I have a new piece up on the Huffington Post: 10 Lessons I Learned While Working With Women Activists in Nepal. I consider it a bit of an experiment. I’m…

Workspace View

All summer, I looked forward to my new writing room in the strawbale house we’re building.  I figured it would still need some work, but it would be good enough…

Cultural Anthropology

Long ago (1994), I wrote and published an essay in Cultural Anthropology titled “Beyond Writing: Feminism and the Limitations of Ethnography.” Now, Cultural Anthropology is featuring that essay (and an interview) among four others (as well as some fine short stories) in a curated collection on Literature, Writing and Anthropology.

Muddy Road

…and that was the problem. Not maintained, rutted, overgrown on either side, the mile long drive is the only way by vehicle in and out of this abandoned homestead we now spend half the year on….

Urban Homesteading in Portland and Beyond

Urban homesteading is not usually the term I use to refer to what I’ve been doing for the best twelve years or so. I tend towards kitchen gardening or urban farming. And these days, I’m transitioning towards rural food production at Amaranta Farm. But I see those who do call themselves urban homesteaders as allies in the same movement, and I’d like to see that movement grow….

Douglas Fir
Douglas Fir on the top of Mt. Tabor

After a busy day of dealing with car repairs and shopping for Thanksgiving food, I didn’t want to walk the dog in our nearby park. I really didn’t. (…)

Race for the Pears

It’s that time of year again, when my taste buds give up on peaches and berries and begin longing for crunchy pears and apples (…)

Memories of International Women's Day in Nepal

Four months after I gave birth to my son in Nepal, I celebrated my very first International Women’s Day in 1988 in Gunjanagar, a village in western Chitwan District. It was also Gunjangar’s first time to organize an event for that day. I describe the scene in Sacred Threads, my ethnographic memoir-in-progress….

Looking towards apple orchard and canyon
Looking towards apple orchard and canyon

A photograph of the first snow of the season in eastern Oregon mountains.

Dealing With My Own Sh--

I’d like to keep this a family friendly blog, but what else should I call it? Feces? Excrement? Waste? Poo? They all sound too distant, clinical or childish. It’s so easy to refer to it in euphemisms when clean water washes it far away, into rivers, oceans, or sewage treatment plants. But when you have to figure out how to deal with it yourself, it turns to shit….

My Remote Office

The dilapidated house is home to many packrats, a frog that lives in the old stove, a few birds, and many wasps. But the phone line goes to the house (and thanks to Jerry’s engineering now goes to the shady side), so that’s where I do my online work. It’s a lovely quarter mile walk from the yurt….

Mystery Eggs Hatched

The eggs hidden in the rusty tool box have hatched. Hatchlings hoping the camera will feed them. Haven’t been able to spot the parents yet. If anyone knows what species…

Beware the Easter Bunny

In memory of Luigi, Luna, Leo and Daffodil. Easter is the time of year when animal shelters and rabbit foster homes brace themselves for the post-holiday deluge of abandonment.  Too…