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Despair? Determination? Delight? — Let’s Discuss Options
LaserBillA
#101 Posted : Monday, October 27, 2008 11:08:13 AM
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Posts: 134,494
In these kind of things 2 + 2 = 5

A more realistic event would be a price doubling of everything (including taxes) and your income also being reduced by 50%.

I would continue doing what I do. I fix things.
I just picked up two more flat panel computer monitors to fix.

I am also working on getting a heat pump and adding more insulation to the house.

I don't have the know how to grow a garden, so I am dependent on others. On the other hand I know how to generate power and build things.

So even if the worst would happen I could trade power with the neighbors. (yes. I know how to pull the 7.2Kv fuses and reuse the local power wires if needed)
davisonh
#102 Posted : Sunday, November 09, 2008 4:09:06 AM
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Well,I believe hard times are getting here faster than we all thought...any thoughts?
enchantedsb
#103 Posted : Monday, November 10, 2008 11:43:21 PM
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Hard times are on us right here and now.  I happen to live in one of the areas hardest hit by forclosure.  People here are trying to decide between paying bills, or buying groceries.  My husband and I have been delivering produce to many of our friends who don't have enough food to make it through their pay periods.  Several have lost their jobs...

 

But....There is a bit of a bright side of all of this.  We are becoming more efficient, and are already starting to harvest some of our earliest winter veggies.  Our Meat rabbits are producing like crazy, and I think I finally have convinced my husband to do away with the Television completely.  I am teaching my daughter to sew, and my sons how to cook.  (Cadhla, my daughter has been cooking since she was small.)  This makes it easier for us to help our friends out.

 

Since my dad is so sick, we are going to have a huge Thanksgiving, and Christmas this year.  The beauty of this is that we are doing it all with little or no money.  All gifts exchanged are going to be canned foods, or other home made neccesities.  Dinners are going to be made from recepies that have been in the family for many generations, most ingredients required are either grown by my parents, or myself.  My dad wants it this way, because that is how it was when he was growing up, but I think it is very relevent to the situation at hand.-It doesn't matter how much you have, it matters how much you appreciate it.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to work on a walnut pie.~Enchanted

ClairSchwan
#104 Posted : Friday, November 14, 2008 3:55:35 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Regardless of the scenario, each of us should be prepared to the extent that we feel it is reasonable. No preparedness leaves you vulnerable and dependent. Over-preparedness can be wasteful in several ways.

Here in Cheyenne, we are building our own greenhouses and growing our own food. We have chickens and turkeys, and will expand to rabbits, ducks, geese and fish. We have ample food storage capability, but would much prefer to leave the food in the greenhouse or in the fenced in areas to harvest when we need it. This year is our first attempt at winter vegetable gardening. It should be interesting to say the least.

Our source of heat is wood, and we are all set in that area with about 10 years worth of scrap wood. Instead of a standard wood stove, I've modified my large fireplace insert with heat exchanger piping in and on the 12 cubic foot stove to capture hot water and send it to a water-to-air heat exchanger located in an auxiliary air intake plenum on the furnace. This provides a steady source of 90 to 100 degree air to the house via the furnace ducting.

With wood heat in the bag, the next item to knock off is electricity. It is perhaps the most essential of items that we need year round to run everything else. I'll use a grid-tie approach so I don't have issues with batteries.

Solar hot water and solar air heating for the house are also on the list. Also, I'll be putting in an underground cooling system for the house.

Becoming completely self-sufficient isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's a lot of work. My idea is relatively simple; if you don't like the marketplace, then create an alternative.

Clair

Lamb
#105 Posted : Friday, November 28, 2008 6:27:49 PM
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Posts: 134,494
John, since I am moving to my homestead next year (crosses fingers and toes) here is my take on your question
Everything 10X today's costs? Not very far-fetched as we watch run-away inflation today!

