DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are about 7000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

3 May 2010

A change is coming

Change is in the air. I can feel it in my bones. Housekeeping, the acts of budgeting, food production, home cooking, cleaning, and caring for a family, is becoming a more attractive option for young people to immerse themselves in. Instead of being seen as second best, it's now up there as being a healthy, dignified, modern, family-centred way of gaining balance and harmony in life. Gone are the days when ambition and promotion win every time. Now there is a gentler option, now it's okay to put yourself in the picture and decide that the work that pays the bills can function efficiently alongside the unpaid work of housekeeping. Working together, they pay the biggest and best dividends. 

This week's flowers from the garden are mini gerberas, zinnias, camellias and mock orange greenery.

After too many years of men and women working hard to buy everything they are supposed to want and need, up popped common sense to ask this question: "Why not work less and do more for myself so that I don't need so much money to live?" Could it be that simple? Living well on less, hmmm, it's got a good ring to it. Most of us have grown up with the idea that you must work to have the money to keep up with the Joneses and while that concept is the basis of our Western economies, I believe families have been short-changed by it. While our governments are saying that families are the centrepiece of the nation, they put the economy first; surely they should have equal footing. I’m not advocating we all give up work and stay home to mellow out but it shouldn’t be an all or nothing scenario. There should be an option for job sharing, part time work, two parents working at different times, working from home and home businesses. No one is telling us to cut our desires and expenses so we can give more time to family and to life. The emphasis is to build the economy, work longer, buy more, live in bigger houses and have “good debt”. Up until the second world war, before the days of credit cards and huge mortgages, we all lived very happily with less and by doing much of the work we now pay to have done for us. It's a vicious circle - we work to have the money to live well, but when we see all those things we want, we have to work more to pay for it all. We also spend more on food because we don't have the time to carefully prepare our own food. A quick burger or bucket of chicken may be handy at the end of a busy day but that and being tired and overworked is putting us in our graves too soon. 

A small garden harvest for that night's dinner.

I think the economic crisis has been another part of the push towards homekeeping - as people lose their jobs, they concentrate more on saving money in the home and realise they can save a lot and that the work is rewarding. Some have seen the sense of growing food if there is space in the backyard, some have been more aware of their grocery budget and some have started knitting, sewing and making gifts in an endeavour to enrich life and save money at the same time. Thirty-seven percent of American households are actively growing vegetable gardens now. Hanno went to our local market early on Sunday morning to buy seedlings and had to wait five minutes at 5.45am to be served. When he left, over 50 people were waiting at the little stall to buy their precious cargo. We have been buying seedlings on and off at that stall for 12 years and it's never been that busy. Things are changing. 


I think blogs have helped drive this change too. Instead of reading only what is edited and thought to be what people want to (and should) read in magazines and newspapers, guided not so gently by the influence of advertisers, along came blogs, where all we have to do it press "publish" to get our unsolicited, uncensored and unedited thoughts out there. Many of those thoughts are pedestrian and supporting the status quo but there were also many subversive blogs that showed happy housewives, beautiful homes filled with love but not much money, people being fulfilled and enriched by working in their homes and a kind of nostalgia for the old days when all that was commonplace. Blogs have shown us that the unorthodox and unconventional ways of those people not caught up in modern "must have" living are a valuable template for a way of life that allows us to enjoy home and family without working till we drop to achieve it. 

Home made baked egg custard with nutmeg topping.  Shhhh, the cook had a little taste.  Both Hanno and I agree it's drop dead delicious.  A triple D rating.

Housework and homemaking are sustainable. Whatever is put into it is paid back to the worker, not in dollars but in comfort, appreciation, happiness, satisfaction, calmness, love and security. It's one of the types of work that is self-fulfilling and gently layered. There is no corporate ladder, work can be left until tomorrow and you don't work overtime unless someone is sick, or on the odd occasion when a ballet costume needs to be made or covering the robot costume with tin foil before the school play just has to be done. More and more I see it – families with one main breadwinner, or two casual workers, whose main desire is to work enough to pay the bills but not enough to wipe out those years from 25 – 60. Vegetable gardening, DIY, home cooking, homekeeping, organisation and budgeting are making a comeback. I think a change to common sense has started, I hope there will be no going back.

