Category: tiny & earthen homes


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This was one of the best trips we’ve taken.

We got to meet holy scrap hot springs bloggers who are living life on a whole other level. They’re currently 7 months solid traveling full time. I hope we hang with them again. Their blog/lifestyle seem so well rounded. One of the things I mentioned to them was that they are so out of the box but seem to be functioning so well. Unlike so many people I know who are on the fringe they seem to be eating good, doing book tours, traveling, leveraging their time and creative efforts, etc. Their list of creative accomplishments and self expression is something I admire. I’d say they’re one of my few examples for folks who have wealth in many avenues regardless of their (perhaps small?) income. They live in New Mexico but we hung out with them in Portland.

Before we got to Portland we spent some time in Colorado. We hiked up a mountain in Boulder with crazy amounts of camera equipment including the large format film camera. That large camera has a suitcase size carrying case.

One thing that made this trip a million times better than the many road trips we’ve taken before this was our lack of requirement for specific food & drinks. We didn’t need a cooler or ice, we didn’t need to cook grass fed beef or bring 12 gallons of spring water. <— all of our former trips. I lived mostly on vegan canned soup and chips and Mark mostly lived on canned ravioli and chips. We drank water and lemonade out of a gas station styrofoam cup that we refilled at every gas station. We showered at a truck stop and slept in cycle to the moon. godddddddd that sounds nice.

We saw Brian and meet his “twin flame”. Seeing them was another major highlight on the trip. Brian’s girlfriend pretty much is a no non-sense kind of girl EVEN when she’s talking about total non-sense. That type of personality totally is fitting the bill on what I’m connecting with in people. Dynamic! Plus she supplanted my mind with Pallas Athena… so we’ll see where that goes (it’s in my 3rd eye). I didn’t want to leave them so we hung out much later than expected which was cool cause it was Audrey’s birthday.

We spent some time in Utah which was nice. We went down to Taos, New Mexico to see Michelle’s earthship. She hosted True Taos Radio which interviewed us live (as shown in a photo above). After the interview Mark took pictures of the gorge while Michelle and I just chit chatted on the bridge. I really needed some lady-chit-chat time so thank you.

The last day of the trip we took the time to discover the podcast app on our iphones and listened to some good stuff during the drive. We had a ton of music and audio books (“shit my dad says”, 2 nora ephron books, david sedaris, etc). We were over listening to music and had quickly burned the audio books. One of the podcast we listened to was about sleep. It really pumped me up want to address how smoothly my sleep had been on the road which was in contrast to how sleep has been most of my life. When we got home I implemented a “7 pm Get Off The Internet” & a “9 pm Turn Off All Screens For The Night” to turn my problem solving mind off early instead of letting it overtake me 24/7. Now we act like it’s little house on the prairie days after 7 pm (LOTS of reading, maybe a board game or a movie) then even more reading til bedtime. The trip felt like a reset. I’m sure no one wants to hear how people I love in real life post douchey bullshit on facebook and that I pretty much has ended my interest with interacting there. I’m cool with personal messages but scrolling makes my soul want to die. 2 weeks without the internet, sleeping with the moon/sun cycles, hiking mountains, travelling, seeing good friends… it really reset something corny in me that makes me want to just do what feels good in life. It’s like this trip renewed some inner guidance, it’s hard to explain with out sounding lame. Plus being in an earthship is pretty mind blowing and makes everything next to it seem to be lacking something. Speaking of something lacking, out of nowhere I got a really clear idea that we needed to change our apartment around. When we got home it’s kind of like we reordered our living space to create creative space for us each to do our own thing. And we got a sweet vintage crushed velvet couch for the living room from the thrift store…hooray.

The large black & white pictures were all taken with the large format film camera. Mark developed the film in our bathroom then scanned them onto the computer. Mark was new to the camera and did a hell of a job setting the camera up and taking great pictures.

With all of these wonderful things said and done it’s great to remember that this was a business trip. The trip was pretty much required to help soak up some of our profits and reinvest the money back into the business (via this trip) instead of sending that money in as taxes owed. During the 2 weeks we were gone we sold $956 worth of stuff on ebay. We kept our store open but changed the handling time on the listings. I also messaged everyone who bought stuff as a reminder on what day we’ll be shipping out in case they didn’t take note of the extended handling time. While $956 gross for 2 weeks is about half of what I would hope to earn at home we made this money while “traveling the world”. To me that is amazing. The mileage for the trip was 5,144 which cost us about $500 but due to mileage reimbursement being $0.575 per mile we credited $2,957.80 in deductions. Self employment has benefits that are unseen to traditional worker. Sure you don’t have a steady paycheck but we just got paid to see the world.

