Monday, December 5, 2011


For some reason, the carport did not come in on the 29th of last month, and now we're not sure when it will be here. In addition to that, the weather absolutely hasn't been cooperative with us. Overnight lows in the mid-teens, winds gusting to 60mph, make for generally miserable conditions to work in.

However, we have made some progress. My garden area is ready to be planted once the carport is up (I want to reduce the wind coming around the north corner, and the south corner will not be planted until spring), and we've graveled in the driveway.
Where my chair previously was is now the preferred hangout for the cats.

What was in the dog water bowl we keep outside at the end of our 10 am.

The small garden area, rock in the driveway, cured concrete, and Christmas lights!

Next up on the project list (now stuck to our 'mailbox' with a magnet') is installing pathway lighting in the 3" beam horizontals underneath the deck, forming the pad for the carport/the end of the walkway, winterizing our swamp cooler, making Christmas gifts, irrigating the garden, installing the carport, and a handful of other things. The project as a whole is taking a while, but it's still quicker than conventional housing.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Concrete, again

Some days I'm pretty sure that we like concrete too much. This is not one of those days.

We finished pouring new sidewalks, a driveway entrance pad, new fenceposts ( to section off the area over the septic tank to protect it from big trucks) and some extra sidewalk for the big house. The whole thing has taken three days total.

The forms in place the day we got the 12 ton load of road bed and gravel for the driveway.

Alan putting in road bed in what will be the walkway to the shop, to build it up.

The day we poured concrete. The gravel running horizontally through the picture runs to the front gate, past the garage for the big house. That and most of this concrete has always been in the works, as the drainage here is very poor in the rain. 

The walkway goes up to the big house.

This pad is reenforced with rebar and 6"x6" steel mesh so it can be driven over by heavy trucks.

The walkway up to our house. 

The third day of concrete:

Formed. Now, the walkway to the big house connects with the driveway.

Screeding the second half of the path to the shop.

Second pathway.
All in all, a few great days. The sidewalks make it much easier to get around, and when it rains, will enable us to actually use the outdoors without slipping and tracking mud. The area between the two walkways in front of the tiny house will be filled with gravel as well for drainage, and will lead into our carport.

The carport materials come in on Tuesday the 29th, but I'm not sure when we'll be working on it. The interior of the house has changed a bit-- Alan and I now sit next to one another, and the corner where I was sitting is now for the radiant heater and a small cat tree. It opens up the floor quite a bit, and the cats are very happy to be able to hang out there all day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


We went on a bit of a shopping spree and finished up the interior, outside of artwork. 

 And I finally got a chair!  Alan's is white and not usually so hippiefied, but we had company and his cushion needs to be washed.
 A smaller bookcase replaces the one in the kitchen area, allowing the computer to come up off of the floor.
 The kitchen, spruced up with a new rug, our new dining room chairs, and our heater.
 My knitting, crocheting, and needlework projects all fit in the pink bin. We didn't buy it to fit that cubby, it was a complete coincidence.

The cats tend to cluster around the heater in the morning and enjoy the view afforded by the bird feeder.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's been a while...

I do apologize for not making any updates. We got busy with school and work, and not much finishing has been done to the house. However, I can update you on what we've discovered already while living here:

1. Insulation is key. Our walls are equal to or greater than what's recommended for this area, and due to the large dead space underneath the house, we have been able to heat it quite comfortably with a room heater rated for 150 sq ft.
2. Finish sealing your doors before it starts getting into the 30's at night. Brrr!

We are going to be starting on our carport, sidewalk, and garden area this month, with concrete being poured next month (6-8 yards in total).

Soon, I will hopefully have pictures of our finished bathroom (because it's not quite done yet), finished base boards, and finished outside windows.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cooking In 320

Well, more like ~250. I've had some people ask about the kitchen details, so I thought I would post tonight's early dinner.

Last night while watching TV, I roasted a bell pepper, some kind of sweet and very hot pepper, about half an onion, and almost  a pound of tomatillos.

I threw all of that in the blender this afternoon, and made this.

 I also made some rice.

"But wait", you say. "How did you roast things with no oven?"

 Our valiant little toaster oven lives underneath the pots and pans, and has so far broiled chicken, baked desert, heated leftovers, and now, roasted.

The chicken tenders were pan-fried due to a time crunch-- Alan and I are back at school and he needed to leave for class.

In about two days I will finally be posting pictures of our wonderful bathroom. It took a long time to get it painted because I am lazy, and it looks quite a bit better now.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Three months since the first pier was poured.

Hooray, it's our 3 monthiversary!

