It’s Friday, and this evening marks the end of the first 7 days that BAreen has lived happily in 78 square feet.  Do we have everything all up and running smoothly?  No.  But that’s okay.

So what is the status of things?  We have hot water and internet, LOL.  Right?  You laugh, but —

But seriously:  We are getting settled!  We’re getting a lot of questions, so here are some answers… let me know if you have additional ones that I didn’t cover…

~  THE MOVE: We are totally out of John’s rental house except for his boat and my chop saw that are in the garage and we’ll get those this weekend.

~ STORAGE: We did rent a 10′ x 10′ storage unit that holds our tools, my items for tiny house exhibits & workshops, our generator, our camping gear, our Honda Element bed platform for car camping and a few items that don’t fit in the house that we think we want for our next tiny, if that comes to be.

~ PARKING SPOT: We have an amazingly beautiful parking space in a private residential backyard, thanks to a very generous friend we met through Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity when I worked there.  We have approval from the city to be here; it’s a very small town that is a summer tourist destination – surrounded by trees and lakes!  We also have a fire pit and a horseshoe set up that our host shares with us!

~ RENT? We are not being charged to park here, other than mowing the lawn and helping out with a few tasks.  We and the host are seeing how the utilities work out, but for now he isn’t charging us.  Our power draw is minimal, and the water is (delicious!) well water.  We are using a wi-fi extender for now as well, but we’ve learned that we can have our own internet connected by a local company if we choose to do so.

~ PETS: Jake, our Jack Russell terrier is loving the new big backyard!

~ TRANSPORTATION: John and I continue to share one car.  I sold my truck that tows the tiny house and until if and when we do tiny house travel full time again, we’ll just rent a UHaul to move the tiny.  One car plus the UHaul & house makes us very mobile and self contained – we don’t need a third driver.  We both have bicycles, so in a small town for a the summer it’s perfect!  (The winter was a little bit challenging but not too bad!)

~ EMPLOYMENT: John still works at the hospital in Brainerd, so he’s commuting about 15 miles a day.  The downtime in the car to and from work is just the right amount of time to mentally transition to or from work.  In addition to my work for the Tiny House Jamboree this fall, I took a part time job at a fun little independent store downtown Nisswa called Indulge Your Senses.  The people are fun (both coworkers and customers!) the clothing is (dangerously) cute, and I’m building a community network.  I ride my bike to work; it take me about 5 minutes.  : )

~ BATHROOM: We still have the bucket style composting toilet; I just ordered a Separett Privy 501 to retrofit our system.  I am still searching for a vessel that I that can make into a sink… I’ve brought home so many things and then don’t like them.  And John needs a mirror for shaving.  (Boys!  lol)

~ LAUNDRY: We can use the host’s washer & dryer and we have permission to put up a clothes line…!  I want a portable washing machine of some kind…

~ GRAYWATER:  Right now we are catching our graywater in a tub and we have to empty it in the woods.  I have the PVC pieces to fit hoses on it, but I just haven’t had time.  That will happen this weekend.

~ KITCHEN: We just ordered a new refrigerator!  I have an extremely small one, and for two people we need more space.  We ordered the one that we’ll use in our larger tiny house that we are designing – (it’s the same one that Nina & Craig have!) We will build a small shelter for the fridge outside next to the house.  For cooking we have a toaster oven, an induction burner, a Vitamix, a coffee pot (we need something better/smaller) and a ROK espresso machine.

~ EXERCISE: We are just a short walk from access to the Paul Bunyan Trail, which is an old railroad line that has been paved into 120 miles of continuous trail!  (It also goes right to my sister Janice’s house!)  We also have our memberships to Anytime Fitness, but there aren’t backroads to get there – only a highway, so I’m not sure I want to bike there… We have 5# and 10# free weights, yoga mats, and our aerial yoga sling.

~ SUMMER FUN: John is giving his son his fishing boat, and we plan to buy two small kayaks to enjoy on the many area lakes!  I am so excited about that!  There are cute little shops to poke around in here, and we plan to do more travel this summer.  I am looking forward to some time just to “be.”

~ GARDEN: Our host tilled a small area in the woods for me to plant a few herbs.  I’m warned that the deer (that we see in the yard almost nightly) will probably eat whatever I plant, but I am going to try it anyway.  I want to plant culinary herbs – one of the few things I miss from my traditional life!

~ HEAT/COOL/LOFT So far we are very comfortable sleeping in the loft both size-wise and temperature-wise.  We’ve had to turn our heat on a few mornings, but we haven’t needed to bring the air conditioner in yet – hopefully we won’t need it at all.  We are very shaded, and the house is very well insulated.  We also have a great ceiling fan.

~ CLOTHING STORAGE – John has actually downsized his clothes more than me, and I’m looking bad!  We have a small hanging clothes closet, vertical rolled shirt storage, and we each have 3 bins.  We haven’t figured out a great place for dirty clothes to live.  Perhaps a storage ottoman?

~ FURNITURE: We are still deciding on what seating we want in the living room.  I am a floor dweller, but John is not.  So we’re trying to figure that out…

Overall we are just thrilled to be here!   There are photos on our Facebook pages (Beth Ann Norrgard and John Breen) and on our Instagram accounts (BANorrgard and JRBreen_runner)

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!