Simple Things

A list of simple things here and there.

1. Simple distraction. I’ve been a bit distracted these days, which is why I’ve been away for so long. Most of the distractions aren’t simple, nor necessarily fun, but no matter what life throws at me one of my favorite distractions is reading books. The most recent book I read was The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America by Mark Sundeen. The author shares the stories of three families, who have radically departed from cultural norms to live with intent and authenticity. This Huffington Post article gives a good synopsis and interview with the author. I highly recommend the book – it’s given me a lot of food for thought.

2. Simple revolution. Speaking of food, in my opinion one of the best ways we could collectively start a revolution is to source most of our food locally. By that I mean, either grow your own food, or buy directly from local farmers who practice regenerative and humane farming methods. I’ve started researching farms I’d like to support when I move to my new home. I’ve already selected a CSA that I’ll be subscribing to and a farmer who practices Biodynamic agriculture (which exceeds organic standards) to supply me with milk, eggs and meat. There’s something special about knowing the people who grow your food and creating community around that.

3. Simple remedy. My three-year-old has been fighting a spring cold. He has a post-nasal drip, causing him to cough at nap- and night-time. I control the cough by mixing a dab of my homemade skin balm and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil and rubbing it into the bottoms of his feet before he goes down. Don’t ask me how it works, but it’s been 100 percent effective in stopping his cough. He’s now getting the proper rest to help him have a speedy recovery. You’ll want to do your own research on the safety, correct “dosage” and application.

4. Simple song. I’ve shared before how every night I sing the same two lullabies to my son at bedtime. It’s been a ritual for over three years that neither of us tire from. I’m not alone in feeling the holding power of a lullaby – here’s a sweet lullaby sung by Meryl Streep that her mother sang to her.

5. Simple choice. This deserves a whole blog post, but I wanted to make a quick plug for choosing shade-grown (plus organic and fair trade) coffee. To meet the growing demand for coffee, the industry is more and more using sun cultivation, rather than traditional shade growing methods. Unfortunately this practice causes further deforestation, which attributes to climate change and other environmental problems. Besides drinking shade-grown coffee, other thoughtful choices are enjoying zero waste coffee at home, supporting small, independent coffee shops, rather than corporate giants, and getting your coffee to go in a reusable mug.

Enjoy the weekend! xo Julie

4 thoughts on “Simple Things

  1. Wow, Julie, you’ve covered quite a range of topics in your post. I am very interested in the book you mention here and will try to get it through my library (no new books to be bought this year!). We’ve been living in the country for 10 yrs now (solar power, organic gardens, etc) and still, friends from the city keep suggesting that we should buy this or that, not understanding that we are moving in the opposite direction – living more simply each year, consolidating instead of fragmenting our energies into several different directions. This year we are exploring what our bare bones budget would be by not buying new clothes, tools, travel, subscriptions, eating out, etc. It’s been an interesting experiment and helped me realize that a lot of what we consider “entertainment” is really all about consuming. To make the switch from consuming to producing (or trading what we produce with things produced by others) is really what it will take to bring down our heavy energy and resource foot print.

    1. I’d love to hear your reflections on the book. I most identified with Luci Brieger and I have the feeling you will too. I haven’t bought a book in years. The public library has served me well. Interestingly, I’m about to make the move from the city to the country and have started a list of resource books I might like to have on my shelf to support our new life. With all the things you bring up, we are so much on the same page. I’d love to hear the lessons you’ve learned after living in the country for a decade. Perhaps we can connect by email. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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