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Always The Hard Way?

Ask my parents, ask my friends, ask Sarah… I always  do things the hard way.  I’m not sure why, I’ve been told it’s because I’m a Capricorn(?), but I’ve recently been recognizing it when it happens.  Por ejemplo, I can’t just make coffee in the morning, I have to preheat everything (Bialetti, Mug, 1/2 & 1/2), find the perfect blend of coffee/chicory/cardamom (5:1:dash), then watch everything fastidiously while Sarah’s ginger tea (finely chopped) comes to a boil.  The tiny house, too, has proved to be an excellent mirror to this particularly pervasive character trait.  I couldn’t just slap up exterior window trim and caulk the heck out of it.  Too easy.  I had to devise a clever interlocking system that would guarantee (so far) water-proofness.  While I DO think it’s a good system, It doesn’t work any better than the easy way, looks about the same, and complicated things greatly when I realized it’s hard to tuck the same piece of siding under two sides of a window.  Oh, and btw, I caulked the heck out of it.  Here are some pictures.

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Knowing my aforementioned proclivity toward encumbrance, it was time to run electric.  We walked through the house and discussed if we really need a three-way-switch to the loft, or even a porch light.  We nixed both because we prefer localized, movable lighting (aka lamps) that we could plug in and click on at the source.  With only electrical outlets needed in the house, the wiring was easy.  Just hook the whole house up like one big extension cord.  Plug one end in and everything works!  The first few were a bit tedious (tiny wires/connection + big clumsy hands) but once I got the hang of it, my sway towards complication began.

It started innocently enough.  I realized that I was using 12-3 Romex when I only needed 12-2 for our simplistic system (Meaning I had one extra ‘hot’ wire: see below).  wpid-20150420_140751.jpgThen I thought, “Hey!  I have two hot wires in the same casing, why not make the house on two circuits (red and black) and they can share a neutral!”  This made sense  and I later found out that this used to be a common practiceSo I wired the outside socket and the kitchen socket on the same circuit (red) and the rest of the house on black.  Good in theory, more complicated than I thought partly due to my lackluster wiring skills, and partly due to not fully understanding what it means to share a neutral.  SO, after wrestling with it over the course of a rainy afternoon, and getting some sage advice from an electrician friend, I scrapped the idea and wired it all on black.  One circuit, no problem.

Do you see the progression, though?  Can you see how it moved from a straight forward system to a more complicated/better way?  I started by recognizing my proclivities, then as I put my head down and started doing it, old habits kicked in and I wanted more/better/different.  I think this is a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because the need to improve has lead me to some pretty awesome experiences and taught me a great number of valuable skills.  It’s helped me learn things quickly and understand them fully.  It’s a curse because I tend to get stuck in the process and have a hard time extracting myself…taking a step back…and realizing that somebody has already figured out how to do this work, and I can probably trust that they knew what they were doing.

So my take away: always find out for yourself….but also trust that other people have already found out, and it’s on their firm shoulders that I wobble around on trying for something ‘new’. After all, it seems that the ‘new’ thing these days, is actually an old thing rediscovered.  Why not walk the well established path for a bit.  Find out where it leads.  Take some easy steps and get to know the trail before banking left into the brambles and steep inclines of improvised electronics and sketchy wiring.  The end.

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Next up, Insulation!

Shift-Alt-Electricity! (or Technology Part I: Electricity (b))

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Ok, ok I know I said that I’d go into our specific energy uses in this post, but I feel there’s more to say about other ways to electrify a tiny house.  So bear with me (roar) as I shuffle through some more potentially helpful alternatives besides solar.

Grid-tied  

When all the factors of embodied energy, supply, waste, ease, and cost are considered, being tied into the grid can be the steadiest, cleanest, and cheapest.  This is especially true for places like New York City, New Jersey or Oregon where you can choose what source the energy is coming from via: www.greenmountainenergy.com/for-customers/contact-my-utility.

Using grid-tied energy, the approximate cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) =  $0.10-$0.15

Biodiesel + battery bank hybrid

This involves using any regular diesel generator with waste vegetable oil biodiesel and a battery bank.  The major downside to using a biodiesel generator is that “generator sizing in a traditional site is based on peak load so that it can handle the peak load requirement when/if it is required. However, a site seldom reaches its peak load for more than a few minutes at a time.  When the generator starts on a hybrid site, it runs at a high load during the boost recharge period to charge the battery bank and power the existing site load. The generator is therefore running at a much greater efficiency (80-90%)…” (excerpted from: www.clean-power-systems.com/resources/hybrid-power-resources).

