2010 was an epic
A year ago I was living in the city,
working in the city, shopping in the…yes, city. I resided
in a smart apartment with only The Max (my now nine year old son)
and I had recently begun dating my now husband, then long distance
(I was in MN he in WA) boyfriend. My days consisted of waking
up at 5:30am, dressing in the dark and somehow getting my son to
daycare by 6:00am. From there I would drive through heavy
traffic downtown Minneapolis and begin my workday at a busy
restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen. After work I would pick up The
Max, run some errands, and settle into our nights. We’d cook
supper, bathe, I’d put my son to bed and finish the evening with a
Skype call to my boyfriend. Sleep, Rinse, Repeat. My
life was predictable, comfortable and fairly typical.
All that changed January 14th
of last year. I had always planned to move to Washington to
be nearer to my boyfriend and my son’s father. But that day,
plans were put into motion when my boyfriend flew into town and
showed up on my doorstep on his knees with a ring. I moved in
less than a month.
New home, new fiance’, new life was
all waiting for me when I arrived. I left city living and
headed straight onto a twenty acre hobby farm with no phone
service, miles and miles from the nearest town. I left a
decent job and was unemployed. I left friends and was a bit
lonely. I gained much more.
Everything was a novelty. I
had chickens. I had a garden. I had a freakin’ mountain
in my backyard. It was like being on vacation every
day. With the wedding only months off, myself and Mr. Pilver
had much to do. We desired to finish the home he had begun
building as well as grow all the produce and raise all the meat for
the reception on our wedding day. I was exhausted thinking
about it back then, and when I think about it now, I don’t know how
we pulled it off. (Help from generous worker-bees in our family did
make a huge difference).
So here we are now, married and a
now functioning family of three. I never thought I’d be in
this place. I never thought I’d remarry. I never
thought I would have this whole American Dream swirling around my
head. 2010 was about as perfect as they come it seems, but
maybe because I have not yet lived through 2011.
small idea snowballed.
During our pre-wedding mania, we
would adventure on once weekly shopping trips. First to
Wal-Mart to pick up the cheapest essentials money can buy;
toothpaste, milk, etc. Our second stop would be Safeway where
we could buy the items we could not stomach to purchase at
Wal-Mart, mostly meat and produce. Before I was part of a
couple I would shop solo. I never went to Wal-Mart. In my
previous dozen or so adult years I could honestly say I’d made
trips to the store only a few times. I hated the place, I
loathed even the logo. To me Wal-Mart hatred was not a
statement of politics or of social status, but because it seemed
every person I knew who went there ended up with two things they
intended to buy and seven bags of plastic crap no one ever needs in
life. Also, I have heard many MANY
ladies give arguments like, “We NEED Wal-Mart to
survive. We CANNOT afford to live without it.” Wal-mart
has not been around THAT long, so I figured one could live without
it and still pay all their bills. So, last summer, I vowed
that 2011 would be a Wal-Mart free year.
As time went on and I began to look
forward to my resolution, I wondered why only Wal-Mart? I
grew up in a family of small business entrepreneurs. My
grandpa owned a few grocery stores which my uncle bought from him
when he retired. My dad owned a grocery store, my aunt a hair
salon, my sister a flower shop and myself, I owned a coffee shop
for a few short years. There is something fantastic about
small businesses that I love that I cannot love about chain
stores. I wondered if I could ONLY shop at small
locally owned businesses and still pay the bills.
Of course, this idea of small time
shopping comes with a price, a hefty price. Just take a look
at your local mercantile and check the cost of common items and you
will see what I mean. In order to spend what we can afford,
we were going to have to make some changes as to what we
bought. *light bulb*
What if we buy ONLY what we need? Luxury items
MUSt be made…grown…whathaveyou. So, a new
resolution was born. These are the loose rules:
Grow, hunt, fish, build, make, etc.
everything we can.
Buy locally what we cannot do in the
finish it off become as self sufficient in earth friendly ways as
possible. (car-pool, buy used when possible, survive with as
little garbage production as we can)
That’s a hefty goal, I
I am a hypocryte.
Green living, resoursfullness,
and all the earth day festivities are things I have half-heartedly
practiced in years past. But I want you to know, I do not
judge others for their ways nor do I expect ot be a perfectionist
in this area. I have spent thirty-two years not really
putting effort into conservationism, and I do want anyone to think
that my sudden desire makes me holier than thou. But, I am
going to try to change.
Ever since knowing Mr Pilver, he has
expressed his desire to pack up and head into the wilderness and
never look back, surviving soilely on the land and muscle. If
we took off today I would be dead in a year from starvation, some
crazy bug bite, or a predator that I do not know how to defend
myself from. But, I love his idea. To live out of
civilization is a bizairre dream I now have. If I am going to
ever achieve it, I better start practicing now, and this is a baby
step to that.
in our home, we have electricity, satellite TV, internet access,
running water and so on. We aren’t living as hippies of
yore. We are a modern family with almost all of the modern
conveniences available. We are just going to see what
we can do to reduce waste, shop locally, and save some
My Goals with this
First off, I suck at meeting goals I
specifically set out when I blog. So, expect I will break
them. What I want is to create a log of what we are doing,
things we are making, and the production of our property.
Expect me to show off what I grown in the garden and catch in the
river. I may add some how-tos of what item’s I make in leiu
of purchasing common household items. If nobody reads this, I
will still be glad that at the end of the year I will (hopefully)
have logged a year of recipes, tips and ideas that I myself can
resort back to in the future. I do plan on updating
both this site and The Pilver, and I may end up changing the name
of this because I wasn’t really creative in choosing the title.
Check back and forth between the two for new things.