Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lining Up Meetings

I'm exchanging emails with someone in the City's Department of Sustainable Development and Construction to coordinate our calendars for a meeting.  She has even invited two other people to join us - !  I'm encouraged.... I'll keep you posted...

Sale Prep - Tuesday - Day Three!

I feel better today about my prep than I felt yesterday at this time...  thanks to help, I'm less overwhelmed.  (I'm not really sure why I thought 6 days would be enough time to unearth and price my entire life... but here I am.  Three days down, three days to go.)

Yesterday afternoon I picked up packing supplies from Diana's house - bags and boxes for packaging sold items.  She had left a ton of stuff out on her front steps for me.  Awesome - thank you!

My friend and former neighbor Liz came by in the late afternoon to help.  She helped me set up a few tables - that's difficult to do alone - and coordinated getting another table from another neighbor down the street who even delivered!  Thank you Liz!   Thank you David!

We unloaded all of my kitchen cabinets onto two tables in the kitchen.  That went pretty fast.  Now that I can see everything, I'll go back through and put away the few items that I want to keep.  Mostly pots and pans, I think.  A few glass food storage containers...

Then we tackled the next area that seemed the most daunting to me: my craft closet. Liz was so encouraging - "The kitchen only took half an hour - we have time to do this - let's do it."   We got everything unloaded and put it onto a table in the living room.  It wasn't quite a bad as I was expecting.  I had a lot of stuff in there, but it was mostly organized into tubs and groups.

Okay!  Onward!  Liz headed out, and I walked and fed the dog (who strangely is not freaked out by all the chaos...) and went to pick up take out from Ali Baba.  Then Renee came over about 7.  We had a quick bite with a glass of wine and got caught up on life (she's also making big changes!) and then we dug in.  We got everything from the craft closet put into clear "grab bags" - that was huge.  And we sorted and bagged quilting fabric, backing and batting.  That took us to after 10 p.m.  Whew!  It's so much more fun with a friend, and it seems less like work...

So what remains?  

Pricing.  I haven't priced anything yet.  I am going to print price tags today.  

My clothes closet - I need to sort through that, but it will go pretty fast.

The most daunting part remaining?  My garden shed.  And I don't feel like I can do that very far ahead of time,  because it will all just be displayed out in the backyard.  It doesn't seem like that should happen very far ahead of time.

My ad in the newspaper starts tomorrow.  I need to do a grocery store so that I have food and water for the sale day for volunteers...  I need to put up some clothes lines between the posts on the car port for hanging clothes and costumes...

But things are shaping up.  One of the most surprising things to me is that I am not wanting to keep things.  I'm letting everything go and it's freakishly easy.  I'm going to call that validation that this path is right for me.


Before I tell you about yesterday's sale prep progress, I have to tell you about "buoyancy."  It's really the only word I can think of to describe it - I feel like I am being carried by the enthusiasm that other people have for what I am doing.  It's becoming such an interesting phenomenon.  I mean, I sort of expected people to be interested, but I have way underestimated the level of enthusiasm.

Here are a few of about a dozen recent examples:

Monday I was in my neighborhood Wholefoods picking up at few things, and during check out the cashier said, "So what have you been up to today?"  Now, I am acquainted with most of the cashier's there - and by acquainted I just mean that we recognize each other as having exchanged hellos for a few years - but I wasn't as familiar with this cashier as much as most, and his question sort of caught me off guard.  But I'm also just over flowing with enthusiasm, and so I said, "Well, I'm getting ready for a big sale - I'm selling everything I own - I'm over hauling my life."  He stopped checking and said, "What?  That's awesome!"  I continued, "Yep, I'm selling my house, and all my stuff, and just starting over - new career, new life."  He asked what I'll do, and I said, "I'm building a tiny house on wheels - I'm going to be off the grid, and I am going to start a tiny house community in Dallas."  He gave me a high five.  He said all sorts of encouraging things --  and it made me so happy - a total stranger was excited about my plan.  I gave him one of my new cards, and said he could read about all the adventure.  He said he would, and oddly I believe him. 

