Minimizing, Living Simple = Ahhhhhhhhhh

Last week and over the weekend we gave away and sold some things that we did not use or need.  This lightening of the load is part of a continuing process that started slowly about 2 years ago when we moved from Wisconsin to Texas.

When I look around my environment and take inventory of all our remaining possessions  I feel a bit overwhelmed.  It is still a lot of stuff.  But it has been shrinking in mass since the beginning of our purging activity.  It is a lot of work to go through the things you possess and start weeding.  I’m encouraged though…..  I find we are getting down to things that we really use consistently and the treasures that we truly appreciate.  That makes me feel good.

Things noted about minimizing/simplifying:

  • It is easier to stay organized.
  • Clutter both inside and outside the house are becoming minimized.
  • Cleaning takes less time and seems more effective.
  • The mind is clearer and freer to concentrate on things we really value (like the activities we engage in).
  • Our surroundings make us feel more comfortable.
  • It is easier to take care of the stuff we do have.
  • We have more time to spend on pursuits that do not involve the acquisition, disposal, cleaning, shuffling, maintenance of stuff.

I still feel the urge to acquire new stuff (unnecessarily) on occasion.  There’s very little doubt that many people feel good when they make a new purchase.  But the good feeling is short-lived and then you are stuck with another item that you didn’t need in the first place and your money (which represents your life energy) is gone.

I ask myself when I see a shirt ( or any other thing) I like the look of on sale….”Is this really needed? Is it worth my life energy?”

Most of the time the answer is no.

Dave is less enticed by the shopping experience than I am.  Perhaps it’s a male thing….although I’ve known some guys who put the most shopping enthused women I know to shame.

My YouTube Videos About Minimalism

Above is pictured one of the peach trees growing on the property.  Any day now we will be busy harvesting and putting up peaches.  We’ll do the same as we did with our apricots…..stewing and freezing part and making peach preserves.  I am sure many will be eaten fresh.   I think these are a type of White Peach.

Things are getting so hot now.  It is a challenge to keep the garden going.  The extra straw we have from our building project has helped tremendously in reducing the amount of water needed.  I have mulched my remaining veggie plants heavily.  Since the mulching, the squash has ramped up growth.  Our okra is coming into higher productivity as well.  Let me just say…we have been eating very well!

I have been creating more raised bed rows in the garden as well.  It is my goal to divide the garden up into raised rows with spaces in between that are wide enough for a wheelbarrow.  I do this by tilling and then raking the loosened dirt into approximately 4 foot wide mounded rows.  Talk about an arm workout!

It has been sweaty and itchy work.  After all the rain we got a few weeks ago the weeds really went crazy.  At the current time, I find that stinging nettle grows better than anything else in my garden (hence the itchy part of the work).  So I am waging war on nettles and other the other weeds in between tilling and raking dirt.  My hands are just about immune to the sting.  I’ve read that stinging nettle applied to the skin is good for combating arthritis…..if you have arthritis come to my house and you can pull stinging nettle to your heart’s content.

Once the raised rows are created across the width of the garden I will maintain them each year with compost and mulch.  Focused efforts just in the growing beds.  I also want to get away from the need to till as often (or at all) as it disrupts the soil profile wreaking havoc on the fungi, microbes, worms, etc that make fertile living soil.

Young winter squash on the vine.

Did I mention the heat yet?

Texas heat has begun living up to its reputation over the past week.  The old farmhouse we are living in now does not have any air conditioning.  The room we spend most of our time in is part of a cement block building and it has been getting to 90 + degrees in the room during the day (even with heavy blankets over the windows).  Box fans are our salvation!

Dave & I do not complain much about the heat.  For us, it is preferable any day to the cold we have lived in.  We’ve been living with no air conditioning (heat or cool) for the past 2 years we’ve gotten acclimated to the natural flow of the weather/temperatures.  Neither of us has been sick during this time either.  I think there is something to be said for living a bit more “in tune” with the natural environment.  We don’t mind it and can count many PLUSES to living in this manner.

Life is full and good.

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