New Places, Small Spaces
I have put three dents in my Significant Other’s (aka “SO’s”) car. The neat thing is, I’m still driving it around. I can mess up in spite of all my best efforts to be Practically-Perfect-In-Every-Way™. Luckily, the people around me forgive my foibles. Phew.
Less than a year ago, I moved into a TinyHome (less than 800 square feet). This home came equipped with an equally minuscule back and front yard. My TinyHome has many faults, many of which I’m trying to fix all at once. Perhaps this blog will chronicle those efforts, or conceivably it will grow alongside my not-yet-garden into something more.
Before moving in, we had to paint every wall, replace the faucets, replace the stove, replace the furnace, patch some holes, replace the kitchen’s light fixture, fix the wiring to a ceiling fan, and buy a new refrigerator. The TinyHome fix-it list is still very long. There’s a broken window up for replacement, the windows need blinds or something other than sheets and shoji screens, and the kitchen… oh, we won’t go there yet. I am ignoring most of the list for now.
So, what was the first project completed after moving in? Converting the former dog run into a chicken coop, of course! The chickens appeared like magic through donations, and their eggs followed accordingly. Now, I’ve never held a drill in my life, but when I saw how useful one could be, I went out to buy my own so I wouldn’t have to borrow the SO’s, the neighbor’s or the guy who happens to be standing behind me in the grocery store checkout line. My first use of said drill was attaching a former wooden shipping crate to the chicken coop wall, transforming it into a nesting box. The chickens were delighted and promptly responded by ignoring it altogether. However, using that drill for the first time gave me courage. With my newly found confidence, I decided to install shelves in one of the bedrooms. Three shelves, to be exact. Two of the shelves actually worked, but the third? Well, I guess I can say there’s another hole in the wall that needs to be patched. Hey! I can do that.
My daughter, YoungOne, decided to get a head start on the winter garden last fall. Three inches down, we discovered throughout the yard, plastic mesh that held together the now extinct sod of years gone by. We checked the frontyard; same thing. Well, this certainly puts a damper on our spring garden plans. That plastic mesh needs to be removed. By hand. Most likely by me. The garden is integral in my attempt to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
I’m very lucky. The neighborhood I moved into is also realizing the importance of not only self-reliance, but interdependence. We borrow and lend, they grow food, and run over to help when they see me struggling with something. I cook and share baked goods. Yes, this is in the city.
I am that neighbor who you might hear talking to the chickens, cats, crows, possums, raccoons and the myriad wildlife my backyard seems to attract at 6AM before I leave for work. I am also that neighbor who will make sure you’ve eaten, and if you haven’t, then be prepared to try something different and experimental as it’s probably gluten-free, sugar-free and converted from a mainstream recipe. I’ll be sure to tell you why a little later. I am that neighbor who is passionate about providing healthful produce and unprocessed foods to everyone, regardless of income level. I am concerned with our food delivery system, and how difficult it is for some to find or grow fresh food in urban places (a local study shows that in urban areas, people can spend up to 20% of their food budget on transportation to a grocery store. http://news.yourolivebranch.org/2011/02/23/lentils-and-justice-for-all/). I am that neighbor who works with the homeless and hungry, no matter the circumstances. I am also that neighbor who has stories to tell.
I probably don’t have a lot of helpful how-to tips, but I do know where to go to get them. There are many useful blogs out there for every conceivable subject, and I will link to them. Who wants to be my neighbor?