Our New Normal


Our new Normal


We are starting to settle into the new house slowly. We have our bed in the living room. Every room is full of boxes. We have projects started but not finished, but we have a working shower and a brand-new toilet, so we are feeling pretty uptown.bed in living room

We have met quite a few neighbors who are very friendly and generous. One lady gave us a sack full of apricots and another gave us fresh eggs, and a pie, so I’m very happy about that. (Yay pie!)

I felt like I needed to find a part-time job to help out with all of the expenses of renovating, so I got a little job in a fruit stand and jam store. Unfortunately, they weren’t busy enough to keep me, so they let me go after a month. It was kind of fun to be out there amongst people again. I will continue to look for work, the cost of living seems to be rising and we still love to eat, so…

We moved into the house almost exactly a month ago. We stayed at the camper for a couple of nights when the tile was being set, and we were showering there before, but we haven’t stayed there since. I try to go out there at least once a week to check on things and to make sure the mice haven’t completely destroyed everything.

I drove out there a couple of days ago, and the feeling of loss and depression was overwhelming. The homesite already looks abandoned, and sad. I couldn’t stand to see our place like that, so I hurried, loaded a few boxes of things we needed, and left.

My mind and thoughts have been on our place since I drove off that day. We had promised each other we would come back and not let it go, but with the summer heat, our busy schedules and the remodel, we’ve already broken that promise.

I had to go out there this morning and meet with the internet guy to pick up our dish. We don’t need to pay for two internet companies. I stayed and picked up some trash that had blown in and tried to spruce up a bit. It’s not the same and I feel the loss to the depths of my soul.

We will never live in the camper again, well maybe for a temporary thing, but not long term. Looking back, I’m not sure how I did it for so long. The animals and birds fed my inner core and I know the peacefulness of the place helped so much. (Not counting our fight against the solar site last summer). Thankfully, that hasn’t come to fruition yet. We are hoping and praying it never will.

Now that summer’s heat is in full swing, I am able to tolerate it so much better in a real home with a swamp cooler and a shower every night. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, and then back again.

We won’t abandon our dreams forever we are only postponing them. We will live in our earthship one day. We will have a home that takes care of us out in the desert beauty we have called home for three years, just not yet.

As I was pulling out away from the camper, I looked up towards the beautiful view of Mount Garfield. I spotted a big bird soaring overhead. I decided to park the car and just watch. As it got closer and closer, I realized it was a Golden Eagle. It flew over our property, then its mate came and flew over me as well. I took this as a sign that God is always with me no matter where I go. He will not only watch over me but sustain me, and I will have abundance in all things.

Never give up. That’s the message for today.


“…I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

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After the Storms

red grass 


To say it was a tough winter would be an understatement. It was a very wet, muddy time, but things have dried out and those things are just a distant memory.


spring 2019

Due to the wet winter, we have been blessed with grasses and lovely wildflowers. The grass is starting to take over our building site and the hubby needs to get after it with the weed wacker soon before we lose it all under the vegetation.

Sometime during those long dark months, we made a decision to try to find a home in town to buy. We hoped to find fixer to live in, fix up, and eventually sell to help fund this project and maybe a future fixer. Prices have soared in our area for what we were looking for, so it took us all winter to find the perfect one.

2892 victoria

We ended up going a bit further from here than we wanted to, but we are closer to our kids and grandkids, so that’s a real plus. We closed on what we call “the project” on April 11. It’s a lovely 50’s rancher with a solid foundation and needs quite a bit of loving updating, but it is a fun challenge.

One of the best parts, I am finding, is the yard. When we originally looked at the house in February, the yard was overgrown and in hibernation, but since then I have discovered a wonderful treasure full of old-fashioned flowers and lush trees. Eventually, I will get the time to really work out there.

For now… I am flitting from one project to another. I can’t seem to stay focused long enough to finish anything. Let me just say one thing…Wallpaper! I will fill you all in about that at another post. GRRRRR!

Dave bathroom project

Dave has gutted the bathroom and is working on his days off to put it back together. I try to do the things I can in there when he’s at work, there’s no room for two of us in there now. We are down to a toilet and bathtub, and the toilet will eventually be replaced as well. We decided to wait to move in till the bathroom is finished. There’s no reason to move in without a shower since we have one here in the camper.

