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Are you serious about living a life of freedom? Then you need to invest in yourself. Yes, I mean spend money to learn what you need to learn to achieve that freedom.

The resources I have to offer you

If you’re in debt and/or want to be able to retire much earlier than the mainstream tells you is possible, buy my book Hatching The Nest Egg: Achieve Super-Early Retirement Without Gambling, Side-Gigs, Or An Above-Average Income.

If you know you’re not eating right, and need a nutrition/diet book that culls through all the confusion in the nutrition world, buy Simple Diet, Beautiful You.

If you want to get into a simpler and more sustainable lifestyle, I have two books that will be up your alley: Crazy Simple: 307 Ways To Save Money, Your Health, And The Planet, and Simplicity: Finding Freedom From The Inside Out (this is a book and course in one).

Need a step-by-step guide to achieving a particular dream? Buy Simple Success: Eight Steps To Dream Fulfillment. (Also an e-book course.)

Still looking for your soulmate (finding the right person is a critical part of living a free life!)? Buy my book, No More Broken Hearts: The Low-Stress, Joyful Way To Find Your Soulmate.

Want to get more food freedom? Buy How To Grow Vegetables Without Losing Your Mind.

You will not pay more than $6 for any of those books. If you bought all of them, you would pay under $40.

$3.99 would save you hundreds, even thousands, in future medical bills.

$2.99 would save you untold amounts of money when you apply the frugal living principles in the book.

$2.99 would help you leave the work force and live most of your adult life on your own terms – with more money in a nest egg than many people have even by the time they finish a 40-year career at a job they don’t like.

$5.99 would lead you to the life of your dreams.

If you’re serious about changing your life, you will invest money in books that will help you to do so.

Thanks in advance for checking out those resources! 🙂

Blessings to you,

Emily

 

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This Is A Real Bummer…

Before you proceed with this post, I want you to understand that I am now feeling much better than when I wrote it. And I’ve figured out how to move forward with Story Math. I’m still frustrated about what to do with the garden, but it’s not depressing me. I’m not hating or regretting.

HOWEVER, the sad fact remains. And I’m still tired. So I decided to go ahead and publish this post, just FYI.

On with the original post….

The problem I have with blogging is that half the time I make grandiose claims that I eventually change my mind about.

And then I feel stupid and embarrassed that I publicly said what I did, but I can’t go back and take the words out of the minds of the people who have already read the wrong things I wrote.

Turns out that God didn’t deliver me from perfectionism after all. I knew I should have waited six months to be sure before publishing that post, but NO-O-O. I have zero patience.

Here’s the truth: no matter what kind of diet I eat, no matter how well I make sure my body is getting all the nutrition I need, my body is incapable of keeping the proper brain chemistry balance I need to not be depressed. I guess my brain just has never been able to produce enough seratonin on its own.

I did not receive a supernatural deliverance. I had been religiously using an essential oil blend that keeps my hormones, and ergo my brain chemistry, in balance. Apparently, brain chemistry imbalance can lead to perfectionism in certain individuals (like me).

When I started feeling consistently happy – for two months, I barely experienced any emotional P.M.S. symptoms (which is HUGE for me) – I quit using that blend. Just to see. For a couple of weeks, the happiness and peace lasted.

But then a couple of weeks ago, depression and anger started seeping back into my soul. Now, as I write this post, for the past three or four days I have been right back to where I was before I started using the oils twice a day:

  • I hate living here. I want to move.
  • I hate all the work gardening entails. I want to quit.
  • I hate being a mother.
  • I wish we’d never had this mold-sensitive house built. (It’s in the 60’s outside and 77 in here but we can’t open the windows to cool it down because we don’t dare get the humidity too high because mold loves concrete and because it’s an earth-sheltered house it likes to hold on tight to whatever its current indoor temperature is.)
  • I’m tired all the time. And I mean ALL. THE. TIME.
  • I’m pissed at God for not fixing what’s wrong with my physical body, even though I’ve asked a hundred times.
  • My husband is lazy.
  • I can’t figure out how to proceed with Story Math (or whatever creative endeavor I have recently gotten excited about).
  • In short, I feel like a big, skinny failure.

