Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Story

If you were to ask me why I am excited about living in a Tiny House, I would tell you that the list is so long we’ll have to sit, and chat for a bit, for you to understand how perfectly perfect the idea is, to me.  You see, the answer isn’t simple. 
The answer is…my life’s story……
I have worked since I was 15 years old.  Most of those years have been spent in front of a desk, and a computer, and working for someone else.  Problem solving and resource management has always been my strong suit and I enjoy my work but I have no intention of sitting in a cubicle till I’m 70 years old.  (or even 60!) I want to explore more creative, active, and social career endeavors.  Having a paid-for Tiny House will give me the flexibility to do just that.  It’s finally time that I put my problem solving skills to use for myself.  
And I can’t wait to get started!
I have been married and divorced twice.  Each time, I designed and then supervised the construction of “our” home.   I landscaped, and painted, and stenciled, and mowed, and put all of my emotional and financial self into our new space.   With each divorce, the house was left behind, in the pile of carnage, that was once (twice) the plan for my life.  I have, since then, vowed to never let the success or failure of a relationship dictate my domestic security.  I’ve been on my own, dependent on nobody but myself, for over ten years now.  My Tiny House will finally fill that void, the hole in my soul, it will be my emotional security blanket.  It will be the end result of my creative and financial efforts.  
I’ll finally have my own space in this world that nobody can take from me.
Words can hardly express how excited I am to be moving on to the Empty Next phase of my life. I am a single mom and sole provider and have devoted my life to raising responsible, respectful, children.  My youngest is going off to college next year and, as such, there will no longer be a need to maintain an expensive, suburban, three bedroom, two bathroom, yard and garage lifestyle.   So far, however, this transition hasn’t exactly been easy for me.   Redefining my role with my children (my oldest is already 18 and in college) and redefining my role to the world has been harder than I thought it would be.  Who am I?  What do I do?  “Mom” has always been the answer.  Granted, I will always be “Mom” but to a much lesser extent than before.  They won’t need me.  My job is done.
It’s time for me to find, me, again.
If there is one thing I have learned, it is that nothing in life goes according to plan.  My ability to roll with the punches, and get up after being knocked down, is one of my best attributes.  I don’t even think about where I want to live when I retire because I know that no matter how I see my future now, reality will be very different.  I don’t know if I’ll live in a bustling city where strolls to the coffee shop or farmers’ market will be a part of my everyday life.  I don’t know if I’ll live on a farm, and raise animals again, or next to a lake where I can greet the sunrise over the water with my pen and paper in hand.  My Tiny House can go where I go, it can be where I need and want to be. 
Whether I am alone, or with my love, I will be where I want to be.
My love is one of my biggest fans.  While he occasionally feels the need to inject reality into my Tiny House Fantasy (“You have over 50 pairs of shoes!  Even they won’t fit in a Tiny House) he also understands that once I get something in my head I won’t be talked out of it.   And although the exact logistical details of our future together remain a mystery, the Tiny House will provide us both with options we had not yet considered.  Maybe we’ll rent out his houses and pull the Tiny House to another state where we’ll live for 6 months, then move again.  Maybe I’ll live with him and we’ll park my Tiny House on his lakefront land for use as my personal escape space or a place where the kids can stay when they come to visit. 
Life is full of maybes, but with my Tiny House, I’m not afraid of them anymore.
It has been a few months since the idea of building my own Tiny House struck me, and although I am still in the planning stages, I can already smell the cookies baking in my vintage oven, in my tiny house, in a quiet lot, where ever I land.

25 comments:

  1. I'm right behind you! What resonated most for me was your comment about domestic security! What scares me most is that even though I'm comfortable with tools and have done lots of DIY around every house I've ever lived in, somehow the idea of building my own tiny house is daunting despite all the reading I've done. I'm looking forward to reading more!

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    1. I've got so much to learn. Let me know if there's a particular subject you're stuck on. I can maybe do the research for both of us? LOL

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  2. Did you install a holding tank and water tank to your tiny home? If not, how did you handle the sewer and grey water disposal?

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    1. My plans are to use a French drain for grey water (hole in the ground with gravel) and a composting or incinolet toilet for black water. My water heater will hook up to a garden hose and is "on demand". Quite efficient with propane!

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  3. Loved your blog..and your need for domestic security. I too have worked since I was 15....working 2 & 3 PT jobs at one time....then....a FT and 2 PT at one time after my daughter was born. Her father and I broke up while I was pregnant with her, so, I was a single parent from the get-go...always living in Rentals. When I met and married my late husband, we purchased a mobile home...sold it...rented..and then purchased a second...bigger...mobile. When the marriage ended I was mom to 2 children...and renting again. Both kids are adults ( 32, 22 ) with families and kids of their own now...and no..they don't need me either. I am alone. The thought of OWNING my home...and it being small enough to be happy in, but big enough not to go stir crazy in THRILLS me to no end!! I could drive North for the summer and spend time with my daughter...and head south for the winter to be with my son!! In between..I'd head East to hang with my BFF's....*sigh*...now....just to make it HAPPEN!!! ..thanks for you Blog...can't wait to read more!

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    1. Thanks for sharing. You're welcome. Stay tuned!

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  4. I like every bit of your layout, and esp the roof line. I would like to see you work the storage cube staircase into it. Those ladders are just not sensible for the long run. Good luck with your project!