 In common English this means that when the generator is on, it produces at five kW (or more), no matter what.  If you only need three kW, two kW are wasted.  With a battery bank and a controller, however, you can collect this excess energy and run all your electric-heavy things at once.  When the batteries are charged, the generator turns off, and the units run on battery power.  It’s not 100% efficient but the price is comparable to a grid-tied system, and it’s reliable, upgradeable, and initially cheaper than solar.

 Here is the math on biodiesel:

~34.5×106 J/liter = 9.58 kWh/Liter (www.roperld.com/science/biofuelsfromalgae.htm)

1 gallon=3.785 liters.  9.58kWh x 3.785L. = 36.2603 kWh/Gallon.

 If one gallon of biodiesel costs  $3.00 (current cost in Oregon) then that works out to $0.08/ KWH  (1/36th of $3.00), assuming all power generated is stored or used.  If half of its max is used, it’s about $0.16/kWh.  With the battery bank and hybrid charge controller it would run on 80-90% efficiency, or about $0.10/kWh. 

 Here are some sources that discuss what biodiesel is, and the pros and cons therein:

auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/biodiesel4.htm

www.biodiesel.org/

A government-operated site that includes information on all available renewable energy sources including biodiesel fuel: www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/biodiesel.html

 Windwindpoweredsheep

Wind turbines are just too big and need to be placed up too high to be of practical use to our tiny house.  While it’s a great technology that offers little to no hassle and an unlimited capacity to turn in the wind, it is limited by the wind (or lack thereof) that is present and the location/zoning where we park our tiny house.

Biogas  

This is super cool.   An explanation from All Power Labs: “Gasification is the use of heat to transform solid biomass or other carbonaceous solids into a synthetic “natural gas-like” flammable fuel.  Through gasification, we can convert nearly any dry organic matter into a clean burning fuel that can replace fossil fuel in most use situations. Whether starting with wood chips or walnut shells, construction debris or agricultural waste, gasification will transform common “waste” into a flexible gaseous fuel you can use to run your internal combustion engine, cooking stove, furnace or flamethrower.”

While this is an incredible technology, the fuel for it is difficult to find and the maintenance would be a lot to keep up with.  It’s also not as efficient, dependent upon an unreliable source of fuel and the technology is still emerging.

 Here is a link to the “Power Pallet” bio-gas generator and the fuels that it can use:

http://www.allpowerlabs.com/info/gasification-basics/gasifier-types

www.gekgasifier.com/products/appropriate-fuels

 

Wave Power

This is just another nod to a great technology that would be extremely difficult to implement.

www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/why-wave-power-so-far-behind-wind-and-solar.html

 

So that’s the skinny on various electricity sources.  I’m almost done running wire through the tiny house and will have a blog about that in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

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Technology Part I: Electricity (a)

  Tiny House Technology

 In the next series of posts, we will explore some nuts and bolts of tiny house technology and share resources that have pointed us in the right direction.  We will also share information on electrical loads and a nuanced discussion of the embodied energy inherent in many ‘green’ technologies.  The research we’ve done has included an understanding of the embodied energy required to manufacture the product, as well as the latest research about their sustainability.  Embodied energy is “…the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building, from the mining and processing of natural resources to manufacturing, transport and product delivery.” (www.yourhome.gov.au).

We would also like to acknowledge the ever-changing nature in the building field, as new research constantly comes to light.  It’s not possible to be “100% green,” a phrase too often left unsubstantiated in the building industry, and which has been co-opted to mean the same as “sustainable” without taking into account long-term social, environmental and economic impact.

We’re trying to do our best to be aware of our choices, avoid “soap-boxes,” vote with our dollars, and know that “purity” in building can’t really exist.  No one is perfect, most builds are not without those sheets of plywood trucked in from afar, and the rabbit hole of “100% green” is very deep.

  1.  Electricityelectric sheep

The first step we took was to gather information on electrical loads of common appliances and calculate a tiny space’s electrical needs.  From this we discovered just how much power we’ll need to generate, collect or plug into.  Here’s a resource on solar load calculation/determination with an empty chart to work from.

Here’s an interactive resource to calculate how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) one might need to generate for construction, which for us is significantly more than for day-to-day usage: Here’s one for day-to-day post-construction usage.

