Creating a new world within and a new world reality.

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on

Yesterday Sam and I ventured into the craft store. I read in one of my piles of Zen books of a day Thich Nhat Hanh took some children into a hardware store. He told them they could look at everything but they would leave with nothing. They spent hours in the store enjoying it all and left peacefully empty handed. Now, I’ve tried something similar with the boys and it didn’t work out that way. But something about this story created a shift for me.

All the time I’m in a hurry and I have no idea why. Why am I in a hurry? I am not on a work schedule or have deadlines. My boys are growing so fast and I’m rushing our life. We go into a store and I do the run down in the car, “Don’t touch anything! You hear me! Keep your hands to yourself and we aren’t buying anything extra. I’m on a budget, you hear me! Behave or I’ll not take you for weeks. Remember that time you two decided to do Kung Fu at the check out stand? Yes, well, remember how you didn’t go shopping with me for weeks after that? Ok. And we are in a hurry so don’t hold me back, you hear!”

Now that I’m working on being here now and in the moment, after reading this I had this awakening so to speak. Now I say nothing. I just say, “Lets behave so we can all enjoy this shopping experience. Help me and take turns pushing the cart. You both can look at anything and explore all you want but we leave with nothing extra.”

So, now we go shopping and it’s like a tour of some unusual place we have never been. We explore, inspect, discuss all the items that interest us. Arjan likes to read the ingredients on everything, especially since we are on a mission to go Palm oil free. Sam pushes the cart until it’s too heavy to navigate. We hang out in the Halloween isle since Sam loves Halloween and we let our imaginations free. It used to take 30 minutes to shop and now it takes a good hour or more. But we are very leisurely and slow with our daily meanderings.

Yesterday I decided to buy two more rag rugs for the front of the sink and tub. Sam wanted to explore the craft store, so we did. It is a practice in restraint. I wanted many things. Sam wanted many things. But we wandered and looked, pointed out fun or charming items and talked about creative possibilities.

In the end we left with two rag rugs and a lot of ideas. Sam said he thoroughly enjoyed our time together. We had done some grocery shopping before and he had been able to push the cart and give suggestions of what items to buy and menu ideas. We found the best vegan Smoked Gouda without palm oil and purchased very little plastic or packaging. It took time and consideration, but we are on our own little mission to get away from palm oil, plastic, and waste. It will take some time but I’m giving us 3 months to dial it in. It means our shopping is very slow and conscious now. Sam points out too much wrapping, Arjan reads ingredients, I forage. We work as a little unit moving toward a better Earth.

It is time we all change.

I look out on smoke in our neighborhood so thick it looks like the fog we had on the coast. I am so very sad about the forest and parks lost to all this, the deaths of children and elders, and I’m more than concerned. I sometimes detest some of humanity…or at least it’s ignorance, greed, and constant hunger for more; more money, more things, more success.

I pray that with all the fires and disease we awaken to a new self and a new world that is long overdue. That we take the time to go within and heal so we can start to connect with nature and find that the things we love most and fill us up in a warm, solid way are not money and success, but our connection to the Earth, Spirit, and each other.

I used to want all that “stuff”. I wanted a nice car, big house (albeit old and funky), money, popularity as a writer and so on. I also wanted wholesome things like happiness, health, a good marriage and a child or two.

But a funny thing happens as you delve into the spiritual world. You begin to reflect, go inward and heal, you then chip away at the ego of wants and needs and find that you actually don’t need or want much. You find that more stuff and money and success brings problems and less is what brings peace. Simplicity accentuates the natural pleasures over looked in the hustle of modern living.

The administration (and I don’t really get who that is comprised of…a bunch of suits I suppose) set a goal of carbon emission cuts by 2035. Well, as we sit here surrounded by flames, I’m thinking we don’t have 15 years anymore. Even if we start now, it will take decades to turn back time and cool the planet.

But there is always a ray of light. I have faith that humanity has a good side, a light side on the other side of it’s darkness comprised of selfishness and greed. There is a side with almost every human that feels compassion and remorse.

We need to wake up and start to change our ways of thinking, buying, eating, living, driving, working. It doesn’t have to be hard. It can be new and interesting. It will be a challenge but people seem to love challenges. We seem to love the drama of stepping in right at the last minute and saving things.

Whether one believes in conspiracy theories or that climate change is not real…what is the worst that would happen? Clean air? Oh no! Clean soil and water? Sounds terrible (sarcasm).

We love cheap stuff. Dollar Tree, Walmart, .99 Cent stores. Well, at what cost in the long term? Landfills overflowing with plastic that won’t break down for thousands of years? Oceans choked with garbage?

How about palm oil? It is cheap and in everything. But there are at least 20 oils that would do the same thing palm oil does in binding, flavor and texture that we can grow in a field with out harm. Palm oil is so popular now that they are burning down the Amazon in Sumatra or Malaysia or both to put in plantations. What this means is that by 2022 98% of beautiful jungles filled with wildlife, plants, bugs, and Indigenous people will be gone. Those Indigenous people are being displaced in ghettos because of cheap palm oil desires. Orangatangs are being killed and babies being sold as pets or entertainment.

And it is all for cheap palm oil and to graze cattle. So when we do our “super cheap grocery hauls” we are getting cheap meat and food at the cost to animals and tribes that can’t protect themselves because they don’t have the money to hire powerful lawyers to save their lives and land.

The jungles are the lungs of the planet. Once we destroy the jungles we are really screwed. And we will deserve it.

Until we all wake up and start caring about other things; nature, tribes, wildlife…and stop encroaching on all of it with development and greed. When we stop gorging ourselves on cheap dollar meals at McDonalds and being so proud of our Dollar Tree hauls and Walmart sprees and start feeling a bit ashamed, there will be a sliver of hope.

I would like to see a new world emerge from all this. I would love to see millions upon billions start boycotting anything that doesn’t bode well for nature and all the creatures. I would love to see us do challenges of how much can we walk places or bike instead of drive. I would love to see a crazy surge in electric cars and people turning over the gas guzzlers to be recycled as they picked up bikes from a local bike store. I would love to see people grow huge gardens in front yards lining the suburban streets.

I would love to see trains make a comeback. I would love for the US and Europe, the whole world actually, to set world breaking records to get rid of our need for oil. To see it become a competition that is so huge and powerful that every country forgets about their hates and wars to accomplish this goal. I would love to see cities redesign towns and suburbs into green, lush walking paradise’s. You would see more bicycles and skateboards, more mopeds and walkers than cars.

I would love to see lands protected for farming and organic and biodiverse farming become the normal.

How about all the millions and millions of jobs that would happen because of this? Empty malls will turn into training centers to educate all the new employees that will be working like busy bees in installing and developing all the natural energy and transportation. Prisoners will have a chance to re-enter the workforce and society with training and good works because there will be a booming economy and a need for skilled workers.

People will be happier because the work will be satisfying. It will be for the Earth and all living things. It will be for the greater good and nothing is more satisfying than serving for the betterment of life and nature.

Jungles will be reforested. Our burnt forest will be replanted. All the poor people in other countries that were burning down and logging the jungles to make a dollar to feed their families will now be paid fair wages to replant those forest and protect them.

And because the jungles and forest will be replanted, rain will return in many regions, and water will be retained more efficiently with natures system of trees and storage. The balance will return.

At home people will choose smaller homes and everyone will have a garden of some kind. A parent will choose to stay home once a child is born and people will not work as much. A four day work week will be more common and most people will work from home. Most children will only go to school co-ops part time and they will be encouraged to run, play, and learn what they are passionate about, not what the corporate world needs from drone workers. Schools will have kitchens and gardens, chickens and orchards and children will work in all areas to learn how to grow and preserve, cook and harvest food. They will do most classes outside if weather permits and music and art will be as important as math and science. They will learn at an early age to be wise stewards of the Earth. They will be told the stories of how the human race almost destroyed our beautiful plant with greed and unending hunger of all that is material and unimportant.

