Tag Archive: tiny house


Feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section.

anarchist kitchen tiny house and land

Tiny House and Land

1 I am The-Brightest-of-Stars

our podcast Cake Or Death Radio

Advertisements

So after a year and a half of paying rent again I’m over it. It was pretty much like I woke up one day and was just over it. and that’s apparently how i function in this world. I run my life on major amounts of repetition. Overall I prefer to do, wear, eat and move through my day doing almost the same as the day before. If you look at myfitnesspal I seriously eat the same foods over and over; pasta, bananas and chocolate are the staples of my diet. If you look at what I wear it’s the same Carnival Barker “ice cream freak” shirt 29 out of 31 days. So on and so forth. Because no ones forcing this level of repetition on me I’ll get on a quinoa kick and that will replace pasta and there’s an ebb and flow to it all. I’ll get into small pockets of enchantment where all I’m bathed in magic and feel a tingling & pulse of life everywhere and like everything else in my life it gets replaced almost of it’s own volition. Working out and (these days) dumpster diving food are the standard trying to pump myself up about it but it’s the type of chore that’s enjoyable but always excusable.

To review I’m content with a simple life but just like a light switch going on changes happens in my life often. I think the precursor to change is saying “i don’t want”. Someone asked me if I would ever do a tiny house again and I felt hella embarrassed to admit that I did not want to. For the last 1.5 years I’ve been decompressing from 17 years of work and have reasoned a “real” job isn’t for me. For many people (like my husband) life is very solid and black & white. For me everything is relative which is why I beat around the bush when trying to explain anything, all details are crucial factors.

Scavenger Life podcast (about selling on ebay) mentioned Mr Money Mustache. Mr Money Mustache’s blog really flipped the switch on many areas of my life that I had in the dark. I’ve NEVER thought about retirement and had an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude about it. I think that if something doesn’t matter then it’s fair game to look it. If you have an area of your life that you don’t want to look at because you say it doesn’t matter then talking about it should be easy. If an area of your life is challenging to look at that’s totally fine, we’re complicated humans but it’s unfair to write something off with white wash statements of unimportance because those are just not honest statements. Unimportant things shouldn’t make you clam up.

This is my absolute favorite video right now because it addresses our crazy behavior which branches out from our ideal and the reality. There’s a level of disconnect it seems we humans may always have in our lives. i want to write a blog post on cognitive dissonance.

So I didn’t want a tiny house and a job but now I do. MMM’s blog got me thinking about my future, thinking about what I wished I had given my current self and what I want to pass on to my future self. I think a job will be the fastest way to my goal and like any worth while goal there’s a timeline attached to it.

Having this last 1.5 years away from traditional work has been an eye opener. It seems that time and money are often influx. When I’ve had the most money was I was working a lot and had very little free time. When I was busy one of the main things I wanted was the freedom to go to sleep and wake up when I wanted. Now I have a lot of free time and no money. I get as much sleep as I like and wake up when ever I want but I have very limited options on how my life can play out while maintaining this ultra low income. When we had $24,000 saved we could move where we wanted and could come up with a different arrangement for our lifestyle, options we don’t have now. We don’t want a lifestyle overhaul, we don’t want to live on someones land in exchange for housing and Mark doesn’t want to live in a van. We want to live very much like we live now but smarter. Paying $550 a month for our 2 bedroom, 2 story apartment is not the end of the world but it’s also not smart. We have some of the cheapest rent in Dallas while living in a tiny apartment complex in a nice area and I’m not at all taking that for granted. I am 100% grateful! However paying rent is money we’ll never get back. If we financed a home and payed $550 a month on it then we’d get the money back if we sold the house. I’m just feeling trapped with rent and now that I have serious goals I feel constrained a bit by the trap.

   My goal is to retire in 10 years or at least be very close.

“Time or Money” seems to be the dance most of us are doing. One without the other feels unbalanced and I’m concluding that I really need both. My retirement plan is 100% about having the minimum amount money coming in while having the maximum amount of free time while maintain a lifestyle that isn’t constrained by either.