We plan on raising heritage breeds (check at www. albc-usa.org) for meat, eggs, milk and labor.Horses are pretty, but oxen can be multi-purpose.(Still trying to talk my darlin' man out of getting a Percheron!) We also plan on raising all our food, selling the surplus (there's my tax money!) We also plan on using non-hybrid and heirloom veggies and fruits in our garden.
For the past thrity years, I have learned *forgotten* skills that would come in handy if the S**t hit the proverbial fan. I can make my own boots if need be, or make boots for others. I can quilt, weave and sew. I know how to card and spin wool.My darlin' man has studied blacksmithing and can also construct usable bows and arrows. Both of us can butcher, can, make jerky, tan hides.I have studied for over 20 years herbs and their uses. Haven't even taken an aspirin in ages! I see my peers go to the doctor month after month and I shake my head in dismay. Why do they squander the health they were born with and then ask someone else to correct it with chemicals that will further harm their bodies?
Currently, we are both studying bio-diesel and converting a diesel Mercedes to a *greasel*.

We will heat with wood and the property we are looking to buy has a swift moving stream on it that will do well for a micro-hydro electric generator.We are planning on being completely off-grid.

Both of us have lived in other countries and have had to shop using *barter* rather than cash. Since we are both pretty familiar with bartering, we have continued to do so in the US. (Be surprised how many people are willing to barter NOW!)

I am also a *prepper* and have food storage. One years supply for 2 people. Not hard to do if you do it gradually and prudently.
So, there's my answer...


MC
#106 Posted : Monday, December 01, 2008 8:43:45 PM
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Posts: 134,494

I'm tired and I'm scared.  I'm trying for an attitude of determination, but the fact is that it's still despair most of the time. 

Right now, the only thing I could do is load my car with food and a little red wagon, pack some backpacks, a carrying sling, a canteen, a couple changes of clothes and extra walking shoes, turn the cats and dog out, stuff my kids in the car, and drive east until the gas gave out.  If I started with a full tank, I'd make it it over the Mississippi (starting from extreme northwest Arkansas)...

...and then I'd have start walking and hope'n' pray I could somehow get them the rest of the way back to the Monongahela Valley alive.  I would never be treated with respect or consideration again, but as long as I let them kick me and kept my mouth shut (and taught my husband to do the same or let my uncle shoot him), our work would be trade enough for my relatives to keep us alive.     

I was raised in a fairly traditionalistic household.  There's an upside to this:  I can cook, can, clean and butcher, keep a house, garden, perform "country medicine," competently raise happy children without a lot of material indulgence, find about 90% of our non-food wants and needs secondhand, and sew just about anything (though I really despise elastic and pleats, and I can't use a sewing machine for more than about 2 hours without breaking it).  I can work like a bullock, in any kind of weather, and keep my head down and my mouth shut well enough to co-exist with just about anybody.  I've put a lot of work into learning to stand up for myself politely but firmly, I can cuss my way thru an elastic waistband, and at least pleats aren't a necessity.    My daughter, now 7, can perform basic cooking tasks (she's still not allowed to use the stove), help with canning and meal preparation, clean house with direction, help in the garden, care for her 18-month-old brother in the presence of an adult, distinguish edible berries from poison ones (and put more in her pail than she eats on the spot), catch fish (though not take them off the hook), and has almost learned to sew a straight seam.  Even the baby can pick up a wee hoe and move dirt around.   

There's also a downside-- I can't fix anything, build anything more complex than a bookshelf, hit the broad side of a barn with anything other than a paintbrush, conduct a business transaction (whether for money or barter) without getting taken advantage of, or manage money beyond the point of "OK, I've got $200 and it needs to buy gas and food for four and a half weeks; we  can eat these things and drive this much" or "My kid needs shoes and these shoes cost $2; are they worth it or not?"  Those things were "men's work;" I was never taught any of them, and strongly discouraged from asking questions. 

My greatest mechanical achievements are replacing a dryer belt and changing the oil in my car; I couldn't do either without being "bailed out" by A Guy. 

