Traditional Mongolian gers were covered with animal hides with a regular cycle of replacement. The modern version from Groovy Yurts offers water resistant canvas with a lovely decoration. This natural cotton material helps the yurt to moderate humidity inside when combined with the natural felt insulation (and an optional modern moisture barrier in our case). We first setup our Super Ger in 2016 and then moved it to the big deck in 2017. Left in place under the intense New Mexico skies for the last five years, the canvas on our yurt started to show wear in a number of ways and required a total replacement. Read on to see more about yurt life.Continue reading “Super Ger Canvas Replacement” »
Completing the bathroom renovation at Casablanca to include some basic self-taught adobe repair was truly gratifying, but I knew there was a lot more to learn about finishing earthen walls (without special treatments for wet areas) since we have several more rooms to renovate. I decided to enroll in a proper adobe plastering class (online) and live owner-builder workshop with Adobe in Action at the end of September. Read on to see the pics and find out more about what I’m learning now!Continue reading “More Adventures in Adobe” »
If you were following us in 2016, you might remember the bathroom breakthrough we had when we brought our outhouse online. Since taking on the little project we are now calling ‘Casablanca’ in town right before the orders to shelter-in-place came down, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time learning about indoor renovations and plumbing. Almost exactly one year to the day, we’re finally able to reveal our second perfectly posh potty- complete with running water!Continue reading “Skipping to my loo, installment deux” »
There is no way we could live life on the daily without a dog door. Like, really, no way. We had a dog door in Florida, and at Sahalee, we keep the door open almost year-round and the pups go freely in and out as they please. When we started working on Casablanca, there was no fence and no free will allowed for any of us. We worked to remedy this immediately after Sweet Pete came on the scene. Mostly just to preserve our sanity during lockdown so the young one could be out of the house as much as possible and not feel neglected if no one thought to let her back in.Continue reading “For the love of dogs DIY” »
After five years, the vinyl windows in our Super Ger toono (the compression ring or dome) finally gave out. We had a little spring hail storm roll through and the brittle vinyl couldn’t take the abuse. With more rain in the forecast, we had to hustle to make the fix. Check out the step-by-step below!Continue reading “Super Ger Toono Window Repair” »
Hmmm… It’s 2021. The Earth tilted over a year ago and we managed to hang on. How about you? What’s been your handhold?
We gave our last update about off-grid life at Sahalee last May (though we will continue to add post-dated content to help maintain a chronological timeline). That now seems like another Universe and in a lot of ways it is. Last February marked a major transition for us, not just because of COVID, but because we essentially left Sahalee for Ben to pursue his fire career and for us to renovate a traditional adobe home to be a rental property and office in town. You can catch up on that news at https://www.sahaleeoffgrid.com/blog/2020/05/01/on-again-off-again/.Continue reading “One heck of a year” »
Have you ever been to the Forest at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe? The feeling of walking on the floor under the big tree there is something indescribable… Maybe something like random mounds of spring-loaded marshmallows underneath the carpet. Well, that is how the floor of the porch on the south side of the casa felt when you walked on it. There were layers of dirty musty carpet on top of who knows what that gave way under your feet in certain spots. It was very unsettling.Continue reading “Let the south side sunshine in” »
This post has been a long time coming… A topic of high interest for many people wanting to live off-grid, we are now legally addressed and can reveal our methods without fear of negative recourse (we gamble). While our solution may not work for everyone depending on location and circumstance, we hope to give some ideas and advice for setting up an off-grid address. Feedback is welcome and encouraged.Continue reading “Off-grid addressing” »
Editor’s note: This post is ceremoniously post-dated to mark the occasion of Pete’s homecoming.
The sky was hot and blue with a warm breeze. A Friday. Dusty with no rain in sight. The day was long and the travelers had an urge to cover some ground. The rolling pastel landscape beckoned them to a new place.
In and out of sage brush and around the looming mesas they meandered until they found the destination. An outpost. Familiar to few. A destination for many. On the borderlands. A safe harbor for all flags. Offering the promise of new agreements and the finality of settlements passed.
The group didn’t know what was in store. They waited patiently. Seemed there were some happenings that weren’t part of the expected scene. Being strangers themselves, the strange was familiar. These days, even the familiar had folks feeling out of sorts.
Once inside, treasure-seekers have a sense where to look. It’s the getting there that can raise a challenge. Prying eyes in forgotten corners. Navigating disorderly order. Finding the unpolished gem, an exchange is made. Albeit lopsided. New parcels in hand, the companions make their way back to cross the arroyos begging for rain.
The blur of pink, gold, green streak by. Bright white clouds marching across make moving shadows on the ground. A jet black flash just at the right front fender. The rear view reveals opportunity for disaster. Small furballs and 18-wheelers don’t blend well on the asphalt.
And, so, the story goes…Continue reading “The Tale of Sweet Pistol Pete” »
The potty is an essential feature of any off-grid scenario. There are many, many options for how to set-up the facilities for long-term success to include a traditional outhouse, composting toilet, incinerating toilet, and others. We chose to go with the ‘bucket system’ for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons was that it allowed for us to move the toilet without digging any new holes. Here is a brief review of our outhouse design evolution, and the steps we took to move the building last summer.Continue reading “How to move an outhouse/storage shed” »