Wednesday, September 16, 2009


...30 Years TodayClick on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom
Peg and I are celebrating our 30th Anniversary today.
And just how are we celebrating it?
By immersing ourselves in the common everyday beauty of our simple fragile lives, by taking an early morning walk with our beloved Dallas, and, by sharing a delicious home-cooked breakfast together out on the junk-shop patio before we get back to work painting the house and cleaning up the yard in preparation for winter...
To live a life of voluntary simplicity, "Simple in Means, but Rich in Ends", to borrow a phrase from the Deep Ecology movement, has been our goal for many years, and our commitment to that ideal strengthens with each passing day.
Extravagance and consumerism are not habits either of us find attractive, sustainable, or rewarding, but we did purchase a gift for ourselves which is in harmony with what we've accomplished thus far in our lifestyle changes.
Peggy has been researching Haybox Cooking and I've decided to build one for us in the very near future. So we bought ourselves a new Lodge cast iron 5 quart Dutch Oven (regularly $43.99, on sale for $26.99, with free shipping) which will be ideal for use with a Haybox.
Thirty Years...
...and you got Peggy a dutch oven???
Exactlioto Quasimoto, Peggy is the frugal one in our household, and I would've been in hot water had I gone out and squandered a wad of money on some lavish gift. Peggy is extremely down to earth and I really love that about her.
Remember, it was her idea to get rid of the car almost 13 years ago.
Thank goodness, because I wouldn't be the least bit interested in, or compatible with, a 'Material Girl'.
And tonight, after the day's work is finished, we'll be enjoying a nice hot bath together, a little massage, and then, who knows???

...another anniversary gift

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2009 jim otterstrom
Shortly before 7 A.M., during our walk this morning, three Great Blue Herons were congregating near the footbridge, two of them sitting on the railing. As we approached I was taking pictures and two of the giant birds flew off before I was close enough for a good shot. But this one here allowed me to get within 12 feet or so, staying there for a good long time while I snapped pictures and Peggy & Dallas looked on.
It's rare for a heron in the wild to allow a human to get this close, let alone two humans with a big black dog.
A gift indeed!!!

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Blogger Deb said...

Congratulations Jim & Peggy! :)

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

Happy Anniversary and congratulations!

Love you guys!

1:45 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Happy anniversary and congratulations! We share your anniversary date and celebrated our 30th anniversary last year with a fantastic 3 week holiday exploring Oregon and Northern California. Last night was a gentler celebration where my husband cooked supper which we shared once I'd finished work and then finished teaching piano for the evening. We're nowhere down the simplicity road yet, but maybe will be in the future after we both retire and don't have dependent children and parents relying on us.

3:16 AM  
Anonymous kiwi said...

Happy Anniversary you two!

4:05 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Deb, Bill, and kiwi-



Well, a belated happy 31st to you and your husband too!

We didn't really start focusing on lives of voluntary simplicity until 1992, when we had a big earthquake here that destroyed most of our dishes and many of our kitchen appliances too.

We've always been ecologically minded and realized the waste of replacing these fragile items, or those designed with planned obsolescence in mind, over & over again was not in harmony with our long term goal of reducing our destructive impact on the planet.

So, we made a list of all the appliances and gewgaws we could live comfortably without, and never replaced them. And some of the stuff that made it through the quake, like the breadmaker, we just sold because it no longer fit the lifestyle we wanted to move toward.

Little by little we trimmed our needs to closer align with our philosophies but we couldn't find our way to getting rid of the car until about 3 years before I retired.

Same reasons as you, kids & family, but once we could manage it we started down a path which has only become more defined over the years.

We are completely and humbly committed to enjoying simple lives rooted in the qualitative aspects of life instead of pursuing the quantitative materialism of an obsolete economic system based on unlimited growth on a finite planet as our species descends into endless resource wars.

Our understanding of the present human predicament ever deepens, and our response to this dire and unsolvable situation is to simply reduce our consumption as much as possible, and we still have a long long way to go.

But, the more people who make these kinds of changes, the longer the diminishing resources we have will hold out, and the less suffering our descendants will have to endure as our civilization continues it's inevitable decline.

Thanks for dropping by and good luck with your simplicity endeavors.


10:57 AM  
Blogger Gardenmaster said...

(trying again without typos, this time...!) Congratulations on your anniversary! A big thuree-zero! You guys rock! david

6:40 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hey David-

How are you?

I've not been very good at keeping up with comments here lately, it's been a really busy summer, but I'm honored that you're still checking in on us now & then.

Thanks for the anniversary wishes!!!

8:40 PM  
Blogger anna maria said...

Happy anniversary and congratulations! Love the photo of the two of you.

9:25 PM  
Blogger gfid said...

Happy anniversary, Peggy & Jim. you're an inspiration and an encouragement to those of us still trying to get to that place of simplicity. many blessings.

7:29 AM  
Blogger roger said...

happy anniversary!! a perfectly wonderful way to spend the day together.

2:45 PM  
Blogger David said...

happy day. many more happy years to you!

8:09 PM  
Blogger Linda Navroth said...

Congratulations to the most beautiful couple ever. You two have made a wonderful life together, living the way everyone should live; with simplicity and love. I feel like I've gotten to know the two of you over these past couple years of reading your blog posts, like freinds I've never met. You inspire me and renew my faith in human beings.
Again, congratulations and may you have many more years of happiness together!

8:15 AM  
Blogger CatHerder said...

Sorry I missed your anniversary post!!! My husband and I have been together since 1981, its not often people are still together as many years as you have, and still actually "like" each other. Kudos to you..congratulations :-) and many many many more

4:19 AM  
Blogger Birsen Şahin said...

A belated happy anniversary and congratulations Jim and Peg.

By the time it seems cold over there.

I'm at the aegean cost where I bought a house and its sunny here, my eggplants, peppers, tomatos are still living. And roses offcourse.

Very sunny and hot whether here, and am still swimming.

God bless you

3:33 PM  
Blogger Lené Gary said...

Happy Anniversary, Jim & Peggy! I love the Dutch Oven gift idea. :)

Toasting to the love you inspire in others by way of sharing your story and the love that you share. :)

6:39 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Congratulations! Wishing you another 30.

10:29 AM  
Blogger clairesgarden said...

many blessings to Jim and Pegy!!

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Anniversary Jim & Peg, Only a few months till our 30th. It's easy when your in love.
Pam & Craig

4:27 PM  
Blogger tansy said...

happy anniversary!

lol, i'm the same as peggy! any time greg buys me something frivolous, i rake him through the coals, poor guy.

i think he does it now to annoy me. :D

2:28 PM  

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