Mindful Wednesday – A listed building? But which list?

Mindful Wednesday – A listed building? But which list?

Hello there.
Thanks for popping in.
Back in England, and the sun is shining today.
So I won’t keep you long.
This Wednesday Blog is where I delve into the world of Mindfulness.
Staying in the Here and Now.
Not allowing our minds to drag us into dark, fruitless places.
I just want to take you back to last week’s mindful Wednesday, when we talked about the benefits of working with your hands and focussing on the actual job, 
be it drilling pieces of stone,
or tying up twigs!
Obviously, this is a Craft blog, 
and mostly I serve you with arty, crafty projects to get your creative juices flowing.
But every now and then, I think it is important to take a look into another person’s world, to see how they do things.
Today, I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Nancy.
She lives with her cat in the back of beyond, in New Mexico.
Now when we speak of using our hands, we think of stamping, painting, knitting, colouring, gardening perhaps.
Nancy built her house. 
With her own bare hands.
It took many years, and she did it all by herself,
calling only on muscle when the beams and windows were too heavy to lift alone.
But Nancy’s house is no ordinary house.
It is made almost entirely (or should I say entyrely) 
of tyres and empty coke cans.
Ready for this?
Here she is, telling my brother how it works.
She took photos as she went.
This book should be published.
But let’s take a closer look, because this is absolutely fascinating.
See the tyres round the back?
They are packed solid with sand.
And yes, Nancy filled every single one.
I think she told us there were something like 400 tyres used in the construction.
See the Coke Cans?
Here are a few, ready for the next project.
Check out the wall!
And here’s the inside of the garage wall, so you can see the construction properly.
What an undertaking.
Her kitchen is super cool, too.
And by the way, she is off the grid.
So no utility bills.

All her hot water and electricity is generated by solar panels.
because one thing they have a lot of in New Mexico is sunshine!
Check out the bath tub. 
Coke cans.
The inside never drops below 69ºF (20ºC)
even when it’s snowing a blizzard and -16º outside.
The reason being is that most of the house is built underground 
at the back.
All I heard was NO BILLS!
Fantastic artistic touches everywhere you look.
She has been here for 21 years now, 
and has never really stopped adding to and growing her home.

The energy, the atmosphere is magical.

She has no TV.
She is the most spiritual, well read woman I have ever met.

My brother asked her whether she got lonely.
“Only at Christmas” was the response.

So she started 21 years ago.
And she’s 68 now.
So she embarked on this project when she was 47.
What were you doing when you were 47?
Not packing old tyres with sand, that’s for certain!!!
Jaw dropping. 
She blows me away.
I have known her for 10 years,
and right up until a couple of years ago, 
she was also running around doing massage therapy for a living.
So when it comes to using our hands
and living a mindful life, this lady throws a whole new light on the subject – literally.
I wish Nancy would put her reading to one side, 
and start writing her own book. 
$10,000 in materials + 21 years.
Tyres free.
Coke cans free.
She could sit up in her lookout and write.
Take a closer look at the roof;
it’s an old satellite dish.
Greetings from a world within our world.
As we were driving away, Steve turned to me and said,
“What a lovely woman. Doesn’t she have an amazing aura?”
Oh yes. She sure does.
She even laughs at the rattle snakes!
much love,

65 thoughts on “Mindful Wednesday – A listed building? But which list?

  1. Wow Barbara ,lovely to look into another persons life, thank you for today's blog how inspirational this lady is mindfulness Wednesday is brilliant crafting hugs xxx

  2. Wow I'm lost for words to type. The only thing I can think of was many years ago I was working in the shanty towns of Lima Peru and remember seeing loads of tyres stacked like this when I asked why was told they make the ground very stable. Most of the shanties are built on sandy earth. Can't believe the coke cans 'cos I never drink coke or any other can drink.

  3. I think it's amazing not often I'm stuck for words but this lady is truly a one off. That's one home you would never foget thanks for sharing Barbara love June horrocks xxxx

  4. Wow, it truly makes one feel so humble – what an amazing woman, how lucky are you to know her. And I would think she's happier with her life than a lot of people with lots more.
    Thanks for this insight into her life.
    Christine (Andypandy)

  5. Good heavens – and I complain when I'm asked to dig a hole!! How talented and creative – and patient. And – as someone else has said already – such a full life without filling it with all the rubbish we allow in. Certainly a lesson for me! Since the beginning of the year I have been trying to throw one thing away each day – it got off to quite a good start but no matter how hard I try there is always a good 'reason' , aka an excuse, to keep something that is utterly worthless – in almost every sense!!

  6. That is amazing that a "mere" woman could do such a wonderful job of creating a home, not just a house but a real home full of her own personality. Thank you for sharing it with us, Barbara. xxx Maggie

  7. Such a super way to use up what people have discarded. From the inside you would never know what building materials have been used. I would love to live in a house that is so eco sensitive, no bills, what heaven! How wonderful to have the freedom to just add a room here and there when you need space, can't imagine the planning office in the UK being so understanding! Xx

  8. What a fantastic achievement and it is light and bright with interesting touches, and no bills to worry about and even the garden is made using tyres. This lady is certainly a one off! x

  9. I just want to say thank you. I read you blog every day, and I was in a really dark mood, things not working, and life being stressful, it got worse through the day, dragging me down, but then I thought of the things you had said in your mindful wednesday blog, and give myself a good telling off, and spent the rest of the day, laughing with my boss. So I just want to say thank you, thank you for being you x

  10. Great post Barb, as you know I too have visited Nancy's home or Earth Ship as they known.
    It is truly remarkable structure built with love and care by hand. The stucco or rendering is all her own work. That's how the Can walls are made. Off Grid ! How good is that ! Low maintainance albeit on going ….Inspirational, Now where did I put those old tyres ?

