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going off the grid...anyone done it?
June 30, 2010
9:08 pm
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Thank you, Destiny star. Thank you for your response. I thought i was going to leave this area, but that's a story for another thread. Maybe that opportunity has not gone away completely--- and maybe I am fooling myself. Right now though. I am Less on grid than before. The motel has a wireless connection that is a separate conection that lets everyone use it. So it doesn't have a location. Also, I use prepaid cell phones. One was free when I lost my job and had no income I was shown that when I got emergency food stamps for 5 months. I had unemployment, which ended (again- they keep extending and stopping) I also have the financial aid. The campus of the college is just a few blocks away and I have a senior center and a library within a block. I use internet there too. I watch CNN at school, and volunteer 2 times a moth at the theater company so I see all the shows for free. I see all my movies free at the center and get a monthly food bag. I was able to go to a shelter in the interum, it was a house with a lot of donations, and when I was there was additional help for College. My books cheeper on line. so Far, things are okay. I had hoped,however, that I would be where I thought I was going by now. I am praying that God will show me a new direction since it looks like I am stuck here right now. The money runs out (again) in two months. I have to look for a shelter again then.
So, I am sort of off the grid. It is hard. But I am working with the silver lining. I just thought that there was a way to avoid paying the motel, or something, to keep going. I plan to stay in school as long as it gets paid.

July 1, 2010
8:03 am
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risingfromtheashes
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formerly -

I am kind of in a similar situation, tho very much ON the grid.

I started college when I was collecting unemployment - that, coupled with child support, and financial aid - enabled me to go to school full time and not work.

unemployment stopped and started for a long time, but I ended up running out completely - used up the 99 weeks. So now I am on state aid - (but my child support funds almost all of that) - and I am "surviving" on state aid and college financial aid.

Only difference is, I am not local to anything - so I have a rent, two kids to support and I pay for utilities, phone, and internet.

I also have those free wireless phones - they are a blessing.

When you asked about being off grid - I assumed you meant living in a rustic environment, since many of my neighbors are "off grid" and it simply means living without electric, running water, phone, etc. However, being land owners, paying taxes and such - they aren't entirely "off grid" in the fashion you are thinking.

July 1, 2010
10:03 am
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Thank you, rising.

I was thinking about all of the homeless people in this city (that I am in temperarily, because of losing my appartment last year). There are a lot of them and they are very visible. They have practically taken over the buses and the park.
I saw some of them, with all their dirty stuff, sitting outside the library with laptops. It blew me away. They told me how to get the free food that the church groups hand out. (I keep forgeting to write that down) They use the senior facility, because anyone can. They clean up and go in to see movies, use the computers, get some free health screenings -- and then go to the free clinics. They all have food stamps and free bus passes (oh and cell phones, of course) They were panhandling all over the place. There are two places that allowed them to sleep on thier steps and the surrounding sidewalk -- a church homeless ministry, and City Hall!

I am tinking that THEY are off-the-grid!

July 1, 2010
10:14 am
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I wanted to do that in a less extreme way. I looked into Freegan living (the dumpste diving is not good here, lol). I thought some sort of squatting situation would be an adventure, but it can't be done around here. There are plenty of places to clean up and all. There is an address that they use (although not always dependable) there is even a garded storage tub at a mission. In the florada winter, I would sit and talk to some who used a shaded bench area near by. They would share the panhandle space (also in the shade). They knew about the push to stop it, and thats how I found out. A student had it made when all this was going on. If I wasn't the good conservitive and against it when i lost my apartment, I would be doing all of this out of my apartment-- except for the internet-- and at least I would have had a kitchen to cook in (with all my stuff, instead it being in a storage unit 20 miles away) and a desk to work on. I would have a pool and a jecuzzi too, but lets not go there-- I am starting to cry.

July 2, 2010
4:29 pm
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My sister (before she died) and her husband lived off the grid for many years in a small town in Missouri.

He had access to some family land and built their house by themselves.

(Mostly underground) From there, they planted a garden, raised chickens, stocked the pond with fish, hunted for local game, canned what grew in their gardens and bartered with local merchants - milk for eggs etc....

