Tag Archive | hobbits

My Dream of Hobbit Living…

There’s a reason why I’m called The Bohemian Hobbit.  My love for JRR Tolkien’s Shire lands within Middle Earth, as well as the little beings called Hobbits, brings me endless amounts of inspiration for living the simple life, being free from government control, living organically off the land, and of course, debt free living.

(Hobbit homes in New Zealand as well as Peter Vetsch’s amazing architecture in Switzerland)

Hobbits of the Shire live a lifestyle what many of us call “off the grid”.  Unfortunately, where we live, it is illegal to live off grid.  Since moving here last year, I have been researching ways to get around that. Well, at least learn how to live *a little * off grid.  When you live in a society of convenience and greed, you really have NOT a clue how much we as a people are used to having everything at our beck and call.  Here are some ideas that I am talking about:

  • Flipping a switch and lights go on
  • Water automatically coming from a faucet with the flip of the wrist
  • Opening up a door to a cold and temperature regulated refrigerator
  • Plugging in anything and automatically get a charge

These are just a FEW of the many things we take for granted.  Think about this:  Nothing worse than getting caught in the middle of a storm and losing power.  People feel utterly helpless.  Even myself, who crave white noise in order to sleep, will lose her proverbial mind when everything shuts down.  So when we lose power in the middle of the night, my heart pounds and my chest tightens.  I have become so modernized that I have to admit, the idea of living off grid scares the hell out of me.

Times Square is plunged into darkness as the sun goes down a

UNITED STATES – AUGUST 14: Times Square is plunged into darkness as the sun goes down after a massive power failure caused the largest power outage in the nation’s history, affecting 50 million people in parts of seven states and Canada. (Photo by Robert Rosamilio/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Living off the grid is not easy.  If anything, it’s an incredibly hard way to live.  But I have learned from people I know, research I’ve done, that once you become acquainted with this way of living, 9 times out of 10, you will NEVER want to go back to a modern way of living.  

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(Emma Orbach from Wales – who left her life to live a more primitive way – though this is a more severe way of off-grid living, it suits her and she is happier than ever)

Why are so many people wanting to walk away from modern living?  Well, money is the biggest issue I’ve learned.  With poverty at an all-time high, people are searching endlessly for more sufficient ways to live, as well as finding ways to “have” things without having the almighty bill that undoubtedly comes with it.  

 Going back as far as the 70’s and 80’s, society labeled these types of people as nomads or new age hobos. But these people were actually pioneers. They alone inspired a current day revolution of self-sustainability.

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(what society thinks people who live off-grid look like)

Now we have hobby farms, organic micro-farms, and real life community CSA’s.  Homesteads and Small-Holdings are popping up all around the world, with people looking for ways to get back to the land.

(modern day off-grid living)

Walking away from the modern way is hard.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, either.  It’s a 24 hour 7 days a week job. It’s hard work, but its also truly inspirational work. I’ve learned that camping is a good way to start to understand, even going as far as bushcrafting, which is a severe and incredibly primitive form if camping. Either one, though, can help a person learn pretty fast what it’s like to not have those modern conveniences at the ready.

(Shameless plug for two of my favorite people in the world, Colette and Jacqui – go visit them at http://www.bealtainecottage.com and http://www.themoonmother.net)

Living off the grid can also get messy for those used to living in a stark clean home. Usually with self-sustainable living, especially in a temperate climate like where we live (Southeastern Pennsylvania), the home and the land need to be constantly kept up and maintained, something that is usually unheard up in the modern world. It’s only modern normalcy to be able to get up in the morning, turn on the bathroom light, go to the bathroom, take a shower, blow your hair dry, get dressed and go down stairs to make yourself a cup a coffee, microwave a quick breakfast sandwich, jump in your car and drive to work. Come home, make dinner through either your microwave or stove, eat and watch TV or play on your computer, until it’s time for bed.  This is precisely what life looks like for millions of people, myself included.  People who live off grid have a different day:

