Oct 1, 2016

Loading up my precious cargo for our journey across America

One year ago, this past April, I sold my large home and acreage in a rural area about an hour away from Seattle, WA. I wanted to create a simpler lifestyle, soak up sunshine and live in a small home. My shabby chic tiny retreat was way to tiny to consider using it as my primary home. I not only needed more space for myself but also for my children who live in fur coats.
 My babies in my old home in WA.- Two now live in Heaven

I have done death row dog rescue work as a hobby for over forty years, saving one dog at a time, training them manners and obedience and getting them healthy and fit for adoption. For almost twenty years I have had a pack of dogs that numbered between five to fifteen dogs on any given day. Most of them were in transition of being saved from next day euthanasia in high kill shelters to finding their forever homes. Over the years the ones that were unfit to be adopted stayed with me and were spoiled and loved till their last breath. My own personal pack of dogs usually consisted of four to five dogs. Rottweiler's and Aussies really steal my heart. I was finally down to a small pack of family members for the fist time in many years. My fur kid family consisted of a Rottweiler/Mastiff X, three Rotties, two Cattle dog-Husky-Shepherd mixes, and one Mini Aussie . Oh- and one dog loving orange cat. That was the smallest group of animals I had owned in many years, so I figured it was a good time to change up my lifestyle and location in a major way.

Welcome to my other girl cave....pics below. My vintage Casita travel trailer. A perfect cozy spot for glamping, as well as transporting some of my fur kids to our new home located in the beautiful mountains of NC. It has options for two single beds, a double bed or a king size bed. I selected the king size bed option for Riley, Hailey and Tyler to travel in comfort and style. At night I slept in there with them and my other two dogs slept in the SUV along with the cat.

3 of my dogs traveled in my Casita camper as we made our way to NC

While still living and working in WA state, I started shopped online for a new state to relocate to. I prayed and asked for God's guidance in my life. I had visited North Carolina only once for just three days about twenty years ago. The warm weather, Southern hospitality and deepest blue sky I had ever seen in my life, left a lasting impression that drew me back and tugged on my heart.  I did a lot of reading and decided that NC would be my new home state.

My dogs traveled in style on the way to NC

Being a mom to so many fur kids meant I needed to buy a house before I sold my old house. We definitely needed a plan. I searched for a home online in North Carolina before I listed my WA home for sale. I am a country girl at heart even though I grew up in the San Francisco bay area and lived there most of my life, I could not imagine ever again living in a city or even in the suburbs. I am definitely a country girl and country roads were calling me home to the place where I knew that  I belonged. Now that song really has more meaning to me.                                             
This is a 14' fiberglass trailer and worked perfect for our long road trip

 On a mission to find a small home I prepared a 'must have' list and a more flexible 'wish list'. The first list included a home under 700 sq feet, on an minimum of an acre of land, my own water well, good natural light, and a covered porch.  My flexible 'wish list' was for a farmhouse or log cabin, a  an outbuilding, a metal roof, and a real fireplace or claw foot tub would seal the deal. I also hoped for a nearby river, stream, creek or  pond.  I found a little house that was about 100-150 years old. No records on file because it was SO old. It was 570 square feet-a PERFECT SIZE for me, on land in a rural wooded mountain area yet just a few miles from a river, a stream (that I can hear from my covered front porch) and a large pond just 1/4 mile from my home. It had a fireplace and a two sided covered wrap around front porch, as well as an outbuilding, a root cellar, a carport and for it's age it was in pretty good shape and best of all it was in my price range. Done deal, I bought it, sight unseen (except for pictures) and located in a town I had never heard of or been to in my life. I did a happy dance that day. GOD is SO GOOD. HE blessed me above and beyond all I could think or imagine. Was I scared? Nope.. I really had a peace about it all. And, I was thrilled to leave WA states high prices, high taxes and the drizzly gray weather behind me. I will miss my friends and my business. But on to new goals and adventures.

