Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pep Talk

My friend Brandye sent me this video from StoryFix last night.  It's simple and fabulous:

Pep Talk

Doesn't it make you want to get out there and DO SOMETHING AWESOME??  It does me.

Thank you Brandye!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


My friend Kelley makes the most amazing sprout salad - and she grows her own bean sprouts.  For my "apartment warming" she brought me my own sprouting set up, and instructions and is teaching me how to do it!

She brought me4 types of dried beans, (garbanzo, mung, brown lentils, and adzuki) 4 small mason jars, a package of cheese cloth, and then instructions and her amazing dressing recipe.

I am (unnecessarily) intimidated by the timing of things - not all the beans need the same duration of soaking prior to sprouting, and the time to sprout also varies.  Of course the goal is to have them all ready at the same time so you can make the salad.  I suck at math.  LOL  (But you totally want me on your team for a spelling bee!)

I finally put them to soak this week -(and did I write down what time I did that and how long I left them, for future reference?  Of course not!) Sigh.

So now they are in jars, with airy cheese cloth lids, sprouting:

L-R: Lentils, adzuki, garbanzo, mung
I'm rinsing them 1-2 times a day to keep them fresh.  They "should" take 1-2 days to fully sprout into high protein goodness.

And then here is the salad dressing recipe she gave me:

Vitality Dressing

2 cup organic olive or canola oil
1/2 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos or tamari sauce
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp powdered ginger
2 tsp powdered cumin
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried dill weed
4 tsp prepared Dijon mustard
1/2 - 3/4 tsp hing (for garlic-onion taste)

Stir well or pour into blender and mix for one minute.

Seriously can't wait until they are ready to eat!

Monday, January 28, 2013

This & That

So what's the latest here at a Bed Over My Head?  Well, I don't have any huge news, but there are lots of little things happening behind the scenes that are furthering my journey!

I am stopping by bcWorkshop on Friday of this week, just to meet Brent so that we can put faces with each other's names.  I like faces for names.

On Saturday I am having lunch with 5 local architects and a woodworker who want to know about tiny houses!  I huge thank you to my friend Elaine for setting that up for me!  I plan to treat it as though it is my first presentation - I'm going to find an iPad app for presentations and craft something up.  I'm distressed because I can't find my Tiny House book by Jay Shafer... lost in the move?  It might be in the trunk of my car... it's my last chance.  As a fall back I did order a third copy (I had already bought one.  Then last week I ordered one for my parents.  And now...) so I feel as though I may be single-handedly supporting Jay's book sales!  It's so frustrating that I can't find it!

I am reading a ton about about essential oils and educating myself about them.... that's fun.  When I go to the Tiny House Camp, I am going to share a cup of tea with the homeowner, Lakshmi and we are going to talk about essential oils... she knows waaaaay more than I do.

Mostly I feel like I am going to know a lot more about everything after the February tiny house camp, meeting Paul from Tumbleweed, and attending the Tumbleweed workshop in March.  I guess I've sort of put most of my actual tiny house planning on hold until then, because I know I am going to learn so much out there.  I'm in the two week count down!  Yowser.

I connected via the web with Hannah Adams of The Tiny Homemaker who lives in Wisconsin and is building a tiny house.  I have a sister in Wisconsin, and her husband thinks he wants a tiny house.  The web makes the world such a tiny place...

I still don't have a company name that grabs me!  It would help if I took the time to sit and think.  I'm so bad at being still.

Last week I got together with two phenomenal women from my career workshop - we had such a great night!  I'm so pleased to have two more fun people to spend time with... WITHOUT WORKBOOKS.  LOL

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I was texting with a girlfriend today about the new life that I am embarking upon.  We were talking about my upcoming trip to California, and all that I am going to see and learn there, and I laughed and told her that this year I would find out how brave I really am -- and this was her reply:

"You are a wonderful person who deserves the life she is passionate about and to be embraced and loved by people who value your skills and respect and trust you as a human being. That isn't brave, that is called going "home" to the life that supports you on all levels."

It made me cry.   

Apparently I have friends who are having profound thoughts while they are walking around a convention hall, texting on their phones. I'd better step up my game...!  LOL  I hope she at least had to step into a quiet corner to tap out that message...

Ella Joined Tumbleweed!!

Remember me telling you about Ella?

She's working at Tumbleweed now!

I want to be her.  Maybe she would like to have a double in Dallas...

Monday, January 21, 2013

And, We Count

Friday I promised myself (and you) that I would begin my 100 Thing Challenge count on Sunday.  Success.

I was very liberal with my groupings (and I'm sure I forgot some things, despite walking around my apartment, trying to view things as though I'd never seen them before,) but it went faster than I thought it would.  That was encouraging.

