Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a lot to be thankful for: loving husband, loving dogs, loving family, food in the cupboard, a roof over my head, and transportation to get me to a job I really like. No room for complaining. 

Tiny house projects are on hold for financial reasons, but Keith decided to do something he's wanted to do for three years now and rotate the bed 90 degrees and put it under the window.

I had resisted this because I thought it would take up too much room that way, but it actually seems like there's more space now. He was right, I was wrong. Last night was the first sleep oriented North-South (he's also felt that our Feng Shui was off) and it did feel good. In all of our previous dwellings rearranging the furniture was a pastime/compulsion so there's no reason to think the tiny house won't be the same, just with fewer options.

We have a bookshelf/cabinet planned for the wall where the head of the bed used to be and probably some kind of padded headboard for the bed where it is now because a windowsill in the back of the brain while watching TV is just not that comfortable.

The humidity created by the propane heater is driving us crazy and while we're shopping around for and budgeting for a dehumidifer, Keith has created a DIY version that seems to be working quite well. 

Several of these cheesecloth + rock salt + Mason jar contraptions and a digital hydrometer/thermometer is helping us keep track. The weather prediction part of the thermometer predicted rain (inside the house) this weekend when the humidity reached 80%. Eek.

I'm traveling with my parents to southern Oregon (almost California, really) to celebrate my grandpa's 85th birthday with my mom's side of the family. The holidays are really not all that exciting/appealing to me, but I am going to try to keep on my social face and go with the flow. And it will be nice to see my grandpa, of course! Keith is staying home on dog duty and we're making the drive tomorrow morning, birthday dinner Friday night, and return drive Saturday. Fastest trip to almost-California ever. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back to The Island

It's been about 10 months since our last visit to The Island. It was a cool windy day, any remaining leaves were blowing off the trees.

We're really lucky to be a short walk away from the river.

Everyone had a good time. Not much had changed, but there's still a lot of junk and trash out there. It was wonderful to get some exercise for us and the doggies.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

 That's Keith putting the last piece of cedar up for the ceiling. We high-fived.

The dogs entertain themselves wrestling whenever the sun comes out. Mia loves having a sweatshirt on this time of year (really, she does) and Lazlo thinks it's a handle for him to get a better grip on her.

The hazelnuts are all over the ground on the southeast corner of my parents' property. The dogs promptly stole all of these, cracked them and ate the nuts.

We have a temporary outdoor kitchen set up now with the camp stove. We have barn wood to put on the cabinet (once the barn wood dries out after sitting out in the weather) and probably some corrugated tin. Not sure what we're going to do for a counter - probably a salvaged door or some other salvaged material we find. Keith makes his breakfast out at the house now - coffee and oatmeal - and we can have tea or hot chocolate at night.

We scored an empty Culligan bottle and Keith's looking for bomba that we bought in Mexico. If we can't find it we can get another one easily and then we'll have water in the tiny house (though no drain to the outside - that didn't happen and the ground is getting hard).

Keith got one last harvest off the tomatoes before the first frost last week. We made a batch of salsa over the weekend (7 quarts) and he made another batch yesterday with some smoked jalapenos we had saved from 2 years ago (another 7 quarts) and it was the best batch yet using this recipe, modified.

After the first frost last week Keith cut the grapes and we made grape juice - the easy way - to enjoy over the winter. If we don't drink it all before the snow flies! It's so good.

We canned 21 quarts on Saturday before we switched over to salsa making and my mom and Keith finished off the grapes this week with at least that many quarts.

We didn't have an extensive garden this year, mostly just peppers and tomatoes, but we did a lot with what we did have and didn't get overwhelmed with it being all labor-intensive. Win-win.