Welcome To Living Simply Free

Welcome, to my online home where I share with you my life in my 300 sq ft apartment living and my goal of saving my corner of the world one day at a time.  As New Year’s is a time of change,  Living Simply Free needed a bit of a new course as well.  I hope to provide a bit more structure while leaving a little room for flexibility.

  • Monday’s I will share with you some good news I heard concerning the natural world and the environment
  • Wednesdays, I will continue in the challenges of Change the World Wednesday with Reduce Footprints.
  • Fridays you will find my Friday Faves containing link to the  articles I found most interesting or thought-provoking.
  • Saturdays you may find an occasional guest post.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are a bit of a pot luck where the subject may be anything from upcycling items to natural cleaning or holistic health all with the goal of living lighter on the earth.

I would like to start a new feature sharing your projects.  You can send me pictures of your organic gardens, a green DIY, or even pictures and stories of life with a small footprint and you don’t have to be a blogger to join in.

Thanks for stopping by, please grab a cup of coffee or tea and stay awhile. I love to hear from each of you, let’s share ideas and make 2014 the year we end the waste and make a difference in the world.

Friday Faves, A Good Soul

Just a few members of a volunteer group that formed in my area that help others with any kind of work. Here they are rebuilding the garden beds with my neighbor.  Community Action at work

Just a few members of a volunteer group that formed in my area that help others with any kind of work. Here they are rebuilding the garden beds with my neighbor. Community Action at work

This week I was saddened to learn of the suicide of Michael C. Ruppert.  Michael tried to live his life by his own moral standards.   In his later years he became outspoken on the issue of peak oil and dedicated his life to trying to educate the public on the dangers we face.  One statistic he often shared stands out today for me which is that seven gallons of oil are used in the making of each tire for our vehicles.  He often asked of himself “Who am I?  and “Why am I here?”

Why am I here, blogging away?  It’s because I hope to make a difference and at the same time I know I still have much to learn, from you.  So today here are my favorite links from blog land. As always it is my hope one will touch you and make a difference in your day.

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$7 Easter Present for a Princess

Both of my granddaughters are obsessed with princesses and as a result love to wear dresses. Every day, every where. They are that perfect mix of tomboy and princess. :-) What else could I give to a little one for Easter than a crocheted dress? How about one that can grow with her?

I’ll prove first that this child loves her dresses.

Relaxing day at home.

Relaxing day at home as an ogre princess

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Change the World Wednesday, My Most Serious Health Issue

Today I came across two posts on the same subject, the first was disappointing in that it left out the most valuable piece of information which has helped me but it contained some wonderful recipes, the other was this week’s challenge at Reduce Footprints.

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While many of you already know I was born with Muscular Dystrophy, but what you may not know is that I was also born with one kidney which doesn’t work. The Dystrophy was no problem compared to the kidney issues I endured. This led to many hospitalizations, tests and medications in my youth.  When I say it doesn’t work, it doesn’t.  This kidney does allow things to pass through it but doesn’t process anything.  Certain foods and beverages will not move through the kidney in a timely enough manner to prevent infections from setting in, which resulted in years of experimenting rather than agree to have the kidney removed.

This brings me to this week’s challenge:

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Building Healthy Garden Soil

This weekend if  you lived near me you would have thought summer had arrived completely skipping spring.  I was itching to get into the garden and had to satisfy myself with cleaning up the beds and checking how the sections I buried my compost turned out.

The first flowers found and picked for me this year.

The first flowers found and picked for me this year.

There are a lot of so-called rules for composting.  Getting the right mix of brown and green, what can be composted and what cannot.  These rules have scared many off from trying to make their own.  I don’t follow too many rules in my compost and what rules I use are a combination of my own thoughts and safety measures I’ve learned. I never worry about the right mix of brown and green, for example.  What I have is what goes in.

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Good News Monday

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This weekend while on a walk with my granddaughter she started a conversation about what was healthy to drink and not drink.  She informed me that soda isn’t good because “it gives us sugar”.  Growing up I had several relatives who had lost a limb (amputation) as a result of diabetes, but they called it sugar, as in “He lost his leg to sugar.” Today we are disconnected from our food in more ways than just the terminology we use, but there are signs that this is changing for the better.  This Monday’s Good News starts with ways we are taking back our food.