Neither of us is in a hurry to move anyway. We both love it up here. The peaceful beauty is sometimes overwhelming, if that can be. We will divide our time between the two places so that we can make sure there are no trespassers or vandals. We have noticed footprints and motorcycle tracks that don’t belong to us here on the property.

Our neighbors seem to continue to want to start trouble with us no matter what. We try to keep to ourselves and even though I threatened to make nasty signs with the tires they detest, we have remained above the fray.

I will keep you all updated on both projects as much as possible. I have neglected my writing/editing and now I have to ground myself to make sure I get something done on that front.

We are truly blessed, and look forward to a bright future.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

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What to do when your shiny dreams tarnish


What to do when your shiny dreams become tarnished


Once again, I find myself at a crossroads. We have come so far and yet not quite far enough. We had big, crazy dreams about living in a camper for a few months while the hubby would rush home every night and work on our earthship.

I would help by picking out finishes, cooking homecooked meals, cheering him on and making sure we were on track with it all.

It would only take a few months, 3 months, well possibly 6 at the most. By now you know our story. Governmental red tape tied us up for most of those first 3 months. Then we had to find a contractor and an engineer to do the septic system. By October we were moving along.

Then the rain and snows came. It was a mild winter, but the ground was frozen, so it made it difficult to move and pound dirt into the tires.

Honestly, we had no clue how much time, or money everything would take. We watched too many YouTube videos about guys building their own earthships for around 35k start to finish. Of course, that was just one room and I’m pretty sure the local authorities had no idea they were building such a structure. If they did, they probably would have been out there to stop progress with their hands out for each and every aspect of the build.

At first, I naïvely thought we might be able to start building and maybe slip under the radar out here. I mean who really would care what we are doing on our own land? We weren’t bothering anyone (so I thought).

Thankfully Dave knew better and made sure we followed all the rules. This is very fortunate since the compliance department issued us a summons last spring. We just renewed the permit again for the umtenth time. We have gotten a final on our septic, but that is all. Sometimes it seems like we go backward faster than forwards.

This winter hit hard. More snow, rain and cold than we have seen for a long time. Even when the sun was shining, all that would do is melt more snow and produce more mud. We still have mud, and more rain every week. Our area is desperate for moisture, so I try to be patient and welcome it.

All it has done for us is delay any kind of progress on the earthship. Dave was in the process of building the front foundation of the house last fall, and with the weather, he hasn’t been able to even finish that.

Our road was so bad, there were days at a time I didn’t dare go to town for fear of possibly getting stuck. We parked about 300 yards from the house and hiked in. I would plan my days accordingly, loading the car with laundry while the ground was still frozen and trying to get back before it was too messy. Hopefully, those days are over. We are actually starting to dry out between storms now.

We have found a little house about 30 minutes from here and are in the process of buying it. It is definitely a fixer, but we can do it as we go. When we get a few of the big things done, we can move in for a while. We decided to split our time between places to make sure this place stays in tact and to give Dave some time to work on the earthship if he can.

It will be hard to trade the calls of the coyotes for the sounds of traffic on the nearby streets, but as we always tell each other, “It’s only for a time.”

So, I take out my tarnished dreams and pull out the polishing cloth once again. We aren’t done, just delayed once again. Life isn’t always about doing things quickly, it’s about the journey. We are on quite a journey that’s for sure.


“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

Psalm 20:4

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Mud, Mud How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

winter 2019


I now know why the terms “cabin fever” and “spring house cleaning” exist. Somedays I feel trapped inside our little camper by the never-ending mud! Cabin fever = camper fever. Get me out! Spring house cleaning? No way! There is no use cleaning before the snow stops flying, or in this case the mud stops sticking. This is by far the worst the winter we’ve had out here so far. It hasn’t even been that bad, but I’m so spoiled by the usual winters where it snows one day, melts and dries the next that this seems so hard.

We have had a good amount of snow and with some of the storms the wind drifted the snow up, so now as the temperatures reach the high 30’s we have a never-ending supply of mud. Our dirt is mainly adobe, which when mixed with water is like grease, and it sticks to everything it touches.

