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#181 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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The thing that bugs me about the indictment of suburbia is that it's often painted with a (biased) general brush. I used to rent in a suburb that was on the city transit line, and was more like an extension of the city. I also grew up in a quiet suburb that was on the train line, had a small central uptown, and I walked everywhere- to school, the library, parks. My mom biked to get groceries. I'd rather be in a suburb like that than a more crowded city should things disintegrate. Isolated, car-culture suburbs are not at all ideal, but around here they're often cheaper too, which is why I guess some people choose to live there. But not all of "suburbia" is subdivision urban sprawl, so I guess when some people go on about the "suburbs" the generalizations get on my nerves a bit.
Oh, for sure. People do sometimes paint all residential areas with the same brush, and there's a huge difference between the walkable communities that include some employment base like you're describing, and the car-centered exurb developments with the curvy streets that don't connect to commercial centers, where even if it's just a few hundred feet as the crow flies, you still have to drive miles to access it.
The second kind, that's what Kunstler is saying will degenerate into slums, because you can only navigate them by car. Or maybe horse. Will we have horses in this Long Emergency?
I'm a geek for town planning, but sometimes I like to think of how we would reuse Wal-Marts and exurb gated communities come the apocalypse.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#182 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 05:17 AM
 
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I'm a geek for town planning, but sometimes I like to think of how we would reuse Wal-Marts and exurb gated communities come the apocalypse.
I'd like to hear your ideas for vacant big-boxes. Home Depot is moving out of our community and leaving its shell behind. There is a Wal-Mart across the river (less than a mile out of town) that is also vacating soon. I think our community would be interested in some new/innovative ideas for using those spaces, even if they are long-term...

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#183 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 07:38 AM
 
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I'd like to hear your ideas for vacant big-boxes. Home Depot is moving out of our community and leaving its shell behind. There is a Wal-Mart across the river (less than a mile out of town) that is also vacating soon. I think our community would be interested in some new/innovative ideas for using those spaces, even if they are long-term...
Not "big box" stores, but in our area many old, free-standing department stores that have gone out of business (think Woolworths, etc) have been turned into indoor flea markets, small farmer's markets and even mini-mall type places where people build their own little permanent stalls inside. We have an awesome ethnic flea market that is built like that.

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#184 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 08:06 AM
 
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Re: empty superstores--

Put solar panels on them, turn them into clinics or schools.
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#185 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do think Kunstler paints a worst-case scenario, but the book would have a lot less impact if his message were, "Here are all the issues converging to a serious energy/environmental crisis, but don't worry, we'll figure it all out." He is outlining what he thinks will happen if people continue to bury their heads in the sand, or become aggressive/combative instead of cooperating.

I do live in the kind of small town he seems to favor, although in the south so apparently I better get my bulletproof vest now. I think the issues are very real, and I'm trying to prepare in manageable ways without obsessing. There is only so much I can do, and what will happen will happen.

I confess I am disturbed though by the number of people who are still saying things like, "I guess it's time to trade our Expedition in for a Prius" or "the government needs to do something" or "we'll just tough it out until this passes" or "if it weren't for the Sierra Club we could drill our own oil and fix this situation" etc. Well, each one of those thoughts is disturbing for a different reason, I guess overall they all just indicate that the person believes the status quo should and will be maintained no matter what. I just don't think that is very realistic. If the average person thinks the current issue is merely high gas prices and that we just need slightly better fuel economy or for the government to "do something", then I'm afraid we may not have the kind of widespread understanding of the problems, and commitment to overcoming them, that is really necessary to get our whole society through this in a peaceful and productive way.
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#186 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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I currently live in a community that I think will ultimately crash and burn. Strike 1: it's in Southern California. Strike 2: it's in the mountains. It takes a lot of fuel to get goods up to my town now, and I can easily imagine truckers simply not coming up the mountain in the future. Why would they? There are 10,000 people up here and millions of people down the hill. Also, the mountain road frequently (every couple of years) washes out. It's easy to imagine the County would simply not be able to repair the road, or would choose not to repair or plow roads up here. And we don't have enough water to grow our own food; there's no local food, period. And we're not a real town: we're a tourist town. Our town "center" consists of a series of outlet stores And then there are the communities "down the hill". Think awful box houses packed on top of each other. No sense of community - everything is designed for driving. And despite being in California, again, there is no local food to be had. It's all factory-farmed food coming from Northern California. Yuck.