To make matters worse, I married a fool for love and companionship at the age of 23.  I thought he'd grow out of it, and I thought wrong.  Not all bad-- seven years later, we're still together and working out our differences.  We've got a lot of differences.  He believes in comforts, I believe in necessities only until all forseeable needs are met.  He was raised on credit, I was raised on cash or nothing (and a whole lot of nothing).  He insists on new things, I'd go for second-hand food if I could.  He believes in hiring it out if you don't already know how to do it, the laundry list of things I don't know how to do keeps me up nights.  Restaurants, picnic basket.  Student loans, work your way through one semester at a time.  Broke-down lakefront fishing cabin, OK mobile home on five acres.  That's what banks are for, no way I'm taking out a mortgage. 

At least we agree about credit cards and auto loans-- he sees the mess his parents are in, and how we'll be carrying them within 90 days of the time poor health forces one or the other into retirement and paying their debts long after they're dead. 

He thinks I'm draconian and paranoid, I think he's materialistic and foolish.    

It wasn't that extreme when we got married-- but I've changed a lot in the last three years.  I was born thrifty, but green living, debt-free instead of "smart debt," and a goal of 80-plus percent self-reliance is new.  I'm not complaining, exactly.  I get angry enough to wish I had chosen differently often, but if I had the power to go back and change it I doubt that I would. 

It's just that I'm scard to bloody death.  I lay awake nights with visions of our kids freezing and starving.  I'm not afraid of learning.  But I can't do it all myself...

...and tops on the list of things I can't seem to do is get my husband on board with the effort.  Self-reliance???  He's still griping about sacrificing half the front yard for a 20x20 ft garden and grumbling about the 80 gallons of water in the pumphouse, 60 quarts of canned stuff, two dozen winter squash, and now 9 pumpkins being stored on my side of the bed. 

I can't take anxiety meds-- history of substance abuse, not retreading that path-- and don't want to anyway.  I can't live a 'conventional' lifestyle without going flat-out nuts; I've come to realize that it's self-reliance or anxiety-driven suicide.  I can learn, but I can't make it all happen by myself.  We're on our own down here-- no family, no friends, no community, no social skills to build one.  We do it ourselves, or it doesn't happen.   

And I can't figure out how to get the white-collar suburbanite I still love to see my point of view.  I don't have to get my way-- but I'm having a hard time getting compromise.  How do I get him on board, even a little bit????     

davisonh
#107 Posted : Tuesday, December 02, 2008 2:33:15 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Well MC,tell him this one sentence and I will bet he will change his tune..tell him he's got a champagne taste with a beer pocketbook.He has no idea what poor really is,and thats an issue now.We've gone thru a generation or 2 that has no idea what having no money and no credits' all about.Thats your husbands' problem,he does not know how to exist without a system,you do..tell him that and see what his response  is...Lemme tell you a little story,kick back and listen:I am 42 years old I am the youngest of four kids.I was that poor 7 year old kid about 35 years ago..35 years ago the 6 in our family  had absolutley *nothing*;a 220 year old inherited shack,all of us living on $100 a week from my father who had a teachers salary.(the only income we had).Credit was laughable,the prime rate was around 21 or 22 percent(double that if you had plastic which was extremely hard to come by,you had to be a millionaire practically to get one)and he sent my oldest brother thru Harvard(thru scholarships)the rest of us scraped along to get by.We had a small farm to get by,food was extremely expensive then.Had a 100 x 200 garden a horse three dogs and fourteen cats,a neighbor with chickens and 9 acres of woods with a woodstove.Evry Saturday was wood getting day,or doing the garden.We got by but it was hard.Now getting by by yourself is a whole h*ll of a lot easier than it was then,technology had helped a lot with that.

So with all that said I can say that I don't feel too sorry for anyone anymore.We've done the 60's (back then *everyone* did drugs,smoked.,drank like a fish..not proud enough to say that I did my share of that too.yeah I do remember smoking in theaters and airplanes,malls,etc..)So,we go back to the old ways;least I know that I know how to as does my wife,she has her own story to tell...and the cycle repeats..

MC
#108 Posted : Tuesday, December 02, 2008 6:55:24 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Davidson dude, you make me feel good.  No sarcasm.  You're like my buddy; you make me believe that I can get us ready, with nothing, in two years, with the baby strapped to my back.  The world would be a better place if everyone came up like you.   

