Winter End Check up

The sky is crying because it knows that THO is sad to see me go

The sky is crying because it knows that THO is sad to see me go

I was at Tiny House Ontario last week, but had a medical crisis and thus headed back early to Hamilton.  We had intended to stay until Wednesday afternoon, but due to my health, my husband had to pack everything up on Monday evening for us to rush back.  It was raining like crazy when Hj, the dogs and I pulled out.  Unfortunately, the medical stuff was serious enough that I was unable to fly to Memphis; but fortunately it is nothing terminal – just painful and annoying.  More than that though, it was a sad disappointment for me to miss my first ever tiny house event.  I strongly hope that any of you who had tickets were not even slightly disappointed by my absence.  The nice thing is that Deek (http://relaxshacks.blogspot.ca) has another iron in the fire, so hopefully I will be able to meet the community later this year and perhaps some of you as well.

I am sure that there won’t be a bit of snow left when I return but of course, there should not be anyway.  The area where the house is is under flood threat and a few people have asked me if the house is at risk, but it is not.  I am way up on a hill and because I am on well faulted limestone bedrock, the drainage is excellent.  I am 100% sure that THO is a dry.  The only weather condition that ever gives me any pause is wind.  This is because I have so many trees large surrounding me there and the ground is shallow above the rocks.

Now that I am feeling slightly better, I will head back up on Easter Saturday and stay there for ten days until my next medical appointment.  I really want to spend the Spring Equinox, Ostara, and Earth Day there in my woods.

Here is a painting that invites me to enjoy this season, I look it up at this time, year after year.

 

Also, I do have an other little update… During the three days I had at the house, I noticed that there were a couple of tiny problems that happened this winter.  You can read about this at Tiny House Listings.

 

 

 

Categories: Art, Forest, Kingston, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Exact Cost: Phase 4, Year 3, 2013

In 2013 there was a lot more manual labour that went into the house than actual money.  Even so I did not escape my duty as a consumer.  Just kidding really.  When you see what I purchased for the house you will see how laughable that statement really is.

2013 Expenses

$530.            Stone, gas and insurance contribution for borrowed truck (breakdown of details)

$500.            Solar Furnace (this is approximate due to the fact that I was injured in the middle of the build

and lost my initial receipts)

$227.            Custom fitted window blinds for four windows

$1017.          Mini 12 from Grey Stove Works.  ***

$145.            Misc. including tarps, a few bits for closing the base of the in-house, and tiny hardware

$2419.    TOTAL

_______________________

2013 Phase 4 $2419

2012 Phase 3 $5,124

2011 Phase 2 $8,839

2010-11 Phase 1 $11,740

Total, To Date (on building, driveway, homesteading and home improvement) – $28,122

 Land - $67,000

Investment in THO and Property $95,122  —–

These expenses are in keeping with my assumption that building a tiny house is not a cheap thing to do.  I am nearing on having spent $30,000 on her and I have not yet installed the chimney/wood stove heat system for her.   I have not finished the kitchen and have no stove, fridge nor sink.  I also have not yet put in a well or a place where I can shower year around.  Frankly, rain water showers from the roof are fine in the warm weather but they are no hell from mid September to early May.  In short, there is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of money to be spent before I would consider THO to be fully inhabitable.

Now with the land THO is a nearly 100,000 investment and this is not including the years of labour that have gone into it.

Now with the land THO is a nearly 100,000 investment and this is not including the years of labour that have gone into it.

***Breakdown for Mini 12: I did not pay all of this until early 2014 when I picked up the stove at the border; however, I don’t want to miss the costs in my accounting so is the breakdown: $799 for the wood stove: $71.66 for the shipping: $20 for Kinek (a cross border shipping service): $126.18 for Customs: Canada Border Services Agency.  Rounded to the nearest dollar the stove cost me $1017.

Categories: Forest, Materialism, Money, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario, View | 11 Comments

Housing and Social Justice

Here is a long article here about a new community in Olympia Washington.  It consists of 29 tiny houses for the homeless.  It is well written and covers a good deal of the background detail.  I think, what they are doing here is great, and thought you might also want to read about it.

Olympia housing :-D

I hope that they have left each of the inhabitants a place to grow a little garden.  I also hope that many communities use this as an example and set up similar sites.

I have only two suggestions.  One is that they put in flooring, or even paint the plywood because it is not easy to keep raw plywood clean.  The other is that the build supplemental stairs since it does not look safe or easy to reach the bottom stair on these houses.

On the topic of handouts, yesterday I saw a video which pointed out some very interesting points.  I know it looks rather boring, but it isn’t.  Contrary to the way it looks it is one of the most interesting videos I have seen on the topic of poverty.  It also offers fresh perspective on hand-outs.

(((Clearly this video is done from an American perspective; however, it does not differ in any clear way from Canada that I could see.  I am wondering how it differs in other countries, if at all?)))

Categories: Community, Money, Neighbours, Open your eyes, Sustainable living, Tiny house, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Carbon Footprint 2013

I took the carbon foot print test for Tiny House Ontario.  I am happy to say it was down a lot.  I reached my goal of bringing my footprint to 2 metric tons.  In fact I surpassed my goals.    In 2012 I THO used 3.01; whereas in 2013 I was down to 1.1!

Though the number of kilometres were similar, a car makes a lot less carbon than a motorbike so this is good.  Also my secondary use dropped because I did not purchase any electronics.  The year before I accidentally brought my new computer swimming (actually I got caught on my motorcycle in Hurricane Isaac) so I had two computer purchases.

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know what this figure does not include the figures for my standard house in Hamilton.  Too, I don’t live in THO in the winter yet, so from November until the end of March the house is only used for holidays, so there is very little heat used there.  This means that the house is used only for 7 months a year plus about a month through the winter in various visits.

On the other hand, with ten acres of forest which offsets 1-2 metric carbon tons per acre, THO actually offsets its own carbon plus takes care of the carbon of our other home and then some.

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 8.42.06 PM

Categories: Forest, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Buried

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Tiny House Ontario September 2013

Tiny House Ontario September 2013

It is quite different looking at the house in the fall and in the winter.  The snow is about 2 feet deep there now, but around the house it is only about a foot deep.  I guess it must protect itself from drifting because of the angle of the house to the prevailing winds.

I thought you all might like to see how buried under the house was when I arrived yesterday.

It snowed in the night, and I beat my cousin Kenny in getting there.  He had not been in with the plough yet, so we walked in.  We had a perfect day for it!

The long midday shadows are gorgeous this time of year

The long midday shadows are gorgeous this time of year

 

Categories: Forest, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario | 2 Comments

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