Anyway, all that to say that when I read The Long Emergency, Kunstler's scenarios resonated with me, because I can easily see the ultimate demise of my local environment.

I think that maybe the folks who don't think things will be as bad as described in The Long Emergency aren't connecting current news elsewhere with Peak Oil. That's why I read Sharon Astyk: http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/12/th...der-her-couch/
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#187 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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Empty Big Box- our public library is in a building that used to be a Woolworths. We also have an empty medium-box store space that gets rented by various groups to do flea sales/BIG sales. Oh, and another that houses the twice yearly books sale... the sale is only twice a year but the books are stored/processed in the space year round.

And if things were "really" bad an empty big box store would be a great winter campsite for extended families or small communities. Sort of like the winter quarters of groups all over the world (though I'm thinking first peoples and nordic cultures right now). You'd be able to set up tents/zones for each family group but share warmth and supplies while staying out of the worst of the weather. It could be fun!

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#188 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that maybe the folks who don't think things will be as bad as described in The Long Emergency aren't connecting current news elsewhere with Peak Oil. That's why I read Sharon Astyk: http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/12/th...der-her-couch/
I read that this morning as well and it's pretty alarming. This isn't even *genuine* shortages on fuel/goods, just fed-up truckers refusing to eat the expense of moving the fuel and goods.
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#189 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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I confess I am disturbed though by the number of people who are still saying things like, "I guess it's time to trade our Expedition in for a Prius" or "the government needs to do something" or "we'll just tough it out until this passes" or "if it weren't for the Sierra Club we could drill our own oil and fix this situation" etc. Well, each one of those thoughts is disturbing for a different reason, I guess overall they all just indicate that the person believes the status quo should and will be maintained no matter what.
YES! Exactly. I am constantly amazed at what Americans expect our standard of living to be, and how we feel entitled to TVs, cars, etc. I'm certainly not immune either.

Regarding big box stores, part of the problem is that they are built with a short shelf life. I think they are built to last 10 or 20 years, typically. So by the time the retailer abandons ship, you've got a deteriorating building. But perhaps in the near future there may be more of them that are younger... That being said, there is so much space! I think they would make great community centers. Maybe a canning kitchen, roller rink, art center, skate park, community exchange (flea market/barter center), classrooms, etc.

To the OP on this question, I think it really depends on what the community needs and wants.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#190 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Regarding big box stores, part of the problem is that they are built with a short shelf life. I think they are built to last 10 or 20 years, typically. So by the time the retailer abandons ship, you've got a deteriorating building.
I think Kunstler addresses this, in fact -- that the flat roofs typical of strip malls and big box stores require a significant amount of maintenance, and that once the roof is leaking the rest of the building won't stand for long.
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#191 of 260 Old 06-13-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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I read that this morning as well and it's pretty alarming. This isn't even *genuine* shortages on fuel/goods, just fed-up truckers refusing to eat the expense of moving the fuel and goods.
It is scary. I wonder how much gas will have to cost in the US before we face similar situations?

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#192 of 260 Old 06-14-2008, 04:51 AM
 
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I think that maybe the folks who don't think things will be as bad as described in The Long Emergency aren't connecting current news elsewhere with Peak Oil. That's why I read Sharon Astyk: http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/12/th...der-her-couch/
I read her, too. I started another thread specifically regarding her post about the city/suburb/rural, where to live thing: http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/10/ci...ou-live-there/
(Here's my post in this same forum: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=913227)

I haven't read The Long Emergency yet. I will do that.
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#193 of 260 Old 06-14-2008, 06:20 AM
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No Not read this book yet.....
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#194 of 260 Old 06-14-2008, 08:21 AM
 
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Big Box - Around here they have been turned into Library/community center, churches, flea markets, a pizza/game place, but many many more still sit vacant or have to be completely remodelled. Our miniwalmart, not a super, was turned into a strip center.