Last evening my friend Renee was over helping me set things out and she has a friend whose husband wants to do tiny and his wife is discouraging it.  Back in May when we traveled together to North Carolina for a wedding, Renee and I had had extensive conversations about my then developing plan, and her desire to make big changes in her life, and so she was more up to speed on tiny than her friend.  Renee said that this past week she talked with her friend and said, "Hey, you shouldn't be so fast to discount tiny - it's going to take off - I've got this friend...." And she said she told her all about me, and how inspiring she is finding my journey to be.  And she's going to send her to this blog to read about it.  I love that.

I have been handing out my cards, and when I gave a stack to Amanda she said, "Oh, so I can tell people about your blog now?  It's public? (Yes)  Okay good, because I've wanted to, but I didn't think you were telling everyone yet."   LOVE that she is having conversations about it.  Love.

The help I am getting from friends and neighbors for my sale is astonishing.  Tables.  Boxes and bags for packaging sold items.  Time preparing.  Breakfast and lunch for Saturday.  Volunteer time the day of the sale - it just goes on and on.  Last night my sister Mona in San Diego booked an airline ticket to come out for the weekend!  Wow.  Color me grateful.

Up until the last few months, I am not sure that anyone in my life has ever told me that I inspire them.  Now it's almost a daily occurrence - that's just crazy!  And when someone says that to me it's as though the moment is frozen for just a second and I have to just listen and absorb it because I'm surprised, and so grateful.  I'm just doing what feels right - following my heart.  I literally can't NOT do it.  My friend Kelly who started her own very successful business years ago asked me once, "What is your purpose?  How do you help others?"  And honestly, I didn't have an answer.  Now?  Ahhh ha ha ha  Boy, do I have an answer now!

I'm learning that so many people want to make a big change in their life but don't know how to begin.  I am hearing stories from friends and strangers about ideas they have that they haven't tried - they seem to believe that it is out of reach.  I used to feel that way, too.  I'd see a show on HGTV or read a a story in a magazine and think, "Wow.  They really did something there. Cool."   I always have had project ideas, and I'm the friend who has an idea and then actually does it - (I never realized that that was anything out of the norm either, until friends started pointing it out to me...) but I've never had a really huge, life changing idea that I was compelled to do.  All that has changed.

I guess I'm just saying that the phenomenon of people being excited, of wanting to be a part this change, and wanting to help* continues.  And the enthusiasm of others is inspiring me. 

* I got an offer of construction of custom trailer for my house yesterday - so excited!!!  More on that soon...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sale Prep - Monday - Day Two!

I want to say that I am starting to be a wee bit panicked about sale prep - I feel like I probably should be - but I'm not really.  I'm one of those who is mostly undaunted by alarmingly large projects... Blessing, curse, I can argue that one either way.

 I worked a full day  at the office yesterday - so no extra time to do sale prep, and I was irritated with myself that I forgot to bring home a few supplies that I have at work.  But I did fairly well last night.  I set up 3 tables inside, and started sorting the items from the attic.  The bedding turned out to actually be bedding, dog bedding, towels, big pieces of raw fabric (quilting) and curtains.  So I'm going to say - I'm not as neurotic about bedding as it appeared yesterday.  : )   Although in the same breath I must admit that I know I have more of the same type of thing in my master bedroom closet... [hanging head]  Oh - and I'm not going to lie - every time I cut open a bag from the attic I gave a silent prayer of thanks when nothing furry scurried out!  You laugh, but I have had that happen to me at a rental place when I had Christmas decorations in a box in he garage... screamed like a girl and ran...

And the dog scored a "new" bed from her supplies in the attic.  I had been thinking that she needed a new one, becoming arthritic, so now I don't have to go buy one.  She was laying on it before I got it fully assembled - she is quite pleased with it.  The chaos isn't making her nervous ... yet... but I expect by Friday when I take her for boarding she'll be a little bit twitchy.  For now she's content with investigating all the things being unearthed from closets.
Lydia came over last night and we sat down and chatted as though I have more than 4 days to unearth and price tag my entire life.  HA  But we needed it, and it was fun.  She brought me some supplies for packaging sold items, and a tarp for the lawn.  We also poked around in my shop and my shed for items for her to use in her welding class... she found a few things.  She's going to take my table saw that is no longer working - apparently there could be several widget-y parts within - and she was really excited about an old railroad lantern.  I think I got it from my dad - he used to collect them - but then I may have just bought it somewhere along the line because I thought it was cool and reminded me of him.  I gave it away freely, but with an admonition that she channel my dad when she uses it....  she laughed and promised she would.

