Updates and the new shed

wretha00001Here’s an update on what has been going on with us. Things have been going pretty well, we have been living here, 100% off-grid for a year and a half. We have fallen into a regular routine, I cook, clean, garden, work at the Country Store and other miscellaneous things, Mountain Man Bob works on the sky castle and the various things that make our lives better and easier.  We have gone from living in a 1 room cabin, with 2 out of the 4 walls being 2 layers of building plastic, with no heat or running water, actually we slept in a tent inside the cabin because the cabin would not keep out insects. When we first got here, it was December, and it was cooooold! I know it got down to at least 14 degrees F, overnight, with the winds blowing a gale, we didn’t have our wood stove installed yet, we put all of our canned goods inside the tent in hopes that our body heat would keep the cans from freezing. We have come a long way baby!

Right now the main project is building a shed so that all of our stuff that is sitting outside, under plastic and tarps can be better protected. Our stuff that is outside, under plastic and tarps is all of our belongings that we brought from civilization, this is what happens when you go from a 3 bedroom home with a garage to a one room cabin, now a 2 room sky castle. Our stuff had to go somewhere, and I absolutely refuse to PAY for storage, so we took out the essentials and put the rest under plastic and tarps. It has held up remarkably well, but that will not last forever, and I doubt it will survive another rainy season.

Mountain Man Bob is making this out of 2×4 and corrugated metal construction. The only thing I don’t like about it, I have discovered it blocks our view out of the front (north facing) wall, that is where our “doors” are, these doors are actually 2 floor to ceiling windows, one of which is on a set of rollers to make a sliding door. We used to have a nice view, but that is now blocked. Oh well, can’t have everything. It will be a welcome addition to our place, we will be able to go through our stuff that is out there without worrying about it getting damaged by the weather. Bob says we can move it later if we want to.

I now have more of my kitchen stuff that I had stored at my Dad’s house, my Kitchenaid Mixer and my Cuisinart Food Processor. I am missing some parts from the mixer, I’ll have to order them off the internet, but I can do a lot with my food processor. The other day I used it to grind bars of soap into powder to make my homemade laundry powder, wow did that ever make short work out of something that used to take a lot longer! Last night I made homemade pizza, I used the food processor to chop the onions and various fresh herbs from my container garden (on the west deck), I then used it to make the pizza dough, our power system handled it just fine, I “baked” the pizzas in my cast iron skillet on our little stove/oven, they turned out delish! I did discover the quantity limit of my food processor though… it’s the full size unit, not the small chopper. While making the dough, I put in enough ingredients to make 2 pizzas, the water was 2 cups, the flour was 4 cups, as soon as I put in the last cup of flour, the water spilled over the chopper blade and ran out under the mixing bowl. I had rosemary flavored water going everywhere. I managed to contain most of it, I poured it into a large bowl and did the dough in 2 portions, it worked out just fine.

While going through the boxes in the new shed, I found all of my Kitchenaid mixer attachments, I thought I had lost them, but they are all present and accounted for. We have been going through all of our boxes of stuff under the new shed, it’s like Christmas! I found more of our clothes, while I did find mouse droppings in and around the various boxes, there seems to be no rodent damage. I have found most of my kitchen stuff, all of my chef knives, my cutting boards, my coffee/spice grinder (how did I live without that all of this time?), my good pots and pans… I have also found many of my dried spices, flavored vinegars and such, did I mention that I love to cook? Now we are going to have to build a bigger kitchen, or at least build some shelves for all of this stuff. So right now all of these things are still boxed up and sitting in the cabin with no place to go. I had to be careful about which boxes I brought in, I know we don’t have much space, and the chances of me getting a bigger kitchen are pretty slim. But at least now, we can get to our stuff outside better, and it’s protected thanks to Mountain Man Bob building the shed.

5 Responses

  1. Happy Independace Day! Ok, that is EVERY DAY for you guys, (hee-hee) but I have been following your adventures and am cheering loudly! I have been building an A-frame in NC and the original cabin i had for the last 12 years (Not a full time endevor yet” was totally Off-Grid with Solar, and a wind Generator, its still there but I have begun building an a frame I have to subject to county inspectors etc, so for now power became required, but as soon as it completed and approved, I will begin to make it self sufficient, by Solar, as I found the Wind Generator is only useful about 20 times a year during higher winds in the mountains,anyway, I’m learning all I can from your experiences!

  2. Where are you located and how would a person join your colony if they wish to?I am interested in learning more about what it takes to even visit your colony.I would welcome any input on these subjects.
    Thank you
    Diane Fox

    1. Hi Diane, thanks for writing, in an effort to protect our privacy and security, I cannot disclose my exact location, especially in such a public forum, I wouldn’t call this a colony, a small community maybe, I’m the only one living here who is off-grid, everyone else lives in regular homes with grid power and such… Hope you can understand.

  3. Yeah, MsBelinda, we did have it “rough” in the beginning, though some might consider how we live now to be primitive… ;)

    A lot of people use those containers around here, mostly for storage, though I do know of one person who used 2 refrigerator containers as a business, they store and sell insects out of them, they have to keep the containers at a constant temp and humidity (it’s amazing how expensive some of these bugs can be!)

    For us, it was easier and cheaper to build the way we did, now we are pouring concrete (soilcrete) walls around the outside of the sky castle, makes it stronger and more fire resistant.

    Thanks for writing. :)


  4. Good for mountain man Bob!!! You have got to love a man that can build things with his own hands.

    Wow, I did not know you had gone thru some pretty harsh conditions at the beginning. That only makes you appreciate all that much what you guys have accomplished thus far.

    You are the first person from your area that I read that did not go the container route. Keep up the good work.

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