The rental was free and here’s the story. After checking out our car rental options we drove off and debated if it was worth the money to rent a spacious SUV vs take our non spacious car on the road. Our car is old and junky and i was worried about it lasting on the trip. Plus we had an insane amounts of (huge) photography equipment so where the fuck would we sleep? Within 2 minutes of leaving the rental place a car backs into us which sends our car into the shop for almost 3 weeks! While it was at the shop we got a rental from the insurance company at no cost…. like magic!

Here’s a video from our first trip to an earthship in 2013

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section.

anarchist kitchen tiny house and land

Tiny House and Land

1 I am The-Brightest-of-Stars

our podcast Cake Or Death Radio

i’d like to start this out by saying that i think the word free is shitty.

yeah, when i was 17 i thought free shit was rad. i started working when i was 14 because it was clear that no one was going to just hand me things in life. i didn’t get birthday gifts (i remember my mom giving me 50 cents once on my birthday so i could get a soda at school, you know, to make the day special.) around 17 i dated a hippie and had a momentary laps in working. during that time i felt like there might be some magical world of free out there. that some how i had closed myself off to it and that i needed to just say yes to “free” and be open to it.

i got over that quickly. after hanging out in a crowd of mooches i had to get the hell out of there, i was lacking responsibility and perspective for the rest of humanity. i got a job and hadn’t looked back since. i got super jaded about consumerism and all the glory involved in that. i still thought that free stuff existed but shunned it because the origins didn’t reflect my value system. a few more years went by and i became a GM of a small salad shop on the food court of a prestigious medical school/bio-medical research institutions. how it didn’t click until that moment is beyond me. i had placed many orders as an assistant manager, it wasn’t like i thought things come out of  thin air. but it wasn’t until being a GM when i gained greater responsibility which brought in a bigger perspective. every napkin and every fork, the slices of lemon and the extra refill of tea became hard numbers at the end of the day. the bulk bins at the health food store no longer seemed right to sample from. the cool cashiers that would throw over-priced health food in my bag without charging me made me uneasy. at that point nothing felt free any more.

when i saw daniel vitalis he talked about a lot of things including our language become anamorphic or perverted. that people think the word free means something for nothing. that really struck a cord in me….

now that we all feel bad for raiding the chocolate covered almonds from the bulk isle let’s get back to my real intention. as i stated in the blog post the hard knocks of starting a business i’ve been wishing that people who don’t want to pay for my ebook would ask for a copy at no cost. i care more about people reading my ebook and getting value out of it than me getting rich. Pay What You Want isn’t a new thing. the company who emails the downloadable links for my ebook & videos to the customer doesn’t offer a fill-in-the-blank option for payment. instead of bending over backwards and changing companies i spent a short 4 hours trying to figure out the second best option. in the end i created a FREE button as well as a $2,$5, $7 & $10 donation buttons for those who can pay.

the last thing i want is someone who is unable to pay to feel shame or guilt for accepting my offer of FREE. seriously, this is an ebook about improving your life through homesteading, tiny house living and/or living within your means. who doesn’t want to save $24,000 in 18 months like we did!?!  read the book, apply what fits your personality and lifestyle and call the rest good. share my website with friends and family, why not?

here’s a little story about my very good friend nada:

19for years he was really into spirituality. he seemed to be most attracted to eastern philosophy. as an artist, nada has been self employed for the last 12+ years that i’ve known him. he’s always been a struggling artist with lots of friends but super poor. when different spiritual leaders would come to dallas to give talks nada could never afford the entrance fee. he ALWAYS called the events telling them that he didn’t have money but he’d do any service they needed (cleaning or putting out chairs, or passing out fliers, etc). all but one person said no money, no entrance. for someone who has little money he has always brought the most energy, the most creativity and been the reminder to everyone he meets to “just give what you’ve got”. he’s a very giving person. he printed out stickers that said “LOVE IS FREE (give it away)” and handed the stickers out. he’s spent his hard earned money on putting together multiple musical albums and they’re all free to download, donation not required. i am not even close to doing nada justice by explaining what an amazing friend he’s been in my life and so many other peoples life.