And Bryan and Amanda my (realtors) came over last night.  Bought my Twister game!  LOL  They tagged what furniture they want to remain for house staging.  And they made a passing notation that they might ask me to paint my dining room, which is currently clove brown, to make it feel larger.  They are going to look at it in the daylight after the sale before they make the final determination.  I'll have to break out the Kilz to cover brown... ugh.

I had emailed my four sisters earlier in the week to see if anyone wants to fly in to help me with the sale; I think I have enough miles for a ticket.  My sister in San Diego says she may come - I'm to check on flights today.  She's never been to my house, so that would be fun - even if she would be here helping me prepare to sell it... lol

I let a neighbor pick through my Halloween decorations tub over the weekend, and I'm taking the remainder down to another neighbor this afternoon.  She does Halloween big, and can always use more things.  My other holiday items I will sell, but I figure that a sale that is a few days after Halloween may not be the best place to sell Halloween decorations.  So she gets them free.  I'll sell my various costumes...

I looked all over Dallas for large clear bags on Sunday, (not Ziploc - they are too expensive) for packaging things in a grab-bag style.  They are no where to be found - I did find gallon sized at WalMart for cheap and got those for craft supplies grab bags.  I've decided that I am going to use my clear leaf bags, and just cut them down to size and staple them.  I can get 2 decent sized bags from one left bag, I think, plus I have a box of them in my shed already.  I'll need to bring a stapler home... 

Today I need to swing by a friend's house to pick up more packaging supplies - she left them in her courtyard for me over the weekend and I never made it there - and I am going to round up a few more tables from neighbors.  I have two friends coming over tonight to help me - and early shift and a later shift - and I hope that we knock out a lot of areas.  Coffee in the morning, wine at night... that is what fuels sale prep...  lol  I was up at 6:30 this morning, sorting things and got quite a bit done, so I already feel better.  I quit last night when I realized that I was basically just walking in circles in my house - not productive.

I also snapped a few photographs this morning of family sentimental items to email to my sisters - in case they want to claim any of that type of thing.  (They do.)

In other news, I emailed my would-be contact in Zoning at the City yesterday - so I am hoping to hear back from her soon to set up a meeting.  My friend who made the connection on my behalf received a very encouraging email from her about zoning for smaller houses, and we are both encouraged by that!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Sale Prep - Sunday - Day One

I can feel it coming on --

The preparation time for my sale is here -- we are in 7 day countdown!

Tom and I unloaded my attic into my guest room yesterday - LOL  oh my gosh!  I have about 17 clear zippered comforter bags full of bedding - human and dog.  What is up with that??   I was up in the attic, and Tom was at the bottom of the (full sized, covered in vintage orange shag carpet) stairs, and I was handing things down.  And the huge zippered bags?  They just kept coming - I swear, they multiplied up there over time.  By the time we were through, I was laughing so hard I had to just bend over and hang there, upside down, laughing.  Okay, so I was a little punchy.  

It was night time when I took this - not the best photo quality...
I called my sister in Wisconsin to marvel at the amount of bedding - and she said, "Well it's because we were raised in Minnesota!  You're afraid of being cold, and not having enough blankets.  Enough blankets for yourself, and any house guests, and..  and..."  I concluded it was some sort of syndrome.  Not unlike my strange inability to part with wire coat hangers.  And pajamas - why do I have so many pajamas??  Must.  Go.

Searching for chicken.  (Hey, a girl can dream!)
 Then I drove to Garland to my career coach's house and loaded 3 tables into her truck.  I left my car at her house, drove the tables to my house.  Drove her truck back to her house, and my car back to my house.  That took 2 hours... but I am going to need as many tables as I can get my hands on, so -- ultimately worth it.  It was sort of an adventure though... And very kind of her to loan me not only tables, but her truck.

I showed my house yesterday to a couple who used to live on my street... they would like to be back on the street... we will see if that turns into anything.

After my sale is over my realtor(s) are going to do the full blown selling of my house - a professional photographer will come in, and we'll put a sign in the yard, and it will go up on MLS.  Until this point it's been a low key listing.  So tonight the realtors will come over and tag what furniture they want to remain for sale staging, and make a list of what I need to do to ready the house for sale.

