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Category: Rural and small-town living

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

Give Your Stuff Away Day

And the joys of a bad neighborhood in a bad economy Saturday May 14 is Give Your Stuff Away Day — or at least one earnest man hopes it will be. That’s the day he urges you to haul your excess stuff (or at least a politically correct and safety-checked assortment of it) to the curb and simply give it away to anybody who wants it. It’s not the political correctness that’ll keep me from participating. It’s the fact that I spring-cleaned my garage today, shoved the best of the gleanings to the front, put up “FREE STUFF” signs —…

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Thursday miscellany

I think this is satire. But these days, ya never know. Sometimes it amazes me that the fedgov hasn’t arranged a convenient “accident” or “heart attack” for John Williams to keep him from telling inconvenient truths. Horsefeathers. Provocative horsefeathers, though. The quaintly interesting thing is that the author takes for granted that “government isn’t the problem” and expects readers to share his view — when his own words show otherwise. Okay, we’ve all heard the flap about IKEA. But should we tear our hair over America’s third-world status or cheer along with the politicians for “job creation”? “Is sugar toxic?”…

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Garage sales shall provide

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not exactly an optimist or a believer in positive thinking. But there is one area of my life where all I have to do is set something in my mind and I can be amazingly sure that serendipity will provide. I’m talking about garage sales. I cannot believe the number of times I’ve fixed some item in my brain only to have it turn up at a garage sale within a few weeks — even if it’s an item I’ve never seen at a garage sale before. Really tough items might take six months or…

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Close enough to bucolic

I might not live in the backwoods any more. But close enough: I took this photo yesterday morning through my sun porch window. Horses walking down the street isn’t exactly an everyday sight here. But the critter in front lives on a muddy half acre about six blocks away. He’s a friendly old guy. Always comes over to the gate to say howdy, so the dogs and I are well-acquainted with him from our walks. I wasn’t the only one who grabbed a camera. A few minutes later, a neighbor mom came running out with her toddler and snapped a…

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Free horse poop!

… courtesy of a local Freecycler. And her horse, of course. Not to mention several hours of shoveling and hauling and borrowing of trucks. AND it came with an invitation to come back any time for more. The neglected soil next to my garage will appreciate that. The truck belongs to a cop from a nearby town and was acquired for this job by My Friend the Cop’s Mom, who shared in the bounty. On the way from my house to hers, a different cop pulled us over for — of all things — a faded license plate. First words…

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Good neighbor/bad neighbor and Emergency preps, cont’d.

It’s weird living in a neighborhood for the first time in so many years. In the desert, the nearest neighbor was at least 1/2 mile away. But you knew everybody in a five-mile radius. When I lived in Cabin Sweet Cabin, there were no neighbors in sight, yet I knew everybody who lived on my road. Here? Although I’ve spotted my next-door neighbor twice in three months, I wouldn’t know her if I ran into her off the block (and I have reasons not to want to know her). I’ve exchanged hellos and compared notes with a couple of dog…

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Dave’s Killer Bread (and killer story)

I know. Bread isn’t exactly the No. 1 item on a primal diet. In fact, its not anywhere on a primal diet. But once in a while even a caveperson needs a ham & swiss on rye. That’s a simple fact of life. So there I was in this town’s mini-supermart — which is a neat little store, but definitely little — scanning the bread rack. The first (and for a while only) rye bread my eyes lighted on cost six bucks. Ack! It was an interesting, even funky, unknown brand. All organic and containing nothing but Actual Ingredients. Still…

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Chanterelles!

I knew there was some reason I moved back to the NorthWET. Chanterelle mushrooms! Early fall is chanterelle season in this part of the world. But I hadn’t planned on hunting the elusive little critters this year. Been way too busy. And chanterelles, though they can be plentiful when you find them, usually require serious finding. But there I was, minding my own business, traipsing along a logging road with the dogs, and all these big, fat mushrooms were growing within about 10 feet of each other, shining like bright gold beacons not 20 feet off the road. The forest…

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Unreliable people

Been in my new house six or seven weeks now. The days rush by in a whirl of work — the kind I do and get paid for, the kind I do and don’t get paid for (except in satisfaction and sweat equity) and the kind of work I have to pay other people to do. Can you guess that the latter is outstripping the former right now? Ouch. Still, nothing to be done about it. I’m at that stage of things where I have to pay contractors to do some fairly heavy lifting. Some jobs I simply can’t do…

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Wobbling into Wednesday

I’m tired. I’m very, very, very, very tired. It’s been one month and two days since I set out to move cross-country, close on a house I’d never seen, and fix up said house while writing/assembling a book for Paladin Press with a deadline of just over one month. And suddenly, I’m beat. Not sure why it’s hitting now. Things are going great, actually. The book — The Bad Attitude Guide to Good Citizenship — is right on schedule. I’ll be sending the manuscript to Paladin by the end of this month and they say (wonder of wonders) they’ll have…

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