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Category: Rural and small-town living

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

Indulgences on the road to Armageddon

This afternoon I poured myself a glass of a lovely white wine. Then I just sat. First I sat in the newly finished screen porch contemplating the bank of ferns behind Mo Saoirse Hermitage. When it got too chilly I came inside and slipped into a big bentwood rocker that has a view out the south windows. A few stalks of Crocosmia Lucifer were beginning to open their exotic flame-red blooms. Beyond them lies my 1/4-acre park-to-be, which is about halfway done and is now pastoral and pleasant after seven years of fitful labors. I so seldom do this, just…

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A Sunday ramble, from politics to picking up cedar limbs

The problem of free speech Gab, the free-speech social network, has suffered yet another blow. Visa has yanked their merchant account, preventing people from using Visa cards to make payments to the company. Worse, the ban also extends personally to Gab founder Andrew Torba AND to any members of his household. Gosh, can anybody think of other times and places when family members were punished for the politically incorrect deeds of others? Oh yeah … the Soviet Union, Communist China, and Nazi Germany. Fun times, fun places. Of course, this is just Visa, a private corporation, and not the work…

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A brief retreat to the peace of Mo Saoirce Hermitage

With all the crazy in the world — you know, the destruction of Western Civilization and all that — I thought it was time for a brief blogging retreat to the former Ye Olde Wreck, now known as Mo Saoirce (My Freedom) Hermitage. So here are some moments of peace and beauty for you. The hermitage in morning light and shadow The light gray gravel heaped beside the driveway will soon go on the top of the slope in front of the house as part of my nefarious campaign to rid the world (at least my world) of lawns. It’s…

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Kicking against the crazy

I’m fully aware that lots of people have bigger problems due to the current political lockdown. If you’re one of the suffering, you have my outraged sympathies. I’m not in a league with the impoverished, the busted, the ones in dire need of “elective” health care they’ve been forbidden to get, or the about-to-go-bankrupt entrepreneurs. But I reserve the right to be ticked off at the small stuff that keeps getting shoveled daily into all our faces and I’m presently irked because I can’t get away from the crazy. This is a small town. Other than the occasional village idiot…

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One small moment of Sunday sanity

Away from the constant drumbeat of scare stories about the new black plague … lies the real world. In case any of you remember last year’s laborious rock-wall project and wondered how the succulent plantings survived the winter: The pictures don’t do justice. While the yellow jumped out into the camera, there’s also quite a lot of dark red that doesn’t show well. I couldn’t get it to pop even with a color-balance and hue-saturation adjustment. Take my word for how colorful it really is. 🙂 The main thing is that the sedum not only survived the winter but is…

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Little rays of sunshine

Pardon the sappy subject line, but after last week’s angry rant it seems right to post some rays (even if they are just very little pinpoints) of good cheer. Life goes on despite every petty act of totalitarianism from every petty politician or bureaucrat — and both real rebellion and creative monkeywrenching appear and grow. —– On the personal front, shortly after I ranted last week, a longtime Commentariat member and friend-I’ve-never-met wrote to remind me, in the nicest way, to follow my own advice. That is: Not to let the bastards grind me (you, us) down. Stupid, evil bastards…

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A Tale of Two Towns

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Publicly, the worst. Privately, sometimes the best. It was the time of Covid-19 and of goodness and nastiness. —– In a small dry-country town, a health club owner whose business was ordered closed for being “non-essential” during the pandemic panic checked with the sheriff: Could she conduct exercise classes outdoors, with small groups, everyone staying six feet apart? Yes. Midway through her first class, deputies of that very same sheriff arrive. A busybody has spotted the “deadly” and “illegal” activity and they’ve been dispatched to shut her down.…

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The Great Neighborhood Garden Project

So I received a text from Neighbor J two days ago: Would you like to participate in a community garden? X says we can use his fenced area; it’s full of raised beds. Every year since the truly heavy DIY work on the former Ye Olde Wreck (now Mo Saoirce Hermitage) was finished, I’ve been promising that this will be the year I build raised beds and plant a veggie garden. Every year, the expense of the project plus the fact that I’m a really, truly, terribly awful black-thumbed gardener means I put on my guilt and put off the…

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Dispatches from a small town

Last week the local grocery store was out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. Of course. That’s old news. Covid-19 business as usual. The new normal as pundits keep telling us. This week they received new supplies, but when I dropped in Friday they were not only out of the infamous items, but either stripped of or light on dozens of others. Eggs were unavailable. Butter was gone except for a few pricey specialty types at $12 a pound. Yogurt was sparse and only a few gallons of milk remained. Items featured in the week’s sale flyer were…

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Hysteria Hits the Hinterlands (and a small Friday ramble)

I hit the library yesterday to do some ‘Net surfing and emailing, only to find it “canceled” like so much else. It was open and minimally staffed, but had the air of a haunted house. Patrons could check out and return books, but the banks of library computers were shut down (“until at least March 31,” said the signs), chairs were removed from all the carrels and upturned on the long reading tables, and the ever-present din of children was absent. I never thought I’d miss the shrieks of rugrats, but I did. The place was a freakin’ tomb. They…

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