Friday, December 4, 2009

She's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

Howdy Everyone!

I am back - back in Austin and back writing on my blog!! :-) Thought it was time for another update!
Right before I left my folks, we had a fun birthday party for Jim, my parent's neighbor and dear friend! For his birthday, my mom and I crafted this pumpkin carving of their little puppy, Mini. It was a lot of fun turning the creativity-buttons on..and then when it all lit up, it was worth every ounce of effort!!

A few little tidbits from my return ride....

Ashland - this town is sooo fabulous and delightful. I had fun with my friend, Pete and then meeting a new friend Kimberly...just a blast of conversation, steam baths and a wonderful Coop! It may be another destination for next summer!

In California, I was drooling most of the was the perfect time of year for farm stops - well, that is if you are obsessed with figs, persimmons and grapes! :-) Soo, needless to say, I enjoyed the great fruits of the season...and when driving, there is nothing like a great pit stop at a farm for some fresh foodies. California also provided fabulous driving surprises there.

It was such a smooth ride until I tried to pushed it to the next Arizona, I was really pushing it - and, in trying to find a place to stay. I pulled over on the side of the road. When I got out of my truck, all I heard was a VERY loud hissing - In a panic, I tried to get Harley out of the rig (I was thinking gas leak!) until I realized it was my tired deflating...and deflating fast. Apparently, I pulled over right onto a GI-normous piece of metal. I am so grateful for my Geico roadside service -they have been sooo very good to me. :-) I also learned how to change a tire and it was far easier than I had

Arizona reclaimed herself that night by giving me this beautiful moon shot, a perfectly peaceful state park and a warm cozy shower!

I ended up having a few free sleepovers along the way...this one picture was in New Mexico at a rest stop...I was in a 'semi-sandwich' so I felt very, very safe. Although, the truck next to me had their truck running all night..and what for? I have no flipping idea - it would have made the night all the more perfect if they had just turned it off for a few hours!

Being back in Austin has been really wonderful...reconnecting with my dear friends, meeting new ones - getting settled in my RV...and making fun plans for the holidays and New Year!

All of my original travel plans have since changed (of course!) I really wanted to slow down my 'movement' at least for a few months. I do have one trip planned (still part of that free package from last year!) to Portland in January...other than that, I am planted here for a bit!

I will keep you posted on all the goodies I encounter!

Love you all,


Friday, October 23, 2009


Well, I am living la vida loco CoNTraSt! When I wasn’t looking, it appeared. It said, ‘Joy, I need you to learn to trust and be patient’. Oh my! Contrast seems to appear when I am embedded in 3d life…

Some of you may be wondering what I mean by ‘contrast’ – for me, it represents that which is not desired….and, of course, I could argue it is exactly that which is needed because more learning and growing comes from contrast than perfect flow…confused? Well, basically, contrast for me means diesel truck issues, business drama and travel logistical challenges.

As I know, the steps are simple for shifting…design my dream scenario, focus on solution and then get into gratitude…and fast. The recipe is that simple and yes, super fabulous.

My current desire is to have my truck running smoothly, to head to Austin next week, to stop in Dallas along the way for a conference, to come back to Portland for the holidays and to make my way to Thailand in January…and all along that journey, to soak up all the goodness of the people and the places I am blessed to encounter and experience!

Currently, I am at my folks in Sunriver – and I am SO grateful for this time with them – it has been really nice time..relaxing, some good giggles, some great friends and lots accomplished. I have the most amazing parents – they are so wise, caring and wonderful. Both of them are doing well and happy…it is all a kid can ask for! And, of course, I am grateful that Harz is over here with me – he is such a bundle of black, furry joy.

A most appropriate quote that arrived in my ‘inbox’ today:
Make the best of it. When you make the best of whatever you're focused upon, your future will be better than your now. If each moment you're making the best of what-is, no matter what it is, you make the best of it; make the best of it; make the best of it—your future just gets better and better and better, and better.

Till we fire up the engine…

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Did I mention RV parks are interesting??

Just had to share...a fun experience for all. The look on 'lil Nephew Nate's face was priceless - I have never seen a kid so happy!! If I could have only captured the bird saying 'Howdy' and 'Good bye' - Fabulous-o! Ahhhh, all in a day at a RV park! :-)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just a squirrel looking for a nut...

