Sometimes its tough to tell what it is standing in your way. Personally, not being able to identify the root of the problem can be more frustrating than the problem itself. I’m currently experiencing writer’s block. I’ve been wanting to post for the last few weeks, but instead of coming up with anything worth publishing, I’ve got a collection of half-hearted, unsatisfying attempts in the blog post graveyard.

Adventures have been plentiful and life has been happy. There’s no obvious reason I should be experiencing writer’s block. Yet, here we are.

Frustration hit hard today, but tonight I changed my approach. I started thinking about what I used to tell my kiddos to do as their writing teacher. I told them to write. “Just keep writing, write what you know.” At first this advice frustrated them, especially the ones who already had it out for the art of writing. I told them to write their way out of writer’s block, write about how much they hated poetry, write about whatever they knew to be true in that moment. Once they were tired of my hovering and pestering to keep going, they’d write – maybe just to spite me. And I would celebrate for them, because I knew that before long their stream of consciousness would be strong enough to break the dam and they wouldn’t be able to help themselves. They’d write their way straight into an idea that we could work with.

What you’re reading is the start of this process for me. I won’t leave you with the whole babble-fest, but I think it’s worth saying that sometimes you have to buckle-down and work through the block. Sometimes the only thing you can control is your attitude and how you choose to react to a situation.

So, in honor of writer’s block and teaching super-rad 6th graders, let’s try a challenge. Make a list of 10 things you know to be true right now. Feel free to post your own lists in the comments!

10 Things I Know to be True:

  1. My friends are worthy of being called family, for this I consider myself lucky.
  2. It is always worth putting down your walls, you can’t be strong without also being soft.
  3. I love my job.
  4. I am a morning person.
  5. Being outdoors is good for my soul.
  6. It is Tuesday.
  7. It is almost always worth riding my bike to work.
  8. Grand Tetons is my favorite national park, and I am going to visit again in just a few weeks.
  9. Though I cannot plan for or control what happens in my life; I am in control of my attitude, positivity is a choice.
  10. I may not live in a tiny house any longer, but I still truly value living a minimalist lifestyle.

Your turn! Thanks for reading through my stream here, and bearing with me if you made it this far. I hope to see some lists down there in the comments.







Well folks, it’s been a ride! After all the ups and downs I made the decision to move on to other adventures. The Tiny has been sold to the highest bidder. It was a mixed bag of emotions watching it head off down the road without me, but I know Tiny is on to other adventures too.

Now that I don’t live in a tiny house anymore, I’m left wondering what to do with my blog. I know posts have been scarce, but I do love this space. So, I’m going to throw it out to you guys, what do you think? Keep the blog going and change the name? Write about something new? Keep the adventure side of the blog and ignore the fact that I no longer live in less than 200 sq. ft.? I’d really appreciate your thoughts, friends!

As always, thanks for stopping by!




Wood Stove Install

Step 1: Build a functional platform for my wood stove to rest on. 

Every inch of space in a tiny matters, so I decided to set my wood stove on a platform in order to at least utilize the space under it. There is a section for shoes and a drawer where I keep a stash of wood so I don’t have to go outside at night.

Step 2: Cover the walls

To safely have the wood stove in such a small space, I had to cover the walls with non-combustible material. I chose to use steel, but didn’t love the idea of shiny silver lining my walls.

Instead, I got steel and Sof (my super-awesome-project-side-kick) helped me patina it so that it looks artsy and rustic! It turned out great!

Then it was just a matter of screwing it into the wall with spacers so there is air flow behind it to protect the wall from the heat.

1-inch copper pipe couplings make perfect spacers

The screws just go through the copper pipe couplings attaching the sheet metal to the wall behind it, with a uniform 1-inch space between the metal and the wall.

Step 3: Plan the chimney path and buy the things. 

This one really held me up, for some reason I just couldn’t figure out where to start. With Sof’s help, I finally sketched my idea, took some measurements, and headed to a very specific Ace Hardware store that specializes in wood stoves. Charlie, at Poulsen Ace, really knew his stuff and was extremely helpful.

Full disclosure: If you’re planning to install a wood stove, prepare to spend just as much (or more) on the stove pipes and chimney pipes as you do on the stove itself.

Step 4: Round up a friend or two and cut a hole in your house.

This is once the wall thimble is in place, but you’re looking at my front yard through the inside of my house right here!

* If you’re lucky like me, your friends will be there for moral support…but still make you cut the hole yourself.

