Farm life and Semi-ER

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Kipling
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Kipling »

@ horsewoman: another vote of thanks for 'keeping giving voice to your voice'.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by AxelHeyst »

Yes, thanks for writing that post @horsewoman. I feel *extremely* fortunate, as I feel I hopped on the ERE train just in the nick of time, January this year. My psychological state would be so much worse if it weren't for driving my expenses down, getting out of apt lease, starting to focus on skills, etc.

As you say, perhaps what shakes out of this covid situation (once enough people tire of beating the dead horse) is a renewed focus on renaissance lifestyle and skills, and a de-emphasis of the financial/FI dimension, within the FIRE community. And there's a lot to unpack in what's been mentioned about First World notions about death, entitlement, suffering, etc I think.

These topics aren't as "hot" as calculating death rates of people and economies, but there's a lot of meat to them. My intention, made clear by your post, is to contribute what I can to these topics and focus my participation there.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Jin+Guice »

@horsewoman: I agree about the COVID thread, although I was enjoying it. It belongs in the politics sub-forum, but that wasn't clear when it was started. I was having fun arguing theories, but I was spending too much energy on it and it was getting out of hand. I'm glad Jacob closed it for a few days. I think part of what was happening was 1) some people enjoy debating shit like that and 2) there's no real new information but coronavirus is constantly on everyone's mind.

I was also surprised at the lack of "EREness" to the discussion. I could never quite put my thoughts into words. I didn't want to shit on any of the people who are suffering from the economic fallout (different from people who are just theorizing about it) either. 7w5 pointed out that what is happening is, in some ways, state enforced ERE for a lot of people. No one likes the means, but, I dunno, did anyone think widespread ERE was going to go smoothly? Jacob's comment that ERE was such good prep for this that it was embarrassing in some ways really resonated with me haha.

I really miss playing gigs, how are you coping with the lack of live shredding?

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jennypenny
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by jennypenny »

@J&G, horsewoman -- Thanks for expressing what I couldn't. I wanted to start a thread asking about how everyone was feeling with the ERE test run but I was afraid it would devolve into another argument. Maybe I will in a few days when things settle down.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 9:18 am
I really miss playing gigs, how are you coping with the lack of live shredding?
It sucks, no question. I miss not only gigs, but also rehearsals and my band mates. We usually meet once a week come what may, so this is the only thing where the virus is really disruptive in my life. But since the restrictions are slowly lifted in Germany we have started to plan how to make our band room more safe, we need to be careful, in consideration of the fact that most of my band mates are 50+. It seems I'll be exiled behind a Plexiglas wall, since I cannot wear a mask while singing :) Fine by me!

To get my musical fix I've been dabbling in FL studio a lot these days. My husband is an amateur minimal techno producer, and we are both into minimal stuff, so that has been fun. But no replacement for the full band experience, alas.


@all - I'm glad that the tone in the forum has shifted in the last few days, the Covid-threads have been less prevalent. At this point we can only wait and see - time will tell if the Swedes had it right or not. I pretty much stopped reading news because it increased my anxiety. The only thing I listen to is the podcast of Prof. Drosten, who is the leading scientist for Coronaviruses. He does 2 podcasts each week, each around 45 minutes and speaks in detail about new developments. His style is very matter of fact, neither alarmist nor trivializing, and I'm very glad we have such a well-informed person in Germany - and that our politicians actually listen to him! I might have a tiny nerd-crush on him :)

In other news, I'm now the proud owner of a shiny new KitchenAid Artisan blender. Holy moly, this thing really pulverizes everything put into it! My old Kenwood food processor died a few months ago and since I absolutely loathed this thing I was not tempted to get it repaired. I have been combing the used market for a blender, but there was nothing but crappy stuff to be had. So I invested the money I made with the masks (plus some other cash I had lying around) into the new blender - our local electronics shop had it on sale, so I think I got a good price.

