self improvement





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5/12/2012
Many of us suffer from low self-esteem. Negative self-images plague our lives, robbing us of happiness. Here's an exercise that can help you rid your self of those thoughts that prevent you from seeing who you really are.
7/1/2012
Are you one who can't get things done on time or follow up on promises? If so, you are probably an excuse maker. To get off the hook, you'll come up with a thousand reasons why you didn't get your work done. Read this blog and put an end to excuses.
7/24/2009
An Energy Efficient Mortgage can help you add value to your home by making home energy improvements more affordable.
6/27/2008
If you’re a visual learner (or just want some quick DIY tips), take a look at this collection of short DIY home improvement videos.
11/23/2012
A Federal Housing Association (FHA) EEM provides mortgage insurance to the borrower who is looking to purchase or refinance their home, and incorporate the costs of energy efficient improvements into their mortgage.
4/14/2009
February’s stimulus plan offers tax credits for eco-friendly home improvements, which could keep your money in your wallet this tax season.
4/20/2009
Home improvement stores offer free DIY classes. What project have you not started yet but dream of doing?
6/16/2014
When HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania mama Michelle Wire discovered a hidden treasure on her property, she found a new appreciation for her home along with it.
2/13/2013
How packing snow against your house can add R-value to your insulation - and subtract energy costs.
7/31/2008
Have you thought about adding more insulation to your home to reduce your energy bills? Here are some good places to go for more information.
12/3/2012
How our electronics save us space and provide even more room in a small home.
5/10/2010
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, which passed the House on May 5, would provide $6 billion in rebates to homeowners who make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes.
1/6/2010
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras shares tips for saving on energy costs by sealing leaks in your home.
8/12/2013
Unprepared for their first foray into country living, Kristy Athens takes what she learned and focuses on 5 areas to be considered before moving to the country: Land, buildings, animals, food and community.
12/2/2013
Old homes are often thought of as second-hand or sub-par quality. There are a lot of things you can do to modernize your home, and even make it more energy efficient that many new homes.
3/28/2014
Washboard road is often considered a fact of country life. It's uncomfortable, wreaks havoc with your vehicle, and can cause expensive damage. Here's the one simple trick to preventing it almost completely!
2/28/2014
Do you know about the magic of milk and molasses in improving your garden? Yes, plain old milk of any kind – whole, 2%, raw, dried, skim or nonfat – is a miracle in the garden for plants, soil and compost. Molasses only boosts the benefits! Let’s see how and why they work.
5/28/2014
If you’re getting ready to build a home or begin a woodworking project, consider building with sustainable wood products. With help from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council databases, you can locate sustainably harvested wood.
2/24/2011
Smaller spaces, simplifying and creating healthy homes are top trends in home improvement.
3/8/2011
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
3/28/2012
This index links to some recent and popular posts related to green building, design, remodeling, and home improvement. The posts cover a broad range of topics, from green products to projects to practices, as well as sustainable communities.
1/25/2011
Green home improvement and retrofit projects that only require a minimal investment and that have a sure (and often speedy) payback. These relatively low-cost improvements can reap real savings. Plus, a link to info on tax credits and rebates.
7/2/2013
The sweet spot in self sufficiency is to have just enough...with a bit of surplus to meet your needs and a few friends and neighbors.
10/13/2008
I taught myself to play a musical instrument, and I'm certain you can do it too.
11/25/2008
The Self Sufficient-ish Bible and accompanying Web site offer some universal tips for urban self-sufficiency.
7/12/2011
This grandparents’ homestead housed a number of generations and everyone participated in daily chores such as pumping water for baths, melting lard for bread, and using cloth flour bags to make curtains, blankets and dresses.
11/3/2008
After hitching a ride out of the city on the Slow Food movement, some newcomers to the country look back on their transition decision.
8/15/2011
Fond memories of a self-sufficient farm in Armstrong County, Pa., show how hard work and family together results in a truly meaningful life.
9/30/2008
Who isn't worried about the economy right now? Here's some good advice on what to do with your money.
12/19/2013
There are some veggies, herbs and edible flowers that are self seeders. Plant them once, let them go to seed, and you will have continuous plants year after year.