LIFESTYLE the numbers: Last night I asked Mark to spell out exactly what his lifestyle would look like if he didn’t have time or money constrains. He has one life to live and I wanted to know what his ideal life would look like. Ideally Mark wants to drink top notch coffee that he brews on a top notch machine at home daily. He wants the option to go out to eat (nothing too fancy) about 3 times a week with me if he so choices. He’s like to buy 1 really top notch pair of shoes (a couple thousand dollars) or a few slightly less nice shoes a year. He’d like a few thousand dollars to put into hobbies a year and have a larger budget for buying fancy beer. add in a nice vacation and we concluded that $17,000 a year would cover his lifestyle preferences. $17,000 in very doable! Either I’m some sort of saint or have poor persons mentality but I don’t have any real list of lifestyle wants. Maybe I’d get into permaculture (which cost money… wait, or does it save money?) Or I’d use the tools he has in his hobby budget to create art. Plus most of this shit i think about (going for bike rides, going to the gym, chit chatting with friends) is all hella cheap stuff. Well I do have entrepreneur blood but we’ll not focus on that for now.

RETIREMENT the numbers: Let’s assume that when we retire in 10 years we own (debt free) our home. Let’s say it’s a tiny home and property taxes are $1,600 a year. We build efficient in combination with alternative energy and our utility bills are ultra low.  We eat on the cheap and may grown some of our food. Gasoline, internet, insurance, etc. Maybe we could get by with $10,000 for our livelihood (remember we’d already own our home). So $17,000 for lifestyle and $10,000 for livelihood would require us to have $27,000 as our household income. If we saved $3,500 a month we’d have $615,991.86 in 10 years (8% compound interest). The $615,991.86 would produce $49,279.28 in 8% interest a year so if we just scraped 4% off of the interest that would give us $25,000 to live on while maintaining safety margins and accounting for inflation. This however doesn’t account for taxes ($5,000 a year at 15%), health insurance or unforeseen disability. While these numbers are not perfect they do create an outline on what the approximate steps would be to get from poor to retired.

SAVING for retirement: In order to save $3,500 a month (for 10 years!) or $42,000 a year I’d need to make $42,000 to save plus the cost of living $13,000 would require me to bring in $55,000 net income. While that is a bit of stretch for me to do that all on my own I do have plan. I want to get a full time waitressing job ASAP. If I could earn about $120 per shift and do 6 shifts a week then I’d bring in $37,440. The remaining $17,000 could likely come from ebay because my sellers dashboard shows that i’ve done over $15,000 (gross) this year when I was just dumpster diving and selling $10 items. Plus i’m not leaving the ice cream shop, I love carnival barkers and just making $3,000- $5,000 a year there helps out a lot! Again these numbers are not perfect or taking taxes, health insurance or unforeseen disability into account.

SAVINGS BONUS: my off the cuff savings plan is coming from the point of view that i’m doing all of the work. Marks in school so maybe I can kick some ass, do my best and save a bunch of money. Then in 4 year from now Mark will have a grown up job and we can put 100% of his money into savings. Let’s say he starts out making $45,000 after taxes and within those 4 years of his school I’ve accumulated $194,018.42. Then we add in 4 years of 100% of Marks paycheck then in 8 YEARS WE COULD RETIRE, two years early!!! say what!?! after 8 years our grand total would be $633,442.51! or if we just commit to the 10 years then those extra to years would give us a new grand total of $909,399.02…. almost a million dollars in 10 years. so Marks contributions would double my efforts! that’s a bonus!

This is where the second tiny house comes in!

DSC_0029

RENT the numbers: Our rent is about $6,600 a year. In ten years that’s $66,000 and that same $66,000 could actually be more like $96,798.72 if I could invest it (at 8% compounded interest) instead of giving it to our landlord. When I look at those numbers it makes me want to move in a $2,000 van and reclaim the $550 a month in order to invest it. Our first “tiny house and land” cost $8,000 for the land and about $5,000 for tiny house. <— that’s about the same amount of money we will have spent in when this second lease it up!

If you google “building costs house calculator” there are websites which will show the break down of everything (foundation, roof, plumbing, etc) as well as separating the material costs from the labor costs for whatever basic house design you have in mind. I have my heart set on building another tiny house but a bit different from our last one. Tiny houses are attainable. While they’re more expensive per sqft the overall price can be significantly less if you keep it simple, find affordable appliances and do what you can where you have the skills.

