The Tiny Barn

November 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm 6 comments

It’s that time of year again. The Mr. Brewsters usually have a cookie baking party soon. There is lots of cooking and baking going on. Mr. Brewster the Younger wanted me to show him how to make a pie crust from scratch to take to Thanksgiving dinner. And I was so pleased that I was able to do that.

My grandmother taught me how, and I’m glad she did ‘cause it is one of those things that is not as easy as simply following the directions, like baking bread from scratch. You have to get the moisture content just right.

First, you cut in the fat with the flour mixture until it looks like hundreds of little pale yellow peas. It’s like making streusel for the top of a coffee cake. You add the cold water a little bit at a time. Then you pick up the dough and shape it into two balls, and then patties, with your hands. Wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it. After the dough has chilled, flour the rolling pin and the waxed paper on the kitchen counter, and roll the dough into an ever-widening circle. It looks and sounds deceptively easy. It’s worth the trouble, though. The recipe I use is nothing fancy. You can find it on a box of Crisco.

(As an aside: I can also bake bread from scratch and make homemade cinnamon rolls. I will consider marriage proposals if you email me with your geographical location, make and model of your car, annual salary, and net worth of your stock portfolio. Maybe I’ll get back with you.)

This time of year always makes me think of trouble, well, and Jesus’ birth, which wasn’t anywhere near this time of year, but accuracy be damned! The trouble I’m thinking of is the rush to Christmas. Our Christmas trees are up in stores as soon as the Back to School season is over, and people crush each other in the rush for the latest, greatest and newest toy.

Yesterday, on Black Friday, Mr. Brewster the Younger and I were out doing a little running of errands at Wal-Mart and Garden Ridge, and some ass cut in front of us and almost swiped us. His bumper sticker said, “I Love BYU.” I can’t make this stuff up.

Our commercialism and materialism as a culture really kills me the rest of the year as well but especially at Christmas time. It seems like the message that we’re taught is not that Christmas is the birth of the baby who was the Savior of the world who taught us to practice love to all our fellow human beings. Instead, the message of Christmas is gluttony and greed.

Last year I was out with the Shy Guy. I don’t think it was this time of year. I think it was warmer. He needed to get something at Home Depot. I don’t recall what it was now. We got it and came out of the store, and in the parking lot there were a bunch of those storage sheds that people use to store their gardening tools and stuff in their yards. There was one that looked like a little red barn with a loft. There were windows and counter space. You could have easily fit a love seat and a television in there and put a mattress on the loft. All I really need is high-speed internet access, my MacBook Pro, and a cardboard box.

I told him I could very happily live there, in the storage shed. He looked at me in horror. I will attempt to “recreate” our conversation, if the conversation had lasted longer and were much funnier than it actually was and assuming that I could remember exact dialogue from a conversation I had with someone over a year ago. Just run with it. It’s called verisimilitude.

Gooseberry: We could live together in the tiny barn, and we could buy a Smart car.

Shy Guy: WE are not living anywhere together. But if you want to live in a storage shed, be my guest.

Gooseberry: I don’t think of it as a storage shed. It’s a tiny barn. Look at it. It’s so cute. There’s enough space in here to live comfortably.

Shy Guy: What would you do for air conditioning?

Gooseberry: A little window unit.

Shy Guy: How would you cook?

Gooseberry: There’s counter space. I could use a Crock Pot, one of those little ones that are made for one, and buy one of those tiny refrigerators, you know, the ones that people put in their cubicles at work. And maybe a microwave and a rotisserie oven, an electric skillet and an electric griddle. I bet I could even get all the tiny appliances in red to match my tiny barn.

Shy Guy: Where would you go to the bathroom?

Gooseberry: Oh. That is a tough one. Porta-pottie?

Shy Guy: Shower?

Gooseberry: I could use a garden hose. Of course, I’d probably have to buy my own plot of land with a little fence for privacy.

Shy Guy: The barbed wire wouldn’t provide you with much privacy.

Gooseberry: Why barbed wire?

Shy Guy: In keeping with your back to the land philosophy and the Tiny Barn architectural design, I think that you have to use a barbed wire fence. Aren’t you planning to keep livestock? Where will you put the chicken coop?

Well, obviously, the idea is still in its infancy and needs a lot of tweaking. I also thought about towing the Tiny Barn to a trailer park. Then you really have the bathroom issue because you definitely don’t have any privacy in a trailer park. You could shower in a health club, but what would you do when you needed to use the bathroom? The trailer park probably wouldn’t allow you to have a porta pottie.

Suddenly, it hit me. Yesterday, while I was shopping with Mr. Brewster the Younger, the solution suddenly came upon me. You know how you ALWAYS see RVs parked outside the Super Wal-Marts? Seriously, it’s like the Wal-Mart parking lot is the new KOA Campround. The old folks park in the parking lot, pop out the dining room and extend the awning and take out the folding canvas chairs and setup camp for the night. And obviously, no one at Wal-Mart cares.

If I get the tiny barn pulled to the Wal-Mart with a trailer, then I could park it outside the Home & Garden Center. I could use the public restrooms at the Wal-Mart and maybe shower and wash dishes and utensils using a garden hose. There’s the privacy issue again.  What was the name of that movie where Natalie Portman had her baby in a Wal-Mart? If Natalie Portman can have a baby in a Wal-Mart, then I can shack up in the tiny barn in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Postscript: I am on the cusp of the tiny house movement. I am positively prescient.


Entry filed under: Chrisitanity, Ecology, Ethics, Faith, Food, Humor, Money and Finances, Social Commentary, Spirituality. Tags: , , , , , .

A Life Without Limits Wishful Drinking

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. popsdumonde  |  November 27, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Very funny! Do you bake for friends? I am a fool for baked goods.
    No marriage proposal, I’m too old, have no stocks and am separated, not divorced. (Just trying to lighten up a little).
    I saw an article where a guy built his house on one of those Skidsteer utility trailers, quite nice.

  • 2. gooseberrybush  |  November 27, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Thank you. I used to bake a lot for friends when I was younger and make homemade cookies and candy for Christmas gifts. I don’t do it so much anymore.

    I was just kidding about the stocks and such, but I think you know that.

    I wish you the best with your wife and hope the separation ends happily for you both.

    • 3. Stan Nelson  |  November 27, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      You might just as well set your sights high (stock,etc). I thought you were saying all that in keeping with the humor of your post.
      Not to many people take the great effort to bake and make candies anymore. Can’t beat homemade as far as I’m concerned.
      Thank you for your well wishes.

  • 4. The Girl From Out of Town  |  November 28, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I always wanted one of those for a play house!

  • 5. anne  |  November 29, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Funny stuff Gooseberry! I was chuckling along, esp with the shy guy versimilitude and I love BYU sideswiper. I am guilty of forgetting the season too. I got angry with my kids today for messing around nd having too much fun decorating the tree… ?

  • 6. Shannon Ellenburg  |  July 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Well, the movie you speak of is Where the Heart is. As for the tiny barn idea, I have a frined that took a travel trailer apart and created a home, with a bathroom (shower included)! We are in the process of converting a small barn into an “apartment” for our eldest daughter to give her privacy (she is 18 and going into college). But great idea! there is much to be said for smaller economical homes!


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