Cooking, Cabins, Crafts & Careers

Things that make life interesting

Small House – July Update

What happens when it feels like 100 plus degrees outside?  Work continues, but nothing happens without a lot of sweat; however, a hose pipe spewing cold water feels really good when you put it at the back of your neck… well until it gets to your socks and your feet are squishing around in your shoes for the next few hours.

Half Full – Half Empty – that is what the month has been about.

Half Empty – your phone dies and your car battery dies in the same week.  You lose all of your photos of the last month’s progress, (plus all of the photos of your amazing granddaughters, your trips, your wildflower garden progress, your foodie stuff, and everything else you had chosen to snap a photo of for the last 18 months)!  This equals not many pics for this post sad face emoji

Half Full – we have FINISHED putting the heavy-a$$ cement board on ALL of the exterior sides of the house!!!  We have finished putting the battens on one half of the house – AND – we have a front door!


deer ate my cornHalf Empty – the deer ate all of my corn.  As in    E V E R Y       S I N G L E      E A R… all 35 of them.  However, the next day I saw a momma and two little baby fawns scurrying thru the yard while I was mowing, so I guess she had some hungry mouths to feed.  (Glad this novice farm girl could help.)

Half Full – the wildflower garden is really going great!  I have all kinds of sunflowers, zinnias, poppies, daisies, and more!  I love being able to have fresh cut flowers in my kitchen window.


Half Empty – the grass grows so fast when it rains and every time I mow I get a rash on my legs that nearly requires medical attention.

jellyHalf full – the garden is producing… we have had squash, cucumbers, hot peppers, and even a few watermelon babies are soaking up the sun.  LOTS of blackberries – in fact, I’ve already made my first ever batch of blackberry jalapeno jelly – and a cobbler for dear hubby’s birthday.  After today’s blackberry picking, I hope to have enough for a second round of kitchen goodies – blackberry balsamic onion jam with bacon

Half Empty – there are no more half empty stories – LUCKY ME.

Some of the other highlights for the month include:

  • Finalizing kitchen cabinet layout and ordering the cabinets
  • Ordering bathroom and kitchen faucets and fixtures
  • Selecting tile for the bathroom
  • Putting up blocking for the kitchen cabinets
  • Running the electrical for all of the lighting and outlets
  • Purchasing the lighting fixtures

The workshop is getting pretty full will all of the goodies we (I) have picked out.  I cannot wait for the installations to begin!  Until they do, I just keep dreaming with my story boards.

All Full – Last night after we had showered and settled in to watch the news, the rains came… we looked at each other and said, let’s go over to the house to check for leaks in the roof…  Thankfully, there were no leaks.  So we just sat on the workbench to simply look around and reflect on how we had spent the last 11 months of our lives – together… learning, building, sweating, creating… it does not get any more full than that!


Small House – June Update

Well, after  9+ months, we have what looks like a “real” house… 2018 june 1-11-1

That’s her… peeking through one of our baby Chestnut trees!  And just like the mother of every baby on earth, I think she is the most beautiful I have ever seen… and I have labored long and hard over her… but she is still a newborn, and there is much nurturing and loving left to do before she can stand on her own.

There have been great strides this month – in spite of the heat and humidity –

and a quick family gathering in Savannah.  We stayed in an amazing cottage on Tybee Island – just two blocks from the beach – with an outdoor shower in back and a screened porch on front.  It was truly great to take a few days to be with our family, and appreciate all of the effort going into our cottage – for example, the front porch roof – notice how ours (on the right) connects at each joint where the two sides meet…

It was so sweet that the two were so similar in style and color, and NO criticism, or lack of functionality to the rental cottage, just a note to detail on how it matters when you are doing it yourself.

The metal roof is on… one of the few things we did not do ourselves.  Remember, “we” did put on the layer underneath the metal roof.  That’s me on the right with a safety harness and home-made ladder – the hired crew on the left with just a hand rope to hang on to.

The front porch floor is down – true tongue and groove flooring, not a deck floor… labor intensive, but well worth the effort.  I must say, while I labored over the priming and painting of each and every floor board, dear hubby tediously put them together, not once, but twice… the first time to “dry fit” and the second time to nail her down.  front porch floor 05-03-2018-1I cannot wait to hang some planters on the front and add a few comfy chairs and enjoy the view.