They wake up and turn on their lights that are powered from the solar panels on their property. They sit and do their business on the toilet, but instead of flushing, they pick up some sawdust and throw it into the toilet bowl, because their toilet is a compost toilet, and not hooked up to the sewer. Compost toilet waste goes right into the compost, which is a widely used tool for feeding and fertilizing the soil. They go to wash themselves up, either by a water filtration system hooked up from the rain collected or from the well on their property.  Some of them have gray water systems, meaning all that water doesn’t go down into pipes, but buckets or an output filtration system, that feeds back into the land on the property. They go downstairs and light the fire on their wood burning stove or they at least stoke it, since many people use their stove as a heating system and boiler for hot water. They cook their breakfast over their stove, and they are off to work.  

(Simon Dale’s Welsh Earth Home…Brilliant and completely off grid!)

But here’s where it gets truly revolutionary: Their office is a mere few feet away, since their “job” is working the land.

The job can be looked upon as basic farming: Tending the livestock like the goats, ducks and/or chickens, since these three animals are the main animals used in urban farming today.  Goats provide milk, which provides essentials like cheese, milk, kefir grains, while chickens and ducks provide eggs and for some farmers, meat.

(I admit, I’m obsessed with farm animals)

So here’s the thing. I have been talking to my husband and my son about the possibility of starting small.  When your electric bill is over $200 in a given month, your sewer and trash bill is almost $300/quarter, $250 for cable and internet, you know you need to make changes.  Our carbon footprint is rather deep and it’s important for me to stop that.  Honestly, if I could get rid of my toilets and just have a compost toilet, or get rid of our big refrigerator and just get a mini fridge, I’d do it in a heartbeat, but I also need to consider my loved ones who might not be too keen.  When dealing with family you live with that like the conveniences, I may have to Tai Chi the situation and approach things delicately. Going off grid, or partially off-grid (since it is illegal in my town to go 100%), is not for the faint of heart.  It takes careful consideration and a hell of a lot of patience.  Even as I am typing this, my heart races because the thought of walking away from conveniences terrifies me.  But continuing to live in debt terrifies me more. I know when my boys are out of the house and on their own, it will be easier for my husband and I to live this way, so for now, we are taking baby steps necessary to get to our goals.

Last year when we moved, I made a promise to myself that in ten years, I will be living the life I promised myself. And that it would be happy, healthy, and all around amazing not just for me, but for my family.  I want to teach them about how much we waste and how we have the power to stop it.  We all have the power!  Start out small.

(for me, it will be rain barrels, solar panels and a polytunnel)

Imagine this: the next time you want to throw something plastic in the trash rather than in the recycling bin, remember this: that piece of plastic could take up to 100 years to deteriorate. And there is a very high chance that piece of plastic will be eaten by an animal who will think it’s food, and that animal will die.  Every time we don’t recycle, or just “throw” things away, we are setting up for the future of our children and grandchildren. This is the hard truth we as a society have to face.  No more excuses.  We have become so incredibly lazy that we are killing the only planet we know we live on.  If we kill Mother Earth, where do you think we’re going to go?

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See, this is the stuff I think about when I wake up in the middle of the night.  And knowing that, know that the time is now to make the change.

(Harsh truths of the world. These are recent photos)

It starts with something small.  I’ve been recycling for many years now. I turn off my lights when I am not needing them on. I turn off the TV when it’s not being used.  I garden. I make some of my medicines and teas that I drink. I eat organic food.  I’m TRYING to stop eating meat.

But I can do more.  And now it’s time to do so.  Are you ready to make the change?

Web Series – Day 2 of Spirit – What is your favorite myth/story/folklore?

