Farm life and Semi-ER

Where are you and where are you going?
horsewoman
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Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

bigato wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:45 pm
In Japan they have this whole culture about letting the kids loose on the world on their own for the first time when they are something like 8. They even make whole tv shows about this, you can find this stuff on youtube hahaha
I will SO not tell her that! She would love to have a YouTube Channel of her own, which of course I won't allow at this age. She'd "vlog" the hell out of this!
jacob wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:56 pm
Next maybe let her plan/buy/make dinner and go through the entire process on her own some time. We had cooking classes in school in grades 6-7 (IIRC) but ingredients were always supplied. (Ditto when helping out at home.) It would have been nice to experience the entire process before moving out and while I did all those individually, I never experienced them together in a way that connected the dots.
She already requested that next time the shopping list should be longer. When it comes to baking, she already does her own planning. I'm totally useless in this regard but she likes to bake and she notes down what she needs on our general shopping list. But you are right, the next logical step would be for her to help meal plan, go shopping and help with cooking. The thing is, I need to tread carefully in this regard because of her Asperger's/ADHD issues. She gets overwhelmed easily with plans and executive functions in general. It is hard to get her to retry things she "failed" at once. Baby steps! But this makes small victories like this even sweeter, seeing that she CAN do it.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

mooretrees wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:56 pm
Do people do the web of goals and not talk about it? I still don't have a solid idea of how to pursue this.
Today I noticed, perhaps not an example of a web of goals, but of some cogs that worked together nicely. It is not very lofty, I'm afraid, but for what it's worth, I'll type it out! :)

I'm having a head cold at the moment, so naturally, I need plenty of handkerchiefs. I could buy some but since I'm not up to real work I'm having some extra time on my hands for some gentle work.
In my fabric storage, I keep a box of old t-shirts (slightly holey or with stains) for various projects.
I used to run a small tailor's shop, so I'm in possession of a professional electric cutting machine (paid for by the proceeds of the shop), which makes cutting fabric a breeze.
I cut up two old white shirts, which are very soft from being washed so often (way softer than paper tissues!), this takes around 3 minutes and produces a nice stack of handkerchiefs, which I can use and wash with my rags on a hot circle to reuse. Since it is jersey fabric, no need for hemming the edges.

The used handkerchiefs go into a small laundry net to dry. It hangs out of the way in my kitchen close to the laundry bag so I won't forget it on laundry day.

There are some pieces of fabric leftovers too small for handkerchiefs, so I cut them up in smaller squares to use in the laundry room.
We got a second-hand frontloading washer recently for 30 EUROS, and while it works very well I have some issues with dirt and animal hair getting stuck on the underside of the glass window and in the plastic seal.
So far I've had a roll of toilet paper in the laundry room to wipe it off, but I'll replace it with a container of the small cotton pieces. The fabric would have been thrown out anyway so I save the disposable toilet paper.

Like I said, not very lofty but here you are. If I did not have the electric cutting machine cutting up shirts would be a little bit bothersome. I do no longer earn money with my tailor's shop but I have all the great tools still at my disposal, and now I use them to work for my self.
The issues with the used washer are a little bit annoying, but considering how much money it saved me compared to a new machine, I'll gladly cut up some old shirts to wipe the glass clean after each circle. It takes 30 seconds.

At the moment I'm re-reading the part of the ERE book with the salaryman/businessman/working man/renaissance man. This got me thinking while cutting fabric, I suppose. It has zero appeal to me to work long hours to accumulate enough wealth for ERE, so I probably need to work harder on the other end. I have to say it makes me sad that all these little things a renaissance woman might do for herself will earn me ridicule in today's society. Just imagine telling a stressed-out salaryman that you spend part of your day cutting up shirts for handkerchiefs, or old paper for writing notes... Which closes the circle in regard to the disconnect @moretress mentioned in one of her posts.

mooretrees
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by mooretrees »

Nice job on the hankies. My son has recently discovered the fun of throwing the toilet paper roll and watching it roll away. Needless to say we've gone through tp much too fast recently! Now we store it up hight where he can't get it.....

I like your stories, and what a great job with your daughter! Proud mama indeed. I bet she was pleased with herself, it's fun to play at being an adult.

