Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Why I am pissed off, and the antidote to it

I could do a whole blog post on the flowers that are blooming in our yard right now. And the scent! The scent! All members of my family stop during some chore or other to stick their noses into a rose, or someone asks, "What is that smell?", only to discover it comes from the lilacs on the other side of the yard.  I wish I could bottle it up and send you some of the incredible smells through your computer screen!

I love this beauty and feel beyond blessed to live surrounded by so much of it.  There are all the gorgeous mountains and wild creeks and rivers, of course, but we also created a lot of the beauty ourselves.  When we bought our property 14 years ago, it was covered by overgrown alder trees.  After logging and leveling the ground, and even before we had a bathroom and running hot water, we prepared a vegetable garden.  Since I love flowers so much, I dug up large areas to plant perennial flowers.  I garden for functionality AND beauty, maybe because I'm German and we like things to look nice, or maybe because it keeps me sane.  









Sometimes I forget how unusual our lifestyle is out here and how differently we live than what's the norm in this society.  We live simply, birthed and educate our three children at home, grow and preserve a lot of our food (vegetables, fruits, berries, dairy, meat) - not because of radical religious convictions, but because we question the status quo of what everyone seems to accept, the assumption that one follows what everyone else is doing because "that's just the way things are done".

I read this quote by Ellen Goodman earlier this week, and it sums it up: "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it." 

Please know that if you do this, I don't mean to judge you at all.  All I'm trying to express is how it pisses me off that so many people are disconnected from nature and from what's really important in life, which is NOT money, consuming more, acquiring more stuff.  I think that many of us are not only disconnected from nature, but also from our bodies and spirits, not wanting to or not knowing how to live fully embodied on the Earth in a respectful, sustainable, present-to-the-moment way.

I believe if more people cared about the Earth, we as a society could collectively change the direction things are going right now, since things are not going particularly well for the planet at the moment.

This is, in part, why I publish this blog: to inspire people to live a simpler, more connected, sustainable life.  To pioneer a new way of taking care of the Earth, to serve as a role model of what life could be like.  Even folks living in the city can do things that get them more connected to nature: grow one tomato plant in a pot, compost kitchen scraps, lean against a tree in a park to feel its life force.  There's so much every single person can do do to take part in saving the earth.

Anyway.  Thanks for letting me rant a little.  

Let me show you some pictures that give me hope, because they illustrate that there's a different way of living.  These are some members of my family, raised to love nature.  Here is my middle child Luke walking one very pregnant goat back from pasture:





And this is Eva, spraying the puppy with a water gun, smelling the roses:







The kids playing on the trampoline, my husband Steve swinging Eva in a hammock in our woods, and peeking out through bamboo growing on our land.








Yours truly, surveying my kingdom, the vegetable garden, which is thriving and will provide lots and lots of food:



Some of the animals: the ducks happily waddling, the puppy playing with the chicks that are growing up fast, and a swallow hatching eggs up in the cherry tree:







Lastly, this is the tipi our friends gifted us.  It will serve as sleeping quarters for the kids who will participate in our June wilderness and homesteading summer camp.  There are still openings if you want to send your kids here for a weekend to learn with us. More info here.








24 comments:

  1. I so agree with your comments about today's society. When I first moved to your area (from Seattle) I discovered easy living. Yes, it takes work, but not for money to pay for your living, but as a part of living. That's when it stops being "work" and becomes life. A life full of wonder and the time to enjoy it. I am now living downriver and trying to return to "living". I so enjoy your blog, etc. You remind me of days already gone by.

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    1. Laurie, thanks for your words. May you find wonder in the precious moments!

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  2. As one of the many still paying for the car, the house, etc., your words are spot on! It's unfortunate that many of us were raised thinking that you grow up, get a job, get a car, get a credit card, get a mortgage...because thats what your parents did. If I knew 20 years ago, what I know now, I would have done things a whole lot different. I would have learned about budgeting at a younger age, never have gotten credit cards, I would have held off on my house and put my money into land and I would definitely have started this whole journey to a more sustainable lifestyle much sooner!

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    1. Wow, Tiffany, your words are powerful. What great learning! The question now: how can you apply what you know now to make changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle? Small steps?

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  3. I absolutely love this post Corina. Thank you for inspiring me to appreciate the homesteading life we have chosen. Your blog gets me through the challenges.

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    1. You are welcome! Challenges? What challenges? Ha. Just kidding...

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  4. I grow a lot of food on my small property. Lately I have been eating salads every day with the abundant fresh greens coming up in my garden. I am not a preachy person and pretty much don't expect anyone to put in as much time on their food as I do, however a co-worker commented on the greens he buys vs. what I bring to work. I explained that fresh greens are the easiest things to grow. I suggested he may want to try it. He replied, "Nah, then I'd have to remember to water it." So I suggested sprouts. "All you have to do is rinse them twice a day while you are in the kitchen. Simple.", I said. "Nah." was the reply.

