I have a fine book in my library, I guess I have been carrying it around for almost 40 years now. It is Tao Te Ching by Lao Tse it date back to the 6th century BC in China, mine is translation by Gia-Fu Yeng and Jane English. The book includes beautiful photographs and Chinese calligraphy.
Tao is sometimes translated simply as ” the Way” the book contains about 81 chapters and 5000 words. For 2500 years it has been one of the foundations of Chinese culture.
It is without doubt one of the great books of the Eastern world.
Lao Tsu views on dwellings were succinct “In dwelling, be close to the land”
The Tipi tent would thus be an example of a Tao dwelling.
Living in a highrise apartment in a skyscraper is I guess about the most not-Tao place to dwell.
The Burj Kalifa is currently the worlds tallest skyscraper.
However an even taller tower is proposed to be built in China. It is on the drawing board it will be 220 storeys and built in just 90 days utilising 200,000 tons of steel.
We made a batch of delicious and healthy muffins, using a recipe available on line at http://fastpaleo.com Choose one that’s uses vegetables oil. We use olive oil not butter because it is better for the heart and health. You can use any oil that’s polyunsaturated and high in omega-3. We bought some nonstick muffin pan from amazon.com. Muffins can be made with an almost infinite variety of ingredients. Use whatever fruit you have on hand or what is in season. We blend the fruit with the oil and other liquid ingredients and then mix with the dry ingredients.
We like to add lots of cinnamon and ginger. We used baking powder because its quick and easy. You can also try using yeast, if you want lower salt content. Use the dough cycle on your bread machine. If you have the oven going to roast a chicken, there is is room for a couple of trays of muffins as well.Muffin trays are available from amazon.com for around $8. You can buy trays for small medium or large muffins.
I like this poem it is a translation of a Haiku by Myoe the dreamkeeper a 13th century Japanese priest. I came across it in a book by Robert Dessaix, “As I Was Saying: A Collection of Musings” I think its quite clever how the translater has used “O” rather than “Oh” since the shape of the letter is the shape of the full moon.
A Haiku is a Japanese poem of 17 words. This is minimalism in poetry.
Here in Australia if you go to the outback on a cool clear night the night sky is a truly amazing spectacle. The milky way is like a great river of stars and the full moon is very, very bright. In the hustle and bustle of city life how easy it is for a year to go buy without really finding time to observe such things.
Minimalism is becoming quite the trend these days, the idea is to try to live as simply as possible with the minimum of “stuff” and clutter.
Minimalism has been out of fashion for some time but there are some inspiring minimalists whose lives and writings are worth studying.
Reading can be the most worthwhile and frugal of all pastimes! Here in Australia it is possible to read a lot of books without spending big at the bookshop. Here’s how: first stop is your local public library. Here in Portland our local municipal library offers books for children and adults, magazines, CDs and DVD’s can also be borrowed. The librarians are friendly and helpful. There are comfortable chairs, There is even free internet access and PCs to use.
Of course you will come across some books that you will want to read over and over again. All homes should have a library of their own, We recently came across a relevant quote: “Rich people have big libraries poor people have big tv’s”.
The challenge is how to build up a nice private book collection without breaking the bank. The answer is to buy good quality second hand books from garage sales and thrift shops. Another alternative is to buy books from surplus library stocks. Of course you will need a lot of time to find the book you really want this way. Used book stores are also a great option if you are prepared to spend a little more cash and want to save time. If the collection grows unmanageably large you can always have a garage sale and sell them and get most of your cash back or maybe even make a small profit. Many people also make a little extra cash re-selling used books on Amazon.
Our preference nowadays is to buy hard-back books rather than paper backs. A good quality hard-back book will last for centuries if cared for. Most paper-backs will fall apart after a few decades. The hard backs look so much more impressive on the shelf and are a good - investment. We are quite proud of our “Great books of the western world”, collection there is at least 10 years worth of serious reading there, the whole collection of more than 50 beautifully bound books can be picked up on Amazon at a very reasonable price. Click here to buy Great Books of the Western World
A good quality reading lamp is a worthwhile investment and consumes a lot less power than a TV or PC. I like to use a Sunlight Desk Lamp.
Of course If you read in the day-time the sunshine is free of charge!
Another challenge is how to combine an interest in travelling with an interest in reading. We always travel with at least one good book and swap with travellers we meet. In some English-speaking countries you will find books cheaply and easily, but in some other countries it is more difficult. The 21st solution here is really the e-book. It is possible to download a lot of classics for free and a small external hard drive weighing around 200 grams can contain 1000′s of e-books. Our Touro external hard drive Touro Mobile External Hard Drive
weighs 190 grams and holds 1 terrabyte of data it costs around
$80 from amazon.
It is not really necessary to buy a Kindle or e-book reader if you travel with a netbook or laptop you can download the Kindle for PC software free of charge, Many public libraries now have e-book collections so it is possible to “borrow” e-books these days without even visiting the library. There are some excellent websites for readers, book-lovers and collectors. For example reading-the-great-booksoffers guidance and reading suggestions on the great books and a 10 year reading plan. Perhaps it is best to just follow ones interests. If you find an author you enjoy read all that author’s books. If you sign up for the free GoodReads service you can easily find books to match your interests and like minded friends as well! If you find an interesting subject read more about it. Before too long you will discover you are smarter, wealthier and wiser.
As a result of the economic crisis, during the last few years many families have encountered more than their share of difficult trials and challenges. In recent years we have found a little book that is a useful and readily assimilated source of wisdom and inspiration to cope with practically anything life throws at us. is a new translation and interpretation by Sharon Lebell of writings by the ancient philosopher Epictetus.
Just click on this link: Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness to buy it from Amazon as an e-book for around $8 or just a little more for the paperback. This book is one of those books that you will feel the need to carry with you wherever you travel. After reading this book you will tend to “view yourself as a citizen of the world and act accordingly”.
Nowadays the economies in Europe and America are struggling as citizens are being taxed heavily to pay for bank bailouts, corruption, massive military spending and armies of fat cat bureaucrats.
Many folks are getting fed up with this to the point of seriously thinking of emigrating.
Of course the advantages of a particular location depend critically on the knowledge, skills, wisdom and capital the emigrant has at his disposal.
In recent years our family has lived as expats in several countries. Each country has advantages and disadvantages. Based on this experience we can say that Ras Al Khaimah in United Arab Emirates ticks a lot of boxes for us.
Julfar twin towers Ras Al Khaimah UAE.
It is an environment that has zero tax and relatively low-cost of setting up a business. It is a multicultural society with expats from numerous countries.
Click this link for the low-cost Fast track set up guide to start a business in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al Khaimah or other Emirates in the United Arab Emirates.
It has saved us heaps of cash already. We no longer need to buy a geographic positioning system (a gps), a camera, a video camera, alarm clock, an FM radio or an MP3 player!
We can even make phone calls! (It even works fine in rural Australia). Its Google friendly, “powered by Android” , we can access Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, Googl+, calender and Youtube while we are on the road. It adds a new and profitable dimension to going to garage sales, We can check the ebay or amazon price of a potential bargain before buying it.
At just 115 grams, it helps me really travel light and save a heap on excess baggage charges. Only one rechargeable battery to keep charged. Only one manual to read, we recently found the GPS really invaluable when we were moving house moving house. from the city recently.
It seems that the Samsung Galaxy really is something no frugal and adventurous family can do without!