..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, October 16, 2009

Woo Hoo!

Woo Hoo! Sometime this week I went over the 200,000 mark in hits on my blog. That was a goal, a milestone, for me. As you know, this blog is a scrapbook of all my interests. I work out my interests right here, online, in case there are any others out there that share whatever interest I'm covering. I get interested in a subject and do a little studying on it and post my results here. My interests range from recipes, organizing, home decorating, home building ideas, history, dogs, family, genealogy, scrapbooking, local history, Bible study, book reviews, etc. So if you don't find what you like in one week, keep checking back. Scroll down and look at my "Categories" on the right. If you find one there you like, then click on it and it will take you to all the posts that I've done concerning that category. Thank you for making my day!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Carved Pumpkins

I found some very good carved pumpkins on the Internet. I tried to pick a variety from easy to artistically difficult. I didn't want anything too scary or yucky but I wanted to see imagination and cleverness. Here were my picks:




































Tiny Houses

When we built our first house we had very little money. So I designed a house that was small (900 sq ft) but very utilitarian. It was a saltbox with a loft bedroom and bath. The first floor was 24' x 24' with a stairway to the loft in one corner, the kitchen in the other corner and the other half divided between living and dining area. My Dad, Husband and Brother-in-laws built the house I designed. It took about 3 years from start to finish because we worked jobs and could only do things after hours and we paid for it as we went. I might add, we lived in it during the entire 3 years so I know what it's like to live rough and sacrifice for a goal. We were young and my Dad had the skills and he taught the boys. We built 4 houses in our family that way on the family farm. But living in small spaces is not what I prefer and we eventually more than doubled the size of the house making it 2500 sq ft. For most of the 19 years that we lived in that first house, we had projects and construction going on. Now, in my middle age, I don't want to live in small spaces, live during big construction phases, etc. I hope we're done with doing that kind of stuff (at least in our living spaces). My husband still gets a wild hair and every year he starts another project like a screened in gazebo, buying and restoring our big 5th wheel camper (we bought it "salvage"), adding a porch to the camper, adding the Great Room in our house, etc. I'm just very blessed and thankful to have men who know what they are doing and are hard workers in our family.

But, back to the small houses. I got to thinking about how small can a home be and still be a functioning living unit. I'm nearly 6' tall myself and not a will-of-a-wisp girl any more so being too small is out. I have a dear friend who is short and petite and she could probably do just fine in some of these little places. And it seems that there is a pretty decent demand for "tiny houses". I did a Google search on "tiny houses", "tiny homes", "smallest house", "smallest home" and found some interesting websites and examples of tiny homes. More than likely they are usually used for a vacation spot, a 2nd home if you will. People can't always afford a large 2nd home at the beach, the mountains, the lake, etc. Campers can be quite expensive today too (unless you buy it salvage like we did and know how to fix it and remodel it). And, let's face it, they probably don't last all that long compared to the price you pay for them. Is there a simple, affordable, low maintenance but functional way to plop a vacation home down in your favorite spot? You've probably already spent a lot on purchasing the land to put it on so how do you now afford the "house"? Think of a "tiny home".

I don't mean a shed, a gazebo, a cabana...I mean a full living unit with a bathroom, a place to cook a simple meal, a closet, sit down and sleeping areas. With those requirements, how small can you get? It was fun to see all that was out there. I encourage you to do a Google search and try the websites I've listed at the bottom of this post.
















This one looks so hip and modern but it reminds me of my Great Grandmother. She said her father built their log house and made 2 rooms with a porch between them. I remember her saying, "I don't know why he made it like that. You couldn't go to the kitchen without walking through the cold."


Toronto's Smallest House (By the way, every city and town has their "smallest house".)


























This one is in Austria.







TinyHouseDesign.com
PreFabCosm.com
TinyHouseBlog.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Underground Houses

My parents toyed with the idea of building an underground house back during the 1970's. They never followed through with it but it always interested me. I did a Google search on "underground houses" and "underground homes" and found some interesting photos. Some are built like caves, some look like hobbit homes, some are just plain tacky. I'm not interested in playing Fred and Wilma with a cave house. I don't like the "I'm stuck in the horse pasture" look either. I'm not a big fan of homes that look unprofessional or like they are made of playdo sculpted by a child's hands.


And, for me personally, I would hate to go back to living in a multi-story house with so many stairs. I like flat living. For all practical purposes I like to park the car, walk in the house and live without having to climb any stairs. I'm the one having to tote those laundry baskets, bags of groceries, vacuum cleaner, mop buckets, etc. So I don't want to make it harder on myself by having to go up and down stairs. I've done that and it got old.

Anyway, here are the best I could find.























I don't know if this one is real, but it's the best one.






Now here are some thoughts that came to me.
* What about soil erosion? Some of these houses looked like they could have a problem with it.
* Do you have problems with creepy, crawlies in the house (bugs, snakes, spiders) any more than a regular house?
* Do you have problems with dampness and mildew like basements have?
* Has anyone done a study to see how long these houses really last before deteriorating? Nature and time are hard on houses, is it more or less so with an underground house? Some looked a little worse for the wear in the photos I was seeing. I mean, how long can concrete last before it starts crumbling in places, cracking, seeping, etc.?

For now, I'm not ready to live in an underground house. I didn't see one that I was the least bit intrigued by.

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