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!
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.
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:
- Try to grow most of our own food.
- Reuse, repurpose, recycle just about everything.
- Use natural and sustainable growing, farming methods.
- 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!
- We can:
- Camp out
- Could probably butcher just about anything for food.
- Process foods by canning, dehydrating, drying, freezing, and we are now getting into oven canning (too cool!).
- 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
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!