Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tiny House Recording Studio

Our Current Recording Studio
Tiny House Homestead has made a New Year resolution.  We are looking to take our Podcast, Tiny House Homestead, to the next level with a dedicated recording studio and a technology overhaul to present a more professional and polished podcast to a larger audience.

Currently our podcast is recorded at the kitchen table using an old laptop and a microphone purchased on Craigslist. We only produce one or two podcasts a month right now, but will be able to produce a podcast routinely every two weeks, podcasts sharing and teaching about living in a tiny house and becoming more self-sufficient. Our audience has grown by leaps and bounds and we would love to upgrade to be able to produce videos as well as audio. We are looking to add a Tiny Recording Studio to produce a more professional quality podcast using better equipment and updated technology. We have the perfect site for the recording studio and have already acquired the materials to run electricity and heat to the building.  

Total estimated cost of the project is $6500. This will allow us to purchase a building, insulate with sound foam, update technology (new microphone, better soundboard), and purchase better software. It would be amazing to start out 2016 with a great recording studio.


This Could Be Our Future Studio
Last year we were able to crowdfund running water and this year our project is a bit bigger and bolder. However this time the project will benefit more than just the homestead. The studio will be available for other local podcasters such as Rianna Stone of The Pagan Homesteader. Rianna and her family live in a tiny house too! Another show that will be launched is directed at homeschooling parents. Other podcasters will also be able to use the studio to produce their podcasts as well. Just imagine all the valuable content that could be shared free! Yes, that's right, podcasts are free to download.

The studio will be open to any local folks who wish to produce their podcast or edit video for their Youtube channel. We will even be able to help mix and master podcasts for folks who don't live in our state or have access to the technology to produce a quality podcast or audio file! Let's help other aspiring podcasters have an opportunity to produce their podcast without having to purchase expensive equipment. 

Contributors will receive great rewards too!

Looking to advertise on our podcast? Let's talk!

Be a part of something bigger and contribute today. Share about our campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and with friends.

http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/tiny-house-recording-studio

Happy New Year!

**Update**  We have had interest from local podcasters to produce shows on: 

  • Horses
  • Permaculture
  • Gardening
  • Homeschooling


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hanging with My Gnomies

Ok, you have got to check out this garden gnome I received as a gift this holiday: 


Isn't he a hoot? This is called Garden Massacre. I just love him! Of course being the curious sort, I decided to find out how having gnomes in the garden got started. 

Wikipedia tells me garden gnomes started as garden dwarfs in the 19th century in Germany. They are a spin off of garden statuary from the Renaissance period. Eventually they were called garden gnomes around 1930. 

Gnomes are a fun item to add to your garden and I can't wait to see my little statue in my garden this spring. I poked around on Amazon and found a couple of other gnomes that are fun. 

Zen Garden Gnome
This guy looks totally relaxed. 

Mooning Garden Gnome
This guys is up to no good. I like him!

Gnomeland Security
If the one above gets too "cheeky" you can call in Gnomeland Security to take care of him.

Say Hello to My Little Friend
All I can say to this one is, "Oh my!"

Peek-a-Boo Solar Light
Need a little light in your garden? Let this little guy help light your way with his solar light.

Sweet Lantern Gnome
Let this sweet guy guide the way with his solar lantern.

Gnome Rain Gauge
Finally, there is this practical little gnome rain gauge. Cute huh? 

No garden would be complete without a gnome. I just love my new gnome and for now he will sit on a shelf inside my house. It will be fun to see him in the garden each day.

Do you have a gnome? Share with us in the comments below.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tiny House Homestead Sleepwear

Women's Pajamas
If you are anything like me, you enjoy kicking around your home comfortable in a pair of jammies. So, just for you (and a little for me too), I created a set of Tiny House Homestead pajamas! Your welcome! 

No, seriously, these pajamas will keep you warm and comfortable year round while helping support the Tiny House Homestead's Spring Garden Project. 

Men's Pajamas
Ok, ready for the best part? The pajamas come with a variety of pant prints to choose from. For women there is black check (shown), pink camo, blue stripe, red buffalo check, pink plaid, Democrat, and Republican. Men's choices include black check, blue stripe, red buffalo check, Democrat, Republican, and green camo. Sizes range from small to 2X. 

You can check out all the selections available in my new Cafe Press store as well as see other items with our logo at http://www.cafepress.com/tinyhousehomestead.

Thank you for being a part of the Tiny House Homestead adventure! 



Shut the Box or Batten Down The Hatches

In my house we love to play family game night. Family game night has a broad meaning in my world since it applies to friends as well. We are always on the hunt for fun games that are easy to learn and easy to store. Shut the Box also called Batten Down the Hatches, is the perfect game for family game night. 

