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Why I’m Moving Into Town for the Winter

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
― Lao Tzu

Our small cottage; taken with my iPhone 6 PlusToday I have big news to share with you. Last week, Logan and I rented a small cottage in Yreka, California for the winter. The cottage reminds me of my grandparents’ home—a little abode I wrote about in my book, You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap).

We opted to leave our tiny house on my in-laws’ property. It’s roughly 15 miles from Yreka, and we will use our little house on the weekends. However, we won’t be living in the space full-time during winter.

Points of Clarity

Before you continue reading, please keep the following points in mind:

First, I am sharing the challenges we’ve experienced in the tiny house—not to complain, but to be honest about my experience in the space.

Second, there are numerous benefits to tiny house living, but it isn’t picture perfect, romantic, or glamorous. If you decide to buy a tiny house, make sure you understand the rewards and risks.

Finally, I am committed to living simply. In my book and in past articles, I emphasize that living simply isn’t about austerity. In addition, residing in a tiny house on wheels isn’t a prerequisite to living a simple and happy life. However, making mindful choices is important.

The Backstory and Why We Are Moving Into Town

We’ve lived in our tiny house full-time for the last three years, and we’ve moved the house frequently. We lived in Portland, OR, Red Bluff, CA, Chico, CA, and in Siskiyou County, CA.

When we moved into our little home in October of 2011, we knew there would be risks. We knew it would be hard to find a place to park our home because most little houses aren’t classified as RVs or mobile homes. Typically, they fall into a zoning gray area, and in most cities, tiny homes on wheels aren’t technically legal.

Prior to moving into the tiny house, I realized towing the house down the road and settling into new communities would be challenging. Naively, I thought I’d be able to cope with the stress of moving the house multiple times. However, I’ve learned that isn’t true. Moving the house is stressful, and contending with zoning laws isn’t fun. Currently, the house is legally parked, and at this time I don’t want to move it off my in-laws’ property.

Overall we’ve enjoyed living in our wee abode. However, Siskiyou County winters can be challenging in a little house on wheels. For instance, during the winter of 2012/2013 we experienced the following challenges:

  • Our water lines froze, so Logan had to carry our water to the house.
  • Our gray water plumbing froze.
  • Our outdoor compost froze.
  • The roads were icy, which made driving and cycling conditions scary.
  • I had trouble climbing up and down the loft ladder because of my bad back and hip.

These challenges taught us to be grateful for first-world amenities, like running water and warm showers. I’ve also gained a deep respect for the natural world and the changing seasons. That being said, Logan and I want more ease in our daily lives as the weather gets cold.

The Cottage & New Belongings

The cottage is roughly 700 square-feet and it was built in the 1920s. The house was remodeled recently, which is great for us! The windows are new, the insulation is new, and there are a few skylights, too.

Living in the cottage will be a good change for us. Logan’s office is less than two miles from our new home, so he can easily walk or cycle to work. I’m excited to be close to coffee shops and the local park, and I’m excited that we will be driving less. Plus, I’m looking forward to hosting dinner parties on cold winter nights.

We don’t have much stuff to move because we’ve downsized so dramatically. We will move most of our belongings (like our clothes, books, kitchen gear, and a few pieces of art) from the tiny house to the cottage. However, we are leaving the bed in the tiny house because we will use the space on weekend getaway trips during winter and want a cozy place to sleep. So, we are looking for a new bed and a few pieces of furniture for the cottage.

Other than our bed, we won’t buy new furniture or other belongings for the space; anything we need can be found at Goodwill or the Yreka Trading Post. Also, friends have offered to give us some of their extra stuff. Interestingly, our decision to move has brought up fascinating discussions with friends regarding stuff and why we hold onto belongings that we don’t use regularly.

The Power of Serendipity and Parting Words

At the end of September, we started to talk seriously about moving into town for the winter. On October 5, I told “the moms” (my mom and Logan’s mom) about the idea. I remember the date because my mom was visiting us that weekend. For fun, we drove around Yreka looking at homes for sale. I wasn’t interested in buying a house, but I told my mother-in-law, Joan, to keep her eyes and ears open for cute rentals. A few days later, Joan sent me a text message about the cottage.

I told my sister-in-law, Tina, about these serendipitous connections, and she said, “Isn’t it weird how some things just work out with little effort? I always find those turn out to be the best choices. Good signs for the move ahead!”

