07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Monday, August 1, 2016

Tiny Living by Paty Jager

When my husband and I moved to our “semi-retirement” property, we had to downsize for a while. We stored all of the furniture we didn’t sell in a 12 foot by 12 foot “tack room” we’d built.  Our living quarters for 8 months while we built a house was 10 feet by 16 feet.  We had a queen size bed, a small counter with a microwave, and I set up a 2 foot by 4 foot table for us to use to eat on and I could use to write on. We had stacking patio chairs we used indoors and out and a small deck with a table, chairs, and a BBQ. 
We had built a small room onto the cabin for a shower and washtub. We used an outhouse for the other plumbing.  I either took our laundry to town or used the washer at the empty house owned by the people employing my husband to manage their alfalfa fields. I would bring the wet clothes back to the cabin and hang them from drying racks my mother-in-law brought me from the Netherlands years ago.

For cooking, I used the microwave, an electric skillet, crockpot, and the BBQ. I learned how to bake in the BBQ and made a couple of cakes that way. 

Living tiny for those 8 months taught me that I could live without things that before I thought I needed. We were cozy but by the end of the 8 months my hubby was ready to move into the house. The limited space for him to do his bookwork and me to do my writing bothered him
When we moved into the house, I actually took a whole pickup load of things to the thrift store.  I only have in the house the things I love or are useful.  It makes cleaning and living a whole lot simpler. 

Have you ever had to live in a tiny space without all the things you’re used to?

One of the things I enjoy most about where we live is discovering new history about my home state. I’ve written two historical western romance books using my new community as the setting. My recent release, Brody: Letters of Fate, takes place over the hill from our place and incorporates haying in the late 1800’s and a place that we have discovered and take our visitors to: Malheur Cave. It is a 3000 ft long cave with a 1000 ft  long lake in it.

To learn when my new releases come out and how you can read my books for free join Paty’s Posse.
Historical western filled with steamy romance and the rawness of a growing country.

Brody: Letters of Fate

Historical western filled with steamy romance and the rawness of a growing country.

A letter from a grandfather he’s never met has Brody Yates escorted across the country to work on a ranch rather than entering prison. But his arrival in Oregon proves prison may have been the lesser of two evils. A revenge driven criminal, the high desert, and his grandfather’s beautiful ward may prove more dangerous than anything he’s faced on the New York docks. 

Lilah Wells is committed to helping others: the judge who’d taken her in years ago, the neighboring children, and the ranch residents, which now includes the judge’s handsome wayward grandson. And it all gets more complicated when her heart starts ruling her actions. 

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 25+ novels and over a dozen novellas and short stories of murder mystery, western historical romance, and action adventure. She has a RomCon Reader’s Choice Award for her Action Adventure and received the EPPIE Award for Best Contemporary Romance.  This is what reviewers says about her Letters of Fate Series: “What a refreshing and well written love story of fate and hope! Very well written but sometimes sizzling love scenes!”

All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

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Liz Flaherty said...

Before we moved to our present house, we lived in a 1-bedroom apartment with three kids and the contents of our former 3-bedroom home. It wasn't an experience I'd care to repeat. :-) With just him and me and not all the furniture, it might be ll right.

Paty Jager said...

Liz, I wouldn't have made it a day if the kids were still living with us! Though we did have three grandkids for two weeks that summer and we managed. They had to learn to put things away and pick up their beds.

Judith Ashley said...

My house is 620 square feet but has a full basement and an attic. At one point seven people lived here - the youngest 12. Oh, and one bathroom! Three people slept in the attic and four in the basement although only two had a bed - the others made do with an air mattress on the floor. Not as challenging as you and Liz but challenging enough as I was the only one working.

I'm fascinated by the HGTV show "Tiny House" and try to imagine myself living in one. Maybe by myself but right now I've my granddaughter and great granddaughter living with me. My place is big enough that we have our own space. That would be what I'd miss the most if I had a tiny house, I think.

Rain Trueax said...

I am fascinated by people who live in RVs full-time. Some are pretty generous in size but others quite small and a few of these couples are homeschooling their children. I've thought living full-time in an RV could be great with the travel potential-- then I wonder but what would I do with the stuff I love...

Paty Jager said...

Your house sounds small, Judith! When I was growing up we had seven people in an old farmhouse and one bathroom. Now, I think about it and wonder how we all managed. Especially when there were five of us getting ready for school and work every morning. I like the tiny house show. Hubby and I have been thinking about building our own tiny house on a lot down by his sister in Texas to hang out at for an month in the winter.

Rain, I wouldn't make it in an RV. They feel claustrophobic to me. MY cabin felt spacious compared to what I feel when we sit in our friends Minnnie Winnie.

Sarah Raplee said...

Paty, 160 square feet was teeny-tiny living!

My daughter and her husband and their Labrodor retriever live in a fifth wheel RV. With the pull-outs extended, it's a lot bigger than that and the built-in storage is amazing. They traveled to Oregon from Iowa to visit and fell in love with our beautiful state. First they were camp hosts at a county park, then winter caretakers, and then Anthony was hired as a Lead Ranger and they live in a beautiful permanent spot in the woods near Estacada. They love it.

Diana McCollum said...

thanks, Paty! very interesting post! I love watching the tiny house show on DIY network. Only drawback for me is most of the tiny houses have a loft for sleeping, I wouldn't care for that. Karen Duval's daughter and son-in-law in Eugene sell tiny houses.

Kristin Holt said...

Hi Paty!

I regret missing this blog post when "fresh"...or at least freshly posted. I'm always fascinated by people who've had the chance to "live tiny". Your epiphany that what you need to be happy/content/comfortable is significantly less than what you might have previously thought feeds my current urge to empty my home. We've lived in the same house for 19 years and it has gradually filled up (despite my efforts to donate items we no longer use or need, for example the children's outgrown clothes and shoes).

Thanks for sharing!