Step 5: Install the stove pipe.

Stove pipe is single-wall steel pipe, painted black for aesthetics (it comes this way, don’t paint it yourself without heat-safe paint!). My stove requires 6″ diameter pipe, so that’s what I used. It meets a 12″ long piece of triple-wall chimney pipe (aka class A pipe) just before it goes through the wall thimble. The wall thimble seals up the hole you just cut in your wall and allows the chimney to pass through safely.

Triple-wall pipe is insulated, just like it sounds, with three walls so the outside of it isn’t hot to the touch.

The class A section that goes through the wall meets a T pipe on the outside (which allows for chimney cleaning) and then goes up above the roof where it’s capped off so nothing gets into the chimney (rain, rodents, etc).

Step 6: Enjoy your cozy new addition!

I decided to have the chimney on the inside of my house for as long as possible because the single-wall allows heat to escape. Essentially, the more stove pipe you have inside, the more heat your wood stove provides. Also, I had to go through the wall rather than the roof because the roof is lined with solar panels.

Let me know if you have any questions!



Winter 1, Tiny 0…

As you know, last winter defeated the Tiny. My solar system wasn’t enough to power my electric heater through the long, bitter-cold nights. This left me frozen, literally in the dark, and with no running water. 

When I decided to try living in the Tiny again this spring, I vowed to do a better job preparing it for winter. Now, I’ve had all summer to get the preparations completed, but of course haven’t started until just recently. It’s not winter yet, but it took some colder weather to remind me why these plans were so important. I usually learn the hard way more than once (which would have meant waiting until I was freezing and completely unprepared to actually change anything), but I’ve been working on finding the path of least resistance. 

So, this fall has been time for projects and chores! The first step was getting the house set up to use shore power during the winter as the sun is much more limited. That turned out to be a rather extensive project due to some complications – more about that in a later post – but everything is plugged in now! Since I have shore power, the electric heater will be a back up for this winter. 

The primary heat source will come from this fall’s biggest project! The wood stove!

I have to be honest, I’m not sure what was harder, thinking about getting the install started or just doing it! It turned out to be about three to four full days of work, spread out over a few weeks of hours here and there. I started with the sheet metal you see here, and finished with the hole-in-the-wall-chimney install. 

The other winter preparations involve insulating my water line and building a skirt around the bottom of my house (between the ground and my floor). 

So, here’s to learning the hard way, but only once! Bring it on winter!



P.S. Check back soon for a detailed post about the wood stove install. I’ll go through step-by-step for you in case you’re thinking of starting a project like this in your tiny! It really wasn’t so bad…

Happy Birthday!

This post is for Papa, my very special grandfather, who is 88 today! He wants to know about my decision to go back to school. 

But first…

Papa, thank you for so much. For reading my blog, for raising such an amazingly loving family, and for inspiring us to do what we love and stand for what we believe. Happy birthday! 🎈

When ​deciding ​to ​change ​careers ​from ​teaching, ​there were a few non-negotiables I had for my next steps. I knew ​my ​career ​would ​have ​to ​involve ​caring ​for

people, ​working ​in ​a ​collaborative ​community, ​and ​spending ​most ​of ​my ​time ​on ​my ​feet. It would have to be something I felt proud of, something purposeful. ​The search began with what seemed like an obvious choice, healthcare. However, bumps in the road here and there steered me away from that option and left me utterly unsure of my future. So, after about a thousand internet searches, hundreds of “interviews” (I took to interviewing everyone I met about their jobs and their lives to try to find my calling), books,  countless hours of soul searching, a few less-than-concrete decisions, and some tears…I landed right where I started about 9 months ago. I want to be a nurse.

While ​working ​in ​healthcare ​is ​a ​completely ​different ​realm ​of ​caring ​for ​people ​than ​teaching, ​its something that matters to me. I’ll feel as though my time spent at work is important to someone other than myself. I can still work towards making a difference in the world, just like I was trying to do with teaching. 

So, I finished researching nursing schools, made a plan, enrolled in all my prerequisites, and took a CNA course. 

I’m now a certified nurse aide, and will be able to learn about the field while I’m putting myself through school. 

With any luck, I’ll be an RN in about 3 years! 



Hey there, it’s been a while…

It’s not that I’ve forgotten about you all or anything, it’s just that I’ve been completely invested in discovering my “now”!

