Survive and Thrive Friday is hereby and thus and whithertofore a new post series!!
It's so easy to start something new. Why, look. I just did it with the above sentence. Now then, ongoing maintenance of new projects and also punctuality aren't my strong suits, but, oh my, it's Saturday already. Well, how's about we all just concentrate on the fact that I'm here to introduce the pilot post to this new series? Yay!
By way of introduction...
Jason's and my conversations and dreams have for about a decade centered around or touched on the ideas of learning the old, basic skills necessary for self-reliance, self-sustainability (or more accurately, small community-reliance and sustainability), reducing our need for large entities whose people we're totally disconnected from (for food, clothing, shelter, electricity, etc.), and living more simply to have time for what we want to be doing each day. Any of you who we've spent more than a day with know we're dead set on "getting out" of mainstream culture someday soon and building a small community with like minded folks. Maybe every now and again I can pay Jason in shiny rocks and funky sticks to post a guest blog, but meanwhile I'll probably often say "we" as though I have multiple personalities; it's just the influence of Jason chiming in. On these subjects specifically, I don't know any more where my thoughts begin and his end.
This series is about survival, yes, but also thrival, which is a made up word just for the sake of rhyming. We've been wondering a lot how much the dissatisfaction and disenchantment of our nation's inhabitants are because most people don't know how to do anything basic for themselves or their close communities any more. Total reliance on faceless entities can't be good for us, especially when we're not reciprocating to said faceless entities other than by handing over green, rectangular strips of paper. Know what I'm saying? There are so many steps between going to a job for The Man in the morning and then eating food around the table at night. So! I am excited to post the things we've been talking about and learning, as well as websites, books, friends' ideas, and other resources we're running across.
1. I've been making yogurt in the crock pot! Today I'm on my fourth batch, and so far I give it a huge thumb up. It is wildly simple to do, and I think it tastes better than any other plain yogurt I've had. We buy raw milk from a local farmer here, but you can make yogurt from store bought milk too, just not ultra-pasteurized milk. Here's the recipe I've been following. How this falls under surviving and thriving is that yogurt is unbelievably great for the digestive system and thus working toward optimum health, and it has been valued as such by people as far back as four thousand years ago, if Wikipedia is to be believed. It's sustaining in the sense that you only need about 1/2 cup of store bought yogurt one time, or someone else's homemade yogurt, for a starter, and after that, you continue to use your own yogurt to make more (well, by adding it to milk). That's the beauty of housing weensy little fast-producing bugs in your own heated crockery. Side note: I myself have had to buy new yogurt starter 3 of the 4 times, because I neglected to set aside 1/2 cup of the homemade stuff, and a certain unnamed individual (but whose name spelled backwards is nosaJ) ate the last of it before I'd started a new batch.
2. Jason has been listening to podcasts by a guy named Jack Spirko over at www.thesurvivalpodcast.com, which covers an unbelievably diverse range of subjects, from permaculture to bee-keeping to nutrition to fuel-making to hunting to home security measures. Jack interviews folks in person or by telephone, anybody who has helpful, relevant material to offer to the community: doctors, gardeners, bloggers, hippies, militiamen. Last week on our road trip, we listened to a conversation he had with a blogger named Courtney Clay about the unschooling principles she raises her son with; it was great! As with every topic he covers, there are so many points of interconnectedness, and if you're listening with someone else, you may have to pause the broadcast several times to go down your own rabbit trails. Along with the interviews, Jack gives a fair amount of monologues with his loud, strong voice, and at first that took me some getting used to, because I am generally not a fan of rant-and-rave one-sided talk radio and thought he might fall into that category. But we've been impressed that his interviews are very respectful and open. I also get a kick out of his liberal use of the word "frickin.'"
3. We've been significantly cutting grains from our diet, and somewhat legumes, eating what is known as a Paleo diet. It isn't a "diet," per say, as it's known today, but rather a lifestyle whose food is close to what our pre-agriculture ancestors would've eaten. We've gone low or no wheat a couple of other times, and just as before, within a day or two, Jason's back and joints feel so much better. I think I sleep better too, though that's a little hard to judge in my particular life situation, having a baby, a toddler, and a husband whose ideas of proper waking times are all different from each other. And in case any of you are the smart alecks that my family members are, I'll go ahead and answer you now: sure, we"ll take boxes of pomegranates for Christmas in lieu of other presents, and yes, we intend to continue building fires and using the common wheel. Speaking of fire...
4. Family wood stacking is one of my favorite activities from childhood forward. I am not a work out at the gym type of girl, but I love incorporating exercise into whatever else I'm doing. Wood stacking is THE thing for getting exercise, being outside, and doing something useful all at once (as well as brushing up on Tetris skills).
|Fortunately, there are dead trees around the property that need cleaned up. Jason says,|
"This time of year, you tend to look around the forest for death to take advantage of."
|making a quick, sturdy, wood shed|
Okay, that wraps it up for today. Hope to hear YOUR thoughts on these things and more.
Rah rah rah!