Introducing myself

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Spurred on by Joel's comments regarding lurkers from the city, I thought I'd introduce myself. Hope it's ok.

I've lurked for almost a year, and received Countryside for almost two. I'm a married mother of 2 girls under 6 years, and I'm in my mid 30's. Hubby's a cabinetmaker, and we live in a dying northern Ontario, Canada farming town of about 1000 people. I grew up in the northern Ontario bush, a half hour from a town of 80,000. We currently rent, but do own land two and a half hours away where I grew up. Since my husband made "peanuts" when we met and we had our first child, we've had a slow time of it getting out of debt. We now are "out", and have a cash only philosophy...for everything. Since it's not feasible for my husband to work for someone else as a cabinetmaker where our land is, we are slowly buying his equipment for self employment. He won't be able to commute to his current job. We hope to begin a maple syrup operation with my parents and brother next year on the land. My husband and I want to raise our own livestock for meat, have a large garden, build our home ourselves, use alternative energy (masonry furnace, wood cookstove, solar/wind power), and on, and on. My incentive comes from my experience taking over my brother's chickens as a child (his allergy problem), the desire for complete self-reliability instilled in me by my father, and the health and well-being of my daughters. We intend to live lightly, and well. We're not dreamers, just still planning, preparing, and saving. In the last week I've followed up on the comments of others here and purchased Back to Basics, Carla Emery's Encyclopedia, and even Lehman's catalogue. Last summer I grew my own garden for the first time, and have potatoes and pumpkins downstairs. My daughters were amazed at what "real" carrots actually taste like. I'm constantly amazed (and absorbing) the knowledge on this forum. In the summer, I posted two questions and then became ill. Here are my belated thanks to Joy and Julie (?) on fruit tree id, and JOJ and Hoot (et al?) on portable sawmills.

Sorry this is so long, but I was a bit irked by the labelling of lurkers as city slickers by Joel. I won't post until I have something of value to say, or a question to ask. I will, however, continue to lurk daily. : )

-- Rheba in Northern Ontario (rbeall@etown.net), January 15, 2001

Answers

Nice to meet you Rheba,

I am in Southwestern Ontario, and I am here daily also. It is a great place. I don't post too much, and respond only when I have valuable advice that no one else has offered. We are on 7 acres and very happy to provide for ourselves, garden, goats, chickens etc. We also foster parent hard to place kids, usually after they have done some jail time. It is a good life and a great way to raise children. Keep posting.

-- Marci B. (daleb@kent.net), January 15, 2001.


I'm glad you're here and don't think you are a lurker!!!

We live in north Alabama on 13 acres that's just outside a little town of about 5000 folks...

We raise Angora rabbits and have our first two litters of babies this month which is SO exciting.

It sounds like you and your family are on the right track!

JD always said that COUNTRYSIDE and homesteading are really states of mind and it sounds like you have the homesteading state of mind! Getting of debt is really wise, especially with your young family!

Are you considering homeschooling? We did with our last two (now both grown) and I don't regret a day of it.

I am a newspaper reporter/photographer (for nearly 22 years now) and have always had a home office even though I am senior staff writer at one of the papers I work for.

To me home is my refuge!!!! Suzy

-- Suzy in Bama (slgt@yahoo.com), January 15, 2001.


Welcome and dont worry about the "bad blood" threads. There are 33 civil threads to the one nasty one, a 3 % ratio. Not bad for when such a diverse group gets together.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), January 15, 2001.

Hi Rheba & welcome! Glad you've de-lurked! I'm not here everyday, dh uses the computer for his business (he's out right now). There are some comments that I let go in one, then let it go out the other. ie: Joel's latest rant. Don't let it get you down, ask the questions, there is always someone, or 2 or 3, who will be more than happy to help you. Glad your daughters like the carrots! they're one of our favorites. Hope to hear from you again.

-- Phyllis (almostafarm@yahoo.com), January 15, 2001.

I meant, in one ear, then out the other ear!

-- Phyllis (almostafarm@yahoo.com), January 15, 2001.


