Saturday, January 20, 2018

Six Remedies to a Stressful Life


For many years, I have been unable to articulate  WHY we live as we do, (telecommuting consultants from an off-road, off-grid cabin in Alaskan woods) other than joking about my husband''s mid-life crisis.  Just last week, however, I figured it out when we listed all the people we know who seem to lead very stressful lives.  I realized that our very intentional living choices had the added benefit of reducing our stress levels.  No more back pain.  Better quality sleep.  A deeper savings account.

By “intentional life,” I mean pro-actively thinking about one's priorities, values, and goals in an actionable way, such as how you want to spend time, with whom, doing what.  Then enact those goals by, in part, shedding activities, people, and expenses that detract from those goals in order to free up resources to pursue what matters to you.

Our stress reducers seem to have been the following.  Maybe your list would be similar or different:
   *reduce expectations,
   *reduce expenses,
   *reduce maintenance,
   *increase exposure to nature,
   *reduce personal ignorance, and
   *reduce sense of urgency.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Building A Hot Tub in the Woods

For years, I yearned for a hot bath out here at our cabin in the woods.  Ah, the relaxation of sinking into deep warm water, maybe with a book and a glass of wine after exercise or at the end of an eventful day.

But moving, heating, and draining water are all challenges in this setting that I never appreciated when bathing in a city.  In a remote, off-grid home with six months of winter, a cold water well, and no septic system, a bathtub seems like a decadent pleasure in a former, urban life.

After several years of trouble shooting water delivery problems at Latitude 61, we finally felt confident about securing running water ... most of the time - after we re-insulated our well and water lines for improved reliability.  So I started to think again about a tub that could work within our constraints:

a) It would have to be outside, because there is no room in the outhouse, cabin, or shower house.
b) We would have to be able to fill it by hose and then heat the water by wood or propane, during long, cold winters without fear of hoses, couplings, and water freezing.
c) And it needed to be close enough to the cabin that I would even CONSIDER a cold and dry ingress and wet and slippery egress.