December 31, 2021

2021 Was A Year Of Opportunity

It turns out that there are some years when you may want to pretend your bed is a stasis chamber and stay in it until a better year comes along. 

2021, on the surface, looked like one of those years. What a mess. 

However, I am glad I didn't miss it. If I stayed in my warm and comfy bed for the last 365 days I would have missed all kinds of opportunities.

In times of rapid change and turmoil one can try to avoid or deny the adversity swirling all around, or one can choose to get up and sift the opportunities out of the rough stuff.

That is what we did. We got up this year, day after day after day, and capitalized on a few things that have improved our lives greatly.

Here are some that come to mind:

1) We learned to live without a vehicle, and we found we like it. A lot.

2) We made stronger connections with people in our community. Getting rid of our vehicle helped.

3) We got off processed foods almost entirely, and because of that spent many glorious hours together in the kitchen cooking up the best food of our lives.

4) We enjoyed the increased isolation caused by pandemic restrictions. Extended periods of uninterrupted living were appreciated. I forgot the date, the day of the week, and sometimes the month - it was all kind of irrelevant. I would almost like to have forgotten the year as well, but that was harder to do.

5) This year's garden was a success and we preserved more food than ever before.

6) We experimented with new ways of storing food without refrigeration, like packing beets and carrots in forest moss in a bin in our unheated garage.

7) Joining a local organic food buying group has allowed us to become less dependent on the big box grocery store with its long and wobbly supply chains.

8) We revived our efforts toward finding an affordable home to make our own, and have a line on one or two possible choices. Our goal is to not have to spend most of our income on rent any more. And have a bigger garden.

So, thanks 2021. You were a year of great adversity, but also great opportunity.

Did you cash in on any pandemic-induced opportunities over the last year? 

If not, don't worry - you will probably have lots of chances for positive change in 2022, which may turn out to be as "interesting" and challenging as this year.

Is it too late to put my jammies back on and order that stasis pod?

Happy New Year, and thank you for your continued readership, friendship and comments. 

"If you can do something about it, you don't have to worry. If you can't do anything about it, you don't have to worry."

December 30, 2021

Now You See It, Now You Don't

Cue March 2020. That date signals the end of freedoms we previously took for granted. Maybe we shouldn't have. 

We can't say we weren't warned.

"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue ... at the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they'll just take down the scenery, they'll pull back the curtains, they'll move the tables & chairs out of the way & you'll see the brick wall at the back of the theater."

- Frank Zappa

I don't know about anyone else, but from where I am, I can see the brick wall at the back of the theatre through the fog of greed, propaganda, and bully tactics.

If we love our children we will fight back and make 2022 the year real freedoms are won permanently.

"Mr. Biden and world leaders, tear down that wall."

December 27, 2021

26 Seconds More

I love the early days after winter solstice. The darkest days have passed, and people everywhere are celebrating having made it out of the dark side one more time. 

The light wins over darkness, as it always has. That's not hopeful, but a fact we can count on every day from now until June.

It is happening slowly, only seconds per day at first, but as we head into the sun the pace will pick up, as will our moods.

Today's length of daylight is 26 seconds longer than recent our shortest day. 

Daylight will be a full and glorious shiny half minute longer than solstice tomorrow. 

And so it goes.

Bring on the sun - its heat, its life-giving powers, and its antiseptic qualities.

December 25, 2021

Facts On Holiday Waste

The biggest shopping event of the year is followed closely by the biggest waste disposal event of the year. 

We must constantly buy and dispose of things to keep our economies going, and our fleeting desires satisfied. 

Charles Kettering of General Motors, put it this way: 

"The key to economic prosperity is the organized creation of dissatisfaction."  

It is a vicious cycle, and one that must be broken. Eventually it will need to be replaced with a more logical circular economy where nothing is wasted.

Consuming less is the best and most straight forward way to reduce waste. 

No crap in - no crap out.

Facts on Holiday Waste

🌲2.6 billion cards are sold each year in the US

🌲Half of the paper used in America is used to wrap and decorate consumer products

🌲From Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, household waste increases by more than 25%.

🌲33 million real Christmas trees are thrown out in North America every year.

🌲The average American spends $800 dollars on gifts over the holiday season.

🌲25 billion pounds of edible food are wasted each year.

