Possum Living

mid_tn_mamaMarch 21, 2003

Now this can be a little extreme, but definitely worth reading if you like to raise your own food.


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Here you go.
I don't know where she is fishing but I would not eat any fish caught from Philly rivers! She and her father live on less than our property taxes cost per year. Boy would I like to see that place. I have a feeling she has hidden income - like selling at flea markets and yard sales or book revenues (maybe). I guess her book is an extreme version of the Tightwad Gazette. Kathy_PA whi is not eating possum as long as their are jobs at McDonalds...

Here is a link that might be useful: Possum living

    Bookmark   March 25, 2003 at 2:59AM
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I think this was written in the 70's during the mother earth heyday. Gee wouldn't you like to know the end of the story? It's an interesting read though and I hope someone got the critters out of the basement and bought some insurance. I knew that income was too low to survive and keep a house too. Thanks for the link. Kathy_PA

    Bookmark   March 25, 2003 at 3:18AM
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Good link! Although I consider some of it a little extreme -- all she buys at the grocery store is pasta, tomato puree, margarine and sometimes oranges? Doesn't sound very nutritious. And no house insurance? There are a lot of good ideas in there and it really is motivating. I am bookmarking the link. Interesting idea of making your own toothpaste from equal parts of baking soda and salt with a little water. However... how unrealistic is it to spend $287 per year on property taxes - more like $287 per month around here! Great read tho'.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2003 at 8:18PM
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I'm glad that someone is reading it even though it is a bit extreme for most people and it was written some years ago.

My point is that there are those who must, as a condition of their financial situation live by doing these things. It's nice to know that if you really had to scratch out a living by making your own food you could. How many people could say that they could? Mostly I think there would be social pressure not to.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2003 at 10:08PM
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Yes you are right but wouldn't you like to know what she is doing now? I like looking at the old Mother Earth magazines and wonder how many of those writers have kept their convictions to return to the land. I'm sure there are some still out there but those were mostly young person's dreams and things change as you get older. Kathy_PA who would go to work before I would raise bunnies in the basement (they eat a lot of bunny food too and you need to buy that

    Bookmark   March 26, 2003 at 8:08AM
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Although changing your mind as you get older doesn't negate the rightness of your convictions.

Perhaps it greatly dilutes the idea that yours is a MORALLY SUPERIOR position...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2003 at 3:17PM
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I think it's an interesting read, but I don't like the idea of "it's illegal, but . . ." which she does several times. If it's illegal then it shouldn't be done, regardless of if we agree or see the reasoning. Here in Washington if we fish without a license it is a huge fine. I guess that risk and my own "moral guidelines" wouldn't allow that. How else can we expect to raise law-abiding children if we bend the laws ourselves? And I guess the day will never come when I will eat a dog or cat, unless we were truly starving. I'm just frivolous enough to think of our dog and cat as pets not lunch! LOL!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2003 at 7:03PM
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There's a possum that frequents our back deck. DS got some pix last night. Where's my gun, knife and fork?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2003 at 8:25AM
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Are you going to serve that along side of your dog and cat stew or mixed in with it?! LOL!


    Bookmark   March 27, 2003 at 1:41PM
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Well Brenda, If my cat doesn't stop knocking over my plants...

    Bookmark   March 28, 2003 at 5:34AM
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My dog is presently digging her way to China in our back yard, which may not be a good idea on her part, as dog is considered a delicacy there! LOL!


    Bookmark   March 28, 2003 at 1:37PM
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bouncing pig,

Some claim that it enhances one's libido, as well.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 5, 2003 at 8:25PM
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You know, I'm going to doubt that this "Possum Living" thing was ever real. Did I miss something or does she not mention what does she do for feminine hygiene products?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2003 at 2:02PM
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Trilobite wrote:

>Did I miss something or does she not mention what does she >>do for feminine hygiene products?

Possibly the same thing our grandmothers used.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2003 at 5:27PM
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That's what I would expect someone in her position to use, but I'm commenting as much on her lack of comment as anything else. I do know women who make their own supplies or use products like the "Keeper" and frankly, they're more than happy (sometimes unnervingly so) to preach the benefits and share how-to tips.

