Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Posted by: Lynne

Shedding!? No, not the dogs or cat, but shedding stuff. Going through a household of things that haven't been used or looked at since we moved here nine years ago is not an easy task. Sorting, packing, throwing things away, etc. It's not much fun but it has to be done. I must admit that bits of it are rewarding:

1) I have a big box full of Berner things that I am donating to various Bernese Mountain Dog fundraisers. On April 2 I will meet with someone coming from Maine and heading down to Pat Long's area. We are meeting not far from my house. I like the thought that I've got some really good things in there that should raise good money for them.

2) I sorted through my stash of knitting yarn and found a bunch that has never been used, the skeins never touched, that I don't want anymore. I called my local knitting store and they said to contact an assisted living or elder care home. So I contacted the Chelsea here in town (a lovely place!) and they were thrilled to accept the donation, so I dropped it off yesterday. Now I can imagine my yarn helping someone with arthritic hands through knitting therapy.

3) Today a took a marionette that I bought in Germany some 30-odd years ago when we lived there to our town library. She is wooden and dressed in a striped housedress and white eyelet apon. She has a mobcap on her head. I've always thought the expression on her face was rather creepy to tell you the truth. She's just been sitting in a box since before we moved to New Jersey. I figured that they might like to have it for their story hour. Oh my goodness! The librarian who presides over the children's part of the library was totally enamored of my little hausfrau. She was so excited — she just kept hugging her and telling me all the things she would be great for during story hour, one of which I thought was perfect: Mother Goose!  She was truly grateful and seemed to hardly believe her good luck. I felt so good about her having a good home where she can be useful. (I just hope the kids don't find her as scary as I did.)

All these things that I donated will go on to give their own particular piece of joy to someone. And for that I am so glad.

Shedding can be a good thing!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Cabin Throwback Photo

Posted by: Lynne

Alex, the snuggle bunny. How we miss him!

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Saturday Cabin Throwback Photo

Posted by: Lynne

Mom and me cookin' in the kitchen. I think we were making lasagna.

Photo taken in 2004

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

You’re going to WHAT?

Posted by: Lynne

That's the kind of reaction I get when I tell people we are retiring to our cabin in Colorado. We also get lots of questions. What follows are a few examples.

Q: Where is your nearest neighbor?  A: Over the hill.

Q: Where do you get your mail?  A: We're not quite sure but we think down at the Wooden Shoe in Wyoming. We have to figure out how to do it because we live in Colorado, yet get our mail in Wyoming.

Q: Do you have electricity? A: Yes, but provided by the wind and the sun, not by any company. We do have a gas-powered backup generator. We have a propane tank for heat, range & fridge.

Q: What about phones? A: Our cell phones don't work very well up there. There is always chat on the computer! Either that or go outside and stand in a certain spot in the yard.

Q: Do you cook on the wood stove? A: Well, we can but we prefer to use our propane gas range.

Q: Do you have all-year access? A: Not really. We could be snowed in for weeks at times. It just depends on the snowfall and the wind.

Q: What happens in case of emergency?  A: In good weather the hospital in Laramie is only 45 minutes away. For winter if could be iffy. We can always sign up for a yearly contract for emergency helicopter service.

It's at this point where people's eyes are starting to glaze over ... I can tell they are losing interest.

One of our friends (whose mother is in a nursing home) asked if someone was available to come in if we needed home health care. Our answer was that if you were to the point where you needed in-home care you don't live up there anymore.

Q: Where is the nearest restaurant? Uhm, that would be Wood's Landing. It's a great place. Be sure and try the bull fries, they are actually quite good. Also feed the jukebox money and play yourself some Ian Tyson. Maybe dance a little two-step?

Q: Where is the nearest mall that has a Nordstrom's? (that question coming from neighbor Kim).  A: Hmm...not sure. Cherry Creek in Denver?

And the biggest and most frequently asked question: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO???



Hopefully go horseback riding with our neighbor.

Watch the clouds.

Take the T@B and travel around. See new sights.

Take the summer one year and drive to Alaska.

Rick wants to learn how to play the guitar.

I'll continue to knit.


Look out the window.

Watch the wildlife.

Cut wood/stack wood.

Live life and enjoy every minute of it.

Any other questions?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Our New Expedition

Posted by: Rick

Ford Expedition, that is.

For three years we'd been wanting to replace our Chevy Suburban (Big Red) with a newer truck. After all, Big Red was born in 2002, and had well over 100,000 miles on him (her?). If we were going to move to the cabin and subsequently pull an RV around the country, we knew we needed a new truck.