9/1/2010
If your job, finances, family commitments, etc., have thwarted or delayed your dreams of self-reliance, you don’t have to wait until you can afford a 20 acre parcel. You can start working where you are now to build and nurture self-reliant living skills that are sure to provide you with more peace of mind and improved health, and will most likely be of great personal benefit during the coming decades of global challenge and change.
1/10/2014
By focusing on the conscientious habits and self-reliance of its readers, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has seen its audience quadruple over the past decade. Publisher Bryan Welch discusses the reasons for this growth.
4/5/2012
Young homesteader Robert Maxwell  explores his discoveries as he moves toward self-sufficiency and homesteading.
4/13/2011
Cam promotes the return to our independent roots.
6/28/2011
A rural home in La Porte, Iowa thrives on all the elements of nature including bird feeders, a veggie garden and table scraps.
1/8/2010
Dan Chiras of The Evergreen Institute invites readers to attend a one-day conference on the future of building in Wichita, Kansas.
2/15/2012
Use old maps to wallpaper a room, shade a window, create a scrapbook, and other useful household crafts.
3/11/2011
To freshen up your home without a major remodel, clean up and invest in lower-cost fixes such as paint, hardware and window coverings.
9/20/2011
Before winter's chill starts to compromise comfort and elevate home energy bills, there are 5 energy-saving upgrades you can complete.
9/12/2013
The documentary film “Beyond Off-Grid” is nearing completion and includes a dozen specialists across the United States living self-reliant lifestyles.
9/5/2013
Tips for those with “Barnheart.”
4/2/2014
Compost happens, yes. But if food scraps are thrown into a pile and left to rot, a hot smelly mess may be taking over. That’s because the process of composting is a symbiotic relationship between carbon and nitrogen. Or at our home, cardboard and food scraps.
5/12/2011
Cam responds to a negative comment about a previous blog.
7/27/2011
Julie Lavigne relates her grandparent’s home in the city, a modern homestead for their time, and proves you can live a self-sufficient lifestyle in an urban setting.
8/16/2012
Cam undertakes an experiment to see how much food he can produce on his one acre of garden space.
5/11/2011
We are collecting Wit and Wisdom From Our Elders: tips and stories of how people took care of their homesteads in the past. Share your stories!
11/8/2011
Cam enjoyed a recent workshop he held at Sunflower Farm, and the participants seemed to enjoy it too!
2/27/2013
Pick something new to learn this year from Granny Miller’s list of 101 basic homesteading skills.
5/11/2009
What skills are you learning in hopes of saving money?
10/18/2010
While there are plenty of great reasons to grow a food garden, we recently polled readers to find out their primary motivation for gardening. Read their interesting results, plus tell us more about your gardening philosophy.
9/18/2014
As homesteaders, all the homesteading rewards are directly ours to keep and our work provides most of our necessities but the multiple returns we get from our homestead also give us what money couldn't buy, such as the self reliance, sense of security, dignity, the beautiful place where we spend our days and the choice to set our own schedule.
11/17/2014
Leaving a job with benefits and security to live a simple, country life, also known as un-jobbing, can be scary, but as we learned, so very worth it.
7/22/2012
Our minds can play tricks on us, and often do, bending and shaping our perceptions to our own liking. As a result, what we hold to be true about ourselves, others, even the world around us, can be dead wrong.
5/29/2013
If know you're destined to live in the country, or just more self-reliantly, but are overwhelmed by all the choices, here's a place to start.
7/16/2013
The journey to a self-sufficient life is a bumpy ride. Having a backup plan — or two — can make all the difference in your progress.
5/14/2011
Steve Maxwell spotlights the three myths that prevent people from realizing the full value of the self reliant lifestyle, and how to dispel them
10/10/2013
For the past few years, we've experimented with different ways of storing food fresh and now we're eating garlic, onions, squash, carrots and beets in June.
9/26/2013
To grow, keep and eat your own food keeps you away from the food industry, the fossil fuel based agriculture, food stores and logistics.
11/20/2011
Removing large quantities of snow. For more on how we cope with snow check out our personal blog at www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com where we post regular updates on our life here on the mountain.
1/6/2014
Self-dubbed “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin describes how sustainable living and more conscientious agricultural practices can mend and revive a planet pushed near the brink.
