Today Mr. Nielson bundled up in his winter coveralls
and told me he was going to do some investigation work
on the land of our future home.
This piece of beautiful land sits about two miles away
from headquarters near the mesa.
Under the grass, juniper trees, and cacti, the ground could potentially be
hard limestone, which means we will need explosives to carve
out a footprint for our future home.
Lucky for us, a few men we go to church with blow things up for a living.
My children are secretly hoping that limestone covers
the area so we can see and hear an explosion.
To be honest, I do, too, because I want to save and use some of the limestone
throughout the inside of the house for fireplaces, mantels,
possibly flooring and whatever else I can think of.
I am really excited to find natural materials here on the land
to incorporate into our home.
I have become more deliberate about designing this home as
I look for ways to save money, utilize light and color,
and at the same time, use the space we have for
comfort, enjoyment, togetherness, and especially for memory making.
I love the book "The Hands-On Home" by Erica Strauss.
Her thoughts about homemaking and simple living
speak to me, and I find them true and interesting.
Now that I live on the ranch, her words are especially
poignant and wonderful as I raise my family and start a
future here on this magnificent land.
"Statistically, our homes are larger per person than they've ever
been and more crammed full of stuff than anyone a few
generations ago could have dreamed possible.
And yet, few of us spend much time at home.
We sleep at home, and store things under our roof, and maybe,
if we are very lucky, we have a job that lets us work from home once and awhile.
But we do not live in our homes, not really.
Our life is spent somewhere in the hours between the drive-through
we pick up in the morning on the way to work, the microwave
meal eaten alone beneath the beige walls of our cubical,
and the delivery pizza we order as we drive home.
We spend money to maintain and furnish our home,
but we don't produce things there.
The simple moments of being in our place, making a home, and
rooting deep into the fabric of our community are now a rarity.
We are not radicals. We're just trying to find a new,
more rewarding balance between the hands-on roots
of our grandparents and great-grandparents and the
Many of these basic human skills have rural or homesteading roots,
but even people who enjoy living in the highest density urban areas,
in small apartments, or shared housing are proving every day
that any home-no matter how small- can become a little more
self-reliant, a little more deliberate, a little more hands-on."