Community garden

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The good old days......?

EDIT:  I'd just like to say thanks to the readers who have stuck around while blogging has been a bit patchy and haphazard, who continue to write encouraging messages and wish us well! It means as much as ever to have you all here plodding along the simple living path with me.  I have lost a huge stack of readers just recently (like 300-500 in about 5 days - ouch!) I must admit I was a little dis-heartened at first.  I wondered if I accidentally offended a bunch of people.  Perhaps it was a technical glitch, perhaps my content has been repetative.  I'm not sure to be honest, I am simply me.  Nothing more and nothing less.  But then I remembered I do this for us, for our family.  To record our story.  I don't pretend to know everything, in fact the more I learn the less I know.  But we love trying to diy, to live simply, to be present.  To put first what truly matters.   

I love feeling connected to you all out there.  We little home bloggers, blog for the love of it as life allows, there is no money for many of our efforts, and that's just fine.  So Thankyou for those who continue to pop over to our sometimes chaotic, sometimes messy but always honest and filled with love in our little corner of the world! Xx

When we hop on line and look around the internet there are so many people simplifying their lives.  Its so interesting to see how everyone is doing it.  Some are living on large properties and living self sustainably, some are renting, some are in the city and some are in the country.  Some people have children, some don't.  Some craft, some garden, some are minimalists, some op-shop, renovate and cook. 

Its amazing really isn't it?  That so many of us are all working towards similar life goals but all doing it all so differently. 

Sometimes we can look at all the advertising in the world and become cynical.  We can think that everyone in the world is obsessed with more. 

But when I see preserving jars in mainstream shops, I get excited.  It means that there is a demand for them, that preserving is hitting the main stream.  Cool huh?

Henry checking out the fresh picked daffodils from the garden.

We can get cynical of big fancy appliances like the thermomix, and all in one cookers.  Taking over the old skills, technology blah, blah.  But you know what I see?  A generation of people embracing home made foods.  They don't want to put preservatives in their food, they want to cook from scratch for their families.  They may well be the generation that missed out on being taught how to do it our grandmothers way, but they are forging their own path forward despite that!  They are looking for a way that makes sense to them, to cook the kinds of foods our grandmothers cooked, but doing it their way.  These are often families with two working parents, deciding that investing in home made foods is of upmost importance to them.  The savings then prove them selves, the health benefits become apparent, they begin to look around at what else in their house is chemical laden and they are already half way down the simple living rabbit hole! 

I remember an old high school teacher of mine.  Mrs Lill, she was a wonderful science teacher, quirky, kind and passionate.  She wore blue eye shadow and was just the loveliest lady.  She was the epitome of what a science teacher should be, there was something kind of wonderfully mad about her!  She loved a good story and would tell us all kinds of interesting things about history, science and everything in between.  Often starting with "in the good old days, which weren't really the good old days at all.."  It's a phrase that has stuck with me deeply ever since.

A quiet (rare) school morning.  Will is writing poetry, the little ones drawing.

And you know what?  She was right.  I wouldn't go back.  Modern medicine has saved millions of lives, especially that of women and children.  I would most likely have lost at least one child by now and possibly died myself in labour if it was not for modern medicine.  That alone is enough for me.  But lets look at women and education.  Even in my parents generation the fields at which women are now in has grown considerably, and is continuing to do so.  We have not reached equality, but we are slowly moving in the right direction.

I have the privilege of having a profession under my belt.  Because of it, I know I can provide for my family if need be.  But due to our life choices and a whole lot of luck, I have the choice to stay at home and care for my children.  That's why there is freedom in it.  When we romanticise the "good old days" we forget the brave, strong women that have paved the path for us today.  We belittle the amazing contributions they have made in politics, science, arts, education, religion, health and business. 

I love being at home, but I give thanks to the strong, hardworking, spunky women who have walked before me.  Because of them, I can go back to Uni and study theology.  Because of the battles they fought, I can both be at home, work and study.  Because of them I'm allowed to speak in church, fancy that! ;)

It is easy to sit in our modern thrones of privledge and look around and say things were better then, but there was still problems.  Serious problems that existed within society then, just as there are now.  Let's not look at the past with rose coloured glasses.  Thinking this generation is all doom and gloom.  It's boring and we should know better by now.  

I am forever greatful for the "good old days".  But I am greatful for the choices, for the pendulum making a gentle swing back there with a modern twist. 