I still have fantasies of putting on my Daddy's steel-footed coalmine boots and kicking the boy in the, ummm, butt screaming, "Champagne tastes, tapwater budget, you spoiled little jerkwad!!"  The last time I did that was in '00, when we were both in school, working for minimum wage, and he wanted a "modest" $10K wedding (and I wanted to put on my good white dress and go to the JP). 

We ended up with a compromise $700 wedding...

...mostly because the birth-control pills, the condom, and the spermicide all failed on the same night in December of 2000...

...and I looked at him and grinned this time last year, when his cousin with the "nice" $15K wedding ended up divorced due to financial stress.

And we fought over money styles for the next six years, and we ended up blowing the money that was supposed to buy a couple acres and a trailer outright to put a good down payment on this lakefront rathole, because he wanted it and he was scared and he didn't learn anything and I'd run out of fight.      

A lesson for those who would teach the sheeple:  Calling him names and screaming doesn't work.  It only makes him more stubborn and less willing to try, or even to listen. 

You can only blame him so much; he's in a massive slice of our (admittedly stupid) society.  He, and his parents, could find a hundred books and a thousand "experts" at any time to tell them the decisions they were making were right. 

I want to kick and beat and scream.  But all it does is waste my time and energy.  I've found two things that work:  Letting him burn his fanny and sit on the blisters (hence he now eats a lot of cornbread and beans, and my walk-back-to-West-Virginia emergency plan doesn't automatically include him, and I might just let him get shot if it does), and letting him watch me work myself to a frazzle until he pitches in 'cause he either can't take the guilt or finally realizes it can be done. 

Unfortunately, the "burn you fanny" plan has the kids paying the price right along with him if things really go down the tubes in the next ten years...

...and, while I can maintain all I've already done, I can't get a whole lot farther until our daughter is about 10 or I find someone to work with that I don't have to prove everything to first.  All I've already done isn't enough, and I've been thinking too much about all those old Indian prophecies to believe we've got another 5 years, let alone 10. 

So, now what??  We've squirreled $15K into savings since '06 (or anyway that's what's left after a new septic tank, new HVAC, and new appliances which I accepted shelling out for in order to get the energy and water efficiency). 

--How do I find a contractor I can actually trust to tell me whether this pit can even be remodeled or if we have to rebuild??

--How do I make sure we're fair to each other??  Assessing this place is too big a job to call a "free estimate." None of the 10 guys I've called so far have even returned my calls.  However, that was this spring, and I suspect they'd be more eager for work in the current economic climate.  

--Aside from learning enough terminology to bluff, I really can't help being an obvious patsy; how do I tell if I'm getting taken advantage of???  I can probably pay three guys $500 each before I make a serious enough dent in our savings to cripple our ability to either replace a car and fund a renovation project at the same time or stay solvent for six months in the event of unemployment.  That's an enviable position to a lot of people, but it still means I'm a babe in the woods who has to have accurate information within three contractors.

--How do I protect myself from unscrupulous dealings without acting like a total psychotic poopyhead??  I know I'm going to get nowhere if I offend people, and I don't want to anyway.  This is a small town.  These people are my neighbors.  And being mean isn't right.   

--If we have to rebuild, how do I juggle three kids and training in building construction in the absense of any daycare I can afford???  Where do I look for a night school b/c program, which I somehow doubt exists??  How, and what, can I trade with someone to get two kids watched full time and one after school for no more than $400 a month??  Even if I have to dump $10K into building certification, it's got to be better than what I'd have to pay to hire out everything but the linoleum, paint, and trim just to know no more than I do now at the end of it.

--Is it possible to talk hired help into letting me help??  Not for a discount-- for education.  I won't need a discount if we can remodel piecemeal.  I'm sure there are liability issues, but is there some kind of waiver I can sign??  Or is this something I can achieve by dumping a couple hundred dollars into coffee and fried eggs at the local greasy spoon over the course of the winter???   

