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September 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm #37166
Hello off grid lovers.
My wife and I are returning to TX / FL sometime in Nov-Dec so we are posting now to get acquainted with a few like minded people as we travel.
Our route will take us through the four corners (Farmington, NM area) and onto Pecos, TX. Stops along the way include Albuquerque, Roswell, Carlsbad, FT Stockton, Austin, Hempstead, Fresno and them onto Florida (N. Central – Brooker Area)
I am 50 She is 46 and while we are both in good health and sound mind we have decided to go completely off grid and make our homestead and settle permanently. Florida for me is a good choice due to work and land prices and albeit all states have their good and bad points as it stands 2 adults with 2 cats can do well in Central Florida.
The stops we plan to make are primarily to visit friends and family and check alternative locations that are off grid friendly. If you have been considering this life you well know NM and W. Texas land wise and people wise are good choices so we intend to visit these areas on route and see if we feel a more beneficial fit or community can be found or established.
We are open to meeting new friends along the way and possibly help some folks as well with their homestead before moving along the route. We have lived in a RV together for the past 15 years and enjoy the independence of living how we want and off grid many times both for financial benefits as well as previously stated independence.
We are both Christian and I am a minister for Celtic Circle Of Faith. We do not try to change how people think or convert (for lack of a better term) them to Christian values or beliefs. We do enjoy adult conversation regarding spiritual beliefs and often settle with the ideal to agree to disagree and move on.
Our Celtic beliefs are post St Patrick meaning we do not embrace the pagan pre St Patrick practices but rather follow the teachings of Christ (Red Letter Christian is our direction) with a strong emphasis on Judge Not, Love the Lord and they neighbor and Study to show thyself approved.
We believe that the sharing of ones beliefs openly and without judgment is our calling (when invited) and that first and foremost it is the sharing of ideas that allow us to gain knowledge and wisdom. If our ideals help to open minds to new ideas (or others ours) then we have accomplished the instruction to study to show thyself approved.
We believe as Spiritual people on a human journey we are simply seed planters and if the seeds are good they will take root on their own and the creator is the gardener (not us) hence the judge not. I spent a bit of time with this because it’s a important part of our life but I also want others to know clearly that we are not evangelicals or thumpers on a crusade… Simply a couple who have solid beliefs but are willing to share and hear your beliefs openly without criticism as well.
Now about us in the off grid mode. I am a more or less retired contractor (Age and other factors preclude me from staying in full contractor mode but if the conditions are right I still take on large jobs now and then), current handyman business operator with a equally long history of RV repair tech.
My family was all contractors and craftsmen so I never stayed far from the trade but after discovering southern hospitality I left the New England area (Main, NH, VT and CT) at age 16 and have lived the majority of my life between Texas and Florida (migrating to and from for various reasons).
I have lived most of my life in Tent‘s, Travel Trailer’s and RV’s so off grid is not a new experience to me and the use of Solar, Wind and Water power to create energy and maintain a comfortable living environment is second nature. My wife was a city raised Houstonian however after 15 years she too has become accustomed to this way of living and grown to appreciate the independence it offers as well as the comfort of knowing no matter where we are we can and do survive comfortably. Since we married she has lived with me in the mountains of the North East, Shores and inlands of Florida and breath taking Cliffside’s of California (and all points in between).
I am the builder and provider and she is the partner, animal lover and home maker and as a team we have seen much this country and its people and what they have to offer but also realize its time to sink some roots and prepare for our retirement. We also are not blind to the economy and political climate so we do consider ourselves Preppers and realize the need for a sustainable safe homestead should life as it very often does throw a curve ball at us.
We are both convinced that even if we never see a economic collapse or SHTF scenario in our lifetime that there is always a very good possibility of a natural disaster striking and our government as it is today will most likely not be there to help. So that said we are making this our priority and are setting out on our most important adventure to date.
I am experienced in Earthbag and Strawbale construction, I understand the concept of cob but lean toward reinforced concrete (stucco) coatings for its durability and resistence to water and fire. My own personal preference to building a shelter will be a Earthbag subterranean structure with a low profile second level (about 2-3 feet) above ground (utilizing straw bale).
Both the subterranean portion and above ground section would be heavily coated in fiberglass reinforced concrete with a rebar / 1” hardware cloth interior skeleton. The roof after utilizing this same build principle would then be shaped or formed to appear as a above ground stand alone raised grow bed (living roof in reality).
Depending on the location I have experience with self drilling wells (like Florida because of the high water table) or Solar Distillation of brackish water and Aquapoinics / Hydroponics for food supply.
I do hunt and I am a primary meat eater (no way a veg) but admittedly never fully exposed to raising animals (my family did and I watched, grab my gun and hunt was preferred lol) So if I have a weakness (inland) this would be it. On the flip side however if I am anywhere near the ocean or a large water body I am a quite accomplished fisherman and can easily live (meat wise) off the water.
As I have camped around the country rod and reel was not always prudent (no license big problems) so I have learned many ways to shore trap, net and fish alternatively as well as dig clams, muscles and shrimp in creative ways.
So in conclusion we can survive coast side, inland, mountains or dessert and can think outside the box when faced with new challenges. We are willing to help, teach and learn. We are not afraid to dig in and get dirty and we love to socialize.
My wife and I do smoke (Plan to quit but you know what that is) we do occasionally enjoy a few beer’s or a bottle of wine but do not encourage or take part in drunken out of control behavior. And I have no issue with hemp in moderation (my wife abstains) and we have 2 cats who live with us.
My children are all grown and on their own so we have no troop following us around but enjoy family atmospheres and fully encourage families to go off grid and teach their children to be independent and self sufficient. My wife’s motto and mine as well is “Live, Laugh and Love” and nothing brings us more joy than to see a family do that in unity.
Other than my pride and joy daughter (one of 5 children) all of my children are city dwellers and think we have a screw loose lol. My daughter is a military mom and will be returning from Germany in 2014 with her husband to retire state side and see’s the world through my eyes so if the conditions are right she and her husband may join us someday and she will be finishing her RN training while retired military dad cares for the will be teen age children.
So what this all boils down to is we are seeking to meet a few friends along the way, open to starting or joining a existing community, open to dropping anchor anywhere along the way if it feels appropriate, open to helping a individual / family complete a few tasks before moving on.
We have a destination in mind but are well aware that could change and are open to new possibilities.
I think I covered the important parts but if you have a question drop us a email and we will answer. If you are on our route back to TX / Fl (or not seriously out of the way) and would like a hand doing some work or just up to entertain a few visitors again drop me and email and we can chat a bit more.
If your interested in learning more about me / us before emailing link to my face book pages and comment or browse on your time. There are a LOT of posting so its worth dropping by and looking….
May your day be filled with JOY
Mark & KristyjoSeptember 15, 2012 at 8:52 am #42972
Hello and welcome,
I look forward to hearing more about you and your wife’s adventures. I clicked on your FB link and liked it, you have some interesting things there
WrethaSeptember 15, 2012 at 11:49 pm #42976
Thanks Wretha. I will keep you posted… There are some great people and available properties out there and I have already met a few and seen a lot.
We appreciate the beauty this country has in its states and its peoples hearts so I will gladly drop a story or two
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