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I'm Terry, this is James Jr., and you saw Tanya and Gail on the way in. Being right on the road, as we are, many visitors stop, asking about the town. I guess they want to hear what a home body like me has to say about New Liberty Village.
James and I like being here. We have experienced a variety of different living situations since we married. After we finished school, we followed the professions we'd chosen: I, a primary school teacher... he, a banker. We reached a point we were dissatisfied with the way we were spending our time, the constant upgrading of our need for more things and higher salaries, and actually, finally dropped out. We spent some time in an intentional community which had some good features, but we wanted a life of our own making, not someone else's ... certainly not a group of somebody's telling us how to live it.
Our oldest child, Gail, was born there, then we heard of an abandoned farm in the area which we arranged to buy. After a couple years, the commune dissolved, and our closest neighbors were now over a mile away. Both of us, being city bred, gained a great appreciation of nature and country life .. most of which the majority of people today know little about. The birds and other wildlife, the quiet, working in the soil ... we now could not get along without it. You see all the creatures we keep. We also got used to true yellow yolks in our eggs, and fresh veggies year round.
To our surprise, after a few years homesteading, we became aware we were craving more contact with people. We were learning self-sufficiency skills, but often it would have been nice to work along side others ... some jobs just are much easier, and more efficiently done, with help. Certainly more fun. The long hours we worked, doing things for, and by, ourselves, only served to emphasize how dependent we still were on greater society and the outside economy. We were undoubtedly better off than the majority of persons in case of a real recession, growing our own food and all. We could see it would be pretty scary to have to try to do it all ourselves, even impossible.
Here in New Liberty Village, we have the best of both worlds. There are others around with whom we can work together when we want to, or need to, but we still maintain our privacy and independence.
Our private family life is completely off limits to other's hands or opinions. No one tells us how our kid's should be taught, how we spend our time, what we should eat, or anything else. I happen to home-school my own children and several other kids, part-time. Other parents teach them on other days. Education and family life are two areas of life where government and business better stay out. We have neighbors and close bonds with several associations here in town where we pool our resources and knowledge, and in the event of a crisis, I think our chances are much greater getting through it alive and sane than they were living alone on our homestead.
Family life, being inviolate and part of each individual's and our village's "Spiritual Life" is never legislated by group action or discussed in any public forum. We are free to explore, consider, and discuss all manner of information and helpful ideas! If you have any thing to add to our library concerning family life, of any nature, we would like to read it, but of course we decide for ourselves what is useful, what isn't.
We are not afraid of new ideas, and trust our own powers of judgment and good sense. We can allow others the same freedom to explore and express. We are not an on-line cult, and there is a wide range of people in the village, with all kinds of cultural and racial backgrounds. There are vegetarians, vegans, fruitarians, and meat eaters like ourselves. Different families go to different churches, or none at all. This tolerance for difference and freedom of thought goes with our name, New Liberty. This is the distinguishing trait of the village that attracted us to it, the counter-poising of Freedom and individuality with social responsibility and opportunity. I think we carry it off pretty well!
Any helpful information, articles, and comments you can share related to family life and the subjects below will be greatly appreciated. Please e-mail them to our web manager for consideration, or use one of our POST form boxes. Thank you.
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The Tragedy of Rage
I agree with the Pirsig method [brainstorming, writing the ideas on a card]--in fact I have long followed such a procedure for my own writing, although in the computer rather than on cards. I think you have lots of positives happening. Some reluctant partners won't even leave the city. Yours did. You are living a country life. You are both doing activities that you enjoy.
Rather than word wrestle each other over specifics of a business plan, consider each having your own plan and from time to time seeing how or even IF they can be synergistic. There is no natural law that you both must walk the exact same path. That makes individuality impossible. You each have a unique journey.
Something I learned a long time ago is that feelings are always valid. If, rather than expressing dissatisfaction with how Brian operates, you from time to time show how delighted/happy/melancholy/sad/uneasy/worried/scared/terrified you are and you express these feelings in a loving, nonjudgemental manner--taking full responsibility for your own feelings--then a loving partner will often look for things they can modify in their own behavior that will be helpful to the other. We husbands can be real dogs. Treat us with love and we will perform for you--argue with us or challenge our comfort zones and we get goofy. Just because we understand and agree with your plan does not mean we will be able to follow it.
How often do you tell Bill how much you admire him?
Sounds like Bill does not really want to do what he thinks you want him to do. Small businesses rarely succeed if they stick to a rigid plan. They must stay flexible. You may in fact be over planning. Get more action going, even if it is wrong, that's how you learn what you can and cannot do, what lifestyle you enjoy. As an ex-dairyman's son I can attest that a dairy is extremely confining.
People are more important than things.
If it were me, I would be thinking small herd, hand milking, value added, customer list, not the stainless steel bulk tank scenario that has killed so many. Build many baskets; it is the country way that works.
The trick with any partnership is division of responsibilities. Delineate the responsibilities. If neither of you want certain parts of it, scrap Plan A before it destroys the relationship and start filling those cards with ideas for Plans B, C, D and maybe Z.
Do not focus on negatives, including the bad yesterdays.
Do focus on what you can do, want to do, feel energized to do, are happy
doing. Do not ask another to do anything that you are not willing to do.
Don't expect a partner to follow your lead. This is YOUR life and HIS
life, separately. You are together to raise your children, not to walk the
And you need to detour around the ruts you have made in your neural pathways. Break the present pattern. Drop a big book on the floor. On your toe. Take a vacation. Climb a tree and jump out. Fall into the pond. Nibble Brian's ear at an odd moment and do not expect anything. Do what doesn't need a plan. Do those things that bolster self image, the foundation of a life. Gene GeRue, author, How To Find Your Ideal Country Home: A Comprehensive Guide http://www.ruralize.com/ excerpt from Homestead mailing list.
Lay out a baking sheet and use a wide mouth mason jar lid (the ring part) as a mould. Put one tablespoon of organic rolled oats in the ring and spoon some of the dough into the ring. The rolled oats will keep the bread from sticking so you don't have to use heated oil or grease on the pans. Also the ring shapes the bread into round pieces like little wafers. When you fill up the baking sheet, bake at a low temp (250 degrees or less) for about 50 minutes. When this simple bread is fresh it is wonderful. It only keeps fresh for about two or three days in the refrigerator.
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