Episode-824- Dan Vamos from Homestead Dividends — 26 Comments

  1. What a great show! Loved Dan Vamos.

    It’s great you guys do what you do. I was a lone “crazy” lady for so long I almost started to believe the “stupids”.

    I have been called crazy for years and years. It always dumbfounded me that I am consider crazy because I don’t want to be in debit and that I would rather have the cash. I would rather have a smaller house paid for easy to take care of and clean. I am crazy for wanting to have my land produce food for me. I am crazy for holding on to my car that I bought 3 yrs old and am still driving after 11 years. I am crazy for learning how to drive heavy equipment and use power tools. I am crazy for knowing how to build a wall or put up a fence or fix a leaky faucet or running toilet. “you should just call some one” I am crazy for cooking from scratch or sewing up a hole in a sock or shirt. “Seriously if a button falls off you should just throw the shirt away” I am crazy for not wanting to spend money on fake boobs hair nails. “After all you could be so much prettier if you really cared about yourself”. This is the crap I have been told over and over. I am even crazier for teaching all of the skills to my kids.

    I’d rather be crazy than stupid. The older I get the less tolerance I have for stupid. Thanks again for the show and brining us so called “crazies” together.

    • I haven’t listened to the show yet, but I love your comment, Roundabouts. Stay true to you!

      • Thanks.
        I have also been told I am a bad wife for telling my husband he will not be on heartburn pills for the rest of his life. I changed his diet healed him with food and now he does not even need tums.

        I was told I was a bad mother because I would not put my son on Inderal a potent dangerous medication when he had migraines. I changed his diet and healed him with food now he barely has plain old headaches.

        I was told I did not love my dogs and shouldn’t be allowed to have animals because I refused to give anti seizure meds arthritis meds. Instead I cook for my dogs. Now no seizures in 3 yrs . The dog that could hardly walk is running and jumping. He even can catch a mouse or mole now. Our little Boston no longer has lethal toots.

        I was told that I needed anti depressants sleeping pills and meds for my fibromyalgia. I said no I don’t. I changed my diet and took a vacation. Sitting by the camp fire taking naps in the meadow & picked wild flowers every day. Sat quietly in the woods and took long hot baths with essential oils in the dark in the quiet. Just let the house and chores go for a while. Now no meds when I start to feel rundown I just take another vacation. They are free and really work.

        Hows that for crazy? I will continue to be a crazy bad wife mother and animal hater if that’s what works LOL.

  2. Hats off to all of your preppers, homesteaders, and D-I-Yers. I hope you all enjoyed the interview. I did. Talking with Jack was a hoot, since I remember him back in the TDI-Diesel portable podcasting machine…

    Know that you can ALL make the most of your lives, homes and dreams with a little planning and a lot of hard work. I also know that this is a hard-working audience that isn’t afraid to roll-up its sleeves.

    Best of luck to you in all of your endeavors.

    Stop over at and visit me. I’ll be there. I’ll be podcasting and publishing as long as there are people like you out there. Know that you are not alone, and my website and podcast are dedicated to you.

    Reach for the stars…but reach for your spouse and your children and give them a kiss first.


  3. Another great show. The “fix up and paint everything before the carpet” idea is so common sense, but somehow it never occurred to me.

  4. I’m really enjoying Dan’s down-to-earth, common sense approach on his podcasts. Thanks for having him on and introducing his website to me.

    • Warren,

      Many common sense items escape me. Maybe because I miss obvious things in my own life, when I figure one out I just have to tell the world.


      Thanks for the kind words. It is a real treat to make something and have others enjoy your work. Podcasting and webpages don’t come easily to me. The response from viewers like you make all of the late nights and missed sleep worth it. Thank YOU.


  5. definately true, it’s very hot when a man is handy, and awesome when he does dishes!

  6. What happened to Episode 823? My OCD is going freaking crazy right now……LOL! Jack, you gotta fix this…… 😀

  7. Roundabouts is one of my favorite people, especially on the forums. One question, though: When you changed the diets of those you love, did you go paleo or just eliminate certain items? If the latter, how did you know which items to eliminate?

