Wednesday, January 21, 2009

By and by.....

It is becoming a reality and I am loving every moment of it. The Lord is giving us an other opportunity for a blessing. Our electric dryer that I have been using over the winter has a heating element going out. Our electric washing machine's aitator is making knocking noise. Praise the Lord!!!! I am soon going to be doing our laundry without electricity. Yes! This is a blessing! We are planning on having our home off-grid next fall. We had considered getting a propane dryer, but I am seeing that this will be an unnecessary expense. I am SO excited. This weekend, we are getting a drying rack & stringing up a clothesline in the bathroom so that I will have a warm place to hang laundry on the cold winter days. Yes, the laundry can be hung outdoors and dry, but this will be faster. In hanging laundry out on the line in the cold winter, the clothing freezes. If you want to speed up the drying process, you take a stick or something and hit the frozen laundry to knock off any ice that is on them. Once the ice is gone, the moisture can evaporate off the laundry faster. It still takes much longer to dry though than hanging in a warm room of the home. We heat the bathroom, so that will be an ideal place to hang the clothesline over the bathtub. The drying rack will be in the kitchen where there is more space for it.

Today, I am packing up more excess. You would think it would all be gone by now. Each time we think we have got rid of all excess, we have a time of contentment and then start seeing where we can get rid of more. Such is the case today. We now are looking at everything with the attitude of what we are wanting to keep for the other home. There is actually very little that I want to keep. It is making it easier to purge the remaining excess.

My dream home is one that Joe and I saw at a museum in Marietta, Ohio. It was a historical home that the museum had move to their property & furnished as it would have looked back in that time period. The home was very sparsely furnished. No excess of any kind! The main room of the home was the kitchen which also contained the dining table. You could see in this home that the heart of the home was the kitchen. It was the place where the family congregated. Our home will be the same. Other than bedrooms & a combination bath/laundry room, the home will have one large room that will serve as a kitchen, dining area, and family room.

With our plans to be off-grid, there is so much that we will not need. Our lives are focused around our Lord, our family and homestead - in that order. We don't need a TV or other distractions that take our attention away from those things. The only thing of the modern technonology that will remain in the home will be the computer. Sound like a contradiction? Not really. The computer offers us a means to stay in touch with others, a way of researching, and a way to earn a bit of extra money for the family. Because it serves to meet some needs for the family, it will remain. We just don't allow it to become a distracton or a main focus in our lives.

I am redoubling my efforts to find the things we will need when off-grid. I am especially looking for a treadle sewing machine so that I may be able to continue sewing for the family. There are a couple of other items that I am looking for, such as a Dazey butter churn, that would make things easier but they will come in time.

I am so grateful to the Lord for giving us the knowledge to be able to make the transition to living an off-grid lifestyle. The work is such a blessing. It is so amazing to realise just how much of what society teaches us is essential is actually unnecesary to our lives and well-being.

7 comments:

Mrs. Dewey Smith said...

Yeah!!! Our washing machine is on its final walk as well here. Dewey worries about it being too much work by hand, but I'm hopeful with his being off in Arkansas working, we can start up, work out the kinks and make it just second nature by the time he returns.

I really need to start getting rid of things here. Excess isn't even a large enough word for all the 'stuff' sitting around me here :o( I have to make that step.

I'm excited for you!!
Deanna

Anonymous said...

Paula, my mother was just telling us about a rig she saw that allowed you to pedal (exercise) and charge batteries to run your computer. But you work so hard, that might be a good way for Joe to wear off a little tension after a long day. LOL! So happy plans are coming along for your new house.

PocketsoftheFuture said...

We are a homesteading, homeschooling family of eight that started hand washing our laundry several months ago. It is proving to be a wonderful, family building, muscle building addition to our lives. I can't imagine going back to the electric way now! I blogged about it quite a bit as there was so much to learn and discover.

How will you power your computer? We also want to live off grid but don't want to give up the computer for the same reasons you cite. Do you know yet how you will provide power for it?

Thank you,
Leslie

Anonymous said...

How will you power lights around your property? Even in the country, security is an issue these days. Best wishes for your success!

Aly Carm said...

We may be going off-grid if we build a house, although we will be downsizing we will still have our power from solar and wind. We are thinking about going with a wood cook stove also, instead of gas.

About that treadle sewing machine, I have seen plans on the internet on how to convert a regular machine to one! If your Hubby is somewhat mechanical, or even yourself, it seems fairly simple.
Blessings,
Aly

Darlene said...

Before getting rid of your dryer, you may want to offer it on "Freecycle". I'm sure someone would be willing to come get it and fix it up.

My heating element went out in my dryer and I fixed it myself. It only cost me about $25 for the part which I purchased at a local appliance/furniture store. I called the 1-800 number for the manufacturer. They told me which section of the dryer my element was located in, how to take it off and a tip to make installation easier.

It was a matter of unscrewing 4 screws to take the back off the dryer, unscrewing 2 more screws on the element, tipping the element sideways, unplugging the element and then replacing the element in the reverse order to what I had done to remove it. Took me less than 20 mins. to fix it.

I live in a small rental house, so no putting holes in the walls for hanging stuff. I also live in an area that receives rain - a LOT of rain! We've had 6 weeks of rain, followed by snow, so for us, the dryer is a trade-off for clean clothing. I'll be glad when I own my own place again and can go back to being able to do some of the things I can not do right now due to the rental agreement. (Can't afford to move.)
Darlene

Prairie Mom said...

Thanks for mentioning Freecycle. We Freecycle many things. It is probably one of the first ways we donate items. What isn't offered on Freecycle is giving to a local charity.

Paula