Livin' in the boondocks has presented some challenges. For the most part, I've greeted those challenges with eager anticipation. I like a good challenge. At times I've overcome those challenges. More often though, I've made compromises, and usually, have found those compromises to be quite satisfying, even better than completely conquering them may have been.
In the past, I've read books and articles. I've scoured the internet. I've gleaned information from various sources, including frugal living sites, Homesteading sites, "Green" sites, and even a couple survivalist sites. All this research, along with current events, and our choice of residence has brought me to the conclusion that, for us anyway, less really may add up to more, and we may need to look to the past, at least to a point, in order to sustain ourselves in the future.
Yes, there are modern day conveniences which we now find ourselves depending upon. In fact, some modern developements may be utilized to enhance what some may consider a more "backwards" or "primitive" style of living. Solar power for example; Although there are some aspects of solar power which may be harnessed using quite simple techniques, for a totally "off the grid" experience, we would probably need to depend on modern technology to deliver.
Tuesday, during our trip to town, we stopped by Sears where we chose a new washer. In all likelihood, we will be acquiring said washer tomorrow afternoon. I'm really looking forward to it! As much as I enjoy getting back to basics, I'm not willing to labor over a tub of sudsy water, rotating dirty laundry with my hands, then doing the same for multiple rinses. I am hooked to the convenience of a modern day washer. As a bonus, we've found this modern appliance is more energy efficient, and conserves water, while processing larger loads of laundry at a time. Due to these features, we are actually eligable to recieve a rebate check from our power company. We're just winning all the way around with this purchase!
Drying those clothes however, is a completely different matter. I enjoy hanging my clothes outside on the line, bringing them in when dry and breathing deep of the almost heavenly aroma. I even find some enjoyment in drying laundry on the rack, by the woodstove on those days the weather isn't cooperating. I definately have a sense of accomplishment in the savings we realize by not utilizing a dryer!
Yesterday afternoon, we put Nathan's new greenhouse together. This morning we dressed the frame with the clear vinyl cover. He's just tickled with the results, and is eagerly anticipating placing his first seedlings inside. In the meantime, I'm scheming, trying to come up with an idea for containers which will hold water and, painted black will collect and store the solar rays in order to keep his little green babies warm during the cooler evenings which are sure to come. Who knows? Maybe we'll have salad, featuring Nathan's greenhouse lettuce with our Christmas dinner! ;-)
I'm learning to utilize the cast iron dutch oven to bake on the stove top. We're considering purchasing another, larger dutch oven, and setting up a place outside where we can bake larger items.I'm really having a lot of fun experimenting with this "new to me" form of cooking. I do need to be careful though. I don't want Pa getting the idea I can make do without a conventional range! ;-) Hmmm. I wonder how they baked cookies in the "good ol' days"?