Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Little Boxes

'Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the hillside
And they all look just the same'

I read an interesting article today in the San Francisco Chronicle about a man who has 'pioneered' the Tiny House 'movement'. According to the article, this man lives in a house that is less than 400 square feet. He is touting these smaller homes for the new millennium home owners. He says they are 'greener' and much more cost efficient. He sites the Japanese as his inspiration. His company builds them and sells them. Some of you may have even seen them, they look like little log cabins on wheels.

He says in the article that he envisions a whole community of these tiny abodes built around a central meeting house. A commune, as it were.
NEWS ALERT!  The World is full of very small housesI watch HGTV.  I know there are families living in tree houses, boats,cabooses, lighthouses,tents,yurts,horse boxes on wheels and ex-Greyhound buses. There are families living in cardboard boxes, under bridges and in the garages of their ex wives grandmothers house.  I'd say that those things qualify as tiny houses.
Some are even what you would consider 'green'.
I grew up in a small house. At least with five sisters, one brother, a Mom, a Dad and several various and sundry animals it seemed small.

It's not that I find the idea of a small cozy retreat a bad one- I think it sounds charming. I can picture myself tucked into a tiny little cabin with a cup of tea and a wireless router,gazing out of the tiny window at the big wide world.
And that would never be.

*** Sigh***

 I find that small means much more work. More work paring down to essentials. More work not disturbing your 'mates'. More work keeping everything in its place. More work keeping your sanity.

And face it, as American's we want BIG. Big houses, big yards, big garages to put our big cars in. We'd probably skip the big mortgage to go with those things, but you can't have everything.

I hated living in a tiny house. The day to day struggle of where to put everything drives me around the bend. If I had a bad day, there was no where to go to chill out that wasn't already occupied.It's true that  familiarity breeds contempt. Isn't part of the punishment of going to Jail  to live in close confinement with someone else?

As I read further into the article, this architect drops the fact that , well yes, his living space with his family is only 400 sq feet- but his office- well that is another 400 sq feet! And it is connected to the main living space with a covered walkway ( like a habitrail!). And yes; he spends his entire waking hours there! More than likely sans wife and children who are busy putting everything back into their 'cubbies'.

Ah Ha!

I rest my case...

Sunday Stills~ Dogs

The assignment- Dogs.

My favorite subjects
I could take picture of them all day.

Maybe someday I will!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Just one disaster away from total annihilation

Have you ever had just one of those days?
I'm having one of those weekends! And I feel so dumb that I just have to share!

Yesterday I made a batch of cookie dough with the Littlest Cowboy. He and I baked one pan and then his Mom came home and I had to go pick up my truck from the shop.
So I did.
And while I was out I remembered I needed to buy some wrapping paper to wrap a Wedding present.
So I stopped and shopped a few minutes, bought the paper and a card and came home.
When I came through the front door, heavy smoke was billowing around the room!
My Hubby was standing in the kitchen holding a cookie sheet full of crispy Chocolate Chips cookies! I had forgotten that I popped one more pan of dough into the oven! I still don't remember doing it!


So I went to the Wedding last night and had a wonderful time. I drank a bit too much and danced holes in my boots. When I got home, I managed to take some aspirin and fall asleep- no hangover this morning, but I was a bit tired.
But being the 'acheiver' that I am, I still wanted to paint the trim in the extra bedroom. It was cold here today, but I didn't want to get paint on my sweatshirt- even though I am an excellent painter and hardly ever spill paint.
So up the ladder I go, holding the small new can of white paint and my small brush.
I HAD taken off my sweatshirt- but I HAD NOT put down a drop cloth.
I HAD left my UGG boots on, but I HAD NOT taped the trim off entirely.
When I got to the end of the line of trim I was working on the small bits of blue tape were askew. I was trying to adjust the blue tape while balancing the can and the brush, and tilting my head UP- unfortunately I tipped the can of new white paint DOWN. I realized what I had done as the smooth paint slid down my arm -into my armpit- and across my right boob- and onto the stepladder- onto the right UGG boot and then onto the freshly cleaned carpet ( you know- the one with NO drop cloth)!

Holy Mackerel!
Have you ever been just so 'f** ed that you didn't know just which way to go?
If I stepped off the ladder I would drip paint on the rest of the rug. If I didn't move, I was going to 'set up' and the paint would never come out. There was no one home but me- so rescue was not an option.
So I took off my tank top, wrapped it around my UGG- walked on my heels to the bathroom and stepped into the tub. At least there I was able to wash everything off. Even the boot.
I'm happy to report that it didn't ruin (entirely) the boot.
Then I had to take the rug cleaner out, fill it with solution and clean the rug of paint before it 'set up'. THEN I could go wash out the rest of the clothes and wipe the ladder.


I decided that I didn't want to paint any more today.
And I also decided that after two disasters I had just better not ride the colt today. I was just one disaster away from total annihilation! The Third Strike usually means you are O.U.T!

I'll try again in a few days. Meanwhile I think it might be time for a nap!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sunday Stills- Night photography

Last week Sunday Stills Challenge was Night Photography. This was as close to night as I could get. The sun was down- I hope that counts.

These are the cranes at the Oakland Harbor. We call them At-At's. It is a fact that George Lucas modeled his At-At Warriors after these huge things. They are endlessly fascinating to me! They slide sideways and those cranes configure in various ways.

This is the Ferry on its way to San Francisco. 
The Train Station in Downtown Martinez 
I really like the color and the perspective in this one.
Fun Challenge!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's December 1st- Is it over yet?

We picked up our tree yesterday.
Early? Yes.

Did we do it to beat the rush of Holiday shoppers?
Not really.

We just wanted to take a few pictures of the dog and Christmas Trees are so colorful.

Actually it is The Hubby's  
birthday on Friday and I always put one up for him before his Big Day.

This has to be the earliest we've ever put up our tree! December 1 and the temp outside is 70 degrees.
Not very Christmas-y.
I keep hoping that next week it will seem more like the Holiday. 
I'm even making a list of things that I like about Christmas to help put me in the mood. 
But before I list them, here are some of the things I don't like about The Holiday

1. Christmas Car Commercials. No one ever buys a car for anyone on their list! At least not in my world.
2. Black Friday. Why don't they call it RED Friday? Or Green Friday? Something less associated with Death! 
3.TV Show Christmas Specials. I mean really~ A Storage Wars Special Christmas Episode? Happy Holidays from the Swamp Guys? 
4. Poor Imitation Santa Clauses. Hold up the image men!Santa should be clean, not smell like smoke and not trying to text under his fake beard.

What do I like?
1. Spending quiet time with my family. 
2.Christmas lights
4.Baskets of cookies for presents.

I'm interested to know what are your favorite Holiday things?