Fantasy__038816_Well, this is quite an easy question.  The story told by J. R. R. Tolkien, the one so many of us know from the movies, is my favorite by far.  The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is by far my most favorite story of all time.  For me, it represents life itself.  We have the good people, broken down into many facets:  The prideful ones, the hard working ones, the peaceful ones, etc….We have the bad people, the ones bred with no conscious, the ones manipulated by the seduction of power.  And then, my personal favorite, the innocent ones.  These are the ones that live their life by LIVING their life:  Through working hard, and enjoying the benefits of their hard work.  The Hobbits are my favorite beings in the world.  The live in an eternal spring, surrounded by lush forests, flowers, farms, animals, lakes and rivers, with beautiful skies by day, and partying under the skies at night.  They eat, drink, and overall just be HAPPY.  Sure, could they be called gluttons?  Yes. But I would never see it that way.  The Hobbits clearly love who they are and enjoy every moment of their day.  They live to celebrate.  And that is why so many people feel the Hobbits are the most enduring creatures of the fictional world. 

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party tree

But really, are they fictional?  Do they HAVE to be fictional?  I look upon the bohemians of today, the hippies of the new world, and see they don’t live far too from the way the Hobbits live.  Bare feet, comfy clothes, relaxing and taking in the beauty of the world, instead of fighting against those who want to see it barren. 

party

I believe we are all on a journey.  When we signed up for this life, we had purposes we have to fulfil.  Whether it is to help to fight in taking down the powerful, or protecting the innocent, to those who inspire and become muses for others by showing how we CAN live in a peaceful place.  I found that is where I belong.  I decorate my house with colorful and spiritual décor, having no qualms whatsoever on what matches.  Honestly I don’t care.  So what if I have a beautiful winter picture hanging up next to my Spring flowers?  Or displaying candle holders without candles in them!  The truth is, I was raised to fight for what I want.  And yes, I will continue to do so.  But that is not what my life is fully about.  My life is about celebration, about being quiet when no one is around, about cooking and baking and sharing in my happiness.  My poor soles of my feet are so worn from how tough they are from walking barefoot most of my life.  I wear peasant skirts and scarves, funky hats and jewelry.  I love creating things for people and planting food I will eat at the table.  I love to be surrounded by wildflowers and unmanicured gardens that don’t have a care in the world.  I learned about this lifestyle from the very story that Professor Tolkien told.

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It’s who I am and I look forward to growing old being merry and eating 2nd breakfasts and having tea time.  I am the Bohemian Hobbit and I thank J. R. R. Tolkien’s story for helping me find the life I want to lead. 

How I Became the Bohemian Hobbit.

430554_3270196878974_73794714_nOver the summer I had to come to terms with some things that I didn’t want to admit to. Sure, I was sure proud of myself for where I had finally found myself weight-wise, but the emotions and psychological changes in me were not what I was expecting to deal with. I knew there would be some, but not at the rate I was expecting. Nevertheless, I found myself at a bit of a crossroads and needed to make some continued decisions regarding my health.

Admitting after working so hard to get to a goal that you now have a chronic pain that resulted in the surgery you voluntarily had to fix a problem was definitely a struggle in itself. My anxiety went through the roof from the pain I was constantly in. The pain would keep me up in night, from my low back, legs, hips, you name it, there was pain. I kept it hidden well through some good pain medication I had from my surgery, as well as taking copious amounts of Alleve, to the point of drinking a glass of wine each night to give myself a buzz, alleviating some of the pain.

I went to my Doctor’s, because I was truly concerned something was wrong. Sadly, my doctor decided to diagnose me with a psychological condition that was so farce I couldn’t even explain it! Speaking with family and friends, they were appalled by the lack of research and how my doctor, who has known me since I was 13, could easily diagnose me so quickly with this issue at 40 years old by just listening to me talk about my pain. Needless to say, I have not been back to him, and am looking into a new doctor. I hate parting with him, but his answers are always “take more medicine”, and I realize I was taking more pills than I was taking anything else. I was on two types of anxiety/sleep aids, thyroid medication, allergy medication, and an endless array or RX and OTC pain medication. When I got on Juice Plus, I finally was able to say goodbye to the majority of the medications, but the pain and a little anxiety was still there. I started doing research, and I came across a neat little plant called Kratom. Kratom (Mitrogyna Speciosa) is a Pacific-Asian plant native to countries like Borneo, Thailand and Bali. Its medicinal properties can be traced between caffeine and/or Opium, but of course without the Opiates. It’s a pure and natural plant that actually is relative to the coffee plant we all know and love. When I found that it was legal in most of the United States, let alone Pennsylvania, I was eager to try. It usually comes in a powdered form, almost the consistency of flour, and it smells just like tea. I found a Vendor down in Texas, who was very kind and understanding in my needs. You cannot buy this at any store, as it is not approved by the FDA. In fact, some vendors, in fear of the FDA trying to take this plant away from society, will put “Not to be used for consumption” on their labels. How sad has our world become that we’ve become so fear-based?

