Thursday, February 28, 2013

Just a little bit about the process of moving soil and collecting worms. I would watch for the worms and pick them up placing them in my soil bin.
This is the tool I used to loosen up the soil and not kill the earth worms. Soon my tomato plants and other sprouts will be strong enough to plant in the yard.

weeds pull or not to pull

Pulling weed's is not the most fun thing to do in the garden. Think about it this way. Spray weed killer and you get the weed on the top surface. Sure they say it kills the roots. Pulling is the only way to know for sure that the root is gone.
Spraying week killer, you breath it, touch it, and even eat it from your plants.
Now does pulling weeds sound so bad.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Used Tires for a Retaining Wall

To keep the driveway from washing away we built a retaining wall made out of tires. Back filling them with rocks and dirt. Hitting the side of the tires to make sure they are solid pack.
I really don't know how I had this idea come to me. It is probably as old as the day is long. What made me say "hay lets use these old tires." Was simply the fact that is what was laying around the property.
The idea of not spending money on things we didn't need and use our resources available to us.
Live Life Love Life
I am working on getting some of my sprouts planted, but I am afraid it is still too cool out in the morning. So, I am going to work on an idea for planting and covering them at night to protect them from any frost.
More On Thursday

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

you tube information for you

Video Bar Up Date
Fertilizing, Worms and Starting Seeds. Hope you find these informative. I plan on posting my own garden and you tube for you soon. Thank you again for checking in on my progress.
Remember, if you enjoy working on your garden that is the most important thing. You can't make any one love working the garden with you. So, the best thing to do is to inspire every one about the garden.
Live Life Love Life

Question of the day??

I was asked why would I like to see birds around the property.Living off grid in the mountains the property needed a little love and hard work to get back to nature. As time went by and removal of junk slowly the wild life started coming back. How can you tell that you are a organic area. The BIRDS came back to the property. Not only did I enjoy seeing the many birds. The birds are thriving in a non pesticide environment. Not only birds but frogs, lizards, garden snakes and the chickens did very well as our natural eco system.
So Why Do I Like Seeing Birds In The Area?
It shows that our eco friendly environment is hard at work for us.
Got a question, I will get you an answer. Whatever I can't come up with I can find the answer for you.

Preparing Garden and Fertilizing

Working hard on the garden.
Steps in getting ready; clean up my garden area, soil (move and aerate / loosen soil, worms for the soil are a must, fertilizer / nitrogen for the vegetables and flowers, seed's are being prepped in starter jiffy pot, when the weather is warm enough I will be planting those starter seeds, next will be the taking care of the garden and providing the right amount of fertilizer and magnesium for strong flowering plants. Don't forget that a good source of magnesium is epson salt diluted in water. This increases the production of flowers.
This is the garden path I worked on today.I sprayed a Mircal Grow fertilizer in the garden area to help prepare the soil for planting.
Soil I moved from the path way, saving it for latter. I was careful once more to protect the worms and placed them into the kennel soil storage. Placing a screen over the top to keep birds out. Live Life Love Life

Monday, February 25, 2013

The hard work that pays off

The sprouts are doing much better then I even expected. Still getting the yard ready preparing the soil. Harvesting worms from the soil and placing them in their own soil. Just to protect them from my shoveling. Some worms I just placed in the garden areas that are set. Carfully covering them to protect them.
The garden is coming along but I need to do a little fertilizing to make sure there will be nitrogen and minerals in the soil for the plants.
Added this photo of a flower just because I love flowers.
Live Life Love Life

up date

On the you tube video bar I have updated earthship homes again. I can not get over this process of building a self sufficient home. They dig into the ground and build a retaining wall using tires. As a result of digging into the earth the inside of the home will stay around 68* to 70*. I have been impressed with their gray water recycling system and the use of plants.
Live Life Love Life

