Welcome to Yesterways Order of WiseCraft

Witching my way through the world one day at a time here at Yesterways Cottage, incorporating the ways of old with modern times. Join me as I journey on a spiritual path I call "Yesterways WiseCraft Wicca." Feel free to comment and ask questions -- I'll get back to you, I promise, Witch's honor.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Living Without Electricity

We've all found ourselves some time or another without electricity. It could have been due to a citywide power outage, a downed pole during a storm or caused by a vehicle accident, perhaps a blown transformer, a limb ripping down the personal power line to your house, perhaps even an off-grid cabin camp out, OR the one everyone dreads, a payment issue with the power company. And then there is one more reason a person might find themselves living without electricity -- CHOICE.  Electricity is involved in such a large portion of our lifestyle these days that many cannot even begin to fathom the concept of willfully choosing to be off-grid -- but there are plucky individuals out there that make that choice everyday. My hat is off to them.

Regardless of *why* a person is living without electricity and whether it is short term or long term, it's good to have some ideas on how to cope.

The first thing that comes to mind for many is a backup generator of some sort. Those are usually gas operated, expensive to run and are quite noisy. Still, some people choose this route.

But what if you want some simple low tech ideas on how to get by? I decided to collect a few ideas.

Something that makes no electricity appealing is that it cuts out all the distractions in the house -- no radio, no TV, no computers. I don't really watch TV and never really have because as a young adult I always lived in remote areas where cable wasn't an option and we couldn't get an antenna tall enough to catch the free signal. My childhood love of reading naturally carried into my adulthood. I never missed television. Even now that I live in the city and subscribe to cable, I rarely watch it. I have contemplated shutting it off but on occasion I do like to binge on HGTV and some of the gardening shows. But truthfully, if I didn't have television, I honestly wouldn't miss it. I would be harder pressed to forgo the internet -- I do LOVE my internet. But if I were completely honest, it is a huge distraction that keeps me from living life fully. There are many chores that get neglected because I fall down the hole on the internet -- and I couldn't blog! But I could make better use of my internet time so that I wasn't online as much and still be able to blog.

Now, let's get down to lighting ideas. Here are a few of my favorites:
  1. Solar light spikes.  Our local Dollar Tree sells these little gems for $1 a piece throughout the year. I just have to get there at the right time to snag them. I have purchased some that didn't last long while others were an incredible bargain and very long lasting both in the length of light they provided and the length of time they worked.  They could be charged during the day and then brought in at night and placed in vases to hold them up and used like a flameless light. The neat thing about using these is that other than the initial investment to get them, there is no expense to use them. Just lots of remembering to place them out to charge.
  2. Vegetable oil lights.  I save my used cooking oil to be used for emergency lighting. There are numerous ways to do this but most involve putting the oil in a heat proof container inserting some sort of wick. I have seen olive oil suggested but that is quite expensive and I happen to like recycling. Here are a few videos giving ideas on how to do this:
     This next video shows an oil lamp with an open flame which I personally would place some sort of open ended *globe* over to both protect the flame from the wind and to keep children and pets safe and to avoid items from accidentally getting close to the flame.

These are just a couple of ideas. I will be posting more. Living a simple, cost effective life that brings me and mine closer together and allows us to thrive and survive safely in hard times is a strong priority for me.

Bright Blessings to All
Rayven Michaels