Halfmoon's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:34 pm

THE HOMESTEAD/ACCUMULATION YEARS

SCHOOL AND WORK:

I come from a family who all prize education and hold advanced degrees (but can’t change their own car battery). When I was 17, I told my father that I didn’t want to go straight into college when I graduated. High school felt like a prison to me, and I had no desire to surrender my impending freedom and return to a cell. I dreamed of living in the Alaskan woods or a Maine island or a New York City loft (so many choices!) and experiencing Life.

He sent me to a psychiatrist. :lol:

The fall after I graduated from high school, I hitchhiked to the Maine island where I had spent my childhood summers and started working in a sardine cannery. It was…different. The packers were in a huge, decrepit uninsulated wood shed adjacent to a dock. Fishing boats unloaded their catch onto a conveyor belt that ran the length of the building, and the packers stood on either side of the belt grabbing fish, cutting off their head and tail, and shoving the body into cans. We were paid by the can, and these women (all women) were amazingly fast. Grab, snip, snip, shove. Grab, snip, snip, shove. When the boat was almost empty, the packers at the top of the line (more seniority) would take all the fish, and those of us in the back would be idle. Then a demanding chorus of “FISH! FISH!” would rise and resound in the shed’s high rafters until another boat hooked up.

I lasted at that job for one week, at which point a girl on the canning line caught her hand in a processing machine. I still remember the screams.

So…back to working in the restaurant in the early eighties. DH and I were getting disillusioned with the restaurant business and thinking about a possible future free of vomiting drunks. I began talking with an older customer who worked from his home as an accountant to small businesses and individuals. He encouraged me to pursue an accounting degree and try doing the same.

For me, the degree would be solely a path toward working from home. I wasn’t fascinated with math or interested in enriching my mind with philosophy or art history; I just wanted the tools to create income while staying home. DH and I decided that a 2-year degree would achieve that goal, so I signed up at a community college. Classes started at 8 AM, which seemed doable because I got off work at 6 AM.

Another brief detour: our workplace was unionized, and we had undergone a month-long strike that resulted in keeping our current pay rate and medical insurance. DH and I each had seniority in our department and picketed every single day of that strike. The owners were not happy with us. Every subsequent manager tried to break the union’s back in general and ours in particular.

When the current manager found out that I was taking classes that started at 8 AM, he announced that he was changing the schedule so that graveyard shift would run from 11-7 instead of 10-6. It would be impossible for me to get from work to home (drop off DH) and back to my classes inside an hour, and management figured this would cause me to quit. DH and I decided that we were stronger together than…oh, pretty much anyone. :) I told the manager that union rules allowed the person with most seniority (me) to choose from available shifts, and I chose swing shift. The manager sputtered, “But [DH] works graveyard!” I replied, “Yes, but graveyard isn’t going to work for me under your new schedule.”

And then began the torture. I would get up at 6 AM; take a shower and get a ride from neighbors who were driving sort of close to my community college; walk the rest of the way and attend classes until 2 PM; take two buses to the restaurant; work from 3-11; study in the back for a few hours; sleep in the car until DH got off at 5 AM; ride home; stumble into the house and sleep on the couch until 6 AM; get up and repeat. The hardest part was not spending time with DH.

After a few months of this, the manager sat down with me and said, “We want you to go back on graveyard.” (Translation: no one else wants to work that shift, and they’re all making my life miserable.) I told him, “I’ll do it, but I want my shift to run 9-5 [exactly like DH’s shift].” He agreed, and we finally had matching schedules. :D

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:18 pm

THE HOMESTEAD/ACCUMULATION YEARS

BUILDING PROJECTS

We had our matching work schedules, but we were still working 5 nights/week and I was still going to school full time. DH did all of the cooking (he always had and does to this day), took care of the animals, cut firewood and maintained the garden and greenhouse. Of course he was still bored ;), so he started building stone walls.

Flashback: before we moved into the house, we had it jacked up about 10 feet into the air and braced with wood cribbing. A fearless excavator then drove underneath and pushed out the dirt so we could form and pour a basement. After the house was lowered onto the foundation walls, the excavated dirt was piled up against three sides of the basement. The fourth side was left open so an attached greenhouse could be built. The end result was a house on top of a big pile of dirt and rocks.