And that sweet cottage board and batten siding – it is Hardie Board, (fiber cement board), and it is literally like a sheet of cement and weighs just as much as you would imagine a 4 foot by 10 foot 1/2 inch thick piece of cement would weigh! HEAVY!  2018 june 1-13The battens are 1 inch by 2 inch cedar that we sourced from the nearby Amish community in Etheridge TN that I mentioned in an earlier post.  They are spaced 8 inches apart.  I am totally loving how it is all coming together – the cozy porch floor, the warm cedar shakes, beams and posts, and the continued day to day with my super talented patient foreman/husband.

We also have a few of the wildflowers blooming that we planted by the drive last month

The combo light and exhaust fan in the bathroom is installed, along with framing for the steam shower AND the most important cabinet to hold the Mr. Steam generator for the shower.

I have LOTS of packages being delivered next month, so stay tuned for that unveiling!  Lighting, tile, cabinets, front door… so many decisions, so many more tasks to tackle – I am SO glad this is a small house!

Small House – May Update – Tennessee Winters! Special Visitors!

FINALLY!  The weather is at last turning from winter to summer, (where was spring?) – it seems we have had at least the first three Tennessee winters so far, we will see if the last two rear their cold heads this month.

  • Redbud:  early April – been there – done that
  • Dogwood:  late April – been there – done that
  • Locust:  early May – maybe not so much – we have had a TERRIFIC last week of April into May

So, what has been accomplished in the last month?  AND what have been the surprises?

WARNING:  Not a lot of sexy stuff happening – but every day is ONE day closer to living in the small house that we built ourselves, (mostly).

  • “Other” small house work done
  • Felt/tar paper on the front porch roof
  • Back gable siding on
  • Back gable battens on
  • Back gable finish trim complete
  • Wildflower bank and other gardening complete
  • Back door installed
  • Mechanical rough in / duct work complete
  • HVAC concrete platform poured (with dad help)
  • Front porch flooring started

SQUIRREL:  For a moment, we took a three day time out and stayed up in Grundy County near our “other small house,” and did some work.  our treehouse.jpgWe also stayed in a pretty awesome “treehouse” in Monteagle, (look it up on VRBO, and stay there!)  The hosts were amazing, especially when we locked ourselves out of the rental treehouse.

We had a goal to put down the leftover zip system wall/roof/floor sheathing on our cabin floor.  GOAL ACCOMPLISHED.  However, we had my nemesis, Sneaky Snake, keeping me pretty squirrel-ly.  Day 1, he was slithering around just outside the door when I went out to get more supplies – imagine me, turning 180 degrees, mid-air back into the cabin, of course with a scream… sneaky snake

Day 2 – we are back inside, screwing down the floor, and I look over hub, who has his back to the door, and Sneaky Snake is INSIDE slithering UP the wall!  Hub says, “would you rather see a snake or a rat?”  I think I’d rather see a cat, who could also take care of the rats!


The  BIG DEAL this month is the back gable end!  back gableI love my hubby more than I can say, (notice the heart with RB + BL), but he has no issue building a ladder to hang off of the roof ridge for me, (remember this)…2017-12-10 roofing 1but when he needs to get up high, here is what he builds.  back gable work 2018-04-29 2Now I definitely benefited from this level platform off of the back porch roof, especially when I am on my back – 20 plus feet in the air painting but still – dude, build me some flat platforms and rails next time, kiss, kiss, love you!

We also were able to have the driveway pushed back from the “barn,” to the house, and then, (since because I do not like mowing on a slope), I suggested we plant native wildflowers on our slope!  We planted, around 8 pounds, of native Southern wildflowers along this slope… I cannot wait to see how this turns out.  P.S.  I also snuck in some corn!wildflower bank

We installed the back door!back door 04-30-2018

We had the mechanical rough-in done…under the house 04-30-2018

We poured concrete for the HVAC unit!  This also shows the electrical panel being hooked up to the small house.concrete padAND another Special visitor number was my dad.  He flew himself in from East TN, and was what he called “the water boy” for hubby and me while we mixed the concrete for the pad.

dad planewater boy

Visitor number 2 showed up the next day – yet another dog in the pack.  new dogThis guy was a little hurt, he had a badly skinned paw, but he was sweet as they come.  We gave him a bowl of food and a bowl of water, which he enjoyed, then during the night, took off – we will see if he comes back to hang out with the rest of the crew.