But, we could not find an adequate replacement. We had hoped to get a new Suburban because of our loyalty to Chevrolet and the great experience we'd had with a long string of Suburbans and Tahoes over the years. But, Chevrolet had completely screwed up the cargo area several years ago. We need a large cargo area where the seats can either be removed (like in Big Red), or folded flat. Flat and level. Turns out, while you could get the cargo area in new Suburbans relatively flat, the surface was certainly not level. This is not good at all for the dogs because they'd slide to the back of the their crates. I can't imagine it works for other cargo either including groceries and other supplies. Stuff would just slide to the back of the truck. Really dumb.

I guess since 2002, the Suburban was no longer considered a working truck but rather a soccer mom / big family transport vehicle and the size and weight and 4WD was all just show.

We heard rumors that the 2015 model would fix the cargo area fiasco. So, we waited. 

It didn't.

So, we looked around at Toyota (Sequoia), Nissan (Armada), and Ford (Expedition). The Toyota was ruled out, even though it had an adequate cargo area design because it seems very big and not very responsive. After all, this would be the car Lynne often used for shopping and running errands up till the time we move. We ruled out the Ford because of the way the second row seats folded. We liked the Armada and were on the verge of buying one when we discovered that the Ford Expedition second row seats did fold flat and level! And, after a couple of test drives at Leo Kaytes Ford in Warwick, New York, we were sold.

However, Lynne had the brilliant idea to trade in our Subaru Tribeca (Becky) instead of Big Red. That way, we could use Big Red as our "beater" truck at the cabin. I was planning to buy an old used Jeep Wrangler to use for 4WD, fishing, and to put a plow on it for winter. But, if we kept Big Red, he (she?) could fill that role and we would not need to buy a vehicle. Brilliant.

So, we said goodbye to Becky (she was an annoying car, but to be fair, a very reliable one) and bought a 2015 Ford Expedition. With all the bells and whistles.

Next challenge. We like to line the cargo area with a canvas liner to protect the carpeting and seat backs. And, we've always bought our liners from Canvasback. But, they did not have what we needed. We needed a liner that would protect the entire cargo area with the 3rd seat folded down. (We never used the 3rd row seat in the Suburban and likely won't in this truck either.) And, with the 2nd row seats either up or down. I talked with the people at Canvasback and they were willing to make a custom liner. I did the measurements, drew up a proposed pattern, and sent it to them. For $159 they made a beautiful custom liner. Now that it is installed, I'd make one change to the pattern (and I've told them this in case I need to replace this some day), making it easier to raise and lower the 2nd row seats.

Canvasback custom liner:

If you need a liner for the cargo area in your car or truck, get it from these guys. They are great! While I was at it, I replaced the old, dirty liner in the Suburban.

So, now we have two large 4WD SUVs. But, I must say that the Ecoboost V6 engine on the Ford is getting good gas mileage. And, it will do very well towing Lady Bug, and any subsequent RV we choose.

We've taken another step on our way to life at the cabin! Oh, and we've named the Expedition Lex and it is definitely a guy!


Follow our adventures living in an off-the-grid cabin in remote Colorado. Kind of like reality TV on a blog!

Introduction to Off the Grid

Follow us on Twitter and be notified of new content:

If you’re new to this site please visit the archives to catch up.


Login  |  Register


Quote of the Day

“Someday we’ll look back on this moment and plow into a parked car.” – Evan Davis


Calendar of Entries

June 2017
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  


Photo Galleries

Recent Comments

  • I can help paint the trim while I’m there!

    Posted to: ‘Before and After (and In-Between)’ by Carolyn Clarke on 06/25/2017

  • Snow in late May! That’s crazy! Glad you got the cabin spruced up—it looks great!

    Posted to: ‘Before and After (and In-Between)’ by Steve on 06/25/2017

  • Hey Rick and Lynne - So awesome! It’s so nice to see you enjoying retirement!…

    Posted to: ‘We're Retired!’ by Anny Randel on 06/07/2017

  • A fabulous picture of Mesa Arch in Canyonlands!  Even though I’m not ‘officially’ retired so…

    Posted to: ‘We're Retired!’ by Carolyn Clarke on 06/05/2017

  • It is so cool we no longer have a Monday to get back to or…

    Posted to: ‘We're Retired!’ by Susan on 06/05/2017

On This Day...

  • Nothing today