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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

Victory at the Bundy ranch

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Like most here I’ve been watching the standoff at the Bundy ranch. I’ve had nothing new to add to the discussion, so I haven’t blogged about it. Like others, I was just trying to figure what to make of it. I only hoped it wouldn’t end up being another Weaver/Waco massacre.

Not this time:


(Image via Sipsey Street, where Mike Vanderboegh has some spirited things to say about it.)

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

I am such a wuss (and other Wednesday ramblings)

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Last night I jammed my two little leftie toes on a table leg while wandering around in the dark. Well so? That’s usually one of those things where you hop around and cuss for a couple of minutes then life goes on. But this kept hurting all night and by morning those two toes were fat and red and the foot around them was fat and blue.

Still, we’re not talking about a major health crisis here. Just an owie.

I’m rarely ever sick and it’s been years since I’ve been injured. Meanwhile, nearly everybody I know has had health problems lately — from colds that turn into pneumonia to a flu that lingers for six weeks (in one case even leading to neurological problems) to … cancer.

So I have a lot of nerve getting all pouty about an owie.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Angry writers and other vague ruminations

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

I’m working on a project with a couple other writers. We’re each doing our own thing, but coordinating about the topics we choose.

Today one came up with a rare gun-news gun-rights story and offered it around. “Nope,” the other replied (or words to that effect), “I write best when something pisses me off.”

Oh lordy, that is so true of so true. And it’s sooooo bad for the blood pressure. And for a person’s sanity and humanity.


We’ve been having this exuberant burst of spring — today, even summerlike! — weather. I went to the hardware store for paint chips. I want to paint the outside of the house extravagantly. Lilac! Purple! Green!

Tomorrow it rains again. All. Week. Long.

I remind myself: “Summer starts in July. Summer starts in July.” (I still laugh — although not in a cheery way, you understand at this too-true cartoon Dana once posted in comments.)


There’s an old cemetery in the hills near here. Many of its residents were born in the 1820s to 1840s — ancient history in this part of the world. (And they weren’t born here, of course; a number are veterans of the War Between the States.). A very few people still get buried there, but the death dates on the gravestones taper off in the early 20th century.

It’s a small place, no more than a circular clearing in the woods. The volunteer caretakers are always unconvering unknown graves on its edges, which are then reclaimed by the forest when one volunteer or another moves on or dies.

I wonder about the stories.

Once, two side-by-side graves intrigued me so much I ordered up the archives of the local paper to find out what happened. Two graves. Four people. All under 25. A mother and her month-old baby dying within a day of each other I could understand. Turns out the other two people, young men, the baby’s father and his cousin, died weeks later. Both fell off log booms in separate accidents. Both were experienced log-walkers and good swimmers. Both just fell off and died.

All four lived in the same household. Can you imagine?

Today, in the brush, I uncovered the headstone of a father and son. The father died in 1920 when the son was only three. The son’s dates were given as “1917 – Unknown.”

Well, I thought, maybe the son just hadn’t died yet when the stone was set. But there it was, not left blank but carefully engraved, “Unknown.” With the added notation, “Separated in life; together now in heaven.”


I have no intention of being stuck for eternity in a cemetery, however peaceful and woodsy. But I wouldn’t mind having a headstone somewhere that tells A Story.

Make it a good one. A really good one. And somebody tell it well.

Claire Wolfe

Brink of Freedom

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Lovely subject line, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t describe where the political world stands (no surprise). But it does describe a cool new website and a beautifully laid-out and informative digital magazine.

Brink of Freedom is a great place. It combines a freedomista attitude, high energy, and useful self-sufficiency how-tos.

Michael W. Dean of Freedom Feens turned me on to the site and introduced me to its founder, Josiah Wallingford. (Don’t you love that name?)

