Monday, February 23, 2015

Tires, Tires Everywhere!

When building an earthship, one must accumulate lots of tires. We have done an excellent job at this, and we have also notice some of the down sides of having piles of tires everywhere. 

          No, the neighbors don’t mind the eye sore, it’s all the mosquitoes! Yep, a tire is the perfect place for a little puddle of water to rest and become a breeding ground for lots of mosquitoes, multiply that by a ton of tires and you have yourself a mosquito epidemic! We roughed through this past summer with a very high volume of the blood suckers and knew we had to get the tires wrapped up and out of the rain.
          If you have ever had the pleasure of trying to get stagnant water out of a tire, then you are well aware of the nasty smelly outcome, and I commend you for your efforts. The best way that we found (up until freezing temperatures) is to flip the tire quickly so that the water is at the top of the tire when the bottom tread of the tire hits the ground, the water will splash out. But… you also want to make sure that the tire lands on a bit of a diagonal, so the water doesn’t just fall into the bottom of the tire. Anyhow, the sewage smelling water will violently splatter everywhere no matter your tire flipping expertise. Glenn is pretty experienced and still ends up with mucky water splattered on him, and I feel like I have practically bathed myself in a tire by the time we are done.

So, Glenn had the amazing idea to get the water out of the tires while everything was frozen, 
and get the whole pile stacked and covered again. It worked out perfectly! 
Instead of flipping the tires, Glenn used and ax and I used a hammer 
and we just hit the outside of the tire and the chunk of ice would pop out! 

It was kind of like a large version of a silicone ice cube tray,
 only instead of silicone, it is a tire, and instead of ice its swampy-ness...
 but you can even see the grooves from the inside of the tire on the ice we popped out.

 I found a resilient and frozen little mushroom in the pile of tires.

The finished product!

We still have more tires exposed to the elements but we are not going to worry about them
 because we plan to be packing them full of dirt this spring!  

There have been some bitter cold days and then we get a break and can dig in the dirt and enjoy nice “warm” days too, so on one of the warmer days we made a cold frame for later this spring when I have some seedlings ready for them. We used a heavy old glass sliding door (thanks Nancy!). 

I will just slide a tray or two of seedlings in there and plug up the end 
with a piece of foam or something. I will let you know how it works out.

Glenn got to work on skinning a cedar post that he installed
 as part of the upstairs railing in the cabin. 

The current state of our upstairs railing, has a ways to go. 

Enjoy your week and stay warm! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My love of Valentine's Day

Yes, it's true, this is my favorite holiday! I know there are a lot of people out there that don't like this holiday very much, but for me, it's not a holiday about just couples, it's simply a holiday about love and sharing the love that you have for your family, friends, significant other, and really just about anyone. The week of Valentine's day is also Random Act's of Kindness Week, how fun! While I was working the 9-5, this was my all-time favorite week to plan for, and now that I'm working at home... well it's still my all-time favorite week to plan for.

   Here is a random act of kindness that Prairie Farms is doing through their campaign "Our Caps Your Cause" just in case you do purchase their brand of milk. For the longest time I had no idea they  donate $0.05 for each code that is redeemed from under the milk cap to the charity of your choice. So, this morning I redeemed the stash of lids I was collecting.

Since we recycle, I am already washing out the milk jug once its empty, so it's really easy to wash the cap along with it and toss it into a drawer until I'm ready to get on line and enter in a bunch at a time.

When your ready to enter your cap code go to and click on "our caps your cause". 
Then peel back the top label on the milk cap to reveal your code.

You can enter 5 cap codes at a time that will go to whatever charity you choose. There are a TON of charities and I think more are added every day so I suggest choosing your charity first. You can decide what type of charity you want (food pantry, education, service groups, animal rescue etc.) to donate to and click on that type and search for a specific location by using the right column options. 
 I am partial to donating to food pantries and sometimes to lions clubs, 
but any organization is a good one! 

Once they are all entered, you can toss the caps into the recycle bin, and be happy that a big corporation is giving back to their community. Yeah, it's only a small amount of money, but every little bit adds up, there has already been 10,000 donated to charities from Prairie Farms through this event! 

For the girls this morning I gave them the rest of the wheat grass that I had been growing for them. They liked it. 

Mr. Roo thought that the shinny camera may be something good to eat too. 

This morning I was thinking about what I wanted to share about the things I love about our new lifestyle, but if I would do that the list would just go on and on forever and ever. Instead, I decided to share the one thing I thought I would really have an issue getting use to, 
and it turned out to be something that I kind of love.  
Yeah, it's our cute little outhouse! 
 First I love the whimsical look of the cute thing, and the stained glass window
and the huge picture window. 

The view from the inside. 

I also really appreciate the dry toilet method of no water, no sewage and the smell of sawdust!

Have a happy Valentine's Day!!!