Nearly 60% of Americans received unwanted gifts during the holiday. 52% of them re-gifted their unwanted gifts to others in an example of how one person's garbage can become another person's garbage.

In a national survey, 70% of Americans agreed that there should be less emphasis on gift giving and spending during the holidays.

Consider the beauty, the simplicity, and the sustainability of throwing a Buy Nothing Zero Waste holiday next year.

Happy Holidays 2022. 

Too soon?

December 24, 2021

Supply Chain Disruptions

Ever since many countries have reduced the productive capacity of their economies, and have become completely reliant on imports, the people have been exposed to long and fragile supply chains for most of what is bought.

How do we reduce our exposure to these complex and failing supply chains so we can still get the things we need if they are disrupted for a time (or permanently)?

The best way to reduce your exposure is to consume less. The less you buy, the less you are exposed to long supply chains with many middle players sucking off the system.

If any of those middle players go out of business, entire supply chains can break down, weakest link and all that.

Another way to insulate yourself is to shorten supply chains for the things you need. Your garden provides you with food without hardly any involvement of outside players at all, except maybe seed suppliers.

If you source the things you need from as close to home as possible, your supply chains will be less complex and more resilient in hard times.

Consuming less remains, however, the single best thing you can do to insulate yourself from a possible global supply chain collapse.

The more you buy, the more dependent you will be on complex and wasteful systems that are currently failing.

December 23, 2021

Lighten The Burden

Any time is a good time to lighten the burden. That is what living more simply is all about. Why not make 2022 the year of letting go of the unnecessary? 

That may mean quitting a job you hate, or ridding your life of stuff that is unwanted and unloved. It all reduces the load you must carry through life, and leads to a deep, lasting happiness.

I'm with Gandhi on this one - simplifying our affairs is the way to get rid of the extras in order to make the necessary more easily carried by all.

"Happiness, the goal to which we all are striving, is reached by endeavouring to make the lives of others happy, and if by renouncing the luxuries of life we can lighten the burdens of others... surely the simplification of our wants is a thing greatly to be desired! 

And so, if instead of supposing that we must become hermits and dwellers in caves in order to practice simplicity, we set about simplifying our affairs, each according to his own convictions and opportunity, much good will result and the simple life will at once be established."

- Gandhi


If we can lighten the burden for others, and ourselves, we are well advised to do so.

Everything we do in this regard will consequently lighten the burden on our beleaguered planet.

May your burden be lightened during this holiday season, and throughout 2022.

That is our desire for our blog's readers, as well as for the whole human family.


In Simplicity,


Linda and Gregg

Your NBA blog hosts



December 20, 2021

Wisdom Of The Woods And The Water

Over the past couple of years I have enjoyed being in nature more than ever. That's probably because I have needed it more than ever.

Author Mary Shelly said, "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."

Since massive changes suddenly began globally in March 2020 doing everything has become more difficult and more stressful for almost everyone.

On the other hand, going to the woods is as easy as its ever been. I just head out the back door of my home, and walk. I could continue walking for days and never leave the forest.

There are no fences, no charges, no conditions for entry, and no one trying to sell me their product or narrative. 

It's just me, the squirrels, and the wisdom of the woods and the water. 

"Woosh, swish, shwee, shush", say the trees.

"Gurgle, kaboing! (deep boulders rumble downstream), splash", responds the brook.

The squirrels aren't saying anything, but I notice they are watching me closely. We have a staring contest. They win every time, and I hike on.

After returning from a good stint in the forest, my response to Shelly would be that, "nothing is as good a salve for the pained human mind as spending time in nature."

If I were a doctor, that is the prescription that I would be writing.

For immediate relief of existential angst and free-floating anxiety, get in nature - stat.

I will finish with some official woods wisdom - 

"One must get up early if one is to go for a hike on the shortest day of the year."

December 19, 2021

Satirical Subversive Santas

Consumerism has taken a perfectly good winter celebration and turned it into a stressful frenzy of shopping excess. 

Satirical subversive Santas show us the truth behind it all.

Winter celebrations have been monitized and commodified beyond recognition. Instead of being about peace, joy, and harmony, celebrations are more commonly recognized as the most lucrative shopping event of the year. 

Subversive Santas have done very well, and have been spotted making off in luxury limo sleighs filled with large red velvet bags overflowing with cash.

We can regain the spirit of winter celebrations by refusing to conform to consumer Christmas expectations, and celebrate this time of year without an emphasis on buying.

