Personal Choices for my own integrity

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workhorse1569's picture
workhorse1569
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Posts: 45
Personal Choices for my own integrity

 Hey everyone,

 Just checking in with some new wild thoughts:

It has been 5 months since I heard about and watched the CC.  It has changed my life and catapulted me into Transition Town and big life changes.

I am actively working on reducing my own energy use by 80-90%.  Having read other books and watched the CC I don't know what else I can do and still live with integrity. I know, people say, you can't do that, that's too hard or, you are crazy. Here is what I realized:

When slave owners were faced with emancipation, I am sure they had the same feelings that I am having now: How will I earn a living if I don't have slaves?  How will I maintain my way of life? I need to keep these slaves (use this energy). 

When new immigrants came to the North American Continent, and there were Native People on the land, I am sure they had similar thoughts that I have: but I need a place to live and land to grow my crops.  We need these resources to maintain our way of life. 

We have begun to harvest the tar sands of Alberta because now it makes economic profit.  If that makes "sense" (?) and gas only got to $130 a barrel, what else will soon make sense to people hungry for oil and materials when gas reaches $300? Will we take more native land to fill our tanks or last Native sacred lands to feed our need for gold? Will we completely strip the earth and mine the resources?

There is very little talk of REAL changes to our life styles.

What changes do I need to make, now, to not be part of the latest plundering of the world? Are others of you thinking along these lines? What changes are you thinking of making?

Sorry for the rant but this is what I am thinking about and it would be good to know if a few others are thinking the same things.

radically yours,

Kate

mpelchat's picture
mpelchat
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Posts: 214
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

Hello Kate,

I know what you mean, and I applaud you for making changes.  I am in the process of making changes.  What I have decided to do is start growing food using self watering planters using heirloom and organtic seed.  I have, also, been studying solar and wind for electricity.  I am making books with information from the net to grow plants, reclaim seed and store food over the winter.  And I am trying to find a way to convert my gas furnace to a wood burning one if needed (any ideas or web sites on this subject would be appreciated).

My life is changing slowly, and it is hard.  I get resistance from my spouse (she thinks I am nuts), my other family members and friends.  It is hard for me to become uninstitutionalized as well, complacency is easier even if it is not the best thing to do.   

I hope this helps, I hope this tells you that you are not alone.  We are struggling, people are institutionalized by a system that allows and wants them to be complacent.  Those people will do anything they can to try and keep you in the system as well.  It is a need for people to feel like what they are doing is right or they would actually have to look at themselves and make changes.  Change is hard, habits are easy.

Best of luck in your transformation. 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Joined: Jan 4 2009
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Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

Morning Kate -

Sounds to me like you have already made the most important change - understanding that you need to do so and then going out and making changes in your own life.

We had an epiphany a few months ago - we stopped reading and studying the abundance of material telling us how bad it's going to be.  We decided to act and make changes in the way we do business to prepare.  We've made some lifestyle changes, focused on a new set of priorities for what we think is important for family and friends.  The gardens go in soon - no more need for trips to the grocery store to get vegetables. 

I think it comes down to this - you either believe something bad is going to happen or you don't.  If you do, then it's time to stop worrying about it and go out and do something about it. 

If you don't think anything is going to happen - then no worries, right? 

At least not until it does happen.

 

Aaron M's picture
Aaron M
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Posts: 2373
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

Kate,

You bring up an extremely valid topic. Thanks for sharing.

My wife and I are in a "similar" prediciment. Our lifestyle precludes us fully switching over to a "self-sufficient" lifestyle, because of the costs involved, obligations to work and family considerations - but we are still moving in the right direction, and it sounds like you are as well!

This is a big chunk of re-culturalization to bite off, and often I'm astounded and glad it's happening now, instead of 50 years down the road. Today, there are people left who have had family gardens and produced their own food. In another half-century, that may be a lost art... and who knows how bad things could get?

That said, I've been trying to think of this process in a way that details it's difficulties. I think it's very much like physical fitness. At first, it's very difficult, and you don't notice any improvement. Just discomfort, the occasional ache and an increased appitite. No matter how hard you work, or what you do, you don't see the result you want.

