Monday, December 24, 2012


(You know you are singing it in your head!)  Merry Christmas, all!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tumbleweed Workshop in Austin, Texas

I had a long telephone conversation yesterday afternoon with Paul from Tumbleweed.  As a result, last night I signed up with for this workshop in Austin, in March.  I'm so excited!

Tumbleweed Workshop


This sums up my afternoon yesterday, and my morning today:

Great things are happening - I'll reveal as they develop!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Another Great Tiny House Video...

Here's another inspirational video about living small.  I love the sight of the house rolling down the freeway, and the excitement of people swarming around it, wanting to touch it.  So great!!!

The Matchbox

The Aftermath

Wow!  So, I am still decompressing... the close went off without a hitch yesterday - so fast and easy - and I can finally exhale.  It's been quite a journey, but it's done and I'm just going to say - I am proud of myself for pulling it off.

After closing Kelley and I went and celebrated on the Mi Cocina patio - it was 75 degrees and lovely!

I came home, and Greta and I did a long walk at the lake - it was a fantastic evening.  (Greta did great her first day home alone!  And I've gotten 3 very nice welcome notes on my door from neighbors.)

I did some more unpacking last night - took a huge bag of clothes to Goodwill - and took some time to just sit on my couch and try to assimilate that it's over and that I had made it.  It hasn't really sunk in yet.

I'm going to allow myself 2 weeks or so to let my brain empty and get balanced.  I'll do my trip home, see family and friends, and then come back to Big D and begin planning my tiny house life.  Amazing.  And, it's going to BE amazing.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Finish Line

We can.  All of us.  Set a goal, make your plans, and then make it happen.

Late summer, when I made the decision to go tiny, I said that my goal was to sell the house and be in my new place before I fly to my parents' for Christmas.  Am I making that happen?  Yes!  I am scheduled to close on my house sale tomorrow, and I fly to my parents' on Sunday!  

Did I think it was an unrealistic goal when I set it?  No.... 

Did I think it would be easy?  NO.  

But I know from my experience of preparing for and going to trial that if you know there are a finite number of days that you will be so tired that you think you might die, that you can dig deep and do it.  I knew the last 90 days would be really tough - but I also knew that it wouldn't go on forever.  I also had a lot of help.  This morning, when I had to go get one more tiny load of random things from the old house and it took me many trips from my car to my apartment to unload, I literally had to just tell myself, "One foot in front of the other.  Be methodical.  Just keep going, you will finish."

With what I have experienced lately I could write a large number of lengthy posts... I'll try to give you the condensed version:

Things I've Learned, & Things I Suspected and Were Proven to be True & Other Tidbits:
1)  I still have major downsizing to do.  My house contents were not much and packing it went pretty fast and easy.  My workshop?  It was more challenging, and it's taking up more space than I'd hoped.  Tom is going to let me store my compressor, my chop saw, and my router/router table at his house... that will help.  (Special thanks to Caitlin and Tyler for storing the chop saw for me for a couple of weeks.)

2)  I need to do a major clothing purge.  I have WAY TOO MANY socks and WAY TOO MANY pjs.  I don't know what that is all about.  I also need to let go of all my "project clothes" -- clothing that I don't care what happens to it - painting, staining, ripping -- as I will not be doing construction-y projects every weekend anymore for the foreseeable future.

3)  Even if I am working really hard, and think I deserve to eat whatever I want, and I go buy those things, and eat them... my body doesn't understand that and I will regret it. 

4)  I have a very adaptable dog.  Mostly I knew that - I knew that if she had me, and a window to look out, that she would be fine.  That's mostly true.  (She's a tiny bit barky at a few apartment noises, but I know she is just being protective and we are working on it.)  My plan of choosing this complex for great dog walking venues has already proven it's worth - here she is on (okay honestly I don't know what day this was) but we were on our first real dog walk at the new place.  I can let her off lead here to run:

She was VERY happy!

5)  Getting internet connected is always more challenging and frustrating than it needs to be.  Why is it always so difficult?? It is not rocket science!

6)  The guys who work at that dilapidated little tire replacement shop at the corner of Ross and Greenville are rock stars.  Yes, I had a flat tire.  On my move day.  Before the movers arrived.  Shabby as it is, I love that place - I've been there often.  Ahhh, East Dallas.

