Great day on the home stead ;)





I got up this morning partly cloudy partly sunny. Went down grabbed a cup of coffee and made a veggie omelette.

Out the door I went and into the garden for the day.

There are many projects in and around the garden. Probably the biggest project is rebuilding the green house It was crushed 2 years ago in winter. That year we got 8 ft of snow. Way more than my lite frame plastic panel 10×20 building could take.

Just cleaning up the site for the rebuild. Mowing, weeding in and around the foundation and planning the new and improved space.

mother nature wastes no time taking over

Then there are fencing repairs and chores keeping live stock in and wild life out of areas of the garden and pasture. Getting ready for some new additions. Looking at a jersey cow maybe with a calf.

I am designing a one acre self sufficient micro farm to produce food for my family and income as well. This will be an experiment to see if it can be done. There will be chickens of course, ducks and geese for eggs and meat. A couple of pigs they need a buddy;)

Half of the acre will be grass pasture and the other half gardens and orchard. I have had all of this before over the last 25 plus years of living in the county but not in this planned and finite space. The cow will produce a calf each year and much needed milk and manure for the gardens.

The pigs will also produce manure for the gardens and drink milk and eat garden waste. They will help till the garden and pasture as I rotate them around. There will be chops, bacon, roast oh and sausage too. The chickens, ducks and geese will work in the garden and pasture scratching for bugs and eating grass and weeds they will be on the fertilization committee as well. There will be baby birds and eggs galore. I will probably have to play hide and seek for the eggs.

You can produce a tremendous amount of fruit and veggies on a half acre. It will be a lot of work to keep up but the work has multiple benefits and rewards. The work will keep me outside in the fresh air and sunshine much of the day. The excercise will be good healthy movement at a steady pace. And the fresh organic food will be the icing on the cake. Not to mention the savings on the food bill.

I have had a satisfying day cleaning up the garden. Mowing, weeding, fencing and organizing supplies. You would think my ADD comes in handy running from one thing to the next a little here and a little there. Farming is a jack of all trades operation what with all the variety of tasks animal husbandry, horticulture, carpentry, mechanic ect… 😉

The sun was great and the breeze kept me cool most of the day while I kept at my chores on this little project and the next. After mowing I fed the rabbits a double hand full of fresh mown grass.

Tomorrow is looking like another great day supposed to be hotter so I’ll need to get an early start maybe I’ll start framing up the front wall of the new green house and get the pig pen ready.




How small an income can you thrive on ??





I was recently visiting a friend in Gig Harbor and we were talking about people in other country’s and how little money they make annually. The conversation turned to home and how little we actually live on when you really get to thinking about it.

If you look at our lives inside our lives we really don’t need that much money to thrive.

Let me explain.

My wife and I were realizing if you take away all the debt we were supporting house payments, credit cards, car loans, various auto payments for sat t.v., gym memberships, cell phones ect… What do we have left?

Well you work all week come home and so you buy gas and groceries pay the power bill go do something fun on the weekend to treat your self after a long week at WORK and that’s about it right?  Most weeks anyway so what are you really spending? Not much. The rest is just supporting debt!

WELL what if we were not paying a big fat house payment? We were never there that much anyway what with work, commuting, out playing on the weekends we just eat sleep and watch a little t.v there at night. 

Do we really need car payments? Well I guess we do just to move back and forth to work and park all day there then park in the drive way all night.

REALLY!!

How did we get duped into that?

So on went the conversation what if we down sized and pay cash for those big ticket items? More expensive cars and houses need more expensive repairs and maintenance and more expensive insurance.  If you have these things you worry about some one stealing them. But your cost of living drops drastically if you own them out right.

Okay I’m ranting a little. Maybe a lot but bare with me.

I am driving to a point in my rambling 😉 

We found many conversations later that getting out from under the debt of big ticket items and all the consumer debt we could live on a fraction of the current income we were currently living on. Like less than 30k a year! Not just live on it THRIVE on it! We also found out it would not take but a fraction of the time to earn it like 2 or 3 months out of the year!

Wow!!

So we got to work selling off the stuff we owned and paying off the things we would keep and down sizing to a smaller dwelling (300 sq ft). Paid for a used RV and we can park it any where (almost) for free or very little. We now have semi retired (mostly) and in our forties. Kids are grown. The grand kids are arriving and we have the time to enjoy them.

