I’m just going to dive right into things tonight. Addressing the solutions and causes for poverty is something I am very passionate about. I hear so many different point of views and everyone definitely has an opinion about this very heated topic. As someone who has experienced both sides of the coin I can relate to a lot of people. I think something that a lot of people don’t discuss is the working poor. What defines working poor ? I think working poor included a large portion of individuals in our country, a lot of them do not even know they are poor. Here is my definition of working poor : An individual who’s life would quickly come apart if 1. Their car broke down 2. They lost their job 3. They lost childcare 4. Suffered illness 5. Missed work . These people would quickly move from working poor, paycheck to paycheck to homeless and living in extreme poverty because they lack the ability to save money, build on their skills through education, find resources or more often are not eligible for many resources because they fall just a few dollars over the income limits. They lack credit because any different combination of events can cause them to fall behind on their bills . They have little ability to build a safety net. I am keenly aware of the struggles of this demographic as I drove my 13 year old car through a snow storm on quarter tred tires tonight, all the way home I worried. What if I crashed and totaled my car. What if I got hurt. Any of those things would severely impact our lives. Either of those situations could cause us to loose everything. I’m always aware that we are living right on the edge. ITs scary. Being here in this place also keeps me thinking, I can I change this for us, how can I change this for others like myself ? It always brings me back to the tiny house and the tiny house community. Attainable home ownership (not a 30 year mortgage )would be a game change for so many people. I feel fortune that I have a chance, that if I can keep my old car running for just one more year without car payments I can pay this house off in just 18 more months. I have hope even though I have fear and it drives me to work harder. It would be harder to be in this place paying rent with no end in sight. If I can get through this year, then I can buy land and build another tiny house and then another and the people who buy them can do the same, together we could change a lot for a lot of people. The working poor don’t need or even want a hand out, they need a break just to get over that hump. Share this vision with me, anyone can make a difference, big or small. Look forward to hearing from you.
I love to sit on the porch at night and watch it snow. It feels like God just laid a big thick white blanket over my world, the sounds change and everything looks so clean, the smell of my hot apple cinnamon cider is even more inviting than usually. It feels like Christmas. I leased a lot in a small mobile home community, my tiny house sets back from the road a bit lined with big old oak trees with a few giant pines in the back yard. Until tonight it felt as though I was set apart from this little community because my lot is so sheltered but with the leaves gone and the snow on the ground I can see my neighbor’s porch lights and the glow from their windows. Christmas lights, trim and decorations are slowly finding there way on to peoples homes, tonight everyone is putting around and cleaning up from todays snow. I can hear the sound of their voices and the revving of their snow blowers, the back up signal from the plow trucks but its still peaceful. Sitting on my porch drinking my cider watching life in this tidy little community, people drive by and wave…it makes me feel apart of something if just a little bit. After the last few days of nearly total isolation in this house with a very sick little boy( he has croup) it felt good to see people. Isolation is one of our biggest barriers. Because Noah has such a difficult time being around a lot of stimulation when we do go to an event or gathering often times we leave early, we are not invited to a lot of social get togethers because I often times can’t make it, have to leave early or when we do make it people are uncomfortable with Noahs behaviors. If I asked to come most people would say yes but invitations are not usually given. I get it, its ok but the excuses wear on me. The holidays can be particularly difficult for my feelings of isolation. My plan this year is to make the absolute best of it, maybe even try to start some traditions of our own with Noah. I think for Thanksgiving maybe we will make homemade pizza(Noah doesn’t eat meat), apple pie and put up our Christmas tree. Take a hike ? Cook some marshmellows outside somewhere. I love the holidays, always have but this year instead of being home hurt because we wasn’t invited or because nobody came we will find OUR way of making the holidays special. We are slowly finding ourselves in this life and giving up on trying to fit into this world more and find more what fits for us. Its a hard journey but beautiful as well. A few people have asked me what it would be like spending a long winter in a tiny house and I wondered that myself, I’m quickly finding that it is OUR fit, like snuggling up with a favorite blanket, its made us closer, happier and Noah’s slowly blossoming. The Tiny house is so pretty sitting in a cloud of snow with its little white cap on it. I will take this life any day over any other !
