This blog site is operated by Ed and Laurie Essex in Wauconda, WA. We created this site to share our experiences as they unfold in our transition from city condo life to off grid living in the mountains of Eastern Washington State.

Join us in a discussion about what works and what doesn’t in your daily choices for healthier living and greater self sufficiency. Share your stories about off grid living or things you are doing to reduce your environmental impact whether you are off grid or not.

Ask questions, offer advice or just enjoy reading what others have to say. Just click on Blog in the upper right corner of this page and choose a category you might be intrested in.

Visit our website Good Ideas For Life where you will find products to help you become more self sufficient whether you live in the country or city, on acreage or in a condo. These products will help provide you with your own safe food and clean water and help prepare you for any emergency you and your family may face in these uncertain and trying times.

Our self sufficient products include Tattler reusable canning lids, Berkey water filters, indoor and outdoor gardening products, Mayday emergency kits, chicken coops, Easygreen automatic sprouters and much more. We use the products we sell.


  • Our Solar System – Part 1

    Part 1 – System Overview As most of you know, we get all of our electrical power from our solar power system. In the blog Our Solar Power I describe a system that is completely “hands off’ automatic if you want to use it that way. I choose not to. I’ve never had any experience with solar energy before now. When the system was installed I received a pile of literature, user manuals, and an hour of instruction. For me the instructions when right in one ear and out the other. It takes me a while to absorb information that Read More
  • Our Solar System – Part 2

    In Part 1 we looked at the different components of a solar power system and what their purpose is. In Part 2 we discuss the actual hands on management of those components. It sounds like the system operates by itself once it is set up, other than a little battery maintenance. That’s true but the system is not as efficient as it can be when it runs on “automatic”. What do I mean by efficiency? By managing a few things myself I can extend the life of my batteries and backup generator and keep the fuel costs for the generator Read More
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