Tiny House Tuesday // The Anchor Holds

 

Tiny House Anchors

 

And holds, and holds…us up.

 

The anchor holds

At first glance, this auger (anchor) appears to be an innocent bystander with its curved staff-like silhouette⏤but don’t let it fool you.

Anchoring the Lil Red Writing House into the ruddy clay ground has proven to be the most aggravating and time-consuming part of this process by far. Because the winds whistle to their own tune on the mountainside all year long, we decided to use six augers on our 9′ x 16′ tiny house. I mean, installing six of these bad boys couldn’t be that difficult, right?

Wrong. I’m convinced I burned enough calories for a honeybun just watching Brian churn the blades into the ground. His entire body weight rested on top of the handle while he went round and round. Today, only one stands above ground. Apparently, that auger made friends with a rock at some point on its journey four feet down and now refuses to budge. But the rest of the augers are where they belong…up to their necks in dirt clay.

But once they’re all in, we’ll use steel wire and turnbuckles (I love that word!) to secure it to the Lil Red Writing House. Knowing she’s anchored brings us comfort on those days the winds rip with such velocity that our metal gliders slide across the deck with ease.

 

Augers aren’t installed once a house is built or when the winds begin to rally their forces. We install them in preparation for the winds that sure to come.

 

Life, like ripping winds, can sometimes threaten to unhinge us but biblical hope assures us that no matter what circumstance comes our way, we are anchored in the promises of God. Click To Tweet

 

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey! If you’re not following me on Instagram, I’d love to meet you there @cathysbaker. If you enjoy all things tiny house, stop by my Pinterest board Future Tiny House Ideas. It receives 701K monthly views so surely there’s something there for you to enjoy! 🙂 If you’re on Instagram or Pinterest let me know in the comments.

And if you missed the backstory post to this tiny journey, you can read it here. Once a month, I create a newsletter that includes a thoughtful word, helpful links, a pretty sweet giveaway, and a new column called Tiny Tidbits. Simply add your email address in the sidebar slot on my blog to receive your monthly copy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Interested in receiving a monthly newsletter that focuses only on the #lilredwritinghouse journey? I’m considering the idea of creating such a thing so if this would interest you, please take a moment to hit the contact button in the top right corner and let me know. Thanks!

 

So, which promise of God are you leaning into these days?

 

Featured image photo credit: Trevor Tondro for the NY Times

Tiny House Tuesday // Foundational Truths

Lil Red Writing House

As we begin building our tiny house, I’m learning that one of the first things that must be determined is the foundation.

There are options, after all. If you want to travel with your tiny house, you’d opt for a trailer. If you want the option to move it at some point in the future, it would most likely be built on blocks or some other propped up way. And if you’re serious about staying where you live, you might cement that sucker to the ground.

Although we don’t have any plans to move in the future, we chose to use cement blocks for a couple of reasons. One is the flexibility to move it and secondly, it is much more cost efficient than a concrete pad.

Tiny House Foundation

So, a couple of Saturdays ago, Brian and I trekked our way up the hill to determine where the tiny house would go. We took into consideration three things:

  • The view from my desk
  • How we could avoid blocking the pool view
  • How to allow sufficient room for a future picket fence {framing old-timey flowers!}

It’s times like these when I’m reminded how blessed I am to be married to an engineer. While he was spouting out mathematical equations in an effort to get the corners square, I was sipping coffee thinking how much easier it would be to line things up by eye. I guess you could say the tiny house falls under that blessing as well.

If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed a red element in every tiny image. In the photo above, I wrapped the measurements in red in hopes of making it easier to visualize the perimeter of the house (9′ x 16′ + 4′ for the front porch.)

Determining the placement of the house, nailing down stakes, tying strings, leveling, and measuring took several hours but it’s worth the time. If the foundation is off, everything else will be as well.

 

Tiny House

The next to-do was not nearly as much fun, especially for the hubster. He dug down into the southern red clay a few inches around each block, added gravel and stacked flat solid concrete blocks as close to the level string as possible. I enjoyed hauling off the dirt in the wheelbarrow. It reminded me of days when I spent a lot of time working in the yard. And my back reminded me the following morning why I need more exercise.