The point is I guess anyone that really wants to can do this.

It wasn’t easy. We are still working on it. I’ll be frank it was painful but the trade-off was freedom. Freedom from debt. Freedom from THINGS and freedom from wage slavery.

Let me hit this home.

Every day I wake up to no alarm. When I get up I decide what I want to wear that day. I ask myself what do you want to do today?

Today I’m taking my grandson to the zoop that is what he calls the zoo he’s 3.

I don’t wear a watch. It doesn’t matter any more. My time is mine.

Can you live on less that 30k a year and do whatever you want? That depends on what you want.

If I need more I can create the income doing projects that I like when and where I want to because it’s my choice not my obligation. I think I’ll take a walk now it’s raining lightly and a little foggy.

Then off to the ZOOP.;)



tiny refridgerator for tiny living





So I want to show you what is available in all aspects of micro living for comfort and style as well as real practical everyday items made in scale for small space living. I have found and am still finding just how well you can live in a small space with all the creature comforts at a fraction of the cost and space that has become the normal standard of living in the US. That same standard that keeps most of us working the majority of our lives to maintain without the time to actually enjoy it.

Gas prices no problem only $3.00 a week !?!






The new family sedan / cargo vehicle 😉
125 cc motor bikes are the work horse of southeast Asia $3.00 US will get you a full tank and you can ride these little Honda bikes all week on that!

You can bring the whole family (I’ve seen up to 6 riding on these) or a very large cargo load on these little bikes. For about $150.00 a month you can rent them there or $1100.00 will buy you one. Notice the driver has to wear a helmet it’s the law in Thailand where a US citizen can live comfortably 0n $500.00 a month and lavishly on $1200.00 per month.

For around $46 k you can buy a newly built 3 bed 2 bath house!! REALLy! Or an Apt 3 min walk from the beach for $300.00 per month. Food and health care are also dirt cheap. You  may want to look into living there you could retire right now If you wanted to move there and live well on practically nothing.

Check it out at  http://retirecheap.asia/index.htm I just found this site an can hardly belive it my self.



Investing in securities….Food securities the best investment.





I think food is the best investment/hedge on the future for a number of reasons. First off I don’t plan on not eating any time soon 😉 Next prices keep going up. How about health benefits of fresh organic food. The security of knowing where it comes from and how it’s grown.

the big fern is the asparagus patch

Any time I can plant something in the ground that produces year after year without much help from me I feel more sense of wealth than money in the bank. A nice fruit orchard and some grapes 3 varieties, one for eating, one for juicing and the other for wine.

New grape vines on the south side of the well house

I can always sell extra produce and plants by cuttings and dividing my perennials and root stalks like chives, apples,grapes, plums, raspberries and on and on. Oh and herbs 😉

plum and crabapple trees the crabs help polinate the other apple trees

These trees are about 7 years old and are in good production. Plums fresh Italian and for prunes crab apples for the birds and pollinators to the regular apple trees. An added bonus is they are also a great ornamental.

Horseradish watch out !!

I took a horseradish root from the store and planted it in the ground a few years ago and it gets bigger every year. Dig it up divide it and replant for more.

more additions chives, tomatoes, onions, celery, lemon basil, romane lettuce and acorn squash

Here’s a mixture of annuals and perennials live together adding taste, texture and aromas as well as food thru out the year. Seven new varieties of apple some early some mid and some late season should give us a better chance at a crop what ever the weather.

Long eared chickens will out produce a cow in meat production

These guys will fill the freezer with great high protein low-fat meat all year-long at a very economical price and taste great …just like chicken really.

Solar assisted living, it gives you options

solar-panels



I have some off grid ability one of them is solar power.

I have four panels on the roof of our RV totaling 370 watts. The panels are connected to an inverter charger system and feed four 6 volt golf cart batteries for storage. I can draw power from the storage batteries to power both 12 volt and 110 volt powered lights and appliances. There is even enough power to use the microwave. I have 12 volt lighting all through my living space and compact flourescent bulbs in my 110 lights. There are 110 outlets to power things like a TV or power tools ect.

