Coping with Isolation...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pcwerk, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,961
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Location:
    SE Minnesota
    Hi Folks,
    Well I finally got my chance at the homesteading thing and I am finding
    that the isolation is kinda tough to deal with. I come from the 4th largest
    city in the US to now living 8 miles north of a city of 1200! My closest
    neighbor is nearly 1 mile down a dirt road!! This is really different for me.
    Right now I am only working a part-time weekend job, so I think it may get
    better when I am working full-time. Also, since we moved here on a shoe-
    string we have no animals to tend to (other than dogs) and not much going
    on since winter is setting in. I've been trying to some work around the house
    fixing things up to occupy my time but you can do very little with no money.

    Its kinda interesting...I have spent my entire life in a city wishing I was in the
    country and now that I am its very strange existence. Its kinda like someone
    who is dependent on "hectic activity" to occupy their mind (or keep them from
    actually *thinking* about their own issues) that now has so much quiet time
    to reflect on matters. I feel as I need to get some "activity" going or I will
    implode! Any suggestions out there? Do you think it is possible for a city
    person to actually change their entire mindset? Maybe success stories is what
    I need? Thanks for listening.

    James in the middle on NOWHERE (buts it REAL pretty here ;-)
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Maybe you could use the time to recycle some building materials into coops and sheds and fencing? Surely there are some old buildings and such that need to be torn down somewhere near you?
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    Hmmmm...I think you have already been changed by just realizing the difference between city and country life....most people from the city are charmed by country quaintness....which real country living isnt....

    Get some seed catalogs...plan your garden
    Get some online plans for the perfect barn....Mother Earth News Archives are awesome!
    Visit a neighbor farmer and offer to help in exchange for experience and maybe a critter or two.....nothing like a new critter for REAL COMPANIONSHIP!!!!

    Personally I like isolation.....I stayed home by myself on Thanksgiving after getting 3 kids and hubby dressed, cooked half the meal....just to be alone...I did online Xhristmas shopping without kids looking in and had turkey with the cat...dog got the skin, chickens got the bones and the goats got the pulp and seeds from squash and potato peels....and I gave them all OJ in their warm water.....

    Enjoy the peace and quiet!
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  4. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,504
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
     
  5. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    Send them to grandma's of course.....
     
  6. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    474
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Gosh James, if you lived a little closer you could come visit us, but we are three hours NW of the cities. And, we're not real good company, lol, we LIKE being hermits. Still, if you get desperate, give us a shout!

    If you have lots of time on your hands and little $$$, maybe you could spend some time cutting firewood to sell? Or to put by for next winter for your own use? Do you hunt? Pheasants are in season up in our neck of the woods, man, are they good eating!!!!

    I reall ylove it here, hope that you can make the adjustment before you get cabin fever, lol. Good luck.
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  7. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    Location:
    NC
    I moved my wife from Miami to here in podunk. It took a year for her to acclimate. Now she hates the big city's. Hang in there you'll make it. :)


    Kenneth in NC
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  8. catcrazy

    catcrazy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    HI :)

    I do think it's possible to change your mindset -- I did. I came from a large city to the country, 8 miles out of a town of 600 -- that was 11 years ago. It was difficult at first. You're right, you will become more reflective and [maybe] finally be able to think about what really matters, instead of being distracted by all the chitchat and distractions and shiny toys in the city.

    Hmmmm, suggestions, get outside in the winter, even when it's icky (I'm in MN too, northern MN). Walk, ski, whatever you like. And there are always things to do. Always. Garden planning is a good idea. Barn planning and future constructino projects are a good idea. Soon, you will be amazed at what you can do with little money; it's just different from some of the leisure things you might have done in the city that required more money. Give yourself time for this change. I think it took me a good two years to start feeling like I actually might like it here -- just about the time I started to really connect with some of my best friends.

    Good luck

    p.s. -- working on wood in winter is an excellent idea too! Good time to cut and split, because there aren't a billion other projects screaming for attention. And good exercise and you get out in the sunlight.

    cat
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  9. thedonkeyman

    thedonkeyman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    699
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Winter is time to repair those items you used in the summer and time to build new ones. Time to construct things to trade to the neighbors. Heat your shop with that wood you spent time to cut and split. Get a DONKEY to pull in that Wood. A DONKEY can be used for not only getting in the Wood but cultivating the garden. Could pull a Cart to town. Best to have two Donkeys and save on fuel. When the Donkey is not taking you to the trading post for supplies he can turn a Round About and produce power. Grind grain, pump water and alot of other things that you might think of. If you have a stream you could build a Water Wheel and if you have wind you could build a Wind Mill. So don't tell us you have NOTHIN to do. Don't forget to COMPOST.
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  10. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,429
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Southeast Ohio
    A pair of goats make great company. Once they get bonded on you, they'll hang out with you while you work on the land.

    They are affectionate, funny, and good landscaping help as well.

    Lynda
     
    CaliannG and hmsteader71 like this.
  11. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

    Messages:
    3,340
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Well, when I start looking at the cat and wondering what kind of ruffled dress I can sew for her, I know it's time to head out the door and get some human interaction. This is usually achived at the local coffee shop, there's always someone to strike up a conversation with, and if you treat the waitress like a human being and not your servant, the coffee cup becomes bottomless. :D

    Start an online Blog and put your thoughts down, any plans you have for the future and such. You'll find people will read it and start interacting with you, great way to make cyber friends (who could become in the flesh friends).