--What's the minimum housing I can legally get away with??  How do I find out??  Like I said-- I've never been in trouble with DCFS, but I'm nominally Pagan in the middle of the Bible Belt.  I have to live ready to pass inspection and fight for my kids if I want to kiss them 'goodnight' instead of 'goodbye' every night.  I know it's paranoid, but it's happened before.  I know they can't take your kids away for dressing them in thrift store finds, but what about for stuffing five people into a semipermanent yurt (or a two-bedroom trailer, since I actually know how to buy those)???                      

--And does anybody have any other suggestions on how I can move that man faster???  His basic problems are a very mainstream upbringing, distrust of anything unfamiliar, and a basically total lack of confidence in anyone's ability to do anything they haven't proven, especially his own.  I can have compassion for those things, but compassion doesn't make self-reliance.  Unless I can find, or start, some kind of co-op, he's got to move more than micrometers at a time if this is going to work!!! 

MC
#109 Posted : Tuesday, December 02, 2008 6:58:13 AM
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Posts: 134,494
And, I've wandered quite a bit.  Somebody please tell me if I'm hijacking this thread, and where I should move my questions to.  I hope that's not too much trouble. 
davisonh
#110 Posted : Wednesday, December 03, 2008 1:36:14 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Well,no you're right on track with the title of the thread because the only solace you can take is the fact that you're not alone.OK about the mech. ability yes some are more talented at it than others and it sad that there are many of us out there who are scammers,make the rest of us look bad.If you want honest technical advice and you don't trust anybody,books are your best bet.Want to build a small house?Pole Building Construction my Monte Burch is a good book.Best thing I can say is look through all of our old threads,there are literally tens of thousands of subjects that we have all talked about here that are all on here for everyone to see,ranging from husband issues/sex to the best way to drill a well and  regulations on septic systems.Its all here and I'm not putting up advertising for MEN,the real stuff's all right here somewhere,you've got 38 years of people talking exactly about what you are.About the hubby,need assistance?Take his paycheck and tell him exactly how *you* are going to spend it.  And if he does not agree,tell him to not let the screen door hit him in the butt on the way out..you have to realize it's costing you money to have him around.He may be a cheep babysitter but if he's no good helping out his better half,then out he goes...simple as that.Destiny has a way of teaching you things sometimes,no doubt with things going on in the world now there's no need for me to prove anything otherwise..it's all happening in front of us now as we speak,just have to look for it..

MC
#111 Posted : Thursday, December 04, 2008 8:30:41 PM
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Posts: 134,494

I took his paycheck long ago.  We didn't get $15K in the bank in two and a half years on an annual income of $29K by letting a suburbanite make all the financial decisions.  I'm a witch, not a miracle worker.    I may not be able to grow money, but I can make a nickel scream. 

I dunno.  Thanks for the recommendations and advice.  I'll take it...

...and I'll figure out some way to build an effective fire under his ass.

The Big Lebowski
#112 Posted : Friday, December 05, 2008 2:12:50 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Hey MC you wouldn't happend to have any single sisters or friends around that are like you, do you?

I certainly could use a woman beside me that could take my paychecks and save them like you do and make those nickels scream.

Keep up  the great work

John Edward Mercier
#113 Posted : Friday, December 05, 2008 10:58:27 AM
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Posts: 134,494
MC wrote:

Davidson dude, you make me feel good.  No sarcasm.  You're like my buddy; you make me believe that I can get us ready, with nothing, in two years, with the baby strapped to my back.  The world would be a better place if everyone came up like you.   

I still have fantasies of putting on my Daddy's steel-footed coalmine boots and kicking the boy in the, ummm, butt screaming, "Champagne tastes, tapwater budget, you spoiled little jerkwad!!"  The last time I did that was in '00, when we were both in school, working for minimum wage, and he wanted a "modest" $10K wedding (and I wanted to put on my good white dress and go to the JP). 

We ended up with a compromise $700 wedding...

...mostly because the birth-control pills, the condom, and the spermicide all failed on the same night in December of 2000...

...and I looked at him and grinned this time last year, when his cousin with the "nice" $15K wedding ended up divorced due to financial stress.

