Living in a Gyrtle World

Hi Folks,

I must admit, it’s hard to know where to start when it’s been six months since my last real post.  As you can surmise from the title, I am living in the tiny house I dreamed of and built. Hooray!  I’ve been living in it since Dec. 8th, 2012, though I took a two-and-a-half week vacation over the holidays.  I moved in before it was completed and at first (til Jan. 28, 2013) was living in the warehouse district across the railroad tracks from the Martin Drake Power Plant where I got locked inside a chain link fence with barbed wire filigree on top every night.

That first night I cozied into my cushy bed from Ikea with down comforter on top of its bright red storage box and gloried that I had a place all my own to lay my head and I saw that it was beautiful.  I called my daughter and my sister and a friend or two.  The constant whistle and hum and chug-a-lug of the train was romantic.  I didn’t have my radiant floor working in the beginning so I borrowed a space heater and I was plugged into “shore” power so it didn’t matter too much that my electrical systems weren’t working properly yet.  I was also still without running water in my house and couldn’t use my composting toilet yet so I had to make use of the warehouse’s facilities.

The night I got locked out of Gyrtle and had to spend the night on the floor of the warehouse I was especially thankful for warm place to sleep and I felt considerable compassion and commonality with the homeless people just outside the warehouse gates.  The following morning I had to go down the street in my PJ’s to find a phone to use to call a locksmith – a humbling experience.  Similarly, when I got locked out of the warehouse one night and couldn’t use the facilities I had an adjustment of my perspective when I went to the 7-11 in the morning to use theirs and found that I couldn’t have used them between 10pm and 6am.  What do the down-on-their-resources people do?

On Jan. 28th of the post 12/21/12 year Gyrtle and I moved to a glorious new home.  Thanks to the generosity and curiosity of my friends Laura and Tim Spear we have a space in the beautiful setting of Forest Edge Gardens.  Tim and Laura have been gardening and loving this land for over 20 years.  They originally had 5 acres and about eight years ago added the adjoining 5 acres.  Here we all join our creativity and sensibilities to live in harmony and playfulness with the earth. Gyrtle and I will be here for awhile – not sure how long.  I will continue to make other journeys.  It is clear that I won’t be moving Gyrtle casually.  Moving her is nothing to take lightly!

TTFN (Ta Ta for now)

20 thoughts on “Living in a Gyrtle World

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  1. Success!! I am so impressed with how cozy and practical Gyrtle is. Excellent work and perseverance, Robin…your Gyrtle is singing… Love to you, Catherine

  2. Congratulations Robin! Ashley and I are so happy for you and proud of you for reaching this milestone in your vision. It looks wonderful and must feel wonderful too.
    We love you!

  3. Good looking house, Robin. We’re living in our little greenhouse for now built as a cabin until we get the main structure up and running. 7 of us in 200 sqft is really not as bad as one might imagine. The only really compelling reason to move out of it is the rather oppressive indoor humidity here in TN with a bunch of people living and cooking in a small, tightly constructed space. I look forward to keeping up with your blogging.

    1. My house feels somewhat palatial compared to yours, I’m sure. I’ve read your blog too. All the best in completing your living dream.

  4. Robin you made me laugh so much – I’m sad to think I’ve never hear you sing – but I know you sign often and are singing now – looking over the photos I see joy and happiness – I can only imagine what satisfaction there is in all you’ve done – what a wonderful opportunity to follow your dreams – it is what we fight for everyday — you are truly blessed. The fondest of memories are flushing me with pride for your success. Love to stop by for an ice cream cone (summer of course). Jim Dygert

    1. Dear Jim,
      How wonderful to hear from my twin! You are welcome to visit any time. I’d love to hear an update on your projects. Actually we should have a phone conversation.
      Happy Trails to you.

  5. Robin…So glad to hear that you and Gyrtle are up and running! I am so proud of you. Enjoy this wonderful new adventure…it is incredible.
    Love, Linda

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thanks for looking in on the site. I’m just beginning to feel like I’m getting settled in to my home. I hope you’ll visit soon.
      Love, Robin

  6. I’m debating on whether to build a bumper pull tiny house or a gooseneck tiny house. I was wondering if you’ve done a picture tour or video tour of your tiny house yet?

    1. Hi, Candice. There are pictures of Gyrtle included in a few of these posts, including this one: For a discussion of the merits of the fifth-wheel design Gyrtle uses, see

      There is a video tour somewhere, but I have to find it to put it up. This is Lianna’s daughter responding, as Robin passed away in December 2013. I have yet to update this blog, though intend to once I know more about Gyrtle’s next journey. Thanks for reading!

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