22. Ribbons Are Forever

This is what one of the curling ribbons I tossed in a compost bin looked like after more than a year of composting. Not much happened. Parts of it lost their color and attracted some dirt, but otherwise there’s no sign at all of decomposition. The ribbon had defied the bacteria and other natural forces,Continue reading “22. Ribbons Are Forever”

21. Motherlode: Free Gifts from Our Mother Earth

This is not a normal gift guide, where you see something you like in an ad and run out to buy it. Actually it’s a gift guide that might empower you to avoid doing that. I always feel sad when I hear about people who max out their credit cards, going into debt and evenContinue reading “21. Motherlode: Free Gifts from Our Mother Earth”

20. It All Comes Out in the Wash Water

There’s a scene from the movie El Norte that’s still with me 35 years after I first saw it. Actually, there are two other scenes I remember as well: the one where the father’s severed head is swaying in the breeze, and the one where Rosa and Enrique are crawling through a tunnel and areContinue reading “20. It All Comes Out in the Wash Water”

19. Girl Power

When we left our protagonist couple in the last post, they were facing a seemingly impossible dilemma. Should the chickens get to keep their freedom in the back yard, creating havoc and hastening its demise? Or should they be forced to give up that choice territory and be relegated once again to the 185-square-foot coopContinue reading “19. Girl Power”

18. Henpecked

Someone recently suggested that I write about our chickens. I thanked them for the idea. After all, I wrote three posts about building the coop, and nothing on the occupants. But what did they have to do with new stuff sucking? Obviously, if we’re getting eggs from them, we can avoid buying egg cartons. ThatContinue reading “18. Henpecked”

16. Miracle Growth

I have a composting toilet. Is that like an outhouse? People ask. Mine happens to be in a separate building—which is unusual, I know—but other than that it’s not at all like an outhouse. If I had more room in my little house I’d keep it there. More convenient. It never stinks like an outhouse. At mostContinue reading “16. Miracle Growth”

15. It’s Only Natural

I couldn’t click the mouse anymore. My arm hurt too much. There was nothing I could do but try switching to my left hand. It was awkward at first. But it wasn’t like I was trying to write with the left hand—just click. Soon I was clicking along. And my right arm was having aContinue reading “15. It’s Only Natural”

Post 14. Garbage In, Beauty Out

This week is mainly visual, what you might faddishly call “eye candy,” in that it’s colorful and fun. But it’s more than that. It’s political, it’s salvaged, it’s desert-based, and it’s witty. I’ve known Royce, the artist, for more than 35 years. We met when he was art director at the Tucson Weekly, and IContinue reading “Post 14. Garbage In, Beauty Out”

13. Why I Write This #@!$% Blog

I have to spend fifteen to twenty hours at the computer instead of being outside, feeling happy and healthy. I don’t get paid. I’m involved in the horrible world of internet popularity frenzy—“likes,” subscriptions, self-promotion. I’m no good at any of this. But I do have a rationale, of sorts. This: In recent years I’veContinue reading “13. Why I Write This #@!$% Blog”