Our Simple Lives - readers stories, part 2
Lis at alteredcutlery write about how she lives simply with two children, an ex-husband, a new partner and a job. Lis is a great cook so check out her story and stay for the cooking, here.
Jessica is in the USA and she writes:
Hi Rhonda Jean,
I enjoy your blog. It's inspiring for me!
I began trying to live simply when my husband went back to school full time and we needed to cut back on expenses. We lowered the temperature that we heat our home and covered the windows with blankets in the winter. I line-dry our clothing outside when weather permits and use lines in our basement otherwise. When our youngest was born, we went with cloth diapers instead of disposables (I love them!) I've been composting, too, and my husband is building raised beds to grow our own veggies. I'm so excited! It's been amazing to see how much less we put in the trash when we aren't throwing away food scraps or diapers. Eventually we want to move from the city and have a small farm where we can do a LOT more as far as sustainablity.
Thanks for the invitation to share!
Elaine needs some answers to a couple of questions. Can anyone help? Elaine writes:
Hello. We live in town and are really mere beginners at this journey but this is what we are accomplishing so far. I enjoy cooking and baking from scratch--no box products for me (although I do seem to have a weakness for box cakes mixes-oh well!); growing tomatoes and peppers; canning same tomatoes and sauce, jam, peaches, pears, applesauce and freezing peppers; making own cleaning products; composting leaves and yard waste; keeping home a bit cooler in the winter months; working closer to home; packing own lunches.
I enjoy learning things from these blogs so much! I would love to learn from you girls how to make a good "green" carpet cleaner (not just a freshner but for a deeper cleaning); also some kind of "green" lawn weed controller--we don't use chemicals but I yearn for a lush lawn; lastly for those of you who refuse the plastic bags--I know you must have some trash--what do you put it in?
Have a wonderful day. I have enjoyed the blog so much as well as the comments.
Nicole is teaching her children about living simply as they grow. She writes:
Hi Rhonda Jean,
I do have a blog over at http://www.cottonwoodherbals.blogspot.com/ and will be writing a bit more on simplifying over the next week.Thank you so much for taking the time to post about your life. I get so many ideas to implement into my own home. I don't have any land to have a garden but we do have containers full of herbs we use. We put up tomatoes and apples we purchase from the local farmer's market.I'm teaching my children about recycling and making healthy choices. We always purchase organic when possible, turn the lights off, use less water and be ever mindful of not wasting anything.Each week we introduce something new to add on to what we are already doing. It may be making our own shampoo and conditioner, I already make our own laundry soap and herbal remedies. It may be using the back sides of paper for my 6 year old to draw on, it may be making our own bread (thanks to you)All the little steps we take add up. I teach my children it isn't All or nothing. For us, it is baby steps and hopefully I can share what we do with others.
Kym is reusing everything she can, she writes:
I am inspired by all the things that I have read here, I am fairly new to the idea of simple living but I think I have been doing some of it most of my life. The concept of a disposiable world has always bothered me So reusing everything possible is my mantra. I have recently started using homemade cleaners and laundry soap,wow not only supper cheap but no more plastic jugs in the recycle bin, they just keep getting refilled. It is interesting to read what others are doing and hopefully I will move into a greener life as I go along. Keep up the inspireation we really enjoy it.
Leanne is in New Zealand and, naturally, raising lambs. Check out her story at her blog here. She really is living the good life.
Kristi in the Western Reserve is living with her son in Ohio. She writes:
I am a 63 year old new widow who lives with my vegetarian grad student son on an acre and a half of land in Bath, Ohio. In a way, we were never wildly into consuming, but as I was older, and my husband ill, I began to do things like buy paper towels for convenience. I am just beginning to redesign my changed life. I'm not sure how long I will live here, certainly until Andy finishes his degree. I am trying to recycle and am giving away many things as we have much to much.........But we have lived here for 28 years and it will take a while to streamline things...But I am working on it. We have always believed people are more important than things and I want to be involved again in work with local refugees. I am debt free, I guess. (Well, I just had to buy a new car and it will be paid for in two years. I din't want to pay for it outright since I want to keep my money together. I could have, but got zero per cent financing. I wish it got a little better mileage, but it could be worse. We garden, Andy and I, but in Ohio one can only garden from about April to October.....We belong to a local CSA farm and I buy locally from a lady who raises chickens....I'm diabetic and try not to eat too many carbs, but eat a lot of tofu and am trying to increase this......So far I am not a vegetarian but can see I might end up closer to this. I do buy from and donate to thrift shops. People are more important than things was something Paul and I always tried to teach our children and I think we succeeded. My kids don't really watch tv, and I am being more selective (partly because there is so little that's any good and I don't want a cable package. We have a 99% efficient furnace and pretty good insulation.....I have a freezer and a pantry and stockpile stuff. I'm not a fanatic, (don't mean the term to make being green sound bad!) but find myself doing more and more greenly. My blog is not active yet. That may change this year......
lorisdoris is simplifying and teaching her children as she goes. Check out her story here, there are some really nice photos and a very interesting story.
Kimberly is living in suburbia and dreaming of a home in the country. She's made big inroads into living more simply by taking small steps. Here is her story.
Jeannie, yours sounds like the perfect life. What a wonderful place to live in. Jeannie writes:
I live on an acre section in a tiny coastal village of the West Coast, North Island, New Zealand. Living is easy here, proximity to the ocean provides abundant shellfish and fish, the river has whitebait and trout, the riverbanks give us blackberries and mushrooms, there are even wild plum trees in the village.
Like most I have a large vegetable garden,but am fortunate enough to also have an orchard, greenhouse with hydroponics, run a few chickens. Preseve most of our fruit and vegeatbles, make cordials, wines and whisky!Have been living the simple life for over thirty years, keen spinner, and weaver, and knit, sew and crochet some of our clothes.Our house is sited to make best use of the sun, and we have installed a woodburner for the colder days (wood is freely available along the riverbanks )
Our lifestyle is frugal by choice, we make our own cleaning products and reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible.
This is from earth heart. She and her husband are living in a similar way to Hanno and I. You will find her simple living post here.
And finally, Mrs Kaos, who is just about to celebrate her first anniversary, writes about carry on family traditions. You can read her blog here.
Thank you all so much for taking part in this wonderful excerise. I found it a real eye opener. It reaffirmed my belief that simple lives may be lived anywhere and that while all our lives are different, we share a lot of similarities. Please take the time to visit each of the blogs listed and leave a comment. One of the reasons I wanted to do this was to connect us all and help us feel that we are part of a caring community.
Nadine write about her life here.
Libby described her version of simple living here.
Niki at Rural Writings shares her simple farm life here.
And Amy writes about her simple sustainable choices here.