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Old 11-22-2013, 04:23 PM
1,420 posts, read 2,807,789 times
Reputation: 2246


Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
What if when it gets really cold you don't ever have central heating (or the gas heater I have, or will again soon I hope)? How fast can one rediscover how to stay warm?

Let's be reasonable, this is extremely unlikely.

we should remember it could go away easily. We live with a tech world which is far more precarious than we like to think.

Again, let's be reasonable. Easily? Come on. Sure maybe an hour or a day but nothing in context with this thread.

Read up on the electical grid and how tenuous it could be and how long it would take to fix it if a power surge took out key parts. We have failing bridges and electical lines and water ways. We aren't doing much about them.

Failures happen all the time. For most utility customers' outages range from a few hours to a couple days in the case of a major disaster. Sure, out in the boonies it could be worse, but for 99.99% of Americans it very unlikely to be more than a day.
Comments in blue.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:24 PM
Location: Northern Maine
10,224 posts, read 16,108,851 times
Reputation: 10737
Mainers remember the Ice Storm of 98. Some people were out of power for three weeks.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:26 PM
Location: NYC
15,882 posts, read 23,607,086 times
Reputation: 24312
It sounds to me as if you are just getting loser and realize how the life isn't handed to you on a silver platter. I do long for the days with just the responsibility of school!
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:52 PM
Status: "No longer very optimistic." (set 15 hours ago)
Location: Coastal Georgia
41,044 posts, read 50,786,372 times
Reputation: 70834
Let's just assume that your reason for feeling this way is that the constant "noise" from media and electronics is creating an uncomfortable reality. I believe this is true, but I'm not willing to jettison everything to get to a place that is comfortable. Even the Amish find ways to circumvent some things that are too inconvenient by having a community telephone, or having others drive them places.
For example, I doubt that you need to hang your laundry outside to dry in order to gain control of your environment, or otherwise throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. I am of retirement age, and I can tell you that folks my age are regularly saying no to some things that others feel they must have. We have, or will, go to one car, one phone with no answering machine, infrequent computer use, less national news, and less TV.
I have nothing against TV. There have been many shows I have enjoyed, but when commercials are so oppressive, and I am forced to record everything before I watch it, then I start to think I am being ripped off, so I would rather reject it instead.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:56 PM
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,938,776 times
Reputation: 13779
If you are going to be doing "real" farming, not just play at being a self sufficient farmer, you're going to need livestock to help you work your land unless you plan to hitch one or more members of your family to plows, wagons etc. You will also need a cow or goats to provide your family with dairy products. Whatever you have, you'll need to learn to milk it/them by hand. You will also need chickens or ducks or geese to provide eggs.

Important points to remember about livestock:
  • All livestock eats. Hay, corn, oats mostly depending upon the species. Since you are aiming for feed self-sufficiency, you gotta grow your own not buy from the hay farm in the next town or from the local mill. You can seed a hayfield and it can produce for 3-5 years, but you have to seed corn and oats yearly. Haying is hard, hot, back-breaking work even using a horse-drawn mower because the hay has to be loaded on a wagon and then unloaded at the barn. Harvesting any field crop with horse drawn machinery is slow work but it beats using a scythe or a wheat cradle. Livestock has to be fed at least twice a day unless it's out on pasture, but sometimes it's too hot or too cold for that to be smart.
  • All livestock drinks, and it needs water available all the time. Unless you have a windmill, that means filling a water trough with a hand-pump. It may mean hauling multiple buckets of water all over the barn multiple times. Oh, yeah, and in colder climates, water in troughs and buckets freeze in cold weather so you will have to break ice and refill frequently.
  • All livestock poops, and they ain't cleaning it up, so that's your first job. Horses and cattle poop a lot while goats, rabbits and chickens less, but there are probably more of them. Somebody's got to clean the stalls, beds, alleys, coops, crates etc with a rake and shovel and haul out to a pile where it can compost. When it's done composting, then somebody's got to load it by shovel into some kind of wagon and haul it out to the fields where it can then be shoveled out onto the ground to enrich the soil so you can grow crops. If you don't keep your barn/sheds/coops clean, your livestock will sicken and likely die.
  • All livestock needs shelter, fencing, and protection from predators and safety hazards. This means you have to build fences and maintain to keep your animals in and predators out. This means you will have to build and maintain (including aforementioned manure cleaning) barns, sheds, and coops.
  • All livestock croaks. Some are butchered. That means killing it, skinning/defeathering it, and then cutting it up. Other livestock are injured and have to be killed. Depending up on the animal, you could butcher it. If the livestock dies from some illness, you best not butcher it. Whatever the reason your livestock expires, you are stuck with the remains. Best figure out what you are going to do with those before you are infested with carrion eaters like buzzards, crows, coyotes, and skunks.
Noticed that I haven't yet mentioned anything about growing vegetables, fruits, herbs, and grains for people to eat.
Notice that I haven't yet mentioned anything about building/maintaining living quarters for people, either.
Notice that I haven't yet mentioned anything about cutting firewood for winter.
Notice that I haven't yet mentioned anything about obtaining such important goods as salt, yeast, clothes (or cloth/yarn to make clothes), blacksmithing services.
Notice that I haven't yet mentioned anything about doing all the domestic chores like cooking, preserving, washing, cleaning, etc.
Notice that I haven't yet mentioned anything about producing something to sell/exchange to pay those pesky real estate taxes.

