EARTHSTAR CREATIVE SIMPLICITY
 DISCUSSION GROUP

We invite your participation in this forum.  Any comment or question you might have regarding the topic of how to simply all aspects of one's life is welcomed. This includes the subjects of diet, shelter, gardening, philosophy and the inner life.  You may use the provided form below, or e-mail your comments to gbrit@erols.com, specifying EarthStar Discussion Group, please.   Every effort will be made to publish your comment here within twenty-four hours of it's submission.  Hope to hear from you! 
Kevin and Donna, 


August 21, 2001
Denise, emptynoggin@erols.com
BELL plans from the Primal Conscious Living Handbook

Dear Kevin and Donna:  Thank you so much for your response.  I'm new at the
internet thing & just discovered my note and your response on the "discussion
group" page.  Thank you.. I would welcome a copy of the manuscript at the
cost mentioned.  It is exciting to hear that you both added a washroom with
shower and a bed room to your BELL.  Was it the same octagonal concept?  If
you can share some of that info. it would be greatly appreciated as I can
learn from your experience and
eliminate the need for me to trek out if it
gets cold.  I look forward to hearing from you both and
receiving the
address.  Of course I will let you all know how I make out.... Much peace,
Denise




August 5, 2001
PA'dre2Tails

IAM a 29 yr. survivor of the HIV LIE, doing the primal living thing, one thing I have noticed is words and how we use them,  I have been moving Primal for a few years, found 41,700 acres of land that we are moving to build a long life center (monastery) Village of fellow people  of heart and thought.  ONE of the main issue is word use from our IAM forces, also be-ing Native american helped in this understanding .  Every thing that grandmother earth, and grandfather sky has to given to us is NEW and FRESH. the WORD DIET means death in waiting in suffering ,verse NU-TRITION.  Just a thought I wanted to share with your tribe, clan, village or pack.  We are also part of a LARGE grant for global reforestation.

If interested in how to make your project FAR more self sustainable please check us out ,FUN@saveoutplanet.org ,and
Http://safefarming.homestead.com .  THERE truly is a global movement to change
 
PA`dre 2Tails
RamahRanch@aol.com

August 2, 2001
Dear Denise,

Thank you for the wonderful post you added to our website as well as the
  encouraging comments about what we are doing.  (BTW, I love your e-mail  address...i.e. "empty-noggin", you must be into Zen or eastern philosophy  too!) That is great news that you've acquired land and are interested in  creating a simple lifestyle based on what the Essenes demonstrated.  When  we discovered Szekely's info on the BELL we were frustrated trying to  figure out how to construct one also. In fact, we wrote to Norma Szekely in Canada and requested the BELL pamphlet but it too was very inadequate.  We  had to figure it out on our own and modified the shape to an octagon to  make it easier to construct ourselves.  The BELL is very comfortable as  long as you insulate it well.  We originally built the 20 foot diameter  structure and lived in it for a year and a half, then last winter we added  two rooms; a 12'x8' bathroom (with tub and sawdust toilet) and a 12'X9'  bedroom.  Our total square footage is about 513 and it is wonderful for the  two of us. The total cost, building it ourselves (including a carpenter  who finished part of the bedroom and bathroom) was less than $11,000.  The  original building, was less than $5000.  We were selling our book, Primal Conscious Living well when people were concerned about y2k, but since then there hasn't been much interest.  I would sell you a Xeroxed  manuscript copy which includes a framing sketch of the BELL as well as a  layout of the kitchen, woodstove and furniture.  The book goes into more detail about natural diet and has a little bit of simple living philosophy.  If you want a copy send enough to cover the printing and  mailing cost, (about $10.00).  Let me know and I'll send you my mailing  address.  I look forward to hearing more about your plans for creating your homestead.  It sounds like you've done alot of research and thinking already.  Best of luck and peace be with you.