75 comments:

  1. I see this change happening too, and I'm so glad. Our society NEEDS a change in values, has needed one for some time.

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  2. Many of us have worked for many years outside of the home because we had to, not because we wanted to. I am very happy to see homemaking being given the respect it deserves. I have always loved being a homemaker, unfortunately it is my second job at this time. As I try to settle into slower years (while still being a single income household) I am reviving all my skills that I had treasured so when I was able to stay home. If I was to strike it rich, my riches would still be home and family.

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  3. Great post! I see this happening more & more & I love it!!
    Thanks for a wonderful blog!
    Renata :)

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  4. It's posts like these that keep me going! Thank you!!!

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  5. I just adore your home photos. How quaint and cozy. This post is certainly one that deserves to be read and meditated on. Thank you for sharing it.

    ~Mrs. M

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  6. I am doing just this! My husband and I own an online business and, as of today, am focusing on it full-time to cover what we need in life and that's it. We don't need new cars, the latest things or to go out every week - we want a simple, earthy life that allows us to stay at home for our kids, our marriage and our lives...we are living instead of working to live!

    I love your blog - it has always motivated me to be the person I want to be rather than one society drives...

    PS - Love the lemon tart - made it last night!

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  7. Hi Rhonda. Wow, those figures for American vegie gardeners are amazing! Interesting to read what you said about your markets. Just out of interest...what seedlings did you buy? I thought you and Hanno raised most of yours, I rely more on my market man.

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  8. My husband and I are really trying to find this kind of balance in our lives. I stay at home and homeschool our children, but my husband has a very demanding job. I'm thankful for his job, but I'm looking forward to the day when our family can be together more.

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  9. YES! This is exactly what I am going for. At least trying it for one year... hopefully I can inspire like you have!

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  10. Hello everyone!

    Rose, he bought lettuce, cabbages, sugar snap peas, Lebanese cucumbers, climbing beans, sage and thyme. We start off with seeds and try to keep them going through the season but at times we don't sow seeds in time, or they start and fail - we've just had silverbeet and cabbage seedlings eaten to the ground overnight. The most difficult part of succession planting is to have seedlings ready to plant when you need them. We're still working on how to do that right every time.

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  11. We are growing our own garden and making our own wine. I think your blog entry is right on. I am finding myself wanting to be home more and more away from the crazy work force. However, we end up trying to do it all...work at home and at work too. lol

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  12. Could you post the recipe for your egg custard? It looks yummy! Our chickens are laying way to many eggs and I am looking for ways to use them.

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  13. Great post Rhonda, especially how blogs are allowing people to communicate in an 'uncensored' way, and talk about real things away from the marketing madness of modern life. Sonya

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  14. Yes, a change is coming. It should have been here some years back, but I'm happy that it is coming.

    I've heard of the trickle down theory, but how does one go about trickling this change UP?
    Yvette

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  15. Great post, Rhonda. People have wondered for years how we manage being a one income family in today's world and I say, "very well thank you". I have worked part time on and off over the years and found that those jobs ended up costing more that was earned. Being a homemaker is my full time job and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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  16. So true...so many people spending way beyond their means to have all the "stuff" they think they need... it's unreal...

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  17. I suspect that what I am going to say has happened to so many other women from my generation. Here it goes...I was duped! I grew up "just understanding" that I would go to university, land a great job, make a good salary and keep moving up the ladder until who-knows-when. There were no options.

    There are options though! I personally started looking to history for the answers. Blogs gave me the courage to do what I knew was the right thing.

    Keep the faith my blogging friends. Leading from the front and walking the walk and is the way to true change :-)

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  18. I have a theory on how all of this has come about. This is a primarily US view, though. Sorry to those not in the US.

    Our grandparents (mine, at least, I'm in my 30s) came through the depression at an impressionable age. But then they got married, had families, and found themselves in a very profitable time. They were drawn in, especially after the very hard times of the 1930s. Their children (my parents) saw the joy and comfort their parents found, and pursued it even further. But neither found exactly what they were looking for. My generation has seen it... the lack of contentment in our grandparents or in our parents, nor in us. We have seen two generations not find peace in economic prosperity, so we are looking else where.

