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  • Edie Barbour
    hi all- I joined the list some time ago, then got busy and haven t had a chance to get back to even lurk! I live in Alaska, in a dry cabin, which means without
    Message 1 of 27 , Mar 8 9:56 PM
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      hi all-
      I joined the list some time ago, then got busy and haven't had a
      chance to get back to even lurk! I live in Alaska, in a dry cabin,
      which means without running water. I do have electricity though, which
      I would sorely miss if I lived farther out of town. Living space is
      12'x24' with an 8'x12' loft, with 12'x24'; and I have a 12'x24'
      attached garage. I mostly joined the list so I could see how other
      people solve storage problems. I don't have any closets, but I do have
      lots of shelf space. I also have a large worktable for my sewing/craft
      projects (it's a solid core door), and I have a lazyboy that I just
      love (or I will once I get it repaired!). Oh, and of course the computer!
      I am also curious about homeowner's insurance-how well are you
      covered? I just discovered that I am not covered for theft because I
      live in non-standard housing. Are there other people in the lower 48
      in the same situation? Or do you not worry about being insured?
      I love my little cabin though, and have no interest in enlarging the
      cabin or adding running water just so I can get theft insurance. It's
      very cozy and I would be too much of a packrat if I had a larger place!
      cheers,
      Edie
    • lyonsaha@aol.com
      In a message dated 3/8/2006 9:56:50 PM Pacific Standard Time, cowgirl53@yahoo.com writes: I just discovered that I am not covered for theft because I live in
      Message 2 of 27 , Mar 8 11:02 PM
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        In a message dated 3/8/2006 9:56:50 PM Pacific Standard Time, cowgirl53@... writes:
        I just discovered that I am not covered for theft because I
        live in non-standard housing. Are there other people in the lower 48
        in the same situation?
        That sounds like a typical insurance attitude. As if nobody would steal from someone who doesn't have running water!
         
        Lois
      • Linda McInnis
        I lost my house insurance because I m doing construction on my house and to get it back - I have to pay 2-3x the original price of insurance and have a house
        Message 3 of 27 , Mar 9 3:43 AM
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          I lost my house insurance because I'm doing
          construction on my house and to get it back - I have
          to pay 2-3x the original price of insurance and have a
          house inspection.

          Unbelieveable.

          Linda McInnis



          --- lyonsaha@... wrote:

          > In a message dated 3/8/2006 9:56:50 PM Pacific
          > Standard Time,
          > cowgirl53@... writes:
          > I just discovered that I am not covered for theft
          > because I
          > live in non-standard housing. Are there other people
          > in the lower 48
          > in the same situation?
          > That sounds like a typical insurance attitude. As if
          > nobody would steal from
          > someone who doesn't have running water!
          >
          > Lois
          >
        • Khalif Williams
          Hi Edie, I live in a 16x24 cabin with my wife, 2 kids and 2 dogs. I spent last year designing it and built it last summer. We have no electricity and no
          Message 4 of 27 , Mar 9 6:22 AM
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            Re: [smallhousesocietyonline] hello and question Hi Edie,

            I live in a 16x24 cabin with my wife, 2 kids and 2 dogs.  I spent last year designing it and built it last summer.  We have no electricity and no running water but elegent solutions for both of these utilities.  

            Ah, storage.   I designed our place to have a small mud room space that is a catch all for some stuff, but there is also a 180 degree spiral stair case in the corner under which is our main storage area, things we don’t need every day.  It works perfectly for us as we really don’t have much that we don’t use everyday.

             I find that the best storage solution is a total commitment to minimal possessions and simplicity.   I still need to build more shelves and what not in our home but that will come with the serious focus on filling those shelves with things of real value to us.   On 3/9/06 12:56 AM, "Edie Barbour" <cowgirl53@...> wrote:

            Insurance wise. . . oy, we have some good insurance but. . . can’t go there today.  In too good of a mood.  

            Khalif Williams


            hi all-
            I joined the list some time ago, then got busy and haven't had a
            chance to get back to even lurk! I live in Alaska, in a dry cabin,
            which means without running water. I do have electricity though, which
            I would sorely miss if I lived farther out of town. Living space is
            12'x24' with an 8'x12' loft, with 12'x24'; and I have a 12'x24'
            attached garage. I mostly joined the list so I could see how other
            people solve storage problems. I don't have any closets, but I do have
            lots of shelf space. I also have a large worktable for my sewing/craft
            projects (it's a solid core door), and I have a lazyboy that I just
            love (or I will once I get it repaired!). Oh, and of course the computer!
            I am also curious about homeowner's insurance-how well are you
            covered? I just discovered that I am not covered for theft because I
            live in non-standard housing. Are there other people in the lower 48
            in the same situation? Or do you not worry about being insured?
            I love my little cabin though, and have no interest in enlarging the
            cabin or adding running water just so I can get theft insurance. It's
            very cozy and I would be too much of a packrat if I had a larger place!
            cheers,
            Edie



             

             
             
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          • shay salomon
            Hello All, I m very happy to be online. I ve been receiving the newsletter for a few years, but somehow technical difficulties seem to have kept me off the
            Message 5 of 27 , Mar 9 8:39 AM
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              Re: [smallhousesocietyonline] LHSP
              Hello All,

              I'm very happy to be online.  I've been receiving the newsletter for a few years, but somehow technical difficulties seem to have kept me off the listserv.  I hope this time the message goes through.

               I live in what I'd say is a pretty-large house (1000 sq ft) with between 1 and 3 other people.  I've worked as a carpenter and construction manger  off and on for a about 15 years and I've gotten so concerned by the effects of excessive housing that some years ago I started lecturing and recording stories about people who have downsized or always chosen to live in much less space than average, either by livinfg in a small house, or by sharing a large space with others..   A few years ago I was joined by photographer Nigel Valdez and together we've  written (almost completed) a book about the small house movement, a kind of a how-to guide, with stories from at least a hundred families and individuals.

              I'm in the stage of finishing touches--the book is supposed to be available in June (Little House on a Small Planet, Lyons Press 2006).  If anyone would like to write me a few words or more about their experiences, especially anything they want to add to the following categories, I would love to hear from you

              -Raising children in a small (or high density) house
              --hosting guests
              -A surprising difficulty about small houses (the insurance question surprised me-- I hadn't thought of that)
              --why we downized
              --how the size of my house reflects or affects my relationship with the world around me
              --how we/I feel about the "Joneses--" i.e. the neighbors, or "Average American"
              --Anything else you think should be voiced about the small house movement

              Thanks very much!

              Shay


              -- 
              
              Shay Salomon
              smallhouse@...
            • terri
              Hi Edie, I also am a newcomer to the group. As for storage, I too would love to know what people do, as we have just a crawlspace and I mean crawlspace, so no
              Message 6 of 27 , Mar 9 11:03 AM
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                Hi Edie, I also am a newcomer to the group. As for storage, I too would love to know what people do, as we have just a crawlspace and I mean crawlspace, so no storage available there.  As for insurance, are there any other companies around you can deal with? I can't believe that they refuse you theft insurance, what idiots.  Contact your state insurance commission, maybe they can help.
                 
                Terri
                 
                 
              • lyonsaha@aol.com
                In a message dated 3/9/2006 6:45:18 AM Eastern Standard Time, lindamcinnis@yahoo.com writes: I lost my house insurance because I m doing construction on my
                Message 7 of 27 , Mar 9 11:35 AM
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                  In a message dated 3/9/2006 6:45:18 AM Eastern Standard Time, lindamcinnis@... writes:
                  I lost my house insurance because I'm doing
                  construction on my house and to get it back - I have
                  to pay 2-3x the original price of insurance and have a
                  house inspection.

                  Unbelieveable.
                  Unfortunately, it's all too believable. Insurance doesn't really protect us, anyway. When they pay a claim it works out to be nothing but a "loan" with interest that has to be paid back through higher premiums. You'd be better off getting a real loan with  better terms to pay for any losses you have.
                   
                  Unfortunately the insurance industry,  like a few others, have Congress in their pocket. Nothing will change. We'll all continue to pay through the nose. Might as well self insure--or get a policy with a very high deductible for really catastrophic losses. The problem, of course, is that you can't get a mortgage without insurance. Catch 22! We're all screwed.
                   
                  Lois
                • Edie Barbour
                  wow, thanks for all the replies! I am not the only one in this boat; apparently cabin dwellers simply cannot get standard homeowners insurance anywhere in
                  Message 8 of 27 , Mar 9 12:32 PM
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                    wow, thanks for all the replies! I am not the only one in this boat;
                    apparently cabin dwellers simply cannot get standard homeowners
                    insurance anywhere in Fairbanks. I am guessing it's probably true no
                    matter where you are, as I called three different companies (including
                    my bank) and they said no insurance company would insure me for theft.
                    It's because the cabin isn't on a foundation (it's on 8x8 timbers),
                    it's too small, and there's no running water. I have no idea what all
                    that has to do with theft-but there ya go! I think Lois's idea (I
                    think it was hers) of being self-insured might be the way to go-I am
                    pretty disgusted with the whole idea at the moment! On the other hand,
                    shortly after I bought the cabin, I had a serious fire that basically
                    gutted the cabin. And I got a very nice remodeling job (cost aobut
                    $14,000) for my first ins. payment of three or four hundred dollars.
                    The cabin's paid for, so I don't have to worry about a mortgage; but
                    then, I didn't ever have a mortgage. It's non-standard housing... so
                    the bank wouldn't even give me one. It was owner-financed; essentially
                    you borrow the money from the owner and just pay them. I paid the guy
                    I bought it from directly, but I think most people go through an
                    escrow account.