Just a squirrel looking for a first boyfriend used to always use this phrase - while I am CERTAIN he was not using it in the way I like to imagine it in my nature filled world - BUT I still like it. Heehee.

A new favorite past time of is so fabulous...are you ready? There is this whole underground community that forages fruit trees...trees that linger over sidewalks or are planted on public land and even some in people's yards that they consider a 'nuisance'.

A fruit tree? A nuisance? How dare...

The story goes like this - I was at New Seasons (local grocery) - the clerk and myself were discussing our love of figs - she proceeded to tell me she was stalking a tree down the road - Figs? Portland? I never knew...sooo, she shared with me this secret underground community. The love affair started right then and there - people post where the fruit/veggie is and whether you need to ask the owner or if it is on public property or if you have competition (there is a whole network of wildlife stalking these trees, too - drat!)

The search for these trees is even MORE like a treasure hunt than the bike trails here in Portland...because at the end of the hunt, there is a big prize (usually) - huge, tree ripened goodness! BTW, most urban cities have these websites so you can all participate (unless, of course you live in AZ...maybe you could stalk Agave or something).

Moral of the story...I have been living on free plums and pears this week...AND know there is an abundance of fig trees about to ripen in the next 2 weeks (we can thank the Italians that immigrated here - that is why there are so many fig trees in Inner SE - cool history!) You can be certain, I will be there for this fabulously fun event!

I encourage you to look at all the trees around you - what is growing nearby? Can you feed yourself? There is a sense of freedom in knowing that I always have that option of eating for free...and well, we ALL know how much I LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUV a bargain!

Just a squirrel looking for a nut over here...

Love and abundance!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Colorful Nature of RV Parks!

Most of this time on the road I have had the pleasure of staying in RV Parks - they are definitely a snap shot into good ol' Americana. A number of times I have wanted to break out into 'Jack & Diane' by John Cougar....or better yet, even a Willie Nelson song would be more fitting.

I have even toyed with getting a video cam and filming - doing a documentary on the very nature of RV Parks...they are THAT interesting! From the Horse RV park I stayed at (where it smelled as though the horse was ON my trailer), to the RV park where I was clearly the 'new folk' in town...the first 'outsider' they had seen in them there just last week when the Dog Show rolled into town.

Please note the puff sculpturing of the puppy's rear end...classic (the purple material is 'dog rollers'). Cool story about the gal with this puppy (living next door to me). She is 18 years old and had a dream when she was 12 to show poodles at Westminster. She made it there that same year - and has been back every year since. She is a top dog handler and professional and only 18 years old! This puppy is expected to take top honors at Westminster - cool stuff.

Anyway, back to the very nature of the parks...they are definitely colorful - and have given me an appreciation for the variety our country allows (and creates!) RV parks really do mix all types. There are high end high rollers next door to some good country folk who are next to the people that just got kicked out of their home and have no place to go...truly a mix of every class in America.

I find it a treat to experience such a microcosm of our society - all in a few acres of land...and you know what is even better about it?!? They all just get along.

Happy Trails,


Flowing with Life...

I have realized recently that my plans have shifted - while not completely different, reading my older blogs, my focus is different. It is as though the stream made a turn...I am still in the same stream - just going around a bend.

I like to make it 'dreaming', if you will - AND with those dreams, I always stay open to them changing..inevitably, they always do - and I am not shocked or rattled by this anymore. ;-) I have entered a time in my life when I LOVE change - like putting a present in front of a 3 year old - I find change that exciting - what is in this big juicy present..CHANGE! Yippee!

My original plan for this journey was to set sail and visit organic farms and volunteer - WWOOF'ing. I still have that 'in' my plan yet it is no longer my entire plan or focus.

I can clearly see what this original plan has taught me about is that I must always be giving back or volunteering - when I give back and am in service, I feel a sense of purpose. When I am strictly in my own 'world of needs', I find it more challenging to connect with my sense of purpose.

I am volunteering every week here in Portland - and that works for me right now. What kind of volunteering doesn't really matter to me, actually - it is just about being unattached and giving my time to some other cause than my own...besides, I find the people I meet when I am volunteering are all so happy and easy - everyone is there through their desire and not to pay bills or make rent (caveat, I haven't met any court mandated volunteers yet but even then, I sense they will be enjoying themselves!)