As of today, I am back to using the oils again, twice a day. I will never be happy that I cannot figure out how to naturally fix my brain so that it will function normally without the use of a crutch. But better the crutch than the miserable, dark, deep hole I have fallen into yet again.

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Three Decisions

My mind has been a busy beaver the past couple of days. During the last thirty-six hours or so, I have made three Momentous Decisions.

Decision #1: I am going to tear out the Beit Alpha.

I planted two cucumber plants this year, one True Lemon and the other Beit Alpha. About six weeks ago, aphids found the True Lemon. A couple weeks after that, although it still was growing healthy-looking vines replete with flowers and baby cucumbers, most of the flowers and tiny fruits were falling off. I harvested one of the few cucumbers that looked to be in the “just right” stage, and it was bitter.

I pulled it out by the roots.

In the meantime, I had seriously pruned back the Beit Alpha after the squash bugs attacked it (when I let the zucchini die, I thought they would go away, but NO-O-O, they mosied on over to my cucumber) and made it sick. It came back well for a while, continuing to produce crisp, juicy, unbitter fruits.

But after I killed the True Lemon, the aphids had to go somewhere, right?

The Beit Alpha is on its last legs. We ate the last fruit from it yesterday. Later today, it is going bye-bye.

I have to add this: I am not sad about it. I have never had cucumber plants produce good fruit so late into the season! (because I didn’t water them well enough)

Decision #2: No more sesame seeds!

I’m not putting sesame seeds in a smoothie. Ever. Again.

Why was I doing it in the first place? Calcium.

Even though I’ve only been putting two tablespoons in a large smoothie that lasts me all morning, that amount of sesame seeds is enough to taint the flavor.

The older I get, the more I care about how my food tastes. Gone are the days when I would try soups made out of carrot greens and other odd ingredients for the sake of being healthy.

I was originally going to just not buy or eat sesame seeds at all anymore. But the other day, I made sesame seed paste (which is like tahini, but made with unhulled sesame seeds). This morning, when I felt my blood sugar dropping I ate a spoonful of the paste instead of the usual handful of almonds. I’ve been getting tired of almonds because I’ve been eating them three to four times a day sometimes, and when I ate the sesame seed paste I was pleased to find that its bitter taste was not repulsive all by itself.

So I will still get the same amount of sesame seeds every day to give me that extra calcium boost. I just won’t be putting it into my smoothies.

Decision #3: B is no longer going to be allowed to be disrespectful or disobedient.

I did it. Yes, I did. Even though I spent thirteen years in the classroom and knew better, even though I once heard Dr. Kevin Lehman tell me How To Have A New Kid By Friday (although this was before I was even married), I have been letting B get away with disobedience and disrespect.

Oh, sure, we’ve gotten on his case and lectured him. But he’s never had to experience any painful consequences as a result.

That’s over. As of today. Today, he spent almost an hour doing copy work (which is really, really hard for him). It would have been only five minutes, but I added another five minutes every time he made a face at me or talked back. Not obeying the first time will cause him to lose his afternoon DVD watching time. No chance of earning it back (which we have been giving him – doesn’t work that way, folks). Further disobedience the same day will lead to further unsavory consequences.

I have a feeling he’s going to spend at least the next two days not watching a DVD in the afternoon.

I’ll keep you updated.

Okay, so maybe only this last bit was really a decision you could define as “momentous.” But the other bits made for a more interesting post, don’t you think? 😉

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The Story Of A Large Garden

Before we moved

1. I am going to have a NATURAL garden! I am going to grow everything IN THE GROUND – no more raised beds for me! I’ve read Ruth Stout, and if mulching with hay worked for her, it will work for me. No more weed or irrigation problems!

