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Old 11-22-2013, 08:52 PM
 
1,420 posts, read 2,819,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
no microwave or toaster or anything.
thermostat on 85 in summer and 65 in winter,
sleep on the floor, not in a bed
I have a thrift-store sofa
seating is $5 plastic stackable chairs from WalMart,
Are you married?
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:58 PM
 
373 posts, read 519,923 times
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You know if you call yourself Amish, you won't be forced to participate in Obamacare. That's a plus.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:58 PM
 
1,420 posts, read 2,819,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
=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.

20yrsinBranson
If your definition of "living well" is a life expectancy of 52 years, chronic alcoholism, malnutrition, death from infection, cholera, high infant mortality, exhaustion, minimal food storage capability, missing teeth at 25, 69 minutes of free time a month, then I completely agree with you.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:04 PM
 
Location: East Germany in America
13,932 posts, read 12,108,240 times
Reputation: 11970
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
Of course there are those who honestly believe that our nice comfy world does have an expiration date and all we've learned will have to be relearned. I don't think its *unreasonable* to discuss how our technology has made that moment a much harder one and how it has taken things from us too.

Like now, its 30 degrees and drizzling freezing rain. The heater won't come on. I think I can fix it but in the meanwhile am dressed in multiple layers and am using the pan of steaming water on the stove method to help things a bit. And an electric heater but its not doing much. 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?

I don't think its evil to appreciate technology. I enjoy what I enjoy. But we should remember it could go away easily. We live with a tech world which is far more precarious than we like to think. There is nothing wrong with also considering and even trying things out without all that stuff.

When I moved here I got the type of heater I have for the *specific* reason it doesn't take power. The winter before a friend who lived here lived in front of the fireplace for week since an ice storm knocked out the power for the city. I atleast will have heat (once the dust is blown out of the thing) even if the ice gets the power. I don't know for sure this will happen but its smart to think of the 'what ifs'.

Like stocking up before a storm. The one that blocked the street a few years ago for a week with snow made me glad of that.

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. Just once, take a couple days and don't use power and pretend the water is off and see how much hurt we'd be in if .....
Nice post. This is a level-headed approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
For example, I doubt that you need to hang your laundry outside to dry in order to gain control of your environment,
I've never understood the "distaste" for hanging the laundry out. Doesn't work so well (at least outside) in the winter, but I don't find drying laundry outside to be much more effort than doing it in a dryer. Plus it costs nothing to line dry outside.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:14 PM
 
Location: SC
2,966 posts, read 4,582,519 times
Reputation: 6876
Here is the biggest conflict that no one ever mentions in these self-sufficiency lifestyle conversations - money and time.

A homesteading lifestyle requires insane amounts of time and work/labor.

Many, many, people who move to the country seeking a "simple life" quickly find out there is nothing simple about it. If you expect to work outside of the home to have cash to live on, you must also plan on adding another full time job on top of your paycheck job - that second full time job is the amount of work it takes to successfully homestead. If you plan on living a subsistence lifestyle that includes quitting your job, where will your money come from? If you plan on living in a tent, or are already 100% financially set for life, that may not be a big issue. Are you prepared to never take a vacation because your land, animals and crops/food will die if someone is not there to work with them 24/7?

Our ancestors who lived like this, (and the Amish) did not take vacations, did not have jobs outside of the home, and had/have many, many children to help bear the workload. When I lived in the country we did not vacation for years, we were both working jobs and had to do all of the "home work" when we got home from the job and most people were relaxing. If wild animals were on the prowl at 3 am, we were outside with spotlights running through the darkness in 25 degree weather while the rest of the town was sleeping in their warm bed, otherwise our fowl would be killed. If there was a family get together, there was a good chance we had to skip it because that day might be the only time we had all week to spend 6 hours mowing the grass and getting yard work done. Are you prepared to raise an animal from the time it was born, then butcher it, blood, guts and all? Many people who have only been exposed to meat in grocery store packaging have serious issues overcoming this.

This is the number one most overlooked thing that people fail to realize when dreaming of "The Simple Life."
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:18 PM
 
1,420 posts, read 2,819,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
I don't find drying laundry outside to be much more effort than doing it in a dryer. Plus it costs nothing to line dry outside.
Again, let's be reasonable. Moving clothes from the washer to the drying takes about one minute.

No dryer?
Take them from the washer and place in a basket
Carry the basket outside
Remove each piece of laundry one at a time and clip it to a line.
After they're dry, remove each piece and place them back in the basket.

If line drying was even close in effort to line drying, 99.999% of Americans wouldn't be using a clothes dryer.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:19 PM
 
3,438 posts, read 5,120,268 times
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I grew up really poor and we were the only family( in our area ) w/o electricity on our farm until 1956.

We never had indoor plumbing or an insulated house to help us stay warm.

To this day, I have no interest whatsoever in primitive camping as I did that growing up.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:57 PM
 
Location: East Germany in America
13,932 posts, read 12,108,240 times
Reputation: 11970
Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
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.
Excellent post. And you know, it boils down to just what you've written here. If you want to do something (whatever it may be), it's a matter of doing it and not paying attention to those telling you you can't do it (unless it's illegal, of course ) or won't like it or that it's just too hard. If you want something bad enough, it's going to happen no matter who discourages and bashes it. If your will and personality are strong enough, you'll find a way.

