QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.
Self sufficiency is the only path to at least a semblance of freedom in this country. Here's some steps to take to get you there:
1. Take care of your health. You can't do much if you are sick or weak. You're at the will of uncaring insurance companies or worst yet, government agencies. Many health woes, such as type II diabetes , high cholesterol and high blood pressure can be managed by diet and exercise. Get rid of the junk food, eat more vegetables, preferably organic. Exercise every day. If you need to lose weight, lose it, before it develops into a bigger problem, not to mention the outrageous expense of medical bills.
2. Start a garden. Large corporate farms, farm their land to death and deplete it of minerals. They then try to supplement the lack thereof with fertilizers. Plus all the pesticides and GMO seeds might even be doing you more harm then not eating any vegetables at all. I recently heard a doctor say that an organic potato chip is probably healthier than an apple grown on a company farm. When you grow your own garden, you are in control of what goes into your body. Plus it saves you a boatload of money and it's good exercise.
3. Learn important life skills. When I went to primary school in the sixties, you were taught to sew, knit, and cook. We also had 4-H and the Boys and Girls Scouts, where we learned animal husbandry, gun safety, how to can, and many other skills that have fallen by the wayside. In high school, we had classes in basic electrical skills, mechanics, wood shop and home economics. By the time you graduated you could fend for yourself. Schools now days don't prepare children for adulthood, they are too focused on "journaling" and common core mathematics, where 2+2= whatever your little heart desires. Get your kids out of public school if you can or at least monitor what they are learning. There's thousand of uploads on YouTube. You can Google almost anything and find instructions. Use the internet to your advantage.
4. Get out of debt. As long as you have debt, you are never really free. You can cut years off your mortgage by making additional payments to the principle. Mortgage loans take their cut of the interest first. Get out that amortization chart that they give you at the closing. See that the first year you probably didn't pay much on the principle? When I had a new mortgage, I would add up the first year's principle which amounted to something under one hundred dollars and pay that in addition to the payment. One year paid off! Then I'd take the next year's and do that the next month. Until that got too expensive then I'd do it by the monthly principle. Any "found" money, such as rebates, tax refunds, birthday presents, etc. was also applied to the principle. By doing this, I paid off the mortgage to this house in seven years.
If you have credit card debts, always pay more than the minimum balance, at least the minimum balance plus the interest, so that you don't fall even farther behind. If you have more than one credit card, try to consolidate them. If you can't do this, pay off the card with the highest interest first and pay the minimum + interest on the others. When that card gets paid off, apply it to the next highest interest card. Give up all luxuries, eat beans and rice until you are out of debt. Trust me, the feeling of being free from the burden of debt is better than any movie, vacation, pedicure, or new shoes can every feel.
5. Make new friends and maybe lose some old ones. Just like a drug addict has to stop associating with enablers and other drug addicts, sometimes you have to let some friendships go. I had a friend that was always ridiculing my self sufficient ways and worse yet, every time I was with her, I found myself spending money, just to avoid being labeled "cheap". I finally had to face the fact that we were on different life paths and stopped seeing her. On the other hand, I've met many new like-minded friends. We share tools, experiences and help each other out. It's good to have a support system!
6. Most importantly, develop a spiritual life. I'm a Christian and my faith tells me to "Come out of Babylon" and to "be in this world and not of it". Turn off the TV. Stop reading magazines that glorify materialism. Just because the rest of the world is on a downward slide, doesn't mean you have to go along for the ride. Read how honorable people lived in days gone by to find encouragement.
This week we harvested peas, strawberries and more cauliflower. In our quest to find interesting ways to use our vegetables, I made this recipe for Crispy Coconut Lime Baked Cauliflower Tacos.
We also made this unusual pizza with grilled peaches. No recipe, just an experiment that turned out wonderful.
We're finally getting some summer weather and I'm thinking about fall! I knitted this cowl from a free pattern.
We received our electric bill the other day. It was down 38% from last month and 38% lower than last June's bill. All those things, such as, cutting the electricity to computers and only heating the water every other day is really paying off!
4th of July weekend is the weekend for garage sales around here. Since we had to go to the bulk food store, we decided to make a day of it and take the long route along the lake and maybe find some sales. We had a ball going down old country lanes and looking at old farmhouses, but there's one sale that stands out. We spotted a sign and turned into what we thought was a driveway. Well! That driveway went on for about a half mile; up and down hills, curving one way or the other, all the time we were praying we wouldn't meet anyone coming in the opposite direction on the one-lane road. We finally reached a clearing and there stood the most unusual house of the most unusual pedigree we had ever seen(and we've seen some pretty odd ones). It looked like the builder couldn't decide on a style so he just used them all. There was a stone turret, another section had a mid-century vibe, and on top of it all was what looked like a lighthouse. Very strange! And all falling down. We were intrigued enough to throw caution to the wind when a sign instructed us to enter. Isn't this how horror stories begin? The inside matched the outside, weirdly wonderful. And there sat three old crones! Really! Three old ladies that matched their odd surroundings, each with strange looking dogs sitting on their laps. The dog all had odd colored eyes or strange shaped heads. None looked like anything you'd find at a dog show, that's for sure. They had lots of gargoyles and hairless old dolls. Creepy looking Victorian art. It was better than Halloween! Actually, I did find a beautiful, very heavy oil lamp. But the experience was priceless!
THRIFTY THINGS WE DID THIS WEEK
Harvest cauliflower, peas, and strawberries from the garden.
Bought two large heads of cabbage (about 8 lbs. each) for 99 cents a head. Canned up 8 pints. Will make sauerkraut out of the other.
Ate mainly vegetables from the garden.
Stayed home for the holidays and did free things like people watch and visiting with neighbors.
Bought a large skein of yarn from an estate sale. Enough wool for a shawl. Only $3!
Used grey water to flush the toilets and water the flowers.
Hung the laundry on the line.
Knitted a cowl from a free pattern found on line.
Well that was a long one! Hope I didn't bore you too much! Hope you'll come back and see me next week.