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.

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

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!