Did I mention I’m not a fan? Two years ago, we had some mud and had to park on the west side by our son’s camper and hike over to ours. We thought we were set since we got a load of gravel all the way up the drive practically to our front door, nope, nada, not this year. The ground is so soft, even the gravel areas are sinking.

We have mud outside and mud inside. Anytime the dogs come in, we have big chunks of it all over the camper. Poor Dave works out in it every day, so he brings in a fair amount himself. I have mud shoes, car shoes, town shoes and plain old snow boots. I’m all set. If I could just get out the door.

I’m really trying hard not to complain. I just have to be more organized to get things done, (like load the laundry in the car) before the ground thaws out in the morning.

The other day I got it all loaded and back on the road headed out. I thought I might hit the laundromat after church, then I realized I needed to get it done and back here before the snow started melting for the day. I still had some slippery roads coming back home.

I would never admit to my hubby that I kind of like it when I hit those muddy parts going full speed and splashing muddy water clear up on the windshield. The part I hate is thinking about how much it will cost us to fix all of those ruts and replace all the rocks and gravel that have disappeared into neverland.

I made a pathway to be able to hike out to the driveway. I used pizza boxes and rocks, then by the next morning freeze I hiked over to our tire supply to pick up a few smaller tires to make a walk-way. It worked better in my mind than it did in real life, but at least I haven’t had to sink up to my ankles in the mud or slip and end up with an indentation the size of my derriere on the path.

So far, no official update about the solar array that is to be put in. One of our neighbors reported that she had been in contact with the company and told them we were all planning on putting in tall trees around where they were going to construct the cancerous tumor on the property next door. We have decided to berm up the ground and then plant trees, just for good measure.

We have been looking into possibly buying a house, fixing it up and then re-selling to fund our build. We made an offer on a little house about 5 or 6 miles from here, but they were insulted by our offer and refused it. We weren’t upset and are still looking. Real estate in this area is still outrageous and so we will be patient and wait for just the right property to purchase and fix up.

Even though our life isn’t easy, we try to remain thankful and hopeful for a brighter future. We get impatient, but I think that is one of the lessons we are learning in doing this. We must do whatever we need to do to succeed and never give up. We have been conditioned to think if we don’t have what we want immediately, we have failed and to just give up. Fortunately, we don’t get too far down at the same time. That way we can boost the other up when we need it. Summer is hard for me, and Winter is hard for Dave, but God is by our side and he loves us unconditionally. He has given us the greatest gift of all, the gift of his son and his love. All of these other things are just momentary distractions and don’t really mean much in the big scheme of things.

So, in a world of chaos and disappointment, (and mud) keep your eyes on the true prize of love.

Philippians 3:13-14 “…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”


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Putting the waves of 2018 in the Rearview

snow from horse mountain


To say 2018 was a trying year would be putting it mildly. We have had other stressful years, more than I care to count, but his one hit us hard.

I don’t want to go on and on while writing this blog, but I also need to be honest about how things really are here off the grid.

It’s not for everyone. It’s not that bad as far as modern conveniences go, we have electricity (we have to watch what we use on cloudy days). We have water, (we use about 60 gallons per week) and Dave has to haul it. We have a roof over our heads, a warm bed (the window still leaks, but we deal).

I minimize most of the inconvenient parts, but when the weather is extreme it gets hard. The summers are brutal, the winter is not quite so bad, but we have two old dogs living in close quarters that drag in mud and shed constantly. At least we stay warm. The house is always a mess, so if I don’t invite you in, that is the reason. Too small and too doghouse like.

There are days when I question our sanity, especially since we are now facing our third winter here in this small camper. We do get out and walk the dogs twice a day and I go to town several times a week, which helps a lot.

It’s just that…I have always loved Christmas. I love to decorate, I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving to be over, so I can drag out all of my decorations and the tree. I love cooking, baking and giving gifts. I love to think of things that will surprise people and hopefully they will remember who gave the gift and why I gave it to them. So…

This is very hard in here with all the dog hair, stuff and lack of space to be able to get in the spirit of Christmas. I know that isn’t the reason for Christmas, to decorate, or have lights on your house, but I also know how I feel when I see those ornaments that I’ve had almost all of my life on my Christmas tree. I feel nostalgic and the memories of past Christmas’ come rushing back. Times when I was a little girl or when my kids were small, it’s those things that cross my mind and make my heart sad.

