Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
 
Backwoods Home Magazine, self-reliance, homesteading, off-grid

Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues
 Print Display Ads
 Print Classifieds
 Newsletter
 Letters
 Humor
 Free Stuff
 Recipes
 Home Energy

General Store
 Ordering Info
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 ePublications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Help Yourself
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

BHM Blogs
 Ask Jackie Clay
 Massad Ayoob
 Claire Wolfe
 James Kash
 Where We Live
 Behind The Scenes
 Dave on Twitter
Retired Blogs
 Oliver Del Signore
 David Lee
 Energy Questions
 Bramblestitches

Quick Links
 Home Energy Info
 Jackie Clay
 Ask Jackie Online
 Dave Duffy
 Massad Ayoob
 John Silveira
 Claire Wolfe

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Enter Forum
 Lost Password

More Features
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address
 Write For BHM
 Meet The Staff
 Meet The Authors
 Disclaimer and
 Privacy Policy


Retired Features
 Country Moments
 Links
 Feedback
 Radio Show


Link to BHM

Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 by Claire | Comments Off

STICKIED. Scroll down for newer posts.

Thank you for using my Amazon links for your online shopping.

Beatifying Aaron (while ‘disappearing’ him)

Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Claire | 5 Comments »

At TZP, I comment on Gottlieb dubiously “honoring” Aaron.

After you’ve had a look at that post, be sure to go back to the main TZP page. There’s really a ton going on, with recent posts from Nicki, Sheila, and our newest scholarly rabble-rouser Y.B. ben Avraham. AND we’ve now been joined by — ta da! — Ilana Mercer, the very well-known paleolibertarian/classical liberal writer.

Ilana and I (and you) may disagree on a fair number of issues, but she’s a great addition to TZP, whose writers already have a variety of styles and perspectives.

Did you see the eclipse?

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Claire | 15 Comments »

The clouds drifted in and out for hours. Would we see it here or — as usual — would we not? See it? Not? Every minute brought different prospects.

Finally when it became clear that … well, that it was going to become clear for quite a while, I did something I haven’t done since I was a little kid bitten by an astronomy bug. I drifted a piece of glass over a candle flame until I had a two-inch blackened square and had a look.*

The moon slid in at the 2:00 o’clock position, then gradually eased across the top of the sun.

I tried to take some pictures.

They were all bad, but some were interestingly bad:

Eclipse-01-small_102314

Eclipse-03_small-102314

Some got more interestingly bad after a few minutes with the GIMP:

Eclipse-01_COLORIZED-small-102314

By the time the moon had moved into the 12:00 position and was heading for its exit at 10:00 o’clock, a great mass of cloud consumed the whole display.

Eclipse-05_1-small-02314

It was all over and I never did get a good photo that captured the distinct “slice” the moon took out of the sun. (Or capture the crescent sun, to put it another way.)

But just having done something cool that I haven’t done since I was, oh, 10 or thereabouts felt great.

So how ’bout you? Did you see it? Did you get some better images than I did? Did you ignore the whole business? Did you get any fond reminders of eclipses past?

—–

* Yes, I know you’re not supposed to do it that way, but that whole looking at the projection of an image through a pinhole thing is borrrrring.

Meanwhile, a giant, mechanical horse-dragon

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Claire | 4 Comments »

I shall return with actual content later. Meanwhile (thanks, JB), here’s a giant, mechanical horse-dragon:

It breathes fire, too. :-)

And here’s more about it. With pix. And pix of a giant, mechanical spider as a bonus.

Gratitude and solitude (and also construction)

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Claire | 7 Comments »

I am so grateful today.

I’m grateful to have a solid roof over my head (and Ava, Robbie, and Kitsu the cat would say the same if they could speak) as the rain pours down all week and the season’s first high-wind warnings go up.

This sense of security I owe to you.

—–

I owe C-B, S.H., M.K., L.P., and especially Anonymous and the Mysterious Rockefeller for the latest round of help, which repaired the section of roof that collapsed while the rest of the roof was being refurbished. I also owe many of you, especially Paul Bonneau, for construction advice.

In case you’re wondering, I ended up not having the “Full Joe” repair.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Well, what are friends for?

Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Claire | 33 Comments »

Today I told my local friend L. that I was going to take “hermit time” from November 1 through the end of the year and that for those two months I was making no commitments of any sort except those required to earn a living. That includes not making commitments for holiday plans with friends, though I might be up for something spontaneous.

“You’re being so selfish!” she said. “Your friends love you and want to be with you.”

“You’re punishing me!” she said.

