Monday, December 29, 2014

Not for the faint hearted!

Tiny house building is not for the faint of heart.....or those not paying attention. As I found out last Saturday.
I was getting ready to put up my first sheet of siding. Having help that day, we had cut out the window openings, Tyveked the side.
Ready for the first sheet of siding. I was hurrying over to the other side of the porch to help lay it down so the notches for the joists and the opening for the wheel well could be cut out. 
Well, I forgot about the tie down strap. Went down hard, landing on my face. Not a mark on any other part of my body. 
The paramedics were sure my nose was broken,( it certainly bled enough to be broken!) the E.R Doctor thought it was broken, but the Radiologist said no. 
Thank goodness! Dodged a bullet there. 
No one to blame but myself.
So the siding didn't go up, I put some heavy plastic on the inside over the window openings to hopefully hold some heat in.
That's important because it is supposed to start snowing tomorrow! Oh well, the best laid plans and all that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas..Tiny House style

What are your favorite Christmas gifts this year? My perspectives are a bit different now.
First was my friends who drove up from the Inland Empire to bring me 13 buckets of dirt to start building a berm and take me out to lunch.
Then there was another friend who drove me to Apple Valley to pick up my insulation for my roof (I don't want to use fiberglass there)
Don't let the Blue tint fool you, everything in my makeshift workroom looks blue due to the blue tarp walls:)
Finally, the beautiful view from the skylight in my sleeping loft, the best of all.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 12, 2014


Rain in the desert isn't always a good thing.. remember me having to rebuild my driveway to get my tiny house onto my property?
Well, it is gone again!
This is what it looked like going.....
I spent most of the day trying to re-direct the water away from my ancillary driveway AND too close for comfort to my Tiny House!
I think I did manage to get the main flow away from the side near my Tiny House. So I am cold, tired and sore but my House is safe! The driveway is toast, so when I am ready to move my Tiny House I will need to rebuild the driveway again! Getting my Truck in and out of the gate will also be a test of skill again..making that right angle turn in a big crew cab dually to get into the gate is interesting to say the least.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Got my windows!

With a helping hand from my mechanic (who is working on my truck, so volunteered to hitch up a trailer to his truck and drive me to get my windows!) my windows are here and safe out of the impending weather!

Windows in my sleeping loft!
Windows in my storage loft!
and a BIG Christmas star in between.
So, I may or may not get my siding done and my windows in by Christmas, but even so, it is looking more and more like home.

In two days the  annual Geminids Meteor Shower will start and run for three nights, so I am planning to spend those night in my sleeping loft, under the skylight, looking for meteors until I fall asleep:) What a great early Christmas present!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Female-centric toilet.

While I wait to be able to find help to put my siding up, I have finished my decidedly female oriented composting toilet!
 After researching urine diverters and 2 bucket systems, I decided I wanted to find an easier way for a female. Since I will be living alone, I only need to satisfy my needs.
 So I discovered a small device marketed to women for camping and "equality" (Being able to stand up and pee) which I thought was hilarious! That was sold by many different manufacturers, really cheap , some under $2!
I ordered a couple, bought some tubing, grabbed a water bottle and gave it a shot.
 The other part of making the system work well is a spray bottle, filled with just water to rinse out the tubing after each use.
I know a lot of folks are kinda "iffy" about a composting toilet. Well, I live in Southern California and we are in the middle of a severe drought! Any water I can save can help keep us supplied with enough drinking water to survive. Why would I want to foul 2 to 3 gallons of perfectly good drinking water, then throw it away? Also, urine is a natural nitrogen fertilizer that is less likely to run off into streams and eventually rivers , lakes and oceans where chemical nitrogen fertilizers cause deadly algae blooms. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas is coming!

Building is sort of on hold until after the holidays. My helper for my siding bailed, so I've decided to focus on Christmas!
My Tiny House is looking very Christmasy.
I found a really skinny, tall tree. It also has two personalities..the lights change from colored lights.....
To white lights.
The view from the loft is great! I plan on spending at least a few nights in December in my Tiny House. For the Geminid meteor shower nights, so I can watch from the skylight in my loft, and Christmas eve, just because it will be the first Christmas. We will see how well it holds the heat. 
So Merry Christmas to All 
and to all Tiny Nights!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Tiny House is Safe from high winds!

