Sunday, October 10, 2010

WY 1 Pyramid 0

 Cairn just over the property line in BLM territory overlooking our property.

 The view from said cairn on the promentory

 You can almost see the pyramid.

 Oh wait, there it is.  (Zoom on our camera is pretty good.)

 Wife:  Queen of all she surveys.

 Other side of the cairn, looking towards what I call the Dune Sea.

I call these the Shark Tooth Mountains.  Don't bother to correct me.  

 Pyramid isn't holding up so well after only one month.  Not really surprised, we had to leave in a hurry and didn't have time to properly finish and seal it.  Some good proof of concept successes and it still looks cool.  It was never meant to be a permanent structure; it'll just be coming down sooner than we had hoped.  In the mean time it's a good place to store stuff out of the elements until we can get up there again.

The very beginning of the land-bridge that will allow us to get our little Honda Civic onto the driveway so we don't have to carry stuff quite so far in from the road.  It's good exercise, but it eats up valuable time we could be spending actually working.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Doin' stuff "the hard way" (Rant)

People often make suggestions about what we "should" do in the course of our homesteading adventure, such as you should try solar, or you should try such and such or you ought to... and while we do appreciate advice, most of the time people are trying to solve problems that either don't exist yet, we've already done extensive reasearch on, or repeat suggestions they've given a number of times before.

Don't get us wrong, we LOVE new ideas and we'll give all kinds of crazy notions a go, but a couple of caveats are in order:

1.  We WANT to do some stuff THE HARD WAY.  Even if some of it won't always work.  That's why it's called an Adventure. 

2.  We're cheaper than we are lazy.  For example, we need to build a large berm that will shield us from the road and we need to clear a lot of brush for building, making paths and trails and for gardening.  We've had A Lot of people tell us to rent a grader, a Bobcat, a cement mixer, roto-tiller and various other mechanical devices to make said work easier and faster.  The fact that we don't have much time up on the property makes us want to get stuff done quickly, but that doesn't outweigh the fact that it's expensive and a pain in the neck to get stuff out there.

3.  Time = $ ?  Think about it: If we spend a week digging a road by hand, we've spent a week outside, getting exercise and accomplishing something that is for us.  We don't make any money doing it, but we won't spend any either.  On the other hand, if we work for a week for someone else, to pay money to yet another person to do work for us, we lose time, money and personal satisfaction from doing for ourselves out in the sun.  More loss than gain if you ask us.  I'd rather work for myself for free, than work myself to death for a couple of shekels in order to make someone else even richer.

4.  It's good exercise!  Farmer strength is the best thing for getting fit and good old fashioned tough.  My grandmother was mowing her own lawn at 84, and she never went to the gym.  She also smoked a pack a day and outlived two husbands.  Grandma Ekman was farmer tough.  I hope some day I'm half as tough as she was.

5.  Job satisfaction.  If we do it the hard way and we are successful, it will mean that much more to us than paying a bunch of contractors to do it all for us.

6.  If we do it and it breaks, we have only ourselves to blame and we'll know what went wrong and how to fix it.  I hate being at the mercy of people who have to fix stuff I don't have the skills or experience to do.  (Plumbing, Technology, Electrical, etc.)

7.  You learn more from mistakes than from successes.  If you do it the same way every time that you know will always work, then you never grow as a person.  You also may never understand exactly WHY it works and won't be able to do it if a variable is beyond your control.

8.  It's not your adventure.  It's ours.  If you want an adventure, go get one yourself and try all your ideas.  We'd love to swap stories, share info and yes, give suggestions and provide helpful advice, but not if you stay at home on the couch and watch TV and tell us what we "should" be doing.  We think YOU should get out there and DO SOMETHING CRAZY TOO!

End of Rant.  Time to go get the shovel and the pick-axe...