a little insanity for Mother’s Day

May 7, 2011|Posted in: frugal, House, Mr Husband, no waste, sustainable living

Don’t have plans for Mother’s Day, except … whee! we are taking a drive in the a.m. to go see the house we just made an offer on. If we get it, what a great Mother’s Day gift that will be.

I have become totally house-obsessed lately. Like, sleepless, racing-mind, forget-where-I-am-obsessed. I seriously need to be locked in a little box until a purchase is complete. I will probably torture my husband to death by suddenly stating something (to him) incomprehensible like, “brown and white checks, don’t you think?” or “Isn’t it nice how the dishes match the kitchen?” He’s like, “huh?” <-- kitchen that we don't own (yet), not the rented kitchen in which we live now.
Insane, I know. As if he would know what dishes I was even talking about. I am speaking a kind of flea-market-shabby-chic gibberish that he does not comprehend. He said, “Honey, it’s going to be a long 10 years if you’re going to talk like that all the time.” Ten years being the time we planned to work on fixing up a house til it was livable and we could move in, etc. I dont think it will take that long, to fix the house or to drive him crazy.

Luckily, I don’t think he listens most of the time. Kind of like me with his baseball conversation (who did what on what base? huh?). It’s our version of “yes, dear.” All lovingly meant.

Our latest bid is on tiny house, 650 sq feet (I exaggerate — it’s just 648 sq feet). Eat-in kitchen, living room with wood stove, two small bedrooms, a big bathroom which is also the laundry room. Potential for gray water system is high, easily done, with a tall above-ground basement level. Needs a new roof but with a good price on the house itself, we can get a roof done on such a small house for not so much more. Some drywall repair and carpet-tear out (there was a leak that came through and wrecked the ceiling and carpet). I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do with a used funky (moldy?) carpet besides the dump, is there? Suggestions? Same with crappy once-waterlogged drywall. I hate to throw stuff away if it’s useful, but what can you do with torn-out drywall? I’m all ears.

I’ve already planned where the apple tree, the compost bin and the laundry line will be (as well as what color to paint the bedrooms…). There’s a neglected side yard that can be terraced for veggie and flower gardening, and I think I will have room for a bee yard behind the house. I can also probably have chickens there (loose, but with a coop for night), once we are there full time.

Since the house is tiny, we will have to be ruthless about what to take. That means no piano, for one thing, unless we chose a piano instead of a couch. I’m afraid the piano will lose. That also means the boxes and boxes of holiday decorations in the attic will have to get passed on at some point (I’m trying not to grin from ear to ear about this one). The little area was once a Boy Scout camp, made into a tiny development from the cabins. So it’s cute and small — with a tendency to get a little overgrown/funky in an organic-hippy kind of way. I’m pretty sure the neighbor across the street has a hoarding problem. Or needs to go to the dump. Or is planning to … I don’t know. I have no other guesses besides the hoarding one.

Best thing about this tiny house is the location, walking distance to a beach at the river inside a regional park, with fishing, hiking, etc. Far enough away that it’s not likely to flood, and all the cabin/houses are on stilts anyway for that reason. Many, many opportunities for green living and Compacty goodness. Cute little local grocery store about a quarter mile away, and a small town (2K population) a 5-minute drive away — it’s bikeable, but all uphill to get there, so I will need to work up to riding my bike to town. At least the ride home would be downhill. . .
I could go on but I won’t. I’ll save that for Mr. L. S.  (Long-Suffering) Husband … Happy Mother’s Day to all y’all, including dads and fur-parents.

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.

2 Comments

  1. noreply@blogger.com'

    LisaPie
    May 7, 2011

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    Hoolia,
    I was just at our annual Solar Fest and got tons of great info from lots of different vendors. One you might look at for your new cabin is this one:

    http://www.eloo.ws/

    They had the whole setup there and it was fabulous!

    Good luck with the whole house hunting thing. it can be really tiring, can’t it?

  2. noreply@blogger.com'

    Practical Parsimony
    May 16, 2011

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    If a water leak has left carpet moldy and drywall ruined, you may need new rafters or studs. You could have a mold problem behind the drywall. Hire a home inspector before you buy, or you may be buying more trouble than you can afford. His inspection comes with a guarantee. Good luck and happy house-hunting. I don’t mean to throw a wet blanket on your enthusiasm, but this house sounds iffy.

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