Taking Care

Wild Home Economics

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Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.
~Thomas Merton

I heard her young voice, clear and articulate for a two-year old saying something about a spider and a skirt. There wasn’t fear and anxiety in her voice, just matter-of-factness and wonder, like “Hey look at what I found in my skirt.” I shouted down the hallway, “Did you find a spider in your skirt?” “Yeah, come look,” she replied.

I walked down the hall, where she showed me a tiny spider hiding in the folds of her pink skirt, while her eyes glowed with warmth in the fading light of evening. She wanted to take this small creature outside to let it go safely, so that is what we did, gently dropping the arachnid onto the ground beneath a huckleberry bush.

How many kids or adults for that matter would have screamed and then smashed the spider? Where…

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What Then?

Wild Home Economics

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The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.

~Richard Bach (“Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”

She seems to be languishing, a body that was once full of vitality is now spent and she is exhausted, too weary to stay upright. I stand by her side, watching and wondering what to do, what to think. Standing mid-stream, water flowing all around, I see her struggle against the current and then succumb to its power and downstream she goes. I watch as she is pushed by the rushing water, knowing that she will never swim this far upstream again. She doesn’t have the strength. This is likely her last day and her tail, well-worn and white from digging redds (gravel nest), indicates that she has already spawned and will soon die. What then?

We are taught that death…

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Wandering into Wonder

Here is a post from my latest backpacking trip. I hope you enjoy it!

Wild Home Economics

“With thoughts clear, sitting silently, wander into the center of the circle of wonder.”

~ Zen Master Hongzhi

The upper canyon and the trail I was following was covered in snow, as were all of the mountainsides around me. My attempts to follow any trail that might have been there were thwarted by an early season snow storm and lack of a thaw. I was pretty sure that I could have figured out where the gap in the mountains was where I was suppose to cross over to the other side but I had never been there before and didn’t know what the snowpack was going to be like on the other side. Pausing, I caught my breath and listened to the sounds of water trickling everywhere from snow-melt, and realized that my feet were soaked from hiking in trails that had become streams. I thought this was going to be my last trip of…

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Clouds and Birds and Trees

Here is a poem that my daughter Madeleine and I wrote together this weekend.

Wild Home Economics

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We see rain clouds moving across the sky

Flowing northwards like a river in the atmosphere

Drifting onward to another time and place.

Wild winter winds whip the tree

Does the wind move the clouds

Or the clouds move the wind?

Wind-moving clouds dance with the trees

Birds fly with the wind, the clouds

We love you clouds and birds and trees.

(written by Madeleine Jane LaFever, age 5 3/4, and David Howard LaFever, age 37)

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Happy Lucky Idiot

Wild Home Economics

A poem by Nanao Sakaki from his collected poems called “How to Live on the Planet Earth.”

If you have time to chatter

Read books

If you have time to read

Walk into mountain, desert and ocean

If you have time to walk

Sing songs and dance

If you have time to dance

Sit quietly, you Happy Lucky Idiot

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Allowing the world to contaminate me

Wild Home Economics

Trinity Alps Wilderness, California

As I sat on the granite monolith, simply breathing in and out, I began noticing the sounds, smells, sights and sensations of this mountain world. There was the gentle lapping of lake water on the rocky shore, the green dots of conifer trees on the light gray granitic mountainside, the call of Steller’s jay, northern flicker and red-breasted nuthatch, and the feeling of cool stone on my bare legs. But before this intellectualizing and naming of experience, there was just the experience itself. Before I turned this momentous world (a world in the moment) into something extraordinary that I could capture and consume in words and concepts, there was just the world in all its ordinariness and intensity.

Elisabetta Corrà said, “The extraordinary seeks something beyond reality. Intensity forces us to experience reality…” There was still the lapping of the water against the shore and the birds…

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Preserved Lemons and Moroccan Cuisine

Kristin and I just got published in Taproot Magazine! Check out Issue 18: Preserve and our article on preserved lemons and the exotic flavors of Moroccan cooking!

Wild Home Economics

Kristin and I are very excited to let you all know that we were recently published Taproot Magazine, an ad-free magazine focused on family, farming, food and craft. We are honored to have recipes inspired by our years living in Morocco published in this wonderful magazine and encourage you all to check it out! Our article explains how to make preserved lemons and their use in three recipes. Two of those recipes come straight from the family we lived with in Morocco (we video taped them making these classic Moroccan dishes and then reviewed that video for this article). It was an interesting experience to take orally transmitted recipes from such a different culture and translate them into our language and our culture! We look forward to doing more of this cross-cultural translation and will post those recipes on this site!

If you pick up a copy of Issue 18:…

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