Sooo, my next 3 months will include service and volunteering - as I plan to stay here in Portland through the end of October...I have chosen to stay here as I also feel a need for more stability in my life - living on wheels is fabulous - from time to time, stability calls.

Then, in November, I head to Austin (via plane) - and then off to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for 4 weeks. I am visiting the property we have in CR - and some friends there - as well, I am visiting an intentional community in Nicaragua...this community is built around a new 'model' for community - it is a service oriented community that has an 1000 girl orphanage on site - as well as an organic farm (20 acres dedicated right now), a healing center, their own currency - and the model is such that the entire project will be self sustained - meaning, no hook ups to municipal power, etc - all naturally powered. It should be quite the adventure. I will, of course, keep you posted.

Hope this post finds everyone enjoying this delightful summer - and ready for the Fall - leaves changing, nights getting cooler, school back in, fun, fun!

The full moon is a sight for all to see - it is free entertainment if you look out right now (skip the TV for the moon tonight!) :-)



Sunday, August 23, 2009

Holy Guacamole!!!

Wow - I can't believe it has been OVER a month since I wrote last...what is wrong with me??? Right, right...enjoying summer! :-)

Well, Portland has been an absolute delight for me - no doubt, a roller coaster, but I am sticking with an 'overall delight'.

Let's see...since I wrote last, I have volunteered with the elderly and a few local gardens/farms, volunteered at the Portland Farmer's Market, seen my amazing and wonderful friends, enjoyed my sis and family moving back to Portland, turned a family in to CPS, moved my rig around a few times, found a couple of 'healers' that are my Angels, done some serious personal growth work, got a new sexy bumper for my trailer, seen my dear friend Jen's new baby boy Parker, met up with some high school friends, went to Multnomah Falls with some Austin friends (shout out to Stephen & Elizabeth!!), gone on lots of luscious hikes, rode my scooter all around town, rode my bike all around town (Portland is the BEST biking town!), started a regular Bikram Yoga practice, started a 21 day liver/gallbladder flush (will share in another post), made some yummy sauerkraut, started eating soil (wink, wink...for rizzle), decided to stay in Portland a bit longer and continue my healing progress (while I have momentum, I am staying on the tracks!) annnnd booked a trip to Austin, Costa Rica & Nicaragua...and to think, those are just the surface highlights!

In all honesty, it has been a roller coaster - the highs have been/are super highs and the lows..well, we will just not talk about them as they are in the past. Life is great, my family is great, my friends are great, my health is great (yippee!)...I promise to be better at keeping in touch.

Peace, love and happy sunshine coming your way!! August is a great month - people are in vacation mode - which means they are all so happy!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Spending Time in Nature...

Well, I am back in the BIG city (Portland, OR)...I have been here a week now - it feels good to be here - but I realized today that I need to connect with Nature more often (especially after spending the fabulous month with the Wilderness Lady in Northern Washington!) Big cities tend to have a powerful energy - it is easy to get lost in the sea of concrete and busy-ness.

My RV location is right under the PDX flight path...I actually am enjoying it - the power of these silver bullets 'lifting' into the air really amazes me. Clearly physics wasn't my best subject because I still find it miraculous that these tanks can pretend to be birds..but what do I know. This RV location is pretty cool as I am on the Columbia River - I can bike along Marine Drive enjoying the water flowing on one side and watching the planes take off above me...One thing I have noticed with the planes is the delay in their sound - the power & visual of the plane shoots past me on my bike...and a second later, the sound goes on by...this brings so many analogies to mind - in particular, the wake we can leave in our path if we have a strong burst of happiness or sadness or anger or laughter or anything...really just a strong burst of any kind of has a ripple effect on everything around us. Anyway, planes are fascinating to me. ;-) Go spend a month in Nature, you will start having these visualizations when reemerging back to society!! (Remember, I am Fred Flinstone this week! Or, I guess Betty is more like it - not Wilma - Betty..a cave woman in a big city!) Heehee!

