Tuesday, November 24, 2009

(7) Energy

     Lighting is easy.  I use kerosene lamps and make my own candles.  Maintenance is easy and cost per hour is cheap.  I also have two Mag flashlights.  One, a small  2 cell AA, I have had for twenty five years and a larger five cell I have had for about fifteen years both work extremely well and use little energy especially since I converted the small one to a LED bulb a couple of years ago, purchased from Walmart at a reasonable cost.  Now, the batteries, (this current set) have been in over a year and it provides very good illumination. 
     I love music and this is a bit of a problem as batteries are expensive.  Recharge-ables are nice but don't last as long.  I have a satellite radio which is perfect.  Operates on eight D cells or ac power.  The sound is phenomenal and I can plug in the IPOD.   Under battery power I get about three hours use for the price of eight batteries.  Using recharge-ables (much more expensive, initial outlay) less operating time plus the fact of needing a place to recharge.  I could run my tiny generator but there is more wear and tear and fuel cost.
     Where I live solar power is not viable nor is wind power.  We get plenty of both but living deep in the woods, most of either never reach me.  The cost would be very high to install enough wind or solar to harness the amount I need.  The answer; don't listen to as much music or listen less often as a real treat.  I don't really like that idea but it is the best cost effective way I can think of.  However, I have a small Grundig multi-band radio that works very well and is very easy on power usage.  Six AA's last for weeks but I lose sound quality and do not have the benefit of plugging in the IPOD.  Simplify.  Get rid of the IPOD!  The multi-band is smaller in size and needs less space.  Guess it is time to sell the satellite radio.  Anybody interested in a good deal? 
     That covers my energy needs inside my tiny cabin.  Outside I rely on my tiny generator to power any tools that need electrical power to operate.  That is not often.
     I brought an old table saw to the woods and plugged it into my tiny generator.  It was sluggish but I managed to saw up two burning days worth of small fallen branches and small dead trees in two hours.  No splitting needed.  The wood is free and the fuel cost was a quart of mixed gas.  I think a smaller electric motor that draws less amps would solve the sluggishness.  A lot easier than a noisy chainsaw and easier on my old back. 
     I have an old gas powered pump.  I think a project will be to remove the pump housing and install a pully to the pto shaft then fix the engine to the tablesaw with a hinged setup to keep the belt tight.  All of this can be fitted to wheels and frame so I can pull the unit around without lifting the heavy mass.  This will provide enough power to the saw blade and again be less strain on my back.  The motor will run severals on a small tank of gas.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

(6) Beautiful Buck

Even though we are in a drought and need moisture, we have been able to enjoy some unusually warm weather for this time of year.
     A couple of nights ago I was lucky enough to get this photo.  He is a beauty and I hope to see more of him. 

     P.S. I got five more pictures of this guy, all after hunting season.  Glad he made it.  I will be looking for his antlers this spring.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

(5) Henery David Thoreau

Read "Walden" over and over.