  8. Chickchoc what a nice thing to say. Really needed it today have one bleeding dog ripped a skin tag that may be cancerous. Another that has a ruptured cervical disk so taking care of that too. Trying to stay calm and use my head. But being so close to the situation it’s hard. Especially since I know if I can’t help them both will have to be put down. Surgery not an option quality of life would be non existent. For Beagles to live in a crate and never be able to chase rabbits or go outsides for sniffs that would be so terrible. Plus the constant pain they would be in. Then there is the financial burden. For one dog we are looking at $5000 the other much higher. Both were pound rescue dogs and have lived a great life for the last 6 yrs. Both have had over $2000 put into them. That is the limit I just can’t go higher. Besides I know that I can help rescue more dogs. One dog is 8+ yrs old and the other 11+ yrs. Sad and breaks my heart. But dag nabit We are not defeated yet. Just will take 24 hour round the clock care for a while. Sorry to ramble just sorting stuff out in my head I guess.

    So as not to take this way way out there any more than I already have to answer your questions on what I did I will post in Lady Survivors on the forum. I am not a Dr I just did what I did and what worked for us. But happy to share. survivor Thanks again

    Oh and prepping is why I have been able to pay to take the dogs to specialists. We eliminated debt and saved $$ for medical ER for each of the animals. YES CASH IS KING Neither of the dogs would be alive if it wasn’t for cash.

  9. deja vu! I just heard you on Bob Mayne’s show. Now I definitely need to check out your podcast!

  10. Two great resources for working on your house:

    Code Check Complete – Abbreviated & illustrated version of the home, plumbing, electrical and hvac building codes. Awesome resource. Some of the newer codes (like sprinklers) are annoying, but most of them are just a codified version of ‘lessons learned’ on the best way to do things (particularly plumbing) =)

    Fine Homebuilding – An online subscription is $40/yr and gives you access to every article that’s ever been in the magazine (searchable and downloadable as PDFs), and online videos and articles. I particularly love the ‘pro tips’ that make a task ten times easier (the kind of stuff where..when you hear it, you smack yourself in the head and go ‘duh, why didn’t i think of that!’)

    Renovation by Michael W. Litchfield – Covers every aspect of home renovation in enough detail to complete most projects. Fantastic reference just to have around ‘in case’.

    As a ‘reality check’ I’ve used these resources to: completely replumb (supply (copper), drain & vent) the house, move and remove walls, install and finish wood flooring, design kitchen & bathrooms, build cabinets and install all appliances, lay tile, replace the roof, install new windows and doors, replace all electrical wiring and install sub-panels (I left the main panel to a pro).. etc.

    the comments in the interview about starting small made me laugh. our house was built in the 1950s with an addition added in the 70s. The addition was done by a man known locally as ‘the drunken contractor’. Which has led to many ‘suprises’ during what we thought were quick and easy tasks. I’m just saying.. be ready for surprises. Expect and budget some extra time/money for those things you don’t know about until you open up that wall!


  11. What a great episode today! I listened to it in the car during my morning commute and it was one of those that made me feel MORE energized after driving for over an hour.

    Dan’s advice on making your home the kind of place you WANT to live in especially resonated with me. I just finished the first weekend of a Permaculture Design Course, and one of the things that was discussed was a homesteading couple who ended up giving up on their dream — and a large source of what led them to do that was that they neglected their run-down house by spending too much time on the regular homesteading chores. The moral being that it’s VERY important to concentrate on Zone 0 before you extend out into Zones 1-5, in permaculture terms.

    I’m also really jazzed to be a part of the audience for this show for just the reason that Dan described — it makes you realize that you’re NOT crazy, that there ARE other people like you, and that it might just be the “mainstream” that is actually insane. I know that quite often my circle of friends has no interest in permaculture, alternative energy, etc. I feel fortunate to be a part of this community that does, as well as taking a PDC that surrounds me with others who feel this way as well.

  12. Chris,

    Glad you liked the show. Making anybody’s commute a little better is always a good thing.

    My crusade for maximizing your homes potential is really important to me. A family member of mine also spent too much time in the garden and not enough time on his house. It got away from him as he got older.

    If his home was in better shape, he could’ve downsized, pocketed some money and homesteaded out of a small house with a big garden. Instead, he has a house that he’s running ragged to fix, and a garden that’s now neglected because he’s overwhelmed fixing his big house.

    So, I guess I speak from experience.