We didn’t do most of the skilled labor on this stage of the house. DH helped the carpenter we hired while I dug drainage ditches and laid pipe. I prefer the unexciting, structured tasks like “dig a perfectly straight ditch” to the traumatic ones like “climb across these rafters and lay down glass greenhouse panes without breaking them or yourself.” DH always wants to be working with and learning from any skilled person he can find. He likes to say that he only wants to pay people to do something once, after which he can do it. It’s usually true.

Some photos below (as usual, these are scans of blurry old film photos). We moved in after the basement was poured and before most of the other work was done.

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Stone walls DH built while I went to school. He used a tractor for the large ones.

Image

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At some point (brain gets fuzzy on timelines), we also had a barn built. Again: DH helped with construction while I did grunt work. DH designed it with Styrofoam insulation between the metal roof and the plywood ceiling to minimize condensation. Like the house, it has a full basement that’s exposed in the back. The upstairs floor is 2x6 car decking on top of 8x12 beams because we wanted to drive our tractor into the top and fill it up with hay bales (still in farmer mode at that point). We intended to keep sheep in the bottom and never did that either. After seeing the finished product, I thought maybe we should move in there and put the animals in the house. :?

Image

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*Note: I could use some advice about the photos. They look (too) huge on my 17" laptop screen but tiny of course on my phone. Should they be smaller?

saving-10-years
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by saving-10-years » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:00 pm

Lovely story. Keep these episodes coming please. I have limited writing time currently and slooow writing speed but I am avidly reading (and as an aside I am now back to some, currently very unimpressive, spinning). Re.latest episode. This is heroic (and fascinating) civil engineering. Wow. (Pictures work fine for me, viewed on 13" laptop).

The livestock stories bring back (vivid) memories of our introduction to sheep. We researched and did courses on smallholding and small flock management before opting for sheep rearing but were terrified by the prospect of lambing with more than four legs to contend with in a birth canal at once. So we requested an expert friend find us 12 ewes which had already given birth and had 'lambs at foot'. He focused on the fear of multiple birth part of the message and bought us 25 'ewe lambs' (young sheep without previous experience) each scanned as pregnant with a single lamb with a suffolk sire. Just imagine ... inexperienced owners, inexperienced sheep, single large head offspring (= much more likely to get stuck). We all got a lot of experience very quickly.

I am in awe of the schedule you kept to while studying. I've done a lot of studying while working full time but never with that level of challenge. It sounds like there was a complete disconnect between home and work life. I've pretty much always done work which was intellectually absorbing and intrinsically worthwhile. The downside is that I stole hours from family to work above and beyond the normal hours. Now I am retired and away from that life I wonder whether I missed accomplishing a lot at home (especially as I got older) because work was so absorbing. So work you dislike may have its up side?

My you two are a strong team. There have been lots of discussions here about going alone in ERE, and the problems of finding a compatible partner. When you have a partner who stretches you (as yours does) and stands side by side in adversity its such a strong plus in life. Having the same sort of crazy ideas when there are two of you makes it more than twice as likely that they won't work out crazy at all? (There is no scientific proof in that but it feels right from personal experience).

More please.

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:42 pm

What a nice comment! You've put your finger on our exact feelings: together, we're greater than the sum of our parts. We've always been aligned in our attitudes toward money, loyalty to each other and shared goals. DH has an incredible determination and work ethic, but I hold up my end.

Having 25 pregnant ewes at one time would scare me to death. That's impressive!

The school/work schedule was exhausting, but at least it wasn't very mentally challenging. I'm guessing that your education was more in depth. I learned much more after graduating than I did in school.

Also: interesting thought about a job you dislike being a help in focusing energy elsewhere. If either of us had been involved in a fulfilling career, we might never have been so close or so motivated.

Crazy ideas? You ain't seen nothin' yet. Wait until I get to the 60-foot tower. :lol:

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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by theanimal » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:09 pm

Like everyone else, I'm really enjoying your journal. Fascinating stories. Keep them coming!

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:55 pm

Thank you, animal! That's high praise indeed from a person who's doing what I always dreamed of. The fantasy got a little trashed when I read Coming Into the Country years ago, but the photos in your journal have buffed it up again. :)

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:51 pm

THE HOMESTEAD/ACCUMULATION YEARS

SAVING MONEY (finally some relevance to ERE!)