                    As far as storage, I looked around the web last night and realized
                    that I am not utilizing my walls nearly as much as I could. I don't
                    like kitchen cabinets above the counters, but I wouldn't mind shelves.
                    Found some really nice metal tubular shelves at IKEA that would allow
                    dishes etc. to dry and they could just stay there, instead of being
                    moved to under-counter storage after being washed & dried. And I am
                    slowly going through stuff-do I really need that??-and taking stuff to
                    friends, the transfer station (there's a recycling section), or
                    selling it. I've lived here 15 years, and it's amazing how much goofy
                    stuff you collect! But then, I'm a packrat...

                    oh, and has anyone heard of a dessicating toilet? wow, what a great
                    idea! essentially a toilet with sawdust or wood ashes used to cover
                    your, uh, deposits; and a seperate toilet for urine. mixing the two is
                    what causes the odor. I guess you can fix up a way to use one toilet
                    but keep the two apart, but I think it's easier to have to two toilets
                    (or buckets; I like my honey bucket, especially when it's below zero &
                    3 a.m.!).

                    well, gotta go; mortgage or not, there are still bills to be paid!
                    Edie
                  • lyonsaha@aol.com
                    In a message dated 3/9/2006 11:40:36 AM Eastern Standard Time, smallhouse@the river.com writes: -Raising children in a small (or high density) house --hosting
                    Message 9 of 27 , Mar 9 4:31 PM
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                      In a message dated 3/9/2006 11:40:36 AM Eastern Standard Time, smallhouse@... writes:
                      -Raising children in a small (or high density) house
                      --hosting guests
                      -A surprising difficulty about small houses (the insurance question surprised me-- I hadn't thought of that)
                      --why we downized
                      --how the size of my house reflects or affects my relationship with the world around me
                      --how we/I feel about the "Joneses--" i.e. the neighbors, or "Average American"
                      --Anything else you think should be voiced about the small house movement
                      I grew up in a small 4 room house, living room (about 10 x 14), kitchen, one basic bathroom, two small bedrooms about 10 x 11), 8' ceilings, in northern New Jersey. Five people lived in this house, 3 adults, 2 children. There was no basement, just a crawl space, no garage, an attic space you couldn't stand up in and which had no floor (you had to walk along rafters). It was standard housing, however, and was in a development of identical houses. My grandmother was a genius at keeping everything neat and tidy, despite the very limited storage space: one 6-foot closet in each bedroom, one 3 ft wide closet in the hallway, a 6-foot shelf in the furnace room.  about 5 feet of wall cabinets and base cabinets in the kitchen, which wasn't big enough to put a table in, a 30-inch stove, a standard refrigerator, no dishwasher (we didn't know anyone who had one).  There was a tiny dinette off the living room. They were frugal and didn't buy more than they could store. We had an old wringer washer that could fit in the front of the furnace room, off the kitchen, and all the laundry was hung outside to dry, in all seasons.  My brother and I and my grandmother slept in one room, my brother and I on bunk beds. I lived there from the age of 3. When I was about 13, they put an extra bedroom on (no extra bathroom) with a fairly large closet, and a screened in porch off the kitchen. My grandmother got a bedroom to herself because she was sick then, so my brother and I had to continue sleeping in the same room for another year or so (somehow we both survived this experience and grew up normal).
                       
                      The house was wood-frame with asbestos shingles, plasterboard walls. It wasn't even insulated, though the parents got  fiberglass insulation blown into the walls  around the time they added the bedroom and porch. It was heated with a coal forced- air furnace, though my father converted it to gas later. There also wasn't an shower in the house, just a tub, but my father put in a shower around the time of the room addition. It was a big hit. We'd never had a shower before and had never used one, either. My father did all the maintenance and changed a few things here and there.
                       
                      It was a simpler time, of course. We didn't have much money. Most of the people in the development had blue collar jobs, with a few exceptions. Nobody was particularly well off. We had a small front yard and a larger back yard,  where my father had a Victory Garden. There were quite a few kids my brother's and my age in the neighborhood and we played outside on summer evenings.  We lived on a dead-end street, so we could play games in the street. Neighbors helped each other and we used to have neighborhood block parties in the summer. We went to each other's houses to watch television (not everyone had one then). Most women stayed home though a few worked (my mother was one). Some had no car, most had one to a family. I don't remember any that had more than one, though that changed by the time I was in my teens.  We had one. It was parked on the street.  The area was suburban, not rural, so there were stores and a movie theater, library, etc. within driving distance. There were no pools and we used to put on our bathing suits and run through garden sprinkler "showers" in the back yard.
                       
                      We had guests staying over, almost always relatives. We had a couple of army cots, the kind that are made of canvas and wood that could be rolled up for storage. We put these in the living room for guests. Once when we had extra guests, my mother took the cushions off the couch and one person slept on the cushions and another slept on the couch without cushions. Nobody complained.
                       
                      I've mostly lived in relatively small houses, though not as small as the one I grew up in. I'm fascinated by small houses and like to look at pictures of them. They are on a more human scale--they're more warm and friendly. People who can make nice homes in small houses are in the genius category, I think.
                       
                      The girl who lived across the street when I was growing up still lives on the same street, in a different, though similar, house than she grew up in, slightly enlarged. When I visit all the houses seem much smaller than I remember and closer to the street. But it still feels like home.
                       
                      I sometimes dream of recreating the house I grew up in, when it had only 4 rooms. I'd feel as if I were back home.
                       
                      I guess this has turned into a mini-biography, but I hope it gives you an idea of a whole family living in a small house. Everybody has more "stuff" today.  I suppose some of your houses are even smaller.
                       
                      Lois
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                    • norm hansn
                      dessicating toilet? If you look for clivus multrum on GOOGLE, you will find all the info for this kind of toilet. It originated in Sweden or Norway (thus the
                      Message 10 of 27 , Mar 9 5:05 PM
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                        dessicating toilet?

                        If you look for "clivus multrum" on GOOGLE, you will find all the info
                        for this kind of toilet. It originated in Sweden or Norway (thus the
                        name!!) and a friend of mine has one in Northern California - works
                        great! It has 2 chambers - and you empty one chamber each year. Free
                        compost for your orchard!


                        dessicating toilet? wow, what a great idea! essentially a toilet with
                        sawdust or wood ashes used to cover your, uh, deposits;


                        -================================================================

                        --- Edie Barbour <cowgirl53@...> wrote:

                        > wow, thanks for all the replies! I am not the only one in this boat;
                        > apparently cabin dwellers simply cannot get standard homeowners
                        > insurance anywhere in Fairbanks. I am guessing it's probably true no
                        > matter where you are, as I called three different companies
                        > (including
                        > my bank) and they said no insurance company would insure me for
                        > theft.
                        > It's because the cabin isn't on a foundation (it's on 8x8 timbers),
                        > it's too small, and there's no running water. I have no idea what
                        > all
                        > that has to do with theft-but there ya go! I think Lois's idea (I
                        > think it was hers) of being self-insured might be the way to go-I am
                        > pretty disgusted with the whole idea at the moment! On the other
                        > hand,
                        > shortly after I bought the cabin, I had a serious fire that basically
                        > gutted the cabin. And I got a very nice remodeling job (cost aobut
                        > $14,000) for my first ins. payment of three or four hundred dollars.
                        > The cabin's paid for, so I don't have to worry about a mortgage; but
                        > then, I didn't ever have a mortgage. It's non-standard housing... so
                        > the bank wouldn't even give me one. It was owner-financed;
                        > essentially
                        > you borrow the money from the owner and just pay them. I paid the guy
                        > I bought it from directly, but I think most people go through an
                        > escrow account.
                        >
                        > As far as storage, I looked around the web last night and realized
                        > that I am not utilizing my walls nearly as much as I could. I don't
                        > like kitchen cabinets above the counters, but I wouldn't mind
                        > shelves.
                        > Found some really nice metal tubular shelves at IKEA that would allow
                        > dishes etc. to dry and they could just stay there, instead of being
                        > moved to under-counter storage after being washed & dried. And I am
                        > slowly going through stuff-do I really need that??-and taking stuff
                        > to
                        > friends, the transfer station (there's a recycling section), or
                        > selling it. I've lived here 15 years, and it's amazing how much goofy
                        > stuff you collect! But then, I'm a packrat...
                        >
                        > oh, and has anyone heard of a dessicating toilet? wow, what a great
                        > idea! essentially a toilet with sawdust or wood ashes used to cover
                        > your, uh, deposits; and a seperate toilet for urine. mixing the two
                        > is
                        > what causes the odor. I guess you can fix up a way to use one toilet
                        > but keep the two apart, but I think it's easier to have to two
                        > toilets
                        > (or buckets; I like my honey bucket, especially when it's below zero
                        > &
                        > 3 a.m.!).
                        >
                        > well, gotta go; mortgage or not, there are still bills to be paid!
                        > Edie
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >


                        __________________________________________________
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                      • Jean Bellinger
                        Lehman s (the Amish store ) has composting toilets at Lehmans.com:
                        Message 11 of 27 , Mar 9 6:54 PM
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                          Lehman's (the "Amish store") has composting toilets at
                          Lehmans.com:

                          http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?itemID=815&itemType=CATEGORY&iMainCat=810&iSubCat=815&i1Cat=676&i2Cat=8


                          Jean Bellinger
                          --- norm hansn <normideas@...> wrote:

                          > dessicating toilet?
                          >
                          > If you look for "clivus multrum" on GOOGLE, you will
                          > find all the info
                          > for this kind of toilet. It originated in Sweden or
                          > Norway (thus the
                          > name!!) and a friend of mine has one in Northern
                          > California - works
                          > great! It has 2 chambers - and you empty one chamber
                          > each year. Free
                          > compost for your orchard!
                          >
                          >
                          > dessicating toilet? wow, what a great idea!
                          > essentially a toilet with
                          > sawdust or wood ashes used to cover your, uh,
                          > deposits;
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          -================================================================
                          >
                          > --- Edie Barbour <cowgirl53@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > wow, thanks for all the replies! I am not the only
                          > one in this boat;
                          > > apparently cabin dwellers simply cannot get
                          > standard homeowners
                          > > insurance anywhere in Fairbanks. I am guessing
                          > it's probably true no
                          > > matter where you are, as I called three different
                          > companies
                          > > (including
                          > > my bank) and they said no insurance company would
                          > insure me for
                          > > theft.
                          > > It's because the cabin isn't on a foundation (it's
                          > on 8x8 timbers),
                          > > it's too small, and there's no running water. I
                          > have no idea what
                          > > all
                          > > that has to do with theft-but there ya go! I think
                          > Lois's idea (I
                          > > think it was hers) of being self-insured might be
                          > the way to go-I am
                          > > pretty disgusted with the whole idea at the
                          > moment! On the other
                          > > hand,
                          > > shortly after I bought the cabin, I had a serious
                          > fire that basically
                          > > gutted the cabin. And I got a very nice remodeling
                          > job (cost aobut
                          > > $14,000) for my first ins. payment of three or
                          > four hundred dollars.
                          > > The cabin's paid for, so I don't have to worry
                          > about a mortgage; but
                          > > then, I didn't ever have a mortgage. It's
                          > non-standard housing... so
                          > > the bank wouldn't even give me one. It was
                          > owner-financed;
                          > > essentially
                          > > you borrow the money from the owner and just pay
                          > them. I paid the guy
                          > > I bought it from directly, but I think most people
                          > go through an
                          > > escrow account.
                          > >
                          > > As far as storage, I looked around the web last
                          > night and realized
                          > > that I am not utilizing my walls nearly as much as
                          > I could. I don't
                          > > like kitchen cabinets above the counters, but I
                          > wouldn't mind
                          > > shelves.
                          > > Found some really nice metal tubular shelves at
                          > IKEA that would allow
                          > > dishes etc. to dry and they could just stay there,
                          > instead of being
                          > > moved to under-counter storage after being washed
                          > & dried. And I am
                          > > slowly going through stuff-do I really need
                          > that??-and taking stuff
                          > > to
                          > > friends, the transfer station (there's a recycling
                          > section), or
                          > > selling it. I've lived here 15 years, and it's
                          > amazing how much goofy
                          > > stuff you collect! But then, I'm a packrat...
                          > >
                          > > oh, and has anyone heard of a dessicating toilet?
                          > wow, what a great
                          > > idea! essentially a toilet with sawdust or wood
                          > ashes used to cover
                          > > your, uh, deposits; and a seperate toilet for
                          > urine. mixing the two
                          > > is
                          > > what causes the odor. I guess you can fix up a way
                          > to use one toilet
                          > > but keep the two apart, but I think it's easier to
                          > have to two
                          > > toilets
                          > > (or buckets; I like my honey bucket, especially
                          > when it's below zero
                          > > &
                          > > 3 a.m.!).
                          > >
                          > > well, gotta go; mortgage or not, there are still
                          > bills to be paid!
                          > > Edie
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                          >
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                          > Do You Yahoo!?
                          > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                          > protection around
                          > http://mail.yahoo.com
                          >