I also have 2 friends coming over tonight to help me get things out and organized for the sale.  I'm feeling sort of overwhelmed at this point, but I know I'll get it done.  I become super human when I have a deadline.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ta-Da! WAT

Look what arrived in the mail on Wednesday -- my new WAT* button!

(Sorry for the poor photo quality - I thought it had turned out better...) Tom's daughter Laura made it for me - wasn't that awesome?  I couldn't imagine what was in the lumpy envelope that arrived in the mail.... and for any of you who know me, you know how I use burlap for just about everything... lol 

Tom and I have taken to calling it my WAT badge....

The badge has already been used... I wore it to Mi Cocina on my Wednesday date night with Tom - it was the big badge reveal to him during dinner - and then I wore it to Ashley's last night.  Unfortunately, I think the seat belt in my car was sort of hard on it - I lost a few gemstones!  I'll have to be more careful.  Laura probably didn't think I'd actually wear it... Ahhhh ha ha ha ha

*   WAT

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Progress: Lack Thereof, and and Sale Update

My 10:30 telephone conference today about tiny houses in Dallas has been postponed until Friday of next week.  That's a bummer.  But, out of my control....  I am going to start making connections with Planning & Zoning in the meantime.  I have a contact name, so I need to make a telephone call.

The plans for my sale are shaping up.  I think I have more tables lined up to borrow than I have room to set up inside the house, so surface space is good.  I have quite a few friends who are signed up to help me set things out various evenings next week, and several have said they will come over on Saturday.  At the moment the weather prediction is 60% rain on sale day, but who really believes a prediction 8 days out?  Deny, deny, deny.

I got online with the Dallas Morning News to see about placing an ad, and saw the format the ads should be in, so I've started drafting my verbage for that... I haven't checked on permitting yet.

Dog boarding reservation?  Check.

I looked into hiring a professional to run the sale for me, but it's too short of notice, and my total dollar amount is too small.  Probably just as well.  I can do this, and save the commission.

When I'm falling asleep at night, or rolling over in the middle of the night, or when I first awaken, my thoughts are busy inventorying my possessions.  By next weekend I'll have had the entire sale in my head already...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Focus this Week

This week I am focusing on preparing for my teleconference on Thursday with a gentleman in Dallas who is also interested in tiny houses, and who hopefully will also be interested in my concept of a tiny house community.  More on that after it happens!

I'm also starting to think about logistics for my "estate" sale.  I can see that it could easily become sort of complicated, but I think I can plan it out to keep it manageable.  I'm all about the planning... lol  I've never done a sale like this before so I am trying to think ahead on all of the issues that will arise.  If you have advice, please, share!  

Here are the things I have thought of so far...

1)  Send out an email to friends and neighbors asking for help before the sale getting items set out and priced, and also to help the day of the sale. I already have a handful of friends who have said they will help - yay! 

2)  See who has tables I can borrow to display items.

3)  Think about traffic flow in my house.  I have four exterior doors, so I'll need to think about which one will be the sale entrance, and which one is the exit with the cashier.  I will also have things outside in the front and backyard, so I need to think about if I want a second point of sale, or if I'll route outdoor people back inside.  (And then there is the whole "no shoes" issue...) 

4)  I need to get some stickers for pricing.  A neighbor suggested using colored dots - each color is a price.  That could be a good idea....

5)  I'll need some packing paper for kitchen items that are sold, and also bags to put things in.  I should send an email out to friends for grocery bags and old newspapers....

6)  I need to have my realtors over to see what furniture they want to remain for showings.

7)  I'll need tape, scissors, "sold" and "not for sale" signs... a calculator... and I guess some bottled water in a cooler and some food for my friends who are helping.  I generally am opposed to bottled water, but in this situation it's probably the easiest route to go.

8)  I need to check on putting an ad in the newspaper.  I'm not sure I want/need to do that...

9)  I should walk through my house and note family items (the candlestick Dad made, for example) and then contact my sisters to see if they want any of those items...)

10)  Craft up some signs to put out, advertising. I believe I need a permit as well.

11)  Figure out a cashier's box, and get some cash and coins to be able to make change.

12)  And then this weekend I'll probably start getting things out of the attic, and out of closets and start sorting what is being sold, kept, thrown away.  I don't have any more house guests scheduled - but I guess I need to see about whether or not there are any house showings expected between now and the estate sale - I guess I can't really trash the house with things to be sold if folks are going to be looking at the house.  Hmmmm...

