Friday, June 4, 2010

The Journey North

Well, we've arrived back in MA about 2 weeks ago. We've been getting settled in at Jim's mom's house.

The journey north was FAR LESS EVENTFUL than the trip down. Honestly, there isn't much to say about it.

We took some time planning our route. On the trip down, there were so many bumps along Rt 40 and 30 through Tennessee and Arkansas that we decided there was absolutely no way we'd ever drive on those roads again. So, to avoid them, we opted to head north first, then east. I was somewhat concerned about tornadoes as we drove through Oklahoma, but we didn't run into any. Another bonus of going this way was that there were toll roads, and from my experience, toll roads have better rest stops. We didn't have any problems finding a place to camp the night, and once we were on Rt. 90 in NY and MA the gas stations were at the rest stops, so we no longer had to get off the highway to get gas. Oh, and we also got to avoid Hartford, CT, which has at least one bridge with a height of 13' 7".

We drove north through Texas, into Oklahoma, then into Missouri on Sunday—about 13 hours of driving. On Monday we drove for 18 hours, through the rest of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and into Ohio. We stopped around 2AM at a rest stop outside of Columbus for the night, then continued from Ohio, through Pennsylvania, New York and into Massachusetts—about 15 hours of driving. I'm amazed we did it in 3 days. The trip from MA to TX took us 5.

The house towed beautifully. I think the weight was distributed more evenly than it had been the previous times we towed it. There was very little bounce, and almost no sway. It was a breeze to tow. We stayed between 55 and 75 MPH most of the way, except for the occasional up-hill mountain that would slow us down when we didn't have enough momentum from the previous down-hill.

There was one little scare on a toll road in Indiana. There were no gas stations, and we were almost out of gas. Then we saw an exit, paid the incredibly expensive toll, then pulled into the gas station as the low-fuel light turned on. Phew. Speaking of gas… I kept track of how much we spent on gas this trip. To be honest, I haven't added it all up yet, but somewhere in NY I counted how many receipts we had (12) and estimated how much it cost to fill up each time ($80) and figured we'd spent around $960 at that point. Then we filled up another 3 times before we got home. So, it cost us over $1000 in gas. Ouch.

We didn't take many photos during our journey, as it rained both Monday and Tuesday, and we were concentrating mostly on just getting home. But here's a little video James took.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Movin' again

Well, it's time to be moving again. James and I decided to head back to MA to be with our family for a little while. This has been our first time living away from home and we miss everyone a lot more than we thought we would.

Plus, they all know how to work on houses, and we're clueless. We're hoping with their motivating us, and their knowledge, that we'll be able to get the li'l house finished and to a more livable condition.

We moved into it in a rush, and there was a lot left to be finished. There is no furniture built into it, yet, and we've been making due with what we have. But it's not ideal. We've also learned that we're not the best self-motivators when it comes to working on the house—especially since we are clueless as to where to begin, and it's challenging enough living in the small space, never mind doing construction inside while living in it.

So, our plan is to move into Jim's mom's house, so we will not be living in the little house while we try to finish it up.

Our goals are to change the electrical system to a 30 amp system. It's currently only at 15 amps. While it's been nice having only a $22 electric bill the past few months, we think that having the opportunity to run a few more appliances if necessary might not be a bad idea. During the winter, we had to turn the heat off to use the blender, or the cook top, or to turn the water heater on… The spring hasn't been so challenging, but if we decided to stay in TX, we would most definitely need some kind of air conditioner, and our system couldn't handle that, as-is.

We still haven't built a ladder. We've been climbing up our cat towers to get in and out of the loft. The top *step* of the concoction is becoming a little wiggly, since it was not made for this. I've been building up some arm strength pulling myself up without using the top step. A ladder would be nice.

We're also thinking, that if we're planning on continuing to stay at RV parks, that it might be ideal if we had a typical RV toilet.

Hopefully we'll be leaving TX tomorrow. Today we're securing everything inside, emptying the shed and getting everything ready to go. There seems to be thunderstorms everywhere around the country right now. Hopefully we can avoid most of them, and there won't be any tornadoes. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

We'll post pictures of our journey, once we're settled back in MA.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Tiny for Two.2 is now also on facebook.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Living space

I spent a little time last night condensing boxes and organizing our box pile into a more usable living space.

