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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.

Summer 2014 fundraiser: Keep a roof over Claire’s head! Click right here to donate.

Even now that we’ve busted the top of the thermometer, more donations arrive. Thank you, S. for your gift! Since the roof repair costs more than I was trying to raise, every bit will be put to use in the cause of a warm, dry winter. AND with S.’s gift this a.m., we’re now a full $1k over goal!

(BTW, I’m posting acknowledgements on the original roof-raising thread so you’ll know I’ve received your contributions. Those aren’t my “official” thank yous, but are just to let you know.)

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

Wednesday links

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Claire | 2 Comments »

Sometimes you just have to be a pushy b*tch

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Claire | 15 Comments »

I think a few people were laughing about me feeling intimidated and being submissive to cranky county fair volunteers yesterday. Found it pretty funny, myself.

In real life, I’m mostly just a person who’d rather get along or talk things out than make a scene — until you really offend my sense of right and wrong. Once you get my righteousness up, you’d best get out of my way.

I’m dealing with an IRL situation like that this very minute.

On Sunday I mentioned a Bad Thing I’d been told (not asked) to keep confidential. It already felt wrong to keep shut about it since it potentially affected a lot of people.

Then late yesterday I learned that the few of us who thought we were in the know had been lied to. In one very, very, very important, not to say absolutely crucial, aspect, we’d been shined on. We’d been led to believe that the Bad Thing had one very good aspect.

It does not. Someone apparently decided to invent that one allegedly good point for reasons unknown. To keep the natives from getting restless, perhaps? I don’t know. But we were lied to.

Now … no more Ms Nice Guy.

Either these people back down from their nefarious plans — and put that in writing. Or it’s warpath time.

I’m trying to be constructive. I’ve been working on possible solutions with some of the others involved. People (other than those responsible) are diligently and intelligently trying to route around the damage. There are excellent colleagues ready not only to fight back but to build for the future. We’re taking practical steps, discussing alternatives. There’s hope in sight.

But now that we know we’ve been lied to, I’ve gone from “OMG, how can this be happening? What can we do about it?” to “If the people responsible for the Bad Thing don’t back off and get the hell out of the way ASAP, there’s going to be blood.”

Well, blood on the blogs, at least. Figuratively speaking.

With no firm ground to stand on, I demand that plans undone. I want resignations. I call for public disclosure.

Of course, that’s useless. I’m impotent. Powerless. I have absolutely zero ability to fix this mess by demanding, wanting, and calling. But I’m mad as bloody damned hell and certainly not going to take this Bad Thing or stand by quietly as it’s imposed on others.

Of all the things I angrily demand, public disclosure is the only one I have any control over. And I will use it.

Also, it’s just a plain fact that making this wretched business public is the right thing to do. It gives a greater chance of having new people come up with new solutions.

So far, all I’ve managed to do is make myself look like a pushy b*itch. Which I hate. But you know, there are signs it might actually work. We’ll see.

I’m holding to confidentiality — well, the threads of confidentiality — still today because a lot of innocent people are involved and because solutions still seem possible at this point without public ruckus raising. I do apologize for talking to you about the mess twice now without actually saying anything. It’s eating my guts out and it’s hard to find the right line to walk.

But if certain perfidious, secretive, lying authoritarians have not taken their plans and agreed to creep away in the next day or two …

Okaaay. That went FAIRly well …

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Claire | 21 Comments »

But I think the whole table thing is going to be a bust.

I got my entries to the county fair today. Five arty items checked in at one building, two crafty projects checked into another.

The art check-in went okay. The young girl accepting my work wasn’t sure about anything, but she was patient and asked. There was some intense discussion among the check-in ladies about whether colored pencil drawings actually qualified as pencil drawings since they weren’t black and white. Maybe because of the color they were actually pastels? (Fortunately the artists on the other side of the table all protested that and my pencil drawings went into the pencil category despite being the wrong hue. I already had the maximum two entries in the pastel category.)

Ridiculously, I felt like a mother sending her children off to school for the first time. I snuck back into the building later to make sure they’d been stashed in a safe place while they awaited hanging. (They had.)

Craft building, different story. First, I had to carry “Doorway to the Sun” clear across the fairgrounds. They wouldn’t let me drive up to the building. Technically quite possible. But Rules, you know. Heavy sucker, that little table. Fortunately, we’re not exactly talking extensive fairgrounds here.

Then I got a check-in lady who was, to put it politely, crusty. She seemed to feel that everybody should know exactly how everything’s supposed to be done, even if they’ve never done it before. After filling out my paperwork and writing ID tags for my entries, she handed the tags to me and waited for me to get out of the way.

“Um … do you want me to put these things somewhere?”

“Well, they gotta be put somewhere so people can see ‘em, don’t they? Might as well be you who does it.”

Another woman directed me toward the only case in the building big enough to hold “Doorway to the Sun.” I was glad it was going into a case, since it has doo-dads on it that kids could pull off. But … the only place it would fit is on a bottom shelf — with another opaque shelf completely covering its top. All you can see are the legs — and those not very well.

If Ms. Crusty is one of the judges, somehow I don’t think anybody’s going to pull my masterpiece out of the case to see whether or not it deserves a ribbon. It won’t have a shot at getting a “People’s Choice” vote unless people really, really like the legs. And the sheet with the before-and-after photos on it. At least they’ll see that.

I wish now that I’d gotten some help to find a better place for my table. But by then I was feeling pretty intimidated.

Anyhow, I think there goes my chance at countywide fame and fortune. At least in the miscellaneous (possibly including wooden tables as long as you didn’t do the woodworking yourself because that goes in another building) category.


