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Old 10-18-2009, 10:19 PM   #21
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What a great topic! I think much of what I do has already been mentioned, but here goes:
  • Read books and magazines borrowed from the library.
  • Bake from scratch, mostly cook from scratch
  • Clean with vinegar, baking soda, soap, etc.
  • Knit, sew, mend
  • Mow our own grass (we are one of only very few homes in this middle-class suburban neighborhood that does not pay a service. This still amazes me)
  • Similarly, take care of our own yard maintenance (fertilizer, edging, mulching, raking, pruning, etc.)
  • Fix as much as we can ourselves. Only call a for service when it's something we can't do or it is highly impractical
  • Organic vegetable gardening
  • Color/highlight my own hair (still trying to figure out a way I can cut it myself, too )
On my "to do" list - I'd like to learn to can/preserve. I have a water-bath canner and a book but just haven't tried yet.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:43 PM   #22
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The heck with the good ol' fashioned stuff. Give me modern technology every time. If it's not doing the job at least as well as the good ol' fashioned way then it just needs better engineering for v2.0.

In mid-2000 our kid (then seven years old) was involved in a halau. This halau regularly competes in the Merrie Monarch annual worldwide hula festival and has been known to haul home more than its share of awards, so they took it pretty seriously.

One event was the weekend retreat to make the instruments that would be used in the following year's competition. The dancers spent most of the day making their small hand drums by cutting up coconuts, hollowing them out, sanding them down, and covering them with tapa cloth or hide. Others were making drum sticks or other implements. Everyone tried it the hard way with flat lava rocks and sharp sticks but then reverted to hand tools & sandpaper.

While our kid was arising with the sun to do the morning chant, we grownups mustered around the imu. After cleaning out the 20'x20'x4' hole, we filled it with pohaku & kiawe and then set it on fire. (We used lighters.) While that was burning down we stripped a few dozen banana trees of their leaves and started prepping the food-- whole turkeys, pork butts, whole taro roots, and a dozen other delicacies. Once the wood had burned down and the pohaku were hot, we covered them with the banana leaves and added a layer of food. More banana leaves, more food, and so on until the imu was full. Then we added canvas tarps & plastic sheeting (another concession to modern convenience) and shoveled dirt over the entire thing to keep the heat/steam in.

You hustled to get it all done because (1) you needed 7-10 hours of cooking time and (2) after 9 AM it got pretty darn hot to be shoveling dirt over an oven.

The result was a multi-course buffet for about 200, including hula chants with musical accompaniment.

If the ancient Hawaiians had traveled forward in time to join us at the luau, it wouldn't have seemed to be anything special to their way of life. But eventually they would have learned about all the modern technology we had available and yet chose not to use. And their assessment would have been "Eh, what brah, you lolo?!?"
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:23 AM   #23
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I do some things already mentioned, like cooking, mending and lawn maintenance. The only thing I can add that is a bit different is I make greeting cards and write my own lyrics. 'Course I guess it's half ol' since I print them on the computer.

I suppose I could do the cards by hand, but I would have to start in January to get the Christmas cards done on time.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:44 AM   #24
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Mend my own clothes and DH's.
Write letters and post them.
Send the occasional card.
Borrow old magazines from clubs.
Exchange books with friends.
Pack my breakfast before I go to work.
Read printed books and magazines.
Keep a scrapbook.
Still keep coins in piggy banks.
Mince garlic and onions - no electric grinder for me.
Boil all sorts of herbal soups which even my mum (nearing 80) does not know.

Isn't life just interesting?
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:11 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
I live alone and am a relatively low-carb eater, so if I did bake a fresh loaf of bread every day, it would just get stale.
Actually, I bake a small 1-pound loaf and eat only three slices a day --the neighborhood squirell get fed well. My breakfast consists of a slice of toast with (natural) Peanut Butter, a small banana, and three (8oz) cups of coffee. My lunch is a sandwich of some kind and a cup of herbal (non-caffeinated) tea.

The bread I bake is of my own invention (Well, you know) and is, imho, more "healthy" than store-bought -- and much more flavorful. Understand that bread is made from a Formula (exact measurement) rather than from a Recipe (a guideline). It well, also, have a slight bitterness to most people because of the high whole wheat content and very low amount of sugar.

Quote:
2 1/2 cups flour (50/50 mix of unbleached bread flour and white whole wheat.)