We are trying to use Energy Star-rated appliances when possible (www.energystar.gov) and LED light-bulbs that require a significantly lower wattage than incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs, with the same amount of lumens. Here are some recommended LED light-bulbs.

Solar 

Sarah and I have decided to go solar for the whole house.  Now that we’re living in a cabin with Solar we really get to experiment with our electricity usage and are finding that we don’t use much.  LED’s cut down on our usage in a major way and aren’t as harsh/blue as we thought they would be.  The biggest appliance we have is a juicer, which tends to be used only in summer with plenty of sun in the sky (winter feels cold to be juicing and veggies are in shorter supply).

 In terms of good solar options for tiny houses, the “Classic” unit from Sol-Man costs $4995 and can power one tiny house without an electric heater.  The Sol-Man has all the components one needs with 2.4 kWh, inverter, charge controller and batteries.  It is an easy plug-and-play system that can roll around to adjust to the sun’s location.  Sol-Mans units seem almost too big for our usage unless we decide to heat our home or hot water with electricity.

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Though the initial investment is large a solar electricity system requires less maintenance and pays for itself in saved electric bills over the years AND in some states you can sell the excess electricity back to the grid.  Solar technology is also improving rapidly and as the market widens costs come down significantly.

Here’s a good online solar calculator.

Some portable solar solutions: We are leaning towards the Goal Zero Yeti 400

 An all-around great resource for anything solar: www.solarliving.org

 More good resources:

www.treehugger.com/slideshows/energy-efficiency/all-solar-efficiency-breakthroughs-single-chart

otherpower.com

 

Next up: Some specifics about our electric usage and other fun ways to meet your electricity needs.

 

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March Update…Finally

March has glided into the Oregon bringing plum blossoms, morels  and humming pollinators.

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Sarah is working happily away  with Sum Of Us, and I’ve been working on the land here gardening, building ‘A’ frames for a green house, and re-roofing the cabin we’re living in while we finish the Tiny House.  It literally blew off in a huge storm that rolled through.  This required peeling it off, scooping out the rotten old fiber-glass insulation (worst part…most def.), replacing and sistering in rafters, re-sheathing and putting on standing seam metal roofing and flashing a chimney.  While it took longer than I thought it would, it didn’t take long at all…and the next metal roof that I do will be even better.

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The good news is the tiny house is bone dry.  That storm didn’t even come close!  WOOT! While we were gone, there were some woodpeckers that made a home in the house, but then a ring-tailed cat moved in and took care of that problem!  I evicted them plus a few wasps with a little sage smoke and we’re off to the races.

I feel like I’m continually finding ways that the house ‘could be better’ if only x-y-z, but at the same time I’m charmed by the little mistakes.  I have even started laughing (lovingly) at ‘Past-Joseph’ when ‘Present-Joseph’, who has excellent hind-sight, comes upon something that his predecessor did that made the next step SO much more difficult.

The ridge cap is a perfect example of this.  I know what the roofing directions told me to do, but the stock ridge cap that came with the roofing material was too small for our massive ridge beam and I just HAD to do it my way *eye-roll*.  So I made a bigger ridge cap out of the metal sheeting, bent the edges a few times to mimic the original cap thinking the “z” channeling that we put on for ventilation would snug into it nicely.

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The crimped edge of metal.

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‘Z’ channeling plus the big ridge beam.

This was dramatically foiled as I precariously tried putting a 25′ long 65 lbs piece of steel on in one long ‘home run’ and, after dropping it twice, hollered for Sarah to come up and help.  She did, we got it on, but the piece was bent all over the place, and it was foolish to think that I could make a machine-straight bend in a piece of metal with only hand tools, then put it on while precariously straddling the roof.

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Well, we’ve come this far!

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I move forward knowing that this self here IS the past self, and will have to contend with/fix/accept the choices I make again and again as the learning curve winds on.  It’s always a funny feeling to be SO SURE of what I’m doing, knowing full well that there will be something that humbles me coming down the pipe.  There WILL be some part of the task that is unexpected, it’s never what I think it will be.  After all, ‘these are the stones on which we choose to whet the keen edge of our spirit.’*

Next week I’ll start running electrical, and now that we’re a little more settled in this life,  be more diligent about updating the blog.  Thanks for reading!

Parting shots!

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Siding trim coming together.

