Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Garden midterm

Working east to west...

Popcorn. A-
Doing well in the heat, strong stalks, looking forward to putting your fruit in the microwave.

Orange Cheddar Cauliflower. A-
Surprised to see two heads forming already, way to go! I was worried slugs might overtake you, but you are resilient. I hope you're tasty.

Broccoflower. C
Not looking so hot. Definitely not winning any ribbons at the fair for presentation. Holey leaves, but still going. Hang in there!

Zucchini. C.
You are not who I thought you were. I thought you'd be yellow. Then I remembered I forgot to plant the yellow ones. So, anyway...You're green and you are average, though ribbed. Same ol' problem with squash bugs and plenty of zucchini and no one wants them... Getting our fill is not hard. How many recipes are there for zucchini? To tell you the truth, you're a little boring. But easy to grow.

Mini Purplette Onions. B
You are delicious and mild. But I'm not sure when to pick you.

Baby Round Eggplant. A+
You, my friend, are the star plant of the garden. Hardy, hmmm boy. You show no sign of weakness and you're spitting out blossoms (into fruit) like crazy. I think you're getting a promotion next year. But...I'm not sure how big you should get. I think I need to hunt down those pesky seed packets.

Carrots. B+
Much neglected, but doing ok. Learned the other day they need constant even watering to prevent forking. And all my carrots look like octopi so guess who's not a good carrot farmer. But the main reason to grow you is your appearance: purple and red, orange on the inside.

Peas. B+
Climbing high and pulling the string down. No matter how hard to pull when you tie it, it ends up sagging. I told Keith we need some kind of system that ratchets down as the plants grow so there's always tension on the string. You are not worth the energy it takes to get one cup of shelled peas, but you're a delicious in-garden snack. You're staying put.

Beans. A-
Doing ok despite not having much to hang on to. We had so many beans last year I think we unconsciously decided to not be so serious about them this year. And it shows. 4 plants made it. Out of 7?

Seedless watermelon. A-
Plenty of blossoms coming on and I hope you're going to work. Had to plant a regular (w/seeds) watermelon next to you, but I think you're doing ok, yes? Let me know if you need anything. Besides cut up and served at the BBQ.

(Green) Tomatoes. B
I hope you're going to turn red. You've been green an awfully long time. Kinda like me waiting for the zucchini to turn yellow. We have FOURTEEN tomato plants. Eeeek. Last year we had 3. I think this year will be the Year of the Tomato Challenge. How many quarts of salsa and soup can we make? Maybe ketchup.

Peppers. B++
Definitely room for improvement here, peppers. The biggest plant is doing well (see above). The rest of you need to catch up (see above that). The ones we've eaten so far have been mild and I'm thinking they are not jalapenos. Might want to check that garden plan we made up and wrote down what went where...

Also: beets - ambivalent; potatoes - doing well, I think?; pickling cucumbers - getting a few here and there, working up to a batch...

The tiny house, on the left, at sunset.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

We spent Friday night/Saturday morning in Missoula. It was a good visit with dinner at The Depot, watching the fish in Mike's pond, late night ice cream, errands, and splurges (2 shirts at Goodwill and a new pair of jeans from Old Navy counts as a splurge in our lives).

As we were driving home we saw a small black bear swimming across the Lochsa. I think he either saw or heard us and decided to head back to the other bank. He got out of the river and looked at us and went up into the trees. It was so neat to see. We haven't seen a bear since we were in Glacier National Park maybe about 5 years ago. So impresive.
The video is blurry. But take my word for it, that's a bear.

So Sunday was a Work Day.
First up, reading lights. It took some planning and revision of plans, but we finally figured it out. I'm very impressed with how this turned out.

It's barn wood (free!) surrounding the 2 LED solar lights we got from Costco (as a set of 4--for $40!) and some conduit we picked up at Home Resource in Missoula (only $.20.ft!). We have toggle switches on each side (the most expensive part of the whole thing-- EIGHT DOLLARS EACH!?) so we can control them individually and they're pointed to the outside so hopefully the person not reading (Keith) won't be bothered by the light and won't ask, as he does every night, "You're reading?"

The wires on the last photo will be pulled up out of the way. We had to put the wiring for all 4 lights (only used 2 for this) out through the wall to the solar panel. One light will go in the kitchen area and one will go in the bathroom (that's the plan for now, open to change).

The other project was finishing the clothing storage cabinet thing, which we mostly did.

It still needs paint on the left side and top of the bottom section (OSB) and maybe some contact paper on the shelves. Shoes/boots/etc. go in the horizontal section at the bottom, my clothes go behind the middle window, and Keith's clothes go behind the top window. I'm thinking we need some kind of hamper for dirty clothes, so maybe we can put that on the side where there's room. But Keith wants to keep it as open as possible, because it's close to the theater seats.

In a tiny house these are pretty big decisions.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday night

potatoes are blooming

We have over a dozen tomato plants.

Keith's decided he wants the garden cleared of all the weeds.
We were practicing a fairly tolerant weed policy.
As in, if it's not competing directly with a plant, fuggedaboutit.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


pickling cucumbers, red/purple carrots, mini purplette onions,
round green zucchini, golden beets

Keith charged up the solar panel for our LED lights today. Hopefully we'll start figuring out where they go and how we want them to look. I saw this interior shot on design*sponge and thought it would be a neat way to wire the tiny house since some of our walls are done and we're obviously not going to tear them down to wire IN the wall.