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Friday Faves, Spring has Arrived

Spring has finally arrived and with it the first tips of the daffodils are showing.  Yesterday was our first day of really gorgeous weather, I was outside all day, until the sun disappeared with a good book in the field! Yes, the ground dried out enough I was able to get into the field without fear of getting stuck. I even had a bit of sunburn, faded by morning.

The warmth from the sun had been missed.

The warmth from the sun had been missed.

 

The garden beds are looking good, especially the two sections where I used a small amount of soil as the foundation for a compost bed.  The soil there is rich and so beautiful.  Nothing like the beds of some of my neighbors who only have soil and store bought  compost.  Theirs look dry and hard.

No flowers yet here but I can't wait.

No flowers yet here but I can’t wait.

Now that I can safely get to the beds while I can’t begin to plant anything I can start another compost section with the food scraps I froze all winter waiting for this day.  By the time the soil is warm enough to plant in these scraps will be decomposed and ready for planting.

 

I won't see any tulips as the deer ate all of my bulbs.

I won’t see any tulips as the deer ate all of my bulbs.

sustainable gardening

  1. I made a huge mistake and purchased peat moss after reading several sources that suggested it in my first raised beds.  Since then I’ve learned we are destroying a delicate ecosystem by using peat moss.  This is another of those situations where I try to vote with my dollars so no more peat moss.  To learn why this is not an eco-choice and what you can use as a soil amendment check out this post by Learning and Yearning.
  2. Jean experiments with straw bales as raised beds  So simple and a good use of a renewable resource as a growing medium.
  3. With climate change we have no idea what our weather will be like from one year to the next so it’s important to take all precautions to conserve water. Anne gives us 20 reasons why we should mulch our garden beds.
  4. Children used to work along side the adults in the daily chores, this included the gardens.  Our children need to experience in seeing how their food is grown and will be more willing to try new foods if they have a hand in growing them.  Eartheasy has a wonderfully complete garden list on how to garden with children and even includes how-to plans to make a child’s wheelbarrow.   If you don’t have children but want to learn how to grow your own food this detailed list would be the place to start.
  5. Last summer I finally had a carrot crop that grew!  I was so excited I started a second crop, total failure they never even sprouted. This year I am going to pre-sprout some varieties of seeds and see if this helps. I thought you might enjoy this article I found on pre-sprouting as well.
Spotted the first crocus flowering on a walk.

Spotted the first crocus flowering on a walk.

diy your garden

  1. Looking for inspirational ideas for the best garden yet?  These ten diy garden hacks will get you started.
  2. Don’t spend a ton of money on bird feeders, make your own.  Last year I made a simple bird feeder from orange peels with the grandchildren.  They loved seeing the birds sitting on their half of the orange rind to eat seed from.  But there are many other fruit peels you can use such as grapefruit used in this tutorial. What’s better than zero cost or when finished you can compost the feeder and hang a new one?
Bees are back and have been pretty aggressive, normal for spring.

Bees are back and have been pretty aggressive, normal for spring.

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler

 

Have a wonderful weekend

Change the World Wednesday, It Smells Cleaner

I am so fortunate where I am and have the best neighbors who make me feel “normal” for a change.  Tonight, I benefited from one student’s efforts to earn a few extra dollars.  He borrowed his parent’s Kirby vacuum/shampooer (with their blessing)  and advertised reasonably priced carpet shampooing. Why give my money to a rental business when I can help out a friend. I love watching young people create their own opportunities.

For less than the  price of renting a machine, having to figure out how to get the machine home and purchasing eco-friendly shampoo, I sat back and watched my carpet being cleaned for me. The shampoo he uses is eco-friendly but I didn’t have to buy an entire bottle to do one cleaning.  I will miss him, and our conversations, when he graduates in May, but for tonight even my grandson remarked at how good the carpet smells. :-)

 

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It’s Wednesday and time for another challenge from Reduce Footprints, this time the subject centers on air quality.

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