We were able to make an owl costume from old t-shirts for Halloween. It was okay, we started too late and sorta phoned in the mask. But he had fun and we are starting the tradition of making costumes.
More stories about your life please! I would love to work part-time and so hearing your sweet set up is a good reminder to strive for it.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

At the moment I'm re-reading the part of the ERE book with the salaryman/businessman/working man/renaissance man. This got me thinking while cutting fabric, I suppose. It has zero appeal to me to work long hours to accumulate enough wealth for ERE, so I probably need to work harder on the other end. I have to say it makes me sad that all these little things a renaissance woman might do for herself will earn me ridicule in today's society. Just imagine telling a stressed-out salaryman that you spend part of your day cutting up shirts for handkerchiefs, or old paper for writing notes...
This is very much in alignment with some thoughts I have recently been developing from the other end. Unfortunately, what I mean by "the other end" is that I have previously found myself dwelling relatively content in something resembling your current space/structure/web and then experienced slow or sudden crash. The thought I was having is that if you are an ENTP, you are likely already pretty close to being a Renaissance Man, with the obvious caveat of scornful description often wielded against our type which is "Jack of All Trades, Master of None." So, when we "crash" or "collapse" it isn't in a big obvious manner, like a failed broker jumping off the roof of the exchange or the salary man with 4 kids made redundant after 30 years with the same company.

It's more like when you are running to catch the bus on the way to an exciting opportunity while simultaneously hunting around in your big bag of tricks for an umbrella, and you make it to the stop in the nick of time, but the elastic on your underpants, which you have been meaning to replace for some time, chooses that very moment to give out, and they fall to your ankles, and you find yourself down on the pavement with scraped, bloody knees, breathing in the fumes of the bus as it pulls away and down the road, leaving you bare hind and behind.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Jin+Guice »

When turning clothes into handkerchiefs and/ or rags, does it matter what kind of fabric the clothes are made out of? Is there any fabric that's advisable not to turn into rags?

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:13 am
When turning clothes into handkerchiefs and/ or rags, does it matter what kind of fabric the clothes are made out of? Is there any fabric that's advisable not to turn into rags?
Yes, there are differences. Woven fabrics like cotton, terry cloth (--> towels) or linen will fray if not hemmed. Knitted fabric like jersey ( --> T-shirts) will not. It really depends on what you will use the rag for. Terry cloth cleans better on surfaces than the jersey, so I will take the extra time to hem the cloth. Plus, I don't want messy/fraying rags in my kitchen and hemming them makes them look nicer. Cotton works well for tea towels. I use nicer fabric like old cotton bed sheets and hem them. Old, thin t-shirts are soft so they are very nice to use on skin.
For my husband's workshop I cut up everything else without hemming because he usually throws them away after use (oil and dirt).

ETA: OMG how much thought can one give to rags anyway? No wonder so many people think I'm weird. But I've found that with this "old knowledge" or rather things our grandparents did every day one needs to dig deep to make it sustainable. If you have no idea what fabric to use for which purpose using a paper towel will always win for convenience. With rags you need a system, but once it works its kinda beautiful :)

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

mooretrees wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:14 am
I'm glad my stories have some value for you. I feel you on the disconnect so it is really pleasing to be amongst like-minded people, even if it is only online!

Good job on the homemade Halloween costume! You need to start them early so they know nothing else ;) My daughter went as a "Día de los Muertos" skeleton, wearing an old 80ies black/red cocktail dress with a tulle underskirt and the traditional skull make-up. We spent 3 € for some greasepaint, that's all. I like to keep some vintage fancy dresses on hand for dressing up - those are the upsides of a large house!

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:30 am
The thought I was having is that if you are an ENTP, you are likely already pretty close to being a Renaissance Man, with the obvious caveat of scornful description often wielded against our type which is "Jack of All Trades, Master of None."
Actually I have always tried to reclaim that term "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" positively. In German this is called a "Tausendsassa", which is an epithet I give myself proudly. I struggled with this until I came across the "Puttylike" website, which really opened my eyes that not being an expert at something can be a very fruitful way of life, if one adopts a healthy attitude towards it.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:30 am
It's more like when you are running to catch the bus on the way to an exciting opportunity while simultaneously hunting around in your big bag of tricks for an umbrella, and you make it to the stop in the nick of time, but the elastic on your underpants, which you have been meaning to replace for some time, chooses that very moment to give out, and they fall to your ankles, and you find yourself down on the pavement with scraped, bloody knees, breathing in the fumes of the bus as it pulls away and down the road, leaving you bare hind and behind.
Had to ponder this for a while... Thanks for the warning, it is always good to regularly check if there is enough slack in the system.
I've had a similar traumatic experience like the one you described in your journal (with your sister) when I was 16. My mother and her then BF pulled a series of almost unbelievable dumb stunts, which left a lot in shambles - figuratively and literally. This taught me some lessons early in life that I need to look out for myself first and foremost. Like with the oxygen mask in planes.

