The weather today was pretty dreary, with the greenhouse planted there were other things to do. For the majority of the posts there has been a focus on either livestock or crops or something that led to one of the two but homesteading, regardless on whether you are in an urban, suburban, or rural situation many of the ideas behind homesteading fall into self reliance or independence from others. It would be very difficult to be completely independent but it feels good when you can do for yourself without having others do for you.
Besides cleaning, I worked on one of my wife’s Christmas presents.
Here I’m using a table saw to cut parts of a pallet into a picture frame for a canvas painting we bought in Africa. For two years the picture has floated around with no frame that fit very well.
Everybody is different with different skills, I fall into the Jack of all trades master of none category. I build all my own buildings, generally by myself, do most of my mechanic work and pick up a few fix it jobs here and there, before working with my wife doing book keeping I was a teacher for 7 years, landscaper/nursery for 10, Marine Corps for 4, set telephone poles for 2 years and remodeled houses off and on since high school. All of that adds up to nothing specific but lots of odds and ends.
It is easy to look back at your life and wish you had done other things, the path I am on now is not the one I would have ever planned but the bumpy road has given me many skills that come in handy around the homestead and really for life in general. Our society has become very dependent on other people doing things for us, dependence is the norm.
I don’t fix our vehicles because I’m too cheap to send them somewhere else even though that’s part of it, the biggest reason is time, it’s faster for me to do it on my time than to take a car somewhere and wait or get a ride home just to have to get picked up again and taken back to pick it up. Do I make mistakes? Of course, normally the second fix is much faster and way cheaper than paying someone else to do it, it is gratifying and most of the time it is done better than the person I would have paid to do it would have done it.
Three things I have in my past make much of what I do possible; when I set telephone poles and anchors, they had to go where they were supposed to go and sometimes it was very hard but guess what? it had to be done and there was no one else to call. Secondly I did some volunteer emergency extrication work for a few years, when someone was trapped in a car it was my responsibility to get them out, no one else was coming, we were the emergency responders. And third was the Marine Corps, again we could be put in a place where it was our responsibility to do what needed to be done and know no one else was coming, it was up to us to figure out what to do regardless of what that meant.
Those previous experiences involving having to figure something out help me get through difficult things here, move a 1500 lb rock with out equipment? Figure it out, levers and ropes. Set a 20 ft 6×6 by myself for a pole barn? Figure it out, it’s not just one pole, might be six and they all have to be exactly in the right place for the building to be square. It takes determination and sometimes walking away until tomorrow but being self reliant feels good, fixing a dryer isn’t the coolest thing to do but $12.00 for a heating coil compared to a couple hundred for a new one or having someone come to fix it goes along way towards stuff I really want to spend money on!
Self reliance is a skill than many people don’t have, fortunately it can be developed and we can all become more self reliant through determination and the desire to succeed when faced with imminent failure!