Over the winter one of the new cupboard doors warped just enough that the magnet can’t catch it. I borrowed a clamp from my cousin Vernie and attached the clamp (below) before I left for Hamilton. I am hoping that the door straightens out. I have not put a finish on the cupboards yet, because they are not all built yet. This is probably why it warped. I am sure once they have some teak oil on them that they should remain warp free. At least I hope so.
I came back to Hamilton for two reasons. The first being that we have tickets to see Leonard Cohen at the Copp’s Coliseum on the 9th. Plus, I had to buy a car and Hamilton is a large city with a better selection of second hand vehicles.
I am 47 years old and this is my first car. The reason I need a car is because I will be bringing my artwork to the Kingston Springer Market all summer and it won’t fit in Baby, my 2006 Honda Vino motorbike’s, trunk. Certainly I can’t carry a table, chair and banner on her either. The car is old. Granted, not quite as old as me. It is a 14 year old VW Golf; which in car years makes her practically a classic. It has pretty low milage and it is in reasonable shape for its age. Hopefully the car (whose name I do not know yet) is ready on the 9th as promised. She is getting new brakes as well as a safety and air test done, then on the 10th I move to THO for the year. The house is already opened for the year so all I have to do is unpack and check to see if the clamp worked.
Then the season of 2013 can begin for me in earnest.
I decided on a Golf because they have a lot of storage in the hatchback and so the trunk will become my tiny house office and studio on wheels.
I hope she will be a good car.
Today, I am in Hamilton. While here, I took a few minutes to stop at a couple of the wonderful old tiny houses that are part of the Hamilton Ontario, neighbourhood: Kirkendall North. I left cards at couple of particularly charming ones to see if they would be interested in allowing me to tell the story of what it is like to live in these houses and a little about the history if known. If the owners will meet with me, then I will do features about them on Tiny House Listings.
The houses I selected are all about a century old and appear to be between 3 and 5 hundred square feet in size. I really hope to hear from the owners, not just so I can meet the Tiny Housers… but also because it would be fun to share some new stuff about old tiny houses with you, and to learn about them myself.
The great news is, one of the houses had someone at home… and surprisingly, I was invited in. I have secured a time to come back to do an interview and take some photos. It is a charming place which if I am well organized you will learn about next week! Are you all as excited as me???
Here is a little info and some wonderful photos from the Kirkendall neighbourhood that might give you some idea of what is coming your way.
Below is an obscured photo of one of the houses that interests me.
Here is an idea…
If you have to buy:
Today, I am not shopping, but I am going to also take some advice from Johnny Cash… I am going to dress in black, in my case to mourn all the wasted resources that the planet gave up because of this crazy consumerism!
It has been as cold as 8 degrees below zero up at Tiny House Ontario. I left the garden totally uncovered and mostly everything is now frozen off; however, there is still some fresh food available for nosh. I had cut down all the swiss chard when I left three weeks ago, because I figured it was on it’s last grow; surprising thing, is that it grew up again so I got another nice sized bag to eat.
The flat leaf Italian parsley was started late this year with a 1/2 a pack of 5 year old seeds and even with the horrible drought, it has been producing enough for me to use all summer. It is a perennial that continues to grow too, year after year, as long as the winter freeze does not kill it. The other half pack was what kept my Hamilton house in parsley for the last 5 years. A very good producer for a $3. pack of organic seeds! I cut off three good sized bundles to make 3 tabouli salads; one for me, one for my cousin S, and another for my Aunt C, so we all got a nice healthy side dish this week. There is still plenty there to make a couple of more salads but it is fun to dig under the snow to get it, so I left it.
Sage is another easy keeper. I don’t plant this from seed because one plant is PLENTY for my family. Among other things, it makes what would be a good sweet potato and coconut milk soup, really great. Sage has nice deep undertones that stay on the pallet a long time after eating. Here is the recipe that I like, because I am a GF veg*an, I simply substitute chicken broth for a gluten free veg*an soup base. I also don’t fully puree mine because I like bits – and speaking of bits this is nice with a handful of chopped peanuts on top too.
So, what I wanted to say is that I am glad that I did not dig up the swiss chard. It was a zero mile mouth full of yum!
Categories: Environmentalism, Food, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Re-Use, Simple living, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario, View
Tags: coconut milk soup, dinner, food, italian parsley, vegan
In the morning you can watch the kettle boil, which of course never happens. Or you can open your eyes and look around.
Fortunately for me, in the woods there is always something beautiful to see. Today I had a look over to see how fall is settling with the hawthorn Twerp. Then I looked over the prickly pear into the forest beyond.
When I looked back my grandma’s kettle was magically boiled. The coffee was delish!
I watched a video today which my friend Jim-Bob posted. It is a great idea this young man had and such a total tear jerker video! Consider yourself warned!
Anyway, I decided to finally get to the linen closet because of watching this. You see, I read that the SPCA is always in need of blankets and towels, so that the pets do not have to sleep on cement.
I once lived in a big house and had a big family and when I downsized last year I thought I had pretty much purged, but alas, this is what I had to give!
I am going to deliver them right now. If you have any old ones that you don’t need I urge you to check with your local rescues and shelters because chances are you have old ones you don’t need and dogs don’t care if they are a little bit ratty.
What other nice thing can I do today????
I have another confession. I don’t want to be one of “those families”… you know who I mean… every neighbourhood has them. Their places are run down, and half put together, they have stuff all over their yards that never seems to be used, just sits there rotting and taking up space. If anyone was doing a project at their house, my neat-freak Mom used to say, “they need to clean that mess up because it is starting to look like the ____ ‘s place”. You can fill in the blank for your particularly messy family. My mom kept a very clean home and she did not like mess. Mom, she would hate my piles!
