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Posted by trailrunner
Tue, Nov 20, 12 at 15:03
|A friend sent me this link...there is a lot to explore but the house itself has a deep message. I hope you can take the time to look through their inspiring blog as well. c|
Here is a link that might be useful: Innermost House
|Trail, I think the house is lovely. I always enjoy seeing small homes, particularly those that are designed with a great deal of thought and care. Sarah Susanka's books are among my favorites. |
Perhaps I shouldn't even say this - and maybe it's just all the in the way that the writing hit me today - but I found the description to be a bit ... well, pretentious. Maybe I should read deeper into the blog and see if I get a better feel.
|Also not sure about the person's writing. Very in to mindfulness and freely shares her/his thoughts and seems to have a following. I read some of it and liked parts and some of the rest was " over the top" and as you say somewhat pretentious. I have barely scratched the surface...maybe some others from the DC area know of them ??? |
But I do love that house...and that amazing fireplace...how did they do that ??? is it sand ??? and the tea pot...not sure how they did that either...charming. c
|I just read some more of her writing, and must stand by my original feeling. Glad you weren't insulted that I was so honest ... Hers is just not a way of expression that I find appealing -- ("My husband and I speak of everything together. We eat and breathe each other's words." -- Well, alrighty then! ;-)) That said, I love the little house. I just viewed the slideshow on the blog, and every little thing about the house seems perfect. |
Maybe even more perfect just for one. I can see living in a place like that all alone. (Well, maybe I'd have to have a cat.) I love my husband, but I don't eat and breathe his words, and I do love my solitude, so having a place to escape by myself is a vital part of living as a couple in my world.
|The house is great. I think that woman's ego needs a house the size of Candy Spelling's though. I'm a pessimist but I believe that people who are truly the most contemplative don't become speakers, have a blog or need "followers". Her husband is very talented. Her schtick I don't buy.|
|How does she blog without electricity?|
|I'd have a nervous breakdown if I had to live in such close proximity to anyone. lol|
|Beautiful little house, the rest, not so much. What the he** is a private confident? And "people of the world who come to him for the special kind of conversation " ??? Really? Gag me. I love my DH but if I had to sit knee to knee with him having meaningful conversations every night I'd lose my flippin' mind. As a guest cottage, personal retreat, artist/writer studio - lovely.|
|It reminds me of the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse on Lake Huron in Michigan which I love. (The Front Range, not the newer one.) Can't find any pictures of the interior -- I'll have to go back and take some. It has a loft. It now houses a gift shop but you can still get the feel of it. |
Most of the lighthouse keepers got larger dwellings, eventually.
There's a lot of pretentiousness in the world and I don't find it any worse when it's in a small package than when it's in a large package. It's pretty hard to be simple in this country today, yet you can always find someone simpler, as well as someone more grand.
The art of conversation is fine, indeed, and I wonder whether my husband and I could ever develop it to a fine and satisfying subtle level (where we talked to each other like Jane Austen's characters, all layered and nuanced) even if we lived in a sweet house like this. Maybe if we'd been working on it for 25 years..... It's a nice fantasy... books, minds, God.
|I've been reading the blog on and off this afternoon ; I believe I read that she has an office to go to and write , away from the small house. |
The books are all luxuriously bound, from what I see ; and about the books, she said
"that it was not until I saw them all together, illuminated by the fire at Innermost House, that I realized nearly every one was first written by firelight."
I do not understand that .
All the elements of the house are soothing and nice to look at, inviting.
Although I can't wrap my head around living with another being in such a small space.
thanks trail for sharing this, it's indeed fascinating.
|Enjoyed looking at the pics of that small house - thanks for posting trailrunner! I find tiny houses interesting but couldn't live in one permanently. |
Also read the innermosthouse site and suspect there are a few interesting stories we are not told. Their lifestyle certainly is not for most of us and how they came to it would be illuminating. It would be fascinating to hear either of these people speak.
|The house is great. |
The lady, not so much.
|Sounds like they no longer live in that house. "For seven years my husband and I lived in...." Which leads me to believe that the photos represent an idealized version of what life was really like there. It's cute but not real.|
|"My husband is a private confidant and friend to people in public positions. Men come to him for the special kind of conversation he makes possible. Innermost House was built for us on the land of such a partner and friend." |
DLM caught what puzzled me as well. What exactly does her husband do as a confidant to public figures? And why does a 'partner and friend' give them land to build a house? What exactly is this special kind of conversation he makes possible?