13)  Make arrangements to board the dog...

I suspect this list is going to grow...

I am looking forward to being "unburdened" of things.... I think it will feel very free-ing.  I'm sure that I will be torn about some items, and I will allow myself leniancy on a few things.  Some things may stay with me for the next 9 months or so in a rental, and then go out the door... I am not a knick-knack person, and most things in my house are already either functional or sentimental, so I feel like I am already a little bit ahead of the game...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The WAT and the WAG

When I talk about my plans, about the third question I get is the WAT question.

"What About Tom?"

I have gotten the timing down with all the aplomb of a stand up comedian and his punch lines.  Wait for it, wait for it --

"What about Tom?"

Yes, what about Tom?  He's fine.  He's supportive.  He's validating.  He's also wondering, like the rest of us, where my life is headed!  LOL  But if I have anything to say about it, he'll be right there with me.   If I ask him he just says, "I just want you to be happy."  I mean, how great is that?

But seriously?  I'm considering having a shirt made that reads, "What about Tom?!"   (And then there is "What about Lem?"  Oh wait - nevermind...)  Probably, though, instead of a shirt, I should have a button made, so I can wear it every day.

And then there is the WAG.

"What about Greta?"

Greta is my 12 year old Weimaraner who weighs about 70 pounds.

My answer to WAG is a shrug.  As long as she is with me, and has a window to look out, she'll be fine. I do not, however, see me carrying her up and down my bedroom loft ladder like Dee does in her tiny house video.*  We were in a second floor apartment together when she was a very high energy puppy, and if we survived that - trust me, we can survive anything.

It isn't as though she runs laps in my house now - and we do go on multiple walks a day.  So... she'll be fine.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NYC Micro Apartments

I came across this article from July 2012 about micro apartments in NYC.  I have made a note to follow up on some names and facts mentioned in the article.  I wonder how this is going....?  I'll add this article in hard copy to my folder for my meeting with the City here.  Strength in numbers... 

Swept Up in the Current

Today I wish I had the ability to bottle my adrenaline.  You know, like the little bottles of potions in Harry Potter's world?  I am on such a high with the possibilities and the potential and the vision I have of my new life that I can  h a r d l y   c o n t a i n   m y s e l f

First on my list today is to begin to ready this blog for publication.  So, if you haven't read the unvarnished stream of consciousness posts I've written to date, and you want to, you'd better get to scrambling because they are going to change fast.  Some may disappear entirely... and some new ones might show up.

As I open my blog up to strangers, I will have to be consciously mindful about why I am writing: to document this journey and it's time frames, the logistics, and the emotional ups and downs for myself.  And hopefully to inspire others, and to prompt others to share their stories with me.  That whole "strength in numbers" thing... I know there are a lot of people out there taking this same journey in their own way. 

But again - wow.  I feel like I am barely in charge of the path I am on and I feel like my feet are barely touching the ground.  I have this vision of the end game, and that the steps are just being laid out for me and I am following them down the way. Everything feels like it is moving so fast - but towards amazing things.

This quote is one I have on my Pinterest page - I have another one by him taped up on my bathroom mirror.  It seems that I like his thinking.

Knock, Knock - Rrrrrrrrinnnnng!

Jay Shafer and I connected by phone last evening and had an amazing conversation about tiny houses and tiny house communities.  It was a really "comfortable" conversation - he was really nice.

He liked my gift/introduction, and said it took a while to get to him because of office logistics - but it sounded as though he had unwrapped it and picked up the phone.  Yay!  Mission accomplished...  : )

We discussed tiny house communities - I told him about my meeting scheduled next week with bcWorkshop to discuss the tiny house park idea - converting a trailer park into a tiny house community -- and he says that is definitely the way to go to begin, because zoning is in my favor. He's working on communities in his area as well.  I'm sure he's way ahead of me...  : )  I hope that we can collaborate a little bit...

I told him I am selling my house and having a "sell everything" sale and jumping into tiny with both feet.  He loved the the dichotomy of me "doing small" in Dallas - a city/state that is known for BIG.

I asked him if he had considered tiny houses for temporary elder care or for temp housing during home remodeling and I believe he said he had, but that zoning is a roadblock, and that while cities are starting to consider it, he hasn't gotten it pushed through yet.  I told him I am going to take a run at it in Dallas...There are a lot of changes happening in Dallas these days and I really think I have a decent shot at making it happen.  Maybe I'm naive... but I've gotta try!

