Granny’s Advice

Almost 3 years ago I shared a post from Granny Miller about moving toward a self reliant life. Lately that post has been getting traffic for some reason, causing me to go back and read it again.

It was a helpful reminder to me and it seems to me to be good sense.

Here are some tips from Granny that are worth sharing again:

A Few Suggestions For What You’ll Need For A Life Beyond The Digital

To change the direction of your life you must fundamentally change your worldview. And that takes courage, faith, fortitude and commitment.

  • You must first and foremost – put your TV set in the garbage or give it away to charity.You and your family can no longer afford the time or luxury of consumer and state sponsored propaganda. It is imperative that you learn to think for yourself and stop wasting time. And do not substitute being online or on the phone for the TV.  This will probably be the hardest thing you will have to do. How successful you will be in your journey for a more self-reliant and self-sustaining life depends upon this one single thing. The no TV  is absolutely non- negotiable.
  • You must begin at once to learn some type of self-sustaining skill. And that can be anything useful or practical. Plumbing, sewing, carpentry, cooking, baking, weaving, knitting, animal husbandry, vegetable gardening, soap making , bee keeping – whatever – just pick something that you are interested in and jump in with both feet. You’ll have plenty of time and maybe extra money to spend on learning that skill because you don’t have a TV. No matter where you live or what your circumstances you can start first thing tomorrow. If you want to learn to how to garden – do it. Never mind that it’s December. Go buy an aloe plant or herbs for a sunny window sill. Want to learn how to knit? Get some yarn and get started. If animal husbandry interests you – get a pet rabbit or bird. The skills required to care for a pet bird or rabbit are the same ones you’ll need for chickens or for meat rabbits. You don’t have a TV remember. You got to do something with all that extra time.
  • Debt is slavery. When you are in debt you do not own your own future. If you have any debt– get rid of it. Plenty of information is available about how to do that. And don’t try and justify your credit cards. Get a debit card if you need to rent a car or order online. Credit cards keep you chained to consumerism. Consumerism is fueled by popular culture and TV . Whatever they are advertising on TV – you don’t need it – and without a TV you won’t really know or care about it. You must live within your means no matter how modest.
  • Stop eating processed food, fast food and drinking soda pop. Junk food is expensive and just about everybody knows it is not good for your health. You cannot grow potato chips, Twinkies, ready to eat boxed cereal, Pepsi, Coke or Mountain Dew in the garden. Those foods are addictive and unsustainable. Fast food is also a big  waste of money and will keep you tied into a consumer economy. Not to mention that they are  cruelty based foods. Without the exploitation of people and animals, Burger King, McDonald’s,Sisco and the rest of them would go out of business. Plan ahead and bring a bagged meal. That’s what dinner leftovers are for. Don’t pay for something that you can do for yourself. And no matter what your age or health – get moving outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine is good for you and is what you need. Two or three hours a day outdoors everyday is the goal to work for – summer or winter.  A life of deliberate self-reliance is an extremely physical life. You must preserve your good health.  It will be easier now that you don’t watch TV and eat junk food.
  • Develop some type of personal philosophy or faith if you don’t already have one. Particular cosmology doesn’t matter. It is vital to hold a belief in some type of universal order, plan or reason. Without this you will not be able to sustain the heartaches, questioning, losses and disappointments that living a more self-sustainable life will often bring.  Believe me when I tell you this: when you are in a race against time to save an animal that is struggling for its life; or a newborn calf is born dead; or an entire crop is destroyed by a sudden July tempest – there are no atheists.

A more self-sustaining life is possible for everyone but it doesn’t happen overnight. If you try and take on too much too fast you are setting yourself up for failure and discouragement.

A successful transition to a more self-reliant life is an evolution in life and not a revolution.

Good luck.


To read the entire original post go HERE.  To visit Granny Miller’s blog go HERE.

11 comments on “Granny’s Advice

  1. Jeff says:

    I think the reason the post is getting more traffic is because the economy sucks. The talking heads can spin it anyway they like, but the economy sucks. You probably need to update the post, though, to include no Netflix or movies – they’re just as big a time-waster as TV is.