I’ve really been trying to step back from social media, future planning, and past dwelling. Instead I’ve been investing energy in exactly where I am and who I’m with in each moment, appreciating moments as they happen. It’s a work in progress, that’s the whole point! 

I decided that it was time to give you all a brief update though. Here’s what I’ve been up to since my last post:

  • Family visit on the East Coast
  • A bit more kitchen redecorating 
  • Some winter prep (wood stove!!)
  • Climbing, camping, and more fun outdoors
  • Stella visit and more Wyoming adventures
  • Storage loft redecorating
  • First solo adventure (backpacking the Teton Crest Trail)
  • Finally a couch cover!
  • Oh yeah, and I started going back to school! I’m a college student again, it’s the best career! 

I figure I’ll leave it up to you all to decide what you’d care to hear more about! Let me know if anything stands out and I’ll write a post elaborating on the topic.

Thanks for stopping by!



Campsites and Challenges

Dispersed camping is much more common in the West than it is on the East coast, but if you can find it you’ll likely be pleased with your spot. Dispersed camping is essentially free camping on BLM (bureau of land management) or National Forest land. Many dispersed sites have fire rings, but usually that is the only amenity provided. Users are expected to be aware of fire danger in the area and pack out anything they pack in – yes, this includes your toilet paper!

I consider myself a good campsite finder and I’ll let you in on the secret. Patience! Don’t stop at the first campsite you see unless you absolutely love it! Even if it’s starting to get late, and you’re starving. Just look a little further. Anyone who knows me personally would not describe me as patient, but when it comes to finding a campsite, I prefer to drive around and scope out the options. It’s better to hold out for that perfect view or peaceful clearing when setting up a temporary home. 

My campsite priorities are; rivers for the soothing background noise, mountains for the awe inspiring view, or any view of water.  I prefer to have a slightly secluded spot that has a level area for my tent. The best spot will allow me to set up my tent so that I can wake up to the view!

Alright now for the challenges. It’s good to plan how you’ll get your workout in before you leave and to set it up so that you feel obligated to do it, even after a long day of hiking or biking. Before we left town, Melissa, Sofie, and I set a challenge for ourselves to keep us working out while we were away from home. We decided we would do a push-up pyramid every day at our new campsite. Our first night consisted of  24 and by the end we were up to 72 push-ups! 

Check out this fun little video to see our challenges and our campsites! 

More house updates coming soon. Spoiler alert: project patience is hard.



The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

Just a quick break between adventure posts here…I’ll have the campsites and challenges post for you soon! I have to borrow Sofie’s computer to edit the videos for you guys, so have patience!

Moving back into my Tiny has been very inspiring, but like I’ve said before, it’s teaching me something about patience. I want to work on all of my projects immediately, but there just isn’t enough time and money in the bank to make it happen, you know?

The projects are focused on both aesthetics and function. How can I make my Tiny feel comfortable while also making it as efficient as possible? I started in the kitchen because the kitchen is the heart of the home. I’ll give you guys the before and after photos to show what I’ve changed! 

Here’s the before photo. It’s a little hard to tell, but you can see how I have cluttered upper shelves, especially to the right. Also, the bottom shelves look unfinished.

Here’s what it looks like now. Granted, I’m not in the middle of cooking with friends in this after photo so it doesn’t have the same vibe. But, you get the idea. Let me know what you think!

 I rearranged my pantry so that dry goods are stored in jars. The jars add to the aesthetics and get the dry goods (that we’re living in the nice baskets under my shelves) out of there to free up space for things that are in and out or can’t be stored in jars. It’s a simple step that really made a lovely difference. Next, I created curtains to cover the bottom section of the open shelving. In my opinion, they’ve pulled the kitchen together and make it look more finished. I need to hem the curtains still, but I’m trying to decide if I should expose the baskets along the bottom of the shelves or keep them covered.

Excuse the binder clips…😂

My next step is to paint the edges of the shelves that are exposed. What color do you think I should use? As you can see from the fabric, I’m trying to tie red into the kitchen. I’m just not sure if I want to paint the shelving red. I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Thank you for stopping by, I love reading your comments!! Check back soon to find out why I’m trying to add red to my color scheme.



Bike Packing Bozeman

Bozeman has been on my list of places to check out ever since two of my friends in CT told me about their time living there. It sounded like my kind of place, so when Melissa and Sofie suggested going to Montana to learn how to fly fish I was all in! 

Let me preface this post by saying that we did not learn how to fly fish on this trip. But we did make it to Bozeman and we spent some quality time by rivers and reservoirs. 