Throwing a Buy Nothing Christmas is a good way to recover the meaning of winter celebrations and return the focus to peace, harmony, and helping each other make it through the darkest days of the year. 

We could all use a deep joy and connection this time of year, and especially so during this particularly challenging year.

Happy Winter Solstice, Yule, Saturnalia, and Christmas. 

December 15, 2021

The Great Simplification

The past 18 months have caused unprecedented changes over a short period of time. There is nothing more disorienting than rapid change. 

It is also true that rapid change, as troubling as it feels at the time, can lead to positive outcomes. 

One of those is The Great Re-Evaluation, in which people are wondering if the old normal is worth returning to. Workers have been treated very badly over the past 40 years. 

More and more of those workers are taking notice. This has lead to the second positive result to come from our institutions and systems crumbling around us - The Great Resignation. 

After stopping and thinking about it, workers have decided they are fed up with working crappy jobs just so they can buy crappy stuff from the people that offer nothing but more crappy jobs and crappy stuff.

Looking for a better alternative to work-buy-storage-die, they are quitting their crappy jobs in droves.

As millions of people are pushed into involuntary simplicity, and millions more are choosing to adopt simpler ways as part of their plan for a leaner future, the ranks of the simplified are growing.

It looks like the failed/failing response to the SARS virus may indadvertedly kill the CONSUMER virus instead. 

The Affluenza Pandemic might finally be ending.

The Great Simplification is just beginning.

December 11, 2021

Expectations Exceed Planetary Limits

This is what consumers want, expect,
and have been told they deserve.

This is what the planet can support.

Question of the Day: "What are my expectations in life?"

The expectations of many in transitioned nations have clearly exceeded planetary limits.

It was designed this way to enrich the parasite class, and now it has brought us to the edge of the precipice.

Going forward takes us over the 

But we can choose to back away, turn around, and do something about our trajectory.

That will entail changing our expectations, and deciding what we will keep, and what will be done away with. It is time to cut out the excess and waste wherever it exists because we can't afford it any more. 

We never could. The tale of endless everything was a lie.

I am thrilled to simply have a roof over my head, the clothes required to cover me and keep me comfortable, wholesome food to eat, good people around me, and lots of nature close by.

That is all I expect.

It is enough.

For me.

Your results may vary, but I would wholeheartedly recommend at least giving it a try. Or some such variation that suits your particular needs more effectively.

Be creative. Have fun.

What do you expect from life? 

It is a question worth asking at this point in human evolution.

December 8, 2021

Precious Moments

It is hard to ignore recent global events. But let us not allow that to darken our days, for precious moments abound if we take the time to see them.

Here are a few of mine that I have been thinking about.

1) Searching the night sky for Leonard, the comet, which may never come back this way again.

Everything down here seems so small and insignificant when you look into the infinite night sky. Maybe we aren't as important as we think.

2) Being gifted an original artwork by my 8 year old neighbour/artist.

The picture depicts a lion. A happy lion. A very happy lion. Is it possible to look at it and NOT smile?

Watch out for those claws.

Humans have been drawing lions for up to 35,000 years, the earliest works being done on cave walls.

Our more recent lion art is being displayed on our refrigerator wall gallery. 

3) Linda sporting a beautiful green bug on her head while on our back porch earlier this fall. 

She calmly waited for me to go inside and retrieve the camera so I could get this pic. 

It is serious communing with nature, further evidence that Linda is a dedicated wildlife enthusiast.

4) Hiking in the back yard, going down to the brook at the bottom of the valley.

There is nothing like a hike or bike in the woods to bring me back to centre. There is no greater reset.

When I come home (refreshed), I always share my photographs with Linda, who can't go with me, but still wants to enjoy the places I go, and the things I encounter.

That's two precious moments for the price of one. First the outdoor experience, then the sharing with Linda.

Finally, there is 

5) Looking in my pantry and seeing more home-canned food than ever before. Pickled beets, cucumbers, relish. Chipotle salsa. Strawberry jam. And a few cans of tomatoes. 

And that stuff that isn't home-canned? We are always trying to replace as much of that as we can with our own preserves. Or do without.

Short supply chains are the new normal. The shorter the better for me. Preferably from our very own garden, yard, and neighbourhood.

We hope you are noting the precious moments in your life. Despite everything else, those go on. 

