Today I was reminiscing about how much easier it was to be alive in the 70’s. It was easier to earn enough money to have food and fuel. And therefore easier to go on the road and explore. It’s hard to believe how different we have become since then. Everything costs more….and not just because of inflation. People have to work longer hours to afford the basics of life like food, shelter and transportation. It gets harder and harder to grow your own food, build your own shack and have a simple vehicle. Now we are swamped in regulations. Granted, some are for our own good.

It is very difficult to just wander off somewhere and provide for yourself. It can still be done, but you usually have to stay under the radar and break about a zillion rules and regulations to do it. I feel sorry for people unable to start from scratch, using their brains and bodies to build up a comfortable life. A comfortable life should not depend on accruing heaps of debt for education, housing and transportation before you even get started. Makes me sad 😦

I loved the Mother Earth News plus Rodale’s Organic Gardening & Farming magazines. Both were cool in the 70’s and deteriorated sharply in the 80’s. People stopped wanting truly simple and instead wanted consumer simple. The heck with growing your own organic food…join a CSA. Don’t build your own house, have it designed and constructed. As things became more technologically advanced, there was less we could fix ourselves. Municipalities made front yard gardens illegal. Home owners associations made about everything illegal. TV news became more and more sensationalized and kept people scared so they felt they must move into gated communities for safety.

Pot became very illegal. People then drank more or took drugs. They could no longer afford their own shack, so they stole more often….and did even more substances because they had less and less hope. It became is viscious circle, the more some folks felt economic despair, the deeper the addictions. People with money found ways to capitalize on the fears of others. We fought wars to keep producing more and more and more consumer goods. It was a constant battle to procure enough oil, gas, coal and nuclear power. Eventually it was just way cheaper to manufacture most everything overseas.

As laws were passed mandating certain building codes and zoning, shelter costs went up. No longer could you start out in something affordable and work up, you had to start with something expensive.

I like these quotes:

In the March–April, 1975 issue of the Mother Earth News Magazine, Issue No. 32, John Shuttleworth said: “For at least 20 years now, I’ve been getting an increasingly uncomfortable suspicion that all the major nations of the world — capitalist and communist — suffer from the narrow delusion that only people, and people alone, have any rights on this planet. Further, that human wants, needs, and desires — seemingly the more capricious the better — should be instantly gratified. And further still, that this can always be done in a strictly economic frame of reference.

“In short, I think that we live in an unbelievably marvelous Garden of Eden. Surrounded by miraculous life forms almost without number. Kept alive by a mysteriously interwoven, self-replenishing support system that, with all our scientific ‘breakthroughs,’ we still do not understand.

“And yet, as favored as we are by all this real wealth, we somehow perversely prefer to spend almost all waking hours interpreting the sum total of this reality in terms of the narrow and distorted, strictly human-centered concept of money.” 

In 1979, former TMEN editor Bruce Woods and two other employees bought the magazine from the Shuttleworths. The magazine morphed into crap for yuppies 😦 I switched to reading BackHome, Countryside and Backwoods Home. Then BackHome got yuppified, too. Backwoods Home became crazy right-winged. Still good info, but some of the politics are sure not mine. I wrote for Countryside sometimes. Since I left homesteading in 2005, I have not kept up. The computer changed everything. No need to wait a month or months for the next fix, just join groups and the info is spontaneous. I am not sure if people have less common sense nowadays or if old age has just left me impatient with idiots. The quality of online info isn’t great and can be downright harmful if followed. Ahhhh….I see BackHome folded in 2014. There’s still a dormant FB page, though. What about Countryside? Hey! They still exist!

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Now what I have discovered online, is that there are way more wanna-bees than doers, who do the talking. I always found that ironic. Whenever I was most involved in homesteading or camping or van dwelling, I did not have as much chance to write about it. I was busy! It has taken time for technology to go from dial-up modems to mifi and wifi. The first time we went on the road with a computer, it was a desktop with a humongous monitor, keyboard, tower and printer that took up one whole piece of furniture and a heck of a lot of bungee cords to keep it all safe….along with at least a hundred feet of phone cord to sign on :-p You can imagine that it was not easy to find a willing phone owner 🙂

Soooo….my arm does not hurt as much today. If I had the strength, I would jump up and down while whooping and hollaring. OMG, that was intense pain! Now when I forget and try to use my arm, I only whimper, not scream, well…softer screams anyways. But….I still cannot lift my arm up or do much of anything with it. Today a friend knocked on the door while I was putting away dishes with my left hand. After he got what he came to borrow, I went back to the dishwasher and grabbed a bowl with my right hand. Crash! I lifted it maybe 4″ and there was zero strength in my hand. Sigh…..I never learn.

I was looking up about hernias for someone else. When I read this, I had one answer about my arm. I have known all along that my connective tissue diseases weakened my fascia, causing the hernia. What’s new to me is reading about the elastin as a component of ligaments. Makes sense. I have darn high inflammation markers.

A connective tissue disease is any disease that has the connective tissues of the body as a target of pathology. Connective tissue is any type of biological tissue with an extensive extracellular matrix that supports, binds together, and protects organs. These tissues form a framework, or matrix, for the body, and are composed of two major structural protein molecules: collagen and elastin. There are many different types of collagen protein in each of the body’s tissues. Elastin has the capability of stretching and returning to its original length—like a spring or rubber band. Elastin is the major component of ligaments (tissues that attach bone to bone) and skin. In patients with connective tissue disease, it is common for collagen and elastin to become injured by inflammation. Many connective tissue diseases feature abnormal immune system activity with inflammation in tissues as a result of an immune system that is directed against one’s own body tissues (autoimmunity).

The 2 quotes in tonight’s blog are from Wikipedia.

I wish I could stop being so dizzy! When my friend knocked, I opened the door, swaying all over the place. He kept trying to get my walker to me, even though I politely declined. It was on the other side of the dishwasher. I wedged myself in a 90 degree angle part of the kitchen counter and held on for dear life. Even though I have spent hours talking to him from my wheelchair while being dizzy, he never saw me standing like that. I seem to be freaking everybody out with those rolling eyeballs. It’s both amusing and scary to watch people’s reaction to me.

I hope Monday is a day of even more improvement!