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These gloves have worked hard for me.

 

Cuper grillin me, as Annie looks on approvingly.
Throwback!  Coopy practices for his performance as Rodolfo, in La Boheme

 

 

*Paraphrased from Richard Bach.
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November Update: Home Is Where the House Is

Where to even begin!

Our house is dry-in  (as far as we can tell)!  That means waterproof, that means the outside is pretty much done!

And the house moved to Oregon.  Wait…what?  You’re in Oregon now?  Yes, we’re in Oregon.  Our lease was up on the sheep ranch we were still building, so it was time to mosey on.   Good thing we’re building a house on wheels.  Now we’re living in a small community in southwestern Oregon near Ashland.  Trillium Farm is a stunningly beautiful place, and we are feeling very fortunate to living here alongside inspiring people, deep in the wilderness.

Here are some pictures of our little house, as we put the roof up and siding on.

 

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And here it she sits, at Trillium, in Oregon.

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If you blow up the picture below you can see small houses dotting the hillside, and if you look reeally close, you can spot Hoss, our big yellow truck.  If you don’t want to squint, just rest your eyes and know that we live just above that green valley down the middle.
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A baby bear print.

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Joseph is in New York now, planning another fun year of Christmas-tree-forest wonder on the  Lower East Side at St. Marks Church in the Bowery. #TreeRidersNYC 

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Here is a picture of the tiny house he builds every year on the sidewalk of Manhattan… more pics and upgrades to come!

Year one, very little building skills required mostly nailed together then scrapped :-(

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Year two, a little more skillful from year one.  We kept some of the pieces for re-use:

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Year Three: after working on tiny house.  This one was built in panels that bolt onto a base then bolt together… much like our house!  And the only thing I will be replacing is the floor (which got kind of snow/water-logged last year).

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Sarah has started a new job with SumOfUs.  SumOfUs is a worldwide movement for a better global economy, which fights for people over profits, and to limit corporate power.  Sarah serves as the Executive Program Coordinator where she… coordinates programs for the Executives :)  She works closely with the Executive Director and Chief of Staff, and also the Board and major donors.   The SumOfUs staff all works remotely so Sarah can carry out her duties while nestled in the mountains of Oregon… or cozied up in a Tree Shack in the East Village, NYC… or even while sipping coffee on a visit to sunny Petaluma!

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Here is a photo from a recent SumOfUs action in Australia, from a campaign to stop Doritos from using palm oil sourced from rainforest deforestation.  More on the Doritos campaign here.  And all of SumOfUs’ campaigns here.

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So, there the house rests in Oregon, and here we are, New York at the moment, and Oregon again soon.  Change swirling around us as we relax into movement as a way of being.  What the new year will bring?  Who knows.  All we know is that this linear time will keep coming and we’ll keep flexing and learning, board by board.

Next up:  Helpful practices we use to keep our heads straight while building.

 

Here’s Annie-Lamb-Boleyn just for good measure:wpid-20141015_161304.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Almost Dry-In

Hello friends!

“Dry-in” is when the outside of your house is done.  Windows and doors are in, roof is on, siding is up, caulking has happened… and more.  We are almost there.

At the end of July we will be moving off of the beautiful sheep ranch that has been our home for the last year-plus, and we are determined to have our house all closed-up, and ready to withstand journeys and weather, by then.

Here is what we’ve been up to lately:

Joseph in trough
Perhaps this watering trough would work as a bathtub… or maybe we don’t want a bathtub. Gotta make that decision before we put the front door on or we might not be able to get our choice into the house!
We found this robin's nest in the grille of our big yellow truck!
We found this robin’s nest in the grille of our big yellow truck!

 

Our friend Mark made beautiful bird's mouth cuts on each of the rafters.
Our friend Mark made beautiful bird’s mouth cuts on each of the rafters.
House before roof.
House before roof.
During roofing.
During roofing.
Rafters are up!
Rafters are up!
House, I want to hug you!
House, I want to hug you!
Edward attaches metal roofing.
Edward attaches metal roofing.
Hm...
Hm…
Thanks, truck.
Thanks, truck.

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Skylight, from the inside.
Skylight, from the inside.
Roof with skylight.
Roof with skylight.
Thank you, friends!
Thank you, friends!

 

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Update Videos!

