Sol’n’Soul

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Monday, March 13, 2016

This blog has started to become my research center and virtual board where I keep ideas for my future passive solar, mono pitch roof house.  There’s a lot to figure out before I begin the building process but I am excited to report that electricity will be installed on the land this week!  I can’t wait to plug the camper in, run a vacuum and spend some time clearing the overgrown parts of the field.  With electricity I can use my electric chain saw and electric saws-all.  It makes me feel like I’m really moving towards something, towards the sun.

Passive Solar Design Strategies: Guidelines for Home Building below: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/legosti/old/17214.pdf

(Try not to let the terrible spelling errors bother you!)

“The ideal orientation for solar glazing is within 5 degrees of true south. This orientation will provide maximum performance. Glazing oriented to within 15 degrees of true south will perform almost as well. and orientations up to 30 degrees off – although less effective – will still provide a substantial level of solar contribution. In Portland, Maine magnetic north as indicated on the compass is actually 16 degrees West of true north. and this should be corrected for when planning for orientation of south glazing. When glazing is oriented more than 15 degrees off true south. not only is winter solar performance reduced. but summer air conditioning loads also significantly increase. especially as the orientation goes west. The warmer the climate. the more east- and west-facing glass will tend to cause overheating problems. In general. southeast orientations present less of a problem than southwest. Magnetic deviation is the angle between true north and magnetic north. In the ideal situation. the house should be oriented east west and so have its longest wall facing south. But as a practical matter. if the house’s short side has good southern exposure it will usually accommodate sufficient glazing for an effective passive solar system. provided the heat can be transferred to the northern zones of the house.”

In line with my thoughts on where to position the windows of my future home I also wonder if triple-pane windows would be worth the extra cost.  After some research I came to the conclusion that for me and my extremely limited budget regular 2-pane windows would be sufficient if I made sure they were large and positioned on the tall south facing wall.  I think very small triple-pane windows on the north wall might be worth it, but at the slow rate I’m moving towards my dream house I would take any window I could afford!  I think I will use heavy insulated curtains during the evening hours which would provide privacy as well as insulation.  Speaking of heavy I also read that triple-pane windows can be as much as 50% heavier than standard windows which I imagine would add to the cost of material in the wall to support the added weight.

After living in a cold and dim 1958 cape residing in a sun-space  would feel absolutely magical.  I need “home” to be a refuge from the rest of the world, a place to restore my soul and recharge my battery.  I would rather be in a sun filled home that was tiny and unfinished than a dark home that had multiple rooms and ample space.  I will get there even if I have nothing else but sheer determination.

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Slab

I visited a small, affordable, mono pitch roofed, passive solar house the other day.  My dream home!  I was inspired by what this young couple had done and it lite a renewed fire in me for working towards my own dream.  We chatted awhile about slabs, windows, flooring and other horrendously boring stuff to most people but so very exciting to me!  It is still full on winter here in Maine and I was shocked to be standing barefoot inside their very warm and sunny home on a 4” thick un-insulated slab of concrete.  I did a bunch of research on this type of cement slab when I got home and learned a lot about frost protected shallow foundations.  They are not very common in the united states but more than 1 million Scandinavian homes have been built on such foundations since 1960.  They save money, resources and time, yes please tell me more!

A frost-protected shallow foundation (FPSF) makes an elegant building solution from either side of the new home transaction. Homeowners benefit from increased comfort and lower energy bills. Builders profit from reduced excavation and materials costs, as well as shorter cycle time. FPSF uses conventional, readily available materials. This foundation system is a practical option for building with slab-on-grade, stem-wall or floating slab foundations, as well as for an unvented (heated) crawl space and the on-grade side of a walk-out basement.  Despite their broad applicability, FPSFs are not used widely in the United States. What’s Different About FPSFs?

Traditional, uninsulated foundations are protected from frost heave because they’re installed below the frost line (up to 48 inches below the surface, depending on geographic region). FPSFs require excavation only 12 to 16 inches below grade because insulation is applied around the outside of the foundation to direct the building’s heat loss downward. For heated buildings, this insulation – along with the earth’s geothermal energy – keeps the soil temperature under the building above freezing, preventing frost heave.

