Monday, August 6, 2012

BEACH COTTAGE BASICS ~ off grid AND UN PLUGGED


 Cribbage, coffee and flowers
  Howdy friends! I missed you!

 We've just returned from our annual get away to our tiny off-grid BEACH cottage. How about a nice cup of cottage coffee while we catch up! It's percolated, do you mind?

Paula Dean Percolator

My husband recently went to work for a company that  sells " smart home" communication systems. Imagine controlling nearly every electronic device in your home with one controller?  SIMPLE! We got a new TV two years ago and I still don't know which controls turn on what! I'm much more savvy with a computer but we don't even take our laptops to the BEACH. We UN- PLUG on purpose leaving  all electronics except our cell phones ( without data packages) home. Oh, we could bring them but that would interfere with the peace and quiet we go there for.


 We do have outlets for charging our phones. In the olden days ( before solar ) we used to charge them in the car!


Let's start in the kitchen/dining room. We don't put on any airs at the cottage. It's under 500 square feet so there isn't a spare inch of room for fluff and foo foo! We like things cheerful, functional and clutter free! We have an apartment sized gas stove for cooking and baking which I love!


Max is always a willing blogging accomplice! I know what you're thinking and I agree whole heartedly! That flooring is hideous! We've made some improvements over the years and the kitchen dining flooring is the last thing to do on the inside list! Maybe, just maybe we'll get to it THIS fall!


I think a red and white checked floor would be fun! We could paint over the rustic pine planks that lay beneath the vinyl or just get some vinyl floor tiles and be done with it!


It's not elegant, maybe not even photo worthy but I LOVE my cottage sink. It's a reclaimed cast iron workhorse of a sink with the nicks and bruises to show for it! Note there is only one handle for water. That's because we don't have running hot water. We heat water on the stove for washing dishes and for tea or hot cocoa on chilly afternoons in the fall. 


Another thing on our to-do list is to remove the last of the sticky blue contact paper from the shelves left over from a 1970's re-do ( be glad you didn't see that phase) and paint them white!



  Before we get to the " inner workings" of solar power let's take a look at some of the other rooms!

Reclaimed dresser
 This is the master bedroom! Their isn't room for full sized nightstands on either side of the bed so we use midsized book shelves... they work great! Who wants dust knickknacks' on vacation? We want to read and rest which we did plenty of!  Besides, keeping up with Max's hair is more work than we want to do already! 

Futon on the sleeping porch
  I made the curtains and pillow covers from fabric I got at the 2.00 fabric store!

Valance
Instead of using a curtain rod I used grommets and hooks to hang the valances in the dining nook. 


Here's a shot of our small bathroom wall. Small but colorful! Outdoor showers are very common in beach communities. For us it's the perfect solution since we don't have an inside shower. Ours is solar heated by two barrels we refill with water from the hose as needed!  The sun does the rest!

Solar Shower


 We do have flush toilet ( luxury )!  It runs off of a solar powered pump that fills the tank with gray water collected from rain fall.

Solar Panels

Pump for filling the potty

Water tank and Gas tank



Drain for capturing rain water from gutters


You may have noticed a recurring theme in our cottage! Sailboats and...

DAYDREAMING!

After a relaxing week of resting my body and my brain I'm feeling inspired! I came home with way too much laundry to do but that's not all! I also have several book ideas swimming around in my head and I'd really appreciate your feedback!

 Also, if any of you has self-published a book ( eBooks count ) tell us about your experience!


 COTTAGE COOKING  ~ recipes from a small ( OFF- GRID ) cottage kitchen


YARD FLOWERS~   25 most reliable CUT flowers ( including heirlooms) for the hobby Gardner.




HOUSE FLOWERS~  Simple DIY floral arrangement's for the hobby Gardner  



                Give me a yes, no, maybe so in the comments section. I would love to know if any of these titles sound interesting or helpful to you! What other titles would interest you?

Do you ever UN-plug for a day or more at a time? What do you do with your time away from social media? Do tell! 



Thanks for sharing a bit of our " Home Sweet Cottage " with us and for stopping by for " flower a day " posts while we were away! 

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