Soon after I bought my NC home and land, I had my tiny house towed to it's new parking spot in NC.-- See my last post for that story.

There is a sink under the cutting board. I added the backsplash.

I then listed my three bedroom, three bath home in WA and after 9 months on the market it finally  sold. I shut down my business, got my camper ready and loaded up the fur kids for a LONG drive across the United States. Unfortunately two of my Rottweiler's died in WA and were not able to relocate with me but will live in my heart forever. I filled up my vintage Casita camper with my precious cargo - A Rottie/Mastiff Mix boy and my Sweet Rottie girl, my little crazy Mini Aussie who is seven sandwiches short of a picnic. I  hitched up my Casita to my small SUV that was filled with my two Cattle dog, Husky Shepherd mixes and my Orange cat. Off we went - three thousand miles on our way to our new life and  home in NC.                                                               

Unfortunately I could not locate my camera, so I don't have any pictures of our trip

Oh, I may of forgotten to mention a small detail to the above story. I worked to the very last day before I left WA state. I did not have time to downsize my stuff before I sold my home. So, I loaded up not just one 28' truck but half of a second 28' truck also. Yep, three bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, Three  home based businesses, a double garage with more stuff, and two- two hundred sq foot sheds of stuff. Lots of stuff, that I had accumulated over the past decade. I was not sure what I wanted to keep or what to get rid of having not seen my NC home in person. I sold what I could in the limited time that I had and then spent months packing, and packing and packing what would go to NC with me.
Snap, Crackle, Pop - I didn't need that antenna anyways..

Two commercial trucks parked in front of my TINY farmhouse days after I arrived. My covered porch was filled from top to bottom, my house inside was filled with boxes that covered the floors, and were stacked all the way up to the ceiling. I only had a 12 inch path through my little house and I was in overwhelm. Even my bathtub was filled to the ceiling with boxes. This mess was not part of what I had envisioned my new simple life to be like. I have done crazy things in my life but this might top them all. It is probably not often that a person would buy a home this way- online, sight unseen, in a town they had never heard of nor been to. Then- to shut down business, and sell your home and move with six animals across the United States... well I have always marched to a different drummer.   
Ahh, I think I may have too much stuff
I just might be related to Sanford and Son

After days of driving  across the roads of America and caring for my critters, I was really happy to pull into my new driveway for the first time ever. With a sigh of relief having driven from Seattle to Western North Carolina,  I took a deep breath, got out my house key and stepped inside my new
OH- Where am I going to put everything?

To be continued............... 

In the meantime, remember-It is never to late to create a happy childhood.

Sep 19, 2016

Goodbye Washington state

Surprise-  Anyone here? I am alive and well and filled with joy in a world of constant change.

After surviving fifteen years of MOSTLY gray skies, drizzle, rain and minimal sunshine I felt like I was going to (crack) or quack. Was I morphing into a duck or just suffering from a severe vitamin D deficiency? Other than a couple of decent weather months each summer, I struggled with the damp, wet and  cold weather and felt like I had moss growing on me from the lack of sunshine in the Pacific North West. I was sun starved and miserable, struggling and always in search of a blue sky and rays of sun to warm my bones and help me to find and remember my old self.



I was completely fed up with the weather, insanely high property tax in King county WA as well as WA States liberal politics, their gun laws and regulations for every turn or step you take. In fact it was not much different from life in the CA bay area where I was born and raised. I owned a 3 bedroom, 3 bath home on rural acreage in WA, and I paid between $4,000-$5,000 in property taxes yearly. While at the same time, I was unable to spend one night in my tiny home that was parked on my well maintained land in rural King county on a private wooded gravel dead end road about 50 minutes away from Seattle, also known as the land of the Seattle Freeze (google it).

Long story short... cause you blog peepers prefer pics over wordy posts, - I moved my tiny home to NC and parked it on land I purchased in the Appalachian mountains, about an hour outside of Asheville.     

