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Hellos & Happy Birthdays New members, please use this board to introduce yourselves. Been gone awhile? Let your friends here know you're back! Is it somone's birthday? Wish 'em a happy one!

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  #1  
Old 05-24-2008, 03:00 PM
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Default Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

We have lots of new faces around here that know nothing of us. Let's fill 'um in a little.. *

First, I wanna welcome all of the new folks that decided to climb aboard and join into the mix. This place is full of great people with lots of knowledge and I'm proud to be a part of it. I hope that you're experience makes you feel the same way..

As for me, I'm just another joe living in Ohio, working towards a self sufficent lifestyle. I'm working at my own pace which doesn't seem fast enough at times but I keep moving..

I did achieve one of my goals. I'm totally off grid! It wasn't easy at first. Had a lot of trial and error but finally found my sweet spot..

I found my comfort zone with 512 watts of panels and operating most everything on 12 volts D.C. throughout my home. (Hence.. 12vman) It's a small system but it works for me. I can always expand but I'm happy with what I have and what I can do. I've been in this situation for several years and I love it!

My main water supply is cloud juice. I collect it from my roof. (no well) I get my drinking/cooking water from a known good source. I use a composting bathroom system. (sawdust toilet.. no septic) Not ready for the big garden or the critters yet but it's on the agenda. I still work a job that makes me travel 84 miles a day round trip.. *:

Just a quick overview of me. I hope that I can inspire others to follow their dreams and make them reality..

I don't miss that house that I had in the city a bit! When I leave here, I'll be in a pine box!

We have many well seasoned veterans around here with a variety of skills and I hope that they chime in too. Everyone of them have their own specialty and I'm glad to have the opportunity to pick their brains a little when I need to. That's what this place is all about..

Cheers..
~Don

PS.. Thank BHM and especially Oliver for providing this spot in cyber land and for keeping it up and running.. *



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  #2  
Old 05-24-2008, 07:24 PM
Deberosa Deberosa is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

What constitutes an "old timer"?

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  #3  
Old 05-24-2008, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

Hehe, Deb - anyone with five gold stars under her screen name qualifies . . . . even if she's only 21!

I'm an old timer - both on this form and in the world. Some days I'm older than others, though.

I started homesteading in Arkansas in the late 70's; started with free rent in an abandoned cabin (in return for fixing & cleaning it up, the owners let me and my mate live there free for six months.) It gave us a place to live close to the land while we got a start on the house.

I designed the house - an earth shelter with solar heat and wood backup. It was a fine place to live, with very little expense for heat or cooling. I had a garden on the roof and herbs and flowers in the "front" yard that faced the woods. We wired for DC, but ended up getting FmHA financing to finish the place, so we hooked up to the grid on their insistance.

I've raised goats, chickens and pigs, and did a bit of study about medicinal herbs and wild plant food.

Many years and a divorce later, I ended up moving to Wisconsin to earn a living. Now I'm kind of stuck up here. The rent is high enough so that I never seem to get enough money put by to get free of the rat race again.

That's me - now who's next? ;D

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  #4  
Old 05-25-2008, 12:22 AM
Deberosa Deberosa is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

Well, I still don't know if I "quallify" but I'll put in my two cents anyhow.

Over 30 years ago I did all of my own canning and cooking from scratch and had a large garden. Then I entered the rat race - two divorces and a new stepping stone job every 4 years until I was living in a Denver suburb with the nastiest nosy neighbor imaginable (would tease my dogs through the fence until they barked and then call animal control!!!!). I had a job that I worked 14 hours a day and on call the rest. Denver was a mass of traffic and people and no place without long lines. I drove to work and drove home and was sick of it so in 1999 I made my escape. I had no idea what I was going to do but it wasn't going to be that anymore!

I landed in Washington state on the Olympic Peninsula but the escape was not complete. I bought a mobile home on a quarter acre in the woods next to a railroad track and forest land. It was in a "gated" community but it was a former campground. A mix of trailers, single wides and double wides, cabins and houses. It was OK. Until fancy people moved in around the lake and started the harrassment. I took about two months of the new world order this time! I stopped at a realtor and asked what could I get??? That was July 9th and by Sept 9th I was moving into Deberosa. 4.5 acres, a big old barn, and a small house with lots of brambles and weeds and appliances for lawn ornaments! That was in 2003.

So I am not an "old timer" I guess in terms of homesteading but I asked the question because everyone I think has something to contribute. Plus I know how totally scarey it is to take on projects I've never done before. I didn't know if I could care for 4.5 acres myself. Then I got chickens, then I had to butcher a rooster, then I got a cow and so on. Deberosa looks nothing like it did 5 years ago and I practically did it myself. One thing at a time, one step at a time.

