Showing posts from 2019


Invited - The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness Many people today feel lonely, isolated, and disconnected from God and others. We crave authentic community, but we have no idea where to start. We'd be glad to cultivate friendships; but honestly, who's got the time? In Invited, writer Leslie Verner says real hospitality is not having a Pinterest-perfect table or well-appointed living room. True hospitality is not clean, comfortable, or controlled. It is an invitation to enter a sacred space together with friends and strangers. Through vivid accounts from her life and travels in Uganda, China, and Tajikistan, and stories of visiting congregations in the United States, Verner shares stories of life around the table and how hospitality is at the heart of Christian community. What if we in the West learned about hospitality from people around the globe? What if our homes became laboratories of belonging? Invited will empower you to open your home, get to kn

Free Water - Part Deux

Our testing found that the main HVAC unit on our house in the middle of June and July was producing 10 gallons of condensation a day. I picked up a 90 gallon tank and with some help from my daughter's boyfriend, have it now catching the condensation from the main system. In theory, this tank should store 9 days of condensation from that system. If we find we need more storage (I usually shoot for 14-21 days worth), I will find a second tank and plumb them in line. I used the same overflow configuration as on the wine barrel, it has a 6 ft garden hose coming off the top edge of the tank leading down to a female how barb screwed on to the hose containing a screened washer like used on washing machines to keep out the mosquitoes.  I riveted aluminum window screen wire in the center of the lid to allow filling and keeping out mosquitoes and leaves. The tank had a 1 1/4" fitting in the bottom, so I installed a ball valve and then reduced to a 1 inch Tee. On o

Free Water?

We've experienced a few drought periods that last anywhere from three weeks to a couple of months. It can be frustrating when you've planted new trees or shrubs or watching your lawn die. The alternative to watching it all die is to water, but that can quickly get expensive if you don't have a well or access to reclaimed water. In the past, we remedied this by diverting a gutter downspout to a rain barrel. But without gutters and during a drought that doesn't even help. Another source to consider is your HVAC. During the hottest days, the HVAC system displaces condensation through a drain line. You might be very surprised at just how much water that produces in a day's time. Our home, the "Charm House" has a main system with an air handler in the attic and a mini-split in the master bedroom. I elected to determine how much water each system was producing. So, I cut the drain line off on each one just high enough to place a 5 gallon bucket under

Community First! Village

For those of you who have read Awakened , you may recall in the epilogue, I discussed Community First! Village in Austin, TX - a community established to restore dignity and community to the chronically homeless in the Austin area. I had the extreme privilege to visit for a week in December and stay in one of their tiny homes in their  Community Inn . I knew my readers would be keenly interested in learning more about this exciting village, so I did be best to take lots of pictures to help tell the tale. So first off, here is the cozy tiny home that I stayed in for the week: RUBY!    (you know like the slippers from Wizard of Oz!) It had a full size loft bed, a twin bed on the main level, gas stovetop grill, fridge, and full bathroom with shower. Photo credit : Community First! Photo credit : Community First! Photo crddit: Community First!  Photo credit : Community First!  Ruby was very comfortable, and I was ever more grateful for t