6.5)  When you really have no other choice, you can overcome your fears.  Friday, the day I was sick and had to cancel my movers - before I had confirmation that I could cancel and move the following day, I had a low tire pressure indicator on my car.  I went to the usual tire place, but at 7:15 a.m. they were not yet open.  Across the street?  A car wash with an air pump.  I am irrationally terrified of putting air in tires.  I am always scared that the tire is going to blow up in my face.  But, I did it.  I had to do it.  And I lived to tell about it.  But I'll say... every second that I had the hose on the tire valve pumping air in, I was looking away and praying.

7)  Mi Cocina will still serve you even if you look like you really need a shower and a change of clothing.

8)  I am ridiculously happy that I kept my bed.  We all know that without good sleep we become tall 2 year olds.  At night, I am so grateful for familiar, comfortable bed to snuggle into.

9)  The last items I carried out of my house were dog treats, a hammer, and a bottle of wine.  I'd say that pretty much sums things up!

10)  Although it is no where close to being organized, my apartment feels very safe and secure.  I am glad to be there, and it will be great space in which to plan the next phase of my adventure.  I can't wait to be past the point of sorting socks and get to the point of pinning up my motivational quips and finding nooks for my few favorite sentimental things.

11)  I still cry if you are nice to me.  (I'm exhausted, not sad.)  I'm sort of ready for that to be over.  I know, "crying is good for you!  It's cleansing, and cathartic", and blah blah blah"  -- but really?  This phase could pass and I'd be just fine with it.  Trust me, I feel very cleansed.

12)  Ashley made me my own very special Christmas cookie:

How totally awesome is that?  (Yes, of course I ate it, and it was fabulous.)

13)  Yes, it's the pits to once again have to get dressed and get a leash every time Greta needs to go outside.  Especially when it's oh, midnight, and you've only been sleeping for about an hour.  I'll step out there and predict that as winter temps drop this will become even more unpleasant.  I am trying to reframe that into "walking and fresh air are good for us both..."  LOL

14)  I want to go camping multiple times in 2013.  And then I must let go of my 3 tubs of camping gear... But my tiny house will be like deluxe camping so I'll be okay with that!

15)  I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  The majority of things we worry about never come to pass.  My worry list is extremely short at this point.  By this time next week I shouldn't have a list at all.

16)  Taking time - even 10 minutes - for yourself amidst chaos is important.  

Saturday night I donned my elf costume and went to the neighborhood Christmas party.  I skipped and danced my way down Newell ringing jingle bells behind the band, and in front of Santa on a ladder truck. (Um, I wasnt' the only elf, I promise!)  I worked my 45 minute shift helping kids get their photos taken with Santa.  I rode the wagon being pulled by Clydesdales.  After wards, I enjoyed a simple family Christmas gathering on the living room floor of my empty house.

I kept my standing Sunday night Tex-Mex dinner plans with neighbors last night, and both my body and soul were rewarded with nourishment.  

This morning at the gym, I only did half of my cardio, and most of my stretching, and then I allowed myself just to be still and put my feet up the wall.  It's my favorite quick revival!
These socks, still fluffy but stained from yard work, would be great candidates for purging!
17)  It's not all about the money.  I gave a lot of things away in the last couple of months, and I have to say, it feels good.  And, I believe that I will have that returned to me tenfold.

What's left to be done?
The maid comes this morning to do a final clean of the house.

I need to label keys for the buyer.

I need to sort and gather up helpful house paperwork to leave with the keys, along with a happy little note.

Drop off said keys and paperwork at the house tonight.

The final walk through is tomorrow morning.

Attend closing tomorrow afternoon.

I need to get the dog to the point where I can leave her alone in the apartment without worrying about barking.  Tomorrow (Tuesday) during the work day is going to be the first run at that.  

I'll focus weeknights this week on organizing my apartment, giving my dog some much needed attention, and take some time to see friends.  Tom will (theoretically) be out of trial on Friday.  Saturday we are getting massages and going out for a great dinner - perhaps with a matinee movie in between.  And Sunday I fly to Minnesota for Christmas!  I can see the finish line.

p.s.  Have I mentioned how I love comments??  Pretty please??

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I'm In!!

I'll post a longer post later, but wanted to let you know I'm in my new place!  I have to go to the house today to do a few things, and plan to write a decent post this evening.  Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Moving Day Postponed

I had to switch my movers from today to tomorrow -- I have the flu. Crummy timing. : (

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tiny House Camp. A CAMP, People!!

I had this post just about completed and I accidentally closed the wrong browser page and lost everything.  Sigh.  Hate that.  Let's see how I do recreating it...

I've been staring at this blank post page, willing all of the words in my head to magically re-format to text and present themselves on the page for me.  [thinking harder]

Drat.  Nothing.

