Current Affairs

Fighting the Good Fight for Chickens

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I've mentioned our little flock of hens before, but have I mentioned that they are actually forbidden in our neighborhood? We only got ours when it appeared a vote to change the rules was a done deal, but we became renegade chicken-keepers when it failed to pass. I'm not all that proud of the decision, [...]

Our First Livestock Loss

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It was bound to happen, of course. We prepared ourselves by buying eight chicks, when we only wanted and expected six full-grown hens. Either they would die in chick-hood, we thought, or one of them would turn out to be a cockerel -- as sexing chickens at one day old is an inexact science. Or [...]

The Edge Of Autumn

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Yesterday, temps were in the 90s, but all afternoon, we heard the howling of the wind. It's probably the way our house is situated, or maybe the metal roof, but when the wind comes through, it sounds super intense and can be a little frightening. Considering how hot it's been lately, though, we welcomed the [...]

The Summertime Garden Update

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It's been a bit of a crazy time around the homestead, where we're just living from day to day and trying to get through our existing commitments, rather than taking on new and exciting things. I've been taking care of the garden as best I can (despite predation incidents); I'm still baking bread weekly or [...]

Living Simply: Being Happy With Less

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Behind all this back-to-nature, recycling, renovated-school-bus, simple living philosophizing that I do on this blog is a simple desire: to focus on the right things, to be happy. And, of course, to teach (by whatever means) my kids that way of looking at the world. You may or may not be familiar with the concept of [...]

Breaking Society’s Dependence On Corporate Food

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I went on a bit of a rampage a couple of weekends ago, tossing out a dramatic amount of the food in our refrigerator -- even food I thought was good. Why? Because I was angry. I had been away and brought back a big jug of orange juice. It was received with much joy [...]

Utility Biking… With a Little Help From Electricity

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Before I wrote about the Faraday Porteur electric bike back in July, I honestly didn't even know electric bikes existed. And, now, after reams of research and nearly a week's test drive, I'm becoming the proud owner of one of these wonders of technology. My new bike is the Pedego City Commuter, which I'm picking up [...]

The Enduring (And Ever-Evolving) Sherlock Holmes

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Tonight marks the debut of a television show, called Elementary, based on the characters and adventures from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" detective stories. It's just the latest in a series of recent adaptations, from the 2009 movie starring Robert Downey Jr., to the BBC's Sherlock, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and co-starred Martin Freeman [...]

Emails From September 2001

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Following, emails and photos I sent to family members in the days and weeks after the attacks of September 11, 2001. From pparker@reporters.net Tue Sep 11 09:00:43 2001 Importance: High X-eGroups-From: "Parker, Pamela" From: "Parker, Pamela" Subject: situation  Hi. I just wanted everyone to know I am ok and unhurt in all of this mess, [...]

School-To-Cafeteria Inspiration

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I feel so lucky that we found an amazing preschool for Rory when we moved to Central Texas. This school has become the center of what we consider our "community" here -- so much so that I'm already dreading Rory's graduation to kindergarten, as we won't have the excuse to see all the wonderful school [...]

Ten Years

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Ten years later, I understand the impulse of folks like Liz who would rather not think about that terrible day, and the ones that followed. Those days when the acrid smell of smoke hung in the air, the ubiquitous "Have you seen this person" flyers flapped in the breezes, makeshift memorials sprung up in Union [...]

Ranging Free Friday

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Here's my weekly round-up of the interesting and though-provoking around the Web: * Exploiting Beauty in the Workplace - Gill Corkindale - Harvard Business Review. Interesting piece about the role looks play in the workplace. In sales positions, especially, being physically attractive is rewarded. With myself, I know that I don't feel as confident when I'm [...]