People will work from home or work close by and therefore walk, bike or bus to work. They will design towns how they used to be with main streets and small homes, clustered neighborhoods and trails and paths so everyone can walk to town to shop, catch a train if commuting, or go to the cafe. Streets and highways will become emptier and therefore be reduced and lanes made into biking lanes lined with trees. Many old, ugly malls, and parking lots will be completely removed and green spaces created with ponds and trees for the people to enjoy. All towns will have more and more lovely parks and forested areas throughout that have replaced ghettos and empty trashed lots. Community gardens will be a big thing for those that don’t have yards.

People will no longer chase money and fame. They will chase their dreams. They won’t spend their weekends drinking or doing side hustles, they will be on their porches reading a fat novel or painting. They will be canning their yard garden harvest or learning a new skill at home.

In the future people won’t be so into their phones. They will sit alone on a shelve. News will become more positive and upbeat as the masses desire less stress and drama. The only way a show will succeed is if it shows the upside to things and shows compassion in all matters.

The prisons will be completely reformed. Prisoners will work on inner healing, learning new skills, integrating with society successfully. It will be less about punishment and more about what needs to be healed and learned to make this person whole so they don’t feel that they have no choices. They will also have kitchens and gardens, animals and art, music, pottery, woodwork, and everything that makes us whole and grounded. Sounds airy fairy but I bet a million dollars it would work. Not everyone can be reformed but many prisoners are just hurting and scared people.

And as for homeless, they would have a compound where they all lived, worked, farmed. They would grow food, bake, can or craft to earn money and they would have routines. There would be people there to lead, teach and keep it organized. No one would live on the streets or on rivers and in forest. But they would have to be a part of a community to some degree depending on their ability.

And hospitals…they would be focused on natural medicine and healing through more holistic approaches. Not that we don’t need science and medicine but we all see and know that all these pharmaceuticals are making people sick…and crazy. Drugs would be a very last resort if ALL else failed. The focus would be on healthy lifestyle, clean food, exercise, massage and meditation. There would be Chiropractors and Acupuncturist in the hospitals and Chinese medicine, doctors would be both medical and holistically trained. You could choose from several Naturopathic doctors. Pain management would be herbal medicines or a prescription for yoga classes.

Plastic would become rare. All things would be made out of natural sources, mainly bamboo since that is very renewable and durable, metals, glass. Everything would be recycled and everyone would recycle or repurpose.

There would be jobs in cleaning up rivers, land, oceans. Chemicals would become a thing of the past as companies created eco friendly cleaners and products. Air, land and water would be cleaner that it had been in hundreds of years.

Most people would be plant based or vegetarian and farms would be smaller and old fashioned with the animals and lands welfare as a top condition. Farm animals would be raised naturally and food grown organically. Natural farming would become very popular and supported by governments with help in buying land permanently and support during rough periods or loss.

This may all sound to “out there” but much of this was how we lived some 80 plus years ago and the rest is easier and more natural than one would think. We just need to unplug from media, question everything and lead by example.

In my family we are questioning everything. We are making big changes and fast. Why wait for joy and health? We are only one family but we are part of many people that see another world that is doable and within reach.

One thing that has poked my consciousness too often is the plastic and palm oil. My eldest is so upset by it that he has me writing companies to ask them why they continue on this path with the knowledge of the horrific destruction. So, we are now on a mission to get it out of our lives as much as is possible. We are reducing waste…will probably not be zero waste but we can get pretty close.

We are already vegetarian and mostly plant based for me. But we could work on cleaner eating.

Since palm oil, like sugar, is in everything, we will have to read all labels, cook much, much more from scratch, master the garden and growing food, and restrain our desires for “stuff”. It will take time but we are moving fast. I’m watching more plant based cooking vlogs and will be making my own vegan butter and products.

I can’t go out and plant trees in the jungle yet but I do donate to 8 Billion Trees and other organizations. I donate to many causes I believe will improve the planet and life for humanity and animals. We recycle and repurpose and reuse as best we can. For example, when I redid the living room I bleached and washed all the old furniture so others would find it attractive and take it. All the furniture and paintings went to other homes for what would be a third and fourth life and family. We then purchased others used furnishings giving couches and chairs another life with us.

I have found that going to WinCo I can do cans, cardboard and bulk. I can use my own bags again there. This reduces much plastic. I could use my own bags for most bulk but I reuse the plastic bags used for bulk and produce. I pack lunches and then I reuse again for poop bags when I walk dogs out in town and forest. I would have to buy poop bags anyway so I have just repurposed a plastic bag three times.

When our old car expires we will buy an electric car used off Craigslist. While we wait for the car to pass from years of loyal service we will save like crazy for the other gasless vehicle. The truck will stay in the family as it is great for hauling horse manure, trees, garden supplies, and moving items.

Solar is up and running on our roof.

So, that is as far as we have gotten. I hope that we have a bright future to envision and behold sooner than we can imagine.

Photo by Ian Turnell on


  1. Back in the late 60s, my primary school had what were called “Special Fridays” where a group of hippies from a local farm commune would come in for the entire day and teach us about gardening, tie dying, yoga and meditation, weaving, basket making, basic cooking skills, how to create a sustainable future, etc. We had a fruit and vegetable garden to tend next to the playing field. We also had Native Americans come in and teach us about the local tribe. Looking back I can see what a progressive school it was and how fortunate I was to attend. The Special Fridays stopped sometime in the mid 70s, I can’t remember why but those Fridays were one of the highlights of my childhood. If only all schools had something like that…

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  2. Jo that sounds like a very special school, and experience, indeed. I LOVE that you had this experience!!! Thanks for sharing this! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I think this global pandemic is going to accomplish many, many of the things you outlined in today’s post. In the 2008 recession, money was important. In this current crisis, people are turning away from money and concentrating on their families. How’s that for a big switch? People have learned they can work at home. Home and a bit of land has become more important. Gardening has picked up. Corporate offices are closing BUT in their place, affordable apartments are being erected, just perfect to save some homeless.
    You may get your wish, Kate.
    We all may get our wishes.
    As to the fires, I just read this article on negligence. People are not obeying some of the laws (what else is new?) and it just may cost them their homes. Live and learn.

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  4. Kate. I am taking a big deep breath right now. I have so much to say, but I suspect that if I allowed myself to let loose I’d write a novella right here on your page! ๐Ÿ˜‰ That said, I’ll try to keep it short-ish!

    First – I love you. I know that may come across as weird (I swear I’m not some weird stalker!) but I have a thing about how we really need to tell our people how we feel more often, and it would do us all a world of good to be more loving in word and in deed, so I am making a point of telling my people (whoever they may be!) how I feel. I really respect who you are and what you share with us, so thank you for that and thank you for spreading your love to all of us who are willing and able to receive it.

    Second – MORE OF THIS, PLEASE!! (From you and from all of us!) There have been so many times that I’ve almost written a blog post like this (of my own vision for our future as a species), so I may have been just the tiniest bit teary in reading this (I’m finding as I age that I am more emotional… I wonder if the same tends to be true for others?! This isn’t a bad thing; I used to think that crying was weak, now I know better). This this this this this! I felt SO much hope in reading this. I KNOW that if enough of us wake up to the Truth of ourSelves, that this (or better) is very possible for us all. This inspires me to look around in my own life, and that of my family, RIGHT NOW… to see what I can change RIGHT NOW (not soon, not someday, NOW).

    Third – I read a book once (not everyone here would love it, fair warning!) by Starhawk called “The Fifth Sacred Thing”.. I’ve thought of that book often, since it’s what originally gave me the idea to write a post like the one you’ve shared here… and now I’m curious whether anyone else here knows of any books similar to that one, or any books that speak of the kinds of things you’ve shared here (fiction or non-fiction, I am open to any suggestions). I know that I am SO greatly impacted by what I take in (as you’ve often written / talked about through your books / blogs / vids; you are RIGHT on!) that I want to take in more things that have this hopeful and uplifting vibe. It’s too easy for me to feel pulled down into the muck and mud, and I begin to spiral toward depression. I can’t be part of the solution when I’m stuck in depression, so I want to do whatever is necessary to feed my mind what my heart and soul need.

    Fourth – I am going to start donating to 8 Billion Trees, thank you for that recommendation! Tree Sisters is also a really great one that I love. Their website is here for anyone interested:

    Sending much love, appreciation and gratitude your way, and out to any others who read what you’ve shared here and are touched in such a way that they decide to make a change within their own lives. May this become, if you are willing for it to be so, a place where we can come together as a community of like-minded humans out to make this world a place we would love for our children, and the next seven generations, to grow up in.



