Hi all! It's been a minute, But I have a few updates for you and some very exciting news...which I can sorta, almost tell you about. Heh. You'll see.
First, we just had our two year anniversary in our Tiny Mouse House! It's really hard to believe it has been two years, but on August 15th, 2020, Dom and Arlin from Forever Homes delivered our tiny house and our dream of living in a Disney tiny house came true.
Those two years have gone by so quickly. We're still in the same location but a few things have changed:
- We had to say goodbye to both of our little Yorkies, Toby and Ty. Brothers til the end, they passed within a week of each other. We had over 16 wonderful years with them and know they're in a wonderful place, with no health issues, playing tug of war and zooming around the yard... we miss them.
- We've been to Disneyland a few times and were lucky enough to visit Disney Springs late last year. While the trip didn't allow time to visit the parks, it was still wonderful to visit our "third home" and buy some cool Christmas presents for the family.
- We had our first major maintenance issue. One of our mini-split header units failed. But Senville, the manufacturer, replaced the entire head unit under warranty. And thanks to Chris and John from The Little Guys HVAC, it was replaced right before that 116-degree heat smashed into use several weeks ago. The labor and refrigerant costs will take a while to pay off, but Chris was really great about it and I wouldn't hesitate to contact them again. And Senville really did a great job with the warranty replacement. And the forward thinking of Forever Homes in how they built in a hollow, removable shelf and invisible access panel to get to those connections? That was awesome in action. Thank you to all involved.
I wanted to touch on two more updates before that exciting news I promised. First is a question that I may need to come back to with a separate post, but let's give it a shot: what has it been like to live in a tiny house for the past two years?
To be honest, we have loved it. This is our sanctuary. It embodies all we love about Disney and we smile every time we come home. It doesn't feel small, except when we have more than two people visit. Our son stays over nearly every weekend and it feels fine. We've had guests come by and two more people can fit comfortably for a visit. More than that, yeah, that's pushing it unless I'm up in my loft at the same time. The house is cozy and comfortable and well, home. I love every design element we included and are thankful for all the special touches Forever Homes included.
With that said, are there things I wish we would have done differently? Of course - hindsight, as they say, is 20-20. I wish we would have come up with a better ventilation/cooling system for the lofts, especially The Adventurer's Loft. Heat rises and it can get rather toasty with 116-degree heat. However, once we had that mini-split head unit fixed, the units in the living room and bedroom kept the ambient temps down and I only needed the box fan - which I always have running up there for circulation - and another smaller fan only really needed in the afternoons of hot days. I think some sort of fan to vent the heat outside, pulling the cooler air from below, would have made a huge difference without losing valuable wall space or roof area we hope to someday utilize for solar.
I think we also would have chosen a couch-style theater recliners. While the center console offers a nice storage area.....well, dangit, we can't cuddle while watching a movie. :( That change may still happen...
And that leads to the second question which I could probably spend an entire post on (and might): what's next?
For us personally, we have not taken a significant vacation since our trip to Europe in September 2019. We have spent a week in LA last year with the family, but haven't cruised since 2015 or taken any long getaway in quite a while. So next year, if plans hold, we'll be doing something. Not sure what. Might be a trip to Hawaii and Aulani, since we've never been to the state, possibly combined with a cruise. Or we might do our "big one" to Tokyo Disneyland since they just announced this week that individual tourist can once again visit Japan starting October 11th, 2022. But whatever it is I've let my work know, since I already have a huge number of vacation hours in the bank and have to use them before they expire, expect me to be gone for at least three weeks in 2023.
As for the Tiny Mouse House? Well, that sort of leads into the exciting news I keep referring to...and how I'm going to try to sort-of tell you what it is without telling you what it is? Um, okay. So a lot of this story will need to be told when we can fully tell you what's going on. I CAN confirm we will still be in the Tiny Mouse House, so no worries there. We're not moving (yet) and that's not part of this news, that's a for-the-future-if-it-happens post.
No, this has happened/will happen due to us being contacted by someone who we respect greatly and offering us a chance to....well, I can't say more. Let's simply say we hope you will all enjoy what comes from this.
We also hope this might lead to bigger and better things for us and the Tiny Mouse House. It's already resulted in an awesome new friendship we can't wait to share with you and some hopefully future connections and opportunities such a "thing as this" may bring.
And with that, I will end here. Oh, the surprise is due hopefully in November or December. When I know more, I'll post it here and out to all of our friends.
Thank you all for sticking with us and being patient through our long pauses in posts. But this journey truly is just getting started. I hope all our friends - old and new - stick with us on it. It's going to be a magical one! Hugs!
-Mark & Mona