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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Why Do I Make Stuff that is Cheaper to Buy Already Made?

As I was looking around my home, gazing at some of the kooky inventions I've made over the past few years....I began to realize that perhaps some folks might wonder....just why does this chick feel the need to make so many things herself? Doesn't she know that it's easier and usually cheaper to just buy the same things conveniently in the store? Why is she just such a diy crafter/maker???


Well, I began to ponder again....as I looked at our living room garbage can and wondered if I could make one of my own from scrap wood.... perhaps there is method to my madness.

Perhaps this is my attempt to de-construct modern life.....perhaps so that I can begin just to understand it a little bit better. Maybe....just maybe if I can reverse engineer and make from scratch many of the things we buy from stores so quickly...I just might be able to prepare for a time when "stuff" might be harder to find or afford.

Maybe if I am able to make up to 50% of the items I use on a daily basis, I could actually survive if my comfy modern society collapsed. Maybe that's why I insisted to learn how to fish and caught one for the first time this summer ....since I was a little. Perhaps that's another reason why I relish those reality shows that teach foraging and "freegan-ism". Perhaps that's why I applaud the City of Toronto so loudly for launching a "back yard chicken" pilot project  in 2017..

I hate being dependent.....and that includes being dependent on all the luxuries that all of us folks in my Province of Ontario, Canada....take utterly for granted.....like being able to buy fresh food in the grocery store and plug in an appliance into the wall and poof Voila.....it works perfectly and at a pretty low cost for the electricity too. At this point, I merely dabble in Urban homesteading......but I brag loudly about growing my own food....but the total food I glean from my home gardens could probably be packed into about three shoe boxes per  year.

But yes, I must impress myself....there is no need to impress anyone else. My dabbling has purpose....it has an energy all to itself. It's the reason I will drive to the next town to shop at my fave homespun dutch farm to buy fresh apples, kale, local honey and frozen pie. Having an apple orchard within a short drive is a great idea......no matter if you are a prepper or a preppie.

It's the reason I read with eager anticipation any media blurbs about the "good food box" program that runs in my city, even though I have yet to buy even one.....

We have to be forwardly energized to take care of ourselves and each other....no matter what the future holds.

 Well, ....what does that look like?
Does it mean that we all need a bigger patch of land in our community gardens? Does it mean that we re-learn so many of the pioneer skills that early Canadians shed once the commercial stores were fully entrenched into Canadian modern life?

Do we need to re-learn how to sew our own clothes? I've gotten pretty good at knitting bags and hats.....freestyle from memory of an old pattern I learned 20 years ago and have since re-engineered to be more me-ish.

I know how to make my own homemade soap....but with store bought lye...( just not ready yet to force myself to cook up some diy lye from hardwood ashes....for some ideas click Diy lye )

And at the end of the day....I am still not satisfied.....not satisfied that I/we am ready.....that I am prepared for "whatever" comes.

For the record....I am not afraid.... I would prefer the word "concerned".....as I see the lethargy...the passivism, the brand name worship and the droves of young folks who can't name even one handy skill that they have mastered other than how to post their fave pics on facebook. I see us so utterly dependent on a very complicated city wide infrastructure...water systems, roads and hydro to name a few.

What we can't make....we can't understand....and what we can't understand....we can't repair or modify in case of emergency.

I must lament....... the shame of it all....the wasted talent, time and creativity that young and old people need  to reclaim. It is still there....lying inert and docile.

Young people CAN be empowered to build their own homes, however lopsided or code violating, but none the less....their own shelters complete with home made floors and roofs..

My son just turned 19....and he and his friends still love to build forts in the woods. And yes, he is tech savvy and wastes too much time on video games...but he has cornered the market on his own creativity.....enjoying the thrill of building, planning, and yes, hanging out in his own self built fort up in the trees.

I don't worry about my son, because he knows how to make stuff. He knows how to create and he's not afraid to scuff up his shoes.

I worry more about my middle aged generation who were taught to get rid of the flip flops and don
pumps and leather lap top cases to impress a faceless corporation while someone else raised their kids, chasing Preppie Nervana.....propped up on pillows bought from Pier One Imports.

I lament myself....and gave myself a good lecture today...because I was a part of the brand name revolution. I loathed home made clothes and was eager to use debt to buy shiny clothes in order to impress the invisible folks that only existed in my imagination.

I might have thought twice to learn more....how to create my own fashion, my own style and patent that...this crafting-making-stubborn-seed saving-urban-homesteading-mama style that I am toting.

Well...I gotta run...... there's still time...... society has not collapsed and our beloved high tech infrastructure still stands.....for now.

In Peaceful productivity,

C.