So I've been very careful to protect my money and interests even from my "nearest and dearest". I also have some safety strategies in place to make sure I'll never be without a home or without an emergency fund (I have a set amount of money which I consider ZERO, an iron-clad emergency fund, so to say). Plus a few contingency plans in case of my husband dying or divorcing me. While I cannot be sure that those plans will hold up should one of these things come to pass, I feel better for having them.

I'm sorry you had to go through this with your sister, I imagine there are few things more traumatizing than a beloved family member turning against you in a violent manner. It's been almost 25 years but I still call up in detail the image of broken furniture and glass when I close my eyes. I've sworn to myself that my child will never witness such a scene as long as she lives with me.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

On a happier note - I have scored a small frugal victory. As I have mentioned before my daughter is on the autism spectrum, which comes with a whole host of sensory issues. Buying shoes has been a nightmare for years. She can not tolerate the stiffness of new shoes and finding used shoes she can wear is kind of a hassle becuase she needs to try them on. This makes Craigslist cumbersome because I would need to drive around a lot.
My MIL forwarded me a newspaper announcement of a used shoe bazaar close by. We got three pairs of shoes for my daughter and one pair for me for 17 €. Such a relief to know that she'll have shoes for the next few months, winter boots, boots and sneakers. Summers are OK because she'll go barefoot most of the time or wear flip-flops, but every autumn it is the same old... I need to pay better attention to this kind of bazaars or flea markets. Usually I avoid them (we have too much stuff as it is) but in this case it's a golden opportunity!

7Wannabe5
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@horsewoman:

Sounds like you are a much quicker learner than me. One reason I have been a bit stuck in swamp of self-pity lately is the event with my sister was not the first, second or even 4th time I've had to deal with a similar traumatic event. It's like I can't move forward until I figure out why I am a magnet for being the designated driver for complete melt downs.

Buying used shoes is definitely one of the things I get grief for from not so frugal folk, but I think the fact that they are already a bit broken in is a plus.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@7w5 How fast I learn largely depends on how deep I get burned. I forgive and forget pretty easily, but while I will give most people second and third chances I will put up save guards. To use P&P traits - I guess I can understand the Mr. Darcy and Wickham situation from Mr. Darcy's viewpoint. He tried to see the good in Wickham and felt responsible for him (another trait I share with Darcy, I feel responsible for everything, too!) until it was made painfully clear to him that there is no good in Wickham. I'm pretty sure however he received Lydia and her dear George at Pemberly 10 years later, while putting his servants up to monitor his every move :)
But since I forget minor infractions pretty easily there is also some "Lizzy philosophy": "Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure". Like with everything in this strange brain of mine, conflictive forces are at work :)

Maybe your cuddly personality makes people think that they can run roughshod over you? In your writing you come across as the nice, approachable substitute teacher who does not like conflict very much. Someone who people feel comfortable to open up to.
I don't like conflict either but for some reason a lot of people are slightly afraid of me. In my former band (all female) I was very seldom approached by the unavoidable weirdos who latch on to the artist, it was always one or another of my band mates. I guess my vibe is more "Victorian governess in a nobleman's residence" :) At least I have been asked a few times if I have a side business as a dominatrix - which I think hilarious!

bigato
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by bigato »

Funny, people being a bit afraid of me is also a theme on my life. Like at the job, for example, some people don't even dare to mention me when they are joking with everybody. I'm almost never the target, although i'd take it lightly and laugh together. Yesterday a sincere friend told me that I am very confident and that this intimidates people.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I should write more on my own journal. The fact that I do indeed project a cuddly, approachable presence is unrelated to the fact that there are several people with serious mental illness in my immediate family and I have been in intimate relationship with several men with serious mental illness. It may have to do with the fact that I "normalized" a good deal of "crazy" growing up because my mother is mentally ill (bi-polar 2.)

