Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Interview with Linds

My older sister Lindsay came for a visit yesterday! She lives in North Carolina, so I don't get to see her too often. But we had so much fun together - we even found this shop downtown that sells used craft supplies for super cheap. I got a wreath mold & fabric scrap for $1. (Blog posts about how to craft with these coming to a computer near you soon!) Anyhow, while she was here I decided to do a quick little interview with her for the blog. Linds is a very adventurous, free-spirited gal who has traveled lots and lived many different places. Among many other things, she's passionate about living simply and using the natural resources around her. So, without further adieu, enjoy!

Q: What was the most interesting place you lived at?
A: The most interesting place I lived at was on a 26 acre communal farm in the beautiful western north carolina mountains. There was a main house with a kitchen, shared lounge, and upstairs apothecary. There were 5 cabins which housed 10 people, 12 dogs and a double-seater outhouse with a chilly, but beautiful, morning mountain view. 

Q: What was the cabin that you lived in like?
A: My cabin was a south-facing, 2 story structure that had waney wood siding on the outside. It was designed to be passive solar which means that it utilized the most sunlight in the winter to warm the house and kept our cabin the coolest in the summer. It had one room on the bottom that was used as a private kitchen and living room area. Upstairs, there was one bedroom.

Q: You seem to have left out the bathroom. What did you use?
A: Well, a couple of my friends bought this property in the beginning of summer 2010. It was intended to be a spiritual retreat and was left unfinished by the former owner. When my friends took over the property the main house and a couple cabins were mostly finished. The bathroom had not been installed in the main house and we used a compost outhouse.

Q: So if you didn’t have an indoor bathroom, what was the water situation like?
A: My boyfriend Carson and I moved in there in August, a few months after my friends bought the property. At this time there was no running water and we acquired our drinking water from a spring box on the property. Our showering situation, throughout the warm summer months, was in a creek on the property and my friends put a PVC pipe in a natural drop in the creek to spout out the cleanest mountain water you could ever shower with.

Q: Did you ever have any strange encounters while showering outdoors?
A: Honestly, it was one of the most peaceful ways to wake up in the morning by having a cool shower in the creek. I did however on one of these mornings encounter a copperhead. He gave me a fright but then went on his way.
Q: What did you do when it got colder outside?
A: As the months got colder showering in the creek was less desirable and we began to install a water system for the house. The guys living on the farm dug the water line and installed the water pump in to the well.

Q: Did you have electricity at the property?
A: The main house had electricity, but the outcropping cabins did not. At night we lit a lantern and used this for our light source in our cabin. It was fun to read by the lantern light at night. I felt very pioneer-esquee.

Q: How long did you live there?
A: I was there from August 2010 to December 2010.

Q: What was your favorite part of living there?
A: I loved how close I lived to nature. It was all around me. From the southern sun shining in my bedroom in the morning to the coyote cries at night, I was constantly reminded that nature was the reigning queen. With the lack of modern conveniences (water and electricity), one is forced to live a more simpler, resourceful life. I enjoyed the outdoor kitchen and washing dishes from our rain barrel, I enjoyed using native herbs and making tinctures, and I enjoyed getting up in the morning and collecting water from the spring box to make the coffee. I now still live on top of a mountain, but with a more plush set up (water and electricity and indoor bathroom!), but I still try to live a simple lifestyle. Being resourceful and utilizing the natural elements around me. 

Q: What tips can offer to people who would like to use the natural resources around them more?
  • Rain barrels are a great way to collect water and then distribute it to your garden or favorite indoor plants. Do not use this water for drinking though. 
  • Look up the plants native to your region and try planting a few in your backyard. Chances are they’ll thrive in their local landscape! 
  • Try composting your table scraps and then give your garden a nutritive boost. 
  • Passive solar is an amazing design in houses, it allows you to utilize the most sunlight when it’s winter and efficiently cool in the summer. However, most of us can’t have the luxury of building our dream houses, so you can install solar panels and in time save on energy bills! 
  • My number one tip though is to get an outdoor clothes line - our grandparents were on to something!

So there you have it! Are you all running out to buy a clothesline now? Seriously, I am so blessed to have Linds for a sister and I hope you all enjoyed reading about her cabin adventures. So what is the most interesting place you lived at?

1 comment:

  1. I've been trying to get the hubs to put a clothesline up for me for ages! We also have plans for a compost pile, but haven't been adventurous enough to tackle one yet.

    I love getting to see my sister! Glad you girls had a great time!