Most Amazing $5.00 Gift Idea For Everyone!

My gift to all my friends and followers at Offgridjourney.co and Facebook’s Living off the Grid is this little gift idea that is a lot of fun for anyone!

My grandpa taught me to make and use one from one of my Dad’s old boots and laces when I was five years old.  Needless to say, Dad never had old used boots again.  They must be leather.  If you don’t have leather boots, leather gloves will do, or leather suede of a decent thickness.  Garden gloves are probably the cheapest option I can think of.

Round boot laces are strong, as leather boot laces for this project.  If you find they break with heavy use, watch for my next videos where I’ll take you through some options to make an even better design once you have some experience using this one!

The ones used in this video were given away to friends last night.  I want to label my first disclaimer here…. this is not for use near people, cars, houses, or anything damageable.  Go out in the woods and use with caution.  If you give to a child, be prepared to teach safety first!  Directional control takes time and practice.

Part of the thrill of this gift is that some may choose to make one and give it away.  Others, you may choose to gift a wrapped leather boot, or a leather glove and laces as a wrapped gift, and take the person who received this gift to the computer here to set and watch this video and make one.    Subscribe here or to my Youtube channel to be updated with videos on how to improve your skills to follow later!

Now go watch the video and see what I’m talking about:

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11 Year Old Girl Leads Her Family Off The Grid!

I am always excited when I see someone following our page and accomplishing something with it.  Angie Allison had this to say about her daughter:
My daughter aged 11, we think she started to live of the grid herself,  I now have a garden, table and chairs to remind us of this day.
She’s been on your page and is now collecting ship loads of pallets!! They’re being stored at the woods ready for spring..
We live in the Uk – this was last summer – July.1473759_10152046753263563_1040935326_n 1499732_10152046753268563_1865983974_n
More and more of us are following the trend, because it’s a no brainer.  So much of the world was living a lifestyle of indebtedness, and following the real Estate collapse in the U.S, the entire world felt the economic downturn.  The backlash from all that debt, and it’s downfall is the understanding that to move forward and learn the skills necessary to get by with little will prepare the next generation to be economical, to live with what they have, to be savers, and to avoid debt while getting ahead.  In the long run, I see the light at the end of the tunnel!  It is a world with less debt and less stress who will be more stable and able to cope with what may come!  
Way to go little Miss Allison!
David Webster
Facebook’s:  Living off the Grid

Hansel and Gretel’s Real Life Storybook Dream Home

IMG_5264This Hansel and Gretel storybook house was built in the 1980s by Richey & Karen Morgan.  It’s stone bridge, tree house, and five fireplaces are just a few of the adornments that make it larger than life!  It was up for sale as recently as March of this year for the asking price of
$359,000.
Located in Olalla, Washington, a short ferry ride away from Seattle in Kitsap County.   IMG_5265Keep your eyes out for the seven dwarves as you meander across the lush yard. Cross the stone bridge and view the 1000 year old treehouse. StorybookHouse1The massive doors and knockers help to complete the feel that you just cannot escape when you enter this land!
Featured in Country Living & Evening Magazine & on the cover of 2004 Storybook Homes calendar. Let your imagination soar, as this could be a unique estate, B&B or
daycare. Unfinished wing with add’l Br’s & baths. True work of art.
Marlow@SeattleDreamHomes.com

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God Help Us There’s Cancer in the Air!

nurseIvan had shingles, a miserable painful sickness that he struggled with for two years.  He had a small skin melanoma removed.  But for 95 years old, he was fit as a fiddle!  He took care of my 88 year old Grandmother right to the end.  He mowed the yard, took care of the gardening and the maintenance for the little mobile home park his son managed.  Suddenly he was struggling to breathe.

It was one month later, and my grandfather had died from a tumor in his lungs.

After being on a battle ship at Midway Island in WWII, where Kamakazi planes crashed and exploded, and his best friends had their heads removed by incoming gunfire, my grandfather held two careers: lumberjack_by_peteropanda-d4ya9y1 he was a logging man for a number of years, and then he painted airplanes for many years, breathing in those vapors of the epoxy’s and resins that are supposed to be so harmful.  But at 95 years old, we figure that’s a good long life even in todays standards, so we don’t think much about all those dangerous things he did in his life, they didn’t really shorten HIS life.  It was the war that really shortened lives.imagesCAOC9OZ7

My mother was a health fanatic once she and Dad reached a certain age.  I was young and didn’t care so much.  Carob wasn’t chocolate, and was just plain gross.  Carrot juice… yuck!  I watched Grandma Berry drink it ’til her skin turned orange.  I pinched my nose because it was “good for my eyes.”  I already had 20/20 vision, so why did I care?untitled

