Chris Magwood

I want to be sure that you all don’t miss the story that I wrote for Tiny House Listings regarding the ecological tiny house building program in Peterborough.

Too, they have in the last couple of days announced a number of the new programs for 2015.

We are so very fortunate to have such a great program in Ontario!  I hope a few of you will be there this year.  Let me now what you think.

Photo: Courtesy of Chris Magwood

Photo: Courtesy of Chris Magwood


Categories: Building code, Environmentalism, Home, Insulation, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Open your eyes, Renovation, Rules, Sustainable living, Tiny house, Tools, Trade | 1 Comment


This past weekend I removed and relocated 19 very cute but very messy little mice from Tiny House Ontario.  I thought I had them all at 14 because I did not hear any noise but on the last day, I lifted the toilet and there was a  wonderful plastic bag and toilet paper home.  It was a mom with four tiny pink babies.

I removed her and her family easily right in the bag.  Since I know this is the access point for them, I then covered the area under the sink and toilet with a cup of cayenne pepper, a cup of cloves, and several types of essential oil which I understand they dislike the smell of.  Lavender, peppermint and clove oil was what I used.  I have to tell you, the bathroom smells heavenly to me.  Clearly, I am NOT a mouse because I could sit in there all day and sniff.

The mice made one hell of a mess.  It was seriously awful what they did in a five week period.  They found a five pound bag of niger seed which I use to feed the song birds and this was absolutely everywhere.  Further to this, they peed all over everything.  The entire house had to be emptied and washed.  All food, paper, tissues, towels, tea and coffee had to be disposed of.  They got into everything.  It took me hours to clean the place and it still smells of urine.

Mouse urine does not seem to be like urine from other animals.  I think it has a lot of oil in it because it was never dry in the area where they peed.  I normally don’t use a lot of chemicals when I clean but this time I bleached and then used oil soap to clean up the mess.

I the house still smells when I get back I will rub the wood and floors with pine essential oil but for now, after three days of work the house looks reasonable again.

Lets hope it stays that way.

mom and baby with niger seeds baby Male in trap


Categories: Forest, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Simple living, Tiny house, Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Spring 2014 Update

An short update on what is going on with me and Tiny House Ontario is here

Looks nice I think.

Looks nice I think.


Categories: Forest, Health, Laura Moreland, Nature, Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Tiny house, Tiny House Ontario, View | 5 Comments

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 ( 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: , | 7 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: , , | 2 Comments