Saturday, July 9, 2011

Musings from the Junque Pile - Book Review

I just finished a book that I've been wanting to read for a long, long time. Starting Over by Jackie Clay. I doubt you'll find it on Amazon, though I haven't looked. Someone might be selling a used copy of it there.  Jackie Clay is a writer and contributor of one of my favorite mags: Backwoods Home Magazine. If you haven't checked it out, and are interested in sustainable living, please do so! BHM has taught DaHubster and I many ways to cut our budget, get us started on being prepared for emergencies, and how to enjoy more while living with less. Definitely worth a looksee.

But back to Jackie. She writes articles for the magazine, mostly about her trials and successes in living on a homestead in northern Minnesota. She helped build her own home, gardens like a fiend, and cans her own veggies and meat. She keeps goats and horses, took care of her ailing elderly parents, raised at least 3 sons, lost a husband, and faced a battle with cancer. She is a miracle. Through it all, her message is, "do what you can, taking small steps if you have to." It's a very inspirational book. I don't know that I can aspire to *be* Jackie Clay, but I can marvel at her, and want to do my best to if not follow in her footsteps, take my baby steps behind her.

Jackie Clay also writes an advice column and blog: Ask Jackie Clay. Her knowledge of canning and gardening is immense, and the advice she gives is both wise and kindhearted. I love to read her stories, and I thought you might, too.

You can buy her book at the BHM website at:


  1. I should also add that the book is $15.00 or so, and the magazine is totally worth taking a look at, too!

  2. I'm reading it now. I think it was written as a series of BackWoods Home Magazine articles maybe quarterly. Because it was written as it happened you sort of feel like you're there. I'm probably going to read it again this fall to help motivate me to put in those three other raised beds that have been on the back burner. All my overtime (the fifteen hours or so I get in a year) is hereby dedicated to a grain mill!