I have a power monitoring station that lets me know what’s going on with my solar system. The station gives me the vital statistics, amps of power available in the batteries, watts of power coming from the panels. I can monitor usage and adjust it according to what is available at the time. On cloudy days or at night I am using more power than the panels make. On sunny days I’m cranking in 19 t0 20 volts of free energy from the good ol SUN 😉

Operating on solar power makes you very concious about your power use and that is a good thing if it runs low you won’t have enough to get by so you have to pay attention. Limited power is like our limited resources on this planet in real time. Don’t over use or abuse it and you will do well. Conservation can be fun and educational. I found I really only need a fraction of what I thought I needed when I really became mindful of what I was using.

Cost of systems vary depending on components but for my system it was around $3000.00. You can start small and add-on as you have the funds that is one of the nice things about this type of power generating equipment.  Quiet, renewable, independent power from the sun and portable too.

Here is a good option to get started with solar power if you want to look into it thru our Amazon Affiliate Link: 100 Watts 12 Volts Solar Starter Kit

life in about 300 sq ft . It’s finite !





Can you imagine life in 300 sq ft?

Some may think impossible others may say no problem. I am the latter.

I not only find it adequate but voluminous. Not just for one but for two. Part of the reason is the space is well-defined and thought out. This gives it a roomy feel even with 3, 4 or 5 people in that space it does not have a closed in or crowded feel. It’s a great space. Light, bright and airy. Easy to keep clean and with central heat/air. Climate control is easy and inexpensive.

The kitchen is compact but not crowded. I really like the gas range for cooking and tons of cabinets for storage. There is a double sink with a separate spigot for filtered water. The bath room is surprisingly roomy I’m a big guy and no problem having enough room in the shower and even a separate potty room. The dining room seats 4 comfortably. Compact, efficient, organized certainly come to mind when you think of such a small space but not crowded, cramped and cluttered.

The bed room has a great deal of closet and drawer space enough for two. With a queen size bed and enough room for dressing and getting in and out of bed you don’t really need any more space. The living room has a sofa sleeper for guests and a couple of swivel rocker recliners on the opposite side. The living room also boasts a large TV, stereo with surround sound and a gas fire-place to take the chill off and create some ambiance.

Outside this cozy cottage is a large enclosed patio area and some additional storage space. The landscape and views are breath takeing with almost a 360 view. I don’t miss being in a larger space it just seems like a waste to keep up with now. And you can only occupy a few square feet at any one given time anyway.

There is no room for a lot of extras so I’m not out shopping for stuff to collect and stuff in here. My cost of living is greatly reduced and I don’t need much so I don’t spend much time earning money. I have lots of time every day to do as I wish. I can ride my bike, garden, play with my grand kids and help others. 

I highly advocate living in small spaces if it will allow you time to enjoy life and have experiences.



Make money without working…much





Ok I was asked to expand on how someone could make an income or additional income stream(s) and effectively get out of the rat race.

First off is mindset or perspective. One reader commented that because of a disability they were (thrust) out. I got the impression that they took this as a bad thing. At least at first.

The difference between a poor person and a person who lives simply is choice they may both live by little means but one chooses, the other does not. One lives simply the other is poor. It’s all in your head. Choose where you are. If you do not like it then choose to change it.

You are where you are because that is where you want to be. That statement should cause some hackles to raise but it’s true.

You have the power to do what ever you want if you choose to take responsiblity for yourself.;) So that being said Henry Ford said “if you think you can or you think you can’t your right”.   

Ok so what to do about money.

As I said it’s all in your head. If you are doing what you truly love to do you will never work another day in your life. That is a quote I don’t recall by who but I love it because it is so true. Very few people in this world jump out of bed every day because they can’t wait to go spend their day doing what they love to do.

Maybe one in 10,000?

So how do you know what that is? Well here is a little guide line.

If you would gladly get up every day and do this all day even forgetting about time and do it whether you were paid or not because it is that enjoyable to you then that is your calling. Your soul purpose.  

Now find what “that” is for you and earn an income from it and you will never work again.

It may mean revamping your entire life but it will be worth it and you only get one life so what are you waiting for 😉

Here are some things I do or have done for income and I should preface that multiple income streams are important don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Build and sell wood furniture indoor and out. Raise and sell puppy’s. Carpet and upholstery cleaning. Coach and mentor people in small business. Income Tax Preparation. House cleaning. Flood and fire restoration. Teaching others to do what I do. Lifestyle designer. Self development coach.