But like physical health, sufficient living and the psychology involved are a journey rather than a destination, and years from now, when it IS possible to leave some of these "dependancy issues" (Driving, Oil Farming, Energy dependancy) behind - we will all look back and say "I'm much better fit for this transition that I'd have been if I hadn't started back then".

Continue to learn and remember the old adage on how to eat an elephant...
One bite at a time!

Cheers,

Aaron

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NLP
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Posts: 51
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

Hi Kate,

I recently sent a letter to the Martenson.com staff when renewing my membership detailing the changes I have made since finding the site back in August. Like everyone else, I am gardening!  My children and my husband have always known Mom grows things: herbs, peppers, tomatoes, potted violets etc... It has been a passion and I now see it is a NECESSITY.  As a family, we are ALL going to feel the dirt, examine seeds, plan our garden, and benefit from the experience.  This is one change I have made.

Secondly, I have been using the phrase "Build Community" just about everywhere.  When I speak to local business owners, when I advocate for a community garden, when I work with high school athletic sponsors, I hammer home the concept of building community.  When my son's picture appeared in our small, local paper for his performance in a high school basketball game, I emphasized to him how that builds community-- local coverage for a bench player that saw extra minutes in a game (which of course sold a few extra copies that day sent to our family out of town!) all supports our players in our town in our local paper: i.e., our community.

We can become overwhelmed by the weight of all that faces us.  I concur with Aaron's advice, one bite at a time.

 

workhorse1569's picture
workhorse1569
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Posts: 45
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

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Ready's picture
Ready
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Posts: 917
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

Howdy Kate

It's Chick days at the local farming / outdoor stores here in St. Louis, and we just got 12 chicks and 6 ducklings. One of the biggest reasons is the ability to use the poultry for eggs, meat, and to improve gardening. They help to fertilize while eating bugs and weeds. Keeping the nutrients in the soil without having to import them via petroleum based fertilizers is a big step. Worm castings, compost, etc are all necessary too.

This years garden is planned out at just over an acre. Fedco seeds loves me. We have added a root cellar and a greenhouse, both are excellent at improving yields and storage of food without power requirements. A well thought out root cellar can seriously decrease the amount of energy used for refrigeration, canning, plastics for storage (glad bags, etc.) and to me cannot be overemphasized enough. Also doubles as a storm shelter, or a whatever shelter.

We are in the planning stages for our underground home. Our current house on this land is so energy inefficient, I'm afraid it is a complete do-over. Using passive solar, heat with wood will only be supplemental and I hope A/C will be unnecessary. I have not yet begun the solar hot water heater, but that is on the horizon.

I have built a 3 KW wind turbine from scratch from parts I scrounged up or bought on ebay. My total cost at this point is $700, and similar commercial models sell for 10x that. Once I get it in the air, if everything works as planned, I will add 2 more to the mix. I also have 4000# worth of forklift batteries to even out the electricity use. My goal is to be off grid by June. This also requires a significant investment in conservation. A change in lifestyle is coming too, i.e. not windy enough to do the laundry today... I do have a diesel generator for backup, but I am attempting to design the system so it will not be needed. I grow canola and convert it to Biodiesel, however it is my intention to phase this out over time as we learn to live with less.

Right now, I am trying my best to cushion the blow, and provide a soft landing for my family. Energy, tasty food, etc. cannot go to zero overnight without some significant mental consequences. We will never be 100% ready, but these are the things I am doing to prepare.

Best,

Roger

 

SamLinder's picture
SamLinder
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Posts: 1499
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity
R_Eddy wrote:

Howdy Kate

<snip>

Right now, I am trying my best to cushion the blow, and provide a soft landing for my family. Energy, tasty food, etc. cannot go to zero overnight without some significant mental consequences. We will never be 100% ready, but these are the things I am doing to prepare.

Best,

Roger

 

Kudo's to you, Roger!

I am suitably impressed at the extensive changes you are planning. Based on your description, it appears that your family is "on board" and that's half the battle. I must say that I do admire people like you who are willing and able to do the things you have taken on.