1 TBLS each of Wheat Germ, ground Flax Seed, and Gluten.

1 tsp each of sugar and salt (this is required as nutrician for the Yeast and can't be reduced any further) Honey or Agave Nectar can be substituted but is way too messy for me.

2/3 cups plus 1 7/8 TBLS warm (110š-115š) water

1 1/4 tsp Yeast (any kind works) This is altitude specific so YMMV.

1 1/2 TBLS unsalted Butter. I have found no substitute for this vital ingrediant.

Start Breadmachine (I use a BreadmanPro) -- pot of coffee should be just finishing -- and set a timer for 1:34:00 so you are alerted to the final "punch down."

At final "punch down," take dough out of bread machine, remove paddle, and shape the dough by pulling the top around to the bottom. Return dough to bread machine. Set timer for 1:49:00 to be alerted to finish.

Remove from bread machine and set on a rack of some kind (to keep it off the counter) for fifteen minutes. Then put loaf in bread box (again elevated) uncovered for one hour. Put in plastic bag (I use grocery bag) and it will stay fresh for a couple days. (never refrigerate bread)
This makes a loaf that is 4-5 inches tall so the slices are about 3/4 of a "normal" 1 1/2 or 2 pound loaf.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:08 AM   #26
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...Invite friends for coffee and home made cinnamon rolls coffee clatches
Pleeeeeease say you're within driving distance...
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:41 AM   #27
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Took up again playing the guitar. And of course I read/listen to crime fiction and bestsellers. A bit of selective TV. Getting together with friends.
Thatīs pretty much all. Nothing too exciting
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:49 AM   #28
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I still have an old fashioned (paper) address book.

I still have a land line.

I still wear a watch.

It's a little depressing to realize how hard I have to think, to come up with these. My life has changed almost completely from what it was in decades past.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:50 AM   #29
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Vicente: Isn't playing the guitar the Spanish national passtime? And dancing flamenco? The Spanish--from my time living there--always seemed to really be into the creative arts bigtime. Wonderfully warm people, by the way.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:02 AM   #30
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...It's a little depressing to realize how hard I have to think, to come up with these. My life has changed almost completely from what it was in decades past.
Wait until you are 100% FIREd. I think you will find you may revert back to some of those cherished long-ago fun activities. I know I did.
Heck, I'm growing lettuce in an open terrarium (fishtank) just like kids grow seeds in the window in grade school. I almost have enough Romaine grown for a single salad.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:15 AM   #31
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Wait until you are 100% FIREd. I think you will find you may revert back to some of those cherished long-ago fun activities. I know I did.
Heck, I'm growing lettuce in an open terrarium (fishtank) just like kids grow seeds in the window in grade school. I almost have enough Romaine grown for a single salad.
Sounds like fun! And yes, maybe once I fully realize that I have more time, I might start doing some of these things. I had been musing about possibly starting a small vegetable garden once we move north. When I saw that pie that you made from scratch, it brought back such fond memories! I used to bake a mean peach pie back in the 60's, and my apple pie wasn't half bad either. And I never used a pre-made crust, either. I had a hippie friend who couldn't bake and who would give me all the freshly picked peaches I could eat, if I would just bake him one peach pie. So, it was a great LBYM thing for me and I ate a whole lot of peaches in those days.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:17 AM   #32
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Wait until you are 100% FIREd. I think you will find you may revert back to some of those cherished long-ago fun activities. I know I did.
Heck, I'm growing lettuce in an open terrarium (fishtank) just like kids grow seeds in the window in grade school. I almost have enough Romaine grown for a single salad.
I've found there is a sense of zen in doing some of those things, especially hand washing clothes when the load is too small for the machine. I've found that I've been slower to slow down than I thought I would be, and doing those things is relaxing. YMMV!
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:29 AM   #33
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Do my own engine oil changes and grease jobs
Mow my own grass
Use a wired telephone at home
Repair stuff when possible
Do my own house maintenance when possible (when the refrigerator didn't cool right I found out it doesn't have a defrost timer in it. It has a motherboard! Once the problem was diagnosed I ordered & replaced the motherboard myself to save the $80 installation fee.)
Read paper books
Cook mostly from scratch, brown bag my lunch to work
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:34 AM   #34
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I've found there is a sense of zen in doing some of those things, ... and doing those things is relaxing. YMMV!
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
Sounds like fun! And yes, maybe once I fully realize that I have more time, I might start doing some of these things. I had been musing about possibly starting a small vegetable garden once we move north. When I saw that pie that you made from scratch, it brought back such fond memories!...
Several things drive me to do "silly" stuff like the Lettuce Project and the retro apple pie.
Remember where I live. Greenery outdoors is going to be absent very soon. I love to garden. So I do it indoors. It gets me up and moving around when I fuss over my plants.
NY is famous for its Finger Lakes apple orchards. We are now in the fall harvest season. There is nothing like a fresh crisp apple. We ate most of the 3 lb bag of fresh apples, but these were starting to go a little soft...hence PIE.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:10 AM   #35
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Vicente: Isn't playing the guitar the Spanish national passtime? And dancing flamenco? The Spanish--from my time living there--always seemed to really be into the creative arts bigtime. Wonderfully warm people, by the way.
Now now Orchid....!
I strongly recommend you do an update of your knowledge of all things Spanish!
Most Spanish people donīt conform to what you have posted. Whatīs more: Guitar playing and flamenco are pastimes of a few Andalusians.
In my case I donīt like flamenco one bit and my guitar playing (if I may call it playing) steers away from flamenco.
Mind you, flamenco guitar playing is fairly difficult....But itīs not my thing.
I hope I havenīt lectured you
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:40 AM   #36
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1. Read books printed on trees that were murdered for that sole purpose...
2. Ditto, the newspaper on Sunday morning.
3. Pound nails with a hammer (although I must confess that I also own several air nailers)
4. Woodworking- built the entire bedroom set at my cabin from recycled/reclaimed barn timbers.
5. Drive my old gas-guzzler truck because my LBYM mentality can't make the numbers to replace it work.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:25 PM   #37
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These are a few of my favorite things...
  • Reading, including books, magazines and the newspaper. I read a lot on-line also, but that doesn't count.
  • I take care of my own yard. Our mower is the walk behind self propelled type.
  • Cooking. Anything from wood fired rustic cooking to molecular gastronomy/sous vide.
  • Almost all my own home maintenance including plumbing and electrical.
  • Woodworking. I almost exclusively use power tools though. My DW would have divorced me if she had to wait for me to build our kitchen cabinets with only hand tools.
  • Home brewing, mostly full mash. At one point I even kept my own yeast cultures for different beer styles. I've gotten away from that, but now that I'm retired, who knows?
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:40 PM   #38
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Vicente: I was IN Andalusia in Seville. They seemed quite proud to carry on the traditions of OLD Spanish customs when I was there, and would brag that Andalusia was the "real" Spain. Even little kids would try to dance flamenco, and many played classical Spanish guitar there. Feria (around Lent I think) there is a real treat if these sort of things interest anyone.
Yes, Vicente, I am sure that most all of Spain has lost these old traditions--much like over in America so many old-time traditions have also died. I guess we call that progress, but some of the old traditions are really worth keeping I think. Sigh....can't fight it...everything changes at some point usually.
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:22 PM   #39
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Let's see:

- prepare 3 meals a day from scratch, including bread (often) and noodles/pasta (occasionally);
-- can and preserve homemade jams, jellies, fruits, pie fillings, condiments;
-- Read voraciously, but it's gotta be paper. Kindles creep me out.
-- shop at our local farm stand, farmer's markets and locally-owned stores whenever possible.
-- Do all my own housework, 95% of which I do without toxic chemicals (soap and Bon Ami are my friends!)
-- do lawn and yard maintenance and gardening with 100% hand tools. Our mower is a reel push mower, no electric or gas engine on that thing!
-- train my dog for functional purposes as well as fun. Basic obedience, agility for fun (just started), but we're also about to start her in carting, so we can use her to haul groceries to and from the store!
-- Take pictures using a 1970's film Nikon (OK, I have a digital too but really like the meditative aspects of work with manually-focused film cameras).
-- Talk to family and friends on the telephone.
-- Write thank-you notes and letters by hand and U.S. postal service them.
-- Keep a diary, by hand.
-- Birdwatch
-- Do household maintenance with hand tools, whenever possible.
-- Have neighbors and friends over regularly for dinner, snacks, etc. as part of community-building and friendship.
-- Volunteer with community groups (food bank, local HOA, Habitat for Humanity, knitting for charity)
-- Knit by hand; occasionally sew and quilt using a machine.
-- Mend clothing by hand.

--
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:46 PM   #40
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I heat my house with wood (and my domestic hot water)...this year it will be 100%, last year it was 90%...this year I am not even ordering oil and my tanks are bone dry. Love the feeling of free wood heat. Takes about 12 cords a wood per year - good exercise too.
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