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Simple Joys of Life

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I am very happy today to introduce you to a good friend of mine.  Marlene has agreed to write the blog for today and I am very grateful.  You can find Marlene right here at her own blog….please stop by and say howdy and tell her Bill sent you.


©2013 Marlene Bertrand

foliageIt has been two years now since I was directed (forced through corporate “right-sizing”) to move to the country and begin a life of meager means, completely contrast to my former life. Meager, meaning no more daily trips to the local coffee house for one of three favorite selections of Caramel Macchiato, Vanilla Latte, or Green Tea Frappaccino. No, now I grind my own coffee beans and brew my own coffee to drink without the fanciful additions.

But, let me tell you, my daily coffee is more enjoyable now than ever. Why? Because now, as I sip my regular coffee, as I look out from my front porch I take joy in watching the birds, bees, and butterflies as they jet from flowers and trees, lighting momentarily, as if posing for the camera that sits by my side, ready to capture memories as I fancy. Outside my window, I see the bright pink blossoms of my Camelia trees. The Hydrangea bush and rose trees are sprouting bright green buds promising blooms of blue, red, pink, and orange flowers I am sure to see in a week or two.

Simple Sustainable Living

Since moving to the country, my husband and I adopted a lifestyle that includes doing all we can to become as self-sustained as possible. We spend as little money as possible. In fact, we spend a good amount of time searching for opportunities to receive products and services for free. We repurpose everything as much as possible.

Get it Free When You Can!odds and ends in Feb 2012 038
Last month, we were able to obtain 50 pounds of aged, sterilized mulch from the city – free. All we needed to do was arrive with verification of our address and provide our own containers to haul the mulch home. We fortified our raised bed garden out of free wood from a fence that a neighbor had torn down. With a little paint (left over from an former project), the wood looked as good as new.

Don’t Throw It Out – Repurpose It!

The other day, while I was visiting a friend, I noticed she didn’t have a trash can and was just stuffing trash into a trash bag sitting on the kitchen floor. I also noticed an empty cat litter box propped near the front door, slated to be thrown out with the trash. My insticts kicked in and instead of throwing out the cat litter box, I stood the box on its end, lined it with a trash can liner and instantly my friend was grateful to have a temporary trash can again.

With imagination, almost anything can be repurposed. In fact, one of our broccoli plants bolted (sprouted flowers) before we were able to pick it for eating. No problem… my husband simply clipped the stalk and placed it into a glass container and now we enjoy the beautiful yellow flowers the bolted broccoli produced. It’s like the concept of making lemonade from lemons. Since we were not able to enjoy the broccoli as a meal, we enjoyed it as eye candy. Repurposed!

Life is Simple

I use to think ladybugs were squirmy, I use to run from bees, and snakes had me screaming like a little girl. Now, I see the significace of creatures living in the garden. Ladybugs eat the aphids off the rose leaves, bees fly from flower to flower to pollinate for continued growth, and snakes eat the rodents that could harm and destroy the stalks and roots of wanted of the northwest 019

Living the simple life means I get to take pleasure in the smallest, most insignificant thing that lives. I’ve slowed down. In fact, at times I stop. I take time to look at, touch, and smell the roses. There is a lot of joy packed into one little moment. And, when you are simply living life, there are many moments of joy.


About Billybuc

A simple man who has found happiness as a functioning dysfunctional.

13 responses »

  1. Great guest post Bill and Marlene very happy to get to know you a bit here. Enjoyed learning a bit about how you can repurpose certain things and be able to reuse instead of buying new. Have a wonderful day and thanks for sharing here with all of us!!

  2. One of the great things about simple sustainable living is that it keeps the creative juices flowing–you’re always looking for new ways to use things! Great post, Marlene. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  3. Hello Janine, thank you for reading and for your comment. I feel honored to be among Bill and his friends. What a beautiful place to be.

  4. Hello Liz, yeah you are right about me always looking for ways to use things. I now prefer to repurpose rather than throw things out. Just recently, instead of throwing out a popsicle stick, I repurposed it to make a plant marker for my garden. Ideas are endless.

  5. Bill, thank you for the opportunity to post on your blog. It is great getting to interact with your readers.

    • You are very welcome, Marlene. I’m going to leave you to answering the comments today…it is, after all, your work they are commenting on. Good people stop by here and I hope you get a chance to meet with them and become friends.

  6. Marlene, Great post. Life gets a purpose when we aloof ourselves from materialistic world and chaos. Wishing you well!

    Bill thanks for introducing another humble writer.

  7. Great guest post, Bill. And Marlene, you’re a breath of fresh air. I LOVE living out in the country and found myself here by the time I had just turned 27. We’re going on six years living out here and though sometimes I miss the convenience of the city, we always think, nah, guess we will stick around for awhile. 🙂

  8. Congrats Marlene on hitting the point of simply living and living simply. I can relate to all you write having moved out of my comfort zone of the city to rural life in the middle of nowhere!
    Having to downsize, get rid, stop being being materialistic and recycle or reuse as much as possible has opened up a whole new and enjoyable lifestyle. Great blog Marlene and well done Bill on a great writer to guest blog for you.

  9. Marlene, this is a great post. I live in the city right now, but I love the simple pleasures of the countryside. I am also actively looking for ways to reuse and repurpose things, as well as using more natural products. It is very enjoyable to discover new ways to use things in a different way. I enjoyed reading about the simple joys of your life.

  10. That is actually a tremendous site.


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