    Oh dear........... the cats tearing off her ruffled dress...........gotta go! :walk:
     
    peri_simmons, CaliannG, DebM and 6 others like this.
  12. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,464
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    Along with the above mentioned firewood, for both yourself and to sell, the pheasants aren't the only good meat in the area. Rabbits, squirrels, raccoon, deer, all go into my freezer during the winter. I buy very little meat in the store. Also. if you own land, christmas trees are a good seller, and get you into town for a period of time, too.
    Look around and you can find more to do than you have time to for.
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  13. thedonkeyman

    thedonkeyman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    699
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Raise meat Goats.....I hear Boers are good, along with Spanish. There is a market for Goat meat as most of the people on this rock eat them.
     
  14. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,317
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

    When I was younger, it was called culture shock. By making such a drastic move, even a GOOD move, there have been enough changes to REALLY get on your nerves and stress you out!

    Tell me, is there a library in town? I found that a drive to town every couple of days was just the ticket. If you went every Wednesday, for instance, that would give you 2 days on the farm, a day in town, 2 days on the farm, 2 days work, etc.

    For that matter, since it is a bit late in the year for growing things, perhaps a before-Christmas job would be the ticket. Out here, stores hire for the Christmas rush and then lay off.

    You WILL adapt, you just have to give yourself more time!
     
    Trisha in WA and hmsteader71 like this.
  15. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    AR
    we stay so busy no time to miss anything ,not that we would miss the city
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  16. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

    Messages:
    2,740
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver,Washington
    You will adjust it takes time...you need to find a hobby. I envy you I wish I was so isolated I miss that.
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  17. fernando

    fernando Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    356
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    You are at where so many want to be.
    The day before yesterday was Thanksgiving. Did you miss the point ?
     
  18. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,081
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Hi PC. Take in the beauty that surrounds you. Breath it in, breath out the negative. Do your best to stay focused on the positives and not let those negative thoughts take hold. Try to look at the isolation as a temporary 'discomfort' that's a bridge to your next activity. Kind of like changing gears. It's kind of an edgy, anxious, fidgety sensation, at least that's how I perceive it.

    Why was it that you moved out to the country? What was it you hoped to achieve? Plan out your lifestyle changes and start taking babysteps toward bringing yourself closer to that ideal.

    Make a list of low cost things that need done. That way your covered in case you have one of those moments that you just can't think of anything and your going crazy in the silence.

    Play the radio. Sometimes the right music can really change the atmosphere.

    Dream about your perfect homestead, and then take the time to plan how you'll achieve it.

    Check some books out from your local library. If they don't have what you want, usually you can get it on inter-library loan.

    I'm not sure of your religious persuasion, but maybe finding a church would help break up the monotony.

    You could volunteer at a hospital or senior home for some socialization.

    Check around the area for clubs that interest you. In our area there are garden clubs, food buying clubs, bridge clubs, senior clubs of all sorts. I wouldn't mind starting a canasta club or a euchre club (love card games).

    My favorite things to do are to read, plan, dream, scheme (for the future), and talk on the phone, and play on the internet. That takes up 95% of my isolation time that isn't used productively engaged in housekeeping or work.

    Good luck, it's always hard pulling up roots and starting over. Especially if your experiencing culture shock in the process. I'm sure you can adjust given some time. Once you get your new routines down, maybe a year or two, you'll plan things in your life to look forward to and keep yourself going.
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  19. Mama C

    Mama C Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    BC Canada
    When we started, there was very little money as well, so I know what kind of a bind that puts you in.
    Its the City in you that needs money to get things done. You must fight the city!!LOL :D
    Start looking for the free things that are the blood of this life. Cut stakes and buy a roll of string and a roll of survey tape. $2.00. Then start marking all of your dreams all over the property. When the snow gets to deep for that, start drawing the floorplans for barns, greenhouses, gardens.etc.
    Finished with that? Start writing all of the things you know about your family tree, then start researching online. I started doing that every winter several years ago and it is amazing how interesting it is!!

    Need social interaction? go to the auction! I love the people at our local auction barn, there is more stories,knowledge and wisdom than you can imagine. Its just like here, only the animals smell better!. Let them know that you are new to this life and a blank sheet of paper, dont tell them stories of your city life, it will turn them off. They have better things to do than listen to someones stories about something they could care less about. One mistake I have seen so many "new" people make is they give an air of "we came from above you simple folk" It will take you years to recover from that!! I think its a natural defence for some people that are suddenly really out of their comfort zone, but its really not necessary, as you can imagine.
    I know people that did it and didnt even know it.
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.
  20. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,124
    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Idaho
    There should be plenty of things to keep you busy!! Frankly, in my mind, city life seems easier and far more laid back than being in the country. No matter how much you do on the homestead, it seems that there is always something else that *needs* to be done... Seriously, a workaholic in the country could put themselves into the grave with no trouble at all.

    I think that since it is fall, what I would start with if I were you, (assuming firewood is already in!) is preparing the garden spot for next year and planting fruit trees (you can often get starts for free from people who have them sprouting up next to the parent trees) and raspberries.

    Select the spot, lay down cardboard (free at grocery stores), and apply lots of mulch and manure if you can get it. If deer are going to be a problem, you could dig fencepost holes and set the posts, even if you will have to wait to get the fencing itself. Then the posts will be there already when you do get it. I think I would wait until I knew how big my finished garden would be, though... After preparing the garden, call the 1-800 numbers for seed companies and start planning what to put in! :)
     
    hmsteader71 likes this.