(4) The Cabin

This is the cabin.  It is a vintage 1950s travel trailer.  Over the past two years I completely rebuilt the entire trailer.  In the coming spring I will further rebuild by removing the outer aluminum sides and roof.  I will add new framework to support a solid roof and deeper walls which will accomidate more insulation.  I will add new windows.  I currently heat with a Mr Heater "Buddy".  A propane heater which works well but with so much free wood all around me, well, I will build a wood stove based on the model you can see on the You Tube video linked to this site.  That will be another Spring project.  For lighting I have two standard kerosene lamps and one Alladin lamp.  I also use candle votives which I refill myself as needed.   I use only 00 kerosene as it has the fewest impurities and has very little smell.  For water I haul in my drinking water and fill the three gallon crock you can see in the picture.  All other water ie: showering, watering plants,etc. is kept in a fifty gallon barrel which I have on a small tower.   My toilet is the simple five gallon plastic composter which will be housed in its new location this spring complete with half moon cutout.  I have done some simple landscaping with stones, paths and flowers.  I have a small firepit outside to enjoy at night.  The cabin is situated on eighty acres in Northern Wisconsin.  The land belongs to my brother but has generously allowed me to use.  On the property is a small pond less than an acre and we have approximately four miles of walking trails to enjoy.  The deer seem to enjoy them as well as many tracks follow.  The interior of the cabin is panneled with Knotty Pine walls and Birch Hardwood ply ceiling.  I built all cabinets and shelves mostly with recycled materials.  Actually, I have used and still use when I can, recycled materials.  The current windows came from my grandmothers old mobile home and will be replaced with wood sash windows that will open to the inside.  I have a small generator that I use to power tools when needed.  My cooking stove is a single burner Coleman propane.  Currently I spend a couple of days a week at the cabin but hope to move in full time.  I have photographed many animals and birds here and there are several that come around regularly for a treat.  The cabin interior is aproximately seven by twelve feet.  This may sound small but I lived aboard sailboats for twenty years, many, with less living space.  I am used to small space living and feel any more would be a waste.  All of those years aboard small sailboats taught me how to be frugal and to live simply with less while still being quite happy.  There is a very rough road (path) I am able to drive to get to the cabin but in winter I will have to pack in.                    

(3) Night Visitors

11/16/09 Two hours ago, it is now 9:30 p.m. I was sitting by my little fire on a chilly evening, enjoying its warmth. I had a radio at low volume for comfort and the fire happily cracking and popping. I heard above the radio and to the East a rustle in the leaves nearby. I leaned over and lowered the already low volume and picked up the flashlight. I shined in the direction of the sound and was met by the green glow of two eyes. They stared into the light but continued to near. Eventually, I discerned the shape of Mama Doe who was making her way to the corn trough not sixty feet away. She was slow and deliberate but steady. She made the trough and began munching. I turned off the torch and leaned over to tend the fire having a few sticks of wood handy. After the adjustment I turned my attention back to Mama. I could hear her noisily munching. Light on, she scarcely noticed me with the occasional glance, never of fear. Briefly I heard more rustleing and shined in that direction and two more eyes appeared; it was one of her young now full grown. Mama took leave of her post and moved slowly away. I thought I would lose them both but to my delight the younger took Mamas' place. Nearly a half-hour passed and she too decided to leave. She slowly walked to the Northeast, close by the cabin and worked her way back into the deep woods occasionally lowering her head nibbling at whatever. I was content and again raised the volume a bit as the "Blues" was good and I was happy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

(2) The "Realm" continued

Getting closer. I do appreciate all of the advances we have made. I am afraid, like so many others, of what this has done to us as a species. We expect more, waste more and care less about; Ourselves, others, our environment, nature and its inhabitants. I think the media and how we interpret it has been our worst enemy. Advertisers are the worst. They use their media to encourage us to expect more. They expect us to replace our goods sooner than we need to, consequiently , manufacturers build for obsolecence and we just accept it. That is not right, such a waste. So much good can be found in others trash. It is acceptable for us to "rummage" for what we can use. It is a step in the right direction. I am always on the lookout for items I need to both, recycle and get by cheaper. Don't get me wrong, I am not cheap but if I can be satisified by reusing something so be it and I don't feel any less the person for it. In fact, I feel better because I am trying to help stop the waste.

(1) Welcome

Welcome to my "Realm" This is the entrance. I hope I can help or be helped by the interest in this blog. It is difficult these days to try to accomplish the things we want to do, especially if they are not the "norm". So many of us are not of the "norm".

I have a small (tiny) cabin in this "Realm" that I hope will one day be my permanent home. Much time has been spent planning and considering what goes into the "Realm". I want it to be as simple as possible. Nothing I can't fix myself.

I am older and my capacity for earning income is less than it once was. Now, I have to consider every cent that I spend. Being raised when I was has not always been the best way to learn the value of money, or non-value of same. Essentially, I am saying I have wasted my share. I am learning every day how not to do that. Living a simple frugal life is the answer to my wastefulness. Unfortunately, even using this computer causes expense that I care not spend, but what a splended tool. I hope this tool can be used to my benefit.