The thing so many people don't get with this "traditional lifestyle" direction is that most people get into doing these sorts of things exactly because they actually enjoy the extra work some of these things take. For instance, I know a guy (he's single) that cooks all his meals in a hearth (fireplace) in his home using the cookware and tools that would have been common before about 1800. Yeah, he spends a LOT of time cooking, even when he's feeding only himself. In the summer, his kitchen gets insanely hot and he sweats like a pig. It's hard work. Smoky work. Takes 10 times the time it takes to cook the way we do on a stove and probably 100 times the time if you use a microwave. This really ends up being like a major job that soaks up the kind of time you'd spend on a job getting paid. But the guy is retired. He's won tons of awards for dutch oven cooking (meats, breads, cakes, to name a few categories). He also cans, dries, lactose ferments, pickles, etc.

Now you tell me, why does he do all of this when it's "backbreaking toil that takes an inordinate amount of time"? He could be laying on the couch watching TV and nuking dinner in two minutes. The answer is that he enjoys it... even though it's work!

Why did my grandfather run a team of horses on his farmwork 90% of the time when he had a perfectly good tractor in the shed that would have cut out 95% of the effort and reduce the time spent doing the job by about 90%? The answer is that he enjoyed it... even though it was much more work!

Another example would be me. I haven't had much time lately, but I build timberframe structures (sheds, cabins, etc). When I do this work, I use absolutely no power tools (other than the saws the mills use to rough cut the timbers). Lance tooth hand crosscut saw, hand rip saw, hand boring mortises with t-augers and crank augers, hand chisels, adz, ax, broad ax, drawknife, froe, etc. You'll not hear an electric anything when I'm working on a timber frame. Again, yes, it really is very hard work. It's REALLY tough on the wrists hammering on chisels all day. And a 36 or 60 inch crosscut saw gives a hell of a workout. Why would I do that when power tools would cut about 95% of the time out of my work? Even using a chain mortiser would save me dozens of hours on each frame. But again... the answer is that I enjoy it. And that is not to even mention the sense of accomplishment that is miles and miles above throwing together a cabin with 2x4s and power tools in an afternoon. There is just no comparison. Now, when I'm remodeling a home or building a stick-built structure, I do use power tools, but I prefer hand tools even then. They are quieter and I hate loud noise. I'm willing to spend the extra time because it's "fun" for me.

So, when someone wants to do a "back to the land" thing... why discourage them? If they like walking behind a team of horses, or swinging a scythe, or chopping wood, or cooking on a wood stove or hearth, or whatever else--well, it's like a modern person who likes video games or dinking around on a smartphone. If they decide, after trying it, that they don't like it, then fine... they just move on. If they really like it, then they continue developing those sorts of skills. But, the payoff whether they make it or not, is that they found out for themselves. You and I have NO idea what turns any given individual's crank. Just because you (or I) find some activity drudgery or too much work, that does not mean that other person will also find it unpalatable. Even if he/she is "bright eyed and bushy tailed." He/she will soon find out for himself/herself.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:14 PM
 
Location: East Germany in America
13,932 posts, read 12,108,240 times
Reputation: 11970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheektowaga_Chester View Post
Again, let's be reasonable. Moving clothes from the washer to the drying takes about one minute.

No dryer?
Take them from the washer and place in a basket
Carry the basket outside
Remove each piece of laundry one at a time and clip it to a line.
After they're dry, remove each piece and place them back in the basket.

If line drying was even close in effort to line drying, 99.999% of Americans wouldn't be using a clothes dryer.
When we don't have a few minute to spare out of our busy lives nowadays... how can we look back and denigrate the lifestyle of 100 years ago, when... they didn't have a minute to spare out of their busy lives? What's the difference? They certainly got a better workout. Nowadays we pay to work (at a gym). Personally, I'd rather be hanging the clothes than doing whatever it is that my modern life requires me to do in those extra few minutes. Damn, I'd love it if all I had to do was hang clothes! All day long.

And really, line drying clothing is really that horrible of a task? Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of helping my mother and grandmother hang clothing on the line on a warm summer day with a nice breeze. But then again, that was before there was such a thing as video games, cell phones, and all those things that are much more important to spend our time on. Lot's of other fond memories as well... almost all of them doing some quaint, outdated task from days gone by, like helping grandmother cook on the wood stove, helping her can foods, working the fields with my grandfather (and his team of horses), tending to the animals, hauling hay, helping grandfather work on his old ford truck (1949, I believe), etc. I'd go back to those days in a heartbeat if it were possible, even though all of those tasks required extra minutes of my life and were physically harder to do. I'd have to say that those minutes WERE my life, much more so than what I spend my minutes doing now.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:25 PM
 
Location: East Germany in America
13,932 posts, read 12,108,240 times
Reputation: 11970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy52 View Post
I grew up really poor and we were the only family( in our area ) w/o electricity on our farm until 1956.

We never had indoor plumbing or an insulated house to help us stay warm.

To this day, I have no interest whatsoever in primitive camping as I did that growing up.
Sounds like my father. He grew up without electricity or indoor plumbing until he went in the navy in 1954. Of course, he never went back to living like that. We did live on a farm through part of my growing up years, but we had electricity--we did have a coal stove, though.

My father is 80 years old now. He still talks a lot about growing up the way he did. Most of his memories are fond ones, though. The only negative that I can remember him talking about was the little room he slept in with his brothers (their home was a log cabin--for real!--from the 19th century with a couple of rooms and a kitchen added on) was so cold during the winters that ice and frost would form inside the room. That being his only bad memory is pretty good, really. He hasn't ever complained about using the outhouse in the middle of winter! Most people really complain about having to do that.
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