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Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’


“Life’s blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed by the fire of enthusiasm.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

With everyone, there comes certain points in our lives where we find ourselves stymied by the chaos around us.  We long for a new and exciting perspective on life and we believe that this new life will bring with it the happiness and peacefulness we are missing.  Maybe so, but what will be your first steps?  Here are some thoughts on how to begin your journey:

Stop overthinking: Also described as the art of creating problems that aren’t even there.  Before you talk, listen. Before you react, think. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try!

Let the past go: The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”–Steve Maraboli

Believe in yourself: “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.” –Mark Victor Hansen

Reflection: The true purpose of self-reflection is to correct our mistaken thoughts and actions, and learn from them, thereby creating a more constructive life. Self-reflection is not just the simple act of discovering past mistakes and making up for these mistakes, like resetting a negative zero. The ultimate objective of self-reflection is the development of a more positive self.

My new direction: Ryeder’s Edge

Go far: Do not stop living.  Find and explore all the aspects of life that life has to offer.  Experiment, explore, dream, and run like there is no tomorrow.

Take chances: Do not be afraid of change.  Relish the variety that you can have in life simply by doing.  Do not sit on the porch and watch the big dogs run by.  Join them and feel the wind in your face.

Live passionately: Enjoy and savor the miracles of life.  Create and utilize the sights, sounds and smells that is part of the majesty and wonder of nature.  Encompass and cling to the free gifts of life, such as family, friends, and the connection you have to all.  And live like you have no tomorrow.

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The common knowledge is that living tiny can drastically cut expenses; the one set-back is coming up with the cash to actually build a tiny home. Tiny homes can range in price from less than $2K to $100K+, depending on your wants. Construction material, size, appliances, décor and other facets of your finished project all play a definite part in the cost. Pretty much common sense. But what if we don’t have the financial means to construct a $10K tiny home but we have the dream? It can be done and with outstanding results. If your dream is strong enough, if you have determination and are willing to do the work yourself, you can live tiny.

 

 

$300 Earthbag House

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You can build a tiny earthbag house for as little as $300. In fact, earthbags may be one of the most economical green building techniques of all, as well as the easiest. Earthbag building is based on military techniques of using stacked sand bags to quickly build efficient, blast-resistant, earthquake-resistant structures. Once stacked, the bags are plastered with an earth mixture. Roof framing is done ‘reciprocal-style’, using timbers arranged in a circle. Earthbag buildings can easily be expanded, so they’re ideal for people who would want to slowly build their homes over time. The cost varies depending on the size and materials used.

 

 
$2,000 Off-Grid Cabin

Cheap-Eco-House-Off-Grid-Cabin

LaMar Alexander built a simple off-grid solar cabin on a half-acre of land that has now been reproduced all over the United States and Canada by people who also seek a down-to-earth lifestyle and lowered cost of living. The cabin is 14×14 with a full loft and packs a living room, kitchen, bathroom, dining area and bedroom into just 400 square feet. Living simply, without a lot of appliances and gadgets, enables the cabin to run on just a few solar panels. This cabin can be built for about $2,000, not including doors and windows.

 

 

Full time RVing…

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Many people have converted old Airstreams to make them more modern, healthy and livable, sometimes tearing out many of the plastic surfaces and replacing them with lightweight wood or other alternative materials. One example is Deb’s 1970 22′ Airstream Land Yacht, which is now a bright and cozy full-time living space on an island in British Columbia.

 
Looking for some additional ideas? Check you these videos.

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How to live in a tiny house.

Living in a house smaller than some people’s walk-in closets may not be for everyone, but those who are able to do so reap many benefits for themselves and for the world around them. Here are some tips for choosing the best type of small house for you and how to simplify your life so living in a small house is enjoyable and not confining.  Read more…

 

25 Brilliant Tiny Homes That Will Inspire You To Live Small

These micro houses prove that there is a certain beauty in finding a low-impact solution for you and your family. Bigger isn’t always better. Fans of the tiny home movement swear by it: when we simplify our lives and live “smaller” big savings – and improvements to the overall quality of your life – are possible.  Read more…

 

hobbit home

 

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The tiny house movement may be becoming popular, but it is far from new. Before humans settled down into permanent structures, tiny, mobile homes were the norm among our nomadic ancestors. Homes were designed to be packed up, moved and erected in a new place. Taking what our ancestors learned, ideas for modern versions are available….

