Healthy living, healthy parenting, healthy gardening. One Family's approach to off grid living.

Posts tagged “off the grid

Early Fall Photo Gallery

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Dirt Rich; Mid June photo gallery

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Mid May Photo Gallery

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Never take your dishwasher for granted

We all had baths/showers today.  The kids all smelled great for about 20 minutes, as soon as we got home they had a swim in the pond in the garden.  Now that it is hot out, we’re just going to keep Coach Rapper at home for the summer.  He’s too dirty for school anyway.
We’ve been working hard on all the free things we can do around the property.
Main projects include:
moving a ton of lumber so it doesn’t rot and so the propane truck can come up the hill
#3 proofing everything- I swear that this is about 3-4 weeks worth of work
garden prep

Tonight while I did dinner clean up, #3 lounged on the kitchen table for a good 30 minutes.  Well, actually alternating between crowing and lounging.  He is becoming such a mountain boy.  The other day he walked up and down the “old road”.  Which was about 20 minutes of hard core hiking, for a baby.  He walks easily up to the garden site and down.  Doesn’t seem that far, except- 2 short weeks ago I was short of breath walking up the garden site.

I’ve been tearing out all of the thimble berries and black raspberries from in front of the yurt, with a pitch fork, rake and shovel.  I have a serious of Kitchen Garden garden beds going terracing down the hill with some stairs dug in now.  It’s been my Work Out(doors) for the last 2 weeks and I can definitely tell the difference in my upper body strength, especially when shovelling rocks.  I’ve had to halt progress on Magician Creek in the upper garden ever since my promise to Mr.T that I wouldn’t mess with the gravity fed lines.  And I really like having water in the yard.

A lot.

Now I am dreaming about an outgoing grey water hose for the sink.  It just sounds so luxurious to not have to take and dump the grey water when doing dishes.  We ran out of paper plates yesterday, so tomorrow I really have to get into gear with figuring out a sink set up.  I have the sink- the hose- an rv pump, a very large blue water barrel and a small propane on demand water heater.  I need a faucet.  Probably some fittings.

Oh yeah, and some mad plumbing skillz.  Which I don’t have.  But might in a couple days.  I hope.

Today we burned 3 large piles of brush right below the Kitchen Garden and the Bird Tree.  It really is opening up the “front yard” a ton.

Tomorrow we also need to get the washing machine going.  We’ve got about $20 worth of laundry and well, I hate the laundromat.

I’ve got the Evil Wizard and #3 in the van and there are starting to be protest noises, and I’m not willing to risk someone waking up.

Until next time- enjoy your dishwasher for me.  Never take it for granted.






A flurry of yelling, stick waving, dogs exploding barking.

Young Griz saunters through the forest, over the road and through the garden.

Kids inside.

Baby wakes up in the yurt.

Mr.T is so happy to get out his BB gun.

Celebrate!  What fun!  We chased off the bear!

Was that a Griz?

Didja see that hump?

Totally a Griz.

Don’t worry babay, I’ll shoot that griz with a face full of angry hornets for you.  Me and my trusty BB sniper gun.

A serious kudos to our brave dogs who are on super high code red alert now.

5036 feet above sea level is not a hill. It is a mountain. Dammit.

Today, at least 4 people referred to the Bonanza Summit as the top of the hill.

Oh yeah, Cal-Gas- at the top of the hill.  Like that.

Now, I know I am from the prairies and anything over oh, 50 ft is a mountain to me.  But seriously a major PSA for those born in the mountains- 5036 feet is a mountain.  Period.

If you had mentioned Mountain, I may have found Cal-Gas sooner.  You know as in- Cal-Gas- way the  hell out of town, on the mountain.

Luckily the folks at Cal-Gas were amazing.  Breaking news!  Before Mr.T even knows!  On Thursday morning the worker dude is coming out to have a boo (not my words!) at our generator and yurt and to figure out where to put a giant propane tank that would last us all winter.  This will be our major power source.  We scored Guardian Plus Generator last fall from Wild Bill.

