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Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Wonderful Guest - Book Giveaway Contest

Some time back, Feb 28, 09 to be exact, we had a special visitor, Nick Rosen, he is a published author, journalist and film maker. Nick was traveling around the USA interviewing off gridders for his newest book Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America, well yours truly is in this book. Chapter 9. :)

 If you are a blogger living in the USA, be sure to enter the contest to win a copy of this book, see details at the end of this message.

I have known about the book since then, but I had to keep it quiet until the book came out, it's been a difficult task to be sure, but now with the book coming out July 27, 2010, it's time to talk about it. I must say that until I received the book (today), I was wondering what Nick had to say about us, what his take on our life would be, it's a bit disconcerting to know someone is about to publicly write about your life and not knowing what is going to be said until after the fact. I quickly scanned the book to find our part, I must say that I am happy with what was written.

Nick's off grid books are less about the technology and more about the people themselves, the who's and the why's about the people who choose to live off grid. It's fascinating to read about other people who are walking a similar path, some for similar reasons, some for very different reasons.

I wrote the following shortly after Nick visited:

Well, this was quite the fun weekend, I had a special visitor. Some time back, Nick Rosen found me through my blog and asked me to start writing on his web site. After asking a few questions, I agreed, I have been very happy doing this, I get a larger audience and a few other perks as well. :) Nick Rosen is a published author and a journalist. He has written several books, the one I'm most interested in is about living off grid. Nick traveled around the UK with his family and interviewed many people who live off grid. His book was less about the technology and more about the people living the life.

So now, Nick is doing the same thing for the off gridders in the USA. I knew for some time that he had planned on visiting me and including me in his book, I am quite pleased to have it be a reality now. I hadn't mentioned this before as I wanted to make sure this was going to actually happen, people will say that they are going to do something then never follow through, I am glad Nick is not one of those types.

Nick arrived early Saturday morning (Feb 28, 09). I had given him directions on how to find the entrance to the community where I live, that's the easy part, it's finding my property from there that is the hard part. Where I live has miles and miles of mountainous, rocky, rough, dirt roads that are poorly marked (if at all) roads, even with a map it's all too easy to take a wrong turn and end up on a road that your car cannot negotiate and what's worse, you might not be able to turn around. There are also some private driveways that look better than the road, leaving you to wonder which one to take... So I met him at the entrance and led him in.

As I expected, Nick is a very nice guy and a wonderful guest. He travels light, all I saw was a couple of cameras, a couple of cell phones (one for the UK and one for the USA) and a laptop computer. Oh and a bottle of wine, I'm not much on wine but it was not bad at all. :)

Nick, Bob and I sat outside in the sun while Nick interviewed both of us. He video taped the interview, it's a bit disconcerting to know you are on camera, but I tried my best to ignore the camera and just spoke what was in my heart. It was quite the pleasant interview, though I will say that Nick is a good journalist and he probed us, mainly about why we are living the off grid lifestyle. I was surprised at one admission he got from Bob, I'll not say what it is, you'll have to read the book to find out what that is (giggle). Nick didn't always take what we had to say at face value, he dug and probed (in a nice way of course) to get more information from us. I wonder though if Nick was satisfied with the answer as to why we are doing this, I felt like he maybe though there was more to the story than we were telling, I assure him and you that there is not more to the story, we are doing this because we WANT to do it, not because we have to or have some other, deep dark secrets that ran us out here. I know that juicy, deep dark secrets probably sell more books, sorry Nick. :)

Nick got to see some of the native wildlife, and even got to feed our resident deer named Notch, that was great fun. I took Nick on a tour of our neighborhood, I took him to the Country Store, I took him to the 2 churches and the cemetery. He also saw, in the distance, the observatory that is nearby. Nick got some pix of Bob and I, and in turn, I took some pix of Nick. I had gone in to town with a friend a few days earlier, I had purchased some fun foods, things that we haven't had since we moved out here. I asked Nick if he would rather have a typical meal like we usually eat, or would he like tilapia? He said he wanted to eat a typical meal (I'm glad of that, I figured he would probably be more interested in eating something that we normally eat rather than something non-typical). I fixed chicken and dumplings. The recipe is at the bottom of the message. Now, when I was making this, I tried to explain the meal to Nick, he is from England, we are 2 peoples separated by a common language. I tried to explain "dumplings" to him, he didn't know what they were. So I explained that dumplings were like biscuits, well in England, biscuits are cookies. Not too appetizing on top of a chicken soup. So I said they were like dinner rolls without yeast, at any rate, he ate the meal and seemed to like it, he asked for seconds, that's always a good sign. :)

