Author: Kerri

Finding Stuff we Forgot we Even Have

Cleaning the clutter from a home, garage, basement, attic or storage area has many benefits, including ridding our lives of the unnecessary.

Last week, I wrote about cleaning out our closets and the laundry/pantry area off our kitchen and just feeling like we had so much more space.

The other main benefit, of course, is finding things you don’t even remember you have.


We Have Added More Space at Our Little House

This is the top of the pantry/laundry room (see floorplan on this site). We store needed kitchen appliances and hang coats in this area.


Ha! Gotcha. No, we’re not abandoning small house living and didn’t add on, but when completely cleaning out pantries and closets, it does feel as though we’ve added space to Our Little House.

I am a terrible organizer and cleaning is the last thing I like to do. I do rotate the closets every season so we have in-season clothes, but quite honestly, I don’t think in the 17 years we lived in our other house, I ever actually completely cleaned out a closet until we moved. We had plenty of extra room and storage space, so we just kept adding to it.

That’s why living in a little house is good for people like me. There aren’t 2 extra bedroom closets, a country kitchen full of cabinet space and a huge storage closet under the stairs in which to pile what is mostly just unneeded crap.


Our Little House Peach Dump Cake

As we’ve gotten older, desserts are something I don’t make a lot of anymore.

This past weekend, we had planned one of our best Sunday dinners, beer butt chicken with potato salad and my mom’s baked bean recipe.

I recently consulted with my doctor, who follows a 90% vegan diet as I do, and he advised me that I need a little more protein and B12 in my diet other than the once a week fish I’ve been eating.

This made Dale, who left vegetarianism behind after a few months, extremely happy. I bought a free-range, organic bird from a local farmer at our town’s natural food store. Next week, the leftovers will make some delicious chicken enchiladas.


Mugged at Our Little House

We get up before the sun at Our Little House. During the week, we get up at 4:30 and I help get Dale out the door. Then I sit down with my hot cup of coffee – on the covered front porch if it’s nice, on the sofa if it’s not – and read the latest news.

It’s my favorite time of day. There isn’t a sound in our world except for the early rising birds and sometimes Sade’s snoring.

But it’s the coffee I love most. That first sip is like nirvana.


Forget the Numbers: Living Large is a State of Mind

My Friend, Candy's, dining room


After posting a photo of a cabin on the Living Large Facebook page the other day, one of our Living Largers wrote, “Don’t get me wrong, I think this house looks divine, but I must not have the same understanding of the phrase ‘little house’ as everyone else that considers this house to be little.”

This reader’s comments aren’t uncommon. When the story I wrote about our house ran in Mother Earth News Magazine in 2009, there were some who said they didn’t think we had a “true” little house since we have out buildings and I have The Belle Writer’s Studio from which I work every day.

As the tiny/small house movement has continued to grow in popularity and more people learn about it, I’ve read many more comments defining what is and isn’t a tiny/small house.  Is it tiny if it’s under 400 square feet? Small or little if under 600, 800, 1,000? I have to admit, I was even confused for a while on what exactly defines a small home.

But after living in Our Little House (480 square feet) for seven years, my thoughts have evolved away from numbers and square footage to what the movement is really all about: Living happily in the home you need with only the things you need and love surrounding you.

In other words, Living Large is really a state of mind.


Signs, Everywhere a Sign, Even in a Tiny House

Photo from Mother Earth News

On a recent episode of the show, Tiny House Nation, the designers had a sign inscribed with the owner’s life motto. When I saw the episode, I realized just how many signs we have in Our Little House and in The Belle Writer’s Studio.

Signs in the studio such as, “What happens in the cabin, stays in the cabin,” “Welcome to the woods” (with a picture of an outhouse hung in the bathroom) and a sign that points in the direction of the lake.


Dear Litter Bug

Dear Litterbugs,

Do you really believe that tossing your trash out of your car window into the brush of our country road hides it?

It might be out of sight and out of mind for you, but it isn’t for us.

Sometimes it isn’t hard to find at all, like the balloons you release in town that land in the middle of the road. Unless, of course, a bird or other wildlife finds it first and either chokes because it tried to eat it or gets itself tangled in the colorful strings. Believe me when I say when you release these in memoriam of someone, they don’t end up in heaven, but they do help spoil paradise when they return to earth.

Did you know helium balloons can even cause house fires? There was one in Lodi, Calif. not too long ago.

And what about you, the inconsiderate smoker who tosses out butts onto the ground: Have you never seen the heartbreaking photos of wildfires? We would just as soon not lose Our Little House, our lives or that of our animals because of your negligence.