Sunday, February 10, 2008

Are yurts warm enough in 50 below zero farenheit?

Question: Living in a homemade yurt year round in interior Alaska, can it be comfortable?

GerTee, February 10, 2008

Answer: YES, as long as there's fuel to burn.

Even my homemade door still works!

My neighbor called yesterday and said his thermometer read minus 50.5 degrees farenheit on Friday night. We're getting lots of calls (when the phone is plugged in) from concerned friends who can't imagine camping in this weather. Again, for anyone who thinks we're sitting up here freezing our buns off, we're probably staying warmer than a lot of people who are living in larger structures. Every visitor we've had this winter walked in our GerTee and said something like, "Wow! It's so warm and cozy in here."

It's the daily chores that challenge us, because this kind of camping is only miserable when you get lazy and don't keep up with the requirements. We've burned almost a cord of wood in 2 weeks. If we don't bring in enough to last the night we have to go outside in the frozen darkness and fill the wood bucket (plastic- cracked in 40 below). All the fresh water has to be hauled from the community well inside 5 to 7 gallon jugs. Pots for heating water are filled and set near or on the hot stove (which must be fed constantly... if we both fall asleep at the same time it's too cold when we wake up!). Then there's the absolute need to empty slop buckets into the outhouse, which is frozen and almost full after seven months. Can't dig a new one until the ground thaws so we'll have to get innovative. Then there's the dog.. our retarded Osa who has spent the winter in the GerTee because we feel too bad leaving her outside. If only she wasn't a chewer..argh.

Osa gets her own GerTee this spring.

Cooking on the woodstove has become much easier, as anything does with a year or more of experience, although last night I burnt my hand pretty bad from the steam coming off the stovetop cooker. And I'm not starving like I was last winter either, as a matter of fact many of last years clothes no longer fit my waist! I stocked up on staples when I was flagging last summer and while we have no meat supply we still have rice and tomato sauce and pasta. Next winter if the situation holds, I'll have a freezer full of fish and game and a cupboard full of canned and smoked vegetables and salmon.

I hope everyone I know is setting a little aside for the lean times. No matter what we believe or think about the emerging global government, the news about the failing dollar and the real estate bubble is worth paying attention to. There IS an entire portion of the communitarian theory that includes ECONOMICS. Globalization is here. NYU Jean Monnet School of International Law is now including the phrase REGIONAL Economic Law and Justice.

We would like to remind you that applications for the Emile Noël Fellowship Program at the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice, NYU School of Law must be submitted no later than February 29, 2008.

The principal objective of the Emile Noël Fellowship Program is scholarship and the advancement of research on the over-arching themes prioritized by the Jean Monnet Center: European Integration, general issues of International (principally WTO) and Regional Economic Law and Justice, and Comparative Constitutional Law. The expectation is that the residency of our Fellows at NYU School of Law will result in at least one paper that will be of sufficient quality to be published as a Jean Monet Working Paper (
The thing to remember is when we go under there will be people from other "former" nations that will come and buy the rest of our holdout land, homes, and failed businesses. Since they've been grabbing land and homes and businesses for so long already I'm guessing many of them are already here scoping out the joint. Their really rich investor/carpetbaggers not only get to bring along their own, elite private soldiers (as we saw in New Orleans), but now they can form partnerships and deputize all the business owners who, according to one whistleblower, have newly gained lethal authority.

Around here there's a lot of gossip about Ahtna, the local Indian corporation, and their new land regulators going around putting up "No Tresspassing" signs on property the tribe does not own. It's being said that these enforcers are armed and wear bullet-proof vests. I was told last night that the Alaska State Troopers were overheard discussing it and are concerned about them too. If I have time I'll investigate it and do a story on it because it's probable this is not only an Alaskan Indian program. I can't help but think about Pine Ridge and their Indian cops in the 70s.

Little Freddie is thriving in this environment, he's the happiest guy I know. Nordica and I have lived in many tiny places together so we already know how to make this 18' round room into a livable space. We also know how to argue and laugh at the same time. The best gift I have today is how she's totally embraced the whole GerTee idea and helped to make it into a real home.

Master Frederick

Compost toilet
4 wheeler/snowmachine
wood cookstove
camp shower
water barells
un modified seeds
canned goods
milking goat
40 below sleeping bags
down booties
beaver mittens/hats
that somebody would save the honey bees~
that everyone would know which candidates are communitarians~
that the theories of global warming, sustainable development, social evolution, communitarianism and community policing be subjected to real scientific reviews~
that the theory of global government be openly addressed by the citizens and legally voted upon in every nation in the world that still has a voice left~

Check oot this innovative yurt design:

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