How to Hard Boil Eggs

I have ADHD. It makes me very easily distractible. My short-term memory is pretty shit from it, too. I’ll start doing something, get distracted, and completely forget about the thing I was doing. And the distraction doesn’t even have to be something urgent or complicated.

When I was 17, living with my mother and her boyfriend, I wanted to make some hard-boiled eggs. This is not at all a difficult thing to do. Put cold eggs in a pan, cover it with water, put it on the stove, boil until the eggs are done.

Everything was going great until I laid down, forgot I was hard-boiling eggs, and woke up to explosions.

The smell of burnt, exploded eggs still haunts me, and I’m now 40.

I do, however, still love hard-boiled eggs. And have since both learned how to make them perfectly – it’s in the timing – I’ve also since decided that even though I can make perfect hard-boiled eggs on the stove, it’s much easier for me if I use an egg cooker, which does everything automatically.

My particular egg cooker is shaped like a yellow chick – a bit morbid considering it’s cooking eggs, but morbid in an adorable way. I put seven eggs in the spots that hold the eggs, add 1/4 cup of water to the base, put the lid on, plug it in, turn it on, and when it’s done, it turns itself off. Which means if I forget about the eggs, they don’t explode.

But what if you don’t have an egg cooker?

That’s where the perfect hard-boiled recipe comes in handy.

Just be sure you set the timers. Loudly.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Perfect hard-boiled eggs are all about the timing.
Course Appetizer


  • cold uncracked eggs
  • cold water


  • Place cold, uncracked eggs in a pan.
  • Cover eggs with cold water.
  • Place pan on stove and turn heat to medium.
  • Bring water to a full, rolling boil.
  • Boil for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Put lid on the pot. Let eggs sit in the hot water for 11 minutes.
  • Carefully drain the hot water and run eggs under cold water.
  • Peel when cool.

Some notes: Farm-fresh eggs suck for hard-boiling. If you’re gathering your own eggs or buying them fresh from a farmer, you’ll want to let them sit in the refrigerator for at least two weeks before hard-boiling them. Even then, they’re a bitch to peel.

You don’t really need to add salt, vinegar, or anything else to the water. They don’t actually make a significant difference in how the eggs turn out.


My Love/Hate Relationship with Poverty

For years, I’ve had this love/hate relationship with poverty. In fact, over a decade ago, I ran a blog called Living on Less Than a Dime about thriving as a single mom in spite of poverty. My son is now grown, living across the country, and I am a married hermit called to a spiritual path of service to my village – in both the digital and physical realms.

I love that poverty brings out my resilience and gives me the opportunity to build that resilience even more.

Last year, I went six months without running water, and did just fine. Water became a quest, something to be sought out. I learned to appreciate it more. To understand the ways that modern running water delivered right to our faucets frees us up for other things. I developed a new and deeply spiritual relationship with water that even now that I have running water again remains.

It was exhausting and frustrating at times. How do you deal with having to shit when you can’t flush the toilet? You learn. You adapt. You figure it out. (A five-gallon bucket, a foam pool noodle, and wood shavings/dirt between poos. Toss it in the hot compost pile to become humanure. Use on trees and flowers, or veggies if you’re really adventurous and are only feeding yourself/your family.)

If you can’t figure it out – or you don’t have the support of someone in your life who can help you figure it out – you suffer, and I’m not a fan of suffering. Even when times are really tough, suffering is a choice. To be miserable about the circumstances, or to face them, head-on, using what you can and doing what you can until you can do something else.

I hated that poverty makes everything so much harder. That I couldn’t have the impact that I want to have because I couldn’t get the sort of visibility that money can buy.

But harder is not necessarily worse and not having money means I just have to get more creative about the ways that I do the things that I want to do.

Sure, it might come slower.

But slow-living is one of my Eremitic Principles. To slow down enough to be able to pay attention. When life gets moving too fast, we go on autopilot and everything becomes a blur. We lose our spiritual connection and before long we lose ourselves. Capitalism and patriarchy and white supremacy keep things moving faster and faster and faster so we can never slow down and never find who we truly are.

Slowing down allows us to savor living.

Even when that living is hard.

Especially when that living is hard.

When I find myself hating my poverty, it’s a reminder to re-evaluate. To see where things have been moving too fast. Where I need to slow down. What I need to let go.

I hated poverty because I didn’t choose it. I was born to it. I struggled against it for years, trying to escape it’s clutches.

Until I accepted it. Acceptance of what is is another of my Eremitic Principles. Acceptance doesn’t mean we don’t do anything about what is. Only that we don’t resist the existence of what is. Denying reality does not help us escape reality because we can’t escape it. We can only mold it, slowly, by molding ourselves.

Acceptance also doesn’t mean you can’t want something different. Acceptance isn’t resignation. Once we accept what is, we can change what is. Resistance just makes reality dig in even harder. Acceptance gives reality flexibility. It’s like the Universe says, “Here, I’m showing you this!” and until you accept it, the Universe is going to keep showing it to you.

Acceptance, of course, doesn’t guarantee things will change in a particular way. Only that you’re not spending your energy resisting so you can start spending your energy rearranging.

I’ve been rearranging my life deliberately for some time now. For a long time, though, I spent all my energy resisting poverty. Trying to make more money. Constantly hustling just to pay the bills. And going against my own personal flow to do so. No wonder I never got anywhere.