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                          http://mail.yahoo.com
                        • Gregory Johnson
                          For some reason that link didn t work. But this one seems to: http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp? itemID=810&i1Cat=676&i2Cat=810&itemType=CATEGORY
                          Message 12 of 27 , Mar 9 7:06 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            For some reason that link didn't work. But this one seems to:
                            http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?
                            itemID=810&i1Cat=676&i2Cat=810&itemType=CATEGORY


                            On Mar 9, 2006, at 8:54 PM, Jean Bellinger wrote:

                            > Lehman's (the "Amish store") has composting toilets at
                            > Lehmans.com:
                            >
                            > http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?
                            > itemID=815&itemType=CATEGORY&iMainCat=810&iSubCat=815&i1Cat=676&i2Cat=
                            > 8
                            >
                            >
                            > Jean Bellinger
                            > --- norm hansn <normideas@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >> dessicating toilet?
                            >>
                            >> If you look for "clivus multrum" on GOOGLE, you will
                            >> find all the info
                            >> for this kind of toilet. It originated in Sweden or
                            >> Norway (thus the
                            >> name!!) and a friend of mine has one in Northern
                            >> California - works
                            >> great! It has 2 chambers - and you empty one chamber
                            >> each year. Free
                            >> compost for your orchard!
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> dessicating toilet? wow, what a great idea!
                            >> essentially a toilet with
                            >> sawdust or wood ashes used to cover your, uh,
                            >> deposits;
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            > -================================================================
                            >>
                            >> --- Edie Barbour <cowgirl53@...> wrote:
                            >>
                            >>> wow, thanks for all the replies! I am not the only
                            >> one in this boat;
                            >>> apparently cabin dwellers simply cannot get
                            >> standard homeowners
                            >>> insurance anywhere in Fairbanks. I am guessing
                            >> it's probably true no
                            >>> matter where you are, as I called three different
                            >> companies
                            >>> (including
                            >>> my bank) and they said no insurance company would
                            >> insure me for
                            >>> theft.
                            >>> It's because the cabin isn't on a foundation (it's
                            >> on 8x8 timbers),
                            >>> it's too small, and there's no running water. I
                            >> have no idea what
                            >>> all
                            >>> that has to do with theft-but there ya go! I think
                            >> Lois's idea (I
                            >>> think it was hers) of being self-insured might be
                            >> the way to go-I am
                            >>> pretty disgusted with the whole idea at the
                            >> moment! On the other
                            >>> hand,
                            >>> shortly after I bought the cabin, I had a serious
                            >> fire that basically
                            >>> gutted the cabin. And I got a very nice remodeling
                            >> job (cost aobut
                            >>> $14,000) for my first ins. payment of three or
                            >> four hundred dollars.
                            >>> The cabin's paid for, so I don't have to worry
                            >> about a mortgage; but
                            >>> then, I didn't ever have a mortgage. It's
                            >> non-standard housing... so
                            >>> the bank wouldn't even give me one. It was
                            >> owner-financed;
                            >>> essentially
                            >>> you borrow the money from the owner and just pay
                            >> them. I paid the guy
                            >>> I bought it from directly, but I think most people
                            >> go through an
                            >>> escrow account.
                            >>>
                            >>> As far as storage, I looked around the web last
                            >> night and realized
                            >>> that I am not utilizing my walls nearly as much as
                            >> I could. I don't
                            >>> like kitchen cabinets above the counters, but I
                            >> wouldn't mind
                            >>> shelves.
                            >>> Found some really nice metal tubular shelves at
                            >> IKEA that would allow
                            >>> dishes etc. to dry and they could just stay there,
                            >> instead of being
                            >>> moved to under-counter storage after being washed
                            >> & dried. And I am
                            >>> slowly going through stuff-do I really need
                            >> that??-and taking stuff
                            >>> to
                            >>> friends, the transfer station (there's a recycling
                            >> section), or
                            >>> selling it. I've lived here 15 years, and it's
                            >> amazing how much goofy
                            >>> stuff you collect! But then, I'm a packrat...
                            >>>
                            >>> oh, and has anyone heard of a dessicating toilet?
                            >> wow, what a great
                            >>> idea! essentially a toilet with sawdust or wood
                            >> ashes used to cover
                            >>> your, uh, deposits; and a seperate toilet for
                            >> urine. mixing the two
                            >>> is
                            >>> what causes the odor. I guess you can fix up a way
                            >> to use one toilet
                            >>> but keep the two apart, but I think it's easier to
                            >> have to two
                            >>> toilets
                            >>> (or buckets; I like my honey bucket, especially
                            >> when it's below zero
                            >>> &
                            >>> 3 a.m.!).
                            >>>
                            >>> well, gotta go; mortgage or not, there are still
                            >> bills to be paid!
                            >>> Edie
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> __________________________________________________
                            >> Do You Yahoo!?
                            >> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                            >> protection around
                            >> http://mail.yahoo.com
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            > __________________________________________________
                            > Do You Yahoo!?
                            > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                            > http://mail.yahoo.com
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Edie Barbour
                            very nice toilets! but I think I ll stick with my elcheapo $16 model. I can change out a lot of sawdust for $1100! thanks for the info; I found some neat stuff
                            Message 13 of 27 , Mar 9 10:36 PM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              very nice toilets! but I think I'll stick with my elcheapo $16 model.
                              I can change out a lot of sawdust for $1100! thanks for the info; I
                              found some neat stuff in the Lehman's catalog.
                              Edie

                              --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Gregory Johnson
                              <GregoryJohnson@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > For some reason that link didn't work. But this one seems to:
                              > http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?
                              > itemID=810&i1Cat=676&i2Cat=810&itemType=CATEGORY
                              >
                              >
                              > On Mar 9, 2006, at 8:54 PM, Jean Bellinger wrote:
                              >
                              > > Lehman's (the "Amish store") has composting toilets at
                              > > Lehmans.com:
                              > >
                              > > http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?
                              > >
                              itemID=815&itemType=CATEGORY&iMainCat=810&iSubCat=815&i1Cat=676&i2Cat=
                              > > 8
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Jean Bellinger
                              > > --- norm hansn <normideas@...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > >> dessicating toilet?
                              > >>
                              > >> If you look for "clivus multrum" on GOOGLE, you will
                              > >> find all the info
                              > >> for this kind of toilet. It originated in Sweden or
                              > >> Norway (thus the
                              > >> name!!) and a friend of mine has one in Northern
                              > >> California - works
                              > >> great! It has 2 chambers - and you empty one chamber
                              > >> each year. Free
                              > >> compost for your orchard!
                              > >>
                              > >>
                              > >> dessicating toilet? wow, what a great idea!
                              > >> essentially a toilet with
                              > >> sawdust or wood ashes used to cover your, uh,
                              > >> deposits;
                              > >>
                              > >>
                              > >>
                              > > -================================================================
                              > >>
                              > >> --- Edie Barbour <cowgirl53@...> wrote:
                              > >>
                              > >>> wow, thanks for all the replies! I am not the only
                              > >> one in this boat;
                              > >>> apparently cabin dwellers simply cannot get
                              > >> standard homeowners
                              > >>> insurance anywhere in Fairbanks. I am guessing
                              > >> it's probably true no
                              > >>> matter where you are, as I called three different
                              > >> companies
                              > >>> (including
                              > >>> my bank) and they said no insurance company would
                              > >> insure me for
                              > >>> theft.
                              > >>> It's because the cabin isn't on a foundation (it's
                              > >> on 8x8 timbers),
                              > >>> it's too small, and there's no running water. I
                              > >> have no idea what
                              > >>> all
                              > >>> that has to do with theft-but there ya go! I think
                              > >> Lois's idea (I
                              > >>> think it was hers) of being self-insured might be
                              > >> the way to go-I am
                              > >>> pretty disgusted with the whole idea at the
                              > >> moment! On the other
                              > >>> hand,
                              > >>> shortly after I bought the cabin, I had a serious
                              > >> fire that basically
                              > >>> gutted the cabin. And I got a very nice remodeling
                              > >> job (cost aobut
                              > >>> $14,000) for my first ins. payment of three or
                              > >> four hundred dollars.
                              > >>> The cabin's paid for, so I don't have to worry
                              > >> about a mortgage; but
                              > >>> then, I didn't ever have a mortgage. It's
                              > >> non-standard housing... so
                              > >>> the bank wouldn't even give me one. It was
                              > >> owner-financed;
                              > >>> essentially
                              > >>> you borrow the money from the owner and just pay
                              > >> them. I paid the guy
                              > >>> I bought it from directly, but I think most people
                              > >> go through an
                              > >>> escrow account.
                              > >>>
                              > >>> As far as storage, I looked around the web last
                              > >> night and realized
                              > >>> that I am not utilizing my walls nearly as much as
                              > >> I could. I don't
                              > >>> like kitchen cabinets above the counters, but I
                              > >> wouldn't mind
                              > >>> shelves.
                              > >>> Found some really nice metal tubular shelves at
                              > >> IKEA that would allow
                              > >>> dishes etc. to dry and they could just stay there,
                              > >> instead of being
                              > >>> moved to under-counter storage after being washed
                              > >> & dried. And I am
                              > >>> slowly going through stuff-do I really need
                              > >> that??-and taking stuff
                              > >>> to
                              > >>> friends, the transfer station (there's a recycling
                              > >> section), or
                              > >>> selling it. I've lived here 15 years, and it's
                              > >> amazing how much goofy
                              > >>> stuff you collect! But then, I'm a packrat...
                              > >>>
                              > >>> oh, and has anyone heard of a dessicating toilet?
                              > >> wow, what a great
                              > >>> idea! essentially a toilet with sawdust or wood
                              > >> ashes used to cover
                              > >>> your, uh, deposits; and a seperate toilet for
                              > >> urine. mixing the two
                              > >>> is
                              > >>> what causes the odor. I guess you can fix up a way
                              > >> to use one toilet
                              > >>> but keep the two apart, but I think it's easier to
                              > >> have to two
                              > >>> toilets
                              > >>> (or buckets; I like my honey bucket, especially
                              > >> when it's below zero
                              > >>> &
                              > >>> 3 a.m.!).
                              > >>>
                              > >>> well, gotta go; mortgage or not, there are still
                              > >> bills to be paid!
                              > >>> Edie
                              > >>>
                              > >>>
                              > >>>
                              > >>>
                              > >>
                              > >>
                              > >> __________________________________________________
                              > >> Do You Yahoo!?
                              > >> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                              > >> protection around
                              > >> http://mail.yahoo.com
                              > >>
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > __________________________________________________
                              > > Do You Yahoo!?
                              > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                              > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • Linda McInnis
                              Hi, All: I live in a small house that used to be a camp but because of urban sprawl is in the middle of yuppie suburban Boston area. I also have a big
                              Message 14 of 27 , Mar 10 4:32 AM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Hi, All:

                                I live in a small house that used to be a camp but
                                because of urban sprawl is in the middle of yuppie
                                suburban Boston area. I also have a big farmhouse in
                                Vermont where we will probably retire in a few years.

                                Do any of you live in a small house in suburbia?

                                I find that when I want to do alternative changes to
                                my house - the local boards have a bird and won't give
                                us permits (like for a composting toilet, grey water
                                system, etc.)

                                Anyone find ways around this problem?

                                Linda in the house on the hill
                              • KEVIN COOKE
                                Linda, I actually think that greywater systems are inappropriate for suburban settings. The area available for leaching of greywater on the surface is not
                                Message 15 of 27 , Mar 10 6:44 AM
                                • 0 Attachment

                                  Linda,

                                   

                                  I actually think that greywater systems are inappropriate for suburban settings.  The area available for leaching of greywater on the surface is not great enough for appropriate digestion of even the minimal contaminants in greywater.  In a rural setting, re-cycling of greywater for toilet flushing as a water conservation measure works well, and it is easier to keep appropriate spacing from homes and activity areas for greywater digestion. 

                                              The board’s reasoning is probably that if they allow the exception for you, everyone who applies will have a precedent for approval.  There was a recent (past two or three years) case in the hilltowns here of a homeowner who built the most beautiful, albeit noncompliant, water and sanitation system for his small home.  The town was miffed because he didn’t even apply for the appropriate permits.  The systems do work in the appropriate settings, but to change local ordinances, you have to have a very friendly relationship with your local officials.

                                              Anyone interested on greywater systems should get Art Ludwig’s books on the topic.  “Create an Oasis with Greywater”, “Branched Drain Greywater Systems”, and “Builders Greywater Guide”, all available at Oasis Design (www.oasisdesign.net).  

                                              BTW, when I lived on a mountain in Putney, VT, there were no building codes, and I refinished a summer cottage so it had electricity, water, and insulation.  Year-round living was only limited by icy mountain roads and mud season.  It was beautiful.  Spring-fed water system, small mound septic, grid-tied solar, and wood heat.  Total size was 440 square feet first floor, 200 square foot loft.

                                   

                                   

                                  Kevin M. Cooke

                                  Cooke Construction

                                  Amherst, MA  01002

                                  (413) 253-5496

                                  CSL #088035

                                   

                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com [mailto:smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Linda McInnis
                                  Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 7:32 AM
                                  To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [smallhousesocietyonline] Any of you living in a small house in suburbia?

                                   


                                  Hi, All:

                                  I live in a small house that used to be a camp but
                                  because of urban sprawl is in the middle of yuppie
                                  suburban Boston area.  I also have a big farmhouse in
                                  Vermont where we will probably retire in a few years.

                                  Do any of you live in a small house in suburbia?

                                  I find that when I want to do alternative changes to
                                  my house - the local boards have a bird and won't give
                                  us permits (like for a composting toilet, grey water
                                  system, etc.)

                                  Anyone find ways around this problem?

                                  Linda in the house on the hill





                                • Khalif Williams
                                  I concur. We¹re lucky to live in a rural community with a very good attitude about people¹s . . . uhm. . . ³ business². Our sawdust toilet, made from a
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Mar 10 6:55 AM
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Re: [smallhousesocietyonline] Re: hello and question I concur.  We’re lucky to live in a rural community with a very good attitude about people’s . . . uhm. . . “ business”.  Our sawdust toilet, made from a $2.50 5-gallon bucket and the 1x6 boards I used to layout my foundation has been flawless, odor- free, and totally eco-friendly.   Cost me about $20 I imagine.  Oh and a can of bright red paint (why not celebrate your toilet?).  Make that $25.

                                    The thought of being in a place where humanure was not permitted and needing to spend that kind of money makes me tense.

                                    Admittedly, taking out your own buckets regularly isn’t for everyone (it can be, but choice reigns in America).   But I think it fits in with the tiny house ethic very well in my opinion.  

                                    Khalif



                                    On 3/10/06 1:36 AM, "Edie Barbour" <cowgirl53@...> wrote:

                                    very nice toilets! but I think I'll stick with my elcheapo $16 model.
                                    I can change out a lot of sawdust for $1100! thanks for the info; I
                                    found some neat stuff in the Lehman's catalog.
                                    Edie

                                    --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Gregory Johnson
                                    <GregoryJohnson@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > For some reason that link didn't work.  But this one seems to:
                                    > http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?
                                    > itemID=810&i1Cat=676&i2Cat=810&itemType=CATEGORY
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > On Mar 9, 2006, at 8:54 PM, Jean Bellinger wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > Lehman's (the "Amish store") has composting toilets at
                                    > > Lehmans.com:
                                    > >
                                    > > http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?
                                    > >
                                    itemID=815&itemType=CATEGORY&iMainCat=810&iSubCat=815&i1Cat=676&i2Cat=
                                    > > 8
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Jean Bellinger
                                    > > --- norm hansn <normideas@...> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > >> dessicating toilet?
                                    > >>
                                    > >> If you look for "clivus multrum" on GOOGLE, you will
                                    > >> find all the info
                                    > >> for this kind of toilet. It originated in Sweden or
                                    > >> Norway (thus the
                                    > >> name!!) and a friend of mine has one in Northern
                                    > >> California - works
                                    > >> great! It has 2 chambers - and you empty one chamber
                                    > >> each year. Free
                                    > >> compost for your orchard!
                                    > >>
                                    > >>
                                    > >> dessicating toilet? wow, what a great idea!
                                    > >> essentially a toilet with
                                    > >> sawdust or wood ashes used to cover your, uh,
                                    > >> deposits;
                                    > >>
                                    > >>
                                    > >>
                                    > > -================================================================
                                    > >>
                                    > >> --- Edie Barbour <cowgirl53@...> wrote:
                                    > >>
                                    > >>> wow, thanks for all the replies! I am not the only
                                    > >> one in this boat;
                                    > >>> apparently cabin dwellers simply cannot get
                                    > >> standard homeowners
                                    > >>> insurance anywhere in Fairbanks. I am guessing
                                    > >> it's probably true no
                                    > >>> matter where you are, as I called three different
                                    > >> companies
                                    > >>> (including
                                    > >>> my bank) and they said no insurance company would
                                    > >> insure me for
                                    > >>> theft.
                                    > >>> It's because the cabin isn't on a foundation (it's
                                    > >> on 8x8 timbers),
                                    > >>> it's too small, and  there's no running water. I
                                    > >> have no idea what
                                    > >>> all
                                    > >>> that has to do with theft-but there ya go! I think
                                    > >> Lois's idea (I
                                    > >>> think it was hers) of being self-insured might be
                                    > >> the way to go-I am
                                    > >>> pretty disgusted with the whole idea at the
                                    > >> moment! On the other
                                    > >>> hand,
                                    > >>> shortly after I bought the cabin, I had a serious
                                    > >> fire that basically
                                    > >>> gutted the cabin. And I got a very nice remodeling
                                    > >> job (cost aobut
                                    > >>> $14,000) for my first ins. payment of three or
                                    > >> four hundred dollars.
                                    > >>> The cabin's paid for, so I don't have to worry
                                    > >> about a mortgage; but
                                    > >>> then, I didn't ever have a mortgage. It's
                                    > >> non-standard housing... so
                                    > >>> the bank wouldn't even give me one. It was
                                    > >> owner-financed;
                                    > >>> essentially
                                    > >>> you borrow the money from the owner and just pay
                                    > >> them. I paid the guy
                                    > >>> I bought it from directly, but I think most people
                                    > >> go through an
                                    > >>> escrow account.
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>> As far as storage, I looked around the web last
                                    > >> night and realized
                                    > >>> that I am not utilizing my walls nearly as much as
                                    > >> I could. I don't
                                    > >>> like kitchen cabinets above the counters, but I
                                    > >> wouldn't mind
                                    > >>> shelves.
                                    > >>> Found some really nice metal tubular shelves at
                                    > >> IKEA that would allow
                                    > >>> dishes etc. to dry and they could just stay there,
                                    > >> instead of being
                                    > >>> moved to under-counter storage after being washed
                                    > >> & dried. And I am
                                    > >>> slowly going through stuff-do I really need
                                    > >> that??-and taking stuff
                                    > >>> to
                                    > >>> friends, the transfer station (there's a recycling
                                    > >> section), or
                                    > >>> selling it. I've lived here 15 years, and it's
                                    > >> amazing how much goofy
                                    > >>> stuff you collect! But then, I'm a packrat...
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>> oh, and has anyone heard of a dessicating toilet?
                                    > >> wow, what a great
                                    > >>> idea! essentially a toilet with sawdust or wood
                                    > >> ashes used to cover
                                    > >>> your, uh, deposits; and a seperate toilet for
                                    > >> urine. mixing the two
                                    > >>> is
                                    > >>> what causes the odor. I guess you can fix up a way
                                    > >> to use one toilet
                                    > >>> but keep the two apart, but I think it's easier to
                                    > >> have to two
                                    > >>> toilets
                                    > >>> (or buckets; I like my honey bucket, especially
                                    > >> when it's below zero
                                    > >>> &
                                    > >>> 3 a.m.!).
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>> well, gotta go; mortgage or not, there are still
                                    > >> bills to be paid!
                                    > >>> Edie
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>>
                                    > >>
                                    > >>
                                    > >> __________________________________________________
                                    > >> Do You Yahoo!?
                                    > >> Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                                    > >> protection around
                                    > >> http://mail.yahoo.com
                                    > >>
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > __________________________________________________
                                    > > Do You Yahoo!?
                                    > > Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                                    > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    >





                                     
                                     

                                    YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS


                                     



                                  • norm hansn
                                    My beef with blind zoning restrictions against good ideas is that they operate on the principle of by-the-book absolute prohibition (or cost-ineffective
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Mar 10 10:23 AM
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      My beef with blind zoning restrictions against good ideas is that they
                                      operate on the principle of by-the-book absolute prohibition (or
                                      cost-ineffective "engineered systems") instead of permissively
                                      incorporating the ideas and principles of “Create an Oasis with
                                      Greywater”, “Branched Drain Greywater Systems”, and “Builders Greywater
                                      Guide” into their decisions.