Undoubtedly this first attempt will be qualify as sheer entertainment for anyone who has successfully accepted the 100 Things Challenge ahead of me, and as well anyone who has already successfully downsized from a traditional home to under 120 square feet.  My naivety about what I still must part to get down to tiny with is probably laughable.  And, once I (bravely) start ungrouping things, this list will explode exponentially.  Yes, I know.  Check with me in a few months - you'll be proud.

But nonetheless, here's my first stab at this and hey, at least I am doing it!  That being said - be nice.

1    Laptop & printer
2    Office supplies
3    Heaps of paper
4    Paper Shredder
5    Desk lamp
6    Ooo la la sign
7    Wall mount lamp
8    Nightstand lamp
9    Stained glass window pieces
10  Rugs mom & dad made
11    TV trays
12    Salt lamp
13    Oscillating fan
14    Afghans
15    Throw pillows
17    Kitchen Aid mixer
18    Silverware & knives & utensils
19    Dishes
20    Pots & pans
21    Kitchen Aid mixer
22    Toaster oven
23    Recipe boxes
24    Potholders
25    Coffee pot
26    Fire extinguisher
27    Coats
28    Shoes
29    Totes
30    Hats & scarves & gloves
31    Purses
32    Make up
33    Toiletries
34    Combs & brushes
35    Hair dryer, curling iron, rollers
36    Clothes
37    Towels
38    Bedding
39    Essential Oils
40    Jewelry making stuff
41    Henna kit
42    Jewelry
43    Scrabble
44    Backgammon
45    Recorder & music
46    Garden hand tools
47    Books
48    DVDs
49    CDs
50    Sewing machine & related
51    Bicycle
52    Yoga props

53    Luggage
54    Dog stuff
55    Broom & dust pan
56    First Aid Kit
57    Sentimental stuff
58    Tools, shop equipment
59    Personal protection items
60    Shoe polishing kit
61    Extension cords
62    Ironing board & Iron
63    Wooden wine box (shoes)
64    Vacuum
65    Camping gear
66    Round mirror
67    House plants
68    Floor Steamer
69    Footlocker
70    Framed art
71    Big mirror
72    Card table
73    TV/Apple TV
74    Wooden bench
75    Card Table
76    Couches (up for sale as of last week!)
77    Wooden bench
78    Washer/Dryer

Thursday, January 17, 2013

100 Thing Challenge

Yesterday I was trapped in a windowless conference room all day - fortunately it was wi-fi equipped and I had my iPad!  I was doing a lot of tiny house reading, following links down rabbit trails, and I came across the 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno.  (He has also written a  book about it, but I can't order it, because then I would be down to 99 things!) I think I've heard about it before, but I wasn't really in a position to seriously consider it.  Now?  Well, now I'm in a serious enough position to at least start counting and see where I am...

I read some posts from others who have taken the Challenge, and I'm glad to see there is space for independent thought.  For example, I read that grouping some things is generally considered okay:  Silverware, pots with lids (probably not an entire set of cookware, but maybe...) lingerie, things with multiple pieces, like my KitchenAid mixer, some people even group their books and count that as one thing.  I also read that for some people, perishables/consumables are not counted at all.  That seems logical to me.

I have to say, though, that doing the actual counting seems really daunting.  How do you do that?  Room by room, I presume, but short of putting stickers on everything, how do you keep track of what you have counted already?  I guess if you have 100 things - not 1,000 things - it probably isn't that hard to keep track!  I may have to start with 100 things per room.  Er, or 100 things per box.  LOL

And then today I stumbled upon the Reverse 100 Thing Challenge which, I read, "invites you to dump 100 things before the end of the year. If you’ve always thought that the 100 Thing Challenge is extreme, and that it would be impossible to only live with 100 things, then giving away only 100 things should be a breeze." Gosh, if only I had heard about the Reverse last Fall, I could totally add that to my list of accomplishments ten-fold.  Alas, I did not.

Regardless, I think the 100 Thing Challenge an interesting concept, especially if you plan on going down to under 150 square feet... Okay fine I'll just say it - 112 square feet. At a minimum I'm at least  going to take a stab a counting my belongings.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tiny House Magic

Check out this great post that Laura Moreland over at Tiny House Ontario wrote for Four Lights:

I think it's a great read.  I love this statement, "Then, I pondered about the thought that goes into planning what exactly we can live without. I thought about what I wanted as a child: food, friends, family and a fort and I started to realize that I was back at the beginning. As I focused more on the issue, I came to theorize that I had reduced myself backward down to the basics...."

I think it really drives home the point about needing less to be happy.

It also has a close correlation to a line of thinking that we followed in my career transition workshop last year.  One of our exercises was to think back in time and to remember what activities made us happy as children.  And then of course the next natural question is, "Why did I stop doing those things?"

I think part of the answer to that (and this is not news...) is that as adults we conform to social expectations.  (Most of us really loved spending time in our forts in the woods, but society frowns upon them as an adult residence!) And conforming to those social expectations burdens us with bills and responsibilities to achieve material goods that do not necessarily make us happy, along with sucking up all of our time during which we could pursue hobbies (perceived as less important as the money generating activities.)  Whew!  But buying the house, and buying the car and accepting that 9-5 office job -  all of those things make people around us comfortable, because they have done that, and it validates to them that "that what successful people do." But are we happy? 

My goal is to make one or more of my hobbies into my job.  Again, referencing my career transition workshop,  I identified those activities during which I lost track of time - when I forget to eat, I forget to check email, I am outside and have forgotten my phone indoors -- those activities.  One ore more of those will be my new job.  Ohhh, the possibilities.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Upside Down

I'm going to have to work one of these into my tiny house - inside or out:

This could be a ceiling hook...

And this set up - it could be on an exterior wall!

Yeah.  Oh, oh yeah!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What's on the Horizon?

I'm having so much fun looking ahead!  Here's an across the board update of what I'm doing these days.

I'm firming up travel plans for my Tiny House Camp with Jay Shafer of Four Lights in Sonoma in February.  I've got my camp reservation, my flight, my hotel, my rent car.  I've pulled up a map online and mapped out my route and have started planning some days - a detour to Tumbleweed, for example!  It's starting to feel real, and I'm just over the moon excited!  I'll be sure and pack a corkscrew, that's for sure - hel-lo, Sonoma!  I've never been...  ironically a dear friend just moved back to Dallas from Sacramento, and we had been trying to coordinate me visiting her there.  She moved back to Dallas just before Christmas, and I'm going there in February.  Waah.  Sigh.  She's giving me some great tips, though!

I am starting to take steps for filing papers with the Secretary of State to start my business!  I need to write down my vision, and what I want the company to accomplish, and then use that as a jumping off point for a business name.  I don't want to use A Bed Over My Head because it feels too limiting.  If you are a creative thinker, or have "lessons learned" from starting your own business, I would love to hear from you.  I know just enough to be dangerous so my learning curve is steep.  Fortunately I have friends and co-workers as solid resources.

I am learning about essential oils and using them for healing and a more natural life.  I signed up with Young Living, and I ordered on Amazon and received a huge essential oils reference book that I am going to dive into.  I am going to incorporate some house blessings into my tiny house path. I'm really excited about that!  I think it will be an amazing pairing of thoughts and ideas.

I ordered and received an alto recorder!  (Remember the white plastic flutophones from elementary school?  Essentially the same.)  My sister suggested I try one - she had a soprano one she was willing to loan me, but I wanted a lower, more round tone so I ordered an alto.  I do agree it could be perfect for the tiny house way of life.  I can already read music from playing piano, so hopefully it won't be a huge leap for me... regardless it will be good for my brain to work at something new!

It's interesting to me how my path is branching so naturally out to so many new things...the layers of the onion just keep peeling back.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Asian Pop Up Tiny Houses

In this order:

1)  Sort of blew my mind;
2)  Determined, "Um, no not for me;"
3)  Made me laugh; and then
4)  Admitted, awfully clever.

 Asian Pop Up Tiny Houses

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Distilling My Thoughts

It's good to have time to sit back and observe.

I am settling down from chaos, and my thoughts are sort of distilling, and I can tell that the way I think about things is changing.  I can't exactly put my finger on it.... but I like it somehow.  I like knowing that I am on a new path, and I guess I have to say that I think I sort of like that I don't know yet exactly what that path is going to be.

First, little things.  For example, I was standing in my kitchen last week and I realized that I had five coffee scoops.  A little thing, right?  But I don't need FIVE.  I got rid of 3 of them.  I know - I realize that really, I can only use one at a time and that I still have two.  But one is a crappy plastic one whose handle got too close to the stove at some point and it melted - but it's long enough to reach down into the coffee bag - a necessity unless you want coffee all over your knuckles.  The other one is a really cute pewter one that is sentimental - I bought it on an afternoon lunch and shopping frolic with my friend Jennifer when she lived in Little Rock.  It's too short for my bags of coffee, but every time I see it I am transported back to that afternoon that was such a precious slice of time.  And so, yes, I still have two coffee scoops.  But I only use one.