I know I could decorate a tree outside, maybe that will be the solution this year, but I feel like there is something more missing. It’s not the stuff, it’s not the inability to bake, or cook a holiday meal, no there is something far bigger missing.

The chance to connect. I love to host and bring folks together, to share my home, food and fellowship with friends and family during the holidays. For now, I’m stuck up here on the mountain alone, waiting for everyone else to make decisions about where and when to have dinners and if we will be included.

My kids are great about having us be a part of their kids’ Christmas if they can, but I long to have the grandkids spend the night, bake cookies, walk in the snow and tell them the real meaning of Christmas. So, right now it’s not in the cards.

Yes, 2018 was difficult, we even thought our dream of the earthship may be crushed by those who don’t understand that all we really wanted to do out here was to live in peace and harmony with the land instead of taking from it.

We lost so many friends and loved ones, they moved onto the next life without us, and we are left here to pick up our lives. We are still reeling from all of that.

We have adjusted our sails on our ship once again. We need to remember that God’s timing is not always our timing. That lesson seems to be hard for us to learn in this time of instant gratification. Then there are those well-meaning folks that suggest we just scrap our plans and put in a doublewide and call it good. That’s sort of missing the whole point of this journey. So far, we haven’t given up completely.

A big help is all of you. Whenever I see someone or they message me and tell me they are keeping up with us and watching how we are, it gives me more courage. Is it hard? Yes, and no. Can we stick it out? I certainly hope so. Will the plans change? Absolutely, especially when God leads us a different way.

For now, we are here, trying to be patient with the slow process of this life. I am reminded of the settlers of the old west. They had to scrape and work for every bit they got. They build soddies, then eventually homes of wood.

Life for us isn’t bad, it’s just different.

Peace and Love to you all at this holiday season.

Luke 2:14

But the angel of the Lord said to them “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; his name is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”


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The Post I’ve been avoiding



I’ve been putting off writing this blog post. On one hand, we’ve made some progress on our earthship. On the other hand, we’ve had a very rough couple of months. With the many losses we’ve experienced, I lost another friend from high school since my last post. Cancer stinks and it doesn’t discriminate.

We fought hard against the proposed solar site, I wrote more letters, we had the whole neighborhood sign a letter to the owners of the land. We had our attorney send a letter. We worked very hard, all to lose in the end.

We sat in the commissioners hearing room barely tolerating the snake oil salesman’s pitch again. I watched him closely and he reminded me of a rat; pointy nose, shifty eyes, pale skinned as he spewed out garbage. Two of the three commissioners bought it hook, line, and sinker. We had previously talked to one of those two and he all but confirmed he was on board with us.

Then, at two minutes to noon, he turned on us. I’m guessing his stomach overrode his brain and he did a complete 180. We were devastated. This industrial complex will be built 20 feet from our property.

On the drive home it began to sink in, we may never be able to live in our earthship. The electro magnetic waves alone will probably keep me from being able to stay here. I’m very sensitive to atmospheric changes, or any kind of pressure, or heat. I have severe headaches and we would be safer leaving here, not taking the chance with our health.

The heat from the panels alone in the summer would be enough to drive us away. We were brokenhearted, at a loss for what to do. How could this happen? We never bothered them, we didn’t even complain when they had late night parties in their field with a DJ and flashing lights. We moved out here to be off the grid and be left alone.

Obviously, we didn’t move far enough. Now what? We prayed for God to help us. To reveal their lies and that they were only after revenge for us having tires stacked around and for having the nerve to take more that 3 months to build our home. Where was God? Why didn’t he intervene like I wanted?

It took me a long time to realize I had put my faith in people, not God. I trusted that the county commissioners would see thru this whole thing and see that they were treating us unfairly and would come through in the end and do the right thing. That’s where I went wrong.

Some people can no longer be trusted to do the right thing, especially it seems, in government capacities. I put my trust in the wrong place. I needed to trust that God would take care of us, whatever that meant. It may mean we have to move from here and start over. This may not be the place we originally thought it was. I would hate to have to leave now since we’ve made some really good friends that were only neighbors before.

