|Home Sweet Home (with Solar!)|
One of the most frustrating things about starting over like we are doing is that we can't find most of the things we need without going on an all-out manhunt. Think about it. Where do you put your car keys when you get home? On a wall hook? A special dish or bowl? I haven't picked a "special key place" yet and have already lost dozens of minutes looking for my keys after laying them down somewhere.
With my attention no longer focused on "where are we sleeping tonight" or " what are we wearing tomorrow," Wifey and I have began to reorganize everything and realize that we are starting over on just about everything. I now have the opportunity to REBOOT my HOMESTEAD from the ground up.
I have to reboot my bills:
- How can I tweak my electric bill to get it as low as possible? Water, propane?
- I'll be able to capture WAY more rainwater up here than in the Phoenix desert. That should help keep the water bill lower.
- I've learned how to use my unlimited data plan on my cell phone to provide internet throughout the house. No more internet bill.
- My rent now is $100 per month less than it was at the last house.
- We now have a greenhouse, left by the landlord, and intend on attempting aquaponics year-round with the help of solar power water pumps and thermal mass for heat distribution.
- We have to completely start our gardens over from scratch. The ground needs tilling, manure added and we inherited a nice composter just itching to be filled with organics. Our growing season has been greatly reduced by moving up north.
- Our food storage took a big hit. First from a field mouse that got through our cardboard boxes AND mylar bags. Second hit from the fire.
- Many weapons and ammunitions were lost in the fire but a few survived. I will have to replace my big game rifle and handguns.
- Ammo is still on the expensive side so restocking it will take some time.
- I've been reduced to a few knives.
- I'd love to finally learn to reload. Now might be a good time.
- Bow hunting is HUGE is this neck of the woods. I'll need to study up on bows before making a purchase.
- Both our 2001 Suburban (paid cash) and 2006 Orange Jeep Wrangler ($300/mo payment) were totaled in the fire by our insurance company. As of right now, we have NO car payment.
- Do we want to pay cash for some low end beaters? Can we get by with one car?
- Lots of people up here walk and ride bicycles. Could we adapt to that culture?
You get the idea. Starting with a clean slate and mixing that with the years of experience of which equipment/clothing/tools work best for the job means I can minimize mistakes made by purchasing cheap/subpar/inadequate supplies. Having ordered so many things from Amazon since 2006, I can easily peruse my purchase history and reorder the items that will be long lasting and provide the most use while skipping over the shoddy craftsmanship of some things I THOUGHT would be good purchases.
|Haven't seen the chicks in almost a month.|
- Our baby chicks (one week old at the time of the fire) have been cared for by a neighbor. My landlord donated her chicken coop to us but it only holds up to four chickens. I will use my Havahart electric fence, some t-posts and horse wire to expand a larger run for them.
- Our ten 55 gallon water barrels are all empty from the move. One side of the house has rain gutters and I can easily divert rain water into the barrels. But first, I want to build a rack system, plumb the barrels together with pvc and then began capturing water. Eventually I will run drip lines from the barrels to the gardens.