I whole-heartedly agree with Tina! I don’t know if we will enjoy living in town or not. However, there is only one way to find out, and that’s by trying it on for size. I see this move as another experiment in living simply, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. And, we can always return to the tiny house if everything falls apart. I look forward to sharing our new adventure with you.

Be well,

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Amanda Sandlin October 21, 2014, 9:14 am

    Tammy, it looks so sweet. Sounds like a well-thought-out, wise decision. And it’s darn cute. Hopefully I’ll make it up that way soon, and we must meet up. Congrats and best wishes for a beautiful winter for you!

  • Sherry October 21, 2014, 9:20 am

    Good for you for making necessary adjustments that will help you enjoy life (& winter)! Every place has its advantages (& challenges) – and it just might work really well having a summer & winter home or a home in town & a country home to retreat to. Looking forward to reading about your newest adventure.

  • Christa from Australia October 21, 2014, 9:21 am

    Dear Tammy,

    I have enjoyed your blog for many years and I thank you for being so honest and letting us share your new adventures. All the best in your small cottage (it looks really cute and cheerful),
    Christa from Australia

  • Kathy Peterman October 21, 2014, 9:22 am

    I think Tina is right too! Life is about learning and experiencing the richness of what it has to offer. I am glad to see you trying new things and can’t wait to hear the new adventures you will have. Thanks for being real. Some may want to see you stay put as it makes them feel more comfortable (at least in their heads), but keep on being authentic and following that next opportunity that calls you. A Simple Year has made a huge impact on my life, thank you for being a part of my own lessons and change!

  • Joe3 October 21, 2014, 9:27 am

    I’ve followed your blog for a long time, since the two bedroom, two cars to currently. I like that you post about real life…the up and down of a tiny home. And I feel you’ve been a great inspiration to people who have an idea of “chucking it all” and really finding their own happiness. It will be interesting to see your thoughts after moving and living in a large space for a few months. Thanks for posting & Have Fun …..

  • lisa valinsky October 21, 2014, 9:34 am

    Tammy – I so enjoy reading about your simple living journey and think it’s a great idea to live in a cottage in town for the winter. As my husband and I plan our tiny house, we have many questions about winter living. And while much of the ideas can seem romantic, there are hard realities to face when living so in tune with nature. Thank you for sharing your story with us, always.

  • Laura Lowder October 21, 2014, 9:38 am

    I’m totally intrigued by the idea of the cottage. A tiny house isn’t an option for me, either, because I can’t navigate ladder or stairs to a loft, and because my life includes a piano and lots and lots of books — but a 700-sq ft cottage might be. I hope you’ll give us a sketch of the floor plan, and that you’ll tell us more about your adjustment.

  • Michelle October 21, 2014, 9:45 am

    You’ll have to keep us updated on this new transition. I’m excited and curious to see how this move and winter cottage works out for you, Tammy!

  • Neens October 21, 2014, 9:48 am

    The cottage looks very cute and cozy – I hope you will have a wonderful winter there!

  • Katie October 21, 2014, 9:51 am

    I’ve always appreciated your honesty about living in a tiny home, and sharing the challenges and opportunities that come with that. I agree with Tina – sometimes when you put something out there and something comes back to you with little effort, things just work out beautifully. Good luck in your new home (however temporary)! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures there.

  • Christy King October 21, 2014, 10:07 am

    Thanks for sharing your difficulties with the tiny house. I love when people are honest about the pros and cons of a particular decision they’ve made, so I have better information to make my decisions. We’re not planning to live in a tiny house (just a small house), but are thinking of living full time in a camper for awhile after retirement.

  • Ania B. October 21, 2014, 10:08 am

    I think all the readers appreaciate your honesty and your attitude (the kind I-don’t-have-answes-for-everything attitude).

  • Living Large in our Little House October 21, 2014, 10:09 am

    Wow! Kent said this was big news and he was right. Congratulations on going with the flow of life, Tammy. I think Tina is right. Now your email makes sense to me. 🙂 Congratulations and good luck this winter with your new little cottage adventure!

  • Eric West | Rethinking the Dream October 21, 2014, 10:28 am

    The new cottage sounds wonderful. I love the honesty from you in your posts. Many people are afraid to share the downsides, so it’s extra nice to see you share your experiences. I think it’s good to try different things. Now that you’ve tried the tiny house, you are trying another house, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    From what I recall in reading your posts over the past months/years, I think the real challenge has been that your current location in the tiny house is far from town. The new place sounds like a good solution to that. Congrats on the new house and I look forward to hearing how the new space works for you.

  • Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 October 21, 2014, 10:35 am

    I can’t believe it has already been three years! While I adore tiny houses and find a lot of meaningful information in people’s stories about downsizing, I don’t think I could live quite that small, and I completely agree that minimalism doesn’t have to be about deprivation or austerity. It needs to be authentic and meaningful to you. Your remoteness from Logan’s work and activity would be exhausting, especially when icy bike commutes come into play. I look so forward to following all of your adventures!

  • Sara October 21, 2014, 11:04 am

    Thank you for continuing to honestly and authentically share your journey. I hope that you enjoy this fall and winter. I will look forward to your “morning views” from the cottage.

  • Patty Chaffee October 21, 2014, 11:36 am

    Hi Tammy. Congratulations on your upcoming adventure. There is such wisdom in what you are doing. I can’t wait to hear more and see interior pics of your new cottage. It looks charming.

  • Mike October 21, 2014, 11:47 am

    I’ve always thought that perhaps the ultimate goal of the many blogs I read who do things at the extreme (i.e., tiny house living, early retirement, etc.) perhaps should be to help people “move the needle” a bit.

    I love reading tiny house blogs – not because I think I could live in one (I don’t believe I could), but as a reminder to live with ONLY the things I need, and NOTHING more. I’ve lived alone in 400 square feet and been perfectly happy. And if these blogs can convince more and more people to just downsize, period, even from 2500 square feet to 1200, then it’s a big win for everyone.

    That’s why your honesty is so incredibly important, useful and appreciated Tammy. Thank you so much for sharing real life at all points on the spectrum! 🙂

  • deborah October 21, 2014, 11:51 am

    It’s adorable! There’s something about yellow houses that makes you feel happy. Best of luck on this new venture. 🙂

  • Constance Alexander October 21, 2014, 11:54 am

    It’s wonderful to read about your approach to life and living it. I’ve enjoyed your writing about the downsize in the beginning, your move into a small apartment in Portland, the tiny house and look forward to reading about the next step and your lessons learned. And yes, dinner parties are important. 😉

  • Sara Görefält October 21, 2014, 11:59 am

    Oh I hope we get so see the inside someday, it looks really cute! And yes, we all make our own “rules” about what downsizing means to us, right? I think this will be so exciting to follow. Thanks for sharing! How do you think the cats will react to the move? Will they be able to go outside there as well?

    • Tammy Strobel October 21, 2014, 12:28 pm

      Hi Sara,

      I will give readers a photo tour once we are settled into the space. We are going to bring the cats to the cottage tonight. I’m sure they will be okay, but it will take them time to adjust. I have feeling Elaina will explore the house tonight and Christie will hide. I’m not sure if we will let them outside or not. We will see how they adjust to the new living situation, first.

      Also, thanks for the kind words. Living simply is a constant work in progress. 🙂


  • Sandra Pawula October 21, 2014, 12:08 pm

    This house looks so sweet, Tammy! I hope you enjoy the winter there fully. I downsized too though not as radically as you by any means. I’m a sensitive person – to sound in particular – and I find it challenging to live in a smaller space, where I don’t have my own office or personal room with a door. It’s all a process of learning and each experiments shows us more about what’s the right way for us.

  • Amber October 21, 2014, 12:20 pm

    The new cottage looks adorable! It also sounds like a well thought out decision. Sometimes simplifying is as much about location as the size of the house, etc. Being closer to work and other places you enjoy can sometimes add simplicity of a different sort. I will be looking forward to following along through the winter. 🙂

  • joanna October 21, 2014, 12:29 pm

    Wishing you well in the new place. I too think its great that you are re-evaluating your space. You are a great inspiration.

  • Kayla Dawn Thomas October 21, 2014, 12:59 pm

    The cottage is adorable, and like everyone else, I’m excited to see the inside. You addressed some things about tiny house living that Brett and I had been wondering about. Winter issues and the ladder. We haven’t decided yet if we’d want mobile tiny, or just a tiny cottage on a foundation. We have some time to think about it, but the tidbits you share makes planning easier. Happy moving!

  • beachmama October 21, 2014, 1:10 pm

    The cottage looks darling! I can’t wait to see inside if you want to share your space with us.

