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I feel like doing the Snoopy happy dance all over the apartment right now. I just ordered our first two appliances for the new house, and even though our bank account got goosed, I’m absolutely thrilled!

Say hello to our newest kitchen wenches! They’ll be helping me make every meal starting some time in June.

Now the only other major appliance we have to provide is the wood stove. I think we’re still leaning toward the Alderlea T4, but I’d like to talk to a local installer before we jump into that one. Do wood stoves ever go on sale? Yikes. We saved about $800 on the fridge and range because we hit the President’s Day sales plus got free shipping and installation. I don’t even know where we’d buy the wood stove from. Looks like I’ve got yet another new project to get on before spring is here.

Did I mention I’M SO EXCITED yet?

Now we just need this crazy weather to knock it off. We’ve had about four times as much snow this winter as last, plus rain storms in between every foot of snow. All this ice and snow is going to take forever to melt and make such a mucky mess. I’m begging his holiness, the flying spaghetti monster, to kindly remove his noodly appendage from the “on” button on his  big grater in the sky, or I might have to climb up there and kick him right in his saucy meatballs. Can I get a r’amen?

My dear hubby. What can I say? He is AMAZING! In less time than it would take me to just get the basic outline drawn, he has drawn detailed plans for the cabinets.

Cabinets New




The grey block is the range. We are still deciding between two different ranges: Samsung and Whirlpool.

Samsung Range

Whirlpool Range

Decisions, decisions.

I’ve been playing around on Sketchup again, and instead of working on the kitchen cabinet layout like I’m supposed to (sorry, hun!) I’ve been wasting my time on yet another potential layout for the land. I’ve yet to figure out how to grade in Sketchup, so it doesn’t show the hill that everything sits on. Suffice to say, just beyond the innermost cherry tree, the land slopes away into an awesome sledding hill that curves around through the other side of the drive where the main orchard is. It’s steep enough that I’ve spun the tires on the lawn tractor trying to go straight up.

The things we already have in place are few: the orchard, the driveway, the fire pit. The house isn’t going to move from where we originally intended, unless we go 10-15′ east to take advantage of the slope for bigger basement windows on that side.

The things we have yet to find places for include the garden, sheds, coop, guest house, and garage. I’ve been experimenting with shadows at various times of year, and I think this set up works better than my previous ones. In this one, the garden is on the south side, just on top of the slope. The guest house would have a pretty nice little view of our tiny valley and the adjacent field beyond the little strip of woods that separate the two parcels. The garage would be easy to get in and out of with vehicles because there wouldn’t be any funky curves to work around. Attaching the woodshed to the north side of the garage would protect the wood from blowing snow and rain since prevailing winds are generally north east, plus it’s not too far from the house.


I know it’s hard to read, but if you click on it, you’ll be taken to an enlarged version. đŸ™‚

I think now I’ve got that bug out of my system, I might start working on the cabinets so my husband can refine them. He’s so much better with Sketchup than I am.

(Side note – Did I mention how EXCITED I am for spring to come so I can get out to the land and start digging holes again?!)

You all know that old saying, right? Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Fish and visitors smell in three days.” In my humble opinion, he was right on. I like visiting friends and family, but after about three days, no matter how welcoming a host is, I feel like I’ve started to wear out my welcome. No offense, but I feel the same way about people who come to visit us. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE having people over. It’s just that after a few days I really like to get back into my normal routine.

Our new house is going to be fairly small. We won’t have guest rooms. We won’t even have an office that we can convert temporarily. About the only place guests are going to be able to sleep is on our pull-out couch in the small living room. While that works short-term, we have been wracking our brains for years to think of a way to accommodate long-term guests without having to interrupt our daily lives so drastically. The solution? Guest housing.

No, I don’t mean we’re going to attach a motel to our house. And I don’t plan on erecting yurt platforms or constructing tent sites. I’m talking about tiny houses. They’re perfect little homes that don’t take up a lot of space, can be built just about anywhere, and won’t cost us a lot. They can even be built on trailers and moved around if need be, though I would like ours to be more permanent items on our land. They can be used for other purposes, too – as hunting blinds, rentals, employee housing, sleepover  central for the kids, or just a place to go when someone in the family needs a break.

I’m definitely not the first to come up with this idea. There are actually a lot of folks who have already built these tiny houses on their land or in their backyard. Some call them  mother-in-law houses. Some rent them to their out-of-school teens to keep them close to home yet teach them rental responsibility. Some house college kids during the school year and visiting relations during the summer. They’re a brilliant addition to a parcel, city or country.

I’ve recently been looking around for ones that catch my eye. My original plan was to do a 3 Little Pigs theme and make one tiny house of of stones, one out of wood, and one out of straw. I still think that’s a cute idea, but then I saw a video on youtube by a Permie who was touring an ecovillage somewhere in the US. The ecovillage was still in the forming stage and needed temporary housing for incoming members to try out the lifestyle. They built three tiny houses, and they were sooo cute!

Here are two snapshots I took from the video:





They’re perfect! I think a little rocket stove or tiny wood stove in each would keep them useful year-round. They’re big enough to house a bunk on the one side and a full/queen mattress in the loft. Add a dresser and some shelves. Voila. Of course, we’d probably locate a heated bath house nearby. Maybe a little outdoor kitchen with plenty of seating and tables for large gatherings at meal-time.

Yep. Our home isn’t even finished, and here I am planning out all the details for big family get-togethers and small neighborhood festivities. Once we have something like this set up, only the fish will smell after three days. đŸ˜‰

February 2013

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