Go check it out for yourself. It’s the kind of place you could spend hours. But while you’re here, here’s a little background Q&A with Josiah, as well as links to pdfs of BoF’s January and February editions:

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, March 3rd, 2014
Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, February 28th, 2014
  • Since we’ve been on the subject of writers lately: here’s Megan McArdle on why writers are the worst procrastinators. This isn’t really just about writers, but about fear of failure and the recent “special snowflake” self-esteem generation.
  • And this column about how to get a job at Google isn’t really about how to get a job at Google, either. It’s about creativity. Adaptability. And other good things.
  • Good news for all you who listened to (or played) too much loud rock-n-roll. A cure for noise-induced hearing loss may be on the horizon
  • All hope is not lost. Hungry cougar stalks teenage boy. Cougar gets shot by guess who? Pix here.
  • Very cool! A nifty handle wrap for a boot knife — that glows in the dark.
  • Very odd. Did you know there’s an abandoned Nazi compound in the hills above L.A.?
  • Brigid at Home on the Range writes a heart-rending tribute to her just-departed four-footed best friend.
Claire Wolfe

A Sunday afternoon ramble

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Boy, this working for a living stuff is hard. Stimulating, challenging, often fun, and a great way to break a long financial drought. But hard.

This afternoon for the first time in quite a while, I was able to wrap up work before meandering in the woods with the dogs. Brilliantly sunny day — and we’ve had more of those than any winter I can ever remember here. I’m sorry for you in the east suffering all those Bad Boy winter storms (Zeus or Giorgio or Henri-Claude or whatever they’re calling them, these days). I’m sorry for you Californians facing a dangerously dry summer. But here? Glorious!

Anyhow, so instead of charging out and back for the sake of doggie exercise and canine elimination needs, I actually rambled. Meandered. I might have even managed a few minutes of strolling. It was amazing. Really.


And now I’m just rambling here. Just writing down whatever comes to mind. These little verbal expeditions tend to embarrass me, but they also draw a lot of thoughtful, touching comment. Which is I guess at least part of what this blog ought to be about. It’s one of the best feature’s of Joel’s blog, that he just exposes all those warts and lets you visit him inside the Secret Lair on good days and bad.


Still, other things go on in the world.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

What would you want them to do if it were your house?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

I took the dogs for a walk downtown yesterday afternoon. Passing a vacant house, I noticed an awful lot of water on its patio. Normally, that’s not unusual, this being the NorthWET, but it hasn’t done more than sprinkle the last couple of days.

I poked around and sure enough, not only was the house sitting in a lake; I could hear ominous gushing noises inside the walls. I went up on the back porch to knock just in case. Water rushed under the door and over the dogs’ toes.

City Hall is just a few blocks away, so I hustled over and told the water lady what was up. They’re good around here. Before I could even make it back to the lake-house, two water department trucks and the head of the building department roared up the street ahead of me (though they’re not so good that they actually went to the correct address). Once we got to the right place and they verified the problem, they shut the water off at the street.

Chances are the water’s been running since last weeks’ beastly freeze unfroze. It’s a wonder none of the neighbors caught it earlier. So the poor folks who own the place (out-of-towners, the building inspector told me) will face major mess. The guys said they’d contact them right away.

Here’s the thing that made me wonder, though. Before they even shut off the meter, one of the water department guys started fishing around, obviously looking for a hidden housekey. He felt over the top of the electrical box, looked under the mat, and did all those things you do to find a key. (Which, as far as I know, he didn’t. But I didn’t stick around to find out.)

If that were your house, would you or would you not want water department employees — and possibly the local building inspector — letting themselves in to check for damage? Do you think they had a legitimate purpose for doing that? Even if they did, should they have notified you first?

And let’s say it happened to you. And they got inside, whether by key or other means. Would the interior of your house look otherwise innocuous to “officials,” beyond burst pipes, swollen drywall, and delaminated floors?


Before anybody asks why I didn’t just go home, get my meter key, and shut the water off without notifying “the authorities” — aside from the fact I didn’t think of it, the homeowners clearly needed to be notified ASAP to forestall even worse damage (e.g mold). That’s something I didn’t have the information to do.



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