01 January 2016

My Year Living Plain and Simple

Last year at this time we embarked together on Aging with Style.
We explored what this idea meant to each of us and how to incorporate a few different principles of Aging with Style into our lives at any age of life.
We all agreed that often times it is difficult to hold onto concepts, but when we work together as a community holding one another close we will all grow and thrive.




This year I am challenging myself to live plain and simple.
If you would like to join me, just leave a comment or send me an email and we will journey together.
I am going back to the basics, as much as I can, I am going back to the way I was raised.  
Just like aging with style, living plain and simple is a mindset, combined with an intentional lifestyle.





I grew up on a wheat and potato farm in Idaho and I LOVED it, I loved my Mom and Dad, mashed potatoes, the scent of hayfields, my yellow thongs,(the kind you wear on your feet.) Riding by blue schwinn down the dirt road, swimming in springfed ponds, trout fishing with my Dad, gardening with my Mom.
I was, and I still am, plain and simple a Farmer's daughter at heart.
I suppose you can take the farmer off the farm, but the farm never leaves the farmer's heart.







Life's a journey and in between the highs and lows, I lost a little bit of that Farm girl.
My gardening spaces shrunk, I heard airplanes overhead instead of birds, ponds gave way to highways, nail salons took over gardening gloves and the Farm girl within me slowly but surely became a shadow instead of a presence.




For me living plain and simple is the art of embracing the resources available to us and not abusing them.
Living gently, gracefully and quietly with an awareness of respecting and guarding nature.
Respecting the world and cherishing the miraculous beauty that it is,a gift from Heaven above and one that I would like to pass on to my grandchildren intact.




So I have a few ideas on how I am going to begin this year in living plain and simple.
My ideas are nothing new and to some they will seem rather pitiful, but Rome wasn't built 
in a day, so this is where I will start.

We are going to put up a clothesline, nothing better smelling than fresh sheets from a day spent in the sunshine and wind.
Invest in a pressure cooker, so rewarding to see those Mason Jars filled with canned goods fresh from the garden.
Bake bread once a week-kneading included-no bread machine...
Husband is going to build a greenhouse/ potting shed, so I can sprout my own seeds for the vegetable garden.

I am wishing each and every single one of you a New year that has the best of health,
that dreams become reality, that your hearts will give and receive love and that life is gentle and kind to you.

New readers, faithful readers, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to write and share my thoughts with you...this was a dream of mine and it became real because of you!



I would love to hear what plans you are making for you New Year too.

xoxox

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Jemma@athomewithjemma
Jemma@athomewithjemma

Jemma's home is a quiet spot nestled among the trees. You might find me writing, reading, or puttering in my Greenhouse, tweaking a recipe, crafting a wreath or loving on my grands. Always living with a grateful heart.

39 comments:

  1. Your words always turn into a beautiful painted canvas for me to sit back and admire, reflect on, and convict change. Thank you for sprinkling my life's journey with your wisdom, perspective, humor and honesty. This year I am called to slow down, breathe, be intentional, and foster the loves that fill my heart with joy and purpose. Putting verbs in my sentence it means to read more books, fine tune my photography skills, refinish furniture, cook one new recipe a week, and create....art, scrapbooks, decor. Notice I didn't say gardening? You my friend have a green thumb cultivated from your childhood; for me I'd rather build sandcastles along the ocean water's edge...... yes to simple living!

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  2. Dear Jemma, plain and simple is my middle name. Sometimes I think I'm a step behind everyone else with the technology and such, but that's ok with me, cause it's where I want to be. I'm so glad to hear you'll be baking fresh bread. I haven't had that in so long. My sister used to make it, and we'd all have a slice of warm bread and butter. And you'll be preparing canned goods and putting up a clothesline, how wonderful! I think moving to your new home and area is going to have a great effect on you.

    Happy New Year to you, my blog sister. (and guess what - I also had a blue Schwinn! My mom and dad surprised me one year with it when I was about 8).

    love, ~Sheri

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  3. I'm with you my friend! And I'm SO proud of you for doing this. We'll do it together. Yes, women helping women.
    Brenda

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  4. Sounds like a great plan for the new year. Right now, my plans include working most of the new year on my new home. I figure it will take that long to get it like I want it. But, it will keep me busy.

    Judy

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  5. Oh, Jemma it all sounds so wonderful! A great life.
    Have a happy and blessed new year!
    Big hugs,
    Patti

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  6. I know you are excited about starting the year in your new home and making lots of plans. I've gone back to doing some of the things I enjoyed when my kids were still at home....like hiking. We made our first hike today even though it was in the 80s here. I love making meals from scratch and eating well and getting outside to enjoy nature. I look forward to a new year visiting each other on our blogs! Happy New year my friend. Hugs, Diane

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  7. I love your plans, Jemma, and I'd love to be on this journey with you! Happy New Year, my friend - xoxo

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  8. Boy does all that sound wonderful and you deserve it! Happy new year!