I love that corperate companies don't know how to appeal to younger generations.  That they don't want fancy, formal furniture.  Eat in kitchens are a big thing, stiff formal dining rooms are disappearing.  "Vintage" is cool, so is op-shopping, the Internet is filled with cool patterns, people seeing and spreading creative ideas.  It is easier to buy fair trade then it ever has been!  I love that being environmentally friendly is a major branding thing now, and they best back their claims or they will be found out and dragged through the ringer if they claim falsely.  That people are demanding fair trade, co-ops are growing, farmers markets are cool.  In my state, it has become clear that the self serve checkouts are a failure.  Turns out most people don't like them here.  Ha!  If that's not a gentle protest to the bigger, faster, flasher movement I don't know what is.  People crave connection.  As much today as ever. 

So I encourage you to look around and see the good things going on.  The primary schools putting in veggie gardens, and bringing in chooks,  re-introducing cooking programs with the kids.  The parents searching for home made recipies, investing in their home kitchens so they can teach themselves how to cook from scratch, people getting chooks, baking and using green cleaners, churches helping the needing, caring for our mothers and children, Lets use the global connection we have to teach the importance of simplifying, show people how we are all connected, that our waste is all connected.

Little puss sleeping in a hand made wooden toy.  The Internet has been wonderful for allowing people all over the world having little home based businesses.  Allowing people to persue their hobbies, passions and creativity.  

Everytime we see someone trying to move towards a simple life, weather it be eating less processed foods, putting in some herbs or veggies, getting a worm farm or building a compost heap.  Weather they are walking to school or work, making their own cleaners.  We need to high five them!  Not look back in time and say things were better "back in the old days", or point out the way they could do it "more simply" (groan) or point out what they are doing wrong.  Lets celebrate them, like their posts on social media, cheer them on and share the love.  Lets use the checkouts with people to send the message we want them to focus on employment rather then speed.  

Let's not look at the past with rose coloured glasses, instead let's look forward.  Armed with everything we know, and move forward togeather in support of eachother.  Let's give thanks for the past, and for the wonderful oppertunities it has paved the way for us today.

How else can we celebrate the simple living community I wonder? 

Much love,
Emma
xx


33 comments:

  1. Ah, the good old days! Gosh, I had totally forgotten that my mum helped out at my school (1970's) by coming along to teach knitting and crochet and cooking (scones, slices and biscuits)and she did canteen duty too. Only this morning, I found a knitted coat hanger that "I" made in year 6, that makes it about 40 years old! She was a great 'stay at home' mum but really she was just a mother. She never seemed to be frustrated at meal times, getting tea ready for us. She just went through the motions. We didn't get to choose what was for tea either. Lamb chops and veg, casserole and veg, roast, steak and veg or salad. Take it or leave it. It was a lot simpler then....

    I'm not one to hanker for a Thermomix, though they do astound me as to what they can do, but I'd rather know how to make a hollandaise sauce from scratch. Just because. I have a le Creuset dutch oven that I wish I had since I was married, nearly 30 years ago, instead of just 7 years. Its so good.
    I love the look of a simple life but we own a business which means we can be 'hither and thither' at anytime so keeping chooks and a veggie patch just don't fit us right now. I can't even schedule my time to make sourdough! But I will one day...I know it!

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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    1. I completly understand where your coming from with simple living and owning a business. It's challenging isn't it? But we do what we can, and slowly and surely we move further down the simple living path.

      Xx

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  2. Well said Miss Emma.
    I haven't been commenting of late as hubby and I were in Sydney meeting our new little granddaughter. Follow this trip with an unwell hubby and this is my failure to comment.
    I keep coming back and reading what you and that gorgeous little family of yours are up to.

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    1. Congratulations on your little granddaughter!! How lovely!

      I'm so very sorry to hear about your husband, I hope he is on the mend now?

      And mentioned in a comment further down, it was more the mass exodus of 500 people that had me thrown, none of which really matters of course, simply a curiosity and I'm Thankyou for everyone who pops on in to say hello. :) It's always lovely to see a familiar name. :)

      Xx

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  3. Emma, don't worry about readers coming and going. A couple of weeks ago I had a few thousand readers from Russia and this week there is not a one. Go figure! I still read your blog so don't get too disheartened although it can make you wonder why not so many are reading. Just as well we aren't trying to make money from our blogs ;-)

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    1. Goodness, I wonder where they all came from?! It's peculiar isn't it how suddenly one country will have a bunch of hits, no idea why. But it's certainly interesting to watch.