These days they have a name for people who keep too much junk. They even have a TV show about them, Hoarders.
The thing is, that there is a fine line between people who hoard and people who keep stuff because it is useful. Artists often keep a lot of bits. So too do people who tinker. Me, I have a few left over building supplies which I am still using for projects. It is not out of hand but takes up about a 12x 9 space… just as big a footprint as THO, so this, in my opinion is what makes it look so bad.
I put it all on the far side of the house, so that you can’t see it when you drive up, but from the cloth porch, there it is, a little hoard of stuff. It would be nice to have a shed with some upper beams to slide all that stuff in. A shed feels a bit like a slippery slope for allowing me to collect more stuff – but admittedly it would be handy for the rotation of seasonal gear, such as boots and sandals, snow shoes and flippers.
Fortunately, I live far enough away from others that the mess is not seen by anyone but me and my visitors. Still, I wonder, would my remnants piles drive you crazy if you lived next door? Be honest.
When I redid the kitchen uppers I made the depth of them more than the little shelves that I had there before. Because of this, the wonderful little spice rack that my cousin Vernie made for me when I was in my 20′s had to be taken down. Still, I want to have as many of Vernie’s works in THO as I can fit there so I decided that I would repurpose it as a shelf for candles and pottery at the top of the stairs. I won’t be needing the candles as frequently because of the new 12volt electric lights, but they are nice to burn from time to time because the bee’s wax smells so lovely. Too, they are excellent to have on hand in case of emergency.
As a veg*an you might be asking yourself, if I have thought about the use of bees for my own purposes. Truth is, I have and I am mixed about the subject of bees and have considered quite seriously putting in a few boxes for them. I am not really a honey lover or even a candle fanatic, but I love the idea of the bees being there to help me with my garden. Truth is that while I don’t eat any animal products, I am also guilty of killing spiders as well as mosquitos, biting insects as well as house flies and I have a leather jacket as well as leather footwear that I purchased before becoming vegan and I won’t throw them out so that they go to waste. I hate waste and destruction of useful things, more than anything else.
On the subject of bees, I am happy to say that I do have a lovely large paper wasp colony on my land right near the escarpment. I don’t like to get too close to these awesome little pollinators because they do not take lightly to a threatened nest, but Colleen Murphy has a good camera and could take this photo from a good distance away.
The nest is far enough away that I don’t feel threatened for myself or for those who visit, but still, I have had a few of them in THO this year. I am not afraid of them though, I just catch them carefully under a glass, slide in a piece of paper and then let them free outside. They leave without problems so far, every time.
Next year’s planned job, the stone patio is giving me a bit of grief. The big issue is that when Hj and I put the gravel dust in place the drop to the East was too large and this began to wash away because of the 1 foot deep drop for the opening at the in-house on the East side (in the image it is the dark place where the boards meet). I want to put some steps there, not just to keep the dust from washing but also because they will eventually have to go there anyway. It is early to do this because the dust needs to settle but still getting them in is the only realistic way to keep the dust from spilling way with the rain. The other problem is that the stones for this are simply too large for me to handle on my own. So, this was the other job that Hj came down to help me with on the weekend.
We brought in many more wheel barrels full of stone dust and stomped this as firmly as our weight would allow, then the two of us put the large stones in place. Unless they go out of level, or settle too much, then this will be the last time we ever need to move them. I am strongly hoping that we put in enough of a buffer that it will be exact, and permanent, because these big rocks are really NOT fun to move!
The two top stones are to be the first edge of the stone patio.
The bottom large stone stair will make a handy place to sit in order to change the catch bucket from the toilet.
Lets hope that they winter well.
***ps: The blue box has kindling in it plus a few pieces behind there too. It is being picked up by someone who uses it. Waste not-want not, right?
A few days ago I took out the shelves that I had been using in the kitchen of THO. I built them last summer out of left over lumber from the house construction but did not find them deep enough to be good practical storage for dishes and so forth. When I took them down I thought that they would make a really great utility cupboard for tiny building supplies such as nails and screws, extra hinges and thingamajiggers. I decided to put it up on the South facing wall inside of the cloth porch. Truthfully, I had this stuff in one of those big exterior use plastic storage bins with all the stuff like the big tarps, string, rope, chain, oil and so on, and this was a nuisance because the containers were constantly popping open and dumping. Can you just about hear me cursing?
Only problem with the idea of repurposing this, is that I wanted to put it up high and and I was both too short and not quite strong enough to get them up there on my one and screw the things in. So, it turned out good that my husband decided to come down to help me with this task on the weekend. I held it up and he drilled it to the wall. Bammo-presto, in a few seconds the job was well on it’s way!
After this, he put on some 1×3 to trim it up while I attached hinges to some left over 12 inch wide boards from the kitchen construction, for doors. Oddly, I also had two hook and eye catches in the odds and ends that would eventually go in here, so I put one inside to hold door one closed and then I put the other one on to hook the two together. I also coated them with lemon oil although I am not sure that this is strong enough for exterior use, but if they start to look ratty I will simply finish them later.
In future, I will have to stand on a step ladder to reach any of the small thingies in the newly reused cupboard – but even so, I think that this is markedly more practical, than having to root around and find them in the abyss outside!
The bonus is that the abyss itself, does not seem all that awful now either! Funny how simple stuff makes life so much easier sometimes!