Keeping Things in Perspective

Mountains and mountain cabins have always captured our imaginations, calling us to scale their heights and go to a place to relax, to gain a new perspective, recharge our energies and just enjoy the views. Mountains can be seen from thousands of miles away, but if we are lucky enough to be on top of one, or in our very own mountain cabin, we can see great stretches of the surrounding area. As a result, mountains symbolize vision, the ability to rise above the adjacent lowlands and see beyond our immediate vicinity. From the top of the mountain, we are able to witness life from a new perspective-cities and towns that once seemed so large when we were in them now look tiny. We can take the whole view in with a single glance, regaining our composure and our sense of proportion as we understand how much bigger this world is than we sometimes realize.

Mountain cabins are a part of American lore and psyche, a safe place to live the life one can only imagine in the city. They epitomize the  way we would love to live our lives, if only for a few days.  Here one returns to nature, to  ”roots,” living a life one dreams of, as one gazes out the office window, or while making the way through the crowds of foot traffic, caught in the congestion of the freeway on the way home from work.  Living in  one’s very own mountain cabin design is almost always considered a spiritual place, and the energy is undeniably unique. When one is on top of a mountain in one of our tiny cabins, it is as if he or she has ascended to an alternate realm, one in which the air is purer, the energy lighter, and almost magical. People go to our mountain cabins to connect with a higher source of understanding, and many have come back from that retreat feeling stronger and wiser. Whenever one is feeling trapped or limited in one’s vision, a trip to the nearest mountain and one of our tiny cabins may be just the cure.

We take our mountain cabin designs and cabin designs and create your very own safe place, your little niche in the world. We create a space that gives you the ability to escape from feeling trapped and to expand your visions and dreams of what is possible.

There’s a reason that mountain views and mountain cabins are so highly prized in this world, and it is because, even from a distance, mountains remind us of how small we are, which often comes as a wonderful relief. In addition, they illustrate  the ability to connect with a higher energy. As they rise up from the earth, sometimes disappearing in the clouds that gather around them, mountains are a visual symbol of earth reaching up into the heavens. Whether one has an actual mountain view out the window or just a photograph of a mountain cabin  to look  at every day, one can rely on these earthly giants to provide inspiration, vision, and a daily reminder of man’s humble place in the grand scheme of life.

Be Sociable, Share!

Cleansing the Heart of Your Existence – Daily OM

Nine Ways to Have a Healthier Home

Our homes are often our sanctuaries, keep your home healthy by using natural cleaning products.

Our homes serve as sanctuaries in which we are protected from what is potentially harmful. If we are not careful, however, we can inadvertently surround ourselves with substances that can be toxic to our bodies. It is precisely because we rely on our private spaces to serve as refuges from the world that we must exercise great care when choosing how we build, furnish, cleanse, and decorate our homes. Here are some suggestions for creating a healthier home:

1. Be a conscious consumer. If you buy products that contain wholesome, organic, and inert components, you will avoid most common household toxins. Read labels.

2. Your spaces will be as healthy as they are clean when you use natural cleansers and detergents. Almost everything in the home can be cleaned and disinfected using varying combinations of baking soda, vinegar, salt, tea tree oil, herbs, and gentle castile soap. Organic cotton slipcovers can be washed regularly to keep dust mites at bay and to keep us from close contact with furniture that may be off-gassing toxins.

3. Plants clean and add oxygen to the air you breathe when you place them in your personal spaces. Two plants in each room of your dwelling will rid the air of toxins and pollutants while balancing indoor humidity levels. Air purifiers are an easy way to have clean air and are especially useful in a bedroom. Try and clean your air ducts and furnace and change filters regularly.

4. Natural décor that incorporates pesticide-free wood and fibers, organically grown materials, and nontoxic paints and varnishes adds beauty to your house or apartment while lowering your exposure to unsafe chemicals.

5. Scents can help you maintain a hazard-free home. As you enter your home after an absence, pay close attention to the dominant fragrance you perceive. You may discover toxins that might otherwise have gone unrecognized.

6. Be aware of the water you drink and bathe in and consider adding a whole-house filter system.

7. Getting a good night’s rest is easier when your bedding is comprised of natural materials. Organic cotton sheets, down comforters, and wool fiber mattresses offer a wonderful alternative to standard bedclothes.

