1 step forward, 3 steps back…

It’s the Half-Step

Mississippi Uptown


Okay, so maybe I’m not half-steppin’.  Or even two-steppin’.  But I am taking three steps back for every step I take forward.  Let me explain some recent challenges to my journey to Ditch the Grid…

For the better part of the past ten years I’ve lived TV-free.  I own some DVDs and such, and would watch them from time to time on my laptop.  Heck, I’d even go so far as to move the computer into the living room, haul the speakers with, and considered it the voluntary simplicity answer to a home theater.  Who needs one of those big get-ups with surround sound and all the hoopla?

So my Dad was in town to see me for my birthday in September, and I casually mentioned that it might be nice to have a TV with a built in DVD player to make watching movies a little easier.  Yeah – I bet you see this coming a mile away, don’cha?  I now have a TV.   Luckily it’s not big and obtrusive.  In fact, it’s about the smallest version they make.  I forget how many inches it is…  And he bought me a good old-fashioned set of rabbit ears to go with it.  Who knew they still made those things?  (You can bet your bottom dollar I’m not paying for TV stations!)   So after hauling the booty home and setting it up, my one saving grace was that a small smattering of PBS stations is all I get.  I must be too far from town.  Did you know they have five different PBS channels now?  Well, you probably did.  But I didn’t.  So I guess if I have to have a television, at least the only thing I can watch will contribute to brainpower a little bit.

The TV now resides in the back bedroom because I refuse to contaminate my blissful, serene living room with a flashing black box.  Plus it makes me work “hard” if I feel the need to lazily gaze into the box.  It did come in handy a couple weeks back when I was super sick.  I got to lay on the bed in the back bedroom and watch Audrey Hepburn and John Wayne movies for two days straight.  So it actually did do what I hoped it would do:  make watching movies easier.

Three steps back: getting a TV; for one step forward: living nearly a decade without one.

When I moved back to Montana in 2007, the purpose was to live simply.  To indulge in the quality of life, rather than the quantity of life I saw in the Big City.  After about a year and a half I moved out of town and into a little house on a ranch about 17 miles west of Missoula.  Ahhhh, the pastoral life.

Since this move, I’ve become more reliant on a vehicle.  And that original vehicle, which came with no car payment, liability-only insurance, and no cares in the world, died on me this past summer.  About three months after taking on the new job of Executive Director of the organization I work for. Enter a car payment to go with my new high-stress, high-profile job.  *sigh*

My search for the simple life in Montana has slowly gained quantity and lost some of the quality.

I’ve been building my pantry for the past few years.  Storing food for that “just in case” situation that’s bound to hit everyone one day or another.   I’m pretty proud of my pantry.  I could go a good 9 months without stepping foot in a grocery store if I had to.  Staples, dried beans, canned food, grain mills, dried grains…  Ahhhh, dried grains.   Many, many pounds of dried grains.  Wheat, barley, etc.  Many pounds.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve started developing hives after I eat.  I’ve been keeping a little food journal to try to figure out what the problem is.  I have a long and rather odd list of foods that I’m allergic to: peaches, tomatillos, pork and beef to name a few…  And every few years I seem to develop a new allergy – it’s been a few years since the peach allergy reared its head, so I’m due.  The food journal has yielded a little bit of information – I’m either allergic to nuts… or to wheat.

I have an appointment with a naturopath tomorrow to take a look and see if we can figure out what the newest allergy is.  If it’s wheat, lord have mercy.  What am I going to do with all this wheat???

One hope:  Donna, over at Miller’s Grain House, was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity several years ago.  When she began grinding her own grains and making her own bread, she found that she was able to eat the wheat.  So, for her anyway, there was something in the processing of the grains that made her sensitive to the flour.  I don’t bake my own bread in summertime because I don’t have a summer kitchen, and the oven heats up the house something fierce.  So step No. 1 is to see the naturopath tomorrow, and step No. 2 is to get back to grinding my own grains and see if I have any less of a reaction.

Let’s hope it’s nuts…

So these are a couple recent struggles – not defeats, just struggles.  But what that means is that I have to do some brainstorming for the new year to figure out how to turn these struggles into advantages.  Or figure out how to overcome the struggles and readjust my lifestyle to regain those backward steps.

I’m bound and determined to regain the QUALITY of life, ditch the quantity, and in the end…

Do the two-step, as I continue on my Journey to Ditch the Grid.

Categories: Food Storage, Technology, The Journey | 1 Comment

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One thought on “1 step forward, 3 steps back…

  1. Pingback: Many Thoughts… « My Journey to Ditch the Grid…

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