Not completely off the grid....but I would say probably 90% there.

(I am reminded of that ole Hank Williams Jr song....."County Boy Can Survive.....")

It is possible, just probably getting the land free and clear is the first step and then just building from there like they did.

July 2, 2010
11:47 pm
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Thats the way it was done before there was a "grid". People fished, planted, hunted, built their own homes, canned their own food, sewed clothes and sold their wares. They bought form others who had wares to sell. There is a movement to start that in towns or counties now. Everything possible will be local. There is a name for it, but I am too lazy to look it up right now. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

I think part of getting off the grid is getting off the treadmill that is mentioned in the book and video called "The Story of Stuff". We are in this vicious cycle of work buy throw away (after watching tv and being told we arn't good enough without this or that -- over and over-- and we can just stop(says the Video). Its a start,though.

July 3, 2010
12:25 am
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bevdee
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I think it's a point system in community currency.

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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I am
not planning on it anytime soon...but I would like to learn about
it and how you do it...the pros and cons of it all..

I have heard of at
least one person here who considered it...not sure who...but if
anyone knows how to get off the grid...I like to know....I find it
intetesting!

Thanks!

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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I
live in an area where many people live off grid.

it's ALOT of HARD
work.

Many of my
neighbors live part time here, off grid, and they rely on gas fired
generators (so there is SOME reliance on civilization)....but if
you are going to go COMPLETELY off grid, prepare for HARD work -
and make sure it's in a climate hospitable enough to grow your own
crops and not to have to spend your summer cutting firewood (which
you will have to make sure your property has enough hardwood trees
to burn.

like I said, alot
of work....I also have alot of amish neighbors, who live without
any modern conveniences....it can be done...but it's a difficult
existence, with no time for anything other than working to prepare
for the next day/next season.

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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Thanks for your input...in 20 yrs we will have enough money to
live for about 25 yrs...if we stay frugal...I would not be planting
anything!

I still plan on
shopping! Lol!

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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I
would like to check out solar powered window panes ....maybe move
to a mild climate maybe... A home built in an wooded area with a
fireplace for winter... A few large pets for protection... But
close enough to the grocery stores and etc... I live in the city
suburb now and I like it but I do not think it will be as nice here
in 20 yrs...crime mostly.

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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other
than the mild climate, you describe my situation...I am the last
house on our street that has power running to it....my neighbors
past me are off grid, but usually seasonal...many people here heat
with wood...but shopping IS close by....all depends on HOW off grid
you want to be...also remember when shopping for that home -
SMALLER is BETTER - to heat, keep clean, etc...the bigger you go,
the more it will take to maintain.

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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Thank
you rising...sounds like you live out in the country...I think this
is ideal and leaves a very unstressed peaceful life...when we are
old...I want peace and safety and to have limited reliance on
others...as much as possible. I believe that will be necessary in
the future to survive:)

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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I
have. My community is a homestead community. Most people have about
5 acres of land. Many with rustic cabins. There are expenses
involved. 1. Cost of land and structure 2. Property taxes 3. Water
bill if there is no well 4. Food for the farm animals 5. Gas to go
to town to buy food for the animals or to run a tractor 6. Cost of
wood to burn for heat 7. A vehicle that can haul wood, hay, etc. 8.
Cost of a generator 9. Fuel for the generator

When I was younger
and had a partner it was fine. Now that I am older and single it is
a lot of work. The cost of feed has gone up. Then there is work
involved with cleaning up after the animals. Also attracts flies
during the summer.

Its easy enough to
stay warm, but when it gets hot it can be very
uncomfortable.

You can only grow
so many different kinds of fruit and veggies. Then they have to be
canned. People get tired of eating the same old thing.

Might want to try
it out for a winter and a summer in a rented place then see what
you think.

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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risingfromtheashes
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wasn't even thinking about the need for a tractor and
such...but yeah, if you are gonna have a garden and
livestock...it's a requirement.

around here,
everyone drives a four wheeler...more economical to drive and it's
a smaller work-horse than a full sized tractor.