More than 1 million FPSFs have been used in Scandinavia since 1960. For almost 30 years, Scandinavian building codes have recognized the use of FPSFs as a standard practice for houses, townhomes, apartments, stores, schools and low-rise office buildings. Research findings from field evaluations in Denver and Freehold Township, N.J., show that construction and excavation requirements, as well as labor and materials costs, are 15% to 17% less for an FPSF than for a conventional foundation. The savings range – $800 to $6,000 – reflects varying local frost depths, as well as builder overhead and markups. Because an FPSF is insulated along the outside edges, it makes floors at the perimeter of the home significantly warmer. It also reduces heat loss through the foundation.

-Probuilder.com

 

 

FPSF

The above chart shows the frost line and how it can significantly change depending on what’s on top of it. The gravel doesn’t hold on to much heat so the ground freezes at a greater depth while the house is on a frost protected shallow foundation and the earth directly under it never freezes, even during harsh Maine winters!

I am now about to research thermal mass gain and how ostensibly a thick layer of insulation under the entire cement slab could reduce the home’s ability to utilize the earth underneath as a heat sink.  This is so interesting to me!  It seems counterintuitive, but as I read more and more about the science of heat transfer I can understand why shallow foundations work and also why many people question the technology.

Invisible

peaceful nature

If you do not yet know where you fit, I suggest you try seeking it in receptive silence.  I used to walk amid the beauties of nature, just receptive and silent, and wonderful insights would come to me.

Peace Pilgrim

Often as a child I had a sense I didn’t belong.  I wondered if I was an alien residing in a human body sent here to study planet earth.  It wasn’t until I became a young adult that I realized this was a very common feeling.  I’m not sure the reason why, but as I’ve gotten older I have allowed the questions of “why?”, “how?” and other unexplainable questions to have little to no importance in the NOW.  Often times when difficult feelings or memories pop up you want to know the answer to the question,” why?”.  Often times that question can’t be answered, especially when you have suffered abuse of some sort in your past, you will never know why that happened to you, there’s isn’t a suitable reason or explanation for that kind of suffering.  If you sit with your feelings for a moment and feel ready for positive change it can happen whether or not you understand your past or remember where you have been.  Those with an analytical brain will have more of a challenge when learning to quiet the mind, but the answers will come.

I am desperately missing this receptive silence, I now know how important this part of life was for my soul.  The busyness of children, marriage and taking care of others has made finding that peacefulness difficult.  I struggle daily with “letting” go.  I have used this “receptive silence” at  a few different cross-roads in my life and with reflection I realize the insights that came to me in those moments were the exact messages I needed to hear.  Some call the messenger God, Allah, Yahweh, Parvargidar, Bhagavan, Great Spirit, Goddess and the list goes on as there are over 115 different names this type of guidance.  Some call the receptive silence prayer, meditation, hypnosis and many other names for such a state of being.  If you have ever been the recipient of such guidance you can call it whatever you wish, but know it is either divine advice or the innermost parts of your subconscious and is the best path for you to take.  Sometimes what you know you should do is simply too difficult to do at that moment but it ultimately is for your greater good and if you stay stuck in the pattern you are in it will be a constant nagging feeling on your soul.  I was with my first husband for 14 years, I had that “nagging” feeling we weren’t meant to be together for about 7 of those years.  Ignoring my inner voice made me even more miserable than I already felt, but telling him I wanted to leave the marriage seemed more difficult than ignoring that voice.  Always in my quiet contemplative modes (which were few and far between with 2 young kids at home) I just “knew” what I had to do for my health, happiness and for my own greater good.  I knew I would never be able to be the person I was meant to be if I continued to ignore what I knew was my intended path.  The day, the hour I told my husband that I wanted a divorce was a very difficult time, but once it was over tremendous loving and peaceful feelings swept over my soul.  The next day I felt even lighter and even more free.  I had 20 bucks in my checking account and didn’t know how I would pay my bills, but all of a sudden financial worldly matters didn’t effect me, I had listened to what my soul needed and followed my true path no matter how difficult.  The true path isn’t necessarily an easy path, but because it is the right path for your inner self it will feel like you’re going with the current and not against it.