Clearly I have a petty and salacious mind because it rang a warning bell in my mind when I read it, of something that seems a bit shady. Actually tried to google the husband's name but all that comes up is stuff related to her blog and the house. Odd.
|I'll start with what mitch said..she is referring to the years in which the books were written...most authored before electricity...hence by firelight . |
I like the mindfulness that she expresses well in places...really one with her environment . I would be interested also in hearing how they come to be "what they are".
He is obviously well connected as is she and from wealth or at least presently very well taken care of. The person on who's land they live gave it to them and is one of her DH's confiders. I believe that the purpose he serves would be similar to a therapist but the person using him would not , for whatever reason want to admit to that relationship. What they have to confide would probably curl your hair...these are people with great power. I am surprised she shares his occupation as I would think it could lead to consequences. Wouldn't take a very smart detective long to find who and where he sees these men...oh well...not going to spend anymore time thinking about that :)
pal ...only thing I think you may be missing is he has the followers that pay the bills...men that use him and he uses them...that is what makes the world go round. It appears they have a symbiotic relationship. She says what is not there is due to her and what is there is due to him...very interesting !
Oh well I love the house and think we could probably do OK together there. We spend a lot of time in pretty close proximity and have 42 yrs together come Feb. Breathing each others words...well...maybe not :)
Glad to see such an interesting convo on this. Hope to hear more . c
|Pretty little house but I get cabin fever just from looking at it, and decidedly queasy from reading the text! This from someone who grew up in a remote location without electricity, hot water, indoor bathroom etc. and loved it!|
|Thanks for posting trailrunner, the house is wonderful. Lots of inspiration for my 'small' cottage (although at about 1400 square feet it will seem like a McMansion compared to this place I'm afraid). I'd like to do dark gray or black board and batten siding. |
Could it be ashes in the fireplace? I love some of the pictures on the blog, particularly the still life photo, with the sink, the radishes, carrots - it is just lovely and I think really represents the mood of the cabin as a whole.
I'm not that into what she is selling either, but she isn't *that* terrible. I'm all for promoting meaningful conversation. Although when I have guests over meaningful conversation is typically lost by the third bottle of wine or mojito! Oh well, we try.
|Sorry, I could not do this. I've lived in small spaces for most of my adult life, but this is way too small.|
|One idea that resonates with me is the concept of living in one space within a home. I think someone here said recently that we all basically do that; when I started noting how we live in our home the truth of it was immediately clear. We spend most of our time in our living room--the dining area is right there and except for kitchen duty and sleeping it's where we are almost always. |
So the images of that cozy sitting/reading/conversation area are powerful. Regardless of size that is something that I think is a wonderful image and goal to strive toward in any home: creating that 'center' in which those who live can feel utterly comfortable and protected.
But I still wonder just what the heck kind of services the husband is providing :). Trail, the kind of sensitive personal issues the powerful might need to confide seemingly would be better served by seeing a licensed professional who is bound by legal and ethical considerations...not a 'partner and confidant'. As we've seen all too often and just recently those kinds of special relationships can end up very, very badly in a very, very public way when things go wrong!
|Interesting to surmise about such private and unusual people, isn't it! I doubt there is nothing "shady" about them but I expect their livelihood depends on their ability to remain private. |
My theory is that he is a qualified psychotherapist to the very wealthy and powerful. I find it interesting that there is no google response to his name. That is difficult in this day and age. Even little ol' me gets a google response! One has to wonder how he finds his clients or how they find him. My theory about her is that she is a former nun. He may also have a religious background, perhaps in the priesthood.
OK, I'm now off to write my next novel! LOL
|You are all much more gracious than I. |
I surmised that they were growing psychedelic 'shrooms in the woods, which is the true impetus for all those scintillating fireside chats.
|Beautiful!!! A few things though: |
Where's the TV? Sorry, couldn't resist.
