Posts by — WrethaOffGrid

Should homeowners with solar panels pay to maintain electrical grid?
by WRETHAOFFGRID on DECEMBER 14, 2014 - 0 Comments in wretha


The costs of solar energy are plummeting, and now are about on par with the electricity generated at big power plants. This new reality intensifies a long-running business and regulatory battle, between the mainline electric utility companies and newer firms that provide solar systems for homeowners’ rooftops. Sometimes the rivalry looks more like hardball politics than marketplace economics. (more…)

Homesteading, the good, the bad and the ugly
by WRETHAOFFGRID on DECEMBER 13, 2014 - 0 Comments in wretha


Or, what could possibly go wrong?

I found this posted on a homesteading FaceBook page, this is probably one of the most honest assessments of the reality of a young family jumping in with both feet on a homesteading venture that I have seen. When you first start out, you have all these grand ideas about what you are going to do and how to do it, then as time goes by, reality sets in and quite frankly it’s hard, and that’s if nothing goes wrong, and believe me, things go wrong. (more…)

Off grid in Terlingua TX
by WRETHAOFFGRID on DECEMBER 7, 2014 - 0 Comments in wretha


I remember, shortly after we moved to our off grid life in far west Texas, one day we had the radio playing, we could only get (and still only get) one radio station, a public radio station, we heard an interview, they were talking to another crazy off gridder who lived south of us (I say crazy with the utmost of respect and love). His name, John Wells. I quickly discovered his blog and started following him. (more…)

Small town politics
by WRETHAOFFGRID on DECEMBER 6, 2014 - 0 Comments in wretha


You have found the perfect piece of land, it’s out in a rural area, you don’t have many neighbors, as time goes by you get to know the precious few folk who live around you, then it happens… you begin hearing little snippets of gossip, there is some sort of feud going on and you are being pulled in, asked to be part of one of the factions. This may be a long standing problem, or it may be something that just started, so what are you going to do now? (more…)

Mixing different solar panels
by WRETHAOFFGRID on NOVEMBER 30, 2014 - 4 Comments in wretha
Hodgepodge of solar panels

Hodgepodge of solar panels

Like many people starting out going off grid, your pocketbook is being pulled in many different directions, so you buy a few solar panels to get started, then later on you add to them, it’s easy to end up with a hodgepodge of different solar panels on your roof. We are certainly guilty of that ourselves. We started out with four 55 watt Siemens solar panels, we bought them used on Craig’s List. We added a few Harbor Freight solar panel kits, eventually ending up with many more HF kits (thanks Seth!). (more…)

In the beginning, the first night
by WRETHAOFFGRID on NOVEMBER 24, 2014 - 0 Comments in wretha

Early skycastle
Winter 2007
The wind was blowing a gale, harder than any wind I have even been in before. The walls were shaking and rattling, threatening to blow over any moment.

“I’m going to bed.” I announced, “This place will stand or fall whether I’m asleep or not.”

I crawled into the tent that was set up inside the one room cabin, I was wearing thick quilted coveralls to stave off the cold, I found out the following day that it got down to 14 degrees F overnight. Much of our canned food was inside the tent to take advantage of our body heat to keep it from freezing. I’ll explain why there was a tent inside the cabin a little further down. (more…)

The beginning…
by WRETHAOFFGRID on NOVEMBER 23, 2014 - 0 Comments in wretha


Spring 2007
“What do you think?” PB asked with a hopeful look on his face.

“What about your job? Our families? Your kids were born in this trailer.” I responded, we had been discussing the possibility of moving away and completely changing our lives, he was showing me pictures and videos of the rough, desolate land in far western Texas, this was not outside the realm of possibility for me, in fact it was something I had dreamed of since I was a young child, I just never thought PB would be interested in living this life as well. (more…)

A solar bus home
by WRETHAOFFGRID on NOVEMBER 22, 2014 - 1 Comment in wretha


I have a great love for small homes and portable homes, many of the DIY bus conversion homes are pretty good, but this one is tops in my books, it’s functional, it’s roomy, but it’s not too huge to drive, I could live in this. (more…)

Waste oil heaters
by WRETHAOFFGRID on NOVEMBER 16, 2014 - 0 Comments in wretha

cold!Winter is here, all the way down here in far west Texas, tonight it will get down into the low 20s(F), definitely wood stove fire weather, along with some good warm gear to wear and sleep in. Thermal underwear is my constant companion day and night, well more night than day, we often get up to a comfortable temperature during the day as long as the sun is shining, but I must remember, before the sun goes down to change into my night clothes, for as soon as the sun sets, the temps drop like a rock into an ice bucket. (more…)

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