Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ What Can a Limited Mobility Person Do?

As I sit here in front of my computer I ponder what a difference a little over a year makes once again. On my calendar the date is circled in red with blue stars and no, not for the belated 4th of July weekend. I had written in "Moving Day."

No this isn't mine but close
(Hitting the rewind button on my tape player)Today was the date we'd set to move our tiny house on wheel onto our property to begin homesteading our compound. Even though it would only be part-time for the next six months. We had planned to start constructing the out buildings like the chicken house and pens.

Now this house plan sits idle with just the stack of recycled lumber and the 8x12 trailer frame sitting in my side yard still waiting to be completed. Where did I get recycled lumber from? Two places. My 12 x 22 foot playhouse was torn down because of flood water damage and was replaced, and my son in law is a contractor. There are all sorts of goodies he found for the project like doors and windows, and a host of electrical equipment which would have gone to a landfill somewhere because someone was upgrading or there just wasn't enough for another large building job.

I had some shingles leftover from the original playhouse which was slated for my roof. I searched high and low for apartment sized electric appliances because most RV equipment runs off propane and I didn't want to go that route. My tiny house was to be solar and wind powered. There was to be a gutter rain water catch system similar to the one installed in my home. The master bed would be a futon with a thick, cushy mattress on the ground floor instead of in the loft and the loft area would be storage. That's the plan anyhow.

(My tape player makes a funny sound as I quickly punch the stop button and fast forward to the present.) All of that changed with my stroke. As I said all of it is sitting under cover waiting for me to get my arm back enough to do the work involved. Maneuvering around the tiny space will not be a problem. In fact, it would be easier than my home. I just have to build it. Yes, I could get my son in law and grandsons build it for me, but I want to build it myself with their help...it's a goal to work towards.

In the meantime work continues on the property. Three wells have been dug to various levels depending on the use. Livestock, laundry, and gardens don't need to thirty-foot wells for pure water like humans prefer. The shallow wells all have hand pumps. Our "little" family did that by hand a weekend at a time. Three more deep wells are planned.

The pond is finished and complete with a solar powered aeration pump. Duck weed is growing by leaps and bounds uneaten by fish and livestock yet, and the snails are healthy so my organic fish/swimming pond is ready to go. The baby bass and brim are on order for stocking it. The stumps have been cleared for six home sites. Although only one is needed right now for one daughter and her family. My husband and I plan on staying in our tiny house. It's just moving at a much slower pace than I want it to.

Yes, God is working on my impatience issues. I just wish He'd hurry up. Still I'm still working on researching various aspects of homesteading. Currently it is hydroponics for the greenhouse, another out building on hold. Obtaining knowledge, and the trial and error period is done before we move onto the compound. Once we go off grid, that's it. The only concession is the need for modern medicine, but in a pinch I've got substitutes for almost anything.

Yes, that's free pallets and a tarp
I really don't want large animals like cows and horses. They are just too expensive to maintain and I really don't like the idea of a large animal knocking me off my feet. Ducks and chickens for eggs, and meat. With the added benefit of free organic fertilizer. They even partially till the soil with their scratching and keep the bug population down. Two of my daughters have already started raising their flocks of layers and meat.

Rabbits for meat and fur for sweaters. Ooh! Angora sweaters!  Angoras and other breeds are in the hutches waiting for the move. I haven't figured out a way to knit one-handed but then I haven't tried either. The ultimate in luxurious warmth. Hey, just because I'm homesteading doesn't mean I can't have creature comforts and be stylish too.

Goats for milk, cheese and meat. With the goats you get the added benefit that they will clean out the undergrowth and keep the grassy areas clipped. Everything has dual or triple purposes. I haven't gotten the goats yet because of my stroke and a limit on how much I can do in an urban setting.


So what can a person with limitations, like me, do? Anything I darn well please to do with adjustments.
  • How about home schooling the rugrats? I do hold a degree in education up to middle school. But a degree isn't necessary.
  • Teaching other adults how to prepare food for long term storage or homesteading.
  •  How about all those free range, organically fed eggs? We can only eat so many at a time. Someone has to negotiate with stores and set delivery schedules.
  • Being a chef once upon a time, I did a lot of butchering. Deer meat, chickens, ducks, and goats all need to be processed. Notice I don't mention pigs...one daughter and I are allergic to pork. 
  • I can fish with some assistance with baiting and unhooking the fish. That's what I have grandchildren for. <big, fat grin> 
  • While I may be limited in motion, I guarantee I can still supervise and teach. 
  • I can feed and care for my chickens and rabbits. Although I need assistance with the slaughter. That's a two-handed job.
  • Think of creative recycling projects. Nothing goes to waste.
  • I still can harvest eggs and cook.  
  • I am a survivalist at heart.

I really don't like being limited. Who does? But there is still plenty I can and will do. I'm just spreading my wings this year. I might take flight next year or the year after.

Nothing is impossible with determination.

4 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jo .. sounds like you have lots to offer - and I'm sure you'll find a way to help others ..

Cheers to your new projects - and while the brain continues to heal on .. it does ... Hilary

J.L. Murphey said...

Hilary- It has been taxing at best.

Rebecca Dutton said...

The huge projects you are willing to tackle blow my mind.

J.L. Murphey said...

Rebecca, the ground work was set up five years ago before the purchase of the land to have everyone in agreement. Yes, it's a huge undertaking, but what dream and quest for security isn't?