Farm life and Semi-ER

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horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@Alice_AU my daughter eats eggs and is into baking, so we will use up a few of them. But one does easily underestimate how many eggs a young hen lays - that's how the Easter egg came into being I suppose. Shortly before Easter the egg production ramps up and eggs pile up quickly. It evens out till November, when they don't lay any eggs at all because they cast their feathers off. After a 2-3 years the eggs get less and you need to get new hens for the flock - this is only sustainable if you are killing the older birds... Which we used to do but cannot stomach any longer. So for me the hens will be food scrap annihilators and pest controls, and they can do that while being old as well.

I tried the selling and swapping method a couple of years ago, but it was not a success. My neighbours all have chicken of their own, and other people want a steady supply of eggs all the time like they are used from the supermarket - which you cannot provide unless you have a large flock (see above). There is very little understanding for the fact that large egg producers kill their bids after one season to keep production at a constant level.
Actually this circumstance turned us into part-time-vegans. I did not want to buy eggs in the store when my hens did not lay, so I started to experiment - which made me question the use of milk and butter in cooking/baking - and I learned that it is very easy to forgo both (without using any soy).

Frita
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Frita »

My son, now 15, went through the eat-at-school phase. His magnet school (kind of like a public private school) started requiring all students to eat breakfast together as a class family. He decided that food from home was/is superior. (He actually prefers leftovers to sandwiches.)

Now that he’s in high school and on a traveling team, he has to cover his first meal (sometimes two) away. Most kids take money and buy fast food. We started out sending a sack lunch. Then he negotiated us giving him money ($4, we drink water) for one meal per weekend. Yesterday he told me that he’d rather take a sack lunch because fastfood isn’t very good or filling. Other kids on the team are following his lead on sack lunches too.

Anyway, have faith in your teen and your parenting. You taught some negotiation skills as well.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@Frita, thanks for the voice of confidence :) It often seems very random what traits kids pick up from their parents and where they go in a completely different direction!

My FIL insisted on buying a wood splitter for us, and since the used market did not really provide us with any interesting offers we got a new one after all. With such a huge item we did not want to search to far off because of transport, which is another mark in favour for a new one - we do have a large forestry trader very close to us, so close that DH was easily able to pick up the wood splitter with our tractor. That saved us a lot of hassle because we do not have a trailer for our car at the moment. Anyway, thanks to FILs generosity we are not out any money and now proud owners of a heavy-duty splitter with a hydraulic log lift, a feature I was much in favour of. DH used to lift the logs himself, which is nice at 35 but probably not so much in the next 20 years. It's 22 tons, and DH says this will greatly reduce the wear on our tractor, since the splitter does most of the work. It can be run either with the tractive unit or with electric power, which we will use once we can no longer sell our solar power so profitably. DH is now happily splitting a huge old oak that our old splitter would never have managed. This oak will keep our butts warm a long time :)

On a different note, a sewing friend asked me to work for her for a few hours a week. She has an online shop/etsy shop and drowns in orders. Her shop is pretty similar to the shop I ran a few years ago, so I'm the ideal person to help her out with minimal fuss, I suppose. I really don't want to work more hours right now, on OTOH I'm pretty sure I'd love the work. It would be interesting and I'd keep my sewing skills sharp (plus learn something about machine embroidering, a field I have little experience in so far). I'll go to her shop tomorrow to see if it is a good fit and if so, I'll give it a try.

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Lemur
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Lemur »

@horsewoman

Does the solar unit cover heating in your home or is that what the logs are for? What else would you might use a wood splitter for? My grandfather has been using the same log splitter for over 20 years now. He stacks the logs outside of his house and uses them all winter. He has a trade agreement with his neighbor - the neighbor provides the trees because he owns a lot of land and cuts down some trees every fall. My Grandfather, in exchange, can split the trees up and take the logs for himself as long as he provides his neighbor with the logs as well (so my Grandfather exchanges labor for free wood and neighbor exchanges trees so he doesn't have to do labor).

I think my grandfather likes this arrangement for its own sake (free exercise) but also because this arrangement effectively covers all heating costs through the winter. Weekend duty for me is helping my grandfather a lot with this process; its bonding in a way. We also take our 4 year old out to move some logs too. He enjoys helping out! My grandfather is 89 years old and still going strong.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@lemur we heat our house solely with a large masonry wood stove, with warm air vents into the upstairs rooms. The power of the solar unit we sell for the time being to a power company. We get more for the kilowatt hour than we pay for electric power we use. When this lucrative contract runs out in a few years we will very likely use our own power for consumption. Whatever will make the most sense financially at that time.