 

YURT

A yurt is a portable, bent dwelling structure traditionally used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia as their home. The structure comprises a crown or compression wheel, usually steam bent, supported by roof ribs which are bent down at the end where they meet the lattice wall (again, steam bent). The top of the wall is prevented from spreading by means of a tension band which opposes the force of the roof ribs. The structure is usually covered by layers of fabric and sheep’s wool felt for insulation and weatherproofing.

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TIPI

In North America, the Tipi was the Native American’s answer to the Eastern yurt. This structure, though different in shape, could also be packed up and moved when necessary. This is a conical tent, traditionally made of animal skins, and wooden poles. The tipi was used by the nomadic tribes of the Great Plains in North America. Tipis are stereotypically associated with Native Americans in the United States in general; however Native Americans from places other than the Great Plains mostly used different types of dwellings. The tipi is durable provides warmth and comfort in winter, is cool in the heat of summer, and is dry during heavy rains. Tipis could be disassembled and packed away quickly when a tribe decided to move and could be reconstructed quickly upon settling in a new area. This portability was important to Plains Indians with their nomadic lifestyle. Modern tipi covers are usually made of canvas. Contemporary users of tipis include historical reenactors, back-to-the-land devotees, and Native American families attending powwows or encampments who wish to preserve and pass on a part of their heritage and tradition.

 

 

tipi

 

 

Gypsy Wagons

Moving ahead a few years, we see Gypsy wagons rolling around Europe on primitive wheels. Even in that era, mobile, nomadic people were hard to categorize. They were often unwelcome and considered “unsavory”, as settled people did not know what to do with them or where to put them when they visited town. (In the future, in England, towns would consider building in areas of land for visiting nomadic people).  A vardo (also waggon, living wagon, van, and caravan) is a traditional horse-drawn wagon used by British Romani people as their home.] Possessing a chimney, it is commonly thought of as being highly decorated, intricately carved, brightly painted, and even gilded. The British Romani tradition of the vardo is seen as a high cultural point of both artistic design and a masterpiece of woodcrafters art.

 

 

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gypsy wagons

 

Sheep Wagon

The sheep wagon was “home on the range” for sheep herders with their shaggy old dog lying outside watching over the band of sheep in the nearby meadow. Sheep wagons made their debut between 1890 and 1930 on the western prairie and in the mountain meadows. These humble abodes were the homes of nomadic sheep herders who followed their bands of sheep in search of green pastures. This “home on wheels” was pulled from one location to another by a team of horses. As automobiles became popular, the large wooden-spoke wheels were often replaced by rubber tires. The team of horses was retired and a pickup truck replaced them. Although meager, this wagon was a shelter for the sheep herder which contained most of the necessities of life. It was a kitchen, bedroom, and living-room, ingeniously packaged into one small space.

 

 

sheep wagon

 

 

And finally, the Model T

Model T tiny house

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So you want to build your own tiny home, whether it sits on a foundation or it is a mobile unit. I guess the first question is…”Can anyone build a tiny house?” For the most part, an emphatically and resoundingly “yes, you can”. I don’t care if you think yourself limited. With some working capital, a few tools, a little skill and a lot of determination, “You can do it”. As someone who teaches Cognitive Behavioral Intervention techniques, I firmly believe that the only thing that would stop someone from building their own tiny house is their thinking. If you are committed to your dream, if you believe in yourself and if you truly want this opportunity to downsize your life…”You can do it.”

