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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.

Archive for the ‘Arts and Aesthetics’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Catching up

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Been deadlining, but all caught up now.


While I had my face buried in my latest BHM house-fixup article, the world outside was getting hammered with the kind of rain that makes even a seasoned Northwesterner wonder if there’s an umbrella (or perhaps a submarine) in the house.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Back to the “musings” shortly. In the meantime, I must beat back the tide of open tabs …

Claire Wolfe

Centerpiece of the house

Friday, October 23rd, 2015


The most important item in the house is now installed and plumbed and has hot water to fill it. Yum!

The wainscoting behind it is beadboard from the old ceiling of the enclosed porch. The doorway you see on the left will eventually become a wall and the wainscotting will continue around three sides of the tub. (That’s Bathroom: Phase Two after the finances have recovered.)


Scrounging and garage saling worked for everything else in the room, but I was determined to have a fabulous faucet, complete with shower attachment. So I found what I wanted online then searched for a factory second. This one has a chip in the porcelain that can be felt but not seen.


The day the plumber completed his work so early, I took Robbie for a long drive along the river. Robbie can’t walk much any more, but he sure loved sniffing the clear, fragrant October air through the rolled-down windows of the car. Seventy-two degrees; I still can’t get over it.

One of the houses on the river road has a flower stand at the end of its driveway. A bargain at a buck a bunch. I’ve never stopped there. But that day, how could I not?

Not being a flower person, I’m not sure what these are. Dahlias, I’m guessing. But could they be mums? Anyhow, I’m pretty sure they’re not dandelions or daisies. :-) They’re beautiful in my kitchen window.

Now back to painting the bathroom shelves.

P.S. Oh yeah, that bathtub is as comfy-cozy as it looks, you bet. As soon as the water heater had hotness, I made sure to check it out. When I first dragged the tub out of its Dickensian surround, it had no feet. Every brand and model of these old tubs is different and I had no hope of getting the right feet for this one. So I bought four generic, modern cast-iron feet on eBay and epoxied them on with double helpings of JB Weld (which is, um, not the way you’re supposed to attach clawfeet). I put wooden blocks under the tub just in case the legs decided to detach in mid-soak, but so far the footies seem likely to stay in place. Hooray!

P.P.S. Oh heck, here’s the Dickensian surround all over again, just because the contrast between then and now is so awesome. The miracles of Goof-Off, Rustoleum, and elbow grease!


Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

(Big H/T to jb)

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, September 21st, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Massive Friday links dump

Friday, August 28th, 2015

This oughta keep you busy for a while. Major hat tip to faithful contributor MJR, who went on a link-hunting tear this week.

