• Subscribe to
    Lloyd’s Blog via RSS.
  • Check out TheShelterBlog.com
  • Tools for the
    Half-Acre Homestead

Norma's Floating Store in British Columbia

Built by Bruno Atkey in Tofino, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, in the '70s, and towed 26 miles to Hot Springs Cove, where Norma Bailey ran a "…great floating store selling emergency supplies, esoteric items, and Wild Coast history books," according to Godfrey Stephens, who just sent this photo.

Mavericks Surf Contest Live Now (Feb. 12, 2016)


Inspired by Shelter in 1973

Hi Lloyd,
On first looking into your Shelter book in 1973, my fate was sealed. Since then, I have made my own ceramic tile, been a tile setter for 35 years, and am a serial remodeler and builder of tiny houses. Pictured here with my original Shelter book. I recently came upon your Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter, and have been inspired anew. Rage on!
Fred Ross
San Anselmo, CA

Golden Valley, Minnesota Hereby Nominated for Oppressive/Despotic City Award of the Month

Article by Eric Boehm in Watchdog.Org Minnesota Bureau:
"Nanny State of the Week: Town inspection checks whether you cleaned your toilet
Local officials in a Minnesota town want to make sure their residents are keeping a tidy home.… Officials in one Minnesota town are willing to spend more taxpayer money on an appeal after they were told they can’t inspect rental properties without a good reason.
Two landlords in Golden Valley, Minnesota, who recently found themselves on the receiving end of inspections from city housing officials now find themselves dragged into court to defend their right to privacy. They say they were within their rights to block what the city calls a mandatory inspection of rental properties.
Even after one Minnesota judge ruled that Golden Valley can’t conduct inspections without a good reason, the city is spending more taxpayer money on an appeal.…"
Sent in by Anonymous

Wonderful Wildlife Photography by Jack Perks

Barn Owl

"As part of my work I'm lucky that I get to work all over the UK but I very much enjoy finding wildlife thats local to me and on the way to doing a workshop for Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust I noticed a barn owl flying over a field. I drove down a country lane and parked up alone a fence line and sure enough the barn owl landed metres from me an amazing sight that was totally unplanned and still made it in time for my workshop."


Anyone got tips on hearing aids?

One of the best things about doing this blog is the feedback. In the “comments” section, I've had people recommend all kinds of things: tools, movies, music, remedies that I have found useful. So here I'm throwing out a question about hearing aids. I need to get them, but hate to spend $2-$3000 on each one. I think it's a racket, maybe an oligopoly of sorts. They shouldn't cost that much. Also, I don't need all the latest bells and whistles.

I've seen $3-$500 hearing aids, but one problem is that I need them to be waterproof because I know I can't remember to take them out each time I get in the water. I'm just not that consistently conscious with the requirement of daily life.

Any tips?

Redwood lumber at Goodman Building Supply in Mill Valley, Calif.

via Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BBilt6hgMnN/
Went there a few days ago, made me realize how much I miss building. The smell, texture, colors make me want to put on my tool belt.

Tiny Log Cabin in Southern Poland

"This tiny log cabin provides a snug and romantic retreat for couples. The compact cabin is part of an inn on the outskirts of Czerwienne, a village in southern Poland. Unobstructed views over fields and forests to the Tatra Mountains can be enjoyed from the cabin’s front deck.

The cabin is very tiny, as in tiny-house-on-wheels tiny. The ground floor has only a small sitting room and a three-piece bathroom, while overhead is a sleeping loft just big enough to fit a futon bed. There is no real kitchen, just a mini fridge and microwave in one corner, but guests have access to a shared kitchen in the inn’s main building. If someone did want to live full-time in the cabin, a small kitchenette could probably be squeezed in against the bathroom wall.