Wonderful Day

It is a bright wonderful day a little windy but I am eager to see what I can do today. The neighbor has chickens and is getting ready to start their own garden. It is always good to make connections with other people who are becoming self sufficient. You never know what tips you can share. Also, they are going to let me barrow some chickens to free rang in my yard and get the bugs. I have some excellent Tomato plants started and if they are still interested I will be sharing some of my seeds with them. They have some cilantro plants to share with me. This is great for keeping bugs out of the garden. Flowers are good for the garden as well.
Live Life Love Life

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sustainable Living Off Grid

I worked on reducing my without loosing the main content. This allowed me to save on the coast of printing bringing the coast down to $7.00. If any one is interested in getting a copy let me know. You can see a better preview of the book at look up newly published by Kathy Hunt.
My goal is to help as many people become more self sustainable.
Live Life Love Life

Chicken Power

We used chickens to catch bugs. Mostly in the mountains it was ticks. Took no time at all for the chickens to take care of that then they kept the other bugs in check. The property slowly became more eco balanced. What are they not good for. Well they love the garden as much as the deer. So it was fence them out of the garden or stay with them and pin them up for the day. They had to be pinned up at night any ways to protect them from other predators. The chickens are also great for eggs. About once a week I would add flax seeds in the food. Made a difference in the size of the egg and yoke. Healthy chicken's healthy eggs. Drying out the egg shells and crumbling them into the chicken food also helped to have hard egg shells.

Reuse and recycle

Computer has been down and now it is up and running again.
Been working on the garden and checking on sprouts.
I found some chicken wire and I am going to use it for the snow peas to climb on. An old wash/laundry sink is being moved into the side garden area for potting plants and stuff. Remembering to use only castile or some other non toxic soap out side. Found and old beat up metal rack, it will be great for trays and what not. If any one has any ideas send them my way.
Live Life Love Life
I have been so involved with getting this garden ready I haven't talked much about the sustainable living off grid. Any questions about life off grid / solar power / water storage / finding seeds feel free to send a request. It will help me to help other's, and that is what I like to do. I have been working on condensing my book down to more of a flip page reference. This will allow me to save money on printing without loosing the content to help others. I will have more news next week.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sorry every one, it has taken me all day to get my computer up and running again.
I want to share some info on bug killer that is not harmful.
My sister got a new kitten in October. It was so small and full of fleas.Not wanting to add to his already declining heath with pesticides I got goats milk soap and washed him. It really works the fleas died but would not just fall off. They were so bad they hid in his noise and ears. Next step was to cover him in cooking oil. No not to cook him. The fleas just could not survive and slid right off. Left it on for a little while and gave him another bath. To this day he has no fleas. Even though he now go's outside the fleas don't seem to get on him. I still bath him in goats milk soap every now and then it keeps him soft, fluffy and flea free. More to come later. I worked on the garden today and gathered info to share. Greatest desire is to help others to achieve their own goal's for self sufficient living. >Live Life Love Life


My computer was down yesterday. I will be uploading new photo's of the sprouts and more about living life.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Solar Living

