Friday, April 22, 2005

More on Money

"One of the most troubling characteristics of the specialist mentality is its use of money as a kind of proxy, its willingness to transmute the powers and functions of life into money. "Time is money" is one of the axioms and the source of many evils-among them the waste of both time and money."

Wendell Berry

As I have stated before, I think our culture has a screwed up view of the importance of money and its proper place in the decisions we make. No matter what people say, they live as though money can buy happiness.

One thing that always puzzles me is the "child limiters". I often talk to folks who make 40 or $50,000 a year who can't "afford" more than 2 or 3 children. My first thought is " Oh ye of little faith". One has to start off with the notion that God is not bigger than money. He can feed the sparrows but not His people? When they hear my thoughts on "birth control" they think I'm a nut. Here is a guy who is lucky to clear $10,000 a year who is willing to have 12 kids if it be the Lord's will.

Moderns have trouble entertaining themselves without money. They spend their whole lives trying to buy "virtual happiness". I have to chuckle when when people I know are agonizing over the sacrifice of getting "basic cable" instead of the "premium". I often get asked "How do you live on such little money?" What they usually mean is how can you be happy without money. I find Joy and Happiness in the Lord Jesus Christ and His creation. I enjoy the "simple things" you might say. So here is a list of a few things that I enjoy that don't cost a dime.....

  1. Hill top sunsets
  2. Watching and hearing birds
  3. Watching a baby calf learn to walk
  4. A family stroll through the woods
  5. Studying God's Word
  6. Tilling the soil
  7. Weeding
  8. Naps under maples and oaks
  9. Berry Picking and eating
  10. A hard days work-----if you don't enjoy work, get another job.

This is not a complete list by any means. Heck I didn't even mention the smell of fresh cut hay or playing with babies! It is not meant to be Your List , make your own. You know what, I don't even like lists. I'm just attempting to get you thinking about it a little.


At 4/22/2005 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you never heard of O'Toole's axiom, "One child is never enough but two is too many."

I personally like children they are quite tasty.

At 4/22/2005 4:25 PM, Blogger Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

Scott, the trouble with your blog is that you make me want to move to NH to live with my mom in her 200-year-old house on Fairview Farm. There's so much about that arrangement that attracts me. The only problem is not having a decent church close enough.

Actually, there's a worse problem that afflicts me wherever I am: my appalling lazinesss. There your blog is an encouragement to me as I find myself wanting to be the sort of person who would delight in the simple, daily labor you write about.

At 4/22/2005 8:04 PM, Blogger trawlerman said...

I'll forgive you for not including beer anywhere on that list since there's no way to even make it yourself at the present for less than a dime, but you could have at least included some sort of moonshine or somethin'....!

At 4/23/2005 4:20 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...


Thank you for the kind words. Those 200 year old farmhouses are great. The amount of craftmenship and attention to detail they posses are sadly missing from todays homes. Don't let me misslead you, the farm life isn't all roses and no thorns. It is however the my favorite way to live. I think the scarcity of good churches prevents most of us from moving alot of places. It is what seperates me from Alaska. Its overpopulated with independent baptists and no good reformed churches at all. I wish someone would send some missionaries up there!


I spent a while trying to fit beer or moonshine in there. Problem is I haven't got to the point were I can make it without spending money. Homeade wine on the other hand I have and it should have been included.


At 4/23/2005 7:59 AM, Blogger Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

You must be thinking of some richer peoples' 200-year-old farmhouses. Ours is a ramshackle construction with nary a true right angle to be found!

At 4/23/2005 12:11 PM, Blogger reformed farmer said...

I didn't mean FANCY. Anything that lasts 200 years must be made by someone with craftsmenship! Some of my favorite barns are very simple and not too fancy but have stood the real test....Time


At 4/23/2005 3:46 PM, Blogger Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

Well...duct tape can hold things together, too, but I don't know as I'd call the use of it "craftsmanship." ;-)

What I'd really like to see is "Cloudlands," the house my g-g-g-g-g-grandfather built >200 years ago. It was an inn for a while, and is now a private home. Now that probably had some craftsmanship.

At 4/23/2005 11:30 PM, Blogger The BadgerMum said...

I can't believe you posted this. I was actually thinking about emailing you and asking how much you have to have to live the way you do, only I figured it would be really rude.

My problem is not so much trying to figure out how to be happy - we've never had cable, etc. - it's more wondering generally how to make ends meet - water, books, electricity, books, gasoline, books, groceries I can't raise, books, shoes, books... stuff like that. But then, we have an awful lot of debt from moving every two or three years, plus lots of plain old fashioned stupidity.

At 4/24/2005 3:31 PM, Blogger reformed farmer said...

Hey Kelly

Feel free to email me with any old question you have. I wouldn't have thought it rude. How to make ends meet is a good topic for us to disscuss here. Its a lot of little things really. And yes books are very important to us too! I'm no finiance expert by any means, but I can share what works for us. I think I'll do some posts on "Livin' on the Cheap". Stay tuned........


At 4/24/2005 8:03 PM, Blogger abigail said...

1-10. (Same's yours, except change "watching a calf learn to walk" to "watching a baby learn to walk".)
11. Garbage picking, accepting gifts, or freecycling for books, paper, and art supplies so that I can freely
12. read,
13. write,
14. and draw.
15. Singing
16. Picking preferably wild flowers (or swiping purposefully planted ones if no one's looking. Your stipulation was that the action be free, not that it be morally right)
17. Swimming in the Speonk sea or the horse pasture crick (as long as it's wet)
18. Climbing a tree until I'm too high up to remember
19. Smoothing the brow of one I love
20. Being outside when the wind's strength tears all words away

And millions more. It's good to be able to think of so many. And I just thought of something funny, Scott. You hate water and you hate wind. (You'd pass on some of my free favorites.)

At 4/25/2005 3:14 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...


Thanks for the ideas. Those are good. I also like picking wildflowers, in fact I did so Sunday morning on my way up the hill. I was able to get Leah flowers for her birthday(for free!) to compliment her new books. I look foward to your comments on my future posts on being a cheap and my wife are the queens of cheapville. Opps I better mention Mrs. Newman less she be offended. It seems all my friends married cheap girls.


At 4/25/2005 10:04 AM, Blogger abigail said...

I'm laughing especially at your last sentence. By "cheap girls", I certainly hope you mean we're thrifty and not that we're painted up like Ladies of the Night!

And as one Queen of Cheapville, I look forward to commenting on your post later.

Tell Leah happy birthday for me! I'd post it on her blog, but I bet she doesn't check it that often. Flowers and books. Y'done well, Scott.

At 4/25/2005 11:19 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...

You know my way with words :)

As soon as I posted that I thought "Oh no....I just implied they look like low end call girls."
Of course I ment you were THRIFTY.


At 10/14/2005 9:39 AM, Blogger Walter Jeffries said...

It is funny that people think children are so expensive. They aren't. Each of our children only added a tiny bit to our annual expenses and the return on investment is so great.


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