    My first home was 900 square feet and perfect! From that we moved into a 29 foot travel trailer while building our big house. We lived in the trailer for 4 solid years and it was a great experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Although we completed and moved into the big house (and lived there 21 years) living in a tiny space has stayed with me. We’ve since sold the house (I divorced, bought him out, remarried and moved). The house we now live in is almost half the size of the big house and still too big. Today I cleared out a table and two lamps . . . this is an ongoing process. My son graduated high school and lives with his dad in town now so his cavernous room downstairs will be turned into a sewing room. I don’t need this space but it’s there so will use it.

    Live shifts and changes and we grow and learn. I love that you and Logan have shared this journey with us. All of you trials and tribulations have helped many of us stay realistic about living tiny. I personally don’t want to go back to living tiny but 700 square feet or thereabouts sounds perfect.

    Thanks for your always down-to-earth honesty. I wish you all the best in your new winter abode : )

  • Lindsey Hoffman October 21, 2014, 1:33 pm

    Congrats, Tammy! I admire the flexibility and purposefulness you and Logan employ in your decisionmaking. May you have a warm and wonderful winter in your spacious yellow cottage!

  • Aime October 21, 2014, 1:34 pm


    I’m so happy for you! the Cottage is beautiful! I love that big tree!!, I can’t wait to see your pictures from the Town, parks and coffee shops!! 😉

    This could be a good oportunity to write a new book for you 🙂 I bet everything will be great! No matters the place you live, you are the one that makes it special, you’ll make it unique, and you’ll make it Home! and as long you have the Cats and your Morning Coffee views, everything will be just as always 🙂

    Wish you good luck in this new journey!


  • Diane October 21, 2014, 3:09 pm

    It’s adorable and I bet you will enjoy the change of pace of being in town and also being warm during the winter. The cats will probably enjoy having a warmer abode too, if they are anything like my kitty. : )

  • Sharle Kinnear October 21, 2014, 4:02 pm

    Exciting news! The cottage is adorable, and I think it’s perfect for where you two are at this time in your lives….. Living in Yreka doesn’t seem like too much of a change from the country, as its such a small community. Sending you love and blessings for the adventure, and I’m looking forward to photos! Hope the kitties love it, too . . .

  • Elizabeth October 21, 2014, 4:07 pm

    You had me at “driving less.” This is fantastic news! I, too, recently moved to a new town and love being able to walk everywhere I need to go. It is a peaceful and relaxing lifestyle — just what you were seeking.

  • Lauren G October 21, 2014, 5:25 pm

    Best of luck in this absolutely adorable and obviously lovingly restored little cottage! Thanks, as always, for sharing your process of living simply and small. To a new and exciting chapter!

  • Vickie Jones October 21, 2014, 6:32 pm

    I understand completely.

  • Colleen October 21, 2014, 7:02 pm

    Tammy and Logan,

    I’m so happy for you! The cottage is adorable. I would’ve moved in too 🙂 I have really enjoyed reading about your tiny house – I’ve been here since you lived in your old apartment, and were in the planning stages of the tiny house. Thank you so much for letting us into your lives as you’ve planned, built, and lived in your tiny home.

    I think it’s wonderful that you’ve found a place where you’ll be cozy and warm this winter. Just think of the nice hot baths and showers! All the best to you both.


  • Jen Jones October 21, 2014, 7:13 pm

    I’ve so enjoyed hearing about the tiny house, the good and the bad. My husband and I stayed in one of the houses at the Caravan Tiny House Hotel in Portland earlier this year. I thought I’d really love it – it was super cute – but I realized I couldn’t handle the loft. In the middle of the night, trying to get down from the loft, I developed this irrational fear that I would miss a ladder rung and fall. I really appreciated how difficult it must have been for you to navigate living in such a small space with an injury.I learned I would enjoy living part time in an RV, but tiny house living on a permanent basis is not for me. Congrats on the cottage.

  • Karen October 21, 2014, 8:25 pm

    Tammy: your book has given readers like me a glimpse into the process of downsizing into a smaller space – but a smaller physical space isn’t the only thing that defines the simple life.

    As someone who lives in 800 sq.ft. but pins pictures of tiny homes on Pinterest, it’s all part of the same dream: crafting that exquisite, well-fitting life. And that, like breathing, needs to expand or contract based on the demands of the moment.

