For some reason, readers of WIP are fascinated by tiny houses. BTW, I’ve lived in a one-room efficiency apt for five years, and plan to move to one that’s even smaller in the fall.
So, where do we go from here?
Quiet simply the world is in our hands.. Its all about our choices, not our neighbours or our governments, Its about the choices We make which make a difference.
My own thoughts are that we have to start and embrace a simpler way of living, we have to stop ‘Wanting’ all the time..
Couldn’t resist posting one more video. A most energetic and inspiring older couple. I guess local food and organic food is possible. All you need is dirt and work.
A most interesting take on sustainable food and local food. I’m particularly fascinated by the part about training young people for meaningful work. A great alternative to college for many, perhaps.
SIMPLIFYING YOUR LIFE IS NOT SIMPLE – I’m finally getting serious about my winter project, which is weeding out and getting rid of the stuff I don’t need or use. Today I started on the books (I already decimated my library once, about five years ago.) Spent the afternoon dividing books into three categories: give away, throw away, and save. I didn’t know this was going to be so hard.
Baseball. It’s an easy game.
You throw the ball. You catch the ball. You hit the ball. So says the skipper in Bull Durham. Good advice; authoritative, no embellishment.
He wasn’t talking inside baseball, of course. That’s a whole ‘nother thing. Inside baseball is complicated. You run into statistics right away. Statistics are hard. Inside baseball can be mystifying, to an outsider.
Maybe tennis is a better example. Tennis is an easy game. A tennis instructor once said this: “Serving is easy. Toss the ball up, and hit it.” Easy for him to say. He demonstrated. He made it look easy. Continue reading
Lately, I have been extremely discouraged by what I believe are very critical challenges facing my generation. One of the primary challenges I see is the crippling amount of debt borne by the average American college graduate in times of intense competition for work.
In this climate in which individuals step out into the world with tens of thousands of dollars of debt, the dream of owning a home can seem impossible, even with a decent job.
– from “Forget Shorter Showers: Why personal change does not equal political change,” by Derrick Jensen in “Onion” Magazine. Profound and eye-opening! To read the full article, click here.
- Forget peak oil, the global water crisis will shake humanity to its core (business.financialpost.com)
- Do You Take Navy Showers? (bellasugar.com)
Tammy Strobel blogs at “Rowdy Kittens” about simplifying her life, riding bicycles, and living in tiny houses (or as she puts it, finding “fulfillment in less stuff, less debt and less wage-chasing”). Simplicity! I’m in favor of it.
She has a print book scheduled for release in September. The title is: “You Can Buy Happiness (And It’s Cheap).”
If we had a Pulitzer Prize for book titles, that would be a winner. You can see the cover and read a little more about her book here. It’s nonfiction, and already listed for preorder in paperback on Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobel. I can’t wait to read it. I think I’ll probably order some happiness as well, since it’s cheap. Maybe I’ll buy happiness in large quantities, enough to share. Continue reading
We finally finished our family workspace. Well, I still need to add plants to my pots and tame the wire mess, but other than that: done! Robert and I tossed around about 2 million ideas on this one. In the end, we found something that we could accomplish fairly easily without braking the bank that is fun to look at and fun to work in.
Just discovered a new blog called “Under the Apricot Tree.” It’s a blog “about new life on an old farm.”
The most recent post is here: More on Stillness.
The Clueless Farmer(s) have been busy since they started “Glean Acres” and ordered 500 baby chicks. Their adventures are amusing and uplifting. Lots of great pictures. I wouldn’t miss following their story on the road less traveled.
In an insane world of war and economic calamity, it’s a relief to find something that’s good and real and simple. I think they’re living in approximately the way human beings were intended to live. I’m cheering for them to be successful enough to continue to farm for a long time.
How much living space do I need?
This week, I discovered a new community of small, bare-bones cottages here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and it got me thinking about how much space is enough.
A lot of folks are intrigued by the tiny house concept. These cottages probably don’t quite meet the standard for “tiny.” Most are one-bedroom, living room, bath, and galley kitchen. Some have two bedrooms. You can look here for more pictures and floor plans. The rooms are SMALL, but the Web site doesn’t give dimensions.
I estimate the cottages have about as much space as a small, one-bedroom garden apartment. No doubt, many people in Manhattan live in high-rise apartments smaller than this. And tiny “alley” rowhouses were once commonplace in Baltimore.
This is no-frills living, but I prefer to think of it as a simple lifestyle. You get a front door, a few small windows, a roof. A small closet, but none of the clever, built-in storage niches you find in custom-built tiny houses. You want amenities? The community has a laundry room with six washers.
Neighbors on both sides. Togetherness. Community! You’ve got as much space as in a modest trailer park, or less. Looking down a row of cottages, I get a flash of a Depression-era work camp. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
Not exactly the splendid privacy that many small-house advocates imagine. But I’ve always wondered if the concept of a 12 X 12 cabin on a remote mountainside isn’t contradictory. Elitist even. I mean, a tiny house with your own, private, national park? It is true that when you opt for simplicity, you may also find grandeur. Monks usually take vows of poverty, but sometimes live in impressive old monasteries.
No grandeur is included with the austere cottages pictured above. Don’t be misled because they’re near a beach resort. These cottages are clearly designed for workers, not tourists.
Rent is $600 a month for the one-bedroom models, plus utilities. A modern water and sewer system is paid for by the owners. Your cable TV bill looks like a BIG EXPENSE, in this scenario, especially if you also want Internet access. I’ve been spoiled by cable TV and Internet the past few years. Wonder if I could do without? Remember, we’re talking about simplicity and frugality. TV and Internet are not necessities, like food and water. Or are they?
I could still write on my computer, just not connected to the Net. When I need the Net, I’d go to the library, and use the fast, free WiFi.
I could listen to FM music or news over FREE airwaves. (Imagine that! Free radio. TV signals used to be free, too, but free TV was too good to last forever.)
Long story short, housing is adapting, if only a little, in response to the crash. Are people choosing a simpler lifestyle? Or in the new normal, do people have no alternative? Time will tell, but I doubt that cottages as small as the ones pictured here will become commonplace in America. Other countries, maybe.
For those who want to reduce their carbon footprint, a small cottage is a big step forward. I’m nagged by one reservation: Beware the fine, thin line between simplicity and poverty. Spacious suburban manses — the ideal goal for many Americans — are clearly not a necessity. Space is a nice luxury, if you can afford it.
But I wonder if tiny houses are more a novelty than a viable alternative? Most folks feel more at ease with a bit of elbow room. Space enough for two people to slow dance, at least. An extremely tiny house could be tough on the spirit, it seems to me.
I’m in favor of living space that is, as Goldilocks put it, “Just right.” It’s an individual thing. Or a matter of negotiation, for a couple. Between huge and tiny, a modest cottage might be a reasonable compromise.
– John Hayden
For photos of my own efficiency apartment, take a look here.
You can learn about the Tiny House Movement at “How I Met My Tiny House Hero,” by Tammy Strobel.