Family Life and Life and Self Sufficiency01 Jun 2010 06:48 am


Here are some recent gardening pics, as well as some from earlier this year and late last year.

Life15 Oct 2009 10:00 pm


Ever since moving into our house nearly a decade ago we’ve seen chipmunks in the yard or nearby in the neighborhood.

Since expanding our gardening experiment this year, though, they either multiplied or spent more time in our direct vicinity (or both).

I’ll walk out onto the deck, and hear one shooting off the stairs onto the lawn. I step into the garden, and just barely see a pair of them dart behind the water barrels. They are so stealthy, so amazingly quick, that it took me several months to realize they were present almost underfoot. I finally learned to recognize when something briefly visible in the corner of my eye (“did I just see something over there?”) was actually a chipmunk scampering to safety.

Yesterday one of our local chipmunks died  :(

Tonight I dug a hole in the warm, active part of the compost pile and laid her body there. Over time it will be worked on by the organisms in the pile, broken down into the basic components of life. By next summer, the elements of her body will be nourishing the same plants that once fed her.

That’s the way it should be, I think — you know, the circle of life.

And that, now that I think about it, is what I want to happen to me when I die. No preservation by chemicals and burial in a box. Not even incineration, with ashes spread somewhere nice. After I’m dead, I would like my body to be returned, as directly and beneficially as possible, to the natural world from which it came.

I want to be composted, broken down to my constituent parts and returned to the land. I want to be laid where my body can nourish the plants that once fed me, and now feed others.

That’s the way it should be, I think.

Family Life and Life and Peak Oil and Self Sufficiency22 Sep 2009 10:29 pm

Lots of new pics in the gallery:

Animal Rights and Human Rights and Life and Vegetarianism11 Sep 2009 06:26 pm

Today is 9/11/2009, and we all remember what happened eight years ago. My heart goes out to all of those who lost friends and family on that day. It was an event that shook us to our core, and I hope we never forget that more than 3,000 people lost their lives.

Not surprisingly, this day brings much somber reflection. As it winds down it occurs to me that that a couple of other things are also weighing on my mind, and I think deserve mention.

The first is that today — like every other day of the year — about 25,000 people will die worldwide from causes related to hunger. The reasons for this are multiple, including hard-to-solve political and societal causes, but in part because the wealthy of the world (you and I) are feeding much of the world’s grain to non-human animals (raising them for meat) and to our cars (ethanol). The events of 9/11 were a horrible tragedy, but we should not forget that hunger is causing many horrible tragedies every day of the year.

The second is that today — like every other day of the year — we in the US will kill over 2,500,000 animals (most of them to eat). That’s nearly 20,000 animals per second. The numbers are so huge that they are hard to fathom. The amount of suffering involved is numbing.

Let us not forget the events of 9/11 or the people we lost. But let us also not lose sight of the fact that there are even larger horrors going on every day, and ones that we can personally do something to help solve tomorrow.

Life and Peak Oil12 Aug 2009 11:44 pm

A little less than a year ago I wrote about how the imminent energy descent will likely mean the end (over the next couple of decades) of our high-tech tools and toys (especially anything that uses a microprocessor or other sophisticated solid state electronics). That post was triggered by this excellent paper by Alice Friedemann.

Here are some more recent articles that deal with the same topic:
* The monster footprint of digital technology, by Kris De Decker.
* The End of the Information Age, by John Michael Greer.
* Will the Internet Still Be Here in Tough Times?, by Sharon Astyk (which draws heavily from the two articles above).

As Sharon’s post and the resulting comments discuss, two of the major adaptations we will face are losing easy access to a world’s worth of readily searchable information, and learning to live and interact solely with those physically close to us (instead of the like-minded communities we find online).

Computers have been a regular part of my life for nearly 30 years, and the Internet for half that time. It is hard for me to imagine living without them, but that is exactly what we will eventually have to do. It does help to remember that quite a few people who came before us seemed to manage  ;-)

Next Page »