Sunday, March 22, 2020

Are You Prepared Enough? 10+ Ways to Start Being Sustainable!


Power Outage...Job Loss...Natural Disasters...Pandemics

You never know when something might happen that leaves you without income, transportation, power or other necessities of life.


Would you be fine?  Not sure? ~ Read on to find out, and discover ways to help ensure that you are!



Let's begin this post this post with a small quiz. πŸ“  πŸ“ πŸ“ 


Nothing to difficult, but it will help you decide how prepared you actually are. Ready❓


Are you prepared for emergencies? Would you be able to take care of you/your family's needs if you weren't able to leave your home for an extended time?


 ❓   Do you have another power source if the grid went down?


 ❓   Do you have enough food to eat for a month?


 ❓   Do you have a source of clean water?

 ❓   Are any of the above sustainable for longer periods of time?


In the article "Sustainable Living Vs. Self Sufficiency" (http://www.altenergyshift.com/page/blog/_/green-energy/sustainable-living-vs-self-sufficiency-r655), LaMar Alexander states "Going off-grid and sustainable living does not mean giving up all the tools and conveniences that make life easier, safer and more comfortable. It does mean reducing your reliance on society for things like food, energy, and other conveniences that you could produce for yourself.

My post today will concentrate on the last part of LaMar's statement: reducing your reliance and could produce for yourself.


Actions to Take


1.) Have alternative sources of power.

     πŸ”Œ  Have a generator ready for use. Install a woodstove, if  possible. Look into 
                 solar products. 

     πŸ”Œ  Ensure everything is prepared. Does the generator have gas? Is firewood cut,            
                seasoned and ready?

2.) Keep stocked on food staples.

    🍞  Keep canned goods, baking items, dry milk, etc. always on hand.

     πŸž  Learn how to keep foods fresh/safe for as long as possible.

3.)  Have several sources of clean water.

   πŸš° Keep jugs of drinking water on hand & away from sunlight.
           
  πŸš° Keep water filters on hand to use as needed with any water source.


4.)  Find long-term solutions for sustainability

 πŸŒ±  Start planning for future energy needs. For example, we will be filling a large propane
            tank soon & are designing our solar energy system for our future.

 πŸŒ±   Start a garden. Plant fruit or nut trees. Try your hand at microgreens. Learn how to can
             and preserve.

 πŸŒ±   Consider rainwater harvesting, if possible. Not for drinking water, unless extremely                    filtered. Use the rainwater for other purposes, so you can conserve your drinking         
            water.

Practicing What We Preach


My hubby and I have faced some of these emergencies. We have had a job loss in the past, and also several power outages where we live now. 

We make sure our present needs are met, while consistently looking towards our future. What does this look like for us?

πŸ”Œ Regarding power, we are hooked up to the local electric company. We do have a generator         filled with gas. A woodstove helps to keep our heat bill much lower. And for future needs,         we have been gifted a propane tank. It just needs to be filled once prices have lowered to           out-of-season rates. We have also been working on designing a solar energy system that         will meet our needs.
   



🚰 Although our water needs are being met, we are looking at plans  to be able to harvest                 rainwater. Two of our neighbors have given us permission to access springs on their      
       property, if the need would arise. We also always keep several water jugs on hand and out         of sunlight.



🌱 We have made sure to always keep food staples on hand, and fresh as long as possible. I            have my garden catalog in front of me, and ready to order. We have blackberries, apricots        and apples we could harvest. Lately, we have started to look at the possibility of                            microgreens.

You know the old adage, "You can never be too prepared!" Does this mean to be scared and start panicking? Not at all. 

Just one step at a time, start taking steps. Take stock of what you already have in place. Figure out what the needs of you/your family are. Each household is different! And take it from there!


πŸ‘‰ I would like to hear from you! What steps have you taken to be more sustainable? What steps do you plan to take?


Sources:

Sustainable Living Vs. Self Sufficiency


Monday, February 24, 2020

Monday Musings ~ Looking Back, Learning, Looking Forward

Tonight's Monday Musings finds me taking a trip backwards ⛟⛟ in time. What started out as just reviewing a few things on the blog, turned into reading some of my old posts.




Wow! What an eye-opening experience!  πŸ‘€ 😯  πŸ‘€

I had honestly started the blog in 2012 to step out of my comfort zone.

It accomplished that and so much more!! I just didn't know how much I would I would be stepping out of my comfort zone over and over again.

In the past eight years, I have added so many new skills to my "repertoire"!

