All work here at the Homestead has come to a halt today. Yesterday while playing a little soccer with the kids I managed to get cramps in both thighs, and they are still very sore. I need to give these poor legs of mine the day off from squatting in the garden!

With the kids back to school, I’ve had a little more time to myself this week to harvest some nice links to share:

  • Study Shows Digg Freezes Innovation Among Its Users. So there is a downside to the growing online community. If we can get a solution for our problem online, there’s no need to come up with a new solution yourself. Creativity comes not form having access to outside information, but from being closed off and forced to look within.
  • The Recycled Houses. This slideshow of homes build from found materials show real innovation. I love the wine cork flooring and the picture frame corner ceiling.
  • Enough. The Simple Living movement has always caught my attention, but I remain just a step away from making a full commitment to paring down all the way. I am somewhere in between: I want to pare down more, but I don’t want to give up all my luxuries. I like buying new things from time to time–especially technology! I have been trying to buy less, though, and shopping is now more chore than entertainment.
  • Last Year’s Model. Yesterday the new Levenger catalog arrived in the mail. I am a total sucker for their products, and my Circe journal has become so vital to my working style that it is my signature accessory at meetings. I have a Levenger pen that I have used faithfully and exclusively for several years now. And yet the catalog always tempts me with newer and prettier versions of the models that are still serving me well, such as this season’s purple leather Circe cover. My black one is still going strong…but it’s not purple! This post on the Long Now blog reminded me that the value of buying a lifetime product is in using it for a lifetime, not just until a shinier newer version comes along.
  • Healthy Hearty Cooking Methods for Fall. Last night I made my first pot pf black bean soup since summer began, which marks the first Autumn meal of the year. I am looking forward to meals of roasted winter squashes with seitan braised in gravy, hearty bean soups, and crock pot creations.
  • A Reluctance to Spend May Be Recession’s Legacy. Most people I have talked to have cut back at least a little in their spending, some have cut back a lot. Here at the Homestead, most purchases are contemplated far more intensely than before, and there is a lot less impulse spending. Our motives are partly financial (my work has slowed down, and hubby’s whole company was forced to take a pay cut), but we’re also motivated by a desire to consume fewer, but better, products for environmental reasons.