  13. Also awesome, SketchUp, a free modeling program from Google. It can be used to design everything from furniture to homes to gardens.

    Particularly nice is the ability to check shade patterns for different times of the year (enter your Lat/Lon and the date/time and it shows the sun/shade pattern for your site).

    Photo realistic render addons are available for free online (my wife has to SEE IT before she knows if she approves. That’s kind of a problem if I have to build it first)

  14. this was as good podcast. … I totally forgot about Jacks trip. … amazing what kind of fixture this podcast is in my life. I was like where is the podcast today 🙂 have a good trip Jack!

  15. Great show! As a public school teacher, I was especially interested in Dan’s story and plan to head over to his website to learn more. You guys covered a lot of terrific topics. One that I particularly wanted to comment on was the physical living arrangements we have established and what might be more practical/workable in the years ahead. Jack mentioned the idea of an in-law apartment in its various forms – separate entrance walk-in basement efficiency, carriage house apt. over the garage, and Dan mentioned the casita (sp?), a little guest cottage.

    There is a tremendous book that is not well known because it is more of a textbook or conceptual map designed for architects and designers, but it is well worth reading. It is called “A Pattern Language” by Christopher Alexander. I’ve only found it because of an architect friend who owns it. It’s pretty expensive due to its low print run, I expect, but if anyone is interested in the subject, it may be found at some good libraries.

    Basically, Alexander describes the ‘patterns’ seen from the large scale of city/urban design on down to the details of a home. The power of the book is that it transcends style – he provides examples from around the world showing how, in many/most/all human habitats, there are certain foundational forms that humans seem to relate to and find “right.”

    I won’t go into great details, but the whole book is quite fascinating. On this topic, he describes the house containing an efficiency apartment. It’s quality lies in its ability to change ‘duties’ over time. It can be a teen/college student apartment when young adults can use more independence, it can be a rental when not needed by the family, it can transition to an in-law apartment for an older parent, and eventually, when we become the senior citizen, we can move in and our kids and grandkids can take over the main house, since they need the space but we don’t.

    One additional detail I love about Alexander’s idea here is the notion of including an office/workshop into the scheme. He points out that seniors need workspace to stay active and sharp. The late 20th century notion of a leisurely retirement – just rocking on the porch and golfing – is not really a very healthy way to live. Having ‘work’ to do, to keep our bodies and minds active, is valuable. And, when such a house is placed in a more activated location – say, a city or small town neighborhood – putting these apartments on ground level near other people and within walking distance of shops, public transport (where available), and other people helps both young adults and seniors stay engaged and independent and not feel cast-off.

    I love this model, and as I consider a move, I am keeping these concepts in mind, either in existing houses or with the possibility of building a new house.


    • I 2nd this recommendation, great book with a lot of great ideas on everything from home to communities and on up.

      Another area that was a real eye opener for me was the concept of ‘personal space’, particularly for couples. This is something most people try to intuitively do with ‘man caves’,workshops or even hunting cabins for men, and craft, reading, sewing rooms for women (or vice versa. not sure i’m getting the women’s rooms rt;-)

      The idea is that its personal ‘soverign’ space, and that its actually part of your design, not a shoe-horned after thought. The more people in the house, the more you need the personal space, even if its a converted closet, a corner of your greenhouse/barn etc. Somewhere you can go to be alone and uninterrupted. (I’m sure mothers can REALLY relate to this)

  16. Hey, great show! Where do I find more information about the waterproofing basement concrete mentioned? Thanks for all your help, Jack! I’ve learned so much from you….

  17. Late to the party, but great episode.

    Glad you let the conversation flow. The real passion and take-aways from this show for me came during the “off-topic” end.

    Loved Dan’s quip about reality TV being the furthest thing from real. I wonder what the world would be like today if the media had never decided that you can’t tell the truth and be successful (in life as well as finances).

    You can. Glad that there are some folks left that still understand that.

    Keep on crankin,

    -A kid who uses twitter shortform

  18. Urbivalist Dan…thanks for listening to the episode and the kind words. The “off-topic” stuff was really fun and I’d love to have a discussion/roundtable on media vs reality with Jack and others.

    The end of the show was a lot of fun.

    Please come visit me over at… e-mail me–we’ll talk.