I have automated several of these processes to create ongoing income streams that don’t require my constant presence on an hourly or daily basis. I also made them  portable so I can live any where I want to. 

Any one can do this if they want to. It requires effort and a willing attitude 😉     

What I really do is solve problems for other people. I create value and the by-product of value creation is money. If you first seek to help others, you will get what you want. If you seek money first It will not work. Make and sell happiness everyone will gladly buy it. Oh and have fun!!

To sail or not to sail …it is a choice.

open water voyage
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life,must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest.Otherwise,you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… ” cruising ” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot , or will not , fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture untill your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

   I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas , but I can’t afford it. What these men can’t afford is not to go . They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security”. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine- and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need – really need? a few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter,six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment.That’s all- in the material sense,and we know it.But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments,mortgages,preposterous gadgetry,playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by.The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where , then, lies the answer?

In choice…!

Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life…?

Sterling Hayden

Second act…..time to reinvent my self.

I have come to the conclusion that having it all is not what it is all about. Consuming and acquiring wealth of material things is not where happiness and fulfillment live. I am an expert at this (arguably so)having spent the first half of my life on the consumer acquisition treadmill. I know full well what it is like to want, to desire, to envy and do without. I am also damn good at spending money and accumulating stuff. As I said I have spent my entire life doing it! What you don’t notice happening in the life long pursuit of stuff is that it takes over control of your life. It eats up your most precious asset….time.

By the time you realize it (if you do) stuff eats up your time way into the future. You become a slave to it signing over your time years in advance which sometimes winds up being your entire life  the for the stuff. I see credit cards with 15 year payoffs, mortgages 30 years. Cars with 7 year loans !  And then here comes the equity lines.  This evil process is designed to make sure you never pay off your house and allow you to spend into perpetuity. Now we can rapidly fill our houses and garages and driveways  all designed to make sure we never get to retire.  We just get up and go to work every day and support our payments… forever

Well that was a nice rant wasn’t it?

 I said all that to get to this…I’m done.  I ‘m opting out.  I don’t want to play anymore! It’s time for my Second Act! It’s time to reinvent me.

I’m starting over and the first thing I’m going to do is get rid of every thing that has been holding me to the grind stone all these years. All the stuff I have amassed in the name of living high on the hog and keeping up with the Joneses.Having it all. Living large. Shopping till I drop!

Thats the problem ….we are literally shopping till we drop…..dead! And I’m not happy with all the stuff It doesn’t do anything for me ….nothing good any way. I have to work to pay for it maintain it secure it and it isn’t worth half of what I paid for it. So whats the point?

I don’t see a point. I am becoming a member of the new rich….the new rich are not rich in things material …but in experiences and time.The new rich care little for owning houses and cars .The new rich exchange value for the opportunity to have fulfilling experiences, travel,time to spend as they wish being present in the moment creating value for others. Cooking and eating food ….slowly.  Learning constantly and not ruining the planet in the process. Some are living out of a back pack with their lap tops earning a living as they go. Some live in tiny houses leaving a smaller foot print with a tiny cost of living.

I will be one of these. I will shrink my foot print on this planet so small that it will allow me to have the time and space to reinvent myself. I will not be subject to the rat race of work to spend to work to spend. My cost of living will be a fraction of its former self. My plan is to blog about this process as I go through it from my perspective and my wife will blog about it thru her perspective. We will sell give away and or throw out almost 30 years of stuff. Sell our 3000 sq ft house with 24 x36 ft shop(full of stuff). As well as my mother’s house 1200 sq ft and all of her stuff. So we can move into a 400 sq ft living space with only what we need and or what can fit. 

It will be painful and it will be frustrating. It is an overwelming experience because we will not want to part with our precious and sentimental and expensive stuff we spent so much of our lives,  our time and money  acquiring.

 It will also be enlightening fun and exciting to be rid of the burden of so much stuff. The process has begun we are all ready in the early stages of purging and it is already tuff letting go ….but every time we do it gets a little easier 😉 

Stay tuned… this should get interesting;) 

I hope this will inspire and create a path for others to do the same if you are looking for a way…