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Category: Rural and small-town living

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

News from the neighborhood

Nothing heavy today … I live in a park. And today is perfect park weather. I live in a park. Not the country. I can walk to the library, post office, grocery store, and city hall, though I’m in the wayback. And it looks more like city park than a farm or a wilderness. I was ouside on a lounge chair reading when the trees drew my eye over the top of the book. I looked up, suddenly felt the joy of being in some lush, though undeveloped spot. And I asked myself, “What are you doing sitting here today…



Today is St. Walburga’s Eve, better known as Walpurgisnacht. It’s a holiday that’s retained a whiff — heck, a whole snootful — of paganism despite honoring a Teutonic Christian saint. In Finland, it’s Vappu, one of the four biggest holidays of the year. On Vappu, you party and drink sima, a homemade low-alcohol mead that sounds suspiciously like prison hooch. Neighbor J is Finnish. Tonight she’s taking me to a Vappu celebration. Its promoters emphasize the Christian nature of the day. Yet they’ve chosen to feature a showing of the original Wicker Man — which as I recall ends up…


Weekend links

  • Maqgie McNeill lets loose on “…every yahoo endowed with a one-dimensional sense of ethics who brays that the current sorry state of the American empire is the fault of whichever ‘wing’ of the US Fascist Party he does not identify with.”
  • Joel Kotkin: American Jews should wake up and realize which side their most dangerous enemies are on. (Via Instapundit)
  • At Harvard, you can’t even say “free speech” if you want to hold an event there. Because, you know, free speech is such a right-wing thing. 10 Comments
  • They were having a sale at the pot shop

    Oh, you have no idea how delighted I am to be able to say that. It’s 420 and the local cannabis dealer was mobbed this a.m. for its annual sale. It’s a beautiful shop run by nice people and I’m so glad to see it making a (you’ll pardon the expression) hit. It’s beloved by recreational users, cancer patients, pain patients, people with digestive issues, and certainly by the ‘crats who collect marijuana taxes. While the budtenders are mostly young kids (who, for some reason have taken to wearing Bob Marley dreads despite most of them being white and female),…


    Yesterday: Out and about

    Cold and windy. More winter than spring. But beautiful. Click to embiggenate. This one I “painted” lightly in the GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program). This one I painted more heavily, which may not be apparent until you enlarge it.


    Hiking with Furrydoc

    Furrydoc, our dogs, and I went woodswalking yesterday. Given Furrydoc’s schedule with the vet clinic and her active, hyper-accomplishing family, we manage to do this only a couple times a year With all the recent forest closures, we had to go 10 miles out of town to DNR lands to find a great place to hike. We climbed a logging road for about a mile before picking up a well-marked equestrian trail that took us deeper into the woods. We’ve been here before but not for a couple of years. The trail we were looking for ends in a magical…


    Morning on the estuary

    I spotted these guys while out walking Ava this morning. Two were familiar faces. This one objected to our presence even though we were probably 30 yards away. I have no idea what this guy is. Do you? When I first saw the three from a long distance, I thought he (she?) was a blue heron; there’s one that hangs out in the vicinity. But this bird was small and graceless. It might be a heron, but only in its dreams. I didn’t actually get a good look while I was there. We were pretty far apart. Seems one of…


    That woman never learns

    She didn’t learn from “basket of deplorables.” She didn’t learn from losing a freaking election for which she was supposedly already coronated. Now … “If you look at the map of the United States, there’s all that red in the middle where Trump won,” Clinton said. “I win the coast, I win, you know, Illinois and Minnesota, places like that.” Clinton suggested that the portion of the US she won represents portions of the country that are thriving economically. “But what the map doesn’t show you, is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product,”…


    They’re everywhere

    I ate breakfast this morning on the screen porch. Fresh blueberries in Greek yogurt with honey from the dear Friends of the Blog at Molon Labe Apiary. (I used the honey their bees produced during last summer’s wildfires, which I hope they did end up calling Smoking Gun, per Ellendra’s suggestion.) It was only in the low 40s, but mild and pleasant. The screen porch looks out on the fern-covered hill that rises just 12 feet from the back wall. Between house and hill is a small gravel plain that will eventually be a patio. It’s a teeny, tiny view,…