Saturday, January 8, 2011

What is the reason for this blog?

I thought maybe it was time to attend to the purpose of the blogs - now that I have three active and one inactive one. Yikes. This one was for the chatty day to day explorations of being a householder - Crazy Jane is for my writing life and Dreaming with Rumi is to explore Rumi's poetry in a more thorough way. Trouble is everything is everywhere. My writing pals still want to hear about Sweet Patootie and Step-Dot,  about going to the market (or not) and my runaway dog, Hoagy. My gardening, knitting, accordion playing pals still want to know how the writing is going and well quite frankly I only have a couple of Rumi pals and I'm not sure what they want only almost everyone is everywhere!

I think I'd like to have a bit more formality here - so I want to start this new regime off by telling you about a book that has been encouraging me in my striving for a simple life - it is called Farm City and it is by Novella Carpenter. She lives in Oakland, California which is a very urban and tough spot to live. She grows vegetables on a vacant lot, moves fruit trees around, raises chickens, turkeys, geese, rabbits and pigs (maybe more not sure where she's at) and struggles with trying to make sense of it all. The book is wonderful - honest, funny and a bit like the style of Anne Lamott for those of you who know her. I love the idea of urbanites claiming back the land - in many parts of the world the city folk ALMOST feed themselves from urban farming - we need to seriously consider this. Here is her blog Ghost Town Farm and I'll add it to my blog roll in just a minute.

What books help you with trying to live this complicated simple life?
Here is a list of my favourites:

Living the Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing - an old but great book. Only one problem for me - they think their should be no raising of animals at all so....I kind of see their point but I have barn heart as many of you know so that won't work! Click link for Wiki stuff on them.

Living the Good Life by Linda Cockburn - this is a newer book (yep same title) about one family's decision to live without using money for a year. Linda also has a blog which is on my blog roll at the right or the highlighted title here.

The 100 Mile Diet  by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon  - this was also a one year adventure in eating within a hundred miles done by a couple of Canadians living in British Columbia - it is fun and informative and they also continue to work with this concept which you'll see if you follow the link.

No Impact Man by Colin Bevan - he writes about how he and his wife and small child live off the grid for a year (seeing a theme here?) in NYC. It is wonderful! Crazy and great. click the link for his blog.

What books would you add to this list?


Gardeningbren said...

I love this list, and haven't read any of them although I know of the Nearings. Glad you gave the links as well. Off the top of my head to add ...well Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver perhaps...loved that.

Funny you should mention about what your blog readers want from you and your responses. Very interesting...but we DO change as we blog..we find ourselves going in different directions perhaps than we intended to go...but I still think, the experience is rewarding. Blog On!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I appreciate this list of books. I like the idea of downsizing and simplifying our lives.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Brenda! I've wanted to read that Kingsolver book but haven't yet - perhaps I'll pick it up at the library...

Oh Patricia - I am somewhat grateful to the financial downturn or whatever the heck they're calling it these days so we HAVE to make a simpler life.

Hart Johnson said...

I SO love all this in theory, but until I am the 'at home' partner, it seems I have no control whatsoever... at by no control, I mean I prioritize my writing over it EVERY TIME. I know people in Portland, Oregon though, who do exactly what you are describing. Portland has a climate that can sustain SOME stuff year round (lettuce, peas), though it isn't hot enough for the stuff I love most (peppers and such)... oh, for the day when I have time to work on such things...