Friday, April 14, 2023

Wise words from a reader

In response to my last blog post, "The Only Way to Survive 2023," a reader named Leigh chimed in with her two cents' worth. I found her words so wise – far better than I could phrase things – that I wanted to highlight them here.

She writes: In reading these articles, I notice a common denominator, which is basically (over-simplified, I suspect) that the alarms and cautions are related to embracing the current economic system, which relies on debt and the hope of wealth accumulation through investments. The ideas that debt can make us affluent, or that everyone has to be a millionaire before they can retire is a new one, within my lifetime at least. Growing up, it was explained to me that one strives toward their highest earnings in one's younger years: to buy a home, raise a family, and secure tangible assets. Once the children are on their own and the house is paid for, there isn't need for so much, and a smaller retirement income will suffice to be happy and comfortable. Now, this is foreign thinking.

My husband and I have never had the income to get caught up in the economic investment lifestyle. So honestly, people getting panicky over the state of the economy is something that makes no sense. Instead, we have "invested" in the land, tools, equipment, and skills to live a simpler lifestyle and become more self-reliant. Of course, I don't like higher retail prices and disappearing products. But because of our lifestyle, we can pretty much say "oh well" and shrug it off.

The biggest challenge is that learning how to be frugal also requires learning how to be content. And that it isn't a stopgap measure, it's a lifestyle. Unfortunately, contentment pretty is pretty foreign to human nature, which I suspect contributes greatly to people getting stressed out.

Yes!! This woman gets it! She explains things so clearly. Listen to her wisdom.


  1. Full disclosure: I am a long time follower of Leigh.

    All of it is 100% true of course; the part that she puts so eloquently and is a point of unshakeable faith in many quarters is that you "must" have X amount of Dollars (even $1 million may now be too little in current financial thinking) to retire and that anything less than that is unthinkable. I have observed many people farther along that journey that I and although in fact the tasks and interests change, on the whole spending does go down. By the time it came time for my parents to move into assisted living, they were spending money on fuel for drives, money for dining out (at high class places like Chick-Fil-A and McDonald's), utilities and taxes, car maintenance (for the aforementioned drives), and gifts for the grandchildren - and very little beyond that.

    Contentment is a lesson we badly need to relearn as civilization - which will prove difficult, as much of our economy is built on having "more" or "better".

  2. OK, but here's the thing: what about those of us in poor health? Land, tools, equipment and skills aren't going to do a whole heck of a lot for me. (In theory. In fact, my land produces a very good rental rate.) I can grow a few tomatoes and that's about it. Elderly folks, too: what are they supposed to do? I'm sick to death of the smugness over "we have invested our 401k in cows" if we don't have the physical ability to homestead. I'll stick to my stock market index funds, thanks.

    1. Krab, I feel for you. You're right. Not everyone can homestead. I have more land than I can care for myself but it isn't a homestead. It's home. There's going to come a time when I won't be able to live here.
      Once upon a time, before covid, there were people to cut my grass and do chores. They're gone, plain and simple. So I tackle what needs doing in what amounts to slow motion, and ever so slowly get better at it.

      Homesteading is just a phrase people have adopted for working on becoming more self reliant. And it may be folks in a tiny home on a lot, to big comfortable houses with lots of land, equipment, family and employees.
      One of the many things I like about this blog is there's a lot of different kinds of people with different paths to becoming more self sufficient. There are different ideas and sometimes I get helped by reading things someone else thought of.
      I also like to pray for people and frequently pray for people I don't know and have no expectation of meeting, like people here. People open up and share things and sometimes there's just a nudge to pray.
      You are someone I've been praying for, for some time now. Not every day, but every time you post and when you cross my mind.
      It's not just people here. Intercessory prayer is one of my callings. Probably for others here too. Maybe that's why you hang around...because the Lord drew you here.
      Anyway, I wouldn't be able to manage a cow, though I do love most animals!
      Here's hoping your stock market index funds are there for the rest of your life. Just have a plan B of some sort in case the market tanks. You're a smart person so you probably do.

