Saturday, June 18, 2011

Doubting Thomas

The tide has turneth. It happened so quickly I almost got pulled under the riptide. Almost. Fortunately I expected the Naysayers would be rearing their ugly heads soon and I had prepared some FAQ's myself.

A recent conversation went like this.

It can't be done. You can't live on $6000 a year
Why not ? (just an arbitrary number we picked out the sky. We're hanging on to it because it irritates people)
Because you have to buy things
Like what ? (playing dumb...a strength of mine except I'm not always acting)
Well, sugar.
Yes sweetheart...(He was not amused) We have honey
You can't use honey for everything.
Why not ? (he'd cringe if he knew some of the unique ways I'd used honey over the years)

Long pause

What about health insurance ?
I might not get any.
What ?!?! You can't do that!
Sure I can, Its still America. I don't HAVE to get health insurance.(yet) I paid thousands into the system why can't I take some back ? (hinting I might apply for public aide. Not hardly)
What about entertainment ?
I think canning 150 jars of tomatoes will be entertaining enough.
What about clothes ?
We have enough clothes to last us 10 years. You can give us underwear for Christmas. I prefer mine with underwire.

My opponent remained unconvinced. I think the bottom line is: no one want to admit that we can indeed get by and possibly even thrive on a much smaller budget living a much simpler life. Since the 1950's we (the society "we" because I like to speak for all mankind) have convinced ourselves of many odd "truths." Such as the absolute need for two cars, three TVs , four bathrooms and five phones.

Trying to convince others that we want LESS has proven challenging. But we don't mind as we are enjoying the looks on peoples faces when we tell them we are considering a composting toilet and heating our home by wood stove alone while drying our clothes year round on a clothes line. Oh OK, if it really snows hard we might have to use our clothing rack set up by the stove.

And while folks cluck cluck behind our backs we are having a ball planning our new DEBT FREE life and our new tiny house.

When designing a new home its always best to call in the
professionals. Fortunately Wesley Lloyd Wright was available

With Keith at one end of the dream home and the girls at the other, Wes decides
on the perfect placement of the imaginary wood stove.


  1. Don't let anyone stomp on your dreams.

  2. I have missed a couple of your posts. So you are selling your farm? And going debt free? This is fascinating, and I hope you continue blogging about this grand adventure.

  3. Oh I agree with you!! I tell people they may need to downsize their entertainment bills and NOn essentials.. They hten say oh we have.. we only have the 3-4 cell phones and Dish TV/cable.. And I hav eot get my hair styled, my nails done,and blah blah blah... I am like no that is not downsizing.. We have ONE luxury bill internet/house phone.... Thats it.. People look at me like I have grown 2 heads!
    I wish you MANY blessing on your debt free adventure!!

  4. We are contemplating the same sort of life. We are already debt free - now we are going to try to downsize so that neither of us has to work and can try to work from a farm. Scary stuff. I look forward to reading about your adventures.

  5. You have nailed it. Who the heck says we have to have all this crap. Well - our conditioning. The reaction you will engender in people is a sign of how deep that conditioning has become. It's as if living within our means has become un American. Or un Bulchistanian. Where ever. Perhaps we have to delve into the darkness of consumerism in order for us to appreciate the light of a debt free life. If the latest 3d Wide screen T.V. gives us such delight - why does the happiness not stay? Probably because we have been conditioned to confuse titillation with happiness.

    "Less is more" is an out moded concept that needs to get "moded".

    What your running into is the fact that most people do not like being reminded their "Dreams" originate in an add agency instead of their hearts.

    Chop wood, carry water - eat the sweet honey of self reliance.

  6. You crack me up. THIS is the conversation my husband has with people all the time. He had one pyramid scheme guy follow him around for over a year trying to convince him to sell herb supplements.

    "But you'd be great at have that're great with'd make SO much money...six figures we're talking."

    And he's right. My husband would be great at it. He is that kind of guy. Except we are running in the opposite direction of money every day.

    "I'm trying to live on less then my current salary...why in the world would I sell your product that I would never buy myself to make more money that I would never use?"

    I like your spunk girl. I may just be a new follower!

  7. I love when people look at you strangely... It usually means you are on the right path. Good luck, I can't wait to read more.

  8. You people get me. YOU REALLY GET ME ! MBJ, don;t worry, the more folks say "No" the more we say WATCH US. Yes Karen we are selling the farm, well at least it is on the market and we are so excited about the future. Tonia and Anon, yes so funny how folks have totally confused luxury with necessity. After 25 years with my RN career as a very stable safety net it is indeed heart thumping to plan to do this without outside jobs. We;ve been practicing the last 7 months though. said it so well. So very well.

    Amy and Julie. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. And yes I will be blogging about this often. Wish I knew more Off the Grid On the Skids bloggers I could follow. Let me know if you find any

  9. Have hou ever watched the 1975 BBC series Good Neighbors? I found on Netflix. Couple decides to homestead in the city and live as you want to. Course the snooty neighbors do not like the idea of chickens and goats etc in the next back yard...but the couple persists. They barter and work and although they work more hours than they used to in their 'ordinary ' life they love it! It is funny but informative. You would enjoy it. Perhaps the library has a copy. I am rooting for you! Sarah

  10. Many years ago I did see that. I forgot about that show. I am so going to see if I can find DVD's of it. Would make a great present for Keith. And I better do it right now while we are still living the high on the hog life style. Thnsk Sarah

  11. Here is a great blog I follow about living off grid. A family that bought an old Amish farm and are making a go of it. It is a great read. (sorry I can't seem to make a link)