Tuesday, February 21, 2012

La Cocina

More progress on the outdoor kitchen area this weekend (too cold for taping and mudding the sheet rock in the bathroom)...

Keith installed two overlapping clear plastic panels in the roof space bridging the existing porch and the added-on bathroom part. Lets in lots of light in what would otherwise be a dark corner.

And then he put me to work on the business end of a wire brush to get some barn wood ready to go on the wall. And patiently posed for this photo (in case you don't know what a wire brush + barn wood looks like?).
Brusha, brusha, brusha.

Gorgeous 12"+ wide planks of barn wood salvaged from a co-worker's property (with permission!) less than 10 miles from here, who knows how old it is but it sure is pretty!

We have a neat gnarled long piece of barnwood that will go at the top of that wall for decoration, maybe painted. It resembles an alligator, so maybe it will say, "La Cocina Caimán"? We're not there yet.

Saturday morning I was just getting out of bed when an unfamiliar car pulled up in the drive and 2 people got out an knocked on the door. They'd seen our house on treehugger and then saw the blog and are interested in building their own tiny house and wanted a tour. Admittedly a main function of this blog is to share our experience and encourage others that they can do it - but please, for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, don't show up a stranger's house unannounced and expect to be met with warm cookies and sweet tea. I haven't decided if I am going to contact them to schedule a tour for a later date.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Building a bathroom at 36° (it is February)

Now that my one-man construction crew is back home, we're making progress on the house again!

Keith insulated the bathroom while I was at work the first part of the week. This is the corner the composting toilet is going in, probably in a corner cabinet. Inspector Lazlo is always underfoot.

In this photo, Keith's measuring how far the 3x3 shower space will extend into the room. It's not a very big space, but then again it would be kind of silly to have a giant bathroom out of proportion to the rest of our house. 

We had a large window left over from some scavenging we did at some point and knew the bathroom could use a big light source, so that's on the north wall to help let in light without letting in too much heat. I think it's 3x4. 

We bought a medicine cabinet in the same fashion as pretty much everything else, salvaged from somewhere on the cheap, that Keith mounted in the wall. It's not wired for light and we might have to install a solar light on the wall opposite the window to balance things out.

We took a day to go to Missoula for supplies last weekend and made a stop at our favorite store to find salvaged materials, Home Resource. (I took my new mini toy camera, so that explains the photo quality above). 

We were on the hunt for some tile, a storm door for my parents and some galvanized gutter hangers, but it was a bust and we moved on the mainstream big box building center stores where we compared prices on bamboo and cork flooring. Ended up going with bamboo since it was on sale and we're always trying to save money for The Rest of It.

Monday night we cooked dinner at the outside kitchen: cous cous and veggies in one pot and a veggie patty fried in the cast iron skillet. Keith had leftover chicken. Our menu options are limited right now with no running water and only a camp stove, but it was delicious with that special made-at-home taste! 

I ordered a water pump so soon we'll be hauling water from the spring a mile or so up the hill and we will have a Mexican kitchen! (We realized while staying in San Blas, at LaQuinta California specifically, in 2006 that we don't need a lot of modern conveniences and fancy appliances to be happy so a Mexican kitchen is actually something we're aiming for.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Stupid dogs wouldn't let me sleep in. They're persistent. It worked out alright, though - I got the house into a semi-clean state and get all the bedding washed. Keith is on his way home, all is well. 

I've been sick for a week or so. Deadline for a big project at work + Keith being gone + floating germs = the sickness. I'll be glad to have my natural stress reliever back in the same state as me.

We woke up to some impressive hoarfrost this morning.

This winter has been really strange. Yesterday was beautiful, if cool. But the sun was out and the only snow left is in the shadows. Dogs and I had an extended lunch break at the river and then wrestling in the yard. There were three boats on the river just in the space where we were. Last week I saw a river otter swimming.

Found this fantastic mini zen garden at the river yesterday and pocketed it. Don't regret it one bit.