We haven’t gotten together as a group since this all fell through, but I know those people would help me if I need anything at a moment’s notice. We’ve heard that things are happening to put a stop to all of this, but nothing is confirmed. At least the solar company has put off construction till next spring which will give us (And God) more time to regroup and possibly shut this down.

Even if it goes all the way through and we are forced to look at what we can do next, I know that our friends, and especially God, have our backs and now they have my heart.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

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Riding the Storm Out

sunset tractor

Riding the Storm Out


I am so sorry I’ve not been posting this summer. We have been on a tumultuous ride with wave after wave and it doesn’t look like we will have relief anytime soon.

It started at the end of May with the death of my great nephew who was just weeks away from his 19th birthday. While we were still reeling from that, my uncle passed away suddenly. He was my dad’s only living brother.

Not even two weeks after that my brother went to a hospice care facility and within three days he left us too. Two days later my hubby’s cousin passed away too. I was numb as I sat through her service.

I didn’t have time to grieve though, because we received a notice that the people who own the forty acres right to the west of us are planning to put in a “solar garden”. This is not a garden. It’s a proposed 13acre, 6300 panel industrial solar site. We all have agricultural zoning and this is not an allowable use. They are putting in for a conditional use permit to be able to do this. We also found out that the same people doing this are the ones who complained to the county compliance officer about our building site and that we are living in a camper. (Which is within county regulations).

This project will have an 8 foot vinyl fence around 3 sides. They are proposing to build it 100 feet from our side door. This fence would run 430 feet from the front to the back, completely blocking any kind of view on the west side of our home.

I had no idea when I waved and said a friendly hello on a snowy Sunday morning last spring that I was running straight into a complete mess of a vindictive trap.

We have had 2 meetings thus far and at every one, she and her husband mention us and our tires. These people live in the subdivision to the north of their parcel and look down their noses at anyone who thinks and lives outside the box. We have other neighbors who live in their campers as well, until they can get their homes built.

We have all tried to live within our means, paying cash for our homes as we go, so it takes a lot longer. We all live off the grid and it’s not easy, but we aren’t asking for any special treatment, just to be left alone. Apparently, that was too much to ask.

We were given a chance to send our concerns to the county planning department in protest of this project. The original date on the flier said we had till Aug. 16th, but the planner moved the date up to Aug. 8, cutting our time off by 7 days.

Then we went in front of the planning commission board. The county presented their case, then the company man presented his bedazzled case. We had 3 minutes each for comment after that. The board sat there in their elevated positions looking down on us, not even trying to veil the contempt from their faces. They voted to push the project through and even told us if we didn’t like the view, to look out another window.

We have one more chance in front of the board of county commissioners, but we aren’t too hopeful about them either. This project was on the fast track from the beginning.

I have to say, we aren’t against renewable energy. How could we be? We live off grid and have our own solar panels, but we have 6 not 6300. There are more appropriate places in this county for a project like this, one that isn’t right next to residential homes and in the middle of beautiful untouched land and viewscapes. Our poor neighbors live directly to the south of the whole project on the hill and would look down into that mass of panels every time they walk out their door.

My dad said it perfectly when he said it would be a tumor on the land and the neighborhood. We have a small deer herd that runs through here, coyotes, some folks have seen elk, and all sorts of small animals as well. This is a travesty. The hardest part is that our voices haven’t been heard.

We have a group of supporters from the owner’s own subdivision who have written letters, done interviews and stood with us at these meetings, all to fall onto deaf ears.

Where is the justice? Doing something which is ultimately good for the environment is frowned upon if you don’t follow the status quo. Their answer is to subscribe to a solar panel “farm” so you don’t have to put panels on your house, but you can still feel good about doing your part to save the environment.

We have some recourses if this goes through, but we would rather not have to go there. I really miss the days when being a neighbor meant something. I have to say, this has brought a lot of people together who might not have otherwise done so. We do have neighbors, good ones, good people with lots of guts and determination to stand up to bullies.

I am trying to stay positive and have faith that the county commissioners will do the right thing. So far we haven’t seen much that would give us hope.