Today Tod and his son from Randall Manufactured Homes came out to install my mobile home tiedowns.
This was their first ever Tiny House! So first task was figuring out where to put them!
Once that was decided The augers came out!

Long augers that are slowly turned into the ground. With a very heavy motor, attached rails are to lean on for even more weight 
if needed!

The finished product! One in each corner, not cheap, but with the high winds common here, it is well worth it!
Now Tod was so impressed with my tiny house, he mentioned they have just purchased a mobile home park in Boron, CA, and in about 2 months will be happy to welcome Tiny Houses! Space rent should be around $200 to $220 per month. So if you don't have to be close to a major metro area for work, and are looking for somewhere to park your tiny home..this could be a great place!
You can contact Tod and Alison at (661)855-4567 or (760)373-8277 Just tell them Grandma's Tiny House sent you!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Beautiful Porch and Ramp.

With the help of my work party folks, My porch and deck got their first coat of all in one stain on Sunday and today I was able to put the second coat on to finish it up!
The posts are beautiful! They almost glow!
But the porch and ramp are absolutely gorgeous too! 
Even though it feels like everything happens much slower than planned, it is wonderful to see the progress as it moves along!

Work Party!

Sunday dawned clear, cold and calm. The calm part is very unusual for my windy home. But very helpful for my Work Party!
Here are three of the four folks from the 
San Diego Tiny House enthusiasts
MeetUp group who made their way up the hill to help me prepare and stain my deck and ramp. Also in attendance were two remarkably well behaved kids, who played quietly and napped in the back of their small SUV for the entire day!
Here is the final member of the crew cleaning the wood to prep for staining.
Believe it or not, while the others went to Target to buy sweats (they didn't realize how cold it was at near 4,000 ft) He worked in shorts and a short sleeve shirt! 
I made a big pot of chili and two batches of cornbread to ensure no one wilted due to 
lack of nourishment.
It made for a wonderful day. I so much was thankful for their help, as my broken rib is acting up again. I had thought I was done with the annoyance of that, but it reared it's ugly head again a couple of days ago.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's about more than just the House.

A big part of living in a Tiny House is Downsizing. So yesterday I took 5 trash bags full of clothes to Goodwill and now my closet shelves look like this..
These two shelves represent ALL of my clothes except bras, jeans and hanging dresses. So all my underwear, shirts, T's,  pants, socks, sweaters and sleeves for my brace are here! I know that much will fit in my Tiny House! I feel so much lighter:) 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


The roof is coming! Slow but steady. Due to cold and winds it is taking longer than expected but it is getting done.
Sunshine, but really cold and windy!
I'm amazed that my roofer can still wear shorts! It's pretty frigid out there...burrr!
So, it's starting to look like a real house. One side almost done, soon I can start on the siding! I can't wait!
I am beginning to realize that I just need to assume that everything is going to take three times as long as I think it will. But, I'm in no rush so I will be patient:)

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Rain and WIND! luckily, I had just installed my front door. But the rest of the house needed a raincoat and fast!
So my Daughter and her Husband came over and in about 2 hours, we had the roof tarped and then I spent another couple of hours covering the sides, porch and ramp.
Then if was off to their house to babysit while they went to a midnight showing of "The Rocky Horror Show" for their anniversary.
While I was there, I listened to the winds scream across our flat desert landscape. Then it started raining. About 2:30 I was headed for home, dreading what I might find.

It was just as I had feared, the whole roof was exposed! The tarp had blown completely off the roof! Pulled out of all of its tiedowns.

I grabbed a flashlight and went out in the rain to access the problems. There was no way to fix the tarp. The roof was already wet. Tarping it now, even if it was possible, would just hold the wetness in the wood. So I went inside.