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  5. We have slowly been working on getting rid of plastic at our house. It is hard to do but we are working at it. I work from home for a nonprofit organization. My son walks to work — only 10 minutes. He walks it rain, shine or snow. My husband is the only one who drives to work, but his job is half an hour away by car. We walk to the library, post office, drug store, church, town hall. So even though we have 2 very old cars (both from 1998) only one gets a lot of use, the other is just there if we need it. You are right we all need to do this. I remember the very first Earth Day and a big deal was made of it then. These days no one celebrates and very few even know the date. It is April 22.

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  6. Lol, Iwe all need to be more vocal when it is a good feeling. I spend far too much time pondering a new world. If only I could take over for a good year!! I am going to do so much more of this and self love…because once we love ourselves we will love the Earth. My channel and blog will be filled with hope and new vision. I decided that today writing this.

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  7. Love this post! This is the direction that I have been going in for the past two years and am always looking for new information and inspiration. Please, fellow readers, add your thoughts, tips, reading inspiration, and experience to this blog. Back in the 70’s I was a young mother living a calm and fulfilling life. We didn’t have a lot of money but we were happy! Lots of friends, potlucks, picnics, passing around clothes, plants, produce and furniture. Things slowly changed and we mom’s went to work, the kids went to school, sports and dance practice. We were so busy we didn’t have time to enjoy our lives, we lost touch, moved away and spent more and more money because we didn’t have any free time or any fun. I think we’ve all realized ( those of us that have lived through all that) that we would have been much better off and our kids would have been happier if we would have not bought into the hype. We didn’t need the bigger house or the new SUV. We needed to stay home, create a calm and comfortable refuge, cook dinner together at night, and spend time together. Life goes by so fast, and your children grow up so quickly that by the time you stop to take a breath, they are ready to go out in to the world. Fortunately my children are happy, smart and well adjusted adults with families of their own. So even though I sometimes feel guilty for not always being there, they don’t see it that way. But I do help them as much as I can to make their lives easier so they have more time and energy to spend on their families. I always tell them to enjoy this time with their family–its where most of the memories are made.

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  8. We have some properties around here that need major clean up. I do notice this time around the sold out bread machines and fruit trees, the rise in gardening interest and all the people that were told they couldn’t homeschool part time or work from home and then it turns out they can! It is far more positive this time.

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  9. Goodness Kate, I truly hope this shift we are going through awakens us to do more. We must if we want to heal our beautiful Mother Earth. We take and take from her. Thank you for the reminder!!๐ŸŒ

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  10. You need to know that gossip bakery has started another set of pages. I was concerned that Tahoe Blue was little detailed in where you live. They claim to live in your town and spoke of the distance that Winco is from your town. Some of your followers are posting over there Ellen Smith is one. She is not too mean, but she is there. The bakery reads here, and have bothered a couple of your subscribers. Just read over there. It may be time to be like Tess and make a statement

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  11. I think a shift is happening, a low build up of momentum. I’m always confused how electric cars are better, aren’t children mining for some of the metals used. How safely are the batteries being disposed of, different than regular batteries? Also confused how more trees don’t increase carbon? I guess work to do to understand. I do love that all you and most us want is a way to live in harmony with land and each other. Thank you for your vision. Our imaginations and desires are powerful.

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  12. I appreciate the concern and I am not pleased to hear they are harassing others. However, I feel nothing about it anymore. I could care less. I’m loving this blog and the channel and I have so much to share and love inspiring others. We have an amazing community and that is all I will focus on, the thousands that love being here. Let them gossip if that is the only way they know how to spend their time. They could be a part of all of the YouTube community, sharing, supporting, promoting…they could have a thriving connection and community with all of us but instead they make fun of and put down many, many good channels and many good people. They are not respected or even liked in the larger communities, I have read creators opinions of them. Meanwhile, in the words of one channel, we creators bond and share, collaborate, and make friends all over the world. We make money, are given free products and gifts galore. I think we can see who is the winner in this situation.