                                      -===================================================================

                                      --- KEVIN COOKE <kcooke2@...> wrote:

                                      > Linda,
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > I actually think that greywater systems are inappropriate for
                                      > suburban
                                      > settings. The area available for leaching of greywater on the
                                      > surface is
                                      > not great enough for appropriate digestion of even the minimal
                                      > contaminants
                                      > in greywater. In a rural setting, re-cycling of greywater for toilet
                                      > flushing as a water conservation measure works well, and it is easier
                                      > to
                                      > keep appropriate spacing from homes and activity areas for greywater
                                      > digestion.
                                      >
                                      > The board's reasoning is probably that if they allow the
                                      > exception for you, everyone who applies will have a precedent for
                                      > approval.
                                      > There was a recent (past two or three years) case in the hilltowns
                                      > here of a
                                      > homeowner who built the most beautiful, albeit noncompliant, water
                                      > and
                                      > sanitation system for his small home. The town was miffed because he
                                      > didn't
                                      > even apply for the appropriate permits. The systems do work in the
                                      > appropriate settings, but to change local ordinances, you have to
                                      > have a
                                      > very friendly relationship with your local officials.
                                      >
                                      > Anyone interested on greywater systems should get Art
                                      > Ludwig's
                                      > books on the topic. "Create an Oasis with Greywater", "Branched
                                      > Drain
                                      > Greywater Systems", and "Builders Greywater Guide", all available at
                                      > Oasis
                                      > Design (www.oasisdesign.net <http://www.oasisdesign.net/> ).
                                      >
                                      > BTW, when I lived on a mountain in Putney, VT, there were
                                      > no
                                      > building codes, and I refinished a summer cottage so it had
                                      > electricity,
                                      > water, and insulation. Year-round living was only limited by icy
                                      > mountain
                                      > roads and mud season. It was beautiful. Spring-fed water system,
                                      > small
                                      > mound septic, grid-tied solar, and wood heat. Total size was 440
                                      > square
                                      > feet first floor, 200 square foot loft.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Kevin M. Cooke
                                      >
                                      > Cooke Construction
                                      >
                                      > Amherst, MA 01002
                                      >
                                      > (413) 253-5496
                                      >
                                      > CSL #088035
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > -----Original Message-----
                                      > From: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                                      > [mailto:smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Linda
                                      > McInnis
                                      > Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 7:32 AM
                                      > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: [smallhousesocietyonline] Any of you living in a small house
                                      > in
                                      > suburbia?
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Hi, All:
                                      >
                                      > I live in a small house that used to be a camp but
                                      > because of urban sprawl is in the middle of yuppie
                                      > suburban Boston area. I also have a big farmhouse in
                                      > Vermont where we will probably retire in a few years.
                                      >
                                      > Do any of you live in a small house in suburbia?
                                      >
                                      > I find that when I want to do alternative changes to
                                      > my house - the local boards have a bird and won't give
                                      > us permits (like for a composting toilet, grey water
                                      > system, etc.)
                                      >
                                      > Anyone find ways around this problem?
                                      >
                                      > Linda in the house on the hill
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > SPONSORED LINKS
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Root
                                      >
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                                      >
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                                      >
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                                      > vA> cause analysis
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                                      >
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                                      >
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                                      > > housing
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                                      > > housing
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                                      >
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                                      >
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                                      > loss cause
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                                      >
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                                      >
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                                      > J9DkdK2X6bA> cause analysis training
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                                      >
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                                      >
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                                    • norm hansn
                                      So some greywater systems might be fine on large lot sizes with an orchard or a woodlot, and others progressively-more-limited based on lot size and soil
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Mar 10 10:27 AM
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        So some greywater systems might be fine on large lot sizes with an
                                        orchard or a woodlot, and others progressively-more-limited based on
                                        lot size and soil characteristics. Instead, we face ever-more-costly
                                        (in energy and money, which are interchangeable!) government-mandated
                                        unsustainable centralized systems.
                                        -===================================================================
                                        My beef with blind zoning restrictions against good ideas is that they
                                        operate on the principle of by-the-book absolute prohibition (or
                                        cost-ineffective "engineered systems") instead of permissively
                                        incorporating the ideas and principles of “Create an Oasis with
                                        Greywater”, “Branched Drain Greywater Systems”, and “Builders Greywater
                                        Guide” into their decisions.

                                        -===================================================================

                                        --- KEVIN COOKE <kcooke2@...> wrote:

                                        > Linda,
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > I actually think that greywater systems are inappropriate for
                                        > suburban
                                        > settings. The area available for leaching of greywater on the
                                        > surface is
                                        > not great enough for appropriate digestion of even the minimal
                                        > contaminants
                                        > in greywater. In a rural setting, re-cycling of greywater for toilet
                                        > flushing as a water conservation measure works well, and it is easier
                                        > to
                                        > keep appropriate spacing from homes and activity areas for greywater
                                        > digestion.
                                        >
                                        > The board's reasoning is probably that if they allow the
                                        > exception for you, everyone who applies will have a precedent for
                                        > approval.
                                        > There was a recent (past two or three years) case in the hilltowns
                                        > here of a
                                        > homeowner who built the most beautiful, albeit noncompliant, water
                                        > and
                                        > sanitation system for his small home. The town was miffed because he
                                        > didn't
                                        > even apply for the appropriate permits. The systems do work in the
                                        > appropriate settings, but to change local ordinances, you have to
                                        > have a
                                        > very friendly relationship with your local officials.
                                        >
                                        > Anyone interested on greywater systems should get Art
                                        > Ludwig's
                                        > books on the topic. "Create an Oasis with Greywater", "Branched
                                        > Drain
                                        > Greywater Systems", and "Builders Greywater Guide", all available at
                                        > Oasis
                                        > Design (www.oasisdesign.net <http://www.oasisdesign.net/> ).
                                        >
                                        > BTW, when I lived on a mountain in Putney, VT, there were
                                        > no
                                        > building codes, and I refinished a summer cottage so it had
                                        > electricity,
                                        > water, and insulation. Year-round living was only limited by icy
                                        > mountain
                                        > roads and mud season. It was beautiful. Spring-fed water system,
                                        > small
                                        > mound septic, grid-tied solar, and wood heat. Total size was 440
                                        > square
                                        > feet first floor, 200 square foot loft.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Kevin M. Cooke
                                        >
                                        > Cooke Construction
                                        >
                                        > Amherst, MA 01002
                                        >
                                        > (413) 253-5496
                                        >
                                        > CSL #088035
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                        > From: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                                        > [mailto:smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Linda
                                        > McInnis
                                        > Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 7:32 AM
                                        > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Subject: [smallhousesocietyonline] Any of you living in a small house
                                        > in
                                        > suburbia?
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Hi, All:
                                        >
                                        > I live in a small house that used to be a camp but
                                        > because of urban sprawl is in the middle of yuppie
                                        > suburban Boston area. I also have a big farmhouse in
                                        > Vermont where we will probably retire in a few years.
                                        >
                                        > Do any of you live in a small house in suburbia?
                                        >
                                        > I find that when I want to do alternative changes to
                                        > my house - the local boards have a bird and won't give
                                        > us permits (like for a composting toilet, grey water
                                        > system, etc.)
                                        >
                                        > Anyone find ways around this problem?
                                        >
                                        > Linda in the house on the hill
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > SPONSORED LINKS
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Root
                                        >
                                        <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Root+cause+analysis&w1=Root+cause+analy
                                        >
                                        sis&w2=Corporate+housing&w3=Temporary+housing&w4=Hair+loss+cause&w5=Root+cau
                                        >
                                        se+analysis+training&w6=Small+house+plan&c=6&s=148&.sig=vrgS0w7mnTFvfZHEpODo
                                        > vA> cause analysis
                                        >
                                        > Corporate
                                        >
                                        <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Corporate+housing&w1=Root+cause+analysi
                                        >
                                        s&w2=Corporate+housing&w3=Temporary+housing&w4=Hair+loss+cause&w5=Root+cause
                                        >
                                        +analysis+training&w6=Small+house+plan&c=6&s=148&.sig=g4PJdpefUXX8O_b9_doMMA
                                        > > housing
                                        >
                                        > Temporary
                                        >
                                        <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Temporary+housing&w1=Root+cause+analysi
                                        >
                                        s&w2=Corporate+housing&w3=Temporary+housing&w4=Hair+loss+cause&w5=Root+cause
                                        >
                                        +analysis+training&w6=Small+house+plan&c=6&s=148&.sig=XspcKfF0SYmW-t_AqdWWig
                                        > > housing
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Hair
                                        >
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                                        >
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                                        >
                                        nalysis+training&w6=Small+house+plan&c=6&s=148&.sig=K16rwJADJnxZPX1Jj9Jpug>
                                        > loss cause
                                        >
                                        > Root
                                        >
                                        <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Root+cause+analysis+training&w1=Root+ca
                                        >
                                        use+analysis&w2=Corporate+housing&w3=Temporary+housing&w4=Hair+loss+cause&w5
                                        >
                                        =Root+cause+analysis+training&w6=Small+house+plan&c=6&s=148&.sig=r8WrW6ZPsBF
                                        > J9DkdK2X6bA> cause analysis training
                                        >
                                        > Small
                                        >
                                        <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Small+house+plan&w1=Root+cause+analysis
                                        >
                                        &w2=Corporate+housing&w3=Temporary+housing&w4=Hair+loss+cause&w5=Root+cause+
                                        >
                                        analysis+training&w6=Small+house+plan&c=6&s=148&.sig=BYlBPRG51wZIEiCa3tVkiw>
                                        > house plan
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > _____
                                        >
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                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > * Visit your group "smallhousesocietyonline
                                        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smallhousesocietyonline> " on the web.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                                      • shay salomon
                                        What a beautiful essay. I am grateful to have received this glimpse into your life. I hope you ll send it to your family or friends as well to read. You
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Mar 10 2:18 PM
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                                          Re: [smallhousesocietyonline] LHSP

                                          What a beautiful essay.  I am grateful to have received this glimpse into your life.  I hope you'll send it to your family or friends as well to read.  You write really well and it's a precious memory that puts today's life in perspective.

