December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Well, our first Christmas on our property, the day has really been just like all the other days, we have just been working on everything. We got the compost system set up, I spent several hours gathering grass and leaves for the base, if you want to learn more about composting toilets, go here: it’s pretty eye opening, and it WORKS! Nothing smells, believe me, I would know it in our small 16×16 cabin! It’s just as sanitary and works great as any other system, especially considering we don’t have running water.

We were invited to our new friend’s house for Christmas dinner, everyone here is so nice! We assumed that we would move out here and pretty much keep to ourselves, we didn’t expect to meet such nice people, we are truly blessed! Sorry if I keep referring to people without using their names, I am trying to maintain our privacy as well as our neighbor’s & friend’s privacy, I just feel it is better that way for everyone.

Woo hoo! I took a shower today, it’s amazing how good that feels after not getting one for a few days, we still don’t have our water systems installed, that will take some time, but our neighbor has graciously allowed us to use his water as much as we need.

Today I was tending some of my plants that I brought from Irving, I have 2 containers of garlic flavored chives, a rosemary plant, and a few other plants, they weren’t very happy with the trip, then change of altitude & weather, but I believe they will survive ok, I was watering the plants with a 5 gallon water container, the kind that goes on a water despenser found in offices and such, the water was left over from our last trip out here, I found a dead mouse in the bottom of the container (eeewwww!!!), poor thing, I hope it didn’t suffer too much, it was well preserved in the icy water, I guess I will not be using that container for drinking water! :)

Well, merry Christmas everyone, and have a safe and happy New Year!

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Lots to report

Finally, we made it, we left Irving TX for the last time. We had everything ready to go, our 28 foot trailer was packed, the bug was hooked up to a tow bar, the bug was full of boxes, the wiring on the trailer and the bug (for the tail lights) were hooked up (and working properly). All we had to do was get in the vehicles and go, it was a some time after 1 pm and we heard a crash, I went outside to see what had happened, my husband’s son had a car accident right outside, wow, we were minutes from leaving when this happened, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but fortunately everyone involved was OK, though both cars were totaled, the other person involved had to go to the hospital, but the officers and the fire personnel there told me she would be OK. Anyhoo, when we pulled out of the driveway, I looked at my watch and it said 4:30 pm.

The trip was fairly uneventful, after the first few miles, we realized that the trailer would hold up, the tires would hold up (on all the vehicles) and the load would hold up just fine. We had to stop to adjust the tarps once, that took about an hour, we couldn’t just move one thing, it was like a big 3D puzzle, if you touched one thing, you had to move 3 other things, we finally got it straightened up and we were back on the road.

We arrived on my property at about 3:30 in the morning, the moon was all but full, we could see everything, including our breath, it was cold, COLD COLD! And the wind was blowing, I estimate around 15-20 MPH, gusting to 40 on occasion. Our cabin is not completed, it is, for the most part in the dry, meaning that our stuff inside doesn’t get wet when it rains, but some of the walls are basically heavy builder’s plastic and hog wire. We are sitting about 8 feet off the ground. I was really tired when we got in, once we got inside the cabin, I zonked out, even with all the rocking and rolling of the cabin, I told my husband that the cabin would fall whether I was awake or asleep, according to what our neighbor had told us, there had been heavier winds before and the cabin held up just fine, so I had confidence it would stay in one piece for one more night… fortunately I was right.


I found out the the wind gusts the first night were really close to 60-70 mph, and I believe it, but the cabin held up pretty well, nothing fell or blew off, even though it sounded and felt like something was about to give away a couple of times. Fortunately it has …

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Invention Nation A Show To Catch

Christmas Eve the Science Channel ran an all nighter on their new show Invention Nation. With only six episodes so far it is definitely a statement to the innovative spirit of Americans.

Since wrapping presents lasted well into the morning hours, okay the show got our attention so wrapping didn’t go that fast, we were able to see the episodes from the beginning. Though we do admit that after midnight retention of what we learned definitely went down. Even with that we still had some interesting things stick in our tired brains. (Did we mention that the children woke us up before 7am). So please forgive us if this if it’s a little jumpy we just wanted to let you know about the show and the great ideas that stuck.

Chicago Department of the Environment was highlighted not only for it’s use of a green roof but it’s programs to educate the public about the advantages to building green and using alternative energy. The benefits of having a green roof were also highlighted and the hosts decided to even add one to their bus. One of the highlighted benefits was the improved insulation it provides, as well as improved use of the space. Since it is no longer a dark magnet for the suns’ heat and energy it also adds more plants to help clean the air.

Along with the thought of improving roof conditions in a city environment is a reflective roof. The people at Green Products has taken this a step further by using only natural ingredients to make their coating for the roof. So not only do you get the increased energy efficiency that a white roof gives, but can do so without the guilt of using synthetic products. Just think if we coated all the black topped roofs in American cities with this reflective material we could make a dent in the amount of energy the earth absorbs from the sun. since we are losing the reflective ice caps maybe we need to look more at this emerging roofing trend. This could help, not to the extent of the ice caps of course.

The show had many more Americans highlighted about how they are working to make their environment better not only for themselves but for us all. The only problem we really saw with this show was how little information was given about each person, project, or home highlighted. Also their web presence didn’t then fill in the gaps. So when looking for something specific we had to rely on memory and our old friend Google. Though if this show is intended to just get our imaginations revving then we have to say it did that. Seeing others working to improve their lifestyles, can be just the thing you need.

The show airs Monday nights at 10pm on the Science Channel. Also on December …

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