Thursday, December 24, 2015


Light! How important is light? Everything we do requires Light, either natural or artificial. How we get that light can effect our mood and our health.

Downsizing and living healthy, sustainably, also means doing what I can to keep me healthy. How does Light fit in there?
Well, Meet ilumi.
I found ilumi on a crowd funding site months ago. It is a smart led bulb, with many features, that connects to your smart phone by bluetooth. 
What attracted me was the "circadian" feature. It sets the color of the light based on time of day, so that the light doesn't interfere with your bodies circadian rhythms. A bonus is that I never have to enter a dark house!
I can turn my one lamp (only one needed in my THOW) from my car, from the front gate or, for now, from the front door of my Big House! You can see the Christmas lights on the "Big House" reflected in the camera lense, that tells you how close they are at the moment. 

You can get your own ilumi bulb now at Best Buy!

A Merry Christmas to All and to All a good Night, Tiny Style:)

Thursday, November 26, 2015


The Siding on the downstairs portion is DONE!!!

Still have 3 downstairs and 5 upstairs windows to go in!
Finally figured out a way to wrangle those big sheets 
by myself!
The swamp cooler is put away for the winter and the shelf is folded up and the door to the hose opening closed (actually two doors one inside the other).

Also made a draft stopper for the front door, since I can't install the door sweep until the electrical is done.

Buttoned up for the cold weather!
The ENVI heater is working great! I haven't needed to use a space heater since it came up to speed:)

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


It is getting into the 20's at night now, so time for some heat!

This is an ENVI convection heater. It is only temporary on this piece of particle board. Once the walls are finished, I will mount it permanently on a wall. They are only a few inches deep and are mounted 6 to 8 inches above the floor on a wall. No moving parts, the way they heat is as the air inside the heater warms, it rises and draws cold air inside from the floor. Won't heat your house fast, but will maintain heat well once it is warm.  Made to heat 150 sq. ft. it is perfect for my 144 sq. ft. THOW!
At about $140, it is very easy on the budget too!

Friday, November 6, 2015


Decided for weight reasons, a portable closet is better suited to my THOW.
That's the Left side....
And here's the right hand side! It holds everything including shoes! I still need a few fabric bins to keep things neat.

But I now can adjust to the layout while I continue to build.

So Back to sandbagging and trying to get the last of the downstairs siding and windows installed. Then the upstairs exterior and windows and the inside can get started.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fridge and Freezer!

I knew I wanted a chest freezer and a chest refrigerator. It is so much more efficient to not lose all your cold air every time you open the door! So I had been watching prices and looking at them. I decided the "convertible"  style at close to $900, were not an option for me! 
I wanted an Igloo, or Kenmore 5.1 cubic ft. freezers , two of them, that I could convert one, to a refrigerator.

They went on sale! I saved about $200, buying them now.
Converted one, by trading out the thermostat.
Here is the one that is now a fridge. The original dial is just decorative now, the digital numbers are the real thing.
The Freezer and Fridge are identical inside...
Except for the temperature! So now I am looking for wire bins to put food in to make accessing it easier. 
So when these go into the THOW, I can put them opposite each other and balance the weight evenly.
I found inexpensive cutting boards to cover each lid so they become usable counter space as well.
Next project.....closet!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

El Nino is coming!

So, I have been sandbagging! Like crazy!
My big house and THOW are on the right side.....the torrents come through on the left side. I'm hoping this will keep them apart!

 You can see the big house, My THOW is just on the other side of the trees on the right and I hope to keep it that way! I have about 200 sandbags in place now, would like to add another 100 and hope things don't erode!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Safe and Sound!

Well, after returning from my volunteer work in Nevada to find I had been robbed of almost $1,000 worth of tools, supplies and some just oddball stuff, I realized I needed a security system for my THOW! 

