In case you were wondering...

In case you were wondering...

This blog exists to encourage all those who have ever wanted--and needed!--a tiny getaway close to home. A workshop, playhouse, garden shed, sanctuary, mini-greenhouse, studio, home office; whatever it is you need, it IS doable, with some sacrifice, imagination, and compromise.

It helps if you're handy, too.

In the Beginning...

This was my first post in this blog, explaining WHY!  It's been edited a bit to make it more universal, but basically this is how we got started on this go-round.

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...I seem to get this bug. I guess I'm a builder--or a nester--at heart. Once upon a time, I wanted to be an architect--till I discovered you needed to know math.  Um.  Never mind...

20 years ago, I finally built my cabin in the woods, a lifelong dream--and wrote a book about the process, A Naturalist's Cabin , which came out in 1991... (yes, of course, it's out of print, but you can still find it. Some mad optimist had one listed for $270+ on Amazon, but there are also quite a few affordable used copies out there--I even have some myself!)




I'm 20 years older now, and a LOT more arthritic--can't imagine lifting that south wall of the original cabin with the help of only one young carpenter and NO wall jack, or driving those thousands of nails with my Rocket hammer. (At the end of the day, I could barely move, then!)

We still go out there frequently, when the weather even comes close to cooperating, but even with 4WD, you're not getting out again when it's icy or snowy, and it's iffy when it's really wet. 20 years ago, that wasn't a problem. I'd park at the top and walk in, occasionally falling flat but getting there and back. If it was TOO slick, I'd bushwhack through the woods and climb down the banks of the creek to get to it.

But--can't now, not since '99 when I messed up my knee. I spent a few years being really ticked about it, but eventually even a cranky old chick accepts the way things are. Some things I just can't do any more, so deal with it. So we get there when we can drive in and out again...

This past few years have not been smooth ones for us. Oh, WE'RE all right, we're lovely--Joseph is all I could ever wish for in a husband, best friend, and mate--but family issues with his elderly parents and a hostile takeover attempt at his Dad's business resulted in half a dozen long, tense phone calls a day. Sometimes more. Sometimes more than tense. Always LONG.

Try writing a book with all that going on. Try maintaining your SANITY. J's mom had dementia the last two years before she died--she was angry, paranoid, demanding, and made his life and his adopted sister's incredibly difficult. They were both made trustees of the family estate and given powers of attorney; so after her last heart attack in 2008 they needed to deal with the practicalities of life to make sure she and Dad were well taken care of.

Needless to say the ringing of the phone became a nightmare for both of us. Seeing my poor sweetie that upset that often was not good for EITHER of us. I'm pretty protective.

Soooo...I began to dream of a little getaway shed, right next door in the vacant lot I bought 25 years ago, after my neighbor's house burned to the ground. Something I could get to, winter and summer, with NO phone. I could just lug the laptop over if I wanted, no problem. There would be a table to work at, and I could have a few art supplies there or take them in my backpack.  No distracting internet there, either!

I don't need this kind of getaway quite as much now...things are much calmer in that part of the world, and so here as well.


However. I am still 20 years older, still arthritic, and still not able to get in and out of the cabin in bad weather (or at the drop of a hat!). I still need quiet to work.

And I'm still nesty. I love tiny sheds, cabins, cottages...you can see my Flickr set of images here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cathy-johnson/sets/72157614254725880/

So tune in for the ongoing blow by blow of making this crazy idea into a reality...I am thinking almost anyone motivated enough who is willing to sacrifice some and compromise here and there could do it, if they had a tiny pocket of space available.  I hope this blog encourages you to give it a go, if that's what you really want.

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