If you read my post yesterday, you read that Jay Shafer, founder of Tumbleweed, sent out his press release yesterday about the formation of his new company, Four Lights Houses and is launching his new website today.  If you haven't been there yet, check it out.  It's beautiful.  I have to believe that the photos and the (sometimes hilarious) text embody his dreams about living small and tiny house communities.  Dreams that he is making come true.

This morning I was at work, in the middle of a project, when I suddenly remembered that Four Lights Houses was supposed to be launched today.  I minimized what I was doing, and opened up Firefox, and cruised to the site to see.  Yay, it's up!

 I took it all in - clicking on links and reading...

First I realized that The Gifford may be my new love.

Then I clicked on "Village" and discovered The Napoleon Complex  (working subtitle, "Co-Housing for the Antisocial" - totally hilarious) It's exactly what I want to create in Dallas!  Tiny... in a City known for big... Ohhh doesn't it need a sister village in Dallas?!  Yes!  Yes it does!

And then I clicked on "Workshop" and read three little words.  No, no, not those three little words - nobody is professing their love for me - these three words:  Tiny House Camp.  My vision blurred.  Tiny.  House.  Camp?!  Whaaaaat?  What is it? (A hands-on workshop) When?? (February 16-20) WHERE?? (Sebastopol, CA)

I read all the tantalizing details and when I reached the bottom of the page, there it was... beckoning me...

Add to Cart.

Without a thought my mouse went there and clicked.  My cursor rested, blinking on the Registration Page.  I took my hand off of my mouse and stared.  Okay actually I took a little day dream trip.  A tiny house camp.  For 5 days.  The sky is blue, we're outside and the speakers are amazing, there's wine (forgive me but I am day dreaming in Sonoma County, you can't blame me) I'm buoyed by being surrounded with like-minded people who share my dream, hammers swinging and...

I texted my friend Kelly in Minneapolis with whom I message all day long:

 b n 12:15 pm
omg he has a tiny house camp 1 day or 5 days...

 Kelly Baltzell 12:15 pm
    really great pictures
    note to you
    don't stint on photography
    you need to go to this camp.

 b n 12:16 pm
    feb in CA

 Kelly Baltzell 12:16 pm

 b n 12:16 pm
    I'm actually on the buy page...
    my mouse hovering over add to cart...

 Kelly Baltzell 12:16 pm

 b n 12:16 pm
    I'd only miss 3 days of work

 Kelly Baltzell 12:16 pm
    for five days

 b n 12:16 pm
    it's over a weekend

 Kelly Baltzell 12:16 pm
    Dan will live

 b n 12:16 pm
    I have to do it, right?

 Kelly Baltzell 12:16 pm

 b n 12:16 pm
    his first one??

 Kelly Baltzell 12:16 pm
    five daysBA
    five days
    five days of idea swapping
    five days of building a network you are going to need
   AND learning about tiny houses
    all that to me is priceless

 b n 12:17 pm
    omg what is wrong with me, I am CRYING
    everything makes me cry
    holy cow I'm in.  I bought it.

 Kelly Baltzell 12:19 pm
    you are crying because the energy is right and 
    well you need a stop gap valve for that much energy
    so you cry
    means it is the right choice
 b n 12:20 pm
    I don't even know what AP I fly into  lol

 Kelly Baltzell 12:20 pm
    moot point
    you have time to figure that out

 b n 12:21 pm
        my ticket number is 1013 - I bet I'm the 13th person to buy.

 Kelly Baltzell 12:22 pm
    yep and it JUST went live
    I bet it sells out  faster then you think.

 b n 12:23 pm
    yeah it says tickets are limited

But as it turns out, that wasn't the case - I wasn't the 13th person.  Shortly thereafter I got this email from Jay: "Thanks BA!  You're our first-ever workshop subscriber.  See you in February."

He had replied to one of my emails that I had sent to him yesterday in response to his press release.  In my email I had written, "I'm moving out of my house this week!!  I should be in my new tiny house by this time next year - I can't wait for January to start planning it out in earnest.  Hopefully we can meet in the early part of 2013.  I will be one of the first to sign up for the Four Points workshop, wherever it is!"

1)  Yes, it appears that we WILL meet in the early part of 2013.
2)  Yes, I was (one of) the first to sign up for the Four Points workshop.

Hmm.  I don't know -- you tell me -- but I say?  It's another piece of the puzzle, another leg of the journey that is just meant to be.  And another little piece?  I saw a couple of weeks ago that Tumbleweed is holding a weekend workshop in Austin in March, and I had been planning to sign up for it.  I kept forgetting about it, then remembering, and then I'd think, "Oh, yeah, I need to remember to do that," but I never quite got around to it.  Well, now I know why.  I mean, I'm sure it's going to be great and I know there will be people there who I do want to meet - and I will meet still meet them at a Tumbleweed workshop - just not in March.   But I'm going to C A M P.