Okay, back to, I have spent a week in concrete land to wake up this morning inspired into a lovely hike in Forest Park (see amazing pic Keith took of a stone structure in the park) was fabulous - the running water, the power of green - but most importantly, the connection that I felt towards certain parts of Nature - some people are probably inspired by birds, by the water, by a fern, a stone or even certain smells..or whatever tickles your Nature Boat. For me, it was CRYSTAL clear that I am currently really connected to the roots of trees. The power I felt when I saw one uprooted tree was overwhelming - in fact, I found myself having to take a few deep breaths around it. What does that symbolize for me? Can I relate to a tree that is uprooted? How do my roots play a role in my life? These are all very powerful questions for me - and by spending time in Nature, I found some unanswered questions I have had about my life suddenly were answered...I even had a vision of being a trail help share this power of our connection to Nature...oh, how I love to manifest. ;-)

What do you find yourself connected to in Nature? Do you take enough time to find out? To me, spending time in Nature is as necessary to our lives as clean air and water.

Volunteering Update - this week I am serving the elderly food (hoping to serve them fresh fruits and veggies - if not, I might have to put some Veggie Love on the chefs to start whipping them up some yummy veggies!) I am also doing a building/salvage project with the local rebuilding center...should be a nice variety. As well, I went to the farmer's market on Saturday and have a list of local farms so I will be contacting them to find a spot to get my hands in the soil again.

Thoughts I Ponder - Why do I like pink more and more the older I get? How can people not like artichokes (Kristen), especially the hearts?

General Life Stuff - I am having so much fun seeing all my beautiful friends here in Portland (Holly, Greg, Sarah, Keith, Jen, Julie, Kristen, Lisa - love you all!!) Anyone else want to go for a hike in P-town?? Let's connect!! I also got to see my sis and bro-in-law and their new home this past week - yippee! All good fun! Harley has gotten out a few times because this park is overrun with squirrels and cats...he busts out of the screen door to go get him some action! This week I will be working on getting my scooter running...yes, the color is correct on the screen...giggles. I also need to get a hitch welded to my truck or RV - looking for some good leads in that dept. Have to get a new cell phone, too, so I can be in the year 2009. Annnnnd, looking forward to seeing more of my lovely P-town peeps! All is well!



Friday, June 26, 2009

She’s on the Road Again…

Well, it is time for me to leave beautiful Northern Washington (can I just complain for a second about the rain…okay, okay…never mind). Anyway, wow – what a great experience! As our fabulous German friends would say, ‘BIG NATURE’. Sums up my experience here in Washington! Really freakin’ BIG NATURE.

Not only have I learned a LOT about myself – I have learned so much about Natural Hygiene and the simple way of living/eating/being…pretty cool. I have also been entertained for a month by one of the most colorful characters I have ever met in my life!! Her name is Victoria Bidwell and she runs this Retreat – she is the absolute Wilderness Lady – her life reads like a Hollywood movie – only better (it would take me 10 pages to even get started…) And she tells the stories even more dramatically - not shy with her fabulous hooting and hollering and 'are we having fun yet' exclamations!! Hilarious!!!

The fasting experience was so different than my first…it was really simple, drama free and pretty peaceful…and no sneaking out in the middle of the night to escape and no scavenging the Panamanian airport for anything that resembled food! The first bite (watermelon) was fantastically delightful – that first bite really does make the fast worthwhile – to feel our senses so crisp and refreshed – yippee! I think this might be an annual event – maybe not as many days – but it is sure nice living so simply.

Not being hooked up to a full service RV site did provide some challenges…yes, I did have to empty my black water a few times – if I had a video, you would all think I had lost my mind (maybe some of you feel that way without the need for a video?!?! Hmmm). There was no #2 so it made it a lot easier and of course, no hills nor outhouses…piece of cake, right? Well, except for the time I dumped it while feeling rather weak and forgot to push OUT when turning the bucket over…ending up with half of it on my foot – I guess the chickens prepared me for crap on my feet!!

