Secular Sabbath

Between Graphite and Rainbows

It's been an exciting week of tiny house happenings. I was delighted by the responses I received when I shared my blog over facebook a week ago. Thanks for all your encouragement folks!

Last week Eli and I spent a couple of hours sketching out tiny house plans during our weekly Orange Splot meeting. Such fun to get the design ideas flowing within the constraints of road legal (8'6" x 13'6"). I feel privileged to bounce ideas off of someone who designs so beautifully. (See Orange Splot's website for photos of Eli's projects). Of course, it's also fun to share what I've learned about tiny houses with someone else who is as fascinated as I am.
During my Secular Sabbath this week I continued working on my favorite floor plan. I also read a book, took a nap, and went for a run, stopping to people watch at the park. Unstructured time is truly fantastic - even just a few precious hours of it!
This morning I contacted several tiny house dwellers about an inventory of small houses in Portland. If you know someone else I should get in touch with, let me know! I'm coordinating a tiny house bike tour as part of Pedalpalooza this spring, so I'm connecting with others who live in small spaces. I now have plans to visit two other tiny houses this week and I'm excited to learn about their experiences.

And, of course, in between my classes (which started up again this week), I've been appreciating the glorious weather we've been having. Including, of course, a nap in my rainbow-bespeckled sleeping loft with a breeze blowing through the window. Nothing like a patch of sunshine on a January day in Portland to make one grateful for the little joys of life!

A Fresh New Start

Happy New Year everyone!
I still can't quite wrap my mind around harvesting kale for dinner in January. It's the first winter in 10 years that I've lived in a place with mild enough temperatures that we have greens overwintering outside my front stoop! The seasons are more subtle here, but this is definitely a time of transition.

I've always loved new beginnings. Part of the reason I've enjoyed being a student and working at a college for the past ten years is that there are so many chances for a fresh start. I like the idea of setting resolutions that are almost certainly achievable with just a smidge of extra intention. If I determine to do the things I'd like to do anyway, I'm more likely to be successful.

Last year my resolution was to take more naps, more walks, more baths, and drink more tea. I did pretty well at it! This year I will, of course, strive to find fun ways to be active so that people will still think I'm related to my little sister (who just got certified as a personal trainer), but that's what they all say.
So for the next six months, in addition to continuing my habit chart, which for some reason continues to be a good motivator to floss my teeth and contact a loved one daily (what can I say, I'm a sucker for gold stars!), I intend to block out time each week for two things that I want to do for myself anyway:
1) supporting the tiny house movement, accessory dwellings, and cohousing by committing at least four hours a week to my Orange Splot internship
2) honoring a secular sabbath that I have the freedom to reschedule but not skip
Of course, I hope the naps and tea continue, too...
What are you resolving for the new year?