I started writing this blog in February of 2006 simply as a way to document the construction of my passive solar home, which I am building debt-free and as creatively as possible; meaning using reclaimed, recycled or sustainably produced products and material of as natural a state as possible, i.e. no plastics etc. As the progress of the house ebbed and flowed I began writing about whatever came to mind basically, because Life happens to everybody and sometimes it helps to see that other people go through the same trials, disappointments and triumphs that we do. I still write about my house but as my homestead has progressed topics now include my chickens (a never ending source of entertainment), organic gardening (both veggies and flowers), my and my husband's adventures, road trips and just general ideas for living a simple but fulfilling life not based on debt or mindless, rampant consumerism. I do not believe that is a model that is long sustainable for us or the planet and honestly, I think it's a sin against our Creator and basically a big, fat pain in the butt. I also occasionally post recipes, my art and tips on reducing debt, clutter and general distracting crap.
I grew up on a small farm, not far from where I live now, went off to college after high school and then moved on to the big city because that was all we were taught to do. That was supposed to be "success." My degree is in fine art and through some bizarre twists of fate my sculpture based welding skills landed me a job in commercial construction where I worked for almost 20 years and honestly, really enjoyed it. Much to many people's surprise, the men I worked with readily accepted me and were a joy and inspiration to me. They remain some of my best friends now. In that career I learned a LOT about building, earned some good money and developed the idea that I could do anything I put my mind to, as most people can. That work ethic and the crazy idea that you ought to back up your personal beliefs with action led me to the conclusion that I could, and should, build a home and life that did not tax our earth or my health anymore than possible and have a helluva good time in the process, because if we can't enjoy our time here then what's the point really.
I enjoy communicating with all sorts! and love to read and respond to your comments and emails. I learn a great deal from my readers and I hope you all can learn something from me. I think one of the greatest advantages of this Internet is the almost unlimited access to information and ideas beyond our own "box". To see how others do things and soak up that knowledge and friendship.
So, I'm retired from the construction industry now and have gone back to my first loves, which are art and the land, to make my living. I am a full time potter working at home and occasionally do some sculpture or restoration work. We also grow a fair portion of our food year round and of course, keep the chickens for eggs and some meat. We also try to buy what we don't raise from farmers as local as possible, eschewing the industrial meat and plant industries, when we can. We also hope to add some active solar elements to the house as we can, and hopefully soon! I'm not aiming for total self-sufficiency and a hermit existence (although there is nothing wrong with that), just an enjoyable, happy life that doesn't sear my conscious.
If you have any questions about how I got to where I am now, how I saved for or built my house or any other crazy stuff, please drop me a line!