Since this post is long enough I will simply state that it’s now starting to sink in that we actually lived in 150 sqft with no plumbing in the woods for a year. holy hell! We need plumbing and more than 150 sqft, I understand that now. We don’t need it like it’s life or death but i’m no longer trying to live like life or death are my only two options. I’m also willing to admit that I no longer have a desire to move to the woods. I like cities that are under 100,000 people but I live in Dallas and honestly shit is fine out here too. It would be ideal if we could get a small city plot, have our tiny house and do urban homesteading. If we could do urban homesteading in walking distance of friends that would be epic but I’m not hearing anyone say any of that. Urban plots are expensive but right now i’m seeing the value. We’re talking about a 550 sqft floor space with a large loft. I can see us having a shed for Mark’s projects. I can see an epic amount of landscape design for beauty and function.

Besides a lack of money being an obvious derailer for this to come to fruition there’s other issues. I didn’t realize how good we had it zoning/permit wise on our last piece of land until til I started looking through permit requirements just in our area. There are so many requirement it’s hard to absorb it all. Plus “If you want to make god laugh then tell him about your plans”. right on.

 Have you seen this new tiny house TV show? I’m all over it! Mark doesn’t like it but i do.
http://www.fyi.tv/shows/tiny-house-nation

LOGOour podcast cake or death radio

anarchist kitchen tiny house and landTiny House and Land

1 I am The-Brightest-of-Stars

Our photography

 DSC_0031   i grew up in the small village of owego in upstate new york. i walked and biked a ton growing up.  the only muscles i have are calf muscles and they are huge as a testament to my love for walking and biking which i started as a wee little youth in USA. i spent just as much time outside as i did inside watching tv. every poor person i know owns cable so apparently we were just too cheap to own cable. my dad thinks our (tv) culture is a joke. he’s never told me that but the guys in his 60s and has NEVER worn a pair of jeans in my lifetime. dress lacks all the way. my neighbor owned cable and i spent most of my sitting hours at her house. i hated stupid kid show. what’s the point of watching some kid run through a lame ass obstacle course to get slimed in the predictable end? i did however absorb a shit load of MTV. there’s a term for youth who think that kid shows are lame while soaking in racy, dirty sailor young adult shit; “older younger”. “older younger” is where the cool toys and clothes for young kids looks lame compared to what the older teens are being marketed. part of my “older younger” trip included wanting to be gangsta. me and my elementary school friends would walk around the village spray painting shit, talking about “picking a fight” and smoking cigarettes, age 8. in my mind i was new york city. when i was 12 we moved to the dallas suburbs which is over a million people i felt like i had arrived. my parents would drive by this grandys that sat next to this alley near the “black neigh hood” and in my youthful mind i could see bone thugs n harmony creeping out of the shadow…just like the MTV “thuggish ruggish bone” video!!! these days when i read a book about junk and sex being marketed to children i connect the dots to how indoctrinated i was in to the MTV culture which makes me pause & step back. MTV doesn’t acknowledge the difference between the real world and the system. actually if the system had a slogan it would be “we’re the real world, i promise”. DSC_0036 no supermodels for topsoil or rapper for hand built houses. living in the country was off my radar. years after disconnecting from MTV culture i was still indirectly consuming the messages. blah blah blah… we move to the country. i knew we had to move to the country and homestead but i was REALLY nervous that maybe the country life wouldn’t be for me. turns out the country is the life for me and feel cheated out of my piece of mind that i wasn’t able to maintain while living in the city.DSC_0104

my pros & cons basically look like this: i’ve meet a ton of really awesome people living in the city but i’m no social butterfly and end up hanging with coworkers or classmates. no city is required for that. in the city i’ve seen a handful of really good shows whose band that would never play in the country. every 6 months i wish i could go to an indie theater but quickly get over it. i hate that i have to drive to get into town. i wish i could walk or bike around and feel like a piece of me is missing because i don’t adventure like i used to. i feel much more relaxed not taking the bus or walking pass street harassers to get where i’m going. i do not feel like my guard is sky high. feeling more relaxed makes me more sensitive and intuitive. in the small town i leave near no one is a redneck. everyone is either an artist or an art collector. many of the people are from other cities and have wealth of life experience to add to the community. it’s crazy to have one big community. in the city it’s basically you & your friend and everyone else just comes and goes. while at work in town co-works will point out folks, telling me their claim to fame is. it’s like everyone matters. plus when someone gets hurt or gets cancer the whole town raises money to help out. all the folks i met have gardens or chickens. everyone seems to be connected to the real world. oh and i seldom see MTV culture in town. folks just seem real, for better or worse. did i mention that when i’m at home i never imagine someone kicking my door down? i’ve got a good job and i’m not sure how likely that is for country living. when i lived in the city i felt more in a fantasy bubble about life (the mystical spark?) and how it works.