Unfortunately Nick was only able to stay overnight, he had to leave out early the following morning. It's possible that he may come back through, I certainly hope he does, I think he has more questions to ask both of us. One thing is for certain, he got a taste of our style of living off grid, I hope he was comfortable and had a good time.

Wretha's Chicken and Dumplings
2 cans chicken stock
1 large can of chicken meat (or 2 small cans)
1 can green beans
1 can carrots
2 cups Bisquik
salt, pepper

Pour all of the canned goods in a large pan, do not drain the veggies, you want all of the juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to a simmer. I didn't measure the Bisquik, I just dumped about 2 cups in a bowl, I added enough water to make a slightly stiff dough, like you are making biscuits, using a spoon dip out golf ball sized pieces of dough and drop them into the simmering broth, once you have used all of the dough, cover the pan and wait about 20 minutes. The dish is done when the dumplings are firm to the touch. If you make large dumplings, you will need to cook them for a longer period of time, smaller dumplings take less time. Don't crowd the pan too much, your dumplings will expand. The broth will thicken while cooking. You can use other veggies, I just used what I had on hand, peas would go good in this too.

Now that the book is out (July 27, 10), you can read about Nick's take on our off grid life, as well as all of the other people in this book who live off grid. If you are reading this before July 28, you can pre-order this book and get a great discount. This book qualifies for free shipping if you order other qualifying items at the same time and your order comes to $25.00 or more.

 If you are a blogger (or own a website) and you have a mailing address in the USA, post a copy of the text below on your blog, you can add more to it if you want, then send me an email with a link to your blog/website post and that's all you have to do to be entered. This contest runs until July 31, I will pick one winner from all the entrants after that. Good luck!

Wretha and her husband have lived off grid full time since December 2007, there have been ups and downs, but all in all it's been a great adventure. Now Wretha and her husband have been immortalized in an off grid book, click here to learn more about it.

Just copy the above to your site, and shoot me an email, wretha@gmail.com, here are the rules:
  • You must have a website or blog
  • I will only mail to a USA address
  • copy the text above or you can write your own blurb with the link provided
  • send me an email with a link to your site with link to post
  • your site must be an active site with real content, ie you cannot create a new blog/site just to enter the contest
  • your blog/website does NOT have to be off grid or survival related
  • one entry per person please 
  • I will pick one winner from the entrants
  • the final day of the contest is July 31, 2010

All written text and audio podcasts from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute (text or audio) without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.
Wretha, properly pronounced wreetha, (included for the text reader), Thanks for visiting!


  1. I am so happy for you, and proud of you, Wretha!

  2. Thanks ~mc~, be sure to enter the contest! You have a blog... :)

  3. Yes ma'am, I would love to :)

    But ... is it okay to enter even if I also plan to BUY the book?

  4. Sure ~mc~, you can enter even if you plan on buying it. :)

  5. that is too cool......congrats
    am going to be ordering a copy

  6. I think this is great! Glad you had a chance to visit...and that you got mentioned in the book!

    How cool is the whole thing?

    You did good, my friend!

  7. Hey Congrats to you both! Very exciting and lucky for you! btw...I love chicken and dumplings, too. My granny taught me how to make them the rolled out way, too...good old southern cooking :P

  8. Wretha, I am reading the book presently to review it on my blogs. Last night I just read about you and Mountain Man Bob and today I found your blog in my own stats! Wow, that was surprising to me and then that you had my blog listed on your's. I am honored! I will add your blog url to mine.

  9. I loved the Video & yes I am entering the Contest. I am Happy for you.


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