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Tree House in Woods in Germany

Hello Shelter Team,
First all the books of you was a nice inspiration for me and my project. The last three years a was planning a tree house lodge here in my beautiful hood. I rent a part of a forest close to an old castle.
   For two weeks we had the opening and now you can rent the house and go for a deep walk in the forest. I’d like to share the pictures with you in hope that you will like it and we can get in contact to show to more people outside what we did here.
   Best, Peter
You can find more pics on our Homepage and Facebook.

Leopard Shark Last Night

The water is SO warm right now. Only one other time in all my time on the Pacific Coast. Especially when sun-warmed water is flowing out of the lagoon. 60, maybe even 65 degrees. We are stylin! Couldn't swim due to rib injury but I just went in the ocean and floated. Such a difference from normal. Oh, you guys that live where the water's warm -- ecstasy. To be able to swim relaxed, no tight wetsuit.
    A fisherman caught this little (3'-4') leopard shark. It had never occurred to me how beautiful they are. I mentioned this to a surfer friend who was there and he said, Yeah that's true. It had been hooked in a fin. The fisherman got the hook out and it took off out into the sea. There's just so much going on in the world every day!

Hell's Comin' Down - Primal Scream

Hell's Comin' Down by Primal Scream on Grooveshark

Saturday Morning Fish Fry: Salmon/Ribs/Portland/Timi Yuro

Left: salad with cucumbers, parsley from garden, cattail shoots
Salmon are biting. My friend Louie said there were 100s of boats out near Pt. Arena last week. Salmon and halibut are around these waters too. I keep being impressed by our local fishermen, who have to make it out a channel through breaking waves to reach the ocean. Not for the faint hearted; every few years a boat gets dumped. Certainly not like motoring out of a wave-free port. Now that I'm back on the beach a lot, I'm admiring the shore fishermen, especially those going after striped bass. Their gear and techniques, a zen-like skill. Hey with all the rotten news all over the world right now, the ocean right here is healthy; glass half-full…I'm pretty miserable (can I whine?); a bike fall didn't feel so bad until a few days later, I cranked down with a plumbing wrench on a 1-1/4" pipe union, pain like a hot knife in ribs. Shit! Turns out not to be broken rib, but tear in intercostal muscle. Like my friend Paul says about rib injuries, "Please God don't let me sneeze." Puts big dent in my plans to take a skateboard with me to Portland next week…Hey you people who know Portland: I've got an extra day or so, want to shoot photos of barns and farm buildings (my favorite architecture) within a few hours of the city; any tips?…I can't figure out how I never heard of Timi Yuro, the diminutive singer in the '60s with the huge voice; I gotta admit, I'm in love. She was constrained by Liberty Records but even with Nelson-Riddle type strings backing, she was a powerhouse. One only can wish that she'd had Jerry Wexler or Phil Spector arranging for her. The following song is with Phil:
What's a Matter Baby (Is It Hurting You)(12-'62N)stereo by Yuro, Timi on Grooveshark
She sings a little flat, which has a sweetness. On some songs, a lot of similar phrasing to Etta James."

Building Officials in UK Allow Couple to Keep House Built Without Permits

The Good Life goes on! Couple who spent five years building an eco-home in the country have been allowed to keep it despite not applying for planning permission
Matthew Lepley, 34, and Jules Smith, 54, left London five years ago to build their dream house in the countryside. They decided not to apply for planning permission because the process "uses too much paper and electricity." They used railway sleepers, lorry tyres, and scrap metal to build the house in Beaworthy, Devon, but no power tools. The home has an outdoor compost toilet, no power or running water, and an underground pantry instead of a fridge. The couple were told by Torridge District Council they may have to tear down their home after neighbours' complaints. But now a government planning inspector has ruled that the house may stay because of its eco-credentials. Angry local residents say: "It's disgusting how some people are treated one way and other people treated another way."
Click here for complete story and lots of photos.
Photo: SWMS.com
Sent us by Anonymous