I guess my "specialty" is gardening but my passion is sustainable agriculture. I learn more about it all the time and work to that end. I am not off grid, but have a generator just in case. A person can only concentrate on so many things at once, and I chose what I am interested in. Even being tied to the grid I don't suffer much at all when the power goes out with wood heat and propane stove backups with the generator. It works for now for me.

I have a long way to go before I become totally self sufficient - if that's possible anyhow.
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  #5  
Old 05-25-2008, 12:42 AM
gardenfay gardenfay is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

Well, I also think that most anyone can make a contribution to a great forum like this if they try. And I also am grateful to all who keep it up and running.

I am a 48 year old married gal who was raised on what I consider a pretty neat homesteading situation. My parents owned 160 acres in eastern Oklahoma. My Dad was a union welder/pipefitter and always worked away from home. So the 'farm' was ran by my Mom and us kids. One brother and us 4 girls.
I was a real tomboy and really liked the farm. thats why I think i learned so much. We ran about 40 beef cows, had a Jersey milk cow. Raised some hogs most of the time. Kept about 50 free range hens. Raised 100-150 broiler chicks to butcher every year. Usually also had guineas and ducks. Raised a large garden, had a peach orchard. Canned and froze tons of stuff every year. Had no indoor plumbing until I was almost 15. Also harvested deer, quail, and fished a lot.
So even though, I haven't done all these things again since I was grown, I have done many of them here and there - and I praise God and thank my parents and grandparents for teaching me all that great stuff.
I feel like that knowledge is quite precious a commodity in this day and time - and i am quite thankful for it.
My DH is a heavy equipment operator by trade. Also logged for 18 years and is a trapper and great woodsman.
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  #6  
Old 05-25-2008, 12:55 AM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

well, I have been in it from birth. I had a great childhood, though poor as dirt. Never a dull moment and busy as a beaver. My family did it all, even making their own bricks to build their house. I feel sorry for the kids nowadays with all their gadgets. It did not take me long at all to learn that I dislike city, it literally makes me sick. I am nursing garden number seven back to health right now. We always lived in a place where I could at least have a garden. The best place we had was four acres, 33 fruittrees, chickens, sheep, two gardens, granted, it was an old house, nothing fancy. that is where we raised our kids mostly.My dream though had always been to have a cow. we bought some land, built a small strawbale house, built a strawbale studio, (I am a potter,) but so far do not have time, still too much other stuff to do, we have to make more fences, especially. we would like to be off grid but we are too dumb. we have a generator for the well, in case the power goes off, and a Kitchen queen woodstove that heats the house and is great to cook on. I have no other stove in the house. I do have a gas stove in my summer kitchen. Nothing fancy but it works. Husband has bees again. Brownie just had a calf about an hr ago . We are not springchickens anymore and it all is a lot of hard work, like someone on this forum once said, the simple life aint simple. But it is my simple life, I wouldnot trade it.
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  #7  
Old 05-25-2008, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deberosa
What constitutes an "old timer"?
LOL.. Yer a riot, Deb.. ;D

Thanks for sharing everyone! I enjoy this myself. I hope to pull some more of the "older members" out of the woodwork and let them shine under the spotlight a little.. (Is that better.. HeHe)

~Don.. Who isn't a spring chicken himself..
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  #8  
Old 05-25-2008, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

Really enjoying these stories folks, keep them coming.

Regards,
Pat
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  #9  
Old 05-25-2008, 12:15 PM
suijurisfreeman suijurisfreeman is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

I grew up on a 755 acre grain farm in central Indiana, we always grew our own food, raised chickens etc. *My father sold the farm, we moved to a small town, he started a manufacturing company --Johnson-Stuart Company. *My oldest brother designed what was probably the first ventless rangehood -- the charcoal filter type. *Another brother designed one of the first portable bbq grills -- I still have one today. *My father sold out in 1963 and began manufacturing a line of 3 phase converters that converted single phase electricity to three phase -- mainly for farm use. *I went to work for Johnson-Stuart Company during my senior year of high school when I moved out of my father's house.

Even when we moved to a small town at age 11-12 I used to hand-spade several garden spots that neighbors let me use to grow vegetables *I guess you could say that I was part of the 'back to the land' movement back in the late 60's early 70's -- I've got just about every issue of MotherEarthNews beginning with the January 1970 issue. *

I kinda got sidetracked in 1974 when I started my own manufacturing company -- Purr-fect Cat Creations by pursuing the all American dream of 'making money'. *I designed, manufactured, sold and delivered carpeted indoor cat furniture until September of 2001. *So for 27 years you could say that I operated a cathouse! *I'll post some pictures later of my fine line of feline furniture.