    The moral? I feel your frustration. If I can't convince a young vegetarian yogi to take a tiny step in sourcing one item of food for himself, how are we to convince more mainstream society the importance of saving our earth by living more sustainably?

    Keep doing what you are doing and I will keep offering mason jars and seeds to co-workers. If just one person modifies their life just a little? So worth it!

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    1. Kim, what a great point: we can't change other people or preach at them, but we can model how to live differently. Pretty soon, some folks might get curious and notice that we are doing things differently. Gentle encouragement is great! Bringing mason jars and seeds is awesome! Good job!

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  5. Sweet tipi! the kids are going to have a great time. ( and I bet you will too!)
    I am going on my first overnight solo in the pacific northwest this Friday... I am excited and feeling some trepidation. I am looking forward to my first night away from the kids in something like 5 years! whoop, whoop! Me and the full moon are going to rock out. :D

    Also I am getting ready to offer a half day parents and kids nature connection program in the fall for the 0-6 crowd. I am looking forward to it- it is a bit of an edge for me- I think I could be more confident in my naturalist skills- but I am done waiting... I want to get on with building this community in our neck of the woods.

    Love your posts and pics Corina- keep rocking the good life and inspiring us all. <3

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  6. Oh and it came up as unknow- it's Clelie. :d

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    1. I'm so excited for you to do your first solo overnighter! I remember backpacking by myself and sleeping on mountain tops alone, and these were life-changing experiences. Scary, yes. Magical, oh yes! And the full moon!
      Good for you for offering nature connection programs! The world needs you!

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  7. The quote from Ellen Goodman is wonderful. As is your photographer's eye.

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    1. Thanks, Rob. I still need to learn how to use my camera correctly and not just shoot automatic.

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  8. So......in the event of a disaster, earthquake maybe?? Or?? Where will those folks be versus people like you when it comes to sustainable living?? Your blog is very inspiring to me! I'm still taking baby steps toward sustainability and survivability if need be.

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    1. Well... they will know where to find food and come to our place!

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  9. I'm a year away from breaking free from this so called "normal" life and starting a new path similar to what you've made for your family. It's been a long time coming and I'm anxious for that change. While I wait, your blog is inspiration and your photos eye candy. Thanks for speaking your mind!

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  10. hellooo corina, julia from germany here... we took the adventurous fp courses and trainings together ;-) :-) i just found you on linkedin and thought i'd say hello. it's great to see that you are doing so well with your very unique lifestyle and teachings. cool! smiles from the very sunny south of germany, julia/jouleeyah

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    1. Julia, so great to see you here!!! I would love to know how you are doing and what you are up to. I'm gonna go check out your profile right now. Bussi!

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  11. Cool... Corina... you can also drop me an email and/or connect with me via Instagram if this is something you do :-)) Schwäbische Bussis zurück!

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  12. Dear Corina, I came to say that I love love love your blog so much! I found you a couple of months ago and I must say that I rarely comment, but I couldn't stop from doing it today. I appreciate the kind of life you live and although I still live on the 3rd floor of a building in town, I've been dreaming of living in the country for many years. I've always lived in the city and got a degree in a course in university when I was younger, but soon I felt that I don't act or think like the society we live in. I hate to be pressed to act like it's supposed to do just because they say that's the normal thing. And if you don't act like them you're not normal. Who cares? I just want to follow my inner nature and that tells me to be always connected to nature, make things from scratch, cook meals with love, live the most natural way I can. I'm trying to sell my flat in order to buy a small house in the country with a piece of land to raise my chickens and sheep and vegetables and flowers and so on! It's not easy to sell under this crisis conjucture, but I still believe that I will afford it, since I want it so hard. It's almost like living or dying. I'm sick of all this, of this "normal" society who's always saying that I should find a job according to my course only to be able to possess more things they consider important. It's like that quote from Ellen Goodman. I suscribe it intirely. Sorry, I wrote too much. I just wanted to share how much I appreciate to see your wonderful photos and your even more wonderful words, which express the way you live and think. Thank you for being such an inspiration. Hugs from the far Portugal. Margarida.

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    1. Dear Margarida,
      Don't ever worry about writing too much. Your sweet message made my day! I'm so happy you wrote all the way from Portugal!
      I'm very glad to hear that you are following your heart, that you don't care if society says you are not living a "normal" lifestyle. You are right. Who cares? Follow your heart, lady!

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  13. First, look at that Eva! What a young celery stalk growing up straight and tall before our very eyes! Wow. Then, your trampoline is in the ground???? How brilliant! Last, I agree with your words about people being out of touch with nature. But they don't have to be. Even in the city there is abundant wild life and nature all around. The hawk sits on the wire surveying his domain. The raccoon roams the neighborhood at night. He owns it! Just look! :-) The weed growing up between the cracks in the sidewalk. If we want to be we can be in touch with nature wherever we are, neh?

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    1. I know, that girl is growing fast. She actually has growing pains lately and cries about it, poor thing.
      And yes, nature is everywhere, even in the city.

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