Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Meaning of Life

I have found the meaning, the mission, the purpose of my life.  I think it should be the meaning, mission and purpose of every person on this planet.  My mission is to inspire.  Not impress or dictate or judge or instruct, though I may do any of those to a degree, the mission is to inspire.

Inspire:  Fill someone with the urge or ability to do something; create a feeling, especially a positive one in a person; animate someone; give rise to an idea.

Maybe I build something.  I show photos or invite others to share the experience.  Hopefully, the experience inspires them.  It doesn't even matter HOW it inspires them.  Maybe they are inspired to travel in a way they never thought possible, or they are inspired to show young women that building is fun, or they are inspired to look at things in a new way or tackle a project that has been just out of reach.  That part doesn't matter.  Just inspire.

Maybe I sing a song.  Maybe someone is inspired to write or cry or laugh or sing along or filled with happiness and is inspired to hug or buy a friend an ice cream.  Maybe someone is inspired by the travels or the work it took to record and write a book - they can do something like that too.

Remember, I have no interest in impressing.  I'm not offended by impressing, but to inspire is much deeper and offers much more power to the inspiree.  Imagine a world where people wake up in the morning choosing how to inspire others.

I will work every single day to offer the world something inspiring.  I promise to notice the inspiring things others do.  Let's get out there and inspire.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


In public, I focus on what I do well.  As a musician, I perform songs that I feel fit my better vocal qualities.  As a person who posts status reports on Facebook, I post cat pictures and accomplishments.  As a builder, I video and photograph things that went well.

There are songs that I can not sing well.  That's right, they sound like CRAP when I sing them.  There are entire genres of music that I sound ridiculous even trying.  Do I focus on this?  No.  What would be the point of waking up in the morning focusing on what I can not do?  I sing the songs I sing well, and I research and find more songs, try them out.  I work on some for months before ditching the song.  Sometimes that feels like a waste.  I wish songs presented themselves more easily.  When I get on a stage, I highlight the things I do well all the rest stays home in the practice space.

As a builder, seamstress, maker of things, if I posted all of the failed projects, well, that might actually make a pretty funny blog, but seriously, each major project takes months of thought and planning, confusion and re-evaluation.  In the end I share with the world things that I think will inspire others, the finished successes.

My inabilities are as great as anyone else's.  Here are yesterday's failings.

I can't memorize to save my life.  Even songs I have been singing for over 10 years, I fail.  I try every now and then when I have a safe friendly audience and 9 times out of 10, I fail.  I manage this by having cheat cards.  Highlight abilities, not failings.  I have 8 new songs in the works right now.  I can not remember chords or words and I have been working on them steadily for 5 months.

I can not read and follow instructions.  I can't.  It's not that it is difficult, I CAN NOT.  I can learn by doing.  I can learn if someone shows me or explains it.  I can learn if I draw it.  I can follow picture instructions like the ones from IKEA.  So many people complain about IKEA instructions, but they were made by and for people like me.  I attempted to read up on wiring - fail.

I have a million ideas that never come to fruition.  I video something and never get around to putting it together.  I say I'm busy, but yesterday alone, I spent 4 hours on facebook and another few hours drinking a glass of wine on the porch and several hours staring at walls from the comfort of my sofa.  That's not a joke.  Hours that I could have done anything.  The problem?  The absolute truth is I'm afraid no one will like the video, so why bother.  I'm afraid it's not going to be interesting or helpful.  Self esteem or reality?  I will claim a combination, thank you.  That's the problem with everything that keeps me from doing the thing.  Fear of failing, why bother... It will take too long, why bother... No one cares, why bother.

I frequently spend hours of time trying to decide if I should work on music or the property.  I decide on one and instantly feel like I have failed the other so I spend an hour on facebook trying to decide if that is the right choice.  If I would simply DO one of them, I would likely also have time for the other.  Entire days go by in this battle.  This is not an exaggeration.  I came up with a scheduling system that helped for a while, but now that I am working on the construction of my house, I let the scheduled activities fall away.  I have time to do them, but I also have one million reasons why it is ok not to do them.  I literally sat on my couch looking at my fiddle thinking, "I should pick it up.  It will only take 10 minutes."  And I did not.  I sat staring for 10 minutes somehow incapable.  Instead of feeling proud for doing a thing, I feel ashamed for letting another day pass by.

I lose things five seconds after I just had them.  Don't we all do this?  In a construction zone, it gets ridiculous.  I own 4 tape measures.  I could not find any of them the other day and I had them the day before.  Pens, hammers, drills, everything seems to disappear.  I organize things for other people, but I can't keep track of a pen for 60 seconds.

I try to eat well, but some days I eat a dozen caramels, some dark chocolate that I don't even really like and a glass of wine.  I had some yogurt for breakfast, so there's at least that.

This post is a list of the failings I had just yesterday.  They happen all the time...  most days, actually.  What I share with the world is a photo of my cat and a photo of something I accomplished successfully.  The rest of this stays at home where it belongs.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Container window

When I search the internet for how others have installed windows into their containers, I find basically this:
1. Cut hole in the container usually with an angle grinder, some use a torch.
2. Frame the hole with a steel welded frame.
3. Install usually custom made window.

What if you don't weld?  What if you would like to use recycled window from Habitat Restore or off the side of the road?

I pondered this for nearly a year.  And for the last week it has been all my brain has been set to solve.  And, I was successful!  Yesterday, I finished the cut for a 32 inch wide, 5 foot tall window.  With the help of two friends, we set the window by wedging wood above and below the window.  I am really pleased with the fit, the look, and how well we managed to seal it up.

I have three more windows to go.  I will definitely video and share the whole process.  The window cost me $15.  Add up the caulk and wood for another $10.  My whole window cost me $25 and about 4 hours of actual labor time.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Container House Floors

My container is an extra tall, extra long container.  Standard size is 8 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 40 feet long.  Mine is 9.5 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 45 feet long.  The extra height is going to be used for insulation and fan circulation.  I'm in south Texas.  Staying cool is vital.
One fantastic container
This week, I started construction to turn this metal box into a home - my home, my dream home.  My friend and tiny house enthusiast, Roze Hanks and her daughter came out for a few days and helped me build the first portions of the floor.  We built fully insulated platforms in eight foot sections.
Hazard, ME, & Kim
Kim and Hazard came out and helped build the remainder of the floor.  And Kim stayed for a shopping trip to Victoria, TX and helped me build an 8 foot by 10 foot deck for the bedroom end of the container.
Kim finishing the deck