i think the country and city are extreme and suburbs & small towns come closer to the middle.

DSC_0029

in the end there’s this eternal quest to “know thy self” and my place in the world. being in the city was over stimulating and distracting. i like living in the woods and vacationing to the city. most people do it the other way around.

 

info & pictures of our tiny house & land

anarchist kitchen tiny house and land

as much as i plan things out, break things down and think about the years to come every now and then i make quick decision that changes everything. then back to the plan i go. for example, when i met mark he moved in on day 2 and we got married 6 months of knowing each other. 4 years later all is well, very well. most of the big decisions seem to jump out of our head and we “think quick” and go on our jolly way. saturday night i came up with a plan, we’re going to be street performers playing music for $. we’re going to move all of our stuff to a tiny suburb of dallas (population 8,000) into a home my parents just bought. we’re selling our land through a realtor so that we’ll have money to buy land with our friends, which i’ve talked about here in my interview.  the day after pitching this idea to mark he got pumped because he’s been wanting to build a charango for years (like a small guitar) and that what’s he’s going to bring on the road. my sister who’s been living with us in our tiny house wanted to come with us on the road but there wouldn’t be enough room in our car. mark hates sleeping in the as we have done it for 3 separate 2 week trips plus living in the car for when we first moved onto our land**. yesterday we were in texas helping my parents move into their house. afterwards we drove to the spring and it dawned on me that if we train hopped our way around we wouldn’t have to pay for gas. we could take greyhound & megabus as needed. well, well now heather can come with us! we invited 2 more friends (one was pumped to be a part of this and the other is on the fence). i’ve bought an accordion and put in my 6 weeks notice to my job. quitting my job was very scary. i LOVE my job, it’s by far the best job i’ve ever had. and life goes on.

here’s the deal, if we’re selling our land then we need to live somewhere. if i’m paying any amount of rent i think it needs to go to my parents. their house payment is huge and i really want to ease their burden. there’s personal perks as well but not as many as you’d think because their house is far enough out that it’s a bit intimidating for someone who has one car between the 3 of us (me, mark & my sister). i’m still excited but sad to start looking for a job when that time comes.

how long are we going to be running the streets? until the fun runs out. could be 2 weeks or 6 months. either way time stops when train hopping so that doesn’t apply.

below are 2 pictures from 8 years ago when i train hopped for a few weeks.

1 train

2 train

i’m so excited.  i have 6 weeks until freedom. last night it struck me that i should put my ebook on sale, super sale! since planning this trip the synchronicities & conformations that have been coming in back to back totally connect dots that an ebook sale is in order. enjoy.

part 2

for info & pictures on our tiny house living check out Tiny House & Land

anarchist kitchen tiny house and land

so after re-reading the primal parents blog post on fructose malabsorption, i feel ready to address this issue.

i read that blog post over a year ago and while feeling like much of the information applied to me, i still felt over-committed to paleo and wanted to feel that out some more. i have 2 indicators in my body that i’m looking to resolve to find out whether i’m on/off the right track.

#1 over the last few years i’ve developed some strange inflamation on a very isolated part of my lower lip. sometimes it’s on the very middle and other times it’s off center to the right but it’s a consistent alarm that is going off, telling me something isn’t right. it’s not noticable to someone looking at me but the feeling is varying degrees of uncomfort.

#2 i’m always bloated. sometimes more so than others.