Kevin

July 31, 2001
gwynno@lmi.net


I promised that I would make a list of alternative building sites and
related sites that I have found, and post it on the board. Here it is:

LIST OF ALTERNATIVE BUILDING SITES AND RELATED SITES, in no significant order.
http://www.simpleliving.net (see "housing" and other discussion boards)
www.dirtcheapbuilder.com  (excellent!)
".huduser.org/publications
".shelter-kit.com
".zipperlock.com 
".americanquonsetking.com
" .mfdhousing.com
" .homepower.com/education
" .nrdc.org/cities/building/rwoodus.asp
" .hopedance.org
" .oikos.com
" .strawhomes.com
" .weblife.org
" .lehmans.com
" .watereuse.org
" .geocities.com/~newliberty/earthstar/intro.htm
http://www(no dot!)jademountain.com
http://solstice.crest.org/efficiency/straw_insulation/index.html
http://pyramodule.com

I have not dealt with the business aspect of any of these sites, so of course you are on your own in that. I would be glad to hear about good sites you discover, in alternative building and sources of energy, simple living, etc.


July 30,2001
Denise, emptynoggin@erols.com
BELL plans from the Primal Conscious Living Handbook

Thank you so much for the time you have spent on your website.  I appreciated
all the information.  I have read the Essene Way: Biogenic Living and was
particularly drawn to the lifestyle and the BELL.  Hence the search for a
website regarding the BELL as there was not enough information in the book
for me to attempt to construct it.  I have recently purchased some land &
wanted to start out "right" - in harmony with nature and self sufficient.  I
was actually thinking of an earth shelter of some sort but the BELL may
actually be easier for me to do on my own with slow transition of meeting my
other needs.  Of course water, toileting, housing, & food are my first
consideration  in descending order of priority.  Water is abundant where I
am, Humanure will solve the next problem, so shelter is next with food
ongoing as I try out this diet and home growing method.  Would it be possible
to obtain a copy of the plans for the Bell ? Did you use shutters?  I am in a
cool to cold climate for 8 months of the year.  I tried to access the plans
from your website to check with no luck.  I look forward to hearing from
you...Denise/emptynoggen



Sprouting question

Do you have any ideas how to reduce possible risk of bacterial contamination
of sprouts? What do you think about grapefruit seed extract in soak water?

babs


7/28/01
Paul, ds21z@pacbell.net
Want Info on Enviro/Alternate Housing

I am looking for sources of a very large variety of information on alternative and environmental housing techniques, building plans, ideas, experiences, etc. I would appreciate web links, book suggestions, people to email, etc.

Thanks,

Paul


gwynno@lmi.net
building progress

Second up-date: I subscribed to the Earthship web newsletter and will to the straw bale one. These are both solar building technologies and have good ideas. I plan to combine ideas from them and from the BELL into one building plus lifestyle. The lifestyle change as part of the building is what I find unique and charming about the BELL.

I am working on getting a soils, or geo-technical, engineer to assess the earth of my lot. There are water drainage problems in this area, and the clay soil is very expansive when wet so I need to know what my house's foundation will be founded upon and into.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 19. 2001
gwynn, gwynno@lmi.net
Building a house

To A Sutton (and/or others) I have bought land on which I'll build and the word "daunting" in your post caught my eye. Yes, indeed. To make it less so I thought I would put up-dates on this site on my progress periodically and hope that others would also.

First up-date: I already have been my own contractor for the demolition of a derelict house that was already on the site I bought. It was very challenging - to spend that much money and find a demolition person with his gigantic equipment and to feel that I had chosen the right man for the job, to deal with the various regulations and agencies involved (many).

But it all turned out alright. and now I have a big gaping hole on my lot to show for it, of which I am very proud.

 Gwynn, gwynno@lmi.net,
 Your Book

I am interested in your plan for the barn with the porch that you built. Is it in your book, "Primal Conscious Living" and where can I buy this book? I assume that the plan for the B.E.L.L. is in your book.

