I was raised in Napa, California in the sixties and seventies. I read once that the greatest gift is a happy childhood. As a part of a large working class family we did not have money, but we had fun. We still do when we can get together.
April Fool’s Day 2010 I celebrated 25 years of living off-grid, completely unconnected to any electrical utility. It was also the 25th anniversary of meeting my husband Bob-O. I did not set out to live like this. I fell into it when I fell in love with my husband through the mail. He lived off-grid in a very remote area here in Siskiyou County. A mutual friend got us writing to each other. After a courtship of letters flying back and forth we met. We have been together ever since.
Bob-O and I are living a lifestyle that strives for reasonable sustainability. It’s an ongoing process. We are not survivalists. We like to live comfortably and use our Renewable Energy resources to that end. We live way beyond the utility grid. We use electricity, but we don’t waste it. We sought and were very lucky to have found a place where wind, water and sun are all available to us to utilize for power production. We have a large vegetable garden every year that with our small orchard and vineyard supply us with lots of organic food and drink. We feel that making your own electricity and growing your own food are two of the biggest political statements you can make in America today.


  1. Jason says:

    THANK YOU! My wife and I are looking at off-grid living but so much of what we find are survivalists and preppers. What about the rest of us who want to model sustainable ways of living for the future. The biggest hurdle we are finding is figuring out the building codes!!!!

  2. Andy Mahoney says:

    Hi Kathleen and Bob-O,

    I happened across a post Kathleen did back in October / November 2007 of Home Power.

    I am from the UK and have lived a life of alternative energy, self sufficiency and low energy heating and power. I have no idea what got me interested in this kind of living but what I do know is that I am going to be spending my entire life living out my dreams.

    Now at 34 I am no spring chicken but me and my fiancee gave up everything and recently purchased a motorhome and are living pretty much off grid.

    My website is dedicated to my teachngs of alternative energy and self sufficiency.

    I would love for you guys to take a look and read some articles on there, see what you think and please get in touch as I would love to hear from you soon.

    My ideal lifestyle is that of a late gentleman ‘Richard (Dick) Proenneke who I am sure you are familiar with.

    Kind regards

    Andy Mahoney
    Home Brew Power (UK)

  3. mary jarschke says:

    You know you were always a trend setter, maybe not in fashion but in thinking and doing. These days it is so hip to grow your own food and be sustainable and here you and Bob-o are for a quarter of a century doing just that.And Oh the stories shes lived! Lucky for us you also write.So fun to read your stuff. Mary

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