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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

Anybody have any idea …?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

… what these are? Or more pertinently, how they were originally used?

They’re tin and appear to be of a kind and vintage with old stamped metal ceilings. I picked up a baggie full of them at a thrift store yesterday for $1.50 and despite what I said about using only items already on hand, I think they’ll have a place in my funky table project. I see gold spray paint in their future.

But I’m curious about their history and purpose.



Claire Wolfe

Basketweaving, leather tooling, drugs and other therapies for staying sane

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Ah, the good old days at the Funny Farm. But that’s another story. No basketweaving, these days. No therapeutic leather tooling. No drugs (damn)! But I did spend this weekend on other mental-health therapies.

To wit …

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Catching up (and some ranting)

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

It has been so freakin’ BUSY! I’m sorry for the “lite” posting, but when I do have some time, summer tempts me to spend it elsewhere than the computer.

While articles are being written, doors are also being painted, junk heaps reduced, and projects planned.


I even (I blush to admit) spent time last week prepping artwork to submit to the county fair.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

The lighter side of keep out, go away, get lost, drop dead, and no soliciting

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

During those horrible late-teen years of not knowing what I wanted to do with my life but knowing I needed money to do it, I managed to grind my way through three weeks as a door-to-door salesthing.

My one good memory from those endless years of days was (tellingly, I suppose) a hand-made No Soliciting sign. It said:

If you’re selling something
I don’t want your magazines, your cookies, or your religion.

I was tempted to knock on the door just to tell the people how cool I thought it was. I figured I have my own someday.

Most of my life since then I’ve lived in places where few commercial peddlers and only the most determined religionists dare venture, so I’ve had no need for a No Soliciting sign on my various hermitages.

Now, however, I live where we have mobs of door-to-doorists. It’s time to take defensive measures.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Circular rainbows! Oh my!

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

So I was sitting at a window eating lunch when I looked up and saw … what? A horizontal rainbow???


Yes. A rainbow streaking in a level line across the southern sky. But when I got my camera and went to take a picture of it, I discovered I hadn’t seen anything yet.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

A new look at Earthineer

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

If you haven’t visited Earthineer in a while, you might want to take a new look.

Dan Adams has recently added the long-awaited marketplace and barter sections where members can trade with each other. Though they’re still new and smallish, he’s got something quite promising there both for “rural engineers” and for foodies. Earthineer is a labor of love for Dan and it shows in the quality of the presentation.

Among other things, he’s planning to build privacy into the trades, so only the parties involved will have long-term records of their transactions.

Also, Dave Duffy has assigned me an article on Earthineer and I’d love to hear some opinions and questions other than my own.

Claire Wolfe

The pleasures of being obsolete and other tiny observations on life, part I

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

I woke up this morning from a dream in which a friend of mine had won a horse in a drag race and somehow it was my job to transport it home for her. No useful vehicle being available, someone (without asking me) arranged for a semi truck to be delivered for my use the next morning. I kept protesting to anyone who’d listen, “I can’t drive a semi truck! I can’t drive a semi truck! I can’t drive a semi truck!”

Everyone but me seemed to think this was a trivial concern. Quitcher whining; just get in and drive the thing. How hard could it be?

Dream worlds being what they are, even I didn’t consider the greater problem — which was that we were all on one of the Samoan islands and I’d need to drive the semi truck home across the Pacific Ocean.


« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Meet the Clampetts

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

This weekend was the one moment of the year when a certain island full of millionaires “allows” garage sales. Once “allowed,” they do it up right.

If I were a millionaire I think I’d just give all my excess stuff to Goodwill rather than sit out in the hot sun (or rain; but this weekend it was sun) and peddle stuff for a few bux. Nevertheless, 147 households held “official” sales (there’s a map and everything, not to mention an entry fee just to get on the island) and dozens set up unofficial ones.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Evidence that the small-house movement has gotten just too, too trendy

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Five tiny houses currently for sale. Starting at a “mere” $145k and ending at a tres reasonable $1 million. Get ‘em while you can. ;-)

Claire Wolfe

Good people, good things, sad news

Sunday, May 25th, 2014


That there in the foreground is “Saintly Syrup,” pure maple syrup made (so I gather) as a fundraiser for a church in the upper midwest. It arrived last week in a Big Box O’ Stuff, including the unsaintly (but equally welcome, and equally midwestern) Bloody Mary Mix you see behind.

So cool! I knew my correspondent had been spending his snowy spring weekends maple sugaring — but I had no idea he was doing it for a charitable cause. And though he’d hinted I might see a little of the bounty, I was never expecting a precious quart. That’s a lot of maple syrup — especially now that I know how much of my friend’s work went into producing it.

Thank you, Friend-Who-Prefers-Not-to-Be-Named!


Thursday was hectic. I’ve got a big house project looming — the kind where it’s way, way, way too much for me to do myself, and in fact so complicated that a teardown may be wiser than a rebuild. I’m in the process of finding out.

I’ve been having weeks of trouble trying to get contractors out here. Of course, they’re crazy-busy this time of year. Three weeks — not much of nothin’. Then, between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. I suddenly had more phone calls than I usually get in a month plus a multitude of contractors and potential sub-contractors showed up — sometimes unannounced and sometimes repeatedly. Plus a couple of delivery men and a neighbor. This hermit is feeling like she’s taken up residence in Grand Central Station.

In the midst of all this, the guy who mows my lawn pulls into the driveway even though it’s not that time yet. “What now?” I’m grumbling.

Then he comes to the door and says, “I was mowing a lawn down the way and a cop I know stopped to warm me that there’s a thief on the loose. The guy was last seen coming up your street.” He described the thief in detail (having himself encountered the guy earlier in the week). “His MO is to come up to you and be really friendly while he’s actually scoping out your property. I thought I should warn you.”

I never did encounter the thief. If he came near here I’d hope the noisy dogs (at every house) would deter him (not to mention the “Forget the dog; beware of owner” sign in my window). Still, it was a wonderfully neighborly thought.


Fred, the wonderful man who decided to spend the last months of his life doing good deeds, died a week ago today.

His wife asked me, for privacy’s sake, not to reprint his obituary or link to it here, but it’s wonderful. It made me wish more than ever that I’d known Fred in person. Fred was many things that freedomistas aspire to be, and above all, he was a great soul.

In lieu of flowers or contributions, he requests that all who remember him perpetrate “random acts of kindness” to celebrate his life.

Claire Wolfe


Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

And while we’re at the cool little houses, how about some funky treehouses? Including a few you can rent for the night?

(Tip o hat to ML for the creativity and the smiles.)

Claire Wolfe

$20,000 houses

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

From the Rural Studio at Auburn University.



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