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
It 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!
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 vegetation.
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.