And just for kicks and giggles – this is how we communicate…

Measurements to call down from the gable end…back gable work notes 2018-04-28

His and Hers liquid refreshments… (he is totally looking in some goofy house mirror on both of our images)identify yourself

We started installing the front porch floor!  It is the same “morning fog” / blue color of the ceiling.  I just love the way a tongue and groove porch floor looks – instead of a “deck floor.”

front porch floor 05-03-2018front porchh floor 05-03-2018

Oh goodness!  This stuff is starting to get REAL!

P.S.  Farmer tan lines have started to appear – life in building a small house is just amazing.

Oh yeah, and don’t think that porch floor is almost done… that is the dry fitting, it has to come back up, be numbered, have the cut edges primed and painted (with oil based paints), and then put back down… this was just a tease.

Small / Tiny House Update – April

2018-03-31 FRONT PORCH ROOFMARCH MADNESS BABY!  WE KILLED IT!  No we didn’t have a perfect bracket, nor did we have Sister Jean, but we had some no-rain days, and got a lot accomplished.

May I first bring to your attention the beautiful front porch roof joists and decking… I mean – it is amazing, right?  Well maybe amazing if you knew:

  • how many times I got on top of it,
  • each board was:
    • jointed to square one edge
    • ripped to make them a consistent width
    • routed to make the edges interesting
    • painted with two coats of primer and paint
      • Why is the porch ceiling blue?  (From Gun & Garden magazine July 2015 issue), “So is the tradition of painting a porch ceiling blue. Some say the idea stems from the notion that blue porch ceilings prevented insects and birds from nesting. But more often than not, the color is attributed to the story surrounding the Gullah/Geechee shade known as “haint blue” and its influence on American design over the centuries.”  Our shade of blue is Sherwin Williams “Morning Fog.”
  • how incredible it is that hubby got all of those joists perfectly positioned,2018-03-31 front porch roof under side
  • a hip roof (the part where the angles all come together in the above photo is one complicated piece of construction (and apparently one bathroom steam shower salesman in Spring Hill didn’t think we were capable after we had already done it, and judged us by looking at us when we walked in the store looking to purchase a couple thousand dollars of supplies for our steam shower – I won’t dog him on my blog, but let’s just say my tongue is an inch shorter because I did want to tell him, “yes, I not only know what a hip roof is, but I built one, which is more that you can probably say AND having a hip roof on your house has nothing to do with whether or not you can put in a “simple” square box shower that you are selling, (or not selling to us).”
  • the ends of those rafter tails are pretty amazing in the light and cast some amazing shadows, not to mention add to our craftsman themeporch roof joists 02-2018
  • I caulked each one of those joints on the top, even though there will be felt and a metal roof on top… because, that’s just what you do when you are doing it for yourself

There was also a lot going on inside:

  • plumbing rough-in has begun,2018-03-31 plumbing washer
  • running underground electricity to the house has started, (although the day after we dug the trench, it turned into a canal)2018-03-27 canal
  • an interior bathroom wall was moved out 16 inches.  (This is something you can do when your are building it yourself and not add hundreds of dollars to the cost.)  However it’s a 20% increase on the size of the bathroom – which basically means our steam shower is 75% larger – WOW, that sounds awesome, right!  Well it is awesome when you are going from a 3 foot by 3 foot shower to a 4 foot by 4 foot shower!  Maybe not so awesome by some standards, but put some tape on the floor – stand in a 3×3 space, and then a 4×4 space… it probably will save you us a few elbow bruises.

Back in my October update I mentioned a few visitors to our humble dwelling, well now we’ve got dogs for days.  We’ve got “white dog,”2018-03-27 white dog  “brown dog,”brown dog.jpg and “black dog.”2018-03-27 black dog  “Black dog” is HUGE – like his head above my waist huge.