Today I find myself at another crossroads, a place where I am ignoring my greater good because of the impossible seemingly insurmountable obstacles in my way.  It’s time to pay attention to that voice and find a part of me I’ve been missing for a very long time.  It is hard to trust that which is invisible, but then again sometimes the things you see aren’t actually there.

Thwarted

It is already October and I didn’t get a single thing done on my land!  That’s not entirely true, when I think back over the summer I spent $3,000 on a driveway near the top of the field where there is an actual view of a mountaintop (and where my eventual small home will be).  I also had the camper moved, leveled and roof sealed.  I mowed a couple times and had the entire field cut by my 90 year old neighbor.  I was also able to sell some stone’s from my big stone pile, but that’s it.  I dreamed of cutting down trees and brush, having multiple bonfire parties with ample wine and beer, camping, resting and enjoying the peaceful solitude of the country.

I try to stay positive, it is far more of a struggle for me at this stage in my life than I would like it to be.  I try to dream and visualize my eventual future, I try to truly believe my dreams will come true but I see all the work ahead and wonder how it’s possible.  It seems far more likely that I will stay miserable and poor.  Arguments with my husband about money and where we should live happen daily.  I hate living in our current house for multiple reasons and the idea of remaining here for years and years makes me physically ill.  I try so many techniques to help myself feel happy about the house, one of the most used is my self-shaming technique.  I tell myself how lucky I am to have shelter, heat, running water and electricity.  How many people go without such luxuries how spoiled am I to complain about anything.  The self-shaming works for a moment, but it doesn’t feel good.  How often we are judged and criticized by others, our inner self should be loving and kind, especially because that is sometimes the only “person” you can count on to be loving and kind.  Message for the day, love who you are and who you will be and be kind and gentle to yourself.

Here are a few fall pictures of the land and camper:

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Mindfulness?

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Today is not such a great day.  The temperature is 11 degrees outside and the house seems so dark to me today.  The baby slept even worse than usual with a nasty new cold he caught from his big sister.  I’m anxious to move on with my plans for spring, chomping at the bit, but alas mountains of ice- snow still need melting (which doesn’t happen on frigid days).

I have decided to to rent out my “shed” on airBnB.  I’ve been doing research about that and I find it perplexing that you don’t really have to do the “B”, breakfast.  In fact some might say it’s debatable whether you have to do the “B” as in bed!  What ever you offer on airBnB, however, is submitted to the IRS so you must be ready to pay taxes on your rental income.  I think I have decided to take out the cheap and very uncomfortable sleeper sofa in the shed and put in a real queen sized bed, even if it takes up crucial space in that 12 X 16 room having a super comfortable bed to sleep in is critical when you’re paying money for accommodations.  I am very optimistic that I can get $50 to $65 per night and this is something I can do with the kids around, even with the baby in tow.  If this goes well this summer I will rent out the house next summer.  I have almost convinced Denis that this would be a grand way to make easy money.  If I really work hard on the land this summer by next summer we could experiment with living out there the whole summer and renting the house out to vacationers as well as the “shed”.  If I could start making a bit of money I could even afford to put a rustic camp on the land instead of the camper.

This is all I can really do right now, sit with my thoughts and ponder different possibilities. The day seems endless.  I’m hoping the eventual warming and the marker of spring coming tomorrow can lift my spirits up, I’m ashamed of how depressed I have gotten this winter.  The endless cycle of guilt, food, weight, shame and then more guilt.  I so hope for a tiny bit of motivation or spark to ignite this dull soul of mine, it might be the spring breeze will do it.  I also think the possibility of making some money has lifted my spirits a bit, I could hire some help with the baby and get work done on the land.  I like the heavy lifting under a blazing August sun.  I want to sweat and use the field trimmer and chainsaw.  I want to attack the bramble and burn brush.  Mostly I want to have a moment to do something besides wipe a snotty nose and read wheels on the bus for the umpteenth time.  I want to lose myself in the work of something meaningful.  I’m embarrassed that I don’t find it in being a mother and wife, but I just don’t. I can add that to my ever growing to do list:  Be a spiritually present mother.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200810/the-art-now-six-steps-living-in-the-moment

The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment

We live in the age of distraction. Yet one of life’s sharpest paradoxes is that your brightest future hinges on your ability to pay attention to the present.

