer instead of the dorm type fridge we have now. Something around 10-12 SF. The sinks we looked at this weekend were in the 20"-22" range and we've talked about a 20" wide stove/oven. Just not sure I want to give up the extra 6"-8" of counter space for a larger stove.  Kim thought of bringing out some appliance boxes and shape them into realistic sizes so that we can see the effects of placement and functionality. Maybe a solution is to use an under-counter oven with portable burners that we can put away when not in use. This would give us the functionality of a full-sized oven and let us keep the counter space.  We've both come to the conclusion when building a tiny house, you should decide on the appliances and furniture you will be using, THEN plan the space around them. We would have designed the layout differently if we had appliance and furniture dimensions before hand. It's all good though. The journey through all of this is the fun part. For us a huge part of this is about doing it together rather than buying something ready to deliver and set up. That's just us though. We both have a little building experience which helped, but it is absolutely not a must have. We'd love to hear your thoughts on design and layout.

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