Moving Forward, by going Back to Basics.
Life can change course on us at any time. How can we take care of ourselves and especially our children if we do not know basic skills when a financial difficulty strikes. This can be a job loss, injury, health decline or disaster.
Basic skills for keeper of the home. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, mending and sewing, repairing, first aid, gardening, preserving food, meal planning and keeping a budget are a few of the things. Do we have the skills to do these things to keep our boat afloat so to speak?
My Grandfather the lumberjack on left. My grandmothers brother on right. They worked hard, and lived without electricity and running water because it was a common way to live then. This was taken the day my Grandfather married my Grandmother.
Today, many people are living an unsustainable way. It seems to me that there is no direction anyone is going. People are constantly spending. Buying electronics, upgrading electronics, buying cable, upgrading cable. Buying one car, then two, then three. Then there is extra car insurance, tags, maintenance.
Then there are people eating out almost every day and sometimes more than one meal out per day. Some never cook and eat every meal out.
Then people are purchasing memorabilia for events, sporting events mainly. Then they buy subscriptions to extend their viewing of these events.
Then there is comfort, it seems that there is no self control on the thermostat, lighting in the house and things that run. Some feel entitled to a 20 minute hot shower and then people wonder why they cannot afford their bills.
Some purchase large homes because they want this and never consider the cost of the utilities, insurance and most of all a new roof or maintenance. Many have left suitable neighborhoods in search of that beautiful home they saw in a magazine and so many did this there are deteriorating neighborhoods and if those people had stayed they could have had a nice nest egg in the bank.
Then there are the shopping sprees, clothing, purses, sporting equipment. Some are hung up on name brands and must have the latest.
In the past people went fishing to bring home supper, they went hunting to feed the family. I grew up in a time where my father went fishing and hunting and we ate this food. It was common.
But now many people go fishing and hunting for sport and then that is not enough but they have to buy all the new gadgets and bigger boats and then the clothing that fits the sport. Not all but many. I am not being cynical, this is simply how it is today.
When we keep spending money on items that have no real purpose it truly is wasteful. Do we do things for entertainment that just drain our budget or do we do things that have meaning or could benefit us or someone else?
Fishing for sport or fishing to put food on the table?
Going out to dinner and a movie in the evening or taking a evening master gardeners course, wood working class or a cooking class.
Do we use our computers and tablets to numb ourselves on social media or use these as a tool to read articles or watch videos how to sew, garden or learn to repair items that need to be repaired. Learn how to do the things we do not know how to do. Knowledge is power.
We are in control of what we do with our free time.
Oregano shown above has many uses besides culinary.
Many years ago I was longing for something real, something that had more meaning. The path we were taking just did not feel right. I wanted off the train to nowhere. Do you feel that the things you are doing have meaning or is there a empty feeling, a discontentment? Something missing?
I was doing genealogy on my family tree and then Charles family tree and as I moved back in time I started feeling different. I felt that something was missing. I had a longing to know more about how they lived.
It did not take me long to figure out that we had most everything wrong. I felt that on those pages of documents and learning about my family that they were doing something much more important than we were and we had broken a link to sensibility.
We are in a complicated world and it is getting more complicated every day.
Please listen carefully, we are damaging our world by over consumption, the family unit is breaking down, we see it everywhere. "We" are the ones that can correct mistakes. "We" are the ones that can put our families back together.
If we drop a glass or plate and it breaks into tiny pieces we don't leave it there, we pick it up and clean the area. Then we go back and double and triple check so no one gets injured on a missed piece of glass. We make that extra effort because we care right?
Today there is so much tension that one might throw a fit over the broken glass, there seems to be a disconnect.
We as parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors and those that do not have children, we all are that village we have heard of where it takes a village to raise a child. we must bring this back. This is how we need to live.
If we live with modesty, genteel manners and concern for others we will be good examples for those that are watching. We never know the impression we leave on someone and others are watching and searching for direction. Who will do this if we do not? This is how it was in the past.
Many things are now so generic, so pretend, so touched over. We need to show what is real and not emulate what we see today but to bring back what makes better sense.
If you are a young person reading this, I want you to know there are always fads that come and go. It is wise to stay steady. Stay true to yourself, don't waste your money on these things so you can have better finances and less stress that comes with bad decisions.
You can change the outcome of the choices you make today.
Maybe it is time to stop and take a break to re evaluate where we are going. Are we eating right? Getting proper sleep and exercise? Do we have some kind of routine? Are we over spending like so many are?
We can take steps to correct things that are off balance.
All my posts about saving water and electricity, cooking from scratch, growing food even if it is a small amount. These things feel right, our gut will tell us when we are doing something right and our conscious will tell us if we are wrong.
This is Wooly Lamb's Ear pictured above.
I took this picture a week or so ago while sitting on my back porch. I was wondering if there were many people that knew what wooly lambs ear is? Long ago when life made more sense our families knew what this was and they knew a whole lot more.
My mother-in-law made poultices when any of the family got sick. She raised 9 healthy children. She cooked on a wood burning stove, they lived off the land.
Lamb's Ear has many uses from using as a bandage, medicinal uses and many other uses. There are other plants that we can grow that are important to have around. But our society has changed so much that there is not much common knowledge about the things that our generations before us knew.
They were masters of living prepared and growing their medicine and food and understood the importance of saving seed, saving money, saving back food by preservation. . Today we are so dependent on modern stores for everything. We need to change this.
We can see that going back to basics beyond what we know as basics is very helpful.
There is a movement going on with young families trying to go back to homesteading. Some are doing well and some are trying to keep one foot in the modern world with techy things and one foot in the old ways. Personally I do not see how this can work.
There are many benefits in living today with better ways of doing things as long as they are not dependent on technology and living with the tried and true ways.(what works and does not work and ways it works better if you do it like this).
The problem today is people do not want to give up comfort so they keep spending money on ways to keep that foot in the comforts of today instead of just doing it the way that does not cost money.
Charles and I dropped our utility bills and our grocery bills. We got rid of our central heat and air for window units that heat and cool. We are not living on a homestead but in the city. It is illegal for us to disconnect from electric and water where we live but we could make drastic changes to cut expenses. I have health issues and cannot take the heat above 90 degrees. So we use our window units and we don't pay for cold, we pay for cooler. In other words, Charles would tell you something I say often if it gets cool in the house is, "we don't pay for cold". It gets turned off it if gets too cool.
Not using the dryer even though we have one helps a lot on the electric bill. If I am not well I will use it.
We removed our dishwasher, not only did it help to drop the electric bill, it helped that we no longer bought the expensive dishwasher detergent.
We dropped our television cable bill and kept one small television for weather issues and at times news and use a digital antenna.
I hand wash our laundry when I am well and when not I use the washer. But we cut back on laundry by wearing our outfits more than once or twice. When bathing or showering, wipe down with the wash cloth to remove the water from our body before using a towel. This way the towel is barely wet and can be hung to dry and used several times.
This is something a child can be taught from the very beginning so they form a habit.
We cook from scratch, eat our meals at home and we keep a stocked pantry. This saves a lot of money on groceries.
We got rid of our large american refrigerator and use a smaller refrigerator. We also have a small freezer but are working to have more home canned food on the shelf instead of in the freezer. I also dehyrdate food and have found I prefer potatoes, carrots and cabbage dehydrated instead of canned.
Charles and I are doing better this week. We have taken measures to make ourselves more safe. I hope it will stay this way. Grandma Donna