And we fought over money styles for the next six years, and we ended up blowing the money that was supposed to buy a couple acres and a trailer outright to put a good down payment on this lakefront rathole, because he wanted it and he was scared and he didn't learn anything and I'd run out of fight.      

A lesson for those who would teach the sheeple:  Calling him names and screaming doesn't work.  It only makes him more stubborn and less willing to try, or even to listen. 

You can only blame him so much; he's in a massive slice of our (admittedly stupid) society.  He, and his parents, could find a hundred books and a thousand "experts" at any time to tell them the decisions they were making were right. 

I want to kick and beat and scream.  But all it does is waste my time and energy.  I've found two things that work:  Letting him burn his fanny and sit on the blisters (hence he now eats a lot of cornbread and beans, and my walk-back-to-West-Virginia emergency plan doesn't automatically include him, and I might just let him get shot if it does), and letting him watch me work myself to a frazzle until he pitches in 'cause he either can't take the guilt or finally realizes it can be done. 

Unfortunately, the "burn you fanny" plan has the kids paying the price right along with him if things really go down the tubes in the next ten years...

...and, while I can maintain all I've already done, I can't get a whole lot farther until our daughter is about 10 or I find someone to work with that I don't have to prove everything to first.  All I've already done isn't enough, and I've been thinking too much about all those old Indian prophecies to believe we've got another 5 years, let alone 10. 

So, now what??  We've squirreled $15K into savings since '06 (or anyway that's what's left after a new septic tank, new HVAC, and new appliances which I accepted shelling out for in order to get the energy and water efficiency). 

--How do I find a contractor I can actually trust to tell me whether this pit can even be remodeled or if we have to rebuild??

Any home can be remodeled. But I would need more information. Like the age of the structure.

--How do I make sure we're fair to each other??  Assessing this place is too big a job to call a "free estimate." None of the 10 guys I've called so far have even returned my calls.  However, that was this spring, and I suspect they'd be more eager for work in the current economic climate.  

You should be able to do a basic assessment on structure and mechanicals. And allow specialist to handle the remainder.

--Aside from learning enough terminology to bluff, I really can't help being an obvious patsy; how do I tell if I'm getting taken advantage of???  I can probably pay three guys $500 each before I make a serious enough dent in our savings to cripple our ability to either replace a car and fund a renovation project at the same time or stay solvent for six months in the event of unemployment.  That's an enviable position to a lot of people, but it still means I'm a babe in the woods who has to have accurate information within three contractors.

--How do I protect myself from unscrupulous dealings without acting like a total psychotic poopyhead??  I know I'm going to get nowhere if I offend people, and I don't want to anyway.  This is a small town.  These people are my neighbors.  And being mean isn't right.   

--If we have to rebuild, how do I juggle three kids and training in building construction in the absense of any daycare I can afford???  Where do I look for a night school b/c program, which I somehow doubt exists??  How, and what, can I trade with someone to get two kids watched full time and one after school for no more than $400 a month??  Even if I have to dump $10K into building certification, it's got to be better than what I'd have to pay to hire out everything but the linoleum, paint, and trim just to know no more than I do now at the end of it.

Do you have a local Home Depot? Part of the stores sales model is instruction in remodeling for the DYIers. Whether you remodel or build from scratch many of the skills will be the same.

--Is it possible to talk hired help into letting me help??  Not for a discount-- for education.  I won't need a discount if we can remodel piecemeal.  I'm sure there are liability issues, but is there some kind of waiver I can sign??  Or is this something I can achieve by dumping a couple hundred dollars into coffee and fried eggs at the local greasy spoon over the course of the winter???   

Most things can be answered over the forum... but the individuals selling you the remodeling supplies and the instructions that come with them are of the greatest help. 

--What's the minimum housing I can legally get away with??  How do I find out??  Like I said-- I've never been in trouble with DCFS, but I'm nominally Pagan in the middle of the Bible Belt.  I have to live ready to pass inspection and fight for my kids if I want to kiss them 'goodnight' instead of 'goodbye' every night.  I know it's paranoid, but it's happened before.  I know they can't take your kids away for dressing them in thrift store finds, but what about for stuffing five people into a semipermanent yurt (or a two-bedroom trailer, since I actually know how to buy those)???                      

