Projects & Skills

"If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability."

~Henry Ford


Here is a list of some of the projects we have done in our household.  More than anything, start small and gain your confidence.  Biting off too much initially will usually get you so discouraged you feel like something is unaccomplishable.  If there is one thing we have found out it is that you can AMAZE yourself!  We are not hardcore craftsmen, plumbers, masons, or anything of the like.  We are teachers and parents.  Many of the tools necessary we have had to acquire at Home Depot.  We are known by a few of the workers now on site for wanting to do weird stuff with normal materials.

Secondly, think a bit outside the box and look around a bit.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  When we couldn't figure out exactly how to make the spigot of our first rain barrel water proof, Bernie at Home Depot took us into the electrical section to get a rubber gasketed washer.  Who knew there even was such a thing?!  When Jules couldn't figure out not to decompress the piston head on my breaks, our completely kick-ass neighbor came to the rescue with a piece of wood and a giant C-clamp.  My father (an architect) was one of the first to venture into The Hole (root cellar) with me so we could talk about structural stuff and I didn't take the entire house down.  The people around you are a wealth of knowledge.  No one can know everything, reach out and see what others have tucked away in their worlds that you don't know.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I'll get back to you about answers.  The schematics, process, pictures are all ours so we know most of these inside and out.  

Firewood and Heating Your House
The Process of Cutting Firewood
Firewood Racks
How to Build A Firewood Box 
One Year Later 


Rain Barrels and Usage of Rain Water
How to Make A Rain Barrel
How to Make A Rain Barrel Stand
How to Clean Your Rain Barrels
How to Wash Dishes with Rain Water
How to Wash Clothes with Rain Water
How to Flush Your Toilet With Rain Water

Homemade Dairy Product Recipes
How to Make Butter
How to Make Cottage Cheese
How to Make Sour Cream

Cleaning Products
Homemade Laundry Detergent
Homemade Hardwood Floor Cleaner or Wood Polish
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Knitting Patterns
Knitted Scouring Pads
Knitted Washcloths

Home and Herbal Remedies
Eyebright for Pink Eye and Conjunctivitis
Horehound for Respiratory Issues
Chicken Stock and Chicken Soup
Foods for the Immune System

In the Garden
Making Fruit Crates from Pallets
Choosing Seeds
Double Digging and Garlic Planting
Canning Corn
Canning Strawberries
Canning and Peeling Tomatoes 
Homemade Pectin
Dehydrated Apples
Canning Pumpkin

Lowering the Grocery Bill
Canning Chicken and Chicken Stock
Canning Bananas and Chocolate Banana Bread
Homemade Granola Bars
Applesauce Granola Muffins
Portioning Meat
Backstocking Staples
Canning Hamburger 
Homemade Waffles

  
"...And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
~ 1st Thessalonians 4:11-12
King James Version