 

Here is an example of following one’s dream:

16 year old Austin Hay, who began building his very own 130-square-foot home in his parents’ backyard,. Now 17 and a senior in high school, planned to live in his tiny house after college to avoid getting a mortgage.
Austin has now completed his house, and it looks beautiful and well-made and very, very tiny. He’s been living in the house instead of in his childhood bedroom, and he has it registered as a trailer, so he can drive it to college if he has somewhere to park it. This video combines two tours — an early one before the project was done, and a recent open house showing the finished home and its features.      Video

 

 

Go Far, Take Chances and Live Passionately

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After many hours of soul searching and spending many nights on the internet, you have decided that you want to “live tiny”. Excellent. You have also decided between a tiny house on wheels or a foundation. The next step is to find your dream home…tiny sized. So where do you begin? You have only 3 choices here:

 
1. Purchase from someone who is advertising a tiny home they have constructed. But be careful as the market is filled with substandard units. Pay a personal visit to these units and use the same techniques as you would if you were buying a normal size house. If the tiny house is on wheels, construction is much more vital to the integrity, as is the frame and axles size. I have seen tiny houses built on boat trailers, utility trailers and other under-weight frames. Remember that the home and the frame will take much more abuse when pulling it down the road.

 
2. Purchase a unit from a reliable manufacturer and pay the cost. Many of these homes range in the $60K to $120K. Granted, you have the quality, the availability to customize and a short time from order to road time. There are many manufacturers available and many are very reliable, friendly and will take the time to sit down and discuss your ideas.

 
3. Built it yourself. This takes some research, some skills and some time to accomplish but the savings can be huge. You can build it to any size, configuration and customization that you can imagine. The pride of building it yourself is a bonus. Here you can build a tiny home for a few thousand dollars and the range and design will be what you can afford. Just remember that the frame and axle weight of the trailer is very important, as is the weight of the materials you use for construction. Depending on these factors will determine what size truck you will need to haul your tiny home to your dream destination.

 

Guess what….time to do more research…

 

 

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I have been “tiny living” for the past several years and have found the experience to have many more positives qualities than negative ones. The lifestyle does have its learning curves but the curves are not so steep that they require a therapist. I began my “tiny lifestyle” when I was working in Wyoming a number of years ago. Nestled up against the Big Horn Mountains, the lifestyle felt more like a vacation than a living arrangement. Since then, the “tiny home” moved from Wyoming to South Dakota and has settled in an area in the southern Black Hills. I am situated on old ranch land which provides me a peaceful solitude. Surrounded by Ponderosa Pines and open meadows, interspersed with the sounds from neighboring ranches and the occasional migration of elk, mulies, whitetail and mountain lions, life is almost stress free. Nights boast the sounds of wind rustling the pine needles and the howls of coyotes, while the aroma of white sage envelopes the portable homestead and the night sky is dotted with billions of diamond like stars and no light pollution.

 
As I have been living this way for quite a while, I look back and try to remember what the first 6 months were like for me. The purging aspect of down-sizing was not as difficult as many think. Between garage sales and donations, I rid myself of much of those things that were unused clutter and once the clutter was gone, the items remaining needed to be reduced. Here it became a bit more difficult. Family antiques, my collection of books, my many tools, weapons and those sentimental items that we all collect throughout our lives. But, by giving the antiques to family, selling the big ticket tools such as table saws, planer, jointer and keeping just a basic collection of smaller hand tools, I reduced what I owned to fit easily into the new lifestyle.

 
There are other considerations you need to think about if you are planning this change, if you honestly answer the question of “Why you want to do this.” First and foremost, you need to look at your finances:

 
• Look at your income, debt and financial responsibilities. By downsizing, your financial responsibilities are greatly reduced, which in turn gives you the opportunity to pay down any outstanding debt you have with the money you save. For me, this means my monthly payments have been eliminated, with the exceptions of utilities, insurance, groceries and simple incidentals. I can personally say that, “Living debt free is awesome.”

• Learn the difference between wanting and needing. You have limited space to collect those items you actually do not need and besides, buying only those things we need can save substantial money. The process is simple. When you are looking at that item, just ask yourself…”Is this something I want or need?” If you are honest with yourself, the answer is simple. Other aspects of shopping, or at least my style is using coupons for groceries, second hand clothing stores, flea markets, garage sales or making my own repairs. With the abundance of YouTube DIY videos, most repairs can be accomplished somewhat easily.

 

Other facets that need consideration are:
• Where will you build or park your new tiny home?
• What about insurance for the tiny home?
• Will I build this myself or purchase a pre-made or custom unit?
• Will I go bat-shit crazy in 180 square feet?

 
To be continued…

 

Campers motor-home

 

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