Long before we started thinking about early retirement, DH and I were naturally frugal. He had raised his son alone from the age of 6 months, and he came from a wartime background of deprivation and loss. I had no such ERE pedigree, but I grew up in a frugal family*. I was also the primary (and often sole) wage-earner in my first marriage. My only splurge was eating out, and DH cured that by being a great cook.

*In truth: my stepmother was incredibly careful with money because her food budget had to cover unrecorded alcohol purchases. Lots of alcohol purchases.

Reading Jacob’s book would have been a revelation for us. In lieu of that, we practiced a number of frugal habits:

1. We didn’t pay outright for electricity. One might reasonably argue that we put capital into our batteries, hydro system, solar panels, controller and tankless water heater. We never calculated the return on these because being independent was an unquantifiable part of the equation (and capital improvements have always made more sense to us than incessant monthly payments). We did eventually port the solar equipment over to our new home in the mountains, so there’s that.

2. We didn’t pay for (or have) a phone until I started my accounting business. Then the phone became critical.

3. We didn’t eat in fancy restaurants, or eat out much at all. No need to pat ourselves on the back for this one; we just violently hated “fine dining” due to our own work experiences.

4. We bought very little in the way of new clothes or housewares. Thrift stores were the bee’s knees back then, but yard sales now blow those out of the water. No reason to buy new stuff (see @Ego).

5. We never drank in a public place. We didn’t drink at all for years, but either way, drinking in bars or restaurants is ludicrously expensive. I get that this might be worthwhile if you’re single and paying for social interaction, but still. Likewise for the whole wine snobbery thing.

6. We didn’t gamble, including buying lottery tickets (*one mortifying exception, to be discussed later). We did invest in the stock market, which could be considered gambling.

7. We didn’t buy new cars. All of our cars have been bought through Craigslist (or earlier print venues like the Little Nickel). I consider buying a new car the height of folly, but maybe I’m just missing the How-Cool-Is-This gene.

8. We NEVER EVER borrowed money. If we didn’t have cash to do something, we waited until we did. We loaned money on occasion, but that led once to a phenomenal crash-and-burn scenario that doesn’t make us look very smart. :cry:

9. We did as much as possible for ourselves. Anything we were remotely capable of doing, we tried. DH maintained and fixed all of our vehicles, equipment and appliances with me standing by reading manuals to him. (Reading the manuals was just self-preservation, because DH sees those as an absolute last resort. He prefers to wade in and wing it.)

10. We shopped grocery store sales. We never went to the store with a list of what we had to have. Instead, we bought what was on sale or marked down and tailored our meals around that. It didn’t hurt that we ate free at our restaurant job.

11. We were LUCKY. During our accumulation years, we were getting at least 10% on our bank deposits. Inflation and loan rates were also high, but we weren’t spending like everyone else or borrowing at all. We worked with a guy who had bought a couple of rental properties at **20%** interest and was in a world of hurt.

12. I’ve never worn jewelry, used makeup, had manicures or appreciated cut (dying) flowers. DH and I have always cut each other’s hair. Some people who know us might say that’s apparent. :lol:

13. We didn’t have any new kids. DH had his teenage son, but in my twisted mind creating a child is akin to buying a Lamborghini that has a 50% chance of spontaneously wrecking itself.

14. We spent less than $100 on our engagement/wedding. I don’t have exact numbers, but we paid $15 for a license, $35 to a woman who married us in her trailer and took a Polaroid photo for posterity, and maybe another $40 for pizza and a movie for DH, DS and me. We had committed ourselves long before, and this was just a formality for legal reasons. Our job didn’t allow married employees to work together, so we never bought engagement or wedding rings. After we quit, it just didn’t seem important. In fact, I find the whole idea of being presented with a diamond ring bought with our joint or soon-to-be-joint money insane. I told DH early on that he’d better not waste ~our~ money on something like that (not that he would have anyway).

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Riggerjack
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:19 pm

OK. These paralells are just getting creepy.

My wife and I live in the house we had moved onto land we cleared, I also have pics of the house on Manly Jenga Blocks.

