Sep 19, 2016

Goodbye Washington state

Surprise-  Anyone here? I am alive and well and filled with joy in a world of constant change.

After surviving fifteen years of MOSTLY gray skies, drizzle, rain and minimal sunshine I felt like I was going to (crack) or quack. Was I morphing into a duck or just suffering from a severe vitamin D deficiency? Other than a couple of decent weather months each summer, I struggled with the damp, wet and  cold weather and felt like I had moss growing on me from the lack of sunshine in the Pacific North West. I was sun starved and miserable, struggling and always in search of a blue sky and rays of sun to warm my bones and help me to find and remember my old self.

                                                                     

                                                          

I was completely fed up with the weather, insanely high property tax in King county WA as well as WA States liberal politics, their gun laws and regulations for every turn or step you take. In fact it was not much different from life in the CA bay area where I was born and raised. I owned a 3 bedroom, 3 bath home on rural acreage in WA, and I paid between $4,000-$5,000 in property taxes yearly. While at the same time, I was unable to spend one night in my tiny home that was parked on my well maintained land in rural King county on a private wooded gravel dead end road about 50 minutes away from Seattle, also known as the land of the Seattle Freeze (google it).

Long story short... cause you blog peepers prefer pics over wordy posts, - I moved my tiny home to NC and parked it on land I purchased in the Appalachian mountains, about an hour outside of Asheville.     
                                                                              


Tiny homes often come with their own set of headaches. They are illegal to live in, in most towns, cities and states across America. Most tiny homes do not meet local building codes and being they are built on wheels the county can't collect property taxes on them. That makes tiny home dwellers unwelcome in most areas of the United States. Some tiny home owners are now registering them as recreation vehicles allowing them more legal parking and road travel options. Some trailer parks welcome tiny homes and some towns are in the process of modifying county regulations, laws and building codes so that more people will be allowed to dwell in them legally. In the meantime we have TV shows that make the tiny life look so appealing when most of the people on the shows are piggy backing off of someone else who owns land and they are not paying their fair share of property taxes.


                                           

My tiny home is part of my emergency preparedness plan in order to give myself options. I have lived long enough to learn that one's lifestyle and circumstances can change quickly, I like having options. Yet, owing a tiny house while owning a normal size home with a swim spa that was the very same size of my tiny home gave me the time and opportunity to try on a very itsy bitsy home for size. While tiny homes are cute, cozy and can be so appealing, there are HUGE drawbacks to the tiny life. There are thousands of tiny homes for sale because they don't always work out the way people thought they would. Do your homework before you build or buy one.



                                                                   

 In my opinion the downside of tiny house living is that dwellers become dependent rather than self- reliant. Surprisingly, quite the opposite of what many tiny home owners believe life will be for them once they build or buy their tiny slice of heaven.  Let me explain what I mean. In the current state of political unrest and with what I believe is a criminal administration, not to mention the criminal who is now running for president,  America is in a distressed condition and is being run into the ground and fast, I think it is is of utmost importance to physically prepare and plan so that we may live more sustainable lives in perilous times.  Living in a tiny home in most cases is not conducive to preparedness planning and living. I personally feel that it is time for America to wake up and be discerning of the realities as well as the vulnerability of the times in which we live. While I am not quite sure of all the actions I myself should take I am fully aware that the most basic ones such as food preparedness and storage will not fit within the walls of a tiny house.



                                                   

Being prepared for emergencies requires more space than my shabby chic tiny retreat can provide.
Not to mention all of the animals I have. There simply is not enough oxygen for me, and the furkids to share, nor is there any space for the "STUFF" in my life. And I am not interested in becoming a minimalist where I own just 12 items. At this point I like my "stuff" and may collect some more stuff.
Keep in mind while some call the current tiny house trend a "movement" there are no rules that say you have to get rid of all your cowboy boots or the 56 shirts you own. It is your business and don't feel pressued to throw everything you own away because someone says you are bad and wrong for owning more than they do.




                                          

I wanted my next home to be much smaller than my 2,300 sq foot, 3 bedroom, 3 bath with a 500' connected home based business size home yet not the size of my shabby chic girl cave. I desired to make a life change and search for a home that would be a small space that worked well for me.Where I would be able to collect, stock and store supplies as well as grow my own food and have my own water well, so not to depend on the government nor the local grocery store in the case of unexpected emergency or circumstances.



                                                              


The RADICAL shifts taking place in our country, government and society were and still are a huge motivating factor in my desire to become better prepared for possible or probable future catastrophic events. After much thought and prayer, I still kept to my plan and choose to downsize my stuff and my lifestyle and sell my larger home yet upsize my life by choosing a home to live in that is larger than my tiny shabby chic tiny retreat. 