We have our own woodlands which provide us with more than enough fire wood for our needs, and indeed we have a similar arrangement with our renter. He helps my husband out with splitting, cutting and stacking and gets paid in wood for his labour.

Producing fire wood is indeed a bonding experience! Our daughter helps us with moving wood was well.
My husband has many fond memories of working in the woods with his grandfather, too.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Two Italians have brought Covid19 to Innsbruck, Austria... It's getting closer to us, Innsbruck is only 200 kilometres from our place. All 16 German cases could be traced back to a single person, and one does not hear anything about it spreading further. So I hope the German health system has it somewhat under control.
So far I'm not really worried but I did stock up my pantry and pet food so that we would not need to leave the farm for a few weeks if TSHTF.
The only weak link in this plan is school, since it is mandatory in Germany. You cannot simply decide to keep your child at home because it suits you, so we need to trust that the authorities will shut down school early enough should it become necessary. My daughters school is in an area where lots of large schools are clustered together and children from different schools share busses. We have plenty of masks at home (for wood working and stuff) but I suppose my teenager would rather die of the virus before leaving the house in such a mask - unless everyone is doing it :)
For myself, I put all work files on a flash drive, so I could work from home, but since I'm mostly alone the school situation seems more fraught with problems to me. Well, no need to panic. None of us has respiratory problems, so we would probably survive an infection.

Frita
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Frita »

It sounds like you’ve planned for what you can. Does your teen use FaceTime or Skype? I notice mine using it to interact with his friends, even his best friend who literally lives one block down. I suspect that schools could function virtually with such technology easy enough.

LOL regarding the face mask wearing. My kid barely puts a hat on his head so as to not mess up his hair. It’s 20 below C and none of the kids are wearing real coats, etc.

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Alice_AU
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Alice_AU »

Living on the farm is probably the best place to be in an epidemic. With water and some food stored one indeed may not need to leave for weeks... and surely the school will accept a phone call with “my child is not feeling well so is not coming in” excuse?

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@alice - of course kids can stay at home when sick but you have to bring a doctors notice after one week - and a doctors' office would be the last place I'd want to be in case of an epidemic! This is the first problem, the second is that my kid would have to lie to her teacher. It is often said that autistic people can not lie, but that's not true (for us at least). We can lie as well as everyone, sometimes even better because since we usually speak the truth people don't suspect us ;). But the price we internally pay for lying is much higher than for neurotypical people, so we rather avoid doing it. At least this is what I observe in myself and in my daughter. I lose sleep for days over small lies and torture myself with thoughts of tripping up, it coming to light, and the consequences of it, and so forth. My daughter is the same. @bigato - if you are reading this, I would be interested in your thoughts on the matter! Is this similar for you?

There have already been some closed schools in another German county because of the virus, so I'm hopeful that the authorities will handle this responsibly.

@frita - since we live so far out in the sticks my daughter is used to talk to her friends on the phone or via messenger. A self-imposed quarantine would not be a hardship to her, I think.
The German ministry of health gave out the information that wearing masks is not very effective and that only sick people are supposed to wear them as not to spread their germs. So this is a moot point anyway. The sheer amount of rubbish this mask wearing produces is really disturbing, I want no part of that.

Other than that not much to report. classical_liberal wrote in bsog's journal that no updates in usually active journals mean that all is going well. This is very much the case here. I feel like learning about ERE principles has highlighted to me that I have been doing most of the stuff anyway, if unconsciously. Now things are more deliberate, but apart from stopping some frivolous spending we are not doing things differently.
I still cannot bring myself to invest a lot of money in the stock market, as I have zero interest in the matter and it would be foolhardy to invest without understanding. The farm is our investment, even though this might seem to be naive to an investor. We bought at a very convenient time, so the worth of our land has more than tripled in the last 15 years. Furthermore, we are fully prepared to sell the farm if we can no longer afford to live on it, and to live modestly on the proceeds. We can also reasonably expect some inheritance coming our way in a few years, which would make us even more financial secure. At this point the most important thing in our lives is to keep our relationship healthy, because we need each other for this non-mainstream live we have built. Both of our positions would be a lot less secure if we split up, because our talents and assets are complementing each other very well. So this is my priority, at a time in life were a lot of people get divorced (mid-life crisis anyone?). Luckily the semi-ERE lifestyle lends itself to stable relationships very well, because we have enough free time to do our thing each, while still having time for being together.
And should "the system" collapse - due to climate, or war or whatever - a farm is not the worst place to be. So I've decided to not worry my head over this, and enjoy this beautiful life we have. I just realized that this sounds like I'm saying good-bye, but I'm not! :) I love this forum and even though I often feel like I'm not "qualified" to chime in on some discussions I learn so much. Take "tensegrity" - these are words people like daylen throw around and I look them up, since I've never heard about them before. But the concept behind it is so easily understandable and gets me started on hours long reflections about how this is integrated in my own brand of system thinking. This is perfect for an ENTP who only scored like 57% on Extroversion/Introversion - getting input from super fascinating people all the time without having to make the effort of finding such people in real life :) Golden!