I believe in a God who is bigger than all of this. He sends me promises.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”



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The Balance Between Joy and Grief


I had a post mostly written a few weeks ago, then scrapped it. Our family has been on a roller coaster of sorts for the past three months or so. I haven’t had much time alone to think, much less write.

My brother is terminally ill with cancer, and my parents have moved their camper up to our property to be closer to him. We’ve shared some great times together, savoring every moment we can with him. He’s growing tired; the pain, and disease are taking their toll.

I wrestle with my own selfish thoughts, wants and so-called needs. I want to spend more time with him, but there’s another part of me that only wants to remember my strong, funny big brother like he was before this horrible thief of life took that away from me. I want to stay away, I want to hide in my own selfish feelings, but I know that’s not fair to him.

My folks are older, and this is wearing on them as well. I try to be strong for them, but all of our nerves are starting to fray.

Two weeks ago my brother’s oldest grandson passed away. He was 18, his 19th birthday would’ve been this month. He had been in a horrific car accident last fall. He had worked hard and rehabbed back, learning to walk, talk and he even moved back home. We were so optimistic for him and his future. Then suddenly, his mom found him in the middle of the night at his desk…Gone.

In my other post, I had all sorts of rants about who to blame for things going wrong in this world. The shootings, kids in drunk driving accidents, the breakdown of the family, I had it all. I threw it out, because none of that can change anything. My heart is still broken, our family is still barely hanging on, and the world continues to spin out of control, it seems.

What I can change is how I handle each of these things in my own life. My family has a huge support system surrounding us and lifting us up in prayer constantly. Without that, we would be much less able to cope with these things that are piling up around us.

A couple of weeks ago, I brought my grandkids home with me to give their daddy some time to study for a test he’s going to take soon. As we were driving up our dirt road, they asked why I want to live out here.

I think about this a lot. Especially when things are hard. The constant wind is annoying. The heat of the summer is oppressive. The water leaking through the window in our bedroom is depressing. The lack of money to finish our house is discouraging, but….

What I told them is the quiet is one of the things I value the most. I love the animals, birds and even the critters that we live with in harmony.

To be able to look out and have an unobstructed view in any direction is priceless. I look out our window at night and I can see the stars, billions of them.  I try to find beauty and joy in all things, even the smallest blossom on a weed. We’ve been given such a wonderful opportunity to live here, for however long. I’m not talking about my property. I’m talking about all of us.

We need to connect with whatever love and beauty we’ve been given. Find joy in the everyday things. Love when you can, grieve when you need to, and live your life with as full a cup of joy as you can every single moment.

“…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10


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There’s Something Strange in the Neighborhood


Things are changing around here


Let me point out a few of the changes to our normally peaceful neighborhood.

  1. For the past few weeks, I’ve been awakened to the sound of a helicopter going overhead most every weekday.
  2. Our newest neighbors fenced in their property with barbed wire fence. Yikes!
  3. Our other new neighbors moved into a 5th wheel on their property. (This is actually pretty cool.) My hubby has met the guy and I think we are going to have some good friends here.
  4. The people who own the forty acres directly west of us had a drilling company taking core samples on their property.
  5. The people who are directly north of us are building a road that I’m sure is big enough to land a 747 on.

I knew deep down this might happen, someday, it’s progress. I just figured there weren’t enough brave, (or crazy) people out there to do what we are doing…Living off the grid. Well, mostly off the grid. My son-in-law tells me I would have to give up my cell phone and internet to accomplish that. I lived for nine months without the internet and all that did was cost me an arm and a leg in gas money to have to run to the library every time I needed to work. Not worth it!

I’m slowly adjusting to the changes…

The helicopter is temporary; they are fixing power lines up on the mountain.

The newest neighbors haven’t made plans to move out here, so it’s still relatively quiet, except when he comes out to shoot his guns. But that’s okay, they seem nice too and are very friendly.

I’m going to like the new neighbors building on the hill, I can feel it.

The road building is done, and it doesn’t affect us, except now we have better access to our property on the other side of the ravine.

Change is inevitable I guess. I was remembering the first days and weeks we were here. I was feeling sorry for myself, sitting in a hot little camper with no electricity, no water, and barely any food (the fridge wasn’t working).

