So here is my plan. I want us to blog today about our simple lives. I'll give you a concise rundown of how I live, I want you to do the same, on your own blog if you have one. Write about your life on your blog, put up some photos and give us a link to it. If you don't have a blog, tell us in the comments section. Tomorrow my post will be the links and descriptions of our simple lives. Sharing how we all live, showing others how far along the path we are, might open up a whole new world for some readers or give others ideas on what they could be doing.
I know that many of you would like to live as Hanno and I do, and you all know I wouldn't change our lives, but the truth is, the way we live is only one version of simple living. There are many other ways. I hope that by sharing all your stories, the readers here will see the variety and be encouraged to give it a go, or to keep doing what they've already started. I think that as soon as you start, you're living simply. We all come to this way of living for various reasons, some want to be greener; some see the need to cut back to basics and live a frugal life; when you live simply, you do all those things. This is a journey, not a destination, it is never finished, there is always room for improvement or things to change when new and better ideas present themselves. So let's get to it. Let's open up this sometimes mysterious world of simple living and see how many ways it can be done.
This is our story: I retired early and Hanno is on an aged pension. Our plan is to live an ethically and environmentally sound, frugal life for as long as we are able to do the work that supports it. We left the rat race behind and don't work for a living anymore, but we do work for our lives. The amount of work we do at home now is much more than what we did when we both worked. We stopped buying convenience and the time other people put into what we need and we put that time in ourselves. We have an acre of land with a creek, so we're well placed to grow vegetables and fruit.
A simple sweet rice pudding. Recipe: one cup of raw white rice, three cups milk (I used powdered milk), a splash of vanilla and two tablespoons of sugar. Mix it all together and let it heat up slowly. Cook for an hour on low. It's ready when the rice has absorbed all the milk. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Serve with stewed fruit.
I cook from scratch, making sauces, jams, preserves, bread, cakes, biscuits, tea, cordials, stocks and soups. I make our own cleansers, knit dishcloths and recycle old towels as cleaning cloths. I knit mend and sew. We try to use as little of everything as we can. Almost everything now is either made with, or transported by, fuel/petrol/diesel, so using less of everything means we are reducing our dependence on oil. We have a small car, we use it sparingly. Hanno does most of our household repairs and makes most of what we need in the backyard from recycled materials.
We live debt-free. We have given up a lot of the entertainments we used to reply on in days gone by and are content with reading, talking, knitting, TV, radio or surfing the internet in our free time. We live on $400 a week which covers all our needs, including health and other insurances. It's getting harder to cover everything with that amount, so we've been cutting back even more in some areas.
My philosophy is to love and nurture my family, to be kind and generous to others, share what I know, volunteer some of my spare time to a local charity, remain aware of my community and my world and to do my fair share in all things. I am content to live as I do, I am happiest when I'm at home and I look for the beauty that surrounds me. It's sometimes difficult to see, and often surprising, but it's always there.
And now it's your turn, either write a short story about your way of living in the comments section, or write about your life, with photos, in your own blog and give us the link so we can visit you. Tomorrow's post will be about all your stories ...