It’s 6:30 a.m.: breakfast time in my tiny house. Just scrambled up a mess o’ eggs and kale from the garden and now into my second pot of tea. ‘Twas a busy holiday season, just passed. My kitchen became a tiny fudge factory, pumping out chipotle-laced chocolate interspersed with batches of cranberry salsa for the greater part of December. My location in the garden lends itself to fly-by visitations. Consequently, a number of festive parcels, as well as a couple of carolers (thank you Bill and Denise,) found their way to my stoop. Several merrymaking invitations—Camille’s pig roast, Tango Popolare’s and La Garua’s holiday milongas, the Hallberg Christmas Eve dinner and a New Year’s Mayan temple-burning (courtesy of hosts, Tom Hall and Dawn Isaacs)— brought 2012 to a close, and I am finally left to coil up the Christmas lights, resume normalized dietary portions and regroup where I left off with the project list… Where did I put that project list?
Steam in sunlight around bath house door.
To the best of my recollection, productivity fell off mid-December amidst the advent of the hot, home shower triumph, which was, indeed, most miraculous, accompanied by—I swear—heavenly choir and even a couple of those chubby, winged, Italian fresco babies… Ok, I digress with only slight exaggeration. Back in the real world, I had purchased pipes and dug trenches for gray water drainage and the hole for my septic can. I can see through my kitchen window that no elves came to labor in my absence. The plastic trash can (septic tank-to-be), now, bobs in the water collected at the bottom of its hole amidst the open-trench devastation of my back yard. However, I must give credit to elves (the Ewings and crew) who were otherwise employed in the construction of stairs for my front stoop, thus replacing the dodgy ladder (again, insert celestial choir and flying babies). Seriously though, if you’ve followed the blog to this point, you may have some inkling of the wonderment of tiny improvements. If you haven’t followed the blog, I may seem a little crazy. I can accept that.
So, the septic could be the next obvious priority. However, my garden hose water lines did freeze up three nights last week in the frosty weather, meaning, again, delayed hygiene. Maybe it would be better to dig more trenches and lay more permanent water pipes which could be buried and/or heat-taped. No matter. One of these projects will assert itself when the moment is right. Perhaps, this week. Or next...
In the mean time, I’m gearing up to take my first Tumbleweed Tiny House Co. workshop next weekend in Seattle. If you’ve followed the tiny house movement apart from my blog, you will be acquainted with this tiny giant of the industry. Dee Williams, builder of the tiny house in a YesI magazine article some years back, will be presenting. Why, you may ask, after having already built my own house, would I take a tiny house workshop? Well, I still have much to learn. My wee house (not a Tumbleweed) was my first construction project. Most of the things I’ve done, I’ve executed only once. Since the long term goal is to teach other tiny house-builders, I’m totally jazzed to refresh on the process, acquire new information/perspective, see how workshops are constructed, expand my network, gain insight on where to go from here… Of course, I'll keep you posted.
My sister who lives in Denver
So this month, like the rest, will be busy—day job, taxes (ugh!), tiny workshop, visit to my sister in Denver, blogging and, hopefully, septic progress… I've been writing for 5 hours today, typing in my tiny window seat. A sense of overwhelm teeters in the periphery. I hear the wind pick up and gather momentum, busying the trees, hurrying the clouds: another weather system moving through. It’s time to get myself together and step into it. New Year, here I come!
Angela Ramseyer is an artist, poet, writer, tanguera and neophyte guitar player, recently relocated from Whidbey Island, WA to Portland, OR.
Portland Alternative Dwellings
Shelter Wise, Llc
Niche Design Consulting
Four Lights Tiny Houses