Independence Days: Thanks to those voices from cyberspace

During my pity-party the other day I had a little rant on my blog. Today I come back to find some wonderful comments from people all over cyberspace. I can’t tell you how much it means to me knowing that others are out there, feeling like I do. Thankyou to everyone who left me a comment.

Anyway I’m feeling better today. Yesterday I spent a simple and enjoyable morning with friends, called family back home in Australia, found out my long-time friend safely delivered her first baby and got dirty in the garden. I’ve also been getting back into an exercise regimen. Last year was a busy one and unfortunately my fitness suffered. That’s changing this year. I’m taking better care of myself and this week I’ve started lifting weights again. My body loves it, but boy-oh-boy am I sore!

My Independence Days updates are going to take a slightly different form this year. I’m going to comment on the principles I outlined in my plan for Self Sufficiency and Independence.


  • Getting back in shape is a high priority. I have a back injury which responds well to exercise and I think this is the most inexpensive health-care insurance I can give to myself. I only have one body and I rely on it to do everything that I want it to. I must take care of it.
  • I’ve written up a list of short-term preparedness goals which I want to have completed this month. I’ll share my list in a separate post later this week.

Reducing Debt

  • I keep track of all our expenses so I know exactly where our money is going, how much we typically spend each week and how long it’s going to take to get out of debt. This weekend I’ll have updated our expenses from the holidays and will have a better idea of our plans for 2010.

Stockpiling Food

  • We still have plenty of food stored for the moment, but I’d like to go shopping next weekend for some more bulk foods. Our toilet paper stock is starting to run low too.
  • Last summer I put away plenty of squash, tomatoes and chillies, however I’m now wishing we had also put up some bell peppers (capsicum). We use them a lot and now they’re out of season and not available at the farmers market. I’m challenging myself to eat more locally this year, so it looks like we will have to do without for another few months.

Grow some food

  • I spent a good bit of time in the garden yesterday clearing weeds, harvesting the last of the chillies, cutting back bushes and generally cleaning up the place after a month of neglect over the holidays.
  • I planted some more collards and a couple of broccoli. The broccoli is not easy to grow here as the caterpillars decimate it, but I’ve still put in a couple of seedlings this winter to see how they go.
  • The first lot of collards is now ready for harvest and we’ve been adding them to meals. Our Valencia oranges are maturing and are starting to be used for their sweet juice. The rest of our winter garden is growing well, but not yet producing any food.

Reduce Energy Dependence

  • I rode to work three days this week, but unfortunately nearly got knocked off my bike three afternoons in a row. I couldn’t face a fourth time so I gave up and drove the car on Friday. I’ll be back in the saddle next week.

Plan to own some productive land

  • Although I’m still in the dreaming phase with this one, my ‘get out of debt’ task is the first step.
  • This week I’ve watched re-runs of my favourite Australian drama, McLeod’s Daughters. It’s set on a large farm in South Australia and it’s been making me homesick for Australia as well driving my desire to have my own piece of land. You can watch it instantly on Netflix.
  • I’m regularly keeping an eye on land in a couple of locations we’d be interested in. Property in Australia is still overpriced in my opinion, so I think we have some time before we’d want to buy anyway.

Hedge against disaster

  • Once again I’m building up a small holding of cash so I have it available if we can’t get to the bank, the ATM doesn’t work or a bank holiday is declared. I think it’s prudent to have some cash on hand at all times. I’ve heard that some people who suffered in Hurricane Katrina felt that they would have been better off if only they’d had some cash to buy essentials (or get out) after the systems they were relying on no longer functioned.

Photo by: Torley

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