A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE – How to really live on less

The intention was to cut costs - instead I doubled them.

“Living On Less and Loving It!”

That was the title of the magazine on the rack that caught my eye last month. It was published by Mother Earth News, part of the “Wiser Living Series”. On the cover it promised “hundreds of self-reliance tips.”

What with losing Special K last year I have to admit that it had a certain attractive ring to it—self-reliance tips is something I could really use some days around here.

I decided it would be money well spent. After all, if you can’t trust “mother nature” for good advice who are you going to trust anyhow?

My biological mother—as opposed to Mother Earth—was always big on clipping out hints from Heloise over the years. I think the theory is that you learn from the experience of others instead of going through the pain and expense of everyone having to reinvent everything all on their own.

Not that there is anything wrong with failure. Failure gets a pretty bad rap these days. After all, if your team doesn’t win then they must have failed, right? I heard a great way to look at losing a while back: it isn’t important that you won, it is important that you want to win.

But not very much would ever be learned without failure. We learn from our mistakes and we practice what works.

At least that’s an option. Another would be to just sit in one spot, pretending to be catatonic and take a holiday from it all.

But I digress. The magazine was what I wanted to talk about. I bought it and took it home. Put it on my nightstand and promised myself that I’d give it a thorough read one night.

That was last month.

What happened last week brings an interesting twist to my story though. I was sorting a box of old papers and came across a copy of the same magazine dated 2013.

It had a different cover photo, but many of the same articles. New this year is an article on how to build better soil with free organic fertilizers.

The price of the magazine was the same—that indicates that the house economists at Mother Earth News see the economic recovery as somewhat flat. That was confirmed by the fact both the 2013 and 2014 magazines offered to teach you how to grow $700 of food in 100 square feet.

Last year there was an article explaining how to grow a healing garden; this year it is how to grow a healing herb garden. So ladies, if you happen to have picked up a new boyfriend over the past year and his name is Herb, you are in luck.

All in all it seems that one thing I might do to “live on less and love it” would be to stop buying the same magazine twice.


An old buddy, a friend of nearly 50 years, stopped by the other day. Many of the old-time locals might remember Jack Beatty. We, along with partners and family, moved into the Boundary in the mid-’70s.

Jack and his family eventually left the Boundary and went back down to the coast. We’ve kept in touch for some of the major events of our lives and that’s sort of what brought him up for a visit. He retired at the beginning of the month and finds he is facing a bit of an identity crisis.

He says that all of a sudden he isn’t who he used to be.

Nice to see him again—but I’d love to have his problems.


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