In the you tube I have placed one of my favorite places for gathering information.
Solar Living Institute
Please check it out.
Live Life Love Life
Saving on voltage; We moved from a 5th wheel camper into the garage converted into a studio. The garage was wired for 12volt and 110. To save on energy we use as many low voltage items as we can. For entertainment a portable car DVD player. Plug in the car adapter and you are set. As we researched for more 12 volt items we found TV’s with inverters from 110 to 12. With no reception on the mountain our only entertainment could be DVD’s. As our luck holds out I had friends that record TV shows and loaned them to us. The handy RED BOX in town gave us access to new release movies. I jointed Block Busters to get movies in the mail. It is amazing what you can rent on line from TV shows, documentaries and of course movies. There are so many choices out there you just have to research every thing. If you have a good internet connection you can stream movies. Access to the internet is a great asset for research and to down load entertainment. From music, TV, documentaries and much more. There are many places you can go to access the internet, the library or coffee shops. We download on an external hard drive, plug it into a Western Digital (converts into a TV single) into our 12 volt TV. Amazingly the WD also runs on 12 volts. Look on the plug-in to see if there is a converter. It should read AC/DC adapter, MODEL , INPUT 100-240V 12A 50.60Hz, OUTPUT 19V == 2.15A 50.60 Hz. Learning to read the plug-ins for your devices is a good way to manage how much power you are using for each item. You would be amazed to see how much power it takes just to make toast. Un plug or shut off every thing in your house. Turn on your toaster and go out side and look at your pg&e meter. It can really make you think about how much power is being used that you don’t even notice. Many appliances even when not in use are burning electricity. We bought a small inverter connected it to the battery bank. The inverter has two plug ins and a usb plug. Charging cell phones, ipods and running small devices. Before we got the inverter we made a 12v plug-in for the 12v outlet in the house. One end plugs into the house wall and the other end is a cigarette lighter plug in just like in your car. This is how we charged the mini DVD player and cell phones before. We also made plug-ins for the low amp devices to run directly on our 12v system, bypassing the 110v converter on the original plug for the tv. So, we did not have to run 110v power to run a 12v item saving power.
Electric calculations
This is a great WEB site for electric calculations. Electric Current
Electricity and Electric Charge ● Formulas and Calculations ●
You are going to need to calculate your power usage to estimate how many batteries you will need.

Flower's and more flowers

This is a bit early to talk about but useful info. You can use miracle grow or epsom salt. IT works I used it on my tomato and cucumber plants.
Question: Epsom Salts and Plants - Is it Worth Using Epsom Salts as a Plant Fertilizer?
Gardeners have been using Epsom salts as a plant fertilizer for generations, but is there any evidence there's a real benefit to the plants? There is little research to prove conclusively that Epsom salts have any effect on plants, but many seasoned gardeners cite their own gardens as proof that Epsom salts help certain plants grow stronger and produce better.
In gardening and other agriculture, magnesium sulfate is used to correct a magnesium or sulfur deficiency in soil; magnesium is an essential element in the chlorophyll molecule, and sulfur is another important micronutrient. It is most commonly applied to potted plants, or to magnesium-hungry crops, such as potatoes, roses, tomatoes, lemon trees, peppers and cannabis. The advantage of magnesium sulfate over other magnesium soil amendments (such as dolomitic lime) is its high solubility, which also allows the option of foliar feeding. Solutions of magnesium sulfate are also nearly neutral, as compared to alkaline salts of magnesium, as found in limestone; therefore the use of magnesium sulfate as a magnesium source for soil does not significantly change the soil pH.
Thank you Victor for the question.
Live Life Love Life I can tell you that by doing a mixture of water and epson salt my plants did so much better.

Off Grid and Loving It

Best of luck on your course to sustainable living.
Living off grid has been quite the experience. I love it and look forward to sharing my valuable information. Not having television was hard at first. Getting back to the basics was the best thing I ever did. The kids didn't see commercials and soon stopped asking for things they didn't need. Working together on the garden and building brought us closer together. With an organic garden we used the natural resources. Frogs, lizards, spider and chickens kept bugs in check, so we didn't need to use pesticides. You can follow me on Face Book Sustainable Living Off Grid
Live Life Love Life

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

soil / worms

In case you didn't know. Worms in your soil is very beneficial for rich growing soil. What you can do is go to the bait store and buy some worms. There are some very reliable worm farms around. I think for most the bait store is easiest. A bait store carries fishing supplies etc...
If you take a look at the you tube of tiny house you can see how changing the foot print size can make a difference. There are great ways to save on space without going tiny check out IKEA stores for small living space. I say small living space but really I think of it as a great way to save on space. Just walking through the store I have gotten so many idea. From storage in the kitchen to fold down table for dinning. There is so much we can learn from other countries and how they save on space. Bigger doesn't always make it better. Once I started eliminating stuff I didn't really need life started to become easier. Not only could I find what I was looking for it just seemed simpler. Thank you to you tube and the people who showed me about tiny homes. I just want to add one more thing. If you think about it in a smaller space you have a smaller heating and cooling bill reducing that foot print as well.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sustainable living

