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Country Living 10 minutes From Eugene

Chezem Road country propertyBuildable 2 acre property with well and septic already in place just 10 minutes from town on a quiet dead end road in a great country neighborhood southwest of Eugene. The fully insulated single car garage includes a slab floor in the shop area and an adjacent bathroom. Build your passive solar home and begin planning your vegetable garden! A seasonal creek (a tributary of Spencer Creek) meanders across the property. Large pine trees and fir trees, cherry and apple trees, and newly planted redwoods and cedars.
For more info, please visit our New World Farmstead site.
Asking $150,000

Reading Off the Charts Book Reviews: Lavinia Lives

By Ursula K. Le Guin
Published in 2008 by Harcourt, Inc.

I can’t imagine writing a book like Lavinia but I am so grateful Ursula K. Le Guin did. It is a wonderful story, deeply felt and poetically told that not only recreates an alternate world but one that was once our world, literally and culturally. She queries the intersections of myth, legend and literature and uses the inquiry as part of the structure of the novel itself. Perhaps best known for her imaginative and challenging novels of future times and far-away places, she transports us to a past that we can rightly claim as our own, tenuous as the characters may have been, and transforms them into flesh and blood. Lavinia lives. Lavinia, the king of Latium‘s daughter, in pre-Roman Italy, narrates her life story with its key events foretold by the oracle and by the classical Roman poet, Publicus Vergilius Maro, or Virgil as we know him, centuries later (70-19 BCE).

Until this book by Le Guin, again centuries later, Virgil’s is the only mention of Lavinia in literature or in his epic of the survivors of the Trojan Wars, The Aeneid. which chronicles the tragic and redemptive life of the hero Aeneas. One of the legends of Rome was that Aeneas and Lavinia’s descendants . . . → Read More

An Accidental Rescue Dog: The Tale of Skippy

This is a true story about a dog I knew through my wonderful and weird old neighbourhood in San Francisco, many years ago in the mid-seventies. Young and hopeful, I lived in an old area dubbed “Dogpatch” by the locals and “Irish Hill” by the local historians, near the then-still working waterfront. Bethlehem Steel had a ship building yard with large cranes and the Mission Point “park” was a sturdy public pier next to the Mission Rock Beer Bait and Boats shop. We had the lovely lower flat an pre-quake Italianate Victorian a block and a half west of the water that was, with a few other domestic buildings, mixed in with many warehouses, machine shops, the SF railyard and scattered little factories, fleet yards, and a corner garage at Third and Tennessee, Fred and Jim’s.

A perfect site for an artist, I thought when I first saw the place. (I was trying hard to develop into a professional artist back then.) Now it is absorbed by the name “China Basin District,” once just referring to the channel area of the SF Bay a little north that berthed some small Bay fishing boats, a few houseboats and an antiquated small, old steel bridge that raised its deck for the boats to go through, located on the back route to downtown . . . → Read More

An Oregon Poet Goes to the Dog

Two poems salute the canines in our lives who teach us to celebrate each moment.

Nanook stands in for Alexi

Samoyed Homecoming

A day of showers mixed with sun,
the shrubs all trimmed, the mowing done,
the parents leave for Beaverton
to pick up their Samoyed son

Alexi’s coming home! . . . → Read More

An American Original: Louis Bromfield

Louis Bromfield and Roswell Garst, Malabar Farm, 1954, courtesy of {link:http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/audiovis/munroe/}The Ohio Historical Society{/link}, the Joe Munroe Archives

In 1786 homesick Thomas Jefferson, in Paris, wrote a letter glorifying his Virginia farm: “And our own dear Monticello…with what majesty do we ride above the storm!” Political tempests would come and go. The one thing that tormented him unto death in 1826, however, was the ever-rising river of debt issuing from “dear Monticello.”

In 1932 homesick novelist Louis Bromfield, close by Paris, wrote a note, singing of his youth on an Ohio farm. “It was a good way of life” he recalled, having “in it two fundamental things which were once and may be again intensely American…integrity and idealism. Jefferson has been dead more than a hundred years but (these) things are immortal.” Seven years later, he moved back to Ohio and built America’s most famous farm, vowing to create “a world of my own or die trying.” As it turned out, he did help usher in a new world of sustainable farming. But his farm’s rising river of debt lead to his early death.

While it’s unfair to compare even an imposing . . . → Read More

DNA and Nuclear Desecration

As we gaze nervously at our beloved West Coast that was battered a few weeks ago as the tsunami hit (relatively mild on this side of the Pacific) we remember the nuclear power plants perched above the rocks at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon over the mirror image of subduction plates that has so altered poor Japan. In the Northwest we have the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (clean-up seems to have no end) and the Richmond Plant. As we pray for the people of Japan, we also pray for ourselves that we will never have to face such a crisis. But it is more than possible. It may be a matter of time. -Editor

Our attention is riveted by the daily worsening of the Fukushima crisis, but there’s a different way of looking at nuclear disasters. It involves seeing all nuclear industries as an ongoing disaster. If accumulating radionuclides on the planet is unacceptably risky then operating nuclear power plants, that inevitably create radionuclides, is disastrous.

The individual releases of man-made radionuclides are each tragic and far more destructive than we are being told, and their number and scale are not really being placed in the public consciousness. Each individual release does not stand alone but is part of the ongoing . . . → Read More

Cedars, and Patches

Two sweet, short offerings to our loyal readers for St. Valentines Day:

Old Cedar, New Cedar

We have a big cedar stump in our dooryard from a tree that went down in a storm several years ago. It is 6 feet high and more than two feet across at the top. A baby cedar which is now several feet higher than the stump has sprung up from the root on the north side .

Yesterday the sun shining there enticed Patches to climb up to sun himself. Sasha joined him for a bit, but became aware of the big patch of snowdrops at her feet where many honey bees eagerly sucked up nectar from the flowers. She was uneasy so close to so many bees and reluctant to get down even closer. Eventually she managed to work herself down, using the new cedar on the north side for handholds and steps, and came to relate her worries to Mom and me.

I rejoice in the patch of snowdrops flaunting their presence in late January, a sign that spring is on its way.. I remember the blueberries and grapevine to be pruned. February will offer days when outside work such as pruning will be comfortably mild. How delightful it is to anticipate these yearly chores awaiting my attention in my 90th . . . → Read More