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AND he’s funny as hell, champion sense of humor!

do not take yourself too seriously around nada

do not take yourself too seriously around nada


this video is my last attempt to capture nada from 5 years ago.

anarchist kitchen tiny house and land

reasons to own a tiny house

these reasons don’t apply to everyone all of the time.

1. affordable!
a tiny house isn’t always 150 sqft like ours. the shed people who built ours could make a shed (home) as large as we wanted. they can add a loft, divide rooms with walls and even add a second story. digging through tiny house books, i’ve seen tiny houses from 400sqft to under a 100 sqft. really, at this stage in the game if your house isn’t an average of ###### then it’s considered small, and tiny is a small step away from that. if 150sqft ~ $3,000 then a 1000sqft “house” would be about $20,000. well, i’m guessing that’s the case but if you really want the numbers then dig around on the website i got my shed from. pictures and prices included.

2. shed people take payments
even though i’m pretty committed to paying in full, avoiding interest and living within my means, it’s absolutely worth mentioning that a person can finance one. after we moved into ours, it dawned on me that we could have bought one on loan, though maybe it would have been $5k or $6k instead of $3k for the same home but the year that i was living in the city saving up to move to the country cost us $4,600 in rent anyway. that money i will never get back. lets do the math, $4,600(rent)+$3,000 (home)=$7,600. fuck! i could have saved money even if i had bought our house with interest and would be further along with living my dream lifestyle. *side note: i make more money at my new job, moving sooner would have been worth it & would have saved us living in the car.

3. portable
because our tiny house is 150sqft & mark’s woodworking shed is 64sqft we have plans to move them to our final piece of land as soon as it’s picked out. we bought our current piece of land with the intention of forever. now that we have some country living under our belt we have a deep insight on what we’re really looking for.

4. put your home in storage
strange idea but it occurred to me that if we sold our land before we had all of the chips in place, we could technically put our house and shed in storage. i’m guessing it costs a ton of money to move a shed any real distance. so if we were in transition and were not ready for the big move, we could keep our home and shed safe and pick them up when we are ready. less than ideal but options are always good.

5. transition
i think a tiny house is a champion transitional home. it’s better than an apartment because you’d own it. you’d have the freedom to decide when you’re truly ready for what’s next vs. making decisions under financial pressure. i currently think i could live in my tiny house for a very long time because i’m comfortable even though i know we’re going to build our house when the time is right. no pressure feels really good. our last apartment was only $386 a month (and i NEVER felt pressure about paying rent) the light feeling of the weight off my shoulders is hard to put into words…. and because more people pay for space to go to bed at night, i’ve yet to hear how that feeling is expressed.

6. permanent
as a place to live in while building a home it is also valuable in that you CAN take your time on your final home, building everything right the first time rather than doing things half-ass so it gets done quicker. a guy we met mentioned the value of not moving into a home until it is truly finished. i’ve heard some folks get a tiny house so that they have something to live in while building their dream home, and as time goes on they realize that they’re happy with what they’ve got and no longer find their dream house worth the price tag such a dream.

7. extra space
who couldn’t use extra space? a guest house is one of the first things that comes to mind. my friend’s husband has a shed that he turned into his work-from-home office. extra space, i’ll let you fill in the blank.DSC_0003

8. tiny houses are cute
major book store chains even carry picture books of tiny houses. hundreds of pages of the cutest houses you’d ever see. plus people who live a tiny house lifestyle tend to be more experimental. with little money to lose and having a creative vision, a tiny house is something to impress even the more in-the-box soul. the picture books alone got me pumped way before i even took the idea seriously.

9. no rent = more time
when we first moved into our house, i figured freedom from rent was the reward. a short time later i found the real reward was my husband being able to purse his woodworking dreams. i have a vision for my lifestyle, not a vision for a career. mark however has career goals. he wants to build lots of custom designed guitars and basses for people who want high quality instruments. never in a million years would i have thought removing such a nominal monthly bill as rent would open up the space for something so fulfilling. i guess when we had rent to pay i just turned my mind off what was really important to him. now i would jump through hoops to make sure that he can live how he wants to live. he lives his life with passion so he has the energy to ensure the same thing for me.