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#195 of 260 Old 06-14-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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Life, I think, OVERALL, hasn't gotten much better or worse, just DIFFERENT. Yes, we don't need to worry about 3/4 of our children dying young, but people back then didn't have to worry about getting killed/maimed by cars, massive hard-core drug problems (think heroin, meth), etc. Then again, right now, we are sorely missing the close physical connections to friends & family. Until recently, humans have lived very close to family & friends. How many of us can say we live next door to either a close friend or family? This creates a different type of stress on us. So while life wasn't easy in the past, I don't think it's much easier now. I think we just have gotten too attached to creature comforts to think about it being otherwise.
I guess for me, any world in which I don't have to worry about my children dying on a daily basis is better. Much, much better, not even close to just different. I have a great-great-uncle, a child, who died in the Great Depression largely because of poverty and lack of food, and that child is still mourned and grieved by the survivors today. That's always stuck with me, how scarred one family is by the loss of a child nearly a century ago. I live in a close-knit community and family (can walk to friends houses and take a bus to relatives' houses) and I would give all of that up in an instant with no regrets if the choice was that or the life of my child.
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#196 of 260 Old 06-14-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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I guess for me, any world in which I don't have to worry about my children dying on a daily basis is better. Much, much better, not even close to just different. I have a great-great-uncle, a child, who died in the Great Depression largely because of poverty and lack of food, and that child is still mourned and grieved by the survivors today. That's always stuck with me, how scarred one family is by the loss of a child nearly a century ago. I live in a close-knit community and family (can walk to friends houses and take a bus to relatives' houses) and I would give all of that up in an instant with no regrets if the choice was that or the life of my child.
nak

I think you may have misunderstood me. I also don't want to start a fight. If you look at my sig, you'll see that I myself have lost a child. In fact, I was holding him as he passed. I DO NOT wish that upon anyone else.

That being said, I still worry about my living son every day. The US has the highest infant mortality rate of all the industrialized countries, even though we are the richest. So, in a sense, we are ALREADY accepting increased infant mortality. And I'm putting him in A LOT of danger just having him in the car. It doesn't make me think my life sucks tho.

All I was trying to get across was that I don't think there was a better or worse OVERALL life than the one we have today. During certain times, like war, life sucked a lot. During times of peace, not so much. Certain pleasantries just changed. Before, the pace of life was a lot slower and everyone lived nearby, so there was a lot of family support. Nowadays we have better medicine and lots of nice creature comforts. That's all.

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#197 of 260 Old 06-14-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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I think that perhaps by TODAY's standards, life in previous times was much rougher and quite possibly more miserable. However, if we judge their lives by THEIR standards, not so much. You have to remember looking at the way they lived that they did not know the luxeries we have today, so they couldn't possibly miss having them. The question of whether they were miserable is actually not at all the same question of whether their life was rougher than we have it, because they didn't judge themselves by our standards. My BA is in history, and I can tell you from much research, most people from previous time periods did not feel they had it that bad, each generation was pretty sure they had it better than the generation before them, so none of them would likely have classified themselves as miserable. I know I'm a bit off topic here, but I think that JTA Mom and Azuralea (just from the last two posts, not to single you mamas out ) are not talking about the same things really- one is discussing the happines and overall level of comfort and acceptance while the other is focusing on actual standard of living compared throughout history.
I hope that all made sense!

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#198 of 260 Old 06-15-2008, 01:42 AM
 
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nak
I think you may have misunderstood me. I also don't want to start a fight. If you look at my sig, you'll see that I myself have lost a child. In fact, I was holding him as he passed. I DO NOT wish that upon anyone else.
Oh, please don't worry, I didn't think you were. I am so sorry about the loss of your sweet boy.

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All I was trying to get across was that I don't think there was a better or worse OVERALL life than the one we have today. During certain times, like war, life sucked a lot. During times of peace, not so much. Certain pleasantries just changed. Before, the pace of life was a lot slower and everyone lived nearby, so there was a lot of family support. Nowadays we have better medicine and lots of nice creature comforts. That's all.
Yes, I understand what you're getting at more now.

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I know I'm a bit off topic here, but I think that JTA Mom and Azuralea (just from the last two posts, not to single you mamas out ) are not talking about the same things really- one is discussing the happines and overall level of comfort and acceptance while the other is focusing on actual standard of living compared throughout history.
I hope that all made sense!
Actually, I think you're right, and I understand better what JTA was getting at. Thank you!
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#199 of 260 Old 06-18-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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Regarding big box stores, part of the problem is that they are built with a short shelf life. I think they are built to last 10 or 20 years, typically. So by the time the retailer abandons ship, you've got a deteriorating building. But perhaps in the near future there may be more of them that are younger... That being said, there is so much space! I think they would make great community centers. Maybe a canning kitchen, roller rink, art center, skate park, community exchange (flea market/barter center), classrooms, etc.

To the OP on this question, I think it really depends on what the community needs and wants.
Yes, and yes. The big boxes typically are not built to last. That said. I can imagine some sort of entire village springing up inside of one, in the long emergency type scenario. You could bust up the parking lot and turn it into agriculture.
In our current existence, they are damn hard to adaptively reuse. I think they'd work well as flea markets with lots of little stalls inside.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#200 of 260 Old 06-19-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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I made a thread about this book in the media forum recently, and a user directed me here...so hi!

I'm almost done with this book. DH and I are trying to pay down our (large, unfortunately) student loans as quickly as possible, and we're looking at land, off grid housing, etc.

My main question at the moment is...where is a good place to live? Our family is in the MD/VA area...We're leaning towards MD, VA, or NC. I know we want to be near the coast and semi-rural...we want a couple acres. PA is also another option, though my first choice is a coastal area. Any thoughts on New England? VT, ME? I'd like to investiage those options as well.

I wish we were closer with my SIL. I'd love to have some sort of living arrangement with her...not in the same house, but her family and ours with our own houses on a bigger chunk of land that we can garden and do all of that together. It is always easier with more people, and I feel like we should stick together with the family we have.

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#201 of 260 Old 06-19-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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I made a thread about this book in the media forum recently, and a user directed me here...so hi!

I'm almost done with this book. DH and I are trying to pay down our (large, unfortunately) student loans as quickly as possible, and we're looking at land, off grid housing, etc.

My main question at the moment is...where is a good place to live? Our family is in the MD/VA area...We're leaning towards MD, VA, or NC. I know we want to be near the coast and semi-rural...we want a couple acres. PA is also another option, though my first choice is a coastal area. Any thoughts on New England? VT, ME? I'd like to investiage those options as well.

I wish we were closer with my SIL. I'd love to have some sort of living arrangement with her...not in the same house, but her family and ours with our own houses on a bigger chunk of land that we can garden and do all of that together. It is always easier with more people, and I feel like we should stick together with the family we have.
Not sure what part of Virginia you're looking towards, but I live in Charlottesville and I think it's a good place to be, LE-wise. So much farm land all around... I'm from Dallas, TX, so this feels much more "survivable" than there. My main worry would be the exodus of people from the DC/NOVA area into the countryside. Vermont is lovely, (I went to college there) but it's so cold, for so much of the year. The growing season is short and intense, and heating could be a serious concern.

Given what Kunstler and co. say re: global warming/ rising sea levels, are you sure that coastal areas are the way you want to go? If you're taking that into account, you may want to stay a certain number of feet above sea level...

Mara, mama to two boys born 05/2009 and 04/2011, after four miscarriages. 

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#202 of 260 Old 06-19-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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I have been wholeheartedly devouring all the information in this thread! I want to be ignorant that things will change, but I think well I know it is us who will have to change!

Luckily, I love the idea of self sufficiency, and if I could get my hubby on board, we would be on a farm eating our own chicen's eggs and have a cow and some goats! He thinks I am crazy as he was raised on a farm and only remembers the hard work where as I was the city girl!


What I fear though is what I who is only 24 know as part of life...new clothes whenever, whatever meat we want, cell phones, things that my generation has never lived without. I think it will be hardest for my gen of 20 and 30somethings to adjust. My mom and dad who are in their fifties had parents who had survived the depression, so they learned what life was like and had parents who even today do things that they did then.

I feel as though the next generation, like my kids, are too young now to know what things are like, and will evolve and grow into how the world is going to change. At least I hope and plan on teaching my kids these things.

Luckily for me, I had a grandma who taught me to cook and sew and garden and homestead...well as much as you can in town! Even though most people look at these things as "hobbies" I look at them as soon to be necessities and those who can't will either learn or be in trouble!

We all have room to improve, and I have a LONG way to go! Somebody else has a thread on where and how do we lower our standards? I need to go back and look! I have realized that the 25 mile drive to Whole Foods is long gone, and even the 15 mile drive to my favorite town will have to be reserved for only once in awhile!

Somebody said that they were from Dallas TX originally and that they were glad to be away...well guess where we moved to! I have to admit, it is scary down here because there is no way to get anywhere besides a car...we live out well out past what would be considered the burbs, but we drive to work into the burbs.

For the person from MN who said that rural farming communities are dying...you betcha! That's why we moved down here from a rural town in MN. We love it there, and of course have the fantasy to move back, but there is no work...and we are teachers.

I don't have any answers just an open-mind to what's to come. I do appreciate people talking about what we can do instead of the gloom of what's to come. You ladies make me feel like if we are prepared for the change of lifestyle we will hopefully be alright!
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#203 of 260 Old 06-19-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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. . . which means we must organize at the grassroots level.

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When I look at suburban lots I see lots of potential for a new model of small town living. I mean, why not? Just change the *&^%& zoning laws!
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They'll just have to overthrow the homeowners associations first!

Seriously though DH is an attorney and he predicts that states will pass legislation disallowing the banning of energy-saving practices such as clotheslines.
I see a lot of potential for suburbia too. After learning a little about sustainable ways that can be employed to maximize crop output in minimal space I am fairly confident that I could sustain my family on my relatively generous (.25 acre) subdivision lot. . .if I did everything right.
I agree that grass-roots action is the way to go & it would involve changing the priorities of the HOA. I think that will be easier as time goes on, and I hope that there is legislation that wednesday describes. As of right now I just buck the system and have my clothesline and container garden. If things got dire I would be the first one gathering up homeowners and talking about the need to re-write the rules to allow chickens, goats, and large front-yard gardens.

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. . .And cannibalization took place and became organized because there was NO other animal life? That's science fiction.
Well. I haven't read the book, but my first thoughts on this whole scenario is that there will be a drop in population. Certain at risk groups will be dying more rapidly and there will *need* to be a certain decrease in overall population density for life to go on.
My second thought was: if food is the least bit scarse and someone threatens my resources and I can't resolve the situation peaceably I will use my firepower (apparently it's because I'm in the South , but I would have said the same thing when I lived in Northern New York) . And I won't let perfectly good flesh go to waste, especially if it means I can save a chicken for next week.
It seems I've always been looking for an excuse to do the cannabal thing though

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#204 of 260 Old 06-19-2008, 11:07 PM
 
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Ok, what I am doing (and not doing):

1) I'm trying to learn as much as I can about being self sufficient. I am very sad that my garden more or less failed miserably this year. I am going to do better next year. I am.
2) I'm paying down debt agressively and working on being even more agressive.
3) I do want to move to a more habitable locale. I don't dig heat and if sea level rises we may be under water. I want some place with less harsh summers and mildish winters, near multiple rivers and lakes. My mom is going to be buying this land with us.
4) I did buy my boys the Florida pre-paid college. Their college tuition is locked in at today's rates. It was a chunk of change and if they don't go it gets a modest interest. I feel a little bad for moving out of state. If they do choose to go they will need to move to FL for a year to re-become a resident I think.
5) I always have had food storage. I am doing a little first-aid storage now too.
6)I'm worrying less about my waist-line now. I figure, if things get lean my saddlebags are an insurance policy that might help me keep my family alive.


I guess that's it. I'm not looking forword to the changes, but I am not terribly scared. Change is inevitable. America will decline just like England, Denmark, and France did in the past. They used to be super powers too. . .until they were reluctant to change fuel sources and they relied heavily on debt. . .and they survived.

~laura
and planning to eat it again
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#205 of 260 Old 06-20-2008, 01:42 AM
 
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Not sure what part of Virginia you're looking towards, but I live in Charlottesville and I think it's a good place to be, LE-wise. My main worry would be the exodus of people from the DC/NOVA area into the countryside. Vermont is lovely, (I went to college there) but it's so cold, for so much of the year. The growing season is short and intense, and heating could be a serious concern.

Given what Kunstler and co. say re: global warming/ rising sea levels, are you sure that coastal areas are the way you want to go? If you're taking that into account, you may want to stay a certain number of feet above sea level...
I'm familiar with the Charlottesville area, and I agree with what you say about it. It is a nice area, and very affordable. We also have family there. A family friend is getting a house and land not far from there for something like $65k. I've also thought about the DC area people coming into the more rural areas, which could get ugly in the ways other people mentioned previously in this thread...that would make me nervous if it came to something like that. Overall, I think it is a good spot, and there are lots of self-sufficient types (that we know through family, anyway).

