Category Archives: self-reliance

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

Education and reality.

This weekend I read Tara Westover’s new memoir Educated in one sitting. The story it tells is compelling: raised in a survivalist, fundamentalist-Mormon family in Idaho, Westover first attends school at age seventeen (her first day at Brigham Young University) … Continue reading

Posted in culture, higher education, politics, self-reliance, teaching, the past, women | 4 Comments

Bacon and Brussels sprouts.

Next time you want a quick, warm, good winter supper — or a dish for Thanksgiving — especially if you are a Southerner in the Upper Midwest, here’s what you do: Go out in your garden and break off some … Continue reading

Posted in body, food, gardening, gratitude, seasons, self-reliance | Leave a comment

Parents, college, and the student self.

The recent controversies about “free-range parenting” have me thinking about something every college professor deals with: the relationship between parents and their college-age children, which is often very different from what we experienced with our own parents when we left … Continue reading

Posted in self-reliance, teaching | 6 Comments

If that don’t beet all…

Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “Experience is a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.”  Put another way, knowledge can be expensive, but a little pain can make it stick.   Put a third way, I will never again … Continue reading

Posted in animals, attention, food, gardening, self-reliance | Leave a comment

Yo, Thoreau.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that … Continue reading

Posted in attention, conservation, politics, self-reliance, technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

This is your brain on skis.

I learned to cross-country ski from a student of mine about three years ago, on an excursion with a bunch of other novices and a few ultra-experienced daredevils who could launch themselves off the side of a hill, spin in … Continue reading

Posted in body, Driftless region, resilience, seasons, self-reliance, yoga | 4 Comments