I think some of you may want to rethink your romance with the land.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:56 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 78,411,962 times
Reputation: 36331
Sure -- I do.

I prepare all my meals pretty much from scratch, although I use a few prepared products, like shredded wheat and jello and butter, but otherwise I just buy raw meat and raw vegetables. I have electric light and hot running water and a fridge and an electric stove, but no microwave or toaster or anything. I set my thermostat on 85 in summer and 65 in winter, and sleep on the floor, not in a bed. My wall outlets don't have anything plugged into them but lamps. I have a thrift-store sofa, but other seating is $5 plastic stackable chairs from WalMart, including my computer chair.

I have a TV and computer, but just for entertainment, they are not things I depend on for livelihood. I don't drive a car anymore, and don't bum rides. If I can't get there on a bus or on foot, I don't go.

In other words, my lifestyle is pretty well minimized, by design, but I don't go overboard.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:36 PM
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 18,885,264 times
Reputation: 16875
Originally Posted by Cheektowaga_Chester View Post
Comments in blue.
No, you don't have to wake up each morning worrying about it, but out infrastructure is getting older and more vulnerable and it isn't beyond the possibility. I'm not saying go survivalist, but reasonably asking what if is not a bad idea. If nothing else, it should remind all of us that we *need* to pay attention to these things.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:15 PM
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,604,514 times
Reputation: 3424
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
I enjoyed this post. Somehow, I think we may be kindred souls.....LOL.
Very kind, Annie, cheers. I've followed & enjoyed your posts (not in a creepy, stalkery way... ), so perhaps we are.

My mum used to say, we're all frugal in some ways & waste money in others. I've seen people clip coupons for hours, but waste $200/wk on beer/fried pub food. No criticism... that's perhaps why they clip coupons... to enjoy pub nights with friends. I've seen others who pay $150/mo for cable, but never buy/read a book. Again, if that's their escapism & release at the end of the day, good for them. I'd rather skip TV, dance around like a loon to Iggy Pop (oops, did I just reveal too much!) & have a friend over for tea. When I'm 90, I'll catch up on all the TV programming I've missed these many decades. But, neither way of life is wrong as long as one is enjoying it.

Some of my prairie-like existence, like cooking/baking everything from scratch & eating only organic, actually costs more for 1 person, than most pay for a family of 4 (as discovered in a past thread on how much one pays for food/wk). The benefit is I'm 150-yrs old (or slightly less ) & have no illnesses, restrictions & am very active. (Migraines are sometimes a bear, but we all have something.) I'm a great gourmet cook, but like some down home cookin', too... the bonus is I love to cook, bake & make pastries, pies, cakes & cookies (which I never eat... I abhor sugar) as gifts for those who appreciate it. It would be much cheaper to eat out or eat pre-packaged/frozen/canned food... but, I simply don't feel well upon doing so & often get sick... so for me, my $$$ food habits are a medical necessity. Still, I admire those who said they grind their own flour (as one poster here mentioned), garden, roast coffee beans, brew beer & can food... I'd love to be able to do all & will someday... I only have only so much time & currently just do what I know.

I believe in dreams though I am a realistic person. If someone wants something bad enough, they can usually figure out a way of making it happen or giving it a good go....the key is to keep trying and not give up. I envy people who know how to do a lot of things and are self sufficient. And, I like simplicity.....<s>
I agree. I love sophisticated living & dressing, but refuse to pay $$$ for it. That's what I consider simple. I'm lucky in that I'm a small size, so can often find great bargains on new, designer couture & am happy to snag a free/low cost item & fix it, if necessary.

And, I believe in dreams, too. I know for sure, Geo Clooney is going to answer my email... No, really.

Signed, Mrs. PatanjaliTwist Clooney
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:35 PM
Location: Physically or psychologically?
13,108 posts, read 18,016,900 times
Reputation: 25424
Many of us who moved from a very urban America to a very rural America were not such purists as to try to delineate an era in which we wanted to return to. We simply desired to spend our remaining days on this Earth in a more simple lifestyle. We sought a quality in life that we could not find as a participant in the rat race for quantity. However, having donated our pound of flesh to that monster called progress, we earned the right to finish our lives in the pursuit of a happiness in a world where happiness is not so disguised by materialism and commercialism. Even the U.S. Declaration of Independence provides us the right to pursue happiness.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:52 PM
Location: SW Missouri
15,849 posts, read 32,023,974 times
Reputation: 22506
Originally Posted by thatguydownsouth View Post
Honestly if I could live in a hobbit hole, garden/farm, not have to even use currency, just barter, and not have to pay taxes or worry about anything but the simple things in life...Id do it in a heartbeat.

Originally Posted by Cheektowaga_Chester View Post
And you'd quit in three days as soon as the drudgery and hard labor and uncomfortable lifestyle hit you.

And what are the "simple things in life"?

Braces for your kids?
Library books?
Air conditioning for your home?
A car?
A microwave?
A fridge?
Sun block?
I totally agree with thatguydownsouth. The items you mention are completely unnecessary to the quality of life. People lived, AND LIVED WELL, without any of these items for many hundreds or thousands of years. I would love, love, love an opportunity to live that way.

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