Category Archives: community

First book out: The Hands-On Life: How to Wake Yourself Up and Save The World.

Longtime Cheapskate readers will recognize lots of the ideas and anecdotes here – thank you for being a great and supportive community all these years. I’m launching the book at Dragonfly Books and will be taking it to Content Books … Continue reading

Posted in community, gardening, self-reliance, the past | Leave a comment

Little bitty Christmas trees.

A rerun from 2011 that’s been on my mind. Merry Christmas, y’all. — “I’ve been a pastor for more than 15 years, and I am still amazed at folks in nursing homes, many unable to remember the majority of their … Continue reading

Posted in community, mystery, seasons, spirit, the South | Leave a comment

Greed, hubris, and cramming-through.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren sits at her desk, coffee cup and phone nearby, holding a 500-page chunk of paper — the Republican tax bill — she was given an hour to read before the vote. “So,” she begins, “here it is … Continue reading

Posted in community, corporations, higher education, money, politics, teaching, women | 2 Comments

The teaching tree.

Cross-posted from Luther’s “Ideas and Creations” community blog. Main 218 is my favorite classroom for several reasons: like my campus office and my dining room at home, it has red walls. I’ve added some National Poetry Month posters to the … Continue reading

Posted in community, higher education, Romanticism, teaching | 1 Comment

Doing justice.

Delivered as a guest sermon at First United Methodist Church, June 11, 2017, for Peace and Justice Sunday. Psalm 8: “When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou has established; … Continue reading

Posted in community, politics, spirit | 2 Comments

The Women’s March: here, there, and everywhere.

Saturday, January 21, 2017 It felt good to be out on our little town’s main street with a sign in my hand again, surrounded by my friends and students and – despite the chilly fog – determination and hope. As … Continue reading

Posted in community, Driftless region, politics, resilience, spirit, women | 6 Comments

Moving the house.

On the morning of November 9, 2016, I walked out of my front door into a world I wasn’t sure I’d recognize.  It was the warmest November ever, but with just enough nip to the air to remind us it … Continue reading

Posted in community, conservation, culture, frac-sand mining, home, politics, resilience, technology | 2 Comments

John Milton, the morning after.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016: 7:30 a.m. I have a lot of thoughts but for now, as a college professor, will confine myself to this: What happens now to education, in a country where everyone claims to value it but our … Continue reading

Posted in community, higher education, politics, resilience, teaching | Leave a comment

The idiot box.

All sin starts from the assumption that my false self, the self that exists only in my own egocentric desires, is the fundamental reality of life to which everything else in the universe is ordered… And I wind experiences around … Continue reading

Posted in community, culture, politics | 3 Comments

Entertaining angels, unawares.

I took my late grandmother’s nativity scene out early today.  It’s white ceramic that looks like china: three kings, a shepherd, Holy Family, and two sheep.  This could have been a graceful afternoon project I imagine my grandmother doing with … Continue reading

Posted in community, politics, spirit | 2 Comments