My 4 HP High Velocity dog dryer is outrageously loud. I bought it when that was all you could get. In fact, they now make HV dryers that hardly make any noise at all – at a nice high price. I am not going to throw this dryer out and buy a new one. The noise however is unbearable and in the winter I can’t put it outside to dampen the sound.
So Ernie and I came up with a way to save the dryer. He cut a hole in the drywall that separates the workshop from the dog room and put the dryer hose through the hole. The dryer now sits outside the dog room and only the hose comes through.
Imagine having to have a motorcycle or snowmobile revving its engine in the same small room as you. This is what it was like before this change.
Ernie found some old vacuum hose at the dump and that’s what is used to go through the wall and attach to the original dryer hose. The dryer and hose is now out of sight and in a contained area so it is not an eyesore.
We used electrical tape to secure the hose to the hooks on the wall but I will be covering that with something a bit more appealing to the eye.
Finally the hose is long enough now that I can use it properly. The pic below shows it hanging from the ceiling onto the grooming table.
So, all of this is just really the start of changing over to a more eco-friendly business and way of living. Some may think it looks cheap and crappy but I believe it is a state of mind. We take our time to finish projects and eventually it will look better. If we expect everything to be new and cookie cutter, then old buildings will be torn down and good stuff will be shown in the garbage. Not here anymore.
My grooming room is large enough for my purposes but I still have to use all the space I can. The shelves in the pic below were made from salvaged wood – of course. One used to be a shelf itself, the middle one was a section cut from an old table, and the bottom was a shelf Ernie made but couldn’t find another use for.
The orange high-velocity dryer has been moved from where it was in the pic, which I will show in the next post. Ernie rigged up a neat arrangement for it where we didn’t have to spend any money.
With the arrival of 2015, we have decided to make the slow switch to EVEN MORE eco-friendly living, which means anything that I need for the grooming shop has to be homemade, reused, recycled, dump-picked etc. I will even be composting dog poop and finding more eco-friendly grooming products if such a thing exists. The obsession has begun.
Running a business from your home can be considered part of the homesteading mentality. I tried staying away from home to go to a job, but I couldn’t do it for long. I made the jump to staying at home and working for pay and not, quickly. I just did it. Not everyone should do this, or will want to, but I had to.
My workplace is our home and it is small – about 900 sq feet, including the upstairs. It is a 90 year old house. I believe that all buildings – unless they are seriously un-usable, in danger of falling down or contaminated, should be saved. Their historical value is irreplaceable, and the chance to live in a unique home is just as important.
This summer, after much thought, Ernie put vinyl siding on, over top of the old exterior. Because we were doing the work ourselves, this was our only choice. In order to put wood siding on, the old siding would have had to come off and that was not something we were able to do. If it makes it SEEM better, the siding was made in North America, and is good quality. I would have liked to put on siding that was eco friendly, but not this time. We feel that if we don’t fix it up, someone will tear it down.
The garage on the right, which we call the workshop, is our work area. Ernie does woodworking and fixing stuff there and I do my dog grooming, including bathing, there. Everything has its place. It has to – or we would be living in chaos. We also have six dogs in the house.
I will be talking more about our living working arrangements this year, in order to show how we can live in such a “small” area and still enjoy life! I know a lot of you do this too, and would love it if you could share that as well.
Finally, I’m getting to posting about our natural Christmas tree and its decorations in keeping with the homesteading tradition as well a few other things we did before 2015 got here. Below is our tree. I made popcorn garland (only 2 strings) but it was still appropriate, and I used the pine and spruce cones.
I also used ornaments we purchased for our wedding 9 years ago – plastic- but since I’m not going to throw them out and they are in good condition we use them. As of now, we will no longer be buying any more decorations for Christmas.
Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve we had good weather so we did a lot of walking and some dog sledding on our property. Below is me and 3 of our 6 dogs. I was warming myself up before I hooked up the dogs.
Last week we checked out one of our local thrift stores (there are only 3 in two different cities). Usually we find some great stuff but this visit was disappointing. Most of the small things were gone for some reason, I mean completely removed. The shelves and everything. Not sure why.
But we did manage to search out a couple of old books that were quite interesting. When we go to yard sales this is one of the things that we always buy. The books have to be hard cover and from at least the early 1960s, or earlierdepending on the book.
The first two books were just below, classics.
The third book is something that I had never seen before anywhere – a sewing class text from 1922.
Anyway this is all we could find that day. Everything was 50% off so the total we spent was $5.
Our kitchen renovation is complete.
We chose an expensive sink and tap. The reason was, that it was the best quality we could get in the style that we wanted. We splurged on these two things because they are important to making our daily homestead lives comfortable. We don’t splurge on everything – obviously – but this helps to make it feel like we are living well (which we are) but still saving money.
The sink will last forever and the tap is really the best tap for us because we don’t have to touch the handle with dirty working hands (that were cutting meat or other yuck) to turn on the water. We can use our arm or elbow. This makes cleaning easier and makes things more sanitary really.
The counter top and cupboards are not conventional but I will have to leave that for another post.
Spending more money on certain things that you need helps to offset the times you don’t spend, especially on frivolous stuff. You will end up with awesome useful things you need that are incredible to use and nice to look at and still be saving money because you aren’t spending money on everything you want. And you won’t feel deprived in the process. This is a key to homestead spending.
We really enjoy making our own stuff. This is especially true when it comes to the garden. It is so simple to go out and buy what you need – which usually promptly breaks because of the poor quality found in most things made nowadays.
This spring we made a hot house for our peppers which has really turned out to be amazing. I also included pictures of a hand trowel that Ernie found lying around here and fixed with a nail because not surprisingly it broke after a small amount of use. As well, we use an old barrel to destroy personal papers – the lid is from an old fridge, and the milk jugs are used to protect plants in the spring from frost, all piled up on a metal pole found at the garbage dump.
In other words, buying new isn’t all what its seems. Making your own stuff is creative and stimulates the mind, and it is easier on the earth.
After reading many blog posts about being frugal, saving money, being happy, how to find your purpose in life (thank you James Altucher), I decided to make a post.
I am happy. I do not own a cell phone. I do not make a lot of money. I do not live in a big city. I do not have a lot of “things”. My truck is a hand-me-down and works when I need it.
Things do not make us happy. It is our attitudes about “things” that make us happy or miserable.
I have always known that I cannot keep up to the “Jones” as “they” say. I just can’t. I only feel good when I am working for myself at something that I love doing no matter how much I make. When I don’t do this, I become unhappy. Then I get sick.
My husband was born right after WWII. His family was REALLY poor. But he remembers being happy. Happiness is an inside job. And after many years of self help because of trying to find out my life’s purpose, I just let go and let it happen.
Allow what is trying to work its way into your life. Trying too hard, especially if you are not doing what you really want to be doing, will result in stress and unhappiness. Oh, and most if not all of this will get easier to do after 40.
And if you are so kind as to make a comment here, please be nice.
Here are some of the things that I do to make me happy: