Back in the swing with a new goal in mind..

 

So, today is Sydni’s third day back in school. We are starting to get our school time routine down and I’m wondering what changes I can start making now that will prep her for the lifestyle we want. Making use of all the passive solar we have in our current house, it makes us conscience of the electricity we use for lighting. We try to keep the lights off and use windows bathed in natural light. It looks better, easier on the eyes and ta-da free! It’s the night time shift that will give us the most trouble. We already cut the cable about a year ago, but we keep netflix. The children also have t.v.s in both of their rooms. Sydni watches movies at night before bed. The boys play their XBOX whenever they’re awake it seems. Michael justifies this by saying things like.. they don’t have an XBOX at their moms, they only have a Wii or Cody is not bothering anyone, he just wants to play by himself since Jake isn’t in here or vice versa.

If we have a limited supply of electricity, these kids are in for a major shock. The boys, it will be like going to summer camp on the weekends because it seems the further we lean in a self sufficiency mode, the other guardians of his boys lean towards convenience. But for Sydni, it will be life. We have already started leaning more on the natural day. Getting up earlier, going to bed earlier to take advantage of light provided. Gotta set t.v. ‘on’ and ‘off’ times. I’m going to start reading with Sydni at night, starting around 7:30. She normally reads to herself as part of her homework, but if I can read with her, we can increase the reading time, have a little fun, spend more time together and possibly get her in bed a little earlier.

Wow, it’s not just the kids who need to work on this!

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In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.”

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I just bought my first two books dedicated to cob housing. “The Cob Builders Handbook: You Can Hand-Sculpt Your Own Home”
Bee, Becky and “The Hand-Sculpted House: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: The Real Goods Solar Living Book”
Ianto Evans

These will be my first two complete cob books. You know there was nothing in Barnes and Noble on natural materials building. Maybe a few exerts in other homesteading books, but no real guide. So that’s definitely step one for me in building my own earthen home 🙂 We have made a list of desired/undesired  qualities that we want in a piece of land and stopped there.

Now it’s time to nest egg.. With the car gone now, that frees $440 a month not including gas. I buy more foods in bulk and find more recipes to cook fresh produce from the garden. For first time gardeners, I think we did pretty good this year. Moving summer plants out now, getting ready for Fall crops. We’re planting our first succession of Brussel Spouts and carrots. Cowpeas have been started about three weeks now. We had a worm in our first cantaloupe. Gotta get better with my companion planting, so nature can take care of her self! No chemicals!!

We have got to grow a lot of different varieties of things which was very cool! We have white sweet potatoes covering a whole row. They are massive!! They will come up at the end of next month, to be replaced with a row of garlic.. I find more peace digging through that dirt, planting, replanting, whatever. I read that a scientific study done many years ago proved working in the dirt release chemicals to make you happier, peaceful. Our brains were wired to have dirt run through our fingers. How many dirty little kids have you seen not smiling 🙂

So our door is slowly cracking open for us to step out into a sustainable lifestyle..

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“My days were more exciting when I was penniless and had to forage around for my next meal, I’ve decided that I’m going to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and simple beauty of it is just too good to pass up.” Christopher McCandless

ImageWe get to go camping!!

Michael, Sydni and I get to go set up our camp site, gather wood for our fire, just enjoy some fresh air.

My mom asks me yesterday, tells me more or less, to go get a full time job, both of us. Keep that car. Come up with 15,000 dollars you don’t have. She doesn’t understand that it doesn’t make me lazy that I don’t want to.. I want to spend my time elsewhere. We have a car, a good one, two bicycles and a working set of legs on all of us. The less money you owe out, the less you have to bring in. I don’t need that car to make me happy. Watching Sydni swim in the lake and roast marshmellows with a smile on her face because she’s with me. That’s not wrong…

As soon as we get the land, we’ll be out of this house as well. They really won’t get that. I want to build my house with my hands. To make cob with the earth and mold the place my family will live. There can be not much that compares to that satisfaction. Growing our own food this year, making bread, sharing it with others. This lifestyle is attainable. We will prove it.

If you continue to live beyond your means, you’ll more often than not finding yourself coming up short.

Today I made the decision to give my car back..

An item that meant, still means, so much to me. But do I really want to sell anymore of my time to pay for the brand new car I thought I had to have two years ago. God, there were a lot of things I thought I had to have two years ago. Slowly letting go of my material things was, is harder than I thought. And today, vacuuming it out, making it the beautiful car she is, I almost broke. I almost broke. The not fairs came in. Then I found between the seats a code correction pad I used at my last job, a call center I loathed with a capital L. The thought that registered next was that one of the main reasons I worked there was to pay for that car, insure that car, pick my daughter up from after school care. I couldn’t even pay my rent…

I moved to North Carolina after that in hopes of something different. A new job, better pay!! Not finding work at first, I turned to research. Research on living with less, making what you need, not taking what you don’t. Okay, this is great in theory! Yes, the answer to my problems. I don’t need this stuff. I mean, I can’t pay for it anyways. I don’t want to sell my time somewhere I hate to pay for things I really don’t need to be happy. So why then did I sit down mid vacuum and feel like a failure. Why am I on the verge of an emotional meltdown because I’m about to do something I know needs to happen. Why do I suddenly feel like crying? Maybe that’s why I decided to start this.

I thought I knew what I wanted.. I do know what I want. I’ve changed so much in the past year. I’ve redefined my meaning of happiness and it’s not attached to materialism. Our backyard is on the verge of a true micro-farm. A suburb experiment before we head to the hills, if you will 😉 I want this sustainable lifestyle. I am already on my path, my choices are clear. I guess I just need reminding. And above all, an outlet. So this will be my story.

Today is the day I give back my car.