Tiny homes often come with their own set of headaches. They are illegal to live in, in most towns, cities and states across America. Most tiny homes do not meet local building codes and being they are built on wheels the county can't collect property taxes on them. That makes tiny home dwellers unwelcome in most areas of the United States. Some tiny home owners are now registering them as recreation vehicles allowing them more legal parking and road travel options. Some trailer parks welcome tiny homes and some towns are in the process of modifying county regulations, laws and building codes so that more people will be allowed to dwell in them legally. In the meantime we have TV shows that make the tiny life look so appealing when most of the people on the shows are piggy backing off of someone else who owns land and they are not paying their fair share of property taxes.


My tiny home is part of my emergency preparedness plan in order to give myself options. I have lived long enough to learn that one's lifestyle and circumstances can change quickly, I like having options. Yet, owing a tiny house while owning a normal size home with a swim spa that was the very same size of my tiny home gave me the time and opportunity to try on a very itsy bitsy home for size. While tiny homes are cute, cozy and can be so appealing, there are HUGE drawbacks to the tiny life. There are thousands of tiny homes for sale because they don't always work out the way people thought they would. Do your homework before you build or buy one.


 In my opinion the downside of tiny house living is that dwellers become dependent rather than self- reliant. Surprisingly, quite the opposite of what many tiny home owners believe life will be for them once they build or buy their tiny slice of heaven.  Let me explain what I mean. In the current state of political unrest and with what I believe is a criminal administration, not to mention the criminal who is now running for president,  America is in a distressed condition and is being run into the ground and fast, I think it is is of utmost importance to physically prepare and plan so that we may live more sustainable lives in perilous times.  Living in a tiny home in most cases is not conducive to preparedness planning and living. I personally feel that it is time for America to wake up and be discerning of the realities as well as the vulnerability of the times in which we live. While I am not quite sure of all the actions I myself should take I am fully aware that the most basic ones such as food preparedness and storage will not fit within the walls of a tiny house.


Being prepared for emergencies requires more space than my shabby chic tiny retreat can provide.
Not to mention all of the animals I have. There simply is not enough oxygen for me, and the furkids to share, nor is there any space for the "STUFF" in my life. And I am not interested in becoming a minimalist where I own just 12 items. At this point I like my "stuff" and may collect some more stuff.
Keep in mind while some call the current tiny house trend a "movement" there are no rules that say you have to get rid of all your cowboy boots or the 56 shirts you own. It is your business and don't feel pressued to throw everything you own away because someone says you are bad and wrong for owning more than they do.


I wanted my next home to be much smaller than my 2,300 sq foot, 3 bedroom, 3 bath with a 500' connected home based business size home yet not the size of my shabby chic girl cave. I desired to make a life change and search for a home that would be a small space that worked well for me.Where I would be able to collect, stock and store supplies as well as grow my own food and have my own water well, so not to depend on the government nor the local grocery store in the case of unexpected emergency or circumstances.


The RADICAL shifts taking place in our country, government and society were and still are a huge motivating factor in my desire to become better prepared for possible or probable future catastrophic events. After much thought and prayer, I still kept to my plan and choose to downsize my stuff and my lifestyle and sell my larger home yet upsize my life by choosing a home to live in that is larger than my tiny shabby chic tiny retreat. 

You may be wondering where the tiny house was towed to. I had it towed to Western North Carolina where she was parked next to my new home.  I prayed asking God to guide me as I worked towards a debt free, sunny, simple, and sustainable life. In 2014 after years of hard work I entered that reality. Dreams do come true.  I purchased a tiny 570 sq foot, one hundred year old plus, farmhouse online, sight unseen in a town I had never been too nor heard of. I loaded up my vintage 22 yr old Casita travel trailer with dogs and drove over three thousand miles to my new (old) farmhouse hidden the hills of Western North Carolina.

I am doing a happy dance. I love it here. It has not been easy but I can tell you God is good and I am blessed. I give all glory and praise to HIM. It has been and continues to be an adventure. I have been working on personalizing my little farmhouse and it will be a mix of shabby, rustic, primitive, prairie with splashes of French country.