In 1991 my wife and I bought 43 acres in south-central Michigan, lived off grid, heated and cooked with wood, grew alot of our food, raised goats, chickens, rabbits, *made maple syrup, etc.
When I got divorced in 1998 I bought 20 acres in south-central Kentucky -- all woods. *My youngest son and I moved there in November of 1999 -- just before Y2K was supposed to happen. *We errected two 20' diameter yurts for our temporary shelters, *I plan on building an Earthship as my permanent shelter. *I'm not connected to any public utilities, heat and cook with wood, used to grow alot of my own food, collect rain water, use one of those composting toliets mentioned in The Humanure Book. *I bought a mountain bike and a two-wheeled cart that I used for transportation, built my own recumbent tricycle -- something that I plan on manufacturing, only with a body on it so it can be ridden all year round.

Currently I'm here at my daughter's place in Elkhart, Indiana because as part of my appeal's bond I agreed to stay out of Monroe County, Kentucky until my case is resolved in the Kentucky Supreme Court. *Hopefully in 6 months or a year I'll be able to get that Earthship built and get back to my simple lifestyle.

Here's a picture of my cardboard yurt:
http://www.angelfire.com/rebellion2/suijurisfreeman/

And a couple of my recumbent trike:
http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/k.../trikepic1.jpg
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  #10  
Old 05-25-2008, 02:46 PM
Faye Female Faye is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

Well, I guess I qualify as an old timer here on BWH since I joined back in about 1997. I am 56 years old and this August 3 I will be married to my husband for 40 years(yes, I married way to young). I was born here in lower Alabama to dirt poor but wonderful people. My father died when I was one year old and my Mother had to work so we could eat, which was not an easy thing in 1950"s rural Alabama. We stayed with my grandparents while Mon worked during the week and that is where I learned most of what I know about being self-sufficient. We had a huge garden, raised chickens, a hog or two a year and my grandfather gardened and earned a living with his horse. I moved away and lived in Louisiana and Chicago until I was 16. I didn't learn much then except city ways which was fine but I soon started yearning for the country. I met my husband on a trip back to visit my grandparents. His family were also good old time country folk who believed in doing for themselves. We raised gardens for 5 families, raised and butchered our own meat, made our own clothes and quilts. We were not offgrid then and still aren't but I try to be careful of the amount of energy I use. We have central heat and air but heat with a wood-burning heater in winter and only use the air when the heat and humidity gets to much to bear. I cook with propane. I am not nearly as knowledgeable as most of the folks here at BWH but I sure have learned a lot. I, too, thank Oliver for this place. It has felt like home for a lot of years. ETA: I guess I should add that we have chickens and a garden and I can and freeze what we grow. I want a cow but really don't have room. I would love to buy 5 acres soon but it is not in the cards right now. Dh has health problems but is still able to work but is older than me and will retire in about 2 years.
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  #11  
Old 05-25-2008, 04:37 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

quote by bee pipes

Really enjoying these stories folks, keep them coming.


that is nice, but I am waiting to enjoy your story.
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2008, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

Not much of a story - just a kid that grew up in the suburbs outside of DC. Figured I'd work all my life and wind up in a matchbox apartment in a town outside of a major metro area, hating life. Lived in San Diego County, LaPorte County (Chicagoland), Fairfax County (DC again), Davidson County (Nashville). Lived once in the country - St. Mary's County, Md. - didn't like it. Rented a trailer and tried to live like I was in the suburbs. Spent a decade in the service and lost my taste for camping. After the cold war ended I worked for a while managing a feed and garden store - learned a lot about feed, fertilizer and chemicals. Got divorced in 99, met a smart woman in Tennessee and married in 2003. Started camping and kayaking around the big waters in Tennessee. Worked to pay off the house, she retired and sold the house to buy 48 acres in Perry County, Tn.

Would be flattery to cal myself a homesteader. I'm just a wannabe - too cheap to buy anything I can make or raise myself and liking the quality of life it gives us. We're working our way up the food chain. I am totally comfortable with poultry - keeping them healthy and happy until they go to the freezer. Next animal is goats - if I can ever get caught up enough to build them a shed and corrall, we're going to get two nubian does to add dairy and goat meat to our produce. We're also looking at small scale grain for the back field to meet our needs and feed the livestock. Never tried doing much with wood - a real klutz as a carpenter - so I figured it would cost me less to buy a sawmill and make lumber from our trees to build my abominations, rather than buying lumber and making mistakes with that. Have had to rise to the occasion to master new things - plumbing, wells, small engine repair, animals, gardening, beekeeping, building, wiring, etc.

Someday we'll get off the grid, for now I've got a list longer than my arm of stuff to do around here. A lot of you folks learned these things at your parent's knee - my folks were trying to escape the farm. Dad was career civil service - some kind of spook - and was raised by a man that worked his but off to get enough money to get off the farm and buy a tavern in Waseca, Mn. Mom became an RN so she could work inside after growing up on a farm outside Huron, SD. My family thinks I'm crazy, but on a summer night I can sit on the front porch and hear a whiporwill call, and that damned possum after my chickens walking through the leaves in the woods.