Not all of us have the energy or the family buy-in, so we sit on the sidelines, do what we can, and watch folks like you in awe. Surprised

Ready's picture
Ready
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Posts: 917
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity
SamLinder wrote:

Kudo's to you, Roger!

I am suitably impressed at the extensive changes you are planning. Based on your description, it appears that your family is "on board" and that's half the battle. I must say that I do admire people like you who are willing and able to do the things you have taken on.

Not all of us have the energy or the family buy-in, so we sit on the sidelines, do what we can, and watch folks like you in awe. Surprised

Thanks Sam, but I am really not very awesome, trust me or just ask my wife!

I am just lucky on so many levels, it is not fair to compare yourself against me. For example, most people can't find $1000 / acre land anywhere near them. I couldn't afford all this if I had to pay the $40K / acre some folks on this board pay. Also, my extended family is all engaged in this, and many hands make light work, so they say.

It's easy to get into "analysis paralysis" over what all needs to be done to prepare. If you become paralyzed with choices, nothing gets done. Simple fact is that everything I have done so far has been just like you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. If I was asked to do this all again right now and have it done in a couple months, it's not realistic. You have to set realistic goals and tackle the most important stuff first.

I'm guessing you are not really on the sidelines... you have stored some water and food, thought about where to grow or obtain more in a pinch, etc. Good luck with the family buy-in. Took me over a year.

Best,

Rog

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ckessel
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Posts: 486
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity
workhorse1569 wrote:

Hey everyone,

Just checking in with some new wild thoughts:

It has been 5 months since I heard about and watched the CC.  It has changed my life and catapulted me into Transition Town and big life changes.

<snip>

What changes do I need to make, now, to not be part of the latest plundering of the world? Are others of you thinking along these lines? What changes are you thinking of making?

Sorry for the rant but this is what I am thinking about and it would be good to know if a few others are thinking the same things.

radically yours,

Kate

Kate,

I'm right there with you. My wife and I are "in the process" and have found out just how connected to the matrix we are. That realization brings on more urgency and resolve toward what we consider the big picture which is:

1) educate ourselves and handle all debt as swiftly as possible. Out of the market, cash in on all 401s, IRAs, investments in the future other than PMs, credit cards, auto loans, charge cards and literally anything other than tools, equipment supplies and so forth that can be used to produce a real product. We have done that in the last four months.

2) make adjustments for food, shelter, transportation and security doing the easy to do things first but looking to the long term survival potential. 

3) focus on getting the truth out ( via the CC mat'l + Martenson Brigade, etc.) and work on establishing local community and helping anyone we can to prepare. (this of course is huge but we can use our established business and good will to some advantage)

4) work on the "farm" and learn to do...... all of the necessities of life (permaculture and sustainable living practices). We are contemplating doing a trial balloon as a "what if" sometime next fall. That means turning off the utilities and living off one tank of gas in the car for two weeks. That will likely create a wake up call of sorts but we would rather experience it on a causitive basis to really see how we would fare.

5) connect up with others able to confront what is really coming to a "theatre near you ...........soon".

Coop

 

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 26 2009
Posts: 680
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

Hi Kate - I think you're actually already on the right path. Unlike the slaveholders and settlers, you are already thinking "Hey, how is what I'm doing going to affect something else?"  We can't have zero-impact in whatever system we're in, but we can do our best to have some forethought and limit our negative impacts (and hopefully have some positive ones). I think you're already on the second step of the journey. You've identified the problem (step 1) and now you're conscientiously making changes (step 2).  Try not to beat yourself up because you can't do more, or you think that should be doing more... do what you can and keep improving incrementally.

workhorse1569's picture
workhorse1569
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 15 2008
Posts: 45
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

Wow,

Thanks everyone for the check in and updates with what you are doing. I just came upstairs from working on my new root cellar. As a farmer, it is going to be a little easier to fill it for me than for some. I have made it a little larger so I have extra for those in need.

Just got back from a Transition Town training and getting ready to launch TT in our small rural town. Its a great model for community.

All of the feed back makes me feel less crazy at the steps that I have been taking to change my life.  The next slow step is to figure out how to have more people sharing the farm land with me.  All good. Yes, one bite at a time. I do want to start eating the right beast!