But, how can I have a monitored system that isn't tied to a landline?
Found a system that works off cell service!  SimpliSafe is a new type of security system. So anywhere I might park my THOW, as long as there is cell service, I will be covered!
An added bonus is that I can install all the components myself! It is even cheaper to monitor per month than my regular system in my big house AND I can monitor it and turn it on or off from my cell phone!
So, here are my Co and Smoke detectors, protecting me while I sleep. Also working are the entry sensors, the motion detector, and the keypad. Not yet installed is the freeze alarm. That can wait until there is something inside that could be hurt by freezing. Keychain remote works well too.
I definitely feel safer.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

It is Licensed and Insured!

Wow! Never thought it would be so much trouble to get my THOW insured! 
Homeowners won't cover it, Auto won't cover it until it is licensed. Can't get it licensed until it is inspected...can't take it to be inspected because my driveway is washed out!

Finally found an inspector who would come to me:)
And voila! It is now Ready for the hazards of winter.
But....when I returned from vacation...I discovered I had been ROBBED!!!!
Table Saw, and other stuff worth just under $1,000. Not worth raising my insurance rates over. So I guess it's time to look at alarm systems.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Jamboree in Colorado!

Recently, I visited the first Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs.
WOW! How amazing to see so many different THOW's in one place:)
Got to Hear Deek Speak!

Not even close to all the houses there!

More Houses

 A Tumbleweed House!
So it was an awesome 3 days. They originally thought maybe 1,500 people would come...10,000 pre-registered and more than double that showed up! So, I did my stuff on Friday and volunteered at the information booth Sat and Sun:)
Can't wait until next year, when I can take my Tiny House! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

California Has Four Seasons...

But, those seasons are Spring, Summer, 
Fire, and Flood!
This time, those last two were only a 
day apart!
This was the Fire..Started a few miles from my house. Lucky for me it burned away from my location! Not so lucky for those whose cars burned up on the freeway!
Then comes Flood!
My that the berm has been breached!

Below is where my driveway used to be around the middle of the completely gone.

It was a very telling experience. Back in 1998, an El Nino year, we had the Fire dept. helping sandbag, every neighbor within a mile or so helping, and pretty much everyone who drove by offered to help. This time...I was up to my knees in very fast moving water, doing everything I could to try to divert it from my house and my Tiny House. None of the 40 or so cars who drove by offered to help. Two groups of teen-aged boys walked by and laughed. Two kids that lived across the street came to help. They were the only neighbors who offered help. The Fire Department won't come out unless you have water inside the house. My Daughter drove over from the neighboring town. 
So Sad how things have changed.

Monday, June 29, 2015

It's being used...

Well, along with the progress forward, it is good to know that it is being used:)
My Granddaughter earned this tent selling Girl Scout Cookies! She thought my porch was the perfect place to put it up for the first time. So next year, when you buy your Girl Scout Cookies, know that you are not just helping out the troop, but you are helping each scout earn something for themselves too! In this case it was for selling 400 boxes of cookies.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Summer has hit! Over 100 degrees today, so it is time for the Swamp cooler!
Isn't this how we all feel about our Tiny Houses? But this was just the try out phase. Here's what it looks like installed.
The shelf it is sitting on folds up against the wall for winter or travel. The crate can go when I can splice in longer wires :)
The part where it enters the wall is a dryer vent. It has two doors to cover the opening in winter and when traveling. I also put a piece of rigid foam insulation over the skylight in the loft in the daytime to cut down heat gain from the sun, It pops right out at night to see the stars and open the skylight for cool breezes. 
So far it works well!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


After feeling like I have been stalled in limbo. Having done most of what could be done by one person and needing to be doing the 2 man stuff before I can move forward. Finally I have an extra set of hands for a few days. My Darling Daughter is helping me out for a few mornings and we are moving at top speed. 
First, another window in!
Then All the downstairs remaining windows cut out and one upstairs window cut out!
There's actually another window cut out under the siding that just went up. The other side is getting Tyveked.
You can see the cut out windows from inside too.
That open window in the loft is the upstairs one on the back wall.
And finally , the two side windows from inside. Now, once the siding is up, painting those next two walls , then install those three windows and it's on to the upper story stuff!
Can't wait!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

One more window!