You may be wondering where the tiny house was towed to. I had it towed to Western North Carolina where she was parked next to my new home.  I prayed asking God to guide me as I worked towards a debt free, sunny, simple, and sustainable life. In 2014 after years of hard work I entered that reality. Dreams do come true.  I purchased a tiny 570 sq foot, one hundred year old plus, farmhouse online, sight unseen in a town I had never been too nor heard of. I loaded up my vintage 22 yr old Casita travel trailer with dogs and drove over three thousand miles to my new (old) farmhouse hidden the hills of Western North Carolina.

I am doing a happy dance. I love it here. It has not been easy but I can tell you God is good and I am blessed. I give all glory and praise to HIM. It has been and continues to be an adventure. I have been working on personalizing my little farmhouse and it will be a mix of shabby, rustic, primitive, prairie with splashes of French country.

More about the journey here to NC and a few pictures of my vintage Casita in my next post.

Remember it is never ever too late to create a happy, silly, fun filled childhood. I am near sixty years old and still seizing each day and shaking it up as best I can.

Blessings,
Tonita




                                                                       



Nov 1, 2014

It's been a long time......


It has been a really long time since I have been here on my blog. Thanks to those of you who have emailed me to check in on me as well as those sweet people who keep asking me to post more often. Come on, sit a spell on my land,  and I will respond to that. If my story gets too long I will bring out some marshmallows and we can light up the fire and do some toasting.  Mmmmm.... have you seen that recipe for toasted marshmallows and Baileys Irish Cream ?  Oh, sorry my mind is already drifting and going way off topic in just the first paragraph.

Getting ready for a blazing fire tonight

Writing comes easy for me but public blogging does not. There is just something that doesn't gel with me, here in cyber space. I waiver between sharing bits of my world, sometimes wanting to inspire others to dream and create, and the other side- that is private, with a strong inner voice that convinces me to hold off from posting. A partial (as it relates to this post) self description of myself goes like this. A chatty, unique free spirited woman who is a communicative extrovert who is comfortable with public speaking, talking to complete strangers in person, and very open and transparent in real life. Uncomfortable in the arena of social media, networking, communicating, writing and sharing her life from behind a computer, Not a fan of most technology, electronics or  gadgets, that she believes often stifles the experience of the almost lost art of interacting and communicating with the human race, face to face- without technology in the mix.
                                                  
I am not the least bit shy. As you now know, I MUCH prefer to be face to face with real people instead of sitting here behind a computer posting about life...... that goes viral in seconds to who knows who. Just my point. But, when you think about it that is just what a book does but in a way that seems more targeted, purposed or just more comfortable to me. I guess I am still just old fashioned in a lot of ways. That may be a bit of an understatement, that have my friends shaking their heads about now. I don't 'get' space book-(Facebook), instant messaging, tweeting or even texting .... emailing is enough for me. I am pretty low tech, no TV, no cell phone, never sent a text message in my life. This blog is a shocker to my friends who think that I would thrive living off the grid or maybe even in Amish country. I am not the only one left in the world that still hangs their clothes out to dry or uses drying racks for the most part. I still drive to the local family owned pharmacy and pay my power bill in person. I think the world was a better place before society became infatuated with and often times addicted to electronics. But, then again I believe the world was much better off before we became a 'progressive' and politically correct society. Ok,, I am going off topic again.



Heavy winds brought down trees on my property. As I was sawing them I noticed their beautiful fall colors.



Yep, I have a  private side once I am behind a computer. I have turned down magazine offers time and again, that want to do a feature on my tiny home. I am not motivated by having my tiny home in print, especially when they want me to do all the work of fluffing, staging and providing them with professional quality photos and then NOT pay me. Ahhhh - I don't get that??? Maybe I am missing something but truly that sounds like a job with no payout to me. One day I may change my mind. Not sure? . Please- don't get me wrong I am not a social snob, unappreciative or arrogant,,, just being real here. 

 Some, and probably most bloggers thrive, in that very public online space as they build their follower list and improve their blogs statistics. It may be to promote their business or to share their world or interests as they connect with like minded followers. Nothing wrong with that, however- that is not me. I don't care about casting a net to fish for more followers. I don't look at my stats nor do I care about them. Unique I know. I have never colored inside the lines. I dance to my own songs and always have. Those of you that find your way here are the ones that are supposed to be here and for me it is as simple as that.
  


                
This is going to make a great fire
                                                                                                           
 I only post on my blog when I am in the mood and for no other reason.  For me, writing is an avenue for release of thought and idea overload that often has my mind way too busy or even spinning at times. I much prefer to sift through interesting, beautiful and inspiring posts on other blogs than post on my own blog.

So why did I start a blog, you ask? To keep in touch with friends and family. Then one day after requests and encouragement I hit the "go public" or like, button and here I am. Blogging is a job for some and a hobby for others. For many it is an obligation to continually post for their audience. Lots of bloggers go into what I call "posting overload" because they have sponsors that suggest or require fresh updated posts on a regular basis to keep followers coming back again and again. I get it, many are drawing an income from their blogs or heading in that direction and it is important to keep those posts rolling. Most seem to thrive in their created online spaces. And I like to visit when I have time. So keep it up all you creative and amazing bloggers.