 

best to all,

Kate

 

SamLinder's picture
SamLinder
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Joined: Jul 10 2008
Posts: 1499
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity
R_Eddy wrote:
SamLinder wrote:

Kudo's to you, Roger!

I am suitably impressed at the extensive changes you are planning. Based on your description, it appears that your family is "on board" and that's half the battle. I must say that I do admire people like you who are willing and able to do the things you have taken on.

Not all of us have the energy or the family buy-in, so we sit on the sidelines, do what we can, and watch folks like you in awe. Surprised

<snip>

I'm guessing you are not really on the sidelines... you have stored some water and food, thought about where to grow or obtain more in a pinch, etc. Good luck with the family buy-in. Took me over a year.

Best,

Rog

 

I have to laugh at your last two sentences - I think the biggest problem for far too many of us on this site is getting spousal and/or family buy-in.

You are correct in that I have stored up some food and water. Part of my CERT training as I've mentioned in post #35 in the Pacific NW Group thread (http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/pacific-nw-group/13213). Even then, I suffered ridicule from some family members who thought I was an apocalyptic dooms-dayer. Sigh....

I finally overcame some of their derision by pointing out (courtesy of my CERT classes) the reality of dealing with life in the event of a natural disaster and the need to have at least a 3-day supply of food and water on hand (as well as other items that may be needed) until first responders could arrive.

One thing I have done, that not too many people think about, is also create a portable 3-day kit that I carry in the trunk of my car. If a natural disaster hits while you are on a road-trip, you may find yourself not able to drive back home. If you are not near any hotels or other forms of working civilization, you may have to fend for yourself in place. Having that 3-day kit can mean the difference between life and death - literally.

Last winter a couple made a wrong turn onto a forest service road thinking they were taking a short-cut. They got stranded (with two children) for almost 2-weeks. The husband tried hiking out to find help, got lost, and died. The mother and children were rescued just in time or they wouldn't have survived. If they had a 3-day kit with them, they would have been able to ration the food and water and had a much higher chance of survival. Frankly, if I were traveling with children in the middle of winter, I'd have more than just a 3-day kit.

Aaron M's picture
Aaron M
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2373
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

The great thing about the chances we're all working towards is they have absolutely zero negative effect.

Even if nothing happens, the economy rebounds, and life as we know it goes on and on, living a healthy, sustainable life isn't going to do you any harm!

Cheers,

Aaron

SamLinder's picture
SamLinder
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Posts: 1499
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity
Aaron Moyer wrote:

The great thing about the chances we're all working towards is they have absolutely zero negative effect.

Even if nothing happens, the economy rebounds, and life as we know it goes on and on, living a healthy, sustainable life isn't going to do you any harm!

Cheers,

Aaron

 

Excellent point, Aaron. One which I've been trying to use to convince my family to take the steps I want them to take. If I can convince them that nothing we do will harm their ability to "go back to normal" if I'm wrong, then they will be more willing to take some of the small steps.

I envy Kate already being on a farm - she's already well on her way to a self-sustaining lifestyle.

reistr's picture
reistr
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 15 2008
Posts: 50
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity
Aaron Moyer wrote:

The great thing about the chances we're all working towards is they have absolutely zero negative effect.

Even if nothing happens, the economy rebounds, and life as we know it goes on and on, living a healthy, sustainable life isn't going to do you any harm!

Cheers,

Aaron

I 100% agree with you on this one. These are all changes for the better, if nothing else we can give our kids better values and a healthier lifestyle...

Ready's picture
Ready
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 30 2008
Posts: 917
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

Kate,

I looked at your website, just curious if you are using tractors or horses primarily.

What is your growing season in WI?

Best,

Roger

workhorse1569's picture
workhorse1569
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 15 2008
Posts: 45
Re: Personal Choices for my own integrity

Roger,

When I first started farming I only used horses, now I am a mixed power farm. I am going back to using horses more because although slower, my life was more sane in many ways.

the growing season in WI is really short. In the fields usually by April 25 and last frost by June 1. First frost Sept. 15 or so with ground frozen by Thanksgiving.

Take care,

Kate

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