Articles & Excerpts

/Articles & Excerpts

Floor Plan Follies

What do people planning a log home want more than anything? Floor plans. That’s according to survey after survey. Floor plans — two-dimensional representations of room layouts — are great ways for people to start visualizing their home, specifically how it will live. I’ve observed couples examining floor plans by moving their fingers through the rooms to get a sense of the flow and commenting on the suitability of various layouts for their new homes.

Given this popularity, why then, do […]

2018-06-18T10:51:11+00:00By |Log Home Planning|

One Bite Really Will Kill You

If people food is readily available, it’s just a matter of time before a bear comes exploring. If the bear has a positive experience (getting a food reward) without any negative consequences (being yelled at and chased off), it will try for what its enterprising bear-brain thinks might be an even bigger and better reward.

People tend to ignore these early stages of conflict, hoping the bear will eventually move on, or rationalizing that losing a bag of garbage or […]

2018-06-18T10:44:11+00:00By |Bears|

To Calm the Beast Within: Thiamin for Horses

It’s race day. You know it, and, to your dismay, your horse knows it too. Maybe because his hay bag was smaller this morning or his grain ration was cut back. Or maybe he just knows. Because you know. You are acting different in subtle ways that only a horse could discern, the way you always act on race day.

The horse has been pacing his stall since breakfast. Already you can see fine beads of sweat glistening on his coat. […]

2018-05-21T15:11:43+00:00By |Horse Nutrition|

High-Country Harmony Near Telluride

If you are lucky enough to spend the night in Scott and Tess Van Wagner’s 1,500 square-foot, solar-powered log cabin hideaway in the Colorado Rockies near Telluride, you might wake up to the enchanting melodies of mountain bluebirds, courting just outside the upstairs guest bedroom. If you then venture out onto the stylish, cantilevered Truman Porch—named after the brassy 33rd President who commissioned a similar, though much grander, porch to be built on the south portico of the White House […]

2018-05-21T14:50:11+00:00By |Self-Reliance|

10 Tips for Hiking in Bear Country

Hiking takes you into places wild animals call home. You’re the guest; they’re the residents. It’s up to you to learn how to enjoy spending time on their home turf without doing any damage. Statistically speaking, your chances of even seeing a bear are slim; the odds you’ll be involved in an unpleasant encounter are slimmer still.

But if you do encounter a bear, not knowing how to respond and behave could turn a dream day in the woods into […]

2018-05-21T14:42:35+00:00By |Bears|

How to Help Wildfire Survivors

by Linda Masterson, author of Surviving Wildfire

Tip #1: Never Say “It’s Just Stuff”

“Thank God you got out alive. Everything else is just stuff that can be replaced.” People mean well, but you may make survivors feel guilty about mourning personal treasures that truly can never be replaced. And since more than half of all homeowners are underinsured, many people will not be able to replace their home and all that stuff. The loss of your home is like a […]

2018-06-18T10:52:46+00:00By |Disaster Recovery|

Life as a Watt Farmer

Most of us in most places hardly ever give a moment’s thought to electricity. At least not most of the time. We don’t wonder how many pounds of coal has to be fed into the glowing maw of a distant power plant to bake a pizza in an electric oven, or how many grams of enriched uranium has to decay radioactively each year in order to keep poultry and pomegranates cold and fresh in a deluxe refrigerator. Why should we? […]

2018-05-15T11:56:01+00:00By |Renewable Energy|

Plugged Into the Midwest Sun & Wind

To hear Carole Brannon tell it, you’d think her life had become a fairytale. With a contagious smile that beams with pride, she begins her story 11 years ago, when she and her husband, Glenn, first set eyes on their remote 3.8 acre parcel of wooded Colorado hillside, just a hoot and holler downstream from the point where Larimer County abandons all attempts to maintain the road from October to April, and five miles upstream from the last utility pole. […]

2018-05-21T14:50:32+00:00By |Self-Reliance|

Keep Your Eye on the “Log Home” Prize

Whenever I speak to gatherings of people intending to buy a log home, I pose the question: What do you need most to make it happen? They’re unanimous in their answer: money. I acknowledge that money is essential, but I tell them two other things matter more. They’re stumped, but a few take a stab. Land? A floor plan? A builder?  Again, you need them all, but two things you need most to succeed in turning your dream into reality […]

2018-06-18T10:51:23+00:00By |Log Home Planning|

Why Geothermal Is Such a Smart Investment for Homeowners

New Book, Geo Power, Demystifies a Superior Heating & Cooling Choice

June 2015 — A new book, Geo Power, gives homeowners, homebuilders and architects what they need to know when considering geothermal heating / cooling, a technology the EPA calls “the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective” space-conditioning system available.

All homes, new or existing, can use ground-source heat pumps (GHPs) to harness nature’s free energy for year-round comfort. But understanding how and why heat pumps work, and which system options are […]