Twenty Eight Feet - Life on a Little Woden Boat by - Kevin Fraser

Dear Lloyd, I made a short documentary about a friend of mine who lives on a small 50 year old boat and is one of if not the happiest person in my life. The movie is short but I think honest and hopefully a little inspiring. The movie has been touring film festivals but just yesterday I was able to upload it online and make it available to the world for free.… Kevin Fraser
 
http://www.kevinafraser.com/

Tiny Homes on the Move Slide Shows/Book Signings in Oregon Next Week

I realize this blog has been a bit sparse lately. Mainly because I'm funneling almost all of the building posts to http://www.theshelterblog.com. Also, it's kinda stressful to get something new up each day PLUS I'm starting to work on our new Stretching pocketbook.
   Next week I'll be in Oregon doing slide shows and book signings for Tiny Homes on the Move
-Portland - Powell's, 1005 West Burnside Street, Wednesday, July 30, 7:30 PM
-Corvallis - Grass Roots Books, 227 SW 2nd St., Thursday, July 31, 7 PM
-Eugene - University of Oregon, Library Browsing Room, 1501 Kincaid, Friday, Aug. 1, 4 PM. We'll be giving out some mini books.
   I'll be posting from Oregon, so things will pick up by next Tuesday (July 29th).

The Devil Made Me Do It the First Time - Billy Joe Shaver

…the second time I done it on my own…
The Devil Made Me Do It the First Time by Billy Joe Shaver on Grooveshark

Around the Homestead


It's raining, not pouring, but hey! It's lovely—highly unusual for us in summer…I finally got our well (for watering garden) going again yesterday. New jet pump, new 80-gallon pressure tank…it's a 15' deep well that we dug with a backhoe in 1980…put 8" pipe with saw kerfs (slits) in middle of hole, filled with rock…1-1/4" pipe goes down inside the 8" pipe…used the soil we dug out to make adobe bricks with a Cinva-Ram, and they form the back wall of our greenhouse…retains heat nicely…corn is 8' high, more vigorous than ever before…I've been collecting seaweed, last week got leafy parts of bull kelp, dried it, and it's really salty and flavorful…I'm a couple of years ahead on firewood…we end up with a lot of pallets from book shipments, and lately they're all heat treated ("HT" stamped on them), meaning they haven't been insecticided, so I cut them up with chainsaw, good addition to oak and euc picked up on road…we just added a new hoop greenhouse from Farmtek…"EZ Build Gro Cold Frame," very simple, quick to put up, metal hoops (a la quonset shape), 10' wide x 14' long x 7' high, UV stabilized flexible woven poly fabric, lasts 10 years…it's really warm, even on overcast days…tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers…

Friday Fish Fry

Swimming After decades, I'm back in the water. My 20+ year competitive running career ended with knees that needed to be preserved for old(er) age. I was swimming from age 4, competitively in high school,  teaching swimming to kids, then surfing, lifeguarding. Still surfing until the 80s, when I got into running. Looking back, I went from the ocean to the mountain—Mt Tamalpais—running its trails, including the Dipsea Race about 15 times.
   Like a dolphin, I'm back in the water, and realize how I've missed it. I'm wet about 5 days of the week now—ocean, lagoon, bay, rivers, ponds, or creeks (waterfalls). I love to swim, especially in beautiful spots, feeling the pull.
   I swam butterfly in high school, was never much of a freestyler—just didn't have the stroke down. Well, in the '90s we started taking our kids to the Ann Curtis School of Swimming in San Rafael. Ann was a gold medalist Olympic swimmer from San Francisco in the '40s, and all of us swimmers idolized her.
   One day, when the kids were taking their lesson,  I asked if she'd give me a lesson. Well, yes, something like $35. She gave me 3 exercises to do that she'd been taught by her coach in SF, Charlie Sava. When you take a stroke, leave that arm out until you bring your next arm around and touch it -- then take the stroke. Another trick was to have your thumb brush against your side as you pull past your body. My stroke straightened out in 15 minutes and I was stylin. She got really excited. Since that day, I've had a relatively smooth freestyle, and never feel better than when I'm swimming.
Left, Kirsten Dirksen of Fair Companies was here last week, filming our homestead. Click here to see her impressive lust of videos, many on tiny homes and owner-builders.
Close encounters with animals A cottontail was scampering across the trail Tuesday evening, so I froze. So did she. We stayed like that, eyeball to eyeball for maybe 30 seconds, then she scampered off with flash of white tail. Then yesterday I came close to a young strong buck on my bike, stopped, and more animal/humanoid eyeball contact. Admiration on my part. Deer rotate their ears, like sonar dishes. Finally he scampered into the bushes, where there was another buck about his size. Buddies.
Foraging I'm getting my kayak/clamming operation together. Got 10 horsenecks, 40 cockles. Boy, is it hard to get the skin of the necks of horsenecks—any suggestions? We Cuisinart up the white meat, add fresh corn kernels, dip in flour and egg, fry in hot oil. Last night I had a salad of crunchy cattail shoots along with our own cucumbers.
Irrigation I'm working on installing a new jet pump and pressure tank for our shallow (15' deep) well. It's been a hassle—haven't got it working yet, but determined to.

