Top Navigation  
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter

 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues
 Print Display Ads
 Print Classifieds
 Free Stuff
 Home Energy

General Store
 Ordering Info
 Kindle Subscriptions
 Kindle Publications
 Back Issues
 Help Yourself
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

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

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
 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.

Archive for the ‘Arts and Aesthetics’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Report from the writer battles

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Sometimes I’m not sure which is harder: writer’s block or that rare and supposedly wondrous state of flow, where words fly from the end of your fingers without conscious input from your mind, where things like eating, getting dressed, and taking the dogs for a walk either get forgotten or force themselves upon your attention like the unforgivable person from Porlock.

I used to live for the flow state. Now it exhausts me. Definitely more exhilarating and productive than writer’s block, though.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Living space!

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

This is going to sound very silly to some of you smart guys, but I’ve never been up in the attic crawl space of this house. Reasons are complicated and I’ll probably go into them in some future BHM article. I knew generally what was up there, but until today I’d never even climbed a ladder, stuck my head through the cobwebby little hatch, and flashlighted around.

I didn’t go walkabout up there; just stayed on the ladder. But where I thought I’d find only unappealing but potentially useful storage space, I found this:


That peak is about nine feet up there, guys! And that’s the original main span of the house, so it’s a looooong room. Vertical sidewalls, too, albeit only about three-feet high (that’s the beginnings of cabinets and countertops). My brain dazzled, then got to work on ideas.

The only great big tricky thing: The stairway would have to come up right out of the living room. And that’s tough. A pull-down ladder won’t do because I’m thinking accessible living space, not seldom-visited storage.

Got some stairway ideas, but who knows yet if they’re good ones? Again I’ll keep the details for another time. Mainly I’m writing to say that I am stoked!

Laughing at myself for taking such an absurd long time to make this discovery. But stoked.

Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, January 29th, 2016
  • “Ayn Rand Made Me a Communist.” Um … you’d probably have to be a regular New Republic reader and already know how Jacob Bacharach is one; he doesn’t actually explain, except in a vague-ish indirect way. It’s still an interesting essay, though.
  • Question not asked: If this homeless guy can do all this, then why is he homeless?
  • Not a bad analysis of how the R-Party is coming apart at the seams. Leaves out factors you and I know well, but seems right in its basics.
  • Georgia state representative commits civil disobedience to get medical marijuana to sick kids.
  • Yeah, it’s a Communist hellhole. So we’ll open and close today’s news with Commies. But Cuba is beautiful, as these aerial photos show. And ohhhh, those empty white-sand beaches! This link was sent to me by a Panamanian taxista who helped make my couple of days in Panama City six years ago a pleasure. I’m pretty sure he’s been to Cuba.

And a bonus: Canada for President, courtesy of MJR, who knows a thing or two about all that. NB: Brief NSFW language.

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, January 25th, 2016
  • Cool story from shooting-sports star Vera Koo. I had no idea she was so old or that she learned to shoot only in middle age because she was terrified of guns.
  • Amazing and discouraging that cops continue to get away with being highwaymen despite these tactics being repeatedly exposed. Picked the wrong victim this time, though. (H/T MJR)
  • Why is there no Uber for healthcare? You already know the answer, but this article finally asks some of the obvious questions.
  • Much sweat has been sweated over China’s holdings of U.S. debt. This is the first time I’ve seen anybody get exercised over what Saudi Arabia could do to us. (H/T The Shy One)
  • And speaking of Saudi Arabia, while I wouldn’t take this opinion piece as gospel, we should forever keep in mind that these tyrannical thugs are not our friends.
  • I wanna know who those 62 people are.
  • Do not get between a mama bear — or a mama human — and her cubs.
  • “The Day the Mesozoic Died.” Great account of a scientific detective story.
  • Fairytales are much older than we know.
Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, January 8th, 2016
  • Guess what the most popular work at the UN library is. A thesis on how to avoid being charged with war crimes. Not how to avoid committing war crimes. Just how to avoid punishment. (H/T jb)
  • Several major car makers are partnering up with Linux. While this is a lot better than the recent features about those partnering with Microsoft, I generally wish they’d all stay the heck out of any automobile I ever own, except for entirely optional, turn-offable devices. (H/T MJR)
  • Another inspiring story about the life-changing power of going debt free.
  • Who says a porno-graphic can’t be your legitimate signature? NSFW and sorry about that, but it’s another interesting tale of whether the state or the individual controls identity. (H/T jb)
  • Speaking of porn, you’ve probably seen the latest TSA child-molestation video. What fascinates and depresses me is the father’s “I love the security state, BUT …” attitude. Not to worry, of course. Procedures were followed. Not to mention guidelines. No mistakes were made.
  • Washingtonian magazine dubiously “credits” Jim Bovard for one of the DC outrages of the year.
  • Your awwwwww story for today doesn’t involve dogs or cats (or even a giant jumping spider, which I admit is more of an ewwwwww story) . It’s about a baby saved by an innovative surgeon and a $20 device.
Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
  • No. This is just plain wrong. And the “only ones” are going to commit even more bloody mayhem than they already do with this in their hands.
  • This, on the other hand, is bizaarrish. And their rationale for it (in the video) is laughable. But the innovation is intriguing. According to Wikipedia, it’s been around since 1999 in Russia, but looks as if there might be a serious push for it in the U.S. this year. (H/T MJR)
  • This morning, Obama’s fedgov took its the first step toward its long-dreaded executive action on guns. “Laughable fizzle” is my first response to the White Paper. But other phrases like “camel’s nose” and “slippery slope” most assuredly apply. (More to come from the White House today, but I’m prepping this post before the final news is out.)
  • Unintentionally funny: the best ways to spot a liar. Not through secret training in body language or eye movements (aka expensive guesswork). Just the old-fashioned way. Not real handy for the “instant security” folks, though.
  • Some hearty encouragement against the confiscator wannabes. (H/T The Shy One)
  • In all the media frenzy over last spring’s “Draw Mohammed” competition (especially when it ended with two dead jihadis), not much attention was given to the winner. Did you know he was raised Muslim?
  • Thomas Chatterton Williams: My black privilege.
  • Why is Hillary not already under indictment???
Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, December 28th, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Name that cottage, the sequel