“They” are really cute UNTIL they (“they” is only white dog) starts digging up hubby’s watermelons.  So starting today – when the doggy train shows up, I walk them back home – no more treats for the digger and, unfortunately, his buddies cannot hang out either.  Because, as soon as I plant “my stuff,” I am going to be a lot more passionate about white dog up to her shoulders in garden dirt!  I cannot show the actual digging picture because there may or may not have been tears involved, but “white dog” was up to his shoulders in dirt.  Lucky for me, I go by the “do not plant until after April 15th rule, so my plants are still trying to survive in their mini trays.

Now the really, really hard part… picking out tile, flooring, lighting… follow my boards on Pinterest, and comment, please.

P.S.  So I have also been corrected that technically, a “tiny house” is 400 square feet or less, so since our “small house” is 600 square feet, I need to stop referring to it as a tiny house, (plus it is not on wheels).  So from here on out – “tiny house” will be referred to as “small house.”

Tiny House – March Update

Wow!  We had ONLY 10 days in February without rain.  Given, we work 7 days a week, that wasn’t even two weeks of work on the tiny house!  UGH!  Let me repeat… UGH!  Luckily for me, I was doing the 30-in-30 painting challenge, and I got 27 barn paintings completed, but that’s basically another month of rent we are going to be paying because of the loss of time.  (See end of post for update on barn paintings.)March update 1

The GooD NewS my friends, is that we are “dried in,” well – all-but — the interior work can soon begin – just after a few “small details”

  • cut down the wall on the breakfast nook, (where the missing window is),
  • install the front porch roof, and
  • install that last window

We did accomplish a lot, given we had around a dozen days, working in and around the rain.


  • Finish installing roof sheathing over front gable end
  • Obtain, stain and install cedar shakes on front gable end #1
  • Router, cut, paint and install trim boards on front gable end #1
  • Manufacture, paint and install finial on gable end #1
  • Paint and install cement board on front gable end #2
  • Paint and install cedar battens on front gable end #2
  • Router, cut, paint and install trim boards on front gable end #2
  • Manufacture, paint and install finial on gable end #2
  • Begin installation of front side porch roof joists
  • Prime and paint right side roof joist tails
  • Begin installing cedar shake cover on right side soffits
  • Router, prime and paint one third of the front porch roof boards

Hub did an amazing job on the gable end trim!  March update 2

There are a lot of pieces going into making those triangles on the gables work PERFECTLY!  He is amazing at his craft, and even more amazing at being patient with me.  Just with the questions, and teaching, and LETTING me do the work instead of just doing it himself.  Some days, he struggles trying to keep me busy, but then, he lets go, and lets me do a task he might much rather be doing himself, like jointing wood…


jointerSome of the fun I got to have this month was learning to use the jointer.  I’m jointing some of the leftover cedar shakes to use on the soffit.  (I secretly think dear hubby has really started “training” me  on the power tools because we are getting closer to being able to actually start making mandolins and banjos in the workshop.)

“We,” (really hubby), took time out, (a lot of time actually) to build two new raised beds for our second year garden.  They are right in front of the house, so I can look out of the kitchen window and see how things are growing.  He decided a dedicated watermelon bed is a good idea, and then I can plant whatever I want in the second bed, as long as it is not tomatoes.  The two beds from last year are dedicated to blueberries and blackberries.March update 4

Of course some days, there are tasks I don’t really want to do, but I do like to continue to invest in the “we did this” account.  The tasks like shoveling dirt into the really awesome raised beds, or painting the ends of the roof joists, or painting the cedar battens, or painting the blocking on the back porch roof, or painting the front porch roof boards.  Get it… he must think I am really good at painting, or he really hates it!

Final note… the 30-in-30 painting challenge.  I painted 27 in 30, which is an improvement  over the 23 in 30 I painted last September.  September’s topic was Tennessee Churches, February’s topic was Tennessee Barns.  PicMonkey Collage 2018 Barn Series - grid.jpg










Tiny House – February Update + 30-in-30 Part 2

Here is where we are at the start of the eighth month.porch beams 02-2018

The front porch posts and beams have been installed.  We used Western Red Cedar and stained it a natural color.  The triangle above the porch, (gable end), will be finished out with handmade cedar shakes that we are waiting on from the Amish shake-maker to tie it all together.  We wanted something special for the metal t-brackets that connect the posts to the beams, so I trusted my best friend Google to help me find just the thing.  t-bar 2018

