Life in “The Valley” Thus Far

Well crap. I have been the absolute worst blogger, ever. I even got a text from one of my friends the other week saying, “RIP 2dogs1catandatinyhouse June 1-October 7 2015”. That is when I knew I had officially neglected the blog and providing all of our lovely family and friends with details on our adventure! So, here it is….the long awaited blog post…that most likely will not live up to the hype of a 2 month long waiting period.

Just waitin’ on a blog…
Still waitin’…

A lot has happened since I last wrote. A LOT. The best way for this post to go is bullet points, or I will forget everything.

  • We moved.
    • The days of glamping at the land we were staying on were becoming tough once the weather started to get colder. The consistent electric, no running water deal was a deal breaker with the winter coming. We were lucky enough that we were able to find a place to move right in time, because it snowed the week after we moved! We are now staying at an RV park.
      Upsides: We have constant heat. We have TV. We have internet. We have laundry 30 feet away. We have a fenced in area for the dogs to run. We have showers within 20 feet if needed.

      Downsides: We can’t have the dogs kennel, so that have to attend doggy days care when we both work. We have neighbors….VERY close.
  • We gave up on solar panels (only for now).
    • After months of difficulty with inverters and batteries (and other things I have no clue about) Jake was able to get all of the pieces we needed…then we decided we had to move for the winter. So, all of the solar panels and Jake’s tools are now in a storage unit until we get land that we can use them again on. It stinks we cannot use them, but there is just not room to set the rack up at the RV park.
      No solar panels, but we are able to watch TV without turning on a generator now!                                                                                          * Please ignore the tiny house clothes drying line above Jake.    * Please note the cute little stockings by the fire for the fur babes.

      Which means Steelers can be watched!
  • Number of days without running water: 104.
    • This my friends, is a pain in the butt. Most days its not bad. The whole working out before work and showering has been working well. However, the taking the dishes to the RV park bathroom to wash them..especially in <5 degree weather…is NOT ideal. We should however, be figuring out the water soon. We just had a couple other things that came up when we moved that pushed to a higher importance level on Jake’s “fix” list.

      This is how we feel about not having running water.
  • Number of heating devices in our home: 3
    • We have a cute little wood stove. Its 12″x14″ we used it before we moved to the RV park to heat the house, but since the move we have only used it once. We will be using it again shortly I am sure as soon as the temperatures drop more.

      Seriously. How stinking cute is that?!
    • We have a ceramic heater with a thermostat…required by our insurance contract. We could heat with a wood stove as long as we have a heat source with a thermostat to keep a constant temperature. This seemed dumb at first, but it is so nice to come home from work to a warm house.
    • Radiant heater.This is a new addition to the tiny house heater clan. It is more efficient than the ceramic heater, so we turn the thermostat lower and the radiant heater picks up the slack.

      Snuggle fest on the floor!
  • Number of times Jake has cussed at the roof: too many to count.
    • Once the weather turned and we needed heat in the house, our roof began to condensate and drip…kind of like a rain drops…inside the house…while we were sleeping…on our heads. Jake has since spent MANY hours caulking and re-caulking every seam of the roof and installing lots of vents on the outside of the roof to fix this problem. Fingers crossed, no more condensation so far.
  • Our house is now winterized.
    • We now have insulation around the bottom of the tiny house.

      This is not a good look for the house, BUT it does help to keep our heat in and will get us through the cold winter months ahead!
  • We had our first Holiday away from our family.
    • This was tough, as we both are used to being so close to our families and having Thanksgiving with both of them. I was suppose to work, then due to low patient load in the hospital I got called off (good for me and for the patients that got to go home in time for Thanksgiving!). Our friend had invited us over to his Mom’s house for Thanksgiving, so we were very thankful to be able to spend the holiday with friends since we were away from our family.
      Our friend’s mom put us to work…I was in charge of cutting up the giblets for the gravy. Grandpa Ron would be proud, but I wanted to barf.

      Kelly was in charge of the gravy!
  • We have discovered you can never time anything perfectly.
    • Kya went into heat. We scheduled Acadia’s neutering appointment for this Wednesday. Her first heat he was fine…completely had no idea. This time he was fine, until about 3 days ago. Poor baby can’t control himself and we can’t get the appointment any sooner, so there has been lots of hikes/activity outside and trying to keep his sniffer to himself inside. The vet told us to give him benydryl as needed and this, along with Vicks on his nose, has resulted in a much less anxious dog.

      3 more days, 3 more days.
  • We had our first frozen pipe.
    • Our sewage pipe froze. Although we do not have running water, we were using water inside to fill pots and brush our teeth. So, water still got down it. Mr. Fix It was able to fix this problem yesterday when it got warmer (above 30 degrees).
  • We had our first Montana snow.
    • Only about 6″, but we got it! The dogs were so excited and so were we! The weather got super cold on Thanksgiving around 5 degrees…then lower with the wind chill. So, it has been cold, but not a ton of snow in the valley…just in the mountains!
      He loves the snow!
      View from the RV park.

  • We learned about inversion clouds.
    • So, we live in “the valley” and are surrounded on 3 sides by mountains and 1 side by Flathead Lake. These things called inversion clouds hover down over the mountains in the winter and create this “mood” lighting all over the valley. By mood lighting I mean gray skies. What is pretty cool about them is that when you hike above them, or go snowboarding/sking up in the mountains it looks awesome. The days that there are no inversion clouds and you can see the mountains, are the days that it is SUPER cold. On these days though there are blue skies and mountain views, so I will take super cold days any day in the winter.
      These are inversion clouds. We are above them in this picture, so I like them.


  • I am trying to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
    Kya found us a tree.
    This is our “tree” a wreath and our ornaments on the wall!
    Attempting to get the antlers on for a family picture.
    They hated it.

    By “they” I mean all three of them. They hated it.
  • We are still exploring and find something new every weekend! we can’t wait to go snowboarding, snowshoeing and cross county skiing in the coming months with the winter weather arriving!
    Hiked up Big Mountain with the dogs!
    Mountain men…and woman.



    Bowman Lake
    Montana Grizzlies game in Missoula
    Enjoying the view of Kalispell from Lone Pine National Forest.
    Kalispell views from Herron Park
    Babes at Herron Park

    Until next time!!


3 thoughts on “Life in “The Valley” Thus Far

  1. Today I ran across your house on Tiny House Swoon by way of Facebook and then checked out your blog as I’m fascinated by Tiny Houses. I live in the southern Nevada desert but have been to Montana twice, as My Man’s aunt runs the West Glacier Campground up there. He goes up there every spring to help her family prepare the campground for opening and I help, too. I love your photographs of what you & your family are doing up there and recognize some of locations you’ve photographed. What really jumped out to me were the pictures of your family (and, yes, I believe animals count as family) near several glacial lakes. Those little rounded stones in the water! They’re unusual and in so many colors that I just HAD to appropriate one of each color as a reminder of the natural Montana beauty. You are so fortunate to live in the Green Wood of Montana in a Tiny House.


  2. I just spent an hour or more viewing your journey from start-to-current… fantastic pictures and delightful commentary. My wife and I, too, have been viewing tiny houses on several different TV venues, but really (REALLY) wouldn’t have the guts to do what you guys have done! Thanks for your great story!


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