Chronicles of Our experience living in a tipi

Chronicles of Our experience living in a tipi

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Critter Shots June 2016

I was going to write a sequel to the stairway post last month to let everyone know what design we had settled on, but some cuteness of critters distracted me. So I thought I'd share. (Look on the rocks on the right hand side of the photos for the critters. Click on the photo to enlarge).

There is a pair of ravens who have settled in our little valley. Odin and Freya. I have seen Odin frequently on my visits to the Valley of the Tipi. He has been interesting to observe. And his behavior has left me wanting to learn more about his species. The later photos we have gotten, show 3 or even 4 Ravens. Perhaps their children?

Then there is Herbert the Abert Squirrel. Who doesn't think those tufted ears are the cutest?!?

And we have a new buck making the rounds. No doubt a bachelor looking for some companionship.

But the most exciting photo was of our night visitor. The first photo is unaltered and straight from the camera. The second photo is the same as the first but with the light/shadow/highlight adjusted to see what triggered the camera.

On the right hand side of the photo is a feline like animal. I had noticed a remarked decline in the chipmunk and ground squirrel population over the last few months. I figured a predator had been coming around, but wasn't sure what. Judging from the size of the feline in comparison to the rocks behind it, we guesstimated that it is a bobcat. Which concurs with the tracks I had found over the winter in and around the same pile of rocks.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Because the cabin will have, at the least, a half loft and hopefully a full loft, stairs will be needed. But normal everyday stairs take up too much floor space, so we have been seeking something that is compact. But not so compact that they would be considered a ladder!

We needed something that was easy on aging knees and safe enough that small children could use them. Below are pics of some of our choices. What do you think?

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I have been remiss in posting here. Life has become busy and all too often the words I write are for others. But I'm here now hoping to 'enlighten' you.

Because we'll be using a solar grid to provide us with electricity, normal lighting is not really an option. Hubby is planning on using 12volt lights like the kind found in RV's and cars for most of the built-in lighting in the kitchen and living room areas. These lights will run straight off a battery. We do have a couple of lights which can be plugged directly into the solar converter we have. Those lights I plan on putting by the beds in the cabin loft and the tipi. But we will still be needing lights elsewhere.

I have found a more aesthetically pleasing product that is very portable, enabling us to have light when traveling between the tipi and the cabin. Or going up the stairs. Or making a midnight trip to the bathroom. Or..... When it is off, it takes up very little space - in fact it could be stored on the bookshelf.  The product is called LUMIO

I first saw the Lumio demonstrated on Shark Tank and immediately fell in love with it. It looks like an ordinary book when closed but open it up and WOW! What an amazing source of illumination. A rechargeable battery powers Lumio so during the day it can be plugged into a solar charging panel. Some are made with magnetic covers so they can 'stick' to metal. So clever!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

More Laundry...

Debra She Who Seeks brought up a good question in response to my last post about laundry washing equipment which have an alternate power source. So I did a little research into the matter.
The Drummi from Yirego can hold up to 5 pounds (2.25 kg) of clothing. This measures to approximately 5-7 personal items (t-shirts, undergarments, etc).
The Bike Washing Machine had no specs that I could find on it. But in the pictures, the washing drum appears to be a tad bit bigger than the Drummi washing drum.
The Wonder Wash has a 5 pound drum capacity on it. The average 'normal' washing machine has a capacity of 10 - 12 pounds of laundry.
So it appears that 5 pounds is the norm for most off grid washers. Except for maybe the old fashioned hand crank wringer washers. Hhhmmm....... now that's a thought!

Thursday, March 3, 2016


I recently had a bout of laundry woes. The dryer's heating element went out and I don't have a clothesline! **gasp**

Fortunately, I only had a load or two left and they were willing to wait for the mechanisms of modern man's machinery to once again work. But, while I was waiting on the heating element to arrive, I thought about laundry at the cabin.

Modern machines won't be common place there. I had anticipated having to go to the laundromat once a week. Take care of all my town errands at one time - laundry, groceries, gas in the car, etc. But then I began to do research and discovered that there are alternatives to the standard washing machine. And since we will be hauling water, a device which conserves water and allows me to do laundry at home would be great.

The first washing machine I found was the Drumi by Yirego. It has a small footprint, is foot powered but spendy at over $200.

Next I came across a new design from China called the BWM - Bike Washing Machine. Clever! But storage of the BWM might cause a problem because of the space it takes up and it isn't in production yet so I have no idea of cost.

And lastly I found the Wonder Wash. Very reasonably priced mini washer but it is powered by hand rather than foot.

While there are other portable washing machines out there on the market, I need one that doesn't use electricity. So I will keep my eyes peeled for other models.
I will still be using a clothesline to dry the clothes, but at least I won't have to go down to the creek to wash them!

Thursday, February 18, 2016


We have a bird that loves our camera. He finds it no matter where we place it - we like to move it around for different views of the comings and goings at the cabin.
I think he wants to become a movie star. I'll only share a few (of the dozens) of the pics we have of him.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

In All Honesty.....

I have not been honest. I swore to myself when I started this blog, that I would be honest when it came to writing about this adventure we plotted a course for. I told myself I would share the planning, the construction, and everything in between. And this included any and all concerns or worries. I have to admit, I have been a bit remiss in posting about those. goes.....

Holidays - I used to love to decorate for all the holidays. Even after the kids left home and it was just Hubby and I. But then it got to be a chore as life got busier and busier. But just this past holiday season, I missed the faces of jack-o-lanterns smiling back at me, the lights twinkling on a tree. And so I have wondered  how I would solve this dilemma. I have already downsized the holiday collection and will go through it at least one more time just for good measure. I am keeping the most unique - and smallest - of the holiday decorations. I will invest in solar lights so that the outside trees may sparkle and twinkle. And well, there is a lot to be said for stringing popcorn & cranberries!

Winter - Hubby and I love the seasons. Even winter. But driving through some of the challenging snow storms which Old Man Winter brings can make even the strong cringe. While the majority of the roads in the area are plowed within a day of a large snow, the road back to the cabin may go un-plowed for several. This would cause a problem for whoever needed to get to town for work or an appointment. So, we decided will rent a small home or apartment for a few months during the winter. At least until retirement sets in and then we may travel a bit during the winter months.

Emergencies - When Hubby fell a year and a half ago, emergency attention was here quickly. But I have often thought, what would I do if that had occurred in the mountains. We are always careful when rock climbing or trudging up and down our hills, but accidents do happen. And now that we have gotten a broken bone out of the way, I feel we won't have to worry about it happening again. But if an emergency does happen, there are neighbors quite close by that I could call upon to assist. And the emergency crews found in the mountains- firefighters and paramedics - are fast to respond. Bless them!

Internet - While some of you may snicker at this (I know, kinda contradictory. Living off-grid and still wanting the internet), the internet is how I have been making a living for some time. And the internet will be how our family keeps in touch with us since cell signal is kinda sketchy where the cabin is located. If a person were to climb to the top of the ridge, cell signal is great. We can get satellite internet, but the download speeds aren't what we're used to with cable but I figure by the time we get settled in at the cabin, technology will have caught up with our needs. If not, I may have to learn how to send and receive messages via telegraph.

This all for now.  There have been some other questions raised by other people which I will address in future posts. If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment.