December 20, 2011

Making Do

What do you do when you are without a major resource that makes a lot of things in your house run? Make do, of course! We had been babying the last 20% of gas in our tanks, waiting for the new gas company to come out and do a site check so that they can put their tanks in, and set the old company's tanks aside.

Because of that, we have been running 3 small electric heaters for heat, so that I could save the gas for hot water and cooking. Enter last Thursday, said "old company". They locked my tanks. So now we have no hot water, and no cooking.

Or do we? Now, electric is not something I would want to rely on all time, since we have the second highest rates in the country. But one blessing of our electric is that from Oct 15th-April 15th, it cannot be shut off, no matter how high the bill gets. Unfortunately, and sadly wrong, propane and oil companies can refuse to deliver during those months. NH needs to change this policy, and be more like ME, which protects consumers in the winter months.

So, to make do, while I wait for the new company to come out next Wednesday, we are heating water for dishes and cleaning ourselves on a electric two burner hotplate set up that I bought at Wally world last week. Not bad, $30. It was worth it. I also cook some things on it, like potatoes and veggies.

I also have an electric frying pan, griddle, and a large and small crockpot. It means adjusting some of my cooking since I don't have an oven to use at the moment, but that's ok. I'm all about adapting lol.

My mom has offered to let us come take showers if we want, if washing up just won't do. She asked how we were going to get by until next week, and then she laughed when I told her "You raised a resourceful daughter".

See, when I was a kid, when we moved up here, and until I was part way through high school, getting cleaned up meant heating 5 gallon metal buckets of water on a wood stove, or the electric one when we upgraded. You got one bucket of hot water in the tub, and then enough cold water to make it comfy. That was our bath time, once a week. In between baths, we got water heated in a smaller pan, put into a wash tub.

I am grateful I was raised the way I was, because little hiccups like this do not phase me :). If this weren't a rental, I would be building an outdoor oven to help with baking lol.

A few people have been shocked...."How do you do it without gas?" You just do. It's called being creative, thinking differently, and being prepared. And those are the exact resources you need to run a homestead. Being able to adjust at a moment's notice, adapt to what you have, and never whine or bemoan what you don't.

There is currently a real estate agent in NC, a friend of my aunt's, who is searching for a place for me down there. I told her it was fine if the place needed work, as long as I could live in it while I did the work. I also told her I preferred to run wood as heat, and even if it was a place that didn't have electric, that was ok. It might mean going without internet for awhile (gasp), until we could get some solar set up for minor appliances, while we save to be totally off grid. She was kind of shocked, but my aunt assured her that I was more than prepared, because of how I was raised:)

Life is too short. Enjoy the adventure!!!


  1. Nothing like making do, when you just got to!

    Hope the new propane company get there soon & you're up & running again.

    Nothing like a spell of now "power / fuel" to get you to REALLY appreciate a hot shower, hugh?

  2. I've never lived with gas, but on the other hand, we don't have your winters. I have to say that our electric heat pump is expensive and inefficient to run when it gets even chilly. Sounds like you are adapting brilliantly! Very exciting about the potential NC move to. I hope something right up your alley turns up soon!

  3. I've never had a house with all this gas either Leigh. It is definitely not something I would have designed. I think you are better to rely on multiple sources for your heat/hot water/cooking. That way if one system should go down for any reason, you have another alternative. Although gas was pennies a pound when this house was built too.
    I am excited about NC, not only will I be in warmer weather, but I will have family nearby too:)

  4. Yes, Stephanie, we who have had to make do without things such as running water and electricity and indoor plumbing are truly the lucky ones. We can live quite well and suffer little because of the resourcefulness that is part of our make-up. So sad to know that so many people couldn't survive without hot water or prepackaged convenience foods. You're gonna be one very successful homesteader, mark my word!

  5. I am so grateful to my parents Mama Pea, for all that they taught me, and the choices they made in raising us kids. I have a homeschooling friend who is wanting to learn more about surviving without all the modern day conveniences. I shared some links with her, but told her the best way to learn is to do. Choose a weekend and go without power, etc. and see how you would do and where you need to improve.