                                          I live right now in a house built in 1948.  The porch was enclosed in 1980, and so now the house is 1000 sq ft.  Only three of us live here.  I think often about the slightly larger family it was built for, and I've noticed that when we have a houseguest it feels better.  Space craves company.

                                          Thanks again.

                                          Shay
                                          In a message dated 3/9/2006 11:40:36 AM Eastern Standard Time, smallhouse@... writes:
                                          -Raising children in a small (or high density) house
                                          --hosting guests
                                          -A surprising difficulty about small houses (the insurance question surprised me-- I hadn't thought of that)
                                          --why we downized
                                          --how the size of my house reflects or affects my relationship with the world around me
                                          --how we/I feel about the "Joneses--" i.e. the neighbors, or "Average American"
                                          --Anything else you think should be voiced about the small house movement
                                          I grew up in a small 4 room house, living room (about 10 x 14), kitchen, one basic bathroom, two small bedrooms about 10 x 11), 8' ceilings, in northern New Jersey. Five people lived in this house, 3 adults, 2 children. There was no basement, just a crawl space, no garage, an attic space you couldn't stand up in and which had no floor (you had to walk along rafters). It was standard housing, however, and was in a development of identical houses. My grandmother was a genius at keeping everything neat and tidy, despite the very limited storage space: one 6-foot closet in each bedroom, one 3 ft wide closet in the hallway, a 6-foot shelf in the furnace room.  about 5 feet of wall cabinets and base cabinets in the kitchen, which wasn't big enough to put a table in, a 30-inch stove, a standard refrigerator, no dishwasher (we didn't know anyone who had one).  There was a tiny dinette off the living room. They were frugal and didn't buy more than they could store. We had an old wringer washer that could fit in the front of the furnace room, off the kitchen, and all the laundry was hung outside to dry, in all seasons.  My brother and I and my grandmother slept in one room, my brother and I on bunk beds. I lived there from the age of 3. When I was about 13, they put an extra bedroom on (no extra bathroom) with a fairly large closet, and a screened in porch off the kitchen. My grandmother got a bedroom to herself because she was sick then, so my brother and I had to continue sleeping in the same room for another year or so (somehow we both survived this experience and grew up normal).
                                           
                                          The house was wood-frame with asbestos shingles, plasterboard walls. It wasn't even insulated, though the parents got  fiberglass insulation blown into the walls  around the time they added the bedroom and porch. It was heated with a coal forced- air furnace, though my father converted it to gas later. There also wasn't an shower in the house, just a tub, but my father put in a shower around the time of the room addition. It was a big hit. We'd never had a shower before and had never used one, either. My father did all the maintenance and changed a few things here and there.
                                           
                                          It was a simpler time, of course. We didn't have much money. Most of the people in the development had blue collar jobs, with a few exceptions. Nobody was particularly well off. We had a small front yard and a larger back yard,  where my father had a Victory Garden. There were quite a few kids my brother's and my age in the neighborhood and we played outside on summer evenings.  We lived on a dead-end street, so we could play games in the street. Neighbors helped each other and we used to have neighborhood block parties in the summer. We went to each other's houses to watch television (not everyone had one then). Most women stayed home though a few worked (my mother was one). Some had no car, most had one to a family. I don't remember any that had more than one, though that changed by the time I was in my teens.  We had one. It was parked on the street.  The area was suburban, not rural, so there were stores and a movie theater, library, etc. within driving distance. There were no pools and we used to put on our bathing suits and run through garden sprinkler "showers" in the back yard.
                                           
                                          We had guests staying over, almost always relatives. We had a couple of army cots, the kind that are made of canvas and wood that could be rolled up for storage. We put these in the living room for guests. Once when we had extra guests, my mother took the cushions off the couch and one person slept on the cushions and another slept on the couch without cushions. Nobody complained.
                                           
                                          I've mostly lived in relatively small houses, though not as small as the one I grew up in. I'm fascinated by small houses and like to look at pictures of them. They are on a more human scale--they're more warm and friendly. People who can make nice homes in small houses are in the genius category, I think.
                                           
                                          The girl who lived across the street when I was growing up still lives on the same street, in a different, though similar, house than she grew up in, slightly enlarged. When I visit all the houses seem much smaller than I remember and closer to the street. But it still feels like home.
                                           
                                          I sometimes dream of recreating the house I grew up in, when it had only 4 rooms. I'd feel as if I were back home.
                                           
                                          I guess this has turned into a mini-biography, but I hope it gives you an idea of a whole family living in a small house. Everybody has more "stuff" today.  I suppose some of your houses are even smaller.
                                           
                                          Lois
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           


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                                          -- 
                                          
                                          Shay Salomon
                                          smallhouse@...
                                        • lyonsaha@aol.com
                                          In a message dated 3/10/2006 7:33:05 AM Eastern Standard Time, lindamcinnis@yahoo.com writes: I find that when I want to do alternative changes to my house -
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Mar 10 4:21 PM
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            In a message dated 3/10/2006 7:33:05 AM Eastern Standard Time, lindamcinnis@... writes:
                                            I find that when I want to do alternative changes to
                                            my house - the local boards have a bird and won't give
                                            us permits (like for a composting toilet, grey water
                                            system, etc.)

                                            Anyone find ways around this problem?
                                            III
                                            Just do it. If it's inside and you are careful about any outside work, they will never know. What they don't know won't hurt them or you.
                                             
                                            Lois
                                          • Jean Bellinger
                                            Lois es recollections reminded me of my early childhood in a small city in Iowa in the early post World War II years. Housing was scarce and young families
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Mar 10 10:46 PM
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                                              Lois'es recollections reminded me of my early
                                              childhood in a small city in Iowa in the early post
                                              World War II years. Housing was scarce and young
                                              families often lived in grandparents' 3-bedroom
                                              homes--3 generations under one roof. I remember many
                                              men walking to work at the John Deere plant, carrying
                                              their metal lunch boxes. Small family-run grocery
                                              stores were plentiful, their owners living above each
                                              store.

                                              The new homes that were built in the 50s were often
                                              amazingly tiny-- a small living room, kitchen, and 2,
                                              maybe 3, small bedrooms (100-120 square feet each).
                                              Basements were later tiled and painted to serve as rec
                                              rooms and maybe a third bedroom for the boys. Garages
                                              were scarce.

                                              My brother-in-law's French Canadian family moved from
                                              rural northern Maine to Fullerton, Orange County,
                                              California in 1960 for free college. His family
                                              consisted of an employed father, stay-at home mom, 4
                                              daughters and 2 sons. The house they purchased, near
                                              great schools and colleges, was only about 800-900
                                              square feet (no basement),plus a single-car detached
                                              garaage in the large back yard. The 4 sisters shared
                                              one bedroom (with 2 sets of bunk beds) and the parents
                                              the second bedroom. The 2 brothers had the garage as
                                              their bedroom with another set of bunk beds. The large
                                              fenced back yard was used as a huge outdoor rec room
                                              much of the year.

                                              The family lived well in the house with plenty of
                                              friends and entertaining. Christmas Eve was an
                                              all-night celebration and feast in the living room.
                                              Although in a small-sized house, the family lived
                                              large, free of an enormous mortgage,one parent home to
                                              manage the household and supervise the children,low
                                              utility bills, no second car, walking distance to
                                              stores and schools, and no commuting.

                                              Jean Bellinger



                                              --- lyonsaha@... wrote:

