Planning Long Term

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Grandma and Grandpa

I see a lot of people taking the plunge and moving to homesteads, going off grid, and generally moving to more sustainable, self sufficient living.  There are lots of benefits to these lifestyles that far out weigh the negative.

What some people don’t realize is that there can be a lot of hard work attached to these ways of living.  I wonder if these people who say they are in it for the long haul are just living day to day or are they really considering the long term?

My birthday is right around the corner.  It’s a big one.  A lot of the things we had hoped to do are starting to fade.  I am finding out now that my bad joint pain can be limiting.  The heat and humidity in the summer send my asthma into attacks.  While I consider myself in pretty good shape for approaching AARP age, I have to face the fact that I’m not a young anymore.  While I’m not yet out to pasture, now is the time to set things into motion that will make those years easier.

menscott

Me with Hubb

We actually started thinking about it when we bought our house 12 years ago.
While we didn’t mind having a basement, we wanted a ranch style home so that if this is our final home we won’t have to worry about getting around it when we’re older.  This was important because we had seen older family members who were having a hard time with stairs including one who fell down a flight of basement stairs.  If we move, we will again look for something that will take us comfortable into our older years.  So, while we don’t want to limit ourselves, we also don’t want to make things harder down the road.  It takes thoughtful planning.  Gardening, raising animals, caring for the home and property…how will you handle these things in your older years? For example:  chopping all your firewood by hand isn’t as easy at 70 years old as it is for a 40 year old.

20141028_081817I know many of us are optimistic about these things in our later years.  “Oh, we’ll manage.”  Will you?  Even the average American lifestyle is challenging to the aged.  I’m not aged (*sigh*) and I have a hard time opening jars and bottles due to the joint pain in my hands.  I wonder how this will effect my gardening and canning?  How will this effect my butchering meat?  How will this effect my crochet business?

Have you thought about it?  Now is the time to plan and put things into place for your lifestyle long term that will make your older years easier.  It’s much easier to do it now while you are able than to wait until the day you find you can’t.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Raising Your Meat – Frugal or Cheap?

DSCF0326Having a sustainable homestead with animals has always been one of my dreams.  But there is nothing stopping us or anyone else with a dream like that from learning and practicing practical, frugal and sustainable homestead living right now where we are.  Think of all the skills we’ll have when that dream is fulfilled one day.

It seems to me, though, that a lot of people have such a romanticized vision of what farming or homesteading is that they are actually unprepared or disillusioned when they actually try to do it.  It is a long term way of life and the results are not instant.  There is a lot to learn and it is a lot of work. And while you skip a day in the garden, there is no slacking, time off, snow days or sick days when it comes to the well being of your animals who depend on you. The blog Walking In High Cotton has a good post about “Is Raising Your Own Meat Really Frugal?

While it is a good and very needed post, I think I would answer a little differently.  Yes, it can be very frugal. It isn’t cheap.

DSCF0063One thing that I have learned from trial and error is that there is a big difference between cheap and frugal.  Farming, homesteading, or sustainable living is not cheap at all.  But it can be frugal.  Living cheap is all about the short term, squeezing the life out of every penny regardless of who or what it might effect.  Living frugally is thinking long term, being careful with spending, even if it means spending a bit more to get better, lasting quality.  Living cheap expects instant benefits, living frugal plans for the long term rewards.  Living cheap is easy, living frugal (farming or not) is work.

It certainly can be frugal raising your own animals for meat if you are willing to put the work into it. If you are looking to do it because you want cheap, it certainly isn’t for you.