I realize women were more discreet about such things in earlier eras, but she doesn't exactly strike me as the shy type, and let's face it, the mid-seventies wasn't exactly a shy era. :)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2003 at 8:12PM
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Bumping up for newer forum members...

    Bookmark   February 2, 2004 at 10:17AM
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I don't think the account was fictional at all.In my pre suburbanite life as a street musician, such innovation and disregard for normal American standards was common by my fellow street performers as well as many traveling foreiners who come without our regard to non essential items.I used to visit the french market for vegatable discards. Our local A&P posted dates to discard expired frozen meat. My friends did that route, while aquaintences visited a bakery dumpster for bread products.We used to split each haul 3 ways. My friends were from Germany and determined to avoid the use of money in as many transactions as possible. They exchanged home repairs for rent, made alot of clothing from scraps,were first rate dumpster divers and garbage hounds.Klaus is a recording artist of note in Europe, andon one trash picking excursion we encountered the Stray Cats picking garbage across the street.They recognized each other and we all had a good chuckle. I once stayed on a raft made by the "Flying Neutrinos". Now they are known as the Floating Neutrinos". They build their rafts out of garbage and junk. There have been nine in all.Their website is most interesting. The band "Flying Neutrinos "is made up of the now grown children of the first raft that I stayed on back in the late 70's .They have 2 albums out.The "Floating Neutrinos were the subject of a national geographic special.My friend Klaus Weiland has a new album that made top 50 over in Europe. They continue to travel this country with a band known loosely as "the Rogues".Since it seems that I can't cure my ongoing addiction to trash picking, I have plugged in dumpster diving to Google and find that I am not alone. Now if I can just turn it into profit somehow....

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 3:00PM
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cupajoe :

That was VERY interesting information. Welcome to the forum and please add your suggestions however extreme it may seem to others.

It's interesting that people who have lived in desperation (as in Europe, Korea, parts of Africa during and after wars) that there is much to be learned about surviving. Someone once told me, "You have not seen frugal until you have lived in Korea." There was no such thing as garbage when they lived there--everything was used and reused.

Once I found a very interesting website about a lady who called herself a guerilla dumpster diver. She had no income and managed to live by her wits and by barter. I believe she told fortunes or did astrology. In any case, it was a very interesting website and I hope someone else knows how to find it because I'd like to read it again.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 4:48PM
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Thanks for the welcome Mid Tn Mama. Just curious, did you look up floating neutrinos? If you did, what did you think of the site?Think I'll plug in guerilla dumpster diving and see what comes up . LOL

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 5:21PM
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Welcome cupajoe....and please post any and all ideas you might come across. Like with everything everyone has an opinion and are free to express it...as well as any idea on frugality...what is extreme to some is not to others. Let them accept or reject.....but please continue to post and share. Bud

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 7:18PM
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Tfor the welcome Bud. Just cruised through some dumpster diving sites. Mighty inspiring!I haven't had to dive for years. As a professional housekeeper my favorite line to new clients is "Run it by me before you throw it out". Consequently I have furnished most of my house for free.Although I buy new clothes for my children(mostly 'cus their skinny and hard to fit,) I haven't shopped anything but shoes and underwear for myself in something like 10 years.I still am left with so many additional bags of clothes that I am always giving away to friends, fellow cleaners , relatives and Good will.I've sold excess furniture to a local furnished rooms type of boarding house.Last year we bought a house in a neighborhood where people routinely dump great goods. Scored an antique maple rolltop desk in pieces which my uncle restored(looks new) and has on e-bay. He is currently working on a federal style game table pulled from the neighbors house. A month ago I found an oak armoire with inlaid design at the bus stop. DS had to help me load itbecause it was so heavy but it is a great match to a coffee table and sofa table scored when a client remodeled.Because I am always walking my dog I see lots of great stuff .Last week I grabbed a nice entry table. Got a vaccuum and an antique vanity another week and a pair of jeans my size, mirror in antique white frame and a wonderful 4 foot long window box. I'm thinking of renting a stand in a local flea market to handle the excess, hence my renewed interest in dumpster diving.Sandy

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 8:17PM
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I love it!

