[Homestead] Now BS..long BS
rayzentz at aim.com
rayzentz at aim.com
Fri Jan 2 16:36:00 EST 2009
Howdy, all, and Happy New Year.
My two bits worth....
I have a friend in our SCA group that is a pompous, arrogant, know-it-all. My wife can't stand him. I however, like him, because I also am an arrogant know-it all. ;-) I however, am willing to consider that others might have a valid viewpoint that differs from mine. He is not.
That said, he is very knowledgeable on many topics. He thinks he is very knowledgable on others, but in reality, isn't. When he starts expounding on a topic, I listen, don't contradict, or even hint he might be incorrect. What makes sense, I use, and what doesn't, I let slide right in one ear, and out the other. He is aware of this, and we are both good with it. I am sure he does the same with me... ;-)
I have gotten lots of info from people on this list, a lot of which is totally useless to me in my situation. What I can use, I retain. That I can't, I deal with in one of two ways. If I think it might be useful in the future, I archive. If I feel it is of no use, I ignore it completely.
I have saved, for instance, many of Tvos old posts, even though they were of no immediate use to me.
I am not a homesteader per se, but realize, if nothing else, that those of you who are have many skills that are useful, and that I would like to learn, so I have them at my disposal. I may eventually leave "conventional" society in the same way some of you have, either by choice, or because circumstances force it upon me. Call it being prepared, or frugality, homestead "wannabe", or whatever you like. I care not.
I do not let others opinions of me dictate what I do, or how I do them. I may choose to follow an opinion, or I may not. That does not in any way lesson the value of an opinion that I do not choose to follow...
I enjoy the opinions of all writers on this list. You, James, Bev, Linda..., even Gene, and many others, all have expressed opinions and taught me things based on your experiences and viewpoints. Sometimes, what I have learned is that everyone except me is a complete dufus. Sometimes, I come to the realization that I am the dufus. 's all good.
Bob, take what you can use, and blow off all the rest.
From: EarthNSky <erthnsky at bellsouth.net>
To: bobford79 at yahoo.com; homestead at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Fri, 2 Jan 2009 2:00 pm
Subject: Re: [Homestead] Now BS..long BS
> When I finally get 'to ground', so to speak, and I am working in the
> soil of a rural ocation, instead of thhe soil of my desert city back
> yeard, will my half-century of living all of a sudden dissappear? I
> will be the same person. If I do it right, I will be the same
> person with less stress and more joy, that is all.
Ever watch a kid's face when he goes to Disney World into a Toys R Us
for the first time? I felt like I had gone to Disney World. There was
so much to do that I was almost paralyzed by the blank slate. Suddenly,
it was no longer about theory, it was about doing. Lee actually came up
and helped me prioritize and set goals because I was pretty overwhelmed.
It is a far different thing to talk about raising chickens than
actually raising chickens. I became less sure of myself, less
confident. The thing was that it came at a time when I had to defend my
decision to move to the boonies, and I was unable to really do that
because of that lack of confidence. I felt a bit crazy in the beginning.
But then, it really was about things in order of importance. Instead
of taking a short term view, I began to look long term-I mean really
long term-hundreds of years...I was only responsible for my kids for
about 18-20 years...I am responsible for this land for my entire life
and beyond. In addition, getting my hands dirty was the equivalent of
going to church for me. It connected me to something greater than
myself. It still does. Even though I gardened in the city, it is
different here. It is a different atmosphere, being surrounded by
nature, so quiet that I can hear a train whistle 10 miles away if
conditions are right. When the school bus rides through, I can hear it
2 miles away. I know it is coming even before that, as the crows tell
me. I became more in tune with the world, and ultimately with myself.
Sometimes, now, when life becomes overwhelming-I worry about money or
job or family or whatever-I have to disconnect from that worry and
stress and ju
st decompress and re-center. I do that by staying away
from this keyboard and spending a lot of time in the woods or playing in
the dirt. I never used to do that-spend time alone with my thoughts. I
always had a distraction...the TV, the traffic, the car radio, the
neighbor's activity, the telephone, etc. etc.