    May you embrace and enjoy your new space and the new surroundings.

  • Anne-Marie October 21, 2014, 10:06 pm

    Yreka really has some older, cute houses. Congratulations on finding this cottage!
    I think one of the most important things is to stay true and honest to yourself. Do what feels right at that particular point in time.
    And it sounds as if you were really in the flow for this to happen so easily.
    Looking forward to some photos from the house. 🙂

  • Martina October 21, 2014, 10:24 pm

    What a cute little house! I would love to live there.
    Hope the cats like it as much as you will.
    Best for your move!

  • Anne October 22, 2014, 12:46 am

    Dear Tammy: I linked to your blog via Facebook Tiny House Blog page; I clicked on the image of your cottage, started reading, saw you are living in the Yreka area… and lol why you are moving into town for the winter. I live just over the border in Oregon in a tiny town. I loved your story, I GOT IT, the reasons why you are moving into town. I grew up here, moved back 3 years ago; lived in Redding for 23 years — so I’ve made the drive on HWY 97 hundreds of times, at least. I, too, am preparing for the winter in my own 733 sq. foot “cottage.” Your writing just led me on, thru parts of your blog, about the simple year course, the contributors, their blogs. And it is just one of those fun and joyous and coincidental — but not — occurrences, because I too love cats, I am involved with “Friends of Pets” in Klamath Falls, a no-kill spay/neuter facility, with TNR for feral cats (trap- neuter-return), resulting in smaller and healthier feral cat populations — and I ride a bicycle. I rode in AIDS/LifeCycle 2014, SF to LA, 545 miles over 7 days (I averaged 25-30 miles a day, a huge success story for me!) traveling with about 2500 other cyclists and 800 roadies; after not having been on a bicycle for thirty years. I checked out some of your “Happy Links,” and your morning view photography. Your coffee cup in various poses immediately brought to mind pix cyclists take of our bikes solo someplace, somewhere that lights up for us something of dreams, visions, and possibility. Yours is a unique take on the concept. Thank you for an amazing reading, viewing, and exploring experience this evening. I’ve subscribed to your blog. I’m considering the simple year 2015 course, for several reasons, lol, exciting ones, but I’ve commented more than enough for now. Thank you for sharing your Journey, in such multi-layer facets, so elementally.

  • DarrenKeith Wyatt October 22, 2014, 1:25 am

    Congratulations on your new adventure. Change can be challenging but good the same time. I really enjoy your posts and allowing us (the readers) to tag along. Be Blessed (you and yours). 🙂

  • Nanne October 22, 2014, 3:18 am

    Hello Tammy,
    i like your blog and have read your book. for me it has been interessing that you have downsized so dramatically. I have reduced my stuff in my flat, but always have thought, that i don’t want to move in a smaller home, because i like to have the free place – like free place in my mind.
    I can completly understand your move (i have also pain in my back) – and i wish you both, that it will quickly feel like home!
    LG Nanne

  • Susan Desrocher October 22, 2014, 3:40 am

    Tammy, seems like a good decision. You have my respect for the way you have approached all of this and for your honesty. Life is an adventure…it never stays the same…The little house is adorable!

  • Tod Barker October 22, 2014, 5:07 am

    Tammy, congrats! I can imagine that it has been a difficult decision to come to on so many levels – especially after you have both lived as poster models of tiny house living. Thank you for sharing over these years what your journey has been like, and giving such an honest look into making a tiny house work. That you are making a new choice now for where your lives are right now is fantastic, and exactly as it should be.

    The one thing that keeps me from choosing the tiny house lifestyle is not having a house built on a foundation, which would help to mitigate the challenges you’ve faced in the winters. (I plan to downsize this year to a small cottage or cabin.) Jay Shafer’s drive to challenge our housing regulations is on the money, and hopefully over time more and more communities will see the benefits to allowing folks to build small, especially in small house pocket neighborhoods. Until that time we all must make whatever choices are right for us, at each moment in our lives, and I applaud you and Logan for moving gracefully forward and wish you both a wonderful warm winter!

