Farewell, Old Friend

Today marks the end of an era and the start of a new chapter. Three years ago, we were formally introduced to “Ol’ Skraggly” as the ancient Ponderosa Pine greeted us on our first visit to Sahalee. Such an impressive feature, the woody elder is an immediate attention-grabber and landmark, and was a delightful surprise to us upon learning we’d be sharing the same space during some very precious moments.

Ol Skraggly Sahalee Off Grid ponderosa pine
Our first encounter c. 2014
Not a feel-good decision, but a necessary one we had to make to remove the ton or more of tinder from the property to help squelch the fire (and misplaced fall) danger. We very much relish all the character the towering giant lent to the skyline before coming down. We invite you to enjoy this musical interlude by the Plain White T’s as you gaze upon the gallery of Skrag’s final day… 

The needle-less snag has kept watch over the grounds for an unfathomable number of years, and it is this history that we most revere when bidding the forest guardian goodbye. A loss for avian navigators and burrowing creatures alike, we grieve the majesty and comfort of the noble’s grand stature. An empty space remains…

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Our good buddy Larry, of Larry’s Power Saw and Tire Shop in Cuba, is a trusted professional, and we were oh-so-happy to have his expert help to lay Ol’ Skraggly down properly. Here’s how it all went down…


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Farewell, Old Friend…

Skrag1

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“Worth the Cash or To the Trash” Makita USB Accessory Review

We got very lucky and were gifted two attachments for our power tool batteries that turn them into  multi-port USB Chargers.  We will do a review-of our Makita tools in the near future, but for now I just want to tell you about our experience with this neat little attachment.

There’s not really much to say, the attachment slides right onto the battery. It has two USB ports so you can charge multiple devices at the same time.  My favorite feature is the dust/dirt cover that seals the USB ports when not in use.  I truly don’t understand why more items of this nature (cell phones, chargers etc..) don’t have this feature as fighting the Sahalee Mud Monster is a constant struggle!!

We have several other USB Chargers, that we will review down the road but this one is our go to source for our evening lighting and charging devices.  Not only are we huge fans of something so simple as a dust cover but the cordless power tool batteries just charge so quick.  This saves us from draining our solar power source or from running the generator, which we hate to do.

What’s that?  You own Dewalt or Milwaukee tools or another brand that is not  Makita?  Don’t fret, Makita is not alone in having this handy attachment just follow this link and search your brand to get one for yourself!!

So, even though it wasn’t our cash– We absolutely believe this attachment is Worth the Cash!

2017 Guide to the Land of Enchantment

A new year has a lot of folks looking ahead to making travel plans for family vacations and quick getaways over upcoming three-day weekends. We thought that since we have been posting about our road trips around New Mexico and Colorado, some of you may be inspired to head out west in 2017. Here are a few attractions and travel resources to help you decide where you want to go and when.

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Reality bites

Happy December!! Since we are celebrating six months, I guess now is as good a time as any to do our best to explain how we’re making out since La Nina left laughing at us…

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A token of our appreciation

Happy Thanksgiving!! It’s hard to believe all that has taken place to bring us here in celebration of big moves, positive changes, and living life to the fullest. We couldn’t have made it this far without your support. We truly are grateful for YOU!!!

As a way to say thanks, we are going to give one lucky blog follower this pretty and practical little shopping bag to use for your holiday purchases, or to give as a gift. If you haven’t pushed the Follow button to receive our updates directly to your email, you might want to do so now. 😉 We’ll select at random on Nov. 30 and let you know by direct message if you are the big winner. Happy following, have a safe and joyous holiday with family and friends, and good luck!!

Solar A-Raise

It seems like a million years ago now that Mark and I hooked up the wee little 300W PV system for basic operations when we first arrived on-site in June. Ben and I made a few little upgrades over the summer to include adding a 4th panel, switching to a more robust charge controller for future growth, and adding both a remote inverter start and Ethernet communications port for the charge controller. All of this was fine and dandy for the past few months, but we needed to give the array a boost for winter. Below are the progress photos so you can see more about our shoot-from-the-hip PV facelift.

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The calm after the storm

If you have been following over the past few weeks, you will have seen that we’ve been operating in a figurative – and literal – whirlwind. After raising a second yurt, spending time with Hurricane Matthew, and marching on with homestead improvements, we are looking forward to reacquainting ourselves with the quiet surroundings and slower pace that Sahalee so wonderfully delivers. That being said, winter is on its way, as the falling leaves remind us, and we still have much, much more to do before we can comfortably and confidently nestle in for our first cold season on the side of the mountain.

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Off-Grid with Hurricane Matthew

Leaving our home in Cocoa after fifteen years (and feeling quite an emotional return), we lamented not being able to experience another hurricane in the high-and-dry oasis of River Heights. As fate would have it, we actually were able to ride out the spinning giant named Matthew while staying at Mark’s house for an appropriately-timed and eventful family visit. What a thrill to experience the awesome and intense tropical power one more time!!!

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Making way for baby

Following through on his threats, our friend Mark showed up from Florida for a long weekend to put in the 12′ x 18′ deck for his little yurt that is due to arrive in early October. In customary fashion, we managed to get the loaded-down HD rental truck stuck in the mud on the way in after the fast-moving rain showers rolled through on Friday afternoon. We walked in for the night and got back to unloading in the morning after the road had dried a bit. (We managed to get the rental truck back to the store Saturday afternoon with ten minutes to spare and no additional penalty!)

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