10. easy to maintain
our roof is metal but if it were shingles that needed to be replaced, think of how cheap that would be. we made the mistake of buying cheap windows and the condensation coming from them may lead to a mold problem down the road if left unchecked. it would be affordable and easy to fix the problem because it’s such a small space. we bought a huge wool rug that is great insulation but horrible at keeping clean. it would be a day project to remove our rug and replace it with whatever we deemed a better fit. tired of that old wallpaper? we could re-wallpaper the whole house fast and affordably. if one day we wanted plumbing i imagine that would be a snap.

11. heating & cooling
a really awesome home is designed to need no cooling and little heating, that’s what the experts say. our house is not that. we have the smallest size A/C window units ($150) and a small little plug in space heater ($60). they get the job done. it doesn’t take much to heat or cool a tiny house.

12. tiny is simple
we pretty much do not bring things home unless something else is being removed. with less stuff to manage there’s less stuff to clean. we’ve fallen in love with our library. we don’t own movies, we borrow them. if i buy a book i give it to the library when i’m done which contributes to nationwide inter-library loans. i’m a huge fan! less mental management & “attachment”.

13. no rent = new priorities
i’ve said that mark was able to follow his passion full time but that’s about time. i don’t have more time because i still work my day job but i do have more money. i’ve felt empowered enough to resolve life-long health challenges (which i’ve written about) because of our lifestyle change. it can’t be underestimated that having one less bill to pay (even an affordable one) is absolutely liberating. at least for me, while having rent to pay, i felt like it was too risky to explore money-suck-holes like looking into health issues. i didn’t want to over-commit in case something happened. survival first, thrival later.

14. freedom by stair stepping empowerment
action replaces complacency. most of us know that we need to unfuck the world and that means change. the big changes that we need in our life and our world are scary to address. stair stepping to empowerment may impress nobody but i promise each personal victory is huge. personal improvement is hard to start and fun to follow through. each step that i followed through with (save income, buy land with hard earned money, quit my job, rent a moving van, etc.) felt like a huge victory. at some stage in the game i will have that same sense of freedom when i’m feeding myself from my land.

by no way is a tiny house the end-all-be-all of living, maybe an earthship is. for me it’s a tool to get me closer to my homesteading dreams while improving my health and my marriage. my ebook Tiny House And Land is the most A to B, step by step instructional on exactly how to do what we’ve done.

anarchist kitchen tiny house and land

i know people want to change. i want to change.

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with each birthday that brings me closer to my 30’s, i see more of the veil over my mortality. when i turned 26 a few of my friends parents either got diagnosed with cancer or died from it. i look at my aging parent and think about own future.

i had this idea that how i go into my 20’s will set the tone for my 30’s. how i go into my 30’s will set the tone for my 40’s…so on and so forth. soon enough i will be my parents age, mid to late 60’s. elders should really be our role models and i’ve always felt like something was missing because i didn’t have that. when i got into robb wolf’s shtick he talks about the amount of muscle we age with being an indicator of some good stuff, not a direct quote, clearly. that planted a seed which started with recovering memories of 2 different times in my life that i thought i had lost fat-weight but now realizing that it was mostly muscle-weight. so i’m picking and choosing what i’d like to build towards because i’m starting at the beginning.

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when i fantasize about what my best life would be i see a few things that all come down to living like a real human.

1.MY DAILY FLOW. from a month of trainhopping i gained insight into this other porthole of time that does not exist by the clock. having that brief experience of timelessness really makes my civilized self feel like a machine version of a human. it’s hard to put that in words. (vacations do not feel like i’m tapping into anything real just another facet of my civilized life.)

2.MY BIOLOGICAL PRIORITY. really what i’m saying is nature over conditioning. i want to unschool my job-self. when i’m tired i sleep, when i’m hungry i eat, when i’m thirsty i drink, when i have to pee i do it. i don’t want to have to schedule in a 5 second break on the grounds that i have to pee now or else the machine will not go on. i don’t want to feel so second to my services in life. ****that’s the mental side.

****then there’s the physical side. trees, plants, animals, stars, grass, sun, rain, community, etc.

old woman woods

when i think of childhood books where the story is set in the forest with an old grey man living in a hobbit home, WHY, why does that seem so right? my childhood stories did not discuss issues with daily flow or holding your pee til you’ve got everyone elses luxuries (that they’re paying for) addressed.

part of me going into my 30’s means i need/want to build muscle. i need/want to stretch on a daily basis. i need/want to just be able to breathe. my current lifestyle does not support the long term vision of how i see my future unfolding. i’m a workaholic. i’m not on my final piece of land. i’m not getting any younger.

seeing the cob cottage totally put me back into my childhood dreams. whether disney conditioned me well or there’s really something to it, seeing those humble mud cottages in the forest felt right and that’s what i’m going on. i really don’t mind putting the work in but only for a short while. the food forest that our parents never built us requires the extra effort before we can begin but i’m changing my life soon.

here’s an interview that i found super inspiring. 2 people i find very integrated into the natural world:

http://www.rosegoddessbliss.com/ecstatic-parenting-part-one

http://www.rosegoddessbliss.com/ecstatic-parenting-part-two

 

 

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our trip was 15 days.

