- The Simple Life
By Sheryl Simons
"Every human being is the architect of his own future"
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might."
Where do your opinions come from? Human beings are Homo
Sapiens which means thinking man. There was a time, and not too
long ago in history, when expressing an opinion different from those
in power could cost you your life. A man in 1543, Nicholaus
Copernicus published his opinion that the sun, not the earth was the
center of the solar system. He paid the price for this opinion with
his life. Thomas Edison was asked by a colleague, "Why do you
persist in this folly? You have failed more than 9,000 times."
Edison's quick reply? "I haven't even failed once; nine
times I've learned what doesn't work.
Often we as humans let our past experiences dictate our
futures. We've had dream stealers tell us what we can and
do. (Ex. "Your father is a farmer and you will be a farmer.")
Imagine if Mother Teresa had looked at the staggering number
of poor and shrugged her shoulders in defeat. We all have a choice
to pursue contentment over exploration.
In Vienna, during the 1800's, women were dying in high numbers of
blood poisoning soon after giving birth. Hungarian physician, I. P.
Semmelweiss began insisting that doctors begin washing in chlorine
water before entering the maternity wards. The annual death rate
fell from 459 to 45. He was driven out of Vienna and ostracized by
When we begin to use our minds in exploration we are often
met with criticism from those around us. Several of my cousins have
chosen to homeschool their children. They all met with criticism,
but you couldn't meet a collective group of great kids. What
me about these kids is their wisdom. They have been taught to
think! New ideas are stepping stones to critical thinking and
creative living. What a novel idea. The oldest of these kids are
attending college and earning high marks. What if we lived in an
environment that encourages expressing creative ideas, instead of
having fear of negative criticism.
Empathy is a critical factor in developing a healthy
attitude toward life. Mother Teresa used empathy by putting herself
in the shoes of the poor. Rather than accepting their plight in a
fatalistic way, she saw that helping them could change their life
for the better. Such as the phrase "Give a man a fish he eats
day, teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." Parents and
teachers have a tremendous capacity to teach our children to fly or
clip their wings.
A neighbor gave us an old travel trailer to haul away. When
my husband brought it home, he realized that it wasn't in good
to be on the road, but still in reasonable shape. As we walked
around the trailer, checking the doors and windows, our minds began
to wander. My mind wandered to using the lumber to build a
greenhouse that I have been wanting to build. Richard's idea was
remove the frame and use it to build a small trailer to pull to car
shows. When we began talking we combined and expanded our ideas. I
realized that the trailer itself could become a greenhouse. Richard
suggested we add more windows. Then he said it might be nice to
paint the whole trailer with flowers. I liked that idea and began
envisioning what it could look like. I saw a wooden table to hold
my seedlings. We threw ideas around like a tennis match,
alternately accepting and rejecting different ideas. We decided to
give our idea a couple days to settle. More ideas flowed. Keeping
in mind that he wanted a trailer as a result, and I wanted a longer
growing season for vegetables.
(Who wants to pay $1.29 for a zucchini when they grow at home for
When we give each other the freedom to explore our minds and
ideas, we are living in creative simplicity and rejecting
negativity. Let the ideas flow.
* * *
"To lose one's life is a little thing and I shall have the
courage to do so if it is necessary; but to see the meaning of this
life dissipated, to see our reason for existing disappear, that is
what is unbearable. One cannot life without meaning." ~~Albert
"It is never to late to be what you might have been."
* * *
Simple Dry Rub for Chicken, Ribs, or Brisket
1 T ground black pepper, 1 Tground white pepper, 1 T sugar, 2 t
2 T chili powder, 1 T cumin, 1 T garlic powder, 1 T brown sugar, 1 T
ground oregano, 4 T paprika, 1 t dry mustard, 1 T celery seed, 1 T
Thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Rub the mixture into the
meat, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or
overnight. Grill, or roast the meat. Store leftover mixture in an
airtight jar or in the freezer.
* * *
In the Garden:
Frost is imminent in our region. Pull tomatoes out of the ground,
shake off dirt and hang upside down in cool area protected from
frost. Tomatoes will slowly ripen on the vine, giving you tomatoes
for several months. A couple old windows put together can give you
a "cold frame" to grow your own lettuce, etc. Or protect
garden from slight frost by covering plants with old blankets during
the night until there is a hard freeze.
Remove geraniums from soil. Shake off dirt. Cut back to 6".
Place in a brown paper bag and store in a cool dark place until Feb.
or March when you replant and water and they will grow again.
Send in your ideas for prolonging the growing season to
Keeping it Simple,
ps, HI to all who wrote in the last couple weeks. I really
appreciate the ideas and encouragement!
Hope you are enjoying our lovely fall weather. Celebrate the colors!