    I saw the same thing while living in China (mainland). Those who came through the cultural revolution knew hardship and poverty, and they saw the prosperity of the west. So, when in the 1980s they could pursue the same, they did. When I was there, early 2000s, many knew that they were not finding the peace or contentment in wealth that they expected to find and had begun looking else where.

    In some places, it might take 2 or 3 (or more generations) and in other places only 1 generation, but I think all people will discover that peace and contentment will never be found in material wealth.

    I think I may need to expand my thoughts... but on my own blog, I think. :P

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  19. What a timely post Rhonda. As a family with 2 young children we are currently living on a single income and my husband works very long days with a lot of travel involved. Your post was just what I needed this morning! Most of my broccoli and kale seedlings got eaten to the ground recently too :-( I had to go out and buy some more as well but was able to save a few of the munched on ones. I've put a tunnel green house I bought online over them now to try and keep out the little terrors.

    Susieq.

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  20. Rhonda, Your post today brings to mind the saying 'Be the change you want to see'.

    You and Hanno inspire and lead by example everyone who visits here. And the same can be said for in your local community.

    Hopefully the small changes that I am making will be a lesson for our children and one day our grandchildren. I have always said 'Children learn what they live'. It took less then one generation for us to snap up the mods and cons and become a consumer driven society. I am hoping, stepping back into a slower pace of living can be done in the same space of time.

    Empathy, understanding, respect and compassion are also a few of the values I am trying to instill in our children. I think these also come from being less focused on just buying 'things' and trying to keep up with 'the Jonses'. We are happy and content, with who we are and where we are at this point in our lives.

    Hope you have had a lovely weekend.
    Cheers, Deb

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  21. I love your blog, it is helping me to build our life into what I know it can be, simple and natural! I am a 24 year old stay/work at home mum to 2 beautiful little girls. We have an on-farm tourism business which we have built up to the point where we have employed someone ele to do most of the "heavy lifting" and now I am able to stay in the home a little more and prepare my kids for "school of the air" (homeschool). This year our focus around the house is to "give back" a little with the addition of fruit trees and planting natives, building a vegie garden and getting chooks! I have noticed a positive change in my 3 year old with all the time we are now spending outside and see my friends and peers all longing for a simpler life such as we have. We get so much joy out of watching our 3 year old collecting the eggs each day and having the time to cook beautiful family meals with the kids, simple living is a wonderful life and much more rewarding than a new plasma!

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  22. I think that blogs have helped too, but the way they helped me was to see that while my friends and neighbors are still moving fast with the rat race, I am not alone in the world. While people may think I'm odd for hanging my laundry, and not using the air conditioning (although we're getting closer to turning it on) I know there are others who value the same things I do. My husband was out of work for almost 8 months, and we still continue to do free things, although if you look at our family blog we look busy, but with 4 kids how can we not be busy.

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  23. Yes! And it is a good thing. Funny how our simple tastes and lifestyle is coming into vogue. It is ironic but is good for the world

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  24. So many of us have discovered the value of staying home and do not regret giving up our former careers, I am one of those mums who never wants to go back to her stressed out working life. I no longer care about keeping up - I would rather keep home! At home we are not rushed, we have time to grow our own food, keep chickens or other livestock and feed our families well, to clean and care for our homes and put in the time to our husbands and children whether we homeschool or simply because we are there during the day and can have that plate of home baked cookies ready for the children when they burst through the door after school. I know this is a favourite memory of so many people! So I am alarmed to find out that one of the recommendations of the Henry report for the government for simplifying the family tax benefit system was a work test for the primary carer of children when they turn 4 - to encourage stay at home mums to return to the workforce. They are not just referring to single parents who already face this test when their children reach school age but all families where one partner stays home and receives any form of government payment - including those who have children with what they term 'mild' disabilities. At this stage the government has said no to this recommendation but be aware that stay at home mums are being eyed up as potential 9am - 3pm workers. You can read about this recommendation in today's Sydney Morning Herald - I heard the treasurer mention this 'work test' and began googling. Just be aware that this choice to stay home is coming under scrutiny as the government tries to 'boost the economy' as the baby boomers retire. How can they not recognize the value of the work we do at home as benefiting every aspect of society including the economy?

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  25. I very much agree in not being willing to trade my life energy anymore for a bunch of material goods, or a bigger home, or any of the things so many people feel are necessary.

