Category Archives: self-reliance

Mary, Martha, and cheapskate intellectualism: the New Year’s organizing dilemma.

Every year, fresh from days away at my family home where there are friendly differences about — shall we say — organizing styles, I return to my own little house and see the place with fresh eyes.  Somehow, as good … Continue reading

Posted in conservation, gratitude, home, seasons, self-reliance, stuff | 12 Comments

Learning to submit?: Economies of womanhood, personhood, and love.

I believe that what rules us is less the material world of goods and services than the immaterial one of whims, assumptions, delusions, and lies; that only by studying this world can we hope to shape how it shapes us; … Continue reading

Posted in body, community, culture, money, politics, self-reliance, women | 2 Comments

Gardening in reality.

“A garden, you know, is a very usual refuge of a disappointed politician.” — Alexander Hamilton, 1802 (qtd. in NY Times, 9/15/11) As a society, we’ve got a reality problem.  A know-nothing right-wing anarchism designed to starve government to death … Continue reading

Posted in art, community, corporations, culture, politics, self-reliance, writing | 3 Comments

Little windows, into dark and light.

An ironic, forlorn voice, a twist on Edna St. Vincent Millay’s, floats through my head suddenly tonight: Oh my foes, and oh my friends, oh, I am so afraid. Fear is not a characteristic note for me, in anything I … Continue reading

Posted in politics, resilience, self-reliance | 5 Comments

September 11, in my own backyard.

I can’t remember when this country has ever been so afraid, even more than it was in the days and months following 9/11.  Except that what is clouding our hearts and our minds and our lives right now is not … Continue reading

Posted in community, corporations, culture, gardening, politics, self-reliance | 4 Comments

La bella Iowa?

So this afternoon, following a morning of errands, I tackled the yard again: grass-cutting, edging, cleaning off the sidewalk, and then weeding, till my clothes were completely soaked with sweat. I mean, even my socks.  And my old yard sneakers.  … Continue reading

Posted in community, home, self-reliance, travel | 16 Comments

A dozen lessons from a bike.

Inspired by today’s ride through a perfect Northeast Iowa summer evening, things I learn and relearn from my simple old machine: 1) If I just get started, it will get easier from there.  This applies to everything. 2) From a … Continue reading

Posted in attention, biking, body, community, Driftless region, gratitude, seasons, self-reliance | 4 Comments


So I suppose it was inevitable: when a friend and fellow backyard-gardener told me last week that she and her husband and toddler are moving into a new house on the other side of town with a large yard and … Continue reading

Posted in animals, conservation, food, gardening, home, self-reliance | 5 Comments

It’s official: I’M DEBT-FREE!!!

Official information from the credit counseling firm, as of today: Original Balance: $22,885.01 Approx Current Balance: Debt Free Total Debt Paid Off: $22,885.01 Last Payment Received: 7/7/2011 Last Payment Amount: $195.18 Next Payment Due: Debt Free Next Payment Amount: N/A

Posted in gratitude, money, self-reliance | 4 Comments