                                              >
                                              > In a message dated 3/9/2006 11:40:36 AM Eastern
                                              > Standard Time, smallhouse@the
                                              > river.com writes:
                                              >
                                              > -Raising children in a small (or high density) house
                                              > --hosting guests
                                              > -A surprising difficulty about small houses (the
                                              > insurance question
                                              > surprised me-- I hadn't thought of that)
                                              > --why we downized
                                              > --how the size of my house reflects or affects my
                                              > relationship with the
                                              > world around me
                                              > --how we/I feel about the "Joneses--" i.e. the
                                              > neighbors, or "Average
                                              > American"
                                              > --Anything else you think should be voiced about the
                                              > small house movement
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > I grew up in a small 4 room house, living room
                                              > (about 10 x 14), kitchen, one
                                              > basic bathroom, two small bedrooms about 10 x 11),
                                              > 8' ceilings, in northern
                                              > New Jersey. Five people lived in this house, 3
                                              > adults, 2 children. There was
                                              > no basement, just a crawl space, no garage, an attic
                                              > space you couldn't stand
                                              > up in and which had no floor (you had to walk along
                                              > rafters). It was
                                              > standard housing, however, and was in a development
                                              > of identical houses. My
                                              > grandmother was a genius at keeping everything neat
                                              > and tidy, despite the very
                                              > limited storage space: one 6-foot closet in each
                                              > bedroom, one 3 ft wide closet in
                                              > the hallway, a 6-foot shelf in the furnace room.
                                              > about 5 feet of wall
                                              > cabinets and base cabinets in the kitchen, which
                                              > wasn't big enough to put a table
                                              > in, a 30-inch stove, a standard refrigerator, no
                                              > dishwasher (we didn't know
                                              > anyone who had one). There was a tiny dinette off
                                              > the living room. They were
                                              > frugal and didn't buy more than they could store.
                                              > We had an old wringer washer
                                              > that could fit in the front of the furnace room,
                                              > off the kitchen, and all the
                                              > laundry was hung outside to dry, in all seasons.
                                              > My brother and I and my
                                              > grandmother slept in one room, my brother and I on
                                              > bunk beds. I lived there
                                              > from the age of 3. When I was about 13, they put an
                                              > extra bedroom on (no extra
                                              > bathroom) with a fairly large closet, and a
                                              > screened in porch off the kitchen.
                                              > My grandmother got a bedroom to herself because she
                                              > was sick then, so my
                                              > brother and I had to continue sleeping in the same
                                              > room for another year or so
                                              > (somehow we both survived this experience and grew
                                              > up normal).
                                              >
                                              > The house was wood-frame with asbestos shingles,
                                              > plasterboard walls. It
                                              > wasn't even insulated, though the parents got
                                              > fiberglass insulation blown into
                                              > the walls around the time they added the bedroom
                                              > and porch. It was heated
                                              > with a coal forced- air furnace, though my father
                                              > converted it to gas later.
                                              > There also wasn't an shower in the house, just a
                                              > tub, but my father put in a
                                              > shower around the time of the room addition. It was
                                              > a big hit. We'd never had a
                                              > shower before and had never used one, either. My
                                              > father did all the
                                              > maintenance and changed a few things here and
                                              > there.
                                              >
                                              > It was a simpler time, of course. We didn't have
                                              > much money. Most of the
                                              > people in the development had blue collar jobs, with
                                              > a few exceptions. Nobody
                                              > was particularly well off. We had a small front yard
                                              > and a larger back yard,
                                              > where my father had a Victory Garden. There were
                                              > quite a few kids my brother's
                                              > and my age in the neighborhood and we played
                                              > outside on summer evenings. We
                                              > lived on a dead-end street, so we could play games
                                              > in the street. Neighbors
                                              > helped each other and we used to have neighborhood
                                              > block parties in the
                                              > summer. We went to each other's houses to watch
                                              > television (not everyone had one
                                              > then). Most women stayed home though a few worked
                                              > (my mother was one). Some
                                              > had no car, most had one to a family. I don't
                                              > remember any that had more than
                                              > one, though that changed by the time I was in my
                                              > teens. We had one. It was
                                              > parked on the street. The area was suburban, not
                                              > rural, so there were stores
                                              > and a movie theater, library, etc. within driving
                                              > distance. There were no
                                              > pools and we used to put on our bathing suits and
                                              > run through garden sprinkler
                                              > "showers" in the back yard.
                                              >
                                              > We had guests staying over, almost always
                                              > relatives. We had a couple of army
                                              > cots, the kind that are made of canvas and wood
                                              > that could be rolled up for
                                              > storage. We put these in the living room for
                                              > guests. Once when we had extra
                                              > guests, my mother took the cushions off the couch
                                              > and one person slept on the
                                              > cushions and another slept on the couch without
                                              > cushions. Nobody complained.
                                              >
                                              > I've mostly lived in relatively small houses,
                                              > though not as small as the one
                                              > I grew up in. I'm fascinated by small houses and
                                              > like to look at pictures of
                                              > them. They are on a more human scale--they're more
                                              > warm and friendly. People
                                              > who can make nice homes in small houses are in the
                                              > genius category, I think.
                                              >
                                              > The girl who lived across the street when I was
                                              > growing up still lives on
                                              > the same street, in a different, though similar,
                                              > house than she grew up in,
                                              > slightly enlarged. When I visit all the houses seem
                                              > much smaller than I remember
                                              > and closer to the street. But it still feels like
                                              > home.
                                              >
                                              > I sometimes dream of recreating the house I grew up
                                              > in, when it had only 4
                                              > rooms. I'd feel as if I were back home.
                                              >
                                              > I guess this has turned into a mini-biography, but I
                                              > hope it gives you an
                                              > idea of a whole family living in a small house.
                                              > Everybody has more "stuff"
                                              > today. I suppose some of your houses are even
                                              > smaller.
                                              >
                                              > Lois
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >



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                                            • Leigh Brooks
                                              Matt, There has been some really interesting discussion on this list lately. Closing on my house in Chattahoochee in a couple weeks. It s a mansion compared
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Mar 11 8:03 AM
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                                                Matt,
                                                There has been some really interesting discussion on this list lately.
                                                Closing on my house in Chattahoochee in a couple weeks.  It's a mansion compared to what a lot of these people live in.
                                                Leigh
                                                ----- Original Message -----
                                                Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 3:32 PM
                                                Subject: [smallhousesocietyonline] Re: hello and question

                                                wow, thanks for all the replies! I am not the only one in this boat;
                                                apparently cabin dwellers simply cannot get standard homeowners
                                                insurance anywhere in Fairbanks. I am guessing it's probably true no
                                                matter where you are, as I called three different companies (including
                                                my bank) and they said no insurance company would insure me for theft.
                                                It's because the cabin isn't on a foundation (it's on 8x8 timbers),
                                                it's too small, and  there's no running water. I have no idea what all
                                                that has to do with theft-but there ya go! I think Lois's idea (I
                                                think it was hers) of being self-insured might be the way to go-I am
                                                pretty disgusted with the whole idea at the moment! On the other hand,
                                                shortly after I bought the cabin, I had a serious fire that basically
                                                gutted the cabin. And I got a very nice remodeling job (cost aobut
                                                $14,000) for my first ins. payment of three or four hundred dollars.
                                                The cabin's paid for, so I don't have to worry about a mortgage; but
                                                then, I didn't ever have a mortgage. It's non-standard housing... so
                                                the bank wouldn't even give me one. It was owner-financed; essentially
                                                you borrow the money from the owner and just pay them. I paid the guy
                                                I bought it from directly, but I think most people go through an
                                                escrow account.

                                                As far as storage, I looked around the web last night and realized
                                                that I am not utilizing my walls nearly as much as I could. I don't
                                                like kitchen cabinets above the counters, but I wouldn't mind shelves.
                                                Found some really nice metal tubular shelves at IKEA that would allow
                                                dishes etc. to dry and they could just stay there, instead of being
                                                moved to under-counter storage after being washed & dried. And I am
                                                slowly going through stuff-do I really need that??-and taking stuff to
                                                friends, the transfer station (there's a recycling section), or
                                                selling it. I've lived here 15 years, and it's amazing how much goofy
                                                stuff you collect! But then, I'm a packrat...

                                                oh, and has anyone heard of a dessicating toilet? wow, what a great
                                                idea! essentially a toilet with sawdust or wood ashes used to cover
                                                your, uh, deposits; and a seperate toilet for urine. mixing the two is
                                                what causes the odor. I guess you can fix up a way to use one toilet
                                                but keep the two apart, but I think it's easier to have to two toilets
                                                (or buckets; I like my honey bucket, especially when it's below zero &
                                                3 a.m.!).

                                                well, gotta go; mortgage or not, there are still bills to be paid!
                                                Edie



                                              • lyonsaha@aol.com
                                                In a message dated 3/11/2006 1:46:15 AM Eastern Standard Time, jbellinger@yahoo.com writes: reminded me of my early childhood in a small city in Iowa in the
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Mar 12 2:33 PM
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                                                  In a message dated 3/11/2006 1:46:15 AM Eastern Standard Time, jbellinger@... writes:
                                                  reminded me of my early
                                                  childhood in a small city in Iowa in the early post
                                                  World War II years.
                                                  Thanks for your recollections. I always like to hear others' experiences like this.
                                                   
                                                  Lois
                                                • shay salomon
                                                  We are in the center of a not very dense city and we use a simple system for greywater from the washing machine: just a fifty-five gallon drum with a spigot on
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Mar 13 11:25 AM
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                                                    RE: [smallhousesocietyonline] Any of you living in a small
                                                    We are in the center of a not very dense city and we use a simple system for greywater from the washing machine: just a fifty-five gallon drum with a spigot on the bottom, and a lint screen on the top.  We are therefore restricted to using nitrogen-based cleaners, provided by Oasis (Art Ludwig's company, I think).  I have seen a full house system at use in the center of Seattle, but it was a little complex-- the water ran through tubs with plants that filter them, a kind of mini "living machine."  It seemed to work, and didn't need much space.

                                                    Many people worked for many years to get greywater accepted by code officials in Arizona.  Perhaps it's the fact that we are in a sixth year of drought that finally swung things, or maybe it's because of people's persistence.  It's inspiring when people work with officials long enough to make something available to everyone.

                                                    One thing that's nice about using water from your washing machine is that code officials can be reassured that fecal material isn't going to get accidentally mixed in. Also it's very simple to keep the sewer hook up, and move the discharge hose between the sewer and greywater options, depending on whether you just used bleach,or are washing diapers, or  if it's superwet outside and the garden doesn't need more flooding.  Actually, that's not a bad thing to do with any greywater system--have a valve that's easy to  switch between the two systems.

                                                    Shay Salomon
                                                    Tucson,  Arizona





                                                    Linda,
                                                     
                                                    I actually think that greywater systems are inappropriate for suburban settings.  The area available for leaching of greywater on the surface is not great enough for appropriate digestion of even the minimal contaminants in greywater.  In a rural setting, re-cycling of greywater for toilet flushing as a water conservation measure works well, and it is easier to keep appropriate spacing from homes and activity areas for greywater digestion. 
                                                                The board's reasoning is probably that if they allow the exception for you, everyone who applies will have a precedent for approval.  There was a recent (past two or three years) case in the hilltowns here of a homeowner who built the most beautiful, albeit noncompliant, water and sanitation system for his small home.  The town was miffed because he didn't even apply for the appropriate permits.  The systems do work in the appropriate settings, but to change local ordinances, you have to have a very friendly relationship with your local officials.
                                                                Anyone interested on greywater systems should get Art Ludwig's books on the topic.  "Create an Oasis with Greywater", "Branched Drain Greywater Systems", and "Builders Greywater Guide", all available at Oasis Design (www.oasisdesign.net).  
                                                                BTW, when I lived on a mountain in Putney, VT, there were no building codes, and I refinished a summer cottage so it had electricity, water, and insulation.  Year-round living was only limited by icy mountain roads and mud season.  It was beautiful.  Spring-fed water system, small mound septic, grid-tied solar, and wood heat.  Total size was 440 square feet first floor, 200 square foot loft.
                                                     
                                                     
                                                    Kevin M. Cooke
                                                    Cooke Construction
                                                    Amherst, MA  01002
                                                    (413) 253-5496
                                                    CSL #088035
                                                     
                                                    -----Original Message-----
                                                    From: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com [mailto:smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Linda McInnis
                                                    Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 7:32 AM
                                                    To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Subject: [smallhousesocietyonline] Any of you living in a small house in suburbia?
                                                     

                                                    Hi, All:

                                                    I live in a small house that used to be a camp but
                                                    because of urban sprawl is in the middle of yuppie
                                                    suburban Boston area.  I also have a big farmhouse in
                                                    Vermont where we will probably retire in a few years.

                                                    Do any of you live in a small house in suburbia?

                                                    I find that when I want to do alternative changes to
                                                    my house - the local boards have a bird and won't give
                                                    us permits (like for a composting toilet, grey water
                                                    system, etc.)

                                                    Anyone find ways around this problem?

