The garden hose I'd hooked up burst earlier this week so I decided it was time to hunt for a drinking quality hose. One of the scary things about hoses is that so many of them have a disclaimer that says "warning: contains a chemical known by the state of California to cause cancer." That's the sort of thing that's worth avoiding, so I called around and found that a local hardware store carried drinking quality hoses that are also made from recycled materials. Bingo!
Trouble was, when I stopped by on Wednesday they didn't have them in the right length. So I went back today and picked up the hose they'd ordered in for me. I packed it into my backpack and headed home on the bus. I got it hooked up this evening and it does reach, but only barely.
My host and I have talked about digging a trench to run the water and electricity underground, but for now above ground seems fine. She has decided she might want a drinking quality hose, too, so she'll probably pick one up this weekend and we'll put the two together which will allow us to snake it from the back spigot which can be dedicated for the tiny house. If we get around to the trench later these two hoses can be used in the garden.
So it's taken two full weeks for me to get all the utilities running just right because I've been busy with school and a weekend out of town, but I think if I'd been a little better prepared it would have been a cinch.
First, I understand that they don't sell 12 gauge green extension cords because they don't want you to run over them with the lawn mower, but I think they should make them anyhow and figure some of us do know what we're doing. My host ended up coming up with a great solution when she picked up a bright yellow extension cord and a can of green spray paint. We think it will blend in with the grass really nicely!
Another project was adding flat rungs to the ladder Brittany had built. She did a great job creating a safe ladder: the angle is nice and it hooks over a little lip at the bottom edge of the loft so that it won't slip out from under you. But it had round rungs which are a little uncomfortable for my feet and impossible for my cat Raffi to use. He's pretty savvy with ladders, but the round rungs were unmanageable, so I decided to add flat rungs to make it more workable for both of us. The result is a Raffi-approved ladder that will allow both of us to climb up to the sleeping loft safely and easily.
A friend also helped me set up a greywater system for the tiny house. We got some corrugated pipe with holes and some without at our local hardware store. Then we ran the non-perforated pipe from the drainage pipe underneath the house across the path and connected it up with the perforated pipe which we placed in a ditch where my host has been planning to plant bushes. I'll have to be really careful about not letting anything down the drain, but this system should work well because every time I run water from my kitchen sink it will water the plants!
Now that I have some place for water to go I have hooked up a garden hose so I'll have running water! I may replace it with a drinking quality hose soon, but this will do for now. Even on backpacking trips I've had pretty good access to water so I don't think I've ever appreciated running water as much as I have today!
I really enjoyed using candles the past few days so I have to remind myself I can still have an evening by candlelight whenever I want. It is awfully nice to have electricity! Now I can charge my laptop and cell phone, use the task lighting, and microwave leftovers.
I bought water and electric meters, too, so that I can see how much energy and water I'm using. I've always been pretty stingy with my water and electricity use (former housemates will vouch for that!), but I think living in the tiny house will give me an even better understanding of my resource consumption. They haven't arrived in the mail yet, but I'm eager to try them out.
I don't have any of those! Hooray!
Today I unpacked my belongings into the tiny house and all my thoughtful consideration as I downsized seems to have paid off. The goal is to have a place for everything so I can put everything in its place. I'm pretty close to meeting that goal. With a few more tweaks I think I'll have it.
My cordless drill and driver set was put to use for a couple of "remodeling" projects. Some of the spaces that worked well for Brittany weren't as ideal for me. I am more a drawer person than a shelf person so I changed the height of a couple of shelves in the kitchen to create space for drawers and baskets I could use for kitchen gadgets and food. I also changed the bookshelf heights to better accommodate my small book collection and I raised the height of the window seat so I could slide my laundry baskets under there since I plan to store my scarves, mittens, hats, etc. in them this winter. I moved a couple of hooks, too, and I'm realizing hooks are awfully useful for taking advantage of vertical surfaces in a small space.
Then it was just a matter of unpacking everything into the spaces. There are a few things that seem luxurious and unnecessary (do I really need a hand mixer? probably not, but if it makes me happy, it's worth having!) Everything fits and there's room for more but I'm going to make a concerted effort to not accumulate any more stuff!
I don't have electricity or water set up to the house yet, so tonight I'll be using candles and probably turning it early because I'm exhausted. It seems like it shouldn't have taken all day to get settled, but moving always takes longer than expected, even in a tiny house!