Saturday, January 31, 2015

Container Houses

People often have a million questions about container houses.  The first being how I go the idea.  It's not an original idea.  Container houses are a big deal out there right now.  To give you a quick visual, this website did a great job of compiling some photos.  Enjoy!

The next question is usually how much the container cost and/or how I found mine.  I searched the internet and called some companies.  My container with the shipping and delivery cost me $3600.  $500 of that was delivery.  If you are near a port, like Houston, your shipping/delivery could be this low or lower.  The further inland, the higher the cost you can expect.

Then the questions continue regarding building and codes.  We'll get to all of that in good time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Violence, Consent

There is this adorable video going viral out there right now.  It is cute.  The young boys and the girl are lovely children.  The message is anti violence toward women.  I have a problem with the presentation.

The boys give their names and ages and what they want to do when they grow up.  They are presented with a lovely girl.  They are told to make a funny face at her.  They do.  They are told to caress her.  They do.  They are told to slap her.  They do not.  They are asked why not.  Because she is a girl.

I'll address the slap first.  So, if a fellow boy had been presented, these kids would have had no problem slapping this stranger for no reason?  Save your violent tendencies for other men.  Good for women, I suppose, but not good for the world.  Any violence, particularly unsolicited violence, is a big fat no.  Why?  Because violence is wrong.  The.  End.  Dog, cat, woman, child, girl, man, boy.  Does not matter.  Violence is wrong.

Second, how about that caress?  Did one of the boys look at the girl and ask if he could touch her cheek or arm?  Nope.  They just did as they were instructed as if they are completely entitled.  They were shy in this task, but that's because they are very young.  I would have cried if one of them looked at her and asked her permission.  That would have been an incredibly beautiful moment.  No consent was asked for nor granted.

Violence is wrong.
Consent is critical.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Container Plan

Here is the plan for the container house.
Floor Plan.
 Some details are still to be determined like the specific size of the windows.  I have almost all of the light fixtures, sinks, furniture, and one of the two ceiling fans.
Technical Plan.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bench swing

This bench swing was removed from the disgusting world of the Manor House.  It is solid, but dingy, and it had been shoved in a barn covered with other stuff for at least three years.

There is nothing wrong with natural wood color, but because I had 4 cans of blue spray paint, I chose to brighten it up.  I hung it and purposely let the rain and weather give it some natural cleaning.  I sanded and wiped it down and slat by slat spray painted it.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Traditional Irish song book

I am working on a book of traditional Irish songs.  I have wanted to do this for a long time and with a third CD in the works, I have decided now is the time.  I want more singing along, more sharing, more singing in the world!  Traditional music only stays alive if it is shared.
Horrible sample cover...  project in the works!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ranch To-Do List

A wonderful woman, tiny house enthusiast, constructionista, photographer, and friend has volunteered to come help with the building of my Container House the week of April 5-11.  Because I want to maximize anyone's expertise when they come out here, I have a LIST of things to get done before that week.  AND that week itself will be an exciting time.  If you have any desire to help with ANYTHING, please, now is the time!  Look at your calendar and the following list and come on out.   
January through March.  
*Shower House - Demo the existing doghouse style water well house.  Frame an 8 by 8 partially roofed shower.  (THANK YOU KATHY COFRIN & KIM TUCKER!!!) Finish walls, attach doors, shingle shower & roof with license plates.
*Chain Saw Work - I have several (10 or more) down trees.  I need to chop the trunks into pieces that I can haul back toward the house where I can use an electric chain saw to cut them to firewood pieces.
*Wire and Stucco the Garden - The cinder block raised garden is not finished.  I need to wrap the 10 by 10 garden in wire mesh and stucco it.  We could also repair Eliza-Cat's broken arm - large stucco cat statue
*Paint the Exterior of the NEW Container and the OLD Container.  This will require ladders.  I have one tall one, but I will not climb it or do anything on a ladder without another human on this property.  
*Bottle Jack Assistance - I need to lift one end of the NEW Container to re-set the blocks.  
*Lawn Mower Spa Day - I think it needs a new battery...  also, can someone teach me to do an oil change?
*Gate Lamp - make a solar recycled lamp for the gate.
*Get Stuff off the Roof of the OLD Container - I have a tall ladder, but it sounds like a recipe for 911 if I just try to pull the stuff down and it's too heavy to push....  and some of it is nailed together.  My balance on a ladder is sketchy so I can't get good enough leverage to pull the nails...  I pulled 4 nails just to test the idea and decided I didn't feel like visiting the emergency room.
*Bench Swing by the Pond - The poor thing needs to be sanded and painted.
*Finalize Electric Plan - I just need a second opinion by an electrician type.
*Relaxation and Crafty Days - We all need some re-charge days.  If you just want to come craft or sit in a swing and drink wine, I will be happy to make time for that mighty task as well!!

