to quote the affable Kath off the 'Kath & Kim' TV series.
Such a long time between posts, I know, but time has been flying and I have been thinking. A lot. About life, kids, stuff and self sustainability. I don't normally have the time to think deeply about issues as I am normally over consumed with the ever persistent 'Mum! Mum! M.U.M.!', but I have been lately. And it has been consuming more and more of my waking time.
There is change in the air...I can feel it. And I know that I am not the only one. Defining or pinpointing the change is hard, but I have this inner drive to succeed in providing the essentials for life - food, water, shelter, warmth - if by chance we could no longer acquire these from an external source. My first and foremost priority is to keep my kids happy, warm and safe, but I have been asking the really hard question of myself lately - if push came to shove, could I really do this?
To take a step back in time, it all started in the oddest of places really. After channel surfing free-to-air TV on a Saturday night some months ago (and we all know how dismal that can be) I tuned in to watch 'The Day After Tomorrow'. For those who also have a similar boring life existence to sit through that movie - bare with me for a sec - but for those that actually have a life, its the movie that basically has these major storms colliding, creating massive tsunamis, and then massive freezing temperatures and heaps of people get caught out and die. Yadda Yadda Yadda. Anyway, there is a scene towards the end where the freezing temperatures are encroaching on our band of heroes, as they struggle to keep the fire alight in the massive library fireplace by burning a huge array of texts and bound books. And it hit me. We don't have a fireplace and we have no way of keeping warm in an electrical blackout. Or some other freak act of nature. Or chronically expensive electricity prices that are beyond the average family's ability to pay.
This is bad, especially out here in Murrumbateman, where we have had more than our fair share of sub -5C temps this winter, as my struggling reverse cycle heater will attest. But this is really an issue for me. Skyrocketing electricity prices aside, I have no way of keeping my four little kiddies warm and snug and happy.
And then I started to think more about self sufficiency. I have bandied the 'self- sufficient' term about a bit I admit it, but when you really think about it, being 'self sufficient' is not buying anything really. If you are 'self sufficient' you don't have to. You can barter/exchange but essentially you don't have to visit the supermarket. Ever.
I am SO not self sufficient.
Could I feed my family if for some reason or another our lives depended on it? Well, if that were the case, this is all we would have eaten for the past week
I have also been reading with interest Greening of Gavin's blog and his posts on Suburban Retrofit , and post peak oil, energy descent and things to consider.
I highly recommend you read it and I am not going to re-hash it here, but I guess if TSHTF we have our own water supply (tank water), our own septic, we have a small solar system but we could always convert that to off the grid if need be, we have a wood fired oven and we have a firepit area where we could cook 'camp style' if no gas and no electricity (recently found out in a power outage that my gas cooktop stove needs both gas AND electricity to run!). We have our veggie gardens and fruit trees and we have our greenhouse to grow food all year round. We have our chooky girls to lay us eggs. We do have the space to run few animals such as lambs or goats but I am not going to go there just yet. But still we have no way to keep warm......
So maybe its not as all bad as I think it might be. I have cleaned out the pantry and am starting to store more flour and rice and essentials ...just in case. I am going to try and pick up my game with preserving this summer (if I can fight the cockatoos off for our fruit harvest) and I am going to go through and re-do our budget to see if that fire can become a reality before next winter.
*Sigh* So is it just me thinking about these things? Should I just get me some 12-odd stray cats, let my hair go wild and grey and be known as the crazy cat woman up on the hill?
OK, you really don't have to answer that last question :)