Our New Pencil Sharpener


When I was a kid every classroom had a hand cranked pencil sharpener. We were not even allowed to use pens. Even the house I grew up in had one. We used pencils for everything. I recently discovered that these tools still exist and are actively manufactured. I had to have one. For the low price of $12, this is a welcomed addition to our high effort lifestyle. This sharpener doesn’t need batteries and does an excellent job with just a few cranks of the handle. You’ll get consistently sharpen pencils over and over again.

Dancing Vapour

This morning I had the opportunity to hang laundry on the line in the cool October air. With my back to the sun I watched the vapor of my breath dance in the sunlight. Everything about this moment was peaceful, wonderful and calm. In this moment I remember that I wanted this to be a part of my daily existence. I am currently on vacation from my daily desk job which has afforded me this opportunity. Yet there are others that have transitioned to their homesteads as their daily way of life. Part of my mind calls them lucky another part remembers the stories of hardship that I have read about these families in their transitions. Yet I still feel in this moment watching the vapor a desire to be on the homestead in this place hanging laundry or building a piece of furniture or tending a garden. I am greatly longing for this movement to a new way of life and it is all encompassed in this moment as I watch the vapor of my breath dance in the sunlight.


How do you define leadership? I belive leadership to be the ability/skillset to lead a team or individual toward an objective or goals while discipling that same group in the way of Jesus. Before some of you dismiss this text based upon my mention of Jesus, read on and give this a chance. In being a disciple of Christ, I believe that I am to lead others in the same way that Christ leads me. So whether you are a believer in the Gospel of Jesus or not, I would like to think that we can agree that integrity, compassion, caring and accountability are all qualities that we desire in our leaders.

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Our Homestead: A New Beginning

This summer we made a go of starting a few raised garden beds on our property and we loved it. The excitement of watching your seedlings grow into food producing plants is amazingly inspiring. Each day we watered our plants and watched them grow and blossom. Then the bees came and began their work of pollination. Fluttering from flower to flower like preprogrammed drones on fluffy cloud pedestals. Chipmunks suddenly were taking notice of our suburban gardens and yellow finches our sunflowers. What we started as a halfbaked project became a part of our family. Like pets we took to caring for our plants daily. We found ourselves in the yard all of the time either working the garden or observing the wonderous nature adventure it brought. It was just a garden at first but in our hearts we were building a homestead.
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Getting Up in the AM

Each day I get out of bed in almost the same way, dragging my butt. The ritual is the same most days. I get up, iron my clothes, shower, get dresssed, pack my backpack and head out the door. Some days I make coffee, other days I buy coffee. The problem is that I go to bed too late on most nights. For me late is any time after 10pm. Each day is a struggle.
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Rich People Problems

Stuff! I feel like I can never get rid of all the stuff I have. Well the truth is that stuff has value and isn’t completely useless. That is true for many people. We are afraid to throw our stuff out or just part with it, because it actually can still be used by someone… just not us. I find it so very funny that we have websites about minimalism. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly read a lot of those sites. I’m right there with the other readers and bloggers. But let’s be honest, minimalism is a 1st world problem. A “rich” people problem. You won’t hear folks in 3rd world countries talking about how they have too much stuff. Or too many cars or too many articles of clothing. Yet here in America we have TV shows that are dedicated to the opposite of 3rd world reality. Heck we even have shows where food is the talent and the prize. Change the channel and you’ll find a PSA about hunger in some other country.
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The New Internet

Today we use the internet for everything. For that convenience we give up our identities and other information about our activities. Of course you aren’t doing anything wrong, so why should you care? Because “wrong” is determined by someone other than you and a small group at that, not a consensus. So what is “OK” today could be wrong tomorrow and therefore punished. We are tasked today to take back our liberties and build our own decentralized networks. These networks would be encrypted, secure and governed by no one person or group. Rather they would be collective and collaborative. You would be rewarded for participation in the network and charged for use of the network in a decentralized structure. I bet you are wondering how you could be charged and the network to still be decentralized at the same time? I thought the same thing. Read the article here, to understand that concept better.
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Basic Garden Box

Back in April I built a garden box. This was actually the first thing I have ever built with wood. The build was simple, but has opened my eyes to other things I could build. The box is 8’x4′ and is about 11.75″ deep. This will hold close to 30 sqft of soil. The bottom of the box will be lined with cardboard. The box will not be anchored to the ground in any way. I am not sure if this is a good or bad decision, but trial and error is the way of the walk. What was most important was that I could have a garden in which to grow my own food.
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