  • sabemajeen October 22, 2014, 5:16 am

    Good luck with your new move. I’m sure it will bring many new experiences and the joy of weaving them into your life. Namaste

  • Bethany October 22, 2014, 5:56 am

    Simplicity means so many different things and I think the definition encompasses the ability to be fluid according to your needs. Many people lock themselves into a situation due to ideology or finances and there is nothing simple about that.
    Moving into town for the winter is going to put you in proximity of people and things to be able to make the most of the shorter days that can be isolating if you were to stay on the ranch. It makes me think of the concept of hygge. Explained here: http://www.mnn.com/family/family-activities/blogs/how-hygge-can-help-you-get-through-winter

  • Melinda Schoutens October 22, 2014, 6:49 am

    All the best with your move and enjoying the winter in your cozy cottage. It truly sounds like a beautiful idea!

  • Andreana October 22, 2014, 8:35 am

    Living so simply allows you to have both a “summer” and a “winter” home, and a “city” home and a “country” home. Few are so lucky.

  • Chandra October 22, 2014, 10:06 am

    Like many here, I have been a long (long!) time reader of your blog and have seen the many transformations in your life as you have shared them. You’ve been an inspiration to me and so many others all along the way. I can’t imagine how hard it was to make this decision, but, I think it is very admirable. You have a lot of people supporting you and we all truly appreciate your authenticity.

    I look forward reading what you will share about this new chapter in your life. 🙂

  • mark October 22, 2014, 11:13 am

    tiny homes don’t need wheels, it’s our hearts that need them. enjoy these changes and we will enjoy reading about them. peace.

  • Elizabeth Sloan October 22, 2014, 12:56 pm

    Hey Tammy. Serendipitous indeed :). My university class just watched “Tiny” yesterday and it was fun to see you and Dee included. Now I will share this “reality check” update with my class tomorrow and see where the discussion goes. So many great ideas and considerations. Thank you for keeping on keeping on. I’ll keep on following, and trying to simply as well.

  • Kaylin Lydia October 22, 2014, 5:01 pm

    Tammy, this is so great for you guys – whatever works best is best for you all. I see the most important tenant of tiny living as living with intention. My husband and I also recently increased our living space – from 650 to 1,300 square feet, I still have fears that we will unintentionally fill this new space up with stuff (because we all know how easy that is to do!) but I know the move was a good decision and one made with intention. Best of luck in your new space, it looks so cute!

  • Bill October 22, 2014, 5:14 pm

    700 square feet! That’s a McMansion! Kidding aside, looks like a great little classic cottage. Enjoy the winter there!

  • Kelli October 22, 2014, 5:48 pm

    Hey Tammy I am actually wondering if I can ask you about something. I too have a bad back and am looking into a tiny house. I know I would not be able to handle a loft with a ladder and was wondering if you happen to know anything about the ladder stairs option? I figured my fiance and I would also have a sleeping option downstairs in case I have a bad day or two. Your input on living in a tiny house with a not so perfect back would be very valuable. Thanks, and love the blog.

    • Tammy Strobel October 22, 2014, 6:36 pm

      Hey Kelli,

      You can read about my experience last summer here. I’d suggest checking out the Tiny House Blog for different designs.

      I’m hesitant to give advice on this topic. Living in a tiny house, with a disability, can be challenging. It depends on your circumstance, health, and the design opion you choose.


  • Betsy McCullen October 22, 2014, 10:21 pm

    What a great article! Gosh Tammy, we go back a long ways!! Since we met while writing for Small Living Journal, I have most admired your faithful honesty throughout your journey. I had been downsizing for many years before that. Once I latched onto the idea of a tiny house and tiny living, I spent another few years planning to build mine. That is, until the Tiny House Fair in Vermont a couple of years ago where we finally met in person. It was great to meet all the people I wrote with and had followed for years. Yet, it was a depressing time for me with a year go to my retirement and facing my new reality – realizing for the very first time that I definately could NOT live that way. It was the weekend of brutal disappointment because that was my retirement goal. I felt lost for months afterwards. But now I think I have found my home. And it actually is my original home! My Dad built it with his own 2 hands when I was born! I was raised there. At 25, I left but never quite felt at home anywhere else. If you remember, I lost my Dad around the same time you lost yours…a very rough time…and still challenging! Of course, he had sold the house many years ago but it’s still as peaceful as it always was and synchronicity of finding it again had signs I could NOT ignore that this was a Gift from him!! I was reading some of the articles I wrote back in the SLJ days and it’s going to feel very strange upsizing now after all those years of downsizing, but it’s definitely what I want and need for my retirement days – my art studio, my photography, my writing, my sanity and my peace! All that said, I can surely relate to your newest move…especially the part about your new place reminding you of your grandparents home! And I too will still keep things simple with used furniture (except my bed!) and simple living without any clutter. I think the whole idea here is to continue to live simply while addressing our new needs in life! Again, thank you for your (always) brutal honesty and I will always follow your adventures! Times change and we must change with them…to meet our new challenges and our current needs. I wish you the very BEST ❤️

