The Journey Home...
Heartfelt thanks to John Shinneman, who originally seeded the idea and supported me through the critical agonies of being a beginner; to those of you who wielded, financial and emotional support, time, tools or large equipment on my behalf: Eric Little, Mandeja, Carrol and Lois Sorensen, the women and men of Frontier Building Supply and Sebo's Do-It Center, Barb and Jeff Ewing, Blake and Lynn Willeford, Dori Hallberg, Maryel Duzan, Bill Andrews, Brad Rice and Camille LaTray for support and the perfect setting, all of my clients (my financiers) over the last 5 years, tiny Realtor Daniel Goldsmith for helping me find the right buyer, Mindy Moody for being "the right one", of course, my parents and family who have remained supportive even when they couldn't figure out what the heck I was doing and without whose stubborn genes I would have caved long ago, and too many others to mention.
Home Sweet Tar Paper Shack
By October, the tar paper shack on wheels was weather tight and habitable. I painted the plywood floor and moved in for 6 months. An electric oil heater kept things cozy for a very snowy winter. After the trial period and continued finish work on paneling around the loft windows, flooring, trim, siding, etc. over the next couple of years.
A used trailer (one that would fit my budget) was an essential component of the project that had proven illusive. Fortunately, John designed the project so that it could be transferred to a trailer at a later date, and we had proceeded with construction. A year later, the neighbor's horses escaped and ran up the driveway. When I ran up the hill to tell them, I spotted the trailer--flat tires, rotten planks, peeling paint, under a debris pile. It had been right next door to the building site the whole time. Of course, I bought it, disassembled and re-packed the bearings, found tires at Island Recycling, cut out the rotten planks, scraped, re-painted it and re-wired the brake lights. It would be another year before I managed to transfer the wee house to its new foundation.
Some Interim Progress
After the move out, things progressed a little more slowly over the next year. Nevertheless...
Down from the Knoll
In all the running between the cabin I was renting, my day job and John's place to try and make progress with construction, I managed to find a cabin to rent where my new landlord would allow me to park the wee house on my lawn and continue to work on it. I would spend the spring/summer of 2009 prepping the house for a re-consolidation of my life on a new parcel with a few minor obstacles that needed to be addressed, first. Admittedly, this next phase involved very little labor on my part. Sometimes, it's best to set ego aside and get out of the way.
Wee House on the Move Action Videos
Ah, the wonders of teamwork and heavy equipment... Get a load of John Shinneman and Eric Little in action!
The New Foundation
With the house in the driveway, it was time to move it onto its newly refurbished trailer or 'foundation'.
Planning the Bump-Out
The next step was to take advantage of the level working surface conveniently located next to John's shop to work on the box seat bump-out. First, I constructed a model for the hip roof out of cardboard.
Moving Right Along
Newly outfitted with hip roof and bump-out, the wee house had to be pulled by 3/4-ton truck down Pheasant Farm Lane (with plenty of overhanging tree branches), five miles along E Harbor Road and up Little Dirt Road (again, a lovely tree-lined lane with many branches) to its new residence. The Ewings loaned their truck, and my Dad flew out from Iowa to be my tow man.
Settled into our new location, I had arrived at the next level of my education--learning to problem-solve, without anyone on site to interrupt at whim with my questions. Fortunately, exterior trim and siding were a fairly straightforward way to begin and take the edge off my anxiety for trickier details to come.
More Interim Progress...
The Next Big Move
Summer of 2012 was a big one. I had planned to put the house on the market. If it sold, I would have the money to for materials for the next one, but I needed to get out of the woods to a more visible location. I approached Brad Rice and Camille LaTray about the possibility of parking it at their lovely roadside property for the summer. To my great relief, the answer was yes. And so began the next phase... The wee house had many visitors that summer, as I continued work on some finishing details.
The house remained on the market through the end of September. Public response had been enthusiastic and infinitely curious, but no ready buyers had yet manifested. Having anticipated this possibility from the start, and rather than allowing the wee house to sit empty for the winter, I had kept a Plan B tucked into my hip pocket. When Brad asked for the third or fourth time why I didn't move into it, myself, I said why not? I was allocated a back corner of Camille's garden for establishment of my tiny residence. Move-in date: November 1st. Along with the move-in came water, electrical and propane systems installation and the website and blog. For more information see Plan B posted 10/9/12, Downsizing and Stuff, posted 10/13/12 and Plumb Crazy, posted 10/21/12.
Waterworks in Progress
Tiny Big Life
Tiny Kitchen Alchemy
If all of the work of the previous photos has worked up your appetite, check out my Vittles page for recipes as they emerge from the tiny kitchen.