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retired, living self sufficently in Alabama

Vernon, AL

Here in Alabama ive went off grid, i got totaly tired of the laws that this country and utility companys has put us under. i've build a log cabin totaly off grid its nice not to have paid an electric bill nor a water bill in over five years now. i grow my own food (tobacco included), kill my own meats, pretty much stay to myself. i have 20 acres of land here with a creek running through it, even a waterfalls in my front yard that will have a waterwheel generator in it this spring, i use solar panels and wood gas, it all works out really nice. actualy the only bills i have is my phone an internet, ins. on my blazer 4x4 and a few supplies that i need from time to time, i store lots of food in salt boxes and my root celler also. hard times is what you make from them.
its alot of work maybe more than some think, i retired in 2001 at the age of 44 havent worked a job sence, lost my wife my soul mate in 2004 to cancer, so now im living out my dream. i have an online store to help with some extra income but my hunting and fishing an raising food is my livelyhood its how i survive now. yawl work a job to provide things for your families shelter, heat, food etc. where as i do the work to grow it an kill and process it, i cut my own firewood to stay warm an also to cook with alot of the time. i really see no difference in the way i live other than i am my boss and i get paid what i put into it. same same, course i do lots of barter'n also. LOL
i was a Master Machinist for Hyster Fork Lift Company for 25 years, so im actaualy a machinist by trade but most say im a jack of all trades, if it can be done ill find a way to do it.

glass half full ? or is it half empty ? the choice is ours to take a stand or live with it an suffer along with everyone else.
life is what YOU make of it, we each have the power to control our own destiny (to some point)

course i love sailing, hunting, fishing, makin wine an other spirits.
im also a Creek/Cherokee mix with a tad of irish.
well thats enough for now.

David

Thumbnail by freedom_sailer
Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Welcome Aboard, Sailor! Good looking house!

What's the white container under your porch used for?

Vernon, AL

thats my fresh water storage tank, 350 gallon tank. liquid nitrogen ferterlizer came in it. it is connected to my gutter system to provide water for showers, toilet, bathroom and kitchen sinks. it is filtered by a whole house filter system (except for the toilet and shower) and still another water filter on the kitchen sink.

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

I'm sorry to hear of your loss sailer.

Cute place you have there, and it is very encouraging to hear of someone doing as you have done. I hope to be in that position eventually, but right now I still have to work to pay for my mortgage and auto. But at least I have my own place nice, only six acres compared to your twenty!

Glad you joined us and we look forward to your contributions.

p.s. The glass is ALWAYS half-full, cuz attitude is everything :)

Hill Country, TX(Zone 8a)

David, I am sorry to hear that you lost your wife.

I love what you are doing with your homestead. It sounds like a peaceful and rewarding place to be. Many of us would love to be in that situation. Please keep us informed, and check back often.

I am considering buying some of those 350 gallon containers for rainwater harvesting. I can purchase them locally. They have been used for powerwashing, so have soap residue, I am sure.

Vernon, AL

thoes should be excellent for collecting rainwater in. the soap should be easy to wash out, couple of good rains an blow the ballast LOL .. we pick them up round here for 25.00 to 30.00, i plan on getting at least one more of them .. if not two.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I have seen those tanks around here. I'm sure they come from the coal mines but I have no idea what comes in them. i'd love to get a few. Have no idea what the cost would be. I could use one at my barn. there is no water there and I depend on the small creek but at times it goes dry and I have to haul water a few miles.

Welcome to the site. Look forward to reading about your life. My sympathies for your loss.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Nice place! Like to see more of your set-up. Especially the waterfall generator... sounds interesting.

I think they're getting $50 for those containers around here. Bit of a racket, I think.

Vernon, AL

ill get some pictures of the waterwheel generator asap, all i have at the moment is some of it being built, sometimes i do good an follow a project from beganin to end with pic's ... some times i dont hehee.
the tanks even at 50 each still are excellent for water storage they'll freeze in the winter but so far never had one to bust. but a simple aquarium air pump with the stone placed in the bottom will keep one from freezing. or any kinda circulation plump just to keep the water moving.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Oh, I know how it goes with the projects... I had so many started and on pause around here that last year I officially declared I could start no more til I finished one. So that is my new system... I have to finish one project before I can start another. Of course, I have about a dozen in the works, and about two dozen I have in mind... LOL Yep, I think 'em up faster than I finish 'em up!