More about the journey here to NC and a few pictures of my vintage Casita in my next post.

Remember it is never ever too late to create a happy, silly, fun filled childhood. I am near sixty years old and still seizing each day and shaking it up as best I can.



Nov 1, 2014

It's been a long time......

It has been a really long time since I have been here on my blog. Thanks to those of you who have emailed me to check in on me as well as those sweet people who keep asking me to post more often. Come on, sit a spell on my land,  and I will respond to that. If my story gets too long I will bring out some marshmallows and we can light up the fire and do some toasting.  Mmmmm.... have you seen that recipe for toasted marshmallows and Baileys Irish Cream ?  Oh, sorry my mind is already drifting and going way off topic in just the first paragraph.

Getting ready for a blazing fire tonight

Writing comes easy for me but public blogging does not. There is just something that doesn't gel with me, here in cyber space. I waiver between sharing bits of my world, sometimes wanting to inspire others to dream and create, and the other side- that is private, with a strong inner voice that convinces me to hold off from posting. A partial (as it relates to this post) self description of myself goes like this. A chatty, unique free spirited woman who is a communicative extrovert who is comfortable with public speaking, talking to complete strangers in person, and very open and transparent in real life. Uncomfortable in the arena of social media, networking, communicating, writing and sharing her life from behind a computer, Not a fan of most technology, electronics or  gadgets, that she believes often stifles the experience of the almost lost art of interacting and communicating with the human race, face to face- without technology in the mix.
I am not the least bit shy. As you now know, I MUCH prefer to be face to face with real people instead of sitting here behind a computer posting about life...... that goes viral in seconds to who knows who. Just my point. But, when you think about it that is just what a book does but in a way that seems more targeted, purposed or just more comfortable to me. I guess I am still just old fashioned in a lot of ways. That may be a bit of an understatement, that have my friends shaking their heads about now. I don't 'get' space book-(Facebook), instant messaging, tweeting or even texting .... emailing is enough for me. I am pretty low tech, no TV, no cell phone, never sent a text message in my life. This blog is a shocker to my friends who think that I would thrive living off the grid or maybe even in Amish country. I am not the only one left in the world that still hangs their clothes out to dry or uses drying racks for the most part. I still drive to the local family owned pharmacy and pay my power bill in person. I think the world was a better place before society became infatuated with and often times addicted to electronics. But, then again I believe the world was much better off before we became a 'progressive' and politically correct society. Ok,, I am going off topic again.

Heavy winds brought down trees on my property. As I was sawing them I noticed their beautiful fall colors.

Yep, I have a  private side once I am behind a computer. I have turned down magazine offers time and again, that want to do a feature on my tiny home. I am not motivated by having my tiny home in print, especially when they want me to do all the work of fluffing, staging and providing them with professional quality photos and then NOT pay me. Ahhhh - I don't get that??? Maybe I am missing something but truly that sounds like a job with no payout to me. One day I may change my mind. Not sure? . Please- don't get me wrong I am not a social snob, unappreciative or arrogant,,, just being real here. 

 Some, and probably most bloggers thrive, in that very public online space as they build their follower list and improve their blogs statistics. It may be to promote their business or to share their world or interests as they connect with like minded followers. Nothing wrong with that, however- that is not me. I don't care about casting a net to fish for more followers. I don't look at my stats nor do I care about them. Unique I know. I have never colored inside the lines. I dance to my own songs and always have. Those of you that find your way here are the ones that are supposed to be here and for me it is as simple as that.

This is going to make a great fire
 I only post on my blog when I am in the mood and for no other reason.  For me, writing is an avenue for release of thought and idea overload that often has my mind way too busy or even spinning at times. I much prefer to sift through interesting, beautiful and inspiring posts on other blogs than post on my own blog.

