Category — WRETHA

Make a wish, believe in it


As the end of summer slides past us, the days are getting shorter and cooler. Our rainy season has all but ended,  the last few days has been almost dreamy, with low hanging clouds and ground fog rolling through, cool and damp, the smell of wood smoke in the air from the first warming fires of the season tickle my nose, we settle into the end of our 7th year living off grid, this December will start our 8th year, time has flown by so quickly, sometimes I have a hard time remembering my life before moving off grid, and that is just fine with me. (more…)

Small budget, big dream, small home


After graduating from college, Dave Herrle got a desk job. He hated every minute of it. But in 2007, while hiking along the Appalachian Trail, Dave got a whole new perspective on the benefits of living a simple life. There in the woods, he promised himself that he wouldn’t spend anymore of his life doing a job that he didn’t enjoy. He also decided to build the home of his dreams. (more…)

Fermented foods
fermented foods

fermented foods


Earlier today, after church, I was getting ready to lay down to take a nap, the radio was playing softly in the background, I typically don’t care for what is played on the only local radio station we can get, it’s a bit too liberal for my tastes, but they were playing a show that I enjoy, it was America’s Test Kitchen, a show I used to watch on TV and am still getting used to listening to it on the radio.

Today’s show was all about fermented foods, something that I am getting more and more interested in, fermenting takes ordinary foods and turns them into super foods as well as helping them store for longer periods of time-preserving food. Fermentation has been something that has done for generations, from creating wine, spirits and beer, to pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and many other foods & drink. (more…)

Now I’m a working gal – blog post
by WRETHAOFFGRID on SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 - 0 Comments in WORK, WRETHA
Long stretches of lonely west Texas roads...

Long stretches of lonely west Texas roads…

We have been living 100% off grid since December ’07, before leaving our old life, we both worked jobs, he had his restaurant equipment repair business, I was employed by Best Buy as a merchandiser and worked at Curves (a gym for women) on a very part time basis. Now I’m sitting here in my off grid sky castle, getting ready to go to bed, sipping on sweet hot caramel flavored coffee. I look forward to going to work early in the morning, something I haven’t done in 7 years. (more…)

Building up


This young family lives in Portland Oregon on a half lot, their home is very small by most standards, preferring to build UP instead of spreading around. They took a 407 square foot-print, made it 3 levels, they combine some living areas and omitted others.

Yes, Texas has mountains…
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 30, 2014 - 0 Comments in SPIRIT, WORK, WRETHA


…and other random thoughts. :) One of the questions I get asked when I tell people where I live (on a mountain side, in the high desert, of far western Texas), they ask “Texas has mountains?” or “I didn’t know there were mountains in Texas…”. Well I’m here to tell you that Texas DOES have mountains, I live a mile high, in the Davis Mountains, which used to be called the Apache Mountains, fitting for me because I am part Apache (as well as Comanche), not enough to claim any benefits, but enough to give me some physical features and a wonderful heritage.

I can say that I feel so much at home here, like I have come home, I always wanted to live in the mountains and in the desert, I get to do both. (more…)

Get to know your property before you build
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 23, 2014 - 2 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, WRETHA

wind and rock

OK, you have purchased your land, you are all excited about getting your off grid homestead going, but before you set your first post, before you lay your first board, there are some things you should do first, taking these steps will help to insure your place will be the best place it can be.

The first thing you should do is walk your land, especially if there is acreage concerned, you need to get to know your land as best you can, pick out more than one potential spot, then camp out on your land, as often as you can, for as many seasons as you can. Try to be there during rain, wind and such. The reason this is important is you NEED to know where the winds blow, the direction, you need to know how the drainage works, you don’t want to build where it’s going to flood. (more…)

It’s time for a prepper reality check
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 20, 2014 - 1 Comment in URBAN, WRETHA


You may have enough weapons and ammo stashed away to fight the next World War all by yourself…

You may have fortified your home and have 3 different routes mapped out to get to your bug-out retreat…

You may have a food stockpile that will see you, your family, heck, the whole darned neighborhood, through until the Second Coming…

You may tirelessly watch militant YouTube videos that show you how to take down your opponent in 3 easy maneuvers…


If you aren’t realistic about your skills and your physical abilities, you are likely to be just as dead as the guy down the road who considers the two extra bags of Doritos in his pantry to be a food stockpile.

You need to know enough to realize just how much you don’t know.

It’s time for a prepper reality check. Be warned. You may not like it. And if you’re offended by this article, that could mean that you are one of the people I’m talking about. (more…)

Living and building off grid on the cheap
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 16, 2014 - 4 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, WRETHA

Dimensional lumber, nearly stacked and ready for their second life….

Going off grid on the cheap, it’s possible to do, but you should be creative and flexible, the property was the biggest expense, buying a property with “issues” made that expense much less than it could have been.

Our property’s issue was the access, it has a seasonal creek that runs across the front/bottom of the property, so driving up on the property is tricky if not impossible. We didn’t mind, the rest of the property was great.

One of the things we do to build cheap (sometimes free) is to constantly be on the lookout for free materials to recycle or re-purpose. It’s not the same as going to the lumber store and buying what we need, we often are gifted with material that would normally go to the dump at odd times, this material has its issues, the lumber is rough, has nails, screws and other hardware, sometimes ends of lumber are rotten, damaged or cut off, as I said, you need to be creative. (more…)

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