This is written for myself, my family and anyone who enjoys reading my story of the quest for simplicity within the confines of our urban environment.
This was my first post: it was written when I was still working full time, and so was DH. We still had two young adult children at home. It was written before the raised garden beds, before even the garden shed!
The reason that my blog is called 'earthmotherwithin" is that eight years ago, I felt like there was another person inside my full time career woman persona. Every time I had a holiday or weekend off, I turned into a 19050s housewife, happily baking, sewing and gardening. Then I would pack it all away and cram my life full of a very challenging and rewarding job which often required evening and weekends too. My DH was the same.
I had begun to yearn for a simple life. In doing so I found this website -not used so much now, but still an enormous resource for those who want to find out how to live simply.
We started watching our water and electricity use and finding ways to reduce them. We eventually put solar panels on the roof .
We cooked from scratch. We became part time vegetarians (we eat meatless meals about every second day).
We gave up shopping as a recreation. Instead we found other things to make us happy - walking on the beach in the summer, throwing winter feasts for friends, developing a wide range of favourite authors to read, getting involved in our hobbies and volunteering in our community.
We learned to grow some food and ended up planting a food forest on our 800 square metre block. We experimented with wicking beds and shade to keep things alive in our very hot summers. We had successes and failures as we learned how to grow in this climate. We added a water tank to help out.
DH developed his home handyman skills and then became our jam maker and food preserver.
I commented at the start of 2010 "it is with a sense of amazement at what changes I made, mostly as a result to the way I changed my thinking. It seems to me that if 2010 is going to be better as a year for me, it is important to notice this and to build upon it".
Each year built our skills and the infrastructure we needed to live more simply. We added even more shade to the house so that we could stay cool without airconditioning.
I changed jobs -three times! Gradually I became a part time worker, and public transport became my go-to choice for getting around.
We paid off the mortgage which freed up both of us (eventually) to work part time.
I nagged the family about recycling following the lead from online mentors like Rhonda at Down to Earth. We put a 'no junk mail' sign on our letterbox and the world of sales catalogues left us for ever. Now we buy things when we recognise a need for them!
I became a passionate enthusiast for vintage sewing machines -see the whole herd here.
Our family changed over the eight years. We lost people we loved and pets who had been here for decades.
We gained a lovely daughter in law and two fabulous little grandchildren.
We got older -and our lives have got simpler. What we spend our time on is much more our choice.
It has been a lot of fun to look back over my 8 years of blog posts. It is a wonderful record of our journey towards simplicity.