I have so much to tell you, but honestly, I can hardly contain myself and I'm so excited that I wish I could just mind meld with all of you and you could just "have" all that I want to tell you about.  I can hardly stay in my chair, much less focus on any legal projects on my desk at my job...  But!  I have to "get it out" so I can settle down, so here we go - this post and the next one may not be my most creative and artful posts... but I really just need to purge my brain so I don't explode...

First, nearly all of the neighbors on my street threw me a surprise going away happy hour last night.  Amanda spirited me out of my house under the guise of going for drinks (a sure fire way to get me to agree to climb into your car) and about a mile away from the house professed to have forgotten something for me that she HAD to go back and get.  I was just the passenger nestled into the heated seat, and frankly happy to ride there for quite some time  - oblivious to any scheming that was going on.

When we got back to our street - really we had only been gone about 10 minutes - all of my neighbor friends were huddled up on my front porch in the dark to surprise me!  I promptly burst into tears - my reaction to all things good and bad these days.  I was just ... stunned.  No, I mean, I was REALLY STUNNED.  Then they opened my front door (see the good things that can happen when others have keys to your house??) and well, they must have had a party-in-a-bag that they just pulled the zip line on, because there was a table full of food and drink, and chairs, and music...all amongst my packed moving boxes  It was just astonishing and so heart warming - I really can't describe it.

Everyone even had their little booties on - knowing I don't allow shoes in my house...

Monty even covered up his favorite Prada loafers in my honor:

I didn't have the presence of mind to start taking photos until some folks had already left - sorry! - but here is a group photo of the friends who were still there... but it's missing 8-10 people!

Special thanks to Christy's dad for photoshopping abilities... : )

The Women of the Patricia Militia - these are amazing women!!  

And for two days now I've been texting friends about how I really am needing champagne, and how I feel champagne coming on...

Guess what's in the bag??  Veuve Clicquot!!  Dreamy.  Not to mention the sweet tag... : )  I think Ginny with a "G" is responsible for that.  I am going to try to save this for my new tiny house next year... it will be a test of will power, for sure.  I'm making no promises...

Amanda was quite the delegator - at least I think it was her - I found a few of these little notes around in the aftermath...

I am not sure who all was responsible for what, or even who all was invited - but it was an amazing evening - laughing, mushy cards, wine, story telling, Moscow Mules... I am so grateful for neighbors who have become dear friends!  I'm so happy I could just burst.  Thank you Friends!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jay Shafer & Four Lights Houses

Do you recall my post about sending the door knocker to Jay Shafer, founder of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company?  If not, you can read about it here.

I've been sitting on the knowledge that he was starting a new venture - so excited for him but knowing it wasn't my news to tell... but yesterday he sent me his press release, announcing the formation and launch of his new company, Four Lights Houses.  It's going to be amazing!!  

Please join me in congratulating Jay on his new adventure! (And don't you love the company name and logo?!)

Jay Shafer will be unveiling what he calls his, “best tiny houses yet”, at this Tuesday, December 11 at 9:00 am EST.  Jay has resigned from his position at Tumbleweed Tiny Houses to form Four Lights Tiny House Company.
When asked why he split with the business he founded in 1999, Jay says, “For some of the same reasons I started designing, building and living in small houses in the first place – for more freedom and more manageability. The message and design philosophy I’d built my original company on had become harder and harder to maintain as the business grew from a one-man operation into what it is today.”
Four Lights will launch by offering Jay’s first-ever unabridged, hands-on building workshop, his plans for a tiny house village (slated for completion in 2015), and three portable houses ranging from about 100 to 500 square feet (including lofts). 

An additional house will be unveiled every month for the next five months. Jay’s designs for compact furnishings and his system for “design-it-yourself” tiny houses will be released thru on January 31.

You can receive a schedule and reminders of these events by signing up at when it officially launches this Tuesday.

Jay Shafer

See you at the workshop!!

Move Date Set

I'm moving on Thursday -- this week!!  Lots to do before then, but it's totally doable.

I'll close on the sale the following week...

I wish I could click my heels and have it all over.  So. Excited.  A wee bit nervous, but excited.

I also have another post to write this afternoon -- Jay Shafer who founded Tumbleweed has finally given me permission to share his news!  Stay tuned...

Friday, December 7, 2012


Okay!  The consignment pick up truck arrived.