We decided it would be nice to try to tie in the location to the design theme.  Our property is located on what is called Chestnut Ridge, so I sketched a couple of chestnut leaves and sent it to Cutting Edge Metals.  They forged these pretty awesome t-brackets (and square head screws) to “beautify” our structure support system for the front porch.  And like everything else we seem to lift into the air, they are hefty – about 20 pounds each… and that 20 foot beam going across the top is also one solid piece of lumber, weighing in at around 100+ pounds.


porch roof joists 02-2018

The weather is still refusing to cooperate more days than not right now, so we have been working inside the workshop on painting chores – like the roof joists for the porch – 2 coats of primer – 2 coats of paint – 6 edges – it keeps a girl busy for a few days.  Hubby routed out a special trim edge on the bottom sides to make the painting more interesting (time-consuming) for me.

raised beds 02-2018Hub doesn’t seem to mind the weather as much as I do, so he has been keeping busy building some new raised planting beds for the spring.  They are conveniently located right between the house and the workshop.  I cannot wait to get some watermelons, peppers, herbs and more started in these beauties!

Standing guard over the fruits of our labor will be a bluebird family we hope finds its way to their new home that hub crafted and installed.  Note that no bluebird house is complete without a little engraving…


Another cold and rainy day project he completed with our oldest grand-daughter.

As for me, I joined the second 30 paintings in 30 days online challenge sponsored by artist Leslie Saeta.   The last one in September, I chose to paint rural Tennessee churches.  This time around, the subject matter is barns.  Here are a few of the completions so far.



You can see all of the churches and follow along on the barns on my Instagram page.

Tiny House – December / January Update

Baby steps and bad weather… that sums up the work for the last two months.  No more low hanging fruit… now it is big ticket items, like getting the roof on and windows in.  These are days requiring patience, attention to details, and a safety harness.  We did spend Thanksgiving in Savannah with our son, one of our daughters and one of our granddaughters… and there was a break at Christmas… and rain… and snow… and bitter, bitter cold to slow us down.  However, if all I have to complain about is a cold rainy day that keeps me from climbing on top of the roof to work, I am one lucky girl!

So what has happened in the last couple of months?  Well, a lot in the workshop – we have the wiring done… meanfarmhouse light.jpging outlets and overhead lights installed and inspected, and these beautiful bronze farm lights outside…  Also the insulation and wall-boards are up on the inside (this is what we did to pass the time on the rainy days).2017-11 barn interior












roof 12-4-17-2


As for the tiny house, the roof sheathing is FINALLY complete!  What a tedious chore!  Roofing is a career path I am glad to have bypassed.  We thought we had someone else doing the high-wire act up on the roof, but that didn’t pan out as quickly as we thought it would, so we just started doing it ourselves.

2017-12-10 roofing 3


Is it fun?  NO.

Is it easy?  NO and NO.

Is it done?  YES!

It all gave a new perspective to James Taylor’s song, “Up on the Roof.”






Now, it is on to the windows… Fun and easy, Yay!  We are keeping with the craftsman / cottage theme.  These are by Andersen, and they are going in great.  So far we have 5 of the 7 installed, but need to complete the front porch roof before we can install the 2 kitchen windows on the front side of the house.

2018-01-15 windows 2

We spent today, (hopefully the LAST snow day for this season), exploring the Amish community in Ethridge Tennessee looking for cedar shakes to install on the gable roof at the front of the house, cedar battens for the exterior siding, and a cedar front door.  We scored two of the three, which made for a pretty productive trip.  We will return in a couple of weeks to pick them up, so I hope to have an update on those in the next post.  (Still looking for a front door.)


All in all, we are still moving forward, and some day in the not too, too distant future, one of our dreams will become a reality… to be living in a house we built with our own hands.  How cool is that?

Until next month…2017-12-10 roofing 1

Tiny House – November Update

I cannot believe it is already November!  Seriously!  The time change, another birthday, cold (oh I mean record high temps), holy cow, this stuff gets harder, but still there is NoThInG, REPEAT NoThInG, I’d rather be doing than building my own house.