On Sunday, I am heading back to Portland…will be parking my rig there for a month-ish. I am planning to really enjoy the summer here (did someone say 80 degrees – yeah, baby!)…it will give me time to see my folks and family – and all my lovely friends without rushing. I have found some local farms/CSA’s that will take me in to keep my hands in the soil, learning and growing…but I am not going to kid any of you – I am going to play more than volunteer! ;-)

Sooo, wish me luck on Sunday…the transition back into civilization after a fast is kind of like Fred Flintstone driving his stone car smack dab into the middle of a shopping mall…he would probably feel a little out of place, a tad overwhelmed by the man-made sensory stimulation and a general disconnect with what is going on in the current world. I will make particular note of this transition – should be quite entertaining (for you guys, at least – not me!!!)

The stories will continue, no doubt…stay tuned.

Love to you all,
This pic is of my fancy meal I made yesterday - a gingery citrus beet dip with veggies...tasty treats! As most of you know, I am not a fancy kinda gal but this was super fun fancy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Body Signals

Greetings! I will not be posting much more until I start hitting the farms again...I realize most of you are interested in my farm adventures and not my fasting tangents! ;-) Speaking of farms, I have some really cool farms lined up between here and September so I look forward to sharing those adventures with y'all.

In the meantime, I thought this was a really important message to relay...

With fasting comes rest - it is just part of the process - if you don't eat and don't rest, you are not fasting...sooo, I have joyfully taken to the resting aspect of fasting. In fact, so much so that I might even make it a yearly event - maybe for 5 days or less...just a time to recharge. Most of my rest includes, reading a chapter of a book, napping for 30-60 minutes, reading a chapter of a book, napping for 30 minutes..yes, life is good. ;-)

Okay, onto my point. Body Signals. Our bodies are constantly talking to us - they are giving us signals every minute of the day. No dis-ease comes out of no where - most take years and years to manifest...there were signals all along the way - Headaches, body aches, coughs, rough nails, dry skin, skin breakouts, lots of colds, tiredness, blurred vision, hearing loss, bloating, indigestion....these are not simply life annoyances - these are gifts - windows into our insides - they are our body saying, 'hey, pay attention, peeps'. These are all the start of dis-ease. And very important to hear/feel/observe...and not suppress.

When we suppress these 'body conversations' with aspirin, anti acids, cosmetic cover ups, massages, stimulants, etc...we are not removing the cause - it is like a baby trying to communicate with us through crying - when we don't take time to really assess what the crying is about and we just stick a pacifier in their mouth, it is very similar to ignoring the conversation our body is trying to have with us. There is a reason the baby is crying (yes, it is not just to drive us crazy!)...same for the signals our own body gives us everyday. It may be wanting rest, relief from stress, better nutrition, less/more food, lighter schedule, fresh air, more water, laughter...there are a number of things we could need! We are all unique.

I bring this up because one of the draws I have had to fast again relates to some of the 'symptoms' I have been having the last few years - between my skin, my digestion, my hair, and more - I just have not felt that I have been experiencing perfect health - and I know it is not hard to get there when I am able to break it down to the root causes...

When I got here, I started reading and watching videos only to realize how wise my body is and the major mistakes I had been making with my diet- avoiding nuts and some sidelined stress/emotions in my life. I always felt that nuts were too high in fat and protein to fit into what I 'thought' was the proper diet. However, upon taking the time to read and research here (specifically the research of a very well known Hygienic doctor, Dr. Vetrano, who is bright and sharp in her 80's today), I realized that every symptom my body was giving me pointed to the fact that I was really missing this part of my a big way. The cool thing is after a week of adding nuts and seeds back into my diet, I should see a significant difference and improvement in it all...for sure, part of me thinks, forget this fast, now I have the answers, lets go try and see if it works! But, I have come this far, I will go a bit further as I do have repair work to do internally and have already received some major benefits from fasting...

Some of the benefits I have experienced so far include my skin completely clearing up - I have no little bumps on my forehead and the rest of my face is pretty darn smooth...we are headed in the right direction. I also feel much more emotional poise - more relaxed and peaceful and loving - sometimes that is just about taking a break - but I have a feeling it relates to internal cleansing as well....removing toxic build up of negative emotions and self talk - it can stay in our fat cells for years.

I am certain from here on out I will take any signal my body gives me as a VERY important window into my insides...I encourage everyone to lay in bed tonight and just hear your body...hear what it is telling you - if you don't know what the signal means, seek the information - if you don't know what your headache is about, start looking for answers (don't take aspirin, feel the message - feel the pain - get the answers) - if you aren't sure about that bump on your arm, start looking for answers - before you know it, you will be living dis-ease free because you have taken the extra time to hear and remove causes...

