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Using What I Already Have

Using What I Already Have

My beautiful "trash" sink that fits between the toilet and the door (the hamper was another trash find)

God has promised to provide all our needs, and I’ve been amazed how many times we are at the bottom of our financial resources and we look around and find something at our fingertips that meets a need.  Often the Lord provides things ahead of time we didn’t even know we’d need. 

One example is my lovely pedestal sink.   While living in town this summer I found a beautiful pedestal sink beside the road (yes, the secret is out…I DO pick up other people’s trash when it is something I can use).  I’ve always loved pedestal sinks, but never owned one.  As we passed I saw this sink at the end of a driveway and hollered, “Hey, I want that sink!”  Poor Silver Oak had to turn our big suburban around (something he hates when he’s headed somewhere) and go back to the humiliating task of picking up someone else’s trash.  No sooner was the sink inside our vehicle and the county trash truck came roaring around the corner straight for us.  Whew!!  That was close!

Using What I Already Have

The space under our loft bed is now a walk-in (or rather hunch-over-in) closet (the closet rod was salvaged from an old mobile home)

We took that sink home to our temporary rental home and set it out back.  I admired it often with its brass fixtures, and wondered if I would ever have a place to use it.  Although I love how pedestal sinks LOOK, in a tiny house every nook of space is extremely valuable, and with no storage underneath I knew it was probably completely impractical. 

A few months later we bought the trailer which is now our tiny house, and the bathroom/laundry room at one end had to be converted into a bathroom/bedroom for us.  The laundry room sink, washer, dryer, and bathroom sink and vanity had to be removed to make room for our loft bed and storage/closet space below.  That left no room for even the tiniest of vanities with a sink.  Wouldn’t you know, that pedestal sink was the perfect height to fit easily over one side of the toilet tank behind the bathroom door.  We couldn’t have found a better fit!  It’s been a reminder to me of my Heavenly Father’s love and care even in the little things.

When Jody had triplets on Tuesday it was immediately urgent to have another milking stanchion so both fresh goats could be milked and fed at once.  The urgent often rules around here, so Silver Oak set about building a new stanchion.  It was a lighter week for landscaping so he focused more on home projects.  He used leftover lumber from the “graveyard” of building supplies behind our tiny house.

Using What I Already Have

Building the stanchion

Using What I Already Have

The little guys try it

When the stanchion was built we jumped in the truck and drove to the old house in the boonies where we’d lived seven years.  Our playground set (someone else’s reject) was still there and we’d promised to remove it by the end of January.  At home we set it up again immediately; knowing if we didn’t it would probably be years before we got to it with all the other pressing needs.  It took several hours of precious time, but the children have been so delighted and have played and played with it already. 

Using What I Already Have

The playground set

Using What I Already Have

Eating lunch on the playground deck

Using What I Already Have

Our master bedroom curtain is a large scarf we got in Kazakhstan when adopting our 10-yr-old.

On Friday Silver Oak was home working his tail off again.  He fixed the latch to the back gate that has been a thorn in my side for months, and moved the many piles of lumber and other riff-raff that collects during construction out to their proper places in the “graveyard.”  What a difference it makes to neaten things up!

Meanwhile I continued to plug away at sorting, organizing, and decorating.  The pile of stuff in the camper has been reduced, but not finished.  All of the children’s bunk spaces are now personalized except for our 12-year-old’s.  Her shelf was one I found in someone’s reject pile, along with a beautiful old wooden chair, on the way to town one day.  I removed the bent screws, patched the holes, sanded it, and added a few nails to make it whole again.  Now it’s waiting for a coat of paint.  The rest of the shelves I already had except for one purchased recently at a garage sale.

Using What I Already Have

Our five year old son is in a bottom bunk...can you tell he likes John Deere?

Using What I Already Have

Our seven-year-old daughter is on the other bottom bunk

Using What I Already Have

Our nine-year-old is the lucky one with a window on her middle bunk

Using What I Already Have

Across the aisle our 10-year-old has the other middle bunk

Using What I Already Have

Our 17-year-old has a top bunk (I'll show our 12-year-old's bunk when the shelf is done)

Friday night Silver Oak and I had a quick dessert date at a little country eating place 12 minutes from our house.  We again went over the must-do list and goals for the year.  We have managed to break things down month by month of what we need to accomplish by this fall in becoming sustainable.  It’s amazing how well it clears the mind to have everything written down, even though we know unexpected things will probably change our plans.

Sunday was to be a big birthday carry-in after church at our house for our oldest daughter, turning 17!  There is nothing like having company to motivate us in getting things done quickly that need to be done anyway.  This was no exception.

Using What I Already Have

Building deck through the night

Silver Oak had to work in town Saturday, but he really wanted to add a few pieces to our little deck to accommodate guests and family use.  The big enclosed covered deck is scheduled to be completed in April or May before the rainy season hits, but for now we will use a smaller deck with a temporary tarp cover to protect from occasional rains (the entire deck will be pre-used decking, left-over steel roofing that was given to us, and lumber from the “graveyard”).  He worked hard ALL night to get that deck done, and to install safe steps.  I putted around to be company for him till 4:30am and got so tired I finally went to bed.  When I awoke at 8am he was working on the steps!  Are we crazy or what?