How do they entertain with only two chairs & no room for anything else? She said they invite people over. I call dibs on a chair! lol
I found this sentence a bit contradictory: "It is the latest of many very small houses my husband and I have occupied over twenty-five years, all for the same reasonï¿½to make possible a simple life of reflection and conversation."
I guess all they talk about is building the next house? I'd be exhausted!
Again, it's beautiful and I could handle that in my backyard. I think my dh would love one and I could see him sleeping in it. lol
|Ann yes I agree and I think lucky hit it on the head. Also I tried to Google him and he is most definitely not " out there' LOL. Very powerful indeed and sequestered in the woods behind , I imagine, locked gates. So now I am going to ask the person that sent me the link in my email yesterday what she knows. She is my minister and she shared the link with no explanation...it was in relation to something we were discussing. I will let you know if she has any insight. |
hahasunny...shrooms...boy do you date yourself !
|I would have to post a "snark alert" for the comments I would make.|
The photographs are beautiful - some put me in mind of Vermeer - and everything so pristine and polished.
After reading through the entries in "Selected Writings," I found myself wondering how exactly you turn four ideas and utter self involvement into a high virtue.
I would be bored to the point of homicide in a week.
|That little house gave me food for thought last night. I read some of her writing and was thinking I should be holding onto my wallet while at the same time I was yearning for simplicity and peace she speaks of. |
I did a quick search and looks like he is/was a professor at a Michigan University? My guess is he counsels (consoles?) people on end of life issues.
|"The house is great. I think that woman's ego needs a house the size of Candy Spelling's though. I'm a pessimist but I believe that people who are truly the most contemplative don't become speakers, have a blog or need "followers". Her husband is very talented. Her schtick I don't buy." |
Pal--you took the words right out of my mouth.
|It's an absolutely gorgeous little house, and I do very much love to see little houses that don't look like dorm rooms, the way so many of them do, but so many things make me wonder. They love their books so much that they cover them with unmarked matching paper covers, for instance? Hmmm. And have you ever tried really reading by candle light? |
Here's another pleasant small house (but definitely not so romantic), and I have to say I'd rather the meet the woman who lives in this one:
Here is a link that might be useful: little house in little rock
|Writersblock ... it's perfect. Perfect! |
|Writersblock, great house! Please keep the links to these perfect little houses going, they are great inspiration.|
|Yes I love Tumbleweed houses. They are really great. writersblock..I agree..would love to meet that gal ! |
dee...if you look you will see that prof has a different spelling of his last name. Her talks are free it says and yes it is a conundrum..peace and tranquility without the elitist overtones.
|Would someone put in a link to clue me in on what you all and Diana are talking about? I read her Nov. 2nd posting and I have NO CLUE what the heck she's talking about. |
Is she dying? She's alluding to losing her Innermost House. The "Conversation." WTH?
Are they couseling people on giving up Christianity and becoming Athiests? lol.
How is Michael important? Diana just rambles and doesn't get to any point.
What am I missing? My curiosity is really up now.
|"I guess all they talk about is building the next house? I'd be exhausted!" |
Awesome, oakley! You truly made me LOL.
|The Little House in Little Rock is right around the corner from me! I love it. And I wouldn't be lying if I said that that is what I thought the house next door would look like (I am bitter today about the house next door...I could use a private confidant or whatever)|
|"How is Michael important?" |
Does Michael even exist? After spending way too much time googling this story I finally found a tiny supposed picture of him (gray beard) with Diana. It was on Kent Griswold's tinyhouseblog. Griswold writes about visiting them and being overcome with such a perfect experience. There were no real details other than the constant reiteration of the perfection of it all.
There were also a lot more pictures than are contained in the link above. The house is in a heavy forest, and its exterior is surrounded by a yard that consists of perfectly placed, raked gravel that has been perfectly curved along the edges of the trees. There is not one single leaf on the gravel. How do you live in a forest and have no leaves on the ground? The effect is very Zen.