As I’ve grown older, I see more and more people around me end up with cancers and tumors of all types.  In todays world, we al l know somebody who has or has had cancer, who has defeated it, or who is suffering from it.  It is the sheer numbers that makes us vigilant.  We in this world are on a warpath to finding the cure.  Not only that, we have become vigilant as to halting all possible causes.paleo

So what are we doing?  We are on a witch hunt.  Anything that might cause cancer is demonized, and we cut it out.  No grass fed cows, no Monsanto GMO produce, no cell phones, no electricity, no xrays, no prescription drugs, no milk, no sugar, oh wait… I like sugar too much… no refined sugars.  I’m a practical man.  I don’t jump to tout anybody’s claims without reading up best I can.  If I post something that sounds good, and get beat up by my audience with claims of ” I can’t believe you post that garbage,”  suddenly I retract my post and do some more research.  I learn the most from all of you and your vast collective experience.

No carbs… stretch before you work out… wait that’s old news….. don’t stretch before you work out.  Diet food is good for you… no wait…. diet food is the problem.  Because nobody is doing a good job testing and reporting their findings, we all are experimenting on ourselves, on our kids, on our parents, and just hoping the treatment we have convinced ourselves of isn’t just a placebo.food pyramid

I’m so excited about Facebook, and some of the amazing things that can happen here.  If you think about it, Imagine what wives tales we can debunk, and what truths we can uncover!  All of these years of medical history and tracking to discover how things work.  But with a billion people on Facebook, and 700,000 of them on this page, I think about the possibilities.  I can ask you all how many of you drink milk every day and seem to have dry eyes?  How many drink milk and do not have dry eyes?  And in one quick sampling, we can find the answers that took weeks or months of medical appointments and questionnaire forms.

I would venture to say that we have more than ever now, the capacity to discover! imagesCAQA1QE6  We can discover things that were impossible before!  And it’s likely we’ll find one thing, or two things, or five things, some unexpected things that have been causing cancer, and causing tumors or autism…. besides just our genes.  It could be that the radiation from Churnoble is still in the air and causes cancer, or that magnets cause cancer, or that it’s a particular chemical in facial cream, or something they put in vitamin C.  Who knows what it is, and we can only do what we believe makes a difference.

Let’s use our tools and technology to better separate facts from fiction and to label unknowns as what they are.   If we have a health department, they need to be honest about what harms and what helps our health, and what we really don’t know.  And then they need to  publicize what is known in a place we can find it.

Let’s get to the truth! And we’ll find we are helping our children to have a better world!phone

PS… If you’re going off the grid…. make sure your phone has internet.  You won’t want to miss all the fun!

David Webster

Every Boy Builds a Fort, These Were Mine

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137426473217714121800701197_treehouse_sootheWhen I was nine, my Dad built us a treehouse between two trees… it was like a deck with a railing, and we slept up there in our sleeping bags.  The stars were clear as was the mountain air.  We lived at 5200 feet elevation in the California mountains.  Shortly after, Dad added a cool zip line with steel cable, and custom plumbing pipes to hang on to.  That was totally rad!

As we got a little older, we had a place in the woods… we took a night hike every night, but just beyond the reach of “our rocks” where we spent our childhood jumping off to dad, there was another section of rocks with a view of everything.  There Dad taught us to take old dead logs and build a fort.  We learned what to do. 137426403735514121800501197_treehouse_pirate

Then on our own, when Dad was still at work, we went back to the fort.  We took open the saws on our newly acquired swiss army knives, and completely stripped a couple little trees of their branches.

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We totally covered the fort with fresh green, and voila!  Camo!    Dad was’t so happy.  I got in big trouble for stripping a live tree when he saw it.  It wasn’t long before the camo began to brown, but as winter came on, brown and pine needles kept it camo… and that was cool.  Camo was in, so we had our rubber-band gun fights and bb gun fights in camo.  Yes bb guns… you know… motorcycle helmets, leather jackets, thermal underwear, two pairs of pants, and goggles.  Ready we were for bbgun wars.    We slept out there at that fort too.  But a few nights, and the ants really started to bug us.  Ah well… you don’t notice when you’re sleepin.tumblr_inline_muoe5eEEvZ1r1inq8

As we got a little older, we built a fort under ground.  We had our army shovels, and a bucket.  We sent in the one who drew the shortest straw… into the bear cave to see if it was occupied.  Apparently not, so we began digging.  We used the orginal bear cave entrance, and dug a hole part way down the tube.  that hole turned into about 8′ x 10′ about 8 feet deep.  It was a big room we made where we all fit down in there.  We then started digging a tube way down in there, and then carving out an underground room at the far side of it.  We propped 2×4’s and ply wood over head to be sure it didn’t cave on us.  We covered the open pit with 2×4’s and ply wood, then covered the whole thing with pine needles and leaves.  700_tree-houseNoone knew it was there but us.  We didn’t use it much that year.  We got it done just in time for school to start or something, and then winter.  We left it be.  I came back next season to see what’s up with the fort.  It was filled with mosquitos.  I dare not enter lest I be dinner.  Fort abandoned… ghost town.

