O Pioneer!

How’s your day going? Mine? Not so good; I’m exhausted! I thought my nights of waking every 3 hours to feed the baby were over (after all, I am a Grandma). Not so. Nowadays, the “baby” is our wood furnace disguised as a fireplace. In order to heat the house, we need to feed the baby when it’s very cold. And this has been a cold winter. But let me wind it back a little.

We live in an earth-sheltered house built by hand by my husband, a most handy guy! After reading scores of “Mother Earth News” magazine articles back in the ‘70’s, he decided that “underground” was the way to go. We researched it, visited some, corresponded with architects, and bought the plans for our current house, which we call “Earthport.” South-facing, grass on the roof (you haven’t experienced anything until you’ve heard the deer galloping across it), no furnace and, despite what you think, plenty of light. It heats by sun, heat-absorbing quarry tile, insulation of 6 to 12 inches of dirt on the roof and magic.

View of Earthport showing Sunspace

View of Earthport showing Sunspace

Recently, to better warm our aging bones, we built an add-on Sunspace in which we installed a wood furnace disguised as a fireplace. With ducts throughout the house, it does very well (provided someone keeps the fire going.) Last night, it was my turn.pioneer furnace

After breakfast, I made a fresh batch of my granola enough to last another month. While it was roasting, I hauled the last of the cord of wood we bought last year from outside to its place alongside the furnace. Did I mention that I had hand-stacked the cord when it was dumped? Oh, and since it’s going up to 50 degrees today (yippee!) I spent a little time chopping and breaking up the ice that has accumulated during this very cold and challenging winter. I hear we’re getting more snow next week.

I finished Stacking this cord!

I finished Stacking this cord!

And now, the last of it is inside!

And now, the last of it is inside!

Finally done with the granola, the ice and the wood, my husband and I got into our newly purchased all-electric Wheego and drove to the market for our weekly vittles. Of course we brought our own cloth carry bags into the store.Wheego

This pioneering, off-the-grid is all fine and dandy; but now I’m taking the Wheego and heading for a mani-pedi!


  1. Good one! You guys sound almost like liberals – LOL!

    • I like the Winston Churchill Quote: “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

  2. Never had deer on our roof, but screeching Guinea hens have stampeded overhead!

    • I look forward to more of your “Tales of a Veterinary Spouse!”

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