Commonly played on ships back in the day and a pub game even today, Shut the Box is a fast playing game. At the start of the game all the "Hatches" are in the open position exposing numbers 1 through 9. 

Each player takes a turn by rolling two dice. After rolling the player will add up the pips on the dice and chooses which hatches to close. Any combination adding up to the total number of pips (dots on the dice) may be closed. For example if you roll a 5 and a 3 you have a total of 8. You have the following options to choose from: 

  • 8
  • 7 and 1
  • 6 and 2
  • 5 and 3
  • 5, 2 and 1
  • 4, 3, and 1


Any of the combinations may be chosen as long as they haven't already been shut in a previous roll. Player than rolls again, shutting more numbers. Eventually the player will roll a number that can no longer be worked with and you will then add the exposed numbers for the player's score. Play then goes to the next person. 

If the player is lucky enough to only have the number 1 position open, then the player need only roll one die. 

After each player has played their turn, the player who had the lowest score wins. 
If you manage to shut all the hatches, then you have "Shut the Box" or "Battened all the Hatches" and you automatically win. 

This game is fast paced and can be played alone as well as a type of solitaire. I have an antique set of Batten the Hatches that was once used by sailors in the 1800's, but this game is easy to find in modern renditions. 

My favorite is the one by Melissa & Doug because it comes self contained for easy storage. 
Melissa & Doug Shut the Box 



I also found this version from Front Porch Games which can be slipped into a bookshelf with all your other books. 

Front Porch Games Shut the Box

Another self-contained version is made by Circa.  

Circa Shut the Box 

Family game night is even more fun in a Tiny House. Good quality games that are fast paced and quick to learn are the best.


Do you have a game you enjoy for family game night? Share with us below!


Friday, December 25, 2015

Beware of this Chicken Water System Malfunction

The coop (minus the hay before scraping where the chickens roost),
 notice how the hanging bucket has a growth of algae along the side.
Despite the high maintenance the traditional gravity water font rquires,
we have chosen to go back to using it in tandem with the hanging bucket.
We lost 4 chickens from our flock this past week. We found the bodies when we went out to do coop maintenance (chickens poop, a lot!). My son and I stood outside the coop trying to figure out what caused them to suddenly die. They had food. They had water. I had even given them pie pumpkins and squash as a special treat. The coop is protected from high winds. There is plenty of space for the number of chickens. It was truly puzzling. 

I had been in the hospital a couple of days and my son had cared for the chickens while I was unable. I asked if the chickens had acted oddly. He stated he hadn't heard Rukus crowing much, but Fergus was still crowing as usual. One of the deceased chickens, unfortunately, was Rukus. 
Rest in peace Rukus

While my son moved the bodies to the compost bin, I walked around inside the coop. Examining the water bucket hanging in the center I could see it was almost full. However, I noticed a fine growth of algae along the sides. Lifting the lid off the bucket, the chickens went crazy. Calling to my son, I asked when was the last time he had to refill the water. He came back over to the coop and said it had been about 5 days. The chickens hadn't been drinking much water, Not knowing, he had attributed that to the temperate weather. We were dead wrong. 

The nipples on the water bucket were not allowing water to exit the bucket when the chickens pecked them. Reaching inside the bucket, I pushed on the nipples and water began flowing again. Meanwhile, my son went and fetched water to refill the old gravity fed water font and the entire flock spent the next 15 minutes drinking. 
Compost pile will be the final resting
 place of our four lost chickens.

It is sad that we had to lose 4 chickens to learn this lesson, but don't trust any water system! ALWAYS monitor how much water is being consumed by your flock. Chickens require a surprising amount of water and even in cold weather healthy chickens will drink a pint or more of water per day per chicken. 

How do you make sure your chickens have plenty of fresh, cool water? 






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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Full Moon December 2015

Tonight marks the rising of the first full moon on Christmas since 1977. To me this moon is more than just a full moon, but a reminder of the ebb and flow of life. It peeks in the windows of my Tiny House reminding me just how good I have it. Its bright light chases away the shadows of the cold night illuminating my cozy and warm home. It is a reminder of just how good my life is, no matter the trials and tribulations of daily life. I am living my dream and that is what matters.  My wish tonight is that everyone who reads my blog or listens to my podcast can be warm and snug in their home with the people they love. Blessings everyone.
                                 -- Karin

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Very Cool Desk Idea

Anyone who is involved in living tiny knows you live, eat, and sleep tiny. While I was laid up in the hospital, pining for the comfort of my Tiny House, I spotted this number on the wall. I contemplated its clever design for quite a bit, wondering if it would work in my Tiny House. 