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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A
garden and livestock also attract critters. A wild pack of dogs
came and bit the head off of my nubian goat in front of my son. A
green mojave bit my pregnant chow. A bobcat came after one of my
chickens in a cage. Wild animals can easily climb and jump over
fences, as well as dig their way under. Too expensive and difficult
to control 5 acres. Bunnies love the garden. Cant control the
environment when the frost comes and kills or the sun burns the
crops. My kids were raised in this environment and dont ever want
to move away or live any different cause this is all they know. On
the other hand if I could sell I would gladly move to civilization.
Running this kind of operation is labor intensive. We have also had
a snake and occasionally a rat enter the house.

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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rising- sounds like your a country girl just like
me:)

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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I am
for the moment...lol...my husband's home is very "rustic" in that
they used to farm alot...now they have stables for horses....and we
have a garden going....for which the tractor, truck and four
wheeler have been invaluable.

If I had my
choice, I would be in a suburban area, but with enough backyard to
have some raised beds and that's IT!

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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rising- I am living in a wilderness area. When I look out my
front door there is nothing in sight. Literally. There was a time
this was fine. I am kind of stuck cause I cant sell the
house.

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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I do
have some neighbors...originally this property was 48 acres, and
their friends bought ten and built on the otherside of the
driveway...so there is a neighbor up there, but out of sight...(not
always out of earshot, but that's ok - the silence would kill
me)....I have neighbors down the road....it's a small
community...only 350 kids in K-12th grade...in one building...one
set of busses, one schoolday schedule for all ages....etc....there
is some small mom and pop eateries here, a bank, gas station/mini
mart, post office, churches, etc...but that's about it....our only
grocery stores, besides mom and pop's is walmart and price chopper
and aldi's.

it's ok for
now...I am stuck..getting my college degree (cost of living is
cheap here) and I am trying to be decent and share custody of my
son with his father...but once I have my degree, I am OUT OF
HERE...and back to civilization.

I am in a
handbuilt log cabin style house that is all rough lumber inside and
fighting ants and other critters every day...it's exhausting...oh
and we have dogs to protect us too!

June 23, 2010
12:00 am
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rising- that sounds really rural. I am very proud of you for
doing so well in school. I cant wait to hear about your nursing
program. Anything I can help you with let me know.

June 24, 2010
12:00 am
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bevdee
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You
might can go off the grid, but they can still watch you on
satellite.

June 27, 2010
12:00 am
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I was
just reading some stuff on line about living off the grid. I
watched some things on Youtube too. The people I saw looked as if
they were really roughing it -- well some of them anyway. I want to
do the same thing. I have always been relatively poor, by American
standards, and I believe that we shouldn't need to pay and pay and
pay. I worked hard at things I hated just to get survival money in
the hope of then doing what I care about and then making my
avocation my vocation. I never earned enough to survive beyond the
minimum. To keep my somewhat nice appartment in a nice complex, I
had no car and would buy only from clearance, etc. I am going to
school for something I don't care about just to be able to
work..and now Florida is trashed by the oil crisis and I can't get
a part time waitress job even when the season starts (in
september). I was going to panhandle, seriously! I was going to
join the front yard flea market accross the street. But I can't do
either of those because they just outlawed any street vending. The
paper sellers, the artists, the musicians, the hot dog carts,even
the fire departments semi-annual fund raising drive, all went down
with the panhandlers. You can't do any of it in this city any more.
You can't get a job either.

June 27, 2010
12:00 am
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risingfromtheashes
st regis falls, ny
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I
would imagine going off grid would be hard in florida - the heat is
blistering and short of having a generator to run air or fans - it
could get unbearable....you wouldn't have to worry about winters
like we do in the north...but you do have storms, so your shelter
has to be sturdy.

I saw a place in
oregon once that had such temperate climate and lack of bugs that
they could life in shanties and not suffer on any level...going off
grid is a great idea if you want to dabble in self-sufficiency, but
can be very difficult in some climates.

June 27, 2010
12:00 am
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rising- what was the name of the town in oregon? sounds
interesting.

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