Tired

My mother would say, “Henry, smile!
why don’t you ever smile?”

and then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the
saddest smile I ever saw”
Charles Bukowski

I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in over 2 ½ years.  I’m beyond tired.  The exhaustion has seeped so deep into my body that even my soul is worn out.  I’m a zombie, a “mombie”.  I knew being a mother would be tough, but when I set out on this journey 11 years ago I really had no idea.  There isn’t one moment to exhale.  Most days I get through life living in my fantasy world.  In this world I am old and my kids are grown, I sleep a deep and restful sleep under warm blankets.  I get up early and sip coffee on the porch gazing at the beautiful morning light and listening to the singing birds (it’s also endless summer in this world).  In this world I have finally achieved health and fitness and eat only organic enriching meals.  I have reversed the signs of age and though I’m 62 I have the health and vitality of 22, because of this I have limitless energy.  I jog, hike, travel and meditate.  Mostly I enjoy sleep.  I take naps if I want.  I have deep and wonderful conversations, I can string a coherent sentence together, finally!  I have restored a glorious vintage airstream and I follow the sun during the Winter months and live a spiritual, meaningful life full of happiness and joy.

I’m not sure how psychologically healthy it is to spend so much time in a fantasy world, I do try to enjoy the present.  I try to find the joy in the endless menial and monotonous tasks I do for others.  I try to appreciate going without a shower having dirty hair, how much more invigorating a shower feels when you truly need it!  I try so hard to look for the happiness in shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, diapering, nursing, driving everyone everywhere, hearing the screaming, fighting, the endless picking up and sorting of boots, toys, socks, wrappers, glasses everywhere (despite my efforts of  the 1 drinking glass per day rule!).  I am outnumbered, depleted, overtired, poor, depressed and unkempt.  Not the picture of motherhood I envisioned.

I really want to get it together!  I want to find a balance in my life, I want to exist here too. I want to create something for myself, all this doing for others has left nothing for myself.  Part of my plan for happiness and joy will be found on the land I have and camper I’m restoring, I try to stay excited for that though I fear where the time will come from?  I literally have difficulty finding time to pour myself a glass of water or take my vitamins.  I must be a crazy lady to think I can tackle this land and camper project by myself with 3 kids in tow.  All I know is I will.  I can.  I must.  I need to live this life, probably the one and only life I will ever have for myself.  I need to keep dreaming and hoping.

Today I am tired.  I will probably be tired tomorrow.  One thing is certain, time marches on and if I continue to seek out happiness and joy I will find it.  I will find home.

airstream

Winedown

So I’m  having a little success selling my clothes on etsy and ebay.  This is exciting as I’m using whatever money I make to fund my camper renovation.  If you’re interested you can check out my collection of vintage clothes at etsy:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SolSoma?ref=hdr_shop_menu

You can view other clothes at ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/usr/solsoma

I will be adding other things as I find time like jewelry and books.  This is wonderful as it generates a little income as well as helping me reduce belongings.

I only actually wear about five things, seriously!  Why do I need all the stuff?  I have really been getting into decluttering.  It feels so liberating.  I don’t realistically think I could live day-to-day in a tiny house with three kids, but I want to strive to live a more simple life.  I want my belongings to be useful.  Ultimately my goal is to live in a small, efficient, organized, warm and bright home situated in a field with a lot of privacy.

So I’m considering renting my tiny house for the summer, currently it’s located in our side yard in town.  I would rather move it to my land, but I think it makes a lot more sense to use it to help generate income.  It doesn’t have plumbing, but it is wired and insulated.  I think I would have fun getting it set up to rent, it would more rustic than “hilton”.  I found this:

waterheater

http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/hvac/water-heaters/Tankless-Water-Heaters-Gas/eccotemp-l5-portable-tankless-water-heater?infoParam.campaignId=T9F&gclid=CJbGyZ_CpcQCFdcTgQodmGUAQA

I could set up a outdoor shower easily and how nice to actually get a hot shower outside!  At $119.95 it would pay for itself with just two nights of renting.  The item I need the most in order to have satisfied renters would be a COMFORTABLE sleeper-sofa.  I’m scouring craiglist but coming up empty-handed.