So far I processed soaked oats in it for oat milk, and made vegan patty dough and mashed potatoes. The potatoes were not a success, I overdid it and added too much liquid, so I ended up with something like sticky potato soup, only without broth or onions. Yikes! Well, next time I know to give it only a small pulse :)
The oat milk however turned out great, there are no discernable grains in the strained pulp, which was the case with the Kenwood machine.
The pattie dough was also perfect.

Our garden is coming along nicely, we have planted onions, lettuce, beans and peas outside. The cucumbers and tomatoes are being tenderly carried out into the sun during day and into the warm kitchen at night. We really need to build the sunroom onto our patio, we have been talking about this for ages but are too lazy to tackle it. DH is hoarding loads of reclaimed windows and glass doors for this and has most of the timber stored for such a project. I hope we can motivate us to build it this summer!

He accidentally crushed the small Nashi pear tree I've got for my birthday while cutting back the large elderberry bush in our garden. Such a shame, there were already plenty of blooms on the tree, DH almost cried :) He was able to save one branch, so we hope it will still grow and bear fruit next year. To console himself he bought two new apple trees, since all our existing trees don't produce savoury apples. He chose his favourite sort and I hope the trees start to produce apples soon, since DH eats copious amounts of them - a large item in my food budget. We should have got them sooner, but better late than never.

Frita
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Frita »

It will be interesting to see if live music opens up by the end of the summer. Between things being closed and canceled festivals, I highly doubt it. Just as a fan of live music, it is quite a bummer. I can only imagine the disappointment for those of you with musical talent.

Congratulations on your new Kitchen Aid Artisan! Having the flat sides to easily scrape all contents is a feature I will seek if my current one ever dies. Every time you use it, you’ll remember sewing all of those masks.

May your apple trees produce soon! Late frosts into June sometimes wipe out the blossoms and crops. Last year that happened; however, the 2018 apple crop was epic. I still have some doubled-bagged frozen apple slices, canned apple sauce, and applebutter. We ate so many apples for awhile that my family refused to eat them until just recently.

chenda
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by chenda »

horsewoman wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 12:10 pm
@all - I'm glad that the tone in the forum has shifted in the last few days, the Covid-threads have been less prevalent. At this point we can only wait and see - time will tell if the Swedes had it right or not. I pretty much stopped reading news because it increased my anxiety.
I completely agree, I almost banned myself from the forum last week and have 90% cut out any news. Sticking to a few safe sources and social media accounts.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by classical_Liberal »

Glad you decided to stick around @horsewoman!

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@C-L - Nah, I was nowhere near to leave the forums! I just found it sad that I was increasingly wary of posting anything because like jenny penny I was afraid of getting into arguments. I also noticed that a lot of the usual frequent posters were posting very little, which made the covid treads seem even more prevalent. But it seems I was not alone in thinking this, and I'm happy that the covid frenzy has petered out somewhat.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

The last few days I've been sewing up a storm, with what one might term "household linen" - I'm pretty sure this is an oldfashioned term, but I've been listening to Georgette Heyer audiobooks while sewing (the stories are set around 1810), so my vocabulary might be a little bit affected :)

DD wants to swap rooms with my sewing room, so I have been decluttering and sorting through my stuff. I have SO. MUCH. fabric, it's insane. Most of it was either free stuff or was left over from my sewing business. It was bulging out of boxes, shelves, and cupboards, all tangled up in a huge mess. I have tried at various times in the past to install an organizing system for my fabric, but I was never able to keep all in order. My latest attempt is to roll all fabric and tie the rolls with ribbons. I have a good feeling about this, even though it is hard work upfront. The rolled fabric takes up very little space and thanks to the ribbons it stays rolled up even when I'm rummaging around in my stash. Marie Kondo would approve - not of the size of my stash but of my diligent rolling efforts. I cut up old T-Shirts for the ribbons with my electric fabric cutter (have I mentioned that I adore this thing? It's a constant delight!).
I've placed the rolls in cardboard boxes to be able to move the stash around more easily, while still seeing the fabric. There is also a large box with fabric I no longer want, I'll give it away. It feels good to get rid of some of the fabric.

