Last weekend we had the worst weather I’ve experienced so far since living in my Tiny House. For the first time in more than ten years, a snowstorm raged across the Netherlands. An icy east wind whistled around my house, sometimes making the drifting snow look like small tornadoes. Even the chickens did not want to leave their coop, and that is saying something.
In a wooden Tiny House, you experience the elements more consciously than in a large stone house. You hear the wind; you feel your house shaking slightly. And it really takes a little more effort to keep things warm with these low temperatures. Fire up that woodstove as if your life depends on it. I had a thought: let me keep track of the temperature in the house when I go to bed and when I get up. Before I get into my bed, I put a night briquette in the stove, and that should be enough to keep the stove warm at night. That works well, but it is still colder than I have ever experienced before. Or maybe I have already forgotten about past experiences ;)
This is the score so far, in Celsius:
Saturday evening: 23 degrees
Sunday morning: 12 degrees
Sunday evening: 21 degrees
Monday morning: 11 degrees
Gosh, I’m so happy with my wood stove. But the worst cold is yet to come. Fortunately, the wind will die down a bit towards the evening today. Cold feels so much colder when there is such a sharp wind, don’t you agree? And from tomorrow the sun will shine again. That will also make it seem a bit warmer.
My water pipe is frozen, of course, but I was already prepared for it. On Saturday I did a thorough house clean, showered, filled my Berkey water filter and fetched a jerry can of water. So now I must ration. Using as little water as possible makes you very creative. If you see it as a bit of a sport, then it’s not that bad — for a few days at least. Although, the end of this frosty period is not yet in sight… But it can’t be helped so I must just accept it.
Hella and I will be fine. I have more concern for my chickens and the birds and other animals outside. I cleaned out the chicken coop on Friday and put an extra thick layer of straw in it and closed any cracks. They have water, plenty of food, are dry and out of the wind in a large coop with a window and they have a good layer of fat on their bones, so they will be fine when they huddle together. I regularly check that they are doing well and that their water is not frozen.
For the birds in the garden, I fill a bird food container every day, and every day it is completely emptied. Tits, robins, blackbirds, jackdaws and magpies — they all love it. For the birds that prefer to stay low to the ground, I also sprinkle some food around.
I am also thinking of all the new Tiny House residents who are experiencing their first winter. They are really getting an ice baptism now and I hope they are doing well. Sometimes it takes some getting used to living in a Tiny House during the first year. Preparation is key,but in your first year you just don’t know exactly what to expect. Next year will be easier, I promise.
As I am looking out the window it starts to snow again. This white world has beauty as well. And how often do will we get to experience this in years to come? But for me, I’ll be glad when it is over soon. I’m looking forward to spring.