Thursday, April 8, 2021

Spring Coming to the Tiny House in the Mountains

As recently as March 27, this is what the clearing looked like around our house. A lot of snow had melted, but there was still a whole lot there as well. But since then, it's rapidly been going! Overall the winter has been colder than normal, but we only got about 85% of the average snowfall. So lower than normal snow totals, but with lots of colder than normal days total. But now it's warming up some and frozen crystals are turning into liquid. A couple days ago the creek right below the house started to flow water on top of all the ice layers. I haven't been able to see or hear the creek since fall when it first iced over and that ice just got thicker and thicker. But as some snow melt started to make it's way out of the mountains, it had to flow on top of

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Keeping Bird Feeders away from Bears, Squirrels, and the Benefits of Little Birds as Co-Workers

Little birds. Over the years I have found them to be very valuable partners in my life! This started by accident when my good friend Moose (We got to know each other through our common interests in tiny houses and photography. Check out his work here!) gave me a bird feeder he was no longer  using. I had never really thought about feeding birds at all before that. But with the feeder sitting here, I thought why not hang it up with some seeds? There was obviously already little birds around here. I do live in the woods surrounded by trees, bushes, and plenty of good bird perches and hidden nesting spots, but most of the time I didn't see them very up close as they flitted about their business. It took a few weeks for some birds

Saturday, March 13, 2021

How I Prepare for the Unexpected, Winter (And Year Round!) Vehicle Supplies,

I was driving home after dark one winter night having just finished cleaning a home that is one of my regular jobs. The drive takes me along a road that is only 5 miles or so from a small town at one point, but due to the mountain shapes, there is no cell service for a couple mile stretch. It's a winding road with lots of hard corners. Anyway, I came around one of those cell phone service lacking corners and there was not one, but two cars who had been traveling toward me on the opposite side of the road, totally buried in the snow bank on my side of the road. Like many smaller country roads, there's not really a shoulder, so this means they are both nose down over the few foot drop off. Resting the front corner of their cars against a barbed wire fence, and nearly into a little creek that flows along that road edge. Obviously both drivers had spun out on the same slippery patch and I don't know how they had avoided hitting each other. One of these cars was a pretty new Audi with a middle aged couple inside. They were just sitting inside looking totally helpless. Doing nothing. The second stuck rig was a little larger SUV, also pretty new with a single male driver. He was outside, attempting

Monday, March 8, 2021

Orphaned Moose Visitor to the Tiny House

There are a lot of moose that live in my immediate area. And I see them quite frequently. I spotted 4 different moose today alone. Either from my house or while shoveling snow on a few neighboring properties. But this little girl pictured above is a little special in my heart. She is an orphan and first came by the house without her mama about two weeks ago. While she's little for a moose, she's obviously still quite a large animal. And just in case you have never been around moose, while I find them fascinating like all wild things, they can be very dangerous

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Burley Loving Life in the Snow

As you know if you have been following life here in Fy Nyth for any length of time, Burley adores the snow! He loves winter, and I think must believe that summer is this odd little time of year when his wonderful snow melts temporarily. If you have seen some of our backpacking trips in the summer, you probably remember him searching out any snow patches left high in the mountains and racing right to them to roll in and do belly slides on. But right now he doesn't have to search at all to find snow. We are just wrapping up the second snowiest

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract & Save! Tiny House Cooking

If you cook, especially bake, much at all. Or have ever made a simple batch of cookies one time, you have probably used a recipe that called for vanilla extract at some point. And if you want the real stuff, you probably noticed, it is expensive! There is a reason. Real vanilla extract is made from a vanilla bean which grows from an orchid. And orchids are a bit touchy, slow growing, and only produce so many vanilla beans. They also don't grow in cold places like the Wyoming mountains though they are quite lovely if you care to go look up some photos of the plant. Anyway, much of the "vanilla extract" sold in the world today, up to 99% by some estimates, is artificial. There is a reason it is so popular, mostly the price. While real vanilla beans contain at least 250 flavor and scent compounds that seem to almost universally delight the human senses, those compounds also seem to enhance our enjoyment of other flavors in our foods. Artificial vanilla on the other hand, mostly focuses on imitating a single one of those compounds, vanillin. And does not come from a vanilla bean at all, but is synthesized in a factory from wood pulp or wood-tar creosote. Sounds tasty, right?

