I moved, am finally off the grid

It’s been one heck of a busy summer.  My 23-year old nephew Tobi was visiting for a couple months, don’t know what I would have done without him.  Of course we also had to have a little fun, so we went to visit friends in Santa Fe and I finally got to see Taos.

We also checked out the Taos Pueblo and the friendly guys at the Pueblo patiently explained how to build with adobe and there were many hornos (ovens) in all stages of being built.  We got inspired to try adobe building.

The first project was my horno.  Until Tobi left, I was limited to helping him, but I finally added another row of bricks and yesterday a 2nd row, put a coat of mud on the inside and made some more bricks.  In this pic you can see that we were pounded with rain a couple weeks ago.

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It’s about time I finish the horno, before we get more rain, as soon as the new bricks dried.

As it starts cooling off, I decided to add a lean-to addition on the south wall and a window to my laundry room (currently my office) for winter heating.  I’m still in the planning stage, but better get started soon before winter is here.  I’ll get some black (or as dark as possible) stucco elastomeric paint and will definitely use adobe bricks, in combination with lumber and lots of glass.  Already have a vent hole at the bottom of the laundry room, originally intended for the dryer and I’ll add a little window way high.  Then it’s just a matter of regulating the air flow.  And maybe I can grow tomatoes year round.

I’ve practiced my plastering skills in the garage (temp kitchen area) and then plastered the laundry room with the American Clay products and it is ultra cool.  A lot of work, but sure worth it.  I’ve already scratched the walls many times, installing shelves and the desk I made (fits perfectly into 2 corners) and you hardly see the scratches.  Of course it would be easy to entirely remove the scratches, on a slow day.  And it doesn’t just look good, it feels good.

Just a few weeks ago I moved and Tobi got the windgen (my old 403) set up just before he left.  That’s definitely a 2 people job.  It works GREAT, powers my office just fine on a windy day.

I also have a new Air X waiting to be installed, but first need more batteries and that in itself is depressing.  Since June they went up over 30%, price of lead is going through the roof.  That’s going to be my 24 v main system and I’ll be posting about my power setup a lot more too.

As I’m catching up on paid work (got bills to pay!) and get settled in (still have MANY boxes to unpack, after assembling more cabinets), I’ll post some of the thousands of pictures I took this summer and details about the ton of STUFF I bought to be able to live and work off the grid.

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