Saturday, March 31, 2012

Learning as a way of LIFE

Floor is partially on (it is now finished) with our set up for the tarp - it rains a lot here!

The interest and enthusiasm this project has generated so far is astonishing, and I thank anyone who has commented or emailed giving suggestions and or support. Though I would love to respond to every one of you - I have just barely started building and need to focus on making some progress!

This is a major learning experience for me in all realms of life, and one thing this has taught me is how distorted (for lack of a better word) our culture is. What I am doing is normal to me, if I want something I make it, if I don't know how to make it - I learn. It is as if I am doing this amazing thing - but it shouldn't be. This should be normal.

In our culture, children are rarely given a chance to follow their heart and do the things they love. Instead they are encouraged to do what they are told and get good grades. Because that will get them in to a good college so they can get a good job and make good money. It is all preparation for a life of grueling work, making money so when they are old they can relax. But as you may know, this plan doesn't always work out, especially in today's economy. In the past a college diploma guaranteed a good job, this is no longer true. How many people do you know whom have graduated from college who are jobless? Having a good job used to mean a comfortable retirement, right? How many people do you know who had a stable job for years whom recently got laid off? Following this path is no guarantee for "success" nowadays. Therefore give children and young adults options and let them make a choice. School does not fit everyone - in fact it fits very few. And yet creative, joy filled children are being squished to fit this mold.
The opportunities are endless. All we need to do is open our eyes and hearts to them. 

I am getting sidetracked - more on education later. Now for an update!

The floor is down! But there was a dilemma, (as there always seams to be) down the length of the chassis - 18', there is a 3/4" rise and fall. Meaning my floor would not lay flat on the chassis. We would have to get very good at shimming. But earlier that week we had been looking at some beautiful pictures a friend had taken on a trip to China. They were photographs of the old hill towns and villages, built of stone - with narrow pathways and waterways and chickens. I just couldn't stop thinking about their perfect "offkilterness". I absolutely loved it. Old houses have this quality also nothing is quite flat or square. And so I made the decision not to shim anything and lay the floor a bit crooked. In one sunny afternoon my dad (check out his crazy project here - and I laid the entire floor, we used deck adhesive between the plywood and the chassis and bolted it down with 143 carriage bolts. It is beautiful!

Also! I have a change of plans for the walls. Originally I was going to build a version of SIP panels with plywood and ridged insulation. BUT - last Monday morning my dad (again you should really see what he is up to - was trying to decide how to rebuild the walls of his trailer and remembered a product called Sing Honeycomb Panels. He went to the website of this product and it turns out there was currently some panels on clearance. So the next day we took a spontaneous trip down to McCleary, WA to see what we might. What we saw was very cool - Sing Core Patented Panels - a veneer torsion box embedded in EPS foam - very strong, durable, ridgid and light weight. Tiny house people you need to see this - In the next two weeks we will be picking up the remainder of our 32 panels which were on clearance, costing us (my dad and I) $3,000 - $1,400 for my trailer the other for my dad's. Yes, I know that seems like a LOT, but retail is much higher - so we lucked out. If you add up the cost of two layers of good quality plywood, plus ridgid insulation, plus adhesive, plus studs, plus time. This actually costs less. Yes, I have tried to scrounge materials but it is not a quick process. So instead I decided to earn money and buy what I need to get rolling.

So folks - the moral of the story. Do what works for YOU to lead a healthy life, because you know yourself pretty well.