I was past ready - it was 11 a.m. and their pick up time frame was 9-11, later revised by phone to 10:30-11.  Greta and I had lounged in the morning - well, okay, so I was vacuuming out furniture drawers and shelves, and wiping down nightstands - and enjoyed a leisurely morning walk and a chat with Monty.  

On my walk I stopped and chatted with a lady that I often see out walking, and told her that I was moving.  Then I told her why... showed her a few photos, gave her my blog card... and was met with unbridled enthusiasm.  She thinks she wants one, too.  I think that's awesome. 

And I chatted with another neighbor from across the street who just happened to be out while I was out with the dog.  She had no idea what I was undertaking and was really excited for me - promised to read up on this blog... fun. 

And my mom called - she'd read my blog post last night and wanted to check on my mental health.  I love that I am on the downside of 45 and my mom still calls to check on me... you just never out grow that.  And my sister Kate called, and my friend Lydia called (she and her husband were worried I was in a lather and hiding in a closet because I hadn't returned Lydia's call last night That's funny today, less funny last night... and I did tell her that it was good to check on me... lol)  And Tom, in the midst of wild trial preparation, called.  I love that man.

The consignment company I decided to go with was Consignment Buy Furniture.  They made it all so easy and both their driver and his partner were amazingly courteous and professional.

Dining room table being disassembled...

I surprised myself with being okay with some of (what I thought were) my prized possessions sailing out my front door.  I didn't cry, like I thought I would. 

Yesterday I started reading the book, You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap) by Tammy Strobel.  She did the whole downsizing thing before me, and lives in a tiny house.  So far it's a great read.  It's all about simplifying your life...

They were totally good sports about posing for me...

Now I'll just wait for the consignment checks...

As a reward for a job well done, Negra Modelo and guacamole on the Lakewood Mi Cocina patio.  It cures what ails you, and is suitable for any type of celebration!

On an unrelated note, twice now on my drive into downtown on Live Oak, I've seen a T2 Realty sign advertising a lot for sale that is zoned multi-family.  I swear, it practically jumps in front of my car when I drive by... I may have to call and see what the scoop is, just for fun.  Hey - you never know!

Thanks for reading...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Let It All Go

Consignment is coming in the morning to pick up my big furniture pieces.  My dining room table from Old Home Supply in FW; the armoire that is my pantry - the first real, major piece of furniture I ever bought; my beautiful, girly mirrored Pottery Barn night stands that have reflected my bedroom chandeliers; the little wooden chair with the fireflies; the sideboard that Tom and I built from lumber reclaimed from my neighbors' deck; the long, narrow, outdoor cedar dining table (another BA/Tom collaboration)  - the scene of great outdoor dinner parties, the big, heavy wooden candlestick from Legacy Trading Company that I picked up on a dog walk -- someone put it out in bulky trash and I loved it enough to heave it home...

I came home from work today and emptied my pantry and night stands, and pushed them and the other pieces into the dining room.  I'm not gonna lie, this is a difficult piece of the journey.  I'm not sure why.  It isn't the money.  Maybe it's because these pieces reflect so much of my personality.  Maybe it's because they are more than tubs of craft supplies at an estate sale... I'm not sure.  It might just be that they are physically large items that are going to leave such a void in my little Tudor.  I don't know.

I have been weepy tonight though.  Not sad - maybe it's relief of another huge step; maybe it's just release, knowing I'm moving down my path.  I don't know.  But sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln, I hope I don't cry when the guys are here loading the truck in the morning.  But I probably will.  I hate that.

Tonight was the only night this week that I didn't have plans.  I have been consciously been taking time - making time - for fun with friends. It's good.  And it was on my 2012 Manifesto to take time with friends, and hel-lo, it's still 2012.  So when Christy texted me with an invitation to go out, and I had made plans to not have plans,  My knee--jerk reaction was to decline.  Sweat pants and Hulu called.  I hemmed and hawed about it, but I went.  And I'm glad I did - it was really fun: shopping and champagne at The Gypsy Wagon on Henderson (hello, cute pajama shorts  - less embarrassing for travel -- and a funny card --) and then dinner and great conversation at Fireside Pies...  It was just what the doctor ordered.

And when I got home and saw my dining room heaped up with furniture? A little bit less scary but I still sat on the sofa and had a short* cry.  Why? I'm not sure.  They are just material things.  Things I don't need. Things I don't have room for, and that I don't really even use now.