New Skills I've Learned This Past Decade

  • Hitching a Trailer
  • Towing 
  • Writing and Promoting a Blog
  • Running a Generator
  • Running Electrical Lines 
  • Painting 
  • Starting a Fire
...and so much more!

What has looking in the rearview mirror taught me tonight? What can I use from this experience tonight?



Looking forward, I know that I can learn anything that I put my mind to! My confidence in myself has evolved over these years because I have succeeded in learning these skills.

So, my next question for myself: What will I be learning as I look forward?

Monday, February 17, 2020

Tuesday Motivation~ Embrace the Journey as You Follow Your Dreams



Embracing the Journey


"Someday"..."When I have the money"..."In five years, I will"...

What do all of these have in common? They are all comments that we have made at one point or another in our lives.  Have you found yourself making any of these statements?

If so, then you know what they really are...excuses, procrastination and fear talking.

However, I have an answer for you...TALK LOUDER.

Yes, that is exactly what I said...Talk Louder. Every time these thoughts come up, replace them louder with this:

~ Embrace the Journey ~




We all tend to see dreams as something that we will achieve one day, in the future. But, what is just as important as the dream itself, is the journey that we take to get to that dream.

Each step that we take in following our dreams should be just as exciting as the dream itself.  For example, my hubby and I have a dream of making a life being able to follow our interests and passions in our everyday life.

Our first step...moving to our place in the country where some of those passions can be followed whenever we step out our front door...fishing, enjoying wildlife, photography.

Just living on a quiet road where every visitor remarks about how peaceful it is at our place. This is all part of Embracing the Journey!!




Baby Steps


Since one of the first questions that we ask ourselves is "where do I start?", I will share an inspirational message with you. It comes from a woman whose story helped me in following my own dreams. Jenna Woginrich, in her book (Made From Scratch, p12) reminds her readers that  "Accepting where you are today, and working toward what's ahead, is the best you can do...But the starting point is to take control of what you can and smile with how things are.  Find your own happiness and dance with it." 




Taking Baby Steps is what you can do today towards your dreams of tomorrow. Taking Baby Steps is how you talk louder than the fear, also. Jenna wanted to own her own land where she could grow her own food. Living in the city, that wasn't possible at the moment. But growing several plants on her balcony was very possible.

My hubby would like to start beekeeping at some point. He has been attending meetings with local beekeepers in the area. He reads books, and articles in Mother Earth News and Countryside magazines, on the subject. Meanwhile, he has been putting money away for a beekeeping kit, hives and such.

Inspiration For the Road

I know it is not easy to talk louder than your fears. I used to be a master procrastinator! I would research anything to death, because it was my way of moving forward without ever moving forward.

So, I am leaving you with additional quotes that should help you to replace those negative thoughts.

πŸ˜€ Remember to make a life, not just a living!

πŸ˜€Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured! 


Are You Inspired?


If this post has inspired you to follow your dreams, take baby steps or embrace the journey, please leave me a comment below. I love encouraging others and hearing about your dreams!

If you love encouraging others too, please share this post through email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest!

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Small House Sunday ~ Review of "Tiny House Basics"

As you begin your journey into the Tiny House world, you are excited at all of the possibilities in front of you.

Then, you may begin to feel overwhelmed with all the information that you are finding. Quite understandable!

I think I have a solution to your problem! 


May I present a great resource that answers many of your questions all in one book...


Tiny House Basics by Joshua
Engbergand Shelley Engberg

As you start looking at books on the topic, you begin to discover that most of them seem to be just tiny house design & idea books. Although they are wonderful for that purpose, they just don't seem to be quite what you are wanting.  You are looking for so much more than than just design ideas.

What is it that you want?

You Want to Know Everything


With chapter titles like these, you can see that this book has so much more to offer!
  • Making the Decision to Go Tiny
  • Planning: Research
  • Downsizing
  • Building: The Unspoken Realities of Doing It Yourself, Plus the Cost
  • Why We Chose Our Design Aesthetic and Layout
  • Making Room For Your Junk in a Small Space
  • Pets in a Tiny Home
  • How Practical Is a Tiny House for th Long-Term?
And, here is my favorite ~

  • Relationships in Tight Quarters

Chapter 8: Relationships in Tight Quarters
 (Source: Tiny House Basics)

Why is that chapter my favorite, you ask? Although my husband and I did end up choosing to live in a Amish-built shed that is being converted into a home, we had lived in our 18-foot camper for over a year.