Hi there. In the last post I mentioned that there would be some videos forthcoming and here they are!  They’re not so much ‘How To’ videos as I feel there are already many of those out there from people far more qualified than me.  These are more for what we’re up to with a few how to’s thrown in for fun and feedback.

This first video was taken near the end of last year… we’re further along now!

Did you watch to the end for some adorableness?  Watch to the end on this one… your heart just might explode.

This weekend we’re going to be tackling the roof.

Thanks for supporting us!

 

Crafstman Tablesaw

April Build Update

Lot’s of pictures coming up! (With lambs, of course!)

We backed the house into the barn and stored all the materials underneath it or in unused horse stalls in the back. wpid-20140219_161041.jpg

Joseph using the barn beams to plumb the walls of the house.

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A view from where the lofts are about to be put in.
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4X4 Redwood beams sanded with 240 grit paper, then put into place.  It’s hard to NOT pet them as we walk under

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With the help of my friend Edward, the loft gets put into place! Oh how sweet it is.wpid-20140322_143735.jpg wpid-20140322_143724.jpg wpid-20140317_155100.jpg

A better view of the redwood beam under the tongue-and-groove cedar loft.wpid-20140317_151856.jpg

Edward and I enjoying the view from what will be the bedroom!
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Building up the side wall by about 6”.  We didn’t extend the sheathing up past our framing (like we were supposed to do), so we’re putting these nifty Simpson plates on, to attach the sheathing and to add to the structural integrity.

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Simpson plates? $.49 each.  Hammer and nails? $21.86.  The feeling that our house can whiz down the highway without racking?  Priceless.
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Sometimes you just get your head stuck in a fence…wpid-20140414_103543.jpg…when going for the wisteria!  #ranchlifewpid-20140414_103526.jpg

Stuffing insulation loosely into the wall headers.  It’s the air that makes insulation do what it does, and if you pack it too tightly, it transfers cold and heat too easily.wpid-20140317_155035.jpgwpid-20140317_151835.jpg

Here’s Meg helping us out!  Things go SO much faster with her around.  Good luck in Indiana, Meg…See you soon! 
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Sarah and Meg knocking it OUT!wpid-20140326_162831.jpgwpid-20140326_140812.jpg

Puttin’ on the Rit…uh…. house wrap!
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Cutting out the windows and flashing them.

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Our window nook taking shape!wpid-20140404_130728.jpg

Color test for our cedar siding.  We have a winner!
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Porch being built.
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Our new/old table saw… They don’t make them like this anymore. wpid-20140415_100743.jpg

How we did without it before, I’ll never know.

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We want this image as a stained glass window in our work loft.  4 or 6-sided.  Anyone know someone who does stained glass?
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All the windows are IN!  Shimmed and ready for trim, which will also double as window-holder-inners.
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Breaking the shims off is the fun part.

wpid-20140414_171914.jpgI left a LOT of space to make mistakes for the windows, thinking I’d need the extra leeway to get it right.  All I can say is, it’s just not needed.  1/2” on all sides is all you need, and it’s both easier and better insulated if your rough opening is smaller.  Live + learn.
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To put the windows in by myself, I made these jigs for the outside of the window.  I used them to clamp onto and as spacers to allow for the 1” overhang on the outside.wpid-20140414_172519.jpgwpid-20140412_121735.jpgwpid-20140414_172513.jpg

The last window that went in had nailing fins… = cake!wpid-20140415_135228.jpg

Coop-n-Annie…

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That’s all for now.  I hope to put up some videos next week about all these things.  Also to look forward to: bed vetting, window trimming, painting and figuring out utilities (this one makes me nervous).  Oh and lambs and sheep.  Plenty more lambs and sheep.

Maselli's Junk Yard

You Get What You Pay For

While I haven’t written here for a while, I feel an update is definitely due.  This is not that update. :-/

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I’m writing to extol the virtues of the Local Hardware Store which will heretofore be referred to by the acronym LHS.