There is a booklet put out by the Natural Resources Defense Council that outlines the cheapest and most environmentally responsible way to use wood in house construction, often recycled wood. I sent for it through their web site.




May 26, 2001

A
bout the heat in summer, how bout building underground where its cool in the summer.

Shane
------------


May 27. 2001

Saw your post , inquiring about the BELL house. I too am interested. Could
you share? I am wanting to build an underground house, live in Texas.

Thanks.

rch




May 18, 2001,
Kevin kjohnson@lg.com
Hey Paul,

Thanks for the contribution to the discussion group.  About the rainwater cistern:  it is 6'-0" dia X 6'-0" deep and is made of concrete.  Originally we were using rainwater exclusively. we pumped it into a smaller tank (50 gal) and gravity fed a shower and sink. we used this for 3 years...then came the droughts,  so we chose to hook up to the rural water system..  Eventually we will drill a well and use solar power to pump. our gray water from the sink and tub goes out to water our pecan trees and blackberries.   

Concerning electricity: we have a temporary electric pole (like they
set up for trailers).  The electric company in our area doesn't approve "permanent" electricity without a ceptic system, but there doesn't seem to be any problem having a temp pole indefinitely.  So that's where we stand at this point.  We ran underground conduit from the pole to the BELL and it hasn't been a problem, (about 160 feet).  Let me know what your plans are for your property.  I am always interested in new ideas.  Don't fret about the spiritual stuff I wrote...you have your own path to follow.  Take everything i write with a grain of salt...Celtic  salt.  Write again anytime.  I will have this e-mail address until the end
of july.

Peace be with you,

Kevin


May 13, 2001
Paul Ladendorf  PaulLdndrf@aol.com 
Couple More Questions

Kevin and Donna,

How do you plan to get around the electric service issue? Will they let you keep a temporary pole forever? Also, will they let you have running water without a septic? Where my property is in the sticks in TN, they won't allow it.  Nor will they allow you to keep a temp pole for longer than 6 mos.

Regards,
Paul Ladendorf



May 11, 2001
Paul
Ladendorf  PaulLdndrf@aol.com
 Questions

Hi, Kevin and Donna.

Great website. I wish I could comprehend more of the spiritual things that
you talk about. Oh well, I'll just keep trying.

I was wondering about your water system. How large is your tank and is it
plastic? Do you have a pressure tank? How about a fitration system? Did I see
right - your whole water system cost $780?

Thanks,

Paul Ladendorf


May 11, 2001
Cooling off in summer

I was reading on the website about your problem in cooling off during the long, hot Louisiana summers  (I'm from there, so I know what you're talking about). I noticed that the B.E.L.L. didn't seem to have any ventilating system in the roof.  I would think that installing some sort of opening in the roof of your dwelling would allow a bit of a circulation to begin . . . basically a convection cooling system.  Might work.

Phyllis A. Hood



May 2,  2001
v. appleman, mystic@lcc.net
 no air conditioning

Have you guys solved your air conditioning problems yet? My husband and I have lived without AC for over 25 years now (our children have never lived in an air conditioned house), and I was interested to read your article on living in the B.E.L.L. without air conditioning. You're in Louisiana, right? Hate to say it, but your housing design would be better suited to California or the SW. Take a look at some of the indigenous houses in Louisiana (not the ones built any time after 1880) and see how they dealt with the heat and humidity problems. There were lots of houses built with spanish moss-insulated walls. They tended to be rather far off the ground (get that ventilation flowing under the floorboards), had very long, double-hung windows, and were sited on hillsides next to the treeline, to catch SW and SE breezes, usually arising from natural air flow created when the sun falling on un-shaded fields caused the air over the field to heat and rise, thereby drawing cool air from the woods after it (and through the house).   

 Porches were deep and went the width of the house (air temp. can decrease as much as 10 degrees as it is drawn in to windows through the shaded porch area). Ceilings were also high -- sometimes as much as fourteen feet. 