We downsized from a 2,000 square-foot home, into an 18-foot camper. Now, we are happily living in our 500-square-foot "shabin".

A sketch of our home & guesthouse. 

Although my hubby and I did not choose to go into a tiny house, we were at a place in life a few years ago to make some decisions. We downsized, donated and dug deep into all of our possessions.

We researched our options, and the "shabin" eventually made the most sense for us. We needed a temporary place to live while we were converting the cabin. Since we already owned the camper, it made the most sense.

Going from a 2,000 square-foot ranch style house with a basement and garage down to a 18-foot camper...What an eye-opening experience!!! My hubby and I had to to stay on top of our relationship game!




Each chapter is filled with the questions you want answered. The authors have an easygoing writing style as they walk you through their experiences. Many of the chapters end with an extra, such as an "Are you ready?" quiz, tips for downsizing, etc.

I bring up my background as a librarian for two reasons. I have the soul of a researcher, and want to find the best user-friendly information I can find. The second reason is that as the adult librarian in a small library, I have to spend the money wisely. 

And I chose to spend the library's money on this tiny house book, out of the many that exist. I am sure that I will buy more in the future, but I was very confident in this purchase.

In Case You Want a Second Opinion


As I close this post, I leave you with one other glowing review. I had read a post in a in tiny house group. The person was in the beginning stages of planning, and wanted book recommendations for initial planning. 

I suggested "Tiny House Basics", and she chose to buy the book. Three days later, I received this reply: "This is so what I needed, excellent recommendation! It's so exciting reading each page and thinking over and over 'yes! This is exactly what I wanted to know!!'

Would Love to Hear Your Opinion

Have you read this book? If not, check it out and let me know what you think! Share this review with your friends who may be thinking of going tiny through FB, Twitter, IG and Pinterest!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

How You Can Embrace Life, Learning...and Hygge?


My WORD for 2020 is Embrace!
What is YOUR word?

What word is going to help bring 2020 into focus for you? To give you a new way of looking at your life and adventures?

For me, it was an easy choice! I have been trying to enjoy life a little more. And, recently,  I came across the word ~ EMBRACE ~ and it just captured my outlook on life so well!

So, my WORD for 2020 is going to be ♡~ EMBRACE ~♡!!!!  In 2020, my goal is EMBRACE LIFE ~ LEARNING ~ EACH MOMENT!!!

How Can You Embrace Life More!


One of the best ways to start incorporating this into your life, is by surrounding yourself with what makes you happy as much as possible. Not necessarily the "I can't stop smiling" happy, as much as the "just feeling content deep in your soul" happy.

Myquillyn Smith, blogger (https://thenester.com/) and author of Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff discovered this as she was trying to find the right style for her small house. 



Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style,
Less Stuff
 
by Myquillyn Smith

And that is when she learned all about...Hygge!

What in the World is Hygge?

According to the Danish website (visitdenmark.com), Hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah") is a Danish word. "In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. 

How Does this Fit in With Embracing Life?

According to Smith in her book, "Hygge is all about creating a cozy, safe, warm and inviting atmosphere. It's about finding contentment and joy in the simple things like sitting by a fire playing a board game."

"Hygge is not a look or a style; it's an intention. The goal of hygge is cozy togetherness, get-through-it-ness, comfort, and knowing you are not alone."
And she is absolutely correct! If you have created a home where you feel ~ 'just feeling content deep in your soul' happy ~ THEN, you are already:

  • Embracing Life
  • Embracing Each Moment


What Are You Waiting For?

Get a fresh start in 2020! No resolutions to worry about. Only one word...YOUR word! What will be YOUR word that brings 2020 in focus for your moments, your dreams, your life?

Now, as for me, I will stop writing, and go create a feeling of "Hygge" in my front room!


♡  Embrace Life!
♡  Embrace Learning!
♡  Embrace Each Moment!


Source:
  • Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff by Myquillyn Smith (p. 27).

Sunday, December 1, 2019

7th Blogversary ~ 7 Years of Inspiring Dreamchasers Everywhere!

Source: Canva


What is a Blogversary, you ask? πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

In the blogging world,  a BLOGVERSARY is: The anniversary date of your first blog post; when you began your blog.

But, It Means SO MUCH MORE to me!


  • First time of putting my writing out for the public to see.
  • It meant I was ready to start following my dreams.
  • AND, most importantly...I could encourage YOU in FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS! 
  • I get to Inspire Dreamchasers all over the World!