I called a handful of people for support tonight while I was on a dog walk, but got voice mail.  But after dinner I was rewarded with validating messages from people who love me, telling me that I am courageous, and brave and inspiring, and that they are proud of me.   Words confirming what I know in my heart -- things are going as planned and that it is going to be amazing and freeing.  I do believe that. I'm just wigging out a tiny bit tonight.

* it's just that my people are Nordic.

p.s.  I'm donating my potting bench to Redenta's Organic Nursery.  I love that place! Happy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Organizing for the House Planning

I'm thinking ahead to my house planning now - in my mind's eye I can see my work space in my new apartment where I'll do my tiny house planning.  I'm going to start compiling information by category for reference - I'll keep the information in electronic files and also in a 3-ring notebook for reference.  Mark suggested Evernote for organization but so far I haven't spent any substantive time looking to see what it can do for me.  That's upcoming as well.

To start, these will be my categories, although I'm sure they will become more refined over time:
Exterior (generally - materials, windows, roof)
Interior (generally - insulation, appearance, lighting, shelving etc)
Kitchen (counters, cook top, pantry/storage)
Bath (shower, toilet)
Loft (futon, skylight?)
Utilities  (water, solar/electricity)
Reference - general
Tiny House Community

I have my Pinterest pages set up similarly and I've been organizing photo ideas there.  My learning curve is vertical, so I'll be gathering information from people who have experience. The resources available are limited only by the time I have to read them...!

If you have already done this and have ideas or suggestions for me - please!  Share!  I'd really like to hear from you on what worked and what didn't work.

This week I read a great article about insulation written by Matt over at Boneyard Studios, the tiny house community in Washington, D.C. A quick read of the article reveals that I am not at all educated in the details of insulation.... : )   Which is okay - it's just an observation...

It's exciting to be getting close to having the decks cleared and the mental space cleared to begin the process!  I am definitely not going to be Project Girl in my apartment without my shop, so I'll have newly found free time to dedicate to this.  (Although I am going to learn how to grow my own sprouts so that I can make Kelley's fabulous sprout salad myself!)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Moving Right Along

Merry Monday!  Wow, I needed about twice the weekend time that I had this weekend!  It's all good though, and I was conscious of taking time for myself and doing fun things amongst the chaos.  I fit in a Christmas parade downtown Saturday morning, and a neighborhood Christmas Elf Party on Saturday night.

In between on Saturday I went out to my shop to assess what needed to be done out there (a) that's procrastination, obviously; and (b) well duh, everything needs to be done out there...  lol  and discovered that someone had tried to break in.  The hasp was bent, and I could see where they had used a crow bar to try to break the door in.  Sort of creepy, but mostly - motivating.  My plan had been to tackle the shop on Sunday...  I looked around and just started carrying things into the house - now most everything with value is on my kitchen floor:

As I suspected, my actual tools don't take up THAT much space out there.  Mostly it's lumber and scrap wood, and paint - neither of which I'm taking with me.  I think when I get these items sorted and into tubs its not going to be a horribly large volume of things.  My chop saw is still out there -- I couldn't get it and it's stand into the house by myself.

I briefly considered getting a storage unit for my tools, but since I am dedicated to downsizing, I just can't let myself do it.  As a friend pointed out, a storage unit is a crutch...  Pare down, get organized, and be small.  So I'll have a chop saw in my living room!  It's okay... lol

I am starting to feel grounded and balanced again -- that always happens as my plans clarify.  I know what apartment I am getting - I've been in the actual unit - but despite filling out their online application last week, they hadn't processed it by Saturday when I went in to sign the papers, so I haven't done that yet.  But I have looked at it twice now, and showed it to Tom, I measured to make sure my W/D will fit... and so I'm good to go there.  

I've decided I am taking my bed and my couches with me.  At first relenting and taking furniture with me felt like I was failing in my downsizing.  But then I realized I am really cranky without good sleep, and my bed is so high that I can store things under it - bad Feng Shui, but good for interim space.  And the couches?  Well, all it took was Tom asking, "What are you going to sit on?" And I gave him a good long stare and realized he was right.  I have them, I do love them, and so... I'll bring them along.  

The rest of the furniture I have lined up to go to consignment, and total score, they will come and pick it up for a small fee. I'm glad to have that squared away.

I still need to get an electrician and a plumber out for a few agreed upon repairs.... I've had Oncor out already, and I still need to call Atmos.