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  5. You have read my mind completely.I discovered tiny houses just this past month or so and I have thought of nothing else but my own tiny house.I am disabled and plan on hiring someone to build it and having it built suited to me.I will be following your blog to see how your dream unfold.Thank-you for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome. I'm also on facebook. Find me there!?

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  7. Love the wall storage for dishes! Do you have the brand & model? Thanks and good luck.

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    1. Here you go!
      https://orginnovations.com/oscommerce/

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    2. I too have an 8'6" by 24' tiny house. It is livable at this moment but I am still baby sitting the banks house until the forclosure is final. I have the property purchased and am currently starting the war with the zoning folks to be able to place the tiny house on the piece of property. After the loss of my wife I took inventory. Why do I need all of this junk? I took loads to The Salvation Army store and Goodwill. Gave away tools and dishes and pots and pans and on and on to family friends and even yardsaled to the neighbors. I did relent and rent a shop for my woodworking tools. The minute I retire I will build and flea market wood items for a bit of spare cash. It's funny that you express your partners concern for I lost a great gal I had been seeing for well over a year as the time came to make the transition she found a fella with a "real" house. I didn't even know the thought bothered her she had her own apartment, I would like to offer a thought for your design. The closet can easily be made into a rollout storage shelf with a center divider it can serve to store towels and linnens and clothes in the bath area and the other side could be a pantry or just additional storage. The cabinet its self would also act as a door when pulled shut. I place mine on a pair of skate board trucks for the rollers. Here is a peek at my year and a halfs work on the caboose if you are interested.

      http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=47804

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    3. "Why do I need all this junk?" That part made me laugh. LOL Thank you for your thoughts and for the link.

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  8. you have encapsulated in words, the feelings of 75% of the readers. well done. may you have continued success in your pursuits. blessings, scott

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    1. Thanks. It's always nice to know we're not alone in our endeavors! My best to you also.

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  9. Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for sharing. I can relate to your story. I too, am looking at building a Tiny House. Except I will have mine built for me. It will be more costly for that reason, and also because it will go through L&I coding standards as to be built to code as a certified RV with an inspection tag and license. The issues that are keeping me at bay are 1) insurance: I want to know it will be insured if I am going to spend this money. What if something happens to it? I would like to have full replacement cost for the first 5 years at least. After that, it is considered an RV so it will only be replaced at estimated value. And that will be hard to determine as these homes are so new. 2) Where to park it. Depending on where one lives, the codes and zoning keep people from parking these legally. And I am not willing to do this unless I am within legal bounds. It would be so nice if people would start building beautiful RV Parks specially built for Tiny Homes, like Jay Shafer is doing. That way, we are not parked next to some junky RV trailer. That would be my ultimate dream! I look forward to hearing your story unfold!

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  10. Thank you for sharing. RE insurance, Portland Alternative Dwellings recently announced a new policy for tiny houses. Here's the link: http://padtinyhouses.com/real-insurance-for-tiny-houses-on-wheels/ Good luck on your journey!

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  11. Congratulations on your decision to take home security (haha, not homeland security) into your own two hands! I too am an empty-nester, with my 24 year old son having moved out a while ago.
    I'm currently in the middle of building my own Tiny Home, with plans I drew up myself. Might I recommend a couple books for you to get? They are Housebuilding: A Do It Yourself Guide written by R.J. DeCristoforo, and The $50 And Up Underground House book by Mike Oehler. Even though the second book isn't about Tiny Homes per se, it is a kick to read, and will give you the confidence to do anything!
    You can see my progress on my own Tiny Home at http://coffeewitholiver.wordpress.com/
    I'm going to subscribe to your new blog to be there with you during this huge and wonderful undertaking! :)

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    1. Thanks for the book ideas. I'm always looking for my next sit-on-the-couch-oblivious-to-the-world read.

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  12. Hi, Michelle. I just read a few of your blog comments from La Ceiba, Honduras, where I live half the year. I was so surprised that you are in Sherwood, Oregon , because that was where I grew up and graduated from HS in 1970. My sister and mom still live there and I can not remember ever seeing a tiny house when I've been in Sherwood visiting.

    I'm live the rest of the year in Portland, where I'm converting my garage into a tiny house. I'm about half-way done and plan on finishing this summer. I'll be back in town in June and would love to meet your for coffee and share ideas. I loved looking at your floor plans. If you'd like to check out my photo inspiration, you can find two years of dedicated pinning at Pinterest under Cheryl Olson. The board is called "Cob Garage Studio."

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    1. Thank you for contacting me, neighbor! Please, do, stay in touch and/or IM me on facebook. Yes, let's have coffee next time you're home. I don't have a house to show you, yet, but we can talk tiny over my floor plans.

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  13. I am SO with you, Michelle! You have exactly expressed where I am in life right now (except I have, nor will have, children, and I received the house in the divorce) and how I will live from now on. I am currently in the long, planning stages of my Tiny House and plan on using the equity from the sale of my house to help build my TH within the next 3 - 4 years. I love your posts and will definitely follow you in your process/progress. Thank you for the wonderful ideas and the inspiration!

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  14. I adore the way you write! Just found u yesterday, u r really inspirational. Be Well, K��

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