As I was driving down the road I saw this old ladder on the side of the road, I hit reverse and brought it home.
                                                     
That being said I want to thank those you that check in on me to see if I am still alive. Seriously - many of you do and that is so nice of you. I am honored that you care and I appreciate it. Heck, I don't even know most of you so that is REALLY special. Some of you  ask me to post more often and well how much can I post of a tiny home that is just 8' feet wide and 18' feet long? I don't look at this blog as my online public diary. I am not one of those gals who posts every time I buy a new picture frame or find a new brand of toilet paper. Again, I have to be in the "mood" to post. Thanks though  for making time to leave a comment and for checking in on me through many personal emails.. I am very much alive, feeling good, doing well and I am super busy, working long hours daily towards some personal goals I have. A life plan that I call "Act 2", that is in motion for the second half of my years on earth, God willing.
                                                                   
Fun to imagine who stepped on this ladder and what they reached for

 My blog has taken on a little life of it's own.  As I read all the comments I can tell that quite often people read between the lines and create their own stories or versions of how I live my life. It is fun to see imaginations set in motion.  Like some of you, I  have an inquiring mind - so I can understand what it is like to visit a blog and then be drawn into that bloggers world. Sometimes sitting up for hours reading each and every post on their blog. The mind is often curious and will easily drift into wonder, imagination and possibility if allowed to do so. I can get lost in beautiful pictures or drawn in by a topic that bears witness with my taste in style, décor, spiritual beliefs or political views. I am often interested in a bloggers story, home make over, creative project or maybe just because of the eye candy they share. Sometimes, it is as if  I want a back stage pass to meet the person behind the blog. Visiting your wonderful blogs and reading your nice comments is a mental vacation where I can dwell and be inspired in so many ways. For that I thank each of you.

                                                           
Another view of my property in WA state. Rural unincorporated King County, one hr from Seattle
 I am so honored that some of the long time professional big girl bloggers in blog land stop by and leave such nice comments. You all are awesome and appreciated. This sub culture attracts a pretty amazing group of talented and creative women. Some of whom openly and proudly share their love for JESUS on their blogs, or post awesome eye candy as well as those that share wonderful tips and tricks to save money or share their latest craft project, curbside find or new ways to fluff and beautify our nests. And what about those who share yummy recipes that actually make me want to cook (a miracle in itself),  And the gardening and homesteading blogs, the list goes on and on. So many women inspire me through their amazing blogs and/or comments. Thanks you so much.

 Many sign off with XXX (hugs) , and that is pretty darn unique and encouraging, and for that I say THANKS for your kindness ladies. To be even a tiny part of such a special group of sweet and supportive gals is amazing and really appreciated.  I am humbled that you take time to pop in on my little blog and my very rare posts. Many blogs provide a mental vacation for us, a wonderful time of sharing and inspiration and a place to take a break, and feel safe to dwell and be inspired, if even for a brief moment in time. To be part of such positive and supportive, encouraging people is special and rare in the world today. We live in such a serious world where life hits a lot of people with many negative punches.  So, while I am so low tech and don't post very often know that if you read this far that you are appreciated by me even though this is all coming to you by someone you have never met and through a computer or phone. Strange so strange but in a good way.  You are all special, gifted and talented in your individual ways and I want you to know time and again - It is never too late to have a happy child hood. Now go find some time to play and be blessed as you live out your calling each and every day.

I have a tiny bit of BIG news to share with you on my next post. Don't hold your breath as you can see I don't go into post overload but some BIG news is on the way. I am going to get myself in the mood and try hard to get out another post soon.

 Happy Fall y'all.  Tonita







Jan 29, 2014

Tea for Two in my sweet retreat

Today, I took some time off from work to curl up in my cozy nook and catch up on some reading. I am yearning to see and feel the sunshine upon my face again someday soon. The rain pelting down on my 8ft x 24ft teeny tiny retreat's metal roof reminds me that it may be weeks till that happens again, after all I do live in Washington State.

 The cold and wet January weather just screams the words "comfort food" to me. Cupcakes happen to be at the top of my comfort food list and seem even better when paired with a cup of delicious loose leaf tea. Just what I need, on this cold rainy stay inside the house kind of day. 


With February just around the corner I decided to pull out some of my Valentine fancies to spice up my little retreat. Glad you took the time to stop by. Come on in, pull off yer boots and join me for a cup of hot Organic Cinnamon tea and a delish Vanilla Bean crème filled little cake. Enjoy.........

                                                          
  



 
 
 
 









                                                                                      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As always, I want you to remember that it is never too late to have a happy childhood.
Love and Blessings,
Tonita