We're planning a quick trip to Missoula on Saturday to see some friends and buy a few things we can't get here. Getting the Renger over the over the pass might be interesting. On the way up to Coeur d'Alene we were going a max of 45-50 mph uphill. Low gear it is.

This is what happens when you forget to leave the manual transmission in gear on a very slight incline.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The least pretentious town ever

There's a Flickr pool called This is America.
Stites is pretty much the poster child for that group.
It's about as "rural America" as it gets.
Pop. 266 at the 2000 census.

listening to the national anthem (the first time)
That bar is for sale!
If you have a spare $155k laying around.

That light blue building behind the mule is the fire station/city hall.

This is probably the most exciting part of the parade.

Alice and Friends

So Stites Days was interesting...
The parade was 12 minutes long.
It was delayed because law enforcement was late getting there to block traffic on the highway (which is also Main Street).
The national anthem was sung twice because the first time around the color guard wasn't there. No flag = it didn't happen.
I got pelted with candy by a state senator.
We didn't stay for the BBQ in the park.
A little busier than when we were there in March when Keith went with me on a photo safari.

want a pepper

abandoned / storage

Apparently I'm supposed to get up early and weed the garden (it was so muggy today!) while Keith goes to work mowing the city cemetery.

And my parents picked up the solar lights we saw at Costco last week, so hopefully we'll get those going soon!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Now on Apartment Therapy!

Well, well, well. Our tinyhouseblog.com feature got picked up by one of my favorite sites for decorating inspiration, Apartment Therapy! Exciting!!

I want to enter their Small Cool contest and I hope we're finished enough with the interior to make next year's deadline.

Chalk it up

The last interior thing I wanted to show, for now, is an old tin advertisement for Pepsi. It might have been a chalkboard before, it was hard to tell. It was black and scratched up in the center. But I masked off the top and bottom and gave it a coat of chalkboard spray paint and now we have somewhere to make notes. Grocery lists, grievances, Things To Do, whatever.

I bought a box of chalk at a yard sale this summer--who doesn't need chalk?--and used some leftover string to attach it to the nail at the top of the sign.

I'm off to work to finish up the Kooskia Days program (using a cover I designed!) and tomorrow I'm covering Stites Days for the paper. Should be interesting - annual celebration for a town of less than 250 people. How long will the parade be? Hopefully I'll be able to post some photos here this weekend.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Look at my insides

Just so it's apparent that we are actually working on the inside of the tiny house, here's some proof.

Well, this isn't inside. But I wanted to show this awesome wind chime that Keith made out of a gear he found in the ditch near our house, some keys from a xylophone he bought for $2 (they're all of the notes from St. James Infimary and it sounds great although the wind doesn't play the song), and some fishing line. My Master Gleaner.

This is the pot rack that my dad built for us. (Keith helped.) We need some S-hooks on it (and some pots), but it looks pretty neat. Very utilitarian, that's what we're all about.

A big convenience project we got accomplished is moving the electricity. We did have an extension cord running through the bedroom window (see here; so Idaho). The lamp is the only thing in the house that uses electricity (since we stopped using an alarm clock). But the mosquitoes finally got to Keith, since we couldn't have a screen on the window, so he crawled under the house --never a pleasant experience, I've heard-- and fed the cord up through a hole he'd drilled in the floor under the bed. Then he had to re-wire the outlet since the gauge of wire was too big for the outlet which could have caused a fire (except the box it's plugged into is a GFI). P.S. We finally bought a fire extinguisher thanks to a gift certificate our friend Amber gave us to the local True Value. So Amber basically saved our lives! Anyway, it was kind of a hassle, but now I have a better reading lamp, as opposed to a book light that I always had to recharge the batteries for. Less room on the table, but I'm putting the dictionaries I bought to good use, eh?

Another big project is building clothing storage. Right now all of our clothes are in a dresser Keith found on the sidewalk when we lived in Portland. No lie. It was even rained on. So it's not pretty. But almost functional up until now. But in order to do any work in the kitchen/bathroom area we need it out of there. The neighbors Keith was working for gave him these great windows that kind of go with everything else (like it matters!), so we're building something to store our clothes. The bottom 3-pane window opens up from hinges on the bottom and that's where shoes/boots/etc. will go. The next window up is the door for the section that will hold my clothes. And we have another window that will go on top of that and that's where Keith's clothes will go since he's taller. And I'll paint the exposed OSB to match the green wall... Mor e pics when it's done.

One thing I forgot to take a photo of is our chalkboard, which is a way cool vintage Pepsi advertisement Keith got from the same neighbors who gave him the windows. I'll post a photo of that tomorrow.

In other news: We went to a city council meeting in the next town over tonight because they were going to hear public comments on an ordinance the council recently passed banning "dobermans, roteweillers, and pit bulls" from living within city limits. But it's okay if they visit. Or even to tie up outside the grocery store! Yeah, that's the kind of intelligence running the cities around here. So, after 30 minutes of passionate public comments--ranging from "you're taking away our freedoms; what's next?" to "my dogs protect me" and everything in between--the council has decided to revise the ordinance (even though it's still in effect). So guess who's coming to Kooskia Days with us in a couple weeks?! LAZLO!!! Maybe with a T-shirt saying "Free kisses" or "Beware of licking."