Back to Michael. We can't find any example of his words or writing. Does he exist as a functioning person?
|Not sure what happened but there were pics of her with him on Google Images yesterday when I looked and they are all gone now ! Weird..they were in the pics together. He had thick sandy colored hair and glasses. Well that is strange. I guess the number of searches generated by this post has caused them to be removed...that is the only conclusion I can draw...cause believe me there were pics of the 2 of them there. c|
|I googled him yesterday and he is a professor of law in ? Michigan, I believe. That's why they can live in that tiny house...he's never there. There were lots and lots of pics of him; I wasn't checking for some with her and him together, but her only claim to fame seems to be her adoration of him.|
|Lucky gal--- if their livelihood depends upon privacy, why does she blog and post photos of where they live? |
Sorry, I found the whole thing rather unappealing. Why would anyone voluntarily live in an area of twelve square feet? Being mindful of one's carbon footprint, eschewing an excess of possessions to simplify one's life, these things I can understand. Her response to these issues, however, is irrational. It's like an overweight person who, instead of going on a sensible diet and losing the excess, makes herself anorexic. Pretentious doesn't even scratch the surface, IMO.
|Kswl, I have no clue and the more I google and *seem* to learn, the more confusing this story is. |
IMO the tiny house is staged, there is no way 2 people live in that house full time. I think it's a metaphor for what they are selling. And I know that sounds cynical but when people are all over the net, even on facebook, there is a product somewhere.
Olychick, the law prof spells his name differently - Michael Anthony Lawrence vs. Michael Anthony Lorence.
However, since doing this little bit of research I found the blog linked below and am beginning to see how I can apply "the Innermost principle" to myself. I think by "interviewing my Innermost self" I might more easily know how to decorate my house, choose clothing, and generally make better choices for my life. It's something I've personally been doing (or attempting to do) for awhile altho have never seen it in quite this way.
My Innermost house will never be a tiny 144 sq.ft. zen abode but thinking about this concept has been a valuable learning experience.
Here is a link that might be useful: the Innermost principle
|It doesn't sound cynical at all, luckygal--- I think you are right. Cherchez l'argent!|
|oly..here is the link,,,the prof is not the same person..this is the DH of Diana...I looked in my Google history...his pics are now GONE from the internet...|
Here is a link that might be useful: pics of Michael
|I was SO wrong...excuse me...that is NOT the right pics...oh well this has become more than what I originally was thinking ..I am so sorry. c|
|Never mind, trailrunner. The house is still charming.|
|And I was also wrong. I rechecked Griswold's blog and the picture is of Diana and Griswold, not Michael. |
Trailrunner - don't worry; this has been a most interesting thread! I have had this house on my mind since you first posted; it has posed some provocative questions about simplicity, mindfulness, and identity.
|Thanks for the clarification...not sure why google hit on a different spelling, but I should have noticed that. Ah, maybe Michael owns google or has been conversing with the owner so he has influence to have his info pulled. Anyone try bing?|
|The house is lovely. I was immediately drawn to the warm cozy feel of the space. The plaster walls and the wood make an incredibly welcoming feel even without fabric...something I usually rely on for warmth. |
Living there as a single would be one thing, but as a couple? Not for long....one of us would wind up killing the other for sure.
I agree with the others though about this place being staged. First of all, if a couple lives there and then has someone over for private and deep conversation, where does the other person go? Does someone get banished to the toilet or the front porch? Second, if you are heating water in the fireplace to bathe in, how the heck do you get the pot past those chairs? Third, do you wear any clothing in this house? If so, where do you put them? Fourth, if you are living in a space and living with your books, they don't all come so beautifully bound and arranged like encyclopedias. At 3x5, barely a phone booth, what can one do in the study besides stand there...whatever work surface is available would seem to be taken up by displayed dictionaries.
Would someone tell me what is in the basket hanging in what I assume is the potty? It looks like a basket full of hawks feathers???? Do they not use t. paper???