UPDATE: Realizing they were still taking submissions this evening, I dashed back out there and made my plea to find a better place where people could actually see the table. Ms Crusty was even nice! Then an acquaintance of mine, a superintendant of one of the other fair buildings and a honcho in the grange, happened to turn up. Ms Crusty was really nice. She got up from her table, wandered about with us, and came up with creative ideas, none of which unfortunately would work.

“Could I just put the table on top of one of the cases?”

“Nooooo!” barked Ms Crusty’s comrade in check-ins, whom we’ll call Ms Crusty Senior, “Too fragile.”

“Look,” Crusty Senior said, rolling her eyes (and I really couldn’t blame her). “It’s in the case. It’s staying in the case. If we can find a better place for it after the judging, we will. But for now, it stays.”

I thanked her, apologized for upsetting everybody’s applecart, and was about to leave when Crusty Senior barked again, “Can you get that thing OUT of that case NOW? These dolls are going in there. Get it out RIGHT NOW and put it on top of the case.”

My honcho friend and I did that.

Then I sneaked next door to the art building and rearranged two of my pictures.

Gads, these poor fair volunteers must get tired of fussy Artistes!

Monday links

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Claire | 17 Comments »

Unschooling in the wild

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Claire | 4 Comments »

A.G. dropped this fantastic unschooling article into comments. I’m bringing it forward because this is fabulous, fun, and encouraging. Well-written, too.

The fact that it’s running in Outside magazine is even better. Non-political ‘zine; lots of open-minded readers who might get wild new ideas.

The article is excerpted from the upcoming Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World by Ben Hewitt, father of two untrammeled boys. The book looks like an absolute must-read for freedomista parents — and heck, even freedomista non-parents.

Sunday check-in

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Claire | 13 Comments »

Too hot to accomplish anything right now. Gads, it’s so nice to be able to say “too hot” when talking about the coastal NorthWET.


One thing I did accomplish this weekend: I got my entries ready for the county fair. Tomorrow is submission day for all the artsy-craftsy stuff.

Feels kinda silly to be doing this. I wouldn’t have entered anything in a fair when I was 10. Or 14. So why am I doing it now that I’m (mumble mumble)?

« Read the rest of this entry »

If you get a notice that I’ve sent you an ecard …

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 by Claire | 6 Comments »

It’s not spam. Jacquie Lawson cards will be going out today to roof-raiser donors. If you open yours, I can promise you won’t pick up any virii or have your mailbox hacked.

You might get an OD of cuteness, though.


ADDED: Whew! All cards have now been sent. If you donated and didn’t receive a card, please let me know. It could be because I don’t have a good email address for you or it could be I’m an idiot I got overwhelmed and missed you. Smack me upside the head and I’ll make up for it.

While composing cards, I also did some counting, even though the job severely taxed my supply of fingers and toes:

Sixty wonderful people have donated (with a couple more gifts perhaps still to come). Twenty donors sent $100 — or more! Eleven sent between $50 and $100. Everybody donated generously. You made my days and you made the roof-raiser a roaring success. This fundraiser exceeded its goal in an extravagant manner and in just a hair over two weeks.

As a little Hungarian lady I used to know would say (when she was very moved and surprised): “I’m ‘STOUND!”

Weekend links

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 by Claire | 10 Comments »

Friday links

Friday, August 15th, 2014 by Claire | 17 Comments »

Whoof! Look what you just did!

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Claire | 15 Comments »


From the get-go, this roof-raiser was going about as brilliantly as it possibly could.

But today? First came that totally surprising $330 from A. Then I collected the snail. OMG.

D. — a honey of a guy — sent a package containing a Kershaw pocket knife, a letter with one of the most roller-coastery personal stories I’ve read in many a year, and two portraits of Ben Franklin. Whoa. I never knew old Ben was so handsome!

Nearly there, nearly there …

The next envelope shattered the glass at the top of the thermometer. I can only say, “Thank you, Anonymous,” and even that may be crossing a line because this donation came with a strict, “NO CREDIT” order.

But how do you not give credit?

What now? Well, now I call the roofing crews and get myself a spot on their schedules. There will be no drowned cats, drenched doggies, or soggy writers this winter.

The total cost of my roof-to-be is $8,300. I was hoping to raise half of that with this fundraiser. You have contributed over 60 percent! Which leaves me with a much lighter, much more doable, burden. I was a little worried there for a while.

How do you say thank you? When I started, I had no idea what would happen. Maybe you’d send a cumulative few hundred and I’d get a few comments telling me (in effect), “Why should anybody send you money when children are starving in Africa?”

I feel so awkward asking for money!

I knew some old friends and Usual Suspects would kick in. But I didn’t know whether I’d end up … embarrassed or what. I’d have been grateful for any contributions. I’m speechlessly grateful for what you all have done. And while the Usual Suspects jumped in generously, so did so many people I’ve never heard from before.

My “official” thank yous will go out shortly. (I’ve been acknowledging all donations in comments as they’ve come in, and hope I haven’t been rude making some of you wait weeks for a better thank you.)

This roof-raiser has met its goals — emphatically and amazingly. I’ll still leave the “donate” button up a while longer for anybody who’d still like to “have their names on some memorial shingles” (LOL early contributors T & T for that).

But … wow. Just wow. And did I mention … wow?

“Your right to assembly is not being denied.”

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Claire | 9 Comments »

You have “near-zero” influence on U.S. policy

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Claire | 6 Comments »

Yeah, I know this actually came out last spring. But in this iteration of the news they keep using the word “startling.” Somebody is actually startled by this???

It’s rather like being startled by the sun rising in the east. A chancre turning out to be syphilitic. Or a politician lying. Still the study (early draft here) could be worth sharing with your “vote-to-make-a-difference” friends. Full study due out this fall, so we’re not months behind the news here; we’re months ahead of the next round of shock! Dismay! And we must DO SOMETHING about this!

(H/T MtK)



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