> The idea of living and working with the land (and somewhat with
> animals)sounds 'hopeful' to me; not something to do to survive or
> subsist. I can't be something I am not, and I don't pretend, on this
> list to be anything other than what I am.
No one thinks you are not a nice guy Bob. You seem to me to be a decent
person. I think what people on the list see is a guy who wants to have
a few animals, a garden, and who wants to live a rural lifestyle. That
is a fine goal, but for some who believe in homesteading as an economic
plan, that's not homesteading. I think that is why you and James are
butting heads. You intend to use your earned money/income to support
yourself on your land....James manipulates his life so that he doesn't
need to do that. In the big scheme of things, in a non-judgmental
world, both are fine ways to live. People can be happy living both
ways, or unhappy. Many of the most vocal people on the list strive for
that subsistence homestead that doesn't require being a slave to the
outside world, but not everyone does..you are a case in point. You
gotta do what is right for you, all I am saying is that you might get
less flack from a "gentleman farmer list" or a "hobby farmer list" or
even a "urban survival" list...but this list is about homesteading, and
for the purist, that implies self sufficiency/self reliance/subsistence
living with little to zero monetary influx from, as James says, Caesar's
world. In the United States, we all must pay taxes and such, so we do
have to have some cash, but in your plan, that cash comes from
traditional investments like real estate, gold, stocks, bonds, savings,
etc. whereas James' and others' invest in the land itself or in the
own skills and are not beholding to any one else or any outside
uncontrollable power like a stock market or a real estate appraisal.
James can build musical instruments or sell his corn...Lynn can raise
organic beef..I am still working on what I might be able to do...haven't
decided on it yet. People like me, and maybe most homesteaders on the
list are still tied to an outside income, slaves to our mortgages and
jobs. However, every spare penny outside of those temporary expenses
goes into a long term investment that is not so liquid...like learning
skills or buying seeds or drilling a well or getting manure spread on a
pasture, etc. We practice barter and trading and set a goal for
ourselves to one day make it to where James or Tvo or Susan Jane or Rob
Walton or whoever happens to be our 'hero' our role model....we are on a
I sometimes think that you are on a parallel path, not exactly the same
one, but heading in a similar direction. You fall into the 90% of
normal people who have a desire to live in the country and have a few
animals...we are the weirdos, the oddball eccentric 1% of rural
dwellers(or those that desire to be) who want a separate existence, one
not beholden to Caesar or the rest of the world. That is not the
isolationist survival mentality that it seems. We want to trade with
each other and those of like mind, like philosophy, those who understand
our eccentricities, our spiritual love of the land, our health obsession
with our animals, etc. etc.
So you shouldn't ever feel bad about where you are, because I think you
are pretty normal.
> .. I wish I were more like susan jane, or as talented as Roxanne,or
> as knowledgeable as Lynda, or as caring as Bev, or as confident as
> Drew or Van Dell (and many other examples-- -but, I can only be
I think we are all 'good people'. That is kind of irrelevant though.
It is our philosophy that binds us. We are all very different-just look
at our politics, but we can all agree that there is an intrinsic value
in being able t
o grow a healthy bean plant in nurtured soil, and that is
value that money can't touch.
I think you have a place on the list Bob, even though what you want is
slightly different than what the vocal minority want. I enjoy reading
some of the articles you post.(I don't understand very much of the
economic stuff, so if anything I just skim them, but the rest is usually
pretty good) I think your presence makes people think about where they
came from and where they are going...in a weird way, you help folks stay
on task. I think all knowledge is useful, but it must be practiced or
lost. I'm glad you are learning stuff, but I think I speak for a lot of
folks when I say that we can't wait until you are out of the city and
actually nursing sore muscles. We long for the day when we read that Bob
lost all of his carrots to the freaking rabbit and yet, still put up 24
quarts of green beans. :)
"The world is my country, all mankind are my
brethren, and to do good is my religion."
Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)
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