The only things I buy new from a store are underware, eletronics, paper/hygene products and some food. I do the garage sale circuit all summer. I pick up items at the side of the road too! It's so much fun! You would be amazed at what can be found and bartered for! I have done the dumpster diving also, once upon a time, but it has been awhile. I spent a year dumpster diving at a nearby plant nursery/garden center chain until it went out of business. The things they threw out were unbelievable!

The huge Goodwill warehouse near me has a 50% off sale about twice/mo. My kids had so much when they were growing up and it was all second hand, brand name, quality items. I can buy so much better quality if I buy it used, than I would get buying anything new. I, myself, own still-new high end wool suits (London Fog)and silk blouses, etc, for work that I picked up for a song. I buy expensive shoes and boots, still new in the boxes, at garage sales. $2.00 is my limit to pay for anything I wear. I get most of my clothes at an "all you can shove in a large garbage bag for $6.00" sale that happens 2xyear here and you can get a lot of tightly rolled up things in a large garbage bag. Once I brought home 24 NEW golf shirts for hubby. (He's hard on shirts.)I make my own jewellery. I use Freecycle, as well.

I'm the best dressed person at work.

While it is a little extreme for most people, I understand where she is coming from. My intertainment costs would be the same as her's. I don't believe in saving the "good" stuff for visitors, which we almost never have. My family is worth more than any visitor, any day. She buys only those things at the grocery store because they grow the rest of it, like we do. We are in the process of producing most of our own food too. If we didn't both work full time because we pay rent, I would make just about everything from scratch and would can/freeze all of our food. As it is we do grow our own eggs and vegetables and are in the process of growing most of our own meat, as well. I don't eat wheat, so I have learned the hard way that what most people eat regularly from the grocery store is completely unnecessary and unhealthy, as well. You don't need the unhealthy processed foods from the grocery store shelves.

However, toilet paper and hygene products are things I would buy at the store, however the thought that I could make my own sterile paper just occurred to me... no, I don't have time. lol! I'm a real DIYer!

Why do they need insurance? Perhaps if they had children they have to support it would be different, but for just two adults and absolutely no material possessions to protect and no car, what do they need it for? I think people put too much stock in their material possessions as it is. Easy come - easy go. You can't take any of it with you when you leave this planet. I think that money would be better spent feeding the local homeless and elderly on a fixed budget.(We have insurance, but the lease and the law require it.)

If the rabbits are happy and clean in the basement and in the sunshine as she says, why not keep them in the basement? Rabbits have cool manure that can go directly on the garden without burning anything. If they kept it reasonably clean, rabbits wouldn't smell. They would be fine in the basement. If she kept the deep litter turned and composting regularly, it wouldn't smell from the 2-3 chickens she keeps there either. My chicken house doesn't smell and I have 21 in there. They don't use the basement for anything else.

Dumpster diving and second hand does not mean dirty, smelly, unhealthy or at all "used" looking or run down. Cleanliness has nothing to do with where your things came from.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 6:40AM
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Great thread!

Remember the cloth diapers we used to wash and reuse? Now if one could find them, cut them into smaller pieces, they could be used as wipers instead of paper.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 1:04PM
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Cloth diapers are still around and used, at least here in western PA!

Even though my kids are older, I still use them... for cleaning rags.
I get mine at Burlington Coat Factory.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 8:53PM
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That is very interesting.

'You don't own things, they own you' was one of my Grandad's favorite sayings.

Some seems extreme, but I knew lots of people who lived that way when I was young.

Thinking of rabbits in the cellar kinda made my lip curl a bit, then I realized that I live in a house, and right now (gulp) in a travel trailer with 3 cats!!

I have used baking soda for toothpaste for probably half my adult life and have recently started using peroxide for mouthwash.

Except for my first pregnancy when 'something went wrong' per the dentist and I lost a tooth, and had cavities that later caused the loss of another, I have my own teeth.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 10:04PM
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Someday I will have to explore the Burlington Coat factory!

I use baking soda and HP also, although I recently bought some Tom's paste. I do like listerine though and have used it since I was old enough to care for my teeth.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 2:57PM
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i wouldn't eat fish out of any river in a farming area and probably not in any river at all. back in the 50's our city dumped the sewer sludge in our river while denying it. it was nasty back then. even the amazon river is nothing but a huge sewer.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 5:30PM
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