Life is hard and the struggle is real; you need to find your Lighthouse to move through foggy and dangerous seas that seem to be closing in all around us.  There are clear sea lanes and safe ports ahead, but sometimes we need to find that Lighthouse to get through to the other side.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Lifers. I hope you have a good holiday with your significant other.

How is it going?  How are you feeling?  Are you making it through these tough times and cold weather?

It can be hard this time of year.  It feels like Spring is never going to get here, and we have a long stretch of sea before us before we get to a warmer seas and safe ports.

On our course, there a rocks, reefs and sandbars that can snag our sailing ship.  We can get stuck and hung up there, and that can be dangerous in foggy or stormy seas.

You didn’t know you tuned in to a sailing podcast, did you?

This is all a metaphor for life right now.  Many of us are struggling with issues and problems, and sometimes we get stuck.  We stop moving and get bashed and battered, much like a ship stuck on a rock, reef, or sandbar.  Captains use charts, buoys and Lighthouses to safely navigate rivers, seas and oceans.  We need the same in our lives as we deal with problems, issues and hang-ups.

On this 185th Episode of the Small Scale Life Podcast, let’s put on our Captain’s hat, hoist the sails and grab the charts and a glass.  After all, its time to discuss When the Struggle is Real, Find Your Lighthouse to skirt the rocks and find better seas or a safe harbor.  We can even say “Yarrrrrr” as we do it, maties!  Now bring me that horizon…Yo ho!

Hall of Heroes – Gratitude

hall of heroes, gratitude, practicing gratitude quote

“It’s hard to have a bad day when you START your day with gratitude.”

As part of intentionally Practicing Gratitude, I am starting this podcast episode by recognizing some folks who have been active on Small Scale Life.

These folks have reached the Hall of Heroes for this episode of the Small Scale Life Podcast:

  • Captain Lumbersquatch Greg Burns for coming to the Twin Cities and connecting with us! Greg came to our Third Floor Castle in the Sky the past couple days, and we got into some deep conversations about life, energy and direction. This Podcast titled The Struggle is Real; Find Your Lighthouse is dedicated to Greg.  Thank you for your time, your gifts and your help. I am deeply grateful for you and your words; you and Jules certainly know how to cut through the dense jungle in my brain and expose the white oak hiding underneath it all.  Thank you, my friend, and safe travels.  Many blessings on you and your family.
  • Amy Dingmann from A Farmish Kind of Life for shouts out in two recent podcast episodes! She talked about Small Scale Life in the following episodes: Episode 119 Three Things We Need Right Now and Episode 121 It’s Not Just You. Amy is good friend, and I enjoy talking with her about Itty Bitty Thoughts, Life and Energy.  Go check those two podcast episodes out; the link is in the show notes.
  • Hannah and AJ from The Wisconsin Homestead Podcast for their approach to life and podcasting. Julie and I got some shout outs in recent episodes, and we really appreciate their journey towards developing their homestead and creating an interesting, organic life. They are fellow travelers on this path!
  • Letti Loo for her commentary and shout outs on the Small Scale Life MeWe Group and Small Scale Gardening MeWe Group. She has been very active, and she keeps herself busy on her blog and Liberty All Day Lbry videos called the Liberty All Day Blog. Check out,Letti!
  • The MeWe Crew! We have a new Small Scale Life MeWe Group, and folks there have been busy and active.  It makes me think that there is a good life after Facebook.
  • Most importantly, we want to thank you. Thank you for being part of our Small Scale Life. Let’s learn, do, grow and be a little better everyday together!

Thank all of you for listening to this podcast episode, and if you want a shout out in our next Hall of Heroes, get active and participate on Small Scale Life.

What are you grateful for?  Maybe you should tell that person or that organization (or favorite podcaster).  Give it a try!

Do You have a Side Hustle or Business?

Cash, escape velocity, financial freedom

Some of you have great projects, side hustles or businesses. Perhaps I could learn from you, and it would be FREE advertising for your business, side hustle or idea.

Share your story by being on the Small Scale Life Podcast!

We want to hear about your idea and new beginnings: what struggles did you face, how did you overcome them and where are you taking this?

Send a message to me using the Contact Us page on This is your chance to teach us as we continue to learn, do, grow and be a little better everyday!

Polar Vortex Safety Tips

 Homesteading, Prepping, How to Prepare for the Polar Vortex

If you are in the Upper Midwest of the United States, we have had a relatively mild winter….until February.

With the new month, we have been dealing with the Polar Vortex where air temperatures have dived down below zero. When you factor in the wind chill, it gets to -25 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.  I hope you are making good choices, staying safe and staying warm when you go out into the Ice World of Hoth! 

Since we have so many new listeners to the podcast and new folks stopping by for a spell, I wanted to remind you that you can find an article on Small Scale Life titled “How to Prepare for the Polar Vortex.”

 I provided some good tips for staying safe when the temperatures plunge. Check that article and podcast episode out.  Stay warm and stay safe, my friends!

The Struggle is Real

Demo Day, Old Raised Bed Gardens, Tree Roots, The Struggle is Real; Find Your Lighthouse

We are all struggling with something. It isn’t just you.  It is all of us together, struggling with different things.  Believe me: whatever is that thing in your life, the struggle is real and can feel overwhelming.

This week on The Farmish Kind of Life Podcast, Amy Dingmann had a very good episode about how we are all dealing with issues right now.  Some of us are dealing with things better than others, but the bottom line is this:

  • We all have problems and issues that are very real to us right now.
  • We are all dealing with these problems and issues in different ways.
  • None of us have been here before.

