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Freedom in 704 Square Feet

"Early in their marriage, Lily Copenagle and Jamie Kennel began crafting a plan for living, scribbling house designs and lists of must-haves on notepads and paper napkins.
The idea was simple. They would create a home that was big enough for the two of them, but small enough so that it would be easy to maintain, environmentally responsible and inexpensive to operate. And that would allow them to free up their time and funds for intellectual and recreational pursuits. Own less, live more: It sounds like a platitude, but it became their strategy.…"
Article in New York Times by Sandy Keenan here.
Photo by Aaron Leitz 
Sent by Richard Hartman

Friday Fish Fry

People keep saying "Beautiful day," and I grit my teeth. Yes, the sun is out and sky is blue, but the weather is creepy. C'mon low pressure, move back in and let those storms blow in from the ocean. This photo is the end of a weak front that brought only 1/10th inch of rain…article in NYTimes titled "Older Mind May Just Be a Fuller Mind," saying that the older you are, the bigger a library of memory you have to deal with, the longer it takes to access it. I've been saying to people for years that memory is not infinite and that some stuff has to get pushed out for new stuff to get stored -- how's that for rationalization of all the things I can't remember now?…Also in NYT an article on sloths; they discovered that sloths have moth living aboard (in their fur) that create algae and a large part of sloths' diet consists of eating this algae. Efficient or what?…Right now listening to Bach Sonatas and Partitas by Chris Thiele, mandolinist from The Punch Brothers. There's something about the ringing tones of the mandolin that are perfect here, different from the sound of a violin or piano or harpsichord, and the musicianship is stunning; dazzling runs, lovely interpretation…Come to think of it, the whole point of the Llewyn Davis movie was not the film, but the concert film, "Another Day, Another Time," made in New York in September; way better film…Last night we ran across a documentary on the Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree and Crafts Festival in Smithville, Tennessee, and was it good! It's hard for us (east or west) coastal people to remember that there's a huge part ofAmerica out there that's not really on our radar. These fiddlers were so good, tons of them, quiet and unassuming and excellent and the clog dancers were a delight; I've got it marked on my calendar (July 4-5, 2014), and I might just go; maybe a road trip across America, maybe about time…Went eeling a few days ago and nada, maybe the big surf of late sent them into hiding…going to take my kayak to Tomales Bay this afternoon in search of horseneck clams and cockles…I'm on a campaign to get more seafood…had pasta with mussels last night…last, and the big news around here, is that we're almost finished with Tiny Homes on the Move and I'm pretty thrilled with it.

Tiny Home in New Zealand a True Mansion

"Her previous construction experience was a bookcase, but that has not stopped Lily Duval from building her own miniature house. The 27-year-old is two months into the build, and is on track to have most of the construction finished in another couple of months. She is building her house directly on a trailer on communal land in central Christchurch. At 5.5 meters long, 2.5m wide and 4.2m high, Duval's house fits under the New Zealand Transport Authority's definition of a light simple trailer..."

Click here.

Restored vintage Comet Camper is a cost-effective, mobile eco-home

"Learning to live sustainably, with less and within a smaller space is an appealing idea to many, but the cost of building a 'conventional' tiny home from scratch may not be affordable to everyone. While there are tiny homes to rent, there are also plenty of vintage trailers out there that can be purchased for cheap and renovated into small, sustainable homes.…"
Click here.

A Map of Hip America (and London, Paris, Hong Kong, etc.)

A survey in which the question was asked: "What is the Williamsburg of your city?"
From BoingBoing.
Click here.

Michael GregoryExhibit of Paintings NYC (Soho) Opens Tomorrow

Northwest Passage:
Exhibit of paintings by Michael Gregory at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 520 West 27th Street, NYC,
January 30-March 8, 2014

"Michael Gregory was born in Los Angeles, California in 1955. He received a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. He resides in Bolinas, California.
While the barn and other structures such as silos and stucco buildings, took “front and center” in Gregory’s work for the past five years, these structures were always painted in a landscape. In his most recent work, the artist’s decisions are fueled by a desire to create a shift in visual space in the paintings. His newest works are a step back, a new vista onto the landscape near his home in Northern California.

Cape Falcon Kayak

Greetings Lloyd-follow your blog every day.…One of the other sites I follow is Cape Falcon Kayak, a gentleman who runs an off the grid organic farm as well as teaching skin on frame kayak construction.  He just posted a seasaonal update for Winter 2014 that includes 2 videos, one showing the construction of his small japanese style house, the second showing the farm, off the grid construction and how they operate. Worth checking out and sharing on your site.  The foraging sections and photography are also very good if you have the time to peruse. Thanks again for taking the time to run the blog, and looking forward to the new book. -David Stoll
Click here.

California’s drought is staggering when seen from space

Top: California right now.

Bottom: California same time last year.

Click here.

Kayaking in the Dark

Friday night I took my kayak up to Tomales Bay and put in from a beach near Nick's Cove. The purpose: to observe the bioluminescence, which I'd read about. It's a phenomenon in waters hereabouts where luminous plankton glow on dark nights. I'd first seen it several years ago while walking on the beach barefoot on a dark night at low tide. I would kick some water and when it landed, flashing spark's danced around on the water's surface. Holy cow! Then I took my hands and threw water on some rocks, small pinpoints of brilliant light cascaded down the rock—ping, ping, ping.
  I paddled over to Hog Island and hit it lucky, sunset-wise. As the sun started going down, flocks of cormorants sailed overhead, going to roost in the shallows of the island. When it finally got dark, I took my paddle and splashed some water, and there were sparkles. I didn't see a lot of luminescence other than that, maybe because there were a few lights shining on the water from across the bay. Maybe you have to get in a darker part of the bay, like down around Marshall, to see fish swimming in a green glow.
   I loved being out there in the inky blackness of night; no wind, the water glassy. Something about being totally alone in the dark of the moon is exquisite.

Houses of the Hobbit Diaspora

"If you think that Hobbits are fictional, do not be fooled a second longer.  Middle-earth once existed, as did all of its various species. Yet the hobbits found themselves obliged to leave their original home of The Shire. Rescued by the ancestors of a mild-mannered English writer, they have spread across the world. A spell cast by the Gandalf the White means that the sons of men cannot see them but if you look close enough, there is evidence to be found. A hobbit has to live somewhere, after all.  Here are just some of the houses of the Hobbit diaspora.…"
Click here.
From David Shipway