• Merry Christmas - A Tale of Two Stories

    I was at the crosswalk waiting for my turn. He trudged toward me, carrying his life in a few large duffel bags, slung in crisscrossed patterns around his lean frame. His jacket hood was pulled taut so only his face risked exposure to the biting wind. He crossed on red,...


  • Hog Killin' at the reLuxe Ranch

    Just over a week ago, we had an old-time hog killin’ here at the reLuxe Ranch. We have wanted to do this since we first read about it in Joel Salatin’s book Folks, This Ain’t Normal. But first we had to get a farm, then we had to raise some...


  • The Silence of the Ducks: Thoughts on Raising, Butchering, and Eating Animals

    Female ducks are loud, particularly when they first get their quack. For no apparent reason, they break out into incessant bouts of “HA, HA, HA!” It sounds like the evil villain laugh just before some heinous crime is perpetrated, or the sarcastic – I am not laughing with you, I...


  • Smoke It! Part 2

    The smokehouse is officially finished. Last weekend I put the finishing touches on it, laying about 1,000 pounds of gravel over the site I dug out of the hillside almost two months ago. I also built a small retaining wall from landscaping timbers to keep the higher end of the...


  • reLuxe Round Up - August 30, 2015

    We can already feel fall in the air here at the reLuxe Ranch.  Our animals are sleeping later, the chatter of birds is quieter at sunrise, our blue heron is back on his route south for the winter, and we fired up the chimnea a few times. We've also got...