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  9. I'm in! I was just dusting off Simple Abundance and vowing to strip away all the fluff and get back to basics. Let's make it happen in 2016!

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  10. Just stopping by to wish you a healthy and Happy New Year, Jemma!

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  11. Happy New Years to each and every one of you !!
    May your year be blessed.

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  12. I smiled when you had to EXPLAIN thongs because I still call them that and then in Horror, My Son & DIL remind me to call them FLIP FLOPS since thongs are a brand new meaning :)

    That's kind of like when I am reading an old novel who describes a party as "a gay affair " : )

    You will love your clothesline / I love it 3 seasons for bedding and such.

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  13. I smiled when you had to EXPLAIN thongs because I still call them that and then in Horror, My Son & DIL remind me to call them FLIP FLOPS since thongs are a brand new meaning :)

    That's kind of like when I am reading an old novel who describes a party as "a gay affair " : )

    You will love your clothesline / I love it 3 seasons for bedding and such.

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  14. My precious friend, I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning and putting away my sparse collection of Christmas items. It felt so good to open up my living space and actually have an echo in several rooms of the house!

    I hear ya.

    I did not grow up on a farm, but my parents taught me through necessity that it was best to be simple on all terms. I have to admit that I had to feel my oats as a young bride and try out all the modern conveniences and latest trends, but now as a seasoned wife, teacher and hopeful artist and writer, simplicity and AUTHENTICITY and living close to the earth and heavens is best. I am with you....you know what we both discussed is important to me, and I hope that we can put our ideas together.

    I LOVE the idea of a clothesline; this house had one but we took it down. I think having one in your new space will be rich, simple, perfect.

    Onward my friend....love to you in 2016!

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  15. Your mention of clotheslines brought back memories. When and why did they disappear from the landscape of americana? And I still call flip flops thongs, but I probably should change that ;).

    The pressure cooker sounds intriguing to me. I can, but have never owned one.

    You had a wonderful childhood Jemma. One which I wish more of us could have experienced. Happy New Year to you! I think this is going to be your year!

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  16. Your mention of clotheslines brought back memories. When and why did they disappear from the landscape of americana? And I still call flip flops thongs, but I probably should change that ;).

    The pressure cooker sounds intriguing to me. I can, but have never owned one.

    You had a wonderful childhood Jemma. One which I wish more of us could have experienced. Happy New Year to you! I think this is going to be your year!

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  17. You have a wonderful plan for the year, Jemma! I like the things you are starting with. I would love a clothesline in my yard. We just gave our bread machine to my daughter! No room for a greenhouse but I would love one. For me, I need to purge my house of things I don't need that have been here for 20 years and need to find a new home. Just cleaning out a basement shelf so far has been uplifting!!

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  18. Dear Jemma, love this post and the direction you are taking moving into the new year. I was raised simply and down to earth. I have tried to carry that way of life with me remembering who I am and where I came from. Yes, all the latest trends and conveniences work their way into our world but our challenge to stay grounded among the fast pace, can and should be a priority. I am with you on keeping life simple and peaceful. Even with my shop and the busyness of the days ahead, I am striving to stay focused on what is important and lasting.
    We can have a "clothesline" kind of life!!

    Wishing you all the best in the new year and many blessings in your new home. Joys and love always my friend xo

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  19. I love your goals and am so going to anticipate following along with them, probably following some personally, too! Rick is my living simply guy -- rarely drives (rides his bike or walks), has his garden, bakes his own bread... I'm not quite so agile at all that! Maybe I'll get some good ideas from you!

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  20. And in the process clear the clutter from our minds. I remember helping my greandother hang "the wash" on her clothesline. The sunshine is such a natural cleaner! My mother had a circle clothesline in the last few years I was at home. My son's girlfriend wanted an electric pressure cooker for Christmas...and he found one at Williams Sonoma. Reports are that she loves it! I used to bake my own bread and should get back into the swing of it again. I remember loving a new pair of keds and my blue bicycle! I am the child of a teacher and school principal /administrator. We lived simply. I learned to sew my own clothes, and I made drapes after I was married. I need to clean off my sewing machine again and start sewing again! We have lots of Amish in our area...and they show how simple really is!

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  21. Can I come live with you? The world seems to chaotic and ego driven these days. I see my own children and sometimes myself getting caught up in social networking self worth that I have to slap myself out of it sometimes and realize this is not peaceful living. Sometimes I do wish I could totally unplug and be okay living the simple life and that may come very soon. I love seeing the photos of you as a happy child and I think a be o simplifying and peaceful thought could change this world for the better. xo and a wonderful New Year to you!

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  22. Sounds like a wonderful childhood. I hope that you can recapture some of that this year. Happy New Year! xx

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  23. Your plans sound very inspiring and I need to follow along. I didn't make any plans, goals or resolutions for 2016 as I was busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I refuse to do that anymore. My focus always seems to be on everyone but myself and I have to change that first and foremost. By doing that I think I will realize what I want and need to do with my days.

    Thank you for your inspiration and friendship, Jemma!

