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Adjusting on Our New Homestead

Adjusting on Our New Homestead

The camper: home for a few weeks

“Praise the Lord, Hallelu, I don’t care what the devil’s gonna do.  The Word and faith is my Sword and Shield; Jesus is Lord of the way I feel!”  (D. Francisco)

Sometimes rejoicing is easy, but that’s not a true test of real joy.  The most important time to rejoice is when things go “wrong.”

This week there were a few mornings when I felt so grouchy I wasn’t safe to be around!  That’s when I remembered I needed supernatural Help…I just didn’t have it in me to be cheerful about some things on my own strength.  Every time I chose to stop and acknowledge my Heavenly Father’s hand in my circumstances and trust His good for me in it, the grumps left.  If I chose to feel sorry for myself, things only got worse.

Right now as we adjust to new ways of living on a new place, there is an abundance of things to rejoice about.  The strawberries I planted last week are growing quite well, successfully protected from greedy goats.  The plants and trees all seem to be responding well to the kitchen and laundry gray water they are being fed on a regular basis.

The trailer is still sitting where it was left last week since Silver Oak has had to focus on getting his landscaping work caught up.  But this afternoon we are renting a machine for the weekend that will hopefully enable us to pull it all the way back to its final destination, as well as clear a few more palmettos!

What a blessing it will be to have the trailer.  It will mean having a kitchen and living area separate from the sleeping area so little ones can go to sleep sooner and not wake up when the first person stirs in the kitchen.  Right now we are eating dinner so late because we want to eat together at least one meal each day during this crazy time.  When Silver Oak gets home from doing landscaping there are 101 things waiting for him to do, so he isn’t able to come in till the little guys’ normal bedtime.  Then the dishes must still be done, and with all the action they aren’t getting to sleep till late every night.  Then as soon as one of the bigger people gets up for quiet time or chores, they wake up as well.  The “alone” time is a little thin.  It’s ok for a few weeks, but it will surely be good to have a little more space.  Living in this camper temporarily is so good, because when we move into the trailer we will think we are in a spacious mansion all of a sudden.  Ha!

On the other hand, the closeness we are experiencing is making some good memories.  If we’re inside the camper, we’re close together.  There’s no other way around it.  That is a good thing.

One day this week Silver Oak forgot to take his cell phone along to town to do landscaping.  When I realized I couldn’t reach him until evening, I was tempted to panic.  What if I had problems with the new-to-me alternative power systems, or we ran out of water too soon, or who knows what else out here in the boonies?  That cell phone is, well, security.  I guess I’m not a true pioneer woman yet if that worries me. 

Well, fortunately I managed not to panic, and the Lord took care of us just fine!  And it’s our dream for Silver Oak to eventually be able to work here at home all the time…it’s coming slowly.

Laundry was a crisis this week.  If laundry gets backed up with a family this size it becomes a crisis rather quickly.  The problem was our spinning machine (a regular washer) decided it was not going to work!  I mentioned in the last post that we were able to get the washer out of the trailer, which is what we were banking on to spin excess water from the clothes. 

Adjusting on Our New Homestead

The mobile hand washer

Our generator could easily handle running a washer, but with our current power and water budget it would be totally impractical, expensive, and wasteful.  Our hand washer plungers work just great for washing and rinsing the clothes, and it doesn’t take much time to do a load of laundry.  But getting the water out of the clothes so they can dry on the line is another story.  Wringing things out by hand is very labor intensive, and after all that work they’re still too wet to allow clothes to dry in a timely manner.

My dream is to purchase a spinner, which extracts much more water than a normal washer can in three minutes or less at 3200 rpm.  It’s much smaller than a washer and takes as much moisture out of the clothes as 30 minutes in a dryer.  But that must wait till the budget allows it.  For now we are settling for a regular top loading washer and using the spin cycle only, after the clothes are washed and rinsed.  But the old washer that came with the trailer must be a lemon.  It did one load beautifully, caused a little trouble on the second, and by the third flatly refused to budge.  And it happened to be a load of jeans and other heavy items that are impossible to wring out well by hand.