Today I dropped my car off at the garage for repairs (again) after dropping Noah off at daycare . I spent the whole day at home by myself BY MYSELF can you believe it !?! My goal in what to do with all this time ? Absolutely nothing ! Well I tried any way. I started out by getting back into my pjs and powering up my laptop, looking for a good movie on Netflix, I started the first one “The Outlaw King” , I really like history and triumph but after fast forwarding threw all the fighting scenes( watching people being impaled isn’t my idea of a good time) the movie was over in about 15 minutes. I tried to watch a few documentaries but I just couldnt seem to get into them, so I did what I do and started reading about Tiny house communities ,looking at different tiny house lay outs and storage ect. While doing this I began to think about the Tiny house community, what exactly would it look like ? What would be the advantages and disadvantages socially and economically, would it be a coop or closer to a subdivision? Would we have a shared common space or would we be more independent . Would there be governing rules and if so what would they be ? My goal in a tiny house community would be to gain more independence for myself financially, for others to be able to do the same and to be a part of a more cohesive community. I don’t want a bunch of crazy subdivision type rules that would dictate my living space but I do want to live among people who have a sense of pride in the community and how it looks, does that make sense ? I want to be able to own goats and gardens and express my creativity freely. I’m still tossing a bunch of thoughts and ideas around in my head about what a tiny house community would look and feel like. I would love to start a conversation about what this would look like to others, maybe who have ideas I haven’t thought of or skills I don’t have. Maybe you too will be inspired in the dialogue. Lets talk, lets put our heads together !! AND GOOO !
Woke up at 3a with lil Mr tapping on my face “drinky please” he said, tap, tap, tap. The cat was standing the front door whining like a high pitch ambulance siren. I stumble down the loft stairs blurry eyed and grumpy, let the cat out, filled up Noah’s sippy cup and climbed up into the loft and layed back down. I rolled over to avoid Noah’s tapping and then noticed it was pouring outside by the sound of the tip, tap,tip, tap on the metal roof that was just a few feet from my head. Try as I might I struggled to get back to sleep, Noah now tapping on my back, the rain seemed to get louder in intensity every seconds as I tossed and turned. Finally I started to drift off then suddenly I was startled by a high pitched MEEEEEEEOOOOW from out side. I thought JEEEESH ! After reflecting back on the abuse poor Josiah had endured from Noah the day before I couldn’t leave him in the rain so I got back up and let him in, grumpy but obedient to my responsibility. I climbed back up into the loft and again the rain sounded as though someone was running up and down my roof with a nail gun, I tossed and turned some more and finally drifted back off to sleep. 4:15a, “Mommy, I’m hungry” “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom”, the cat curls up on my head. Go back to sleep Noah, I wailed, “but I can’t Mommy, I’m hungry Mom, Mom, Mom… I tried to ignore him but he started tapping me again. I pulled the blankets over my head and tried to hide, and the tears and begging commenced until finally I stomped down the stairs with mr behind me, walked over to the cupboard, grabbed a banana and gave it to him. Then grabbed a blanket and curled up on the couch. Noah ate his banana then snuggled up on the couch being all lovey dovey but I did not want to be all lovey dovey I WANTED TO SLEEP. Well we didn’t get back to sleep . Grumpy and not very lovable I finally got off the couch and made my coffee. Grumpy is were I stayed for a good portion of the day. I had plans, it was Saturday, WHY CAN’T I sleep in just ONE day a week ???? I was planning on working on a storage compartment in the stairs but finally threw the towel in after a HUGE melt down at Mardens (not sure who was worse Noah or me) where we walked out with absolutely nothing. So what to do… I could beat myself up for accomplishing NOTHING today or I could look at what I did accomplish. Noah’s sound to sleep and happy in bed after eating leftover pizza and cold chicken burgers for supper. My house is a wreck, my dishes are not done but guess what WE MADE IT !!! YEAH ME !! I thought about pouring a glass of wine but that would mean washing a glass NOT THIS GIRL , NOT TONIGHT. Gonna be good to myself and start over again tomorrow, let go and let God.
