December 31, 2023

Make Life Funny Again

Does anyone remember laughter?

It hasn't been funny out there for years, and 2023 was no different.

It was plain tragic. Not even tragic funny, just tragic.

Living in such a humourless world has repercussions on human health. Deaths of despair are increasing, each one of them decidedly unfunny. 

Wouldn't you rather die laughing? I would.

We need our laughter like we need love, or food.

It is a scientifically proven method to improve health. 

Here is what the science says laughter does for us:

* relaxes the whole body. 

* boosts the immune system. 

* triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
* protects the heart. 

* burns calories. 

* promotes mental health. 

The world needs more funny. Way more funny. 

We are desperate for something to laugh at, like we used to before the Behemoths of Bummer took over.

We need a constant drip of hilarity. No amount is too much. 

However, when your face starts hurting it's probably time for a break.


A day without a good belly laugh is a day wasted.

Make life funny again.

Here's to a more humorous year in 2024.

December 28, 2023

3 Million Milestone

The Not Buying Anything blog recently passed its three millionth page view milestone. It was a nice gift at the end of another successful year of blogging.

As a "content creator" (and here I thought I was just a cranky old guy ranting and writing), I am celebrating this result, which comes after many years of hard work.

Thank you to the Not Buying Anything blog community. I know you are out there, and I appreciate your interest in what we are doing here.

Also a thank you to everyone else that comes across our little blog, one of many in the burgeoning blogosphere. I am glad you dropped by, and hope you do again.

I will strive to continue to create content that you find useful. Or at least humorous.

Onward and upward toward our next 3 million views.

December 25, 2023

The True Spirit of Christmas

They must have us keep up our demand for superfluous consumer goods.

Crass commercialism. It will solve all our problems.

Will it, though, really?

May the true spirit of Christmas be with you today, and all year long.

December 23, 2023

Oppose Christmas Consumerism - Buy a Shirt

One Christmas shopper to another:

"Have you ever noticed how religion tries to take over more of Christmas every year?"

I am not opposed to Christmas, or the pagan winter celebrations that preceded it. They are all based on similar and good themes.

It is Consumer Christmas, a relatively new phenomena, that turns me off.

  • In some countries, one-fifth of people go into debt to pay for Christmas gifts and festivities.
  • Although eco-awareness is on the rise, half of people would buy the ideal gift no matter the cost to the planet.

Do business people believe in Santa? 


They believe in anything that brings in hundreds of billions of dollars in sales every year.

But the original St. Nick only brought modest gifts, and only to those that needed them.

Only about 7% of Americans surveyed said they weren't going to spend anything on Christmas. 

That might be good, because often gifts are unwanted.

A European survey found that 15% of gift recipients were unhappy with the gifts they received last year. 

10% couldn’t even remember their gifts!

Although half the recipients asked kept unwanted gifts, 

- 25% re-gifted them to someone else, 

- 14% sold them and,

- 10% took them back to a store. 

In addition, 5% gave unwanted gifts back to the giver, a habit most popular with the British and the Dutch. 

Some people simply threw them away.

Giving is good, but only when it is appropriate. 

Unfortunately, Christmas Consumerism has no limits, and its excess is out of control. 

The true meaning of the season is now buried under a mountain of buying and debt.

All of this when all we need is love, rather than more masses of junk. 

December 21, 2023

Happy Winter Solstice 2023

Soaking up the substandard solstice sun.

Happy Solstice, planet Earth, you amazing, magical, and beautiful blue-green globe of loveliness. And to all of your human inhabitants.

Congratulations on completing another solar year in our trip around the Sun, something that has been happening dependably for 4.54 billion years, plus or minus 50 million years.

Today, in my location, we experience the shortest day of the year. 

Sunrise: 7:56 am

Sunset: 4:45 pm

Then after a brief celestial stall, as of December 23, our days begin to get longer. 

This glorious enlightening trend will continue all the way to June 21, the next solstice.

In that time we will gain about 6.5 more hours of daylight, and who doesn't like that?

Here's to another 4.5 billion winter solstices.