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we left AR heading to nada in OKC. two hours still to go i get a text message saying, “get me out of here, everyone keeps asking me where the weed’s at”…1 minute later, “if i would have brought weed i’d be rich”.

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*NADA*

when we first arrived at the earthships in NM it was pretty overwhelming. the one we stayed in was an earth mansion and i just couldn’t wrap my head around building it. it had an attached greenhouse, then inside more tropical garden over-growing the living room & walk way, then spacious bedrooms/kitchen, full bathroom and coop & run on the side of the house for the chickens.

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regardless of the million dollar price tag, regardless of the off-the-charts level of kush….
earthships are completely off the water and electric grid. the idea of really building a house without the limitations of those two key things truly puts me in awe each time i think about it. let’s really think about that. the earthship receives 7 inches of rain a year then cycles it 3 times creating 21 inches of rain use in the desert. that line of thinking really punches in the balls my “fuck plumbing” attitude. for one, me not having plumbing doesn’t make my water consumption recycle itself. earthship plumbing does. the moment water goes down a drain it’s already moving onto it’s 2nd or 3rd use. plus their setup is so streamlined that it totally makes me jealous. when we do dishes at home, at some point we need to dump the dish water bucket. the (good) thing about dumping the water is that i know where it’s going. i have to think about it. the (better) thing about having things streamlined is that you don’t have to think about it. and you also know where it’s going. cooler than anything is that the house is made from the land you live on (the dirt from excavation) and landfill trash (tires & bottles). knowing with your 2 eyes where everything is coming from prevents us from making up stories of how “fair” aquiring it must have been. when it’s all said and done you could build a smaller one of these babies for pretty cheap. sure it’s a lot of labor pounding tires but tires filled with earth regulate heating and cooling. worth it.

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we filled up spring water at the grand canyon. mark took a few panornamic pictures too. we had 50 million epic fails at dumpstering all the way.

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*mt shasta, spring untapped*

we went to LA to check out the tonic bar brian gushes over. *ALERT* clearly i have prejudice against (large crowds) of fancy higher class people. the reason i know it’s prejudice is because everything about the grocery store/tonic bar should have been a total win. insane amounts of healthy real food all over the store. tons of the stuff looked like small-batch handmade. everything was top quality, nothing looked like it was skimped to keep the price low. everything was priced to reflect the high quality that it was, expensive but fair. sounds like a win but i couldn’t hang. everyone was way too beautiful, it made my eyes hurt. everyone seemed empowered and assertive while i was holding back a mini panic attack. the tonic bar really seemed like a gem. a low end drink was $8 and a high end drink was $20. had my gut been fully functional i would have picked out something in the $20 range. another stark difference that i noticed was that all the fancy young ladies sitting around the tonic bar all seemed super vibrant, i was expecting to see more sick people looking for wellness. no punk, no hippies, no homesteader, i clearly pre-judge. we dropped nada off and got out of LA in warp speed. i am over the city.

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we completed a 2 year journey to find the perfect canteen. in a suburb of santa barabra we went a food co-op that looked like a little food mart shack. all the workers looked like street kids, they were playing hip hop and had health force on their shelves. their variety of healthy foods and snacks was pretty impressive. there i got two canteens that i’m taking to the grave. one all stainless steel 40oz and one insultated 20oz where only stainless steel touches the drink but has plastic on the outside of the cap. we liked santa barabra, maybe a slower pace city isn’t so bad.

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we head up the coast, i’m working on my tan. we see rami. we couldn’t quite see what he was seeing in covelo CA but it was awesome seeing him and his sweetass beard. rami’s dog was super cute. once we got in covelo the rest of our northern CA trip was cold & rainy. set my tan aside. this is when the trip started to go down hill. we finished all of our gut friendly food (should have made more while at the earthships) and nights were too cold to sleep straight through. when we got to mt shasta (a major point of interest) i was sooo irritable. plus while talking to our homies about our group land via web conference it became clear that they’re thinking about land that $8K per acre; way outside of the numbers i was imagining. that felt pretty shitty but they’re good people and i don’t see setback in our plans.