8. Negative ions are invisible molecules that promote whole-self wellness found in the clean air atop mountains and near rushing water. Equipping your home with a negative-ion generator or salt lamp will ensure that you feel alert and refreshed whenever you are at home.

9. If building a new home, consider carefully the materials you choose and research how much they off-gas toxins. You may not be aware of many glues and hidden substances. Choosing sustainable wood floors over wall-to-wall carpeting can be very beneficial to those with allergies and sensitivities.

Making a few easy changes in your home can provide years of healthy living for you, your family, and pets. A healthy home is a good foundation for living. And whether you use these suggestions or others, the best thing you can do is be aware.

Be Sociable, Share!

Building the Breathe Easy

Click on the picture to get more of the story….

Be Sociable, Share!

Personalized Work Space – close to home

Would you like to commute to your office every day by just walking through your yard?

Looking for a Mountain Cabin Office, but want something a bit different?

Do you want to start practicing living “green” at work or in your own personal work space?

The way people work is changing – the cost and inconvenience of commuting to work everyday is increasing, whereas advances in computer and networking technology are making the viability of working from home a realistic alternative to traveling to an office everyday. Linkedin is also saying that in the next 10 years, most people working will be contractual. You may find the necessity of having your own tiny office

In fact, there is more to working from home than just convenience and lifestyle improvements, there can be huge benefits to working in a Tiny Green Cabin garden or mountain cabin office, including:

  • Saving on travel time and costs.
  • Reducing road congestion.
  • Separating ‘Work’ time from ‘Family/Home’ time.
  • Reduced heating bills (you will only need to heat Tiny Green Cabin while you work, rather than a whole house).
  • Mountain Cabin Feel
  • Very quiet space – outside noise is minimized.
  • Minimal bureaucracy – unlikely to need Planning Permission or Building Permits

Working from home is easier than you think.

Give Tiny Green Cabins a call today at 651-788-6565

Be Sociable, Share!

What is Green Building?

According to Wikipedia….

Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use and harvest energy, water, and materials, and reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better site use, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal – the complete building life cycle.

Green building is also sometimes known as “sustainable building” or “environmental building“, although there are slight differences in the definitions. The practice of green building can lead to benefits including reduced operating costs by increasing productivity and using less energy and water, improved public and occupant health due to improved indoor air quality, building small with small houses, small homes, and tiny cabins and reduced environmental impacts by;  for example, by lessening our carbon footprint through wise product use, engineered products, good space usage by designing small house plans, tiny house plans, and small cabin plans that use good cabin design and lumber products which are Chain-of-Custody (COC) certified–products that are third-party certified have been reviewed or tested against a set of standards by an organization that is independent of the manufacturer or its trade association; and low-emitting products which have little or no harmful products that are emitted into the air. The amount of off-gassing coming from a product can only be quantified in a laboratory. Look for third-party certifications for caulks, paints, flooring products and wood products. The Breathe Easy is a low emitting non toxic cabin example.

Reducing the use of natural resources through the integration of recycled products in building materials is a strong resource efficiency concept. One example of a recycled and engineered material is composite decking, Airkrete, and Soft Touch Insulation. They are made of both pre- and post-consumer recycled materials such as plastic jugs, recycled plastics, wood fibers, and recycled cotton (blue jeans). The Wildflower is an example of using the following attributes of green building.

  • Locally produced
  • Reduced waste (engineered)
  • Chain-of-Custody certified
  • Third-party certified low-emitting
  • Recycled content
  • Water conserving
  • Energy conserving
  • Durable

Tiny Green Cabins LLC builds small cabins, tiny cabins that are transportable as well as mountain cabins, small houses, and small homes as well as designing custom house plans for the individual that wants to live a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with our planet.

“God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.
- John Muir”

Be Sociable, Share!

Dare to Dream

I learned this, at least, by my experiment;
that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
from the “Conclusion” to Walden by Henry David Thoreau

For several years in talking to my sons, I have talked about pursuing their dreams, and yet found myself unable to take the risk for myself. The weekend of Nov 13, 2008, at a retreat in Northern Minnesota on Gull Lake the idea and dream surfaced and an active discussion followed. This time, it went further than dreams and idle talk, but actually moved into a mind mapping of the idea, and before long we had on paper given some hard reasons to follow the dream.

We listed the advantages and disadvantages to pursuing the venture of building small houses, tiny cabins, tiny homes, and tiny houses. The experience side started with the ability to design small house plans and cabin plans, then use those small house plans to build the actual small house and tiny green cabins.