Hitting the Road

I went on a short bike ride last night and stopped for a few minutes. When I went to get back on the bike, I put my weight on the left pedal with my left foot, gave a push to get rolling, and swung my right foot over the frame to get to the other pedal. As I did so, my baggy shorts caught on the seat, and I couldn't get my foot across. Momentum carried me and the bike over to the right and I hit the pavement, taking most of the blow with my forearm. Man, did it hurt! (Now I know why cyclists wear tight shorts.)
   You know the first thing I do when I fall (usually it's when skating)? I look around to see if anybody saw me. No one was there, no cars on the road, so I just lay there for a while. Next in my sequence is to assess the damage; how bad am I hurt? I felt a real strong pain in my right lower ribs, and groaned really loudly. It seemed to help. I started taking deep breaths, still lying there, and the pain got better. Voila, I was off again, and lucky to just be a little bit sore today. Let's hear it for Ibuprofin (+ hot baths and Tiger Balm)!
Go Right Ahead by The Hives on Grooveshark

Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott - A House of Gold

We have a world-class radio station right in our neck of the woods, KWMR. I've taken to listening to it around dish-doing times of the evening, like 7-8 PM, when they play variety of music I like: bluegrass, country, blues, reggae, rock n roll, celtic…Last night I heard this, what beautiful harmonizing…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWb4SHdfpJM

Red-shouldered Hawk Last Night

This young beauty (Red-shouldered Hawk) showed up around 6 PM last night. Shot this through the kitchen window. It's been circling at times of the day, with its kee-ah, kee-ah cry. We think it's a young one, and that its mom practiced some tough love and kicked it out of the nest to search for mice and snakes on its own. Kee-ah,kee-ah…

Toots Ain't Gonna Work on Maggie's Farm No More…

Maggie's Farm by Toots Hibbert on Grooveshark

The Shelter Blog and Lloyd's Blog

I'm changing the nature of this blog. I (we—Shelter Publications) are going to focus on building, carpentry, homes, gardening, and the like on our brand-new -- ta-daa:
http://www.theshelterblog.com
   It's been up for a couple of months now, and its look and function have been steadily improved by Mac Wizard Rick Gordon. Evan's doing most of the posting (I'm funneling my posts through him), Lew is starting at 3 posts a week, and we're encouraging builders to send us photos and descriptions of their latest creations.
   We hope to build this up so it's a player in digiworld —we're aiming for some major readership. We don't think there is any blog or website out there with the type content we are generating. Think of all the buildings and builders in our books—now coming out daily.store appearances (a slide show and book signing for Tiny Homes on the Move), and getting such good vibes. It feels like we're a tribe. We're interested in the same things—doing stuff for ourselves (as much as possible), having a warm, attractive, natural-as-possible handcrafted home, growing some of our own food…
   Remember, it's "theshelterblog," not "shelterblog." The "the" is necessary to get to the right place. This blog—my own—will continue to follow my idiosyncratic path through life. Wherever I go, I'm taking you, the reader, along with me, riding shotgun. It gives me an extra incentive to explore, to search, to inquire, to shoot photos—if I can come back and tell others about it.

Wicked as It Seems - Keith Richards

Wicked as It Seems by Keith Richards on Grooveshark

Halibut Are Biting

This is a 12 pound halibut from fisherman Andrew. The orange stuff at lower right is roe. I wanted to prepare it for eating, but it didn't appear to be fully formed enough to use. Cooking with roe seems tricky. After filleting, we got six meals from the fish (4 vacuum sealed and in freezer).