Dollars and Sense

It is true I have a long walk up a steep mountain trail to reach my property, but once I am there I have little reason to leave. I have found community in this remote mountain valley. There are always people about.

Our activities center on the land and there are few mechanical or electronic distractions. There is electricity here but it doesn’t seem to be used for much other than lighting and radios.

The villagers who have tried televisions have given them away, saying they are not good for their families. The men enjoy television while the soccer tournaments are being played, but they don’t like their wives watching soap operas.

So let’s talk about the dollars it takes to live somewhere like this:

I have purchased one-quarter acre of land, half of which is under cultivation. Half of the land is flat and ready for a small home. Water comes from a small spring above that also irrigates the property. The land is costing me less than $2000 USD.

I have a small window of time to put all this together. We have mild weather here, but we do have Seasons. The Rainy Season is not that far away and I must get my new adobe home under roof before the wet weather begins again.

My home will have a quarried stone floor, fireplace, and adobe walls on the ground level. The roof area of the house will be of an a-frame design and house my bedroom. The upper level will have a small porch that will overlook the lake and great the rising morning sun.

The water I drink from the spring that feeds the property needs no filtration; it is that pure. My property has never known chemical fertilizers.

Half of my land is in fruit (orange and apple), avocado, and bananas trees. Coffee trees grow below the fruit trees above. Squash and beans carpet the ground. In addition to all this my neighbors grow organic corn and a hundred different fruits and vegetables I can’t even name yet.

There are nuts and berries free for the gathering on the surrounding hillsides. Beyond a few staples, there is little I need carry in. Chickens will arrive when I have the coup build. My food will now come almost exclusively from my land and the village.

Fresh baked bread, tortillas, and fish are delivered to my door by local venders; yet my food costs are now less than $10 a week.

I can also build my basic home here for about $1000 USD. The adobe blocks will be made from clay on my land by local labor.

It feels like I have my bases covered and I am doing this on a retirement income of $1000 USD a month. This works for me because I love to live rustically. I love the sound of the rivers, the mountains, and the lake being in my life.

And now the Mayan village people are becoming more real to me. They are the people who live in the remote villages and who are little touched by the outside world. It is good to meet them.

Smiles. ET

Published in: on December 8, 2008 at 8:11 pm  Comments (1)  
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Looking Life Over

Simple changes are having an enormous impact on my life. Having Internet at the house, staying home more, cooking for myself and so many other little changes have caused an obvious difference in my Lifestyle.

Some insights have appeared along my path to change. I found that in fact I was bored to the point of distraction. I distracted myself with blogging for six months. I thought that if I was doing something I loved, it would bear good fruit.

The fruit it bore was totally unexpected. I have learned that I have become absolutely bored. My boredom was causing me to go out of balance.

It was the imbalance that was creating the discomfort in my life, and it was escalating. I was literally numbing myself out for hours a day in front of the computer screen.

Wishing to have a quality blog, and possibly one that could create income, I spent a lot of money buying various services and information. It was the same old story from years ago. You can spend many dollars on the Internet chasing a little bit of income.

I spend less time writing now, and am enjoying the time I spend on the Internet more. I have found an online simulation game that is fun and keeps me alert when I am online.

Sticking to the websites where I play, also keeps me away from reading the news in detail. That alone is a quality of life improvement.

Life is about change, but I have learned to do change in small doses.

I no longer need chaos in my life to get me moving in a new direction. All that is necessary is to feel that twinge of discomfort that comes with being out of balance and I am ready to look for alternatives.

I once read that it got so boring in Heaven that eighty percent of the Angels left Heaven to create the Life we now experience in this reality. Strange how Perfect can become boring when there is nothing new to experience.

Smiles. ET

Published in: on August 22, 2008 at 11:11 pm  Comments (3)  
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Why Smoke?

After fifty years of smoking tobacco in various forms, I finally figured out why I like to smoke. I smoke to distract myself. I am bored. I fidget. I am oral in my fixations. I smoke tobacco., because I enjoy it.

I really like to smoke my pipes. I have a Meerschaum pipe collection approaching a dozen pipes. They are beautifully carved and darken with age. I have had some of these pipes for over twenty years.

Smoking began for me about the age of 12. I would hide my Camels in my newspaper box under the old papers. The box was dark blue, and was located under a huge Oak tree at the corner where I caught the school bus.