      And thanks chel, I always read yours too! I need to put them in my side bar. Though I always worry I will miss one of my favourites off. Now I type that out loud that sounds silly, but you know when you miss out on an invitation of a friend by accident? Like that. This is why I don't have parties. Lol!
      Xx

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  4. Emma - I wouldn't worry about losing followers / readers. Blogger has recently been "weeding" out the "wheat from the chaff" which has caused every blogger blog to lose followers. When I am on my laptop I will find you the link where this is explained.

    I, too, was disheartened when it happened to my blog, but then, again like you, I write my blog first and foremost, as a personal record / go to source of our journey.

    Keep on doing what you do. 🙂

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    1. Ahh, that's very interesting. I wonder if it is a blogger thing then? I'd love to see that link. I have no idea how people get their blogs to show up in searches. I'm iblivious to that side of things! Ha!

      Possibly the reason I will never earn money from blogging. ;)

      Xx

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    2. Emma - sorry, took me a while to find the relevant article. I follow Chuck Crolls blog - he has some valuable Blogger information sometimes. The explanation for your drop in followers can be found here: http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2016/01/the-followers-gadget-and-internet.html

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  5. Emma, perhaps as we bloggers have times where we struggle to find the time to write so too our readers (many of whom also write blogs) struggle to find the time to read the blogs they love.

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    1. Yes, I completly agree. :)

      I'm used to the usual ebb and flow of blogging, it was simply the loss of 500 readers in the space of a few days which surprised me. I was worried I must have caused mass offence, or mass boredom, or that people had just decided not to follow due to irregular posts. All of which is fine, I'm just thankful for those that stick around and keep me company in my little corner. :) xx

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  6. Don't stress about the reader base fluctuation - your blog is genuine and matches the ebb and flow of your life. So much social media relies on readers jumping from sensation to sensation and each posting not necessarily building on the previous one - blogging is changing quickly.

    I do get tight-lipped when I see simple living and frugality becoming consumerised - mason jars in main stream outlets and so many simple living blogs and sites just a 'front' to try and flog you essential oils or some other product.....but yeah, the trick is to find the genuine ones and gather them around you and promote them.

    Just realised you are not on my blog role - adding you right now :-)

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    1. Your right, goodness I hate people trying to sell me stuff! There are so many people blogging about how to make money from blogging, how to build followers etc. I wonder how many people try and become terribly disappointed.

      And I have just worked out how to put some of the blogs I read on my sidebar. I have a few more to add I think.

      Now I just need to work out how to add Instagram and pintrest....perhaps for another night. ;)

      xx

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  7. Brilliant post as usual Emma. Straight from the heart. Gosh, I don't even know how to tell if readers are there or not, the great tech whizz that I am, but I do know that I love to blog (when there is time) and I love to read what my blog friends are writing and doing. You all inspire me in so many ways. I would sum up by saying that if we could all accept the differences in the way people do things whilst aiming for the common goal, be kind.. always, and encourage those trying to do the right thing for the planet and for their families, whether we are using the old ways or the modern ways, wood stove or Thermomix, just accept that everyone is doing their best. Oh a bit of a ramble there, but I have to tell you that I always get a buzz from reading your posts.

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    1. Oh sally you do make me laugh, I too love to read your blog. Always so lovely, warm, interesting and full of wonderful information! I too get so much encouragement from reading my blog friends posts and the comments. One day I do hope to meet a couple more!

      And I completely agree. kindness and encouragement are key helping people more gently.

      xx

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  8. I get such pleasure in reading your blog and so happy you are still posting

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    1. I get pleasure in writing and hearing from readers who pop in and say hi! :)

      I will keep posting for a while yet. Until I run out of words. ;)

      xx

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  9. I love reading your blog and many others :-) I often sit and go through my blog favourites. Thank you to all the bloggers who take time to write a out your lives!
    -Kelly B

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    1. I love reading blogs too, it's like a window into someone's life! :)

      Or kinda like reading a letter from a friend? A bit of both really I think.

      Xx

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  10. Hi Emma, sorry you have been concerned about a drop,off in readers but if you check on 29th July post it sounded as if you were going to be very busy and committed to new things and the blog may not continue.I didnt check back for a few weeks, then was surprised to see your recent post on the side bar at Arbordale farm and have been following again since then.
    Hope the garden and renos arecgoing well.