Considering that I was, at that moment, taking six hours of my day to drive her to a doctor appointment, I thought the bit about being selfish was a particularly low blow. But I was perhaps more shocked that she took my retreat to be all about her.

I’d just been telling her what a stressful year it’s been, how the JPFO debacle had taken the spirit out of me, and how desperately I need mental and spiritual renewal.

She’d just been telling me how proud she was of having said no to a long-term volunteer commitment even after being told how much she was needed.

But me saying no to holiday plans (that we hadn’t even discussed in detail) is punishing her.

—–

Because she’s not normally a narcissistic person I’m going to assume it was pain or pain meds talking. (She recently had surgery and is ingesting a daily pharmacopeia.)

Or perhaps something about hermitting during the holidays is so heretical that she literally does perceive it as an attack on friends and friendship. “Have you told [furrydoc] yet?” she asked in a tone that implied I was about to lose all my friends if I did this horrible thing.

(Dear furrydoc blessedly won’t give a damn. Hi, furrydoc.)

—–

L’s angry words stung. But they also helped cement my resolve.

If spiritual retreat is selfishness, then it’s time to be selfish. If friendship is nothing but fulfilling obligations and observing conventions, then it’s not time for friendship.

Funny, L’s words — though shocking from L. — were familiar. That’s similar to the way my Protestant mother and sister used to talk about Catholic nuns, especially of the cloistered variety. Just a bunch of selfish women “doing nothing” when they could be out getting married, raising families, and actually helping people.

Many people in many places have said the same of spiritual pilgrims of all kinds: Why don’t they just be normal like everybody else? Why don’t they do something useful?

Well, I’m no nun and have so far made a pretty lousy spiritual pilgrim. But all my life I’ve understood, even if only from afar, the value of lives devoted to “divine nothingness.”

My only regret is that I haven’t been more of that kind of “selfish.”

Free autographed books

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 by Claire | 25 Comments »

Now that I have copies of RebelFire: Out of the Gray Zone to go with my boxes of Hardyville Tales, I thought I could offer a little better thank you to some of the people who donated so generously to my Raise-the-Roof fund drive.

I apologize for not having any new books to give; I realize a lot of you already have one or both of these. But … well, maybe you still need an autographed copy or perhaps you might like to give a book to a friend this ChrismaKwanzaaHannukaYule.

So …

If you donated $25 to $49, take your choice of either RebelFire or Hardyville Tales.

If you donated $50 to $99, take ‘em both or take two copies of either one.

If you donated $100 to $299, take three, all one kind or mix and match.

If you donated $300 or more, heck, you can have whatever you want. :-)

(Note to Anonymous and Rockefeller: You, too, should you choose to uncloak.)

The Roof Raiser PayPal donation form didn’t require addresses, so I’ll need to get them from you. If you want books, please just leave a comment on this post using a real email address where it asks for your addy. I’ll see it; no one else will. Then I’ll email to ask which book(s) you want, what name(s) you want me to sign to, and where to send. You don’t have to put any personal info in your comment!

Or if you already have an email address for me, just write and tell me your details.

Please just make your request by Thursday, October 30. I’d like to have all the books in the mail by the end of the month (before I go into deep hermitting).

I’m sorry I don’t have any new books to offer. This feel like an inadequate gesture. But really anything would be inadequate; I can’t tell you what a huge, huge thing you did. Huge.

Lots of blogging going on over at The Zelman Partisans

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 by Claire | 4 Comments »

It’s turning into a busy blog over there, with posts from unique pro-gun perspectives.

Some of the latest:

“The Ghetto Mentality” by newest blogger Y.B. ben Avraham, on how so many Jews ended up being anti-gun.

Vladka Peltel’s slightly tongue-twisting “I Don’t Want to Hear ‘Never Again!’ Ever Again.”

“Faith and Firearms Revisited” by Nicki Kenyon, who also examines Jews, anti-gun attitudes, and the duty to protect life.

And one that’s near and dear to my heart, Sheila Stokes-Begley’s “Dreidels and Hedgerows,” which draws some similarities between Irish history and the history of the ancient Jews.

The name’s Rockefeller.

Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Claire | 8 Comments »

Or so the envelope said. The return address (I looked it up) was the HQ of the Council on Foreign Relations.

My correspondent has a sense of humor.

Based on what was in the envelope, my correspondent can call him or herself Rockefeller, Gates, Buffett, Rothschild, Medici, Windsor or anything else great heart desires. It would fit!

In their own world, they must have Rockefeller-level pull. They somehow talked their local post office into sending the priority envelope without either a postmark or the required tracking sticker. (Hilariously, this put my postmaster into a high huff. She was ready to write a nastygram to the postmaster of “New York 10065,” informing them that they’d broken the law!)

