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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 ‘Rural and small-town living’ Category

Claire Wolfe

A trek to Raymond, Washington

Saturday, December 20th, 2014


You might think the above photo is terribly boring.

You would be wrong.

You’d know exactly how un-boring it is if you drove past that large blue building with the impressive air-handling equipment. The wafting aroma of cannabis will follow you for a quarter of a mile.

I recently made a little expedition to a town in Washington state that’s turning out to have quite a story. That building is part of it.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Okay, not hermitting yet. So here are some newslinks.

  • Just vaporware so far, but Forbes thinks cops might soon add ‘Net-connected guns to their growing arsenal of monitoring gear.
  • Nastiest political tactic of the year: siccing SWAT teams on your opponents and critics.
  • A southerner apologizes for bigotry. But with the southerner being Fred Reed, things don’t quite come out the way northern liberals might wish.
  • Nooz you can use (if you’re really into alternative housing): grain-bin homes. (I love the stuccoed one, but I’d like to know how you keep these things from getting hotter than the hinges of heck, long about August.) Tip o’ hat, MJR.
  • More nooz to use: how successful people handle toxic people.
  • Mike V. on blood dancers and 4th-gen. warfare.
  • You forgot to add how useful those bags are for picking up dog poop. I live in a blue state and the closer you go to civilization, the more likely it is that you’ll have to bring your own cloth shopping bags. Misguided political correctness.
Claire Wolfe

Now this tiny house looks cool

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Not long ago, I rolled my eyes and said the tiny-house movement had jumped the shark. Then this morning, friend G. sent me to this site. And this 192-square-foot house, the Axia.


While there’s a suspicious dearth of info (the link to TechDwell’s pdf brochure is 404), it’s a for-real thing. Portland, Oregon, is building a village of these for the homeless.

If they’re as easy to build (and unbuild) as they say … well, that’s remarkable. On price, on tech, on a number of measures, they’d beat the usual overpriced tiny house hands down. (That is, if somebody doesn’t get carried away and order all their yuppified options.)

Yes, yes, go ahead and tell me you can build something like this yourself out of old pallets, cardboard boxes, and strapping tape for much less than TechDwell’s basic price. That’s true. Joel’s Secret Lair is similar and cost less. But the tech on this is intriguing, as is the ability to tear it down and move it. Also, you can add your own options (solar, rainwater catchment, etc.) for less than they cost from TechDwell.

The look reminds me a bit of the UnitOne cabin. But if the TechDwell Axia is all it appears to be, I’d rather have an Axia.

Gads, what a great artist’s studio. Or guest house. Or pool house. Or vacation cabin.

Claire Wolfe

An underground life

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Going underground and keeping silent for 43 years after committing an illegal act of principle.

This is a story of the “left.” But also the story of a bold & fascinating person and a creative life.

Claire Wolfe

Friday freedom question: to live deliberately

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Thoreau famously went to Walden Pond to “live deliberately.” We know what that meant to him.

What would living deliberately mean to you?

Claire Wolfe

Vin on the Bundy Ranch/
roof update

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

I’m deadlining this week and also dealing with the aftermath of my crushed roof, so posting may (or maybe not; we’ll see how it goes) be light.

But here’s some good reading. This summer (and now, this fall) Vin Suprynowicz has been running a long series on what happened (and may yet happen) at the Bundy ranch. His first episode (1 of 6) is here. His latest (5 of 6) is here.

I don’t see a good chain of links between them, but you can find them by searching one of the archive categories they appear in, like private property.


Fall falls today and Mother Nature has decided to be predictable for once. First big rainstorm with potentially high winds comes in tonight. I’m ready for it and so is the main part of my roof, thanks to you.

We’ll see how that one fragile corner takes it. I’m still despairing over what happened, but that corner can be closed off from the rest of the house, if need be.

Contractors Mike and Joe looked at the problem yesterday and are coming back today to tear into the ceiling for closer inspection. Their tentative judgment about the cause: not the roofers, but amateurish construction way back when (merely aggravated by the roofers and before that, by that falling tree yanking on the fragile roof structure when it pulled down the electrical stanchion).

Claire Wolfe

Looking back: Project 31

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

I’ve linked recently to Ryochiji’s posts about his Serenity Valley cabin’s very, very — VERY — close call with a wildfire.

Lots of other worthwhile stuff at his site, Laptop and a Rifle. Back in the winter of 2011, when his property was less developed than it is now, he vowed to spend 31 days there under a strict set of rules. He called his experiment Project 31 & despite the rigor of his terms, it was a success. Here are all his posts about it

Very Joel-ish. Without the curmudgeonliness.

Claire Wolfe

If it ain’t one damned thing, it’s another.

Friday, September 12th, 2014

So there I was this afternoon, waiting for BHM to come back online (seems that failed security update was a doozy), listening to the sound of roofers overhead. Scrape, scrape. Thud, thud. Bang, bang.

Then — suddenly — BOOOOOM! Absofreakinlootly sonic. What? What? What on earth have those guys done? But the sound seems to have come from the front of the house and they’re working on the back. They also go very, very silent very quickly.

I look out the front window and there are … wires. Not just wires. Big, thick cables hanging down.

I look further:

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Don’t let this go to my head

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

If I start referring to myself in the third person like some TV celebrity, or using “we” when I’m really saying “I,” smack me silly. This could go to my head.

Seven fair entries. Ten ribbons.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Wednesday links

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Claire Wolfe

Okaaay. That went FAIRly well …

Monday, August 18th, 2014

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!

Claire Wolfe

Sunday check-in

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

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 »



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