7/14/2014
The beauty and refreshment of our swimming hole are a swell compliment to work and sun of our homestead.
3/14/2014
If you know much of each food from your garden you consume each year, you can better plan how much to grow.
1/25/2012
There is a coming resurgence of the appreciation of the hearty homespun sorghum syrup. Something is special about being part of making this “home-made” sugar that speaks to the self-reliant nature inside all of us. You can be part of the Sorghum Revival!
9/15/2011
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
3/8/2013
Noting the time and marking its passing, keeping us in the present.
5/26/2011
What a nice surprise it can be to notice new spring babies emerging from where their parent plants grew the year before. Volunteer plants are a wonderful gift!
2/14/2011
When you live in an off-grid house in the country, it's important to be handy!
1/28/2013
How we deal with unexpected incidents.
7/16/2012
Living a ranch life in northern New Mexico in the 1960s consisted of hard work and knowledge. It was not the romantic life that many people imagine it to have been.
1/31/2012
Cam describes his ongoing inner dialogue concerning his carbon footprint.
9/28/2012
A MOTHER EARTH NEWS editor gets a chance to spend her birthday at the fair, surrounded by fun and inspiring people and activities.
3/6/2012
Cam thinks its important that we all have a Plan B, no matter where we live.
5/26/2010
Self-pollinating apple trees allow homeowners with little space to reap the benefits of this fresh, nutritious fruit. While typical apple breeds require planting at least two trees in the same space so they can pollinate each other, self-fertile trees can produce fruit without another tree around.
6/21/2010
A new course, Radical Urban Sustainability Training, teaches city- and suburban-dwellers the skills they need to develop a self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle.
9/28/2010
Learning to save seeds from one harvest to the next takes you a step further towards self-sufficiency and helps to save genetics of plants needed for the future.
2/19/2013
To say the sawmill is just a piece in the homestead puzzle might be a slight understatement. In some ways, it's a key factor.
8/18/2010
Renowned inventor Craig Vetter discusses his history with aerodynamics and motorcycles, and his vision for doing more with less energy.
10/17/2014
Living in the mountains or remotely requires physical endurance as well as being fit.
11/13/2014
Almost 30 years ago I made one of the best decisions ever when I began my homesteading adventure. It's no "Little House on the Prarie" but you can see it from there.
2/8/2011
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.  
5/29/2013
Completing tasks in preparation for a few days away from the homestead
2/10/2013
To counteract life's stresses and strains, to slow down the pace of life, stop and smell the roses...or any flower. In the absence of flowers, you'll find another way to bring a smile to your face, the songs of birds.
3/13/2012
In each of us is an innervoice that really knows what we want to be and what we want out of life but we continually ignore it for the sake of security or out of fear of failure or a million other reasons. Listen to the innervoice and heed its advice.
4/30/2012
Life is full of amazing things and remarkable people that make our lives richer and worthwhile. However, many of us hone in on what's wrong with life and others. Focusing on the good will bring great happiness to you. It will turn your life around.
5/21/2012
Many of us grow up disliking, even hating, ourselves. Learning to love oneself is no easy task, but it is vital to creating happiness and loving others. If you can learn to love yourself, you'll be rewarded many times over and be able to love others.
12/26/2013
With more than 40 years of expertise on how to live on less (and love it!), MOTHER EARTH NEWS introduces our Guide to Self-Reliance and Country Skills app. This app, available for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, contains advice and how-to on organic gardening, raising backyard chickens, canning and preserving your harvests, and how to save money by applying a DIY mentality to your life.
5/16/2012
This blog post tells what life was like on the self-sustaining farm of Olen and Anna Mae Showman located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia during the middle of the 20th century.
3/20/2013
How to define an egg shed? Let’s look at the definition of watershed to give the egg shed concept more shape. A watershed is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as: “The area of land where all of the water that is under it, or drains off of it, goes into the same place”. Based on the definition of a watershed, an egg shed could be defined as: the eggs produced within a certain distance that go to a specific place. That place could be your kitchen.
12/16/2011
If we want future generations to live self-sufficient lives, we have to pass on the knowledge. This week's "Photo of the Week" reflects that point.
