Sunday, May 27, 2012

Abbey and Me

I have started a new blog about taking a hike with my dog, Abbey. It also will have quotes from my literary hero: Ed Abbey. You can find the new blog here. I hope to see you there.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Fresh and Free Range...

Our Christmas Turkey. Free range, fresh, organic, no anti-biotics---a happy Turkey that cost an arm and a leg. But oh so worth it! Yes it is about four times the price of a Butterball---but Christmas only comes once a year. And once you've strayed away from the Factory Farmed Meats, well, you just don't want to go back to them. Either ethically or gastronomically.

 If you are going to eat meat, you might as well have the best tasting meat available and imbibe in such with a cleaner conscience. I haven't asked the Pope (or my brother the Lutheran Pastor), but more and more I think eating a Factory Farmed Animal is a mortal sin up there with those seven other deadly ones. Eating animals from concentration camps must be the eighth deadliest sin. For details, see Food Inc. or read Michael Pollan.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Snowboard!

Obligatory photo of a child figuring out that the package contains a Snowboard.

Happy Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011


This will be Christmas Number Four up here. And every year, ever so very slowly, things get more and more comfortable. In reading Bill Bryson's "At Home" last night, the word "comfortable" wasn't even a part of the vocabulary of the home until the 1700's. Before that, at least in English, there was no concept of being "comfortable".  And I guess there was good reason for that: homes didn't really have a concept of comfort to them. It was just a place to try and stay warm, eat and sleep. And a place to keep "stuff". Drawers weren't invented until the mid-1600's; before that, people just kept their possessions in boxes.

1700's be damned, we are comfortable. The wood stove is working wonderfully. We have hot water on demand. The new pump isn't leaking too badly. We have separate rooms. The girls even have beds thanks to my dad. Our tree is up. Presents are wrapped. We have it good.

Yes, things have gotten pretty soft up here. Happy Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Adding Flour...

We are putting on the second coat of mud plaster on an interior wall. With this coat, we add a bit of flour to it in order to make it bind better. This should hold everything together and make it less dusty.

Friday, December 9, 2011


I'm home after being away at work for most of the last month. The past couple of days I've been chasing the coyotes away. They are interested in our chickens. One coyote, a big blackish one, has had a couple of unsuccessful attempts at our chickens before I chased him away. Another smaller grayish one has been hanging around. I chased him/her halfways down the ridge. The smaller coyote would just turn around to see if I was still following him/her. I was. Seemed like a game to this coyote.

And so Kylie has permission to use her BB gun on the coyotes. The BB's won't hurt and will certainly get their attention. Man versus Coyote. In the end, I'm quite certain the coyote will win. As they should.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Eating Sand...

This is a review from Amazon:
And things have only gotten worse. When this book came out, you might have found a fast food restaurant or two that actually used a grill and had a knife in the kitchen. Never trust a food establishment that doesn't own a knife. Or uses a microwave to create their dishes.

This is an excellent book. As can be told by the number of reviews, a real tour-de-force: this is the book that made Michael Pollan possible. This is the book that confirmed that the hippies were right.

But has it had the proper impact? Reading the last chapter, I wonder. First off, Herman Cain (who is currently running for President) is in trouble for his relationships with women. He should be in more trouble for his relationship with the National Restaurant Association. The NRA (must those initials always epitomize evil?) has been lobbying on behalf of the beheamoth Fast Food Industry for eighty years. Their membership includes every Fast Food/Moderately Priced Corporate Food Chain that has created an American restaurant culture that has all the taste and satisfaction of eating sand. Herman Cain is, essentially, a lobbyist for Fast Food. Can you imagine a lobbyist for the Sierra Club being taken seriously as a Presidential candidate?

Again, this book is excellent. The right book at the right time. I do wish the author would have included a critique of the loss of local, food culture that has been destroyed by these peddlers of corporate cuisine. I've had better food on the backroads of Central America, inexpensive, nutritious, than I have had at the local mall. For a rich country we have very poor food. We need an alternative to the Fast Food culture. I wish the author did more to explore the alternatives.

Other than that, a most wonderful read---even after ten years of being on the shelf.