Although Suzanne’s stepson, J, moved out of the Tiniest House months ago, it was not entirely uninhabited when I decided to move in. It had a resident cat, Tank. As I understand it, some years previously, the then-feral Tank started showing up for dinner and decided to stay. As far as the inside cats were concerned, he was very much Not Welcome, but eventually he became J’s cat. Not though — never! — the kind of cat that you can easily stick into a cat carrier and bring cross-country with you. So when J left, Tank stayed, and continued living in the Tiniest House. During the cold of winter, Suzanne set up a heating pad for him and the door was permanently ajar, so he could come and go as he pleased.
Unfortunately, I’m allergic to cats. Enter the New Tiniest House. I ordered it on Amazon, it came last week, and we promptly put it together for him. I’m not sure Tank likes it much so far, but eventually, we’re hoping to make an awning for it that will keep off/out the rain (that blue tarp was an attempt that didn’t work — the tarp is not waterproof) and when it gets cold, we’ll put the heating pad inside. On the one night of serious rain since I moved into the former Tiniest House, I wound up with a wet cat snoring on my bed, but that’s not a great long-term solution. Neither is me moving out for the winter so Tank can move back in, mostly because my house is much too nice now to be left entirely open to the elements.
Speaking of which, my countertop solution was to cover the counter with contact paper. It’s not a long term solution, because the contact paper’s not going to last, but it was a way to make it bearable for a few months until I feel like I can afford some nice tile. My cabinet door solution was to take one of J’s old curtains and tack it up across the open space. I still haven’t painted the cabinets, and I need to touch up some paint on the shelves, including one bracket that had to be replaced, but my tiny kitchen is looking quite kitchen-like.
I cooked my first meal in said kitchen this morning. After I walked the dogs, I was making myself a cup of coffee and decided it was time to dump my compost (mostly old coffee grounds & some dog food) into the chicken coop. The chickens were happy to see me for the sake of the dog food, but while I was there, I found an egg in one of the nests. Freshly-laid, still warm from the chicken.
One part of me thought, “Wow, the whole concept of eggs is really gross when you think about it.” The other part of me thought, “Okay, that’s really cool, I could eat the freshest egg ever.” And so I did. Totally simple egg scramble – just egg, butter, salt and pepper — and it was, in fact, delicious. Not so head-and-shoulders above any other eggs that it would have been notable, but as I sat in my camp chair, sun shining, breeze blowing through my open window, I very much appreciated my breakfast and my life.
That side of the house is also looking nice, IMO, although it’s all about the outside. I found a $10 shoe rack at Target that seemed perfect for my needs, and a wooden coat rack at the hardware store. I borrowed a drill and a level to put the coat rack up and am quite pleased with my endeavors. And with my coats!
Funny story with the coats: J left behind a large screen television which didn’t fit in the Tiniest House at all — there was just no room for it. I kept putting it outside and then moving it back in when rain threatened, but it was very much in the way, so Suzanne posted on Facebook offering it in trade. The very first person to respond offered raincoats and home-brew. We never investigated the Why of the raincoats — I just said, “Yes, raincoats!” because my notorious eggplant coat, while quite nice, is not actually waterproof and Arcata is a place where a waterproof coat comes in handy. I didn’t worry about whether the raincoats would fit or whether I would like them, because anything other than a bright yellow plastic poncho would have been fine with me. As it happened, though, the raincoats were basically what I would have picked if someone invited me to walk into a store and take what I wanted: three of them, one lightweight, one medium, one heavy, all in shades of purple/blue, all that fit perfectly. How nice is that?
I posted the above picture, though, mostly to show off my door. I painted the design in the sky blue of the ceiling (Harbor Fog), because I thought it would look nice and it does. I wish I’d painted in the sand color instead, because I think it would look even better if I had, but I might do that when I paint the cabinets. Which is still going to happen someday, although I’m enjoying not being covered in paint. (I’m an appallingly messy painter — I was wearing as much paint as the walls last week.)
Circling all the way back to the point of this post, Suzanne and I were talking about the house no longer being the Tiniest House, since Tank now has the True Tiniest House. Almost-Tiniest House just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Former-Tiniest House? Once-Tiniest House? She was suggesting alternate names — the beach house? the Wendy House? (<–a joke that means less if you don’t know that my real name is Wendy, I suppose). I think, though, that my house ought to be named Serendipity. In fact, as I look at my new raincoats hanging on the wall, I’m very, very sure of it.
Serenity is an absolute must for the name… and contact paper is fine for the counter–I used it on my kitchen counter for YEARS before selling the house and moving up. The neat thing about contact paper is that you can change the design/style/color of your kitchen by changing out the contact paper!! Easy peasy and cheap. I dearly love your colors… and that white design on the door is awesome!
That’s good to know about the contact paper! My paper is very pretty — I bought a roll planning to use it on the walls and I’d still like to use it on the walls someday, but when I did the math and figured out how many more rolls I would need to do just a single wall, I decided that would have to wait until I could afford to spend money on pretty/not-useful. That meant that one roll was handy when I made the same decision about the countertop. And the door design is part of the door, I just decided to make it a lot more obvious by painting it a different color. I’d be amazed at my own mad skills if I’d painted it myself!
I like watching you nest.
Probably my last house post! I’m actually sort of amazed at what I’ve accomplished. It’s so different than it was a few weeks ago. It felt like an impossibility back in early April and now it’s so cozy.
Plus it’s way cool that you went from Serenity to Serendipity.
🙂 Definitely part of the appeal!
Both tiny houses look so charming!
I’m loving mine! Tank is still having mixed feelings about his.
I love your no-longer-the-tiniest house! I find the first meal in the kitchen is always the moment that I feel like I’ve really moved in, even if it’s a sandwich.
What an absolutely perfect trade, indeed. What are the odds? As for rain-proofing Tank’s new digs, maybe place his little house under an awning or big umbrella?
Summer has arrived here, though it was a bit muggy today making 16C/61F feel warmer. No complaints, though — we’ve had weeks and weeks of sunshine, with very little rain, which has made self-isolating much easier.
It does! There’s something about creating a meal in your new place — making a mess and cleaning it up, maybe? — that makes it feel like home. Currently with Tank’s house, we’re trying out an awning made of a shower curtain. It seems to be working. And weeks of sunshine sounds awfully nice!