Welcome, welcome, welcome!!! There are many of us that have had to do the "city thing" at different times in our lives and in no way do I believe that makes us any less as homesteaders. Joel seems to be having some serious problems that go beyond what can be handled here on the forum, so I sure wouldn't let him push any buttons. I wish I had had a camera to take a picture of my postage stamp backyard while I had no choice but town living once. Every child in the neighborhood would be there looking at my flowers and veggies, some had never seen anything like it. I went to the farmers markets and purchased produce to can and freeze. Sprouted, sewed, quilted, baked bread, cooked from scratch etc. etc. etc. while in the city. And, who ever said there was anything wrong with being a "dreamer" or "wanna-be"???? That is the stuff life is made of. I am still dreaming and wanna-being about a lot of things. God Bless

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), January 15, 2001.

Welcome Rheba, though I must say I didn't think of you as a lurker, more as an occasional poster. We don't all have to be blabbermouths like some of us are (who, ME?)!

I'm still in the planning and organizing stages myself. Meanwhile, I do what gardening I can, and practice other things that come to hand, such as do-it-yourself repairs. Ignore any nasty comments. Don't be a stranger!

-- Joy Froelich (dragnfly@chorus.net), January 15, 2001.


welcome rheba...I'm just a wee bit south of Hamilton,Ontario.If you need anything don't hesitate.Carla E. has been my fav for a long time.We could swithch stories on seed catalogues(canadian)We summer in Parry sound how close are you?...teri

-- teri murphy (mrs_smurf2000@yahoo.ca), January 15, 2001.

Thanks to all for the welcome. Yep, I have that old homestead state of mind. Took until I lived in the concrete jungles of Toronto and Vancouver before I realized how much I loved the birds, trees, bears, and chickens. My Mom is constantly shaking her head...the girl who worked so hard to get away from the bush is fighting to get back.

Suzy: I have been considering homeschooling for a few years, now. My oldest is in Senior Kindergarten (full day), so Iím keeping a close eye on what they are offering her. Unfortunately for them, I think sheís already bored. Iíve spent more than a few bucks on good phonics books for her already...sheís so eager to learn. And theyíre SO slow to teach.

Teri: Weíre about an hour west of Sudbury. Think that makes us about 2.5 hours from Parry Sound? Iíd love to swap seed catalogue info. Iíve been paging through Stokes, but it seems pretty technical. Iím looking for good untreated seed for plants I can seed-save from (open-pollinated? Iím a beginner). I havenít been in the immediate Hamilton area, but spent 3 years in Guelph (U of G). Then I was a history student...didnít realize then I should have been an agriculture student! Itís beautiful country down there, but I like it up here where the mosquitoes live, and the twisters donít.

Thanks for all of the encouragement, everyone!

-- Rheba (rbeall@etown.net), January 15, 2001.


Rheba: Shumway is a very good sourse of untreated, open pollinating seeds.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), January 15, 2001.


Hi Rheba from Wisconsin! It would be silly of me to say welcome, since forum speaking, i am only a week old myself.

I grew up in a family that didn't understand what i was about. Then i went to school with friends who had nothing in common with me as far as my homesteading ideas were concerned. At my school reunion i was givin a Laura Ingalls award and laughed at openly for my life style. Someone even gave me a bonnet! I am who i am and i am proud, not ashamed. I finally have a family that is mine and believes the way i do. Also I have now found the forum. I contribute and post what i feel, but i count on everyone to let me know if i am becoming a pain. I enjoy so many things i can't help but share them. I feel i finally fit in somewhere.

I say lurk if you want, live where you want, and make your life what you need to be happy. Homesteading is in our hearts and our minds, we are lucky if it can be on our land too.

-- Shau Marie (shau@centurytel.net), January 15, 2001.


Hello again Rheba. So nice that you're braving the waters!! Did you ever get it sorted out what that tree was?

-- Julie Froelich (firefly1@nnex.net), January 15, 2001.

Rheba,and whoever else is interested.William Dam sells untreated seed and organically grown seed,some heirloom no GMO.The website is www.damseeds.com.My other favorite is Richters where I buy all by herb plants and seeds.They are world famous and if they don't sell it I bet you can't buy it.Great catalogue this year.Website is www.richters.com.I am familiar with sudbury.I'll bet you have some growing challenges there don't you!!How long is your growing season? There is a great book called the northern gardener,Have you read it? My hubbie can get a job in espanola or aitotakan(sp)but it would be toooo cold for me!!!!TTFN....teri

-- teri (mrs_smurf2000@yahoo.ca), January 15, 2001.

