Chickens and Clotheslines for Connectivity With the Natural World

Our motley crew of baby chickens and ducks spent the day outside in the chicken tractor while enjoying their first 80-degree day. Fresh air does them good. The sensation of grass and dirt between their toes, spindly chicken legs, and mud-flap-like duck feet/paddles, provides a thrill. A quick breeze ruffles brand new feathers, briefly exposing … More Chickens and Clotheslines for Connectivity With the Natural World

Practical Ways to Cultivate Awareness and Gratitude in Daily Life, Part 2

Cultivating awareness can be taken as an activity pursued in solitude for no greater purpose than that of enriching ourselves, as a kind of ego-centric navel-gazing activity. However, this is certainly not the goal. As we become more “aware” and exude gratitude for a multitude of blessings that have been showered upon us, we can … More Practical Ways to Cultivate Awareness and Gratitude in Daily Life, Part 2

Practical Ways to Cultivate Awareness and Gratitude in Daily Life, Part 1

Awareness and gratitude are a chicken and egg situation. Which comes first? Are they one and the same? Being fully aware of the world around you, having knowledge of it, and experiencing it in all it’s subtle shades and endless variety is something that comes gradually as our perception becomes more and more capable of … More Practical Ways to Cultivate Awareness and Gratitude in Daily Life, Part 1

It’s Earth Day! Thoughts Gleaned from Squalor and Hoarding.

Compulsive hoarding, and the squalor that comes with it, often rides in tandem with a lack of self-respect or awareness. If you had a healthy self-worth, would you live, eat, sleep, and make love in these conditions? Sorry if this is somewhat graphic, but think about the most basic things you take for granted every … More It’s Earth Day! Thoughts Gleaned from Squalor and Hoarding.

10 Instant Benefits of Manual Labor and Chores

Work is incredibly valuable. I’m not talking about sitting at a desk pushing papers, tapping away at a computer, or chatting on the phone, either. Regardless of individual temperament, we all need to be regularly engaged in useful manual labor. Preferably such labor will carry us into the great outdoors as well. The other morning … More 10 Instant Benefits of Manual Labor and Chores

Learning from Parasites, Blood-Suckers, and Grinding Adversity

To everything there is a season, a reason, and a purpose (under heaven). Punches to the gut like unemployment, head lice, a scabies-like mite that once bored deeply into my flesh, and thousands of biting flies, all fit snugly into this category. Amazingly, I find myself loving each and every one of these occurrences in … More Learning from Parasites, Blood-Suckers, and Grinding Adversity

Embracing the Challenge That Comes From Observing a Successful Unschooler

Families that choose the unconventional path of unschooling for their children are rarely boring. Typically they are utterly fascinating. After all, boring people rarely have the fortitude to do anything as counter-cultural as this. Ben Hewitt and his family provide a fascinating case study of this movement that I was previously unfamiliar with. I urge … More Embracing the Challenge That Comes From Observing a Successful Unschooler

Keeping Things Simple Ensures We Keep Kids Moving and IN the Outdoors

Each and every day we need to be moving, physically that is. A perfectionist by nature, I’m working hard to not let a need for perfection squelch the “good enough.” This winter has produced an embarrassing dearth of snow in these parts. This has often made getting the kids outside rather difficult. Below-zero temperatures and … More Keeping Things Simple Ensures We Keep Kids Moving and IN the Outdoors