I meet older people everyday and I often ask myself “I wonder how they got where they are “or “what made them the person they at ” . Some people are just so stinking cool ! I’ve met 70 year old women that single handedly built their own house, who carry their own water and chop their own wood. I’ve met women who, lecture all over the world. Amazing women that defined not only their world but helped to shape the world of the lives they encountered. With some women its supporting their families so they can excel in school, work and their passions. I’ve met men who have worked a zillion hours a week to provide for those entrusted to them, fought in wars to protect our freedom and never ask for a thing in return. I could go on all night about the full spectrum of the amazing individuals that have helped color my life and spur my passion. So many of them I just want to give back to just a tiny bit of what they have given. Others I want to sit at their feet and learn from. What experiences made them who they are ? Being 50 years old living in a tiny house with my little boy with autism is showing me a lot about who I am especially in the dating world. Now mind you I have yet to go on a date, at the time being I’m really just considering it. Really their are a lot of things about me that would not be your everyday guys cup of tea. I have found that there are some things about me that are just not flexible, my faith, my son, my values…in thinking about that at first it made me feel a bit sad…that I’m just going to be the old maid living in her tiny house… but then after some reflection I realized that my faith, my son and values are not my weakness but my strength that protect me from those who’s motives may not be pure or reasons that may be selfish, they have shaped me into the person I am today. Upon thinking about things that way they make me feel safe in knowing the man who embraces those things in my life does the same in his own and would except no less. I’m pretty excited at the prospect of meeting someone like that but if I don’t I feel good for not settling for less and will be happy being the old maid in the tiny house. One day someone might come along and wonder how I became the person I am, I only hope that I can inspire them the way I’ve been inspired.
Tonight’s post was all told for me all but the typing as the on going saga continued last night. BOY do I have a story for you !! So if you all were reading last night you know how that went, I really thought I had a reprieve when Noah calmly went up stairs and quickly fell fast to sleep. After I left you guys I wasn’t far behind him comfy in my sweat pants and hoodie. Sniffily and drips and all it was not long before I two was snoring. It was about midnight when I smelt it, I was sleepy and stuffy so I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was that I was smelling, I got up and slid down the ladder from the loft half asleep to investigate, by that time the smell was so strong is was choking me, I stepped outside to see where it was coming from, that’s when I realized what the smell was, A skunk had sprayed somewhere close to the house. Relived though discussed I went inside, climbed back up the ladder, snuggled little mr and fell quickly back to sleep. I am always on guard for strange smells especially in a tiny house because in the event of a fire we would have to move quick. At first when I smelled it I thought it was burning plastic. Skunk smell is not my favorite thing but no harm no foul right ? At any rate,I was warm in cozy asleep bed, that was good. Well until 1:30am that is. At 1:30am I was suddenly awaken sitting straight up in my bed to the sound of a fire alarm. In three point five seconds I was down from the loft once again. Perplexed I stood in my kitchen looking at the fire alarm and it was quiet but I could clearly hear a fire alarm and it sounded like it was in the house. So I opened the door, went outside again and that’s when it occurred to me where the alarm was coming from. Several weeks ago my fire alarm went off (I was cooking). Noah is absolutely terrified of fire alarms so I took it out on the porch until the smoke cleared out of the house. As I was trying to get the smoke out of the house Noah ran back and forth nervously, I thought it was because he was scared of the fire alarm but later I found out it was because he hid the fire alarm. Now standing in front of my house at 1:30am in the rain, snotty nose and drippy eyes the fire alarm was going off, waking up the neighbors and I had to find the fire alarm. Even though it was blaring it was hard to distinguish exactly where it was, after a half hour of hunt I finally found it under my porch. Now my porch is closed in to keep out creatures and neighborhood kitty’s from using the dirt under my house as a giant littler box. So at 2am in the rain I am now taking the siding off the porch to retrieve the fire alarm. Really, ya just can’t make this stuff up. Now I know at some point in my future I will look back at this and laugh but right now I’m not there yet. I’m going to politely excuse myself and go to bed. Good Night Folks !
As Hurricane Michael looms over Florida tonight we watch knowing that at this point that’s all we can do is watch, watch and pray. Florida and Maine have a special connection, most everyone in Maine has family in Florida. Florida is where us Maina’s retire. They laugh and joke about throwing oranges at us when they are down there snug as a bug in the winter . If we are lucky we will get a case of oranges for Christmas. Now I sit here on my hands watching the future of thousands unfold on CNN. Please if you will, be praying with me tonight for those in the path of this storm.
Well with that said, I did miss you all last night. I was done with all my work and finally getting ready to settle in and write to you all. Went in to change into my sweat pants, looked down in the process and saw a bull’s-eye on my inner thigh, TICK !!!! I called and txted everyone I could think of to come watch Noah and could not reach anyone ! I was kind of scared, my dad almost died from a tick bite last year. As I had finally given up I sat on the porch and headlights turned the corner into my yard, you guessed it Jay saved the day AGAIN. Its kind of like God appointed us our own guardian angel. Some day I will be able to pay him back for everything he’s done for us but until then I will keep feeding him and make him coffee. After a few hours at the hospital and chatting with some of the staff I was invited to do a training with them around autism and how ER staff can best support families. SCORE !