The cold is something I've thought of about New England...the short growing season is definitely a concern. I really don't know much about NE, which is sad because I'm from MD originally so I should know more about the general area. I need to do some more reading.

Yeah, I should have clarified about the coastal areas...we wouldn't be ON the beach or anything like that. I was thinking within a hour or so of the coast, maybe a bit more then that. Hurricanes and sea levels would definitely prevent us from being directly on the water (plus we couldn't afford it, anyway...a duplex on the beach in MD I saw was going for $3 mil).

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#206 of 260 Old 06-20-2008, 01:53 AM
 
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Vermont is lovely, (I went to college there) but it's so cold, for so much of the year. The growing season is short and intense, and heating could be a serious concern.
I live in VT and I will second this. Growing food and putting it up is a challenge and a scramble. If you can meet your needs in a place with more of a year-round growing season, I'd recommend that instead. NC sounds good but I don't know much about it.

Also, winter cold is a huge concern. Self-sufficiency here involves splitting a LOT of wood. (We are still heating with oil, and we went through 500 gallons last winter with the thermostat set at 55F during the day and 50F at night).

That said, we love it here and we're settled here so we're staying. We have family within 1-2 hours and we grew up here, and the struggles of summer gardening and winter heating are part of the culture here.

But if I was searching to move someplace well-suited to the LE...I wouldn't choose New England or upstate NY. I'd pick something a couple of growing zones south, at least!

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#207 of 260 Old 06-20-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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Land (agrarian) versus water (hunter/gatherer)?

Curious of you all's thoughts on the above. DH and I are at a cross-roads. We're a week away from being financially committed to buying a house on 5 acres in mid-coast Maine. We could settle in, live off the land (substantially, if not completely), have a nice community within walking distance, etc.

But we're considering going to water - as in, buying a big ass sailboat, converting it from diesel to solar/wind, and living the hunter/gatherer life with the kids. (For the record, we're sailers; we in the process of selling a 40' sailboat.) That would mean staying along the coasts where we could presumably buy local food, or forage for local food, and we would fish (obviously!). We could stay in temperate locations (no winter), and would have the ability to get out of dodge when TSHTF. I'm very worried about a draft reinstatement in the next decade - and this would solve that little problem

My mom thinks we're absolutely bat-shit crazy for considering it. Strangely, everyone who doesn't have a vested interest in what we do says we should go for it - that it's the most amazing life one can give to their kids and everyone will be better off for it. And I'd love to travel, and I haven't, and this may be the only way that happens, with the foreseeable demise of the air travel industry.
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#208 of 260 Old 06-20-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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I live in VT and I will second this. Growing food and putting it up is a challenge and a scramble. If you can meet your needs in a place with more of a year-round growing season, I'd recommend that instead. NC sounds good but I don't know much about it.

Also, winter cold is a huge concern. Self-sufficiency here involves splitting a LOT of wood. (We are still heating with oil, and we went through 500 gallons last winter with the thermostat set at 55F during the day and 50F at night).

That said, we love it here and we're settled here so we're staying. We have family within 1-2 hours and we grew up here, and the struggles of summer gardening and winter heating are part of the culture here.

But if I was searching to move someplace well-suited to the LE...I wouldn't choose New England or upstate NY. I'd pick something a couple of growing zones south, at least!
You have to factor in climate change. For example, I know that Ohio is much more temperate now than it used to be. The zones are going to change in the next few decades and the North won't be quite as cold any more.

V

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#209 of 260 Old 06-20-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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You have to factor in climate change. For example, I know that Ohio is much more temperate now than it used to be. The zones are going to change in the next few decades and the North won't be quite as cold any more.

V
Climate change can go the other way as well, making things colder.

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#210 of 260 Old 06-20-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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Climate change can go the other way as well, making things colder.
That's true, but the North Midwest seems to be trending toward a longer growing season imo. We get more snow, but the bitter, bitter cold I recall from my youth isn't there. There's even been a marked change imo w/i the last few years. It's rare I have to pull my coat around me now, before I froze and shivered in a wool coat.

THe last five years Oct 31 has been 50-60 degrees. Much warmer than usual.
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