Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Simplicity Means to Me

I know exactly the events that precipitated my launch into blogging.
  1. On a trip to Hartford, CT, I picked up a magazine from the airport called Organic Style.  I was enthralled, and I read it until it went out of print a few years later.
  2. This new found appreciation of things organic led me to do a project on alternative energy for a college course, and sent me to the site for the Center for the New American Dream.
  3. From here, I learned about voluntary simplicity.  I subscribed to a newsletter from
  4. In researching other sites like this, I found Shirley's blog (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity).
  5. At about the same time, at about 4 am one morning, I watched a 20 minute PBS special on Tasha Tudor.  I was in love.
  6. From Shirley's blog, I found Mrs. Mordecai's blog Be-It-Ever-So-Humble.
  7. From Mrs. Mordecai, I was introduced to Mormon principles, including the idea of preparedness, which fell in line with my dream of self-reliance.  And I found a whole bunch of other bloggers that I've come to respect.
  8. From there, I started my blog.
I've been meandering around in my bloggy-ness since then.  In my wanderings, I've kind of lost sight of what I'd been heading toward.  Total boredom on a road trip pushed me to buy two magazines that have re-inspired me: Mother Earth News, and The New Pioneer.  Mother Earth News is older than dirt (or at least older than I am).  The New Pioneer is so new that the issue I read is their first issue, and I can't find a website for them.

I can't nail down the time or place that most closely resembles the life I want to lead.  I know that I want old trees, some meadowland/farmland, space for gardening.  I want a solidly built house, with environmentally responsible electricity, heat, and water.  I would love to have a pond of some form (especially one like Shirley's spring fed ponds).  I would consider myself lucky to have chickens, sheep, and cows.  Especially cows.  I love them so :o)  I'd like to keep bees, even though I'm mildly allergic.  I want to have a cellar, with shelves of home canned goods lining the walls.  I want to have homemade soaps and candles.  A wood stove and/or fireplace would be amazing.  I would be thrilled if I could have tap-able trees to make homemade syrup.  I'd really love to learn to be alone and to be quiet.  Growing up in the space age means that I have a hard time not multi-tasking.  Even at this moment, I'm watching the History channel as I type.

Simplicity to me means knowing where things come from.  It means being responsible for your own survival.  It means possessions being not only pretty, but useful.  It means having time to enjoy nature, friends, and family.  It means being relaxed and serene.  It means providing for your own physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.


  1. I like this post a lot. I like that there are others who dream of a small 2-5 acre farm with self sufficient utilities bees and maybe a cow (well in my dream it is a pig). Most young couples our age would choose a spacious new home with HOA fees and now where for even a garden. We've even started shopping for said farm... sadly that much land with in 2o minutes from where I currently live is going for about $750,000 with or without any kind of house. I guess I will do what I can for now and keep dreaming.

  2. I'm old enough to think of what you are describing as involuntary simplicity. My Mother and Father were children in the Depression in Oklahoma. They had everything you want except for a well built house. The voluntary part is that I can pick and choose the parts that seem worthy to me. Given who my parents were, it is no wonder that self-reliance is a primary goal for me as it is for you. I'll also take some comfort, please. Doing the backbreaking work that goes into canning all your food and having lifestock doesn't appeal to me. Although, I'm old and you are young. Making a choice to eat more local and not waste and not over consume in all ways is something that I can do.

  3. Girl w/o a Plan, land prices here are ridiculous as well. I know for a fact we'll have to move pretty far out in order to get halfway decent prices.

    LeAnn, my parents are the same way. My dad keeps mentioning that I need to talk to my grandparents about chickens, that they're awful creatures, and that we should just buy eggs "normally." I can appreciate your point and that you shared it with us. Thanks!