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Living well on $8,000 a year involves more than bread ties and guitar picks.

I hear one of the afternoon television shows (I don't get tv) had a group of people who'd formed a cooperative venture in urban living, who are able to live on $8,000 a year. They've written a book on how they do it. The audience was hostile toward them, asking angry questions.

I don't know why. Living on $8,000 a year is perfectly reasonable. Humans need more time off than weekends and two weeks a year. On eight thou, you can work part-time or part of the year and take care of spiritual/creative/family matters the rest of the time. Or you can follow your bliss and work all the time at what you love, with money concerns being secondary.

It is time we began recognizing spiritual matters as equally, if not more, important than financial ones.

I'm not a tightwad. I've read the 10 ways to re-use old bread bag fasteners and don't want to. The chicken approach(*) is toward simplicity - buy simply, use it up, pass it on, be inventive, make it or do without.

Living on six or eight or 10 thousand heroic, if you live well on that amount. That means not only do you have enough clothes to keep you warm, but some of them are things that delight you - the color, the shape, feel, embroidery, buttons, whatever.

You don't need more than a pair or two of shoes for winter and summer. Let them be shoes you love - shoes that are comfortable.

Fill your home with whimsical, beautiful things you've found, made, picked or invented. It's so much more satisfying than the very expensive, breakable, theft-prone item - if getting those cuts into your real time.

Things can weigh us down. I'm not a tightwad. I lavished the birds with seed this winter, and shopped at the natural food store for real food, and bought a little bottle of gardenia perfume oil there.

There's a little turn of the mind that happens at some point ... when I stopped thinking of giving up some things as a sacrifice and saw it as discovering and obtaining something better. It comes up to choosing positively and implementing those choices. Times are changing, aren't they? This decade feels a bit more chicken-hearted than the last.

But guitar picks, not bread fasteners, still make the best guitar picks.
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Title Annotation:homesteading
Author:Hardy, Jeanne
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Column
Date:Nov 1, 1993
Previous Article:Preparing and using those scrumptious black walnuts.
Next Article:It's magic!

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