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stop the calls!

 
Posts: 97
Location: 6A
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As ridiculous as it sounds one of the main reasons we chose to live "off grid" Is not so I could start a kick ass YouTube Chanel but rather to simplify our life. Let me describe the ridiculous part. A few years back I started having....not a nervous break down as I am generally happy go lucky, but sort of a eb vs. a flow, ya dig. One of the main factors in this eb was phone calls. I started climbing in a hole every time I looked at my bank statement and saw a $4 dollar over charge from whatever inc. I knew this slight over charge was a direct challenge to my man hood and level of commitment to finances as well as a test of patience.

Lets take comcast for instance, if I never talk to them it will be to soon. Each and every phone call was a minimum of 45 minutes and on average once a month...every month. If I missed one it was twice the next month. Puget sound power, Tmobile, ebay, paypal, the bank, netflix, etc. I'm talking hours a month fixing accidental, more than likely intentional over charges or some other tax/additional charge. I would elaborate but I know I'm not saying anything new. I get that most people just call this life but I was getting overwhelmed with life, adulting was becoming more and more difficult.

My wife and were just chatting one day and I kind of jokingly said "want to go off grid?" I was kind of shocked when she very eagerly said yes! Thus began our journey, that simple. Ironically, after many trips and a lot of talking we purchased the very first place she sent me the link to at work. I sold my business and was already in the process of retiring from the Army after 20 years, she quit her job, cashed in her 401k and we bounced! All of this transpired in less than a year! I realize for some reading this that moving to the woods is not a bad solution but some in my circle where quite thrown. To them our lifestyle of choice was a facebook meme. you know the one "would you live here without power and internet for a month for $???".

All that said its not just the phone calls but it seems every aspect of life in the city was getting more complicated and messy. I'm certain we have a lot in common with most people in our situation. We are now settled in and looking forward to gardening next year, which leads me here. Last spring we were in and out moving so no garden and my wife got itchy. So I have been researching here and other places so I can make her something real special. I'm leaning towards a wafati, but I have been reading the hoogle stuff and I think I'll do that as well. We have lots of blow down over the winters so there is plenty of material, its a win win.

Thanks for listening to my rant and this site is fantastic! I've made it through Evans ant log and wafati 0.7 and a lot more.

Jimmy
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pollinator
Posts: 206
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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Nice move on your part I'd say

How people think the time-wasting activity of spending hours on the phone with companies is "part of life" is beyond me. I've even been told going into debt is a part of life. A good week off-the-grid time would help many people reevaluate their priorities.

I had a laugh at the facebook meme point, as I relate to that a lot. People asking "but how do you survive?" as if I'm stranded in the middle of the pacific ocean or something. (I currently only off-grid during the summer)

jim hughes wrote: So I have been researching here and other places so I can make her something real special.



Basic Hugels will take less time to put in, and there may be other priorities to do in your first year, but a wofati would certainly be great. If you haven't already, maybe getting a compost pile started could also be in the works.

Best of luck!
 
master steward
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A lot of what you said really rings true to me. About twelve or fifteen years ago I was getting the phone calls from creditors and everything that went with it. It really wore me down. I remember hearing a saying that I found so wise: Being broke costs a fortune; or You can't afford to be broke. All the money lost in penalties and late fees. It just digs a hole and makes it harder to get out of each month. Sigh. My mid twenties. So irresponsible. Anyway, since then and I still do live on a cash only basis and I don't have any credit cards. If I don't have the cash, I don't buy it. Financial life is much easier this way for me. My wife and I recently purchased some land to go live our homesteading dream on also and we're fortunate that she has a stellar credit score and was able to get the bank loan, and fortunately we'll be able to pay back the loan next year when we sell our current house.

I know how ya feel about "the city". I'm over it myself. I grew up in and have lived in and around Nashville my entire life, and I can't wait to get away from the congestion, noise, traffic, and pollution. I don't like it anymore. The land we purchased is a few hours from Nashville, out in the sticks. The nearest town has a population under 300.

You mentioned you're looking forward to gardening. I garden a lot, and have for about 25 years. If you have any questions regarding gardening I'm happy to help.

Good luck!!
 
jim hughes
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Thanks for the positive responses. I don't feel like I'm some sort of anomaly. I understand there are many people in the same boat. Its nice to hear it!

Jarret, I need to do some research on Hugels. I cant wrap my head around gravity. we are in a dry climate in eastern Wa so I would prefer to do less watering and I feel like they will need more.. porous little mounds? I'll read more.
James, that area was second on my list. I did a lot of climbing and kayaking there in the base of the smokies, when I was a stud...lol I love that area. land was cheap, taxes were good, codes seemed good, plenty of water and four seasons!

Jimmy
 
Mother Tree
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We don't have a land-line, but we do have a mobile phone each, mostly for emergencies.  

There are free apps you can get which restrict incoming calls, either by excluding specific numbers or by only allowing calls to 'white-listed' numbers.  Our lives have been so much more peaceful since we installed one of those apps and began to screen out virtually all the calls!
 
gardener
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I just stopped answering the phone if any number on the call display was not familiar.  If something is important, then the people will leave a message.  Most often the calls are automatically generated and it's only when you answer that an actual human jumps in to give their spiel.  

