We are now living off grid and loving the new adventure that it has become for our family. Each day we learn more and more as we live. There is just so much to be thankful for. Working hand in hand with the children each day has become such a joy. When work fills the days and idleness is a thing of the past, you begin to evaluate life a whole new way. We stay so busy with day to day living that there seems to be less time for leisure. We wake up to the sound of the rooster crowing which is similar to what we were used to all except, in the Amish community, you can hear the clip clop of horse hoofs on the road nearby as the men get busy tending their farm work. At the crack of dawn you may hear a generator going for the milking the Amish do. We have a similar generator in our shop that will power all the machinery for my husband’s wooden rack business. It is a diesel engine. Most of the Amish in this community use them for powering their machines as well. We actually live in an Amish home and have the same lifestyle as they do except for our use of computers or automobiles. We are excited about helping drive our Amish neighbors around when they need things. I am actually planning to use a horse and carriage. I already had a lesson from my Amish neighbors after we spent the day butchering 38 chickens. I canned all my meat this time since I do not own a deep freezer. It is just so handy to open a jar. I put all my chicken thighs, wings and legs into quart sized jars with a teaspoon of salt and pressure canned them for 1.5 hours. All the breasts we cut into chunks and pressure canned them the same. Yesterday, I dumped out two jars of legs and thighs, added some seasoning and it tasted just as good as my roasted chicken meal. And boy was it fast. That is what I call fast food!!!!
We have wash days about ever four or five days and it is so fun. In the photo above, you can see Mikey waiting for the agitator to finish washing the next batch. The girls are wringing out the first cold rinse. This is the machine that was with the house and runs on the generator or gas engine. We sure enjoy the experiences we are getting living off grid. What is neat is that you can get about 10 loads done and hung out on the line or rack in the time you would normally have to wait for a regular washer to spin out. We also enjoy using our washboards and handwringer for fun, too. Someday Mark wants to try building us a hand dasher washer. That would be really neat.
This is one of the ways we light our home. They are called mantle lamps which are piped in from the propane gas tank. They are very bright, almost too bright to look without harming your eyes. Other than that, we use a lot of beeswax candles and LED flashlights. The kids have LED lanterns that they can carry up and down the stairs to light their way to the bathroom. Yes we do have plumbing. We have a shower, sink and toilet. The mantle lamps give off a lot of heat so, we use them only when we really need to.
Early in the morning, you can see the sun rise into our windows, it is just heavenly. This is one of my treadle sewing machines that we will be using. Right now they are in need of some minor repair, so I patiently wait for the moment I can sew again. With the kids growing as fast as they do, we have plenty of clothes to make before long.
This is our “new” old fashioned standing pilot stove. You know, I just love these kind. They bake the best bread, such an even heat. Standing pilot stoves are also really handy for dehydrating nuts, herbs, and incubating yogurt or kefir. The girls have been busy baking tons of spelt bread.
In a corner of our kitchen, I set up all my baking essentials and spices. It really makes it so handy to find what you need when preparing a meal or baking goods. I found some cute labels and poured all my spices into glass jars. It looks nice and is so practical.
Another view of the kitchen and our new propane refrigerator. I love the layout of our home, it flows really nice and is easier to keep up because it is a little smaller. We stay plenty busy, that’s for sure.
This is the most glorious view out our back door!!! We can see the most gorgeous sunsets each night and the breeze feels really good. Life is good in our new rental, we have much to be thankful for. Being debt free is so good. No more heavy financial burdens like we used to have. We are excited about being a blessing to others.