Sunday, October 20, 2013

I am thinking of writing a book...

I am seriously thinking about writing a book that would focus on women living off-grid and why. This would include all women not just ones doing it on their own but all women. I am thinking about developing a series of questions and then putting them out there for off-grid women to provide responses and then compile them all together under various issues/topics.

I would love to be able to contact women from all over and talk with them and if possible to visit some that might be within a certain driving distance or maybe further away. Who knows.

Do you think women would be interested and sharing? Do you think this is crazy or is it something that might be interesting for people to read about?


Every day chores that I tend to forget about.

There seems to be certain times of the year that I end of forgetting to focus on the regular every day type chores, like cleaning my house. Don't get me wrong it is not a pig pen or really gross or anything. I just tend to let things pile up on the table and cabinets or I don't dust or sweep as much as I probably should. I then have to take a weekend to clean and put things in their places. I wish I could say this is a byproduct of living off-grid but I was like this before. I was really hoping I would change the bad habit once I moved. No such luck.

Some times I wonder if I am the only one that tends to do this. At this time of the year I really want to be outside enjoying the last of the nice weather and to get things buttoned down for the winter months. Then I realize that I have a huge pile of books, mail and other things on the desk in the office and I cannot get anything done because I cannot find anything, even the top of the desk. So I have to stop and take the time to get things cleaned up and put away.

I know that doing this ends of taking up more time than it would if I just put things away in the first place. But when the sun is shining and the weather is great there seems to be an evil fairy talking in my ear telling me to go outside and work as I can always clean and put things away in the house when the weather is bad.

I am going to really try to change this habit over the next month. My goal is going to be to try to put things away as they come in the house, to put things where they belong and not on the table and to put books back on the shelves when I am finished. I think if I start putting habits I have for doing projects outside toward the every day chores I might be able to get control of my bad habit of putting off chores when the sun is shining and the weather is great.

So wish me luck.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Firewood - where can I get it, how much and what is it going to cost me.

One thing I have learned is it is key to find reliable sources of firewood if you don't have time, skill or wood available to gather your own. My problem is a combination of time and skill. I work full time and only have limited time to do things around the property. I also lack the skill to drop trees. Once they are down I am good to go. So for now I order the majority of my wood from local providers.

It can be hard to find a reliable source. If you are lucky you will live in an area where you have a number of choices. But where do you look? I always check out the bulletin boards on any local business that have them. Some might not be where you would expect. In my area the local laundry has a bulletin board that allows for local businesses to put up their information. I have seen everything from baby sitting to businesses that will haul anything. So always check them out. Also local hardware and farm stores usually have them. Some are not in obvious places. The one at the local Tractor Supply Store is back by the restrooms and office. If you don't see one ask the store employees.

Another source can be local papers. Look in the classifieds and you should find some listings of businesses or there may be people who just have some wood to sale or get rid of for the hauling. It never hurts to check it out.

Of course you can also do a search on the internet to see if there are local businesses. I actually did this recently and found a number in my area. Some were not in business any more but I found enough to give me a good selection. I also found an Ohio website that listed businesses that sold firewood. The site contained a number of contacts that dealt with the lumber industry.

Once you have some contact information you need to start making phone calls. Some of the basic questions you need to ask is what type of wood do you have and is it seasoned and for how long. Also you need to know what they charge per cord. Ask if you can pick it up and if so what is the cost for that. Hauling your own is usually cheaper even if it is more work. Lots of businesses can provide delivery but you will pay extra for it and some will only deliver if you purchase a certain amount. So if possible save the money and haul your own. While it is more work it can be a lot more satisfying.

Last little bit of advice always get more than you think you are going to need. If this is your only heat source than you don't want to be running around trying to find firewood for the last month or so of winter. Most places will be sold out or they will only have firewood that is not seasoned. So plan for needing more and if you don't need it you are a little ahead for the next winter season.