We have done SO much the last few days ! Our tiny little house is slowly transforming before our eyes. We reached two big milestones first I FINALLY FIGURED OUT THE A SOLUTION TO THE STAIR PROBLEM. OF course it meant cutting another hole in the floor of the loft but I AM VERY HAPPY with the results though it did not come without a whole bunch of unforeseen challenges. The first thing I needed to do is to fill in the first hole, so I could move my mattress over and make way for the new hole which led to the first problem. Now I had no way to get up into the loft. So I devised a plan. I pulled out the ladder that was still hinged under the loft and set the feet up on my coffee table so that it resembled more a leaning bridge than a ladder. I climbed up the coffee table and across the ladder and hurdled myself up over the side of the loft. Sitting in the loft I congratulated myself for my ingenuity until I looked down and realized Noah had moved the coffee table . I was now stuck in the loft, luckily I had the accidental foresight to had stuck my phone in my back pocket. I sat there for nearly and hour watching Noah torture the cat and eat copious amounts of cheese and raw hot dogs while waiting for someone to rescue me. In the end I finally dangled off the side and dropped onto the floor. After 3 trips to the hardware store for jigsaw blades I finally gave in and borrowed Jays jigsaw and was able to cut the hole in the floor. SO now my ladder is moved and the floor is done in Noah’s Loft. This weekend my plan is to get railings built for Noah’s loft and get him moved in and to build a new ladder for my loft as the other one is too wide. I’m no carpenter that’s for sure BUT this tiny house is happening !!!
Side note, as I said before my reason for this blog is to be a platform to start a tiny house community as pathway to home ownership to those who might not otherwise be able to ever own their own homes, I also have made it my business to join the war against poverty and to build awareness around the daily lives of families who experience autism. I share a lot that others might not feel comfortable sharing. I think is important to give real insight into these important topics so people can truly empower and be empowered to make a difference. If your are following our story please support us in sharing, commenting and following us.
Thank you all for stopping by ! I will see you all back here tomorrow night (I hope) Good Night all 🙂
Yesterday I got up raced around to get ready for church, got all the laundry in the car as its easier than picking everything up off the floor after the spin cycle of my wash machine. I took the cloths and dumped them all into one giant super loader at the laundry mat to wash while I was at service. Raced back, put all the cloths in two super load driers set the temperature on high for 20 minutes and ran to the grocery store. Loaded all the groceries in the car then back to the laundry mat, hauled all the laundry out of the driers and threw them in the basket, unfolded, then dragged everything home all in 2.5 hours. The big plan was to go home and start working on Noah’s loft. I had the materials, I had the tools and the rest of the day to do it. After folding my cloths and putting them away I went out and sat on the porch and tried to think of a way to either get the ply wood out of the loft so I could cut it to size or how to get the skill saw into the loft so I cut it up there. I mean people do this stuff every day how hard could it be right ? So finally I decided to pull the plywood out of the loft. I pushed the chest up to the cupboard and stood on top of it so I could reach the plywood. I reached up to pull it down and realized instantly it was to heavy for me, it was sliding and Noah was right in the way. I dug deep and found my mommy super powers and heaved the plywood back into the loft, A bit shaken I sat on the cupboard buried my face in my hands and cried, had I taken on too much ? What was I thinking ? I climbed down and went back onto the porch and sat to think about this situation a bit more. I decided to try to stop thinking about what I couldn’t do and start thinking about what I could do. So I got all he tools out of the back seat of my car, I could do that. I’m going to keep going, really I have no choice.
I worked at several shelters over the course of my life, I have always had a heart for the homeless but being a resident at a shelter impacted my life in a way I cannot explain. It changed me from being just a person whom I believe had a good heart to a woman who is driven, a woman on a mission, a woman who’s dream is to start a tiny house community. When I was finally able to get back to work I was hired as a coordinator by a community action agency, in that position I am on the frontlines and witness to the impact of those living in extreme poverty everyday. Day in and day out I see people living homes with little more than dirt floors in Maine in the winter time that could be deadly. A tiny house would be a game changer for so many people. It’s hard to be called to a mission you can’t just do yourself, that means you have to depend on others, even recruit others to see it through. Here I was too proud to even reach out for help to get some plywood down. The good Lord has some work to do on this lady right here !
Last night Jay stopped by, he came up and sat on the porch with me and said” when you gonna pick up the vent for the bathroom so we can get Noah’s loft done ? “. I looked up and smiled, all in his time….<3