To celebrate, I took some pictures. Here's the official, still kind of messy and no-you-can't-see-the-bathroom-until-I-paint-it tour! 

  At the front door, looking right.
  Continuing through the living room. Those folding chairs are our temporary dining chair solution..
 Against the north wall, looking south. The computer setup seen here is also temporary. My chair (still to be purchased) goes in between the t.v. stand and the bathroom wall-- I face Alan.

The bedroom.

The  view from Alan's side of the bed.

And a reminder... 3 months ago, this is what our house looked like.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I'm sorry I haven't updated recently-- we took a mini-vacation last weekend, and now I'm recovering from a pretty awful sunburn (don't put on sunscreen in a t-shirt if you're going to be in a swimsuit). 

Not much has happened, construction-wise. Our roof is now painted with white elastomeric (rubberized) paint, both to waterproof any little things we may have missed, and to better reflect the sun away. Our functional, but not painted. That's my job, but since I can't reach above shoulder level right now, it will have to wait. 

At this point, since we have been living in here for a while, I can say there are a few things I would have done differently. 

  • Use a new container. The dents/dings/wavy walls and uneven floor have lead to noticeable "offness" in the finished house. Not much, and I doubt someone who hasn't seen every inch of this house inside and out for the past 3 months would notice it, but I do. 
  • Mock up the interior dimensions with string and see what you actually have to work with, furniture-wise. It turns out our planned sitting/dining room area just wouldn't fit two people in chairs, with room to walk around. What we have now isn't bad, just not what we thought we would have. so, we have an awkward outlet up on a wall that the t.v. will no longer be covering.
  • Don't do it in the middle of summer. Now that we're in finish and clean-up mode, it's very hard to get up and go outside when your home is all lovely and comfortable!
  • Carpet, maybe. With three cats, a long-haired dog, and the desert dust, mopping and dusting is a daily chore, and when it's not done, the floors look very messy. With carpeting, you could go a bit longer aesthetically, but then you'd be grinding dirt into your floors..
  • More skylights! I love our 'atrium dining room' and wish we had the forethought to put one in the hallway as well.
I will update later tonight when things have been cleaned up (and the laundry is done and put away!) so you can see what we're working with currently. It's not perfect, or done, but very very close. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cats do not have to be shown how to have a good time, for they are unfailing ingenious in that respect. - James Mason

Unfortunately for them, their new favorite piece of furniture is quite temporary.

 The cats have officially moved in, and are quite comfortable.


The door in the hallway leads to...

This. The bench seat/top lifts off to reveal their catbox and room for a spare container of litter. Please excuse the mess on the porch, we had some rain and had to get things under cover quickly.

 Our kitchen is also done, and this is why we left a 'blank' in the cabinets-- dog and cat food storage and feeding area.

In the bottom right corner you can see our 'dining room'--a gateleg table from IKEA that is very small when folded

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The blog''s coming from inside the house!

We moved in! Nothing is really 100% done yet, but it's all finish stuff. Though we are almost completely moved into the kitchen, the handles still need to be put on (currently in progress), and our drinking classes unpacked. Our other storage bit in the bedroom was put up last night, and the showerhead and controls were installed. 

What still needs to be done: Baseboards and trim around the doors, silicone toilet in, bathroom sink drain installed (the flange we had in mind is backordered and they decided not to tell us..), finish swamp cooler frame, finish installing the last board on the deck (up next to the house), seal the deck, install the cat box cover/bench, touch up paint, and wait until tonight/tomorrow to move furniture in because of the floor varnish. 

So, here are some pictures in no particular order. 

Alan and the dog atop what is now called Mt. Sealy Posturpedic

Monday, July 25, 2011

So very, very close

We have varnished floors, 


A toilet,


And some dogs that are quite ready to go to bed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Also, it was some other stuff day

 After we unmasked all of the painting, everyone was very energized, so...we put up the awning metal.

 We also put on the solar screen! It looks so much different now, it's actually a little startling. We are utterly in love with it!
 Yesterday, we built our bed. Here's Alan standing in the frame.

  The frame being built. It's redwood 2x6's dovetailed together, then screwed to a 1/4" wall angle which is bolted to the floor. The bottom of the frame is 22" high.

The 4x4 is fixed, but the 2x4's can be removed.

The bed platform can be lifted with the blue strap you can see at the top. We have six 18 gallon storage tubs, and six 9 gallon tubs tucked underneath.
This isn't quite finished, but here's the bed and about 1/3 of the bedroom storage (there's an additional cabinet that runs across the back wall, and a dresser). We decided to camp out tonight (no toilet or shower, it's totally camping!) on the bed and are very excited for it.