Amelia.

We had our first harvest! It’s starting to just get too cold for the radishes, so we decided to pick them all. We kind of ate them as they came out of the ground, so I didn’t think to take any pictures of them… they weren’t terribly impressive anyway. I was more concerned with taking pictures of Amelia helping us harvest! She helped eat all the radish greens, and even picked at the spinach still in the ground while we dug in the dirt.

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Mmm, tiny radishes.

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She watches carefully…

I thought I’d just share some cute pictures!

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There could be bugs in these leaves…

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Rainwater swim!         

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Quack! Noms!  

Storage.

When you live in a tiny house, you become experts at shelving. We have taken the creative route and are building all of our own shelving with, you guessed it, rough cut lumber. You have no idea how nice it is to put things on the walls instead of them taking up floor space! And because we have more space, we can get more of our stuff out of storage, and things are coming together.

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Future kitchen.

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I’d like you to take note of the box of wine and the sleeping mutt.

Our storage loft is, like, the best thing that ever happened. At the moment it’s packed full of stuff (like you’re surprised), but as we get more projects accomplished, more random materials disappear, and the more space we have. When we finally finished all of our insulation, we suddenly had that much less stuff around! Same with the walls, same with everything.

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Oh yeah, and the bottle of tequila…

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Spice rack!

Right now we’re waiting on one more part to arrive to finish our woodstove installation, waiting on another part for our composting toilet so that can go in, and we scored a free indoor propane cookstove and oven from a darling neighbor, so we just need to get our propane tanks filled and hooked up to finally be able to cook like real people again! We picked up another half a cord of wood, so we have about 2 cords now, and we will be ready to fire the woodstove up the moment it’s in! It has been getting cold in the mornings and this morning there was FROST. Winter’s a’comin!

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Add this to the list of cool shit my car has carried.

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As opposed to a heating bill!

For now we’re thankful for hot tea, whiskey (together, sometimes), our little lantern, candles, and a propane heater that uses way too much propane to run. And dog snugs.

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Loki would rather just stay in bed.

Woodstove. Part 1.

Oh the woodstove.

We’re working against the clock ticking quickly towards winter at the moment. Two days ago was like, BAM, last day of summer, and HEY, here’s your one day of fall, then YAY, winter. Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit, today is actually pretty nice out, but it sure felt like winter came all of a sudden. Next weekend there’s a chance of snow! So we’ve been finishing up some insulation and wall panel projects and needed to at least get a start on the woodstove.

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Fancy.

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Can you see the screw hanging from the bottom of the fishing line?

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We’re waiting for a few more pieces to get delivered to us before the stove can actually be installed, but we could start figuring out where it was going to sit and get the brick laid so it could get moved inside. We needed to work from the roof down, since the piping needs to go out the roof at a certain point, and that hurt our heads. The base of the stove has different measurements than the heater part of the stove, the pipe hole sits in a certain spot, the heater needs to be a certain distance away from the wall, while the base needs to have a certain amount of brick around it… it hurt. But we figured it out (we hope)!

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We made a plumb bob (I didn’t know that was what that thing was called until R pointed it out) from the ceiling to pinpoint where the center of the pipe needed to go, worked our way down to the floor, where we measured distances from the wall, the brick base, etc., until we finally got everything laid out the way we wanted it. We marked a few spots on the brick as a guideline for where the stove would sit, and with the help of one of our strong friends, it was inside the house!

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Now we wait until our other pieces arrive, then we’ll be enlisting help to cut a hole in our roof (yikes), and get the thing installed! Can’t wait to fire it up!

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View from the front door.     

Railing.

We’re all about safety here at the Stellar Jay Ranch. Totally. Which is absolutely why we drink a lot of beer and have fires most every night. Well, this particular safety feature wasn’t really for us (at least we like to think that), but mostly for the dog’s and our pillow’s sake. And it looks rad. Check it out!

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We’ve gotten really into this rough-cut lumber stuff. It’s less expensive than “nice” lumber, and looks really cool. So these 2x2s were like 75 cents a piece, and have all these amazing knots and streaks in them. Then we added the pieces that still had bark on them to add to the ambiance, if you will. 

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It was a fun project and the house is really coming together. Now the loft feels that much more like a separate bedroom. And we don’t have to worry so much about Loki rolling off the bed or scooting things around and them crashing to the floor. It’s starting to look less like a construction zone and more like a place where people live!     

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Walls.

You have no idea how exciting walls can be. We have been waiting for weeks for our wall panels to come in, and this morning we finished putting them up! Now we don’t have to stare at insulation covered in plastic anymore. Not to say we’re finished with our house or anything… far from it… but it is a big first step. We still have to put trim along all the edges to cover all our mistakes, and finish the ceiling, but at least right now we can start putting shelving and stuff up to get it off the floor (and out of boxes!).

So we’ve gone from this:

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To this!:

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And look at our green children getting so big so fast:

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Kale.

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Spinach.

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Onions.

Setbacks.

We knew this wouldn’t be a piece of cake. As with anything in life, there tends to be setbacks. Our first setback was thanks to Home Depot… in which they told us they had a certain thing, when they didn’t have that thing, and when we drove the hour down there, it wasn’t there. So then a week later when I called to make sure that thing was in stock, and they told me it was, we drove the hour and guess what… didn’t have it. At that point we ordered those things we needed from a local place closer to us, for more money and having to wait even longer, but we were supporting local small business, and we didn’t have to deal with HD anymore. Anyway. (We now have those things and everything is good).

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Peace amongst the stupidity.

Next setback was our woodstove. We were given a big sturdy woodstove for free from friends in Utah, and it has been sitting in storage since we got here. Everytime we have to go to our storage space for something, we swear that stove gets bigger. We finally had to decide that it was just too big for our little place. We got lucky by just asking around town and got our hands on an awesome smaller woodstove for $200 (flat top, glass doors, super rad). It’s not installed yet, but it’s one of the next things on the list!

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Maybe if we lived in a 2000 sq ft house.

Then, one of our wonderful neighbors wanted to help us out and got us a free RV-sized propane cookstove/oven. Well, it had been sitting for who knows how many years in an abandoned trailer, and was inhabited by rodents. We started spraying it off and cleaning it out, and as gross as it was, I was willing to do my best to clean and bleach it since it was free to us. 

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Needs serious scrubbing.

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Can you see the gross?

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Moused.

Then I started taking the side panels off, and realized that every nook and cranny was packed with mouse shit and bedding. Like, places I couldn’t even clean out. I couldn’t do it. So the stove went to the dump. Back to square one. So for now, we’re still cooking on little camping propane tanks. It may not be fancy but it works!

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Off to the dump.

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Tea in the mornings!