In the summer, keep the
curtains closed on the east side of the house in the morning and then go around and close them on the west side of the house in the afternoons - you'd be surprised how long you can keep the air inside the house cool if you keep the sun off the windows -- especially if the house is fairly well insulated.

I was amused that you guys use the same trick I do when I've been doing yard work during the summer. You betcha - wet clothes are really nice, especially if you take the giant circulating fan in the living room and turn it to point out the screen door onto the porch, where you can sit and evaporate yourself cool for as long as an hour at a time. I don't think, though, that pre-air-conditioning folks were as much at a disadvantage as we are, though. After 25+ years of living without it, I'm convinced that constant exposure to AC tends to suppress the body's natural heat resistance. They were hot, yes, but their resistance to heat was superior to ours. I have friends that ask "how do you live without AC?" We just shrug. It's really no big deal now.

Sincerely,

V. Appleman



February 17, 2001
Jerry B. gbrit@erols.com
Earth Sheltered Bell?

Cheers,

A friend of mine from Denmark sent me this image after visiting the EarthStar site.  She said the structure was a youth hostel she stayed in last summer in Norway.  It has six apartments with a kitchen and inside bath in each.  I think the sod roof is interesting, and thought you all might also like to see it.

Jerry B





February 12, 2001
Rick Lewis  rlewis@tpmarathons.org
Subject: multiple B.E.L.L.s


Hi again.   I read your article and noticed something that struck home:

"Some have written to us saying they want to build 3 or 4 B.E.L.L units
together, adding a breezeway, laundry room and adjoining
bathroom. They describe having a B.E.L.L. for cooking, one for the kids,
one for the parents.  But why go to all that trouble - just build a
traditional house! A building is just a building. And what's important is
that it serves to assist the lifestyle of the people who live in it. It's still
possible to live a simple life in a traditional house. That can be done
anywhere. Like we have said before, "the first step, the secret to living
the highest level of simplicity possible is in adopting a simple, natural,
raw-food diet"

I have no way of knowing if you are referring to me, but I'd like to explain
my rationale for doing exactly that: one BELL for living/eating/cooking/relaxation,
one for children, one for parents.   The important aspect of my plan is that it is
scalable.   Right now I'm looking for the land.    We all know the costs of a BELL,
so assuming I'm able to purchase the land reasonably, my plan is to build a BELL that
will become the living/eating/cooking/relaxation unit, with a bathroom as
you two are constructing (my wife LOVES the big tub and music idea!).

Once constructed and on a PV system, it becomes a retreat.   I'm financing it by
selling my sailboat - which rarely gets used. We are "too busy" to go sailing in
Lake Travis.   Bah, humbug! :)
 
The retreat is for our weekends when we are not competing.   It is also a home base
for teaching the children (twins age 11, daughter 9, son 6) about permaculture
and construction, ecology, etc. - all the things you and I agree on.
Together, our family would add a sleeping unit for the children.  Instead of sleeping on
blow up mattresses on the floor, they'd have a BELL for them, complete with a bit of space
for a study area and play area.

Finally, we'd move out of sleeping in the main BELL to our own BELL, with room for
 a home 'office' for us to earn a living - and guess what? We'd be able to get rid
of the $1,750/month rent we are paying.   Plus we'd save on the $200/month slip fee
the boat costs, plus we'd have NO utility costs (not adjusting for PV investment).

So,  I just wanted to share that I feel that multiple BELLs serve two important
purposes: 1) a scalable living platform and 2) utilization of the BELLs' air and
light qualities for each "room" in our new home. A traditional home lacks that,
with boxy rooms, little light for growing greens, etc.

Keep up the good work!   I guess maybe I'm in a very small minority that really
IS on the path, each day reminding myself to be patient, each day thanking myself
for the progress I make.