10/17/2011
Actor Carel Struycken is famous for his role as Lurch in Addams Family, as well as many other roles. He is also a big proponent of permaculture. Nyerges talks with Struycken at his Pasadena home about permaculture and sustainable farming.
9/12/2012
Deb Murphy shares her dad's boyhood stories about making ends meet on the farm in 1930s Nebraska.
4/26/2012
Robert Maxwell discusses why he chose self-directed education over formal college, and how this option might work for others, too.
1/1/2013
In this blog, I challenge readers to abandon the typically new year's resolution and embarking on a New Year's Revolution. Read it and see if you'd like to join me on what could be an exciting and profitable new venture.
1/19/2013
We all have a rule book inscribed in our minds that dictates how we and others should act. Though handy at times, it often becomes a liability, a huge liability. See why in this blog and what you can do about it.
10/1/2012
Worrying about what others think about you can drin you of energy and make you do some pretty stupid things. What if you could rid yourself of that penchant? What kind of life would you lead?
3/3/2012
Creating the life you want, both personally and professionally, requires clear goals. By establishing the direction of your journey and sticking to your goals, you can achieve anything you want.
3/9/2012
Many people admit that their lives haven't turned out the way they'd hoped. Fortunately, it is never too late to re-design and re-create your life so that you live up to your full potential and find the happiness and fulfillment you seek.
7/8/2012
Many of us listen to negative internal messages about ourselves that drag us down, robbing us of happiness. To find happiness, you must change the dialogue inside your head. Focus on what is good in you and all that you do to brighten others' lives.
8/8/2012
Our minds are powerful things. The beliefs we hold and our perceptions can be dead wrong. Our minds can even create pain that doesn't exist. Questioning what we perceive and believe can help you live a more conscious, honest and successful life.
7/30/2014
A stack of cast-iron pans and a chainsaw helmet sum up why these homesteaders do what they do.
8/25/2011
When we stayed on an organic farm in Costa Rica, my kids and I experienced the beauty of self-sufficiency and saw how truly sustainable development benefits the local community as well as the global one. Mostly, we miss the homemade butter.
11/4/2011
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy. 
2/5/2013
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
12/28/2012
Many readers can't say no to spouses, children, bosses, and so on. To please and care for others, we often sacrifice ourselves, working long hours, exhausting our energy. There is a cure. It's a two-letter word that starts with n. Try it.
12/12/2012
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
1/10/2011
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
1/4/2013
In this New Year, my first recommendation for personal transformation is to give compliments generously to those who grace your life. You'll brighten the lives of others and your own life enormously.
11/11/2012
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
11/11/2012
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
3/24/2012
LIfe is full of adversity. Whether you succumb to it or bounce back is up to you. Knowing that no matter what life throws your way you will emerge stronger will help you become more resilient and stronger and will help you create a happier life
4/2/2012
Life presents many challenges, but if you consciously choose to be strong and resilient you can recover more quickly and grow even stronger. Your experiences will make you better able to cope and will help you live a happier, more productive life.
4/10/2012
Adversity is a part of life. Enbrace the hard times. Sometimes, adversity can lead to new opportunities that allow us to pursue new paths, sometimes even re-invent our lives. Knowing something good may arise can help us cope with adversity, too.
11/11/2012
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
12/26/2012
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
2/7/2013
Des Moines, Iowa, gardeners may soon find themselves in hot water with their City. A local resident recently took front yard veggie growers to task for what the resident feels to be unsightly lawn growth. Beets and berries, it seems, do not have the same aesthetic appeal as a green, freshly-mowed front lawn.
9/12/2011
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
3/27/2012
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
1/10/2013
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
1/26/2013
Making the most of a winter walk to home.
2/21/2013
We all have dreams but why is it that some are so lucky that they come true?
1/13/2013
Many of us make a habit out of complaining, when in fact our lives are pretty good. In this blog I suggest that gaining perspective -- focusing on how good your life really is -- will help you live a much happier life. Give it a try.
12/12/2010
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
1/28/2013
OK,I'm giving no hints as to why you should think like a chemist...Read it and see for yourself. At the very least, you'll be entertained by a crazy new way of thinking about life.
5/1/2012
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.


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