August 2008 - Posts - Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller
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Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller

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August 2008 - Posts

  • Wood Burning Stoves

    We don't have central heat in our home, just baseboard and one really nice fire place in the den, on the far end of one side of our home. The den and kitchen are about all that stay toasty over the coldest of days. So we are looking for at least one or two more heating options. We hope to find two wood burning stoves. We need one for the living room, near the kids' bedrooms and one for hubby's office. His home office is on the north side and outside of the house, so he gets pretty cold in these North Carolina winters.


    Wood stoves are multi-taskers. On these we can heat and cook.   My mother-in-law has promised us her Daddy's large wood burning stove as soon as we can figure out how to get it down from the 'mountain house'. It's only two hours of a drive away, but the stove itself is HUGE and of course HEAVY, so moving it is more job than just hubby and son can tackle alone. So... we will wait.


    Meanwhile, back at this ranch, we are looking for more easily transported wood burning options. In our search we are finding that they are selling like HOT CAKES! Could it be that there are more of us 'getting back to basics' types with the same idea?


    Many people previously did away with wood burning stoves with the introduction of the electric ones and the desire NOT to chop/stack wood.  We have an ample wood supply on our 15 acres and stacking wood is not just fun time spent together, but it's a workout as well! So we will shop and hunt and hope to find one within our budget this year and either another one or Great-Grand Papa’s by next winter.


    Here are a few questions for you while we search:

    · Do you have a wood burning stove?

    · If so what all do you use it for other than heat?

    · Where did you find yours and what was the cost?

    · Do you think it to be a cost effective form of heating?

    Looking forward to your input and we'll keep everyone posted on what we find/afford/decide!

  • Stingy vs. Frugal

    Oh sure, we know what Ebenezer Scrooge is like. He could bleed a nickel of it's very last cent and then still not use it!  Is that what a homesteading mentality is like? May it NEVER be!

    To be very sure that as we develop more of the mentality of a homesteader we don't cross that line from frugal to stingy, there are a few other distinctions we will need to look at on the journey. We can live simply and frugally and still be giving and hospitable, but where those lines blur requires being on our toes at all times, to proceed with care and caution.

    As examples:

    Not giving to a church, charity, synagogue or person in need because 'we just don't have enough' is stingy. Giving, even if it is just a little, not even the 'expected percentage' with a happy heart is ALWAYS appreciated and can still be frugal along with helpful.

    Having two or three of an item that one is un-used or infrequently used is borderline stingy (some exceptions apply), while selling them at a reasonable yard sale price or putting both to good use (donation, do double duty and use both, loaning one to a friend in need) is frugal.

    Hoarding is stingy, but being prepared and teaching others to do so is frugal and generous.

    As our family has faced some extreme economic challenges in the past few years, we have learned a bit about these lessons that really need to be in the forefront of my mind as we 'tighten the belt' for the days ahead.  Frugal living, and thinking like a homesteader can be a very giving, thoughtful and generous life!  After all, I'd rather share the bumper crop of tomatoes than can them all anyway! It's a win-win situation!

    EnJOY your LIFE!

    Best Blessings!

    Donna Miller




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