I inquired about tiny house workshops -- I've got to get to one early next year!  That's so on my agenda.

Ultimately, we agreed to keep in touch . . I was so thankful for his time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Epu

This is the other house floor plan that I like - The Epu.  It is 89 square feet. 

Photo Credit: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

What do I like about it?  It's even smaller than The Lusby for moving.  It has a porch.  It has a lot of storage space.  The sleeping loft is divine... 

What am I not crazy about?  The bathroom IS the shower.  But really, how long am I really in there a day?

Here is a link to the video where Jay gives a tour of his Epu. (Video link is in the upper right corner.)

So, this plan is still a consideration....

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shopping Extravaganza

My big sell-everything sale is going to be Saturday, November 3rd.

You can come and shop anytime between now and then... don't be shy.

But don't be too friendly, either, because I might rope you into helping, and/or want to borrow your card table....

Done, Done, Check, Done.

My house was shown to a potential buyer for the first time last evening.  The realtors estimated I would need to be out for about 30 minutes.  That turned out to be quite an under-estimate; the people were looking at my house for more than an hour and a half!  I thought perhaps communication was crossed and that I could go home, but texted to confirm - no!  Still there!  I was fine with it... taking that long has to be good, right?

And my alley neighbor Kelley let me bring Greta and enjoy a happy hour while I waited - so perfect but very briefly a little weird because at one point we could hear voices in my backyard...and we had to tone down our laughter...

The feedback I got after the showing was positive... so time will tell. 

I took yesterday off and I cleaned my house all day.  I mean alllll dayyyy.  It wasn't this clean when my mother visited!!  LOL  But, the good news is, it's uber clean for my house guests this weekend.  And, the de-cluttering and the deep cleaning is done, so theoretically for future showings my spiff up should be very quick and easy.  Assuming that I can live this tidily... HA HA HA HA   It's crazy though - my house sort of echoes...

I feel like I have been blowing through huge things in the past weeks:

The letter to Tumbleweed?  Out the door.

The formal signing with a realtor to sell?  Done.

The Alice in Wonderland Bridal Shower?  Over.  (Success!)

The preparation of my house for showings?  Check.

The first showing?  Done.  And it wasn't even emotional for me.

Okay, I admit, I hate to think of them un-doing what landscaping I have done in the backyard. But I am, ahem -- sitting up straight - I am mature enough to realize that not everyone likes the same things as me.   Yeah, whatever, I probably need to rehearse that.  : )  

It's sort of depressing to acknowledge that the execution of my backyard plan never got as far down the line as I wanted - and that many of my butterfly/hummingbird garden dreams will - at least at this location - remain unfulfilled.  But, as I said, "I am mature enough..."  GAAAAAAAHH.  One hurdle at a time.

So what's next?  I have a friend flying in from North Carolina tomorrow night and staying with me until Monday.  Another friend from FW is going to come and stay with us Saturday/Sunday and we are going to collectively put our feet up and just laugh and do girly things.

Tonight?  A run to the grocery store and then - nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Day in the Life

I know I've sent this video link to many of you - it features Dee Williams, who lives in a tiny house.  She was featured in a National Museum Exhibit video.

I hope that this is a window into my life in the not too distant future... dreamy.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bits & Pieces

No, no word from Tumbleweed yet... : )  But I am not discouraged, either - it's all good.  Frankly I wasn't really ready last week for a phone call anyway - very scattered with other things going on, so I was actually relieved.  I am feeling more grounded today, and hope that continues this week.

I signed on with Bryan and Amanda as my realtors last week, and I have my first house showing this Wednesday!  I started de-cluttering my house last night.  I"m bringing some boxes home today to keep going on that... not sure WHERE the boxes are going to go, but ... one step at a time.

It's sort of drag to be putting away the more personal items from my house when I have three weekends of upcoming house guests packing bags to come and stay with me (starting this Friday), but oh well.  A minor detail I suppose.

I sent away my first piece of furniture to Lydia last night... : )  We were both happy.

I am having my "estate" sale on Saturday, November 3rd.  I know, estate sales are when someone dies, but heck what else do you call it when you sell everything you own?  It's a wee bit more than a garage sale... Plus I think the term "estate sale" has a certain draw to it.