    • Tammy Strobel October 23, 2014, 6:42 am


      It’s so good to hear from you! It was great to meet you at the tiny house fair in Vermont. That was a fun weekend. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of ideals and goals. However, I’ve found that circumstances always work out for the best. Your new home sounds lovely! And, it’s so cool your Dad built it! I’m happy for you.


  • tammy j October 23, 2014, 12:12 pm

    hi tammy!
    oh my. i’m late to the party it seems. i’m a LONG TIME follower but have only commented a few times.
    I think this is a lovely decision.
    as you have proven so well… you can live a small elegant simple life anywhere really.
    it’s like taking ‘the tiny house’ with you in your heart. yes. it may physically still be on the ranch. but …
    your little cottage in town is simply extending your dream. I think it’s the perfect answer!
    can’t wait for pictures!
    I live in a 525 foot square apartment… that used to be a hotel suite. my kitchen is like a galley.
    i’m a minimalist. always have been… even before they had a name for it! LOLOL.
    and I LOVE IT! thank you for your beautiful inspiring blog. xo tammy j

  • Caryn October 23, 2014, 4:07 pm

    I’ve just found your blog and find it fascinating- I’m retiring soon and thinking about living options for the future. You’re giving me plenty to think about…
    Your cats are beautiful. I’ve had cats throughout most of my long life and would not have it any other way. OK, this is probably quite presumptuous, but you mentioned that you were considering letting the cats out. I have read that the average cat allowed outside lives approximately 3 1/2 years, while those kept indoors live to 13 years; they are not exposed to parasites, fights with other animals, traffic, etc.
    I hope your back is healing…
    Regards, Caryn

  • Lindsay October 23, 2014, 6:06 pm

    Oh Tammy, this reminds me of the Little House/Laura Ingalls Wilder books – they used to homestead during the spring/summer/fall and move into town for the winter when they lived in North Dakota. Congrats on having the courage to do what’s best for you and Logan!

  • Becs :: Think Big Live Simply October 23, 2014, 10:05 pm

    How exciting! It’s not the ‘container’ of living that matters, but rather the intention, right? Enjoy the simple luxury of having running, warm water and more room to move (our water froze often last winter too – it definitely tests the patience at times!) 🙂

  • Joy @ Joyfully Green October 24, 2014, 8:46 am

    Hi Tammy,
    First of all, that cottage is the cutest! Second, I agree with a few of the commenters above that it’s great how you’re honest about the down-sides of tiny home living. Your tiny house looks so cozy and charming, so it’s good to be forewarned that there are, in fact, down-sides to it! I hope your winter is warm, healthy, and lovely. Enjoy that cottage!


  • Julia Linn October 26, 2014, 7:00 am

    I am sure you will enjoy the cottage. Having dinner parties with friends will be very fun, this (and having children) is the biggest reason I myself would not move into a tiny house…It is really really nice when you find people who are so very honest about the ups and downs of the decisions they make. Thank you for continuing to remain inspiring!

  • Sheila October 28, 2014, 8:51 am

    Tammy & Logan –

    What an awesome little place! I understand the move. To be honest, I’m not sure I would want to live out of an urban area with a tiny house on wheels – for several of the reasons you mentioned (i.e. requires driving vs. walking & bicycling, access to amenities in town, not very environmentally sustainable if you have to drive, etc). We would have totally built a cottage similar to your rental had we been legally allowed to do so but our only option for off-grid and small was to build a tiny house on wheels. Although our tiny house on wheels is a lot larger than our tent, we’ve already decided that when we return from our current travels (no the road for 3 years now this month!) we’ll likely only spend several months at a time (most likely in the summers) in our tiny house and then spend the other months bicycle touring and house sitting in other more temperate parts of the world. As usual, those plans may change as life unfolds. Like the quote in your blog says, don’t resist reality or the changes that it brings about.

    Looking forward to updates on cottage living. Fuerte Abrazos a Usted y Logan!! 🙂