Elinor Ostrom

Yesterday Rick’s teacher and mentor passed away.  Lin Ostrom was one of those rare people who was warm, open, generous, curious, demanding and an intellectual pioneer.  She left behind a large, close-knit family of former students, co-authors, collaborators and colleagues.  Lin had the capacity to meet anyone and immediately engage them.  She was happy to … Continue reading

Drought Relief

We got just over three inches of rain over two days last week.  It was welcome, as the last few weeks have been extremely dry.  We like to have our cisterns full at the beginning of summer because Houston summers tend to be very dry.  Plus, the pond needed more water as it was starting to get low and … Continue reading


We are truly impressed by the goats: our four legged mowing machines.  They are working long days and are quite pleased by what our property has to offer.  Chinese tallow tree leaves are, by far, their favorite, followed closely by Alabama supplejack leaves and Japanese honeysuckle.  To be honest, they seem willing to eat everything. … Continue reading

Ai Weiwei’s Zodiac Heads

We’d been meaning to go see Ai’s bronze Zodiac heads, but yesterday we realized it was the last day to see them. We were actually a day off, and when we got there they were removing them. We stayed for a while and watched. Quite the production, since each sculpture is ten feet tall, and … Continue reading

The Gang’s All Here

Melinda pulled in with 21 goats in a trailer yesterday and parked in the shade while she set the fence up. Given all the underbrush and especially those pesky vines that kept grabbing the fence, that took a while, even with the clearing she did a few days ago. Then it was time to let … Continue reading

Grazing Chickens

This past weekend we decided it was time for our chickens to get out for a while.  However, they’re not quite ready for the full free range experience, or maybe we aren’t.  Because we don’t want them wandering on their own, what with all the local hawks, we built them a chicken tractor. Chicken tractors … Continue reading

Houston Without Air

Initially we thought about dedicating a blog to living in Houston without air conditioning, but we came to the conclusion that not only would that be esoteric, but boring.  But we’ll post now and then about our life with minimal air conditioning. This week the temperatures have climbed into the 90s and the humidity is … Continue reading

The Goat Project

Most of our two acres is a dense tangle of trees, large and small shrubs, poison ivy and other vines and just thinking about thinning it out is tiring. Mother Nature would take care of this with fire, and many people would use a bulldozer. Neither of those was our answer, though. Instead we’re using … Continue reading