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Archive for October, 2015

Are We Crazy?

The last month or so has been really tough for us around here. Living in the tent all summer was fun, but then it started to get cold and things started getting tough. Sealing the cabin up seemed to take forever. We are trying to gather wood to keep us warm for the winter and that is taking forever and the wood is not as dry as we had hoped. The money is running really low. We also have all the normal chores to do, which take longer than they normally would because we have to get water and heat it, not just turn on a faucet. That is just the biggest example. Everything takes longer. On top of that we have two younger children to entertain. They are loving life most of the time, but they do fight and get bored. Anyone who knows anything about children knows what I mean.

So with all these difficult situations that we have knowingly caused for ourselves, what were we thinking and why in the world would we do it? Why would we make our lives so difficult on purpose? We were living in a normal house with electricity. I was working a good job, making plenty of money to live off of. We were fine for the most part. So why did we turn our lives upside down?

There are so many reasons. I know I have mentioned a few of them before. We wanted to grow our own food. We wanted to live off the land not tied to the grid. We wanted to get out of the town and live in the quiet of the woods. Too many reasons to get in to today. But there is one big reason that I want to share with you today. The one that keeps me going. The one that tells me it will all be worth it some day. The one that is, to me, the meaning of life. Having a full, and meaningful human experience.

The way I see it is, we don’t really know what happens when we die. We all have our own beliefs or ideas as to what we think will happen to us, but we don’t know for sure and we surely can’t all agree. I don’t really think it matters. We are here to experience life as people on earth. This is my life and my experience, so I want to make of it what I think it should be.

Much of the world around me grows up, goes to school, goes to college, gets a job, raises their own family, retires at an older and older age, and then you die. That is the plan, the American Dream, that is what we should all do. That is not what I want my life to be. I want more. That is why we decided that we were not going to follow this plan. I grew up and went to college and got a job. Then I realized that I was done. I want to be home with my family and be able to provide for my children time and knowledge. Love and experiences. I don’t want to be tied down to a career that stresses me out, working for someone who doesn’t care about me. It is my life and I want it to be the fullest experience I can possibly have in the time I have.

By living in a tiny house that we have no mortgage on, it allows me to retire at a much younger age. Many of the people who aren’t able to retire can’t do so because they have to pay rent or a mortgage. Then on top of that utilities. Then they have to provide food for themselves. We won’t have a mortgage or rent, and we will have a permaculture garden that will provide us as much food as possible with as little effort as possible, once established. We will still need to make money, but it won’t be massive amounts. We will have to work hard for everything that we have, but it will all be for our family. It won’t be for someone else. By working hard through our lives, we will be healthier. By growing our own food instead of eating highly processed food, we will be healthier for that too. By decreasing our stress levels, not working tedious jobs, we will be healthier still. Obviously things can go wrong and unexpected things can happen, but that is the case no matter what you do in life.

Having my kids grow up in an environment where there is no TV and they have to use their imaginations, they will be better for it too. We always take the time to teach them about everything around them. They have learned so much already just by reading and exploring, I think that we are setting them up in the best way we possibly can. Unlike much of society, I hope my children don’t want to go to college. I want to set them up with enough life skills that they never need a formal education along with the huge costs. I don’t want them to have to work a stressful, un-fulfilling job that keeps them away from their families. I want them to have the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest. Yes, they may hate us for raising them in a little house off the grid, but that is ok. I want them to have the chance and the skills to be self sufficient. I hope they can come to appreciate what we are trying to do.

That being said, I don’t think that our parents did anything wrong or anything like that. They did what they believed in and raised us they way they saw fit. We have lived good lives and were given all the tools that we needed to be strong individuals and follow our own dream. They have given us all the love and support we have needed to turn our lives upside down and do what we needed to do. We have stressed them out plenty in attempting our crazy adventure, but they never told us we were wrong or that we shouldn’t do it. We appreciate all of those things and couldn’t have done it without them.

So, there it is in a nutshell. This is why we chose to do something crazy. I really believe that it will all be worth it. I couldn’t be happier. Our children don’t even know, yet, that we are not “normal.” They are having a great time, living happy, healthy lives. I am planning my retirement, at age 33. The plan is by 40 I will not have to work as a nurse anymore. Maybe just one day a week to pay for insurance unless we find something better. Even though life is tough right now, there will be a day when we are better established and we will have more time to relax. Once we learn more of the skills we need for our new lives, things will get easier as well. Right now, we have no idea what we are doing. People say we are crazy and that they could never do what we are doing. But we are motivated in what we want in life. That is all it takes to get past the crazy. Or it it really not crazy at all?

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Sealing Us In and the Woodstove

We’re in!  (Like I mentioned before, we have been, but here is the post)  We just had to seal up some edges and throw in the wood stove.  Just in time too, I was starting to get a little cold early in the morning.

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Finishing off the weather guard, nailing down the loose edges.

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A temporary door and some temporary windows.

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The heater/stove is in!  We cook on this all the time now.

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Finally, the chimney.

I’ll be back to share the photos of the door and windows soon.  It’s really starting to be a house!

The roof going on

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Adding a Roof to the Tiny House

Things have been really busy around here, so I’m sorry I haven’t been keeping up.  Finishing up the house and getting prepared for winter is a ton of work.  Lots of little odds and ends.  We are living in the cabin right now, and have been for a week, so I’m updating a little backwards.  Here is the roof assembly!

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Adding on the plywood.

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All covered in.

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Putting on the waterproofing.

Nothing too exciting.  Just a basic roof, all up to keep us dry.

The walls going up

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