Chores, labor, monotony, routine, physical. All describe my life here at the ranch. Each morning we rise just before seven (a comfortable hour – yes: I know and am thankful) to feed the horses, sheep, and chickens. We clean out paddocks, change straw bedding, scrub water tubs – all before breakfast. As each day’s work […]

The short of it: Spiders are my friends because spiders eat flies. And flies suck. The long of it: When I was growing up, if a bee even so much as drifted within eyeshot I would alternately shut down completely or launch into a panic attack. Don’t ask me why – I’ve never even been […]

There is nothing as satisfying as standing limp under a lukewarm outdoor shower in the early evening after a brutal day of physical labor in the hot, still Mexican air watching daddy longlegs run from the flowing water while scraping brown and black gobs of goo out from the deepest darkest crevices of your sinuses […]

The desert really is a different animal. Living here is far and away unlike living in an environment blessed with abundant water supply. If a plant or animal (or person for that matter) doesn’t have the capacity to survive on its own, it will die. Unless a human decides to invest very large sums of […]

Sometimes you come to work at a ranch in the desert and end up learning how to roll maki and feeding $180 worth of king salmon roe from Alaska to 20 hungry chickens. The lesson here: expectations are silly. Don’t waste time with ‘em.

As some of you may know, I’ve up and skipped town for a summer sojourn out west. While I’m a bit belated – by three weeks or thereabouts – in posting news of my departure (or really anything for that matter), I’ve decided that the lessons learned thus far and those still-to-be-acquired on this short […]

colville bay

In an effort to identify one thing each day that I have gratitude for: today I’m grateful for openness. If your everyday practice is open to all your emotions, to all the people you meet, to all the situations you encounter, without closing down, trusting that you can do that – then that will take you are far […]

summer bounty

When the final surge of summer’s bounty bestows upon you big fat enormous zucchinis so mindbogglingly huge it’s almost mentally insurmountable, what do you do? Think of things to do with zucchini. This is one of the things I thought of.  My Aunt, whose garden is now overrun with the soon-to-be pumpkin harvest of the century, […]


I love okra a lot.  I almost constantly crave the seductively silky slime that oozes between the bright bubble-like seeds of the tender pod.  There’s really nothing else like the texture of good, young, fresh, homegrown okra.  So when I saw it for $3.50 a pound at Greensgrow’s Saturday market (try $8 at some other farm stands) I was all over […]


After an epic trip from Philadelphia to Prince Edward Island earlier this month (which I shall chronicle in brief, perhaps, later on), I found myself inundated with an unabashedly excessive quantity of wild Maine blueberries.  How can one resist those quiet green baskets so reminiscent of a season?  Especially in the throes of ones last […]


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