Because my adventure into permaculture, self-sustainability, homemaking by choice and choosing to be more ecologically responsible is fairly new - see i don't think i even said that right. I know what i mean but do you? Truth is i am flooded with information and swamped with decisions to make, juggling opposing family members and wanting to do the right thing, always (thanks Mum), that I'm probably not getting any of it right. I feel guilty about the car i drive yet I'm not ready to give it up for a smaller one. I want solar power but on one income (just now) its just not possible and I'm looking at 20+ panels to make even a dent in our current power bill (i know - I'm already feeling guilty OK).
Time, i know will sort this all out but at the moment the above book has me excited. It was a gift from my beloved sister for my birthday and i am sure that she bought it purely because it had a picture of a chook on it, knowing my sudden desire to keep chickens. Boy, my country family at home must be having a big ole belly laugh at my expense. Supportive i am sure but very very amused. Not a little but rolling around the floor amused, slapping each others backs amused, uncontrolled giggling and get on the blower and shout it from the rooftop amused, it probably even made the local paper kind of amused. So now I'm feeling guilty, overwhelmed with information and feeling slightly ridiculous all at the same time.
I'm also a bit slow of the uptake since this book has been around since 2010 but you have to give me time to catch up. OK? Although written about America, the Forward was written (in this edition anyway) by Patrice Newell, a well respected alternative lifestyle advocate, media personality and biodynamic farmer in Australia. In her opinion we face many of the same difficulties though perhaps on a smaller scale. Obesity (a future post) is just as prevalent here as it is there and much of this comes down to our choice to hand over our food choices and food preparation to the supermarket giants (Coles and Woolworths) rather than sourcing locally produced, organically grown produce from diverse species rather than what is selected for us and preparing meals in our own kitchens and serving meals to our families at the table. I've started on this path step by step by step...... (hey Jessie!).
The following is the summary from the back cover - I'm sure the editor knew what he was doing.
Radical Homemakers is an inspirational book featuring stories of people who've cast aside the pressure of a consumer culture and quit their jobs to live a simple life of self-sufficiency and foster relationships within their communities. It details a slow revolution quietly spreading throughout the United States in which families are deciding to reject the treadmill of high-pressure living and its never-ending consequences of expense, consuming and commuting - and are opting instead for a simpler life. The parallels with what is happening in Australia are clean and fascinating. Interviews with 20 men and women reveal how they achieved independence and happiness and redefined the good life by adhering to simple principles of family wellbeing, self-sufficiency, sustainability and community engagement.
Radical Homemakers is about men and women who have centred their lives around family and community for personal fulfilment and cultural change. If you've ever though of transforming your life to have more time to plant tomatoes, read to a child, pursue creative work, make preserves or heal the planet, this is your book.
Time for a picture to keep you interested and not bored. Too many words above.
There are parts of this book that drew out the feminist within and made me so so mad. Don't even get me started on the Chapter titled "A Woman's Place". The intentional manipulation of women by capitalist and conglomerates to foster a need for more goods by deliberately targeting depressed and unfulfilled women in 1950's and 60's was deplorable and yet it is replicated today on a much grander scale. We are constantly bombarded with coercive measures to buy buy buy stuff we don't really need to create profit in the hands of the few. Have you noticed that with the ground swell movement towards being self sufficient we have been bombarded with all the products we need to do so. Really - did our mothers and grandparents need them? Its really tricky sometimes to stop and say - hey I'm being manipulated here. I don't need that.
Emmy Award wining American period drama set in the 1960's depicting the advertising men who ruled Madison Avenue - now in its 6th series.
I don't want to go on, my blood pressure is rising, so I'll switch to what inspired me.
The interviews were conducted with 20 participants out of 200 who responded. They represented a cross section of people at different stages of their lives who had made the decision to become Radical Homemakers for a broad range of reasons. Their profiles appear in the final chapter and so you get to read a little about each participant and how they came to their decision. Somewhere in there i saw little bits of myself here and there and it has encouraged me along my journey. No matter how ridiculous i might seem to the general observer (not my fellow supportive blog reading friends) i will keep pursuing a path that is right for me and my family. It may not be the grand "leave everything and run to the hills" kind of adventure, in fact, I'm pretty sure ill still be here in this house when i retire, but it will be my journey in my time. So long as i go step by step by step in the right direction.
I don't mind a little push every now and then. I might even need one. So feel free to do so. What im asking you not to do is pull me back to suit your own purpose.
PS. If you are reading this, leave a comment so i can connect - Im creating a community around me.