I'm going to try to get some pumpkins and mums onto my front steps before Wednesday, and get my huge ghostie guy hung up in the tree.  He's always fun.  And my neighborhood has already started going Halloween!  Somehow it's only October 8th and it seems like I am behind... not sure how that happened.

I saw one of my neighbors out on the sidewalk on Sunday evening.  I hadn't seen him since I told everyone I was moving.  His first words, "So you're really doing it?" were accompanied by a huge smile.  We talked about what I hope to do, and some of the reasoning why; he has similar views about how much space we use to live.  He said he'd never heard of tiny houses before my email but that he had looked them up and found them very interesting albeit very small.  He said he works in a lab, where there is so much open space.  He said the next day he went to work, stood in the middle of the room, and announced (something like) that he was going to "change the way we do work.  We don't need all this space!  We could fit 24 techs in here and we only have 8!"  It just made me laugh.  I love how my changes are causing people think about things differently.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I shipped the knocker out to Jay Shafer today.

So special that Kelly was here today to snap this photo!
Too bad I have bags equal to an entire set of luggage under my eyes.  Sigh.

He didn't even think I was weird.  (Or so he claimed....)

There it goes...
 The FedEx office is literally just across the street, but walking there, the box under my arm ... it felt like it was miles away. And now?  I can barely breathe. 

It's not so much that the letter is going to Tumbleweed - although admittedly I am very intrigued with them - it's more that this one of the first  tangible steps of big life changes.  I'm going way outside my comfort zone (legal) and starting down the path of a new career.  It's what I've been working really hard on since May - and I'm starting to implement.   Yeah!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Door Knocker Assembly

I got the wood pieces for mounting the door knocker cut on Saturday:

(The dark background border is my porch concrete, wet in the rain.)  The edges aren't perfect - the planks are 100 year old Cypress - but I love the weathered look.  (UPDATE:  I reduced the size of the larger board - looks much better... of course, I forgot to take a photo before shipping.  Grrrrr)

Here's a first stab at how the letter attachment will look:

If someone shipped that to you, would it make you pick up the phone?


I mustered my nerve on Saturday and broke the news of my impending sale and move to the neighbor whom I was most nervous to tell.  I made sure he had a freshly uncorked bottle of wine in front of him, and a full glass.   

I handed him Shafer's Tiny House book.  He looked at the cover.  He looked at me.  Blankly.  

I said, "I'm going to do that -- "  pointing.

??  "Do what?"  

"A tiny house. I'm going to live in one"

Slowly the thought processed and it dawned on him.  "You're going to sell your house."  

I nodded.  And promptly had to fight back tears.  

Tears mostly, because I was worried about his reaction.  But I shouldn't have worried (and frankly I don't know what horrible thing I was expecting) --I had worked myself into a lather with worry - but he is happy for me.  He's sad, sure, but he's really excited for me, that I am pursuing my dream.  And yes, pursuing my dream I am.

I finally talked with my mom this morning - we've been playing telephone tag since I sent them the big email revealing my life overhaul.  Her words?  "We were just so surprised to hear your plans!  But that's all we'll say, because we really don't know much."  I guess she doesn't realize that I basically told her everything I know at this point... LOL  Well, aside from all my research into tiny living; but as far as my plans go?  Yep, that's really all I know at this point!  But she wasn't negative - and at this point, that's probably about as good as it gets.

And Lydia came over yesterday - the first with post-its for things she wants...  and said some of the kindest words - that she is more distraught about me selling my house than I am, because with the sale goes so many projects that she and I have done together -- it's too sad.  And when we started talking about me giving her garden things, she said I could help her choose where to plant the "BA plant" that would always be in her yard - I had to tell her "okay, that's it, you have to go now" because a conversation like that was going to require wine, and lots of it, and it was the middle of the day.  Yowser.

But really, when the sun goes down at the end of the day, I am so happy that I am making progress.  I'm taking steps down my new path and it's awesome.  And although these steps are small ones, they are all necessary ones - some steps are emotional ones, some steps are physical ones, but they all add up to pieces in the big picture.  And so far, despite my bouts of self-imposed drama, the steps are coming so clearly to me, and so easily - as though the path is already laid out for me, and I just keep moving on down the line, checking things off my list.  It's really just so... amazing.