The good news was it looked mostly OK!
Small leaks around each skylight (Because they don't have their flashing yet, that goes on with the roofing) So it was time to grab bowls and settle in.
My bed for the night

This was NOT how I had imagined my first night in my Tiny House! But I slept well, even listening to the wind and rain lash the house for hours.
Here is what I found in the morning light.

My tiny house weathered the storm!
Now I just need to wait for the roof to dry out and get those shingles and flashing on!!! But for now, it works:)
I have company coming for the next week so it should have lots of time to dry out.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Progress and frustration.

Getting something done today at least! The first bits of Drip edge are up:)
However, it comes in really long pieces! So I discovered it is really hard to hold it in place and use the roofing nailer at the same time. I finally figured out to use some small nails, just barely in at the other end to rest that end on, while I nail in my end. It also requires a lot of going up and down large ladders. 
I am discovering that I have a limited amount of times I can go up and down in a day.

The roofing nailer and compressor are wonderful tools. But the nailer is heavy, and I have tiny little hands (xs gloves are still too large, I wear "Youth" sized gloves when I can find them) So using it is a bit tough for me.
Between those and the drill I have been using to drive the screws for all the fascia boards, My wrist is taking a bit of a beating. So I got an Ace wrap for while I'm working and a brace to give it some support while I'm not.

You can sort of tell how tiny my fingers are:)
So, I wish there were other "Tiny Housers" nearby who want to get some hands on experience, or share some expertise. Until I find someone like that, I will just keep plugging along on my own, doing as much as I can and that's all I can do. Frustrating as that may be at times:) 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The best laid plans..

Well, things do come up. So instead of doing my roof this weekend, I have been installing fascia boards( about 1/2 done) putting the house on sturdier mounts...
Which are all different since the ground it sits on isn't quite level. But it takes the load off of the scissor jacks. I also covered the wheels to protect them from the UV rays at 4,000 ft!
Got the door primed, and babysat my youngest granddaughter, so being up on the roof or a high ladder was out of the question today. But I'm not in that big a rush. Tomorrow is a new day, full of possibilities!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


So, I finally got my shingles, bought from the Apple Valley Home Depot (Thanks Pro Desk!) delivered direct from the manufacturer! 
They are the made to reflect sunlight,             Timberline COOL series 
They are an ENERGY STAR qualified roofing, and are said to save 7 to 15% in cooling costs depending on where you live and the season.
You might also be able to get tax credits or rebates. It's worth looking into. Also rated for 130 mph winds!
I was given (I love free stuff!) a bunch of insulation. I think it's probably enough to do the entire house, but if not, the guy has more!

So now it's off to Harbor Freight to get a tarp (I have a coupon:)
so that it stays good until I'm ready for it!
This weekend is to be devoted to the roof.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Swamp Cooler is done!

While I was waiting for my shingles to be delivered, I decided to finish the swamp Cooler (Evaporative Cooler) that a friend made and brought to me at Burning Man this year.
Made from a 5 gallon bucket, a fountain pump, plastic tubing, wire fencing, a muffin fan, swamp cooler pad and dryer tubing. Also used an inverter to change AC power to 12 volt DC. (Could be run off of a cigarette lighter in a car or truck as well)
 All I had to do was add the pad. The only thing I still need to add for use with my tiny house, is a small float valve. That way  I can attach a water supply line so it never runs out of water (That would burn out the pump)

It works great!!! Thanks Stuart!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

a Space for Building.

I want to be able to work on things for my house, you know, like sawing, sanding, all those things you don't want to do in the house, but you don't really want to do them out in the sun when it's 95 degrees+, or 20 degrees in the wind. So.....I'm converting my Carport to a little workshop.
Got the front done, Then the side..
Still working on the back.
Lots of work still to do "inside", but had to take a break to help my Daughter and her Hubby take apart her old outdoor playground and use "Big Bertha" to haul it over to their house for their kids!
My break will last a day longer, since tomorrow I have to drive 100 miles to take my Mom to a physical Therapy appointment, and do Labs.  But my roofing arrives Wednesday!!!