>Best of luck on your course to sustainable living. Living off grid has been quite the experience. I love it and look forward to sharing my valuable information. Not having television was hard at first. Getting back to the basics was the best thing I ever did. The kids didn't see commercials and soon stopped asking for things they didn't need. Working together on the garden and building brought us closer together. With an organic garden we used the natural resources. Frogs, lizards, spider and chickens kept bugs in check, so we didn't need to use pesticides. You can follow me on Face Book Sustainable Living Off Grid

organic bug spray

OK I had the question today on what to use for keeping bugs out of an organtic garden. For the most part for me we had nature to help. For most of us we need a little help.
Castile soap is a soap made with fat of purely vegetable origin, rather than animal fats such as tallow. This type of soap has historically been highly prized and viewed as a high quality soap which is gentle on the skin and useful for a range of other applications.

Organic Castile Soap mixed with water in a spray bottle and spray plant leaves. It is organic so it is not harmful to the plant. Test it first on one leaf to make sure you didn't make it too strong. The oil from the soap keeps bugs away.

Thanks you Chiquita for the question.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

you tube

I added some useful you tube videos, I think you will like them. Earthships how to be self sufficient. Tiny homes


There are many sites that will help you get information for battery, maintenance and how to connect multiple batteries. 

solar living and battery banks

OK it is time to get down to it. How could we have power at night with no sun for solar power. Simple answer is a battery bank. Charges during the day and provides power at night. On day's with little to no solar / sun power we had a generator. Problem is the generator uses gas and makes it so you are not so self sustainable. I looked into other options like making hydrogen. Problem with storing hydrogen is risk of explosion and storage.  I found on line that a professor came up with a great idea of using chicken feathers in the storage tank for hydrogen. The many pours in the feathers makes for space for the hydrogen. For me this is just a little too far out of my reach.

Lots of info to share so just take your time to take it in.



The battery bank in a home power system serves two purposes. It acts as a voltage stabilizer for the system, moderating the high voltages that can occur during battery charging and minimizing the low voltages common in high demand situations. It also acts as a power reservoir, supplying the power needed when the load demand exceeds the capabilities of the power (charging) source. For instance, if you have a solar panel that produces 51 watts of power and want it to power a light bulb that requires 100 watts, the additional 49 watts of power required by the light bulb will be supplied by the battery. The power used by the battery is then replaced when the light bulb is not in use.

RV and marine batteries are available in a variety of sizes to 100 amp hour and are normally 12 volt. They may be of the standard, serviceable type or the sealed, "maintenance-free" style. They are common in small home power and portable power systems.

Advantages: These batteries are small, compact and easy to handle and install. Their initial cost is relatively low. The sealed types have the added advantage of being nonspillable and low gassing which makes them attractive for indoor applications.
Disadvantages: These batteries are not designed for heavy cycling so they may have a shorter life span than other types, depending on how heavily they are cycled. To obtain more than 100 amp hours capacity more than one battery must be connected in parallel. The sealed types have the added disadvantage of having limited cycling capability and sensitive charging characteristics. They can easily be overcharged.


These batteries are available in 220 to 300 amp hour capacities and are normally 6 volts per battery. They are a good choice for small to medium home systems.

Advantages: Since these batteries are designed for deep cycling they will give better performance and longer life than the RV/marine batteries. They are still relatively light in weight and easy to handle and have lower per-amp-hour costs than the RV/marine batteries. They are also less susceptible to damage from overcharge and can handle higher charging currents.
Disadvantages: Since they normally are 6 volt and most home power systems are 12 volt, these batteries require a series-parallel connection which is a little more complicated. They will give off more gas during charging and should be stored in a ventilated area. There will be some water loss which will require replacement water periodically. Their 6 volt configuration limits the amp hour capacity so they are not good batteries for large systems.


