I sat down yesterday to write up this piece and my internet went down. Ironic right? Most of the street was out until today and I’m sure many people were gnashing their teeth and tearing at their robes over it. The addiction with the media and technology is very high. We didn’t suffer. I had to stop blogging, obviously, but life for our household went on as usual. When the internet goes down we don’t even blink. We pick up one of our hundreds of paper books or go out to the backyard to play and garden.
Grannie is a different story. She loves her Facebook and Internet and when it goes down I can see her struggle a bit as she tries to adjust to this new situation. She will awkwardly pick up a book and stare at it. Many people are like this. If the lights went out they would be committed to an asylum within days.
I am withdrawing into a sweet and quiet little world daily. I just can’t do this modern thing on a big scale. I love some of the modern conveniences and many things about this day and age is fantastic. If we could all learn to combine the modern and old you would have a wonderful recipe for a peaceful, easy, and happy life.
I feel like I may have the winning combination. Now, some of my old-fashioned ways come from just being cheap and preferring to put my money elsewhere, however, it turns out that the simple and old ways are really soothing. It makes me think of the Amish and how they keep many modern tools and conveniences out of their lives so as not to get caught up with this world and it’s hectic ways. They feel that the only way to stay deeply connected to God is to keep separate from this ever-growing and automatizing world.
Now, we don’t have it fully dialed in. I have yet to learn to can and if that darn squirrel stays out of my cucumbers I will start learning soon with pickles. We have a car and I love my music but TV is very limited. I just removed the TV from our bedroom which was quickly hooked up to an antenna in the garage by my husband who is creating his very first man cave. The boys are allowed PBS in the morning and I may watch our local Good Morning Sacramento because the newscasters are so fun and real and down to earth and it’s all local news about local businesses and farms and weather. They don’t get caught up in the world drama or local drama. They do fun stuff like drink coffee and guess 80’s singers and interview all the local shopkeepers. That is my idea of news.
As for the computer, we have my cheap laptop that I use only for blogging, writing, and bill paying…ok, and to order things on Amazon, oh, and to order books from the library. Arjan has a $100 MacBook for his daily lessons with ABCMouse and Education.com. He can also watch documentaries or anything else educational. He gets up to 2 hours a day Monday through Friday. He wants to do school during the weekend but I force a time of rest from the computer. We have no Ipads, I was given one as a gift from the husband and gave it back to him to take to his shop. I am not a lover of all this technology. The boys are not allowed on cell phones, Ipads, smart tablets…or whatever. My cell phone is in a basket on the frig and used for when we leave the house in case of an emergency. It has turned into a fabulous camera and recently I found that I can plug in earbuds, drop it in my apron pocket and listen to Law of Attraction lectures or anything positive and metaphysical while I clean the house. I have also figured out Pandora and listen to dance hits when on the tread climber. So, I have found a use for that silly thing.
We have cars but I limit our trips out and about. Wednesday is shopping day and Friday is library day. I try to combine the errands with those days. I would prefer to walk or bike everywhere and as the boys get older we will do more of that. You really see your neighborhoods and the town on foot.
As most of you know, I have no dishwasher nor do I have a vacuum for the hard floors now. I do have a carpet vacuum and even a shampooer. I like washing dishes by hand and I like sweeping. I consciously removed the dryer from the laundry room to make room for my writing space and because I have chosen to hang my clothes outside.
I wear an apron all day. I like keeping the clothes clean and I love the pockets to put my glasses and tools in. I have a backyard filled with fruit trees and veggie gardens along with 5 hens. I am my great grandmother.
For entertainment, we stay home and play or work. I am very absorbed in DVDs of Downton Abbey. I’m on season 6 as of this morning and already a bit panicked. I don’t enjoy TV and the shows offered. Series like Downton Abbey take me away to an older time with less population and manic. I love everything about the old times. It’s also fairly clean so if my boys happen into the room I’m safe. We do a lot of big bowls of popcorn and cook special things on the weekends.
