Sunday, May 28, 2017

Self-reliance: Reference Library

1) Reference library.  I can find stuff out without a smartphone or even the interwebs!!!! OMG.  I'm rocking it 1990s style.


I didn't do this every time, but lots of times.  Once I decide I want something, like the Tightwad Gazette, I then start keeping an eye out at the free book bin at the Moscow, Idaho, recycling center, yard sales, and thrift stores.  If something is 25cents, I may get it and then feel free to donate it to a thrift store or little free library or the free book bin if it's not quite what I want.

Here are a few book types in the library:

--Budget/Thrift/Frugality manuals
        My favorites are The Complete Tightwad Gazette (from a thrift store) by Amy Dacyczyn, The Ultimate Cheapskate's Guide to True Riches by Jeff Yeager, various olde tyme housekeeping and thrift books from the recycling center free book bin or 25cents or less at thrift and yard sales.  I try to cull these every year or two.
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--Cookbooks (real ones) and recipes
         Old cookbooks are better for me in general.  Ones where the recipes start with flour, milk, eggs, rather than "a box of cake mix."  Others might like something else.  The classic Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with guides on roasting meats, making bread and cakes from scratch, how to cut up a whole chicken, etc, is a great place to start.  I got two excellent reference cookbooks from a friend (Hi Jon!) who got them at thrift.  Debra Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass.  Both have guides to cooking many many vegetables.  I use these as guides once I've learned how to deal with a meat or veg product.  I also check out cookbooks from the library and copy out the recipes I like.  A collection of recipes from family, friends, and events needs culling right now, but often serves as inspiration.  I also have a couple of solar cooking cookbooks that I found in the free book bin at the recycling center.
         Food preservation books on fermenting, canning, dehydrating and root cellaring are also in there.

--First Aid and Home Healthcare References
       I found both at thrift stores.  The first aid manual is an scouting one.  The healthcare is based on nutrition and herbs that probably grow in the garden.          

--Basic carpentry how-to
       This mostly lets me know that something is beyond my skills, but good to have.

--Various low cost and energy efficient housing design books (Alex Wade is my hero!!!!)
       These were and are used for planning my "real" house that I hope to have built eventually.

--Beekeeping book (Thanks Hilch and the girls!!!  Great gift)
         This one is a nice basic reference.  There are tons out there so I don't know if it is the best but it is very good.   I am on the look out for an old version of The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture partly as useful reference and partly for the history of beekeeping.

--Dictionary.  Actually 2.
          One basic new one and one vest pocket type from 1906!  Both found at thrift for about 25cents. 

--Manuals for my appliances, tools, systems, etc
        These come in SO HANDY when something breaks or I get the question "what is the model number?" or "when did you buy that?" from a repair person.  Write the purchase date, or at least year, on the cover and store them either all together in a good sturdy box, or in a protective bag/cover and on the wall right by the appliance/tool/system.

--Plant/Animal Identification guides
        I have wild plants (medicinal, food, and otherwise), wildlife, birds, and would like a good mushroom guide.  I also have free e-books on weeds and local native plants.   I may print them out so I don't have to turn on the computer to find the info.

--Gardening/Orchard guides
         From the free book bin at recycling, I got the Sunset Western Garden Book from the 1970s.  Excellent!  I recently found a newer hardcover version at a thrift store for very cheap.  Currently deciding which to keep and which to put in a "tiny library" for someone else to have.  I also have a second gardening techniques book that is similar and may cull down to just one or the other.  I have an old copy of the Square Foot Garden, Let it Rot (composting), and a set of handouts on various plants from gardening classes.  I keep the notes from the garden/farm classes I attend in a hardcover notebook (that I got at a thrift store), so these notes are all together and I can find them.

--Repair and Maintenance and Hack guides.
      I haven't settled on the ones I like, but these are books on how to refinish furniture, fix household items, mend clothes, and the like.  An old housewife's guide from the 1800s has been extremely useful and was a gift from my gramma years ago.  I found a new general fix it guide at thrift that is being auditioned.

--Guide to my garden/orchard
     This is one I am putting together myself.  I haven't settled on a format but I'm thinking one page for each type of tree/shrub/cane-berry to record when/where I got it, when/where it was planted, and how it is doing.   I'll put in notes on annuals in another section or another notebook.

I switch out books now and then.

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