Tiny House Foundation

Tiny House

Finally, the leveling is done. What made this Saturday workday so special was having my dad come over to help. Can you believe he’s 76? Growing up, we enjoyed doing a lot of projects together. We planted tomatoes and peppers in the backyard greenhouse, cared for an organic garden (before organic was cool), and fished on red banks of clay. I’m thankful the memories continue to build as we work on the tiny house together.

Dad gave me a firm foundation for life and now I see how this also ties into the building of my #lilredwritinghouse.

Structural integrity is required for life and tiny houses alike. Without it, there will be little to show for it in the end.

Tiny House Foundation Scripture

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey! If you’re not following me on Instagram, I’d love to meet you there @cathysbaker. And if you missed the backstory post to this tiny journey, you can read it here. Once a month, I also create a newsletter that includes a column called Tiny Tidbits. In it, I share behind-the-scenes tidbits that aren’t told anywhere else. Receive your copy by simply adding your email address in the sidebar slot on my blog. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Is there something in particular about the journey you’d like to know or see? I’d love to read your comments!

 

Featured image photo credit: Trevor Tondro for the NY Times

The Tiny House Dream is Becoming a Reality!

I’ve loved small spaces for as long as I can remember.

The secluded corner in my backyard where wild violets grew, my aunt’s 16′ Bambi Airstream, the treehouse coop by the lake, and the edge of my grandmother’s concrete back steps where I baked magnificent mud pies if I do say so myself.

I recall the first time I spotted a tiny house on HGTV in 2013. It would become the catalyst for countless tiny dreams along the way.

As an adult, I designed tiny spaces in my backyard framing them with picket fences and fragrant shrubs. And then there was Buttercup, the 62 Shasta that Brian surprised me with upon returning from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christians Writers Conference in 2015. It was downright dreamy!

Shasta Buttercup

That is until we tried spending the night in it for the first time. Let’s just say my asthma kicked into high gear and we were forced to sell it. Sigh. But the dream continued!

When we moved to the country in 2016 I scouted for spots on our 3-1/2 acres where a tiny house could perch just so⏤you know, with a full-on view of the mountains. Recently, while perusing tiny houses on the Internet {because that’s what I do *wink*}, I came across this image:

 

Victorian Tiny House

Photo Credits: Trevor Tondro for The New York Times

 

On the fly, I showed it to Brian at the risk of having the white from his eyes blind me as they rolled back in his head.

 

But without hesitation, he said, “I could build that for you.”

 

I can’t say for sure, but I think I heard the hallelujah chorus play in the background. And just when I thought the dream-come-true couldn’t get any dreamier, my dad offered to lend a hand when we begin building this spring. Family time, fresh air, and the scent of lumber. What more could a girl ask for?

It turns out, I’m not alone in the desire to step away from the distractions.

 

Most of us think of a tiny house as a place to free ourselves from debt, from want, and from material burdens. Perhaps just as important is their ability to free the mind. You’re probably familiar with Thoreau, who sought refuge in a tiny wooded sanctuary to reflect on the nature of simple living. He wasn’t alone in his approach, and in fact, plenty of famous writers built tiny secluded structures to escape distraction and let their creative juices flow. – Tinyhousefor.us

 

I’m excited to see what the Lord will create during my time in the tiny house, as well as other writers who will join me!

 

Unlike the brave, beautiful {and debt-free} souls who live in their tiny homes full-time, I will use our tiny house as an office. Stay tuned as I plan to share more about that, along with its unique features, in future posts called Tiny Tuesdays {every second Tuesday of the month.}

In addition, I hope you’ll enjoy a new column, Tiny Tidbits, in our monthly newsletter. Not a subscriber? No problem! It’s easy. Simply add your email to the sidebar and voila! {You can unsubscribe at any time.} The newsletter is the go-to place for behind-the-scenes on my books in progress, relevant links, and a monthly giveaway that always adds a spark of fun! As a new subscriber, you’ll also receive my e-book, Praying in Every Room of Your Home as my gift to you. Thank you!

Mostly though, you’ll find our new Tiny House journey on Instagram. If you’re not already following me there, please do @cathysbaker #lilredwritinghouse. The #lilredwritinghouse will host an 8′ desk with an expansive window facing the mountains, along with a couple of other unique features. Nope, the house itself won’t be red⏤but that’s where the fun begins!

