Saturday, July 12, 2008

The cup

I must confess that I am obsessed with a cup. Seriously obsessed.

This guy right here goes with me everywhere I go.

I will list the features I admire:
  • The enclosed top prevents debris from falling into the cup and thereby tainting its contents.
  • This cup's large size allows for more consumption of liquid.
  • The small base of the cup fits perfectly in my car's cupholder.

I fill this baby up with water several times a day. Only water is allowed to grace its interior.

The other day I mistakenly left it home while I went to the store and I felt the way I do when I accidentally leave my cell phone at home. Horrors!

Clearly I'm running low in my cup stock and should purchase more.

Note how snugly it fits in my car.

A closeup view. Note the perfect, glistening ice.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has a strange, almost creepy, obsession.

A purpose-driven life

Nearly 18 months ago, my creative and earthy sister and her talented husband bought a cabin on ten acres in the woods. They gutted the cabin and have spent the last year refurbishing it. New flooring, doors, trim, and painted walls. They don't have luxuries; but even with no phone, indoor plumbing, or running sister couldn't be happier!

They have a three year old son named Eli and wanted to raise him away from the big city. They want him to know values and a strong work ethic.

They moved out of their 2200 square foot home (they stay there on occasional weekends) in the city for a home less than half its size with a goal to self-subsist and live debt free.

They still have a lot of work to do and aren't wasting any time. This summer there will be a well for water and a 3000 square foot garage. Later they will build a greenhouse and dig a root cellar - they have a goal to grow and store most of their own food. Future plans include solar panels and a septic tank.

My parents, Connor, and I drove up there last week to see them and we were amazed at what they have accomplished. I keep bugging my sister that she needs to blog about her amazing life. She reminds me that she doesn't have internet connection. (Just a detail!).

I just can't believe how smart they live!

She met us at the main road and we had to follow her up to her cabin.

Her husband, Dean, met us along the way. He was having too much fun!

First she showed us her kitchen and homemade cupboards and curtains. She can do anything.

This is their propane-powered fridge.

And their propane-powered stove.

Their clothes washing machine.

And clothes dryer.

The bathroom facilities! She says it gets pretty cold in January.

This wood stove heats their home in the winter.

Their wind generator was a gift from their adult son, Ben. It provides basic electricity.

Eli and his cousin, Kaydence.

Barb is sitting with her granddaugher Lynzi.

Oh, did I forget to mention that my sister was in her forties when she had Eli? She and Dean already have 4 grown children.

They have chickens and a dog and there is talk of getting a cow!

This fire pit gets put to good use.

Barb has a hard time growing food in her garden because of the short growing season they have at 7000 feet.

She catches rain water for the garden.

And this is how they burn their garbage.

Eli's fenced-in play area. They are amazing parents!

This is Dean's self-described "man cave"! They are siding it with lumber.

Connor just had to try out Dean's toys.

My sister had reservations at first about selling their city home to live in the mountains. She wondered if it would be a good life for Eli. I can say, unequivocally, that my nephew is one happy camper! My sister is homeschooling him now until he's ready for kindergarten. At that time, he will be put into a public school where he will make friends.

Barb wrote an article about their homestead that was printed in the "Countryside" magazine this month. Very cool, indeed.

I'm proud of the purpose-driven life they are leading. They are extraordinary.