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Category: Rural and small-town living

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

A room with a view — of snow!

This is the view this morning from my bedroom door into the screen porch and beyond. It’s not unusual to get snow here. It’s also not unusual to get none. It’s been nearly two years since our last, so this was sweet. It’s supposed to snow all morning, then resume in the afternoon after an brief period of rain. (A snow day! The little boys next door are gonna have a blast.) I love this room. I love this spot on this planet. I love ferns bowed down with snow and snow clinging to screens and stone walls. I love…


St. Nilus Island Skete: Could you handle that life?

I mentioned to a friend that I could do with a few days silent retreat. He came right back with a link to the St. Nilus Skete. And I said, “Um. Wow. But um. No freakin’ way!” A skete is a religious community midway between a monastery and a hermitage. Monks or nuns (nuns, in the case of St. Nilus), largely live and work solo, avoiding the communal perils of cenobitic life. But they gather for religious observances and meals to avoid the emotional and intellectual perils of pure solitude. Far as I know there are only a handful of…


Midweek links

  • The (insouciantly charming) symbolism of launching a Tesla into space. (And before anybody goes objecting to Elon Musk and his very existence, you might want to read the comment by UnReconstructed, who happens to be a real rocket scientist, over at Joel’s place.)
  • Commander Zero on meeting folks: a real-world example.
  • Oh, yeah. This is what the country needs (she says rolling her eyes): ICE wants to become an intelligence (sic) agency. 10 Comments
  • Dodged a bullet

    At least I think I did. Hope I did. It’s a very slow-moving bullet, however. It’s a government bullet, and it might still be out there waiting to strike. Not government as in feds battering down my front door. Just government as in bureaucrats at the county, the kind we all have to deal with now and then. It’s a dirty little tale. Literally. Involving a septic tank. My house, Ye Olde Wreck, shares a septic system with the house next door. An odd arrangement no modern bureaucrat would approve. But at the time (1970s, maybe earlier) it was an…


    Midweek links

  • Between the Equifax breach and the new tax law, this could be a bad year for both fraudulent tax returns and IRS confusion.
  • In southern California they’re looking for victims in a weather-related mudslide. In Washington state, they’re watching a potentially larger landslide in the making. Local officials are pooh-poohing the potential impact; geologists and geophysicists are saying, “Close the damn freeway NOW and prepare for Yakima to flood.”
  • Hopping off the hedonic treadmill. 4 Comments
  • So. Would you want to live in this neighborhood?

    Despite predictions that Seasteading is dead, the project got a grand writeup in the Daily Mail this week and is moving ahead with plans for 2020. It seems Patri Friedman, Peter Thiel and company are sailing ever closer to conducting their experiment in liberating mankind from politicians. (Marvelous goal; to which I say with a touch of skepticism and an equal touch of joy in their monumental vision, “Good luck with that.”) Of course, it all begins with an agreement with government — in this case the government of French Polynesia. Not a bad neighborhood, Tahiti. Gorgeous concept drawings, too.…


    Simple abundance

    When last we spoke, I couldn’t brain because I had the dumb. I decided to take the weekend off from blogging — and in fact from every sort of pressure or expectation for myself. That’s harder to do than to decide to do. It began nicely. Friday evening — softly drizzly, but peaceful — Ava and I wandered the town enjoying Christmas lights. Then I stopped into the grocery store to pick up ingredients for beef stew, my favorite fall comfort food. The old family recipe I adapted requires Kitchen Bouquet, a condiment from Mom’s day that I’m always surprised…


    I think of days like this as “Joel days”

    You know how Joel writes so entertainingly over at TUAK about those days when everything goes haywire? When mad bulls charge into his yard while he’s lying in the mud fixing busted plumbing and his homemade bread is in the house caving in while packrats are eating the wiring on his Jeep? Those days. Joel days. So I closed the computer earlyish this morning, pledging to work on the new RebelFire story. But of course I can’t write until the house is clean. So I start cleaning. And organizing. Which reminds me that since my second backup heat source is…


    Good day and other ruminations

    I’m still basking in the glow of last week’s great gift, which enabled me to pay off last summer’s construction loan, budget money to insulate the attic and restore my propane service, do a little paying forward, and still put plenty aside. Yesterday another of my angels flew in and I immediately put his contribution to good use, also. In fact, three of Living Freedom’s biggest angels have been involved in all this. (And Patreon made its monthly payout, also put to good use, thank you.) Is there a word for a band of angels? Flock? Pride? Flight? Gratitude? A…