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  13. Oh wow! Why did they stop such a good program? You were lucky to have had such an awesome experience. Thanks for sharing that. I hope “Special Fridays” make a come back.

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  14. I agree with you and Kate 100%. This is why I follow Kate’s vlogs and blogs. I want a greener, healthier planet for us and for future generations. “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; We borrow it from our children.” – Chief Seattle. So glad that there are people like you and Kate. Thank you.

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  15. Wow! Awesome blog Kate. The picture you have painted of a new world sounds so amazing. I want that world. I love Bealtaine Cottage, Fairyland Cottage, Pick up Limes and Epic Gardening channels on YT. Thank you Kate for giving me hope for a better, greener, healthier planet. Take care. Stay safe.

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  16. I honestly can’t remember why they stopped, I asked my mom and she didn’t remember either. It was just a standard primary school too, not Montessori or any kind of alternative education. By the mid 70s money started moving into our town and the hippies were getting chased out, that might have had something to do with it.

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  17. I understand your feelings in this post. However it felt a bit judgmental. I think lumping people who occasion McDonalds, purchase items at the Dollar Tree, etc. or enjoy their ‘stuff’, their high careers, or anything else you listed, they are evil? They don’t care about the planet?
    I will do what I can to help the environment, but I dislike when people are labeled. It seems to be the mantra these days.

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  18. I think you’ve got all sorted:) and it seems a brighter and sustainable future for all of us, i wish you could candidate for president as you are so much more aware of the potential for growth and happiness going this road! I point out the mistake people do when they throw rubbish or cigarette tips away in front of me and i don’t care if they feel embarrassed or not, they should feel! I spent a lot of time on the beach this summer and i took plastic out of water and cigarette tips and rubish out of the sand. Here, where i live there is this association called friends of the ocean and they organize days where children help to clean the beach, i find it a great inniciative and an example for all, keep inspiring us with that vision and our minds connected will perform the miracle!

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  19. I donโ€™t think the term evil was written in this post.

    Sheโ€™s saying that instead of being proud of those actions you should consider animal welfare and the environment.

    None of us are perfect but we should all work to be better.

    Many times are egos can hold us back if we aren’t careful.

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  20. Angel, if you enjoyed this post you might like the book Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach.

    Ecotopia is a somewhat prophetic utopian novel about a society founded when northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the Union to create a “stable-state” ecosystem: the perfect balance between humans and the environment. Described by many as a positive vision of an ecologically sustainable world–it became quite influential on the the green movement to say the least.

    *Kate you might enjoy this novel immensely–your blog post mirrors the stories idea of a better future being within our grasp. Not only for survival, but like the Cascadia movement aims to foster connections and a sense of place, Ecotopia reaches for happiness and exudes hope.

    I can highly recommend the book (although the sequel not so much). My copy is dog-eared and tattered, read and reread over the years. I look forward to reading “The Fifth Sacred Thing”, thank you for sharing the title! -zu

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  21. I love the vision you have for a future we can all work toward! Many are discovering that we truly do not need as much as advertisers and social media have tried to convince us that we need to be happy. Too much stuff detracts from the appreciation of the moment by moment good that we already have if we will just sit still a moment and see it.

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  22. Thank you @Zuzu!! I looked up that book and added to my wishlist to remind me to check the library first ๐Ÿ˜‰ Looks right up my alley and I appreciate the share! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  23. I have people in my life who do not understand my desire to purchase secondhand where I can, or own a tiny cottage with no desire to โ€œadd onโ€ . I enjoy the 97 year old cabinets in my kitchen, and have no need of granite countertops. The old tile suits me just fine. This year I planted my first garden, and will do so again next year. I wish more people thought as you do, and learned the beauty of simple living.

