Hello and welcome! I'm Marie ... probably kind of obvious from the site address, right?
I'm a brain-tumour surivor with ADD and multiple chemical sensitivities, with an autistic husband. (ADD and autism - how's that for a communication challenge?)
We have four children at home - a boy with autism (9) who wants to be a doctor specializing in autism spectrum disorder, a boy with ADHD (7) who wants to be a dancer like Micheal Flatley, a little princess of a girl (4) who we suspect also has autism and a toddler girl (3) who for now seems to be completely normal.
If she is, she'll have an interesting biography to write someday.
We are also passionate about creating a life that is both self-reliant AND sustainable, helping my readers to be their best selves - strong, capable, adaptable and resilient. And if we can do that with all the levels of 'special' in our house - you can, too!
We started our journey in a dark basement apartment in the city - where I learned to make cheese, preserve food and manage in a small space on a very tight budget. It was there that I started working on my cookbook, A Cabin Full of Food, which contains almost 1000 from scratch recipes. You can buy that here at whatever price you think is fair. (Seriously - set your price. I trust you. If you get the book and think you ripped me off, come back and buy another copy!)
We then moved completely off-grid in the deep woods for three years. While there, we learned to take care of small livestock, garden, haul water and live with a wood stove. Our youngest child was also born there. In the end, though, toxic black mold in the walls was our undoing and we had to abandon the cabin. That's where we also learned that you can live without a lot of stuff but you absolutely cannot live without people. You can read more about our decision here and here.
Now we have the best of both worlds for us. In a tiny village just fifteen minutes from my hometown, we are working on returning our 1887 Colonial home to its original off-grid splendor. We're in rural Nova Scotia, about two hours from the city of Halifax.
We've learned a lot over the years, about
- developing your own self-reliance and resilience in any situation
- holding together a neuro-diverse family with wildly different needs and abilities
- communicating with people who don't think like you at all
- managing on a shoestring budget
- walking like a Terminator when life is in flames all around you (truly my super power)
Over the years, I've tried to pin labels on this site. It's a preparedness site. No, it's a faith-based site. No, it's a homesteading site.
It's Just Plain Living.
That's all. It's about living the most amazingly powerful life you can live - while dealing with disabilities and heartaches and money problems and whatever else comes your way. It's about taking control of what you can control, letting go of what you can't, and loving yourself and everyone else along the way.
Stick with me and I'll show you how to kick those negative thoughts to the curb so that you can keep going, AND I'll show you how to fix that broken glass on your flashlight. We'll work through forgiving that awful, awful person in your life because you need that in order to grow, and we'll get our fingers dirty in the garden because food is good.
If you're looking to get in touch with me - drop me a line at MARIE (at) justplainmarie.ca
What My Readers Say
"I'm delighted to have found your blog and always look forward to what you have to say ..." L.S.
"You're pretty much doing exactly what I want to do... only about 5 years before I'll be able to do it. ..... I read everything from you, I might be a bit addicted." J.
"Love reading your blog. Stay warm" L.
"We live on-grid and are addicted to this blog." C.
"Miss Marie! I love your blog, your ideas, your honesty and your no nonsense approach to life! You make me smile every time I read your blog and what is happening on your homestead! You have taken the fear out of trial and error for me and my husband in Upstate NY! Thank you! This post (FB post joking about cake with wholesome ingredients being health food) is just another proof that you really are who you say you are and you are a real person, which I find so relieving!!!! What you write and teach, it really does make a huge difference to people! Blessings to you and yours and TY for taking the time to connect with all of us!" - K.C.
"... as always, you amaze and inspire me." - B.
"I caught myself reading all your older posts and thought, "why am I not following this woman's blog?" ....Your information is so useful and you detail things so well, even a novice can understand." - J
I like to write long, informative pieces that you can share, bookmark and come back to over and over again. Take a moment and check out some of my top posts!
Before you go, come on over and visit us on Facebook. My regulars say that it's like hanging out in a giant kitchen klasch with a few thousand of your best girl friends (but there are plenty of men, too). It's a fun, drama-free place.