Sunday, August 30, 2015

Post 14 (Aug. 30)-PEMDAS/Daring Greatly

Presumably, if you're reading this, you, at one point or another, learned about the order of operations in a math class.  You know, PEMDAS, or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (or perhaps Pretty Elephants May Die, Albeit Suddenly).  If I were to ask you this question:
you would freak out a bit (let's be honest, it's been a while) and then respond with 39 (hopefully.  If not, let me know and I can help you out).

Turns out, there is a similarly defined order of operations when putting the trim on the roof and house.  Kacey and I must have been a bit late to class on the day that they taught that.  Here's what we did: measure and cut the trim to size, put it up to make sure it fits; take it down to stain it, and put it back up; realize that to paint the outriggers, we need to take the trim down; so, take the trim down, paint the outriggers, put it back up; realize that we need to put the furring on the exterior of the house before putting on the siding; take the trim down; put it back up.  WE PUT THE TRIM ON FOUR SEPARATE TIMES. Here's the actual* order of operations:

  1. Measure and cut the trim to size.
  2. Put it up to make sure it fits.  
  3. Take it down.
  4. Stain the trim.
  5. Paint the outriggers.
  6. Put up the furring.
  7. Put the trim back up.
* subject to change--who knows what we'll have to take it down for next! :)

Today, we put in hardwood floors.  Once again, we are so thankful that we are building a TINY house.  Putting down hardwood floors in a space bigger than 190 square feet would be very tiring, indeed!  I am very excited about the hardwood floors because it is representative of visible progress.  And also, I was here to help!   

For the past two weeks, I'd been in Denver, and Kacey made HUGE progress on the front shed of the house that contains the air conditioning heat pump, tankless hot water heater, and propane tanks.  
The reverse "L-shaped" shed on the back of the house was built in two weeks!  
The inside of the shed on the back.
Kacey sent me texts as he progressed through the shed construction and revealed that he was frustrated that it was taking so long.  He and I must have different perceptions of time.  From where I sit, the shed came together phenomenally quickly and I am so impressed.

Also between the last post and this one, Kacey and I stumbled upon some very unsettling "don't-ever-build-a-tiny-house-what-are-you-thinking" articles.  In researching for this project, we'd read similar articles and were aware of the competing pros and cons of building tiny houses, but we hadn't read any since we'd started the build and were sobered by them.  What if we don't like living in this space?  What if we have to park it in a trailer park that is no more cost-effective than our current house?

A well-timed text from my friend Kimberly shook us out of our anxious stupor:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly..." -Teddy Roosevelt

Our tiny house project is a huge risk, full of uncertainty and doubt.  It is testing and strengthening our relationship in ways we couldn't really have predicted.  It is making our backs ache, our fingernails dirty, our Sundays less restful.  It is challenging our previously fairly defined sense of self, adding uncertainty where previously there had been little, and challenging us to wear a different set of lens as we interact with the world around us.  We are daring greatly.  And it's pretty amazing.

This one's for you, Kimberly!

Gus prefers chewing on his antler over the sound of the compressor.  
Hardwood floors woot woot
Here they are again! 
And again! For the detail-oriented among you, yes, that is a different washer/dryer unit.  We traded in the 4.2 cu.ft unit for the 2.3 cu. ft. unit.  It'll be plenty big for all of the clothes we won't have.  I jest.  See the picture below to marvel at the amount of closet space we'll have.
Oh, and our shower stall!  Kacey was adamant about finding a one-piece fiberglass shower stall.  Something about his shower in Denver leaking like a sieve.  After weeks of searching, we found one! 
See all that space there?!  That's our closet!