On more cheerful note, I think developing a dominatrix skill set could prove very helpful in certain situations, kind of like knowing how to perform basic first aid or becoming lifeguard certified. One novel I really enjoyed ,"Children are Diamonds" by Edward Hoaglund featured an unattractive, middle-aged, frumpy female character who managed to enlist the assistance of the very attractive younger male protagonist in her efforts to rescue some orphans by whipping out some unexpected dominatrix skills. Also, an ENTP male friend of mine is married to a sex worker and one of her friends who is a professional dominatrix was able to solicit the help of several of her clients in fixing up a big old house she bought in the city. So, I say "Go for it!" ;) :lol:

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

One of my favorite reusable's is to use old socks as cleaning "gloves". I place it over my hand and use it to meticulously clean my bicycle.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:45 pm
One of my favourite reusable's is to use old socks as cleaning "gloves". I place it over my hand and use it to meticulously clean my bicycle.
I've read about this many times but for some reason I never use socks this way. Perhaps because DH wears his socks until they are holes with some string around. He has developed a method of wearing 2 pairs over one another so that 90% of his feet are covered :) Kids socks are turned into hair ribbons, though!

Moneywise things are running smoothly. We have managed to reign in our superfluous spending - we used to blow €400 a month on generic stuff, the last 3 months we averaged €206. Food is also down about €30 a month, intermitting fasting is as good for the wallet as it is for the waist line!

We are talking a lot about "later" these days. DH does not really like to think about the future, he is firmly lodged in the here and now, but I hope to get him interested a little by gently introducing the topic again and again. My interest in investing has further waned, I have to confess. There is so much negativity in the news and the blogosphere that I feel even more paralysed than a few months ago. I dutifully read all the posts in the "Money" section here to familiarize myself with the topic, but I don't seem to find the energy to devote more time to it. This is a running theme in my life - forcing myself to learn boring (to me, at least) stuff will not work. I inhale and retain information on a high level if it interests me, otherwise nope, can't sustain any studying.

I have some real estate schemes in mind, so at this point accumulating cash is what we will do. My main interest lies in getting our expenses down, so I will focus on that. Next spring we will give it a second try to make it work with one car. One of our cars is on its last legs, we will not put any more money into it. Here in Germany you can sell old broken cars easily to Polish or Hungarian car traders who will export them. In those countries there are less stringent laws on vehicle safety. This will be an adventure with my ISFP husband, who refuses to plan ahead more than a day... If it not works, we'll get another small car old car, but I'd like to try it at least.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

bigato wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:28 am
Funny, people being a bit afraid of me is also a theme on my life. Like at the job, for example, some people don't even dare to mention me when they are joking with everybody. I'm almost never the target, although i'd take it lightly and laugh together. Yesterday a sincere friend told me that I am very confident and that this intimidates people.
I used to think that I'm simply naturally bad ass. Watching my daughter growing up I'm getting the idea that it might be partly due to autism. I have been told that I'm coming across arrogant/aloof/cold... but I'm not! I'm spending a lot of time in my head, as does my daughter. While "away" she loses total control of her facial expressions and looks really mean/pissed off. You really think twice before approaching her! I wonder if this is the case with me as well and other people on the spectrum.

It would also explain the dominatrix thing ;) which I won't start as a side business anytime soon :)

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER - garden update

Post by horsewoman »

Winter is here and the days are very short. While I like the changing seasons in our neck of the woods I'm looking forward to March when the bleakness of January and February is over. We have (or rather DH has, my participation was done earlier in the planing stage) completed our new vegetable garden. This used to be the place where the former owners offloaded their cow manure - I have no idea why anyone would do that right in front of the entrance to the main house, but well, so it was.

We keep the horse manure behind the stables and used this pit in the middle of our yard for bonfires and our ash heap. I was of the opinion that an additional garden close to the kitchen (as opposed to our greenhouse, which is on the other end of the yard) would be a better use of this space. My husband came up with the idea to put in a wall to form a tunnel, so that we can care for the garden without bending down all the time - genius!
There are some stairs already, which made this an easy thing to incorporate. He filled it up with old wood, leaves and branches, manure and compost, and covered it with straw for the winter.
The whole thing is set up like a hugelkultur, for those who are interested:) The decomposing wood will provide nutrients for the soil for years. We use this method in our large raised bed and in my herb tub and see great results with it.
So far we used only stuff we had on hand for this project, which I like especially. We plan to plant beans, peppers, peas, lettuce, corn and a few other things in it next spring.

