Once It Was Simple

The last couple months I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the title of my blog. What does it really mean? What does it mean to me?

I’ve always had a fascination with all things old-fashioned. And by that, I mean anything that happened before technology took over. I love the idea that everything we need in order to live comfortably can be done without any of the machines modern society has given us – coffee maker (admittedly, I don’t drink coffee, but you get it), cell phones, television, crock pot, and anything else you use on a regular basis to make your life “easier”.

I think the biggest problem I have with all of those things is that it creates a habit of being lazy. We, as a generation, have told ourselves that doing more is what we’re supposed to do, so we schedule ourselves to the minute. And because we’ve created these hectic lives, we think the only way to get the important things done – making meals, entertaining our families – we have to use gadgets and technology.

My goal right now is to appreciate how things were done in past generations. Cooking from scratch, spending tons of time outside, gardening (eventually), using a clothesline (eventually). Granted, some things are easier to accomplish when living in a house with outdoor space, but that’s the next goal.

Living simply, though, does not mean living easily. I approach everything with the idea that nothing worth getting comes easy. Knowing that the things that will make me happy are going to require some effort on my part means I’m not going to be caught off guard when I decide to make a couple loaves of homemade bread and it takes actual arm power to knead the dough. Or if I want to use a simple homemade cleaner in the kitchen, I’ll have to actually put together the ingredients.

Once It Was Simple is my place to write about the different ways I’m making the switch to more simple living, incorporating traditional skills instead of turning to modern convenience items. I have a list of more than 30 skills I’d like to try or improve and I’ll be sure to write up a post about it as I get to them, but here are just a few to look forward to:

  1. Composting/vermiculture (worm composting)
  2. Veggie/herb garden and fruit trees
  3. Water bath and pressure canning
  4. Cooking with cast iron
  5. Make vegetable broth
  6. Dehydrating foods (without a dehydrator)
  7. Build a sourdough starter and make sourdough bread (and give up using store-bought yeast)

Let me just tell you, once we’re able to move into a house, so many of the things on my list can be tackled. I cannot tell you how excited I am for that day. Thankfully, there are items I can tackle even while living in a rented space. So, never fear, there are posts to come.

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