Archive for February, 2008


Last night, I was watching the Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. He was interviewing Sarah Chayes, a former NPR journalist who now works in Afghanistan, trying to help rebuild the country. She founded a company that makes natural soaps from local crops. She is a fascinating and brave woman. She was incredibly candid about the current state of Afghanistan, the obstacles to success there, corruption, opium production and its implications. I would recommend watching the video from the interview.

Ms. Chayes said one thing at the end of the interview that struck a chord with me. I think what she said is universal and a beautiful, practical outlook on life. Bill Moyers asked her, in reference to her soap company and the good she hopes to do through it, if there was a fine line between hope and folly and if she finds herself close to that line. She said , “I don’t think that hope is relevant. I think determination is all that counts. You just have to try. It doesn’t matter if you hope you’re going succeed or not. You have to keep trying.”

If there is anything you really believe in, anything in the world you really want to change, isn’t that the condensation of the issues? Hoping it will get better or hoping your efforts will make a difference amounts to nothing. You just have to try to make things right.


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Well, I have been silent for quite some time now, but I just have to knock that last entry off the top of the page. Alas, my body is still inhabited by only one human (me). How boring. I have lots of healthy intestinal bacteria to keep me company, sure, but I was hoping for one of my own species.

Things are finally moving ahead for us on the homesteading front. I have had very little to say about the supposed topic of this blog because it’s the dead of winter and I’ve already used up all the tomato sauce I canned this summer, and ain’t a damn thing growing… But, our house is officially on the market. Today, at this very moment, it is infested with realtors on tour. Hopefully, they are all thinking “this would be the perfect house for so-and-so” and the bidding war for our home will soon commence and will go to $20k over asking price. That’s a reasonable expectation, right?

Well, perhaps not, but luckily, our local real estate market is largely unaffected by what’s going on in real estate nationwide. Prices are still going up, just at a slower rate than previously.

The exciting part of all this, of course, is that we get to start looking for our future home. There are a good number of properties on the market that would fit the bill. At the moment our must-haves are 4+ acres, 3 bed, 2 bath, a big kitchen, reliable water supply and no covenants that restrict livestock greatly. The things we are really hoping to get are outbuildings/barn, fencing and cross-fencing, and guest quarters since the in-laws would really like to come visit for long stretches in the summers. We are figuring that since much of the land here is in the woods, we may have to import soil for gardening. We are also hoping to build a greenhouse so the growing season is adequate.

If you homestead or raise animals and have any input on what we should be looking for, please comment and let me know!

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