Monday, December 2, 2013

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions........

Although most of my friends now think I’m kinda’ crazy (read: unhealthily obsessed) with the idea of living in a Tiny House…..the idea is really starting to grow on me.  The more I read about others who have gone before me into the bold new world of living small, the more excited I become.  (I bet you’re thinking……“Really? Is that even POSSIBLE?”)

I am, however, not following anyone’s path exactly, I am starting from scratch.  I’m taking all of the best ideas from the floor plans and material lists I’ve seen, injecting a dose of frugal reality, adding a sprinkle of creative genius, a touch of whimsy (as well as taking Mark’s building experience and feedback into consideration) and hopefully……eventually…….I’ll have THE PLAN.

I’ve started a binder that is already packed full of the best the Pinterest, Facebook, and various website and books have to offer. 

Go Team Me!

So …….do I use:

Stairs or a ladder?

Skylights or windows?  (can you say “loft escape hatch”)

Gas Heat or Electric?  (I’m afraid of “gas” but may have to succumb to reason on this one)

Marmoleum Floors or Wood? (I’m waiting for someone to tell me why I can’t use marmoleum.)

Stackable washer dry or all in one?  (all in one’s are impossible to find on craig’s list and expensive!)

French doors or solid, vintage?  (aka “free” since I already have two vintage ones)

Pocket interior doors or hung?

Curtains or cupboard doors?  (curtains are a great way to reduce weight, and add texture and color to the space!)

Wood stove or pellet stove?  (or will a gas heater, suffice?)

Used Trailer or new?  ($$ or $$$$$?)

Composting toilet or Incinolet?  (smell will be a major factor in this decision!)

Murphy bed or fold out couch?

Decisions, decisions, decisions…………….

Do you have any suggestions or experience that might be helpful to me?

Do tell!!!

It’s a good thing I have lots of time to plan this project because although it will most likely drive everyone in my life NUTS after hearing about it every day, for the foreseeable future, it will take me a long time to figure this all out and finally be able to proceed forth with confidence in my ability to make this happen.



Monday, November 18, 2013

A New Direction!?

You know how life sometimes goes in an entirely different direction than you had originally envisioned?
My life’s journey has been one turn, after another, and some might even say it has been “A Series of Unfortunate Events”.
So, in keeping with the overall theme of my life, today I am announcing a bit of a change to this blog. 
So far, I have been posting details about my vintage trailer, Besty;  my mascot, George;  and our adventures together.   Rest assured, I will continue to do so and am looking forward to a very active 2014 Glamping and blogging season!   I love telling her story to anyone who will listen and sharing my restoration and project cost-saving ideas with others. 

However, in the process of renovating Besty, I stumbled on what I now consider to be the next evolutionary step of the Vintage-Travel-Renovation-Creative-Inspiration-ReUse-Project……..I’ve been bitten by the Tiny House Bug.  In fact, I have already started planning, and sketching, and talking with other enthusiasts. 

My goal:

Build and finish my own Tiny House by the end of 2016.

I assume you won’t mind the change since this blog is called “Decide Where to Go” and, quite frankly, it is an accurate reflection of my quandary regarding where I’ll go next… life, with my career, or just camping.   So, here’s the scoop.  My youngest son will graduate from high school in 2015 and once I am no longer bound by the confines of the high school district where I have been (in the best interest of being close to his dad) I’ll be able to begin to consider housing options that don’t include 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a sizeable yard to pay eighteen thousand dollars per year to rent.

I have been married, and divorced, twice.  I left both marriages with little more than the clothes on my back.  Despite all of the money and hours invested (in the houses AND the marriages) I am now facing the real fact that I have nothing to show for said investments.  Yes, I live a simple life without credit card, auto, or mortgage debt and some might consider that admirable.  Since I don’t have any money in the stock market, I didn’t lose any in the market crash of 2008.  Since I don’t own a house I have not experienced the same drastic and stress inducing decline in housing values as my neighbors have.  So, all in all….mine is not a bad situation to be in. 

But, do I want to jump onto the home owner’s band wagon this late in life?  Nope.

Do I want to stress out over finding an affordable place to live when I’m retired?  Nope.

A Tiny House will give me the ability to live a simple, yet very flexible and debt free life, and also have something to show for my creative efforts.