ertyu
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by ertyu »

I'm like this, too - there's something inherent in the state of being authentic - which is often a misused word. Many assholes will say "authentic" to justify not being rude because they can't be fucked. But to me, authenticity is best linked with integrity and living one's truth. That state is inherently valuable to me, and relationships and circumstances that require me not to be authentic and which force me to live (in my POV) while sacrificing integrity feel exhausting, burdensome, and repellent. It is an unpleasant inner state that I do not want and would like to avoid. Idk if this makes me mildly autistic or if it's just a personality trait and there's no point to dig into it any more than that.

daylen
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by daylen »

NTP's make the best liars. Remember "The Usual Suspects"? Kevin Spacey is an ENTP in that movie. Ne invents lies, Ti filters them, and Si tracks them. This still requires some mental load even for NTP's. Autism does not affect Ne-Ti-Si but it does affect Fe which is used to mask lies. Fi is the function to watch out for because it can detect authenticity.

It goes deeper than this. NTP's can temporarily convince themselves of the lies they tell by ignoring Fi. This is partially why they are so adept at argumentation.
Last edited by daylen on Thu May 07, 2020 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

daylen
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by daylen »

Ha, speculation is fun though. I would very much like to see an example of an autistic Fe-dom as this seems paradoxical. Te-dom makes much more sense.

daylen
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by daylen »

I am almost always speculating as an armchair philosopher. Continuously mentioning this would be a waste of time/energy, so I just accept the risks of being wrong every now and then (not looking to become a trusted authority). :P

classical_Liberal
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by classical_Liberal »

horsewoman wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:51 am
I love this forum and even though I often feel like I'm not "qualified" to chime in on some discussions I learn so much.
This isn't true at all, your perspective has been very helpful for me.

wrt lying. I'm not on spectrum, but I have always hated it as well. My personal perspective on this is that lying is hard because it gives away personal agency/power to others. Once a lie is told it has to be maintained. If you're ever "found out" then that person potentially has power over you. Better to air your dirty laundry publicly. This way no resources are devoted to covering your tracks, or worrying, and no one will ever have power over you due to your lie or secret (lie of omission). People tend respect direct honesty in most situations anyway. Although, there are obviously cases where lying is required. So I save it for only those very specific cases, to minimize the negative effects.

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Alice_AU
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Alice_AU »

It's interesting how different people are. I, for example, wouldn't even consider this example to be lying in a bad sense, but more of a social graces thing. As in "you know I'm lying, and I know that you know that I'm lying, and we both know that this is what I'm expected to be doing anyway".

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Very interesting responses regarding lying! People are rather different indeed. Two schools in Bavaria are closed down at the moment because of students having tested positive so it seems the education ministry takes things appropriately seriously. Should any of us contract the virus it will probably not be life threatening (we're all under 50 with no relevant pre-conditions), and we are set up for staying at home a few weeks. I worry more about my parents and my brother, who has severe asthma, but apart from making sure that I'm not giving them the virus I cannot do anything about that.

I've just spent an enjoyable half hour updating my spread sheet. Things continue to run smoothly. I'm happy to note that we have been very good with tamping down on the "shopping" category, where I have sub-categories like gadgets, clothes, shoes, gifts, eating out and misc spending. In 2018 the three of us went through about €450 a month on average, 2019 it was €350. This year we kept it under 120 in January and February. This is of course no large sample, but February is traditionally an expensive month in our family due to a ridiculous amount of birthdays. It did not feel in any way restricting, so I guess it is a habit now to not buy superfluous stuff.

Same with food and household goods, even though we hosted two "larger" (for us introverts large :) birthday parties in February and I stocked up my pantry because of the coronavirus I did not spend more compared to January.

