Bring on the Advice!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by rnmom23, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. rnmom23

    rnmom23 Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys and gals! I'm new here and looking forward to getting to know some of you. I've already learned so much from this site as I've been viewing it for about a month now. I've recently decided with much enthusiasm and exitement to make some changes in my life. I guess I just woke up one day and realized that the constant pursuit of wealth, status and beauty, all those things the "world" holds dear is not for me and has never been. It's taken me 27 years to realize this but I still feel like I have my whole life ahead of me to make life better for myself and my family. To live more simply is my goal, though I do realize that living "simply" isn't simple. My husband is a little baffled by this and so I need to be supportive of him, but I really would like him to see things the way I'm seeing them. I think he's coming around slowly, but thinks this is all a phase I'm going through. He did agree to give up cable tv (a very big step for him) reasoning that $50.00 a month was an outrageous price anyway. Here are some other small changes I've/we've made in the last month... changing our 11 month old to cloth diapers, and let me tell you, had I known what a good feeling of frugality all that toilet swishing, rinsing and scrubbing gave me despite the dirty work, I would have done it for my two older children as well (ages 6 and 3). I certainly plan on it for future children. I've been baking all our bread, making most everything from scratch, buying only necessities, and staying away from processed foods (ok, ok, except for that box of Cheez-its I got for the kids this week ) I've started all my seeds indoors in preparation for a plentiful garden (I hope). The biggest change we've made is getting chickens! After about a month of researching this venture I was prepared when hubby asked me what I wanted for my birthday. You should've seen the look on his face! We've ended up with 6 hens and 6 pullets. Even despite all the grumbling he beats me out there every morning for the eggs and proudly displays them to any visitors we get! I have more plans for the future that I need to research a little more before I spring these ideas on my husband. He's still getting used to his "new" wife. They include: A couple dairy goats, heating and maybe cooking with wood, using oil lamps for lighting (though not planning on foregoing electricity altogether), getting rid of everything in the house that doesn't have a use (good bye knickknacks!) and just living a simpler lifestyle, I guess. I know it's hard work, but I now know that nothing beats the feeling in the evening after a long and hard but productive day when the kids are tucked soundly under their quilts with their bellies full of healthful and natural food, sitting at the table, cup of coffee in hand and playing rummy with my husband by lamplight, dog sleeping at our feet and the chicks peeping contentedly in the background. Now THIS is the life... I'd appreciate any advice!
     
  2. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    first let me say welcome second i think you are doing it right take things slowly so it isnt to overwhelming reserch everything and this is just the place to get ideas
     

  3. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Congradulations on taking over your life!

    Before converting to wood, speak with your insurance agent. A fireplace increases your insurance rates, so you can imagine what a wood burner will do. As for electricity, there's a reason people put away the oil lamps and candles in favor of the electric light bulb. With small children in the house, I would stick with electric.

    Do you have a freezer yet? When you want to raise your own chickens for cooking this summer, you'll need a freezer to put them in. When the roosters start to crow, it's time for the ax. Don't forget to check out the crafts forum :)
     
  4. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...............Here are two changes I've made in the last few months , (1) I was paying SBC about 80 amonth for a metro phone line and SBC Yahoo (9.95 amonth) dialup. I cancelled my metro line , call identifier , call forwarding , etc . and switched my number to a "city" numbered prefix . This is possible even though I live 11 miles north of town as the country folks have been on the city prefix from years back . Folks have been switching over to newer and more expensive phone lines and the previously unavailable city prefix numbers become available . So , my last SBC phone bill was 17.03 and that includes SBC Yahoo and all taxes . , (2) I'm going to cancel my Cell Phone which runs me 27 amonth and I very rarely use anyway . I got along without it for 45 years and I guess I'll survive a few more with just a local phone line . ...fordy.. :)
     
  5. JackieA

    JackieA Well-Known Member

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    Really good books that got me on my way to a simplier life:

    The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn
    Frugal Luxuries by Tracey McBride
    Encyclopedia for Country Living by Carla Emery
    Mortgage Free by Rob Roy

    Of course to be frugal, you can check them out at your local library or interlibrary loan!
    JackieA
     
  6. rnmom23

    rnmom23 Well-Known Member

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    Those books sound great!. I'll have to check 'em out. Thanks!
     
  7. pioneermama

    pioneermama New Member

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    alberta
    I cant wish you enough of good luck and the very very best....I have dont almost all I can. I am a single mom with 2 mildly handicapped kids, liveing on our own 41 acres, trying to cut back the best way I can.....we raise our own hens, have 2 dairy goats, 2 jersey cows, afew horses and were trying to become more self sufficient...I use my oil lamps, ocassionally use the candles, cause they make you feel so good.....I keep stuff out of the way of the grandkids......I have a wood heater and a wood cook stove, as long as they ae put in properly and approved its not that much of an issue, and the food.......OMgoodness its the very very very best, and wood here on our land is free, my daught cuts it for us mostly.....we gather alot also, cut and use!!!!
    We sell afew eggs and some other items, make cheese, bake everything from scratch and JUST cancelled satellite as the waste is so high......
    SO, life is simple, less cost, and were happier and healthier.......a pig is next to feed the excess milk too....YUM.






