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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.



M-m-m-monday m-m-musings and guilty pleasures

Monday, December 1st, 2014 by Claire | 20 Comments »

With the gas fireplace now officially kaput (and with queries sent to the manufacturer and the propane company), I’m huddled in an alcove between two space heaters, drinking hot coffee and eating warm comfort food.

It’s funny. Fifty-nine degrees feels perfectly decent outdoors. And considering how humans have lived for most of their history (and how some, like Joel, still live), 59 indoors is a relative luxury. Heck, electricity is a luxury. Nevertheless, I’m exercising my prerogative of feeling like a Dickens character. In the snow. Barefoot. Tubercular. Selling matches. (Or was that Hans Christian Andersen? I forget.)

—–

Another thing the Little Match Girl didn’t have was a DVD player. And I admit its among my very favorite escapes from the cold. And from myself when the hermitting bit gets too intense.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday musings

Sunday, November 30th, 2014 by Claire | 11 Comments »

Yeah, as jed mentioned in a comment, it’s definitely been too quiet around here. I hope that means everybody’s having a relaxed, peaceful Thanksgiving weekend.

—–

Tomorrow is the hump day in my two-month retreat. Mixed results so far. I’m glad I’m doing it, but instead of peacefulness, I’m actually feeling quite a lot of stress and anxiety. Partly that’s over decisions I need to make. Mostly it’s just a lot of “old stuff” coming back on me. Really, really old stuff. Like things I thought I’d moved past years ago.

Boring to go into, but I find myself longing for busy-ness.

—–

It doesn’t help that the only real heater in the house has gone out twice in the last two weeks. Both times in the middle of the night. When the temps outside have been in the low 20s. And on weekends. I swear, it’s a conspiracy.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Be thankful

Thursday, November 27th, 2014 by Claire | 3 Comments »

… that our forebears were such an unruly, ungovernable bunch.

Kevin D. Williamson is good. His last line is great.

A Thanksgiving post

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 by Claire | 3 Comments »

Over at The Zelman Partisans.

I made a bare beginning on listing things I’m thankful for. I hope you’ll go on over this holiday weekend and add a few items of your own in comments. Or do that here if you’d rather.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Patterns and trajectories (observation from the hermitage)

Monday, November 24th, 2014 by Claire | 23 Comments »

I’ve finally reached the point of not tearing everything out.

CableKnitting-SMALL_112414

This is going to be a cowl (aka a neckwarmer), like a warm, woolly scarf but without the annoying dangly bits that fall off your shoulder and catch on things.

I’m not knitting to make things, though. I’m doing it for meditation.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday links

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 by Claire | 6 Comments »

News avoidance lurches right along. Mix of nooz and think pieces today.

  • New software (so far W*nd*ws only) aims to help activists detect and foil government surveillance. Get it here. Can’t say how effective it’s going to be, but it’s endorsed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Amnesty International, and other big-timers in the field. (H/T MJR)
  • Along the same lines, Let’s Encrypt aims to bring SSL/TSL to the masses by taking the difficulties and mysteries out of those pesky web site certificates. (Remember: Encryption is subversive! Or so our masters claim. Which is, of course, all the more reason to do it.)
  • What if age is nothing but a mindset? (Tip o’ hat to ML)
  • If you were talented enough to play in the NFL, would you quit to become a farmer? Jason Brown did.
  • Holleee freakin’ cr*p! The shooter who did this was lucky he didn’t (in the famous words of Ralphie’s mother) “put his eye out.” His (or her) eye. Or face. Or hands. Or parts of the guys standing next to him at the range. Just looking at that photo is mind boggling.
  • Which dietary supplement claims are backed by evidence and which aren’t? Interesting chart. But also not the be-all and end-all of truth. Much is still unknown.
  • 10 instinctive decisions you will regret forever.
  • It’s astonishing and discouraging how a cheesy, corrupt, lying, hustler can be considered “respectable.” And speaking of cheesy, corrupt, lying, downright embarrassing hustlers who nevertheless keep landing on their feet: Marion Berry, RIP.

Stranded in a strange world

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 by Claire | 49 Comments »

Do you ever — have you ever — felt like an alien in this world?

I have and I’m guessing you have, too. I first became consciously aware of my alienness when I was around 11, though it was unconsciously there the first times my kindergarten teacher tried to force me into “social” games that left me like a deer in the headlights. It was there in the way my parents treated my brother and me as if we’d been left on their doorstep by a particularly bizarre band of gypsies. (Brother and I were very different critters, but we were both unconventional loners and deep thinkers, unlike my uber-social, join-everything, voted-most-popular, shallow-as-a-mud-puddle older sister.)

