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Posts Tagged ‘living’


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.

yurt4

 

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.

 

 

gypsy5

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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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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Even in the frozen North, a yurt’s so good

John Enger · · Dec 29, 2014

yurt

Grace Brogan and John Kamman live in a yurt.

It’s a squat round structure with lattice walls, a dome skylight and a few layers of canvas over the whole thing — think of a tent with stiff walls. Tents are great in the summer, but this is winter. In northern Minnesota.

Why would two employed people with three master’s degrees between them choose to live with only a quarter-inch of material between themselves and the elements? And how do they stay warm?

To find out, I drove a dozen miles north of Bemidji on a recent morning and hiked a quarter-mile across a snowy field. It was not yet dawn, and from the outside, the yurt’s vinyl windows glowed with firelight.

Inside, a small home’s worth of furnishings lined the circular wall. A calm mutt named Mabel loitered near the crackling wood stove. The yurt was actually a really nice place to be.

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Thinking about making the jump from 2500 sq.’ to 400 sq.’? Thinking and dreaming are excellent pastimes and searching the internet, finding beautifully built tiny homes can be fun, but to actually make the jump, you need to be well-informed and prepared. Making this change is a major adjustment and there are many facets that you need to be aware of. Remember that everything you have bought, collected and stashed away will not fit in the new life style. Are you willing to give up most of your belongings? And which ones do you keep?
The first questions you have to ask yourself (and find the honest answer) are:

 
1. Why do I want to do this?
2. Why do I want to give up a normal size home and downsize drastically?

 
When those who have already taken the jump were asked why they chose this lifestyle, the answers were individual and varied.

 
Jaime: “I was sick of paying rent and wanted something I could live in for a few years and abandon if I decided I wanted to do something drastically different with my life. I travel a lot and thus wanted something I could just leave.”

 
Roger: “I just wanted a simpler life. One that saved me expenses and reduced the stress I was feeling due to government fiscal ignorance”.

 
Rose: “I wanted to make a connection with the simpler times I remember as a girl. The world has gotten too crazy and I didn’t want to be caught up in that craziness.”

 
Lilah: “When you have too much space you end up with too much unwanted stuff! Small homes make you own only the most important things you love.”

 
Greg: “Living simply, having no mortgage, very little bills, [and the] flexibility of being able to move it.”

 
Corrine: “I wanted a house free of toxic chemicals in which I could heal from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Since I could not afford to buy land this was my best option.”

 
Jean & Dave: “We decided to start our tiny living adventure to find a way to save some money. Along the way, we discovered that our new home provides us with not only financial stability but also great satisfaction and happiness.”

 
No matter what your reason (s) is, you need to identify that reason, totally commit to that reason and totally understand the pro’s and con’s of such a change. Do your research. Talk to people, join forums and become very familiar with all the demands and benefits of micro living. It is much easier to learn from others who have already made the jump, than it is to find yourself in an unwanted situation.

 

tiny homes

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Quitting is the easy way out. This is true about the challenges in life that can seem “out of reach or overwhelming, and can create in us feelings of not even wanting to try. We can, at these times, develop a discouraged mind-set that just adds to the impossibility of reaching any goals. This is very true if you fear failure. Failure is not your enemy, but giving up is. Dare to go far, take chances and live passionately. You only have this gift once, do not waste it…

 

 

red_leaves_ubuntu

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As our dreams acquire new heights, we discover raw destinations.
We soar into these unknown realms, searching solutions to life’s quandaries,
and we embrace the wind that carries us forward.

We persevere to fulfill our dreams and truly know that our dreams are not illusions, but wide open windows to future points in time.
They are discerned paths; dedicated to our inner conclusions and traveled by the few souls we gave special permission.
From above a thousand mountains we take our flight, passing through cloudy opaqueness and vivid perceptions, until we achieve that reality between acquiescence and self-realization.

And then…our journey begins.

landscape painting

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