I’ll just kill my back trying to rake in this azomite (rock minerals) and dolomitic limestone (to raise the pH levels of this very acidic soil). I can do it. I will do it, all by myself…Damn, I’ve never seen so many rocks…

2. Oh, sweetheart, would you PLEASE finish raking in the amendments for me??!

3. There! Now the hay is all down. The entire 1600 square feet is covered in at least six inches of hay. It only cost $40 per bale, and thank God J was here to help me break the bales apart.

The first year

4. Look at that – it’s raining, AGAIN! In the middle of July! And our neighbor up the mountain told us that last year, it rained almost every afternoon all summer. That must be normal for this area, then. Hallelujah! Who cares if we don’t have running water? I can totally handle watering the entire garden by hand if it’s only four times a year.

5. What’s that? Oh, grass. Figures. I knew I’d get plenty of grass seed with the hay. Well, it’s easy enough to pull out.

6. More grass. Every day, grass. I know Ruth Stout said that I should just heap more hay on top of it so that it can’t continue to grow, but then we’d have to buy more hay. I don’t want to spend any more money on this garden then I have to…

7. (Late in the season) What? Why can’t I pull up this mature grass that’s going to seed? Doggone it, there’s a tangled web of hay grass root underneath all this hay that should have been keeping it from growing. I’ll have to get the shovel to get it out.

The second year

8. There are weeds and grass all over this property. Why can’t I just use that for mulch? It should work as well as hay, right?

9. A drought. A drought? Crap. I’ll bet the past two summers were just flukes. Every other day, I’m having to drag gallons of water to the garden. The weed mulch isn’t working – and I’ll bet the hay mulch didn’t do all that much to keep the soil moist, either. It was all the rain we had last summer.

10. It’s 100 degrees and humid and this sucks and I just want to let everything die but I’ll feel guilty and like a failure if I do.

11. A self-watering system? Yes, that’s exactly what I want! Forget natural gardening. Forget trying to amend this awful sand that won’t hold water for more than a day. I’m going back to container gardening. I’m going to set up this system that “Larry Hall up in Brainerd, Minnesota” talks about.

12. Forget that. I am NOT going to spend that much money just to grow food!

13. Besides, as convenient as this system is, it actually uses more water than I am now, watering by hand.

14. Back To Eden! My savior! Yes! Mulch with wood chips! Look, it’s worked for this lady up in northeast Oklahoma, and they must have the same soil as we do, right?

15. What a pain, having to collect all these wood chips from the side of the road.

The third year

16. What will I do when there are no more wood chips on the side of the road at a convenient distance, and I need more in a few years?

17. Hotter than last year, and a longer drought. The wood chips are helping some, but I’m still having to water something almost every day. I know, I know, I have to wait for the wood chips to compost some…

18. They have composted. I can tell by the lower levels. But I am watering as much as ever.

19. I never want to so much as grow a single cucumber vine or broccoli plant again.

20. But still. We live 2.5 hours away from Whole Foods, and we go grocery shopping once a month.

21. Last year I found out about sub-irrigation planters (SIP), or wicking beds. New idea: only grow as many plants as we absolutely need, and grow them in such beds.

22. (Late in the season) I am looking at my greens bed, realizing that even in the winter, I have to water it because the sand doesn’t hold the moisture very long.

23. Father speaks to me to mix peat moss into the soil.

24. I argue that peat moss is horrible if you let it dry up.

25. Yes, I argue with my Creator. Pray for me.

26. I think He tells me this so that I will do some more digging. Figuratively, I mean. On the Internet.

27. So I dig. And rediscover CocoPeat, or coir, which I have in my goji berry pots. It is the COIR that has kept the potting mix in those pots so moist all summer, despite me not watering them every day.

28. I do an I-could-have-had-a-V8 forehead smack. I’ve never been able to NOT water a container every day during the summer.

29. Unlike peat moss, coir absorbs moisture from the air.

30. The average annual humidity here is 74%!!!! Do you think we have a little moisture in the air?

31. I DON’T NEED TO BUST MY BACK BUILDING SIP BEDS. All I have to do is mix coir into the soil wherever I want to grow things. I hope to be able to keep my watering down to once a week, perhaps even less?