Welcome Rheba, looks like you found the right place! Congrats on your debt free status, it's joy isn't it, we are also. Don't let some of these threads get you down, I think some are just cooped up this winter and a little grumpy. It will lighten up soon with the spring garden season upon us, we'll be talking planting, seeds, soil, pest etc. welcome again

-- Carol in Tx (cwaldrop@peoplescom.net), January 15, 2001.

Hello Rheba, pleased to meet you. Isn't the Lehmans catalog fun to look at; I want a FEW things from there! You mentioned you were ill, I hope you are fully recovered now. (Joel hurt my feelings a little, too, that was a mean thing he said.) All in all, this forum is a terrific place to hang out.

-- Cathy in NY (hrnofplnty@yahoo.com), January 15, 2001.


Rheba, Hi! I would say welcome, but like Shau Marie I'm pretty new, too, although I've subscribed to Countryside for-almost-ever...but here on the forum I still feel like company. It's nice to know there are other new kids on the block! It's a great place 99.9% of the time and never had a question someone didn't try their darndest to answer. Even needed a recipe in a hurry once, and got it right away, even though I stupidly mixed up my e-mail address...some really wonderful people here...and as for the recent brouhaha, well, as my mom always said, "There's one in every crowd." Hope to hear more from you! Kathie

-- Kathie in Western Washington (twinrosefarm@worldnet.att.net), January 16, 2001.

It is so wonderful to see so many happy faces and positive attitudes. Welcome, welcome, welcome.

-- Laura Senderhauf (gsend@hotmail.com), January 16, 2001.

Rheba, I'm new myself. I "lurked" for quite a while til my father-in- law needed help with a Pelletstove! My husband and I live in wind blown eastern washington and are working for the day that we can move to begin a new life. I have homeschooled all three of my children. My oldest is now a senior at the University of Washington, so I guess we did okay. As for Joel's comments, I grew up in Seattle but even there my mother kept a garden and canned! I guess we will all do okay if we keep looking forward. P.S. One of the places I've been looking to for a homestead is Canada! What do you think?

-- Linda (wklkmorgan@ifriendly.com), January 16, 2001.

Hi Diane, thanks for the tip on Shumway.

Shau Marie, donít laugh, but Little House was my favourite show as a kid/teen. : ) Iím with yaí.

Hey Julie, not quite sure what that tree is yet. Iím going to check into it again when itís in bloom.

Thanks Teri, Iíll check out William Dam and Richters. Fortunately, we donít have the black meteorite rock that Sudbury has...but sand...man, I canít keep it out of my house! Lots of work to get the soil up in the back yard. Our growing season is from about the May long weekend to about mid/end of September. Iíll check out the Northern Gardener book. Too bad you wonít go for Espanola...Iím only 15 min. drive away! Domtarís mill there still raises quite a stink (stench :) though, so I donít blame you. Coldís not too bad.

Thanks for your concern Cathy (re: illness). It was a short one (longer than it should have been, thanks to a loopy dr.). The giardia parasite (beaver fever, water born) really kicks butt, and it kicked about 20 of my 116 lbs. right off my bones in less than 4 weeks. Water drinkers beware! : ) Dieters...I wouldnít recommend it, due to the ďotherĒ symptoms.

Hi Linda. Congratulations on your homeschool (and parenting) success. Canadaís a great place with *lots* of rural land. Next to my parents land (just inland from the eastern shore of Lake Superior, half hour drive to Michigan Upper Peninsula) quarter sections (160 acres) go for somewhere around 10 to 15 thousand CDN, or about $6,000 to $9,000 US. Not farmland in that spot, but hardwood bush. Real good garden soil, though!

-- Rheba (rbeall@etown.net), January 16, 2001.


I won't it was mine too. I cried when Micheal Landon died!

-- Shau Marie (shau@centurytel.net), January 17, 2001.