I dragged my sorry carcass out of the bed to take a few close up photos before I was discharged so I could share with all of you. 

I like the slim compactness of the wall desk idea. I like that a flat surface folds down for the keyboard and paperwork, but most of all I like that it folds back up hiding the unsightly mess of cords. 

This got me looking around on the web (not like I can do much else right now) and I found some similar type wall desks I thought I would share. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

It was a Rough Night

Neck is still quite swollen
Last night was tough. Very tough. The pain was unexpected even though it was to be expected. What I mean is I expected to have a certain level of discomfort, but I didn't expect it to be as extreme as it was. Every time I tried to lay down my airway was cut off. I am guessing it is due to inflammation. My neck is still very swollen and I look like a serial killer's victim who managed to get away. My wound is still oozing. Ugh. Ultimately I gave up trying to sleep in my bed and sat up in a chair all night. Thankfully I was tired enough I could sleep sitting in the chair.
Bruising and itching from latex

So health issues are definitely one of the things I didn't consider when choosing the tiny life. Most folks who live in a tiny house don't have a homestead, so I figure most won't run into this kind of issue, but it is real nonetheless. Lifting building materials, 40lb bags of feed, etc. all added to this complication, no doubt. 

Some will read this blog post and find it to be too heavy, some will feel it a sympathy play, still others may feel pity. My goal in blogging about my surgery is to always be transparent, documenting the ups and downs of this tiny house adventure, including the good and the bad. Life is a roller coaster, full of ups and downs. Right now I am on the bottom of the parabola and ready to begin climbing back up again. I am sure each day I will feel a little better, gather a little more energy, sleep a little better. I will bounce back just as I always have and be ready to tackle the next item on my never-ending to do list. 

Onward and upward!

Friday, December 18, 2015

I am Alive

The surgery went pretty well and after two days in the hospital, I am home. The surgery fuse C5 - 7 took close to five hours due to my having a short neck. Who knew? The doctor told me it was a really tough procedure and he had a difficult time isolating the area to fuse it. I look pretty beat up with bruises on my face from the retractors, but I am glad it is done and now I can heal. My neck is pretty sore and the incision looks nasty under all the steri strips. I hope when they fall off and the swelling goes down, it will be less noticeable. 

I won't gross y'all out with photos this time (you're welcome). I just wanted to pop up and say I am still alive. 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

So I Bought Fitbit Charge HR

Everyone, I don't care who you are, at some point in their lives thinks about personal health and making positive change. I have been overweight for about 10 years after having a health issue that resulted in 8 surgeries in 7 years. This health crisis was one of the prime motivators for me finally making my dream of Tiny House Homestead a reality. However, during the battle I was told no significant exercise because it aggravated the condition which was causes by my body healing internally by forming adhesions. Essentially each time I had surgery, my body would create scar tissue that would bind and my kidneys and intestines. Then I would have to have surgery to try to remove them and the cycle would repeat. This was driven by hormones released by the initial condition. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tradition of the Yule Log in a Tiny House

In my tiny home we celebrate Yule. Yule normally falls on either the 21st or 22nd of December each year. Tuesday, December 22 is the Winter Solstice this year. This is longest night of the year, when the light of day is shorter than the dark of night. After the solstice, slowly, day by day, the days will become longer until the Summer Solstice when light will be longer than dark. 

The Yule Log tradition traces way back to the Norse. It is a symbol for always having warmth. As you may remember, people heated their home with wood, and wood had a tendency to become scarce. The original Yule log was a full tree, brought into the home with great ceremony and one end was shoved into the hearth. The fire already going in the hearth would have been lit with a small section of the previous year's Yule log remnants. The new tree would burn until a small section was left. This small section would be preserved as the Yule log. And  so it would continue, year after year. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Blog About Living Tiny


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Podcast #28 What's Been Happening Around the Homestead?





Check out this episode!


Podcast Title: What's Been Happening Around the Homestead?
Podcast Episode 28 Show Notes


This episode covers….

Tonight we talk about skunks, puppies, cats, screening in the porch, gutters, and how two people function together in a tiny house. Welcome to Tiny House Homestead! 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

So, I Read My Own Book Today

I spent today reading my book out loud. Ya, about that. I found a few errors as I went along. Most are grammatical, but they are still there. So, if you have bought a copy of my book, tomorrow, delete your copy off your device and re-download it. It will not charge you to do so, but the corrections will be in the updated download. Sorry about that. 