Other than that I have little on my mind today!  A day off from school for the kids so a lot of bickering today.  More dreaming of warmer days. Looking forward to my evening wine.  It’s the simple things I have to look forward to.

Dreaming

I’m so excited, it’s going to get up to 40 degrees today!  I’ve been driving by my camper, it’s buried  in a mountain of snow looking quite cozy.  All I can really do at this point is dream and research how to begin my camper renovation.  I called the guy who will put in the driveway and I’m hoping I get on his springtime list!  This is how it is in Maine, you wait idle all winter and come spring you leap into action and try to make the most of the warmth and mild weather, I do fear this spring will be a horribly muddy one with banks of snow this high I can’t imagine it any other way.

So far I have decided I want my 1984 Terry Manor to look like this:

camperreno

I might have to settle for a bit less chic, my budget is about $10.00!

I am very excited about installing laminate wood planks.  Ripping up the gross, dirty and brown shag-carpet will be very satisfying.  Why do they put carpets in RVs?  How are people supposed to keep them clean?  I can’t wait to see how “Wayne” looks after I install the new flooring.  Just that alone will make him look so much fresher.  I’m hoping to have enough money to also paint Wayne, I will need to patch some minor holes (from the fugly curtains and rods I took down)  I’ve read that bondo works the best.  One internet “expert” on the topic had this to say,

“I prefer Bondo to Spackle. It shrinks less, cures faster, and sticks better. For small holes, like screw holes, you can just force it into the hole. Larger holes need to be backed up somehow. I generally slip a small piece of wood into the hole that is as wide as the hole’s largest dimension and 2x longer than the width. I tie a sting to the middle of the piece of wood, spread glue onto the wood, then slip it into the hole. I then use the string to pull the wood up against the inside of the wall and tie it to something to hold it in place until the glue dries. Once dried, I hit the crater with Bondo. If more than one or two inches in diameter, I also like to embed some drywall mesh in the Bondo to ensure it will not crack. “

The cabinets are in good condition, I think I will keep some of the kitchen cabinets their original “oak”.  It seems like the older camper models are more sturdy and rugged.  The cabinets look like real kitchen cabinets, the counter is real ceramic tile and the sink it enameled aluminum instead of plastic.  Those are some of the features I love about the 1984 camper.  I don’t love the horrendous amount of mirrored surfaces on so many of the cabinets.  I’ve been brainstorming on how to cheaply transform them?  The mirrors easily slip out so I think a nice textured and subtle patterned fabric would look lovely.  I don’t want busy, but maybe a beige or cream fabric with a soft brown leaf or tree motif?  I think it will be fun picking out fabric!

So those are a few of the ideas I can’t wait to work on.  I’m so excited for spring.  I’m also enjoying getting ideas from pinterest and other bloggers.  There’s wealth of information for a DIYer.  We are lucky to live in a time where we can easily get so many tips and ideas from other people.

I will take pictures of Wayne sitting in the snow for next time, but here he is last August when he was brand new to us!

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And here he is far away!

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Isn’t the field beautiful.  I can’t wait to make it more comfortable so we can spend a lot of time there this summer.

DISMAYED

I was going to write another post about my springtime dreams and share inspirations for the camper reno I have in mind, but this damn vaccine-related legislation has my mind spinning.

I think I feel a rant coming on.

C.S. Lewis observed:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

I will start by declaring that I believe in freedom.  Some argue that United States isn’t a true democracy, only a staged democracy, but that is for another debate.  I stand wholeheartedly behind the notions of democracy and what it should mean.  We should never stop fighting for our freedoms and rights.  Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of petition, right to equal justice, right to privacy and bodily integrity and so on and so forth.  I stand behind a woman’s reproductive right and am pro-choice.  I know all people who love should be allowed to marry regardless of gender.  I am nonreligious, an agnostic, believing that I am without sufficient knowledge of what lies beyond death.  I am stating my beliefs here because when some people find out that I also believe in the basic right to choose which vaccines to inject into my body they go nuts and draw all sorts of crazy conclusions about me and who I’m affiliated with.