With love,
your friend - Rick


January 27. 2001
Rudy Losoya, rlosoya@hiline.net
Thanks

Donna and Kevin,

I just came upon your wonderful website and want to sincerely thank you for the inspiration you have given me. I am just starting on the pursuit of a simpler lifestyle and for more inner peace, so discovering your site and reading "your story and accomplishments" has given me the motivation to continue in this quest. Thank you for this inspiration, best wishes in the continuing of your wonderful vision, and I plan to return to this site often.

Sincerely,  Rudy


January 8, 2001
Ann Sutton, ASutton800@aol.com,
House

I finally found some land and now own it.  Land ownership gives me warm fuzzies but thinking about what has to be done to get from raw land to cozy home is daunting.

I plan to build a house with a concrete slab and either concrete block or insulated concrete forms.  It will be less than 650 sq. feet but I'm not yet sure how much less.  I want exposed rafters, no carpeting (the concrete will be dyed and textured in some way), and a whole-house fan with no ductwork.

I understand the ecological issues with concrete but there are several things that make it the right choice for me: speed of construction, lack of waste in the construction process, little long term maintenance, and weather resistance.
However, I am curious about your opinions on the above.  I would also like to know the type of insulation you used on the B.E.L.L. roof.

I just printed out your new articles so my afternoon is planned for lots of reading.
Thanks,
Ann

REPLY:______________________

January 

Dear Ann,

I am so sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your post on our discussion group. In fact, I had answered it last week while visiting the library in Clinton, but the post I sent did not appear on the site. Anyway...

Hurray for you that you've acquired land! Donna and I are very happy for you. I think the house design you have decided on sounds like a good solution. Of course I trust you've checked in to the health risks involved in concrete structures. I am not informed about that sort of thing, so my suggestion is, research it if you are concerned about gassing, or fumes, etc. Otherwise, the availability and efficiency in construction makes what you are planning a good idea.

About the exposed rafters..we love that idea too. To work well, you must insulate on the topside of the ceiling boards. This is done by providing enough space to insulate as well as create an air space. Most people use fiberglass roll insulation and provide a little air space between 2x6 or 2x8 boards, then a layer of plywood for sheathing, asphalt paper and shingles. It requires extra expense, just to create the look of exposed rafters, but for a small building it's not a big deal... Again, the wisdom of the Greatness in the Smallness!

Because the summer sun is so hot in south Louisiana, Donna and I have to go back soon and insulate between our rafters. I am planning to cover them with roughsawn 1x6 or 1x8 boards to create a rustic ceiling.

Again, thank you for writing and please let us know what your future plans are. Stay in touch. We are proud that you are moving toward a brighter, more sustainable future for yourself. Keep moving toward higher levels of health and peace..

From the Great Heart,

Kevin and Donna


January 8, 2001
Kevin and Donna, dphilipp@eatel.net,
New Information on Health

Hi everyone,
Please check out our latest article on "Natural Healing". It is important that we learn to take responsibility for our own quality of life and set a good example for our children. Simplicity is more than just trying to achieve time for ourselves, it's about contributing something valuable to the world. We must give our children all the encouragement and the best opportunity we can to live a long, healthy and happy life. You will see some real practical tips on how to simplify your life while creating vital health. So come on! Start this new year off in a positive way. Make some changes in your lifestyle and diet, read the ancient wisdom, surround yourself with beauty, listen to good music, turn off the television, pray, meditate, make love more often, be kind and merciful to yourself.

Also look at our Simple, whole food recipes and consider making your own sprouted, sourdough bread, fresh at home. As food costs begin to escalate, we have to go back to basic things, learning to reclaim a more natural, wholistic diet of herbs, raw vegetables, sprouted seeds, whole-grain breads, fresh fruit, etc. It's never too late.
go gently,       Kevin and Donna


Kevin & Donna, 
New Articles

Dear Friends,
I am presently working on some new information for this website
and would very much like to get some feed back. Many people often
write to us about simplicity and children, especially for those
who've expressed an interest in building a BELL. We will be
working on addressing that as well as putting some updated info
about "healing yourself thru natural diet", using sprouts and
juices, sprouted sourdough bread, spiritual marriage and having a
closer relationship with your spouse, etc.. So please, send me
some more ideas or your concerns with living the simple life in
order to experience deeper levels of health, peace and happiness.
To us, that's what it's all about anyway.

