Saturday, December 31, 2011

Still Looking

With the rains this week (Dec 27th - 30th), I had time to spend seeking my homestead land again. I have limited funds for the land so my options are small. But, I think, even if I had unlimited funds...I wouldn't want to spend millions on raw earth. I still believe it should be free for the taking if it's just laying there :)  Again, my simplistic mind at work.
Standing at the river looking towards the road.

I found two parcels of about 8 acres combined side-by-side in a land far, far away from where I call home today. I drove 2 hours to get there in the downpour. When my dog, Shin'tu, and I arrived, we walked around enjoying the quiet of the area.

The SF Chehalis runs through the property which is a huge plus. It's surrounded by distant hills, other CSA farms and rural life seems very settled here.
SF Chehalis runs in and back out of the property.

I just cringe at moving to another far away land where I know absolutely no one. I've been a gypsy my whole life and I wonder if at my age, I shouldn't stop roaming. So, I'll pray on this land (I can't seem to get it out of my mind) and trust the Yahweh again will lead me to lay down in green pastures.

I ache to dig my fingers into the earth and build my cob home. I have signed up for 2 workshops in Coquille, Oregon at Cob Cottage Company. The first is a Rocket Mass Heater workshop that I will be using to heat not only my home (and guest cottage); but, also to run through the floors (can you say radiant heating).

The second workshop will be building a cob structure and learning as much as possible about framing, installing windows, doors, and the beam roof. Very Very Exciting!

So, I find the I strong enough to relocated to yet another new community? We'll see.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The New Homesteaders

An article by Popular Mechanics...

The New Homesteaders: Off-the-Grid and Self-Reliant

Is Bigger Better?

We live in a country where we love big.

Big trucks. Big boobs. Big houses. Big ideas. Big schemes. If you want to think big, buy an urban assault vehicle (aka Hummer) and toss on some big wheels and get that damn thing jacked UP!

Yet, I can't help wonder where we, the descendants of immigrants, became so caught up with BIG. Is it our ideals are spoon-fed to us by myriads of ads by greedy bankers and over-zealous builders or are we really just the lustful consumers as the world sees us?

How much is too much and when is enough...well, enough.

I remember living in a tiny little house in Lake City with my perfect grandma and gruff grandpa. Our home was huge to my 5-year old ideals. I had a spacious bedroom up a tiny flight of stairs complete with a balcony. There was also a downstairs - you had to go outside to get there -  but it had an entire room for a shower!

Outside was a pond with a waterfall, an attached terraced patio. There seemed plenty of room to me - but of course, I was little and the world was large.

We left that home (my paradise) in 1965 because grandma said, "it's too small."

We moved into a 4-bedroom home in Shoreline. It was bigger; but not by much. Probably came to a staggering 2,000sf. I had two bedrooms to choose from - my uncle had a room, too, but he was hardly ever there. Donning my dress-up clothes, I still missed my Lake City paradise.

Construction has some alarming effects on our environment. 40% of all the raw materials humans consume are used in construction. Half of the copper we mine becomes wire and pipe inside these buildings.

Building an average home adds 7-tons of waste to our landfills (that's 7 tons, okay - 14,000 lbs of waste in an average home build). (source: Worldwatch Paper 124, by D.M. Roodman and N. Lenssen, Worldwatch Inst., Wash. D.C., 1995)

So why so much bigger? When did we see a home as being 3,500 sf and a price tag of $599,000 as normal? When did the 1950s home become unacceptable? Is it to keep up with the Jones'? Is it because of the constant ads on television and magazines telling us this is the new American Way?

My idea of home is: Comfort. Cleanliness. Godliness. Happiness. Love. A warm fireplace. The smell of stews. The crackling of a fireplace. Dancing leaves on a Fall tree or the sunshiny rays of a summers day.

So, if anyone is reading...What is your idea of home? What's your thoughts on home size and why? What do you believe is right for you, for humanity, for our planet, and our children's inheritance of how we leave it behind by the way we live on it now?