--And does anybody have any other suggestions on how I can move that man faster???  His basic problems are a very mainstream upbringing, distrust of anything unfamiliar, and a basically total lack of confidence in anyone's ability to do anything they haven't proven, especially his own.  I can have compassion for those things, but compassion doesn't make self-reliance.  Unless I can find, or start, some kind of co-op, he's got to move more than micrometers at a time if this is going to work!!! 

Depends whether he is the visionary or the project manager.
In other words, does he make decisions? Or make suggestions for you to decide on?

 

MC
#114 Posted : Friday, December 05, 2008 4:57:37 PM
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Posts: 134,494
The Big Lebowski wrote:

Hey MC you wouldn't happend to have any single sisters or friends around that are like you, do you?

I certainly could use a woman beside me that could take my paychecks and save them like you do and make those nickels scream.

Keep up  the great work

 

Well, if you're anywhere in the vicinity of West Virginia, I've got a girl friend.  She's dating someone right now, but we'll see where that goes once the "honeymoon" ends.  She's better at thrift than I am; she helped me refine a lot of the skills I have.  Willing to work like a Missouri mule, too.  She comes with a challenging 4-year-old boy and tends to be emotionally clingy, needs a lot of affection/attention and reassurance, and she has a temper, but she's worth it.  She likes material things, but she's very clear on the difference between want and need, and will not go ape over wants as long as needs are secure.  Under the behavior the kid is a sweetie and she gives in proportion to what she asks with some to spare. 

 


The Big Lebowski
#115 Posted : Sunday, December 07, 2008 2:58:12 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Well MC I'm that far away, in fact I was in WV in June. Since I'm trying to be frugal and all she would have to come see me and I'm only a 13 hr drive away. A nice weekend juant. Live an hour west of Toronto Ontario,
crispyfarms
#116 Posted : Wednesday, April 08, 2009 2:51:15 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

I'm new to posting here, but this a good topic so I'm jumping in.

I don't think you can ever really be prepared for everything, but you can do your best to build a foundation, and if you are lucky, live in a neighborhood of like minded people who do the same.

We only have 3 acres, but we are on a 13 mile lake with bass and gator and have a private well. We grow all of our own vegetables, have mature fruit trees, 4 cows (2 are pregnant, 2 are getting ready to go in the freezer), a pig, rabbits, and 20 or so rotating chickens. We store seed. Everything is paid for except the house, but our mortgage is low. Our vehicles and our tractor are diesel. We make our own fuel. We are experimenting with sunflowers in the event we can no longer get restaurant grease. We have a whole house generator should we need to use it, and have lived off of it for 2-3 weeks at a time in the past.We would very much like to have solar and are working towards it quickly.

To answer the original post, I would say we were at 85-90% prepared. We do not have a constant power source and our house still has a mortgage.

Am I still scared that none of this matters at all since gangs and idiots will destroy everything we have built in a panic once Walmart shuts down? Absolutely.

 

 

 

Shari
#117 Posted : Tuesday, April 14, 2009 12:21:21 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

We can prepare all we want- store things away, have emergency plans, emergency funds, practice living wisely- but there will always be things we don't foresee.  Some aspect of it will always be worse than we imagined.  Consider the many disaster response brouhahas that occur each year.  It's not that no one prepares- it's that no one can possibly prepare enough.

What we need is to know where to turn in those situations.  We don't have to be islands of individuals and families, we can be communities, stronger together than we would be apart because of the organizations and networks we've set up to help us during the next depression, the next disaster, the next crisis, be it economic, environmental, or political.