    Jane x

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  24. Sounds wonderful...I find myself getting simpler and simpler in my needs and moving toward a new stillness in life in general. Wishing you a slow and peaceful journey this year, Joyce...

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  25. Love it! The country life is were it's at! Pure and Simple!!!!

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  26. You know there's a point in every single year that I think we are making life too complicated. We do it to ourselves and sometimes you just have to regroup and make it simpler on purpose. Sounds like such a great idea to me. :)

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  27. Jemma,
    I support you in your 2016 efforts and applaud your loving spirit. I grew up in Titusville NJ with a huge open field behind my parents large ranch home. Decades later mac mansions sprung up in that field. As a child I walked down the street to a horse farm and watched births and rode... My parents had a huge garden that relatives would say my Dad went over board on the size. I now live in the city but am health and organic food savvy. I buy Organics and locally sourced and pride myself in cooking pure from scratch. I am one who loves to entertain and truly believe we are what we eat and our soul is rewarded in what we feed our bodies.

    I so applaud your 2016 intentions and feel a city girl/health minded connection. You rock sister Virgo, as I have been living a much simpler private life.
    xoxo,
    Vera

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  28. There's nothing like a clothesline for fresh smelling laundry! Plain and simple sounds like a lovely way to live in your new home. I look forward to reading more of your life. I started making bread a couple of years ago and I never want to go back to store-bought. I confess that in December, with tons of company, and teaching, I did buy 2 loaves. One is still in the freezer and we will use it, but home made is so much better.

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  29. I like everyone else agree with your goals for the new year. It's interesting I have been thinking how I could simplify my life and get back to doing so many of the things I used to but don't have time for now. And I too had a blue schwinn and remember riding up and down the dirt roads of our farm exploring to see what I could find and oh do I remember having to hang clothes on the clothes line....This post has really brought lots of memories and how life without all the electronics seemed so much simpler. You've added some ideas to my goals for the new year....Hugs

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  30. I grew up in suburbia, but I had a blue Schwinn and my mom used a clothesline in our backyard (maybe because she grew up on a farm in Ireland). Your new journey sounds wonderful.
    Eilis@MyHeartLivesHere

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  31. Kudos to you on your new journey. We all have some fabulous childhood memories that we want to treasure. I think you have set some great goals for the new year. Fresh smelling sheets drying in the wind is fabulous. Homemade bread is awesome! Can't wait to see more of the new year with you. Cheers! xo

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  32. I like living simple, too - I'm not a high-frills person at all. The simple pleasures of life and homemaking are what bring me joy. So yes, I would like to hear more about your journey and perhaps glean some helpful advice, plus support you along the way! While I don't have a clothesline, I do hang certain items outside to dry in the nice weather by hanging them over my porch railing and patio chairs. I know that's not very "classy" but it's very few items I line dry because I have bad environmental allergies. Two resources you might be interested in taking a look at: Mary Jane's Farm magazine and the Australian blog, Down to Earth.

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  33. I want a clothesline too. My husband put one up a few years ago, but it hangs directly over where we put our above-ground pool, so it was futile from the start. I hung a few things on it, but it sagged right into the water! I'm afraid to ask him to do it again as he's all for the dryer instead. I'm fairly straightforward at heart too, and like this direction you are going to take Jemma. I grew up in farm country and we had a bit of land for our few animals which was a wonderful way to grow up. My mom brought all her straightforward thinking from her farmer girl upbringing, and I guess that rubbed off on me. My kids think I was "so lucky" when I was a kid, which I get a kick out of. Good luck with your gardening, and I'll enjoy reading about your progress! Happy New Year!
    Wendy

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  34. What a wonderful plan for the new year! We are going to implement a few changes as well and I can't wait to get started! Hugs to you sweet friend and I look forward to reading the progress for the year!

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  35. I am a simple girl and love the simple life. I live in the land of bigger, better, more, but that has never been my style. I like my old Jeep, worn jeans and a few good friends hanging in the backyard on a warm summer night. I think your plan sounds wonderful. I wish you a wonderful, simple 2016!!

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  36. Sigh...
    I continue to be inspired.
    Spring is right around the corner.
    It's time to plan for spring planting.
    You have described wonderful goals and a lifestyle that is soooo much richer.
    Thank you,

    Laura
    WSP

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  37. I'm inspired by your post. Plain and simple works for me this year. A few years ago I tried to follow my grandmother's favorite saying and I think I will keep it in mind this year too: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

    Thanks for the inspiration. Whatever I do to live plain and simple this year, I'm also going to rejoice in it as that's my word for the year.

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  38. Beautifully written and illustrated, Jemma! And a post that was very good to read in the beginning of a new year with spanking new possibilities. I'll look forward to reading more as you incorporate simple blessings in you life.

    God bless you,
    Dewena

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  39. Fabulous. I think I may have had that same blue Schwinn. Your journey reminds me of summers at my grandparent's house in Wisconsin. I can't wait to come along on your journey.

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