It is the natural way.

December 7, 2021

Dystopian Non-Fiction

Why bother with dystopian fiction when you can just pay attention to what is happening around you every day?

We have been prepared for this moment by non-stop dystopian "entertainment" over the years. 

That is what the whole zombie genre has been about. It's a message to us that we should be thankful, even with living conditions for most of us having deteriorated over the past 40 years. 

Why? Because things could be worse. Way worse. That is what they were preparing us for.

Now they are scapegoating a very real segment of the global population and making them responsible for the zombie/covid apocalypse. 

The Unjabbed = The Walking Dead.

One thing we are not being prepared for is a happy ending. Where is the story of a working utopia being hammered out among all humans, leading us to finally take our place in a cooperative, compassionate world that values all lives, and all life?

We won't be hearing that story until we declare The End for antagonists like:

- war 

- capitalist consumerism

- forced labour

- a form of representative democracy that doesn't represent and isn't democracy

- profit over people and the environment and science and rational thinking and everything else

- billionaires 

- power hungry narcissists with authoritarian tendencies rising to the top of a sick system

None of these things will go away on their own. But we can decide to write them out of our story. The pen in is our hands.

I don't know about you, but I've had enough of the dystopia that passes for everyday life these days. 

I'm ready for a #newnarrative -

A People's Narrative that will supplant the current version which was made by and for the few.

So I ask, with a nod to Nick Lowe, 

"What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding... and creating a global Utopia?"

December 2, 2021


Will we free ourselves from our technology before it consumes us utterly?

The following is from Solitude: How Doing Nothing Can Change the World by Evan Sutter. 

“We all need a technological detox; we need to throw away our phones and computers instead of using them as our pseudo-defence system for anything that comes our way. 
We need to be bored and not have anything to use to shield the boredom away from us. 
We need to be lonely and see what it is we really feel when we are. 
If we continue to distract ourselves so we never have to face the realities in front of us, when the time comes and you are faced with something bigger than what your phone, food, or friends can fix, you will be in big trouble.” 

Living more simply can help. Some versions of simplicity mean living with no tech, less tech, or living with tech, but less often.

Our technology has landed us in the mess we are currently in. We should not think that it will get us out.

We might want to hit


before it is 

too late.

November 30, 2021

Adrift on a Sea of Ignorance

It is said that those who know they don't know, know, and those that claim to know, don't know.

In my lifelong observations of human behaviour this has been born out in the evidence.

Sometimes it feels like I am floating on a sea of ignorance, tossed and turned by my human limitations, which appear to as numerous as waves in the sea. 

Lately, it looks like the entire human race is in the same boat. We are blown from one calamity to another before we are blown on to two more. 

Even worse, no one appears to know what the F they are doing. Rudder-less, no sails, and no one wants to dip an oar into the dark, turbulent waters.

Civilization is adrift.

If our species can manage to gain even a small amount of humility, and combine that with a great deal more cooperation, we may finally find our way out of this storm of stupidity. 

"What is critical to gaining more understanding of the world is to learn to accept and appreciate the vastness of our ignorance, and to understand that one can only survive in a sea of ignorance by working with others to make our small lifeboat a little bit stronger.  
Only by embracing the fact of our limitless ignorance can one position oneself to increase the store of knowledge.”

- Bill Jameson 

Some day we may even live up to our sapiens sapiens designation and earn our right to be called "wise and intelligent". 

After 200,000 years our species is still in the dark, barely sentient. It doesn't have to be that way. 

We need to humble ourselves and admit that we don't always know better. That will open us up again to new and vital learnings that will allow us to survive.

That is our lifeboat that will safely navigate us across the turbulent Sea of Stupidity that we are currently stranded upon.

November 28, 2021

Appreciating Old Things

One of the official mottos of consumerism is "New Is Always Better". This lie is very profitable. 

What we have lost in the fog of "New and Improved" is an appreciation of old things. 

Experienced things. 

Mature things. 

Broken and repaired things.

Dependable things.

When I look around the house, some of my favourite things are older. Stuff burnished with time, that glows with experience and is STILL useful as well as beautiful.

The Japanese would say old, weathered things are very wabi-sabi, and age is an advantage, not a liability.

In wabi-sabi the focus is on finding beauty in the imperfections of life so we can accept peacefully the cycles of growth and decay.