HOW CAN I GET OFF THE FARM AND BECOME A CITY SLICKER? I HAVE BEEN CHASING COWS THROUGH THE BACK COUNTRY BRUSH FOR 4 DAYS AND WE STILL HAVE NOT GOT THEM. SITTING AROUND DRINKING DESIGNER COFFEE AND READING THE NY TIMES SOUNDS LIKE MY KIND OF WORK. GOING TO A SUPER MARKET TO BUY BEAUTIFUL VEGETABLES INSTEAD OF WASHING DIRT, WORMS & BUGS OFF MY HOME-GROWN MIGHT BE A PLEASURE.

-- Hendo (redgate@echoweb.net), January 17, 2001.

I am also new to this group but enjoy reading questions and answers because it seems I have been there, done that, and am going to be doing it again. (Moving back to the country next year)

ShauMarie...I too was an outsider with friends and family. When we lived in a 5 bedroom house on 20 acres in central WI, we raised chickens, goats, steers,produce, the whole bit....anyway, I found out years later that my mother told my sister not to come visit because of the way we lived.

The way we lived was with mother earth. Growing and raising all of our food. We had bathrooms, hardwood floors, etc. Yes, I cooked and heated with wood...our choice. I wore long dresses (still do, always will) and sun bonnets. I was me and I am still me.

I sometimes think people say things like that because they are jealous. We have it all together, knowing who and what we are, and they don't.

It sounds like you will do just fine.

I thank everyone for letting us be who we are and understanding.

-- Cordelia Kaylegian (ckaylegian@aol.com), January 17, 2001.


Don't concern yourself with ANYTHING Joel says! IMHO, he needs to get his meds adjusted. There is definitely some problems there. Remember that the Internet attracts all kinds of people. O guess it is the "facelessness" of it! I am a newbie though I have checked out the forum before. We also have been readers of the magazine for many years. The readers here are wonderful and I've begun to check it everyday. I hope that someday I can repay everyone for their advice.

-- Ardie from WI (a6203@hotmail.com), January 18, 2001.

Personally, I doubt that lurkers are more city than country folks, they are probably just quieter or shyer than the rest of us, or, as one of my sisters once said (the one who almost never said anything to anyone, upon it being suggested that she was shy,) "I'm not shy, I just don't have anything to say!".

Anyway, welcome, Rheba! Sounds like your family is well on track, good for you! Hope you will be able to move to your land soon.

-- Kathleen Sanderson in NH (stonycft@worldpath.net), January 18, 2001.


Now I am wondering if I am considered a lurker? And I will introduce myself also. My name is Cindy Palmer, I am a married mother of 2 girls also, but my girls are grown and I have 2 grandkids now. (I am a YOUNG granny of 47 years). My husband was raised country, I was raised city. My father was a farmboy who went city when he met my mother. Growing up we raised small gardens off and on and being an animal lover I was always bringing something home. It was instant love when I met my husband and I thought at last, here's my country life. We lived in the foothills of California for 5 years before having to move to the closest small city for employment. (Wish we would have stuck it out - I am sure something would have come up for us). After 15 years in the city we have been back in the foothills for more than 5 years now. And boy do we ever appreciate it! AT last I have my chickens and ducks and a pot belly pig that is worthless but loved. We are happy to have few neighbors and happy that our few neighbors are good ones. I have been reading Countryside magazine for about 2 years now and never visited the forum until my husband and I became seriously interested in solar energy. I peeked in, and zap I am hooked ! There are so many interesting subjects and I have enjoyed so much the information given by so many helpful people. Am I a wanna-be? Well, I guess so. I wanna have the best life possible under the simplist circumstances. I don't think that it's important to do without modern conveniences but that it's important to only do with what you need for comfort, health, and effeciency. I believe in being kind to the earth and kind to each other. What else more important is there in life? So, I will keep peeking in to learn what I can, try harder to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, and try to do the most with as little as possible. By the way, after years of flowerbed vegetable raising we are having our first real garden this year. I am so excited ! Any advice? So, "hello" to all Countrysiders out there and know that I appreciate every thing you have to share !

-- Cindy Palmer (jandcpalmer@sierratel.com), January 18, 2001.