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Baby Moose Panic

As the snow continues to deepen, more and more wildlife start to use the cleared and shoveled pathways all over the area because it makes it so much easier for them to travel. So more things travel up or down my lane and past my house. So here is some more captures from the game camera yesterday. Pardon the photo quality, game cameras do not have the resolution of my cameras I normally use. But they do capture things like this which is neat! Burley and I were out shoveling snow at a different house at the time, but when we'd got up in the morning, I saw this family was napping in the edge of the woods behind the house. Anyway, here's what happened while we were out. First mama moose strolled by

Friday, January 8, 2021

Ordering Seeds for the Tiny House Garden

The snow drifts are just deepening around here. But spring will arrive eventually. Even here where I probably won't see the ground for 4-5 months yet. Though it's going to show up a lot sooner for almost all of you! Do you have the seeds you need for this year for whatever you are planning to grow? Tiny green things will soon be ready to start popping out of the ground for many of you. Even if you only have a deck, balcony, or window sill, you can

Sunday, January 3, 2021

What Happens When Your Money is Broken?

There are times that enjoying a more simple and decluttered life and being ready for things to go wrong can appear to be in conflict. At least if you think that a simple life means relying on getting everything you need at the last second from someone else. Which seems to be the impression some folks have of tiny house life. Though it is actually far from how I live. I get a lot of questions from folks who are concerned about my safety and security given that I live in a rural area and access to some things would be slower due to greater distances. While I know they are genuinely concerned for me, I think many of these fears come from not being familiar with the things that are actually

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Winter Snowfall

The snow is steadily deepening around here. And Burley and I are enjoying watching every flake fall! We've been having fun snowshoeing through the woods among other things. Now that it is deep enough to not catch the snowshoes on every little bit of unburied brush and twig. For those of you who enjoy watching snowfall without having to shovel it, here's

Friday, December 11, 2020

How Much Produce did the Tiny House Garden Grow?

Now that I have a bit more time to catch up on some things thanks to winter slowing my life down, at least compared to summer, I wanted to check in on how the garden actually produced this year. Does the work it takes to grow fresh food here produce something useful? How much food did I get? This year I did something I've never taken the time to do before and weighed all the various things the garden grew as I harvested them so I would know the total poundage of food produced through the year. What would you guess that total ended up being?

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Looking for a Gift?

Unlike the last one, a really quick post. Just in case you need a gift for someone who is not in need of something actually essential to life 😀, did you know you can buy your own photo prints and canvases of wildlife, landscapes, or even my tiny house? I hate to get all salesy, but then people say "Hey! You should sell some of your photos!" So I guess not everyone knows that I do just that. And did you know that scientists have found that even just looking at nature scenes lowers your stress levels, heart rate, and more? If that sounds interesting, I would love if you come on over and check out some of my work! 


Saturday, November 28, 2020

English Shepherd as a Homestead Dog

It is very hard to imagine my life without Burley in it now. When he joined my home at 11 weeks old, he fit in right from the start. I'd had a very close doggy companion years ago, as well as showing and breeding several Labradors. But after my last one passed, life circumstances related to work and housing did not permit having a dog in my life for years. Finally my situation changed, thanks in no small part to the move to my tiny house, to allow that possibility

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick "Hi" and best wishes to all you and yours today! I hope you have many things to be thankful for as I know I do. This is also the anniversary of when I moved into my tiny house. Thanksgiving day in 2014 was the first night I spent sleeping here. Now headed into my 7th year here, I have some thoughts.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Tiny House Cooking - Split Pea Soup

With the snow coming down out there, it's good weather for a nice hearty soup! Like most soups, you can pretty much toss anything you like in a pot together and it will probably be tasty. But this is a version of split pea soup that I enjoy. And it is a good way to use a bunch of root veggies that I have stored from when I cleaned everything out of the garden before it froze solid. First, what you can see in the above photo is

Friday, November 20, 2020

Beartooth Backpacking

Another flash back to a summer backpacking trip. This one took place near the end of July and was with my good friend Julie. It was extra fun for me because it was my first trip into a whole new mountain range that I've never visited before, the Beartooths. Julie has packed there before with her sons, but we went to some areas that were new to

Monday, November 16, 2020

Winter Arriving with a Bang!

It's only mid November, and while my area, as you probably know, is cold and snowy for much of the year, this one is currently getting off to a nice deep start! While I won't know what the whole winter will bring

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Catching up from the Summer

All summer long I tend to be so busy that I rarely have time to write. But it's dumping snow outside, so I'm going to try to catch up on a bit of what I've been up to through the summer. Here's a look at the second backpacking trip of my

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Early July Tiny House Garden

So far this year the garden has been thriving overall. Which is wonderful since gardening is one of my favorite things to do. As is eating wonderful fresh foods. 😊 While the weather has been pretty cool (here high in the mountains, that means around freezing) for most of the spring and early summer, the frost covers have continued to do their job well. I probably covered the garden 85% of the nights, as well as some days, from planting in early May till

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Spring Backpacking and other Walks in the Woods

While there's still a lot of snow in the mountains above our house, we've been able to do some backpacking and hiking, two of my favorite activities. And one of my one younger brothers came to visit for a bit. Among other things like work projects, long conversations, and enjoying good homemade meals, we went on a two