Okay. I had honestly thought I had deleted this blog during a moment of weakness last year and I came across it by accident this evening. I was stunned to see how many page views it has gotten, as neglected as it has been.
The irony here is that tonight I talked about the tiny/small house movement on a one hour radio program which I host (community radio station) and had been posting URLs to some of the sites I'd mentioned on the station's Facebook page. I noticed that my blog still shows up on the list of links on Kent Griswold's Tiny HouseBlog. I clicked the link and low and behold, my blog was still there!
After about an hour of trying to figure out how to get back into the account, I was successful! So, I'm back and will do my darndest not to fall off the radar again.
Stay tuned for more soon.
By the way, the radio station is Radio Bell Island. You can find it here:
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
|My beloved truck, which is going up for sale this week.|
The good news is that I live very close to where I currently work so we did the math and have come to the conclusion that we really don't need two vehicles. The plan is to sell my beloved truck to clear the outstanding debt owing on it. We will also cut our insurance and vehicle operating expenses by more than half. This amounts to significant savings each year - an estimated $7500 saved in payments, insurance and gas/oil combined. That's a lot of cash to save.
When we opened our internet bill this month we got a nasty surprise as the cost seems to have gone up considerably. We had been paying about $45 a month for it but this time the charge was over $60! That's too much to be paying for internet even in our part of the world. I'll be calling about that tomorrow.
We've also been looking at other costs and looking for lower cost alternatives. For example, bank fees - our bank account costs us $12 a month, which translates into $144 per year. We've done a little research and the way to go may be to open an account with a local credit union. While they require $100 up front (to purchase your share in the credit union), there are no subsequent bank fees. This means within less than a year, we will have gotten back our $100 investment and will be fee-free after that.
The plan is to use any money we save to help pay for remaining needed house repairs and upgrades planned over the next few years, such as:
- finish installing insulation in the floor
- make repairs to parts of the foundation (which had been well hidden by what looked like plywood walls)
- front door replacement (It was pretty drafty last winter and weather stripping alone won't fix the problem.)
- addition of a closet off our bedroom and some storage in the back porch which will enable the second bedroom - currently used as the one and only closet in the house - to be used as an office space/guest room.
- replacement of the old living room
- installation of a high efficiency wood stove to act as a back up heat source
- rejigging the kitchen to better suit how we eat and live now and into the future
- freshening the rooms with paint colors more to our own tastes
I admire the younger folks who are opting for simpler choices right out of school. They have already figured out what it has taken many of my generation years to realize. Life is not just about acquiring "things", whether it is a big house, a high paying, high pressure job, etc. It is about striking a balance between what you need and what you have to do to meet those needs; it is about participating in community, following your passions and sharing that joy with others.
It is harder to disengage and change course, especially at this stage of my life and in a situation where my choices have a very large impact on the life of another; however, in my heart I know it is the right course of action, for both of us.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
|Welcome to my tiny studio!|
The building is small, only 12 feet by 12 feet. I opted to have a wall of shelving concealed by wall-to-wall curtains hung from copper-pipe suspended from the loft's floor joists. I painted three walls a light purple and the wall behind the shelving is a darker shade. The curtains are a dark blue, picking up on the blue in the floor tiles. All the furnishings came from the house. The old mantel came out of my grandparents old home.
The space is well insulated and heated using an electric baseboard heater and small decorative electric stove. All we have left to do inside is trim out the windows and install window treatments.
I am so proud that we built it, right from the ground up. The only work we contracted out was the electrical. I use the space for all my hobbies. The curtains conceal two collapsible tables, my sewing machine and other hobby supplies. It is the realization of a lifelong dream to have my own studio space!
|One side of the room.|
|The wall-to-wall curtains and the attic hatch above.|