I’m getting closer to realizing my trip to California (I won’t really realize it until I pack a bag on Monday night and wake up horribly early on Tuesday) and am getting the casita set up for weatherproofness for the two weeks it will be sitting untouched. Actually it’s been rather untouched since I got the walls up… making many trips to the hardware store for framing hardware while I waiver back and forth on what to use and not use. Truthfully I’ve been mostly avoiding the whole structure since I freaked out last week and drove to the beach for a late night of tiny house escapism. (It helped.)
But today I was re-inspired. I dragged myself out of a depressed and sleepy haze as my dad yelled to me, “Pix, a 53-pound package just arrived for you from Fed Ex!” I went outside around to the back porch (which can only be accessed through the kitchen in the house, which is still sealed off for demolition) and there was a smallish box with red FRAGILE tape all over it. Quite meticulously packed… I knew right away that it was my little wood stove, from Salamander Stoves in Devon, England.
Both Mark and his associate Dominic at Salamander have been so great, so good-natured, and such a pleasure to do business with! Dominic sent me an email three or four days ago saying he had brought the stove wrapped and ready to go to the shipping company and hoped to have a tracking number for me within the next day or two. Needless to say I was quite surprised at how speedily it had arrived to now be sitting on my porch.
I love surprises and packages, so I could already feel myself coming out of the funk. I carried it down into the grass by the tiny house and unpacked it, which felt very old thyme as it was packaged in a wooden box with jute handles. Little things like that delight me. Thanks to the detailed description and pictures Dominic had emailed previously, it was every bit as cute as I expected…and more. I adored the Pipsqueak as soon as I started unpacking it:
It weighs only maybe 40 lbs and sits upon its own cast iron base. It has a dial on the side for airflow and the whole thing is enameled a deep dynamic blue-teal color. (See pics below of course.) It’s truly the tiniest stove I think you can get for human use. I went to our wood pile and picked out the smallest pieces I could. They didn’t fit. Actually only twigs were small enough, or if I had had some round butts. Although, my dad had the fantastic idea of finding woodworkers who have tiny scraps of hardwood that I could burn. I’m intrigued that I will be burning such tiny scraps… And that Salamander says this stove produces 3 KW of heat in full blaze… Too bad it’s 100 degrees outside – it will be a while before I get to test out my heat source, but so far I’m thrilled; I wish there were more handmade-ish things like this in the world, they are so lovely!
Who knew a little British wood stove would bring me so much joy? (You may have noticed my partiality to the fact that this stove is British. It’s true. I can’t say why exactly, I’m just delighted by British handiwork.)
After many “it’s so cute!!!”s, my parents both happened to have a little free time (an unusual thing these days) and the baby was at the beach, so they graciously helped me get the big tarp up on the wood frame I built around the trailer. We were almost about to take the frame down, but decided that it would provide a better cover while I do the sheathing/gables. It was really fun to work on something with my parents…. It’s quite rare that I get to do that, especially with the three of us alone. As we worked, it struck me that I would look back on this afternoon as a sweet and sunny memory in the future… Sometimes even as middle children we get these little gems with our parents, aren’t they shiny?
We got the frame secured just in time for a nice dinner out and a beautiful windy thunderstorm which left the tarp (hooray!) intact.
A few days ago I got to catch up for a few hours with my dear friend Marta.
Marta is a sweet and inspiring kind of person who often doesn’t realize herself as such (I love these people) with a rebellious sassy side who often says what I wish I could. She was telling me about her latest video projects (she’s a filmmaker) and it occurred to me how uplifting and expanding it is for me to be around other people who like to make things, beautiful things (which she does!). Most of the time I talk with her, in fact, many new images and ideas come into my mind of what to do next, what would be fun to do, what to make, how to live… Can it be that this kind of stimulation has been lacking in my life lately? Yes. It also occurred to me that it is in fact no surprise whatsoever that I’m building an entire house, because I too am a creative, inspiring kind of gal with a sassy (maybe angry) side who often doesn’t realize herself as such. Keep human mirrors around you, good people, for they are most helpful in letting us see what’s already there.
Happy birthday to all of the sunny Lions out there, will write again as the moon wanes!