The options are endless, even with my significant other, Mark, by my side.

I could move in with him and then use the tiny house as a place for my children, and grandchildren to stay when they come visit us.

Or, he and I can travel the country together, using his house as a rental and my tiny house as our home base.

I can also use it as a creative studio for projects, or a quiet place to write…..or nap.

Yep.  It’s a great solution.  Granted, Mark isn’t quite convinced.  But I’m confident that, with time, he’ll be just as enthusiastic as I am.
(Or maybe not, since I’m kinda’ over the top in the Enthusiasm Department.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I love Oregon! (Glamping Weekend 2013)

I love Oregon.  One of the downsides of living here, however, is that camping season is relatively short.  I have not updated this blog because there has been not much to report.  Betsy has been resting comfortably in the driveway and I’ve been hunkered down in the warmth of my house waiting for the days to get longer or someone to convince me that I should venture out to join them on my first outing with Betsy.

National Glamping Weekend did just that.

I met last year’s Glamping Hostess, Shirley, over email and she confessed to being a bit overwhelmed with the fact that last year’s Glamping event had 10 trailers and this year’s event participant count was already shaping up to be many times more than that.  So I volunteered to help

Shirley is bouncy, fun, funny, cute, short, and amazing.  I used to think that I talked a lot, until I met Shirley.  The first time we met over coffee I kindly joked with her about her inability to breathe while she talked.  She thought I was funny too.  We were instant BFF’s.

As the weeks wore on and the emails came and went from the over 50 ladies that were registered as participants, I have to admit that Glamping Weekend became both an event to look forward to, and an event to look forward to being over.  It got to be a bit overwhelming, even for me. 

But I soldiered on…….

The day arrived and after checking our lists, making agenda copies and generally fussing about details like fresh flowers and chamber pots, we headed off.  My Lil’ Betsy was a trooper.  She loaded and hauled like a dream.  She’s cute, quiet, and low maintenance.  I put ice in the icebox and off we went.

My 17 year old daughter Alyssa also tagged along for what was sure to be a Mother/Daughter Bonding Weekend.   She wasn’t sure what she was getting into, a bit nervous about being away from her cell phone for so long, but trusted that it would be fun and a memory we would both cherish.

And it certainly was.

Friday was Bunco night in my pajamas that I never wear.  Saturday morning started with a Bring-What-You-Want-To-Eat brunch that turned out really well with all kinds of beautiful food.  (Despite the fact that I didn’t micromanage the Who’s-Bringing-What List.  Hmmm….I’m sure there’s a lesson here somewhere…….)  Saturday afternoon got a bit crazy when the time came for Trash for Treasure.  I was the hostess, and literally truckloads of cute stuff appeared, out of nowhere, for me to sell.  Luckily, the Wine-A-Bago appeared just in time to take the edge off by providing an easy source to my favorite Pinot and then……..we were off to participate in Death by Chocolate.

All in all it was a fun weekend and now I have a whole slew of new facebook friends.  Alyssa and I were running, walking, biking, jogging, and driving from here to there all weekend but still managed to bond and discuss her upcoming 18th birthday and graduation party.

I got some really cute pictures, lots of décor ideas for my own trailer, but a bad case of trailer envy.  Where did all these creative, fun, independent, women come from? 

As we were packing to leave the next day we met a couple who had just purchased a 2013 Airstream and pulled it from the dealer’s lot, to the camp site.  The dad was sitting on the picnic table reading the 2” thick operating manual.   We struck up a conversation and they invited us into see their newest “baby”.

Their trailer was breathtaking.  Perfect.  Clean. Sleek.  Equipped. High Tech.  Super Comfy.  Roomy.


Would I like a 2013 Airstream?  You betcha’!

Would I want to go into debt to purchase one?  No way!

I’d rather refurbish an older one, feeling good about saving money and putting a little of myself into her at the same time.  I’d rather pull her down the road knowing she’s the only one of her kind and all mine.

We did it.  She didn’t fall apart.  Betsy made it.  There and back.  Without a scratch.

Our mascot, George, got his picture taken on his first adventure and Alyssa and I have a memory to cherish.   It truly was very fun but next year…….I’ll do far less organizing and far more enjoying.