These batteries, which are normally manufactured as individual 2 volt units, are available in a broad range of capacities to 3000 amp hours. Six 2 volt units are connected in series for 12 volt systems. They are an excellent choice for medium to large capacity home power systems.

Advantages: These batteries have the advantage of long life under deep cycling conditions. Since the desired system capacity can be achieved in one six-cell configuration, charge/discharge characteristics are excellent. Maintenance and cycling specifications will vary but are well suited to home power applications.
Disadvantages: The initial set-up costs will be higher, because of the additional amp hour capacity. Also, these batteries are quite heavy (to 350 lb. per 2 volt cell) and will require a well-supported area and special handling and transportation assistance.


The batteries previously discussed are called "lead-acid" batteries in that they consist of lead plates in a sulfuric acid solution and are the most common batteries utilized in home power applications. Nickel cadmium and nickel iron batteries consist of nickel alloy plates in an alkaline solution which dramatically alters the operating characteristics of the battery. These batteries are also good choices for home power systems but involve special considerations.

1) They are longer life. The best lead-acid batteries may achieve 20 years whereas the nickel alloys can have a 50 year life.
2) Maintenance is lower due to higher voltage characteristics and their ability to sit partially or totally discharged for extended periods of time without failure.
3) Battery voltage on the nickel alloy batteries does not follow the basically linear pattern of the lead-acid batteries during discharge so much more of the rated amp hour capacity is actually available at the practical level. In addition, the nickel alloy batteries can be repeatedly completely discharged without damage or loss of battery life.
4) The nickel alloy batteries are not easily damaged by severe cold and retain higher discharge potential than the lead-acid in colder temperatures.
5) Nickel alloy batteries have lower internal resistance so matching batteries of differing ages and sizes in a home power system battery bank is much easier than with lead-acid batteries.


1) The initial cost of purchasing a nickel alloy battery bank is very high compared to lead-acid, even with the reconditioned batteries (which are most prevalent in home power systems). This is the major deterrent to most people.
2) the broad charging voltage range creates some compatibility problems which have to be addressed when matching the nickel alloy batteries to other home power equipment such as inverters or chargers.
3) Their non-linear discharge rate makes the charge state of the nickel alloy batteries more difficult to monitor.
4) The nickel alloy batteries are often not as easily disposed of as lead-acid batteries when their useful life has ended.

Lead - Acid batteries

Batteries serve as a storage device for electrical energy. Although the general idea is simple, batteries must be carefully selected and maintained to have a reliable power system. If batteries are poorly selected or maintained, they can degrade at a rapid pace and require frequent or premature replacement, often at considerable expense.


The normal use of a battery is known as cycling. Cycling is the process of removing electricity from and replacing it to a battery system. When electricity has been consumed and then replaced, it can be said that the battery has been cycled. The extent of the cycling or the depth of discharge is usually expressed as a percentage of the total battery capacity. Thus, if 50 amp hours is consumed from a 100 amp hour battery , it is said to be 50% discharged. A cycle exceeding about 20% of a batteries capacity is said to be a deep cycle, while a discharge and replacement of less than 20% is referred to as a shallow cycle.

Not all the energy that is put into a battery can be taken back out. Some 10 to 20 percent will be lost ultimately to heat through the electrochemical charging process. As such, 110 - 120 amp hours must be imparted to a battery to provide 100 amp hours of usable energy.

In addition to the losses incurred during charging, another source of energy loss is self-discharge. The "typical" lead acid battery will lose 10 - 20% of its energy in a month, more at high temperatures, less at lower temperatures. Lead calcium batteries have lower self discharge rates than lead antimony types, but perform poorly as true deep cycle batteries.