But at no time did I sign up to be a less awesome copy of halfmoon. Our rock walls aren't as nice. We haven't built the garage yet, and while I have a backhoe, and I really like overbuilding, it never occurred to me to put it on the 2nd floor!

I think I may have a new goal... ;)

George the original one
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by George the original one » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:33 pm

> in my twisted mind creating a child is akin to buying a Lamborghini that has a 50% chance of spontaneously wrecking itself.

I think this will be my favorite quote!

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:57 pm

@Riggerjack,

I'm pretty sure you could never be a less awesome copy of anyone. 8-) I always look forward to your posts on any subject because you have such a practical grasp of life.

FYI: we don't have a garage yet either. In fact, a few years back (I sadly can't remember the year, but you might) we were shoveling snow off our carport roof at 3:00 on Christmas morning because it wasn't engineered for a 3-foot dump in 24 hours. Before clearing the roof, we had to shovel in front of the carport so we could evacuate the vehicles sitting underneath. It was a memorable Christmas. We swore at the time to build a garage, but...

I tried googling Manly Jenga Blocks in hopes of seeing your house, and most especially the tile-lined/center-drained bathroom you mentioned in an earlier post. Alas, I came up with images that look like games and I'm pretty sure aren't your house. :(

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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by George the original one » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:01 pm

Jenga Blocks is the game which uses wood blocks shaped like the cribbing used to loft houses off their foundations, manly refers to their size (because, you know, from the male perspective, size does matter).

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:15 pm

George the original one wrote:> in my twisted mind creating a child is akin to buying a Lamborghini that has a 50% chance of spontaneously wrecking itself.

I think this will be my favorite quote!
I'm so glad you like it, because I was sort of worried about offending someone. :D

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:20 pm

George the original one wrote:Jenga Blocks is the game which uses wood blocks shaped like the cribbing used to loft houses off their foundations, manly refers to their size (because, you know, from the male perspective, size does matter).
Thanks, George! I'm going to make a wild guess that I won't actually see photos of Riggerjack's house on that site. Babe in the internet woods here. :oops:

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Riggerjack
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:56 am

I'm not big on posting pics online. Not from security concerns, but because I am lazy, and usually posting from my phone, on my commute.

At some point, I'll start a thread, and link to it from here, I don't want to jack your journal.

We had a lot of snow at the end of 2008, I remember, because it delayed moving the house. But on whidbey, we would never get 3 feet of snow. I have saltwater within 2 miles on 3 sides, so we are warmer in winter, and cooler in the summer.

I'm guessing from your posts, you are near Monroe, and out of the base of the valley. But when you say 3 feet of snow, I start thinking further up the valley, Index? Of course I could have the wrong valley, and you don't need to reveal your location, I just like guessing.

I have rock envy. Your rock walls are sweet. My place is glacial till and sand. I feel a bit silly buying rocks, but have none of my own... Even gravel has to be trucked in from 2 hours away.

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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by ffj » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:12 am

I want to see the tower. :)

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:00 pm

Riggerjack wrote: At some point, I'll start a thread, and link to it from here, I don't want to jack your journal.

I'm guessing from your posts, you are near Monroe, and out of the base of the valley. But when you say 3 feet of snow, I start thinking further up the valley, Index? Of course I could have the wrong valley, and you don't need to reveal your location, I just like guessing.
Feel free to jack my journal! My favorite part of this is starting a conversation with interesting people.

We live at the epicenter of the Puget Sound convergence zone. Just look at a weather map on a nice day in Seattle, and that one spot on the whole map where it's raining (or snowing) is our house. If you zoom in, you can see us giving the weather reporter the finger. :lol: We're also on top of a high hill (back east we would have called it a mountain, but here it's a hill), which means that we get more snow than most. There were many times when we'd be driving home from work in the rain on a winter morning, and less than a mile from home we'd run into snow. Nothing like having to get out and chain up the damn tires just to make it the last mile. That was back before most cars were all-wheel drive.
ffj wrote:I want to see the tower. :)
Haha! No tower porn until the part where we move to Eastern Washington. How am I going to get you to slog through the boring parts if I share the juiciest stuff first? :mrgreen:

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:17 pm

THE HOMESTEAD/ACCUMULATION YEARS

GROWING THINGS

One of my photos above shows the greenhouse attached to the back of our house. It’s 36 feet long and 20 feet wide, with concrete walls at the base and glass-topped cedar for the rest.