Bonus: Check out the Tiny House page Susan Stilwell designed for me here. {If your blog could use a little spiffing up, click the Fistbump Media button in the sidebar for more information!}

So, what one thing would you be sure to include in your tiny house?

 

 

Here’s the Tiny House Blog post on the Victorian house above if you’d like to see inside pictures!

To see famous writer’s retreats, check out this post @ tinyhousefor.us.

The Fragrance of Love: An A-mazing Tiny House

Tiny House

Yes, I LOVE Tiny Houses!  I’m especially drawn to those on the whimsy side, much like the one featured below.

 

Look closely. You may just spot Hansel and Gretel nibbling on the roof.

 

These A-mazing (pun intended) chalets were built in the ’70’s as a vacation rental community in Blowing Rock, NC. Today, they’re sold to private owners.

My guess is that these tiny house houses are propped on the side of ski slope. Can you imagine skiing all day and then coming back to sip hot cocoa by a mod fireplace in this special space? I can’t help but wonder if orange shag carpet might have been involved.

Blowing Rock, NC has a rich history of skiing. Appalachian Ski Mountain began in 1968. It was the first ski area in NW North Carolina and the second oldest in the state.

As a teenager, I drove to the mountain with friends but hunkered down in the ski lodge while they made their way down the mountain. Hey, somebody has to hold down the fort.

A whimsy A-frame at its best

I love how these tiny houses were lined up one-by-one like petit fours on a silver platter waiting to be enjoyed.

 

After all, nothing says cozy like a tiny community.

 

This introvert’s dream tiny house, however, is propped in the middle of nowhere, surrounded only by mountain air and the sound of a stream all astir.

 

A line of A-frame tiny houses in Blowing Rock NC
How about you? Could you see yourself in one of these A-frames? If not, where would your dream second house be located? 
 “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
– William Morris

 

The Fragrance of Love: A Tiny Bit of Love

Tiny House

On this second Friday of Tiny House LOVE (and the day before Valentine’s Day!) let’s focus on the things we love about tiny houses. Those who live in them could surely bring the specifics to light but as an outsider gazing in through the minuscule windows, these things immediately come to mind when I consider what I love about tiny houses.

Seven Things I Love About Tiny Houses
  • They look like an adult clubhouse minus the “No Girls Allowed” sign dangling from the door.
  • Tiny houses challenge creatives to be even more so in the aspects of design.
  • If built on a trailer, they can go on vacation with you.
  • If built on a foundation, they’ll be waiting for you when you return.
  • Nothing says cozy like a tiny house.
  • One could live debt-free or close to it in a tiny house.
  • We can live close to those we love. Nothing says “doing life with someone” like a tiny house!
I would share some of the drawbacks but hey, this is the season o’ love so I’m putting on my rosy glasses and choosing to see only the good because let’s face it, there’s a lot of it.

Although I doubt I’ll ever live in a tiny house (where would my books and Brian’s instruments go?) I could definitely see it as a weekend destination.

 

Valentines Day

I wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day, my friend, as you remember that you have One, above all others, who defends you, never leaves you, saves you, takes great delight in you, and rejoices over you with singing. Rejoice! For no one can compare.

 

“The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 
 

The Fragrance of Love: Tiny Houses

Tiny House

I LOVE tiny houses.

So why is an extreme claustrophobic swooning over these minuscule jewels?

I can’t explain it.

All I know is that the cozy tight quarters speaks to me. Or maybe it’s our tiny budget doing all the talking since a real-sized cabin is out of reach.

A part of me would be willing to sell everything and live debt-free on the side of a mountain. Albeit a tiny part, the idea of roaming chickens, farming organic veggies, and a lower stress level for the hubster holds a certain charm.

And apparently, I’m not alone. Many of you have said how much you enjoy my Tiny House Facebook posts {thank you!} so I plan to share a different tiny house each Friday during the February series of LOVE.

I especially love this tiny house with the adjoining studio. Half books, half vinyl. Oh, yes!

So here’s a fun question for a Friday! What would you store in the adjoining room if you lived in this tiny house? 

Pin It on Pinterest