We need to know which organizations and groups have the capacity to support us in this way, and it's NOT as easy as it sounds.  And then we need to invest in them.  This website provides a good start- presenting organizations based on the reviews of those who have experienced their work: GreatNonprofits 

mrgreenjeans
#118 Posted : Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:03:15 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

i feel that really there is only so much you can worry about. i used to worry a lot .i had to have a plan for everything but i have found it just made me chase my tail a lot. so i kind of take it as it goes now. gas went through  the roof so i bought an old Mercedes diesel and switched it over to straight vegi oil been running fine for the last two years. it has higher maintenance needs but nothing i cant handle with my tool box and some solvent.i have been driving free every since.the only problem is that when anyone needs to go anywhere they always wanna drive for free and the Mercedes is always in motion.

  last year food prices starting to bother me so i fenced off 6 acres of flat i wasn't using and got a fellow who needed a place to stay to start growing food , poultry and running some goats. i started making cheese its not very good yet though . now most of my food is homegrown. a word of caution though chickens are a everyday deal . you don't raise them you are married to them. this came as a surprise to me

 as to the roads, i think people will just do the work our selves .this year part of the county road we use  was washed out .we where stranded. about 8 families. so i walked  to the loggers that live down the road . i made them a deal to come cut the hillside on the high side of the hill. $400 and two cases of Coors .bingo back in business in 4 hours.beats waiting for the county to get around to it. there is little i think we cant do for ourselves. what we cant do for ourselves there will be entrepreneurs that will be smelling a profit out to be of service , hopefully they will be our children.

as to others coming to take from us, its unlikely that folks in my neighborhhod would put up with that. to many of us where ex military and we work to hard for people to just run off with the fruit of our labors. i dont imagine my neightborhood to be greatly different than anyone elses in this forum

mrgreenjeans
#119 Posted : Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:10:10 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

hey MC you should think about making a dating service . hook up your friends in wv with all the m.e.n. men. i hear opportunity knocking

sjp
#120 Posted : Saturday, May 16, 2009 2:00:32 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

We moved down to the south  in 1980 and finally settled on a farm (so. central Kentucky) in late 86.   Started off with 83 acres and raise sport horses which sell in the $3,500 to $20,000 bracket.    When we decided to move south we looked at a map of the US and thought about where would we be safest - considering the plight of the world, local ecomonies - etc.  

This farm was in terrible condition  very little top soil - horrible crop farming methods used - plowing up and down hills - sending precious top soil into the Red River.   Farm was purchased cheap (we didn't have a lot to spend then).   Began the process of having wheat planted that fall as a cover crop for grasses to become pastures.    Spread manure on all fast eroding areas.    Moved tons of dirt to where it needed to be with my old Massey front end loader and planted cover immediately to try to hold the soil.    Picked up more rocks than Carter has little liver pills!.   Children trying to fine earth worms here in 86 for fishing.    All the pesticides used here by former "farmers" had killed all the worms.  Took years to improve the soil and check the erosion.   

Continued working toward the goal of being safe and comfortable - growing herbs and tomatoes - (love to cook) heating with wood (lots of beautiful timber here)   Husband has good job - on the road - I stay home and work.   Finding as many ways as possible to live a clean and simple life here on the farm while raising and selling horses.  

With all this accomplished and this farm in wonderful condition - it's time to semi retire and have a much larger garden and go back to the beginning of being as self sufficient as possible.   Building a much smaller horse farm from scratch on the other side of town.    That farm has not had chemicals already for ever.   Just 18 acres of pasture, the rest if wood and a huge gushing spring (to die for).  So wanting the big garden again watered by the Ram pumps down at the spring.  Solar collectors.   Chickens, goats, ducks, geese, pigs, etc.   Have built a super real log home all done by horsepower from the local Mennonite Community and the building raised  by them also..   At the cost of only $40 per sq. ft.

We saw the inevitable coming years and years ago.    Worldly greed and laziness.    People would look to the sky for food instead of growing it themselves.  Would be best to be as self reliant as possible - Darwin's theory may be seen in our lifetime.

So it's time to sell this big farm - have divided it into two sections for a total of 63 acres and hope to advertise it in the ME News when the economy improves with owner financing.

It would be wonderful if more could read the Mother Earth News monthly and think about moving out of the cities and learn to care for themselves.   I heard yesterday that 36 school aged children have been shot to death in the Chicago area along since the beginning of the year.    Why do they stay in that situation?

sjp

 

 

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