Friday, August 26, 2005

I am feeling disheartened. We've been rentign the place I'm in for a year and a half now, and having 5 kids in a 1 bedroom house has been pretty stressful. I don't really care to attempt it with the addition of a newborn baby. Previously, I didn't make enough to be able to put even a tiny down payment down on a place of our own, or to qualify for much of anything at all. Now, with slightly higher wages, I do...and I don't scrape bottom every month like I used to when I was working seven days a week and hardly getting by (now I work only 4 days a week). Unfortunately, land prices have since skyrocketed at what can only be termed as an insane rate. The people here do not make enough to afford the prices that the real estate is selling at. Newcomers moving in had better have a damned secure retirement fund or something...because they are extremely unlikely to be able to sustain themselves otherwise. Personally, I harbor the malignant thought that we haven't had a truly nasty, i.e. normal north Idaho winter for a very long time, almost a decade. It just doesn't routinely hit -35 anymore, let alone stay that way for several weeks. People gripe if it delves to the comparatively mild -15.... See, that's what we need, a true blue Idaho winter to drive back some of the new growth so that the ones who really love the area with all its vagaries can afford to stay here.


I know exactly what I want: acreage and a house.

The acreage: preferably at least 5 acres, though I'd settle for 3-4 happily enough under the right conditions. Water, in the form of a well in existence or a price low enough that I could afford to have one drilled. Power and phone and access (why would anyone buy land that they cannot legally get to??!!) It needs to be in an area that doesn't restrict me from having the goats...otherwise I had might as well get some dismal place in town. In all honesty, I'd prefer something that hasn't been raped to death (in other words, clear cut), but I would buy clear cut land if the price were low enough...regrettably...and then replant portions of it. Better than getting bought by someone else, paved over and planted in lawn or worse, allowed to rejuvenate and then clear cut once again!!!! Also, after seeing what happens with goats in a very damp, low lying place, I'd sort of like to get something a bit dryer overall, or for it least to have a dry area on it somewhere for the goats. Ideally, said area would have rocks for my girl to practice their caprioles on ;-) but again, I don't mind hauling boulders in for them.

The house: actually, I don't want a perfect dream house ready to move into. A run down fixer-upper or a mobile home (we could move one onto the acreage if the prices of both allowed for that) would be just fine for now. What I really want is to build my own place, myself. I want to sink my soul deep into the house and the land, to plan it all out and live in the work of my own hands.

So, the house: Paper bale construction, made of recycled paper that'd otherwise wind up in a landfill somewhere. The foundation could be either of recycled tire bales or plastic bales (for example, baled up plastic laundry bottles- yes, there is such a thing). By necessity and design, such a house has to be one story and of either a very basic square or rectangular design. I like simple rooflines anyway. Exterior finish, concrete stucco, a soft sienna color, with light french blue trim. Interior, some heavy duty plaster that'll stand up to scrubbing, with whitewash finish or paint in cool whites, paler versions of the french blue, and perhaps soft buttery yellows. Floors- either soil cement in sienna or ultramarine tones, wood (plywood would be fine) or possibly clay/terra cotta tile or natural stone in some areas, *sealed* against dirt buildup and cushioned with woven cloth rugs. In the bathroom area, a floor drain. Kitchen- a large stainless steel sink, the sort you find in a diary or restaurant. You know, the kind we have in the deli where I work!! It drains by turning a handle from the outside- I love that feature. Mostly I want the kitchen to be bright and sunny, not dark, dismal, or depressing. In fact, I want the entire house to be fairly bright and natural. No drywall anywhere....I have come to loathe drywall...and I would like to incorporate large built in planters (of soil cement) throughout the house: in the kitchen for a small herb garden garden (possibly under an overhead drain rack or near the sink for easy watering), the living room, and the bathroom. Well.....bark plaques of orchids might be OK for the bathroom....:-) Anyway, lots of windows, lots of light. I need to find an energy efficient way to use a lot of windows..because one of the huge benefits of paper bales is their very high R value.

More on this pipe dream (sans pipe) later.....

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