    Instead I will happily remain home as long as I can (have done so for many years, mostly on one meager income). I will continue to treasure the time that I have to do frugal activities and things that enrich my family and home. People look at my old dented car and stare, and probably judge me for not having fashionable clothing, etc., but I don't care. I prefer having my life over their life any day of the week!

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  26. May I please ask for the custard recipe? It does look delicious! It is not kind to post a picture and not share, lol. ;)

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  27. I sincerely hope you're right about this, Rhonda. I have been mocked a little of late for being a "dag" in terms of my interest in traditional skills and hobbies, and for not aspiring HIGH enough in a career that would put all of my tertiary quals to good use. "Been there, done that!" I say..... Let's be perfectly frank here. How many people truly derive fulfilment and a surge in self esteem via their paid employment positions? How would genuinely choose employment (enslavement?) over being able to manage their own timetables on a daily basis? This post is particularly affirming of my own goals and desires.
    Thanks!
    Tracy (Brisbane)

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  28. What a great post, and you are so right that blogs are helping fuel this change. I have found that women of America are so much different than the ones portrayed on TV and News. There are good families and parents who love their children and are raising great kids.
    Thank-you for this uplifting post. I for one am keeping a close eye on this change, and doing everything I can to promote and live it. Thanks again!

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  29. Rhonda, I just want to correct something I put in my comment re the recommendations of the Henry report. I've just reread the article in the SMH and it refers to people (not parents as I stated) receiving welfare payments with temporary illnesses or mild disabilities and parents of young children facing stricter conditions. It gives no detail of what these conditions would be. That from what I can gather has also been rejected. The changes he recommends for the streamlining of family tax benefit do give me cause for concern and I would imagine all parents with children from the age of 4 in receipt of family tax benefit who want to stay at home and not go out to work could be affected should the government decide to act upon his recommendations. There are other recommendations which could also affect families and quite a number of articles in all the papers today on the issue of stay at home parents so your post is very timely!

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  30. Hi Rhonda,
    You are spot on with this post. I hope lots of people read it and think really hard about their options. As always so many of us are inspired by your wonderful posts. I do hope that book is still in the wings. I'm sure you could help a lot more people with it. Your baked custard looks delicious. Maybe you could share the recipe. One other thought! Would it be possible for you to do a post on the recipe you use when you have an abundance of fresh eggs. My ladies are laying 6 eggs a day and whilst I love sharing them around I would love some new egg ideas. Many thanks .

    Blessings Gail

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  31. Thank you for this post. I have recently decided to cut back on my hours spent working, and this post has made me feel even better about that decision! It is not worth killing yourself over, just to be able to have more "stuff". Thank you thank you thank you!!

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  32. and just think.....
    All of the littke possums being looked after at home, my three included are absorbing all of these ideas...and growing up thinking it is just the "norm".....to go 'down the back' and collect the eggs, to 'go down the back' and pick a tomato, yep, its just the 'norm'....
    Im continually inspired by your blog Rhonda, thank you so much.xx

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  33. Hi Rhnda, I read yesterday that peak oil is here. That means that fuel prices will jumpap again as soon as the world economy heats up, and keep heading north. Not a comfortable thought but suddnely food miles become critical. You can measure yours in food yards! Way to go!

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  34. Rhonda this is so well written. I work 3 part time jobs and am the homemaker and mum of 3 beautiful children. Sometimes I do let the cooking or gardening slip but easily get back on track with what feels like your personal support on this blog and the forum. I hope to quit 2 of these jobs next year but for the moment I keep going and we do our best with what we have.

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  35. Rhonda, a post so close to my heart - home and family. As life has dealt us all with different circumstances and different paths to take, we all have a different outlook upon life, mixed within the different seasons of our lives. Though one thing that remains constant and remains the most important - is the home and family.

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  36. Hi Rhonda, this is EXACTLY what I thought while I was "stuck" in a very well paid job, "successful" in the eyes of others, yet very sad and depressed because, I hardly saw my family, or much free-time to enjoy myself. I got up one morning and said, "There's GOT to be a better way", then I scoured the internet in search of a better, simpler life. I found the Dervae's "Path to Freedom" site at that point, and exclaimed, "This is IT" and started on my journey to self-suffiency. I love it! My hand are rough and calloused, but my heart is full of joy and peace. I see my family and I'll be homeschooling my son soon. It's a pleasure to be on the journey with you.