Lots of tiny pieces this month, no pun intended.  right back side roof blocking

Dear Husband has been painstakingly measuring and installing these 226 pieces of blocking JUST for the one side of the roof structure.   The distance between each roof joist should be the same, but since we put them up, “weather” has happened, so each piece of blocking is measured individually, i.e. climb up, measure (with a story stick), climb down, cut, climb up, install… repeat…left back view

And then there is the other side… ugh, but that’s my hero’s job, and he’s a helluva hero to do all this, rain or shine.

Not a lot of low hanging fruit anymore.  We are getting to the nitty gritty.  Real decisions have to be made at this point.

I’ve been busy painting the tongue and groove porch floor boards.  Porch floor color is Sherwin-Williams “Morning Fog” which seems  appropriate right now because each day we wake up to a field covered with fog.  I won’t bore you, (like I wanted to), with the details, but short story, is…

each of the 160 boards were moved 10 times, by me, by hand & foot, between priming all sides (including the tongue and groove = hard) then painting the “up” side and groove.  Each coat had to dry for 24 hours before the next coat, and each board had to be inside by the end of the day since we are now getting dew at night, and they cannot get wet.  Note to self – “tongue and groove porch floors are a lot more labor intensive than “deck” flooring.”  But they will be beautiful, and all of the reason we are doing this ourselves, rather than hiring it out.Foundation stonework



So much for the short story.  (Notice how painstakingly I describe what I’m doing… which is just painting).  I can’t imagine how long it would take to describe what hero-guy has been doing.


The house color is also Sherwin-Williams, City Loft.

The colors seems to pull out the gray and vanilla colors in the stone.   Of course, you’re not seeing it in person, but just ride this ride with me.

After my porch floor painting job, I (luckily) got to move on to the back porch roof rafter painting job…  (notice how my job photos are larger than foreman pictures)back porch paint nov 2017

What that all means is that instead of working together, we’ve been working separately, which is not what we’re used to, or like to do, but hey, everything can’t be fun.  It does totally make you appreciate the fun of working together.  We’re still in sight and sound distance of one another, but it’s lunch until we usually talk, which is sad.  Well there is the conversation about what music we’re listening to, and whether it’s “my music” Michael Jackson, Meghan Trainor, and Maroon 5, or “his music” Steve Earle, Alison Krauss, and Doc Watson.  The good news is, I like his better than he likes mine, so when it’s “his music day,” I’m cool.  We are totally spoiled, (that is if you like being with your spouse, which I absolutely would not trade for the world.)

We also started working on the kitchen design.  I say “we,” but it’s all about me on this one – Hub got the stone foundation and tongue and groove porch floors, but I’m all about the kitchen.  Decision making isn’t difficult if you ask me A or B.  But when you ask me A, B, C, D…. Z, ugh!  it’s the worst.  I’ve already purchased and have possession of the refrigerator, stove and microwave, and they are stored in the barn.  This is because, as hub says it, whatever I want has been discontinued or is sold out.  So what that means is I’m either way behind the curve (usually), or ahead of the curve (not so often).  I ordered the kitchen sink Monday, so we’re pretty much good to go on that front.

My cabinets will be a sea foam green kind-of color, and the appliances will be white – looking at copper cabinet pulls and faucets.

Hub has also been busy wiring the workshop – I ordered the exterior lights for the outside doors at the shop.  AND, hub has been ordering more pine trees!  We’ve already planted 400, but like fences, tall trees make good neighbors, even in Santa Fe TN.

And… since today was a wash out rain kind of day – we took a respite up to Altamont to the “original tiny house”… it, and the leaves were beautiful… this blog may never end… the tiny house, the “barn/workshop,” the cabin… all built by hand with and beside my best friend, and even better – dear husband.IMG_20171103_1113084_rewind

Mid-month update – Caulk and Church Paintings

No pics this time, just talk.

It’s been raining cats and dogs, so after a lot of positive feedback from my 30 in 30 church painting challenge, this retired girl is putting the ones not already spoken for up for sale on etsy.

We did do a lot of indoor caulking, blocking, cleaning, and re-arranging in the barn, but I did spend some time looking around, and realized, if I’m going to keep painting, then I either need to start painting over some of them, or try to sell them.  As always, Mr. Architect, dear husband, BFF was encouraging to the sell option.

