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Archive for August, 2009

McKenna asked in her comment, "What do you think you're going to miss most about typical suburban living when homesteading?"
 
She mostly asked this of me (Susan) but it got both of us thinking about…
 
What We KNOW We'll Miss:
  • Living 10 minutes away from Bob's Mom
  • Long hot showers
  • Our local library
  • Mr. Gyro's — our favorite greek restaurant
  • Quick access to Lowe's and Home Depot [This one is from Bob.]
What We KNOW We WON'T Miss:
  • Our mortgage
  • Utility bills 
  • Traffic and all those red lights

We know there'll be adjustments we need to make and we're pretty sure these lists are not complete.

McKenna also wondered if we had similar interests and how we were going to cope with isolation.

As I said in my last post, we're not planning to become hermits but we will be spending LOTS of time together. A lot more than most couples. Fortunately Bob and I have lots of similar interests and we hope to develop even more mutual interests.  
 
Although we already have good basic knowledge about homesteading, throughout the winter we'll be doing even more research and studying about the skills we'll need to be successful. Subjects like gardening, pest control, raising goats, raising chickens, cabin construction, and, of course, reading all the suggestions from our readers.
 
There'll be PLENTY to keep us busy! Our "to-do" list is very full!
 
We've both been self employed for several years and therefore have spent quite a bit of time together. We are very compatible. It's wonderful when you're partner is also your best friend!
 
Thanks for your questions, McKenna! If anyone else out there has a reasonable 😉 question please ask away and we'll do our best to answer them. If you've already asked one that we haven't answered, please be patient while we get the move finalized. A lot of questions will be better answered when the homestead is up and running.
 
Now it's our turn to ask a question. We realize not every person wants to go live in a tipi but…
 
If you decided to become a modern homesteader what would you miss or not miss?
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Modern Homesteaders

We want to say “THANKS” to everyone who has visited and subscribed to our blog over the last couple of days! There's been a ton of questions and comments, and some confusion ;), so Bob and I wanted to take a moment to answer them.

He Said, She Said

Bob and I have been together for about 6 years and this has been our dream for about 2 years now. Someone recently asked Bob whose idea it was to become modern homesteaders and he honestly couldn't remember. Our definition of a modern homesteader is someone who tries to live a simpler and more self-sufficient lifestyle. He told them that one of us made a comment about living that type of life and the other one agreed it would be good. And so the dream was born. We just can't remember who said what first so I guess we both get credit.

When we started telling our friends and family (and other people we met) that we're planning to become modern homesteaders we got one of two reactions — “that's great!” or “you're crazy!” Fortunately we're both the type of people who thrive on challenges.

Living Off The Grid

To us, living off the grid means off the electrical grid. We aren't planning to become hermits. Our homestead is very close to a nice town and we're looking forward to becoming part of the community. Won't it be wonderful to wave to folks and actually know their names?

Yes… we are going to have a cell phone. We want to stay in contact with our friends and family. We also can use it in case of car problems, report an accident, etc.

We haven't had cable for the last 5 years or more so giving up TV isn't a big challenge. Most of our power usage will be for some lighting and to run our computer. Yes… we are going to have Internet access. The Internet is a valuable resource for learning and sharing.

Our J-O-B

We're tired of working our butts off just to have a mortgage and to buy more “stuff”. We're tired of reading ingredients on our food labels that we can't pronounce — let alone know what they are. We're choosing to grow our own vegetables and raise our own livestock so we know what's in them.

We want to work to live… not live to work. Homesteading will be our job.

Staying Warm

We have winter camped in a canvas tent so we're not going into this with rose colored glasses. We DO have a liner and an ozan for the tipi (sometimes spelled teepee or tepee) but we had just taken it down the day before to pack it up for the move. Also Bob has plans for keeping our home nice and toasty… stay turned for future posts for more details!

Homesteading Skills

As I said earlier, this has been our dream for about 2 years. There have been MANY late night discussions and LOTS of research. We've been purchasing hand operated tools and any gardening, construction, livestock, food preservation, and other homesteading skills books that we could get our hands on.

Bob is an accomplished carpenter, electrician, plumber, an auto mechanic, hunter — a “jack of all trades”. He grew up on a farm, worked as a vet assistant, and has a degree in agriculture. Oh, and I should mention, one terrific cook. I have many of the basic skills to round out the mix, sewing, knitting, gardening. What we don't know – we can learn!

They're Not Spring Chickens Anymore

Yep! We're in our 50's but we're in pretty good shape. Neither one of us need to take any prescription medicine. In fact, we haven't even taken non-prescription medicine for several years — not even an aspirin. We've been strength training because we know we need to be strong to live this kind of life. Give us a year and we'll be in even better shape!

Life Is A Learning Experience

We have a lot of skills already but we will be constantly learning as we go along. And if we make a mistake (and we certainly will because we're not perfect) you might learn from that too. We want to share our experiences with you in hopes that it will encourage you to follow your dreams.

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We're famous! Well not quite! 

Today was moving sale day. In order to finalize our homesteading dream we need to drastically reduce all ofthe "STUFF" we've accumulated throughout the years. It's amazing to look at all the "stuff" we had for sale and it made us wonder why we ever bought it in the first place. After all, how much stuff do you really need? 

It was a bittersweet day. On one hand we're selling much of what we own for pennies on the dollar while on the other hand we're one step closer to fulilling our dream. One our goals is to become more self-sufficient and be less consumer oriented.

MovingSale

Needless to say that many of the buyers had LOTS of questions about the tipi in the backyard. Bob and I had set it up mostly to make sure that we could.

"Is the tipi for sale?" "Yep… for about 3 times what we paid for it," we quickly answered. We still have it 😉

"Are you a Scout Leader?" "Nope, that's going to be our home soon." And they say, "yeah… right!"

As we proceeded to explain our homesteading plans almost everyone thought it was pretty cool. And almost everyone immediately stated that it wasn't something they would be doing anytime soon!

One of our neighbors was surprised that he hadn't heard anything about this and wanted to know if we'd been interviewed and maybe he had missed the story. We said no, nothing like that. Sure we have shared our blog address with a few people but no interview. He was so fascinated with the thought of us homesteading in a tipi that he went home and called the local Fox affiliate and suggested that a reporter check it out.

A little later that afternoon, Rachel, a reporter from WDAF TV4, came out and asked to do a story on us. She took some pics and put together a nice interview with Bob. We thought you'd like to check it out.

See the video.

See the photo gallery.

Please come back and visit us often to see how we're doing. Be sure to subscribe so you won't miss out on the "Grand Adventure" as my sister calls it.

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