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  37. I have found that through the years when someone knows you are a stay at home wife (and mother) you are looked at differently. I have been SAH for over 20 yrs now. I only worked a couple of those yrs because I thought I needed to be like everyone else.

    I have been looked at with raised eyebrows like I had a disease or something. I have had responses like.."Just a housewife? What do you do all day? I would just be so bored..blah, blah, blah...."

    Well I have never really wanted to be anything else and my Dh feels the same. So one income is what we deal with and I try my best to keep up with the household stuff. Bills get paid and food is on the table. I feel very fortunate to be able to stay at home.

    Still waiting for people to take notice of their own lives and how fast paced and hectic their lives are. I look around and all I see is underpaid, overstressed people around here.

    Maybe, just maybe they will actually slow down one day and realize there is more to life than running themselves ragged in order to buy the big house and fancy cars and boats etc.

    --------Krystal , happy homemaker in Nova Scotia

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  38. "Housework and homemaking are sustainable. Whatever is put into it is paid back to the worker, not in dollars but in comfort, appreciation, happiness, satisfaction, calmness, love and security."

    Great post Rhonda. The line above stood out to me in particular because at times I feel like the work I do at home is not valued as much as the work I do outside of the home, which earns a paycheck.

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

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  39. I love this post! Rest assured, this "movement" is indeed on the rise. In fact, one author, Shannon Hayes, wrote a book about it. It's called Radical Homemakers. Her website is http://radicalhomemakers.com/ I purchased the book and LOVED it! Several magazines have done articles on the movement and I know of at least one other article in a MAJOR publication that will soon be coming out. Many people, men and women alike, are deciding that rather than slaving away to earn money to pay someone to do work they would prefer to do themselves, they would rather have the direct benefit of doing the work and not spending the money, time and energy working for someone else. We are most certainly NOT alone in this!

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  40. This is a subject I feel strongly about. Although my husband and I both work full we live a simple homemade life. We have recently been having discussions of simplifying more and working less. It is a scary change to make, we talk about covering insurance and how much do we really need to live on and what can we do without.

    I am thrilled to see homemaking make a come back and to see both my daughter and daughter-in-law take an interest in homemaking.

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  41. I agree with you about change.
    I also agree that we can pick where we get our information from and the blogging world has much to offer that is from people's own experiences
    I enjoy visiting her
    Blessings

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  42. Hurray and AMEN!!!! Well put once again!!

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  43. Wonderful post! I am so glad that things are changing.

    Kristina

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  44. For most of my adult life (I'm 54) I've felt like a bit of an outsider for choosing a "simple life". In the midst of the economic meltdown we knew we could fend for ourselves better than most. We have no debt, we have good health (our greatest monthly expense is our health insurance - we live in the U.S.) It's validating and so heartening to see young families embracing a lifestyle that made no sense to most of my peers. I think they are choosing well!

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  45. I wonder how many people just accept their working life as'the way it is'? Since they have never seen or been involved in any other type of life they may. With this blog and others making them think and wonder anew I hope they will think again and try to chenge theri dreary life to a brighter one!! :) We have been a one income houshold for over 40 years and it works even on a tiny income. And there is much JOY in it too! :)

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  46. I have to agree - I do think things are changing. I am only 30 so consider myself young (just about! LOL) Only recently have I been inspired by what I read and see on blogs to start my own small garden. I'm not going to change the world but I am so excited about what it will bring. I have always known this way of life, but felt uncertain about it, none of my friends agreed - recently though more of my friends are asking questions and trying it out for themselves! Time is changing and it can only be for the better!!

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  47. Bravo Rhonda! You put into words what has been going around in my mind for the last 2 years. I am soooo happy that people are waking up and smelling the roses.

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  48. I like this change! I too am changing toward more self-sufficiency and loving it. Your blog has indeed helped me a lot! It's inspiring and fun and educational and every time I'm done reading, I do something worthwhile right after.
    Today, I crocheted a basket from straps of cloth and I made some hairbands too. Yesterday, I baked scones using sunflower oil in stead of butter - an experiment and much cheaper, it turned out great! I am currently at war with the pigeons who try to eat the seedlings on my balcony and in a few years, I'm sure I'll have my own little homestead.
    You are an inspiration. Seeing that someone else can do it, gives me the confidence to try. Thanks.

