So much and so little has changed since I started this blog eight years ago.
I’m still a busy parent, co-owner of small art based business, lover of all things well made and beautiful, living in rural Maine.
I am also waiting tables four nights a week, preparing 99.9% of our meals at home as well as keeping up with all those things which make life wonderful and stressful; laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying, organizing car rides, commuting to work (and school), going to the beach (enjoying the great outdoors), cleaning the bathroom, washing the floors, sweeping (daily) – we have a wood shop attached to our house – stacking/hauling wood (we heat with wood), organizing get togethers with friends, making plans for the future, trying to find the time to write and exercise, photographing everything…all of this (and then some) within my means and time restraints…
I’m not a big consumer of ‘new’ things. The world’s resources are finite and we need to keep that in mind when we’re making purchasing decisions. Recycling, buying second hand, consignment shopping, re-purposing, going without, trading, picking up great things on the side of the road, auctions – these are all great things to do to not only save money, but limit waste.
Having said all that, I’m here to share my thoughts about food, nature and a life lived within one’s means.
Below is where this all started;
I’m Jennifer – a parent of a busy three year old, co-owner of an art base business; Michael Fleming Designs Adrift, www.designsadrift.com, a gardener, and lover of all things beautiful, practical and well made. I live on 20 acres in rural Maine – in a rented 200+ year old farmhouse – and for the past two years, some would say, have been living an unusual life…
We had always been a two income household – then our son was born…before becoming a mom, I waited tables at a fabulous restaurant which afforded me the daytime hours to start, launch and build our business…Now my days are filled with keeping up with my son, the house, the garden…and my nights are filled with trying to get our business ‘off the ground’ and all things involved with that…the job I had prior to having our son was no longer available to me once I was able to return and I was overwhelmed with the thought I looking for new job with a three month old on my back, that we decided to live a bit differently for awhile…
I admit, we are extreme. Not everyone wants to ‘do without’ as we have chosen, nor could everyone choose as we have – though my question to you is, have we chosen to live ‘without’ or simply differently?
Four years ago we decided to stay in Maine year round and start our business. Prior to that we had been living between Maine and the Caribbean. Prior to that we had been traveling the globe – living mostly in our tent and hostels with our belongings on our backs…ahhh, the good life…we launched Designs Adrift just as the economy spiraled downward and then became parents, practically simultaneously. Two challenging things to do in any economy, much less an uncertain one…add to it our location and most people think we are absolutely nuts or brilliant. I’d like to think the later…
We wanted to raise our son ourselves and keep our business moving forward – two things which either require a lot of capital or a lot of creativity. We are resourceful and patient – what we lacked in capital we made up for with ingenuity and skill.
I have always been creative with my finances and ‘stuff’.
Looking at things differently has allowed me to travel the world, attend and graduate from a highly respected teaching college, start and run a business as well as decorate my home beautifully and simply – as seen in the NYTimes article below;
Thank you for reading this and I hope to inspire you to think differently…
Lots of love,