As well as affecting self discharge rates, temperature affects battery performance in other ways. The optimum performance temperature range for batteries is 60 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit. At these temperatures, the battery will perform at 100% of its rated capacity. As temperatures drop, battery longevity increases, but performance drops. The battery goes into a state of partial "suspended animation" and only some of it’s potential power is available. You may have experienced this while starting your car in cold weather. (unless you are fortunate enough to live where there is no such thing as cold weather.) For example, at freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) some 65% of battery capacity can be utilized, but at zero only 40 percent is available.

Freezing of batteries is a major concern of northern climate inhabitants. A fully charged battery typically will not freeze down to 70 to 90 degrees below zero, while a fully discharged battery is susceptible to freezing at +32 degrees. This is because of the chemical process which creates electricity in a battery. As a battery becomes discharged, the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte gradually bonds to the lead oxide in the battery plates. As this process continues, the electrolyte becomes less and less concentrated, until finally it is (theoretically but I wouldn’t drink it) pure water. Since water freezes at +32 F, the dead battery will then freeze at this temperature. Damage caused by freezing is mostly mechanical, I.E. the bursting of cases, plate breakage, separator failure, mechanical shorting, plate material delamination and many other woes too hideous to mention. Although batteries can sometimes survive even a severe freeze-up, there is always damage done, and reduced life can be expected.

A properly maintained battery bank can last 10, 20, or even 30 years in rare instances. A poorly maintained bank of the same quality can be ruined in a matter of months (or even days at the hands of an expert). This is why battery maintenance is so important. Here are the basic do’s & don’ts:


Water batteries after charging , but only to the indicated full mark.
Keep the batteries from freezing, especially when discharged
Use only distilled water to water batteries
Periodically check the specific gravity of each cell with a hydrometer - Wide (<.020) variations indicate the need for an equalize charge and can indicate a failing cell.
Perform an equalization charge every 3 months or so, regardless of specific gravity variation, to remove any sulfation and mix the electrolyte. This is energy well spent.
Wear goggles when dealing with batteries. Gloves and a rubber apron are a good idea as well.
Keep a supply of fresh water on hand when working around batteries. This can be used to rinse hands, eyes, or clothing to remove battery acid.
Keep batteries stored at a full state of charge. Long term discharge causes batteries to sulfate, and will eventually render them useless.
Educate yourself in the care and maintenance of the batteries you are using.


Use tap water
Work on batteries with metal tools immediately after or during charging, they could cause a spark and subsequent explosion
Overcharge your batteries
Allow connections to get so corroded that you can barely see them for the gooky stuff, or at all, when possible.
Work with batteries without proper safety equipment and procedures.
Drop batteries, especially on your toe.


Keep a log of specific gravity readings and voltages
Keep safety stuff in the battery area for easy access


An equalization charge is merely a controlled overcharging of the battery bank. This can be accomplished by using a generator and battery charger or other power sources with the voltage regulation equipment turned off. The object is to bring battery voltage to 15 - 16 volts and hold it there until hydrometer readings in all cells are equal or have stopped increasing, or until all sulfation (white flecks on the plates) has been removed, or both. 15 -16 volts is too high for some electronic equipment, so you should check maximum ratings and disconnect these items as necessary. At these charging voltages, water loss will be significant and water should be replaced as needed. Take care that the batteries do not get hot to the touch (warm is OK) and if necessary reduce charging current or voltage.

Gassing is a normal process that batteries undergo while charging. During the charging process, hydrogen and oxygen are released into the air through the vents on the battery tops, usually along with some water vapor. This can often form a damp surface on the battery that is conductive, leading to corrosion. Remove this film by rinsing with hot water. Water loss through gassing can be reduced through the use of hydrocaps, little catalyst do - dads that recombine the hydrogen & oxygen into water, which drains back into the battery.

