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.
We have focused on getting the sky castle into a liveable condition, we have worked on it, enlarging it, improving it and have settled into a good life, it’s a frugal life, we haven’t had to spend a lot of money on any of it, the property being the most expensive part of the entire venture, and even that was a drop in the bucket compared to what it might have cost anywhere else.
5 years ago I took a job as a caretaker for a friend, it was extremely part time, taking up no more than 12 hours a week, that gave me lots of free time to work on the sky castle with PB. My friend has improved so much over the years that she isn’t in such need of me, then this opportunity more or less fell right out of the sky for me, this job would allow me to use my merchandising experience, something I didn’t think I would ever do again but was itching to get back to.
I work with a good friend as a team, we drive all over west Texas covering 4 of the largest counties in Texas, I am getting to witness some of the most beautiful landscape and it’s breathtaking. We do merchandising in all of the dollar stores, WalMart, Alco and a few other stores. It’s quite physical, I spend a lot of time crawling on the floor-I will be buying a pair of knee pads asap, or I’m up on a ladder, I am loving it! The first few days were tough, I’m using muscles I have been ignoring for a long time, but with the help of DMSO, ibuprofen and time, I’m getting into better shape than I have been in a long time, this is a good thing! Read more about how I use DMSO here: (LINK) it’s been a real lifesaver for me and PB.
The hardest part is being away from home so much, our day is typically 10-12 (or more) hours long, leaving before sunup and getting home after sundown. The reason for the long days right now is we are playing catch-up, there are many jobs that didn’t get done before we joined up, and these HAVE to be completed, we are hoping to be able to work 4(+/-) days a week and get everything done, I don’t expect that to happen until after Christmas though.
Living the way we do, it’s good to balance working-earning money with being home enough to be able to do that the things needed at home, living off grid is very interactive, one needs to be around to take care of the power, water, waste and other systems that are our responsibility, when something needs attention, we just can’t call for a service technician to come out and fix it, we have to take care of it ourselves.
I am also enjoying going back into a field that I have lots of experience in but never thought I’d be able to get back to, the main difference being that previously I worked in one store, and now I’m working in many different stores that are separated by long stretches of lonely west Texas roads. One thing that has changed is I am going to need to get a mobile device, a smallish tablet (8 inches) with photo capabilities, when we get done with a job (and sometimes before starting one) we are required to take pictures of the work we have completed and upload it to the company, that proves that we actually did the work.
I have been looking into Galaxy Tabs and have learned that I can also get one that works as a phone, something I haven’t had since our first year living out here, cell phones just don’t work very well out here so I gave mine up and haven’t missed it for the most part. I just missed out on the smart phone and tablet phenomena, now I’m going to have to learn how these work… I may just get the tablet with wifi and do the uploading when I’m in a hotspot then do the phone part later. This is a big change in my life, and a welcome one, change is good.
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