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  49. This is another beautiful and well-written article :) :) My grandmother was the one who really influenced me to live a simpler, more frugal lifestyle. She grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s in the United States. She learned really quickly how to be wise with her money. I can still recall her words of wisdom and advice over 20 years later :) :) The biggest lesson that I have learned is to save my money until I can afford to pay for an item on full :) :) I love the peace of mind that I get from knowing that I own something outright. I'm also learning how to make the things in my home last and repurposing them when necessary. Lots of love and hugs from Oregon. Thanks for your lovely blog :) :)

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  50. Hi! I'm a new member and the first word out of my mouth was, "Amen!" As a homemaker for 21 years I "high five" you. Thank you!

    ~Yvette

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  51. Yes, things are definitely changing, and some who previously scoffed (or at least ignored the talk) at the notion of doing so much oneself and downscaling their lifestyle are now looking at their situation with "new eyes" and venturing into learning some new (old) skills.

    It's good to see and I hope also there's no turning back.

    Thanks, Rhonda.
    Ree :)

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  52. Sheila, North Wales. UKMay 04, 2010 8:57 am

    Just wanted to say thanks once again for another inspiring post Rhonda and I would say things they are achanging over this side of the world too!!

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  53. I"m not old enough to remember the '60s counter-culture movement, but I know there was one. It was big. And it disappeared almost entirely. I'm not convinced that real change is coming, but I hope I'm wrong.

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  54. To those who struggle with what others say about being home - I think you ultimately have to be at peace with your decision and be confident in what you do. Don't let anyone undermine that value (such comments come from envy and ignorance).

    I think also that even if no one in the home values what we do that we should have that value for ourselves. Thankfully I have an appreciative husband, but I've also been in a situation where it wasn't appreciated. What matters is that I give respect to what I do, and my joy comes from that, no matter what.

    I share with others (about how it's possible to stay home on a smaller income) not because I want to brag but rather that they may see that such a life could be possible perhaps for them as well.

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  55. Rhonda thank you for this article. I am the only homemaker of my age in my circle of friends. I'm the only homeschooler (one of two families in town) in my circle of friends. My mother worked from age 14 until 62 with a brief break while my brother and I were young. (My father worked full-time until he retired at 63). I had my own key to get in the house after school at 9yo. My grandparents lived on the other side of the country (and my grandmother worked in a factory when she was of working age). I had no role-model to follow on how to be a housewife. I just made it up as I went along and read everything I could find. Thank goodness I found your blog several years ago. You truly are an inspiration and valued more than you realise.

    from Country West Aus.

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  56. Rhonda, I would like to say "thank you" for giving such wonderful respect that homemaking deserves. Your own personal life is encouraging those who are living similar lives all around the world.

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  57. I think another very significant factor in this growing trend towards homekeeping that no one has dared to mention is a slowly evolving rejection of some aspects of feminism.

    It is true, as Rhonda writes, that up until the second world war we all lived very happily with less and by doing much of the work we now pay to have done for us. I would also argue that women were happier because they weren't being told by the likes of Germaine Greer that a life of domesticity is a life of servitude.

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  58. I have often wondered how our wants and desires would change if we did not have commercials in front of us all the time, in all the media. I try to avoid them as much as possible, as I pretty much know, at my age, what I want and need. I love reading blogs and have one of my own. I like that we are real people talking to each other, not rock stars, film stars, or some celebrity's exgirlfriend expounding on life as they know it.

    Keep writing and I'll keep reading. If you want to look at my blog, which usually is either about getting organized (a challenge for me), green knitting, or gardening, it's http://rainydaydoller.blogspot.com/

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  59. Thanks for the inspiration for the egg custard, Rhonda; it looked so delicious I googled a recipe (4 eggs, 2oz sugar, pint of milk and nutmeg was the simplest, which I used)and made it this morning. It looks like yours now because this cook too had a taste! I have left some blue and raspberries out to eat with it later. While the oven was on low, I used the stove top to prove some bread which I cooked after the custard. Thanks again!