So the logistics are shaping up.  On the emotional side of big change, it's just a really interesting process.  The overriding emotion these days is gratitude.  I'm so grateful for so many things - the support of Tom, and my family, and my friends - many of whom are also my neighbors.  I'm grateful that my house sale is going so smoothly.   I'm grateful for my health, and my dog and her health, and that I have found a place that I like for a stepping stone residence that is nearby.  I'm really grateful that it isn't cold.  Over all, I am the most grateful about how much I am loved.  I don't mean that in a self-centered bragging type of way - I mean it in an open-my-arms-wide-and-just-drink-it-in type of way.

I had the best afternoon yesterday, putting up outside Christmas lights with all my neighbors.  We walked back and forth between yards - borrowing and lending ladders.  Holding ladders, giving opinions, clinking drinks, and marveling at how pretty everyone's house looks.  I mowed and edged for the last time - and gave Monty my edger - that made me teary - isn't THAT ridiculous?  And Lydia's husband came to get a few things that she is buying, one of which was my rototiller - and seeing THAT go made me really sad!  What the heck - yard equipment??  That's what I'm sad about?!  Just.  Not.  Normal.  lol  

And I am amazed and so validated in that I am so comfortable with this new theme of letting go.  Yes, I get teary when I talk about someone else being in my house - but mostly because I'm so happy that someone is going to love it and appreciate it - and, I'm told, would like me to come over and tell her about the widget-y things about it, and tell her about my gardens.  My yard is where I have really poured out my soul, and I love believing that she likes it and wants to know what's what.  Seeing all my things sold, or giving things away - it's like an out of body experience.  It's as though I am watching someone else do it - it's really weird.

So now I'm on task for packing.  I really thought I wouldn't need to hire movers, but I've given up that notion.  I'm aiming to move next week - on an off day if I can -- a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday -- and close early.  I'm currently scheduled to close on the 20th - but I really like to push hard for a week, and be done, and then enjoy all the pre-holiday fun things before I fly home on the 23rd.  Gotta have a goal!  I am going to be SUCH A SLUG in January.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finishing and Beginning

Soooooooooooooooooo the inspection went really well - so pleased.  The dog behaved, and the buyers are reportedly happy with the house, and I agreed to do just a few minor repairs.  The inspector provided the report same day, but I wasn't able to discuss it with Bryan until this morning to be clear on what the buyer was requesting.  Then Amanda sent the contract amendment over already today, and I signed it, and we are good to go!  I can exhale on that piece of the process.

I plan to sign a lease - somewhere - on Saturday.... I will really exhale then.  I haven't been sleeping well - I think it's the unknowns that are getting me...  But so far, things that I have been stewing over have not come to pass.  I may need to tattoo that on my palm to remind myself.  At least I've managed to stay fairly faithful to the gym, and I know that is helping immensely in keeping me balanced.

I've been thinking about my next meeting with the City.  One thing that I need to do is organize news bits from different cities across the country that have come out about tiny houses and tiny house communities and zoning changes; I could have have done a better job with that in my first meeting, but - no harm done.  It's a learning curve...  I think there is an app for the iPad, too, for business presentations.  I need to check that out.

And James is asking me about floor plans for my house - he's chomping to start working on my trailer.  And trust me, I am dying for him to get started on it!  I'm just not quite ready is all.  It's um, sort of a critical component, lol, and I can't rush it.   I am thinking about ordering The Lusby plans from Tumbleweed as a jumping off point, but I need to review options again first.  It would be fun to have them to take with me to Minnesota over Christmas to show my dad.  He loves to build things.  I have two architect friends that I'll contact too, and see about input from them.  That will be fun.

I plan to get some boxes this week/weekend, and also to tackle my workshop for the move.  I need to sort tools, and assess what type of container(s) I need to move and store things.  There is a new Harbor Freight open, and I'm going to look there for some hard sided boxes on wheels with a pull handle like luggage, or something similar...  In my mind most of what is taking up the most space out there is lumber and lumber scraps - I don't think my actual tools are terribly voluminous.  But there are probably more than I am envisioning.  Par for the course...  I have this weekend, next weekend, and then I want to move the following weekend.  It should totally be doable.

What is becoming urgent, however is my consignment furniture. I do not want to have to move that.   My regular consignment place referred me to another consignment place that I need to call -- they come and pick up furniture for a nominal fee. I need to call them and find out what their protocol is for determining what items they will accept.  That is on my list for TODAY.