In other news, my husband nixed our one-car scheme. It was not possible at this point to shift his working hours to one fixed day a week, plus I need a car to go to my side hustle, so we consulted our mechanic about our old beater Fiat. He thinks that we will get it through TÜV inspection for around €1000. It should afterwards run for 2 or 3 more years, hopefully without larger repairs. The body of the car is in excellent shape, and the problems with the motor can be repaired. I should have liked to try it, but if DH is not completely on board it would be me that would need to make most of the sacrifices. Since money is not really tight at this point I guess I'd rather have the flexibility instead of slightly higher savings. There are drawbacks with living in the sticks, but we knew that before we moved out here.

Frita
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Frita »

So, do you know when people are lying to you? I find not lying increases my BS detector. (Sadly, many people lie for unnecessary reasons. I have learned that relationships with people who lie tend to end badly and am actively avoiding them. Sooner or later, the lying is exposed and the person behaves badly.) Not to say that I am a mean liar. For example, if someone asks me to do something I don’t want to do, I don’t make up some excuse I have to remember. I just say, “no.” Now my spouse feels the need to makeup extra stuff to justify his answer as a default. It is his family’s style. After nearly 30 years, I have realized that this is just how they are. Our son tends to be on the more direct but kind end. All of us are neurotypical, though there are Spectrum behaviors (High Functioning Autism if we are using the DSM-V) woven throughout both sides.

Good news that the ministry of education is taking the Corona Virus seriously, that you have your supplies stocked, and extras spending is down. It will be interesting to see what you think of an extra vehicle. (We lived having one, had to go back up to two, and now have this extra vehicle we can’t quite bring ourselves to get rid of it.) May you and your family, especially your parents and brother, be well.

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Stahlmann
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Stahlmann »

daylen wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:53 am
NTP's make the best liars. Remember "The Usual Suspects"? Kevin Spacey is an ENTP in that movie. Ne invents lies, Ti filters them, and Si tracks them. This still requires some mental load even for NTP's. Autism does not affect Ne-Ti-Si but it does affect Fe which is used to mask lies. Fi is the function to watch out for because it can detect authenticity.

It goes deeper than this. NTP's can temporarily convince themselves of the lies they tell by ignoring Fi. This is partially why that are so adept at argumentation.
lol. gonna need to overcome my "I need to be good guy"-limiting belief.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@frita, my gut feeling about people, in general, tends to be pretty accurate when I pay attention (which I'm often not, as I'm easily distracted).
But I'm sometimes a little bit naive when it comes to people's motives. Since I'm myself pretty straight forward I operate on the assumption that others are as well. It is often the case that I take what people say at face value, and then I'm surprised how differently other people think about those interactions, or about people's motives. So I'm not sure if I'm actually good at spotting lies.

Today we got notice that all schools in Bavaria will be closed for the next 5 weeks - 3 weeks of regular school plus two weeks Easter holidays.
I applaud that, even though people here make a lot of noise about these restrictions. I do not envy the politicians who have to make this decisions -damned if you do, damned if you don't...
There will also be a cancellation of all our upcoming shows with my band. Luckily I'm not into music for the money, so this is only sad but not a financial problem.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

So I think we do have a mild case of covid-19 in our house. DD is sniffling and has a sore throat, DH feels very tired/groggy all the time and I have an odd pressure on my lungs combined with a dry cough. I felt slightly sick yesterday but I'm better today. Nothing too terrible, but it seems suspicious. In any case, I'm glad that I kept a healthy distance from other people in the last few days.

The tailor shop where I have been helping out has had some inquiries from apothecaries for cotton masks. I think the owner would like me to come in the shop to work but IMO it would be irresponsible to so, considering our symptoms. Since I'm all alone in my office in my part-time job I still can go there, I suppose. I'll decide it on Monday morning, if I'm still coughing a lot I'll stay home.

It is kind of funny how little our life has changed due to the virus. Other than DD being home from school it mostly feels like business as usual. On Thursday as I was sitting in the garden playing my harp I've had some urges to go to a friend's house to make some music in her garden with lots of space between us, but I've resisted those. And I miss my band rehearsals. Other than that I'm perfectly content with the reduced social action, it's only with music that I'm happier in a group than alone. At this point, I'm pretty pessimistic about the future of live music. It was hard enough before the virus to motivate people to come to a show - I've talked to plenty of other musicians in local bands and everyone has been struggling for years. Audiences are over-saturated and overstimulated by too many shows and the ubiquity of music on the internet. After this whole mess, it will be even worse, considering that scores of smaller venues will close down and lots of people will have less money to spend on going out. Maybe I'm too pessimistic, but we'll see how it turns out. Phew, what a depressing post! It's kind of hard to stay positive with all that uncertainty around.

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