Unfortunately this strategy is not effective when you are initiating the calls in order to clear up a financial mishap.  It seems quite remarkable in this modern world that there is often a huge amount of time waiting on the phone to get though to people who are supposed to be providing a service... it's particularly shocking if the service is government (which is supposed to be a public service).  I hate waiting with my ear to the phone, listening to remarkably terrible elevator music poorly edited into loops with jarring breaks to have some voice remind me of how important my call is to them.  Mind numbing.  

Good idea, breaking free of it to whatever degree you can.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 538
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Your philosophy sounds like my own, Jim.  Very many people on the Permies site here have made similar choices.  Others are doing the best that can be done with a city or suburban situation by living simply, learning skills, having a garden and possibly chickens in the yard.

jim hughes wrote:My wife and were just chatting one day and I kind of jokingly said "want to go off grid?" I was kind of shocked when she very eagerly said yes! Thus began our journey, that simple. Ironically, after many trips and a lot of talking we purchased the very first place she sent me the link to at work.


Whereabouts do you live?  I don't want to disturb your privacy, by that question — but I mean in terms of a very vague, general geography?

The off-grid thing is appealing to me, but...  Some of my friends and neighbors have tried solar, and it isn't repaying the investment.  Around here, it's an experiment for people of inquisitive nature & deep pockets.  In most of the intermountain southeast of British Columbia, we get socked-in winters (with a low sun angle), fairly frequent cloud during spring thru fall in a typical year.  We get a good gust of wind for an hour (or two) maybe every few months.  A very few places have the right hydrology and topography for mini-hydro.  Attempts at solar and geothermal have been the most frequent, but today's tech doesn't afford much return.  Someday... with more advanced tech.

We live on a nine-acre place of silty/sandy bench and slope.  I share your enthusiasm for living with greater self-reliance and enjoy DIY, gardening, fishing, and just having fresh air and spring water!
 
jim hughes
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We're north of Spokane a few hours. Our radio stations are from Canada if that's any help lol. It's beautiful up here! I've broken down my solar before to other folks. It can be done inexpensively but not cheaply. Keep in mind I've done all my own work and research so theres no labor costs. I'm also patient and a bit of a hustler. There are some things you can save money on and some you shouldn't. An example is your inverter/charger. I recommend getting a name brand good one as it is very hard to keep batteries charged on solar alone in the winter so a good 100+ amp charger with equalization mode is necessary. A car charger or anything you can buy off the shelf that's 12v wont charge a bank. So, anyways here's my breakdown.
Magnum 2k modified sine wave inverter charger         1600
used forklift battery 1000ish ah 24v rewired to 12    600  after core return
used Shell 75w panels x 4                             200
used (6mo)200w evergreen poly/mono mix w/ 60a mppt CC 500

I'm a P.A.C.E guy. Primary, alternate, contingency, emergency. everything has a back up and that has a back up! I have 2 back up inverters. neither have a built in charger but they both will run the house. I have a 25 amp industrial charger for my bank in case of emergency. I have four generators....let me explain lol. I have our main genny which is a 8k diesel izuzu that sips fuel. Its for the house only, my shop I keep separate. I have a well that's 300ft deep so I have a Honda 5500 to run that once a month or so to fill up the 1000g cistern. My welder and any larger thing in the shop are ran off a Honda eu6500, and Ryobi 2k floats, I can run the house or shop lights or charge stuff on the move with it. All that said I only use about 3 gal of gas a month, if I'm really getting busy I can use 5 or better. I use a few gallons of diesel, about a 4-6 hour burn once a week ish. That will change soon as I am adding 4-800w of solar.

Jimmy

 
Joel Bercardin
pollinator
Posts: 538
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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When I scanned over my post, this morning, I realized it was too sweeping to say "solar" (with today's available tech) doesn't work well here.  It's photovoltaic that isn't very practical here yet.  Most homesteaders have a greenhouse of one scale or another, as we ourselves do, and some have built or modified their homes to make use of passive solar from low-angle sun on the less cloudy shoulder-season and winter days.  It seems the local knowledge about using passive solar has grown, from the 1970s to today.
 
pollinator
Posts: 223
Location: Western North Carolina - Zone 7B stoney
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This post is one of the main reasons that I am making all of my moves to live off grid.
I have my land, and near by it.  I've simply got to make the full time jump.  
I've got two months in Tahoe skiing, and then back to reality in February.  
After that, I'll be happy to escape from the realities of society.
I don't even get mobile phone reception from my land, but haven't tried the highest spot yet.

It is such a relief to just be "away" from everything.

Many of those phone calls are fake spam calls.
Breaks from the phone, and from the news are so needed.  
They are stress cultivators.
 
I got this tall by not having enough crisco in my diet as a kid. This ad looks like it had plenty of shortening:
holiday shopping for 2019
https://permies.com/t/128446/holiday-shopping
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