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Starting to think ahead.

October 11th, 2012 at 05:06 pm

I'm reading "The Good Life" by Helen and Scott Nearing, a couple who were completely self-sufficient homesteaders in New England for most of the 20th century.

Love the book, but now it has me thinking. When they plan work on the house, in their lives, and 'investments' to improve their lives, they make a 10 year plan, so as to make the most of all their efforts, and not do anything redundant. It's got my wheels turning the Dh and I should maybe put some thought into longer term plans.

Sure, we do long term planning as far as college and retirement planning, and more immediate things such as house projects, etc. but we have given little thought to what we want our family life to be, and what we want to accomplish or do between now and when the kids grow up and move out *they're 2 and 4*.

I'm thinking we need to at least have a vision and a plan for the near to intermediate term, or else we'll be so stuck in the muckety-muck of every day life that we only get through the day each day and never do anything spectacular.

My wheels are turning, so to speak. I am generating a list- a vision- of what I'd like our family life to be, and maybe seeing what we can start on now, or put in place, to make that happen, and to make everything fall into place.

Right now, with two careers and two little incredibly active kids, we really are just getting through the day each day, praying for bed time and then falling exhausted into bed every night. It needs to be done now, but I don't want to get stuck in any bad habits that become impossible to break when the kids are both finally in (free) elementary school all day.

So far, I'm thinking I'd like us to cook and eat at home the vast vast majority of the time. Right now, we do more drive thrus and meals out than I'd like, just because I'm too tired to plan or cook. I'd also like to make more from scratch, like pasta, bread, juice and ice cream.

And, of course, I love to grow food. I'd like to maximize production and preserving on the one small patch of our half-acre lot where DH lets me garden. I'm planning to start some new garden beds this month, so the compost and newspaper have time to decompose and be ready in spring for planting. Speeding up my plan, so as not to waste another season.

As for the house, our big plans are installing a wood stove insert (to burn all the free wood we've picked up, and to act as back up heat in our inevitable yearly power outages). and installing a new patio (hopefully made from reclaimed or recycled materials, in part) as well as installing a pergola, where we can also grow concord grapes for use in juice and jam.

Oh, this is getting dangerous!

3 Responses to “Starting to think ahead. ”

  1. Campfrugal Says:

    There is a website in regards to their home in Maine.

    http://goodlife.org/Home/tabid/55/Default.aspx

  2. ThriftoRama Says:

    Thanks!!

  3. Jerry Says:

    I have been wondering about this, as well. There are so many positive (and important) elements to self-sufficiency. I do not feel comfortable being reliant upon grocery stores, for example. Great that they are there, but I want to know that my family and I do not need to rely on them to lead our lives. Same with energy and other utilities -- I just think that there is no insurance that things will always be as reliable as we think. I don't know if that makes me smart or paranoid. Smile Jerry

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