Homestead Visitors & Summer Fun

During the spring and summer of this year we've had several visitors to our homestead and have enjoyed working on a number of fun projects. While our main focus is on building a structure to live in, we really appreciate the many opportunities we've had to relax with friends and family.

Earlier in the season Mel's father and step-mother, Tom and Karen, traveled all the way from Virginia to visit us and to enjoy the amazing sites of the Southwest. Once our guests adjusted to the new time zone and the high altitude we began our sightseeing adventure with a trip to the nearby Petrified Forest National Park. Aside from amazing petrified logs scattered over the landscape, we encountered a number of brilliantly colored lizards, one of which stayed still for a close up photograph.

On this trip to the Petrified Forest we also made sure to explore the ancient pueblo ruins and the numerous petroglyph sites. My dad brought a pair of high power zoom binoculars along, which made all the difference in the viewing the petroglyphs, many of which were barely visible on distant rocks. After a visit to the Petrified Forest and several days at our homestead Tom and Karen went on to visit the Grand Canyon, but not before helping us out with our projects around the homestead.

The major project we tackled while they were here was replacing a toilet which had cracked during the winter. Though Patrick and I have learned a lot about plumbing since we've been out here, neither one of us knows much about toilet repair. We first tried sealing the cracked bowl with super glue, which seemed to work somewhat, but in the end the crack was too severe. When my dad offered to help us replace it altogether we were more than happy to accept.

After helping us select a toilet at Home Depot he showed us how to remove the old toilet and install the new one. The new toilet works fine and we are all very grateful to have the guest bathroom back in service. We also really like the decorative peace sign that my dad fashioned from native grasses and now hangs on the bathroom door. Our outdoor bathroom and laundry shack is collaborative project and at this point a lot of folks have pitched in to work on it.

Our friend Mark and his son Justin also came out for a visit this spring. While they were here we took a long walk out into the desert to explore distant mesas, as well as a rock formation we call "Castle Rock". With such amazing desert landscape surrounding us it is no wonder that many of our best adventures take place in the wilderness of our own back yard. After a number of visits out to Arizona our friend Mark has decided to join us in the off grid homesteading adventure and we are really looking forward to seeing what he creates.

This spring we found a litter of abandoned kittens nearby, which we gladly adopted. Without cats on the property our organic garden and greenhouse quickly become overrun with rodents. Thank goodness for more cats!

Collaborating with friends in the area we designed and created an outdoor art project. A cool spider's web suspended between between wooden posts.

Despite our summer fun, we are anxious to show progress on our house. We are currently having our house plans drawn up by a local draftsman and we will begin the permitting process very soon. Once our plans are approved by the county we look forward to sharing them on

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