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we were running short on time because we have a scheduled tour at cob cottage in oregon hours away. total we spent 2 nights in mt shasta and filled up on their untapped spring water before heading north. the morning we left shasta we mapped out the area where there is wicked affordable land. we drove through montague CA which was about an hour north of shasta. the land that we saw was mostly flat with rolling hills in the distance. the land looked mostly cleared, no forest, but the sky had cleared up at that point and i could see potential for that area. because the land was already clear anything we would do would be restoration whereas getting land in the forest (which is my fantasy) would mean anything we do would be destructive. plus flat land means no one would be left out of facing south. whereas if we were on a slope we’d need to ensure everyone had access to a south facing side of the slope to build and grow food on.

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when we crossed over to oregon, mark said that he liked the vibe better. oregon seemed more lush. the prices i saw online seemed that $4k an acre was lucky. most of the drive to cob cottage was rainy. i said at one point, “i hope it’s not raining during the tour”. at that point i hadn’t fully grasped that it’s ALWAYS rainy (8 months out of the year) in northern CA/western OR. about now i’m on & off irritable. we’re running an hour late to cob cottage. as soon as i got cell service i called allie to tell him we were running late. while scheduling this tour with allie on the phone he mentioned that they usually try to serve a dinner afterward but i decided because of my weird dietary guidelines that i’d rather them not go through the trouble. he asked me what i was eating and i was nervous to say meat because he sounded like a hippie. i name a few things and he says, “oh, sounds like what my wife is doing”. sweet.

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we get to the cob cottage grounds, park the car and walk the foot path to the site. FUCKING PROFOUND. cob cottage is inside of the oregon rainforest. i’ve never seem something so grown up, so many layers, so alive and complex. it’s cold & raining but i’m thrilled. we walk up the trail and allie is sitting outside with his cute little toddler. he stands up, we walk to the myrtle (building next to us), we take off our shoes and he says, “so are you doing the GAPS diet?”. we walk inside and it’s super cozy. we took a million pictures but because the cottages are all round and small it’s hard to really capture the experience. we sit on the rocket mass heater bench and i’m in love, the room feels better than anything i’ve even known. allie talks with a smile, he talks like he’s the most relaxed person in the world. him, his wife and their 3 kids live out there, watching over the place while the creators of the cottage are in wales. he slowly starts talking about the room we’re in. he points at the ceiling (not insulated), the wooden door (with cracks in it), and one of the windows that never got finished (huge window space with flimsy plastic semi covering it). he points out all the flaws and concludes that despite all those potential weaknesses, the place was as warm and dry as a person could ask for. it’s also one of the oldest buildings on the property. he talked about the crazy dancing parties, where 30 or 40 people had been in the tiny space and it was all good. he was so relaxed, he kept saying, “we could go check out all of the cottages, what ever you guys want to do.” i told him that we had the $50 donation for our tour and he tried to talk me out of giving it to him. i insisted that his time was valued by us and he ended up showing us around for 3 hours. we toured about 10 buildings. half of them were 80% complete. some had straw bale exposed, some didn’t have roofs, most of them had tarps protecting the completed parts. he took us to a completed building and said that his mom had been staying in it. cozy. amazing. simple. he opened up a wooden door to a small box cut through the wall with a screen on the outside. he points around, “quart of raw milk, butter, bag of carrots, eggs…” holy hell! impressed. hole in the wall for a fridge. the tour is me, mark, allie and his 5 year old daughter. he said that he’s been teaching on and off for 2 years the fire (rocket mass heater) stuff. i asked if he’s built a cob house before. he looks around the building that we’re in and says that the house he built was about twice the size (my guess, 400sqft?). i asked him how much it cost him to build and he said $2,000. he said that it was mostly for the rock foundation. he said it wasn’t complete but it sounded like they lived in it the way it was. i started asking him about his house and he said that it only had one plug for a single light, that they pay $5 in electricity a month and he didn’t even know what the point to that was. he also mentioned that his family sleeps outside on a bed. he was blowing my mind but i was keeping my cool. every cottage he took us into he pointed out the strengths and weakness. one cottage was completely built by workshop students. a few of the completed buildings didn’t even have doors but a blanket over the doorway. i couldn’t believe how beautiful and dry each building was. it was a testament that a beginner could build a beautiful cob home. by the end of the tour my toes were frozen beyond belief. we went back into the myrtle and i stood on the warm bench. i need that bench. at one point i told him that we were looking into land in that general region but the cheapest land wasn’t that cheap. he pointed out that i was from arkansas where land is wicked cheap so of course i’m going to think of $4k an acre as pricy. THEN he asked us if we had looked into tax sales. he said that a friend of his had bought 4 pieces of land from tax sales, including 160 acres near shasta for $26,000! then he told me about a woman who bought land in montague who’s building a cob house and starting a cob community out there. he explained that she had taken a class at the cottage and was really pumped about cob. that she moved her wool felt business to montague and was going to make things happen out there. huh.