The fourth year

To be announced…

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“Our son is so behind!”

Behind what? or, whom?

“Behind the average nine-year-old.”

That must be an interesting view.

“No! I mean, he’s behind academically.”

What does it look like to be behind academically?

“Well, you know – come on! I was a classroom teacher for thirteen years. I know what a kid his age should be able to do.”

So you’re unhappy you didn’t send him to school?

“Absolutely not! You know I’m not. Don’t be ridiculous.”

[Silence.]

“I mean, he’s three grade levels behind in reading.”

I thought you didn’t believe in grade levels.

“Yeah, well…it’s just that I was reading by age four, and my husband by age five. And he was even ADD and is mildly dyslexic. Not that anybody knew that back in the 1970’s.”

And you think your child missed the gene.

“Uh, YEA-AH!”

So you think your son is an idiot.

“I never said that!”

He’s two bricks short of a wall.

“Hey, now, our son is darn smart! He could tell you a heavy bookful of information about a variety of animals. And you should see the things he makes out of Legos. I think he may even draw better than I did at that age.”

But you’re worried about his reading.

“A bit. We’re making progress, but it’s SO-O-O slow.”

So when you were a kid, you understood everything the moment it was taught you.

“No. The teachers tried to teach subtracting with zeroes and long division using New Math, and I totally didn’t get it. They thought I was stupid in math because I couldn’t do it that way.”

Are you stupid in math?

“I got A’s in Algebra 2 in high school, and in my college statistics class. What do you think?”

I think that it took you a while to get math.

“…Oh.”

Anything else take you a while to understand?

“This one’s crazy: reading music! I’ve always loved to sing, and I have a strong sense of rhythm (taught my husband-to-be how to dance, thank you very much), but I didn’t understand how to time the different notes until I was in seventh grade. You know, a quarter note gets one beat and all that.”

And how long did music teachers try to teach you that skill?

“I think they started in third grade. Maybe second?”

Four years, possibly five, for you to get it. Did other kids seem to get it right away?

“Oh, yeah. Otherwise I wouldn’t have felt bad about it…oh. I see what you’re saying.”

And I think you’ve mentioned a time or two that you’ve always gotten tired from reading after thirty minutes or so.

“Well, when I was young, I think I could go for an hour. Or else I was just too young to think about how tired I was feeling. But it was down to about thirty minutes by my early 20’s. Now, fifteen, max.”

Is this a genetic problem?

“Yep. Irlen Syndrome. And I know what you’re going to ask next – if our son has it. Yes, he does.”

I hear you saying that he is not only taking longer than the average schooled child to learn to read, but that the Irlen Syndrome might be causing the process of reading to be uncomfortable.

“You’re one smart cookie.”

How is he doing in math?

“Making good progress. At least average.”

You keep bringing up that word average. Is that somehow important to you?

“Well, uh…it shouldn’t be. It doesn’t really mean anything concrete, does it?”

Great minds think alike. Would you consider your son to be above average in anything?

“Oh, yeah. Physical ability. He’s a very fast runner, and strong for his size. He knows how to use a level and understands basic construction, unlike most boys his age. He makes amusing plays on words – on purpose. And he’s a genius when it comes to arguing.”

So, reading is the only skill he seems to struggle with?

“Yeah, I guess so.”

But he’s making some progress, albeit slow.

“Yes.”

I’m failing to see a real problem here.

“Uh, my niece reads several grade levels above him even though she’s younger and I’m generally afraid that my friends and family will think I’ve done a pathetic job at homeschooling?”

I see. So, you’re self-conscious, self-centered and walking in the fear you keep telling your blog readers to get rid of.

“Hey, wait a minute…uh, well, I guess so.”

Again, is there a real problem with your son’s academic ability?

“You genius, you. Of course there isn’t. Just with his silly ol’ mama…”

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