Getting Exercise in a Little House

Posted July 29th, 2014 by kerri and filed in small house living
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If you’re over 40 and intend­ing on down­siz­ing to a lit­tle house, there is an often over­looked down­side to small space liv­ing: Getting plenty of exer­cise to keep your bones and mus­cles strong.

When we lived in our split level 1,100 square foot home in the city, I had no prob­lem get­ting exer­cise. I’d climb the stairs it seemed a mil­lions times a day. If I wanted some­thing when I was down­stairs, it was usu­ally upstairs and visa versa.

Getting into our house required climb­ing stairs, which gave us plenty of “Stair Master” type exer­cise, espe­cially when lug­ging heavy gro­ceries. Of course, clean­ing gave me lots of exer­cise, as did run­ning up and down the stairs of our tall deck.

I was also more con­scious of tak­ing the dogs for daily walks in the city as our large dog, Emma, needed lots of exer­cise and we had a pretty small backyard.

When we moved to Our Little House in 2007, I was in pretty good shape. I got myself up to walk­ing 4 miles per day, even in the heat of sum­mer. After los­ing my mother that year, I felt as if I was sweat­ing the grief out of my pores, so the more I walked, the bet­ter I felt – phys­i­cally and mentally.

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Living in a Tiny House with Pets Takes Planning

Our dogs enjoy sun­ning on a warm after­noon, but they are all inside pets

 

When we moved to Our Little House in 2007, we arrived with 4 dogs and 2 elderly cats. Living in a small space with pets is not easy, just like with every­thing else in a tiny house, it takes a lot of planning.

After watch­ing the third episode of Tiny House Nation on the FYI chan­nel on Wednesday night, let’s just say I was more than disappointed.

As the host was look­ing at the pile of clothes on the bed to be donated, he said, “As I look at this pile to donate, I can’t help but notice there is a cat sit­ting in the mid­dle of it. Have you decided what you’re going to do with them? Because that is a big concern.”

The cou­ple, who was down­siz­ing to save money so they could travel the world, had one dog and two cats. The 8-year-old cats didn’t get along with the dog and they had them sep­a­rated in their large house by keep­ing them on sep­a­rate floors.

I was dis­ap­pointed in the show, but not sur­prised. After the host asked the fam­ily last week if their dog could “become an out­side dog” I knew it wouldn’t be long before some­one on the show gave up their pets to live their tiny house dream.

(The fam­ily in that episode said that their dogs could not stay out­side due to the rural loca­tion and they were afraid for their safety. This is just one rea­son a pet con­di­tioned to liv­ing inside should not sud­denly be exiled to being an “out­side” pet).

The BIG thing I have a prob­lem with in this last episode was that the cats were being pre­sented as things that needed to be dealt with like the clothes and the guy’s home brew oper­a­tion that he had to give to a friend.

As a mat­ter of fact, the show’s host even called both the home brew oper­a­tion and the cats a “sac­ri­fice” that was going to have to be made.

PETS ARE NOT DISPOSALBE inan­i­mate objects. They are liv­ing, breath­ing beings.

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Mom's Bean Pot

We have been enjoy­ing the bounty of sum­mer with cucum­bers, organic sweet corn, toma­toes, green beans and new pota­toes com­ing on almost faster than we can eat them.

One sum­mer treat my hus­band loves is baked beans.

When we moved to Our Little House, I knew we would be grilling and doing some enter­tain­ing in the sum­mer months and our sum­mer din­ners on The Party Deck aren’t com­plete with­out baked beans.

To me, baked beans would not be the same if they weren’t cooked in my mom’s bean pot.

When down­siz­ing to a small space, if you have things that are sen­ti­men­tal, they must also be func­tional as well (like my antique bed­side lamp).

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A Respite From the Heat

Posted July 18th, 2014 by kerri and filed in small house living
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It has been unusu­ally cool at Our Little House this week, but we’ve been enjoy­ing the fall-like tem­per­a­tures, which have allowed us to open the win­dows and be out­side more.

I’m still strug­gling with con­tainer gar­den­ing. I expanded it a lot last year with no more suc­cess than I had with just a few pots. This year, I only have one larger tomato and one cherry tomato plant.

I also grew cilantro earlier.

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