Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some Homespun Thoughts on Self-Sufficiency:-)

If you ever cruising through Tennessee on I-40, just about an hour west of Nashville, do yourself a favor and stop at Loretta Lynn's Hurricane Mills. Take a walk through a replicated version of her Butcher Holler Home, and believe me, you'll think twice about complaining about your own abode.
It isn't that it's small, or homey... or poor. The thing that strikes you is the simplicity of it all. It shows you that you don't need all this STUFF to survive. Just a good roof, a little dirt and water. Don't miss the simulated coal mine, and the MASSIVE museum featuring her old tour bus, which you can walk through. It will keep you humble.:-)
Now, I'm not simply pitching Loretta's Hurricane Mill's, although it IS a fabulous pit stop on the occasional road trip.
My point is:
Americans need to simplify. SERIOUSLY.
I watched a news program last night and they were talking about all the accesories you can buy for your child who is going away to summer camp. There were organizers, stationary, special doo-dads to customize their bunk, etc.. Isn't this defeating the purpose of summer camp??? The last time I checked (and yes, it's been a while), all you needed was a permission slip and a bed roll and you were ready to head out to Camp Okey-Dokey.
Not to scare anyone, but we are incredibly SPOILED in this country and we demand instant gratification. No one wants to work hard and wait for the rewards. We want it NOW, and make it snappy!
A co-worker recently commented on how high the price of fresh produce will be after all the Midwest floods and the price of fuel. I guess I must have had that look on my face that spelled; "clueless", because I hadn't thought of that. No offense, but I grow my own veggies for the most part. I told her I guess the price will go up, but I don't worry about it too much. I have my own. She barked back: "That's good for you, but that's not the case for everyone."
So what? I'm supposed to feel sorry for the people who don't plan ahead??? I mean honestly, I understand people live in the city, but that is their choice and their risk. Additionally, whats stopping them from container gardening, or raised beds. It takes a very small space to do square foot gardening.
Here's an idea for those who hate tilling, but have a smaller area: <http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/sanders98.html> Recycle old tires, and grow your own produce in a small area. Revolutionary thinking, eh??? Ok, maybe not. Maybe it's been done all along, as the economy historically ebbs and flows.
Maybe the old adage: "Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without"... applies?
It aggravates me when people complain about things they do have some control over, yet don't feel any responsibility to plan ahead for. I'm not a rocket scientist, nor a master gardener... I don't have a degree in anything.. I just use my common sense. I'm also not always prepared for everything, (who is?), but seem to have a knack for compromise, and making do. This seems to aggravate everyone who DOESN'T posses the same skill. lol.
But I do try to share. I bring tomatoes to work and pass them around. They are a hot commodity right now. I give away jars of chow-chow, which I don't MIND, but it's a labor intensive product. I like to know it's appreciated. But at some point, I am looking around my very professional office and realizing; I'm different. Yes, you can dress me up and I blend in nicely, but underneath, at the end of the day, I'm out hoeing the corn and they are watching Wheel Of Fortune. I have jars of my own produce on my shelves, and more in the freezer. I don't worry about the cost of things grown 1200 miles away.
So, this begs the question: How Prepared Are You? And; Should You Share with others who don't bother to be prepared? (I say yes, as an example, but not as a habit) Is that wrong or stingy? Well, I would come closer to helping those who can't help themselves, (widows, handicapped, poor, and the aged), than helping able bodied people who don't care until it's too late.
Not to be contentious, but it's like the people who complain about gas, and drive a Navigator. Hey, you CHOSE the vehicle. If it cost you $110.00 to fill up, don't get mad at me for not listening to you complain. I drive a 25 year old Honda. I get to work at the same time, it's just not as pretty or roomy of a ride. But it cost me 1/8th of what you pay to get there.
Here's another link to help you as you sort out what YOU can do to be frugal, and a good steward of what God has granted your use of: <http://www.savingadvice.com/>
And isn't that what is: Stuff on loan from God??? You can't take a darn thing with you, and you know it. SO SIMPLIFY. BE PRODUCTIVE. GROW YOUR OWN VEGGIES. You can do this.
You can also convert your vehicle to biodeisel for as little as $150.00. I see more and more people doing this as it becomes readily available. Here in Texas (DFW area), there are at least 20 Gas Stations that sell biodiesel. The greater the demand, the broader the product. I have even sent in a written request to our company to consider converting some of our trucks that carry our product to biodiesel. It's a great marketing plan as well. *wink*
I won't go on about butchering your own hogs, or the like. I think you have enough to chew on. But the question is: Will the price of food or gas drastically effect YOU, and what are you willing to do about it?
Off to hoe... there's nutgrass to kill.

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