Came across BHM while googling renewable energy. Joined in Nov 2006. This place if full of ideas and hard won experience. Reading the info here has done a lot to get us where we are today - a dumb city kid (turning 50 this year) and a smart woman that keeps me from killing myself with stupid ideas. ;D I am loving life like never before. Used to enjoy traveling but now I resent anything that takes me away from home and interupts my projects.

Sold a couple of articles to BHM - apparently there's a demand for articles written from the point of view of someone that is unhampered by prior knowedge of the subject. Wrote one on sawmills, fixing a well and building cages with j-clips. They rejected one about how not to kill poultry - said they had too many livestock articles and wanted how-to articles. Still waiting to hear about 4 other articles submitted.

Regards,
Pat
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  #13  
Old 05-27-2008, 12:12 PM
humbug Female humbug is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

Hi I have been part of the BWH forum since 2004 even though I lurked for quite awhile before that. I am 43 and live in the great state of Nevada.

My parents were some of the original back to landers. I spent my youth growing up off grid. Their home was 18 miles from the nearest town with a population of about 100.
I spent my young adulthood keeping up with the Joneses and realized that lifestyle was not the right choice for me.
My ex husband and I purchased a solar powered home in which we later added a wind generater. This was lost in the divorce.

I currently live on a 1/2 acre with my chickens, dogs and goats.
Even though I am not currently not off grid I heat my home with a wood and cook with propane to advance my self sufficiency.

I have gardened for over twenty years and been canning just about as long.

For a greater part of my life my family butchered their own meat. I hope to eventually get back to this.

I own a beautiful 40 acre piece of land that I hope someday to develop into a "real" homestead. But have found even my half acre keeps me really busy. I think most of the people here like me must have income from an outside source. Keeping up with animals, gardening and work keeps me hopping...not sure how I will ever find time to develop the 40 acres.

To all the new members...Welcome...There are a lot of great people with an accumulated hundreds of years of experience and knowledge.

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  #14  
Old 05-27-2008, 01:40 PM
ThisisDoc ThisisDoc is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

im a hermit... i aint comin out
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  #15  
Old 05-27-2008, 01:40 PM
ThisisDoc ThisisDoc is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

and if ya add em up... i got enough damn stars
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  #16  
Old 05-27-2008, 02:35 PM
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12vman Male 12vman is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

AHHH..Com'on out, Doc.. I'll buy the beer.. ;D
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  #17  
Old 05-27-2008, 03:08 PM
ThisisDoc ThisisDoc is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

ok the beer will do it... no wait... i dont drink alcohol... dang it

Anyways... dont post much anymore cause theres just too many danged fools on this thingthey couldnt spell common sense if i spotted them the C's O's M's and a free N. Missouri, 40 acres, log cabin,teeny tiny solar system i NEED desperatley (sp) to upgrade with a couple more cheap panels if i can find them online, year round water. big time gardener, CCW holder, pistoleer and all around crabby old fart
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  #18  
Old 05-27-2008, 09:01 PM
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Katrina-Sisu Katrina-Sisu is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

oo how many stars do I have? (posts to see)
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:02 PM
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Katrina-Sisu Katrina-Sisu is offline
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

Bah 3, I'm still a newbie practially lol.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Com'on, 'Ol Timers..

Naughty Pines here, That is a play on words for Knotty Pines. I live in a pine forrest with knotty pine in most of my cabin.

I enlisted in the Navy Reserve my senior year of high school and spent two years in active duty in San Diego, CA. Got to see Hawaii for a week and then the Seattle Worlds Fair. After getting out of activite duty, I hired in at Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank Ca. I got tired of working there and quit after only 34 years and 9 1/2 months. Now they're paying me not to work, best deal I ever made.

I have always enjoyed printing and photography ad with a computer I can continue to enjoy both. I printed my own birthday cards and Christmas for many years, then postage got too high and I started emailing things.

I have two solar setups of three small panels each that are still not seeing any sun shine, too lazy to put themn up in the sun shine.

I live in a small ski resort town in Wrightwood CA. Only around 3000 full time residents but many weekenders and thousands of snow players during snow season. I currently have a 70 X 100 foot lot with no garden or grass, just billions of rocks. Been here almost ten years now.

Fire departmet 4 blocks away, post office 5 blocks away, hardware 6 blocks away, mechanic 6 blocks away, market 7 blocks away and pizza shop 7 blocks away. All within walking distance if it wasn't up hill all the way home.

Memorial Weekend and Labor Day weekend there are village wide yard sales and we attract hundreds of shoppers from all around us. SOME FUN!

Now it's your turn.

Jerry the NP ;D

PS
12V man is cool but, he won't come out here and set up my solar stuff for me. *:-[

PSS
Sunshine 365 days a year, some times we can't see it due to rain or snow clouds. :
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