Saturday, November 23, 2013

Why Am I Doing This?

My poor van.
I know that sometimes people look at my blog and wonder why I do all the things I do. (Sometimes I wonder why I do all these things. It's an awfully big hassle.) Why bother scavenging materials? Why bother growing vegetables? Why bother raising animals? Why bother when I could just go to the store and buy all this stuff? (Sometimes [ahem-often] for less than it costs for me to grow/make it myself.)

One reason why I do all of these things is because I am sick of buying stuff. I am tired of being so dependent on corporations and, frankly, I am sick of money. I am very aware of the fact that we vote with our dollars. When we spend our money on something we are voting in favor of its existence. The votes we make with our dollars probably make more impact than the votes we make at the polls. And there is just so much crap out there that I think should not exist because it is wasteful or extravagant or useless or harmful. Mr. Chanclas and I have a shorthand term for this kind of crap. We just look at each other and say, "The earth's resources". In other words, we humans wasted the earth's resources (and the valuable labor of human hands) to make this particular piece of crap. (If you need a good example of this kind of junk just think about children's party favors. Utter junk.)

What's up, Charles?
So I'm on an anti-crap mission. I try to conserve my own resources, to reuse and recycle things, to pass on my extra belongings when I no longer need them. I give a lot of thought to the flow of materials in our household. When I brought home the big $8 box from the Settlement Home Garage Sale I immediately went to work rounding up things I could get rid of. In my mind, if a box of stuff came into the house then at least a box full of stuff should leave the house.

I haven't set foot in a shopping mall in years. I don't go to department stores. I have even eliminated most of my trips to thrift stores. Most days I can look down and find that most of what I am wearing came to me secondhand, often for free. (Shoes and undies are the usual exceptions.) While I think I've done a decent (but not a perfect) job at eliminating needless consumption I am still struggling to increase my household production. My goal for the next year is to produce more of what we consume (especially food but material goods, too). I know I can increase my production of vegetables, meat, milk, soap, and knitted and sewn clothing. What else can I make? I'm taking ideas here if anyone has some.

Charles and Diana, the Muscovy duck pair
Also- did anybody do their Creating Community homework? I'm planning to write Part 2 and I'll be looking for stories!


  1. I get it and admire your commitment!

  2. I think most of your readers will "get it"! It's super hard work but worth it to live your values. I'm not even as close as you, but working on it, slowly but surely....

    1. Thanks, Pamela. I feel the same- working on it slowly but surely. Some days it feels more slow than sure!

  3. I just butchered 9 rabbits today in the freezing cold. My nose wouldn't stop running, my fingers and toes were frozen and my hands will smell like bleach-water for the next 2 days. But the feeling of raising meet ethically and organically and being responsible for my family's meat supply gives me the motivation to do it over and over again. Hassles, irritations, cold, huge feed store bills, etc.
    We do it to live more intentionally. And we are sometimes quirky to the rubberneckers who haven't tried what we are trying yet.
    But that's cool.
    I like the hard work. It's the hardness of it that makes it good to me. And the thrill of learning new skills, trying new things, and breaking ties with corporate 'Murica makes me happy beyond words.
    And OH MY STARS the JUNK. The Tot went to a "princess" birthday party yesterday (*barf*), and the sheer amount of ridiculous plastic made in China that came out of that party was staggering. And the party favors....don't get me started....


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