    • Bill says:

      Bad economic times do act to increase interest in self-reliance, so that probably is part of it. Of course however bad the economy may be for most people, it’s red hot for the wealthy. Stock market at an all-time high and interest rates at or near all-time lows. But you can’t eat stock certificates.


  2. shoreacres says:

    I had to grin as I was reading this one.

    No tv? Check. Gone for nearly three years.

    Life-sustaining skills? Check. Cooking, baking, varnishing. Well, and cat care.

    No debt? Check. I still prefer a credit card to a debit card, but I use it only for gas and when traveling, then pay it off. All else is on a cash basis.

    Junk food and sodas? Check. I will eat an occasional egg/sausage biscuit when traveling, but a half-dozen a year aren’t going to hurt me. And I’m a great fan of plain Grape-Nuts atop yogurt. Otherwise, I don’t set foot in those fast-food places. The food’s terrible.

    Outdoor time? Check. How does eight hours sound? Ten? Twelve?

    Faith? Check. If it weren’t for the values associated with my faith, I couldn’t have managed all of the above. 😉


  3. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, Granny Miller gets right to the point and has an awesome website, doesn’t she. I’m kind of in the middle of her discussion. I haven’t thrown out the TV yet and probably won’t do that. I do not watch TV much especially in the summer. Why on earth would I want to watch a show about gardening on TV or play a game of Farmville on Facebook when I could be outside doing it. I might do some Google searches or Youtube videos when I’m looking for solutions for a project but hours on the net just for fun is not for me. Well, I probably do spend too much time networking with fellow bloggers with like minds.

    My generation invented and built the digital age but something happened along the way. We lost control of it and it spiraled out of control. It took on a life of its own and zoomed off in directions we never intended it to go. What started out as something to help give us more time to be creative has become an addiction. It saddens me to think about what it could have become and what it has become. It has produced car wrecks from texting, wasted time from actual conversations with family and friends, and the list could go on and on. I don’t think that I will totally ever unplug but limited use does make life better, don’t you think?

    Have a great Granny’s Advice day.


    • Bill says:

      You make a great point. Inventions that could have freed up time for creativity and meaningful leisure have instead often become addictions that diminish rather than improve life.

      We haven’t had a TV for years, but I have to stay mindful of the risk of just replacing TV with the internet.


  4. EllaDee says:

    Commonsense we could all take on board regardless of where we’re at in life. How many of us will, unless it’s sold to us… with a free set if steak knives… I don’t know.


    • Bill says:

      We’re hit daily with near constant messages designed to cause us to do the opposite of what Granny recommends. We are all seen as instruments for the production of someone else’s profit. It can be hard to break free of that trap, even if commonsense tells us too. But it can be done and I think more and more people are coming to realize that.


  5. DM says:

    Our tv broke when the kids were little and we didn’t have the $ to replace it. I remember going through a literal withdrawal. It eventually snuck back into the house as the kids got older (to play VHS tapes mostly) For most of the past year it has sat in the storage room, disconnected..although my wife wanted to watch some of the Olympics last week so I drug it out, figured out which wires went where and was able to get it tuned in…It is addicting. My job keeps me outside most of the time so I have that covered, and we are back on track financially after some pretty intense stress last month… ie. set some new goals/ priorities and we’re moving in the right direction. good reminders Bill! (and Granny)


    • Bill says:

      I think it’s important not to turn these kinds of suggestions into legalisms. I was once a TV junkie (televised sports primarily), but I haven’t watched TV for years now. I can’t stand to be in a room with one on. But I’m not going to say that folks who enjoy watching TV are guilty of something. As long as we realize that TV doesn’t exist to entertain us, but rather to serve as a vehicle for advertising, then we can keep our guard up.

      For what it’s worth, I feel that my post-TV life is much better.


  6. Rosa Mayland says:

    Wise advice! I totally agree with you.




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