Off-Grid Living

                          At 5:24 pm last night, I looked outside, and it was completely dark. For most Americans, the onset of winter and Daylight Savings Time means that it gets dark outside in the early evening. For us, it means it gets dark outside […]


Makita Vacuum

October 25, 2011 · 8 comments

We got a broom as a wedding present. Some people might think that’s kind of a strange gift, but I loved it, and I used the heck out of it for several years. Sweeping was a quiet, almost meditative activity, unlike vacuuming, but I would sweep and sweep and the floor would never be completely […]


                          In the woods behind the house where I grew up (and where my parents still live), there is a single Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii) tree. It looked so exotic and out of place in the dominantly Douglas fir forest. I remember wondering […]

{ 1 comment }

Cabin Façade

September 7, 2011 · 10 comments

                          This is where I live.  It’s a total cliché to call it a “little house in the big woods,” but well, that’s what it is.         Henry, his brother, and his dad built the cabin from the ground up. […]


Country Roads and Dust

August 19, 2011 · 3 comments

Our humble home sits at the dead end of two miles of gravel roads. We have almost complete privacy out here, enough so that we can use our outdoor bathing facilities without worrying about being intruded upon in our birthday suits. The road system is also very scenic, especially in May, June, and July when […]



August 18, 2011 · 4 comments

I’ve been playing around with Instagram since I got my new fangled phone. It’s pretty fun because it lets me snap a few candid photos without hauling out my big camera and making everyone uncomfortable. Here are a handful of pics from the last week or so.                 […]


This post kicks off an occasional series discussing various parts of our off-grid infrastructure (water, power, vehicles, etc.) Water is a crucial element of a homestead. People, animals, and plants need it to survive, but getting it and storing it can be a challenge. The area around our home is arguably the driest part of […]


                          I think it’s pretty ridiculous that I felt like I needed 27 photos and a novella-worth of text to share a less-than-200 square-foot space with you. But, well, that’s what’s here. I did clean/rearrange/remove a few things for these photos, but with […]


The last time we were at the pediatrician’s office for a check up, I asked her if she thought it was child abuse to make two kids sleep in the same bed. Obviously, it’s not REAL abuse, but I wanted to know if she thought it was so far out of social norms that it […]


Red alder (Alnus rubra) is prolific in the Pacific Northwest. It tends to seed in early after disturbances, mature quickly, and get “overripe” (begin to decay ) when full-grown at about 60 years old. We had four good-sized alders that had started to rot. Four trees weren’t enough to make a full log-truck load, so […]