Tuesday, September 27, 2011

After finishing The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami this weekend, I am certainly adding it to my Top Five Books of All-Time. It's intensely psychological, dreams play a large part, it's about family and marriage and for 600 pages, it's extremely compelling all the way through. 

 It joins (in no particular order) Sometimes A Great Notion by Ken Kesey, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. So far my Top Five only has Four, but I know there's at least one more book out there to round it out. Eventually it will have to be a Top Ten, I imagine.

After a discussion about which tiny house project takes precedence and Keith finally coming around to my point of view (hint: it's not adding more insulation to the ceiling of the house), we made a little progress on the lav this weekend.

Sunday night I asked Keith to haul our new used door we found in Moscow over to the lav so we could see what that would look like. The knob is rather low, so we're not sure--we might turn it end-for-end and have a high knob instead.

The ledger on the front of the lav is up and Keith finished sheathing this wall. We have to buy a couple more 2x8s to finish the rafters, a piece of clear poly roofing to bridge the part between the lav and existing porch (which will allow a lot of light to reach the outdoor cooking area), insulate the walls, etc. etc.

Since our house is in a constant state of construction, I like to make little "finished" areas that make me feel like we live in a house not a shack. I brought my airplants that have been living outside all summer back in since the nighttime temps are starting to drop. They have a lot of new growth on them, which is encouraging.

I'm still adding ideas and resources to my pinterest board for the house. I almost ordered reed blinds for our 3 small windows, but held off on that and ordered 2 sets of German Military Surplus Utensils instead. 'Cause we're practical like that.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last Sunday we accomplished even more on the lav, standing two walls! That leaves only a partial wall (with room for a door) to complete because the 4th wall is the outside of the house. And the roof. And the interior. And the toilet. And the outdoor cooking space.

Okay, so there's a lot more work to do, but we're concentrating on just making progress.
Keith had a little panic attack when he was finished nailing the first (north) wall together because he forgot to allow for cripples in the window hole to support the header. The header is end-nailed in there and pretty sturdy as-is, but after we get the window placed he said he'll rip down a 2x6 (or maybe use a 2x4) to fit in there with the window since the window isn't the full thickness of the wall. Basically, it's all good.

Friday we made a trip to Moscow and Lewiston and came home with a door and some insulation and a copper pipe for the shower rod... a few things, but not everything on our list.

We currently have the last (third) wall up and rafters on, so I should post some new pics soon. We have a line on a local supplier of red worms for the composting toilet and a good friend gave me a P-style, which totally solves our urine diversion dilemma. The logistics are totally figured out, but theoretically it will be pretty easy.

At Costco we found their bamboo flooring was a great deal and much easier to install than tile, so we're planning on buying some on the next trip to The City. Still wondering what we're going to use on the walls in the corner where the shower's going. But the shower likely won't come to fruition until next year, so we have time.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Never for money, Always for love

We planned on building some walls on the tiny house lav today, but as we know from experience, things take longer than you think. Also, we altered the plans AGAIN! Switched the ends where we're going to install the toilet and shower.

Any discussion of revision of plans takes a good half hour or so, but I am just glad we're to the point where we don't fight over logistics. That means, mostly, Keith goes along with what I say suggest. And here at Blankenship Tiny House Construction, our motto is, "Whatever's easiest!"

But we made progress this morning before it got too hot and we ran to the lumber store to buy enough 2x6x8s and 3/4" OSB to build all of the walls tomorrow.

The part with the sub-floor is the footprint of the bathroom, about 77" square.

Our existing porch is pretty crowded with the theater seats, drop leaf table, chairs that go with that table... (not counting two high-maintenance pit bulls that are always hanging around). We need some more outdoor living space.

So we decided while we were building this addition with the bathroom we'd bridge that area to the existing porch with an outdoor cooking area. Our coleman camping stove hooked up to propane, basically. A tea kettle and a frying pan, too. (The plan is to eventually install a camper propane oven inside, for baking needs.)

The foremost area of the outdoor kitchen area (on the right there) will be a storage space for the propane tank accessible by a door from the outside and the top of that will be where the stove sits with some storage space included, depending on what kind of salvaged materials we can find. I'd love to find a skylight or something we can alter to be a skylight (windshield?) to include in the roof between the existing porch roof and the bathroom roof.

It's been smoky here lately, with fires burning all over the northwest and us living in a valley where the smoke settles with no wind. Snapped this shot around 7 am, a couple days ago, before my run. I'm almost done with week 5 of C25K and tomorrow's run is a straight 20 minutes. Oy.

P.S. I like to listen to music when I write these posts, helps the ideas flow for me. Today's post was written while listening to a campfire mix from Giant Panther and included a Talking Heads song, "This Must Be the Place." I think David Byrne is a genius and I like this song so much I made it the ringtone for our cell so when I call Keith I can listen to it.

This video is a clip from the movie, Stop Making Sense. One of the best music documentaries I've seen, one that you can watch over and over or just leave on loop in the background (like The Last Waltz).

Great lyrics, too.

Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me round
I feel numb - born with a weak heart
(So I) guess I must be having fun
The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It's ok I know nothing's wrong . . nothing

Hi yo I got plenty of time

Hi yo you got light in your eyes
And you're standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money
Always for love
Cover up say goodnight . . . say goodnight

Home - is where I want to be

But I guess I'm already there
I come home she lifted up her wings
Guess that this must be the place
I can't tell one from the other
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time Before we were born
If someone asks, this where I'll be . . . where I'll be

Hi yo We drift in and out

Hi yo sing into my mouth
Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head
Ah ooh

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day, laboring on the lav

After a lot of planning and procrastinating for various reasons (money being one of them, let's face it), we made more progress on the tiny house lav today.

This is the space we started with, to the left of the porch. Behind that wall where the siding is removed is the bed. (Our sun shower's been employed as a dog wash station lately.)

We hung some ledgers, got the corner posts set, and revised plans before we ran out of materials. But Friday is pay day and we should be able to get the rest of the flooring joists in this week and start on walls next weekend.

We decided our original plan of having a rain barrel under the toilet seat to catch solid waste was going to be a framing nightmare in such a small space (we'd need an outdoor access panel under the bathroom that was 4' tall to slide out a full barrel), so we chucked that plan and we're going with the simpler (though more hands on) sawdust toilet. We can get sawdust at the mill where my mom works and we'll be emptying it either in the RV dump near the fence on the edge of the property... or... somewhere else.

Urine can be handled easier (like this) and trees actually tolerate undiluted urine very well. We've been doing a low-tech version of that already, Keith peeing off the porch in any direction he chooses or me peeing a bucket and throwing it out in the morning. The perks of living in rural Idaho!

I'm about 100 pages into Hot, Flat, and Crowded and it's making me sad, depressed, and angry. Most of what I've read so far is about how the developing world (including China, India, etc.) is trying to live up to what they see as the American lifestyle and what the implications are for the rest of the world re: energy prices, food prices, and pollution. Makes me want to expand the garden and get some solar panels.

Labor Day is also Kamiah's annual celebration called Barbecue Days.  Everyone comes home for class reunions and to get their drink on (Keith and I have been there, done that and are now smarter). One of my friends brought her little girl over and my parents got to smell and hold a real live baby. Since it's looking like all of their grandkids will be of the canine variety, it was like a short-term baby timeshare. I think there could be a business in this...