Image

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

We've had some pretty dramatic sunrises this week. The sky was painted in hues of purple, red and gold. A perfect backdrop to the Alps. It was really beautiful and it made driving to work at this time almost a treat. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to slightly longer days and more natural light.

Semi-ER goes swimmingly. We are living mostly on one of our PT income plus some of the proceeds from our solar unit. The rest is socked away to fund my planned real estate scheme.
My husband has developed some interest in cooking, and we prepare lots of food together, which is nice. We are eating lots of lentils these days :) Today he made a salad with green lentils, white beans, white cabbage and endive. I fried patties made of oats (the left-over pulp from making oat milk), lentils, carrots and celery. Super delicious!
jacob wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:14 am
I'd like to see people trying to resell their stuff going through the process of listing, sending, dealing with flaky craigslisters, ... just to understand how much harder it is to get rid of things in today's marketplace than it is to acquire them. This might curb the enthusiasm for buying stuff because it sparked joy in the store.
This has been true for me. I'm not one to recklessly put stuff in the dumpster, but I have enough space to store everything that is no longer used or kaput. In the last few months I've sold some stuff and the hassle of dealing with said flaky craigslisters has definitely taught me a lesson not to get any more stuff (even if it is free). What is so difficult about using salutations and write in full sentences? Last price?! Tell last price! I'd rather sell an item for less to someone who is polite instead of those obnoxious "last price" people. Seriously!

I think I'm getting better with giving away stuff as well thanks to my recent adventures with selling. This does not come easy to me but at a certain point it is simply not worth the bother of listing stuff if it either sits ignored or you have to deal with rude people.

That being said, I made almost 400 € this week by selling a no longer played instrument plus a huge doll house that has been collecting dust for years. The impetus to sell the instrument was an idea of getting a used synthesizer that caught my eye but in the end I did not buy it. I've really learned my lesson, it seems!

I did splurge however and got new ice hockey skates. I have been torturing myself for years with my old skates (bought at the tender age of 16) because I was too cheap to buy new ones. The rumor that feet get larger with pregnancy is definitely true in my case. It was not a total loss because my daughter can now wear my old ones.

jacob
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by jacob »

I think you mean "final price"? Those bargaineers also annoy the @#$@# out of me but I understand it's cultural. In some cultures, it would be an insult not to haggle. In others (like mine), it's an imposition. My usual solution is to add 10% to my listing price and then offer 10% off if they ask. It's stupid, but it satisfies a human need. I've also had people asking for a discount AND if I could deliver to them 50km away. Sorry, I'm not that desperate. Methinks those people who are unable to type in complete sentences are smartphone people. In any case, I have a system that prevents me from investing too much planning around flakes.

I'm still guilty of "if it's free, it's for me". Poor people take in stray pets. I take in semi-broken appliances and the likes under the presumption that I'll fix it someday. I actually have a cuckoo clock from Schwartzwaelder Uhren sitting right next to me to remind me.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@jacob - yes you are right, "final price" would be the correct translation, OTOH they write it wrong in German all the time (it should be "letzter Preis?" but it is invariably "letzte Preis?") so maybe it is fitting after all. Mhhh, I never thought about the fact that haggling depends on culture. Since the most persistent hagglers seem to have trouble with the German language I suppose they hail from other countries. This is a downside of being a stay-at-home, I was never really exposed to cultures that differ greatly from mine. The last few listings where "fixed price" with a reasonable amount and I sold them quickly, so I guess this is the route I'll take in the future.

When it comes to "free stuff" my mother-in-law is the bane of my existence. She has a house stuffed full of fascinating old things (I love old things! Which she is aware of, naturally) that she wants to get rid of. So she takes it all to our place, and persuades me that I absolutely NEED this charming hat, or this oh so useful pan or that pretty little carpet... This has been going on for years but lately I have put a stop to it. The psychological strain of not being able to get rid of things has gotten too much. She is a little bit miffed, but she'll get over it, I hope.

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