Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It is with sadness and joy that I walked away today a retired 40 year old. I realized today that I gave 1/2 of my life to a company...correction, I gave 20 years of my life to getting involved with people I truly loved being around, in an industry that lives the motto "Feast or Famine", creating stuff that sometimes defies some of the natural laws of physics. Come on, tell me where else you can build a sign with grass that was air freighted in from Vancouver in April. Have you ever watered a sign before? (note to self...sod is brown when it arrives off the plane...and no, spray paint doesn't work...we tried). Or how about building an electric hammer. Imagine shortly after 9/11 a client walks in and wants you to modify a claw hammer to have a cord attached complete with case and instructions as you find out he is flying to the US and taking it as on-board luggage as part of a presentation!  Needless to say, it has been a ride. As I say goodbye to an industry of plastic I helped create for the last two decades, I now look forward to the next two decades and beyond

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Off Grid Winter Adventures...

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own". Wow! Deep or what! 40 years later in my life and I've begun to live that verse and have come to realize that God loves humour!

A few days before Christmas, Audrey, I, and the kids went to visit my parents first to be met with icy roads and blizzard conditions and secondly, to come home to a exhausted battery bank which looks like this: No battery = no power. No power = no furnace. No furnace = 4 days of Kelly trying to restore water to our house. Our main water line supply from the cistern froze. I now know from experience what a "jetter" is and how to use one...For 4 days it was like we were in a casino gambling; we'd get the water going, wake up the next day and listen for the water pump. What were the chances? Were we "lucky" or was the house

Monday, December 6, 2010

Recent Photo Shoots...

I keep having to remind myself that the reason for this blog is to share with others our struggles, trials, and the small steps forward we make as a family wrestling to live in a way that is so polar-opposite to the world around us. The reason my wife and I post on two seperate blogs is to share different view points from our lives with you the reader. To help encourage you and to let you know that you're not crazy. Yes! There are more of us out there living simple lives so that others around the world can simply live. To live within our means and to live out life creatively, vibrantly, and passionately with every part of our being. We strive to follow what God has placed in our hearts as a family in the way we live, the friendships we share, and the way we run a business.

With that being said, I don't have any pics of updates we've done on our Guest house, but I do have pics of what we've been busy with over the last few months...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Leaving the grid - Eccentric or Smart? You decide.

I find it interesting how of late I've been crossing paths of various people and finding the divide is growing. There are more people embracing new technologies and those of the follow-the-status-quo pack. Ultimately our family's view is one of embracing what is best for our family - that includes health, finances, and ultimately, the environment around us. We follow what is in our hearts and lead by the way we live. It has frustrated us that every government incentive to be greener has forced us to be islands in the middle of the prairies.  There are government and private initiatives available for upgrading an older furnace, or grid tied power, but doing proper math makes the initiatives almost not worth the we continue to build off-grid, and continue to rejuvinate old discarded doors and windows to be energy efficient pieces of art. I scratch my head because of the types of programs and initiatives available. I find almost every initiative available in Canada to be tainted and slanted with specifics that leave me wondering "why" at the end of the day. What I have learned is to peel back the layers of the onion. What looks nice on the outside will

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Own Little World

Today I was estatic, bewildered, dumbfounded, full of joy, and heartwrenched with sadness. This past week has been one of the best and one of the worst of times and I am floored at God in the midst of all of it.

Have you ever wondered why things happen the way they do? Why do jobs fall through, plans change, things don't work right. I'm beginning to understand that it's a little bit bigger than just me...or just you. I'm beginning to understand that many small things must happen all around us everyday to play this orchastrated symphony called life. We all have a great purpose (the solist) but without our everyday small parts being played out, the song is lacking. Sometimes duets, and quartets are more beautiful than a solo.

We sometimes get stuck looking inward, and sometimes we get stuck looking outward too far. For today, I realize that I need to start with my family...for when they are strong, they carry me with them and God uses our talents and abilities to touch many clients, many friends, and many others we are priveledged to get to

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Steps Forward...No Looking Back

When my wife and I dreamed of what it would be like living off grid...we can honestly say we were naive, whimsical, and love struck with the idea of what it would be like. We anticipated hardships and joy, struggle balanced with success...but nothing could possibly prepare us for the past two months. I keep saying how there is no place else we'd rather be, but that is only a clich├ęd phrase that I coin all too often to describe this life as a whole.

After leaving my family once again to head back to work in the city after a week long break, I'm saddened to leave behind our new life to go back to city life fighting through traffic. Today I was told I'll be working the full week, which means 5 days away from my wife & kids. The place I work at is filled to the brim with

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A place to Call Home

Well, after almost 2 months of not blogging, I find myself with nothing to say. I am happy, I am content, and all is well with my soul. As of June 25th, 2010, we, the Taylor-Faye clan officially declare Lot 4, Craik Eco-Village, Craik, SK our official home...and we are all so much at peace with it!

There is still so much to do, but we trust it will all come together in it's own timing. Other peoples timelines fight against our own timelines, and so I have to give in to believe that "The Big Guy" is in control more than we are, and so we do what we can, when we can, earnestly, and prayerfully and things work out. I can say, however, being semi-retired, I don't think I could go back to full time work without it killing me. Between fixing vehicles, working 28 hours of overtime at a "part-time" job, doing photoshoots, trying to build, be a dad, be a husband, be a farmer, find time to visit family & friends, plus find my schedule yanked in a moment because of some disaster or someone elses disaster, I'm one tired puppy. Having said that, here's where we're at:

Working on the kitchen, here I've just poured Audrey's concrete counter top. This was an extremely tough pour from the standpoint that the cement is a VERY dry mix and it has to be worked hard to get it placed well without getting alot of voids. It's one of those hurry up and wait things. Now that it's poured, we have to wait a few weeks for curing before we grind, stain, and seal it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Smiles On Our Faces

It's been a few weeks since the Catagory 1 winds hit and destroyed most of our yard. In the midst of losing almost everything we've worked for over the last few years building our dream house and studio in Craik, , we've had to take stock on where our lives are at...

- We've got two beautiful, wonderful children
- We have wonderful friends
- We have good, wholesome food on our table and in our freezer
- We have more determination and will power to continue than ever before.

So what did we lose?....We lost some stuff! We lost some "stuff" that can be replaced, but the things that can't be taken away are still in our hearts, and we wear them in our smiles...

And so the building continues...

The past two weeks have been eventful, fruitful, frustrating, wet, hot, cold, rainy, dry and all around tiring and oh so satisfying. We've been working on trying to finish off services in our guest house and after months of work, we're finally there. Two weeks ago, we finally had warm enough weather to finish trenching the cistern in for our water system. It was +22 C the day I chose to dig the trench and hole for the tank. To my surprise, I still found frost at 3 feet deep. After carefully removing the layers of silt that had washed down my trench from spring run off, I also managed to find the sewage pipes I laid last fall...and like all good plans, I found them with the teeth on the bucket of the backhoe. Ce la vie! It took about 3 days to finish