104: RAQ #4 – podcasts, multi-generational living, friends, quitting, and Ruth Stout
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It’s another random audience questions podcast episode (and blog post) where I pull five questions from my giant mason jar of topics you’ve sent in. Today’s questions are about my favorite podcasts, multi-generational living, my circle of friends, quitting a side hustle, and Ruth Stout gardening.
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1 – The podcasts I listen to:
I’m a regular listener of your podcast and enjoy the wisdom you share with your listeners. Just like you, I like to listen to podcasts while working on our homestead. What podcasts do you listen to? Thank you. Sincerely, Karen
Thanks for your question, Karen! I love listening to podcasts. I have many that I listen to, but the ones I try to catch every episode of are:
2 – Pros and cons of multi-generational living:
I’m a long time listener and I’ve heard you mention occasionally that at some point in your adult life, you, your husband and kids, and your parents all lived together in a multi generational home. Was that experience intentional? I’m curious if you can talk about the pros and cons of that experience and why (to my knowledge) it’s not how things are set up anymore. My wife and I are considering multi-generational living with our four kids (ages 3-10) and her parents. It’s something we’ve always considered, but as we look at the state of the world, we think about making this move a lot more. I’m just wondering if there is a negative side to it. I’m guessing there is. Thanks for considering my question. -Brad
Back in the day it was always our plan to buy a piece of property, put two houses up on it, and have a sort of family commune where we all lived together—but how this all panned out for us was a lot different than we planned.
Back in 2007 my husband and I sold our little house on main street with the intention of pooling our money with my parents to buy a piece of property. Our house unexpectedly sold in 24 hours, and so we asked my parents, hey, can we crash in your basement for a bit while we work to find this farm?
Long story short, a little bit ended up being four years. (Remember the economy in 2008-2009? Yeah. That’s a whole ‘nother podcast episode.) When we found our farm (the place we are in now) my parents sold their house and moved up to the farm with us.
You are correct that we no longer live multi-generationally. My parents ended up divorcing (which had nothing to do with our living arrangement ;)) and are both remarried now.
There are lots of pros to multi-generational living, and also some things to be aware of:
Many hands make light work.
Working as a team.
Pooling your resources.
Be aware of:
People need their space.
Set boundaries so resources aren’t taken advantage of.
Someone’s problem is everyone’s problem.
Possible disagreement over parenting strategies/life choices when other people are always in close proximity.
I don’t regret our time living in a multi-generational home. I think there are many benefits and things to be gained from it. Just be sure you have good communication and are able to sit down and discuss your expectations/concerns before you get into it, and make sure the communication lines stay open once you jump in.
3. My circle of friends:
I sometimes wonder if people in the podcasting world all hang out together. Do you and Nicole Sauce know each other? I sometimes find that your topics are the same or you’re at least commenting on things with the same opinions or approaches. Do you talk to each other and plan out topics or is it totally a coincidence? – Sharla
Nicole Sauce from Living Free in Tennesee and I are friends, but we don’t plan out our podcasts together. We sometimes happen to talk on the same topics because it’s just that time of year, or there is something going on in the world that seems to be popular to discuss. Nicole is a fabulous person, and I really enjoy the group chat she has in her Living Free in Tennessee MeWe group.
4. Throw in the towel or push forward?
As a small business owner/person with a side gig trying to wade my way through current times, I’m wondering if you have any advice about how to know it’s time to throw in the towel with your gig or how to know it makes sense to push forward? I don’t have a crystal ball and I don’t want to waste my time. Do I keep pushing what I’m doing or do I quit? – Daniel
It’s hard to know what to do without a crystal ball, especially in a time that seems so strange and unpredictable. Having said that, I think we’re in a time and place where your options are to a) grab the bull by the horns and show people this is who you are and what your business/side gig is, or b) you let 2020 (and Covid, riots, etc) have its way with you—and you fail.
Anyone looking at their business right now has to be honest in asking how is this relevant? and how does this benefit people? And if your business doesn’t do those things, you have to make changes to make it relevant and make it benefit people. If you don’t, you won’t make it—especially now.
It doesn’t matter if you like it. It doesn’t matter if you agree with it. It doesn’t matter if it’s fair.
2020 (Covid, quarantine, riots, etc) is killing off a lot of things, but some of those things really didn’t work already, and would have gone by the wayside eventually. 2020 has just sped up the process.
There are systems that will be replaced or completely changed because of what has happened in 2020. There are a lot of things that can be automated that probably won’t go back to not being automated. There are a lot of things that can be done online that probably won’t go back to in person. And again, it doesn’t matter if you like it, or if it’s fair. It’s all about what works best for most people (unless you’re in some little niche or decide to go off on your own thing).
So what do I think you should do? I don’t know if you currently have a business or if you’re thinking of starting one, but this is the time to try stuff. The time is now. There is no better time than now. And if you can’t do it today, then do it tomorrow. Ask yourself how to make it relevant and how to make it benefit people—and then do it.
But also understand that success for your side gig might not be defined as raking in a million dollars a day. Your successful side gig might be “hey, I pocketed another $200 this month.” If your side gig is covering a bill every month, that’s awesome. If your side gig is giving you a little extra that you can put away towards a goal, that’s awesome.
Opportunities are everywhere, you just need to look. Don’t talk yourself out of an idea just because you think it won’t make you a million dollars. It’s not about getting rich, it’s about paying for your life.
5. Ruth Stout garden
Can you give us an update on the Ruth Stout garden you planted this year? -Lianna
The Ruth Stout garden was a success for us this year and was much more productive than past attempts to plant a root type veggie in heavy clay soil. Our onions did well (picture below), and our potatoes look great (I’ve peeked!) Some pros and cons of this method:
It works! I was skeptical, but it obviously works!
The hay helps everything stay moist, so in this (mostly) dry year, didn’t have to water much.
It didn’t help with weeds as much as I thought it would. I still ended up weeding a lot. People said to keep throwing hay on top of the weeds, but at one point I just had to stop. They just. kept. poking. through and I was using a LOT of hay.
Having said that, I sorta suspect that our weeds do cocaine and are unstoppable. If you don’t have that issue, perhaps the hay will help better. 😉
Thanks so much for the questions, everyone! Until next time…
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1 thought on “104: RAQ #4 – podcasts, multi-generational living, friends, quitting, and Ruth Stout”
I’m retired and have lived with my son and his family for 4 years. We bought a small, 20 acre farm together. We have a large house, so they have the main floor and I have the lower walkout. My son has remodeled it so I have a private entrance, a bathroom and my own kitchen. This separation and respect for one another’s privacy has been vital to make it work. Unless asked to join in, I keep myself to myself. Fortunately, I have always been good at minding my own business.
Any changes or issues involving the house, structues, or land are hashed out between us first.
We all care for the animals, which makes for less work all around and ensures that they are safe and healthy.
I would say that respect and flexibility are the two most important aspects of making a multi-generational household work. It ain’t The Waltons, but it’s working for us.