Alicia Reed

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since Jul 01, 2015
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Recent posts by Alicia Reed

I have gone and surprised myself with my twisting-turning approach to planning again. Haha.
After another look in a less discouraged mindset, I think I will reinforce the deteriorating portions of wall with a form and poured concrete. Still less concrete than a conventional build, and making use of the existing structure, which I do believe will still hold weight once sealed in and once the falling/fallen bags are removed.

Any tips on this would be welcome!

Wondering if I will need reinforcement/ties to keep this concrete from falling away/separating from the bags? Some rebar placed in the wall, perhaps?

As for the kids and their helpfulness, I am doing a celebratory happy-dance today because I just camped out on the property with the kids on a *whim* yesterday (big deal considering the preparations often desired with four tiny humans) because being out there with them was actually *enjoyable* rather than just being extremely disheartening and very difficult. It's not their fault, of course, they were all two and four years old last year! It has just been a very trying phase of life. But I am finally back to starting to feel like myself, again! I am outdoors making and doing stuff with my own two hands, which makes my heart very happy.
2 months ago
Well, here is the ugly side of a failed green building project... I started the work nearly 4yrs ago now, and had to stop everything when an unplanned pregnancy turned out to be triplets (and the child I already had wasn't quite two when I had them). Life has been pretty different since then, finances had to go elsewhere, and no one else around me really knew about or cared for the green building idea, so unfortunately everything sat and went to waste. The bags are extremely damaged by the sun and the contents are all spilling out freely. People attempted to tarp them, but the tarps deteriorated as well or blew off, and the elements had their way with it all. It is what it is.
I can still barely do a small project in my own backyard these days with all of these toddlers in tow, but I am going through a divorce and need to relocate soon-ish. I would love to get back onto my property (we lived in an older fifthwheel then), but will definitely need to remove everything before I can start anything new there. That is the building site I would like to use, however, and the rubble trench foundation being there already would save me some money on this new build.

I was wondering if I could get some advice on a best method or approach to tearing down old walls.
It will probably be a pretty unpleasant task no matter how I spin it. But if someone has had experience in this area, and might have some insights, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you in advance for your time and any information you may have to offer.
3 months ago
I am in beautiful North Idaho with 10 paid for acres. I have been wanting very badly to start some kind of ecovillage and/or live an alternative lifestyle for a long time now... My original goal was to develop this property, sell it and then use that money to buy a larger parcel that my friends and family or others could join me on for an intentional community/ecovillage that my kids could live on when I was gone if they still wanted to.
Unfortunately/fortunately a lot of unforseen events and learning has happened since then. Haha.
I have 4 toddlers, 3 of which are 2yr old triplets (which was an unexpected pregnancy), and my primary job and hobby these days is being a mom, plus a few side jobs babysitting, housecleaning, window painting, and starting photography for a modest income. I stay very busy and it's kind of overwhelming. My ex husband wasn't ever really into the alternative lifestyle (more of a videogamer). I have a boyfriend now, but between him wanting to help me with the kids, his job that calls for a lot of overtime, and him not really having building experience, conventional or otherwise, progress still isn't really being made. He says he would feel better about it if he had help out there, which I do understand as he really doesn't have any building experience and having help makes a big difference. But when I go out there with all of the kids, I am still basically just dealing with them the whole time at this stage in their development. Haha.

I have a rubble trench foundation and started earthbag stemwalls and was thinking to finish the walls with cordwood masonry on my experimental unfinished barn that I started before I had the triplets. I am still considering developing this land a bit before selling it and using the money from that sale to move elsewhere. I am not really sure yet. If I had help, my helpers could live on the land (off grid) rent free with a little cabin or a trailer, and could get the first opportunity to buy it when we sold (at a reduced price roughly equivalent to the work they put into it) or they could get a cut from the sale money. They would also be invited to come with us if we buy land elsewhere to continue our pursuit of an intentional community or ecovillage. I am seriously considering Oregon, but I can't say for sure yet what we will do as the future is anything but certain.
If it was something we all agreed with, there is also the possibility that we could start a mini community right there, but I would want for it to be something we all agreed to and, as previously mentioned, the future is so uncertain. If I didn't want to stay the above 2 options would be the primary ones, and if you didn't want to stay I would sell so you could get compensation for your work.
Whatever happened, my helper/s would have their opinions and preferences heard. I strive to be fair and I am pretty laid back and like to make things work for everyone if it's possible. I am in a position now where I need some help and I am very open to input or suggestions.

Looking forward to seeing your responses. Thanks for your time reading and/or replying.
1 year ago
I realize that this is an older post, but if the original posters or anyone else is having a similar vision or goal, I am in sort of a predicament where I could really use more hands on 10 acres I already own in North Idaho. I actually might have goals to try to move to the Oregon area eventually, though that isn't certain yet, and if someone was willing to help me get the 10 acres in Idaho into a better position to sell (and they could live there rent free while working on it) then we could work together on choosing a new place in Oregon, if that was our goal, or I could find a way to sell to you guys directly or give you a cut when we moved on. I am pretty laid back, if unconventional. Haha. A lot has happened since I bought this place... The biggest factor probably being that an unexpected pregnancy turned out to be spontaneous triplets. I very much want to be making progress in that area of my goals/life, but I just don't feel that I have the hands and time to do it myself and take care of all of these toddlers!
I will make a separate post as well, but figured I would throw this in here.
1 year ago
Hey Mark, the county my land is on has a very laid back building permit thing that mostly concerns itself with the locations of your buildings. They don't want to see you building near clean water, too close to the edge of the property, etc. They also have concerns over fires and such I think, but I can't honestly recall all of the details that well. It is pretty loose though.
Then the county immediately north of it has no building permits at all whatsoever.

The land is owned privately by myself.
That could be pretty neat! You're about 3hrs away from my property, haha, but I bet we could make a work exchange in the future that would be beneficial to the bother of us anyway.
I posted a while back, and I wanted to make a new post where it was clear that I am in a good relationship right now but am still looking for like minded friends! A community is invaluable.
I am pretty far north; I can make day trips to Canada. Haha.
If there are other moms in my area, especially, that would be amazing, but I like friends of all types (guys or gals, young or experienced and wizened). I have 10 acres that I want to live self sufficiently on. The goal is to build a home with alternative building methods, run it on solar power and grow a food forest! I like fishing and want to take up archery. I love all art forms and want to take up just about every craft that exists. Haha. I also love to be active and am a bit of a health nut, but not "judgy;" you do your thing and I do mine and we are all pretty awesome for it.
And while I love to be active I do admit that the kids do make that more challenging. Haha. Otherwise I would be looking for jogging/running buddies, too. I would love a yoga buddy!

Hope you are all doing well and wishing the best in pursuing your goals!
I am another Idahoan looking for friendship with like minded folk.
I am up North kinda close to Canada.
If I'm not actively doing something or making a little progress on a day to day basis, it really bothers me. I also like to create things. So, pretty much making and doing things. Haha. Though I like free time to spend outdoors just for fun, too. Being outside, ideally in a rural or wild location, is an incredible source of stress relief for me. Right now I am a mom of 4 young kids so it makes free time a little scarce, haha.  (While I'm on the topic of the kids, some sleep would be nice! ) I like feeling accepted by a few close individuals for who I am and how I think.
2 years ago