From the Great Heart, have a wonderful holiday and please...go
gently in the world!

 Kevin and Donna



December12,2000
Kevin and Donna, dphilipp@eatel.net 
peacepilgrim

For those of you who have read our Grass-Roots Peace Activity letter and found it something of interests, please check out the peace pilgrim web site. There are articles, photos and other peace related sources of information to enjoy. It is at www.peacepilgrim.com .
go gently...
K & D


December 11, 2000
Kevin and Donna,  dphilipp@eatel.net 

Dear friends,

Something wonderful has happened and we are in a high state of joy and
celebration.  Kevin found out yesterday, right out of the blue, that this
Thursday is his last day on this job.  He is getting laid off, with
benefits, for an indefinite time.  Finally, after 8 years of hard work and
delayed gratification, we have sufficiently prepared ourselves (getting out
of debt, building the B.E.L.L., changing our diet, etc.) that we can easily
live on the unemployment benefits and/or a part time job when that becomes
necessary.  And we have saved enough money to finish the bathroom, which we
will now have the time to work on and complete.

Kevin said that after his boss told him the "sad" news that he was laid off,
he (the boss) was shocked at Kevin's reaction, which was something like, "Oh
YES!  This is great!"  Mr. boss said, "Kevin, I have never seen anyone look
happy when I have to tell them this news...may I ask why you look so
elated?...are you rich?"

Kevin said,  "Yes, I am rich, but not in money...I have the woman of my
dreams to live with, a humble one-room hut in the woods,  seeds with which
to grow my food, no debt, and my health... and now I will have the time off
and the freedom  to enjoy these things."  The boss said that this was the
first time he had ever actually enjoyed laying someone off, because instead
of ruining someone's life, he made someone happy.  He walked out of the
room, shaking his head and chuckling to himself with a big smile on his
face.

We are going to have the best Christmas ever, snuggled in our little
B.E.L.L., content and at peace, knowing that we are living in harmony with
the natural world.  We know we cannot achieve total escape from the prison
of the economic machinery, but the middle path that we have worked out for
ourselves affords us these periods of being able to stay at home together,
enjoying each other's company, making good food, doing our nature crafts,
writing, teaching classes, etc.


We know that our way is not the only way, but we hope that our example of
voluntary creative simplicity will stimulate insights and inspire courage in
those who wish to find another way.  There are many solutions and many paths
to this way of life.  We sincerely wish that others might find hope that
there are feasible solutions and that there is a way out of the burdensome
entanglements of our society.

And the way is in returning to the Life Stream of the natural world and a
simple, humble life as best we can.  At the present time, a total escape
doesn't seem possible, but at least everyone can begin to take some little
small steps on the path that will lead to more freedom and peace, and a
little space to breathe and open our
hearts to Life.

To all who have visited our site and will do so in the future, we are
pulling for you to do the seemingly impossible... to find your way to a
sensible, peaceful, heartful life.  We hear what your hearts are saying when
you write to us.  You have told us of your longing to find more freedom and
inner peace, to have more time for loved ones, to find and express your
unique creativity, to work on projects to help others and make the world
better for all of us.  We know...and we feel the same way.

What we have done has been the hardest thing in life that we have ever
attempted.  When we first began this journey away from the mainstream economic culture,
we had no idea for what we were in for...especially with no money.  We were
penniless and homeless and all we had was a dream.  The obstacles seemed
insurmountable and Donna was very ill to top it all off.  But as we took
each tiny step, the next step was revealed to us, and we knew there was no
turning back.

We encourage everyone with a sincere desire, to begin in whatever way you
can, to liberate your life and your heart to live a different way, a way
that will make life worth living.