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

After the glorious comment thread on the original Name that Cottage post, here are the 11 happiest names:

Mo Saoirse
“My Freedom” in Irish; pronounced mo seer-sha; Suggested by Pat

Dripping Cedars
Inspired by Kent McManigal’s suggestion, Dripping Leaves

Casa Solana (or just Solana)
“Sunny spot” or “sun room” in Spanish; From Seibert

Suggested by Vince

Beth’s modification of Chris’ suggestion

Inspired by Lady Locust’s suggestions

Chrysalis (or Chrysalis Cottage)
Suggested by capn

From A.G.

A late entry from TJ Madison

Carraig Cottage

Both from my original list. Adnamira means “flowing water” in an Australian aboriginal tongue (so the Internet tells me) and in Ireland a carraig is a giant, unyielding boulder.

Now the big question is how to choose. Names in a hat? List under my pillow until I dream the right one? Poll the neighbors? See which one tastes best to Ava? I’ll gladly take your input; it’s already been both invaluable and fun to receive. But the right name will ultimately come from within. Or be suggested by the house itself at some odd moment.

Some names there I find beautiful, but am not sure they’d trip naturally off my tongue. The one I can most hear myself speaking is “Dripping Cedars” because it’s a little wry, unpretentious, and so very true. The place is flanked by cedars. They drip. But I like the poetry of other names.

Ohhh, this is going to be tough!

BTW, though, it’s interesting how many suggestions had something to do with sunshine. Because aside from the yellowness of the house (it’s actually khaki, but let’s not get technical), you didn’t know about this:


Claire Wolfe

Name that cottage

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015


Although my house has a boring number and that gets packages and plumbers to the door, I want it to have a name.

It’s a great old rural custom, even for dwellings that don’t rank up there with Pemberley. You know … “Take the lane past Rose Cottage” “Oh, Miss Smythington? She lives out at Bide-a-Wee.”

I’ve been calling it Ye Olde Wreck in my BHM articles, but hopefully that name won’t apply a few years down the road. Something a little more evocative would be nice.

I toyed with names last summer but couldn’t settle on anything. So maybe you can help.

What’s a name suitable for a modest house on a narrow lane, tucked against a wooded hillside, enjoying a pocket view of wetland and forest?

Here’s a sample of what I’ve been noodling, but the name is probably still out there.

The Hermitage
Cedar Cottage
Selkie House (Celtic)
Carraig Cottage (Celtic)
Waterfall House (because it has a tiny seasonal waterfall)
Adnamira (“Flowing Water”; Australian)
Aalican (“Great Calm”; Celtic)
Dromore Cottage (Irish)
_________ View
_________ Hill
Casa __________

You see where I’m going? But I’ll bet the collective wisdom of the Living Freedom Commentariat can come up with something better that I haven’t thought of yet.

P.S. The first person to suggest any variation on “Wolfe’s Den” or “The Dog House” will be summarily shot. Don’t. Do it. I warn you.

P.P.S. Have you ever lived in a house that had a name? Or do you now?

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015
  • SpaceX has launched — and landed — an orbital rocket at Cape Canaveral. Whoohoo! ADDED: Better link.
  • If you’ve got friends or family who don’t think there’s anything wrong with being on a government list, or who believe the gov’s pledges of privacy or promises that missions will never creep … have them read Carl-Bear’s latest over at TZP. Real world example, right there.
  • If those friends are against the wide dissemination of “dangerous” information, Historian says, “Ask the Jews of Warsaw.”
  • Kaiser Permanente opens its own medical school with a focus on teamwork. I can see some positives and some big negatives there. (H/T PT)
  • The chief publicist for Bloomberg and Watts has apparently been sexually harassing every female he could get his hands on, including his own employees and clients’ employees. (H/T David Codrea) This is not the first time Trevor FitzGibbon has been caught, either. Perfect guy to represent people who don’t believe women should be able to defend themselves.
  • To call this puppy-murdering, people-despising (now-ex) police chief a pig would be doing a disservice to swine the world over.
  • Some cops apparently consider cats easier targets.
  • James Kosur discovers it’s a lot harder for a man to take his wife’s last name than it is for a woman to take her husband’s.
  • The 12 flavors of rainbows. (Yeah, but none of those include my glorious rainbow because technically it wasn’t a rainbow but a halo.)
Claire Wolfe

Sunday ramble

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

We’re expecting five storms in rapid sequence over the next week. Some of them hard and windy. So should I go offline at any time, don’t worry. It’s not the ATF, FBI, CIA, or NSA. Just Ma Nature.

This will be a good test of how well my tape job did on fixing Old Blue’s leaks. So far so good after a week of normal wet conditions. Few drops of water in the trunk, but no lakes, rivers, or waterfalls in the passenger compartment.

Another table

The library held a mosaics class one morning last month. While everybody else worked on wooden planks the teacher provided, I decided to do another table. Specifically this one:

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015


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