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.

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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