    2. That is so unbelievably kind of you, friend. Thank you so much. I will be fine. I have no debts, my property is worth a lot, even if my investments go south they're not going to go to $0, and heck, I live in a fishing community. I can fish if I need to, even chronically ill. A lot less physical than butchering a cow!

    3. I'm glad you're OK.
      You can't always count on weather to cooperate or stores to have what we need, so I do hope you also stock some things up for convenience and emergencies. Take care.

  3. Leigh is good people. I've read much of her stuff o'er the years. Walks the walk - talks the talk.

  4. I'm a prepper. Not the best prepper in the world and not 100% prepared for everything. But I want to point out a flaw in this idea that is represented by the quote: "oh well" and shrug it off.

    Here is what I mean. I often think when I fill my cabinets with canned foods and properly packed dry foods that this will be a nice supply of food and essentials for the thugs that eventually attack our house and kill us all. Yes, a little negative, I agree. But if TSHTF what I have described is the most likely result. Your little piece of land with a garden and food stored is a target. If a few thugs are roaming the countryside and have missed their last 9 meals their focus will be on food and when they get to someone's little garden and modest home they will finally get to eat. My point is not to simply be negative but rather to emphasize that simply having prepared and living a good life does not mean ""oh well" and shrug it off."

  5. I am reminded of that brief scene in the movie "Tetanic" where the old couple were lying on the bed in their lower birth as the water was rising in their room. The lady was sobbing inconsolably and the man was hugging her to face the certain unpleasant death.
    What I am worried about is war which will inevitably become a nuclear war. Imagine that you live through a nuclear attack where each country throws every thing they have at the other side. You made it through that terrible attack and through planning and good fortune you have maybe 90 days worth of food. But each night you hear gunfire and fighting and screaming. You are next, you know it and suddenly realize that your home is virtually indefensible from a determined attack.

    Silly thought, right? It's not as though we are on the verge of nuclear war (sarc) or that the cities are full of lawless criminals and crazy people (more sarc). Yeah! That is what's gonna happen, maybe real soon. We are like that old couple but it isn't real to us yet.

    1. The old couple in the movie were the real life couple Isidor and Ida Straus. They were very, very rich--Mr. Straus owned and helped found Macy's Department Store. They traveled first class on the Titanic. After the ship hit the iceberg, the Strauses, as wealthy first class passengers, were told to report to a certain lifeboat. Mr. Straus refused to get in as he was old and younger men were being denied a spot on the lifeboats, and Mrs. Straus refused to get in as she wasn't going to go anywhere without Mr. Straus. So they perished. Heroic, really.

  6. On a lighter note "Teens" in Chicago rioted last night. Oh, they don't call it a "riot" when "teens" do it, they call it "wilding". Some of the "teens" in the video were obviously twenty something "teens" but what the heck they are all just having fun.

    Here's a funny fact. When mot if, America goes to war against Russia and China the government will draft our best and brightest. Almost all of those "teens" will be un-draftable because they have been convicted of serious crimes while "wilding". So not only will the government draft your kids to be killed in far off places but they will leave the criminals here so after the cities get nuked they can kill you. Ordinarily I would say we need to elect better people but we did that in 2020 and the left stuffed the real and electronic ballot boxes and stole the election. And now they are precipitating a war in celebration of that victory. We can't vote ourselves out of this.

