Friday, July 27, 2007

A better plan...

I wanted to simply direct any readers who are interested in the Green Building topic to check out Kaleb's comment under the pictures post and follow his links. Very worthwhile.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Strawbale House picts.

Hay there!

I use Google Reader to keep updated on a few different topics. A new feed that came my way yesterday was about houses and buildings made of strawbales. Yep the kind you see driving down the country roads! I found a further search on Google quite interesting about how to build these high efficiency homes out of material that is both practical and easy to come by. Here's sort of a new twist on an old method of house building. Wikiups and other shelters were often made out of straw or woven grasses. We have all seen or heard of thatch roofs. So why not strawbale homes? Check it out! Unfortunately children's books have shed a bad light on this building style (poor little pig) but I am sure there are no wolves huffing and puffing these days.

All the pictures above show houses that are built in this fashion. Notice the stucco look? Pretty cool.

Friday, July 20, 2007

fun day at the beach

Today was a lot of fun. Fun for me is not always fun to someone else. Like today I tore off an old shingled roof (Took 8 hrs.). To me that was fun. Sort of like when I go running up and down the dunes and through the woods chasing deer or simply exploring. Some might call that grueling, or say it sounds too much like exercise to be any fun, but I enjoy it immensely.
I did today something that pretty much everyone could call fun though. As you could guess from the title it was to go to the beach for a barbecue swimming and volleyball. Best of all it was with my family and some good friends. we had a lot of fun just talking, playing around and enjoying the beautiful weather. I kept grabbing wild blueberries and raspberries from the plants which flourished in the area. I was a little disappointed to not find any peas this year as last year there were quite a few plants which gave many seed podslast summer. The park had mowed over the area where they were to preserve beach I am sure because all the plants have grown in and closed up most of the once sandy beach. Anyways, the water was wonderful, and nature provided a wonderful playground for us. I am just so grateful to live in such a wonderful area and see the hand of God so prevalent in my life!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

my berry queen

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nature area clean-up

This evening I was able to to see the truth to; "Many hands make for light work". I work with the Boy Scouts and Young Men organization through my local church. They are a fun group and had decided to do a service project for the weekly activity. The scouts lacked a project so I volunteered to come up with one. I had in mind a park (and wild area behind it) and made the plans. It was great to see the clean-up and the difference that followed the plans.
I had expected about 20 persons but it turned out to be about 30! The whole clean-up took about 1 hour and we got rid of a lot of junk and refuse. I had been out there before with my wife and we had personally cleaned up about two large trash bags of litter. I had planned on spending a little time here and there until I could clean it all up someday so as you can imagine this project has freed up some play time out there instead of work time which I am excited about.
I love this wild area and park because it has lakefront bordering the wild area which I would guess to be about 4 acres, and it has a large park about the same dimensions. I have eaten mulberries, blackberries, raspberries and dewberries from its trees and bushes. It also has carrots, strawberries, grapes and plenty of cattails for eating. Some sugar pines offer a soft place to nap during the summer and the birds play among the thorns. I want to give anyone who reads this blog a challenge: Next time you go on a walk or to the park take a bag with you and at any time your feet or eyes cross paths with trash just put it in the bag and dispose of it.
You can do it! Let me know how it turns out!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

I had the pleasure of going to John Ball Park Zoo today with my family. I was expecting to see many wonderful animals and figured the kids short leg span would set the pace for our day. I realized right away that I was going to be the one holding us back because I wanted to learn names and habits of all the interesting animals. I have to say I am quite impressed with the Zoo and my family. The Kids did really well and when I asked Emma what her favorite animal was she said the Flamingo. She didn't explain why, but my guess is because Flamingos are pink.
The zoo had an exhibit of Brazilian rain forest animals and some artifacts such as oars and a boat carved from a whole tree trunk. I had seen many of these boats before and reaffirmed a nearly 6 year old promise to build one of these boats one day. I lived among the Brazilian people for two years in Sao Paulo as a missionary. Brazil has such a rich and wonderful culture and I brought back many wonderfull memories and aspirations. I had determined to build a boat and also oars after seeing fishermen build some in a remote village on the island of Sao Sebastiao.
Back to the Zoo... I was surprized to see how fast Wolverines walk around having always assumed them to be burly and not overly agile which was dead wrong. Also the claws on the bears were much longer than I had imagined. I have seen only black bears in the wild and it makes sense why Grizzly and Brown Bear inspire so much fear to those who only see them or hear stories about them. I intend to learn more about Bear and and understand them for what they really are. For the "real" details of our trip I would suggest Caity's Blog as she will post picts and other comments.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Medicine Man

Hello again! I have been thinking a lot these past weeks about my love for the outdoors and my love for medicine. I have wondered how to combine the two and figure on making medicine my career and primitive skills my pastime. My sister-in-law has joked about me doing my own show and so one of my brainstorms that came rolling in during the night a few days ago was to do a show called "Medicine Man" or "The Witch Doctor". I figured I would put myself in outdoor situation having some sort of medical emergency or need and show how to both do primitive skills and what natural remedies are out there, how to prepare them and such or simply things like making stretchers, splints and or hypothermia intervention. What do you think? I better not quit my dayjob right? As an interesting side note... Did you know that since more than 2500 years ago people have been chewing willow bark to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Hippocrates a greek physician reccommended extracts of willowbark to alleviate pain from childbirth. So what is in willow bark that is so special?... Acetylsalisilic acid ... otherwise known as Aspirin! Yep! Bayer began marketing the stuff in 1899 and the rest is history! Speaking of history... Happy Fourth of July!