Much about my life goes against the grain of mainstream culture. But Jerry and I recently made a decision I didn’t think we ever would  - especially one I didn’t think he’d ever agree to.

We no longer have Internet service in our home.

We haven’t watched television for years. Our seven-year-old has no idea what Saturday morning cartoons are (or cartoons, period), or what latest Fisher Price toy or Sugar Bomb cereal he is supposed to want. We only just began watching movies with him on occasion when the weather is icky for at least two days in a row.

But before we moved, he had YouTube, and would watch it with some regularity – for a while, he was watching at least an hour a day of some nature program or other. He was, in fact, watching it with more regularity than I cared for. But what else could he do? A kid can only play with his toys for so long without getting bored, and our suburban backyard was the size of a postage stamp. Besides, he did learn a lot. And I needed a break in the afternoons.

But here on our rural property, Jerry is home full-time. We have five acres for Benjamin to play on, which includes many cedars and pines that are great for climbing, and his own small garden plot.

Most of all, our local small town is a mere five miles away, including a library with wireless Internet access. Originally, we were going to get satellite Internet. I secretly didn’t want to, for two reasons. First, we could do something more useful with $900 a year than have the world at our fingertips 24/7.

Second, back in the ‘burb Jerry had quit reading books for leisure and instead taken to spending way too much time reading useless (IMHO) articles online. This translated into both Benjamin and I getting frustrated because we weren’t getting the attention we needed (yes, needed, not wanted). Now, I understand that a person working a job he dislikes needs an outlet. But it got to be that he was almost addicted to it – every time he had (or perceived that he had) a free moment, he was browsing the Web.

After moving, I crunched some numbers and discovered that driving to the library twice a week would be half the cost of paying even the cheapest wireless Internet service, let alone satellite. I suggested to Jerry that we try going without home service for a while, and he was game – he likes to save money, too.

Almost three months later, we are still without Internet service. Kinda weird, considering I spent four years trying to make money online and still occasionally publish to Kindle. So, how’s it workin’ for us?

Advantages of going without home Internet service

  1. I already mentioned cost. What could you do with an extra $1,000 a year (gee, do I sound like an MLM salesperson)?
  2. We are saving on electricity.
  3. We are saving our brains, being forced to read, sing aloud, and play games together more. We also are encouraged to come up with our own solutions sometimes, because we can’t just run to the computer and find out how Joe Blow Expert is doing something.
  4. We are improving our health. No Internet on sunny days pushes us out the door, getting more fresh air, sunshine and exercise than Jerry and I have had since we were kids.
  5. We are saving space. Not having a satellite dish outside means I can grow an extra couple of mini-dwarf fruit trees, and not having wireless means we don’t need a modem or any other related accessory in the house.
  6. We are saving time. We honestly couldn’t tell you the last time we went to the Internet to research one question or watch one video, then spent the next two hours doing various and sundry things online to no important purpose.
  7. We are learning patience. If it’s not Monday or Thursday, we have to wait three to four days to find out the answer to our questions.
  8. Similarly, we are learning to get super-organized. I keep a running list of research questions, things to order, and blogs to visit while I’m at the library.

To sum, not having home Internet service saves money, time, and space; facilitates better physical health; and aids with personal growth.

The disadvantages

  1. YouTube is a great mode of learning – and we are still in the homestead learning mode, believe me! I have to admit I miss it.
  2. I have wait to publish blog posts, instead getting them online as soon as I write them.
  3. If I realize I’m almost out of something that I have been buying exclusively online, I can’t jump onto amazon and order it that moment. This means I risk running out of the thing well before the next one can arrive because I have to postpone the order. (This tends to be a supplement critical to my family’s health.)
  4. Sometimes, it’s just nice to be able to get a question answered right away.
  5. When you’re conducting business like selling your house (we closed at the end of March, hallelujah!) or selling a travel trailer (which I’m in the process of doing as I write these words), not having access to your e-mail 24/7 can be a pain and cause stress you might not have otherwise.
  6. It’s annoying to have to drive somewhere in order to do your online research and business. I feel like half our day is shot on days we drive to town to get online.
  7. When it’s cloudy in the mountains, the wireless is SLO-OW-OW. This makes the day seem even longer, and doing tasks like uploading videos to YouTube and ordering from amazon next to impossible. The good news is, the problem seems mostly relegated to really cold weather.
  8. Our library is not federally funded. So if it’s too cold, the little old ladies who run it won’t open it because of the heating costs. And if the roads are the slightest bit icy or snowy, they won’t show up (of course, we are unlikely to, as well, so that’s usually neither here nor there).
  9. E-mails pile up. Not usually a big deal, but when I need to put in an amazon order and do some time-consuming research, I don’t like to have to respond to personal e-mails.

Is the trade-off worth it?

