Not much really.
But I'm feeling like I haven't posted enough and I have a few minutes. I was going to start digging the garden this afternoon, but there is still a lot of snow on the ground from yesterday and the ground is SOGGY which makes for tough digging. Perhaps in an hour it will all be better. Or not.
Doing taxes today. It's a bit late, but what can you do. I just have to get the crap together and do the totals. The tax man then works his magic and I pay the bill. That may not seem frugal, but he gets me way way more back than I get for myself and I hate hate hate doing it.
Here's hoping I get enough back to up the land savings.
I've thinking through the lovely off-grid or semi-off-grid cabin I hope to have someday. I've found a floor plan that should work. 2 small bedrooms with a good size living/dining room, tiny bathroom, and small but do-able kitchen. There is an easy way to add a loft if I put the right type of roof on it.
I've been wondering about heating. Passive solar and possibly having the cabin partly underground on the back and sides will do part of it. But those 18-below nights we had this winter with days on end with no sun, I will need some supplemental heat. I'll also need a way to cook in the winter when there is no sun.
Woodstove comes to mind. Most are too big (put out too much heat and take up too much room).
BUT, check out this thing:
Is that not adorable? A tiny cookstove. Those are regular sized mugs off to the side, not HUGE trompe l'oeil deals. It has a 2 burner top and a smallish oven. Of course, it may well have a 20minute burn time which would be a problem. BUT, you can also order a drop-in alcohol burner for one of the top burners. That way you can cook in the summer without burning wood. That could come in pretty handy for a cup of tea in the morning before the sun is up. It doesn't need much in the way of clearance and can be set up on a (non-flammable) counter. When building with mudd and rocks, all of that can be done. You can also get it in lovely enameled colors. The downside: it costs more than most of the cars I've owned. The upside: I buy crap cars so that still isn't that much. It's in the 2500$ range for standard black iron. It's also cool because it's built with patterns or moulds from the 1890s.
Anyway, if that is too much or not enough here are a couple of other options:
This, despite the size of the photo, is bigger than the last one. It is a convection heater so the top is hot, but the sides aren't. This saves a great deal on clearances around the stove which will be a big deal in a small cabin. I've also seen where people buy the regular radiant heat stoves (cheaper) and cob right around the stove will very little airspace. This lets the stove heat the cob (mud, straw, clay mix) for a longer heat time than just the burn time. That's all well and good but again, takes up space and starts to make the house look "hobbity" which I HATE. If I wanted a cozy round house I'd be a rabbit and live in a hole. I want a square house like god intended. Unless it really works, in which case I'll learn to live with a hobbity stove.
And this little number from Australia is cool:
Four burners and an oven. BUT, it's bigger and would probably overheat the house on most regular days. And how much bread do I need to bake?
There are some other options, like harvesting methane off the decomposing animal waste (yes, poop) into a propane type stove/oven. I'm not sure I'm enough of a hippie to cook my food over poo-fumes. I could probably tolerate running a hot water heater with it because that flame is isolated from the water. But a stove with a turd-gas flame right under my food....too much.
So we're back to woodstoves...
Anyway, someday I'll post the floor plan I found (if I still like it in a few weeks).
It's very compact without getting all hippie dippy.