Because gassing produces hydrogen (very flammable) and oxygen (which makes things even more flammable) great care should be taken not to inadvertently ignite this (flammable) mixture. Although the quantities produced are small, in a tightly confined space (like in the tops of the batteries) a flame or spark can cause a violent explosion, shattering batteries and sending acid and debris flying about at ridiculous speeds. It is good practice to give batteries the same consideration you would afford to a fuel can or tank in this respect. (unless you are one of those folks who puts out cigarettes in gas cans just to prove that it won’t light)(this is a very, very, bad idea)

Through the gassing process, some corrosion can be expected to accumulate on battery terminals or metal in the vicinity of the batteries. This can easily be removed with HOT water and a scrub brush. Be sure to rinse clean, and as always when working with batteries, wear eye protection. If left unchecked, corrosion can destroy battery posts and terminals, eat through enclosures, and even create dangerous sparks if connections fail. While sometimes fun to watch, corrosion is generally a bad thing and should be held in check through regular cleaning and maintenance. (kind of like teeth)

Batteries should be placed in a vented enclosure that will maintain a temperature of 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes this is simply not possible, but you should do the best that you can. Proper venting of the battery compartment helps to remove the hydrogen and is easily accomplished. Merely venting the highest part of the battery box to the outside is often all that is required. Small battery banks may not require venting, but should be protected from sparks & open flame.
Determining the state of charge

The state of charge of a lead acid battery can be checked in several ways. The first, and arguably easiest method is to measure the voltage of the battery bank. A fully charged 12 volt battery will read about 12.7 volts at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. (double this for 24 volt systems) By the time the voltage reads 12.2, it is 50% discharged, and at 11.9 it is considered empty. The problem with measuring charge in this way is that if there has been any recent activity (charging or discharging) in the batteries, the readings will be highly inaccurate, and temperature can also adversely affect the reading. The second method to determine the state of charge is to use a hydrometer. By measuring the specific gravity of the battery bank, the hydrometer can give you an accurate indication of remaining energy. For example, a fully charged battery may read 1.270, at 50% read 1.190, and at 1.100 be discharged. Hydrometer readings should be adjusted for temperature, and should be performed with the batteries at rest for at least ½ hour. The third and most convenient way to measure battery capacity is with an amp hour meter. These totalizing meters measure energy flow into and out of the battery and keep a running total of available energy at any given instant. Although they may require occasional resynchronization, these meters are very accurate and provide at a glance insight into the state of your system.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Feb 16 2013 moving soil

I will be uploading photo's of the progress.
Areas of the yard have so much great soil from years of leave's just being left there. So, what I did was rake up the top leaves and used a screen to separate pecans and rocks from the soil. Doing my very best to watch for worms and protecting them to move into the garden.

I am also lucky enough to have seeds that have been harvest from my previous garden. Something I learned is to save the seeds from the first group of tomato's and then the last group. It gives you the strongest growing period / length.

Also I saved old dried flower heads from multiple flowers, placing them into a paper bag. Now they are coming back into use for me to replant flowers. Flowers around the garden are great because they aren't only ascetically pleasing they draw the bees.

Friday, February 15, 2013

  1. A Sustainable place to live
    1. can you become self sufficient
    2. water
    3. growing a garden / food resources
    4. protection from all elements 
  2. learning to live on only what you really need
    1. conserve energy
    2. live green / save the planet
    3. how many toys and entertainment devices do you really need
    4. food storage /preserving that is healthy and sustainable
  3. work with nature and restoring environment while becoming self sufficient
    1. how can you make use of what is already there
    2. planting and preventing erosion of the land
    3. water purification and resources
  4. building a home that uses the resources you already have 
    1. for me I looked at the earth ship homes.
    2. best use of power 
    3. storage of power / water
    4. power and voltage use / appliances
  5. creating a living from being self sufficient
    1. still really working on this my self but I have some ideas
    2. raising chickens
    3. growing an organic garden
    4. using the resources around you 
    5. find a way to share with your community
    6. what can you do to provide a service for others
      1. are you good at creating solar projects may be you can help others get set up as well.
OK this is just a draft.
Any body have any ideas or comments please forward them to me.