DSC_0002

a little dietary background:
courtney was gushing about the book “Kids Learn From The Inside Out” a few years ago so i got a copy. the book goes into detail of a child getting poor nutrition then having major digestion issues which domino into learning disabilities and emotional instabiltiy. i haven’t finished the book yet because it was such a mirror in my face that it was almost too hardcore to read. which is awesome! but that’s my childhood in a nutshell. i remember kindergarten age, recuring memories of being in the bathroom a lot, my tummy hurting. i would just sit on the toilet hoping for relief. my mother read books to me & sat on the toilet (not at the same time), the cornerstone to my childhood. so if history were building a house, my ancestors would be the earth, my parents would be the foundation and my childhood would be the first floor. adulthood would be repairing childhood and if things were stable enough i’d go on to building a second floor. so my digestion was fucked from day one, plus learning disabilities and emotional instabiltiy. let’s compound the issue with being underfed and malnourished most of my childhood, leading to me getting a job at 14. when i was 10 years old i was 180lbs, that was not over-eating or under-excercising. that was refined carbs as my calorie souce doing their best to keep me alive. you know the story, my dad got hip to dieting to reverse his debilitating joint pain & lower his blood pressure to avoid meds. in the early 90’s he had to figure out what was healthy with the help of the internet. so in my prepubescent years i lived on on pasta with tomato paste (yuck) with ZERO FATS. the results my dad had were life changing, a really amazing story. for the next 20 years he refined what all of the components to a healthy diet are. so i start underfed, then go to no fats then pop out the other side at 17 as vegan. i follow that herd over the cliff then get on a Weston Price kick then settle into Robb Wolf’s version of paleo.

DSC_0113

and genetic history:
to cause insult to injury, let’s talk about my mom, sweet sweet Nancy. when i was born i wasn’t breastfed because she was taking meds. soy formula instead of the teet. meds for tummy troubles of her own? my mother always had tummy toubles, long before we ever met. the strange thing is that our household was predominantly organic, marcobiotic starting in the late 90s. she wasn’t strict like my dad but the majority of her diet was whole organic foods. every year she got worse. leaky gut, IBS, TMJ, cramps, migranes and environmental toxins measured off the charts in her blood tests. part of the reason we were so poor growing up was that my college educated mom felt too sick to work. over 30 years of her life gone to sickness. she’s 80lbs, in her mid 60’s and her life is in a pin hole. she can’t go far by herself, she has balance issues & her migranes put her life on hold. her mind is all there but after 30 years of lost hope and only knowing how to be sick she’s a shell of her potential. And she’s so sweet and gentle. such a shame. plus the kind of help she needs cost more than she can afford. because of her very poor digestion she’s lost a lot of vitamins and minerals that would get her on the track of healing. she can’t take any amount of supplement without her body cramping far beyond her endurance threshold. even a tiny amount of a given supplement on the end of a toothpick is unbearable. she’s too sensitive.

you are what your grandmother & mother ate.

this all comes back around to what’s going on today. last night i read the fructose malabsorption blog post & the histamine intolerance article. i look at my own health problems, mostly resolved by eating animal foods but there’s two alarms that go off in my body letting me know that something isn’t right. i think about my mom 25 years ago, so full of life. i think that she could have turned her fate around had she known better. for years she took meds to ignore the alarm. i don’t want to repeat that mistake. i don’t want to look at the 2 problems mentioned above, accept it then lose out later. i’ve got to have more of an open mind.

i think FODMAP applies even more to me than fructose malabsorption. i’m serious about getting down to the bottom of this when i see what’s at stake, thinking of my mother’s future and my own. when i first looked at the FODMAP list it was overwhelming to consider being that restrictive. after raw veganism i felt displaced from a community of passionate, health-minded people. before i felt special with my unique snowflake water, drinks and food. after feeling displaced i didn’t feel unique, i felt alien. i threw strict away and dabbled in moderation. whenever awareness of my issues would come up, the feeling of going back to being strict felt almost like being unable to breath. strange. that alone put a wall between me and my resolution. reading those two pages yesterday and thinking about my mother makes me think that i’m not going back to being strict. when i think clearly about my “strict” eating habbits, i see that i  appeared strict to joe-blow-USA but i wasn’t. as a vegan, i ate a wide variety of foods and combinations of foods and NEVER felt restricted. after getting over the hump to raw veganism, again, i could eat any food or combination of foods as long as it was unheated. really, any whole food was on the good list those ten years.