The entire outside and inside of our house was lined with cedar except for the ceilings and kitchen, which were pine. We bought the cedar in slings directly from a sawmill, rough-sawn (not planed) because we found it natural and homey -- and cheap. We loved how warm the wood looked, but we didn’t realize how it would attract and lovingly retain cobwebs, dust and dog hair. The cedar walls laughed off attempts with broom, rag and even a generator-driven vacuum.

As long as I’m getting off topic here… Can someone explain to me why dogs will roll around outside in the dirt, come into the house and shake it all over the floor? I’ve never seen one roll around on a dirty floor, pick up a bunch of dirt and hair, then take it outside and shake. :?

So, back to the greenhouse. The glass panels were double-pane patio door inserts, bought directly from the factory. They lay on top of the unplaned cedar rafters, then another board was laid flat covering the edges of two adjoining panels and leaving just enough gap between them to screw the board down without breaking glass. The top board was covered with metal flashing that snapped on without screws. Lots of caulking, and we thought we had a class act.

Ah, but (you knew there would be a but) we failed to account for the varying behavior of glass, metal and wood in different temperature or moisture conditions. The glass also didn’t want to form a seal against the rough wood. It took a few years, but the greenhouse and the panels themselves eventually leaked. When water got between the two glass layers and froze, one layer would typically pop into a pile of tiny glass squares on the greenhouse floor.

SOMEONE with a mower and a weedwhacker also destroyed a few panels. I won’t mention names, but his initials are DH. ;) We replaced a lot of glass, but we finally gave in to reality and redid the whole thing with (ugh) plastic panels.

Back when the greenhouse was new and shiny, we began thinking about how to fill it up with fertile soil so we could grow delicious things. We found a dairy farmer in the valley who had a huge pile of rotted silage mixed with manure, and he was giving it away free (you load/haul). We took our old ¾-ton pickup truck and a couple of pitchforks, and we piled that dense, redolent mass into the truck as high as it would go. Then we drove home, backed up to the greenhouse doors and distributed it one wheelbarrow load at a time. We did this eight times in total, at which point we decided that we were sufficiently full of shit. :mrgreen:

Next, we spread a thin layer of soil on top and planted things. We knew the manure was aged enough not to outright burn the plants, but we didn’t realize the effect a nitrogen overdose would have on green growth. Our tomato plants looked like sci-fi mutants: dark green, bushy and pushing against the roof. No actual tomatoes, though. Same for everything else that needed to set fruit; it was too busy taking over the world to reproduce. Lesson learned.

A photo below of non-mutant greenhouse planting in year two. Now DH plots out numerous square beds instead of these rows. It’s been a process to learn what grows well under cover and what does better outside, but the greenhouse is now successfully providing us with more greens and herbs than we can eat.

Image

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Riggerjack
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:13 am

Nice greenhouse.

Quick tip: as we get older, or rather, as I get older (DW is eternally young and graceful) I find labor saving devices are rarely worth the effort. However, there is a hand crank conveyor belt that attaches to your pickup tailgate. You attach, go pick up a load of gravel, compost, sand, bark, what have you. Then drive to where you want it, and slowly hand crank it forward to unload directly into your wheel barrow. If I were only unloading a yard of materials a year, it wouldn't be worth it. But since it cuts unloading labor by about a third to 2 thirds, it is great! Sold at harbor freight, about 60$ if I remember correctly. Your back will thank you. A great addition for road maintenance days... I've hauled and placed over 6 tons of 2" crushed gravel in a weekend, and the driving was what slowed me down.

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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:43 am

Riggerjack wrote: as we get older, or rather, as I get older (DW is eternally young and graceful)
:lol: Smart husband.

I googled the truck bed conveyor belt. Where has this been all my life? I can't begin to count the hours we've spent unloading gravel or drain rock over the years. We have a little utility trailer, and I don't see why this wouldn't work with the trailer too. It's only $40 at Harbor Freight. I wonder if DH would consider this a romantic Christmas gift...

