Category Archives: green home

Nature’s Window

This weekend we had fun creating a new look in our living room for just $6. Using two metal curtain tiebacks that we bought at a local home-improvement store, we hung a 7-foot sapling from our backyard as a curtain rod over our window, and used an old silver curtain we had as a swag. Eventually we will replace the silver swag with a shorter (so it can be swooped just once, instead of twice) swag of a different shade, but we are going to wait until we’ve installed our plaster tree and rock wall in the same room, to choose the final color. In the meantime, we are very happy with the light, airy feel of the curtain, and particularly like the look of the wood rod. We have decided that all curtain rods in our future will be made this way — We just love the natural beauty!

Living Off the Grid

Yesterday brought up some interesting conversations in my house. It all began with a posting on craigslist.com for a $700 1982 Winnebago that “ran excellent, needed some cleaning.” My husband’s first comment was, “that would be so cool. Then we could buy some land, put up a few quick outbuildings, and take our time building a house while we live in it.” Well, color me shocked. I mean, I know he likes the idea of building our own place and that he’s into green-living, but I never imagined he was so close to my own thoughts on the matter. We were so excited to have this prospect, we were set to buy it before we saw it, planning how we would rent it to his brother for $200 a month until we had some land, or how we could go “camping” in the summer.

So we looked at the ‘bago, and WOW, needs some cleaning was an understatement. That vehicle, while great on the outside, was a biohazard inside. The windows were slightly open to air it out for visitors, and we didn’t even go inside, but the mold set off my coughing for a good 30 minutes afterwards. The seats and ceiling were totally ripped up, and the carpet was foul. We agreed we’d rather live in a teepee if those were our options!

But it did bring up other thoughts, like how rough would we want to live in the end, with or without power, off grid or not, outhouses, etc… And it turns out he is much more of an off-grid guy than me. While I want to reduce our power consumption and can and grow a lot of food, I also like seeing what the world has to offer, and partaking in it. I would be cool with an outhouse in the summer, for most toilet needs, but in the winter, no way. If given the option, I would much rather spend the money on fancy composting toilets for the house.

And, until the nation is much much greener, I feel that it is my duty as an environmentalist to buy power from the electric company: because see, we buy 100% green energy through an option that our provider gives us. The way I see it, the more of us that ask for these options, the more the power companies will have an incentive to create green energy, and provide the options to more people, and so on. Of course, I am trying to reduce our electricity consumption, but I want to make sure that the power companies know that I exist as a customer. Because if all of us who want green energy go totally off grid, we simply disappear as a voice. The power companies forget about us, and forget about green power. And I, for one, don’t want to see that happen.

Inspiration Strikes! Rock Wall Ideas

In our living room we have a wood stove (our dearest winter love) and behind it, about a foot away on the wall going up about halfway, we have black tiles with white grout (my husband’s biggest pet peeve in the home) as a sort of “firestop”. So finally, this year, we are hoping to getting around to putting in something more attractive. We’ve been thinking of replacing the tiles with smooth round river rocks, which we can get cheaply nearby. We had also thought of putting in an artsy copper tree silouette, since my husband is a metal artist. But today I saw the above photos in an article about mud/plaster in home decor, and I am sold.
I am thinking river rocks below, with the tree growing out, and some nooks in the tree and possible wall for candles, etc. I am so excited. We will be puppysitting for my mother in march, and that will be the perfect time I think! Of course, it may also be the ideal time to work on our leaky roof (*sigh*) and I suppose that is more important. It only leaks when there’s an ice dam, which has only happened once this winter, and once last winter. Obviously, we missed the boat last summer on fixing the problem. We thought it was a fluke, now we know better. Our roofer friend says its because they didn’t install a special barrier that prevents ice dam leakage…
Well, most likely, I will not be on the roof anyways, as someone will have to watch our dear little tornado, I mean, toddler. So maybe I’ll get to build that wall after all… In the meantime, color me inspired!