So, with no means to identify Mr. or Ms Rockefeller, or even have a clue as to where in this vast land their secret Lair of Largess might be, I can only say an inadequate wow. An inadequate doublewow. And an inadequate thank you.

Up goes that last remaining, recalcitrant section of roof. And off my heart and shoulders comes that rather heavy burden.

Thursday-Friday links

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Claire | 17 Comments »
  • Just in case you ever wanted to become a crooked psychic/fortune-teller/medium … or in case you’d like to explain to a gullible relative how not to be so easily conned, here’s how cold reading is done.
  • Wow. Sometimes using stupid passwords could be a good thing. Might have saved this young woman’s life. (But ohboy, OnStar, what a fail!)
  • The Centers for Anything But Disease Control. Michelle Malkin lists just a few of the “diseases” the CDC has spent its billions on.
  • I don’t intend to make this the all-Ebola all-the-time blog because I do think the fear is overblown (for everyone except medical personal). But here’s some plain common sense for avoiding exposure to infectious disease. And for those who really feel the need for hardcore protection (and have the money and time to go for it), here’s that, too.
  • And hey, if you’re really going to buy moonsuits and the kind of respirators (scroll down that page) needed for real Ebola protection, please don’t forget to use my Amazon links. Those could generate some very nice commissions — unfortunately for anyone who really needs such gear.
  • Not confirmed yet. But if true this could be a sweet lesson for those meddling “Moms” who believe in trying to get every open carrier SWATted. Will keep an eye on this. I’ve searched a couple of times today and found no further information.

If the nurses’ statement is correct …

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by Claire | 35 Comments »

… it sounds as if Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital wasn’t prepared for any severely infectious disease, let alone Ebola.

As a health-care outsider, but one who cares about preps, I wouldn’t necessarily expect a hospital in the midlands to be ready specifically for Ebola. But with all the talk these many years of potential biowar attacks and pandemics, I’d certainly expect more and better preps at any hospital than the slapdash, make-it-up-as-you-go, and dangerously half*ssed measures the anonymous nurses describe.

Of course, they are anonymous, and on the face of it, it’s hard to know whether their statement represents a grudge-holding exaggeration or genuine outrage and terror from people whose lives have been put at risk. And people who watched others’ lives be endangered.

But now that a second Dallas nurse has been diagnosed, the bland assurances of hospital management and the accusation from federal officials that the first nurse’s infection must have been all her own fault ring even more false.

We also know that this second nurse, while self-monitoring for the disease, flew twice on commercial airlines — including one flight the day before she reported to the hospital with a fever. We can hope that the latest assurances — that she was asymptomatic at the time, that the disease can’t be spread by someone showing no symptoms, and that the planes have now been cleaned according to (I roll eyes as I say this) CDC guidelines — are all more reliable than past assurances have been.

Everything is still officially fine, of course. All that’s needed are a few billion more dollars of tax funding and the CDC, and National Institutes of Health will — really, truly this time — have Ebola well in hand. And really, truly, they won’t blow any of those billions focusing on obesity, guns, or any other politically driven (non) “epidemic.”

I still think it’s way too early to panic — and of course panic won’t be productive even if/when it is time. I would never expect Ebola to get as out-of-control here as it has in West Africa, even with a fair degree of stupid involved. Not even remotely.

But if what we’ve seen represents the general level of preparedness and precaution that health-crats and hospitals practice, then it may indeed be time to worry, and to examine our own preps with infectious disease in mind.

More later on that.

Another potential vector I’d include in my worries involves those thousands of soldiers (slowly) being sent into the “hot zone.” We’re assured that they’ll never, ever, ever have any contact with Ebola sufferers. But they’re also mostly young men and women. Many are likely inclined to be risk takers. And do you believe for one moment that those who are sending them have made any better preps than the officials at the CDC or that Dallas hospital?

These people will return to the U.S. and disburse — possibly to a military base or a neighborhood near you.

No, I am not saying it’s time to duct tape ourselves inside those airless “safe” rooms the fedgov was so (potentially fatally) advocating a few years back.

Just stating the obvious: that the people who are supposed to be in charge of infectious-disease containment appear to be as clueless as the people in charge of … well, everything else that’s run or regulated by government. And — also obvious — that concern for the welfare of individuals or so-far Ebola-free communities is simply not on the radar of “officials.” So it had better be on our own radar.

What’s in your “get-home” bag?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by Claire | 20 Comments »

Linoge, of Walls of the City offers the contents of his get-home-from-work bag.

What’s in your get-home bag? Or do you not need one?

Tuesday links

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by Claire | 5 Comments »
 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.