Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

First touch of winter.

This week we had a couple of days of HOWLING wind, and with it came the first hint of winter.

It was blowing so hard that it nearly lifted me off my feet when I went outside. In the house, however, it was deceivingly calm and quiet. We just snuggled up as a family, watched movies and read, enjoying the days off work.

Since then, it seems as though the temperature has taken on a chillier turn at night. Still not super cold, it is getting down into the 40s instead of 50s. The lowest we've had inside the house has been 57 degrees. In the mornings, with the curtains open and the sun pouring in, the temperature rises about 3-4 degrees an hour, and by 11am we shut the curtains to avoid getting into the 80s. So far, we are super impressed by the solar heating system. But it's not really cold yet, so this front was enough to make us get a little more prepared.

Over the past three years, they have been building a paved road to our village and beyond. They finished it about 6 months ago, but the oak and pine trees they had to cut down are still all along the sides. So we decided to take a drive up the new road, with its breathtaking vistas of pine-covered, 9000 feet mountains. We took the chainsaw and filled the truck in no time. Leo did his part by finding twigs and throwing them in!!!!

We will be building a wood-gas heater for when it gets colder, but in the meantime we went ahead and bought a wood-burning heater for the living room. We have a wood burning stove for the kitchen, but the size of the logs you can use is very small; the new one will allow us to put a big, all-night log on before we go to bed. With the stove pipes all hooked up and wood all cut and ready, we couldn't resist trying her out, even though it wasn't really cold. Man oh man, did it get hot! It was beautiful. Almost makes winter appealing, though not quite!

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