    1. You are right. We cannot vote ourselves out of this. Ever since God's children decided they wanted a king, like other nations, (and got Saul) it's been one mess after another PROVING that man's rule is flawed and ultimately fails.
      Some rulers are better than others, but in the end, flesh succumbs to death in this world if nothing else, and they get replaced.
      No, we can't vote ourselves out of this mess and the evil we see is probably only the tip of the iceberg.
      But Our Lord Reigns!!!
      We can get down on our knees and Praise Him, and Glorify His Holy Name, and HE WILL HEAR US !!!
      said the Lord of hosts in Zech. 4:6.
      No we can't vote them out.
      But we can split the heavens wide open clear to the very throne of God with our prayers! From the very young to the old and feeble we can declare Jesus Lord of lord's, and King of kings, that as long as we are here He rules and Reigns over our lives!
      And our country! If the last election was stolen , or any election was stolen, don't stop asking for retribution and restitution.
      It is not yet time for the enemy to have the time of dominion on this earth. he wants confusion, fear, but most especially to disrupt heavens plans for harvest of souls.
      Every single person can be a Prayer Warrior! It is a war we are already in, here on earth, and it's also being fought in the heavenlies.
      With so many things blowing up I have to believe no matter what the news says, guerrilla warfare is already being waged against us.
      Prayer may be our only weapon to stop our enemies.
      And by golly, Congress is supposed to be the only power in this country that can declare war.
      If we aren't going to defend our own borders from clear invasion, there should be no draft. Round up the invaders and pack them off to Ukraine. Our own family members already bled and died in wars keeping this country together. People want to come here so bad, let them take a turn at defense first.
      No I'm not crazy. The North actually did this during the Civil War. Young Men coming here from overseas were sent directly into war. They probably would not have come if they'd known.
      But pray. Pray laying down, standing up, while walking, gardening, working. We do not have to take the fear the enemy wants to paralyze us with.
      Just pray.
      And if you don't know how, just start. It gets easier and easier.
      Read the Word and pray.

    2. Thanks for the thinly veiled racism and sorry your guy didn't win in 2020, but he didn't. "wilding" is something that was misheard and misunderstood in 1989. The original boys were chanting "Wild Thing" based on the hit song, not "wilding." I guess information doesn't make it to wherever you live very quickly.

  7. We all are going to pay a terrible price for that stolen election. SCOTUS let the country down in that critical case brought by the states. A lot of Republicans let us down because they were never Trumpers so they didn't really care that the election was stolen from Trump. We all saw the election was stolen it was so enormous it could be seen from space.
    The left has become communists and they have adopted communist practices of lying by blaming their opponents for exactly what they are doing. When they say that Trump lost and the election wasn't stolen that translates into Biden lost and the election was stolen. When they claim racism it is because they are racists. When they yell fascism it is because they are fascists.

    You are all going to repeat history and it will rhyme with Germany in the 30's and Russia in 1917. This is happening now even as your attention is diverted by sports or American Idol. Trump slowed it for four years but it is now full steam ahead and they are so confident that they don't even try to hide it. Only one thing has been left undone, unfinished. They haven't been able to take away all our guns like they did in most of the Western countries. This is a big problem for the left/communists. I fully expect Biden to do it by decree and begin a massive effort to actually take them. This won't end well.

  8. And that, my friends, is why I thank the Lord for each and every day. I prepare for the future but try to do something each day that I enjoy - as if it is my last.

    As a relatively new widow (less than 2 years) I have taken early retirement (16 days left) and I plan to work around my home doing things that have been neglected for years. I hope to spend more time at our shared family lake cottage (built 83 years ago by my grandparents), ride my old mare, and just try to do things to help other people. Nothing expensive or extravagant. I have learned that the last item I listed gives me as much peace and contentment as anything.

    1. I've been feeling the nudge to do something I enjoy everyday also. Not gardening or canning or so forth, though they are enjoyable. Something that just feeds the spirit with joy. Like art.

  9. Due to the mention of Leigh by Patrice and a few commenters I wandered over to her blog to check it out. Unrelated to the subject here I just have to say her Peanut Butter Granola recipe jumped out at me. Made it yesterday. Delicious, and very adaptable. What I really like about it is there are no bad oils (cottonseed, canola, etc., I’m giving you the ol’ stink-eye) used in the recipe.