As in hot water all winter.  As in baseboard heaters on a timer that start up at 4am all winter.  As in a dishwasher.  That is right mother fuckers, a dishwasher. Maybe an industrial dishwasher that power washes the hell out of my dishes in 90 seconds.  If I can find one.

Apparently I have a potty mouth today.  My mother and husband would not approve.

Speaking of Wild Bill I went and had some words with him (polite ones) about my bath tub, water tank and propane stove.  I told him I would come back and bug him about it in a couple days.

Very successful thrift day today.  We got a free bike for his Lordship as well as a toy lawnmower and a tonka dumper from a lady in the parking lot of the thrift store.  Apparently we look like a more needy charity.

Hey Auntie G- I must have taken those wool slippers that belong to K-man, I have two pairs of the beige-white ones in the same size.  Sorry!  Want me to mail them, or you can get them when you come?

To everyone who has commented, emailed or otherwise sent me a message- I appreciate them all, and do read them and will work on replying individually!

Right now I’m in the van on the little notebook I bought plugged into the lighter with a little inverter outside of the laundromat.

I tried to take Coach Rapper to school today, but they wouldn’t take him.  He will start on Wednesday, probably in the K-1 split.

It was cold this morning, but the afternoons are pretty hot- in the 20’s.

Sorry about the lack of pics- I left my battery charger and extra camera battery behind but hopefully they (and my rain coat!!!) are on the bus now.

I’m going to try and drag my butt out of bed tomorrow morning before any of the kids or Mr.T wake up so I can run.

Talk to you all soon!

Barefoot running; perfection of the morning

The last two mornings it has snowed.

The kids have been wearing winter jackets in the house in the morning.

We really need to pick up the new wood stove.

We’ve been fighting.

We’ve been laughing.

I went for a 3K run this morning before anyone was awake in my new <a href=””>Soft Star Run Amocs</a>  I’ve been planning on starting Couch to 5K, but didn’t have the walk/run times or a watch- so I just ran and walked when I needed to.

Fog was settled in the valley, trailing in long wisps through the skeleton cottonwoods.  I could see my breath.  I ran, like my body was built for running.  I meditated on my heart beat and my oxygenated blood pumping through my body.  I saw where the clover was full and green, where it was just emerging.  I know this is because there is water in the land.  You can see stripes of growth all of the mountain side.  If I dug there with my dirt covered hands from my pre run gardening, I would find water.

I hiked up a stream I found, to see where it goes.  resting on logs returning to earth.

There is snow tucked in shadow pockets.  It will be gone by noon.  I touch it with my toe and it dissolves with the heat of motion.

Because I can, I run.  My feet hitting the tail fluidly, solid, muscles adjusting to the curve of the ground.  I feel rocks and sticks, in a good way.  I feel balanced.  I am in love with minimal running shoes or barefoot running.  So far I’ve put about 25K on them, mostly on a treadmill.  My RunAmocs provide just the right amount of protection underfoot.  They fit really loose around the top of the foot- so I was skeptical they would stay on  and during the hiking portion of my journey they did slip around.  For running on relatively level paths with lots of big hills they were just amazing.  Usually my calves hurt or I feel like I have shin splints while running.  Not at all with barefoot or minimal running shoes!

I get back in and drink fresh pressed espresso bean coffee out of pottery with heavy cream.  The clouds are parting and blue skies are poking through.

There is a pile of dishes in the yard.  I imagine left over the winter when the water was frozen in the lines.

I am rearranging the kitchen, the bedrooms and finding homes for everything.

During the night the kids pressed close to me for warmth- I lay awake cold and careful not to smother them while my arm cramped up under my head.

The boys are so happy.  Water pours from a hose in the yard and they play, with mittens on laughing and silent.  Exploring waterways and river systems.  Making oceans and spraying themselves in the face.

There is so much to do it’s overwhelming.

There is so much to do that anything you do makes a difference.

My soft city hands are covered with scrapes.  My rubber boots are muddy.  I am alive.  Surrounded by life.