                                                    Linda in the house on the hill




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                                                    -- 
                                                    
                                                    Shay Salomon
                                                    smallhouse@...
                                                  • lyonsaha@aol.com
                                                    In a message dated 3/13/2006 3:38:38 PM Eastern Standard Time, smallhouse@theriver.com writes: One thing that s nice about using water from your washing
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Mar 13 2:31 PM
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                                                      In a message dated 3/13/2006 3:38:38 PM Eastern Standard Time, smallhouse@... writes:
                                                      One thing that's nice about using water from your washing machine is that code officials can be reassured that fecal material isn't going to get accidentally mixed in.
                                                      Although I am in favor of using grey water in the way you outline, fecal matter can and does get mixed in with grey water when diapers, for example, are washed at home. Although it's true that few people wash diapers these days, it's still a possibility and can't be ruled out and code officials don't always use common sense--perhaps never, in fact.
                                                       
                                                      Lois
                                                    • Edie Barbour
                                                      one thing that I forgot, is that I also haul out my dump buckets-the buckets that live under the sink. I use my dishwater to rinse out the honey bucket.
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Mar 14 11:38 AM
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                                                        one thing that I forgot, is that I also haul out my "dump" buckets-the
                                                        buckets that live under the sink. I use my dishwater to rinse out the
                                                        honey bucket. Since most people have drains (ooh, what a luxury!
                                                        <lol>), the honeybucket system might not be so cool for some folks.

                                                        I like the idea of painting the bucket; never thought of that! but
                                                        then, this is the first year I've used the bucket much. My dopey dog
                                                        has decided that going to the outhouse is boring, so he goes on walks
                                                        by himself, and I got tired of chasing after him on a daily basis.

                                                        I actually really enjoy the OH; midnight walks are usually accompanied
                                                        by a northern lights show (at least in the winter; too much light in
                                                        summer for a show).

                                                        well, I'm off to get some paint for my pottie!
                                                        cheers,
                                                        Edie

                                                        --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Khalif Williams
                                                        <khalif@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > I concur. We¹re lucky to live in a rural community with a very good
                                                        > attitude about people¹s . . . uhm. . . ³ business². Our sawdust toilet,
                                                        > made from a $2.50 5-gallon bucket and the 1x6 boards I used to layout my
                                                        > foundation has been flawless, odor- free, and totally eco-friendly.
                                                        Cost
                                                        > me about $20 I imagine. Oh and a can of bright red paint (why not
                                                        celebrate
                                                        > your toilet?). Make that $25.
                                                        >
                                                        > The thought of being in a place where humanure was not permitted and
                                                        needing
                                                        > to spend that kind of money makes me tense.
                                                        >
                                                        > Admittedly, taking out your own buckets regularly isn¹t for everyone
                                                        (it can
                                                        > be, but choice reigns in America). But I think it fits in with the
                                                        tiny
                                                        > house ethic very well in my opinion.
                                                        >
                                                        > Khalif
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > On 3/10/06 1:36 AM, "Edie Barbour" <cowgirl53@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > > very nice toilets! but I think I'll stick with my elcheapo $16 model.
                                                        > > I can change out a lot of sawdust for $1100! thanks for the info; I
                                                        > > found some neat stuff in the Lehman's catalog.
                                                        > > Edie
                                                        > >
                                                        > > --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Gregory Johnson
                                                        > > <GregoryJohnson@> wrote:
                                                        > >> >
                                                        > >> > For some reason that link didn't work. But this one seems to:
                                                        > >> > http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?
                                                        > >> > itemID=810&i1Cat=676&i2Cat=810&itemType=CATEGORY
                                                        > >> >
                                                        > >> >
                                                        > >> > On Mar 9, 2006, at 8:54 PM, Jean Bellinger wrote:
                                                        > >> >
                                                        > >>> > > Lehman's (the "Amish store") has composting toilets at
                                                        > >>> > > Lehmans.com:
                                                        > >>> > >
                                                        > >>> > > http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?
                                                        > >>> > >
                                                        > > itemID=815&itemType=CATEGORY&iMainCat=810&iSubCat=815&i1Cat=676&i2Cat=
                                                        > >>> > > 8
                                                        > >>> > >
                                                        > >>> > >
                                                        > >>> > > Jean Bellinger
                                                        > >>> > > --- norm hansn <normideas@> wrote:
                                                        > >>> > >
                                                        > >>>> > >> dessicating toilet?
                                                        > >>>> > >>
                                                        > >>>> > >> If you look for "clivus multrum" on GOOGLE, you will
                                                        > >>>> > >> find all the info
                                                        > >>>> > >> for this kind of toilet. It originated in Sweden or
                                                        > >>>> > >> Norway (thus the
                                                        > >>>> > >> name!!) and a friend of mine has one in Northern
                                                        > >>>> > >> California - works
                                                        > >>>> > >> great! It has 2 chambers - and you empty one chamber
                                                        > >>>> > >> each year. Free
                                                        > >>>> > >> compost for your orchard!
                                                        > >>>> > >>
                                                        > >>>> > >>
                                                        > >>>> > >> dessicating toilet? wow, what a great idea!
                                                        > >>>> > >> essentially a toilet with
                                                        > >>>> > >> sawdust or wood ashes used to cover your, uh,
                                                        > >>>> > >> deposits;
                                                        > >>>> > >>
                                                        > >>>> > >>
                                                        > >>>> > >>
                                                        > >>> > >
                                                        -================================================================
                                                        > >>>> > >>
                                                        > >>>> > >> --- Edie Barbour <cowgirl53@> wrote:
                                                        > >>>> > >>
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> wow, thanks for all the replies! I am not the only
                                                        > >>>> > >> one in this boat;
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> apparently cabin dwellers simply cannot get
                                                        > >>>> > >> standard homeowners
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> insurance anywhere in Fairbanks. I am guessing
                                                        > >>>> > >> it's probably true no
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> matter where you are, as I called three different
                                                        > >>>> > >> companies
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> (including
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> my bank) and they said no insurance company would
                                                        > >>>> > >> insure me for
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> theft.
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> It's because the cabin isn't on a foundation (it's
                                                        > >>>> > >> on 8x8 timbers),
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> it's too small, and there's no running water. I
                                                        > >>>> > >> have no idea what
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> all
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> that has to do with theft-but there ya go! I think
                                                        > >>>> > >> Lois's idea (I
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> think it was hers) of being self-insured might be
                                                        > >>>> > >> the way to go-I am
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> pretty disgusted with the whole idea at the
                                                        > >>>> > >> moment! On the other
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> hand,
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> shortly after I bought the cabin, I had a serious
                                                        > >>>> > >> fire that basically
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> gutted the cabin. And I got a very nice remodeling
                                                        > >>>> > >> job (cost aobut
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> $14,000) for my first ins. payment of three or
                                                        > >>>> > >> four hundred dollars.
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> The cabin's paid for, so I don't have to worry
                                                        > >>>> > >> about a mortgage; but
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> then, I didn't ever have a mortgage. It's
                                                        > >>>> > >> non-standard housing... so
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> the bank wouldn't even give me one. It was
                                                        > >>>> > >> owner-financed;
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> essentially
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> you borrow the money from the owner and just pay
                                                        > >>>> > >> them. I paid the guy
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> I bought it from directly, but I think most people
                                                        > >>>> > >> go through an
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> escrow account.
                                                        > >>>>> > >>>
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> As far as storage, I looked around the web last
                                                        > >>>> > >> night and realized
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> that I am not utilizing my walls nearly as much as
                                                        > >>>> > >> I could. I don't
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> like kitchen cabinets above the counters, but I
                                                        > >>>> > >> wouldn't mind
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> shelves.
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> Found some really nice metal tubular shelves at
                                                        > >>>> > >> IKEA that would allow
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> dishes etc. to dry and they could just stay there,
                                                        > >>>> > >> instead of being
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> moved to under-counter storage after being washed
                                                        > >>>> > >> & dried. And I am
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> slowly going through stuff-do I really need
                                                        > >>>> > >> that??-and taking stuff
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> to
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> friends, the transfer station (there's a recycling
                                                        > >>>> > >> section), or
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> selling it. I've lived here 15 years, and it's
                                                        > >>>> > >> amazing how much goofy
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> stuff you collect! But then, I'm a packrat...
                                                        > >>>>> > >>>
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> oh, and has anyone heard of a dessicating toilet?
                                                        > >>>> > >> wow, what a great
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> idea! essentially a toilet with sawdust or wood
                                                        > >>>> > >> ashes used to cover
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> your, uh, deposits; and a seperate toilet for
                                                        > >>>> > >> urine. mixing the two
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> is
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> what causes the odor. I guess you can fix up a way
                                                        > >>>> > >> to use one toilet
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> but keep the two apart, but I think it's easier to
                                                        > >>>> > >> have to two
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> toilets
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> (or buckets; I like my honey bucket, especially
                                                        > >>>> > >> when it's below zero
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> &
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> 3 a.m.!).
                                                        > >>>>> > >>>
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> well, gotta go; mortgage or not, there are still
                                                        > >>>> > >> bills to be paid!
                                                        > >>>>> > >>> Edie
                                                        > >>>>> > >>>
                                                        > >>>>> > >>>
                                                        > >>>>> > >>>
                                                        > >>>>> > >>>
                                                        > >>>> > >>
                                                        > >>>> > >>
                                                        > >>>> > >> __________________________________________________
                                                        > >>>> > >> Do You Yahoo!?
                                                        > >>>> > >> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                                                        > >>>> > >> protection around
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                                                        > >>> > >
                                                        > >>> > > __________________________________________________
                                                        > >>> > > Do You Yahoo!?
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                                                        > >>> > > http://mail.yahoo.com
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                                                        > > * Visit your group "smallhousesocietyonline
                                                        > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smallhousesocietyonline> " on the web.
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                                                        > > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                                                      • Elmo MacKinnon
                                                        Yep, IKEA is darn handy. For other ideas on furnishing small spaces, check out apartmenttherapy.com and take a look at their Smallest Coolest Apartment
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Apr 12, 2006
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                                                          Yep, IKEA is darn handy. For other ideas on furnishing small spaces,
                                                          check out apartmenttherapy.com and take a look at their Smallest Coolest
                                                          Apartment competitions.

                                                          Elmo

                                                          Edie Barbour wrote:

                                                          > [snip]
                                                          > As far as storage, I looked around the web last night and realized
                                                          > that I am not utilizing my walls nearly as much as I could. I don't
                                                          > like kitchen cabinets above the counters, but I wouldn't mind shelves.
                                                          > Found some really nice metal tubular shelves at IKEA that would allow
                                                          > dishes etc. to dry and they could just stay there, instead of being
                                                          > moved to under-counter storage after being washed & dried. And I am
                                                          > slowly going through stuff-do I really need that??-and taking stuff to
                                                          > friends, the transfer station (there's a recycling section), or
                                                          > selling it. I've lived here 15 years, and it's amazing how much goofy
                                                          > stuff you collect! But then, I'm a packrat...
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