Archive for August, 2006

Yard sale lessons II – You really do meet all kinds…

Halfway through the day of our yard sale, a truck and trailer pulled up to the curb, the trailer labeled “Antique Auction” or some such. Thunder pointed it out excitedly to me – “Didn’t you want to sell that antique bureau?” Omigosh! We got so busy with the early birds that I forgot all about bringing it outside! So I ran into the house and wheeled it to the door.

Well, the dealer, a friendly fellow, took a look and made an offer. I dickered, and we settled, and moved the piece into his trailer. And off he went.

Four hours later, the sale over and the leavings packed neatly for charity, I lay down to rest. And then it hit me. (more…)

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August 18, 2006 at 12:01 pm 4 comments

Belated: Yard sale lessons

As you may know, Thunder sold his house just recently. And before moving out, we figured it made sense to declutter and dump a bunch of belongings. (Especially since we’ve just moved out of a 1300-square-foot house into a recreational vehicle and a storage unit!)

Well, neither of us had done the yard sale thing before. Didn’t even have much of a yard to host it in. But we did some asking around and followed what good advice we got. An ad, good signs, clearly marked prices, all that. Got up at five a.m. to be ready by 7:45. and even that wasn’t early enough.

We figured we might pull in a couple hundred bucks, maybe $200 after expenses. (more…)

August 18, 2006 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Tagged again…

Well, I see that both Sunni Maravillosa and Morrigan have done the latest book meme. They didn’t actually tag me for it – no, they’re both such lovers of individual freedom that, instead, they gently invited anyone interested to participate as well. (Oh, and after I initially posted this, I saw that Lewlew had indeed tagged me! Thanks, Lewlew. 😉 )

I figured they were talking to me, like the other voices in my head, and I love talking about books, so what the hey. And I’m going to try to do this one without including any of the books I listed in my last book tag entry. Anyone who likes, please play along on your own blog!

One book that changed your life?

One by Richard Bach.

One book that you have read more than once?

Freedom Road by Harold Hough.

One book you would want on a desert island?

I really like Morrigan’s answer – a blank journal. But my first thought was, as Hawkeye Pierce said once, “The dictionary. It contains all the other books.”

One book that made you laugh?

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.

One book that made you cry?

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. But it wasn’t crying from sadness.

One book you wish had been written?

The one I am writing, a historical novel, working title Liberty Rain. But then again I’m really enjoying the writing process and don’t want it to end too soon.

Also, If You Were My Kid: What I Wish Adults Had Explained to Me While I Was Growing Up.

One book that you wish had never been written?

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. Utterly plotless and pointless. More precisely, this is a book I wish I’d never picked up.

One book you are currently reading?

Novelist’s Boot Camp: 101 Ways to Take Your Novel from Boring to Bestseller, by Todd A. Stone.

One book that you have been meaning to read?

All On Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery, by Henry Mayer.

August 18, 2006 at 10:52 am 5 comments

The gulcher’s thought process

This post is going to be a bit disjointed, I think. But I’ve got some vaguely connected thoughts on the subject that want to get out of my brain and into cyberspace…

A gulch is a place where…

  • one stores needed supplies to last a certain length of time, until…
  • one has arranged to produce as many of those supplies as possible once that initial time runs out
  • one has made contacts with other likeminded folks to band together in the interests of future production, trade, and the defense of the produce, its means of production, and its producers
  • one can enjoy the fruits of one’s labor, and life at the pace of nature, free from those who do not choose this way of life.

Why? We know that we need nature and nature’s bounty in order to survive and to thrive. We know that life is a struggle with nature, and that successful freedom in life means making our peace with nature. We know, as Rose Wilder Lane pointed out in The Discovery of Freedom, that struggling to thrive against the forces of nature is the purpose of men, and in living that purpose, men gain the kind of self-respect that insists upon liberty. Or, as Gene Logsdon wrote in The Contrary Farmer, “Self-sufficient people never favor the taxes that allow governments to become totalitarian.”

Gulchers are people who love and need freedom so much that they’re willing – even glad – to work hard to build it for themselves. To make tough choices and take on “hardships” -ones most people nowadays wouldn’t dream of making or taking on – like growing their own food and producing their own power where possible, to avoid being dependent on distribution grids and networks over which they have no control.

But those who don’t choose this way of life have a strange way of appreciating its wisdom when things get interesting. A lot of them think that because you did prepare for trouble ahead, you owe them something because they didn’t bother. And some of them will use any means at their disposal to grab your stuff.

We’re headed for times that will take us back to lawless ways of life…Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath showed us that, and it won’t even take more than a couple of days to get really bad.

Think of the gulcher’s perspective, then, as sustainability with an attitude – and a few firearms. 😉

August 11, 2006 at 3:51 pm 1 comment

Walt’s Gulch – Gotta love it!

Should have posted this much sooner. TCF‘s own John DeWitt (Joel Simon) has published his novel Walt’s Gulch at Lulu.com. Proceeds are to benefit TCF.

The blurb on Joel’s Lulu.com page:

Walter Steward has a dream. With his daughter Jessica, he moves to the north country and builds a new home far from the troubles that have plagued and blighted his life. The people he meets there, the friendships he forges, seem blessings indeed. The future seems bright. But one of those friendships brings disaster. Walter has no idea that the closest of his new friends, George Sedlewitz, is on the run for having murdered two police officers in a fit of rage. Walter knows that George is moody, nervous, and quiet. He doesn’t know that he’s a little mad, and that he isn’t done with his killing.

The story is a good, fast-paced read, with sympathetic characters to add emotional punch. I’d really love to know more about Mary and her network. The passages seen through the eyes (and nose!) of the dog Gallatin are beautifully and heartrendingly handled. And Florence is so not the kind of lady you’d expect to see turning Outlaw – which is very encouraging in a way.

Lulu.com seems to do a decent job with print-on-demand production, and shipping was prompt. Unfortunately, the wonderfully apropos cover art photo (by fellow TCFwit cowardly lion) was low-res and came out poorly.

But I’m nevertheless extremely pleased with the value for my money.

August 8, 2006 at 9:12 am 1 comment

Milestone

Today’s my last day on my old job and in my old industry.

Not exactly a job, technically, since I’m a contractor. But the job was making me feel as though I was tied to the company purchasing my services.

And in a sense I was. I wore their public face, if you will. To thousands of colleagues, I was that company.

I worked for other entities as well, but only quietly, in more private ways. Enough to satisfy the IRS that I’m not anyone’s employee, anyhow. Well, that work too is ending, by my choice.

Now that it’s all coming to an end, a good end, I’m mildly astonished at myself and at how simple it is to choose something new. Not easy, but simple – basic – fundamental.

There are two thoughts muddling around in my brain over this. One, that I don’t ever have to work as ANYONE’s employee again. I’ll be getting some training in coming months that will allow me to do a new kind of work, on my own terms.

And two, that there’s a lesson in outlawry in the life I’ve led for years, having a public face and function, and then a private one (or more than one) that’s much different.

I don’t know – it needs more sorting out as yet. All I can say is that I feel like I’m making some real progress for once – and that I’m on the verge of some important new understanding. Or even enlightenment. Something exciting, compelling, something I’ve been looking and waiting for lifelong.

And for tonight, the questions and anticipation are enough. No thinkin’ tonight – I’m celebrating my freedom with Thunder and a pizza.

August 3, 2006 at 5:24 pm 2 comments

Cool discussion

Here’s a discussion thread asking incisive questions of “those who already have their gulch.”  Great info, advice and don’t-I-wish stuff there in reply.  Thanks, Dare2BeFree, for starting an excellent conversation.

August 3, 2006 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

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