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  60. I think you are right. Let's hope that the momentum continues.
    Thank you for your recent series on simple living for all ages. I printed all of the posts, keeping 40s/50s and retirement for myself. The 20's and 30's I have passed on to my son and daughter. My son and his girlfriend have read them and found much food for thought. My daughter has yet to comment!
    I was especially interested in what you say about passing skills on to the younger generation, I have to hang my head in shame there. Once paid work came back into my life as the children were growing up, all thoughts of sewing and knitting went out of the window. My son's girlfriend has shown an interest in my knitting, so maybe there is an opportunity to get her started on that.

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  61. Oh my...you just put the reflection of my heart into words.

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  62. As always---love this Rhonda. A good reminder and I agree that things are changing among individuals and families within our nation. Life should be about enjoying the little moments instead of working until retirement when we can then enjoy what we already surpassed. Hope you are well!

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  63. I started the process of simplifying, cutting back and being more frugal as a means to an end - we wanted to take a year or two off work to take our kids travelling. Now we realise that living simply gives us freedom to work less and be around to really enjoy family time together all of the time. Rather than a means to an end, living simple is now the cornerstone to everything that we do. Life is so much more satisfying when you are set free from the constant sense of 'need' that modern society is so caught up on. I feel so lucky - I can't wait for the rest of the world to catch on!

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  64. i do believe you're right, rhonda! thanks for the hopeful, positive post.

    i am 30 and am working towards living and working in my home, and raising my children at home using waldorf/montessori inspired methods.

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  65. Blogs are wonderful and will make the magazine obsolete. I love reading about people that are like me. I love the photographs that haven't been processed to where the child looks older than the "mom". I love the Chritmas photographs that have winter sun streaming through the windows and not the bright July sun like in the magazines. I think of Meryl Streep's characters speech from "The Devil Wears Prada" in which she state that she is the reason why the intern is wearing the frumpy clothes in that particular color. I believe that will change too. Such an exciting time we will be able to particpate in and witness.

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  66. Thank you Rhonda for this post! I read the whole thing to my husband, you gave me the words I needed to help him understand the direction I am wanting to move with our lives. I was raised to be able to do anything I needed so I didn't have to depend on a man to get through life. Now I can focus on a change to not having to depend on corporations and $$ to survive. Boy is it a sharp learning curve! I appreciate all the efforts you make to share all you know with us!

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  67. I can't add much to this, except to say "Amen"! The shift back toward valuing home and family is exciting... our culture's suffered mightily by turning toward the "pretty shiny flashy" magpie things for fulfillment.

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  68. This post describes exactly what I'm striving for. Bravo!

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  69. Lovely post! I had been thinking about writing a similar post and still might and refer to yours as well. You wrote everything I was thinking but I could never express myself as you did. Very Nice!

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  70. I NEED this change! Right now I'm so fed up and disappointed with how things are going. I work at a job I'm completely miserable with. Making a wage that is down right robbery.

    I have always wanted that simple life where I could take care of my home, my family. I'm trying to get back to the simple things in life.

    Thank you for sharing this. It has confirmed that I am heading in the right direction.

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  71. Rhonda, your blog has brought much change to our lives, as of the end of the month, I will no longer be a full-time child care provider, this has been my income for 33 years, and it was mostly to "keep up with the Jones" no more, we are debt free except a car payment that we are working on paying off asap! Thank you for your inspiration! Linda in the USA

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  72. Linda, I wish you the best in your new slower life. Enjoy those grandkids and every thing you choose to do each day.

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  73. Hi Rhonda.I discovered your blog today through the blog of another friend. I am now following some of your Pinterest boards as you seem to have a thing about pantry's the same as me. My husband and I recently moved with our children to rural Mid-Wales. I have always loved being at home, looking after my family. I love baking and making, making do and mending (perfect example is my husband shortly welding the foot back on my ironing board) We hope from around Spring time that we will be keeping our own chickens, growing our own fruit and veg. I have found this post so very, very inspirational and just how I feel. I am 47 but feel I should have been born in a different era. I make my own bread, love cooking from scratch and am proud when I say I have managed to get used to my new Rayburn, bit like an Aga if you are not familiar with them, to cook about six things to save time and energy. As I said I could go on but I will go on reading your blog, I have one and will hopefully be writing a new one very soon, too. I took a part time job whilst my husband was renovating the house but am so pleased I can now stay at home and do what I love for those I love. Thank you again.

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