Tag Archives: offgrid


There is something to be said about procrastination. Having washed about four loads of clothes, various comforters and all the sheets but the set on the bed I put off folding the heaping pile but left it on the bench. Today, wanting it al put away I set to folding. Keep in mind the ‘cushion’ on the bench is a fairly expensive memory foam mattress. I get about half way through the pile and notice bits of dirt.
“Ohh, naughty dog,” I think. Then I find my shoe. I have to PEEL it out of the sheet it is in. Yes Peel it. The entire thing is coated in something sticky. Very sticky! Sticky and no longer in possession of a sole I might add.
“Very bad boy,” I tell him showing him the shoe.
Then… oh it gets better… I realize the sheet is sticky, the comforter under it is sticky, there is a jacket all but glued to both!
Half way through the pile I discover the explanation. An entire bottle of maple syrup has had its top chewed off and the contents poured into my pile of clean bedding!
Hoping he ate most of it and that it hasn’t gotten all the way down to the mattress I begin striping away layers, peeling and seeking the end of the mess. There is no way he ate it all, there are queen size mattresses so glued together I don’t even try to find what might be hidden in the folds.
The bench cover comes off and… the syrup has gone all the way through!
Now here is where the procrastination part comes in to play. While the syrup went all the way to the memory foam it is such a small amount a warm damp cloth wipe it all away! So, my friends, if there is a day you put something off keep in mind that it might just be your guardian angel telling you that than find your mattress has become a maple syrup log, delightful for ants but not much good for anything else. Happy New Year

Dec 18/ work on the cabin dec.

Today we got logs for the Solstice fire stacked up by the fire pit.  Then we started with the decorations. The boxes came out of the back top of Shane’s tool shed and ornaments collected over the years began to emerge.   dec 18 001

Having an inside tree, fake or real, in a Tiny House is nearly impossible.  There just is not a lot of extra space for such things.  When you are surrounded by trees it makes it seem just a little less of a good idea. So we choose a cute little tree (about 15′ tall) just outside the front door and set to work.

dec 18 002

Oz picked out the best stars and a few other ornaments to go on the tree.

dec 18 009

We even got a star on top.  There was no good way to hang it so we have to use a bit of sinew to attach it.  I am pretty sure we have the fanciest tree in the woods.

dec 18 012

It took us about an hour with a lot of up and down on a very unsteady ladder.  The ground is all but a sheet of ice and not great condition for the use of a ladder.

dec 18 003

The project done we took a picture in the fading light and moved inside.

After a friend came to spend the night with her kids and news my mother might be headed over to spend the night I decided it was time to start the bench.  The bench will be the thermal mass for the rocket stove that will be built next season, but for now it will serve as the frame for a ‘guest bed/couch.  As the lumber used will eventually be swallowed up by cob I didn’t think I needed to buy new wood.  I have a stack of old wood, mostly picked up for free from friends who wanted the ‘scraps’ out of their yard; that is what I used.

I asked Oz to take a few pics so I wouldn't have to stop working.  Its an odd angel and doesn't show much... next photo less on will be on how to take pictures to show construction details I think.

I asked Oz to take a few pics so I wouldn’t have to stop working. Its an odd angel and doesn’t show much… next photo less on will be on how to take pictures to show construction details I think.

It not pretty and the ice on it made a lovely mess on the floor, but it is solid, will not have to be replaced for the rocket stove and dried out quickly enough once inside.  For the bench surface I used 3/4 plywood that was once the fold down bed in an old camper trailer.  Due to the wood stove the bench had to end at 6 feet.  Anything longer would put it too close to the heat.  It is 25′ wide with the ability for the surface to slide forward with the ‘back’ able to drop down.  It becomes a twin sized bed at that point.  The support for the slide out part will be made of logs from the yard.  I have not found the right ones.  They matter as they will be exposed even when the cob is done.  In the mean time and for this winter I have a place for company to sit and an extra sleeping space.

dec 18 020

A lil’ something

Yesterday as I was debating crawling back into bed or going out to split wood a friend showed up with …”a lil’ something to help me feel better.”  Never underestimate the value of your neighbours and friends.  Be good to them and they will be good to you.  When you live up a mountainside sometimes they are all the resources and emergency support you will have access to.  Thanks Tom!  You rock!

nov 021

Not just one load but 5!

Work on the Cabin

I have been asked several times what part is the most difficult about going off grid.  For me it is time.  The shifting from a life of jobs, debt and schedules to an off grid lifestyle is not a matter of just stepping from one place to anther.  It is a process.  I still have to go to work, and pay my bills, and watch a clock. 

Summer for me is the busy time of year.  Being the Grounds Keeper for the town, and running the Community Garden takes up a great deal of the day and leave very little left over for work on the cabin or the yard around it. 

Having built more than one homestead I have learned to be kind to myself.  That is my number one advise to those new to the building and living an off grid life.  Be patient.  Do not try to rush to get tasks done in order to prove to others that you know what your doing and have made a good choice.   The second advise it to be aware of the area your in.  Watch the sun and sky, feel where the wind is coming from and do not forget to invest attention to all the seasons. 

That said, work on the cabin has been happening but perhaps, not at as fast a pace as I’d like, but at about the speed I expected.  Last I posted the cabin was in place, since then the windows have gone in.  june 2014 004

Purchased at a recycle-and-reuse store I got a set of three.  They had been cut out removing the outside flare used to screw them in place.  It made installation a little more difficult but nothing that was not easily adjusted for.   Two of them were 3’x3′ while the third was 5’x4′.  Great deal and now the challenge is to try and match them the rest of the way around the house.  That may or maynot happen. 

june 2014 008The big one went into the east wall. 

june 2014 001The two small ones went in on the south over what will be the main kitchen counter, stove and sink.  Main windows in the next step is t get the basic inside lay out and begin to insulate.  Many o of the walls will be slipstraw and cob, I am just waiting for the red clay.  A neighbour has both the tractor to load and the clay, I just need to line up a truck for a day she can load for me.  

The wall between the kitchen and the bathroom will be bottle bricks and cob.  I am just waiting for my friends to drink to enough wine to save me the bottles. 

The counter tops are already purchased and waiting for installation.  That will be the next project.  Each step brings it one step closer to being the home my son and I dream of.  While I could go and work on the cabin right now I must remind myself too be kind and patient.  Wait until the temps drop and the tasks become enjoyable.  That is after all, the point.