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  24. Kate, I appsolutely LOVE this blog!!!
    We ALL should be doing our part to heal this planet, no matter how small (but preferably BIGGER!๐Ÿ˜)
    Have you seen David Attenborough’s latest documentary,” A Life on our Planet”. He is such a WISE old sole, we have to take heed & DO IT b4 its too late. Take care ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒฑ

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  25. I’m always conflicted on this issue. Since jumping off grid 2015 and having grand Little House meets Green Peace and they have an Amish baby visions of sugar plums of my own and really living the reality of it I see the other side better than i had before. I went with Lanterns and zero electric for a little over a year…. i cried like a caveman seeing fire for the first time when we got a single battery and a single lamp…. and the only way id go back wards in any way now is if forced …. after hauling my water for self and animal use, doing all of laundry by hand and dishes and bathing by heating water on a woodstove for almost 3 years…. i will never ever go without my electric pump and propane water heater again unless forced and i can pretty much bet ma Ingalls would say the same. she beamed when Charles finally got the hand pump in at the kitchen sink lol and with that I can soooooooo i can relate. My first year was buckets and rain catchment and in a deep northern MN winter, snow. My second year we hand dug a shallow well and got an old school red handled pump…. my kids played in it like it was the coolest, and it was. When we finally had enough solar to install an electric pump and a propane water heater ……. oh my…. oh my. I NEVER TAKE HOT RUNNING WATER FOR GRANTED…. I was in year 4 before I had hot running water at the kitchen sink, and the first time i felt hot water come out i cried so hard, tears of joy for sure but more tears of thankfulness at the time I live in as a woman. I have the choice to turn my sink on…. and damn it doing dishes has never been such a pleasure and they feel like such a breeze now. It was year 3 before i cooked again on a stove and had an oven. We still have no fridge, they suck the solar too much but we do have a small chest freezer and that works well if we plug it in for only a few hours during daylight and leave it to rest. We keep bottles of water in it at the bottom and sides to freeze so when its off it stays cold always until we turn it on again.

    We grow about 85% of our food at the moment, I can…. and we put in a root cellar this past year to keep the rest. All of this has cost us dearly out of pocket. It will pay off in the end….. but not for many years. Our payoff so to speak is in knowing we are for the most part self sufficient. Our home has solar, still too small for “normal” life. I cant run my oven on a cloudy day or after dark. Forget about bread makers, rice makers, curling irons, irons, coffee pots…. basically anything with a heating element will crush small solar. Solar has come down in price and we plan to upgrade. The panels are sitting at just slightly over a hundred dollars per watt. a small little room sized heater is 1400 watts….. a well pump kicks on at 7.8 amps and that’s a small shallow well. Mega money for infrastructure …. and the panels aren’t eco friendly at allllll…. lets not get started on the batteries…. omg the batteries. Or the 2 weeks without sunshine in winter followed by a day or 2 of blue sky and another 2 weeks of clouds. The environmental impacts of solar…. are also worth consideration. I know i had to accept some hard realities about my self coming out here.

    I tell everyone…… after really living it….. I dont know what the answer is any more. Because the alternative energies arent often ay better than clean coal or gas. And thats the truth. Perhaps if we could truly get a Tesla tower going? I just dont know. I do know its a nice thought…. and it used to make me sleep better and feel better about myself to have really clean notions about my lifes direction…. and I did give it an honest go….. many years worth. And maybe im just less of a person, that could be a fair and true statement….. but to everyone who wants to change or restrict things for others I say, you first. Give it a go….. strip it allllllll back….. and after you sit with that for more than a camping weekend or a few days forced power outage let me know your experience. Im curious…. Im aware there are some who do it. I also know most cannot, will not, wont. So it becomes an issue of balance. and as of yet there are zero good solutions on either side of the issue…. only choices to be made that fit our own needs and egos. And yes, a lot of the green movement is…. ego…. just as much as big oil. The whole debate is complex. I can only speak from my personal experience living it. Starting with 5 months in a tent on raw land…. struggling to build in the woods from the ground up… watching the reality of life really change the dreamy visions of how i thought it might be…. reckoning that inside of myself. Talk about growth…. those were for me some serious pains.

    Love your ideas Kate, I hope someday there are solutions that fit all sides… maybe thats not too far off โค


  26. ***** I wanted to add as far as “self sufficient” I mean by that if I was forced to, the house is set up to run with zero inputs…. at the moment we have solar and use propane, which obviously are outside inputs. Solar isnt a forever deal, panels drop efficiency and batteries need replacing… and just general maintenance and upkeep. So i dont consider solar “self sufficient” on our homestead. We heat with wood, I live in the woods….. not an input except our time.


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