Monday, September 13, 2010

Just another title

Being a Radical Homemaker is a concept by Shannon Hayes. You can find her website here. I happened to stumble on this site. I was intrigued. I looked for more on this idea of Radical Homemakers. I was able to find more at the Yes Shannon writes about the 10 easy steps for becoming a Radical Homemaker.

1. Commit to hanging your laundry - I have done this for the last 10 years. When we bought the house I had an electric dryer. The house unfortunately had a gas line. Since there were more important things to do with the money, I waited. Now it just seems ridiculous to spend the money to get the electric line run. We have a system.

2. Dedicate part of you lawn to vegetables - I did container gardening for a couple of years. Then last year Grim and I put in 12 - 4x4 raised beds. I have grown everything from broccoli to zucchini and a ton in between. We now have a grafted apple tree. It has 5 different types of apples. We also have grape vines, rhubarb and blueberries. I have even done potatoes in tires.

3. Get to know your neighbors - I know all but one of my immediate neighbors. We have all at one point or another lent a helping hand. The one neighbor that I don't know, well lets just say that I don't think I will be getting to know any time soon.... LOL!

4. Do you go to the Local Farmers Market before you go grocery shopping - I try to. But I don't go grocery shopping but once a month or less. So I tend to go to the farmers markets more then the big box stores. I visit a local dairy for my eggs and dairy products and I support a local butcher. Even though the meat travels to get here it is grass finished and the animals are treated more humanly. I know I should be eating meat from closer to home. But we all do what we must.

5. Spring clean to see what you don't need and then donate it - I think that the guys at the salvation army hide when they see me coming. I know that I shouldn't be buying the amount of stuff that I do but when I'm done with it, it goes to be recycled.

6. Start carrying reusable bags and use them all the time - I have a ton of them in the back of my car. That way I can just grab them on the way into the store. I find that it is easier to keep them in the car then having to find them in the house and and and. You all know the deal.

7. Choose a local food item and learn how to preserve it for the winter - I have been canning for 3 years now. And every year I try new things. The first year everything was new. The second year I made things like carmel apple butter and dilly beans. This year I made ketchup and BBQ sauce.

8. Get your family to spend more time at home, with the tv off - Since we do activities that are considered exercise, such as marching band and bowling, our at home time tends to be quite. Yes, the monsters do watch television, but they also play on the Wii. They read, play with play dough, do puzzles, play board games and listen to music so there is a lot of time when the tv just isn't on.

9. Cook for your family - I have to do this more then I would like. My youngest two monsters have adverse reactions to HFCS. So this leaves me to cook about 85% at home. The other 15% is for Mexican, Chinese and the occasional Pizza joint. All winter I make bread and goodies. My cupboards have less and less processed foods in them. And there are more and more basic ingredients taking there place. So with monsters learning how to cook it can be a challenge. Instead of opening a can or box, they have to measure and stir and taste test. LOL! This has been a learning lesson not only for them but also for me.

10. Focus on what you have and who your with. Don't worry about the "if onlys" - I can say for a great part of my life I was living for tomorrow. When we get out of the basement, the apartment, the trailer, the house to the farm, I will be happy. I will have the life that I want. Well, due to circumstances out and in my control the life I was living almost came to an abrupt end. Decision that needed to be made, were made and things that were doing harm had to be left in the past to be able to move forward. And that is what I did. I started making decisions and sticking to them. Now some of these things were trying to end a life long pack rat habit, quit smoking and be happy with the life that I had chosen. So I got rid of a ton of stuff, am now 3 1/2 years smoke free and I am very happy with the life that I have. I still struggle at times. But I think that it has a lot to do with perspective. If I choose to be happy then I will be happy. It might take time for it to work but it does eventually.

So I think I fall into the Radical Homemaker category. Things that I did just because have put me into a group that I wasn't even aware existed. LOL! Just like one morning I woke up and realized I was back in style, with my t-shirts and jeans.

Gotta Run,


mmpaints said...

ROFL Yart! I guess I'm a radical homemaker. Have to add that to the list, LOL.

Wandering Willow said...

Well I am a radical homemaker in the making! :) I have done some canning and we clean things out often and take the stuff to shelters or repurpose them! I am trying to get back into to doing alot of canning right now to cut down on costs as well as getting rid of cable etc. I do enjoy tv but only a very few shows. It all just gets so expensive and we are trying to make our lives simpler. (A bit hard to do as a military family, but I will take what I can get!)

Whirliegig said...

Fabulous list!!!

SkippyMom said...

Hi! Loving your blog:) - I like the list - here are two thoughts I had;

- We had a gas dryer for years and our gas bill was outrageous. I finally started hanging up our clothes [love the smell, nothing better then fresh clothes] but the HOA frowned upon this practice and when our gas dryer died we bought an electric one. The savings were amazing!!! Good bye Wash. Gas. grrrr. I do want to still hang them up, but until we move, no deal. You might want to check because if you have a washer you should have an additional plug for an electric dryer - that way if you get in a pinch you can dry your clothes. I bought our dryer, used, on Craigslist for $75 and it works wonderful.

And the reusable bag idea is fantastic. We love it too...but an even better idea then buying them is to recycle your old t-shirts [no laughing! it is cool] You can find the details at The Big Red Barn or Roundabout [both blogspot, I think, but are on my blog roll] The neat thing is they hold so much, are expandable because they stretch and are washable beyond ease. Upcycling with a purpose. Bonus.

The rest of our list gets a resounding YES from me - love my neighbors and the farmer's market is the best part of Sundays.

Nicely done. :D Have a great weekend.