By Jaymi Goetze
Living off the grid is much harder than I ever imagined. I’m not out breaking my back or getting stuck in the sticker bushes yet; it’s still storm season. It’s hard because I have no internet and no Direct TV … that means no Facebook, no Pinterest, no “Days of Our Lives” and no CNN! Have I mentioned that we jumped into this off-grid business during the shortest days of the year like morons? We literally moved on the day of the winter solstice.
I love electricity; I love to have every light in the house on like a jerk, and I LOVE to fall asleep with the TV on. This is not possible out here on the 20 acres of Rough Branch Farm. Everything we own, even our TV, is all run off DC power and everything has a DC plug.
If our solar power gets below 23 volts, we have to kick on our generator. I have never felt more reliant on the sun. We are constantly checking to see where our voltage is standing. And don’t get me started on the composting toilet. Phil fixed the drain for the “liquid.” Going to the bathroom outside was starting to get old. Yes, I definitely said composting toilet.
I’m struggling a bit trying to adapt. I had to call my other half, Alajiah, for a little pep talk while I was rushing to town to charge my laptop. She even talked to me during the middle of a Seahawks game! She shaped me right up with some encouragement.
I can do this!
I’m quick to pull away if something is not working in my favor (right now I’m positive solar power is trying to kill me with its kindness) but let me tell you what it is in my favor, my family. This last week without the warm glow of the laptop and TV while I sleep, I have watched and listened to my kids play with their toys and use their imagination.
My oldest daughter Riyan is even more interactive than ever with her little sisters, Harper and Daphne. They build monstrous Lego creations, play in the ball pit and pretend. At some point during the day I always hear “FE FI FO FUM!” along with little screams and giggles.
Phil, Ed and I have impressive conversations about plans for the garden, orchard and green houses, future trips and hikes that we should take. What should we can, what can we can … I don’t even know how to can! Ha!
We have every intention of building a network of trails (art trails) throughout the property and an entire treehouse community for the girls. Here I am thinking about my own things to build and create. This is where I would sit for a couple hours on Pinterest finding things to mimic.
I think I may have lost my creativeness because of all the wonderful and absolutely perfect things on Pinterest.
I found aprons at Thrifty Mart! I would have made them but I can’t sew, yet. The girls and I wear them and turn into little Betty Crockers. We made sugar cookies, frosting, crepes and pizza from scratch.
I know I know it’s not a big deal, but IT IS! I am the first one to buy frozen and pre-made everything. Unless it’s soup; I make a mean soup. The girls are so excited to cook; it’s becoming something we do together just about every meal! I’m setting them up to be more self-reliant. I can’t wait to cook what we grow!