Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Project Green

Project Green
Is it possible to build a green home for under $200,000? Let me start by saying I have no experience building anything. All I have is a limited budget and the drive to live green. I will be blogging every step from applying for Eco grants to zoning hearings to site construction.
This blog is meant to serve as how to guide. As I am a first time builder, the guide will likely be heavy into what not to do when building green. That is okay. I don’t really have any idea what I am getting myself into with this project. What I do know is that I have a great desire to better myself and the world I live in.

The concept is to create a community space in urban Nashville of 6-8 single family green homes. I would like to be able to offer the houses for under $200K. I don’t think there is anything other than condos claiming to be green in this price range. The ideal end result will be to have the houses operating off the grid.

I have several reasons for taking on this project. First, my husband and I are on an extremely limited budget. We do our part to help the planet (i.e. recycle, fluorescent bulbs). But we want to do more. We want to make more of an impact. However, the currently available options for buying a green home are limited by our budget. Second, I want to prove that anyone can go fully green whatever their budget.

I am currently, as I have no home designing experience other than The Sims, searching for an easy to use architectural software. I need something that is user friendly and allows me to create from the foundation up. I am going to try Home Designer 6.0. My plan is to create 6-8 concrete homes located on .75-1 acre of land. The homes will be between 900-1200 square feet. Each unit will have its own "backyard" green space. Plus every unit will share a community green space.

Does this sound ambitious or what? I don't care. I spent the better part of my life lost. I wasted so many precious educational opportunities. That being said there is a valid reason these opportunities were wasted. See I have been asleep for 29 years and 129 days.

The next step will be attempting to navigate my design software. I will also work on finding and pricing local green building materials. It will be important to create a rough pricing outline for this project. In the mean time I will be playing with the design and layout of the houses. Stay tuned...

Blog Ammendment 04/03/09-What was I thinking?? This blog is the truest example of Jane-The Dreamer! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I have been asleep for 29 years and 129 days.

I have been asleep for 29 years and 129 days. On May 9, 2007 I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy and have now been awake for almost a year. The power of drugs is amazing. I am not saying I love the idea of taking a drug that begins with the words "meth" every day for the rest of my life. However, my life now compared to my life almost one year ago is like night and day.

Narcolepsy is defined as, "A condition that causes sudden uncontrollable desire to sleep and sometimes causes visual or auditory hallucinations at the onset of sleep." What does this really mean? Line up boys! No roofies needed!! Just start talking about your love of all things football and I am out!

The part that sucks is that no one ever bothered to ask why I was so tired all the time! I know this sounds like I am placing the blame on my parents but I am not. Truth be told I learned to hide it. I have spent the greater part of my life developing little tricks to "kinda" staying awake, from pulling the hairs out of my head to getting jacked up on Stacker 2 pills.

For me narcolepsy is not like you see in the movies. An average day, pre-medication, would consist of waking up and feeling like a zombie. I would then spend the greater part of the morning trying to stay awake in a caffeine induced coma. After the caffeine wore off I would spend the rest of the afternoon fighting sleep by any mean necessary. I would slap myself. When I say slap myself I mean over and over again really really hard trying desperately to snap myself out of this strange waking sleep trance. Have you ever fallen asleep in class? You know you were out really late the night before and the current lecture is excruciating? Try living everyday in a constant state of sleepiness.

The whole concept of being awake for the first time in my life is throwing me for a loop as well. I have missed so much. I guess I am making up for it now. But the down side seems to be the inevitable looming pile of tasks I was always too tired to complete.

I am trying to start fresh by completing one new or old task everyday. My first mission has been to start reading. I just barely made it through high school and college on cliffs notes alone. I did try to read but I always fell asleep. I know this will sound silly to many of you. If it sounds silly to you, you can imagine how embarrassing it is for me to admit. But it is true! And do you know what I have found? I LOVE TO READ!!

Okay, I promise I am going to try to make my future blogs a bit more upbeat! I am not even sure anyone is reading these but no worries! I have been know to have conversations with myself on a regular basis! C'est la vie!!!