Building Smalltopia: The Foundation + An Oven

by Tammy Strobel on June 10, 2011

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, I post a Simple Living News Update that includes links to some of my favorite articles of the week. In addition to the update, I answer a reader question via video.

During the World Domination Summit, I met a lot of amazing RowdyReaders. (Thanks for saying hi!) At least 30 of you asked about our little house and it’s status. Below is a tiny update:

For those of you who can’t watch the video, here’s a summary:

The Foundation. In early May we ordered the trailer for our little house. Essentially, the trailer is the foundation of the little house. It’s 16 feet long and 8 feet wide. The trailer is being built by a company outside of Portland called Iron Eagle.

Dee, our tiny house designer, emailed me and said the trailer will be ready next week. They are running a little behind, but that’s okay. Construction is still set to begin sometime this month.

A Tiny Range. Logan has been scouring craigslist for recycled materials we can use for the little house. Some of the things we’re looking for include a front door, windows, and a kitchen sink.

Last week, he found a tiny range (a small oven)! The model is called an Origo 6000 Alcohol Range. Normally it retails for $1500 (US) after shipping, but Logan found it for $800! The original owners were going to use it in their boat, but it didn’t fit. It’s been lightly used and it’s super cute.

Why an alcohol stove? You can read a detailed description about the range at Kai and Shelia’s blog. We bought the same tiny range.

Learn more about our little house by reading these articles:

Now onto the news . . .

Everybody Have Fun: What can policymakers learn from happiness research?

“Bok, who served two stints as president of Harvard, begins with a discussion of prosperity and its discontents. Over the past three and a half decades, real per-capita income in the United States has risen from just over seventeen thousand dollars to almost twenty-seven thousand dollars.

During that same period, the average new home in the U.S. grew in size by almost fifty per cent; the number of cars in the country increased by more than a hundred and twenty million; the proportion of families owning personal computers rose from zero to seventy per cent; and so on. Yet, since the early seventies, the percentage of Americans who describe themselves as either “very happy” or “pretty happy” has remained virtually unchanged. Indeed, the average level of self-reported happiness, or “subjective well-being,” appears to have been flat going all the way back to the nineteen-fifties, when real per-capita income was less than half what it is today.”

Denying the Earth’s growth and depleting resources is just eating into our future

”How many people,” Gilding asks, ”lie on their death bed and say, ‘I wish I had worked harder or built more shareholder value,’ and how many say, ‘I wish I had read more books to my kids, taken more walks?’ To do that, you need a growth model based on giving people more time to enjoy life, but with less stuff.”

Sounds utopian? Gilding says he is a realist. ”We are heading for a crisis-driven choice. We either allow collapse to overtake us or develop a new sustainable economic model. We will choose the latter. We may be slow, but we’re not stupid.”

JoyFear

“Having only joy is great. Having only fear sucks. But having both … that’s life-defining.

Do not shy away from Joyfear. Seek it out. Recognize it when you happen upon it. Joyfear will change your life, and you’ll never forget the moment you find it.”

Cool Stuff

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