Examples of cruel and ignorant assumptions:

  1. “you have decided to believe Jenny McCarthy is a better authority than 200 years of medical data.”   Not true.  I don’t even know what her stance is on vaccines.  I also read medical data and journals.
  2. “50 years from now, the anti-vaxxers will have exactly what they want, which is to live in a separate society. What we’ll have is an evolutionarily fragile and uneducated underclass of hill people who have limited access to modern conveniences or standard of living. “      Wow.  I don’t even know what to say to a person who believes that!
  3. “Being a new age hippie/ conspiracy theorist is a luxury I didn’t use when raising my kids.”   Maybe you wouldn’t be such a ass if you were a bit more hippie!
  4. “We’re talking about established reality as opposed to conspiratorial magical thinking that endangers other people’s lives. Love is no excuse. People do all kinds of destructive things because of love, and destroying hard-won herd immunity because of magical thinking and bogus pseudoscience is profoundly destructive.”    Magical thinking? Really, right to privacy and bodily integrity is “magical” thinking?  Also read up on herd immunity, it is a phrase meant for natural immunity not artificial immunity.
  5. “you buy the crap you read on the net that seems to justify your own lazy attitude towards the health of your children.Confirmation bias.”   Nice.  Now I’m lazy because I believe in the right to privacy and bodily integrity.  I’ll share his name if you want, you can “friend” him on facebook.
  6. “you should not be allowed to attend public schools or visit the same pediatrician office or use public parks etc. “   Yes, this is real, seemingly nice people say this sort of crap.
  7. “self indulgent ,conspiracy theorist moron.”  Thanks!  I’ll take that as a compliment.

What is happening people is a WAR ON FREEDOM OF CHOICE. No matter how educated or worldly you think you are they are putting a pretty ribbon on a turd and stealing your rights from under you.  What right are you willing to lose next?  I’m not willing to stop fighting for our rights.  There is nothing constitutional about government-mandated medical procedures.  The American Medical Association is against mandated vaccines.  They know it isn’t ethical and should never be legal.

“The patient should make his or her own determination about treatment… Informed consent is a basic policy in both ethics and law that physicians must honor, unless the patient is unconscious or otherwise incapable of consenting and harm from failure to treat is imminent.”

If the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution stands for one thing, it is the right to privacy and bodily integrity. As the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, “The overriding function of the Fourth Amendment is to protect personal privacy and dignity against unwarranted intrusion by the State.”

This is about more than the possible vaccine-autism link or the numerous vaccine related injuries and fatalities.  This is even about more than the pharmaceutical companies that make a lot of money selling vaccines to various departments, including the CDC (yes they claim to report “unbiased” results on the very products they sell, hum.)  This is about losing a basic human right.  Even if you are a person who gets all the recommended vaccines the idea of losing a basic human right should scare the shit out of you.  What will be next?  It might be a mandated procedure that you don’t agree with (like mass sterilization) too bad, you will have to comply or legal action will be taken against you.  People think the mass sterilization comparison I bring up isn’t relevant.  I disagree.  Overpopulation does NOT benefit the greater good (a term I’ve heard a lot lately about why to vaccinate), overpopulation also increases the risk of disease, infection, delays and defects.  One could argue that mass sterilization would benefit the greater good and that it should be legally mandated.  How do you like those apples?

If you are a truly free person, then no one can force you to put anything in your body or do anything to your body, or that of your children, without your consent.

Lost

“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”

Benjamin Franklin

This has been a difficult winter for me.  The ever increasing mountains of snow leave me with nothing else but my thoughts.  I have been lost in my thoughts,  my future and what it holds, with it the desperate hope for happiness and joy.  I don’t want to sit idly as a passenger on this journey anymore.  I want to take charge of my happiness and get out from under this depressive fog.

I have spent far too much energy on obsessing over what I see missing in my life, the perceived obstacles of true happiness, true contentment.  I have missed the obvious.

I would love to have the means to own a beautiful passive solar home on 10 or more acres of open mature pasture with fruit trees and mountain views.  I would love a supportive partner who shared this goal.  I would love to ride a pink unicorn who sprouted wings and soared high above the mountains tops into the wispy clouds.

What I actually have is a lovely 3 acre field on a country road, a vintage camper and a dream.

I just step out and begin walking, exactly where I am.  This is where you’ve found me, my first step.