Welcome!

-- Epona (crystalepona2000@yahoo.com), January 18, 2001.

Welcome, Cindy, and I "advise" you to start a new thread asking your question (asking for suggestions for a new garden). Questions buried in another thread tend not to get answered! When you post it, put in as much info as you can -- how much space, condition of the land, type of soil, resources (do you have compost), etc.

-- Joy Froelich (dragnfly@chorus.net), January 19, 2001.

Thanks Joy ! I may just do that. I will have to put a lot of thought into the question tho......My husband and I started clearing the land for the garden area yesterday and guess what? I now have another case of posion oak ! Another question to be put before the forum ! Happy days to ya ! Cp

-- Cindy Palmer (jandcpalmer@sierratel.com), January 19, 2001.

Welcome, Rheba!! I'm wondering exactly where your "dying town" is -- I grew up smack dab half way between Toronto and North Bay near a little town called Gravenhurst -- I know most of the little towns between there and Regina, Saskatchewan (where we are now) because we drive down there to visit my family. We've probably eaten in every diner between Sudbury and Thunder Bay!!

Again, welcome!

-- Tracy (trimmer@westzone.com), January 19, 2001.


Welcome Rheba,

We're new folks on this forum also. I started out about six hours ago to find some info on polystyrene/concrete foundations and ended up here. What a goldmine of information! I know I'm going to start a rainwater collection system after having read on it here also. This stuff is great! We'll see you all later.

David & Berneice NW Georgia

-- David Cadieux (cadge@earthlink.net), January 21, 2001.


Welcome! Joel has just been having a bad day or two! It happens to all of us, although I must admit he has had a bigger hair across his a-- than usual. Anyway, this is (USUALLY) a great place, whether lurker or blabbermouth. And perhaps the greatest fount of forgotten and obscure knowledge extant! Glad you answered Tracy - I was going to chide you if you hadn't. Again, welcome and GL!

-- Brad (homefixer@SacoRiver.net), January 21, 2001.

I would like to introduce myself also, although I am not a homesteader. I have been reading the mag for several years and just got a computer and found the website and this forum.. I have a homesteader mind set but we haven't been able to accomplish much for various reasons or some may say excuses. We do own a small piece of property here in N. Ga. And we do have a small garden each year and we raise rabbits both for show and as a meat source. My son and husband are accomplished fishermen and hunters and my freezer is always full. We live simply but I must have running water and electricity, so I guess some may think me weak. I really do get a lot of info from this site and would like to correspond with anyone who is also lurking for enjoyment. I would have liked to home school, but didn't realize it was an option until recently. Both my children were and still are involved in 4-H activities, and some say my son was born 75 yrs to late to be the person he was meant to be. If there will be a successful homesteader amongst us it will be him. My husband and I are nearly 50 and aren't sure now would be a good time to try to completely revamp our entire way of life, so I guess we will just continue to be the simple people we are with a few amenities of course. I really do enjoy this forum and would hate to think that I am not welcome here. Thanks abbysnanna

-- (abbysnanna@hotmail.com), January 22, 2001.

Hello, my name is Aaron Shehan, I'm thiry-five years old and I reside in Illinois, USA. For a very long time I have had the mindset that mainstream American culture is living "wrong". The philosphy of, "more and bigger is better" pervades almost every aspect of our society. There is little to no reverence for nature and I find the country to be over-developed and littered in many, places. Some of our public schools are nowhere I would choose to educate a child and crime is at an all time high. Our government caters to big business and industry because of their contributions to various campaign coffers. I am certainly not naive and am under no delusions. I know change will not come soon if at all. I dream of moving to northern Canada or Alaska and homesteading in a simple fashion. I have entertained this idea for a long time but don't quite know where to begin. Can someone point me in the right direction or recommend where to begin. I know it will be some time before this I can truly make the move but I would like to start the wheels in motion. Thank you-Aaron

-- Aaron P. Shehan (shehan66@netzero.net), February 02, 2002.

Aaron, you've come to the right place. Check out the older answers at the bottom of the page. Lots of good advice! Best wishes!

-- cowgirlone in OK (cowgirlone47@hotmail.com), February 02, 2002.

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