Can I do it? Can I manually grind wheat and make juice? Can I make 5 loaves of bread a week if we have a few more kids? Can I keep up with the chickens, weed the garden, do the wash by hand, and homeschool on top of it all? I could, but it would be all my life. There would be no time for family or friends. If a family were to go all out with this lifestyle they would have to become a team, no questions asked. Everyone would need to do their part to help out the whole family.
At this point with two young ones I have to pick and choose. So far here is what I have done to transition to a more "manual" lifestyle using people energy instead of other energy.
1) No dishwasher - We do all our dishes by hand
2) No more microwave - Not sure how much energy this saves, but it is taking away a conveniece that really isn't all that missed! Supposedly it is healthier too!
3) Manual hand crank Juicer - A step to a healthy lifestyle. Many people don't juice at all so it is somewhat irrelevant to the average family, but we have begun juicing wheatgrass. Check out the awesome benefits of wheatgrass here
4) Manual wheat grinding - My 4 year old is getting in on this one. I hope to have a post on this soon, but I have yet to make a full whole wheat loaf or a loaf of bread without the bread machine. Why
5) Cutting back on the dryer - This is soon to be my next step. Since I do cloth diapers while at home it really is good to do some line drying. While in the mobile home I would like to at least have an accordian drying rack or a ladder used creatively like one of these ideas.
I am doing quite well with this gradual transition. This is a surprise because I am such a black and white all or nothing person. If we were to do it all at once I would certainly give up the first week. Transitioning slowly gives me the opportunity to master different aspects of the lifestyle we would like to achieve. Maybe someday I'll be making my own soap, cloth napkins, and other things.
May 3, 2012
-Jake lost his job December 31, 2011
-We have been on unemployment and watched God provide in awesome ways
-We had a baby girl on January 15, 2012
-Jake found some really awesome freelance opportunities at the end of April, 2012.
So now we can begin to plan again. For a while we really just stopped looking at land, stopped dreaming and considering house options, because we found ourselves getting too anxious over something that might not work out. We were just thankful for each day with food on the table for these last 5 months. We have not struggled nearly as much as many people do around the world.
Where are we in our land/home plans? Last night we were talking about the future home for the family and the topic came up of electricity. We decided that perhaps staying on the grid would keep us from having to have the whole battery shed thing so technically we probably will not be going "off grid", but we would still try to generate our own electricity with solar and wind. We will also still try to have a manual lifestyle using as little electricity as we can.
So our next plan is to finish paying off the debt. (When we sold the house we said we wanted to be debt free in a year. With Jake losing his job we weren't sure if that would happen, but hopefully within the next few months we can be completely debt free! I can't wait!
Then it is save save save for land as much as possible and to keep our informed eyes open for the right land. We will be making need and desires lists for land and I will share those when we make them. I will also share with you some of our thoughts on the home, green house and energy and perhaps some ways I am transitioning as a wife and mom in our little single wide. We also have a raised garden with 8 beds at Jake's parents house not too far away.
I am looking forward to getting back into a paced dream mode and looking forward to having you along for the journey!