Thursday, February 17, 2011

More "Living Locally" Blogs

For further viewing and reading on living locally, check out these blogs, recommended in the most current edition of Radish Magazine:

Crosswinds Farm

Brazy Creek Farm

Antiquity Oaks

Farm Genevieve

Front Porch Indiana

Living Locally

Sometimes the best read is the one that I have no expectations about.  Such is the case with an audio-book I found while mindlessly browsing the shelves at Davenport Public Library entitled Farewell, My Subaru, by Doug Fine.

Fine (humorously) tells the story of his settling in the Southwest with the sole purpose of living locally.  So, he purchases his ranch, along with two goats, a coop-full of chickens--and yes, forsakes his beloved Subaru for a car which runs entirely on bio-diesel fuel (which he feeds, by the way, with grease from local eateries).  We learn of his missteps and adventures along the way:  managing his mischievous, child-like goats; or, protecting his chickens from preying coyote.  As rustic as the whole experience sounds, it's also appealing to the adventurous of heart, and of course, to anyone who tries (even in the smallest of ways) to live locally.

Worth listening to, then check out Doug Fine's "living locally" blog.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Revisiting Betty Friedan

I caught wind of Stephanie Coontz's new book, A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s,  while listening to a recent episode of NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.  My ears perked immediately:  I've long been a fan of Coontz's theses, which include The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (1992) and Marriage: A History: How Love Conquered Marriage (2006).  I love both.  So, I didn't wait to order a copy of her new work, which was inspired, she tells Gross, when her publisher asked her to write a biography of Betty Friedan's controversial feminist work, The Feminine Mystique.  I've not been disappointed.  Coontz provides first-hand accounts of women who recall their reaction to reading Friedan's work when it was first published in 1963.  But she goes a step further to draw connections between the dissatisfaction of our mothers and grandmothers, to the social pressures of women and young girls today.  And, while she applauds the relief Friedan brought to many housewives of the 1960s, she recognizes that her work excluded many other sectors of women, including the working class and ethnic minorities.  The combination of perspectives makes for an engrossing work.