There are definite trade-offs when you choose not to have home Internet. But then, isn’t that the case with every decision you make in life? Even though the list of disadvantages is slightly longer than the advantage list, Jerry and I believe the advantages carry a heavier weight and so have concluded – for this time in our life, anyway – we can do without it. Many of the programs Benjamin has watched on YouTube have been uploaded illegally, so it is actually more ethical just to buy the DVDs – which is what we are doing every few months. And he gets to watch an educational DVD once or twice a week.

Go ahead and call me crazy. Weird. Whatever. I’m used to it, and I’m happy.

Keep reading,

Emily Josephine

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Ready To Become “Crazy Simple”?

by Emily on February 13, 2014

I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath for me to come out with another masterpiece. ;) Perhaps you have despaired the possibility, knowing that my family has been in the middle of preparing to move.

Despite being busy with decluttering, packing, and going through with the actual move (yes, we are finally here, on our rural property!), I managed to complete a book about simple living: Crazy Simple: 307 Ways To Save Money, Your Health, And The Planet.

Too many of us are under constant stress, living busy lives that are, nevertheless, not at all fulfilling. We have gotten sucked into the mainstream way of living which presents lifestyle choices that are utterly unnatural and cause us to put money, possessions, and career above relationships, spiritual growth, and our dreams. They cause us to compromise our health and the health of Planet Earth. They give us the illusion of being free, while in reality we slip into increasingly tighter shackles of bondage with each passing day.

In Crazy Simple, I present other alternatives to living. The ideas run the gamut of mundane and mild, to extreme and what many might think borders on crazy. Probably a solid third of the ideas – at least – are ones which you could easily implement into your life today without having to make any major mental shifts. For example, eating natural food, choosing chemical-free household cleaning options, and trying out positive child discipline methods. Other ideas go to what most Westerners today consider extremes: doing laundry by hand, living in a tiny house, doing away with certain culturally required pieces of furniture.

The great thing about the book (if I do say so myself) is that it exists mainly to inspire and encourage you to take steps to simplify your life at whatever level you feel comfortable. There is, as I point out in the introduction, no “shoulding”. There is not arbitrary pathway to some ephemeral perfect existence.

Probably the most controversial idea in the book is that to have a truly simple life, one must have a personal relationship with the heavenly Father. Even then, the idea is offered on a take-it-or-leave it basis. I don’t try to “convert” or preach the Gospel.

If you feel constantly stressed, often unfulfilled, frequently sick and tired, or like you’re running in circles and going nowhere, Crazy Simple will help you slow down and take a look at your life, and begin to make choices that will gradually turn your life in a better, happier direction.

You can buy your copy today here.

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Happy reading,

Emily Josephine

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We Did It. We Moved.

January 31, 2014

We did it! We moved. We are now on our rural property for good. Okay, we will have to return to our old house to do the final clean after it’s been painted, and to finish the paperwork with our Realtor. But… we did it! We’ve been planning this move for over two years. But […]

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KDP Promotion In Progress: 1.5 Days Left

January 22, 2014

My sincerest apologies! I meant to schedule a post to announce to my loyal readers my second promotion for my Kindle book, Hatching The Nest Egg, before we set out to our last trip up to our rural property. Then I got busy packing, and didn’t, and forgot until it was too late. But it’s not […]

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New Book Cover For “Hatching The Nest Egg”!

January 3, 2014

Hatching The Nest Egg is a good book. A useful book. A book that can set people free in the area of jobs and money. If I do say so myself. (I have one reviewer who actually says it for me, too. ) But the number of people who downloaded it during its first KDP Select […]

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Life In A Shed

December 30, 2013

We’ve decided to live in a shed. Temporarily, I mean. Those of you who follow this blog know two things: first, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. Second, my husband, my son (who turned seven a month ago), and I will be moving to a rural area very soon – raw land […]

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My Latest Book Available For FREE This Week!

October 22, 2013

As I announced a week or so ago, my latest Kindle book, Hatching The Nest Egg: Achieve Super-Early Retirement Without Side Gigs, Gambling, Or An Above-Average Income has been published and is available for purchase. BUT…from today, Tuesday, October 22, 2013 through this Saturday (midnight CST) you can download the book for FREE during my first KDP Select […]

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My Latest Publication: Hatching The Nest Egg

October 10, 2013

I am happy to introduce my latest book, Hatching The Nest Egg: Achieve Super-Early Retirement Without Side Gigs, Gambling, Or An Above-Average Income. It’s not just another dry book on personal finance. This book describes the steps my husband and I took to get to where we are now: financial independence by our early forties! […]

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On Being True To Myself: A Special Message To My Subscribers

October 2, 2013

Several times during the past year and a half, I have looked at my husband and lamented, “When I was a kid, I never said to myself, ‘I want to be a blogger when I grow up.’” I said this because, for various reasons, I didn’t want to blog any more. Let me be dead-honest […]

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The Never-Ending Car Payment Is KILLING You

September 23, 2013

I am in the process of trying to convince you that all debt is bad. I have just gone through a series of posts describing how you might either a) avoid a mortgage altogether, or b) take on a mortgage the smart way, the way that will not impede (too much) your progress toward financial […]

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