Thursday, February 16, 2012

In where she misses her cold toilet seat..

Yes, I just typed that. 
It has been just a bit over a month that we have an indoor toilet and a washer and dryer.  While I have enjoyed the luxury of doing laundry at my fingertips, it has been an adjustment having to put laundry away each and every day rather than once a week.  However, I am getting accustomed to the practice quite quickly.
We still are not really used to having electricity.  I reach many times for the hot kettles for dishes on the stove pour the water in the basins to do the dishes and then I remember I could have gotten it from the sink.  The children, Gentle Giant and I stumble around in the pitch dark of the laundry room, while the washer and dryer are humming along and suddenly after about 3 minutes we realize we could turn on a light.  We all have gotten our coats on and been ready to trek out to the outhouse and realize it is no longer needed.
I don’t know about you, but a room temperature toilet seat is not my cup of tea.  I miss the crisp cold winter air running into my lungs. It awakened my senses constantly. I was outside a minimum of 12 times a day in all sorts of weather.  I was in tune with what nature had to offer when it was “calling”.  The cold toilet seat would constantly awaken me to my life.
In memory of the outhouse these last few evenings I have trekked out in to the cold winter air in the pitch dark.  I do not want to forget where I came from.   I love this time to embrace the outdoors.  I then come back to the house and just sit on the front porch and listen to the sounds of the night. Coyotes, owls, a dog barking in the distance and sometimes the annoying hum of the dryer vent.   It is strange to us yet. Very strange.
It has been challenging trying to get used to this new way of life.  We got used to the hot bath at just the turn of a knob immediately though.  I have enjoyed the blow dryer again.  My hair looks as a lion’s mane.  We wonder what to introduce next?  Suddenly we have a choice overload?  It’s actually a touch stressful to us.  We have to decide whether or not to cut ice from the pond for next year’s ice house.  At this time the weather would not allow us to anyway. 
Many wonder what is next. I feel as if we should hold a press conference sometimes... Ha!
 “Are you getting a microwave”? “No”.  “Are you getting a refrigerator”? “Not now”. “Are you getting an oven”? “No, we already have one of those”.  “What about a TV”?  “We just got a TV with a VCR in it, but it has no channels, something about a new adapter or something so we will not be doing that at this time”.  VHS tapes are cheap! Pretty neat actually.  “Are you getting the internet”? “Not yet, we have a smart phone and we go to hot spots”.  “I bet you like that you can now take a bath more than once a week”.  “We always took daily baths, but thanks for assuming that”.  “I heard you are quitting farming”.  “No, we just got electricity”.  “The article in the GR Press says you heat off-grid, but you have electricity and a furnace so why did you let them say you live off grid”? “No we do not have a furnace, but we use a wood stove just like before and we cook on a wood cook stove.  We suggest you read the article again”.  “We heat off-grid too, but we have an electric blower”.  “Good for you but do you have electricity then”? 
I have noticed that we have lost followers on the blog.  I have seen things in a different perspective now when I see people saying, “Check out this blog, they are the real deal living off-grid and more”… All while they sit in a natural gas furnace home, full electric, TV blaring in the back ground and they never go outside.  One thing for sure, we never did this 3 ½ year lifestyle to get people to like us, to get followers from the blogosphere or for the “wow” factor.  Our family simply followed where the Lord led us…
We still are using white fuel and Leacock pressure lamps.  We still are using oil lamps as well.  But guess what?  WHO CARES what kind of lights we are using and if we are ½ on grid, 75% on grid or not.  
What we are doing now is really exactly what we were doing before.  We still are a close knit family and God is still driving this thing…
God bless you!
Looking forward to sharing more on home teaching next...

