Two incidents recently got me to thinking about how what was once an essential American value — frugality — morphed into a cultural pariah. The first was when I posted on my Facebook page that my hubby and I had made a New Year's resolution to not buy any new clothing during all of 2015. We both enjoy nice clothes, and we purchase worthy stuff — quality over quantitiy — but it's not like we … [Read more...] about When ‘frugal’ became a bad word in America
I just finished doing the Whole30 at the beginning of April (and in fact immediately began again after a one-week hiatus) and have wanted to share my experience, as so many bloggers do, to offer insight for others wanting to try the program. For those who don't know what the Whole30 is, in short it's a total whole foods approach to eating. Some people call it an extreme form of Paleo eating. It … [Read more...] about Whole30 wrap-up
We live in a world dependent on electricity and we forget that being dependent on something — however wonderful that thing is — makes you vulnerable. Even getting a back-up generator isn't a painless solution for household resilience. A medium-size generator can cost $50 or more per day in fuel to run. And just hope that your local gas stations don't lose power or sell out to panic buyers before … [Read more...] about Ten low-tech responses to storms and emergencies
Ever since we first got together my husband and I have talked about how to respond to one of our key shared interests — peak oil. For us this means, first of all, a conservation-minded approach to life — using less energy, wasting less, and relying on reusable materials such as hankies and eco-cups, carrying our own grocery bags, and growing much of our own food and cooking it ourselves. But … [Read more...] about Getting my pilot's license
There's a lot of books out there on crafting and artisan-level work. They're usually how-to's that combine techniques, project ideas, and patterns. Some are wonderful but too often the projects either don't stand the test of time, or are a real stretch in terms of the use-value of the end product. Betz White's Sewing Green: 25 Projects with Repurposed & Organic Materials is a real exception. … [Read more...] about Upcycling at its best. Review: "Sewing Green"
Time was when Americans used to be frugal. We took great pride in not being wasteful, and taking nothing for granted. Perhaps our pioneering roots and turns into economic depression left a lasting impression on us concerning the relationship between effort and reward. Perhaps that alone caused us to consider more deeply the cost of things, whether with our own labor, or in paying for things from … [Read more...] about A blanket on every chair