So why did I start a blog, you ask? To keep in touch with friends and family. Then one day after requests and encouragement I hit the "go public" or like, button and here I am. Blogging is a job for some and a hobby for others. For many it is an obligation to continually post for their audience. Lots of bloggers go into what I call "posting overload" because they have sponsors that suggest or require fresh updated posts on a regular basis to keep followers coming back again and again. I get it, many are drawing an income from their blogs or heading in that direction and it is important to keep those posts rolling. Most seem to thrive in their created online spaces. And I like to visit when I have time. So keep it up all you creative and amazing bloggers.

As I was driving down the road I saw this old ladder on the side of the road, I hit reverse and brought it home.
That being said I want to thank those you that check in on me to see if I am still alive. Seriously - many of you do and that is so nice of you. I am honored that you care and I appreciate it. Heck, I don't even know most of you so that is REALLY special. Some of you  ask me to post more often and well how much can I post of a tiny home that is just 8' feet wide and 18' feet long? I don't look at this blog as my online public diary. I am not one of those gals who posts every time I buy a new picture frame or find a new brand of toilet paper. Again, I have to be in the "mood" to post. Thanks though  for making time to leave a comment and for checking in on me through many personal emails.. I am very much alive, feeling good, doing well and I am super busy, working long hours daily towards some personal goals I have. A life plan that I call "Act 2", that is in motion for the second half of my years on earth, God willing.
Fun to imagine who stepped on this ladder and what they reached for

 My blog has taken on a little life of it's own.  As I read all the comments I can tell that quite often people read between the lines and create their own stories or versions of how I live my life. It is fun to see imaginations set in motion.  Like some of you, I  have an inquiring mind - so I can understand what it is like to visit a blog and then be drawn into that bloggers world. Sometimes sitting up for hours reading each and every post on their blog. The mind is often curious and will easily drift into wonder, imagination and possibility if allowed to do so. I can get lost in beautiful pictures or drawn in by a topic that bears witness with my taste in style, décor, spiritual beliefs or political views. I am often interested in a bloggers story, home make over, creative project or maybe just because of the eye candy they share. Sometimes, it is as if  I want a back stage pass to meet the person behind the blog. Visiting your wonderful blogs and reading your nice comments is a mental vacation where I can dwell and be inspired in so many ways. For that I thank each of you.

Another view of my property in WA state. Rural unincorporated King County, one hr from Seattle
 I am so honored that some of the long time professional big girl bloggers in blog land stop by and leave such nice comments. You all are awesome and appreciated. This sub culture attracts a pretty amazing group of talented and creative women. Some of whom openly and proudly share their love for JESUS on their blogs, or post awesome eye candy as well as those that share wonderful tips and tricks to save money or share their latest craft project, curbside find or new ways to fluff and beautify our nests. And what about those who share yummy recipes that actually make me want to cook (a miracle in itself),  And the gardening and homesteading blogs, the list goes on and on. So many women inspire me through their amazing blogs and/or comments. Thanks you so much.

 Many sign off with XXX (hugs) , and that is pretty darn unique and encouraging, and for that I say THANKS for your kindness ladies. To be even a tiny part of such a special group of sweet and supportive gals is amazing and really appreciated.  I am humbled that you take time to pop in on my little blog and my very rare posts. Many blogs provide a mental vacation for us, a wonderful time of sharing and inspiration and a place to take a break, and feel safe to dwell and be inspired, if even for a brief moment in time. To be part of such positive and supportive, encouraging people is special and rare in the world today. We live in such a serious world where life hits a lot of people with many negative punches.  So, while I am so low tech and don't post very often know that if you read this far that you are appreciated by me even though this is all coming to you by someone you have never met and through a computer or phone. Strange so strange but in a good way.  You are all special, gifted and talented in your individual ways and I want you to know time and again - It is never too late to have a happy child hood. Now go find some time to play and be blessed as you live out your calling each and every day.

I have a tiny bit of BIG news to share with you on my next post. Don't hold your breath as you can see I don't go into post overload but some BIG news is on the way. I am going to get myself in the mood and try hard to get out another post soon.

 Happy Fall y'all.  Tonita