Saturday, February 5, 2011

Simple Life

Simple Living does not always equal easier living.
Everyone has a different definition of what simple living is, and there are semantics involved.
Are you striving for a simple life or natural family living.....
I have a hard time with taking on a description to sum up the way I live.

Over the years I have noticed similarities between families wanting to simplify; they homeschool, they move onto some land, they get chickens, maybe a goat or a cow, they grind their wheat, and bake their bread, they eat their own animals, and grow their own vegetables.
Case in point: simple does  not equate easy.
In fact, in my quest to simplify our lives I have created different levels of difficulty. Here are a few...

It is much easier to go to the store and buy a carton of eggs as opposed to taking care of chickens. Chickens mean daily care, and in the winter the daily watering can be a painful experience and give a person some old looking hands.
Having my own chickens gives me a sense of accomplishment, we get eggs. Eggs that are cheaper, and possibly more nutritious (click link) than storebought,not to mention I know what my chickens are eating. For the most part I know what my chickens are eating, they free range all day and eat bugs and who knows what. I DO know that they aren't eating- meat byproducts from factory farming, antibiotics, and other things I don't want in the bodies of the creatures who make my eggs.
The chickens also create plenty of manure for our garden.

Baking bread.
I do bake our bread, usually twice a week because it gets eaten quickly. Again, it is easier to pick up a loaf of bread at the store, but for bread that is free of hfcs, whole grain-preferably organic to keep our pesticide exposure low, and tastes good it is not hard to spend $4 to $5.
Baking bread is super easy, and taking a slice off when it is fresh out of the oven-and eating it hot with butter and honey easily falls under the category of luxury.
I will post my favorite bread recipe later.

Drying clothes on the clotheline.
Lugging wet clothes out back, hanging them up, taking them down and bringing them back inside -again, easier to toss them in the dryer, and faster. But, can a dryer create the scent and feel of wind and sun dried sheets? Never.
Clothesline drying is free, and that will wind up saving a few dollars or more over the course of the season. On a side note:  It drives me crazy when HOA's forbid line drying.

If ever there was a thing to give a person gratitude for how hard it is to grow food, having a garden would be it. Pests, plant diseases, good soil, the back breaking work, the sweating, bugs, it is never ending.  Everyday during the growing season there are weeds wanting to choke out the vegetables and bugs wanting to eat everything. Last year I had an invasion of squash bugs, if ever a bug looked like Death, it is a squash bug. Im not squeamish but whenever I turned over a leaf and saw hundreds of those pale grey things, I would get a cold chill.
After the harvest, provided there is one, there is the canning, and freezing and prep work to make it last till the next season.

Once again, it is easier to go to the grocery or farmer's market and buy veggies and fruits, but for me the smell and feel of warm dirt, and the satisfaction of eating food I grew after battling to get to that point-priceless and a luxury.
I support farmer's markets 110% and make every effort to buy from them, and think everyone should get to one at least one time a month during the season.

Cutting Back
The biggest area I can think of there would be cars.  We have been a two car family for several years, and it is convenient.  In October my husband was in an accident and his car was totaled.  There was a few days of panic and wondering how we would manage with one car. The thought of getting a new one was pushed aside simply because we were just freed up from a car payment, and we did not want to add another one.  So, we decided to save up and buy a car with cash.  My husband is in sales, which means he drives. A lot. On Mondays and Thursdays he is strictly in the office, so on those days I have the car to run errands, and take our son to tae kwon do in the evening.  This has worked out nicely, and I have to admit I like not having a car available to me a couple days a week as it forces me to have less distraction, which means I am forced to write more. ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...