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we leave the magical land of cob cottage and i’m totally high on the idea of making an electricity-free cob home for a few thousand bucks within a summer, fall block of time. i bought The Hand Sculpted House book from the cottage and read 90% of it within the next 3 days. (this is a must read regardless if you’re building an earthship or strawbale or whatever. must read first!) so we drive up the coast, get to portland, stay at (the boy) eli’s house and meet up with jonathan for coffee. i’m glad to see these two lovely men but i’m ready to leave. so we head back down the coast to see the redwoods that we didn’t have time for just the day before.

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this time the sun is out and i’m in a good mood. this trip to CA was much better than the first time around. we saw the redwoods, stopped at the beach (lots of pictures), laughed a bunch. we stopped in redding CA for the millionth time to go to the health food store. when we came back to the car the guys in their car next to us say, “thats a good book” referring to my cob book in the front seat. so then i start through my million questions, “have you built with cob, how much did it cost you, how long did it take, how much was your land, what did you need to do to make your soil ready for cob building, etc”. i brought up the $4k an acre thing with this guy too. he said that in that area (which was 45 minutes from mt shasta) but outside of the city land was about $2k per acre and “here look up our realtor, he’s amazing”. we wrote it down: http://mountainvalleyrealestateredding.com/ the guys said land with a spring would be realistic. which reminds me, (the boy) eli said that he had some friends that saved up a bunch of money to get land in OR and moved there to look for it. and since they got there they keep meeting people and keep finding better and better land (better including cheaper).

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this person is pumped. amazing pictures of everything will be posted here: https://www.facebook.com/TinyHouseAndLand

pictures & info about our Tiny House And Land

anarchist kitchen tiny house and land

mark took epic pictures of the landscape. when it’s printed out it will be 8ft. good job.

3mountain

Ship1

living room

5mountain

earth day started with getting up early and enjoying a booth for Snappy Salads. we sold some food, drink, snack and promoted this locally owned salad shop. it’s earth day! Snappy uses only biodegradable packaging including forks, spoons, straws, lids and cups. even the boxes are made of to turn into earth within a few months under the right condition.

people were walking around looking for free junk. i care about the earth friendly goods, i care enough for everyone there. we had fun!  then ended the evening with a hobo ride.

we got on the yard in wyile. our train went west for a few hours. it was so strange. last time i trainhopped was over 3 years ago! just like riding a bike, totally comfortable and at home. i love riding trains. last time the goal was to “just get out of texas” this time was different. with my divine partner having work the following day we could ride over night. we rode down 14th street in plano. it was so strange. riding past the east side of 14th i saw all the places i spent my younger years. we rolled on. right behind the apartments i lived in when i was 19. further down we passed the area i live at in downtown plano. the train rolled on. i went pass the apartments my parents and sister live in. i used to live there too. i felt like i was rolling through my past as an observer. we even rolled by a a job i had when i was 17. i’d be on the clock and watch trains roll by and have this feeling like, “i wonder….” a few hours later our train was stopped in a yard. where are we? not sure. time went by, lights flashed from the workers…do you think they saw us? YES. from silence to “put your hand where i can see them” taken off the train by a BNSF bull and his K9. patted down, IDs, marched off the property, sweet goodbyes to the bull who didn’t arrest/ticket us…Fort Worth. That’s it?! man we didn’t get far, but it felt far & good. we walked from euless to fort worth…i think. we walked a romantic tree 2-lane for a few miles and then in the rain a few more. slept outside of a covered shopping center. $60 taxi ride to the nearest public transit. what a day. I LOVE EARTH DAY