By the time I was in high school, I’d invented an elaborate mythology to explain how I could look so human while being so apart from my supposed peers. I was sent here as an alien spy; the physical transfer succeeded but something went badly wrong when it came to transmitting my mind across space.

—–

In the adult world — where there are so many more options, where it’s forgivable not to be just like everybody else, and where now there’s a whole Internet! — I’ve seldom been bothered by that terrible sense of being something irreconcilably foreign to the “normal” world. Adults can find their own “normal.” Or live outside of “normal.”

Once in a while alien horror strikes out of the blue, though.

« Read the rest of this entry »

The happiness curve

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 by Claire | 5 Comments »

Great (long) article on the universality of middle-age doldrums and how we’re likely to be more happy at 70 or 80 than we are at 20.

Mundane things (and some not-so-mundane)

Monday, November 17th, 2014 by Claire | 14 Comments »

Heartbroken artist with an empty house and a bull terrier gets creative. (JavaScript needed to view slideshow.)

—–

Some cool, fractal-like photography. (H/T SC)

—–

Local cranberry growers who lost their contract with Ocean Spray landed 20 pounds of their harvest on furrydoc the other day. What do you do with 20 pounds of cranberries? Furrydoc shared the bounty and instructions for drying.

I took a couple of pounds and they’re in the drier now, some unsweetened and some drizzled with honey.

I’m not so big on cranberries, but I do like the dried ones in salads and trail mixes. Good to have a few locally grown superfoods among the preps, too.

—–

Knitting today. Not only for the soul but this time, the body, too. Ready to start cabling.

Just as soon as I find those wandering third needles.

I was surprised and gratified the other day to realize quite a few guys hereabouts had knitted or crocheted. I am at this moment wearing fingerless gloves (aka arm warmers or better yet gauntlets) I made with wool gifted to me by one of those knitting guys.

AndeanTrekkerFingerlessGloves

(Pattern for that particular glove here. Many others here.)

—–

Finally, some things not so mundane

Saturday, December 13. Washington gun owners rally: We Will Not Comply with I-594. Over 6,000 already signed up.

(And here it is for those who don’t do F*c*b**k.)

Can’t or don’t want to attend but support the ideals? Bumper stickers and yard signs here.

And from the great Oleg Volk:
OlegVolk_lying_down_4355web

OlegVolk_kneeling_0130web

Knitting for the soul

Friday, November 14th, 2014 by Claire | 18 Comments »

Don’t be put off by the word “knitting.” Even if you’re not crafty (and I’m not!), even if you’re a guy who’d rather build a brick wall or try for a perfect grouping with your best rifle than (heaven forbid) knit. This is about that process common to so many things.

—–

You know how you sometimes open a book at random looking for guidance? For some it’s the bible. For somebody else, one of those Chicken Soup things. Could be Ayn Rand or Herman Hesse. But you hope if you just open and read there’ll be a message there, just waiting for you?

I have to laugh. I just picked up Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, not because I had real interest but because it’s one of those must-read books and this is a good time. I opened near the end to a chapter about self care and the art of just being still and listening.

Then I took my old copy of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience off the shelf and arbitrarily opened to a page that heralded the value of 16-hour workdays, but with the work so integrated with free time that you can barely distinguish one from the other.

Yup. And of the contradictory two, I must admit the latter appeals to me more than the former. Not, mind you, because I’m some virtuous workaholic. Far from it. I favor the latter because the former is harder.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Maunderings from the deep freeze

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 by Claire | 15 Comments »

So … how are y’all enjoying the deep freeze? Seems as if it’s settling in to stay, doesn’t it?

We’re just on the edge of it here in the North(currently not so)Wet — cozy compared with some of you. But it’s clear and cold and fiercely windy and I’m ready to stay indoors surrounded by space heaters.

Wonder if I could teach the dogs to use the toilet? Or just encourage them to go walk in the woods by themselves?

—–

Though I’m still having not much darned luck with “listening to silence” (e.g. sitting meditation), this week has felt both blessedly serene and productive.

I’m working on something. Too early to talk about it; probably even mentioning it right now is hazardous to the creative process. Very likely it’ll come to nothing.

But if my brain must always be busy-busy-busy it’s a pleasure to have it busy on something potentially useful.

—–

I don’t have tons of new or deep stuff to say right now. So here’s a nice time waster. Can you find the snipers (or hunters, if you prefer) in these pix?

—–

And here’s a first. It’s so cold this morning that when all three critters in the household had a chance to get up on a cot in front of a nice, warm heat source, they jumped at the chance.

DogsandCatSnoozingonaColdMorning_111314

A dream about victims

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 by Claire | 3 Comments »

Over at TZP I blog about a dream of helpless victims of stupidly criminal “gun control.”

There continues to be much powerfully good posting over there. Be sure to check it out regularly.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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