If this is on the property of a friend, I suspect they are in the friends house quite often making use of modern conveniences and use this place like camping out in a solid tent...with running water. That at least makes sense to me.
|Oddness continues-see the 'about' information below, from the Inntermost blog. Evidently they aren't living in that tiny house anymore! Stranger and stranger: |
"I am Diana Lorence of Innermost House. For seven years my husband and I lived in an unelectrified, twelve-foot-square house hidden in the woods, in a world lit only by fire. Our life in the woods answered my deepest need for something the world has left behind. But the house was hidden in a way I could not openly share. Now we have gone to seek a new Innermost House where we may offer a wider hospitality. This journal is a record of home-leaving and home-seeking. It is a sojourner's retreat for conversation and all things concerning Innermost House and the Innermost Life wherever is lived, in the Woods or in the World."
|I would just like to see *one* tiny house where you could make the bed without smashing your head on overhead beams, and didn't have to bend double while doing so. |
It's a beautiful house. I love the bookshelves. But even as a single person, I'd need a tiny bit more room to live there full-time. As a retreat, it would be fine.
|I'd need to keep a quart of Valium in the bookcase to be calm enough to move serenely and cleanly around in that house.|
|trail - don't feel bad! It is truly a beautiful and inspiring (very, very) small house. Whether we could live in it or not is irrelevant I think, as there is so much to take away from seeing it. Thank you again for sharing.|
|What sochi said. In ways, this reminds me of movie reviews; a movie gets dissected to such a degree from every angle that the reader decides never to watch such movie yet misses many wonderful ones because they are flawed. |
A beautiful little jewel of a house.
But Oakly, so Funny!!
|C., this is a GREAT topic! It appears that most of us do like the little house, it's just the author who seems a bit..okay..weird. lol |
I don't see how they can take themselves off Google, though. The more hits, the further up the page one gets. Interesting.
Annie was spot on about the staging, etc. And putting large dictionaries out in much needed space?
I don't believe for a MOMENT that they lived there 24/7. Nope. There's absolutely no sign of life. I think they have a larger house somewhere and maybe go to the little one in their free time, or on weekends.
I'm not buying it.
|Another cute *really* tiny house, this one with a sleeping loft and bathroom (not shown, but it would be tiny wetroom), 130sf. The owner really does live in this one.|
Here is a link that might be useful: Britanny's Fencl
|bumblebeez exactly ! I fear that is what has happened. I am glad everyone seems to be resisting that now and just enjoying the lovely home for what it is. In fact I was redecorating it as I looked :) Making it more livable . |
thank you sochi...I agree.
oakley..yep just as bumble said..no reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater !!
wriersblock - very cool !! They have a lot more examples on their website at Tumbleweed than they used to years ago when I first looked at them. Hers is quite charming and livable. Thank you !!
|Didn't click over yet, but wanted to post about missing google images. |
I'm guessing the blog owner saw lots of hits on her blog from here. Will show up in statistics and decided to remove some pics for privacy purposes. Since google searches what is out on the Web it will only show what is available somewhere online, unless they happen to have a cached copy.
|The house is really beautiful. Call me materialistic, I need electricity & a shower. Other than the those 2 items I think the house is great.|
|Oops, just found the blog for the last tiny house I posted and she's now using it as a B&B, not living there anymore. So for those who are wondering if you could stand to live in such close quarters, I guess that would be a chance to find out.|
|I have read some of her posts and still don't know what she is trying to say. Very confusing. I found one post of hers that say her husband is a tailor.|
Here is a link that might be useful: Link
|All: This is the funniest thread I've read in a while. Thanks! I had such a good time reading your comments......now I'd better mosey on and find information on narrow fridges, which is what I'm supposed to be doing.....I just bought a fixer-upper, adorable-but-badly-in-need-of-work, brick duplex as rental property, and I have a teeny weeny space for refrigerators. Wish me luck!|
|Thanks for sharing! While I find the writing on the blog rather off-putting, the pictures are neat and I also found myself redecorating. |
The name "Innermost House" leads me to believe they're giving a nod to Henry Beston's "The Outermost House" which chronicles a year he spent living in a tiny cottage on what is now Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod.
Here is a link that might be useful: The Outermost House
|Maybe they discuss claustrophobia.|
|I must be really tired right now because I've found this thread absolutely hysterical! I just read the link about her husband being a tailor, but then talks about her husband's old clothes being made by his tailors. Maybe he's just the head tailor. And did you know she and Michael have identical outfits?|
|Maybe this has already been posted, but the youtube video gives a true feel of the house. Like others, I don't see how 2 people could 'live' in that house, and apparently from the latest update, they couldn't.|
Here is a link that might be useful: little house
|I think it's beautiful, too. |
And instructive, despite my snarky remarks.