     
  8. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you're making a great start. It's amazing how addictive this lifestyle becomes. We look for ways to save. It's a game for the myself and my girls. The only thing is that they are so different from the peers. They are so much more sure of themselves, self-reliant and don't see things as obstacles. These are good traits to have. I'm hoping that when we get on our land, which is surrounded by beef and dairy farms, they'll meet children who have responsibilities and respect for life.
     
  9. rnmom23

    rnmom23 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply! Our land (only 2 acres) is not wooded and so heating and cooking with wood may be out of the question for now, although we do already have a woodstove. I would love to use it regularly without paying such high prices for wood! Any suggetstions? Sounds like you've got a great lifestyle going- just what I'm hoping to obtain
     
  10. rnmom23

    rnmom23 Well-Known Member

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    One of the main reasons I'm doing this is for my children. My 6 year old son started kindergarten this year and already I'm seeing the work of his peers on him. He has become so materialistic and self-absorbed (I want, want, want) I really would like to show him what is REALLY valuable in this life before it's too late. Thanks for your response
     
  11. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered adding homeschooling to your list? If you do, I think you'll find that it's the best decision you ever made, for yourself and for your children.

    Sounds like you are making good progress, I wish you well!

    Kathleen
     
  12. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Oklahoma
    Everyone here seems to want less. I want MORE! I want More tomatoes in my garden. I want More ways to make money. I want More ways to be Happy. I want More of everything, not less. I want to be More ready to have MORE of the things that are important to me.
     
  13. JackieA

    JackieA Well-Known Member

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  14. sapphira

    sapphira Well-Known Member

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    virginia
    I'm with Mgak - I want more more, more tomatoes canned and pretty on the shelves, more gold(canned peaches), more greens in the freezer, more flowers, more pine trees of all kinds, more bird and bird cover...................Sapphira
    Sounds like you got bit by the wannrealife spider.
    And good luck and times !
     
  15. OldYellersGhost

    OldYellersGhost Well-Known Member

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    These new folks are coming out of the woodwork.
    Did the 'This Old House' Forum fall down?
     
  16. steveaust

    steveaust Member

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  17. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Welcome. Please come check out the other forums. I like to post and read on the regular tightwad tips thread on countryside families.

    When thinking about gardening--I've started to concentrate on growing things that cost more at the grocery and things that have the highest nutritional value (especially when fresh). Also, learn to save your seeds and trade your seeds and you will have eleminated most of the cost of your food.

    ARe you feeding your hens scraps and cut grass? If not, that will be a savings. The hens love it and they love fresh greens.

    You may want to limit your subscriptions and share with friends. The only magazines I get now are Mother Earth News and Countryside because there are so many helpful articles.
     
  18. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Before converting to wood heat and wood cooking stove make sure no one in your family and no one who visits you regularly has any type of lung disease. DH was very recently diagnosed with COPD and this week end we are trying to figure out how to move the wood stove out and a propane stove in (money wise I mean). The lung doc says that wood stove ash and stuff (though very minor) contributes to his higher than normal CO2 level and is not good for him. Doc also wanted us to get rid of our propane fridge (i laughed), I asked "and do what? store or fridge goods in a near by stream?) I will try to find a way to vent the thing to the out of doors though. Just something to consider, also, reading by oil lamp (have done this for years) is extremely hard on the eyes and not at all good for homework! Have fun, explore, make changes and build the life you feel is best for you and your family. Welcome aboard! KC
     
  19. tnborn

    tnborn Well-Known Member

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    Hello,
    welcome to the forum :) Sounds like you and your family are headed in the right direction. Watch out about the chickens they like the garden . I am battling and loosing the battle it seems to my chickens. good luck.
    tnborn
     
  20. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

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    NC Arkansas
    :haha: I was thinking the same thing, Old Yeller! Where are all these folks coming from? I think it's great. It means that lots of folks are taking a harder look at their values, and what's really important in life. Woo Hoo!

    RNMOM,
    Welcome to HT! DH and I haven't moved to our farm yet, but probably this fall. However, for the last several years we've been fixing up the old house on the property, and reading, reading, and more reading (books and online here), about the things we'd like/plan to do. When we sell our in-town house, we will be able to pay our land off, so we'll be debt-free. :dance:

    One thing to consider, when you're getting rid of those knick-knacks, keep
    e-bay in mind. I've been going through closets and boxes and throwing things out there for a minimum price, and have been doing fairly well. Might as well make a few bucks on them to further your efforts.

    Starting when your kids are young is so great! I wish I would have done that. The teenagers today seem to think that the world owes them something, and (hindsight being 20-20) I wish I had made my kids live more frugally when they were young. I think it instills better core values in them to sometimes have to do without while realizing simple pleasures at the same time. It's too late for me to change that now (mine are 19 and 21), but I'm very proud of you for making the changes at their ages. The changes will have the greatest life-long impression on your children's lives!

    ~easyday