Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Simple Living

I really must be honest and admit that I am becoming more and more interested in modern homesteading. But not in the "dancing around naked under a full moon while chanting to the Goddess Mother Earth" kinda way. That's just a little to cornball "hippy" for me. I mean the "growing your own food, saving money, wasting less, and being self-reliant" kind of way. If you've followed my blog for awhile you will know that I love to garden and the farming gene runs in my family on both sides. I remember having chickens, veggie gardens, home canning, raising steers for meat, and homemade clothing in my early childhood years. My Dad heated the house with a wood stove, he still's just fancier now and called a pellet stove. Then something weird happened to society and people began to get materialistic....I'll just call it the 1980's. I've been noticing a lot lately that people have been returning to this frugal/green/homestead/sustainable "call it what you will" style of living again. I think mostly due to this awful recession that has collapsed our economy. I think the economy is beginning to get better out there, but even as it does, I think people will continue living more within their means and being frugal. Being frugal is trendy! I think people who live a vintage lifestyle are already frugal unless of course you're just into vintage cause you're trying to be cool. In that case, you're the kind of person who inflates the prices on things that a normal vintage lover knows isn't worth paying that much for. Eventually vintage will stop being trendy and you will move onto the next big thing. The next big thing will probably be gardening on fire escapes in urban areas while wearing big sombreros and talking pig Latin! Just remember you heard it here first!

Look what this family did in their urban neighborhood with the little bit of land they did have available to them. Very impressive! I could have done more with my little dirt patch here in DeluxeVille...oh well.

I look forward to seeing what the Sgt and I will be able to create out of the 1 acre of land at BachelorVille. I think we will start off by renaming BachelorVille as it will no longer be a place for a bachelor. Perhaps we will call it Green Acres or maybe MarriageVille?? We've been planning some Spring projects for our outside space which includes in no particular order...
  • Earth Oven
  • Expanding of the veggie garden space with raised beds
  • Chicken Coop for chickens
  • Fish pond
It's going to be a busy Summer and I'm sure more things will get added to this list as we go along. I think living simple is the direction that we will be choosing to go together. I would never be able to give up my modern conveniences like a cell phone or my computer, but I could definitely do without all the materialism and "new" things that society says we need to have in order to be happy. I could definitely get by with just the basics....roof over my head that I can get nesty in, basic food in my pantry that I don't have to spend a lot of money to get and can be used in a variety of ways, a small wardrobe with pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a bigger wardrobe, the unity and strength of my family whether it be a family of friends or blood, and a job that allows me enough money to be able to save and afford to live at the same time without sucking out my soul.

How have you been simplifying your life lately? Anyone else have ideas on how they plan to live more frugal, simple lives?

More info on the Durvaes Family at


  1. Absolutely!! Even though I live in San Francisco, there are definite ways around not having your own space to grow veggies & whatnot. I've got a couple of friends that have their own chickens in their backyard, yes even in sf! xx

  2. Oh I love this post! What an interesting video clip, the reporter makes it sound like the weirdest thing in the world to live that way. I don't know if it's because I live in New Zealand but my mum has her own piece of land where she grows all her own vegetables and collects eggs from the chickens. The more prices are going up and up the more it is starting to seem like a good idea to me! My start this year has been to not buy any more new clothing (with the exception of underwear and shoes(, only 2nd hand, pre-loved things. So far it is going very well... just as long as I keep away from the malls! I look forward to reading more about your new simple life.

  3. Hi Mary -
    You might like this:
    I picked it up years ago, and while it's a little more involved then what I wanted, I love it.

    To answer your question, i garden, compost, and shop farmers markets when i can.

  4. Mary D- I think you will enjoy this blog I recently started following - "The Apron Revolution"

    There are all sorts of musings and tips about living frugally, like back in the 1950's. Enjoy!

  5. I wish I could grow veggies in my garden... but we have rabbits. No way, no how can we get them to leave new plants alone!

  6. Totally with you! There's a big movement towards this simpler way of living in the UK right now. It's a backlash against all that was 'good' in the 1980's. Also money is getting tight and we all have to find ways to make it go further. Can't wait to see how you get on with your projects. xx

  7. that is such a good idea Dashfeild to not buy any new clothing. I try to also limit how many clothes i buy especially when internet buying (I figure at op shops it doesnt matter if i buy 3 tops for $9).
    I cant wait to have a garden so I can have my own chickens and fresh eggs. My herbs just died- herbs are so damn fragile.