But seeing how much fabric I have on hand made me realize that I need to do something with it, otherwise it is stupid to keep up such a huge stash. So I made placemats, a table cloth, dishcloths, tea towels, cosmetic pads, washcloths, a large tote to carry oats out to the horses, a shopping tote, and some other odds and ends. DHs rag bag for his workshop outside is filled up as well. This did not make much of a dent in my stash but all of those things have been on my mental to-do-list for a while, so I feel very accomplished :)
Last edited by horsewoman on Thu May 28, 2020 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ertyu
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by ertyu »

Fabric seems to be stored in rolls in fabric stores, seems to be a storage classic you can't go wrong with. Sounds like you had a fun week crafting :)

classical_Liberal
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by classical_Liberal »

I've found the best thing about moving regularly is the required declutter. You really have no choice. Plus it forced decisions about any new items being brought into the household, IOW, do I want to move this in six months. As a result I own mostly things I use regularly, have multipurpose utility, or are small/mobile enough to easy to move. Being in the same place for a year, with no plan to move, means I'm starting to accumulate s**t again. The idea of rearranging household (ie what your DD wanted) to force similar declutters may be a new solution to motivate better behavior.

The second best thing was the forced reset of habits/forced adaptability to the new home town. I wonder if there is something I can do to mimic this while staying in one place? humm, food for thought. Thanks horsewoman!

jacob
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by jacob »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:10 pm
The second best thing was the forced reset of habits/forced adaptability to the new home town. I wonder if there is something I can do to mimic this while staying in one place?
The total spring cleaning, Japanese style, wherein every thing is taking apart and cleaned. If you want to be spiritual about it, you can even thank/appreciate the various items for their service. For example, a carpenter would build a shrine for their chisels and saws, etc.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by classical_Liberal »

@jacob
That sounds like a great idea for the declutter, minus the shrine :|

What I meant with the second thing, forced reset of habits/adaptability, is that I have to reexamine my routines and reestablish my "supply chain" in new surroundings. Bad habits that crept up in one environment are much easier to change in a new one, or establish new, better habits. It's also great ERE practice to learn the best way to source cheaper food, or where to borrow tools, obtain cheap housing, etc, in a new place. IOW, how do I replace Costco level deals on meat when there isn't a Costco, or how do I get garden fresh vegetables, at garden prices, when I can't have a garden?

Knowing that I can succeed at a low spending lifestyle in many different ways brings me peace of mind, plus it hones my ability to find what I need in different ways.

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jennypenny
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by jennypenny »

horsewoman wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 1:01 pm
I cut up old T-Shirts for the ribbons with my electric fabric cutter (have I mentioned that I adore this thing? It's a constant delight!).
What kind of cutter do you have, an electric rotary cutter or a cricut/accuquilt type of cutter?

I've been tempted by the new Circuit Maker now that I'm making so many masks. I hate the cutting part and I'm afraid to use an electric rotary cutter -- my track record as far as injuring myself isn't that good. :lol:

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@c_l - I hear you in regards to moving! From age 12 to 24 I moved 9 times, which is not quite your average but pretty frequent still. All my stuff fitted in a few cardboard boxes, plus some easily movable pieces of furniture. It's crazy how much stuff I accumulated since moving into the farm! We do rearrange furniture and rooms pretty regularly (because my brain needs novelty in a controlled manner :), which is indeed a good way to keep up with the clutter. Or it WOULD be if one did not have way too much storage room as we do.

@JP - I do have a rotary cutter, it looks like the second, red one on this page:
https://wiki.ezvid.com/best-electric-ro ... ic-cutters

I've also sometimes used one like the first pictured (green), but I liked the red one better, my cuts get straighter with the red one for some reason.

