Saturday, December 22, 2012

Back to Blogging

My life has been very full in the five months since we closed on the Homestead, and consequently, I have not been able to prioritize blogging. I intend to rectify that going forward. For the moment, here is a list of a few of the things I have accomplished since I last posted here:
  • Fixed the plumbing problem in the downstairs bathroom.
  • Did a very small remodel in order to create a fourth bedroom.
  • Built a backyard play structure and a sandbox for the children.
  • Reconfigured the garage to be more functional.
  • Took a CERT class.
I will post more on some of these topics later.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Post Peak Fiction

I would like to make a plug for a Kickstarter project that I think is interesting but still needs contributors. It is a new Post Peak Fiction Magazine that will be a quarterly literary magazine of short stories. John Michael Greer has apparently contributed a story for the first issue. I am looking forward to seeing what comes of this project. Learn more and contribute at the Kickstarter website.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tree Removal

Yesterday we had three trees removed from near the back fence. They were all about 80 feet tall; two douglas firs and a hemlock. Here are before and after pictures, taken from very near the same spot:

The trees came down for four reasons; three fairly good (by my own lights), and one that I wish wasn't there. The three good reasons are:
  • They were blocking the southern exposure for the garden that I intend to put in.
  • They were likely not very wind-firm, thus were a hazard to fall on the neighbor's houses in a strong wind storm.
  • They will provide me plenty of firewood.
The debris pile.
The reason for removal that I don't really want to admit to is that they were blocking the angle that we need to have clear in order to get satellite TV installed. I personally would rather just not have TV in the house, but in the interests of domestic harmony, we are getting it. Satellite is at least less expensive than cable.

I had the tree service leave a snag from one of the trees, to serve as insect and bird habitat (it is visible in the picture of the debris pile). I was rewarded for this yesterday when I observed a woodpecker investigating the new snag. Of course, since it was a live tree until yesterday, he didn't find much of interest, but I expect he and his friends will be back in subsequent years.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I have been insanely busy for pretty much every waking moment since we closed on the Homestead, between moving in, doing some projects to make the Homestead more functional for the needs of my family, and fixing some safety problems, that I haven't had time to write much here. Since I have been doing all of that, I haven't really been working on anything related to making our lives more resilient, the documentation of which is really the main project of this blog. When I start working on those sorts of projects, I will be posting more (and hopefully the pace of my life will have slowed down a bit as well!).

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Moving In

Because, like most Americans, we have way too many possessions, the entire last week has been devoted to getting our stuff moved in and unpacking, and there is still a long way to go with that. Consequently, I have not yet really begun to move forward on any of my plans for the homestead. I am hopeful that the unpacking will proceed quickly and we can get settled in soon.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Yesterday we got the inspection of the Homestead completed. Nothing turned up that makes us want to withdraw our offer, and since it is a short sale, the deal essentially depends on us taking the property in an "as-is" condition, so I now have a nice long list of minor repair jobs that were identified and will need to be addressed sooner or later. The most amusing discovery was this amateur plumbing job under the sink in one of the bathrooms:
No, this photo is not sideways - the P-trap is!

Thursday, May 3, 2012