Ps.  We are keeping the outhouse because we can!  How many people do you know that have an indoor toilet AND an outhouse... Ha


April said... said you are not getting a refrig. What have you been using? I assume either an icebox (hence the need for cutting ice) or possibly a propane refrigerator as many of the Indiana Amish do??
We have 2 refrigerators (and 4 freezers). At least once a year, it seems the power goes out just long enough to get things defrosting. Once after an ice storm, it was out for 7 days. As a result, I have been thinking of when it comes time to replace a freezer or refrig, to replace it with a propane one so that we don't loose all the meat. (I am also doing more canning and less freezing as well). But, I wonder how safe are the propane ones (open flame) and can you go off on a trip and leave them unattended?

I never ever missed my Grandma's outhoouse, esp those dark winter trips in the cold..........

Laura said...

Love the update! I followed you on your blog because you're my friend and I love your creativity. Not because you didn't have electricity. (That just made it a little more interesting sometimes. lol) Keep on following God's plan for your life. :D

Donna OShaughnessy said...

This is so great! I am losing followers because we are downsizing and selling and moving away from convieneces while you lose followers as you move TOWARDS some electricity of all things. Maybe we should meet in the middle and swap followers!

I love your blog. Thanks for all you two to share your lives with us.

Anonymous said...

i for one am still following! i love your blog and have for 2 years. we are thinking of living off grid ourselves but my health - i have lupus- is just one reason we hesitate. so i am learning from you, either way! i plan to glean tips from you as you embark on a semi electric lifestyle. no matter what lifestyle u lead, i admire yo personally and as a family and that's why i follow :)

Frugal Queen said...

Hello Lovvie xxx You can always pop over the ocean and sit on my cold loo seat. Like you, we have a wood fire, so we have a cold loo. This is the first house I've ever lived in without an outside loo. a huge amount of UK houses still kept theirs even if they have an inside bathroom. Enjoy your comforts xxx Love Froogs

Lena ~ JOYfilled family said...

congrats on the toilet and other conveniences!

may your family bonds remain strong and may you continue to follow HIM.

pax Christi, lena

KXJ said...

I think the trick for followers is finding the right hook. Before your hook was completely off grid so people were curious. I like your new hook of the sophisticated agrarian but that's going to attract a different type of follower (probably more girly). One hook you have is the cooking and heating with wood. Where do you get your wood? What's a normal day cooking with wood? How do you judge temperature like for cakes? Include your wonderful recipes!!! I'll always follow your blog, even if you move to a highrise in NYC. xoxox

Cary at Serenity Farms said...

I love the picture - the queen and her throne, LOL (just teasing you of course!)

I really enjoyed reading your update since we haven't had a chance to visit in person for a while. And while you might lose some blog followers you will gain others. God bless you!

Julie said...

Always go where the Lord leads you...I have learned you never can really predict where that will be. Take care and enjoy your new things. They are blessings from a kind Heavenly Father also. You will find your balance and your footing soon. Stay prayerful and you will know what to let in to your home and what not to. You are doing a great work. I love the blog and reading about your adventures.

Sherry in MI said...

I think you could write a book (a comedy of sorts) of all of the weird, a/k/a stupid, things people have asked you over the past 3 1/2 years. Thanks for the update, Ang!

Joe and Jeannie Family said...

I love the "chill" of an outhouse too! But, I am thankful I can enjoy it at leisure when visiting "camp" up north or at a trail head outhouse before a hike in Benzie.

Anonymous said...

I will still reading and enjoy it just the same! What I think is even more wonderful than living completely off grid is having the means and know how to just in case!


Homemaker Ang said...

You are all so sweet! However, I wasn't concerned about loosing blog followers at all. I was more surprised how quickly people change their "tune" if you will. They are looking for the greatest wow factor I guess :) I guess we can't provide it now
Ha ha.

I will keep writing here as me
Thanks for all the kind sentiments but not everyone has to like us :)


Kim said...


Some people just like to find fault in others!! They like to point their stubby finger at others and criticize.

I'm so happy that you are "updating" at your place. If you miss the cold seat on your tushy.....well, I guess I'll be sad for you.:( Ha! Ha!