When I get a truck:
*Re-Floor the OLD Container - This will require 10 sheets of heavy plywood and lots of tile.  I have a small trailer, but I won't get the truck for a couple/few more months.
*Cut the OLD Container - I want to cut entry ways and windows into the old container to be used as a half garage and half outdoor kitchen. A small amount of framing might need to be done to support the spaces with large cut-outs. 
**SUPER BONUS - I want to build a wood roof with standard asphalt shingles for the OLD Container. 
*Deck building - Small, more stair like decks on the old container leading to the kitchen half and a permanent ramp on the garage end need to be built.  2 10 by 10 screened in porches are in the plans for the NEW container...  we could build the decks for those any time.
*Rebuild the Pop-Up Trailer Roof - I have the design planned (and I only need a couple more pieces of lumber), but I can not lift the old roof off of the trailer alone nor lift the new one into place, so I have done nothing but ponder the plan.  

THE BIG WEEK!!!  April 5-11, All of the following are on/with/for the NEW Container House:
Please note this is not a workshop type of thing....  This isn't a how-to seminar....  we are learning together and building my HOUSE!
*Frame the entire floor and insulate the floor, cover entire floor in heavy plywood.
*Cut the doors and windows.
*Install 2 doors and some windows. (AT LEAST the bedroom out door and window)
*Frame the walls (AT LEAST the bedroom).
*Frame the ceiling.
*Build the platform bed and underside cabinetry.
*Wire the whole thing.
*Insulate and cover walls - AT LEAST the bedroom (wall covering not yet decided... drywall is so boring)

*I* think that is a doable list for April 5-11 if Roze and I have even one extra set of hands at any time that week.  If we can build my bedroom, then Roze might come back for the summer when we can finish the rest and build HER tiny house.  

Overnight Anytime:
I have a guest room with a queen bed and a set of bunk beds...  so a whole family or group of friends can come out and stay the night or two or ten anytime!  

For the BIG WEEK - April 5-11:
Guest room above.
I also have a VERY SMALL pop-up trailer that would sleep two.
I have a gazebo deck and a small tent and a 4 inch foam mattress.  I use that set up at festivals and it works great.
I have a LARGE family sized tent.
There is plenty of space if you want to bring your own camper.  
I don't anticipate 20 people at once - oh, the chaos - but even just a couple extra hands can make the work go so quickly and joyfully.

There will be food...  always.  If you have special diet issues, lemme know.  I have a lovely fire pit and lots of firewood as well as a fully functioning indoor kitchen.  

Holy moly...  I covered a lot of ground here.  I'm excited and my mind is racing.  I am working every single day on these tasks.  If something sticks out as YOUR project, let me know and we will tackle it together.

Love and joy to you all,


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Yurt building

Thank you, Wikipedia.
I was hired to redo all of the canvas for a 16 foot yurt.  The canvas is heavy.  I have an ordinary Singer sewing machine that is about 15 years old.  The hardest part is keeping the fabric moving along evenly.  I enjoy using canvas in construction type projects.
Thank you, Stoli, for making sure the finished pieces don't leap from the table.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


I love this time of year.  If you can find chocolate covered cherries, they are on sale.  Free is my favorite flavor, but half price is pretty darn tasty.  Ah, Queen Anne's Cordial Cherries, you are so tasty... definitely one of my favorite things.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Ranch Visitors

Recently, two inspiring women visited the ranch.  I had met Roze at a tiny house workshop a few years ago.  Roze met Marilyn at another workshop and the two were visiting tiny house enthusiasts and builders in the south Texas area.  We chatted into the late hours of the night and then got up in the morning for a hiking tour of the property.  I showed off the new container and the three of us bounced off pros and cons of certain ideas.  Until the first cut is made into the metal, all ideas are still debatable ideas.

Roze is a fantastic photographer and she is looking to reestablish herself in Texas.  She will be coming back for a week in April to help me at least get a bedroom space built in the container.  If we can do that, she may return for the summer!  I am super excited!  Roze has ideas and an energizing personality.  She has construction experience and creative ideas for efficient living.

In preparation for her help in April, I have a list of smaller projects that I want to have completed.  I am inspired and ready to get to work.  I am also hoping that people who have expressed interest in helping will find the time in the next few months.  An extra set of hands makes a project go so quickly.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Year

It's the Eve of New Year's Eve!  New Year's Day is my holiday.  The resetting of the calendar is significant to my life of growth, change, learning, and goal setting.  I don't necessarily make "resolutions," but I do observe what I accomplished last year and what I would like more or less of in the coming year.

For 2015, I have decided to let music come back into the primary light.  I am working on a third CD.  I am working on many new songs both for the CD and just because.  I am playing violin for 10 minutes a day and bluegrass mandolin for 10 minutes a day.  I am also putting together a book of traditional songs.

For 2015, I am making writing a priority.  I will be posting to my blogs more often and, I will be writing on my novel or series of short stories daily.

For 2015, the Irish language is getting some serious attention.  I am devoting 30 minutes per day to this cause.  I will be writing once a week in my Irish blog:  I started this wave of work at the begining of December and I am already seeing some pieces come together.  I have studied off and on for nearly 10 years.  It's time for these pieces of the language to meet up in my brain!

For 2015, I have projects on the ranch!  This month, I have been working to take the home I have to a higher level of welcoming.  That means, I have worked on clean up, adding crafty touches here and there, better outdoor seating, and outfitting the guestroom completely.  The shower house will be my next project.  My container home will be the project of the year!

Let the year begin!  Happy 2015!!!