So, as my intelligent brain assessed the situation Wednesday morning, I decided this was a day to go to town.  The old house needed some cleaning up yet anyway, and with my parents’ house right around the corner we could get a lot of laundry done fast.  The spinning problem would have to be resolved later.

By the way, if you are interested in a Hand Washer PlungerAdjusting on Our New Homestead for regular use or for emergency preparedness, now is the time to purchase them.  They are on sale here this month only for the best price I’ve ever seen.  $12.99 plus $6.00 shipping is not bad for a handy washer.  We got two of them to make the whole process go faster for our amount of laundry (and shipping is no more buying two).

Adjusting on Our New Homestead

Our "office" in the camper. My little inverter that burned up is in the corner with all the cords plugged into it.

One thing I mourned this week was the loss of my handy little 12 volt inverter.  We couldn’t figure out what the horrible smell was late one afternoon.  When I tried using my computer and realized the inverter was not working it took only one sniff to diagnose the problem.  It had burned up, which didn’t surprise me.  That inverter has been well used on our many trips to and from town the last seven years at our former house in the boonies.  Here in the camper we were using it to convert DC power for two laptops and our Verizon Five-spot (wireless internet access and router) when the generator wasn’t running.  The poor overworked thing just gave up.

Now I have to use a larger inverter connected directly to the big batteries outside, which is not as convenient.  But today I figured out how to run a small extension cord under the door and into the camper, so it’s almost as good as before.

Silver Oak purchased a small hand pump to get stored gray water out of the barrels more efficiently to water the plants.  He had to make his own adapter to properly screw it into the top of the barrels, and I’m right proud of how much of a homesteader he has become.  It was another one of those late evening projects, but he figured it needed to be done.

Adjusting on Our New Homestead

The new pump on a gray water storage tank

Now I must stop before I think of more to add to this already way-too-long post.  I got some very encouraging comments on the last post, which I really appreciate.  It doesn’t feel so lonely out here knowing you are sharing it with us.  And we’ve definitely felt your prayers. 

Many Blessings,

Adjusting on Our New Homestead

Adjusting on Our New Homestead
Adjusting on Our New Homestead

Adjusting on Our New Homestead

Adjusting on Our New Homestead

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4 Responses to “Adjusting on Our New Homestead”

  1. Marlynda says:

    What size are your laundry buckets? Where did you get them?

    • Rose Petal says:

      Oh boy, Marlynda. The buckets are six gallon, I believe, and I got them beside the road from someone’s trash pile. They were used for pool chemicals, I believe, and were perfectly clean, just waiting for me to claim them.

      I think any 5 or 6 gallon bucket would work. You can purchase them new at Home Depot or Lowes, but I have gotten lots of them for food storage from a local bakery who gets their glazes in big buckets and they just give them or throw them away.

      We actually use a large plastic storage bin to wash the laundry, then use the buckets for rinsing.

      Hope that helps!

  2. ann mast says:

    where we live the amish use wringer washers. are you familiar with those ?you can save a lot of water if you useone. have you heard of Lehman Hardware in Kidron ohio? they specialize in non-electric,battery,and other types of basic things

    • Rose Petal says:

      Yes Ann, in fact I watched a neighbor use one recently when we were living in town. That would be a possible option, although they use much more water, electricity and space than what we are currently using, and they are quite expensive new. I do want to eventually purchase a good hand wringer for use in the event that our own generated power is not available. Since they cost about the same as the Spinner, we decided to go with the Spinner for now since it is a big time saver during this time of learning so many new things. And I agree that Lehman’s is a great store with all sorts of unusual things that are hard to find otherwise, especially for off-grid use. They also carry the hand plunger washer we are using. Thanks for the tip!