So… all that being said, and with additional knowledge from my art teacher, Susan Jones, I’ve posted images of my paintings, as well as photographs on two other websites.  These are called “print on demand” websites, which is kind of full circle since I used to work for a printing company, but way different.  These sites allow you to upload a photo, and then you can have that image printed on literally anything… leggings, phone cases, greeting cards, canvas, coffee mugs, etc.  I have personally ordered greeting cards of several of my photos and paintings, and have been pleased with the quality.  (BTW, I don’t set the prices – some of them seem pretty high to me, thus me ordering greeting cards.)

Just in case you are suffering from insomnia and want to check them out they are and

I have come to realize that I do truly LOVE painting, and the church series was so challenging and an awesome learning experience.  I only wish that dear husband could do the same with his banjo and furniture building.  It’s just not so easy to build a banjo or a piece of furniture in a day, much less 30 days, but we’ll get there.  Tiny house first, next career second.

Life is still good… life in the country… life working outside… life with my sweet, handsome, loving husband – swinging hammers, just not at each other.

October update on the Tiny House

Gosh – what a heavy heart I have writing this post after the tragedies we have had within the United States, (not just continental) this last month… hurricanes and shootings, some close to home, some close to friends.  The circle of life and mother nature are not being very friendly this late summer and fall of 2017.

Today – Oct 4 – We are COMPLETELY sheathed in (vertically).tiny house sept a8

We have made progress!  Visible progress!  I fear that once we get inside, hopefully this month, that progress will not be quite so visible.  The next step (roofing) also makes me quite nervous.  We’re still open to possibly hiring that out, I mean, who really wants to strap into a harness if you aren’t doing a zip-line? Not this girl, but I will, (if dear hubby can do it, I can do it).

We had quite a few visitors, some unwanted, this month.  Ms Black Widow Spider, and her sister came to nest in our concrete block pile.tiny house sept a4-spider

“Spot,” the frog, named by one of our granddaughters, took root in the barn, seemingly entranced by this bottle of water on top of a tool box.



tiny house sept a3-frog

…and there is always “Hank” the neighbor dog who comes by most days for a treat and spray of the hose.  He’s also camera shy, and actually dodges the treats if you toss them to him, but he will sit and high five for a treat.

Now for the guts and glory!

  • House completely sheathed, check
  • Five front deck 6×6 cedar posts installed, check
  • Decks on front and back framed, check
  • Roof deck on back deck framed, check
  • CoPpEr roof gables, ordered, delivered and installed, check (my FAVE this month)

Oh yeah, there were a few watermelon success stories from the garden, this beauty came home with us today.

oct 4 2017 - 9





This month we also took a mini time-out for ourselves.  We were headed to South Carolina to a sweet house that backed up to a waterfall, (here – photo from airbnb)westminster sc, airbnb photobut passing thru Chattanooga we got a call that Hurricane Irma had impacted the sweet treehouse, and the power was out at our destination for the duration of our quick trip.  So I got on the phone and we re-routed to Lake Lure, NC and landed in the Patrick Swayze Suite IMG_20170912_195306482at the Lake Lure Spa and Inn who claims Mr Swayze actually stayed in the same room as us while filming the classic movie “Dirty Dancing.”  Luckily, (depends on your perspective), we just missed the 30th anniversary of the filming festival.  But we did get to do some amazing rock climbing and garden viewing… pizza eating… beer drinking… etc

And saw this Devil IMG_20170913_100055035_BURST001

near the top of Chimney Rock, which we climbed… over 900 steps, (there is a staircase to the top, IMG_20170913_093404595i.e. stairway to heaven, then a 2 mile hike to a waterfall, at over 2,000 feet elevationIMG_20170913_094951741_BURST001

where I relaxed, finally!





So it was a nice break from hammering nails, sawing up boards, taping seams, etc… but it’s always amazing to be back “home,” and working on the tiny house.

P.S.  The church painting challenge… I believe I finished 25 paintings in 30 days – and we were traveling 5, or so of the 30 days, so I feel like I made my goal… the fact I was still painting every day after a week is pretty amazing – here are some of the pieces I didn’t post last update.


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