When money stopped being my focus, when my calling became my focus, and rearranging my life so that my calling can weave through every moment of it, money got easier. Not great, yet. But flowing in ways that it never did before, bringing ease. I’m still poor, but not as poor as I was.

I don’t hate my poverty anymore. I don’t necessarily want to be here forever, but I’m also not attached to the idea of leaving. It is what is is, what will be is what will be. I am focused on my calling, on making room for it to fully express itself, and allowing everything else to fall in place as it will.

But I’ve also got a fuckton of survival tips that will be coming as a series of blog posts over the next few weeks/months.

The Poor Witch’s Guides to Sustainable Living will share my own learned lessons about living on a below-poverty budget and THRIVING in spite of the poverty. Ways to obtain property (it’s easier than you think), how to garden to grow your own food, how to live without utilities for an extended period of time, and how to weave magic through all of your life while doing it.

Poor does not mean bad. Poor just means you have to create your life a bit differently.


A Vision for a Hermitage

Hermitage n. the dwelling of a hermit, especially when small and remote.

Google Dictionary

Welcome to The Hermitage, my blog and home on the web. I also have a hermitage in the physical world, my home where I am creating a sanctuary for cats and plants, and of course, for myself.

I’m a hermit. By calling and by nature. I’ve always preferred solitude. Even as a child, I preferred to spend the majority of my time alone, reading books and writing stories. People were overwhelming, chaotic, and made no sense at all. Stories made sense.

Now, as an adult, people are still overwhelming, but they make more sense because I’ve spent decades studying stories life is just a bunch of loosely connected stories being played out in predictable ways on a daily basis. It only seems like chaos because most of us are limited to one view of the story – our own.

Since this is the intro post for this new blog, I suppose I’ll start with an intro of myself and then move onto my vision for my hermitage – both this digital one and the one that I live in.

I am Gwynne Michele, I’m 40, and I’m a hermit. This is not just some quaint description of my introversion – though I am very introverted. It is a calling, a path that I am walking at the direction of my Guides, my Ancestors, and my Goddesses – more about all them in later posts. I’ll also share more of my theology which is rooted in animism and experiential spiritual practice.

As a hermit, my life is dedicated to creating – and teaching others how to create – sanctuary. That manifests itself in various ways, including rescuing cats, growing plants, converting an urban home into an urban homestead, and creating various digital sanctuaries for healing and growth in the form of groups and courses.

I grow cannabis – I’ll be doing a series of posts on how to get started growing your own and the benefits of various forms of cannabis in spiritual and personal growth as well as healing. I also grow food plants – I have tomatoes growing in the bud room with the flowering cannabis plants and will be adding more food plants indoors as I go. I also have outdoor gardens – my entire front yard is a floral wonder – and in addition to edibles and florals, I grow medicinals as well. My current obsession is lemon balm – it’s great for helping me focus and minimize anxiety, which are things my raging ADHD loves to fuck with.

I am a married hermit, which might sound like a bit of a contradiction, but reality is that very few hermits are actually able to live alone, and through history, most lived in community where they could support each other’s solitary pursuits. My husband is not a hermit, but he does support my solitary pursuits and our marriage has evolved into one that works for both our needs, as different as they are.

I have a Vision for my life. It’s constantly evolving as I weave that Vision into reality. If your Vision can’t adapt to reality, it will fail. Currently, my Vision is focused on my physical homestead – I want to buy the house I live in which was taken by the county for back taxes this year. Long story short, I moved in here with a friend who’d owned the house for 30 years, and then she moved in with her dream guy and told me that I could have the house. Which meant either paying the property taxes or letting it go to foreclosure and buying it that way. Tried to pay the property taxes, it didn’t work out. I was $600 short. But it will work out better in the long run because now, when I buy it either at auction or through the Land Bank process, I’ll have a title in my name, clear of liens.

The Vision I’m holding for my homestead right now assumes that I’m able to buy the house. It doesn’t matter how I’m able to buy it. There’s too many variables to control for, so I make the assumption that it worked itself out somehow and go from there. It’s a whole lot of acting as if without attachment to process.

Or to outcome.

That’s right, I have no attachment to the outcome. Yes, my Vision assumes that I buy the house, but if I don’t, the Vision can adapt. No matter where I land, the Vision can live itself out.

My Vision is centered around sanctuary and sustainability, which can happen in any location with the right effort and practices.

I want to have food and water sustainability, a calm and peaceful place of rest, and all the materials and goodies I need to do my work of helping others create sanctuary and sustainability in their own lives – whatever that means for them.

I practice herbalism – in addition to growing medicinal herbs and cannabis, I use them, creating smokable tea blends that can be added to cannabis and smoked for additional medicinal effects. I make herbal soaps, herbal candles, and flower essences, all custom blended to meet the need of the intended recipient, whether it’s for myself or for another. Right now, I’ve got Sweet Pea and Rose of Sharon essences resting and waiting to be poured. Sweet Pea is for the restless soul who is ready to put down roots, and Rose of Sharon is for the soul with a burden of responsibility who needs to bring joy back into their life.

Stick around, I’m just getting started. On this blog, there will be how tos, contemplations, and random musings about living life as a hermit, how to brew a revolution (it starts within), and how to create a sustainable life, even when you have very little to start with.