Chad, Geoff, Ron,  Paul, Chris, Dana, we were a routy bunch of kids, but who would know?  We had a whole mountain to ourselves.  When Nintendo came out, our outdoor time became divided by The Legend of Zelda.  But that couldn’t keep us away from the snow or from another great fort project.  The last one we built was quite amazing for a few big kids, but we knew what we were doing now. 137426389951014121800301197_treehouse_minus

We could dig, we could climb any tree, we could nail, and we were more resourceful.  We had three redwood trees that formed a triangle, standing tall like you can’t imagine.  Considering that they were the only redwoods in the forest, we really appreciated them.

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They ranged from about eight feet to about 12 feet in diameter at the base.  We climbed up the bark into the branches, then would climb just for fun and goof off.  But with this project we were serious.  We got our swiss knives and cut branches, bringing them in from everywhere.  We created a large canopy between the three trees that arose about 20 feet overhead.  So between the trees, there was this high covering.  We could walk around.  We dug the hill out between the trees and created a large level place.  We slept out there… about 10 of us in all several times for the night.  It was quite amazing, and I still wonder if there are any kids out there building cool stuff like we did on our own. 1f0cde64ecf96fa4b957d5a554a67cf1

You ask if I had a mother?  Well of course!  We didn’t have cell phones.  If I was far enough out, I wouldn’t get in trouble because I couldn’t hear her yell.  Eventually she got a big dinner bell, and rang it outside to call me home.  It rang across the mountain, so I really had no excuse.  Besides the forest was between our house, and Chad’s house, so if we didn’t come, she called Chad’s mom, and she would come out and whistle for us.  We would come down, and she’d say:  David has to go home.  Sometimes I got a ride.  But usually I had to run back up.  And it was about 600ft in elevation, so that was quite a run!

Most guys who have great experiences like these I have shared with you… just drool over these tree houses. bridge-entrance They want to play in all of em!  They want to build!  And so I do!  Happy browsing and dreaming, and making plans for your next endeavor!

Dave

 

 

 

 

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Stories from today

Thank you to all of you who have offered beautiful pictures and stories about your day, about what you have seen, or what you have done.   Just seeing is enough to spark an idea and get the creative juices flowing to try something we’ve never tried before…. to adventure out, or to be inspired:

1475841_260170220804922_2139943429_nElizabeth Scarff Beck

  • 1746 springhouse, lancaster county, PA – natural spring water flows through the stone building in a renovated brick trough then out into the pond. Pond never freezes due to the continual flow from several underground springs that continue to bubble up from the ground.

     

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    This uniquely designe home was a picture shared with us today.  Absolutely beautiful, but I’m not sure of it’s origin.
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    Yannick Ille shares:
    On top of a mountain, in East Java, I saw a few buildings totally off the grid. I could not see any road to access it. Probably a path in the jungle. If you look carefully, you can see it on my picture.
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    Brian Robinson Claiborne County, Tn. Teaching my daughters to hunt, fish, and raise a garden. Along with teaching them that nothing comes easy or free, that they must earn their way in life and that as long as they work at life they can achieve anything.
    1005029_774161765931229_820265885_nBeth Moses I’m in North Florida….I think the only place where it’s NOT ridiculously cold!  I worked in the garden today – the cool crops are not liking 85 degree heat, but I think it will finally cool off a bit tonight 🙂  Today, I went and looked at several wood stoves for the cabin that is still in the planning stages, but will be started this upcoming year – finally!  Today was hay/feed store day 😉
    Jennifer Lee Charlton-Dennis We’re in N.E. Ohio right in the Lake Effect snow belt. It’s crazy here we can get 5-8″ of snow in a day and my in-laws that live 90 minutes to the west get none. We have a generator and kerosene heat for back up. 3 kids to keep warm so that’s our little plan. Oh, plus about a week of food and water.
    Stephanie Culbreath Laney I’m planning to be debt free and living a self sufficient life within 5 years. I’m in north central Alabama and would love to hear from other Alabamans that’s doing

What do I need to know about buying land for Living off the Grid?

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Shirley Shay Lemoine Hi! I have a question and didn’t know if to post or just ask you directly and you could maybe post for me if you allow that? It’s okay if not. I would just really appreciate the feedback of other more experienced homesteaders.

