The comments you have sent me on my previous post have been warmly received...thank you for taking the time to write to share your experiences and feelings.
To Caralee...my hat goes off to you in a BIG way. Building our own home was never a possibility (Roger was still living and working in California while I oversaw the project), and I was exhausted enough at the end of one year to question my sanity (in fact, I was truly losing it). I don't know how you're hanging in there all these years, but it's quite clear from your website that your home is going to be nothing short of spectacular when you are finished. I will look forward to hearing about your experiences in your indoor greenhouse, and am very curious about your chest freezer root cellar. We have both solar greenhouse and two underground rooms for vegetable storage, and we have yet to get them calibrated and working properly for us.
To Teresa...how interesting that you have friends up here in Carson...a community I know little about and have only driven through. Earthships were of interest to us and part of the reason we were delighted to move to this area, where alternative construction and systems have been embraced for more years than many in our country have even been aware, I suspect. Some of them are just spectacular, and proof positive that you can live this life and not be living like The Flintstones. Again, hard work if you're doing it on your own. Oh...and I'm with you on the hot water! I have water stories galore, including just plain living without it for weeks on end, in the rental house, with no outhouse available; those were the same years I had to strain all the faucet water through one piddley little U.V. filter so I didn't end up getting sick from the creek water my neighbors were filling the cistern with (rental house again). The thing is...I can make adjustments and live this different life, it's just a different mindset, and one needs to be prepared for it. (P.S. Please get in touch if you're ever headed to my area...I'd love to meet you at Taos Cow for an ice cream. In fact, next time you and Brenda are in our area, Jack, we should all meet and have a visit.)
Kittie...how good to hear from you after seeing you often on Jack's blog. It's pretty clear you've been there, done that, with the "simple" life. Thank you for confirming my suspicion that my own simple life has to start from within. Speaking of Buddhism...one of my dearest friends in the world is a Tibetan Buddhist nun and is coming home from India this week to live here at Fort Martie. I am hoping to learn lots from her.
When we built our home, our systems were planned to give us three days' worth of independence if we had no sunshine. The years of additional electrical luxuries and two people vs. one living here have strained this original plan. Also when we built, there was no local option to feed back to the grid. In fact, it was almost 5 years before the grid and telephone lines even came up our road. Ten years on our original batteries was a good life for them, and technology has improved. We are a work in progress.
I have actually had people argue with me that what we do isn't, environmentally speaking, without its pitfalls. Well, probably so. I know making our panels and batteries (not to mention disposal or recycling of them one day) leaves its footprint also. But what doesn't? I heard a report this week about all the chemicals that come out of our bodies from our medications and enter the water streams when we take showers, not to mention the sewage issues we could all guess about. And those "clean" nuclear power plants that are starting to raise their ugly heads again? While I understand the arguments on both sides, would you want to be living near one, or have the nuclear waste buried for eternity in your neighborhood, as my friends in Carlsbad, New Mexico, do? Not in my back yard, you say???
So if we can each just pass the word that small changes really can add up...replacing incandescent light bulbs and not leaving lights on where they are not needed is a big start...perhaps we can help those who don't have any of this in their day to day consciousness.
I'd like to think our government will take a stronger stand in this direction, but right now, I'm low on the optimism that had my spirits buoyed by having a change in administration...but that's another posting I probably won't do. Oh...and Caralee...I'm with you on the health care plan. What an embarrassment to be such a "powerful" nation with so many sick and uninsured citizens...and one of the highest infant mortality death rates amongst industrialized nations. It's easy to be sanctimonious if you have had the ability to pay for good health care, and don't know what being on the other side of the fence feels like, isn't it.
Martie, signing off from atop her soap box...with apologies that this post is so screwy looking...I wrote it in Word and copied it over, apparently an HTML faux pas