30 days at Sahalee

We are used to hearing people ask us, “Why?” by now…

“Why a yurt?” they asked us.

“Why New Mexico?” they asked us.

“Why thirty days?” is the most recent inquiry.

There are several reasons for our self-imposed sequestration:

  1. To test our preparation skills to be separated from town in the event of bad weather and impassable roads.
  2. To focus on finishing and planning projects on the property.
  3. To save money spent on travel and eating out.
  4. To give time to business development.
  5.  To become more familiar with our land.
  6. To allow ourselves time for self-reflection.

We had gone fourteen days at length on property before, so thirty days was the predictable test- A reasonable expectation for off-grid homesteaders, yes?

We chose the month of July because the historic monsoon conditions during the height of summer create adverse conditions for traveling to and from Sahalee. Much to our benefit, we were on the receiving end of the persistent scattered showers while we had no place to go. We were also pleased to find that we had stocked up enough water, propane, gasoline, food stores (with the exception of the impromptu pizza party for four visitors), and building supplies to make it through the entire run comfortably. (We are SO thankful for the ice maker that came just in time from our dear friends over the hill.)

Cuba News – 08-20-2018

Being home for four weeks straight gave us a chance to wrap up some open projects and start in on some new. The main focus was firewood. This not only entailed cutting and hauling the wood we will burn, but also putting in pallets under the wood pile and an arbor on top to help shield our supply from snow and rain. Some of the wood came from clearing new cart paths, also trimming up the standing trees for fire protection and sledding trails. Other projects included marking out the footprint for the new workshop, planning the outhouse move, and making use of our upgraded kitchen facilities. On occasion and in between the rain and forest fire smoke, Ben was also able to squeak in a training run.

From July 9th through August 8th, we made all our meals at home and managed to avoid spending any money for the month above-and-beyond the obligatory utility payments (phone/data, water, insurance, PO Box, Spotify, credit card debt, business sponsorship). Well, almost… We splurged on our 17th wedding anniversary gift (and bucket list experience) – tickets to see Miss Margo Price and her merry band of music makers play live at the Moody Theater where the world famous Austin City Limits is taped (AND a vintage poncho from Etsy in preparation for our upcoming Big Ass Texas Adventure).

Making gobs of power on long summer days when the mud was drying out, we could plug in to watch the World Cup (for the first time ever), and do some great work for our clients. In a fortunate turn in Ben’s training plans, we were able to discover the inaugural run of the Wildland 52 Ultramarathon in Jemez and align 550 Recruiting as a sponsor to benefit the area firefighters working to protect our forests.

Even though we didn’t accomplish all of our projects, creative productivity was one of the ways we redirected our energy from being suppressed during our isolation from more frequent social interaction. Yet we are eternally grateful for the kindness of our friends who came to visit us and provide a welcome intermission to our seclusion. The time spent was a treasure to enjoy the gifts of company and cold beer on the yurt deck while the sun painted technicolor pictures in the sky above.

However, all was not rosy along the way. Our sobriety for a change – an ad hoc detox – stirred up strong reactions. We anticipated there would be some moody temperaments after sharing close quarters and not being able to distract ourselves with retail therapy and a tasty pint amid a crowd, however the range of emotions became much brighter and forced us to address some latent issues head-on in a fully-engaged way without evading or dropping out. Even so, we managed to come out the other end more assured and grateful.

#day6 of our #30daysatsahalee Has me thinking about the hummers and how they affect our lives. Hanging out with the #hummingbirds is teaching me a lot about patience, the peace that just being still brings and that nothing is more important than living in the present. So for these few minutes we will be still and live in the present. Enjoy your Saturday.

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