About Us

Celebrating our 20th anniversary on the Maiden Rock Hiking Trail at Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho.

Celebrating our 20th anniversary on the Maiden Rock Hiking Trail at Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho.

We are living a sustainable dream. We have a cottage on ten acres in Northern Idaho that utilizes the sun for electricity.  We enjoy saving money, conserving resources, and living a good life. Many of our friends and family are curious as to the life we live, and we enjoy sharing our story with them.

Currently, we are developing a small orchard and garden.  But, we have so many projects we are working on between our already busy schedules.  During the week ten months out of the year, I am a high school social studies teacher.  My wife operates her own candle business in which she uses solar energy to manufacture them.  If interested, you can visit her website here (www.pauperscandles.com).

My name is Mark and my wife’s name is Krista and this is our sustainable dream.

13 thoughts on “About Us

    • Our property has a low producing well that I pump into a cistern. The cistern has a float valve to turn off the well pump when it’s full. The pressure pot turns the cistern pump on to charge the lines in the house. Our snow and rainfall each year seep recharge our well. All our water lines are buried 2 extra feet below the 2 ft frost line to prevent freezing.
      What do you do for water?

      Liked by 1 person

      • We haul it in. We have no faucets/shower or toilet. So we keep 3-5 gallon jugs in the shed & have a 300 gal reserve tank outside. We just reclaimed a 1000 gal water tank that is going to be our foundation for the rain water collection system.

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  1. Hello to my fellow Idahoans! I wanted to thank you guys for the thorough explanation of your hot water system. I am currently designing a similar set up for my tiny house! I was wondering if I may be able to ask you a couple questions about it? Thanks again for sharing your experiences it has really helped in the designing process! I look forward to checking out more of your articles!

    -Westin

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, as will I! I was curious why you decided to use galvanized steel from the wood stove and then transition to copper rather than use copper through out? Also, what size plumbing did you use? Mostly, I have read on these systems they suggest 3/4?

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  2. Mandolin,
    I used 3/4″ galvanize pipe for the pipe inside the stove and 3/4″ throughout except for the emergency T & P valve =1/2″ The reason I did not use copper throughout is because the fire box tends to get pretty hot and I heard people having problems with the soldered joints melting. The last thing I wanted was a water leak inside the fire box. I used stainless at first inside the fire box, but I had so much trouble with it leaking at the elbow joints that I figure galvanized is cheaper if I make a mistake connecting the pipes together, which I did. I screwed up my stainless by not connecting union joints to the inlet and outlets, which in turn screwed up the threading to the elbows inside the firebox; a perpetual slow leak started, and I had to change it out the next year. There are other designs out there that use copper continuously such as a creating a series of turns around the stove pipe and not plumbing into the firebox. Those who do this say the creosote buildup is less in the stove, but I “believe” the water is not as hot as fast as when plumbed in the fire box. Whatever you decide to do, do not forget to place a Temperature and Pressure (T & P) relief valve into the system with a safe blow off pipe for hot steam and water.

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  3. Mandolin, the reason I combined the copper with galvanized is because the copper is easier to cut to the desired length and solder together than to find the exact size of galvanized threaded pipe for each length needed. The copper runs I created are also far enough from the fire box to prevent the solder from melting.

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    • Woody, we purchased the Kitchen Queen 380 from you and your website. In fact, before we made our decision, we visited you and your smaller cabin in which you installed the 380 in. It was that visit that convinced us to purchase a Kitchen Queen. We’re glad we did because it heats our 1100 square foot home, cooks/bakes our food, and heats our domestic hot water during the winter months.
      Below is the link which we mention or talk about our wood cook stove. I mention your company and provide a link to your website in the first article I wrote about our wood cook stove back on April 11, 2015.

      https://livingasustainabledream.wordpress.com/category/wood-cook-stove-2/

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