While attending a marriage seminar on communication, Tom and his wife Peg listened to the instructor declare, "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other." He asked Tom, "Can you describe your wife's favorite flower?" Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn't it?" The rest of the story is not pleasant. —Author unknown

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A Bungalow of One's Own

I don’t normally write about products I haven’t personally tested or experienced, but the Sweetwater Bungalows just look so darn cute. Jo Hunt, the president and owner of DHA Lifestyle PR in California, has shown me some pretty neat things in the past, including Lechuza self-watering planters so I strolled through the Sweetwater Bungalow website instead of through an actual cabin. (And no, I’m not getting a free cabin for making this post! Dang!)

Here’s the inside of the Pioneer model:

10'x12' Pioneer is $4,500; 12'x14' is $5,000, platform and windows not included

It made me want to park one of these puppies right next to a little lake somewhere. Or in my back yard, if I had enough flat space to do it!

The Sweetwater Bungalows are tent cabin kits that you can use as a private retreat … backyard guest cabin … yoga space … kids’ playroom. They’re customizable; you can add height, change the color of the rain fly, add your own windows (including a double French door!). Add your own platform.

The website claims it will take two people 6 to 8 hours to assemble one of the smaller kits (10′x12′/12′x14′ Kits) or 12 to 14 hours to assemble one of the larger ones (14′x20′ Kit). Yeah, right. Maybe double that for me.

These little cabins can be heated by wood, kerosene, gas or electricity. I  wonder how they’d hold up in a typical Iowa winter because they’re not designed for heavy snow loads. The company website says, “We have one in Lake Tahoe that gets a lot of snow but the owner lives there so she can just knock the snow off. Most of the snow slides off but it does catch on the brackets and can build up.”

It’s more than a tent, because it comes with a rain fly, awning and eave system to keep it dry. People have been known to add electricity, too, but I’d rather have a spot where I really can’t plug in.

How long do they last? That depends on the conditions where you place them. Makes sense. All homes need upkeep! Expect to replace the rain fly ($250) every 7 years or so, they say, and the rest to last for 12 to 15 years.

There are a lot of tiny cabins, yurts, and other self-constructed structures on the market. They all appeal to the desire for a bungalow of one’s won. Let me know if you try one.

The Homestead

The Sonoma

The Vista

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