If you haven't bought a copy yet, please do. It helps generate income to keep Tiny House Homestead going. Also, this spring book 2 of the Black Haw Mystery series will be published!! Stay tuned!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ice Storm in a Tiny House

Courtesy of KFOR.com
All week forecasters had been calling for an ice storm that would butt up against Oklahoma City. I am an hour east of Oklahoma City as the crow flies, so I had a good idea that storm would impact us as well. No matter what the forecasters say, it is best to be prepared just in case. Wednesday I did a little extra food shopping for some fresh, not frozen food, so I could avoid opening the freezer if the power should go out. I double-checked to make sure I had enough propane for the grill so we could cook, and I made sure the kerosene heaters had fuel. I have plugged all my electronic devices in to make sure they have a full charge. I got the homestead prepared for power failure and am just going with the flow at this point. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

10 Great Dice Games That Don't Take Up Storage Space

Live in a Tiny House, small home, or apartment? Looking for a gift for someone who lives in a smaller space?  Sometimes fun comes in small packages.

Let's face it, one of the first things to go when you are downsizing is board games. So, for those of you who live in a Tiny House or have limited space, here are 10 great (and cheap) games that just use dice and sometimes paper and pencil. These would also make great stocking stuffers or gifts when there is a set budget. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving in a Tiny House

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers and to everyone around the world. Today in a America we give thanks for all the blessings we have. We spend time with family and friends, and sometimes friends who are like family. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Beautiful Fall Day on the Homestead

 I took the puppies out for a walk this beautiful morning and thought I would share the beauty of my property on a crisp fall day. 



We have had a lot of wind as a cold front moved in and the trees are being stripped of their leaves.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Look inside my Shed Made into a Tiny House

Lot's of folks email asking for what my Tiny House from a prefab shed building looks like inside. I thought today I would share some pictures. These pictures were taken at different times, so some things have changed such as adding photos to walls, finishing out parts of the rooms, etc. However this will give you a feel for the Tiny House life I lead. 

The kitchen is very functional.
The antique cook stove has become an island
and I have since added a traditional range/oven. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Skirting a Tiny House - Why and How

Two days ago we had a storm front move through Oklahoma that has brought high winds. The trees are being stripped of their golden leaves and acorns make a pitter-pat on the roof as they fall out of the trees. The temperature has dropped and this morning temps are in the low 40's. We are facing our first hard freeze this weekend. Last year we had our first snow at this time, so I am not complaining about just getting rain. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Heated Mattress Pads are Better Than Heated Blankets

Oh my gosh. I just have to share about my new heated mattress pad! My Shedroom is not yet insulated and weather has turned colder. I have been using a kerosene heater to warm up the room at night, but the bed has remained cold. No matter how many blankets I threw on the other night, I just could not get warm. So I began the search for a good heated blanket. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Finding or Buying a Place for your Tiny House

Follow any of the blogs or Facebook pages for Tiny Houses and one of the most common problems tiny house folks face is finding a place to park your Tiny House on Wheels or to build your tiny dwelling. There are several roadblocks commonly face, but the biggest one is code. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Picking Where to Set Down Tiny House Roots

Lots of folks build their tiny houses with the intention of parking in exotic places and traveling here and there. I, however, wanted a large piece of land without others around. I wanted to grow food and have animals and see the seasons change the landscape. I wanted to put down roots and finish out my life living in the home I built myself.

Woods Stoves for the Tiny House

The weather has started to shift and mornings are cold here in Oklahoma. That means it is probably cool where you live as well. Are you considering a small wood stove for your tiny home? There are so many out there, so I started looking around at options. 

The stove I covet is this one on the left. Isn't she beautiful? 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Constipated? Have you heard of the Poop Button?

Surfing social media comes with inherent risks. One of them is Click Bait. You know, the suggestive post with no real information that forces you to click the link to see what the hullabaloo is all about. This one was worth the click.. Check it out...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

8 Electric Heater Styles that are Actually Attractive

Finally the weather is beginning to shift here in Oklahoma. Tonight we have our first frost warning. How exciting, right?  Living in a tiny house things need to be practical for sure, but shouldn't everything be attractive as well? That got me poking around investigating electric heaters that will work well in a Tiny House. 

Here are 8 electric heater styles for your Tiny House that are both practical and attractive. They vary in cost from under $50 to around $500.  Each of these is available on Amazon for easy ordering and shipping. Just click on any of the pictures to learn more about it such as cost, measurements, and energy usage. Super easy shopping via Tiny House Homestead. Can't beat that, right?