I dug out my old journal and Bible and sat on the bed and wrote. The quiet was overwhelming. The only sound was the wind blowing through the parched grasses. I had two dogs and a cat staring at me like I’d lost my mind, and at that point I thought the same thing. What had we done?

Once we got our new camper it was a little better, but still hard. The first shower I took in here was freezing cold. We hadn’t figured out how to light the hot water heater yet. Dave was over in the other camper with the dogs when he heard me scream from the shock of the icy water. He came over and asked what happened. When I told him, he laughed and went back to the other camper. I finished my shower, then when I tried to open the shower door, it was stuck. It wasn’t as much stuck as I couldn’t figure out how to open it. I stood there shivering wondering if I should try to get Dave back over here or figure it out myself. I tried everything I could think of…

Before I could start laughing or crying, Dave showed up to check on me. He told me how the door worked, and I was good to go. The next day I figured out the hot water heater.

We stayed in the old camper because we didn’t have bedding and any place for the animals yet. That night I laid awake listening to the coyotes sing. I thought I could see them in the moonlight, but now I know they were not in plain sight.

Since all the activity has been happening around here, we haven’t heard the coyotes for weeks. I miss them. I’m hoping they are whelping or just re-grouping and will come back soon.

Yes, things are changing, but I’m adjusting. Some things are good. We’ve had so many different birds here. Bluebirds, Hummingbirds, House finches, Quail. Even the rabbits are not as shy. I’ve always wanted to live close to nature and now I am.

I thank God for those first hard days. I’m thankful that now our lives seem so easy in comparison, but most of all I thank him for the beauty of being able to live here in the quiet beautiful place I call home.

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

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Tangled in the Red Tape of Bureaucracy

do not cross

When you are a product of your own thinking, you find out how just how flawed those thoughts can be.

I’m not talking about being a bad person, I’m talking about instant gratification. I’m a child of the 70’s, the last of the baby boomer generation. We were taught that you can have and do anything you set your mind to.

While this isn’t wrong, I know we can become what we think we can, or what we think about we bring about. No, what I’m talking about is waiting, saving and working towards a goal that doesn’t come automatically.

We naively stepped into this project thinking we could get it done in a matter of months, now we are approaching our second year of living here in our camper. I had accepted things as they were, this will take time, money, and lots of patience.

A month ago we were thrown another curve ball. One bright sunny morning a pickup with a county logo drove up our driveway. I was curious because we hadn’t called for an inspection, and the county assessor had already visited in January.

I greeted the man, who was all business. He introduced himself as the compliance officer for the county. He started in by informing me that someone had complained about the tires on our property. He looked over at the building site with seeming contempt, asking me if the county had approved us using tires to build with. I assured him they had.

The conversation went this way back and forth for a while. He intimated that living in our camper and using our septic for black water disposal wasn’t allowed.

After a little while, he eased up and told me we could probably work something out. He said to expect a formal letter in the mail and we would have to respond within a month.

I was very upset and texted the hubby at work right away. He laughed it off and told me not to worry about it. Then when the letter arrived two days later, he got upset. We called our attorney, just to see what our rights were.
We met with her a few days later and she advised us to comply as best we can and make a plan for the rest.

We had let our building permit expire and when we called the county building department, they said to wait until we were closer to getting an inspection before we renewed it. Obviously, that wasn’t sound advice.

We have renewed our permit, and tried to contact the engineer about the septic, etc. I wrote a letter of explanation to the compliance officer yesterday.
All of this to say, just because you are off grid, doesn’t mean you are out of the tangle of red tape of bureaucracy, in fact you are under more scrutiny.

We are slow, but we do learn from our mistakes. I’m hoping that anyone following this and dreaming of an earthship of their own will learn as well. I had thought we were far enough out of town that no one would really care what we were up to. Apparently, I was wrong.

Until the time where people stay out of other people’s business, we will play nice. Dave always reminds me to let love be our guide. Sometimes I would like to show people that love right up close and personal.

I’m reminded constantly that words matter. I wanted to lash out. I wanted to retaliate to whomever “tattled” on us, but I am calmer now. I am excited that things are moving again. We have been forced to take positive action.

“A gentle answer turns way wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

Peace and happy sailing. V

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