I find that a comforting thought in a time that we aren't even sure we will survive to the next calendar year.

Hang in there, people. This too (like shorter and shorter days) will pass.

Nature, and thus humanity, abides. For are we not part of resilient, creative nature?

December 20, 2023

Xmas on a Budget

"Life is too short to worry about getting ready for Christmas; just let Christmas come."

- Doris Janzen Longacre

"Doris Janzen Longacre was born February 15, 1940 in Newton, Kansas. 



Doris became well-known across North America and around the world through her two books: the More-with-Less Cookbook, a collection of recipes and suggestions on how to enjoy more while consuming less of the world's resources (Herald Press, 1976), and Living More with Less, a collection of tips and testimonies of people searching for ways to simplify their lives.



Living More with Less was published in 1980, shortly after her death, at the age of 39, on November 10, 1979." 
— From the Herald Press

December 18, 2023

Consumer Christmas Not Sustainable

Christmas Day

The Day After Christmas

2023 is a great time to rethink the holiday season.

Historically its focus was never tons of gift giving until Big Business got involved. They recruited St. Nick, gave him cola and other crap to push, and never looked back.

Today we might think about the real reasons we celebrate at this time of year.

What is it all about?

Certainly not stress, debt and waste. 

Consider giving sustainable gifts this year, and every year after.

I would suggest perennial favourites such as 






social connection,



understanding, and 


Nothing is more important than these timeless gifts. The world needs more of them all.

They are waste-free, resource-free, and without limit. 

Best of all, you don't need money to give these cherished presents. Anyone can give them.

Every one of them will be universally appreciated. 

Or you could go shopping.

Call me a Scrooge, but that is how I roll. 

Personally, I am thrilled that the light and longer days will be delivered to the northern hemisphere starting at 10:27 pm 3 days from now.

That is something to celebrate. It is the only gift I want. And also a few from the list above.

Happy Winter Solstice. 

... and Summer Solstice for our readers down south.

December 16, 2023

Merry Minimalist Christmas

Seeing as we are in the middle of a cost of living crisis, perhaps this would be a good time to try out a minimalist Christmas.

The holiday season became way too materialist a long, long time ago. Now is not a good time to extend this debt-ridden practice.

A minimalist celebration is a good way to bring the true meaning of the season back, all the while saving money and reducing stress at the same time.

It does not mean abandoning everything that you like about this time of year. Just a few tweaks that just might make it even better for you, your family, and the Earth.

Here are a few things to try:

- no Christmas cards (try free online cards delivered by email if you're not comfortable giving up this tradition)

- funky free wrapping paper (replace expensive wrapping paper from the store with what you have at home - newspaper or colourful flyers that show up in your mail this time of year)

- no outdoor lights, or a far smaller display

- no gifts, or set limits on the cost, number, and types of gifts exchanged (for example, only consumables or wearables or eatables)

- cut back on cooking and have an alternative Christmas meal (holiday-themed pizza with red salami and green pepper)

- new decoration moratorium (if you already own decorations, put them up, if you feel like it, but do not buy more)

- or decorate using all natural items sourced directly from your yard or the woods (pine cones, fir boughs, rocks, etc)

- finally, give the gift of your presence (don't be humble and underestimate the power of gifting someone with time with you)

Maybe you will find that a minimalist Christmas, without all the stress, hustle and bustle, and cost is more to your liking.

And who doesn't like saving money? A debt-free holiday is a gift you can give to yourself. 

You deserve it.

December 14, 2023

Still A Beautiful Place

"I take no action and people are reformed.

I enjoy peace and people become honest.

I do nothing and people become rich.

I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life.” 

— Tao Te Ching

Here at the end of another year, we find the world in rough shape. Again.

We are in serious trouble from a variety of angles. It's not looking good.

But I believe this is still a beautiful place, filled with beautiful nature, and beautiful people.

As we approach the end of the year, it is this that I will be thinking of, while keeping my fingers crossed that we will all strive to do better next year.

Happy holidays to all the beautiful people that stop by our little blog. Linda and I appreciate each and every one of you, each and every day.