Vernon, AL

Jayryunen, LOL same here, but i just keep addin on more and more projects that way i can work on what ever i feel like or the weather permits that day. hehee thats my 'never ending system'

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Yes, that's it exactly... I pick up the project that suits the mood as well! And being a moody sort, things progress in fits and starts. LOL

Vernon, AL

well it started raining today, an looks like we are in for a few days of it, so my projects have moved inside for now, good time to start building my natural pole railings around my staircase opening in the living room. ive had the poles peeled an dried for a few weeks now. hehee guess thats my agenda for today. too many irons in the fire .. NEVER hehee

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Well now... ya just gotta post some pictures... especially how you assemble these rails. Lots of folks here are very, very eager to learn new stuff like that, me included!

Vernon, AL

ah, pictures, got one so far let me see if i can post it

Thumbnail by freedom_sailer
Vernon, AL

Arggggg look at the railing, hahaa not at all my mess hehee

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Oh, I like that railing! MsRobin and I went walking through my woods while she was here, and there are a lot of straight limbs out there to make a primitive fence railing with.
Can you give me a brief overview of what you did? I know you mentioned removing the bark and drying; any special drying method?

Vernon, AL

Not really, just cut the best straighest in the dia. that you need you, peel the bark from em. put em some where nice n dry out of the sun preferably and leave em for a month or two. there's lots of different ways of doing the joints most of mine i just concaved one to fit the curveature of the other. drill a pilot hole in the blind side an used 3 1/2 deck screws. in that pic none of the spindles have been put in. im working on the gate now that'll go across the opening..
Also sometimes the ones that are crooked with knots are prettier than the straight ones tho. course your not gonna find a perfectly straight tree. they may look like it but they all have bends and twists in em. i like the total rustic look anyhow an love doing an building the old way.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Mess?? I don't see any mess... just abundant creativity overflowing! LOL Looks like my house, I have to remind myself not to wittle inside. OK, not to wittle in the carpeted areas. =0)

Here's the question I've always had... how do you get your peg holes in a straight line? I always seem to get a bit of rotation.

Vernon, AL

i cheat, i mark the top holes an use a plumb bob to find the bottom hole spot

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

If it works, it ain't cheating...
I never would have thought of a plumb bob... though I'm having a little difficulty imagining how that would work.

Could you post a picture or two? I'll bet not everyone even knows what a plumb bob is.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

That's gonna be really nice. Will you stain them or seal them natural?

Vernon, AL

leave em natural an let nature take its course on em. i dont like shiny and refined stuff. they'll darken with age and become worn smooth an give them that natural look.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Sounds like a plan.

Vernon, AL

so if this works here's a pic of the gate i put up at the top of the staircase. my gate with muskidine vine weaved in it. still dont have the spindles in the railing yet. but its in the works along with the braces etc.

Thumbnail by freedom_sailer
Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Sweet!

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Cool! I'd have never thought of the vines.

Vernon, AL

yeah they work pretty well, put em on green and when they dry they are as tuff as can be. very easy to work with also when they are green. ive used them for chair bottoms an other things also. like baskets platters etc.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Wish we had some vines around here I could try this with... but we do have a little willow... any tips for working with willow?

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

We have vines aplenty but it's hard for me to crawl around the mountainsides anymore.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

When's your little fetch and getter--i.e. your grandson-- coming back? You just start cooking up ideas for him to help you with this summer. =0)

Vernon, AL

yeah, they are always eager to help out, or i know mine are, but of course i usualy slip em all that stuff they aint 'spose to eat .. chocolates .. candy .. etc. hahaha one of the special pleasures of being a grandpaw ... hehee

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Heck, somebody's got to contribute to the moral decay of the young. LOL Just tell the folks it's hazard duty pay...

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Hoping to have both of them for the summer. Can't wait.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Making a list, checking it twice... LOL

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Yes. I've been limping around the hillside out back and around the yard scoping out places for us to play. Also going to bring Maxxy to the house for the summer.

Vernon, AL

whew, spent most of today putting the bearings and pullys on my waterwheel almost have it ready to install, im thinking a swing mount, because of all the flooding i get here, its an over shot wheel, but if i put it on a swing mount when the creek rises i can raise the wheel and make an undershot out of it, sure beats seein it head down stream to no mans land incase of a big flood. i should be able to raise it compleatly out of the creek in the case of a 'sho nuff bad' flood ..... LOL

This message was edited Mar 20, 2010 5:03 PM

Richmond, TX

I hope pictures are forthcoming.

Vernon, AL

yeah i got a few from the start to well almost now, ill take them maybe tomorrow if its not raining and see if i cant post em.

Vernon, AL

ok this is the wire spool i used to make the waterwheel from.

Thumbnail by freedom_sailer

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