I got my work space in my apartment mostly organized this weekend - I got a new printer cartridge so my printer is hooked up and working now.  I got my Internet up, so I can post on weekends with a real keyboard!  And I looked at my pencil cans.  I have three.  I have three because I probably have a dozen pencils, even more pens, and then a whole separate can for markers and highlighters, and a third can for scissors.  Because apparently I need seven pairs of scissors.  But I don't.

Not that those types of observations are earth shattering - obviously they are not.  But it's the way of thinking - the simplified view - I never really thought about having 20 pencils before.  Maybe they are sold in packs of 20.  Maybe not throwing anything useful out was so engrained in me growing up, that I just kept accumulating them - I don't know - but common sense dictates that the majority of them need to be donated or something.

So that's this weird tunnel vision I am having about weird random things around me.  Reality is, I need to pare down enough that I am rattling around in this apartment in the next six months.  I went from 1148 square feet to 600; I roughly cut my space in half.  But this summer (I hope) am going to reduce from 600 feet to under 120.  That's um, a big change.  But in defense of my current possessions - a good number of tubs are shop equipment and camping gear.  And if you took out those and my couch and my bed, there wouldn't be a ton of stuff remaining.  Or so I think.  It's still a lot more than would fit in less than 120 square feet!  Ah, it's good to have goals.

In my career transition workshop, one of the last things we did was write up and practice our "elevator pitch."  Theory being, you meet someone new in an elevator, and you have about 20 seconds to explain who you are and what you want.  I listen to myself talk now, when friends ask me what's new, and I feel my elevator speech changing.  I haven't consciously changed it, but I hear myself saying different things than I used to say, without really thinking about it.  It's as though my thoughts are being clarified...

Lately I hear myself talking more about traveling and speaking than I do about starting a tiny house community in Dallas.  I feel like I am still going to do that - start a community - but I feel like maybe it's going to be a home base for travel.  Like maybe I'll get the community wheels turning and in between I'll be traveling with my tiny house and speaking.  I can see myself in my mind's eye, pulling into new cities with my house, and building enthusiasm, telling my story.  Being just overflowing with enthusiasm, and how contagious that is - and all the amazing people I am going to meet along the way.  I can just see it.  Yes, there are a lot of questions for which I do not have answers.  But the answers will come.  I'm open to just about anything - and anything could happen.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

I'm alive!  It's been over a week since I last posted... yikes.

After the house sale, and subsequent move, and bulky trash sort out - I crawled onto the massage table on the 22nd, and felt like my arrival in Minnesota the next day was "fast and hot."  Of course - quickly cooled with the sub-zero temps...

I had nearly a full seven days of decompressing up there.  I spent a few days in my hometown of Brainerd with family, a day in Wisconsin with my sister and her husband, and then wrapped up the trip with a passel of girlfriends in Minneapolis.  It was so wonderful to just let my brain empty and my body relax!  I borrowed a heated throw from Tom that I plugged in religiously every night well in advance of bed time and wow! did I ever sleep well, with not a worry in the world!

Tom picked up me up at DFW Airport -- I didn't think I would ever let go of him -- and as is tradition we stopped for Tex-Mex immediately. I came home, and gathered up Greta-dog from boarding - she did not have the same relaxing experience as I did - she had her geriatric work up and teeth cleaning, which morphed into 2 teeth being extracted -- and arrived home to my apartment on Saturday afternoon.  (She's been so snugly since we got home - it's divine!)

And set my bags down and ... just... looked around.

It does feel like home.  It's still messy, but  [laughing] it's home.  It's small, and simple, and quiet.  One of my sisters asked me, "What was it like, going home to the apartment?"  And I guess I hadn't really thought about it* - but it's good.

Yesterday was a day of apartment firsts - I washed dishes, did laundry, vacuumed, went to the grocery store and then cooked!  I guess I really live there now!

And then I turned on soft lighting, put on some Zen music, and started writing about my plans and goals for the new year.  I still haven't written out my 2013 manifesto - my version of resolutions - but it's taking shape in my mind.  One of the tools I'm using to get started is this workbook by Susannah Conway.  She says to set aside an hour... um, yeah, it's taking me longer than that... LOL  And I haven't chosen my word for 2013 yet either.... hmmmm

One of the last areas of the apartment to get organized and set up is my work space with my laptop and printer, and all my tiny house materials.  Best for last, I say.

This week and next I'm focusing on catching up with friends post-holiday.  It's great to re-connect and see where everyone is with the new year!  And to have the time to do it is such a luxury!!  I am really drinking it in.
I also finally have the mental space to look ahead and dream about what I will bring to the table in 2013.  New friends, new skill sets, travel...and ultimately a new home.  Yeah!  Bring it!

B E    F R E E

*  It's just that my people are Nordic.

p.s.  Thank you for your comments!!  Happy.