The moment I started taking Kratom, things began to change. My perception of life changed quickly. I became more realistic about life, without losing my rose-colored glasses of hope I always seem to wear. I found a different type of peace within me that I never had before. I mean, sure, for the last three years I had a peace that I was making right decisions with my life, regardless of how others felt, but this was different. I felt…peace. Within my peace. Does that make sense? I noticed I started paying more attention to color more. I have found myself wearing different colors like aqua, pink, purple, lots of pastels. It’s like I found a little hippy inside of me, dying to come out to make change with the world. Instead, she made change with me. The anxiety went away. The pain went away. And so, the little bohemian hobbit awoke. I close my eyes more, but not to block anything out, more importantly, to envision what I hope for my life and those around me. I was driving this morning to work, and I found even on the busiest of roads in my area, I was so focused on the colors of the sky, and how they reflected off the cars in front of me. So much color in this world and I only saw a select few. Now, an array of color almost overwhelms my life, but I accept it with humbled gratitude. I listen to my female folk music radio station, and think about being outside more, think about the wonderful things that will happen in the next year. And my heart just overflows! I know that sounds so freaking sappy and I get it, many people are not where I am at in their life and they are quite happy with not only their presence in life, but with their position they hold with society. Hey, we are all on a journey, and I will never ever again thwart someone’s journey for the sake of hoping they followed mine. How many years have I spent trying to get people to UNDERSTAND me, when in fact it was my job to make sure I UNDERSTAND me!

I just had a cup of my Kratom tea, and the almost euphoric feeling comes over me with excitement that today we close another chapter in the lives of those who managed to make it through the year. I applaud each and every one of you – we did it!

And as I prepare to spend a fun evening with some people in my little community, I know I am walking into the New Year with a positivity I’ve never had before. And the motivation to spread the love around, like a true bohemian would.

Love, Peace, Macaroni and Cheese, and most of all, have a ROCKIN’ New Year!

Bridget

Hello…

13008_370339603096015_1639333944_nThree weeks from today I am going to be 41 year old. And boys does it feel good. Never in my life did I think that being in my 40’s would be so refreshing. My 20’s were ridiculously awkward, followed by a decade of challenges and obstacles that looking back now, may I never ever have to go through again.

Why does it feel so good to be older? Maybe it has something to do with that thing called wisdom, that I may or may not have yet. I do know, that coming clean with your truth and following your bliss can make anyone’s life awesome. And I do believe that you need wisdom to be have that privilege. Nevertheless, here I am, on the cusp on moving up the ladder of the 40-something woman. I’m getting married in a few months, my son preparing for his teenage years, and life as I know it is not what it was a year ago. A year ago I began a community to help people with their spirituality and gaining prospective of their life. A group of 30 people now, we are a wonderful and tight-knit family. People I can go to outside my own blood relations when life-events, emotions and other sorts are unavailable for advice from that part of my inner circle. It’s nice having people you can trust and feel you belong to something, even if it was me who formed it. I feel my life is becoming more fulfilled, and each day becomes another adventure in finding myself.

So, hence the title of my site. Living my life the way I love, with my family and friends in my quaint little digs I call my home.

Hope you enjoy my musings.

Bridget