We don’t know what is happening behind the Facebook or Instagram filter, and we don’t have all the details to fill in the blanks behind who, what, when, where and why in a lot of cases.

We do need to give everyone some space and some grace.  For whatever we are going through, we should find a kind person to listen and work through things.  Maybe that person is a Lighthouse.  That is why it is important to find your lighthouse, and it probably isn’t the same person for each of us.

What are Human Lighthouses?

Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior, Northshore, vacation, find your lighthouse


Amy had some great points about Lighthouses during the show.  Some folks out there are out there sending out encouraging and positive messages into space. We call these people “Lighthouses” because they are shining a light into the darkness, illuminating the rocks, reefs and sandbars that tend to sink people.  The Lighthouses help people sail around those issues and help them reach a safe harbor.

Chances are you know a person or two out there that are Lighthouses and helping you through some issue or problem. That is good; talking to someone who has sailed through some rough waters can help you get through yours.  If you don’t have a Lighthouse, it is time to Find Your Lighthouse.

Amy asked some great questions:

What happens when the positive people are overwhelmed? What happens when those lighthouses go out?

  A Visit with Greg Burns

Real Estate; Debt; Dave Ramsey; Paying off Debt; Homestead; Goals; Vision; Sustainable Life; Jack Spirko; Rural Living; Rural Life; Property; Podcast; Tribe; Ritual; Greg Burns; Natures Image Farms; Homestead; Homesteading; Mead; Podcast; Small Scale Life Podcast

I can tell you what happens: those lighthouses go out and disappear into the night.  The seas are dark and rolling, and some people get hung up on those dangerous rocks, reefs and sandbars that were illuminated before.

Lighthouses aren’t immune to problems and hang-ups.  Lighthouses are human too. Sometimes they need another lighthouse to get them through the dark waters and start shining again.

I don’t know if I am a Lighthouse or not.  I tend to think I am to someone out there.  After all, “Lighthouse” is one of my Guiding Words for 2021, and I want to be that guiding light for people out there.

For me, life has been busy between working my job, selling some land, and preparing for the house project.  I have been getting hung up on nuance, details, and some distractions.  Some of that stuff is important, but somewhere along the way, I have been forgetting my why, my “Magnus Opus” as Greg Burns called it.

I have been slowly sailing along lately. As my little Small Scale Life Sloop was heading for the rocks, a Lighthouse popped on from the nearby shore and put a light onto my foggy seas.

My friend Greg Burns was in the Twin Cities this week, and he spent two nights with me.  Greg is an old soul with a lot of insight, and he has a way of cutting through the fog made up of our stinking thinking and (for lack of better word) bullshit.

I fully intended to record an awesome podcast episode with Greg, but things didn’t work out that way.  Julie and I had a great conversation with Greg on Wednesday night, and Greg came back over last night for an even better and more enlightening one with just me.

Greg turned on the spotlight, and suddenly I was finding my Lighthouse. We worked through my fog, and my little Small Scale Life sloop is tacking with the new wind.  We are putting up the sails and catching the wind.  We might tack a bit more and adjust as the winds change, but we are moving forward again on the right course.

Thank you, Greg.  Those conversations are just what I needed.

This was possible by working through this with a third party, a friend, a mentor, a Lighthouse, who is removed from the arguments, lies and bullshit we tell ourselves.  That is why finding that Lighthouse is so important!

Find and Use Your Lighthouse

Find Your Lighthouse, Greg Burns and Tom

Greg coming to the Twin Cities and spending time with me was just at the right time and just what I needed.  I do not believe in coincidences; this was his time to come here, switch on that spotlight and get me moving in the right direction.

All of us are struggling with something.  All of us need a little boost.  All of us can use a Lighthouse in our lives.

Find those people. Talk to them.  Use the Lighthouse.  It will help you steer clear of running aground or sinking.  It will help you navigate the fog and stormy seas and lead you to safety.

Use a Lighthouse. Even if they don’t have an immediate answer, they just might know someone who can help.  That way you keep sailing forward to better water or that safe harbor.

After all, this is how we all (including me) learn, do, grow and be a little better everyday.

Until next time….This is Captain Tom from the poopdeck of the USS Sloop Small Scale Life.  Stay warm and take care, everyone!  Hoist those sails, lash the rigging!   Find your Lighthouse….Now….bring me that horizon with really bad eggs….

Yo Ho~!

Did You Know?

Renew You, Mindset, Basic Mindset, Health and Fitness

The Greenman usually places a little ditty, out take or skit at the tail end of the podcast episoide. After The Struggle is Real; Find Your Lighthouse Episode, the Greenman sang the following song for you:

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.

We pillage plunder, we rifle and loot.

Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

We kidnap and ravage and don’t give a hoot.

Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.

We extort and pilfer, we filch and sack.

Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Maraud and embezzle and even highjack.

Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.

We’re rascals and scoundrels, we’re villains and knaves.

Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

We’re devils and black sheep, we’re really bad eggs.

Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.


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Special Thanks

For Small Scale Life Podcasts, I would like to thank Sean at Osi and the Jupiter for the intro song "Harvest."  Sean wrote this specifically for us, and I really enjoy all of his work.  You can find more Osi and the Jupiter at their Bandcamp site:

I would also like to thank Austin Quinn at Vlog Vibes for the intro and outro music. For more information abut Austin and Vlog Vibes, please see the Vlog Vibes YouTube Channel:



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