ARE YOU AN AVID LEARNER (or obsessed as I am)?

In keeping with last new year resolution – more fun shall be added to this, 2017, year as well.  So, this is my first writing spill for the new year – hope you like it!

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Well, the holidays were a blast but over way too fast.  The new year started out with discovering that my car needed a new battery…ON THE COLDEST FRICKEN DAY OF THE YEAR!!  So, now I am thinking this will be a year of “be prepared” situations.  The problem is, how do you prepare for what you don’t even know is coming your way?  I got out my crystal ball (ya, like I have one?) and discovered the following about myself.

crazy-crystal-ball

I was never a Girl Scout.  My thing was 4-H, and they are basically for farmers, creators, crafters, gardeners, artists, and taught very little in the way of preparedness.  Since that time (let’s just say it was a while ago), I have become a bit of a prepper by choice.  We (my sister and I) do the following:

  1. Try to grow most of our own food.
  2. Reuse, repurpose, recycle just about everything.
  3. Use natural and sustainable growing, farming methods.
  4. Learn every kind of craft we can get our hands into. The things we don’t know, my cousin in WI is pickup (she is so creative – even made her own bentwood chairs a few years back, now she’s into metal and welding – how fun is that?).  Our long range plans are that one day she will be here on the farm with us.  So double bonus!
  5. We can:
  6. Fish
  7. Hunt
  8. Camp out
  9. Could probably butcher just about anything for food.
  10. Process foods by canning, dehydrating, drying, freezing, and we are now getting into oven canning (too cool!).
  11. And the best thing – barter!

The best is barter!  We connect with those that can do things we cannot, or do not like to, do.  Absolutely love to share stuff!  It can be everything from my knitted stuffs, our canned stuffs, part of our side of grass fed beef, recipes, to even poo and wood chips for composting piles (yes, we have an abundance of both!).  In return, we get things like our hunting friends may share part of their kill.  Seeds are always exchanged.  Crafting techniques, (my friends Judy and Carrie are much better at sewing than I am so I will always get into what they are working on) and we will try just about anything once – twice if we like it.

I got hooked on this type of life years ago by accident.  Way back in the early 80’s I was more of a read-a-holic than I am now.  I came across a book called:

FOXFIRE by Eliot Wigginton, George P. Reynolds, and Kaye Carver Collins

foxfire-books-on-amazon

I do not usually promote books, but when I do it is because I love them or find them useful (I have more how-to’s than anything, and I do not own a single romance novel – boo hoo, hee hee. The very first one immediately hooked me. I went on to purchase the whole series (now up to 12 plus some anniversary additions) as each new one was published.

The way to explain how important I found these books, is to let you know that they were the first replacements I purchased for myself after our fire took everything. If you are into doing anything in a self-sufficient manner, I strongly recommend that you go to your local library and request the very first one. It explains how they all came about(Spoiler alert: It started as a way for a big-city teacher to reach his Appalachian class.). You may also want to be prepared for some fun and wild reading as parts of the book are written how the people of the area speak (or as best as they could reproduce it for the book).

Like I said – I got hooked.It is very detailed, includes numerous pictures, and is a major how-to on almost everything you could need to survive on your own or in a small community.

The only way to survive, thrive and become self-sufficient, in my opinion, is to connect with others. It may sound wrong but, if you think about it, there will always be something someone else has or can do that you may want or need. Even though I love to do tons of stuff myself, I cannot do it all (shocker I know!).I count on others to barter, share, swap, exchange (whatever you want to call it) to get by. However, I think we are exceptionally lucky that we have made connections with the same type of wacky sense of humor people that we are! This way, when times get rough (and they always do), someone in the group will always find something to laugh about!

little-girls-laughing

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helbergfarmstories

I love to write. It is one of the constants in my life that brings me joy. I also love to tell stories, read, knit, crochet, weave, plant gardens, raise our own food, play game with my grandson and throw out my wicked sense-of-humor every chance I get (parents fault – they raised us this way, and I am very glad of it!). I have hundreds of great stories from my life that I want to share. Most are very humorous, some maybe not so much. I hope that all are found interesting. Some of the things that have happened to me in life are: • Growing up on a farm in Wisconsin. • Raising and creating 4-H projects for the fair. • Growing food through natural methods (no chemicals here). • Learning (via trial-and-error methods) how to process all kinds of foods. • The death of several loved ones: Parents, fiancé, grandson. • Living through 2 house fires (2nd of which cost me the one grandson). • Having and raising a disabled daughter (20 surgeries in the first 20 years of her life). • Surviving a rape and abusive x-boyfriend and now being able to talk about it. • Giving up everything and moving to another state with $100 in my pocket. • Giving up a steady well-paying job to buy a farm. • Learning and sharing how to really enjoy farm life. • Writing through all of it. These are just samples of all the amazing things I have experienced. I had parents that were amazing! They encouraged all of us to try everything, at least once. Mom tried to get us to enjoy the riches of the world – fine dining (got some great stories on those episodes), how to sit up straight and walk straight to be noticed. She showed us how to walk into a room as if you owned the place. The best thing she taught us was the fine art of storytelling. She grew up with only the radio era folk, so the art of conversation was everything. One regret I have is that I did not keep the letters between her and our Aunt Elaine. They were filled with family happenings and priceless! Dad was a different egg. He and mom seemed like such opposites, but no two opposites were more meant for each other. He was a big, strong, tough man that had been through war times and then something much worse – surviving three daughters! EEEK! Now, looking back, I realize why they both grayed prematurely – we three gremlins. The thing that stands out most in my memory of my father is his compassionate humor. No matter how mad he got at something stupid one of us did, there was always the little twinkle in his eye that told us it was ok. My little sister had him wrapped around her finger – she could do no wrong in his eyes. To best describe him is to let you know that his knick-name for me was “Dumb Shit.” To understand it you may have to watch old Archie Bunker shows – that was my dad. My sisters and I all have some type of talent. The oldest is the wet-noodle. She falls for any stray that comes her way. Then has to feed it and the world (she's an excellent cook by-the-way!) immediately. The youngest is the Artist. She can draw, paint, and/or create so many different things and she too has the passion for cooking. The biggest difference in the two is the first can’t even draw stick people and cooks using shortcuts. The 2nd does everything from scratch – art and cooking. Me, I’m the middle kid. I love to tear things apart and put them back together. I create from scratch – yarn, paint, draw, paper crafts, clay, wood and a number of other things. Cooking is not my passion, I will do it if I have to or if I get an inclination, but it’s not where my heart if. The one big thing we all have in common is our humor. So, my wish here is that as you read my blog (stories), you will find enjoyment in them. What is life if we cannot have a little fun in it?

4 thoughts on “ARE YOU AN AVID LEARNER (or obsessed as I am)?”

  1. Well, if the bombs go off I am coming knocking on your door! What an array of practical skills you have. I can help with the folding of paper. Bound to be useful?! And I believe you also drink beer. I can help with that too.

    Liked by 1 person

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