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Big Box Stores (BBS) like Lowes, Home Depot, Friedmans, Amazon…They have everything a consumer could possibly need! It’s cheaper than going to that little store on the corner, right?  Plus, they present options beyond your wildest dreams, right? How could an LHS compete with the shear magnitude and inventory at one of these places? However, I’ve proven again and again that, in the long run, getting something at your LHS is a lot less expensive than the cheaper big-box store.
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To wit.
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We’ve been dealing with a tricky septic situation here on the ranch for the past month or so, and it finally looks like it might be resolved in the near future. I needed some pretty specialized items and went to Maselli’s, our beloved LHS.  Upon walking in, one of the owners (actually, I’m not sure if he is an owner, but he certainly takes ownership and knows everything) asked if I needed help.  It felt a little like if a major league ball player asked if I needed help with my curve ball.
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YES! I DO! I told him exactly what I needed, and he showed me to the PVC fittings.  I picked out what I thought I needed, asked a few more questions about possible hacks for a flotation ball that popped off the septic pump (I’m currently using a tennis ball…which everyone approved of) and went to check out.  The guy at check out noticed that I had grabbed two different pipe fittings, though they were both three inches in diameter.  He explained that one is for drains, and the other for pressurized systems, and pointed out that the drainage one was noticeably smaller.  Then I held up my pipe, and he asked if I had all purpose glue.  “Regular PVC glue won’t work?”  No, apparently my pipe isn’t the regular type of PVC, so I ran back and got the “290” glue like he said and came back to finish checking out.  He further mentioned that my pipe plug was 6”, just in case, and I told him it was for a different project completely.  He nodded and wished me a good luck.
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This visit to Maselli’sMead Clarke, or my childhood LHS, Smith and Strebels, would have been the same.  The professionals throughout the store offered their specialized help, and the checkout people knew what they were looking at and helped troubleshoot my problem before I had one!
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Based on previous experiences in the BBS’s, I can imagine I would have wandered around without any help, left with different size fittings (even though they’re both three inches), inappropriate glue, and the wrong size pipe-plug.  I’d get home, try all my fittings, glue the ones that did work with the wrong glue, spend time figuring out where I went wrong,  ask Google perhaps, call dad, go back to the store and, after about eight hours, maybe get it right the second time.  Instead, I solved it all the same day with the friendly, non-judgmental help from some real pro’s who love helping other people DIY.
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So yes, BBS’s are cheaper if you don’t count time and frustration.  The prices are lower and so is the quality.  We’ve decided, unequivocally that buying something at an LHS for a little more money, makes up for the time, gas, and soul-drainage spent frequenting BBS’s.
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For the sake of length I’ve refrained from enumerating my BBS follies, and LHS triumphs, but would love to hear about yours! Go LHS!

 

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I used to be a pretty good caterpillar

by Sarah

I listened to this episode of Radiolab where they explored what actually goes on in a cocoon.  A caterpillar enters; a butterfly or moth emerges.  And in the meantime, the in between time, the being is neither a caterpillar nor a butterfly but a sort of goo.  Certain things last through the period of change–caterpillars that were taught to react to a loud noise grow into butterflies that also react. Certain baby-butterfly structures, like little wing-lets, grow in the caterpillar, and those don’t dissolve when the rest of the animal does.  But most things fall away, fall apart.  And the next things, the butterfly things, don’t grow in for awhile.

Sometimes I feel that I am this goo–neither caterpillar nor butterfly–but a shapeless being, an unsure being, not knowing of what form I’ll take next or how I’ll get there.  Our tiny house feels gooey to me sometimes.  So does my work. And where we’ll live.

I look back on times in my life when I think I had it more together, and I want that again.  I want to know who I am and what I do.  The thing about being a pretty good caterpillar, though, or even a very good one, is that you have to change.  And change is messy.

So what to do, when you’re goo?  Here are three things.

1.  Stay the Course
We said we were going to build this tiny house and we are going to build this tiny house!  Committed.  To the house.  And to doing the house now, and not doing the next thing until next time.

2.  Try some continuity from day to day, from week to week
For me, not having a schedule feels like freedom–oh!  I can do whatever I want! I’m free!  But I know that’s not so.  I know I end up mulling over what to do next, agonizing over if I’ve chosen the right thing.  I know that a schedule offers some bones, some structure.

3.  Be soft
I am soft, goo is soft, this is all very soft.  As often as I remember to, I remember to be soft, to be patient, to be accepting.  This is how I am right now.  This is how my life is right now.  I’m not that sturdy, robust, energetic little caterpillar that I was.  I don’t know what I’ll be next, or when.  But in the meantime, the in between time–which might be all time!–what about practicing softness, kindness, and not forcing?  It’s hard to be soft.  But I think it’s the thing to try towards.

Is anyone else goo-full (goo-ti-ful perhaps?) these days? Are you doing anything (or not doing anything?) that helps you withstand the transformation?