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Cool Deep Green Swimming Hole on Hot August Day

Secret spot on secret river
I've been swimming here 3 times on this trip. It's about 8 feet deep by the rock. Not another soul in sight. Takes me a little while to decompress, for the barriers of disconnectedness with the wild world to drop away. Alone, no cars, people, electricity…lying in the sun, body 100% bathed in sunlight (Viva said in Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine in the '70s, "The sun is my lover."
Pretty soon I notice there are tiny insects buzzing around just above water surface; once in a while a silver flash when a baby fish will jump out of water and grab one.
I get warm in then sun, then swim…perfect.

Breakfast This Morning With Louie, Titsch, and Kyle

I took off early Wednesday morning with Yogan, my carpenter friend from France. This is Friday morning, so I'm not posting chronologically, but this is hot off the press: at breakfast this morning with Louie and Titsch*, this little boy walked up holding one of our Tiny Homes mini books, showing it to me. "Where'd you get that," I asked.
"You gave it to me last year."

Earlier this morning, I'd given a Tiny Homes On the Move mini book to a 3-year-old girl sitting at our able and she started going through it page by page and then said, "This is really cool."

Made my day, to say the least.  Kids are with us.

Here's Kyle Radic, driving south to San Francisco with his mom and she said he'd brought along his favorite book:
Photo by Titsch Jones
*Titsch and I were born on the same day (not the same year), and my mother's maiden name was Jones, so I consider him my brother. He's from Wales.

Shelter Publicity

I'm posting this here so it can be accessed by people on my GIMME SHELTER newsletter list. I don't think it's of much interest to general readers of this blog, other than people in the publishing trade.

I started doing these newsletters about 20 years ago, inspired by Carl Lennertz' newsletter to Random House reps, and George Young's weekly newsletter, "Verbal Abuse," to Ten Speed reps. There are about 600 people on this mailing list, but this one is being sent just to reps and PGW sales people.

As with my blog, these newsletters have wandered all over the place with subject matter, but this time I want to focus on Shelter's condition in this ever-changing and ever-loving (yes, still!) world of book publishing.

To tell the truth, I wish we could just stay out here in our ivory-tower-in-the-garden, turn out one book after the other, and they'd sell crazily—but it just doesn't work that way. Sales of our books have dropped off, and it's prompted us to review recent publicity, the phenomenal feedback of late on our building books, and current sales and marketing of Shelter books.

I'm sorry this is so long (but I "...didn't have the time to make it shorter."

Small Homes Book Sneak Preview #2—Homesteading in Montana

Just came in for our new book SMALL HOMES:

Hey Lloyd, Like many others, your books inspired us to build our own home. Four years ago I left a career as a helicopter pilot in the Army with my wife and two kids and moved to the Mission Valley of Montana (north of Missoula). We bought 40 acres of bare hay fields and built an 800 sq ft. house. It was quite an experience since neither one of us had experience with construction. We broke ground in late September, and six weeks later I remember the first snow of the season blasting me in the face as I dryed in the last wall. We finished it more or less over the winter, then went on to build a barn a few years later…still working on that one!

We grow organic produce and pastured hogs and like to farm as much as possible with our draft horses. I'd like to say 800 sq. ft. is working for us, but after four years, we currently are in the midst of adding on, increasing our square footage to about 1800*. With our remodel, we are trying to replicate the classic American Foursquare style of architecture that is widely seen across the country with a few timber framed details here and there. I think we could have lasted longer with a house sized somewhere in between, but this was initially going to be just a small cottage for family to stay in and down the road we would build another house.  therefore we built it without storage in mind. Well we ran out of money and didn't see the need to do that, so here we are! Nevertheless, its been a wild ride!

Thanks for the inspiration!

Micah & Katie Helser

Yes, it'll exceed our size limit of 1200 sq. ft., but it was smaller to start, so it's going in the book. (We have been known to stretch parameters.)


Adventure Videos From Sean Hellfritsch

Very short videos (1-3 minutes):

Subterranean Breakfast Nook
https://vimeo.com/62648661

Skateboarding down windy road to ocean
https://vimeo.com/89767441

Driftwood Cabin
https://vimeo.com/62648659

Camping Rafts
https://vimeo.com/62648658

Adventure Playground
https://vimeo.com/62648657