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    1. Yes, I did think about stopping, or at least having a long break. I have managed to find some time again, I'm not sure how regular I'll be but I do enjoy it. :) xx

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    2. Yes I thought I had read that you were planning on going on blogging hiatus and now that I check back here I am delighted to see new posts! You are back on my list :)

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    3. I did plan on it, I had a couple of weeks that felt like between Uni, work, mothering, church and the rest that life would never have any free time again! But I have carved out some time and the initial madness has settled somewhat. Less time then I had, but some all the same. I do love to journal here, it bumped up the list of importance (Vacuuming dropped down....ha!) now to find time to sew....hmm.

      Xx

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  11. Back again Emma, just read all the way through this post and would like to say I was not impressed when my daughter got a Thermomix BUT.... she makes her own low sugar (honey) tiny teddies, Butter (from cream on special) all curries, naan bread,pizza bases,tomato sauce, passata, tomato paste,BBQ sauce..so useful ,she makes all these things and sooooo much more because it is easy and convenient to produce food that you know what has gone into it.A much healthier way to feed her family and be focussed on buying fresh and cooking up batches to freeze or otherwise store, a good change.
    It hasn't been that far back that female teachers were required to leave their jobs when they got married, good to see female employment opportunities are going ahead and improving.

    As for the self checkouts, I think they are there to save the stores money but I just see it as doing someone out of a job and I won't help with that.

    I think once we start on the simple living life it helps us consider many ways of improving our own lives and being aware of consumerism impacting others and the world in general. The awareness is spreading and it is good to see young people stepping away from the constant buying stuff habit and seeing through the marketing that tells them they and their belongings are never good enough.

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    1. I agree. It is good. Not just you mind you, consumerism doesn't discriminate between young and old. We can all get caught in the trap.

      I'm so glaf your daughter is loving cooking from scratch for her family, no matter how its done. You must be proud of her! :)

      xx

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  12. Hi Emma, another Emma here! Just wanted to pop in and say that I have never commented before but I have been here reading all the same, as I am sure others are also. I appreciate how you share details of your daily life with your family in such an honest and genuine way, and not just an stylised version. As a first-home owner who is trying to renovate a mid-20th century house and do as much as I can myself I always feel inspired when visiting your space, especially when you share your own renovation stories. Please keep up the good work in posting as and when you can ... I always leave here feeling relaxed and inspired to continue my own simple living life whilst being kind to myself and recognising that sometimes I can't do it all at once!

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    1. Hi Emma!
      I'm so glad it comes across as that as that's what I try and portray in my posts but you never know how you read to others. To go gently, to be kind to yourself and remember the season you are in.

      I do love stylized blogs also, but I often come away feeling a little like "how?!?!" So I deliberately try to keep it real and un-shiny, because much of life is you know?

      Make sure you take lots of photos with your renovations! And don't forget to sit back, enjoy a cuppa along the way! And when its all horrible and dusty remember its not forever. Well done on buying your house. Its wonderful to be in your own space. :)

      xx

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  13. Hi Emma,
    I love reading your blog but for whatever reason I miss out on it in my emails. I have subscribed to emails and each time I come back/find your blog again I try to subscribe again and it tells me I am already subscribed. I would love to get your blog reminders in my emails so I can read them each time you put them out. But for now I am going to have to do a catch up, all happy days anyway x

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    1. Hmm, I wonder if anyone else is having that problem. When I look on my page thingo it looks to be working but there is perhaps a glitch?

      I hope you have a hot cuppa and a relaxing sit as you catch up on your blog reading. It is a lovely thing to do isn't it? :)

      xx

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    2. Yes,I do love it! There are quite a few to catch up on by the time I get back around to finding it. Have bookmarked it now though in my faves x

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  14. Hi there Emma
    I'm still here too - just been a bit too crazy to sit and enjoy my blog reading. I'll catch up soon with all my favourites. In the meantime - keep up the great work of living simple.
    Rachel xx

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  15. Right, it's says that I am writing as unknown (Google) - it's really Joyla1 from the Down to Earth Forums here - love reading your blog Emma and following your activities. Lurved the paddy tat in the wooden trailer - not to big and not too small but just right!

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  16. Hi Emma - Joyla1 here from the Down to Earth Forums - love your blog and especially your journey through your life and .... The puddy in the trailer.

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Thankyou so much for visiting me here in my little corner of the big wide web. I really appreciate your comments, and love to read each and every one of them. I will always endevour to reply, but occasionally I run out of time. But please know they mean alot to me! If something resonates with you feel free to "Like" and "share", its nice to know I'm not talking to myself. Ha!