though some of the FODMAP food lists are inconsistent, overall i see the bigger picture: excess fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans, polyols will be the point of interest when avoiding foods. the histamine article would take a restrictive FODMAP diet & widdle it down to a pin hole. i’m not going to over-think the histamine thing right now because i care to first get the FODMAP lifestyle under control using my 2 markers (my lip & bloating) as guidance. the histamine issue i don’t completely understand but  it was the only resource that validated my belief that fermented veggies do not work for me. years ago i was tested strongly allergic to brewers yeast (vinegar) and at the time put hot sauce/soy sauce on all of my whole foods. god. vinegar & fermented veggies are both on the histamine list along with fermented/cured meats like pepperoni & BACON!!! (NO NOT BACON!!!) i ate some locally raised pigs that were processed into locally made pepperoni and my lip felt super inflammed! sad face. so i think histamine foods are on my list! the histamine list includes spices & herbs, those will be the last to get addressed. did i mention that last week i ate a ton of white rice (not typical for me) and felt a level of non-bloatedness that made me parinoid (i seem less bloated, can it be)? i’m not completely sold but again, open mind, right here!

the thing that makes this complicated and unresolved for many years is that there hasn’t been a direct correlation between anything. being bloated 99% of my life doesn’t narrow down anything. i’ve eaten so many different ways over the last 15 years, you’d figure there’d be more insight. when i did the master cleanse with jonathan a few days the bloat went away. those few moments of breakthough remind me to keep my eye on the prize. there were a few completely random times that i’d wake up in the morning and some how NO BLOAT then one bite of food, anything, instant bloat. there were times that i wondered if it was a quantity issue, because everything i was eating was quality. living on chocololate bliss and other blended/liquid drinks didn’t resolve the issue either. looking back, the high fructose agave was the last thing a fructose malabsorber would need. now my lip. it’s strange to get a signal from my lower lip that something is iritating my body. i thought about traditional chinese medicine and how the lower lip correlates to the intestines. i noticed that if my lip hurt my craps would look pretty shitty. 2 things there that threw me off. #1 was that if i ate something that would create this lip discomfort it would sometimes cause an instant (within an hour of eating it) reaction. it would take more than an hour for the food to get to my intestines so my original theory wasn’t right. #2 was that the results weren’t consistent. if my lip felt like shit for weeks straight, id get pumped to change things, the feeling goes away, then i take liberties, reintroduce a handful of foods, no imediate response… then within a few days my lip feels like shit and we start over. with all that said i’m not going to play around like before. i’m going to presume that all of the FODMAP foods and a handful of the histamine foods are at fault.

i’m going to take more seriously the boundaries of this experiment. no liberties, not right now, i need to get to the bottom of this.

things i already know:
veggie oils make my skin break out
nuts/dairy are super addicting, in small quantities they may/may not be fine but how do i eat them in small quanities?
vinegar, ferments (meat & veggies), eggs are all on the histamine list. they all created sad poops or lip pain for me
fructose & fructans make me bloated, i’m sure of it.
we have a million lbs of bacon coming home with the whole pig (processed) that’s going in our freezer. i will gift it all to mark.
Sugar Alcohol is an issue too (includes celery, cauliflower, mushrooms, snow peas & sweet potatoes)
chocolate is on the list of problems too (maybe made with coconut oil & dextrose it may someday be ok)
dextrose (corn sugar) is 100% glucose and the only sugar a FODMAP person may be able to handle
xylitol is a no no (damn, i have a pack of mints)

what’s lame:
i don’t mind giving things up. up until today i have always rotated giving up different things but looking back i think i was giving up a fructose item for a fructan item or give up dairy for nuts or nuts for dairy or dairy & nuts for fruit and vice versa. this new plan seems a bit more clear which is not lame, it’s good.  last on the lame list is this image of someone i know giving me shit for all the years of avoiding junk food…. and them praising me when i would eat junk food that they offered. i think that person thought i was on a high horse. i think i was on a high horse. that is lame. eye on the prize, breaking my mothers cycle is what’s at stake. that’s not the same as a high horse.

FULL SPEED AHEAD
**read part two here** “so i got my shit’s DNA tested”

FOR REAL: any of your comments, high horses, insights, judgements and questions can help. bring it.

anarchist kitchen tiny house and land

                              our tiny house pictures & info: TinyHouseAndLand.com