Do take care.

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

– Kurt Vonnegut 

December 12, 2023

We Are Chicken Keeping Newbies

Our chicken coop.

Keeping backyard chickens is a step toward self-sufficiency that Linda and I have always wanted to take. Just for eggs, not meat. And maybe some companionship, too.

However, for various reasons we hadn't taken that step.

We used to live in the city, didn't have a space to put them, and didn't know anything about keeping chickens. That kept us from moving forward on the chicken plan. 

Until a couple of days ago. 

But first, a bit of background.

A few months ago we agreed to help our neighbours when they said they were getting chickens. It was an opportunity for us to learn a bit about keeping a couple of girls without having to jump in with both feet.

Then, a week ago our neighbours informed us they were moving. We are sad to see them go.

But there was good news, too. They did not want to take the chicken setup with them, and asked us if we would take it over.

We have never kept any kind of pet or animal, except fish (for a short while), so at first we hesitated. 

But it turned out to be an offer we couldn't refuse.

Our neighbours offered to move the coop and two chickens from their yard into ours. 

Along with the coop and chickens they also wanted to give us a half a bag of pelleted food, a bag of dehydrated worms, a bag of crushed oyster shells, and a big sack of wood shavings for bedding.

It was a complete set up. Almost for free (we initially split the cost for the coop). How could we say no?

So now we are chicken keeping newbies, freaking out a  bit that we have a couple of life forms depending on us for their health and welfare.

The first thing we have to do is get them used to their new home. They are used to free ranging, so I am keeping them in the coop for a few days until they get used to their new location.

I am learning that the girls talk, something I find quite appealing. They generally sound content, or at least I hope that is what it means when they vocalize softly.

They are also good listeners. 

We have already established a rapport, and we all agree that the four of us have a wonderful adventure in self-sufficiency lined up.

Linda is excited about getting a chicken cam so she can watch them from inside our house.

Hopefully it will be a cluckin' good time for all involved.

Do you keep chickens? If so, do you have any essential advice for newbies like us?

December 9, 2023

Can't Wrap That

During a cost of living crisis is a good time to consider a Buy Nothing Christmas.

The best gifts in life can't be bought anyway.

They don't come from corporations, or retail outlets, and you won't find them for sale on the internet. 

They aren't advertised, and you can't buy them regardless of how much money you have.

And they don't require wrapping.

How do you buy and wrap a sunset?

A smile?

Helping each other?



and understanding?

Priceless, precious gifts.

Can't wrap that.

December 7, 2023

The Best Way To Organize Your Stuff

If you have to buy stuff to organize stuff, you might have too much stuff.

The best way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it.

Give it away. 

Throw it away. 

Sell it. 

Pass it on. 

Burn it. 

Leave it behind. 

Trade it. 

Barter it. 

Bury it. 

Let it go. Let it go. Let it go.

Less stuff = less to organize.

What is left will be much easier to set straight. 

You will have more space and life energy to use for other things.

Don't buy stuff to organize stuff. Get rid of stuff.

Life will be more free. 

And freedom is precious.

December 5, 2023

The Phucked Up Phour Aphecting Our Health

There is a terrible trio that preys on us and our health. 

1. Big Phood - where it all starts, which is addicting us to their processed crap and making us sick.

2. Big Pharma - which profits from treating the effects of Big Phood's poisons.

3. Big Government - the enabler and protector of the sickness care scam.

And when you add one more main participant, you get the Fucked up Four.

4. Big Medicine - it sucks more of the people's money than any other expenditure, but has little to show for it in the average person's health and well being.

It's a grift, and more people are wising up to the scam.

Some are beginning to wonder if, on the whole, the Phucked Up Phour have done more damage than good. 

Medical errors are one of the main causes of death, and all cause mortality has been up in most modern countries with high tech health care since the pandemic launched. 

The authorities have been ignoring these excessive deaths after 3 years of obsessively tabulating deaths from a certain sickness deemed "the most important in a century", even though other scenarios cause more deaths every year.

