Comfortable country living

Observations on simple living, from Rural Architecture by Lewis Falley Allen, 1852:

A servant admitted us; and leaving overcoat and hat in the hall, we entered a lone room, with an "air-tight" stove, looking as black and solemn as a Turkish eunuch upon us, and giving out about the same degree of genial warmth as the said eunuch would have expressed had he been there--an emasculated warming machine truly! On the floor was a Wilton carpet, too fine to stand on; around the room were mahogany sofas and mahogany chairs, all too fine to sit on--at all events to _rest_ one upon if he were fatigued. The blessed light of day was shut out by crimson and white curtains, held up by gilded arrows; and upon the mantle piece, and on the center and side tables were all sorts of gimcracks, costly and worthless. In short, there was no _comfort_ about the whole concern...
We listened to his story. His good wife came in, and all together, we had a long talk of their family and farming arrangements; how they had furnished their house; and how they proposed to live; but wound up with a sad story, that their good farming neighbors didn't call on them the _second_ time--kind, civil people they appeared, too--and while they were in, acted as though afraid to sit down, and afraid to stand up;--in short, they were dreadfully embarrassed; for why, our friends couldn't tell, but now began to understand it.

See Simple living/Rural Architecture for a more complete extract and link to the full text on Project Gutenberg.

External links

Crap you do not need - from the Age/SMH (Australian newpaper) blog All Men Are Liars

Self Sufficiency Guide to living more sustainably.