Jerry, you have been walking this path with us and helping us share it with
others.  You know how we have struggled to follow our own hearts and swim
upstream from the mass culture of materialism and we know that you will be
feeling this celebration with us.

We would like to take this opportunity to tell all the visitors to our site
that our friend and web master, Jerry Brittell, has created and maintains
this site for us, to make this information available to all who are tired
and weary and might find encouragement from what we are trying to do. Jerry,
you know we cannot thank you enough for the work you have done on the
EarthStar site...it is a priceless gift to us and to others who are
searching for a
higher and better way.

from the Great Heart,
Kevin and Donna

P.S.  The timing finally felt right, and on 11-11-2000, a beautiful clear
day of the full moon, we were married!  We  sealed our commitment in a
beautiful multi-cultural ceremony, honoring all the paths of The Great Way
to harmony, peace and love.  We all shed a few tears and everyone celebrated
with us in acknowledgement of the long way that we have come since we met
eight years ago.
__________________

Reply: Friends
Jerry B gbrit@erols.com

Thanks for this beautiful letter. Congratulations on both your marriage and the Freedom you have earned with your efforts, insight and dreams.

If anyone else reading this, has any inclination to have their own free pages published within the New Liberty Village forum, dedicated to finding and manifesting better ways of doing things, and Being, feel free to submit your ideas, images, and descriptions of how you would like your pages to appear, to gbrit@erols.com.  If you have an existing web site, we also are open to placing an icon in the NL Village graphic, linked to your site.   Thank you,  Jerry B   web manager


December 3, 2000
cory whitney [mailto:corywhitney@hotmail.com]
Subject: Sauna

Hey all,

I am writing to represent an anxious work crew at a Vermont college.
We here at Sterling College have burnt down 4 saunas in the last 30 years
and would like to build something that will not burn down. Actually if we
want a sauna it must be fire proof.
As Sterling is running a deficit at this point (we only have 70 students)
we have little to no funds for this project.
Any kind of feedback for our plight would be very much appreciated.
Thank you, Cory Whitney    Kevin and Donna 

Reply: Sauna



Dear Cory,
We have built a dome shaped Native American style sweat lodge on our
property which works the same as a sauna.  We heat up rocks in a fire on the
outside of the
lodge, and with a pitchfork and bring them into a hole which we dug in the
center of the
lodge. Then we pour water onto the rocks and it gets really hot and steamy
in there.
Ours is just big enough for three people to crawl into (can't stand up in
it), but it can be built any size.  I've been in lodges that held about 20
people at a time.  It's a tight fit, but everyone gets the benefit of the
sweating and of course some people use it for spiritual purposes.  It didn't
cost us anything to build, except for the tarps we bought from Wal-Mart to
cover it.  I suggest you do a search on the Internet on this topic.  I'm
sure you will find some good information as to the benefits and how to build
it.  We used the poles of Yaupon that grows plentifully on our property.
Or, for example, there is a common willow tree that grows in our area,
especially near river banks, which is excellent to use because the poles
bend without breaking to create the dome shaped structure that supports the
canvas covering.  If you are interested in building one and have any more
questions, please feel free to e-mail us.

Hope this helps

from the Great Heart,
Kevin and Donna

__________________


Reply: Sauna

December 03, 2000
Jerry B  gbrit@erols.com
Sauna 

Cory, 

I wish that I had a working model of what I have often considered building: a sculpted Finnish sauna,  using the earth to reverse-mold a dome of the appropriate size. The benches, the fire pit, practically everything could be easily shaped in the compact, undisturbed soil, then  cobbled with a thin layer of concrete, say two inches thick. The earth then removed from underneath the shell after it has set.  If desirable, the dirt could then be placed over the structure, and landscaped and planted with grass. 

The sauna could be built completely above grade, partially above grade, or completely underground.  About the only cost would be for a few bags of concrete, and sand.  American Indians, I understand, made small sweat lodges in a hole dug in the ground, covered with a hide, but this would be much more permanent.  