"New and Improved!" should be met with a righteous amount of scepticism and hesitancy. 

Is it really improved? Is it really better? Does it actually represent progress?

Or is it only profitable?

Developing an appreciation for old things can save money, eliminate waste, and increase our aesthetic enjoyment of the cycle of being.

Do you have any wabi-sabi favourites in your home?


“ repairing the object you really ended up loving it more, because you now knew its eagerness to be reassembled, and in running a fingertip over its surface you alone could feel its many cracks - a bond stronger than mere possession.”  
― Nicholson Baker

November 26, 2021

Buy Nothing Day 2021

Author Hazel B. West came to the conclusion that "a person without a cause is nothing, with nothing to look forward to, and nothing to work toward. They are lost, wandering in the darkest part of their heart to find a deeper, better purpose in life." 

Enter consumerism. It gives the purposeless purpose, and that is to shop

The lost are found. 

In a capitalist society shopping, buying, and owning are the highest purposes to which a consumer can aspire. This is celebrated and supported full time, non-stop. 

Shopping has become an activity unto itself, separated from all notions of need or value. 

When the cause becomes to "support the economy", shopping is the way to get there.

We have it backwards. At one time the economy was to support us, not the other way around.

It is hard to not be mesmerized by the constant hype. 

Buy Nothing Day is a brief moment one day a year to stop the hype, slow down, and consider that there is more to life than shopping. 

More to life than feeding the mythical demanding beast that we have created known as The Economy.

Buy Nothing Day is a day to not comply with orders and mandates to shop till you drop. 

They cultivate fear in us by letting us know that if we don't take the shopping pill, bad things will happen.

It is a time to ignore the narrative and reject the fear projections of the trillion dollar advertising/marketing propaganda machine, and to start writing our own more healthy stories.

Happy Buy Nothing Day. 

Or Not Buying Anything Day, as I call it in my home.

"As I'm paying I wonder at how we cling so relentlessly to the little conventions like commerce, as though they can save us." 
Ron Currie Jr.

November 24, 2021

Save 100%

Just food.

Month after month we look at our banking information and see the same thing. Over the previous 30 days all we bought was food.

And we have had to buy less of that with this year's harvest put away in our pantry and our unheated garage/cold room. 

We are storing carrots (and beets, too, this year) in forest moss again. I will do a post on that soon. See last year's posts on that topic here and here.

Just food doesn't happen every month, but the fact is, once one has the basics of living, not much more needs to be purchased. 

If you buy quality items to start with, they may never need to be replaced.

The 66% of consumers that plan on going out and spending money this weekend, will hunt far and wide looking for the best sales.

The absolute best, unbeatable sale of all time is when you decide to not buy anything. 

"Truth in advertising" is an oxymoron. If it wasn't, you wouldn't want to buy much at all, except what you truly need.

The Not Buying Anything Sale is as true as it gets.

You save 100% every time. 


November 22, 2021

Grow Your Own

Has there ever been a better or more important time to start a garden? 

Or plan to start a garden? 

Or to start collecting the things needed to garden?

Or organize growing space with a neighbour or community garden?

Or to tap into local resources on growing your own food, such as books, videos, and expertise in your area?

Or how about lobbing seed bombs (water balloons filled with seeds) into abandoned spaces like the Green Guerrillas did in New York city in 1974?

Has there ever been a better time to do ANYTHING at all to do with gardening and promoting growing your own food?

Not in my lifetime.

I was checking out The Ice Age Farmer the other day, and saw the following information regarding food prices.

"As a billionaire supermarket CEO says food prices will skyrocket +10% in the NEXT 60 DAYS, the NSA/FBI/CISA are warning of Cyberattacks on food production and municipal water/wastewater systems.  
Our food and water are under relentless attack across all vectors: financial, cyber, supply chain, fertilizer shortages, nat gas prices are conspiring to create a perfect storm within the systems that feed most people.  
Only those who seek to grow and raise their own food will be unaffected by the storm ahead.  
Get ready."

See more here.

We do not want to leave decisions regarding food of the future to be made by corporations and their politicians.

Dependence on that system is fraught with problems.

I am growing as much as I can myself before people that grow their own food find themselves labelled anti-fake food terrorists, and dealt with accordingly.

Happy gardening. Tending the soil and growing your own food is the simplest, most joyful thing a person can do.

It may soon be the most radical, too.