  11. what an amazing woman! at 47 i was grumbling and in despair as my job was changed and i ended up doing quite a rubbish job…..and that was last year…..
    wouldn't it be great to have a house like that? no bills sounds bliss….. hugs xx

  12. Oh wow! How simply fantastic and what guts and determination … She should definitely write a book! Makes the good life with Felicity Kendal etc look very tame!
    Thank you for showing us
    Much love

  13. Hi Barbara, what an AMAZING lady, thank you for sharing with us. If only I had her strength of mind and body, I'd have been away up north doing similar years ago, tomorrow, right now! To be so self sufficient, and totally not needing to rely on or be involved with any human beings at all, never being hurt ever again by anyone, if only…. Love Brenda xx
    p.s. what is it with Steve and white plastic bags, seems every time you show us a photo of him outside, he's carrying one!!!!!

    1. Hi Brenda
      Yes wouldn't that be lovely, I'm sure you would choose a lovely piece of Scotland with a beautiful view. I'm glad you spotted the white bag too, I was wondering what Steve was carrying again – last time it was that fantastic artwork! Xxx

    2. Maybe that needs to be Barbara's and Dave's next challenge, making a wee real bricks and mortar Clarity community where me and other folk in need of help and safety and a bit of tlc can go live, with daily art /craft therapy and us all helping each other out where we can in our own wee ways! Can I put my name down top of the list please 😉

    3. II just have to say – I looove Nancy's home, every little detail, the colour scheme everything, just perfect and such a beautiful place to live in and have as your home, she must get a huge amount of happy feelings and thoughts from just being there and that being what surrounds her every day. I keep having to go back and look at your photos of her home. And to think one lady made it all by herself and from mainly thrown away stuff. Very skilled and determined lady. She must also be very artistic. Please, next time you are over there, tell Nancy a huge thank you for allowing you to introduce her to us and for allowing you to show us the photos of her amazing home xx

    4. I hope he didn't nab them from one of her walls then!!!!!
      Today's been way too hard, but I want to try do something crafty tomorrow, so fed up with wasting every day doing nothing /nothing worthwhile or beneficial. If you get the chance will you have a wee look to see what we can colour next on the teapot, I think I've run out of ideas, time for a more normal interpretation of what can be seen in it!!!!! xx p.s. mine's the top bunk 😉

    5. Sounds like a plan I'm in… got a fondness for tins lately..lol!! I could be wrong but that looks awfy like a Rabbie Burns shortbread tin on Nancy's top shelf next to her spam like you Brenda I keep looking back at these amazing pics in wonder what a woman….xx

    6. OK Brenda I will have a look and think what we will colour next. Top bunk eh, well that means I get the biggest wardrobe! Have fun crafting tomorrow, you should pick something simple so you can enjoy doing something you know will look good. That's what I do if my mojo has disappeared, I get out my inks and stamps (Clarity of course) and make a few cards. XX

    7. Thank you Donna 🙂 I need to get the rest of the art from nowt much picture done too, so far got the sky, hills and water done, and I have a box of older card designs waiting to be updated now I've moved on with what I do, so maybe a bit of both.
      Well if you're getting biggest wardrobe then I need most drawers for all my jammies, they're my clothes unless I'm going out, so that works out good, hope you don't snore 😉 Better warn you I can talk /shout /act out dreams while asleep, I've even fell out of bed once while dreaming the dinghy I was sailing capsized!!!!! xx
      Night night everyone, it looks like I'm heading for another night shift tonight!

    8. Looks like you might need a safety harness to keep you in that top bunk! Hope you managed to get some sleep. I will have a look at the teapot later. Happy crafting. Xx

  14. What an inspiration! We live near Findhorn, which is a community of people who have made eco-houses out of all sorts of things including old whisky mash tuns and they are almost self sufficient as a community too. There are rooms for meditation all over the place – well worth a visit if you ever come to the area. How lucky you are to have someone like Nancy in your friend list – and how lucky she is to have you in hers! Susan x

  15. Hi Barbara
    Wow what a beautiful house and an inspirational lady. You seem to find these lovely people on your travels through life don't you – what a lucky lady. Thank you for introducing us to her, what a lady.
    Love Diane xxx

  16. Hi Barb, thank you for sharing the story of this amazing woman, I am sure many people would love to live in a house like that and escape the rigours of daily life. Have a great day. Bx

  17. What an Amazing lady she would write an wonderful book would love to read her story thank you for sharing just a bit of her story sure she is someone could sit and listen to for hours thanks Barbara love Joy xxxx

  18. Hi Barbara. Wow! What a lady. Thank you so much for allowing us to share what an inspiration Nancy is. If only we could all put items like these tyres and cans to use like his. Imagine the problems with planning, councils etc. we would have! Nancy needs to write that book…now. It would make fascinating reading. I noticed Steve's white carrier bag too…..: ) Thank you again for sharing this wonderful ladys home. Take care xx

  19. Hallo liebe Barbara,
    was für ein beeindruckender Beitrag. Diese Dame ist wirklich Inspiration pur. Was sie geschafft hat ist unbeschreiblich und wunderschöm. Ich kann das nur bewundern. Sie lebt ihren Traum und ist ganz sicher ein zufriedener Mensch. Mich begeistert so etwas sehr. Das Buch ist ganz sicher eine spannende Lektüre. Vielen Dank für den wunderbaren Einblick in ein faszinierendes Leben. Ganz liebe Grüße Silvi

  20. What a woman! The home she built is so very "Santa Fe!" (as we say here in Albuquerque) She obviously is a very determined and skillful lady, and has such an artistic vision. Thank you (and her) for this peek at her life.

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