Since we don't yet have any built-in furniture, we've been improvising with the things we currently have in the little house.

I used a few banana boxes filled with books to make a sort-of couch… For a little while now, I've been wanting to have another place to sit, other than my office. The only seating we had was in our offices, and there's a wall between them, making it difficult to be comfortably social.

The bookshelves are still a bit of a cluster-mess, but this is a start. It's starting to feel a bit more livable, and less like a storage closet.

That's my office—where I spend most of my days, while I work from home. It's cozy. I'm often moving things around to use table space, and try to find better ways to work with what I have. There are still boxes and clutter that I'm working on finding a better way to store… but it's workable, and I think it has a nice, homey feel to it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Relocation time - Austin, TX

We've moved our house from the flat-lands of the DFW area to the lovely hill-country west of Austin. The difference is astounding. I will have to take some pictures the next time we go out biking... the views from the hills are just amazing at times. Doesn't even feel like Texas anymore.

We were lucky enough to find the rare sort of RV park that actually has some trees and privacy, instead of just a big row of RVs lined up. It's a semi-permanent environment with a lot of permanent residents. Took some pictures of our immediate surroundings... and here they are!

First, let me just say, this is February. Woo! Felt like a tropical island in the sun. (A lot cooler in the shade though.)

We have a tiny little shade nook under some cedar trees in one corner:

And a sweet little storage shed, which is VEEEERRRRRRY important right now, because it will give me a place to move stuff so that I can build some furniture:

Took this shot the first night we arrived:

When we pulled up I noticed a three-set of stairs off to the side of our lot... shrugged it off, figuring they belonged to someone. However, shortly after, the manager asked if we had any stairs for our place. We told him we had our little one-step platform, and he mentioned that someone had left these stairs here and that we could feel free to use them. They are a perfect fit:

We're lucky enough to be in a spot that is on the edge of the park, so one whole side of our lot is bordered by woods:

And this.. this little fellow... :) is our lawn:

I am glad to be in an area that has some trees and some hills, instead of endless flat fields. It's a nice change of pace. We are also very close to a lot of stores, which is very nice for the convenience factor.

I've also devised a ridiculously simple solution for how to add a urine diverter to our loveable loo. If there's anyone out there in need of this info, let me know and I will provide.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow… REAL snow this time.

I can't help but see the irony in this—there is about a foot of snow outside. The Dallas area got hammered with snow yesterday. It snowed all day, those big hefty size flakes—the ones that come in sideways.

It is rather beautiful, but I hope it doesn't put a damper on the move to Austin we had planned for this weekend. There's a lot of yard to drive over to get our little house out of the pasture it's in. The drive south might be delayed until the snow melts some. ::shrug::

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Moving to Austin

Looks like we are packing up next week and heading down to Austin, where we found a sweet campground RV park with lots of trees. The air is fresh, the rolling hills of the area offer magnificient views, and the people are supposed to be a lot friendlier in Austin. Overall, I believe this will be a good change for us.

We even got the biggest lot on the site (presumably they mean other than the manager's, since he had a pretty sweet setup) and it has a storage shed included on our lot. This will give us space to move most of our junk out of the house and finally get some work done. I may have to stick to hand saws to avoid disturbing the neighbors, and I may have to do my cutting inside, so the cats might be spending extra time locked in the bathroom, but I think I can finally build some rudimentary furniture.

I can't wait to get away from the cement plants in this town. If there is one thing wrong with Midlothian, TX, it is the cement plants polluting the air.

I also believe that the change in atmosphere should make it easier for us to stick to our preferred diets of raw foods. The warm weather should also help a lot, as I need to stay pretty active when eating raw. It sounds like we might even have some 'lawn space' of some sort, so maybe we can set up a little fire pit or at least a place for some outdoor chairs and a yoga mat or two.

Now now, don't want to get too optimistic yet... cross your fingers for us.