I have always smoked the stronger brands of tobacco. Every time I tried to stop smoking I gained 15 founds. By age forty-five I was big-time stressed, greatly overweight, and hit the floor with a massive heart attack.

After my heart surgery I had a difficult time not smoking. That is when I found pipe smoking. I found an article in the New England Journal of Medicine stating that pipe smoking did not present additional risk for cancer, especially mouth cancer.

There is an art to pipe smoking and it is fun to learn. You fidget a lot with a pipe. It distracts you when it goes out, or clogs. You learn to keep it clean. It covers my oral fixations quite nicely.

A pipe covers all the reasons I enjoy smoking. It also removes the biggest problem associated with smoking. When you smoke a pipe:

You do not inhale pipe smoke.

And that is why pipe smoking works. You get to play with your pipes and tobacco; you get to smoke, but you break your addiction to tobacco by not inhaling.

An addiction happens when we over-do a behavior chasing the positive side of the experience. When we over-do an experience, it throws our life out of balance. To overcome an addiction, we need to make peace with it. We need to bring the behavior back in balance.

I have not given up sugar, alcohol, or tobacco in my life. I have brought them back in balance. I enjoy the positive parts of my relationship with these chemicals, but I always seek to minimize there negative consequences on my health.

It all comes down to balance.

Smiles. ET

Published in: on July 12, 2008 at 11:53 pm  Comments (2)  
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Me and the Internet

It has become very clear to me that my life is directed by the choices I make. I am watching those choices more closely.

Roses also have thorns

Roses also have thorns

I know that my thoughts and actions put energy into Life. I am a part of the total mix. I contribute to it, and am affected by all that happens in my life as a result.

I know that I can choose to see things differently. When I do this my experience becomes different. What I focus on, I give my energy to. This energy exchange compounds when I resist what I see.

I do not choose to resist, but rather to see things differently.

I see the Internet as the potential for free expression of thought and commerce. I also see the efforts being made by those who wish to stiffle the Internets’ spontaneous growth.

Those who feel a need to control the Internet for their own purposes, are driven by the fear it will loosen their control over the world they perceive. That may be true. The Internet has the potential to change everything.

The Internet has the potential to grant worldwide Freedom of thought and information exchange. It also has the potential for the control of all that information.

I am surprised no one sees the sleeping Dragon in our midst. It currently directs 80% of the traffic on the Internet. It controls what you see and where you are directed for information.

A twitch and whole continents no longer communicate. Talk of the “wrong” subjects, and your blog can be erased, or traffic misdirected in an instant.

The sleeping Dragon acts without conscience. Few see how easily it can be misdirected even in its slumber.

CERN is currently creating what they call a Virtual Internet. It will gather the Internet under one controlling system worldwide. The Virtual Internet is being brought online now and will be fully functional by 2012.

The software is already created that will know in an instant anything and everything about anyone. Who will control the Future Internet and the software directing it is yet to be seen.

I choose to support Open Source software and the enterprises it has spawned. I believe that the free sharing of ideas for a common good provides more benefit than profits for a few.

My energies are now directed toward supporting this free flow of information on the Internet. I see a need for the balance of information exchange and commerce within the worldwide Internet community.

I direct my energies toward seeking a more perfect balance in my Internet experience, because my Internet experience is a large part of my current life experience.

I prefer happy experiences, and I hope that is what your Internet hours bring you as well.

Smiles. ET

Published in: on July 7, 2008 at 2:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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Love Breaks Rules

 Love Two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Normally I would expect that if I put a piglet in a tigers’ cage, I  have provided the tiger a snack. Put five piglets in the tigers’ cage and I have taken care of dinner. In my mind that is a high probability outcome, so I made it a rule.

Over time, I have noticed that there is one thing that will blow my rules out of the water when it enters the mix.

It is called Love.

Love Three

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are occasions when this is very easy to see. It just takes the right mix of circumstances.

A tiger with a broken heart, is a different tiger.

She is not hungry. She is depressed. She is making herself sick with her grief.

She has prematurely lost three cubs.

Into that void enters Love in a very special way.

It brings together piglets who need a mom, and a mom who needs to Love some babies.

                                                                                                                     

Love One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is nice to be reminded occasionally, how easy it is for Love to break the rules I assign to Life.

These pictures were taken In California, went to Anne in England, on to her brother Andy in Australia, and then to me in Guatemala. They have now reached you.

Love does break rules. It can show up anywhere. May it bless your Life today.

Smiles. ET

Published in: on June 27, 2008 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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