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Category: Rural and small-town living

Life far from freeways, Starbucks, malls, and other benefits/distractions

Computers have arrived! (And other, smaller events of the day.)

We may be an awesome species, but there are moments that make one want to quit the human race. This morning I was YouTubing instructions on how to dance the waltz (don’t ask). At the end of a video that showed no more than the basic 1-2-3-1-2-3 box step, there came a warning: Do not try this without supervision, specialized equipment, and further training. Fortunately there was no caution about the waltz being known to cause cancer in the state of California. But really, people. Really??? —– Back on the good, even grand, side of human nature … The White…

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Tuesday ramble: Computers, apples, computers, tomatoes

Last Saturday I thought I might gather some links for you. I’d been using the library’s computers all week, but mostly visiting “friendly” sites. I hadn’t done any general surfing. And OMG, when I ventured into the nooz world, I had to flee after a few minutes. The library keeps its computers muted by default, but apparently they have no defenses anywhere. Pop-ups pop, and pop again, sometimes four or five times on a site. Banners wave and zoom and flip and flash, and change color and generally demand more attention than a petulant two-year-old. Videos play by themselves as…

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Amazon, boo. Apples and friends, yay.

Knowing Amazon, I didn’t intend to appeal the shut-down of my blog Associates account, but at the urging of a kind reader, I ended up giving it a shot. The message that belatedly came back to me from the Associates program began: Dear Sir or Madam, We received your appeal regarding the termination of your Associates account. A specialist has reviewed your account and the decision to terminate your account was found to be correct. As stated previously, under the terms of the Operating Agreement (https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/operating/agreement), we may terminate your account at any time, with or without cause [my emphasis].…

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Behinder and behinder …

I apologize to all the people to whom I owe either thank yous or emails in general. In the best of times, I can be a slow correspondent, but right now a lot of Life is happening. Nothing bad, I promise. On the contrary. But extracurricular writing is taking up hours upon hours (surprising and pleasant hours) of my time. In between writings, The Wandering Monk and I have been working like hell to turn a quarter acre of weeds and trash into something resembling a real lawn. The Monk has been great, especially considering he’s laboring for free and…

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We are about to venture Across the Street

I’m noodling one of those philosophical blogosauruses (blogosauri?). With luck that’ll be coming along soon. But Sunday, between rounds of making notes for that, Ava and I made an inspection tour of our property. (The land is hers as much as mine, as any four-legged critter that dares step foot on it quickly learns.) As we walked, Ava took advantage of the “facilities” and read her pee-mail while I drew plans in my head. Though The Wandering Monk and I aren’t yet done with the inside of the house, our attentions are starting to turn to the land and how…

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Small-town vignettes

I check my rock garden plantings and find them still alive after five days. If I squint hard I can even imagine the little sedums and Alyssiums are actually growing. Definitely none are gasping their last. It’s a miracle! Life in these fecund boonies might make a gardener of my black-thumbed self yet. Even my one dry, brown, bedraggled clearance-sale tomato plant has exploded into a giant green wonder, filled with new blooms and one actual fruit (after deer or some other critter tiptoed through in the night and stole all the original ones). I’ve lopped stray branches from skinny…

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Suddenly summer projects

Recent summers have been heavy with house projects, from tearing down walls to building up rotten foundations, from installing new doors to laying patio blocks. Not so much this summer. After a spate of small indoor spring projects … nada. The last nine days, though. Whoof! On Monday the 5th the big rock garden began to form. It was finished on Sunday, then the very next day the tree guys turned up to begin taking out rotted and dangerously leaning trees. Here are pix of it all. This (above) is the house as of Friday. Rocks in place, but not…

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Practical freedom tip #432: Teach your children

Part of this week’s wall-building endeavor involved a lawnmower-powered hoist. Like so: Yeah, it looks cumbersome, but it was surprisingly productive and cut the projected time for the job by a full day. The hoist was The Wandering Monk’s work, but powering it with the riding mower was the brainstorm of his minion, a 14-year-old boy from my neighborhood. The mower belongs to his family. When the guys were wrapping up, I requested, “Please ask your mom or dad if I can reimburse them for use of the mower, or at least replace the gas we used.” “Oh, they don’t…

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Shift happens

About a week ago I walked under Ava’s overhead dog trolley and it brushed the top of my head. My head is not eight feet above the ground, where the wire is supposed to be. Thinking the wire had slipped loose or stretched, I took my little wrench over to the tree where it’s anchored, figuring to tighten things up. I ended up tippy-toeing carefully away. The only thing keeping that tree from tipping into my house is the branches of the (fortunately strong) old cedar tree it fell into. No surprise, really. The tree (an ash maybe? I’m not…

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Prep-ticalities

I get a little high-flown and abstract at times, but freedom practicalities still remain … Here, courtesy of friend JW, is a thoughtful (and not what you might expect) piece on permaculture from John Mosby at Mountain Guerrilla. And via Greg Ellifritz, here’s a variety of advice on what to do about those negligent relatives who “joke” that they don’t have to prep because they’ll just show up at your house when TSHTF. Finally, Vox takes on EDC. Of course, Vox being Vox, they’re more interested in their suspicion that “the EDC community” is sexist than they are in the…

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