Failure after failure. If you can profit handsomely from failure, why even try to succeed? What is the incentive?

My health care plan is to eat only wholesome foods (grown in the garden as much as possible) that we have cooked ourselves, exercise, hydrate, get plenty of sleep, and live a low stress life with lots of time in nature.

And stay away from mainstream doctors and hospitals unless bleeding uncontrollably. 

Or if you have a steel bar sticking out of your head after an industrial accident. 

They are very good at fixing that kind of thing.

December 4, 2023

Doing What Needs To Be Done

I operate on the principle of least effort. Lots of life does. Because energy is not infinite. 

Many things can't be done, and plenty don't need to be done. 

I conserve my life force for things more important to me than work, or a career, or jobs. 

I never wanted any of that. I just want to live.

principle of least effortn. 

The proposition that, in striving for a goal, an organism generally seeks a method involving the minimum expenditure of energy. ...

Masanobu Fukuoka, in The One-Straw Revolution, put it this way.

“I do not particularly like the word 'work.' Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world.

Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. 

The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. 

It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. 

I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. 

For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. 

In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.” 

In my simple life I am concentrating on doing what needs to be done. 

What needs to be done is minimal compared to what we think should be done. 

I am doing what needs to be done, and not much more. I have learned to find joy and contentment in that.

December 3, 2023

2 Simple Rules to Live By

Life is not that complicated (although we do tend to make it that way).

For example, I live by two simple rules.

1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.


2. Let your freak flag fly.

Everything else is superfluous.

December 1, 2023

Involuntary Simplicity Is Coming

Reading on the internets the other day I came across this:

"Plenty of people are not going to like how this sorts out for them personally, but whether you like it or not its coming -- and you'd be wise to contemplate where you are personally and adjust to it voluntarily before the change occurs on an involuntary basis." 

I have been saying for years that people should beat the rush and simplify now. 

Why? Because then one is acting proactively, and by choice, and both are psychologically beneficial to being prepared for what is headed our way, whatever that may be.

Our economy was doomed from the start because the infinite growth required to keep the status quo going is impossible in a finite system.

In fact, as soon as the consumer industrial complex began, forward thinkers were predicting its collapse. Now their predictions are being borne out.

It seems that every day we get closer. If the warning signs go unheeded, involuntary simplicity will be the reality for a lot of people.

And no one I know likes to be forced to do things that may be uncomfortable.

So, minimize debt as much as possible, spend wisely and save if you can, buy used if you need to buy, do as much for yourself as you can, don't waste money on things you don't need and aren't good for you, and develop thrifty and frugal approaches to living.

And if the amazing happens and things don't collapse, no problem. You will be living in a way that is more resilient and satisfying, and will be prepared for what still promises to be a leaner future.

Take care, people.

November 26, 2023

Why You Should Start Planning A Garden Today

I remember when a large grocery order for me was around $100.00 dollars.

It took a few years, but eventually a large order was coming in at double that, about $200.00 dollars.

Quicker was the next jump, when a large order went from $200.00 dollars to $300.00 dollars.

That is about when I started to freak out. 

I noticed that the Customer Service desk at the grocery store had installed an emergency defibrillator behind the desk just in case I had a heart attack when the cashier totalled my purchase and handed me the bill.

Now it is only a matter of a few weeks, the time between our large orders, and our bill increases noticeably even beyond $300.00 dollars.

There has never been a better time to start a garden. 

Or grow food in containers on the patio. 

Or get a couple chickens.

Or plant an orchard.

It is also a good time to cook for yourself, and learn to do things like make yogurt, and plan price conscious vegetarian meals.

With that grocery bill continuing to go up, the time is ripe for eliminating non-essentials. 

The best money saving plan is to not buy things you can live without. Like donuts. Or coffee. Or both. 

Sugary drinks can be cut with a net benefit to health and finances. 

A big bag of beans, a big bag of rice, chickens in the yard, and a garden for fresh fruit and vegetables will all go a long way toward reducing that nasty grocery bill, and increasing your food independence.

Don't freak out - start planning that garden, and get ready to eat healthier and save money at the same time.