Homesteading – Overcoming Inertia


First, you have to get out of this…

Moving tired us more than we expected.  After six weeks we are still trying to get our feet under us. That isn’t so bad in the winter when we have no animals, no garden, no market.  It does mean that the money goes out the door rather than coming in.

The temperatures here are in the COLD zone. We have an entrance shed outside the kitchen, which is finished and heated, and this is where our dog usually sleeps. But not last night. It was COLD out there, so she came in, and was put in the downstairs bathroom to sleep. This kept her out of drafts and more importantly, out of the way of the temptation of the new couch. We had lived in another house where she had a sleeping porch, not as nice as this one, and there she had a large padded bench to sleep on, up off the cold floor. She got spoiled by that. The dog cannot see the difference between an ancient, dusty, put-your-boots-on bench and a lovely, new tapestry-covered sofa. I want there to be a difference, mostly a lack of dog fur on the latter.

I have not driven the truck in two weeks. The neighbour who plows our driveway has started it for me, but I have no motivation to go anywhere. Our own daily prayer and the internet connection to the Washington Cathedral are “church” for us this month. Our pastor and old friend came to visit with communion recently, so we aren’t outside the community entirely. I know I am going to have to venture out soon, since I have to buy something for groceries eventually. We are out of milk and eggs. We are out of oatmeal. We have honey and brown sugar and Lyle’s Golden Syrup for sugar substitutes, if necessary. I have beans and chick peas. We have a small amount of cheese and frozen meat  left. I baked bread, and have lots of flour for more, although my yeast supply is low. I could get a sourdough starter going, but I’m not sure if the house is warm enough to get it to work. The potatoes, onions, beets, turnips, squash, carrots, cabbage, apples and clementines are serving for our mainstay.

We are looking for an affordable woodstove. I have been negotiating for a small box stove which is two hours downriver, but haven’t heard back from the sellers as to my final offer. We will need to find an installer, as the insurance company insists that the stove must be CSA approved, and the installer must be licensed to follow CSA guidelines. This is all sensible. I look at it as an investment for next winter, when we would be more independent of the power grid and the oil company. Wood isn’t cheap here, if you buy it split and seasoned. The goal would be to get our own cutting equipment (a chainsaw, which I’m not afraid to use) and as we have good splitting equipment, we are halfway there. We have years of experience in preparing and burning wood. It seems strange to be here in New Brunswick and not have a woodstove.

I fretted over moving in the winter, as we would not be able to get started on homesteading projects, but now I’m rather glad it will take a while, because my tired old body needs this comfy chair for a while yet.


8 thoughts on “Homesteading – Overcoming Inertia

  1. It’s just too darn cold to move much at all today. Colin’s not even taking pigs to the butcher until after lunch -when it hopefully warms up to -20C. I feel so sorry for Colin (and others) who have to go and work outside in weather like this. The house is cold enough!

    • Brr! Moving pigs in the cold! They’ll lose weight on the way to the butcher. Yes, I’m thankful we don’t have animals or outside work this winter. We will have the opportunity to be better prepared for next winter. I’m on the couch with a sweater and a blanket, and the dog has found the warmest spot she can to sleep in.

      • The pigs get to the barn door then refuse to walk into the trailer. The larger market pigs get, the harder this job has become over the years.

        I’ve got wool socks and my cashmere/cotton sweater over top my dress. Even our new windows have frost on the inside. On top of everything, the power keeps going out which makes the corn stove go out. I’m doing some baking to generate more heat 🙂

      • I slept in flannel nightgown, pajama pants, socks and linen cap last night. I think we may have roast vegetables and apple pie with cheese for supper. That should warm up the house a bit, but we are missing having a woodstove!

  2. The cold has been extreme down here in the Southern area from where you are (New England to be exact). I can only imagine up there, how cold it truly is! We heat with a pellet stove. I pick up a half ton a month on average. However, with the two big snows and the ice storm I am using them a bit faster.
    The stove is run a thermostate that looks like a tv remote control. The remote is kept upstairs (we live in a colonial style house) and the stove is downstairs. I use a fan at the top of the stairs to suck the heat up.
    The only oil we use is for heating water.
    If you are worried about having enough seasoned wood, look into getting a box of bricks. I am not certain of the price, but they are created the sameway as pellets but in brick form and can be burned in most wood stoves or fireplaces. They are also a nice alternative because they are made from recycled wood products. Just a thought. D

    • I didn’t know about the bricks. And I just found out that my landlord has wood to sell – so I expect we will be set. Still, I may invest in a box of bricks just in case – like a howling bilzzard and can’t get to the woodpile!

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