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Simple Living

Radical Homemakers vs. the Hurricane

Devastation and resilience: Shannon Hayes reports from Schoharie County, New York, which was hard-hit by Hurricane Irene. It was busy in town Friday and Saturday. Stores and restaurants were filled with New Yorkers and Long Islanders seeking refuge from hurricane Irene, slated to pummel downstate on Sunday. We were safely outside the storm zone, but […]

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Can You Be a Radical Homemaker With an Unsupportive Partner?

What happens when one member of a couple wants to live a new kind of life—but the other doesn’t? “But you have Bob.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard that refrain about my husband since I first began promoting the ideals of radical homemaking. I rarely hear it publicly. It usually comes […]

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Radical Homemaking: It’s Not a Competition

As publishers of a book about ecological, values-centered living, my husband Bob and I have experienced many moments of guilty squeamishness. Because I spent so much time studying the subject, and because we believed in the ideas strongly enough to pony up the cash and take Radical Homemakers to the printer, we feel we’re supposed […]

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Saying Goodbye: What Do We Teach Kids about Death?

My grandfather is dying. He is 92, and just before Christmas he came down with pneumonia. His health and awareness have been in steady decline since then, and his doctors have begun preparing us for the end. Uncle Tommy and Aunt Kimmie, who moved in with him a few years ago, have been overseeing his […]

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My Antidote to Overwhelm

Yesterday morning, when I finished writing for the day, I signed on to check my email. From the sea of unread messages, one stood out. The subject line, written in all caps, read: HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL? The more I write, the more I speak, the more I hear this question. It’s understandable. […]

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Homemade Prosperity

It should have been a high point in my life. I had just successfully defended my dissertation and had three potential job opportunities. But I found myself pacing around our cabin or walking the hills of my family’s farm, alternately weeping and hurling invectives into the country air. Bob and I were fighting with a […]

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Sharing the Harvest

If I had to choose one food whose flavor fully encapsulates the glory of fall, it would have to be the wild apple. One can close her eyes, take a bite, and know what it is to taste an autumn-blue sky accented by golden rods, deep purple asters, the lush of green pasture, and the […]

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Radical Homemaking for the Real World

In writing with fondness about my life in Schoharie County, I seem to have given the impression that it is some sort of nirvana, where old and young are united in a shared passion for the culture and landscape; where age-old skills for resourceful living are handed down through family and neighbors, enabling each successive generation to carve out a healthy and sustainable, albeit modest, living in these hills and valleys. I do believe that is happening here. But not necessarily as some might imagine.

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