I'm already looking ahead to 2013 -- Exhibit 1 - there is a Tumbleweed workshop in Austin in March... [giddy laughter]

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Anxiety II

With my house inspection today, and the option period on the house contract ending on Friday, it's time for me to figure out where I am moving to!  I called some places close to my neighborhood a few days ago -- some old old complexes that I've always thought were charming - but they don't take dogs.  But one of the leasing women I spoke with - Sherry - we totally bonded on the phone!  I ended up telling her about my tiny house plans... it felt like we were fast friends. She said she has a few acres of land outside of Dallas and that she is thinking of retiring soon - and was intrigued with the tiny house idea.  I gave her my blog address to read about what I'm doing.  I also asked her to keep me in mind in case she knew of any garage apartments, or other tiny spaces for rent - she said she would.  Having been in the area for a while she seemed like she might know "people."

Yesterday afternoon my friend Kelley and I went to 4-5 apartment complexes, so grateful she could go since it was way more fun than going alone!  I didn't find anything that I just had to have, and frankly they were more expensive than I expected.  I haven't leased an apartment in probably 10 years, so gosh, shocking that they are more than I expected! (That's a joke...)   Not outrageous, and still manageable, but ...nonetheless more than I thought.  

Really what I want (I think) is a garage apartment - although admittedly I've never been in one - but it seems like it would be ideal.  I wouldn't have any shared walls, it would be quiet...and odds are good for some type of yard for the dog.  But I know those are difficult to come by - I think you pretty much have to either know someone, or be there when the sign in stuck in the yard and be prepared to write a check on the spot...

I ducked into a class at Apple last night - and then home for a bite and to give the dog some attention.  Sacked out at a reasonable hour... until... 1:20 a.m.  BING!  Eyes wide open.  Positive it was nearly time to get up.  Um, no.

I proceeded to work myself into a lather of worry until 4 a.m.  The "dark times" as Tom and I call them - those wee hours of the morning when it's sooo dark and sooo quiet.  The wind was just whipping around the house, and in between gusts of wind I heard the owls calling in the night.  I worried about the house inspection.  I worried about the dog being kenneled in the guest room during the inspection.  I worried about putting Greta dog back into apartment living, and how much she might bark.  We lived in an apartment when she was a tiny puppy and thus began the ritual of her laying on the bathroom rug while I showered -- left loose in the apartment she would invariably see something threatening out the window  to bark at and me, in the shower, unable to quiet her.  Today she's 12, and she still loves to come and lay on the rug when I shower.  : )  Rationally I don't really believe she would be a chronic barker.  She sleeps all stinkin' day...

Anyway, I had major anxiety under the cover of darkness.  It doesn't matter if it was rational or not... After surfing the web for apartments, catching up on news, and taking my turns on Words with Friends and I was STILL wide awake, I prayed for peace of mind and for a solution.  The last I looked at the clock it was 4:04 a.m.

Greta of course slept through all of that - so she awakened me at our usual hour of 7.  Painful.  And then this morning while I was getting ready for the inspection, my phone chimed that I had a voice mail.  It didn't ring...some glitch in the system.  And who was it?  Sherry!  With the names and phone numbers of two people with rental units available - and that I should use her name.  I started crying - what had I done to deserve her kindness?   

I called the numbers right away.  One indeed is a garage apartment that is walking distance to Lydia's and walking distance to Wholefoods (and next door the Sherry!)  A great price, and all bills paid, and the landlord doesn't mind a big dog.  It's still under construction, but she hopes to have it ready to see on Saturday.  Downside?  No central heat and air - a space heater and a window unit.  I still want to see it.  I can do anything for a year or less...

The other one is a 1/1 (not sure if it is a duplex, or what) also nearby.  I'm going to see that one today!  They also accept pets.

I guess some anxiety is pretty normal with the big changes I am doing.  Last night was only my second bout of it which I think is pretty darned impressive, and by morning, my prayers were answered with connections from a stranger.  (I can't even call that the Power of Who!  LOL)  Because this process thus far has been nearly anxiety free, and I have no remorse, when I do experience some worry it hits me pretty hard.  I love my plan.  I believe in my plan - I think it's solid - but when it's dark and cold, and you can't sleep, it's easy for negativity to creep in.  I can still "see" myself in my rental place, making my plans.  I still "see" myself climbing up into my cozy sleeping loft, after a day of sharing my excitement about living small with my community.  I'm on track!

This afternoon Kelley and I will look at the 1/1 and do a drive by on the garage apartment.  And I think we'll hit a thrift store or two - I threw down the gauntlet of challenge to my family for an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest for Christmas Eve... my sister Kate called today and said she already bought her sweater and a sweater for her husband!  I need to get on the stick!

Tonight?  Christy is coming over with some wine and we are going to catch up - we haven't sat and chatted in  f o r e v e r!  I think I'll build a fire in the fireplace.  Ahhhhh.  Everything is going to work out just the way it is supposed to.