"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau

 

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Wednesday
Jan302019

Upgrades and Pay-back Time

It’s a funny thing. People will spend thousands of dollars on upgrading their kitchen with new cupboards, fancy granite countertops, Italian taps, lighting, hardwood floors etc etc. Or similarly they renovate their bathroom with new everything, but those same people will not spend their money on putting solar panels on their roof. For some reason the idea of ‘pay-back time’ is applied to solar panels, whereas ‘pay-back time’ is not even a consideration with kitchen, bathroom or other upgrades.

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Tuesday
Jan222019

Our Straw Bale House

We built our straw bale house 10 years ago. While living in Winnipeg, I came across a book on straw bale construction at our local library. We did some research and thought about it for awhile, then, because we wanted to move to the country anyways, decided to take the leap and build our own.

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Tuesday
Jan152019

What’s Happening in the Oil Industry?

Tar sands in alberta 2008Last week I again found myself waiting at a railway crossing, waiting for a train carrying oil to pass. As I waited, I got to thinking. Such trains were a rarity just a few years ago, but they are becoming increasingly common. We are told this increase in rail traffic is occurring because there is a lack of pipeline capacity. Without pipelines, the only way to move the oil is by rail. We are pointed to the Trans-Mountain Expansion Project, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, Keystone XL Project, all pipeline projects on hold.

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Wednesday
Jan092019

Home-in-a-Hill

We built our home-in-a-hill near Richer in 1985. We worked with an architectural draftsman on the plans and during the planning stage discovered we were building on a granite shelf so we couldn't afford to put in a basement.

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Tuesday
Jan012019

We Built a Clay-Straw House in 2009

Ten years ago when our last child finally graduated high school, we decided it was now or never to follow through on our many years-long dream of building a house... an alternative house … in “the country”. We had investigated a number of construction methods … straw bale, stack wall, rammed earth, earth ship, log, etc. ...and lent a hand as friends and others we got to know through the search followed their alternative house building dreams.

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