Honesty is the best Policy

I actually have a very small confession to make. I was so busy for the last couple of months, I missed catching this auspicious day until now.

My 1st blog post was published on October 9th, 2012. I had decided that I would like to start taking risks and trying new things. I was up for the new adventures!

My 1st Post

   "As I was trying to brainstorm a brilliant name for my blog, I will admit that I resorted to consulting a few of my best friends: Merriam and Webster. They both agreed that the words "fledgling" and "endeavors" were completely on the mark.  Fledgling generally means new or inexperienced.  That covers it all!  The endeavors are new and I am completely inexperienced!  But that's what will make everything fun and interesting; most likely, finding the most difficult, crazy way of gaining the experience.
     In all of my future endeavors, I urge you to join me.  According to the definitions, it means to strive or attempt (verb) or an activity directed toward a goal (noun).
     In all my fledgling endeavors, I plan on following my heart.  I hope that you will do the same.  Who knows, the "activity" may not produce the results you wanted, but you are still aiming for a goal: following your heart!"

What Does This Mean for You?


When you are thinking of taking those baby steps toward your own fledgling endeavors, you crave encouragement and inspiration more than anything else.

Become A Dreamchaser! I got your back! As I have taken on learning how to social media over the last few years, you can see that I have your back in all kinds of ways!

In addition to following the blog, check out Fledgling Endeavors on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for encouraging DreamChaser Spotlights, inspirational quotes, and my own wacky, quirky attempts at my own new endeavors!

Encourage Others! The more that you interact, follow, share and comment...the more you encourage others! Lead your friends to a good, nurturing environment for them to follow their hearts, also! Follow & Invite them to follow, too!


Fledgling Endeavors FB page


Follow me as @dbooklover on Twitter!



Follow along on the Fledgling Endeavors
Instagram

🌠 ARE YOU GOING TO BE A DREAMCHASER?  🌠

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Writers' Wednesday ~ Creating Captivating Characters

(Source: Shutterstock.com)

What is the #1 "bookhook" that keeps your you reading page after pageπŸ“–? Makes the story come alive for you? Makes it UNPUTDOWNABLE?

Source: Wikimedia Commons,
 Dutch Painter Gerard Dou   

Is it the storyline?

The setting?

While these are important components to any great story, they are nothing without the characters that inhabit your imaginary world.
A fantastic plot falls flat if you are not invested in the main character. You have to care what happens to him until the last page. And, hopefully, will linger in the mind of the reader for a long time afterward.

How do you create such captivating characters?


  1. Create a "backstory" for your main character.
  2. Learn more about human behavior and psychology.
  3. Imagine how your character would act in given situations.


Creating a Backstory for your Main Character:

Years ago, several women and I formed a writing group at the library where I worked at the time. This was one of the writing exercises that my cohort gave us one evening. 

She explained afterwards that most likely your reader will not read most of the backstory you create. It is like you are creating a full-fledged person who will think, act, talk, make decisions, and just live life based on the background you give them.

This is how we humans live our real lives. So, no matter what fictional world you create around this character, they will most likely behave a certain way because of what is contained in their backstory.

One of the best templates I have discovered for creating backstory can be found at How to Create a Character Profile: the Ultimate Guide. It is very thorough, and will make you think. But, by the end, you should know your character better than you know yourself! Lol


Learn more about human behavior and psychology:


A good friend of mine, Sandy James (sandyjames.com), is an award-winning author and a high school psychology teacher. In a writers' workshop with my past writing group, she has said that her psychology background has helped her tremendously with character development.

The more she understood human behavior, the more she could get into the minds of her characters. She had a better understanding of how they might react to any situation, and how others might react to them.



Imagine how your character would act in given situations:

If you have created a fairly thorough backstory for you character, and have a good understanding of psychology and human behavior, you are ready for the last step.

You know how children like to play the "What If" game? For example, they will constantly think about what would happen if two superheroes used their superpowers on each other, who would win, etc. Come to think of it, I have seen the guys on "Big Bang Theory" do this!! Lol

Same concept! Try to imagine how your character would act in any situation that you can imagine. You have been in his world while creating him, now it is time to put him in your fictional world and storyline.

By following these steps, you already know how he will act, and the story will just flow from your fingers!

Happy writing!!!!    πŸ“‘πŸ–ŠπŸ“‘πŸ–ŠπŸ“‘πŸ–ŠπŸ“‘πŸ–Š