the road to self sufficient living

Now about finding a place for sustainable living. For my family it just kinda happened. We found a place not too far away from town and just below the snow line. A run down 1970's modular home with a year round creek and artisan spring. I have heard from some people with concerns of a creek too close to the house. this one was great, close enough but down hill from the house.  The plan was to rehab the house and pay off the mortgage before starting a new house. Things don't always go as planed. The house was too far gone so it was living in a 5th wheel camper. Did this for a year before we could get the garage converted into a studio for two. Not the home I was thinking of but I can tell you way better then that old camper. Converting the garage was the beginning of be self sufficient. No PG&E (electric) bills, or water bills. Power had been shut off for more then 10 years and could not be reconnected to the old house. Making us see creating our own power is a must. I have to say that when there were big storm and power outage we still had power. Some time's I would be at work and every one was talking about how the power was off for a long time. They would say to me I don't know how you do it. Well while they had no power we did. Building a battery bank and learning to use lower energy appliances we had power all night.

Who wouldn't want to learn how to live comfortably without a bunch of bills to pay.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I am starting to get the hang of this and posting photos. Remember to keep checking in to see what comes next.

feb 13 2013

Hi I am continuing on with my blog on Face Book and Gmail. I am having a little difficulty getting use to this format. So, please have patients with me. I would like to share with you today my most recent activities. For one, my book came in the mail yesterday. It looks great and is very easy to read and lots of space to put notes. Any one who is interested can go to
Sustainable Living Off Grid, as listed under Reference
If you go to click on book store, recent published and type in sustainable living off grid. This will give you the opportunity to take a look at some of the pages. You can also like me on face book under Sustainable living off grid.
I am going to do my best to upload some photos and document the progress to becoming self sufficient living off grid.

On a different note, I have been working on putting a garden together in Stockton. I don't have a lot of money so I am using whatever I can around the house. I have been gone from Stockton for about 6 years and most of my garden stuff has not been kept up. I don't look at this as bad, it is a good way to start anew. Love life and learn to take what it gives me to move forward.

Things always work out one way or another. My luck is even though the garden has been laying to rest for 6 years, it is in my favor. Leaves have been gathering up in the flower beds and now there is such great soil I can not believe it.

I had a fish pound in the back yard no more fish for quite some time now. Took out the pound liner and dug out the sand. Yes I said sand. I had built a box for the fish pound filled the outside of the pound liner with sand to prevent and punctures. The sand has come in handy as well. All around the out side of the new garden box, I placed the sand and stepping stones to make a decent walk way around the garden. The stepping stones I had laying around here and there so all I had to do was find and move them. My parents even had some stepping stones I made as a kid with marbles to decorate it. Had some old big brick like stones with three holes running through it. I thought this would be great for in the garden. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Getting started off grid

Hi everyone. I have started a blogg about my experience living off grid. There is so much to say and the only was is to start from the beginning. I didn't know that I even wanted to live off grid. Once we got started there was no turning back. We found a place in the mountains of Berry Creek, California. The best thing about it was the it was not too far from town and just bellow the snow line. So, we do get snow but mostly it last a day or two. Lived in a 5th wheel for a year and it was tough. No electric on the property for about twenty years. The house on the property was a modular from the 70's. So, turning power on was going to be a problem. Converting the garage over into a studio was our best bet for not. Rewired the studio for 12volt and 110. This allowed us to save on the power we used on low voltage appliances and light. Running the studio on solar power storage batteries and occasionally run a generator.

.More blogging to come so keep checking in.

I have put together a reference book from web sites we used to purchase items like solar pannels, battery info, appliances and education. 
 Go to the site and take a look at the first 15 pages.
Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me to share. Hope others can find their own way to a greener life. I will post some photos latter.