Saturday, April 4, 2009

Life Off-Grid

Greetings! I finally got to a library to have a chance to update the blog. Thank you to all who have stayed in touch via snail mail. I love receiving and answering the letters.

Life off-grid has been a wonderful change in our lives. It is such a blessing in ways that we hadn't planned on. We are getting into a smooth routine now that makes in many ways our lifestyle feel effortless. Yeah, I know...... that is hard to imagine! LOL

Our ewe had a baby ram about a month ago. He was all black when born but is now showing signs of his wool lightening. Soon, he will be the cream (off-white) color of his parents with a black face & legs. We have yet to name him. We have 2 ewe lambs on order to be companions for the new ram. This is mainly to avoid him trying to breed with his momma in the fall. The adult breeding pair, the new ram, and the 2 new ewe lambs will complete our breeding stock. We also will be getting a third lamb that we will raise over the summer to be butchered in the late autumn.

We have been given great news. Our 1890 home is not in a bad of shape as we thought so we are remodeling it as originally planned. We are following our dream of remodeling it as closely to what it may have been like in the 1890's. Not having electricity, that is even easier now.

Ever want to confuse your power company? Try convincing them over the phone that you want them to remove the electric meter and cable from your house! It was so funny. First I talked to them & they simply couldn't work their mind around the idea of someone choosing to not have access to electricity. They tried everything to talk me into keeping the meter box & cable. Not getting anywhere with them, Beloved had to call them the next day and get firm about it. Next morning, the worker showed up and kept asking "Are you sure about this?" I was so sure about it that I helped to remove the cable! In less than 10 minutes, we were 100% off-grid.

The first day was surreal. I am amazed at how much background noise that appliances make. It was so quiet that I was able to sit and listen to the birds outside even though all windows and doors were shut. A few weeks later when we had large fluffy snow falling, you could actually hear the snowflakes hitting the windows.

Our garden will be plowed soon by our neighbor with his large farm tractor. Once done, we will start preparing to plant. Our last frost can occur in the last week of April, so we will only be planting the root and cool weather crops at first. The garden is going to be larger than any previously planted. We are going to be canning as much as possible to supply our pantry for the winter months. I am also going to start canning meat. I checked with the local OSU Cooperative Extension Service and received printouts of all the instructions and information needed to safely can meat for pantry storage.

About 2 weeks ago, we were able to find a treadle Singer sewing machine that needed refinishing and minor repair for a very low cost. We bought it and I have refinished the cabinet. Beloved helped me to oil and remove rust from the sewing machine to get it back up and running. Now, we only have to get the tensions & possibly the timing adjusted. I found someone who is going to do it at no cost, so I just need to find a time to take it to him. He will adjust it while we are there.

We do have 4 out buildings to be built this spring & summer. The first is an outdoor privy and a small outdoor shower room. With our needing to remodel the bathroom (including repairing the floor) we will need the outdoor facilities while the work is being done. We also will be building a cougar-proof chicken coop and a storage shed.

I am so thrilled with the way our lifestyle has been changing. There is so much peace and contentment in it. I love the simplicity of the Plain life.

I will try to update the blog more frequently. Now that we are getting into our routine, there will be more opportunity to come to the library. Thank you for the prayers and encouragements.