  • Um … Yes, Wired, you can do something about Spotify’s weird new anti-privacy policy: don’t use Spotify. And y’know, Spotify’s “clarification” doesn’t help one little bit. It amounts to, “Oh, we’ll never, ever abuse all those bits of your life we’re requiring users to give up to us. Trust us …”
  • Now this is funny. How North Korea is handling shooting range budget cuts.
  • Over at TZP, Nicki and Y.B. write about a pair of killers and their enablers. Y.B.’s “A Traditional Young Man” and Nicki’s “A Shooting in Virginia.” (Please support TZP with your memberships and store purchases!)
  • Taxpayers sue the IRS for allowing hackers to grab their info.
  • Charming. How to age gracefully.
  • The agony of introvert writers in a world where writing has become a social occupation. (H/T JB)
  • And along those same lines: “If you don’t share this immediately the entire world will explode.”
  • Another confirmation that being neurotic leads to being creative.
  • The National Cancer Institute (a .gov operation), finally admits that cannabis can kill cancer cells.
  • It’s not surprising, but so pathetic. Data analysis proves what the hackers claimed and everyone should have suspected: There were almost no women using Ashley Madison.
  • I have an email out to Stewart Rhodes to learn more about this Oath Keepers controversy. Frankly, stopping this march by black gun owners in Ferguson doesn’t sound like something Oath Keepers would do.
  • Forgotten history: In 1863 there was an effort to organize sleeper cells against the tyrant Lincoln for his destruction of the Constitution and operation of a giant (for the times) surveillance network.
  • Cash itself is now a barbarous relic — says the Financial Times, speaking on behalf of governments everywhere.
  • The long, slow death of the rule of law.
  • How the eruption of Mt. Tambora darkened the world but colored the arts.
  • Hysterical. When people were asked to come up with a single word to describe each of three prominent political candidates, the result was singularly unflattering.
  • You may know or have guessed some of this already, but it’s fascinating in any case: How did early explorers, with their primitive means, find small islands amid very big oceans?
  • Awwwwww. Puppy does pushups.
  • Finally, here’s a free ebook download for you from Sparks31 on modern survivalism and communications for III-percenters. I haven’t read this yet, but looks interesting. Donations or other useful actions suggested in exchange.
Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
  • Panama was already better than many countries on guns. A smidge, anyhow. Now, in hopes of combating rising crime, they’re about to get better. Only a little better than the original smidge, but it’s something.
  • Even the most worthless of petty bureaucrats now think they deserve to be treated and feted like Oriental pashas. Who are these people, anyhow?
  • Once again, at least a few on the fringe are sending the message that they’ve had enough. (Tip o’ hat to jed)
  • Yeah, now let’s see if the EPA and its employees get treated like a private corporation and its people would be. Criminal charges. Heads rolling. Monumental fines. Screaming public outcry with environmentalists leading the mob.
  • The Atlantic does a provocative takedown of campus speech coddling. Doesn’t address freedom issues much, but focuses on how psychologically unhealthy this BS is.
  • I was going to say that this is another tiny house I kinda like. Then I got to the part about a finished one costing $95,000. Ninety-five freakin’ thousand dollars? For a teeny little trailer thingie? Is somebody pulling our collective legs??? (H/T jed)
  • A pair of beauties (and I really do mean beauties) via A.G. in comments. Jake Weidmann is one of only 12 master penmen in the world and the youngest by 30 years. Though I may be pretty good at finding stuff in garage sales and second-hand stores, this tops everything I’ve found in my whole life — both for art and for mystery.
  • Kardashian overload. It happens to the best of us. Not usually on air, though. (H/T jb)

Now, I hope that keeps you happily busy for a while, ’cause unless Washington, DC, sinks into the ocean, aliens land, or I find the tub from Cabin Sweet Cabin lying at the roadside before Friday, I’m taking a couple of days off. Should be back with you by the weekend, if not before.

Claire Wolfe

A tale of serendipity

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

This is a story about an act of serendipity that happened yesterday. To tell it, I have to begin with something that happened in 2000 or thereabouts.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Quitting the full-time grind

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

Mohit Satyanand talks about how he gave up full-time work and why he highly recommends it.

One might wish he addressed the economic realities more clearly. Or at all. But he waxes lyrical about the delights of doing nothing.

(I can wax lyrical on the subject of creative idleness, too. And no doubt will do so after I’ve finished the ceiling, met my next deadline, caught up on my email, and spent some time contemplating how I’m ever going to get the house foundation repaired and the plumbing replaced.)

Claire Wolfe

At the ceiling of madness

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Yes, it’s conclusive now. I was insane to begin this project at all and plugging at it for most of two weeks has not improved my mental health. Quite the contrary. You may soon read news reports of some poor, pathetic nameless woman picked up by police after running down the street, covered in sawdust and sheetrock mud, babbling wildly about cursed beadboard and claiming to be possessed by demonically acute angles.

But though it may have cost the final threads of my sanity, it’s getting close to done now. A couple more trim pieces. Lots of caulk, two coats of paint … and I’ll have 1/3 of a ceiling.

Here’s where things stand now. Or actually where they lie. I was on my back on the floor when I took this photo yesterday evening (as much from exhaustion as from trying to get a good angle on the work).


Neither my skills nor my tools were really up to this task, but the big sanity-killer was the general kerflotchiness of the structure itself. My design relies on the various pieces coming together to form neat chevrons. Unfortunately, the ceiling beams themselves don’t come together in perfect chevrons (something not readily apparent until I was in the nitty-gritty of measuring and cutting). So there’s a great deal of “make-do and fake it” where the key bits come together. The underlying structure may be off only by half an inch or so, but that makes a huge difference when you’ve got as many as 12 pieces converging in one spot, and the problems grow the closer you get to being done.

I am envisioning strategically place architctural rosettes in my future to hide some of the worst structural and aesthetic sins.

Meantime, let’s see how many of those sins can be successfully disguised by caulk and paint.

And how much father I get before I’m hauled off ranting about the dark evil lurking in the rafters.

Claire Wolfe

Post-weekend catching up

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Various and miscellaneous.

« Read the rest of this entry »



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