For Experience; I do have 35 years of carpentry and management experience in building small and large houses of all types and styles; managing crews, design teams, manufacturing departments, and improvement teams for businesses.

Another advantage is the location of property that is owned on a busy highway, along with a large shop building to build small houses and tiny cabins, and a display area on highway 61 for showing off the completed tiny cabins. The highway has a traffic count of 10,000 hits a day and projected to 25,000 within 5 years. The potential is there for a lot of growth.

The downside of all the advantages is the state of the economy, locally and nationally. And if a business makes it in this environment, it will definitely be strategically ready when the business climate recovers. And it will recover!

Part of the planning of the business, besides drawing small house plans, and building a model of a tiny cabin, is having a network of support in the venture, be it financial, emotional or mentoring. Rev. Nancy Herrick from Our Spiritual Center , Elizabeth Traff, Carol Austin from Cross Dental Care, Daisy Mckinley, Jerry Wescott, and Bill Schmidt along with many others provided emotional support, guidance, and a open forum to bounce ideas around with. I thank each of these special friends for being along with me on this journey.

This blog, will follow that dream, and currently, the business plan is almost completed and we are enhancing the website. Thinking funding would be limited, there was a concern, until a friend who believed in the dream offered funding to get a model built. I know this dream is taking hold and all I need to do is follow the steps of the dream and hold onto the trolley strap for the ride.  Italics from Wayne Dyers book, “Power of Intention


Be Sociable, Share!

Solar Power For a Tiny Green Cabin

 

Call (651) 788-6565 

or email jim@tinygreencabins.com for Pricing

Be Sociable, Share!

The Organic Cabin Design

Be Sociable, Share!

Tiny Green Cabins are Magical Places

For years, I enjoyed reading Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time”, of the mythical creatures that befriend Rand A’Thor, or of the elves, ogres, and other mystical creatures in “Lord of the Rings” by  J.R.R. Tolkien. Frodo, Sam, Gimli, Legolas and other elfin friends lived in forests and often in the trunks of trees; and  who could forget the Avatars and the planet Pandora. The trees were their safe place and home.

When I started living in the Wildflower Cabin, it was my retreat and developed into finding out how to make the tiny cabin better and my safe place and home. To that end, there have been thoughts for improvements, suggestions noted, and different designs contemplated. Since I built the Wildflower, there was already a lot of me built into the small cabin, so one could say I had a special attachment to it. I already loved it.

What I did not expect to happen did happen. The memories of long lost youth came marching through the nights; the sleeping under the eves of the roof listening to the rain falling on the roof; the peering out the window at night and watching the bats dart about, the rabbits hopping from bush to bush; the full moonlight nights; and the twinkling of the stars.  In the 3rd week, it started to feel like I was sleeping in a magical place - almost like in the hollow of a tree.

Climbing into the loft each night became comforting and cozy. The Wildflower and the loft had become my nest and “Safe Place’ to rest, sleep, and relax in. My pillow was at the awning window and I could look out into the night and view creatures of the night moving about; deer ambling through the yard; the skunk that found the ground bees nest and savory honey; to the owl and mouse drama that resulted in a flurry of wings; the thunder and lightning shows as the rain danced on the metal roof; and the dancing of the shadows of the moonlight dancing across the grass. These all created the magical moments for me in my Tiny Green Cabin – Wildflower Cabin.

Cabin life and small cabins are the love of Minnesota and I suspect the world. For at the cabin, we find for a moment, the joy of life. For in a cabin retreat, pleasure becomes the norm away from the routine of duty for just a little while.

Be Sociable, Share!

Cost of Materials for Thoreau’s House (from Walden)

  • Board’s: $8.03 1/2, mostly shanty boards
  • Refuse shingles for roof and sides: $4.00
  • Laths: $1.25
  • Two second-hand windows with glass: $2.43
  • One thousand old brick: $4.00
  • Two casts of lime: $2.40. That was high.
  • Hair: $0.31. More than I needed
  • Mantle-tree iron: $0.15
  • Nails: $3.90
  • Hinges and screws: $0.14
  • Latch: $0.10
  • Chalk: $0.01
  • Transportation: $1.40. I carried a good part on my back.
  • In all: $28.12 1/2

    These are all the material excepting the timber, stones and sand, which I claimed by squatter’s right.

    Be Sociable, Share!