Our Peach Pie Workshop   (July 26, 2014)

Measured in happiness, I feel pretty wealthy when eating the harvest of our peach tree and our baking handiwork.

The positive returns from focusing on intractable problems diminish rapidly. Since most of us have little control or power over geopolitics, central bank policies, etc., the only payoff from studying these issues is to clarify our response.

In my view, the only meaningful response is to take control of as much of your life as you can and opt out of destructive systems as much as possible.

Which brings us to peaches, or whatever you're growing. Some claim a garden doesn't yield enough calories of consumable food to justify the labor and expense, but their calculations (so typical of the Status Quo way of calculating "value"--only look at money and ignore everything else) fails to account for the enduring value of the skills, experience and expanding control that are part of the yield of gardening/ animal husbandry.

In a world dominated by centralized authority, monied Elites, illusory wealth and financial trickery, what ultimately matters is how much can you do in the real world, what you own/control in the real world, the reciprocal ties you share with others and your personal integrity. The Status Quo only measures money (the ultimate Neoliberal reduction), and this is one of its fundamental flaws. If we take the measure of wealth in happiness, we end up with something like Bhutan's Gross Domestic Happiness Index:

It's Time to Retire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a Measure of Prosperity (April 18, 2014)

(I recommend listening to this John Prine song while viewing the photos below: The Avett Brothers: Spanish Pipedream (3:04): "blow up your TV, eat a lot of peaches..." Thanks to correspondent Marc Z. for the song link)

OK, on to the peaches. Everything starts with the soil, rain, blossoms and pollinators:

With the help and advice of readers such as Bart D. (Australia), I aggressively thinned the young fruit this year and was rewarded with a healthy tree and large fruit:

A big bowl of peaches:

The peach filling for eight pies, halfway through the assembly:

A typical pie being filled; we use small pie pans to maximize the number of pies we can share/freeze for later:

Crimping the crust:

Can you see our cat Smokey's face in the crust's vent design?

The first four pies--all that will fit in our small oven:

Growing peaches and eating peach pie makes me happy. Measured in happiness, I feel pretty wealthy when eating the harvest of our peach tree and our baking handiwork.

Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy (Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
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Are you like me?
Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.

And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

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Laura Y.

Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers (25 minutes, YouTube)

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