Tiny House Photo

Tiny House Photo

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mornings chillin with the chickens

The ranch has several chickens and two roosters which I hear every morning while walking Tilly. I have never been so relaxed as I am living on the ranch. There is something about being outside communing with nature that is soothing to the soul. Every day feels like a vacation.

Mornings are my favorite time to see and hear nature. Most people are still snoozing away while I am checking up on the morning rituals of all the local animal inhabitants. Tilly doesn't bark so we can walk along without scaring the wild animals or even the not so wild ones. Actually the chickens are more skittish than the deer or turkey!

This morning a few of the horses were a bit eager to receive breakfast. They were lined up along the fence waiting for the wranglers to come.

This cute paint horse is a newcomer to the ranch, he was sequestered for a couple days until the rest of the gang had a chance to meet him. This morning was his first day out and you can see he is still standing apart from the others. I hope he finds a buddy soon.

I am so grateful that I have a tiny house on this property. It's really beautiful.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It's hard to be a recluse in a tiny house

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a recluse. Not a "Howard Hughes" type, more the woman who lives with her cat or in my case her little dog and parrot. This makes me sound really crazy. I am not crazy! Really!

I have always been one who likes to stay at home. No matter what size the home is, 2000 square feet or 136 square feet. With the notoriety I experience in my tiny house, it is overwhelming at times. Don't get me wrong, I love to discuss tiny living with people, but the vast number of people I encounter here on the ranch can monopolize my entire day. So I recently had to put restrictions on my open house visits to the weekends. This allows me to be a bit of a slob during the week. I can come home from work, do my laundry and hang it in the bathroom or let the dishes pile up in the sink. I can work on bills or even a hobby. The dust can coat every surface for a couple days (until I freak out & clean it). I can even curl up on my little storage bench and take a nap with Tilly or Abby. Ahhh, life is good in my little Ynez.

Laundry day

New desk I put together last weekend. Still need to paint or stain.

Nap time! Tilly & Abby last Christmas Eve (dreaming of Santa).

I had to include the last picture even though it is a bit old. They are just so cute when they sleep. You may notice this is before Abby was downsized to a smaller cage (or as I call it Abby & Tilly's bunk beds).

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 6th - One year in my Ynez tiny house!!!

Wow, I can't believe it has already been a whole year! I think the experiment was a success. I feel confident that I will continue living in my tiny cottage for many years to come. Looking back a lot of things have changed.

Downsized a tremendous amount of "stuff" out of my life
Reduced work hours to 28 hours a week
Paid off 70% of my debt
Got a cute little dog (and still have my cute not-so-little parrot)
Had a shed built and got rid of rental storage
Met tons of great people at the ranch
Lived through a fire and earthquake!
Saw lots of animals including: mountain lions, bobcats, silver foxes, deer, turkeys, horses, long horn bulls and long horn cows to name a few. Oh and Bob the pig!

Life is good in my Ynez!

Some of my new neighbors. Aren't the babies cute!

What's for next year? So far I have just a few things on the list.

Pay off balance of debt
Re-stain or paint exterior (the sun is very hard on the finish here)
Maybe add skirting of some sort
Take a little vacation (there are so many local things I haven't seen yet)

How would I change my tiny house if I were starting it now?

I have often been asked this question. Even at the beginning of the process I questioned whether I should add an extra couple of feet to the length to have a space for an office/single bed, murphy-style but I didn't want to exceed a set price and had to forgo the extra length. The 20 feet that I have is the minimum I felt would work for me and I use every inch of the space. One thing I would change is to have sliding closet doors. I opted for regular doors so I could utilized the inside of the doors to hang things on, but I find it irritating to constantly have to walk around them. And as I said before the blinds are a dirt magnets (perhaps I will change these for roller blinds in an easy to wash finish or stick blinds with a lining that can be removed for cleaning).

Suggestions for want-ta-be tiny houser's?

Be clear on what your needs are and choose multi-functional pieces. Get rid of everything else. Use apartment sized furniture that has a non-bulky style. Open legs on furniture will give the feel of more space. Folding tables and chairs can be removed or stored when not in use. Mobile furniture instead of built-in's will give you the most flexibility. Leave as much open space a possible. Less is more with a tiny house.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Traffic Jams - Ranch style

Living away from the city has its perks. One of them is that the traffic jams are a bit more interesting. This road didn't have an easy on-ramp or off-ramp so I and the the cars behind me had to follow until this flock of 5 wild turkeys could exit. It's a lot more fun to wait on the turkey, quail and deer traffic jams then on the human ones!

Morning turkey traffic jam

Once there was a traffic jam right on my lot! I took Tilly for a walk and came home just as it was getting dark. I startled 5 deer milling around my deck. Likely they were disappointed that I didn't replace the tomatoes, cilantro and pepper plants they had eaten a few days prior. Tilly doesn't bark at them so we were quite close, just a few feet away before they decided they should move on. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of it.

Another high traffic time will be in October when it's tarantula mating season. I hear they migrate right through the ranch. The other day I noticed at least 8 tarantula burrows just a couple feet in front of my car!

Tarantula burrow (one of many). Not a good traffic jam to be in!