Aesthetically speaking , the shape could be sculpted practically anyway one's imagination and time allows. The structure would be fireproof, and require no maintenance. It would also make a great storm shelter, although I have heard of few tornadoes in Vermont (g).  Never know in these days.  Openings could be molded into the shell for ventilation and light, and covered with glass or operable vent covers.  I can't foresee any difficulties or problems with this, for a sauna.  If you haven't seen my rough drawings and animation for the Liberty House design, check out www.geocities.com/newlibertyvillage/shelter.htm  then go to 'More details'.  If you try these methods, I would like very much to hear how it turns out.  Maybe you can build a gymnasium for the school while you are at it (g)  I would like to hear more about your college, when you have the time.   Does it have a web page?  Jerry B

_____________________________________________________________________________________
November 25, 2000
Dale J. Corlew <djcorlew@yahoo.com>
Subject: website

I found out about your website from Linda Breen Pierce's book and I'm glad I checked it out.  Its a great site and wonderful story.  I especially enjoyed the information on the BELL --however, I have a question---where our family lives in extreme NE Ohio we have very harsh winters---we currently have almost one and a half feet of snow on the ground.  I would think that wall insulation would suffice---

Keep up the good work---it sounds like you are on the right track

Warm regards----djc


November 25, 2000
(NAME)  Rick Lewis, rlewis@tpmarathons.org
How EarthStar changed my life

I could write pages here but I'll spare you :) this website came to me in 1999 and I was fascinated with what Donna & Kevin had done.   Both were kind and patient to amazing extents in returning my endless emails asking and re-asking questions.   Now, after 18 months of work on myself, I'm honored to be have the forum in which to publicly thank them both for their contribution to saving my life.   I started this journey an alcohol abuser and unhappy  today, I am a changed man.  I saved my marriage and career and my health is vibrant.   Their book is so full of wisdom, but you have to 1) want a new lifestyle and 2) study and work at it.   Today, I am about 75% vegetarian, do not drink ANY alcohol, sleep very little (I don't need it!), drink the Morning Mix which has greatly helped my mild hypoglycemia, and have buckwheat greens, wheatgrass and at least five kinds of sprouts in process at any given moment.  I am so very grateful.   My plans over the next six months are to acquire some land outside our hometown of Austin and start with a single solar-powered B.E.L.L. as a weekend/vacation home, then see where the universe takes us.  Peace & blessings to you all.


November 17, 2000

This place is very interesting. But didn't you have any family members to help you? Do you have any children??????????????



November1,2000
Ann Sutton, ASutton800@aol.com
Web site

Your web site has been one of my favorites for many months. I check back every few weeks to see if anything new has been posted.

I plan to move to the country in a few months, about two hours north of Houston, TX. Your site has given me many ideas and much to think about. The biggie was "life without air conditioning." Now I see you have an article about that. How timely for me.

I bought your book when it first came out and have read it at least five times. I have a friend who is interested in it but I noticed the link to the handbook on your B.E.L.L. page is broken. Is the book still available?

Please keep those articles flowing.

Ann


October 29, 2000
Charlie Sikes, SikesCharlie@webtv.net
An Inspiration

Hi Kevin and Donna,

Your website is an inspiration to me. In the rush "to do more" and "go faster" our society is spinning out of control. A return to simplicity is the only reasonable solution at least for me. Thank You for having such a great website. I hope to be able to have something to contribute in future e-mails. I'd love to hear from other like-minded folks, as well. The Best to you both.

Charlie



October 27, 2000
Lance Cupit, lhcupit@cs.com
Great website

Kevin,
I was able to check out your website this evening and have found
it to be very interesting and informative. Keep up the good work.

Sincerely, Lance Cupit 






After typing in your comments, click on the Submit button at the bottom of the form. After your submission, a confirmation screen should appear.  Thanks for your input!