I love your blog and your inspiration and the decorating gift that God has given you.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the weather.


Nadine said...

Well you haven't lost me and you will not either!!:)
It is not just the "off grid" that brought me to your site...but the Godly people who were all behind it all...a real inspiration for us all...and it's cool you kept the outhouse...I would too...
Love ya


Al said...

Angie, You live the way you want to live and forget about the naysayers. This is you and your family's life and lead it as you see fit and feel fit to live. God bless you and your family and I think you live a wonderful lifestyle with or without electricity. You are a most wonderful kind and giving and caring people. :)

heatherdmc said...

Good for you and the outhouse. Believe me, septic and electric aren't always there no matter what you do. A generator can't help that plugged plumbing! But keeping those spiders away...your new adaptations can help in reverse for those that want to live off grid but can't just jump into it!

Deb said...

Angie, I hope you are feeling better, I know for a fact,that once they start messing with your heart,it is scary,I pray for you ,you do what YOU have to do, I still admire. you and your family,when the storms came to Alabama last year,we did without electicity for a week,we survived and really enjoyed it, lost everything in my freezer, and got to thinking , I am canning more and freezing less and maybe investing in a dehydrator and dry some tomatoes and stuff.
we cooked out on a grill,made spaghetti on a grill, and had a turkey frier and used it to boil water to take a bath in, I really enjoyed it,not the storms,but the candle light and the togetherness without the PC and tvs. quite, and reading,had a battery operated radio. You take care

goatldi said...

you know there is allot said for being P.C. or not P.C. or what the heck is perceived as P.C.

Anyone who thinks you aren't getting it anymore wasn't there to begin with and who the heck cares?

We recently moved to forty two acres off the grid and it is driven by God.And that frankly is the only opinion I care about. Cheers!

Renata said...

You are just beautiful Ang & who cares what kind of electrical appliances you get, you will always be beautiful & an encouragement to anyone who reads your blog!
Have a wonderful day my friend

Joshua V. said...

I am happy for you guys. As peculiar as it may sound, it seems to me that the choice to selectively include things like an indoor toilet, and and a washing machine are a reinforcement of the admirable qualities your family displays. Not on indication that you have given in to some external pressure as I assume is the opinion of those quit following at the first hint of "the grid".

As I see it you have demonstrated that your choices are not driven by the definition of a term such as "off grid" but by the pursuit of a much more meaningful and honorable goal. Which is to be the best stewards of the family God gave you and of the bonds that hold that family together.

I count it a privilege to be given a window into the pursuit of God's best for your family. And I admire you all the more for your willingness to pursue that without regard for what is expected.

Choosing to lay down a convention or to pick a piece of it back up is in my mind equally admirable when done in the pursuit of such a worthy goal.

To the reader I pray that you see that the most valuable thing here to observe and be inspired by is the passion and the willingness to make life altering changes with which God's best is being pursued not the technicalities of which conveniences are or aren't present.

Texas Mom said...

I've enjoyed your blog since you were in your "old" (new) house! Still enjoying!

It seems like you're finally figuring out who/what you are--from almost-Amish, to Angiepologie, to Sophisticated Agrarian; electricity, partial-electricity, no electricity, now evolving back to electricity (and plumbing--that's the one I would never give up!!)~you have to do what's right for you, even if it's short-term. People will read because it's interesting (and gorgeous photography helps!!).

HomemakerAng said...

Texas Mom, I have always known who I am :) There is much much more to who I am than what I post here. These are just tiny tiny snapshots into my life.

I post what seems interesting at that moment in time. There is really sooooooooo much more to my life than what I post here

I didn't just figure out who I am right now. And, it could all change tomorrow if that is what God wanted.

I hope to always be changing into what God would have me to be.

Stagnant water is murky and stinky :)

Just to clarify even though I know you meant it kindly

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