We cook a lot. Almost, not everything, but almost all our food is homemade from scratch. Three reasons for that being there is so much junk in our foods in the stores and restaurants that I found the only way to have truly clean, wholesome food for my family was to hand pick all the ingredients and make it all from the bottom up. It is less expensive and tastes so much better than packaged food. And a busy kitchen makes for a cozy home. Home cooking creates memories, smells wafting through the rooms, dinners at the table, children learning to bake and cook, and it’s creative. It’s fun looking up recipes and creating dishes we may have enjoyed at a restaurant or cafe. In the winter we do a lot of baking to keep the house warm and because that is just what you do in the winter.
I try to avoid big box stores and put my money into smaller stores and shops. I take my money and put it into companies that are doing fair trade and good things for the earth and taking good care of their employees. I want everything I do, buy, and invest in to be from a very conscientious place. I love my children and I love this earth and all the creatures on the planet. I want to see rainforest replanted not burnt down so the masses can have dollar burgers or cheap palm oil. I want employees to be happy at work and have job security not to be replaced by automation. I want to buy coffee and tea from fair trade that is improving life for a village far away and doing good works not stripping a jungle and using children in factory labor so I can have a cheap pair of shoes. We even changed our diet recently because I just can support factory farming and all its cruelty. I can not feed my family animal meat that has suffered and lived in terror as they do at factories. I buy organics to support farmers that are taking care of the land and not polluting the soil, water, air or our bodies.
I want all that I bring into this home and feed our bodies to be chosen from positive and uplifting sources. I want my family and myself to be the solution not add to the mass greed and gluttony that is so prevalent these days.
Let’s not talk about, post about, and brag about our “grocery hauls” from Walmart or other box stores. Let’s share ways we can shop affordably for organics and nonGMO’s. Let’s share about companies doing fair trade or companies doing great works to heal the planet so we can put our money into them. As mothers, we want to save money but we also want a lovely planet for our children and grandchildren. We don’t bring forth life just so they can suffer all the damage we have caused in the name of cheapness. We want to learn to be good caretakers of our home, our land, and the planet God created for us.
For example, Yerba Mate will be replanting 200,000 acres of jungle by 2020 and growing their tea in its natural habitat. There are companies working with nature, indigenous people and their employees to improve life for all of us including the animals and forest. There are farmers that raise animals with compassion and are improving the land. Companies doing business in this 3 fold way are not only sustainable but they will have long term success as they are supporting whole communities and nature. I want to be a part of great things like that.
Let’s watch positive media and documentaries that will change us for the better and let’s teach our children how to be good stewards of this planet.
We can all have a quieter, healthier, happier life right now in this modern time. We can live affordably while making global choices. We can make great changes right from home and our wallets. We can live on fixed incomes and still afford clean food and quality products.
As a housewife, I manage the home, the money, and my children’s lives. It is my job to feed my family food that is free of chemicals, poisons, and pesticides so they can avoid disease and cancers, along with diabetes. It is my job to create a home that is a safe and a nurturing haven from the modern world that is too crowded and fast.
When you enter my home it is like going back in time a bit. You will be fed homemade dishes and sit with your coffee in my backyard with only the sounds of birds and hens. We will sit and talk and laugh and no one will be looking at their Smartphones and scanning Facebook or texting. My boys will be very interested in you and not their computer or Ipads. You’ll pet dogs and a cat that are rescues and are deeply loved and thriving. You’ll look on former factory hens that were also rescued and thriving even though their beaks have been chopped and they have been through hard times. You will drink fair trade coffee and eat organic food preferable from local farms. You will look around a charming, cozy home and never know that it had once been an old, abandoned home for squatters and that the neighbors are very grateful for the improvements. You will not find plastic water bottles in my frig. You will find a filter on my sink. You will wonder where the heck is the dishwasher and you may witness laundry on the line. You will see my writing space squeezed into the laundry area. You may even be surprised at how much space we have in our tiny home with 5 people living in it. You may wonder how we all share one bathroom (I wonder).
You will experience a style of life that is simple, slow, frugal, old-fashioned, a little bit modern, new age, a bit hippy tree hugger, and very aware on local and global levels without letting all that outside world drama effect us in negative ways.
Above all, you will witness a very healthy and happy family and a home full of love and sweetness. We live well, frugally, and consciously taking our world and all our brothers and sisters and critters in mind with all we do or don’t do, with all we buy or don’t buy, with where we shop and where we don’t shop.
And that is why we live simply so others can simply live…and thrive.