Saturday, June 20, 2015

Waste Not Want Not

Our neighbor's have an apple tree. They don't care about their apple tree, in that each year we have lived in this house, since we moved in July of 2002, most of the apples have rotted on the tree. Yes, I have gone over there in the middle of the night a picked a few apples over the years. The apples at the bottom of the tree that have fallen to the ground have made a great mess on our side of the 'property line' over the years. Well this year, there is a bumper crop of apples and I cannot see perfectly good food go to I asked Mr. G. (that's what I often call my husband) to go and talk to the neighbors and ask if we could harvest their apples. I even offered to bake them an apple crisp or apple pie of their choice. So we picked apples Sunday night. I took some apples to the office on Monday. I made a couple of apple crisps this morning, and now I am making apple jelly. I made jams with my mom as a kid, but as an adult, I have never canned anything. So this is all a new experiment for me. I am excited to be making jelly and cannot wait to try and make apple butter. Since Mr. G. and I are only two people, where is this surplus going to go? I plan to make and give away much of the jelly and apple butter. I will freeze some apples to make crisps and pies this winter and these are amazingly good eating apples. The land produces what we need, even in suburbia. Just imagine if everyone just grew one or two edible plants, we would be healthier and we would be more connected to nature and the world. Here's a picture of the first harvest of apples.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Downsizing and Radical Simplicity

The idea of downsizing and radical simplicity are not new ideas for me. My journey of exploring simplicity as a way of life was first seeded in my life while I was in high school. I remember reading the More with Less Cookbook by Francis Moore Lappe when Joel the Associate Pastor loaned me his copy. Living lightly and leaving a small footprint are not alien ideas to me. They are part of my core values. So what the hell happened?

Fast forward 35 years. Life happened. The assumption of large amounts of other people's personal property when they died happened. The accumulation of STUFF happened as one sought to fit into the lifestyle of the average American. Hubby and I purchased a three (could be 4) bedroom home with a large amount of space and proceeded to fill it with STUFF. STUFF that has begun to choke us out of the life we want and believe we are called to live. An maintaining a 2800 sq foot house is a lot of work and energy. Work and energy that we want to spend doing other things. We want to spend time with people not things. The things in our house are that...things....stuff....items that suck our attention away from people and relationships. THUS our decision to downsize.

We have become a servant to stuff, rather than the stuff enhancing our lives and relationships.

We bought this house because it would fit an antique dining room table. We had hope that our home would become the place where people in our family and our friends would gather. There have been instances where people were seated around our big old dining table, but for the most part the family doesn't like to come to our house because several are allergic to our cats. The cost of keeping the table and this house is too much. It's keeping hubby and I from living our lives, so downsizing is our journey at this time, as we seek to simplify our lives. This is our story.