My husband and I are fairly new to the concept of off-grid living and homesteading. When I say “new” i mean we have been seriously entertaining the idea for about seven months. We feel like it is time to start taking some steps towards achieving it. I have started canning and gardening but need to take more action. I know that when selecting a location to live there are many factors to consider but was hoping you all could give some insight as to a place that best fits the folowing criteria:

Good soil for gardening  Mild winters (some snow is okay)  Not too close to the New Madrid fault  Not a lot of tornado activity (I can deal with hurricanes but tornadoes petrify me!)  Legal to collect rainwater  Good gun laws (pro-gun state)  Land can have more than one residence on it  Low property taxes  Good bang for your buck property-wise

Any other feedback or advice as to other things to consider would be greatly appreciated! Again, we are still very new to this but we are both hard-working, determined individuals looking to live a simple, humble and hard working life and teach our future babies to do the same.

Thanks in advance and God bless!

Dear Shirley,

I would say you are really on the right path.  If your soil isn’t rich enough, you will have to learn how to enrich your soil to grow better.  We learned this last Summer in the red clay soil area of Oklahoma. Consider cell phone signal as there are still places that have little or none.  Does cellular service provide internet to your phone?  What are you going to use for power?  Solar? too many trees?  Wind?  Are you high enough in a breezy area?  Hydro?  Does it have a river or creek that you could capture power from the water flow?

You can use the terrain to determine your building materials.  If there are good logs, you could buy or build a sawmill to cut them up and build with.  If not, is there sand and clay both for adobe or cob?  How far is the nearest grocery store?  Hospital?  Hardware store?  Because your fuel consumption while you build will depend on how far you have to go to get things.

If you planned to build with shipping containers, the further you are from a port, the more they cost. If you live on the rocks, and plan to build with straw bales and cob, you will have to have both shipped in.

If you buy the land on payments, can you manage the payments?  Do you have work?  Can you find work?  If you rely on a blog or the internet for income, if you had a month or two or three of down time, could you do without?

Considering how far you drive to get supplies for construction, how good of shape are your cars in?  Will they survive the mileage?  Do you have to work two hours from home to get on your feet?

Do you smoke?  How far is the nearest mini mart that sells smokes?  Are you a planner?  Can you plan the ordering of supplies in advance enough to buy on line and wait for them?  Or are you going to be rushing last minute to get things at the local hardware store.

Can you build?  Can you fix things?  The more things you set up, the more you need to know.

Many of these factors are the reason we began to do this as a group.  Buying land as a group and building together, whether family, friends, or internet coordinated group, having different skills represented or around is nice.  It’s hard to know everything.  Just because you know it doesn’t mean you have time to do everything yourself.

I’m not sure the concept of simply going off the grid in the wilderness is what I had I mind for everyone.  The page has lead me astray from my initial goal… which was more of the tech installations side of off the grid.  Taking what we have and using what we learn to wise up.  Somewhere along that road, I became entranced with the idea that the insulation provided in a stick and mortar house is not enough.  We have the use of earth, dirt, concrete, straw, natural logs…. and we should use what we have to build wisely.  If we build something that takes advantage of the below ground temperatures to control the temperature of our home, then costs go down.  But that means that just about every home in America is underbuilt.  To go the direction I have begun to lead means a starting over.  I guess that’s good for the economy?  -To discover that every home is too inefficient?  -To know that everything should be torn down and made to resist the elements, the tornadoes, the earthquakes, and can be built with less skills… skills we have not been taught here.  There are no strawbale cob construction companies running around the country building homes.  It’s all about learning the techniques and doing it yourself.  (by the way, Strawbale.com has great workshops!)

My mind runs wild with all the ideas that I have been challenged with, and that I share with all of you on the Living off the Grid page on Facebook.

There are so many options, so many opportunities, that getting excited about one of them and picking a direction is great.  I hope and pray those ideas are ones that make life more enjoyable, bring you closer to God, closer to nature, closer to each other, actually being involved in the cultivation of ones own land, and the satisfaction of building ones own home.

I tend to tease…  Who needs a doctoror a lawyer when you’ve got Google?

Who needs a teacher when you’ve got Youtube?

Who needs a friend when you’ve got an iphone?

I don’t want to see families broken apart.  I want to see them working together. I’m excited about our future.  We are learning better (old)ways to keep our families around the home.  And I think that will continue to help make better lives. In America, we grow up, we leave off to college, and we get a job in some other city, and the core of family is broken.  Maybe we are re-discovering what makes life fulfilling.  We all know it’s not money.

David Webster

Facebook’s Living off the Grid