  8. Great post and yes I do feel like this too. I am not a natural gardener, but my Mum & Dad used to grow their own veg and it always tasted so good! I often say to OH that one day I would really like to start growing our own. However not in this house/garden.

    I love stuff but as I get older I question more and more why I love 'stuff' why I always want more, why the need for stuff. I enjoy experiences much more, stuff gets in the way. I often think of just selling up and seeing how it all works out!

  9. oh and another thing is i write down the things i buy (except food) especially clothes and things for the house.

    Really makes you realize how much you consume and begs the question did you really need those things?

  10. Those all sound like wonderful ideas. Sadly, we live in a condo with not even so much as a balcony, so about the best I've been able to successfully do is grown herbs in containers. However I do feel I've been trying to simplify elsewhere, like sewing and knitting more of my clothes and consuming less.

    I do have visions of someday having a little vegetable garden of my own. :)

  11. OMG, when i started reading your post and it said "I'm getting more interested in modern homesteading", I took that as in your getting interested in modern home furnishings... like from department stores. I almost gasped.
    I need coffee.

  12. I will have to watch the video later, but have to say, I enjoyed this post very much and am going to google "earth oven" to find out what one is--very intriguing! We grow veggies, flowers, and tons of herbs. My hubbie loves canning (yep, he's a keeper)and though we don't have a true hippy lifestyle, I do enjoy what we grow ourselves and try to buy locally what we don't (as much as possible). Those interested in seeds and gardens would benefit from stopping Monsanto (icky what they are doing with genetic modification and destroying heirloom seeds etc., all for corporate greed). I like vintage clothes, housing/furnishing, AND seeds!

  13. I've been into this myself for awhile, as you might guess. There is a great handbook put out by Rodale years ago called "Home Food Systems" ( ) which is pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about raising your own food.

    You'd also enjoy this blog, about a family living in the Alaskan bush:

  14. Interestingly enough I read a book recently called "Made from Scratch" by Jenna Woginrich. It might interest you as well as it is along the lines of growing your own food, raising animals etc.

    Have sounds like you two have lots to look forword to.


  15. Just stumbled upon your blog this evening. Love this post. We try to live as within our means as possible. For us it mean minimal and natural toys for our son, composting, recycling, gardening, canning. We live in suburbia and try to get to the farmers market on the weekends and take advantage of our local CSA. Oh..and we raise backyard chickens too. We're THOSE neighbors. You don't hear dogs barking in the morning from our yard, you hear chickens cackling.

  16. First you said it, can can can... We can as much as we can, or freeze from our garden. We also recycle and compost. I don't have any animals but we go to local organic farms for fresh eggs, milk, cheese, pork and beef. I have small children and don't want them pumped full of chemicals. I also make all my own cleaning products, it's so easy and cheap too!

  17. Hi, I have dedicated a post to your site in my vintage collection:
    Hope you like.

  18. I would love to grow my own vegetables but the Vegas heat would kill them in seconds ! When I was growing up we had a huge veggie garden and chickens and ducks for eggs. My mum still grows lots of her own veggies and citrus fruits. I've heard citrus will grow here in Vegas so I will have to look into that. 5 months ago I looked into my backlog of cosmetics, lotions and the like and made the decision to use up what I have before buying more. 5 months on and I'm still wading through the backlog with no end in sight yet !!

  19. I am so excited to see so many DeluxeVille readers are also feeling and going in the same direction as I am.

    Dime a Dance....That looks like an awesome book and will put that on my wish list...I'll check first and see if I can borrow a copy from the library.

    Hahahaha Keith....deep breaths it's all ok! :)

    Em...Earth oven is on the Sgt's to do list...he's been talking about building one since we've been dating...I think this will be his year!

    SusieQT...I will check that blog out thanks! Looking forward to more of your Make it from scratch Mondays!

    M...I will check that out!

    Simple Mama...we plan on being "those" neighbors too! But we'll also have dogs barking! hahaha

    Anon...Canning yup got that!

    Vicen...You did will I'll have to go have a look see...

    Jaede...Yeah, I guess growing veggies in LV is kinda out of the question...but fruit trees well that just sounds yummy! Wow that's some backlog!!!

    Thanks for your comments everyone!!