Living “Outside the Box”

Cob home window with wine bottle decoration.

Cob home window with wine bottle decoration.

I see almost everything in life so completely ‘out of the box’ different than the rest of the world, that sometimes it’s hard to live amongst those who only see it the way we are forced to.

I can’t believe people are so use to the absolute insanity that they just assume that what we live in, the quagmire of pure shit, that there is no other way to live.

My goal is to live free and clear of all debt. Yes, ALL debt. I am saving every stinking penny to buy 5- to 10- acres of raw land, build a cob home from recycled materials, grow my own food, raise my own meat. I don’t want anyone to say, “Hey, it’s been 30 days, send us more money!” If I work, it’ll be for the joy of the occupation, or interaction of the society. I have been planning this for 5 yrs. I have the area picked out and had saved over $20,000. Yep, I was almost there … until I got Lupus. Then, all medical costs came out of my savings. Pretty sad when American’s get sick and go into debt…incredible debt. UnBELIEVABLE debt…

But, I digress. Living off-grid doesn’t mean living like a hermit, hippies, or 1790s homesteader…okay, maybe a little like that latter. In today’s world, technology is strong enough that one can live with solar or wind power. One can drop a well in and/or collect rainwater. (Yes, I am very familiar with laws that say we can’t collect rainwater.)  You can build a home –  a beautiful, creative, warm, safe, and amazing home for less than $2000. Hell, you can build a cob home for less than $200, if you’re creative enough. I have been collecting parts for my cob home for 4 yrs and wish to God I could start tomorrow.

One of the important factors to living away from gov’t intrusion is to make sure you aren’t anywhere near anything they own: For example, power lines. There are all kinds of people gonna be wondering around your business if you’re near power lines.

Linda Smiley's Laughing (Cob) House

Linda Smiley’s Laughing (Cob) House

Another issue to buy land outside of city limits. The Powers That Be insist people in the city all live by making it mandatory for everyone to pay for water, sewer and garbage – whether they want to or not. (See? Fucking crazy!) You get outside of the urban dung heap and you’ve got more freedom.

The only ‘debt’ you’d have would be annual property taxes. I went into the county tax assessor and told them I would be buying land and wanted to live without paying anyone. I asked what my property taxes would cover. They said:

“Road construction and maintenance and local government staff salaries within the community are all things that are paid for with your tax dollars. Any municipal employees, such as police, fire fighters, and the local public works department are also paid through your property taxes.”

horse After a long conversation, I told them that was very nice, but, “No, thank you. I don’t want any of those services. And since my automobile was driving on roads that were pretty much built 30, 40, or 50 years ago, they sure as shit weren’t using our money for that. Besides, aren’t my annual tab fees enough? How about I get a horse and buggy like the Amish!”

You can imagine the conversation at the tax assessor’s office. And, actually, the employees there were just as interested in building a home out of mud for cheap as I am. (Funny how people are all broke and tired of struggling). They were all excited about looking up the “Tiny House” movement and the options of clean, recyclable Cob home or Straw Bale houses.

So, if anyone out there is interested in living on OUR earth as the birds, deer, and other life does – living in a beautiful home that doesn’t destroy anything, free – no 30 yr mortgage – then here’s a few places to start:

Note: Cob homes have been around for hundreds of years. They’re all over England, Ireland, and Europe and yes, they are still standing. Here’s a beautiful video of cob houses that is just amazing to sit and watch.

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