Back to the Woodpile

When things feel awful and out of control, I typically default to some combination of exercise and organization an attempt to remind myself that I do, in fact, have the ability to effect change and progress, if even symbolically. In my days as a trial attorney, this typically meant something as simple as cleaning myContinue reading “Back to the Woodpile”

Mutiny of the Bounty

Spring is quickly sliding into summer here on the mountain, and the explosion of verdance is both refreshing and frustrating, particularly as we look around our garden. In my youth, the family garden was something of a novelty at best, and a weed-ridden albatross at worst. The early morning rays of March sunlight seemed toContinue reading “Mutiny of the Bounty”

The Rite(s) of Spring

Mainers will tell you they hate the winter. And some of us do. But what we really hate is the spring. The problem isn’t necessarily the weather itself, though the manic teasing of sunny warmth pulled back with a whip-crack of snow flurries does wear thin at times. Nor is the issue the omnipresent mudContinue reading “The Rite(s) of Spring”

The First Steak of Spring

Yesterday was vegan day for us, which is… fine. But today, the weather decided to give us a full preview of the upcoming spring, with high temps, sunshine, and wildlife, and I made the executive decision to reach into the strategic beef supply for our first steak of the season. We buy all of ourContinue reading “The First Steak of Spring”

Beak to Talon (do chickens have talons?)

The cornerstone of this lifestyle is getting the most out of everything we do, and everything we use. Often, that also means we’re cooking with base ingredients we’ve made ourselves (like whole oat flour), and that tends to elevate the final product in pretty dramatic ways. It also means some extra effort, so sleeves up.Continue reading “Beak to Talon (do chickens have talons?)”

The Bravery of Ardent Logic

As I’ve alluded in a couple of posts, our situation here is… unique. Frankly, I’ve tried to write this post for two years, and can’t quite seem to find the words. The more I’ve tried, the more I think it’s best to be as blunt as possible. My wife and I had corporate jobs thatContinue reading “The Bravery of Ardent Logic”

Whole Oat Flour and the Zen of Staples

There are a few small things in my life that bring me a goofy amount of satisfaction: a well-stacked woodpile; extra-sharp kitchen knives fresh off the whetstones; and an organized pantry full of basic ingredients. In my youth, my family operated on a use-it-up policy that dictated we not buy a new bottle of ketchupContinue reading “Whole Oat Flour and the Zen of Staples”

Microclimate of the Crystal Palace

When I quit my job after more than a decade as a trial attorney to move my family to rural Maine and focus on a life of reduced cost, reduced consumption, and more focused living, I had the same conversation on loop for about three months. I would tell a contemporary about my plans, maybeContinue reading “Microclimate of the Crystal Palace”

The Velvet Headphones of a Snowy Day

Well, as predicted, the storm was a comin’, and everything is largely shut down. School is cancelled, meaning we have a house full of stir-crazy children while adult obligations persist unfettered. In my youth, the snow day was a cherished event, an unscheduled reprieve from the monotony of school. An entire day to play outside,Continue reading “The Velvet Headphones of a Snowy Day”