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Corridor #132 Grosse Ile through Bay St Laurent to Gaspe
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More Than Baseball
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The World of Dale Hollow

Christmas Village
Middlebury Inn


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Jewels of the North
Breezy Blackpool
Witches and Hot Pot
A Lightning Tour

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The Island of Crete

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Ancient Rome
Renaissance Rome

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Some tips on
Living Simply

Example of Living Simple

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By Pat Mestern

Ancora Imparo - remember that quote in a previous article that was attributed to Abraham Lincoln? Turns out that the piece, as quoted by myself, was written by Rev. William John Henry Boetcker and appeared in pamphlet form in 1916. But, and there is always a but, my intrepid researchers have found an American/European link. During the 1880's, several Americans were on a speaking tour of Europe. Their subject was U.S. presidents, the most popular subject being Abraham Lincoln. In their speech-a-fying, they attributed material to Lincoln that was very similar to that in Boetcker's writing. One has to wonder, especially when the gentlemen toured Germany where Boetcker was born in 1873. Boetcker immigrated to America in c1891. In 1992 President Ronald Reagan, in a speech, attributed the material to Lincoln. Recently several prominent national newspapers have been guilty of the same crime. Again Ancora Imparo, I am still learning, eh?

I was helping an elderly neighbor spring-clean the other day and learned several valuable lesson by doing so. Bachelor Harry was telling me that he lives on less than $16,000 Cdn per year yet he doesn't do without any of the necessities. He is warm and well-fed. He owns his house and drives a paid-up car. He is the first to admit that he went through very hard times as a youngun' and that life still deals difficult twists and turns. Yet Harry is an optimistic person. As he says, he rolls with the punches. His parents having experienced the depression first hand, taught him about the value of money and hard work. The best advice Harry received was that no-one owed him a living, that he had the tools within him to succeed at whatever he chose to do and that just because something was manufactured didn't mean he had to own it.

Harry talked about how change makes change. When he was young, Harry's only vice was smoking. He was a pack-a-day smoker but realized that he had to stop for financial and health reasons. He approached the issue in a rather unique way. Perhaps his system can help someone you know to kick a habit, whatever it might be. In order to stop smoking, Harry recognized that he smoked at certain times and under certain conditions. He first kept track of his smoking habits for one week - writing down when and where he smoked, why he smoked and how he smoked. Then he set about changing the pattern of his daily life. He changed everything - when he ate, what he ate, how long he stayed at the table after he ate. When he ascertained that he smoked while drinking sweetened coffee, after a meal, he began to drink his coffee black and for three months didn't sit down to a meal. He realized that he smoked when his hands had nothing to do so he took up a very exacting hobby, one that took concentration, dedication and two hands. At the beginning he switched to smoking herbal cigarettes-the type theatres use in plays-ones that didn't have a "kick" to them. He says they smelled terrible but did the trick. He took long walks when he realized he wanted a smoke. It wasn't easy. It never is. Today, the smell of cigarette smoke makes Harry sick and he knows that he saved thousands of dollars by kicking the habit.

Harry's parents were depression era just-in-case hoarders but his home is as neat as a pin. He recycles to suit his needs. What he cannot use in his own home he delivers to a local reuse/recycle program. Most times Harry refuses to purchase heavily packaged items and he is bold enough to write the company to tell them why he didn't buy. Sometimes, when he desperately needs an item which is thrice-wrapped, he will send the packaging, with a terse note enclosed, to the offending company. Way to go, Harry!

In these days of rampant consumerism, it is difficult to lead a life based on simplicity. One must be totally committed to the lifestyle. Yes, living simply is a lifestyle, based on priorities that are chosen by an individual or family. Those priorities change with circumstances but always include down-to-earth basics. Quite often living simply is associated with frugality. Frugality means exercising economy or saving where possible. There is a difference between being frugal and being miserly just as there is a large gap between being extravagant and being frugal.

Sometimes when in a reflective mood, one looks at the busy world and wonders what they might be missing, what might be passing them by in the crushing rush outside their chosen lifestyle. During times like this, remember there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people looking in at folks like you, thinking how much they admire your lifestyle and wanting to emulate it. But for the fact they haven't stopped long enough to examine their own situations, to make decisive lifestyle choices and to act on their decisions, they too might be as rounded and content as yourself.

Yes, some days and under certain situations, you might not feel content. You might even have a twinge of unhappiness or guilt. You might even question your motives for living simply. Questioning is healthy. Through questioning you can understand the basis for your unhappiness, guilt or discontent. You can readjust priorities, always within the basis of your individual lifestyle choices. Remember that a lot of discontentment and unhappiness comes from exposure to twentieth century lifestyle advertising and merchandising. Never lose sight of your accomplishments. You are living well. You are living simply. You are contributing positively to family values. You are debt free or paying down your debt in a responsible way. You are living gently on your patch of earth. You are A #1 O.K. in my books

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Memo 1Memo 2Memo 3Memo 4Memo 5 |
Memo 6 |  Memo 7Memo 8Memo 9Memo 10 |
Memo 11Memo 12Memo 13Memo 14Memo 15Memo 16 |
Memo 17 |  Memo 18Memo 19Memo 20 | Memo 21 | Memo 22 |



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