I kept thinking, if that's all I had, even I could keep it that spotless!
I wonder what they clean and polish with, and where they keep it?
|Wow, such bogusness in that video. She blogs but had to look up luddite? If she'd really read any of those 19th century authors whose books she displays so proudly, she'd know all about the Luddite Rebellion. And I'd love to know how you blog from a calligraphy desk.|
|Exactly, writersblock, there is something quintessentially phony about her. If she wasn't familiar with the term Luddite she is an absolute fraud. You can tell she doesn't read much because her books are all for show. |
I'd like to see the bathroom, or do they use chamber pots?
|Kswl, in the video they show what appears to be a normal toilet and also what look like shower handles on the wall--only there are also coats hanging there, so who knows? |
I'm also kind of kerflummoxed about the open fire cooking. Everyone had stoves a hundred and fifty years ago because they were so much more fuel-efficient (open range/open fire cooking was reserved for meat cooking in the homes of the very wealthy), besides making it easy to heat water and bake. (Although the fireplace is lovely, despite my concerns about having a charcoal grill inside for cooking/water heating.)
It's possible they have running water--I lived in a *very* remote place a long time ago and we had running water if someone pumped it up the hill into the cistern so that it could run down again. I suspect she doesn't do the pumping, though.
|I clicked on that video link and didn't see a toilet. But I did not watch the last 20 seconds, so I guess I missed it. Agree that Diana doesn't look like she pumps much water :-)|
|No question that this tiny house is simply and beautifully designed and constructed. However their lifestyle is not one I want to copy. For me there must be a balance between conspicuous consumption and extreme simplicity. |
There are so many questions I'd like answers to. In one post she talks about putting eggs and sweet potatoes in the pot overnight to cook for breakfast. Wouldn't that make either extremely overcooked eggs or undercooked sweet potatoes? I admit that cooking style would make meal-making so much simpler altho I know I'd be bored with eating veggies cooked that way every day. Also in this last video she shows the bathroom which seems to have 2 (shower?) faucets on the wall. I know in one post she said they took sponge baths using water heated over the fire. Curious.
I have the feeling there is much that is deliberately hidden in this story. Why is she away on weekends and not able to answer blog questions? Where do they go? Probably don't live without electricity or running water then.
Apparently she blogs from her small rented office space.
The Luddite thing got me also. Anyone that intelligent and who has had so many 'conversations' must have heard the term. Altho perhaps their 'conversations' are on more esoteric subjects. Love to be a fly on the wall. My curiosity knows no bounds - I must rein it in! LOL
|Maybe they play at living like this on some days, and live more normally on others (with trips to a laundromat or bakery). I don't understand, if they aren't raising their own food then what do they DO all day? Sit in the chairs and look at eachother? Even the books wouldn't last long if they aren't working the land. But if they are growing crops then they must have space for implements and food storage (rakes, hoes, canned or dried goods). |
I agree that something doesn't add up or isn't being fully shared. Which is their prerogative, if they are honest with themselves and their "followers".
|they do have running water in the kitchen, I saw her prepare her pot of vegetables and add water to it from a tap.|
|>they do have running water in the kitchen, I saw her prepare her pot of vegetables and add water to it from a tap. |
Yes, but both the blog and the video say they don't, which is why I'm guessing some kind of cistern. Yet another of the inconsistencies. She sure has a lot of water pressure for a cistern, though.
|Something definitely fishy here...and clearly not what they're eating. Ok, if you're not growing vegetables then you have to be buying them from somewhere and you have to have some way of getting there...like a car. I dont see a horse or a barn or even a moped to get around, and its not like there is a grocery store nearby in the N Cal mtns....|
|I want to know what Pal knows that we don't. Up thread: "Her husband is very talented."|
|I think I prefer this one :)|
Here is a link that might be useful: innermost house
|Trail, you did find some interesting links. One explained that they were featured in House Beautiful. Hence the staged look and photography. I agree with most that they do not actually live there on a regular basis. It has to be a place where they counsel people. One of your links showed their visiting a Zen/Buddist program and spoke of the excitement of meeting all. Perhaps Richard Gere stays the night there.|
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