One more window in! Today was a peek into my future. I spent the day doing work on my computer, and watching Netflix in my sleeping loft. Comfortable with all three windows and the skylight open. It felt like a real little home. Coming back from the mail box, seeing the windows lit up. It really hit IS a home.
It isn't finished, but it is truly feeling like a home , more and more each day.
I can't wait for it to be finished!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


My Tiny House has it's first two windows!
Weather, injuries and lack of another person have slowed my build, was the perfect day, with help and it all worked!
Here's what we started out with, After some trial and error we now have this!
It is looking like more of a real house!
2 in, 11 more to go!
Now I can look out and see more of my yard and driveway through these 2 windows.
Now I guess it is time to stop sleeping naked:)
Glad to be back moving forward!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Other Tiny possibilities

I had a very interesting Saturday. I went to an open house at Cal Earth, a nearby institute that explores and teaches alternative building practices using earth, which is available everywhere at a very low or no cost.
The institute has been there for many years, and I have loved seeing their buildings evolve.
Afterwards, I invited my Tiny House Enthusiasts group and another group from Orange county as well as any other interested folks to see my THOW.
 A Number of folks showed up and were happy to see a Tiny House in person and ask questions. I had a lot of fun showing it off and talking about some of my THOW unique features.
Here are some more of Cal Earth's buildings in the background and the seating/conversation pit is also one of their creations made from mostly earth.
All in all a great day!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tiny Paint tip

There are a lot of small painting jobs in a Tiny House. Lugging out a big paint tray and brush or roller seems like overkill.
So I found a couple of things to make those small paint jobs easier.
This Trim Paint kit I picked up at Home Depot is the first step...

This turkey baster is the next tool. Filling a small paint tray can get really messy! So I thought about how to fill it without drips. This is what I came up with and it works great!

Fill your baster from the can, 
then fill the tray from the baster!
I actually filled it holding it over the can so no drips would escape if my aim wasn't great.
If you don't feel like cleaning the baster every time, you could just buy a few from the dollar store and toss it when done.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The loft is coming together!

My new mattress from Tuft & Needle is here!
Really nice 5 in. high, full size mattress. Much cheaper than a standard coil mattress, made in the U.S.A. too! Very comfortable and about 6 inches shorter than the twin that was there:) It is a lot lighter than the spring mattress too!
Very comfy to sleep on with my heated mattress pad and easier to move around the loft. Made painting the ceiling support boards much easier, with 6 inches more headroom!
Looks very bright and has almost a whitewashed effect on the boards.
Left the skylight open for awhile and there was really very little smell! Next job.. insulating the rest of the ceiling.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One step step back

The new year has blasted in with cold temps and way too much rain! So we are flooding again.

The Water starts pouring in..
My Neighbor helps me cut a channel so it flows on the other side toward the street, not toward the house. But that wasn't enough, it started overflowing and threatening the house side! So I called my Daughter who came straight from Church..
I promised her I would mention that these are NOT her clothes. We had to pull them from my disaster kit in my car because she still had her church clothes on.
Between the two of us (mostly her) we got the water going in the right direction and here is the end result.
It is amazing how much dirt fast moving water can take with it!
But on the plus side, I got my new Tuft & Needle Mattress! Pictures in the next installment:)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Getting the Sleeping loft insulated should make things a lot warmer up there.
Sliding those panels right in! It is actually 2 panels, the deepest I could get was 3 inches so each section has a 3 in panel and a 1 1/2 inch panel as well!
Now all the panels are in except for the little tiny ones around the top and bottom of the skylight. The first two actual white ceiling panels are up too! There will be a central cross piece and a top and bottom piece to secure them in place. 
They are super light corrugated plastic, so they even have a bit of insulating power themselves! Ordered them from Home Depot on line because they are not available in stores and I really prefer this way as they arrived in immaculate condition:)

I will find out how much that insulation helps tonight when it drops into the 30's again.

It actually got hot enough today while I was working, I had to open the skylight to let out some heat!