Regarding safety, I never ever came close to inure myself with my cutter, in years of using it - and I used it for hours on end in a workshop. I have a pretty high track record with self-inflicted harm :oops: since I often do not pay enough attention to my surroundings, being off in La-La-Land. I'm prone to cut or burn myself, but this machine seems pretty safe. The blade is encased in the machine and you only touch it while cleaning the machine - which you do need to do that often, in not commercial use.
The two cutters in the workshop had both repaired cables because someone cut it through with the machine. This never happened to me, it can easily be avoided by setting the machine up in alignment with your workflow.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Household linen-lol. I share your tendency towards altering my speech in alignment with whatever I’ve been reading lately.

I think accounting can get very interesting at the boundary between home production for home and home production for market. At one point in my saga, I had over 5000 books for sale stored in my 2800 square ft. home along with all the needful and clutter for a family of four, plus pets, garden, automobiles, tiny business office, etc. etc.

Because I have also done absolute barebones minimalism, I think anybody who is being a minimalist should account for all the business/production space they de facto use in order to passively generate income from assets and the de facto salary they are paying to individuals who keep those spaces clean and de cluttered. Also vice-versa. For instance, I had a friend whose wife was always complaining that their house was too small, and he kept rigidly replying that 1200 square ft was plenty big without acknowledging that he was taking up half that space with storage for his business.

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JWJones
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by JWJones »

horsewoman wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:50 pm
It strikes me as kind of funny that being a seamstress is bringing so much work my way right now - everyone warned me not to learn that trade 25 years ago because it had no future.
We make soap, and business is booming, not only with individual buyers, but retail accounts as well. We have actually picked up several new retail accounts just since the pandemic began. The online store averages three orders per day. Talk about being in the right trade at the right time! It seems the ability to sew and make soap are cornerstones of civilized life. :P

7Wannabe5
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Lol- Many of the microbreweries/distillers in my neck of the woods very quickly repurposed themselves by pumping out alcohol based hand sanitizer instead of beverages.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

The funniest thing happened - the owner of the tailor shop messaged me, completely appalled because she had just realized that I had not got my pay for the last three months. There was some hitch with the standing order at the bank. She asked why in heaven's name I did not say anything?! I sheepishly had to admit that I hadn't noticed it at all. It is a smallish amount (not quite €200 a month) and it really did not register with me. On the one hand this is funny because it just shows how little money matters to me at this point, but on the other hand it was a good reminder to pay more attention, to avoid being fleeced or losing money due to carelessness.

In other news, I have been on a rug-making binge the last few days, to use up more of my superfluous fabric stash. We have tiled and stone floors downstairs in most rooms, so rugs are important in this house for comfort. But we also have three dogs, so rugs need to be washed often! Bought rugs are in many cases too large or too heavy for the washing machine, so I prefer a larger amount of smaller rugs to larger ones. Making my own rugs is really the smart thing to do, even though my friend declared me crazy for taking on such exhausting projects. After all one can buy rag rugs cheaply... Yes, yes - I know.

The first carpet was really laborious to make because I had no experience. It has turned out a little floppy and I had to sew over it with the sewing machine to keep it together. It is not overly pretty, but it will serve well enough as a bath mat for our dingy little bathroom upstairs. Since it was my first rug I was fully expecting a lacklustre result and used only the ugliest fabrics I had on hand. If I can't stand to look at it after all the dogs will be happy to have it outside.

Image

The second one (destined for warming my feet under the desk in the living room) turned out much better. I chose three well matching fabrics for the braids, pulled the braids much tighter to avoid floppiness and watched a YouTube video on how to properly lace a braided rug.

Image

I have not tied it off yet because I've not decided whether to add a few rows or keep it like that. We will see after a few days of use what's best.
My old dog has already taken it for a test sleep and approves :)

The next rug I need a replacement for is in my kitchen, it gets really uncomfortable to prepare food standing on the tile floor and the old one is on its last prayers. (Also, none of us likes to wear indoor slippers!). This will be a braided rug as well, but with thinner braids, which makes it possible to link the rows with the sewing machine. Rugs really eat up a lot of fabric, and we get a real use out of them - this makes my inner renaissance woman very happy :)

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