We had many late nights at first after moving here, simply out of necessity.  By December it was time to return to normal, but every once in a while a crazy 24 hour work stint is necessary.  This was one of those times.

While he built deck, I worked on putting up curtains as a “wall” and “door” to the children’s bedroom.  We got curtains (you guessed it) beside the road in a bunch of stuff someone was getting rid of cleaning out their garage.  They were folded in their original packaging, never used.  I couldn’t believe how perfectly they met the need.  They are dark and heavy to block light and sound, but breathable 100% cotton and the perfect length and color.  They only needed to be ironed and hung.  Amazing!  Again, my Father supplied my need when curtains were not in our budget.

Using What I Already Have

The bedrooom curtains open...

Using What I Already Have

...and closed.

Using What I Already Have

The party on the new deck and under the camper canopy

Sunday brought lovely weather for our little house church to have services and the birthday celebration.  Altogether there were 41 family and friends from under one year to 97 years old (my grandpa) gathered on the deck, under the canopy, and on the playground.  The budget may be tight, but there are wonderful blessings to enjoy that money can’t buy.


Using What I Already Have

Linked w/Frugally Sustainable , Barn Hop, Delightful Order, Live Renewed, Simple Lives ThursdayFarmgirl Friday!, and Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post.

Using What I Already Have

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22 Responses to “Using What I Already Have”

  1. Clint Baker says:

    Lots of Good points!

  2. Jenni says:

    What wonderful ideas! I definitely plan to use lofts or bunk beds when we have more than one child. :)

  3. Gone Country says:

    I always look forward to your posts! You and your family are an inspiration to me. My hubby and I are working towards being more self-sufficient (also on a very slim budget) and your story encourages me that it can be done.

    After reading your post about the planning meeting that you & your hubby had I decided that we needed to do the same thing. Mainly to make sure we were both heading in the same direction. I even wrote it down. I think we both are much better at accomplishing things if we have a list.

    We have a LONG way to go and no money to do it but I know that the Lord will provide either the materials or the money when needed. It’s so comforting to know that God is in control and I can count on Him to meet our needs!

    The past two days have been busy here as well. Hubby repurposed two cabinets that I took out of our office that I no longer wanted to use. He reworked them a bit and hung them on the wall in the laundry room. I now have more storage and it’s unseen. Today, we hung a microwave (that we got from a neighbor who was on his way to the thrift store with it) above the stove. I am thankful that my hubby has the knowledge and the creativity to repurpose items and make them work for us.

    Thanks for the update on your homestead and I hope your daughter had an awesome birthday! It sounded like a good time.

    • Rose Petal says:

      I love your stories! It’s fun to be creative and make things work on a tight budget…something we might miss out on if there was plenty of money! And we might miss the special ways God meets our needs.

      And I agree that we are better at accomplishing things with a list, even if things don’t usually go just as planned. Thanks for sharing!

  4. michelle says:

    I love everything you have done. Your little home looks so warm and cozy. I love reading your post. Please tell your daughter Happy Birthday.

  5. Visiting from the Farm Girl Hop. It’s always nice to use what you have on hand. We rarely buy new and someday I’ll have the time to figure out how much we’ve saved.

    • Rose Petal says:

      I wonder if it’s possible to figure it out completely. At any rate it is possible to live quite comfortably at a fraction of the cost of buying everything new. Thanks for stopping to visit.

  6. Vicki says:

    Hi! I am really enjoying reading reading all your posts, and my kids are too. Your home looks so nice. I love finding just what I need for free or in thrift stores.

    Have a great weekend.

    :) Vicki

    • Rose Petal says:

      Thanks for introducing yourself, Vicki. And thank you for your kind words. We feel blessed to be living these stories. We have a loving and merciful Father!

  7. I love reminders to keep our eyes open for little (and big) blessings.

  8. I love how the Lord goes before us and provides exactly what we need. [o= What a blessing that sink is!

    Blessings in Him<

  9. Heidi says:

    Hi Rose Petal,
    Another busy week at your place. I love reading your posts, but they sometimes leave me wondering when you sleep. When I read about the ongoing construction projects you and Silver Oak undertake for your adorable tiny home I am often amazed. I admire you for becoming self sufficient. Many of us think about and dream about it, but doing it; that’s a whole other level of commitment to following your dreams. You guys are my heroes. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop on Farmgirl Friday!

  10. Rose Petal I found your site a long time ago and forgot to bookmark it so I am so glad you linked up to the Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post @ Lil’Suburban Homestead so I can keep up with all of your great posts! I love pedestal sinks I used to have one and I miss it so. I agree wholeheartedly we should try as hard as we can to use what we have and to come up with creative ideas to store and find our stuff so its at our fingertips that is a challenge for me and your post was very inspiring! I also loved the triplets post about your goat having babies what beautiful pics but I am unable to comment on it as the comment box is not appearing for me! Look forward to staying connected with you via the blog world! :)

    • Rose Petal says:

      So glad you found our site and I found yours! Thanks for your encouraging words. I think the triplets post is too old and the comments must be closed to avoid so much spam. Sorry about that.