Category: Be Prepared

Lifelines to Clotheslines – The Right Fix

From lifelines to clotheslines things can go wrong – strive to be prepared with the right fix. We here at Serendipity Farmhouse continue to learn that any day can be a bad day if you haven’t used forethought and built preparedness into your plans. – This week we had another example of why this is so true.

Hi! Ol’ Fuzz Face here – Let’s talk preparedness.

be prepared

In my post No Need for A Farmhouse Nightmare I waxed eloquently about ‘lifeline functions’. I made some good points, but I didn’t really get into practical solutions.

Likewise, in my post How to Prepare – Graceful Degradation I probably left you scratching your head with my use of terms like ‘upgradation’ and ‘graceful degradation‘.

The Right Fix – A Practical Example

Last Wednesday, our dryer died. My dearest Blondie could wash clothes as usual, but she needed a way to dry them. – No problem! – We had the right fix! We went into our graceful degradation mode. Just like the first residents of our nearly 100-year-old farmhouse, we merely had to hang the clothes out to dry on our clotheslines.

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Blondie hanging the wash out to dry.

The loss of our dryer is temporary, it should be repaired this coming week. But the ability to use our clothesline is permanent. Should the dryer fail again or if there is a major lifeline power outage, we just gracefully degrade to our backup mode.

Cost Factors – The Right Fix

You may have had better experiences than we have. Our recent experiences have caused us to reconsider our strategy for home repair preparedness. Here’s what we’ve observed.

  • Major appliance repair costs have risen greatly.
  • Home warranty and appliance warranty service companies have become far less responsive, especially since COVID.

Our home warranty service used to pay for itself almost every year. But service degraded so badly that we had to drop it. Other warranty plans are expensive. For example, Sears Appliance plan starts at $49.99 per month ($599.88 per year).

Now, we act as our own home warranty plan. We put away $50.00 each month and don’t touch it until a need arises. – This works well, and for us it is the right fix.

Clotheslines – Right Fix vs. Wrong Fix

Even when you have a good preparedness backup plan, there may be some bumps in the road. For example, on the second day of using the clothesline, it broke.

The Wrong Fix: A number of repair options were open to us. It was our job to determine which was the best. One option was to use a clothespin to hold the broken clothesline together. – This was obviously a wrong fix.

be prepared

The Right Fix: A square knot is not the best for joining two lines together. But, if you don’t have the needed length of line for a better knot, the square knot will do in a pinch. – In this case I used a square knot so my dear Blondie could dry the clothes. – It worked and it was the right fix.

My point is this. Use forethought and build preparedness into your plans. Be prepared to change your plans when conditions and circumstances dictate. Always be prepared to improvise and select the right fix.

How to Prepare – Graceful Degradation

Sometimes, words get in the way when explaining how to prepare for whatever might come. Our recent post No Need for A Farmhouse Nightmare could have been read in many different ways. Based on the questions we’ve received, we learned that each of our readers understood what we had to say. But they understood what we said in their own individual way.

So, in keeping with our promise, here is the first in the series of posts explaining what we do to ensure lifeline functions resilience. We will try to keep the concepts simple. You will learn why it’s much easier than you may think.

Why Prepare? – Bad things happen.

How to prepare for a flood

The flooding of our vast 1.203-acre estate in September 2018 opened our eyes to one of the realities we face here at Serendipity Farmhouse. But, as you can read in our post Monte’s Bug Out Buggy to the Rescue, we had a plan and the plan worked.

Likewise, when the lights went out and the phone went dead this May, we were not overly distressed or inconvenienced. We had plans and the plans worked. (See No Need for A Farmhouse Nightmare for details.)

How to prepare for loss of power and communications

Be Prepared – It’s Nothing New

How to prepare - Be prepared

Here’s a picture of yours truly during his scouting days in 1962. The red circle shows that I was a Second Class at the time. The badge of rank declares the motto “Be Prepared”.

When you study the origins of that motto, you find a scout must be prepared to do his duty. – That is, my duty to God, my wife, my children, and my country. And my duty dictates that Serendipity Farmhouse must be prepared.

How To Prepare – Understand Upgradation

Our farmhouse came into being sometime around 1927. Our historical research indicates it was originally a very simple structure. It did not have indoor plumbing. The first tenants used coal and wood to heat the house. Of course, it did not have electricity. – Despite all that, many people called it home.

Each family left its mark. Electricity probably came during the mid-1930s. Someone added plumbing to the kitchen. – And so, it went. Now, Serendipity has a host of modern upgrades. Let’s call that process ‘upgradation’.

Serendipity Farmhouse doesn’t grow older with time – it grows better!

How To Prepare – Graceful Degradation

Many people we know love to go camping. They enjoy heading to the woods or the mountains just to get away from the rat race and the distractions of modern life. In a sense, they voluntarily live without some modern conveniences. Sometimes, they say they want to learn how to live like their grandparents lived. In their minds, they have what they need, and they enjoy their voluntary graceful degradation.

Even though Serendipity Farmhouse is situated on a floodplain, it still stands. SFH has never surrendered to the elements. And it has served its tenants well for nearly 100 years. It provided shelter and stability for families well before any modern upgrades were ever made. Thus, it only stands to reason that the best way to prepare for a breakdown in lifeline functions in the 2020s, is to learn how to live in this house the way the first residents did in the 1920s. If it worked for them, it will work for us.

Following posts in this series, will show you some of the things we’ve learned. You will see why we rest easy at night. No, we aren’t prepared for every possible disaster. But we know now that our grandparents didn’t have to live with the pesky distractions of modern life. We also know that the Scout motto “Be Prepared” is for us a most welcomed duty.

How To Prepare – Just One More Thing

The SFH motto is Pray, Prepare, Preserve. When you ask us how to prepare, we also have to let you know that our plan is not just about physical welfare. So, as we discuss material graceful degradation, we will occasionally provide details on something we call spiritual grace-filled degradation. – That is what completes our plan on how to prepare.

Pray always and God bless!