Here we go...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Spinal Surgery Scheduled

I went back to the Neurosurgeon the other day. As you may or may not know, I had a sudden onset problem with pain in my neck and arm. Well, the news is not good. I have to have two of my discs removed from my cervical spine and a third will need to be done within the next ten years. The surgeon and I discussed the pros and cons of taking care of that third disc during this upcoming surgery and he told me it is a longer surgery requiring longer sedation and a significantly longer recovery period. We decided together to take care of the two discs that are impinging on my spinal cord at this time and taking care of the other at a later time as it is not as significant. I will be having surgery on December 16th and will have a two week recovery period before I can return to work.

Stinky Cat

Remember the song from the television Friends Smelly Cat? Ya. I got to experience that first-hand last night. Seems my cat, Boots, has met the business end off a skunk. Boy does he stink. When I got home last night the smell of skunk was very strong. I carefully looked about since I certainly did not want to surprise a skunk in the dark. My cats always meet me at the front door when I arrive home and while I did not see a skunk, I could definitely tell the scent was stronger. I commented to my son that I thought one of the cats might have gotten sprayed. He was bold enough to get close and take the sniff test. Oh yes, poor Boots reeked! Pee-yew!

Needless to stay I made him stay outside last night. I poked around on the web for ways to get rid of the smell. All of the information I found said to give him a bath. Ya, that is so not going to happen. I had visions of Boots clawing his way out of the water and I know that is just not an option for that farm cat. So, outside he will stay until the scent wears down and is more tolerable. The temperatures outside are still in the 70's during the day and 50's at night, so he is perfectly fine to hanging around the yard and sleeping on the porch for a couple of days.

Let's hope this is a first and a last for Boots!

**UPDATE:  Well, it is just one day later and I don't know how he did it, but Boots is skunk stink free. I am guessing he spent most of the night and part of today rolling in dirt and cleaning himself. Let's hope he learned his lesson and doesn't attempt to romance anymore skunks!**

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I am a Published Author!

I Love to write. No kidding! You wouldn't know it lately due to my jam-packed schedule, but I love to write. I have been working on a series of mystery novels for the last couple of years on and off. I write when I have time, get in the mood, or break through writer's block. I finally was satisfied with the first book in the series and went to publish October 31st.

The first book, The Inheritance, is the first of the books in the Black Haw Mystery series and is set in Montross, Virginia. I really enjoyed developing the characters and mixing in some paranormal elements in the plot.

I published finally not only because I enjoyed writing, but I am hopeful to have another income stream to continue to build Tiny House Homestead.

If you enjoy a mystery and would like to check it out, here is the Amazon link. For just $3.99 you can escape reality for a few hours and solve the mystery along with the heroin of the story, Elizabeth.

I  hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015

How To Get A Gross Shower Clean - Amazing!!

When I moved into my old house, its previous occupants had been evicted. The house was a disaster and looked as though the previous folks never cleaned. I love to clean and I am kinda OCD, so I whipped the house into shape pretty quickly, but for one thing: the acrylic one-piece bathtub stalls. The layers of soap scum were incredible. You could scrape it off with a fingernail. Ick. No matter what I tried I could not get the bathtubs and their surrounds to look and stay clean.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fifty Buck Fire Pit

My son is here visiting me and experiencing living in a tiny house for the first time. So far he really seems to like it and has decided his mother is not so nuts after all. In anticipation of his visit I made a list of projects we could do around the homestead together. Many of the projects are not hard, but require two people or some heavy lifting. The last few days in Oklahoma have been hot. Unseasonably hot. However, today a cold front moved in and I decided the first thing on the list should be building a fire pit to enjoy.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Putting By in the Freezer

With winter approaching, I am preparing and putting by. Today I took advantage of what is known as the 10 lb meet sale at my local supermarket. The sale works based on quantity. If you buy 10 lb packages of meet, you get a steep discount. This go round I bought ten pound packages of Chuck Steaks, Chuck Roast, and Ground Beef.

When I got home from the market I divided the ground beef into 1lb sections, bagged, and vacuum sealed them. I then cut the roasts into roasts that will fit in my crockpot, bagged, and vacuum sealed them as well. Finally, I put each chuck steak in its own bag and vacuum sealed them as well. Owning a vacuum sealer is very important to preserve the quality of the meat and help prevent freezer burn.  I buy my vacuum sealer bags on Amazon because I can buy them in bulk cheaper.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tiny House Homestead Podcast 26




!

Check out this episode!

Podcast Title: What's Happening Around Here
Podcast Episode 26 Show Notes


This episode covers….

Where have I been? What's been happening on the homestead? Catch up with me today as I share about some projects around the farm, my entries in the Oklahoma State Fair 2015, and learn about Cervical Disc Displacement. Welcome to tiny house homestead!