A small woodstove provides the required cozy cabin ambiance, but there is also the luxury of a heated stone floor in the bathroom, as well as a jetted shower. Aside from the bathroom floor and the protection for the woodstove, the cabin’s walls, ceiling and floors are all finished in rustic pine boards.…"
You can rent it for $36 per night: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4711612
Sent in by Anonymous

Scarecrow With Attitude

On Mark and Meg's NorCal homestead

Healing Broken Bones

I fractured my wrist two months ago. Once I got the cast off, I took these steps to hasten bone healing and restoration of hand strength:
 a) compresses with fresh leaves and/or roots, wrapped in Saranwrap, then velcro bandage, then heat pad for a few hours. You can also purchase dried comfrey leaves and roots.
 b) Dr Christopher's Tissue and Bone Ointment; check out the 400 customer reviews on Amazon here.
Comfrey is a magical plant. It's also called Knitbone. I used it years ago on cracked ribs and made me feel better instantly.
Medical Marijuana 
Another miracle: Mary's Transdermal patches -- cannabidol, CBD (the type marijuana that has healing properties, but does not get you stoned). They cost $20 each, but boy, have they worked for me. Left on for 12 hours. Took away pain. The next morning I forgot I'd had an injury. With about 5 days of these two remedies I've gone from maybe 50% to 80% of full recovery. http://www.marysmedicinals.com/
Calcium citrate and vitamin D3
My doc recommended.
Yes, check them out. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/2015/06/23/07152c22-1909-11e5-ab92-c75ae6ab94b5_story.html
Bone broth
I've sort of done a blitz with these treatments and it's wonderful to get my hand working again. I haven't actually gone to rehab yet, because there is so much I do naturally in my daily life with my hands that I'm not sure I need "exercises." Each day I do more.

Stretching at Your Computer

Our software StretchWare is now free. StretchWare is the ergonomic software that reminds you to stretch, developed by Bob Anderson, author of our book, Stretching.

It's a great program; every hour or two hours, or certain number of keystrokes, a Tibetan bell rings and a window pops up asking if you have time to stretch. If you do, you click okay, and the stretches pop up on the screen. When you roll your mouse over an individual stretch, instructions pop up in a window.

It works on both Mac and Windows computers. Go here to download:

BTW, we were kind of amazed to learn this week that our book Stretching sold 38,000 copies in China last year.

My 5000th Post!

For some years I was really into blogging. These days I post a lot less, what with doing Instagram, contributing to theshelterblog, Tumblr, Twitter, and reluctantly, Facebook. A blizzard of internet activity.

The idea is to get our "content" out in digital form to compliment our publishing of hold-in-your-hands books. All this with "build it and they will come" approach. We're working at having theshelterblog be more and more of our original material as opposed to stuff already on the web.

We've also upgraded our website in the process.

I'm also posting less because I'm immersed in production of our next book, Small Homes. Which is looking, ahem, incredibly good. This may end up being our most relevant building book ever, with a variety of simple homes and lifestyles that will give lots of people ideas and inspiration to create their own shelters.

Sure, tiny homes are wonderful and photogenic and a welcome relief from homes that are too big and expensive and rents that are too high. But small homes are relevant for way more people.

So far we've done 97 (out of approx. 200) pages. A sample we just completed today:

So onward I go with the book, posting less. But hey, 5000 posts is a body of work (along with all time history page views of 7,448,979)…

The Magic Machine From the Past

My friend Ralph said that his granddaughter had gone up into the attic and discovered a typewriter. She came running downstairs.

"Grandpa, you push this button and instantaneously a letter appears on the paper!"

Like, no waiting for the printer.

For Stones Fans Only

If I had to pick one, I guess my favorite musical genre would be the blues. Something that reaches to my most inner depths.

BUT there's just something about rock n roll that grabs me out of the blue, so to speak, every once in awhile. Gimme Shelter came on* when I was doing dishes last week, such a perfect song, one for which I have several rather deep connections.

A few notes by Keith, 2 drumbeats by Charlie then a few triplets of ooo-ooo-ooos from the girls before:
Oh, a storm is threat'ning
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away

Then on came Let It Bleed. We all need someone to lean on. So true.

Check it out 60s R&R fans. Like every few years I listen to Blonde on Blonde or the Band's first album.
*on our very fine locsal station KWMR, which plays world-class outstsanding music

Chicken Coop & Chicken Run - $1425 - SF Bay Area

Looks pretty good.
Cape Cod Coop & Run4' x 6' x 6' (Coop)
Reclaimed Redwood Siding
3­ - 8 Chickens
Painted Metal Roof 
3) Nesting Boxes
1) Roost
2) Windows
1) Clean out Entry Door
1) Chicken Entry Door with Retractable Ladder
Coop & Run Color painted
Total foot print 6'W x 14'L x 6'H (Run & Coop)
4' feet of it underneath the sides of the coop.
1/2" Hardware Cloth. Roof and sides.