Our Bozeman adventure consisted of taking in the town for a while and then packing up our bikes and riding out of town and up into Hyalite Canyon. 

On the eve of our arrival in Bozeman we tested out some local brews and met some interesting folks, friends of the fellow adventurer who let us camp in his back yard for the night. Then we got to planning our next overnight. 

Decisions were made before going to sleep, the plan was to get up early and start our ride. 10 am rolled around the next morning and we rolled into Bagelworks on Main St. to get some much needed breakfast and coffee. 

We finally packed our bikes for the night and took off at approximately 2:38 pm. This wasn’t the early start we had planned on, but as I mentioned earlier, very little about this trip went as planned and it was perfectly spontaneous. Adventures like these are my favorites because it reminds me to “be like water,” as my wise Uncle Mike would say. 

Anyway, we rode out of Bozeman’s city limits and started the climb up to Hyalite Reservoir. This was a 10-mile climb surrounded by canyon walls, pine trees, and a roaring river. The view made the climb totally enjoyable. We got to the first campground at the reservoir in an hour and a half. We were beginning to realize how full the campgrounds were when a hero on a motorcycle rode up to us to ask if we were looking for a campsite. He had made a reservation, but needed to cancel it. We followed him to the host, Louise, so we could take his campsite and she let us know how lucky we were. Apparently the sites had been reserved since January 1st. Talk about good timing! 

This was my first bike packing trip so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I LOVED it! I borrowed some panniers from a friend and was able to carry all of my camping gear for the night. I strapped our tent to the top of my back rack, along with my sleeping bag. Melissa and Sofie divied up our food and cooking gear because they have slightly larger panniers. 

​Here’s the view of the reservoir from the last stretch of pavement! 

You don’t need a kickstand when you’ve got great touring buddies!

I love traveling in low key ways such as by bike or backpack because it seems that people can sense your good intentions. It’s inspiring to encounter the kindness of strangers, like Vance who gave us his campsite, or Louise who wanted to be sure we were safe, or Karley and friends who let us store our food in her car overnight to save us from the bears. 

Set good intentions and then let ’em ride, my friends! 



P.S. Thank you for the Beartooth Pass suggestion, we decided to check it out for our last night! Check back soon for road trip challenges and stunning campsites!

Wild About Wildlife

We started the wildlife viewing off on the drive into Grand Teton National Park and it just kept getting better from there. 

Our first sighting was a grizzly bear running along the side of the road. I hate to say this bear was cute, because it’s a GRIZZLY BEAR!, but it was very exciting to spot one. 


Check out this video of the bear!

Being “Bear Aware” is no joke in Bear Country. We were informed by a ranger that bears in the Tetons and Yellowstone aren’t going to break in to your car to find food. If a bear is found breaking into a car, it is euthanized to avoid generations of bears teaching their cubs to find food from humans. You can be proactive against future problems, and to save the bears, by making sure you lock anything that smells – think chapstick, toothpaste, sunscreen, I mean anything with a smell – in your car or a bear box.
While hiking in the park, we spotted a moose munching along side the trail. Then on our drive out of the Tetons, we saw a black bear and a fox! This fox was white with a big bushy tail, and seemed to be posing for pictures for all the tourists that had pulled off the road.

Our next stop on the road trip was Yellowstone National Park, where we saw countless bison grazing in the meadows. We also saw elk lounging by Mammoth hot springs and three moose with huge antlers chowing down on the side of the road.

Yellowstone is an absolutely beautiful park. It was the first national park, established in 1872, before Montana was even a state! While many people go to see the geothermal features such as Old Faithful, I personally felt lost and found in the river landscape that runs boundless through the park. 

The park’s campsites were full when we arrived, so we drove through to the West Entrance, pit-stopping to see Old Faithful and grab some ice cream!  From the South Entrance to the West Entrance was 69 miles, this park is HUGE! 

We left the park and drove into Galletin National Forest where we found a gorgeous campsite to call home for the night. Here we encountered more wildlife in the form of miniature vampires, more commonly known as mosquitoes. Does anyone know why mosquitoes bite some people more than others? Melissa and Sofie got eaten alive and I managed to get out without a bite. 

The next morning we saw a few more neat things in Yellowstone; Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Tower Falls, oh yeah and more ice cream, and then made our way to Bozeman. 

Mammoth Hot Springs

Grand Prismatic Spring

Tower Falls

Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for our bike packing adventure from Bozeman.