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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Farm_or » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:52 pm

I looked at those because I move a lot of firewood, broken bales, dirt, and gravel. Ended up getting a great deal on a dump trailer instead. It needed repairs. The seller was telling me it was a good deal if I knew a good weldor. "Yeah, I know someone that works cheap" (me)

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:15 pm

Farm_or,

DH has always wanted to really learn welding, though he's only dabbled so far. Very useful skill. He bought the parts years ago to build a trailer, but life interceded.

Would you be willing to put a link to your new blog here? I enjoyed reading the entries; now it just needs some photos of your farm! If you already linked it elsewhere, then ignore this. And by the way...you claim not to be an engaging writer, but I respectfully disagree.

halfmoon
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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:49 pm

COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC

A question about Amish frugality/DIY philosophy in @DPAnderson's intro page got me thinking about my encounters with Pennsylvania Amish (I know nothing about other areas). A few random observations:

1. They call all non-Amish "English", much as many Americans call all Hispanics Mexicans.

2. The "English" often call them Pennsylvania Dutch (meaning Deutsch, or German), though they're of Swiss origin and speak a Swiss dialect.

3. They have complex sets of rules regarding use of electricity, phones and motors that vary by community or church leader. Some of the work-arounds they've devised are ingenious.

4. They generally use horse-drawn carriages and are known for having beautiful horses that aren't treated as pets.

Despite having grown up in Pennsylvania, I had lots of misconceptions regarding the Amish until my father took DH and me to an auction/swap meet in Amish country. It was unforgettable.

Across from the dirt parking area were about 20 unadorned carriages with gorgeous horses hooked up to a rail provided for that purpose. The horses typically stood there for hours on auction day. We went first into the livestock auction, which was difficult for me to watch. I've seen livestock auctions before, but this one...moving on.

Then we walked around the swap meet. Some tables were obviously manned (womanned) by Amish, and they usually featured home-baked goodies. The biggest sellers were fresh whoopie pies. For those who have trudged through a whoopie-deprived existence:

Image

As delicious as it might appear, the whipped filling in this case was made from Crisco (or maybe even lard). Same went for all the other Amish baked goods: hydrogenated fats were king, maybe because they don't require refrigeration. DH and I fell into the trap of buying some, and we had to wipe our tongues with napkins like Tom Hanks in Big.

By far the best part was the produce auction. Yep...produce auction. There's a big old wooden building with peeling paint, and inside is a little stage with an auctioneer selling every imaginable vegetable. We didn't see any fruit, but maybe it was the wrong season. This guy takes the selling of vegetables as seriously as a Sotheby's auctioneer, and his patter is probably faster. People sit in a motley assortment of chairs or stand along the walls, bidding on one zucchini or a bushel as they prefer. Ladies scurry about filling the orders and taking money. Many of the chairs have names written with marker on the back, though there doesn't seem to be any territorial claim. My father and sister sat down, while DH and I stood in the back. I eventually noticed that the chairs father and sister were sitting in had the name "Becker" on them. Someone had scribbled out the bottom of the B on both names and added "head" to one, so the chair backs read "Pecker" and Peckerhead". I never wished so hard for a camera. :lol:

When the vegetables were exhausted, the auctioneer moved on to selling whoopie pie lots. True story.

I've only told half the Amish encounter* story, but this seems kind of long. To be continued.

*I should clarify that the produce auction was more about rural Pennsylvania than Amish. Next chapter is all Amish.

Edit: DH reminds me that the produce auction was also selling eggs by the dozen.
Last edited by halfmoon on Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by fog_tree » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:57 am

I'm under impression. So instructive (not only for ERE readers) story, so gourgies life. All the best!!

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Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by Farm_or » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:02 am

Thanks for sharing this first hand observation of the Amish. Looking forward to the next chapter, I find the Amish ways fascinating. Having been to Lancaster, I loved it. You are so lucky having grown up there.

halfmoon
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: Halfmoon's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:19 pm

Thank you, fog_tree! I'm so glad you're enjoying my story.
Farm_or wrote:Having been to Lancaster, I loved it. You are so lucky having grown up there.
I didn't actually grow up in Lancaster, but near enough to visit Amish country. My rural hometown was tiny and primarily dirt-poor; our house was one of about 20% with running water and flush toilets. Compared to most, we were very well off. The secretary at the elementary school I attended had a big box of clothes in her office. She would wash kids' hair before class to get rid of lice, then give them clothes in exchange for their rags.

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