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 for me to settle in for the long winter, watch the snow fall and catch up on writing projects. But alas, we were overly optimistic […]
It’s amazing I’ve found time for any writing at all this summer. Here’s a sampling of some other distractions….
Among a long list of foolish things I’m taking up in my maturing years, I can now add learning how to work with draft horses. I don’t know how far I’ll take this interest. One thing that sunk in at a recent weekend workshop is how steep the learning curve is and how dangerous it […]
…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….
More like, “Where I Try to Write.” I’m about to head back to the city for the winter. As much as I’m looking forward to an indoor toilet and indoor shower, I’m also longing for a private writing space (…)
With all the rain out over the last few weeks and the challenges of getting the summer garden in, I’ve been grateful for food that sprouts with no effort on my part. I might not want stinging nettles in my cultivated garden, but I like having a patch on a distant corner of our property. […]
People often ask me what it’s like to live in a yurt. As I wrote in an essay published in The Smoking Poet last Fall, much of the living goes on around the yurt rather than in it. And that’s as it should be with a shelter traditionally used by nomads. Take the shower. There’s […]
I’m ecstatic to be back on our property in Northeastern Oregon. There’s lots to do: organizing inside the yurt to make cooking and storage more convenient, building a spring box and laying pipe to get potable water into the yurt, putting in the garden. And there are many challenges: a muddy road, cars that get […]
Tomorrow, we drive to NE Oregon to spend a week or so in our yurt (and a few other places). The creature I fear most on this trip is not the cougar, wolf or porcupine. It’s much smaller. Most females and the younger males of the species could fit into the palm of my hand….
I’m honored that my first poem ever to be published — “In the Flat Field” — is in The High Desert Journal. It’s a fabulous regional publication that showcases writing rooted in the Interior West of North America….
One of the things I loved best about teaching high school social studies was shaking up students’ perceptions of history. And one of my favorite lessons was in Ancient History. I’d bring in a a jar of beans and a potato with so many sprouts it looked like an octopus (the fact that I always found one in my cupboard could have doubled as a cautionary lesson in the domestic arts)….
It’s easy to be impatient at the pace of progress of in our yurt living adventure. We still need indoor plumbing, shelving, walls on the porch….
Okay, I’ll admit we had some electricity before. With Jerry being an electrical engineer, we’ll always have electricity. But we’re enjoying major improvements now: bigger solar panels and a more centralized system with wiring (still pretty funky) into the yurt. We even have a light switch (more on that in another post)….
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….