The Simple Life

Roby and I have decided to live "lightly". Come along for the journey of the construction and trials and tribulations of living in the Tiny House.

This blog is posted with the most current adventure first. So, scroll to the bottom if you want to start from the beginning. s.

We welcome comments and any building tricks.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Solar Cooking Hour With Patti and Roby

With temperatures reaching 102 and no air conditioning, can't do any cooking inside our 96 square feet. Instead we have pulled the mini parabolic cooker from the oasis area down to our yard. We now have the parabolic cooker which is more like a stovetop and a solar oven. The parabolic reaches 400 degrees and cooks as well as a regular gas stove. The solar oven will reach about 250 degrees so we have to usually plan ahead if we are going to use it. It works more like a crock pot.

This Week's Menu:

Cherry Cobbler made from our homegrown cherries on site and homemade organic crust baked in Solar Oven

Homegrown Beets, Kolrabi, kale, aztec spinach, and potatoes roasted in solar oven

Homegrown garlic, onions and eggplant sauteed on parabolic cooker and then baked as eggplant Parmesan

Quesadilla with tuna and tomato grilled in solar oven

Split Pea soup heated on parabolic cooker

Tonight Brown Rice and Sauteed vegetables with freshly picked figs and peaches with honey from our own beehive.

Anyone want to come over for dinner?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tiny House Tidbits

We finally rigged up a makeshift shower curtain for the tiny house and resolved the dilemma of keeping water from spilling into the luvable loo compost toilet. Roby created a bamboo shower curtain to cross over the section where the toilet is located to close it off when taking a shower. Now we have to test it. Lately it has been so hot we have been taking outdoor showers. Reminds us of the awesome shower at our friend Thad's house on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Last bits of odds and ends. We have a second closet and we are using it to hang our towels. Roby also made me a special toilet paper holder in the closet for those late night ventures outside. Don't tend to use the compost toilet too often because we have not set up our compost bin for it yet. Thankfully it is not raining or too cold at night.

Roby, Cuatro and Chris put together the grey water system from the sink and shower. Good thing the trench they had to dig was only three feet long because the clay soil was not cooperating with the pick ax. All the water is going to water a new almond tree. The system is very simple. An underground trench takes it to a bucket which encapsulates a designated rock area which is then heavily mulched to absorb the smell and promote drainage. We were going to follow the Bee Love farm concept and include our worms in the process but the tiny house does not generate enough food scrapes to keep the worms happy. At our next house we will try it!

Next week we will be designing the photovoltaic system for the tiny house and hopefully the eco-shake roofing material will be here. A company who had donated to the SLI in the past agreed to send us some shingles for the tiny house. Third time is a charm.

Our goal is to have it completed for our big annual festival in September called Solfest. It is the 14th annual event and we were able to get Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak. The tiny house will be on display to represent a self sufficient sustainable home. We agreed to allow them to take it to the event as long as they put us up at the Hyatt!!

It has been a big hit when we show it to people on our tours. Many are impressed by our sacrifice but in reality it is all we need. No need for stuff just the essentials. Didn't George Clooney say in his last movie- all I need fits in my backpack.

Still waiting on the roof. A company which donated some materials to the SLI in the past is sending us new eco-shake for the tiny house. We are keeping our fingers crossed it actually arrives. This will be the third company which said it was going to ship us some shingles. With any luck the tiny house will be complete by the end of the month.

1st official shower was taken in the tiny house. I tested it and no leaks. You have to be quick because it is only a 5 gallon hot water heater and you have only a 2 inch range of motion. After a hot long day working outside it felt great. Once you finish you climb up the ladder and hop into bed.