Lots of love - from Harley and I!


Friday, June 5, 2009

Fasting = Patience

Well, most of you know, stick with me long enough, and my course will eventually change!

Sooo, I arrived here on Monday - and realized how relaxing this place is - watched some videos on fasting (I was truly mesmerized!) And low and behold, here I am...on another fast! Ha! I will resume my farm work next month.

This fast feels so different than my Panama adventure (which, BTW, I am going to add all of those posts to this blog) - it feels sooo relaxing, peaceful and nearly perfect (I sleep in my own bed, have Harz by my side, am left alone to process my own way, no drama around me, etc). I have this sense of pure bliss and gratitude. I rest after any activity...go the bathroom, lay down, read a chapter, lay down, go outside and stretch, lay down...can you imagine?? How many of you would give for an extra 5 hours of sleep each day? It is a treat everyone should give themselves at least once in their lifetime!

After the 4 videos I have now watched on fasting I am convinced it is the road to health...I am an official Natural Hygiene is a very simple way of living - but so powerful. I also see so clearly now the errors I have made in the past with my diet - I really look forward to shifting things when I return from this fast and seeing how vibrant my health can be.

Most people understand very little about fasting - they just can't imagine missing 1 meal, let alone going many days without food! So, obviously they fear it. But if you could see the things people have recovered from just from a 5-25 day is truly amazing, so simple, such a gift. It is also very, very easy - after the first 24-48 hours, it is a cake wake...errr Nature Walk. ;-) We lose our sensation of hunger so it is purely resting (besides, that which we think is hunger is not truly hunger...true hunger is in the throat and has a similar feeling to thirst - most Americans have never felt such a thing!! Myself included!)

Imagine, no drugs, no doctor's visits...and sleep ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL you want - no interruptions...and voila, you are healed of anything and everything - yes, even diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

I thought I would share the view I enjoy every afternoon...relaxed and peaceful as ever. I just lay on the grass looking up.

No doubt, I am slowing down a bit - but will try and blog this process so others can understand fasting better...

The video that I think everyone should watch is 'Fasting can save your life'. They have some used ones on in VHS form - and some new ones in DVD for slightly more. The link might break, too, so you may need to piece it together.

Much love to y'all!


PS Harz is definitely entertaining me with his hammy-ways.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Leaving my first farm...

Sooo, it kind of feels like graduation from...I don't know, maybe Middle School??? While it feels a big accomplish to me, in the big scheme of life, it really is just another day. ;-)

The memories that stand out the most for me about Stillpoint Farms...

Goats - I just love these animals. They are so interested and yet not attached - they just kind of roll with life. When they are hungry, they eat, when they are not, no quantity of sweet peas will interest them (if only I could be like a goat!) Their eyes are amazing - dream poker eyes - I bet nobody can tell what Chessy is thinking or what hand she is holding??? I will, for surely, miss sharing my sweet pea scraps and apple cores with them -

Nobody can claim callouses like goats - they have some GREAT ones on their knees...from getting up and down - those are not 'brown spots' on their knees - those are callouses!!

Chickens - I will miss my full body armour to survive the chicken coop - and I will miss Clubby - a club foot chicken - I used to give her the raisins from the bagels - she especially enjoyed those. And, of course, there are the ladies that continue to nest on their eggs in the afternoon (see below all hunkered down) - oh ladies, don't you know when the dinner bell rings?!?! I can really sum up my experience with the chickens in 3 short words...poop, poop, and more poop. (I am not good with these self pics...clearly - and never mind I haven't showered in 7 days - doh! Details, Details.)

The Berries...oh dear, the Strawberries - it was like I was swimming in a sea of chocolate..oooooorrr strawberries - as I was weeding, I could eat the little guys - they treated me well - here is a pre-Joy unweeded bunch and then my beautiful post plant - hope you can see the TLC.

BEFORE Joy weeding AFTER Joy weeding...

Wouldn't you like a Joy weeding today (Dr. Pepper tune)??

And, of course, the beautiful setting that makes up

The greenery -

Living in the middle of a field...

The wildlife...a wild turkey walking by my TT...

The (literally) farm fresh produce...a beautiful salad I made - full of sweet peas, walla walla onions, strawberries, lambsquarters and a number of other wild greens (including purple ones!)

Soooo, you may ask where is Waldo going now?? She is heading up NORTH - going North of Seattle to Concrete, Washington...and then, and then...oooh, so exciting, I have found a spot on the Fruit Loop Tour (appropriately titled!) I will be spending some time in Hood River on a farm that is part of the - kind of like a wine tasting tour but with fruit -yum! I will be at the Gorge White House - a really, really cool cultural destination! Will keep you 'posted' on the adventures to come...

Lots of love and local farming...


Simplifying life...

2 major things I have learned in the past few days....

1.) having an extra set of hands are a blessing beyond belief - I have such a new and awakened appreciation for teamwork!! The tasks that I have had to talk myself through (cheer myself, through, really) are amazing and I feel stronger for them - but when someone comes along and helps me with these tasks it just blows me away how MUCH easier and faster they all go. I wish everyone could experience this as it is really powerful - and such an important lesson as to how we are all here for EACH OTHER - and I am so grateful for any extra hands that present themselves. Next time you see someone struggling to lift a package or open a door - dive in - it makes ALL the grateful for teamwork.

2.) simplifying my life has been all areas but one...that one being usage of my computer. It almost feels like an addiction...something I want nothing to do with (in my head - logical, of course) but then something I can't live without (the addiction angle). The days when I am unable to get on my computer - I feel a sense of peace and joy - and yet then I have 10 times more things to do...thus, the next day I make up for for not using it x10! My goal for this next month is to really work on spending 1 hour a day on my computer...and 2 hours on Sunday for bills, etc....thus, if you don't hear from me in a while, please know why! ;-)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A story similar to a grandma's story!

You know those stories...the ones that go, 'when I was a kid, I had to walk to school in the snow up hill both ways' know what I am talking about. Well, guess what?!? I now have my own version!

Hold onto your rocker...are you ready?? Okay....I manually emptied my black water (aka sewage) tank and carried 4 sloshing buckets up a 3 block long hill...up hill both ways. ;-) I was fully decked out with gas (no pun intended) mask on, rubber gloves up to my shoulders and knee high rubber boots...let's just say that I was prepared. I had to empty the buckets into an already full outhouse...with flies.

I gotta say...I am real close with my sewage now..we are close friends - well, not really friends...we simply have a deep understanding.

Be thankful EVERYDAY for modern is beautiful and should be cherished.

I took this picture from the outhouse - I had to walk all the way around as the area you see is fenced in...good times. Again, gratitude for modern plumbing...put that on your list.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tomatoes, tomatoes, I love you, tomatoes... there anyone that does not like tomatoes? Julie doesn't like mushrooms, Jed doesn't like cucumbers, Olaf doesn't' like cheese...well, I get that one. BUT WHO?? But who, I ask, doesn't like tomatoes???????????????? They are the perfect balance of sweet and sour, juicy and firm - just a mix that tempts us all...

Whew, I got carried away there drooling in the joy of them...

Some basic tidbits about the loveable-licous treats -

- when they split, it means you have watered them too much.

- when they start to turn red, stop watering them - pick all the red ones and then start watering the green ones again...

- when planting, make sure and give them 3 lengths the size of their container - they like to stretch their roots (think yoga for tomatoes).

Has everyone planted their tomatoes???????????????? If so, let me know and I am on my way over!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Organic Farm in Veneta, Oregon

Hi y'all!!

I am HERE!! I am on my first farm - only been here a few days and LOVE it - love the other workers - they are sooo nice and kind and PRODUCTIVE (see pics - the first few are of the landscapers and the others are of the rototillers - cool group of workers - Harley is not so sure about them, tho).

Because everything is ALL new to me, I could write a book...but for now I will summarize...

** Driving the rig is becoming more and more effortless - my first hook up and unhook on my own! (driving from Austin to Bend I never unhooked the trailer)

**Driving along the Mackenzie river from Bend to Eugene is something everyone should do in their lifetime...breathtaking.

**The farm us uber cool....40 acres feels like 200 - the working farm area is only 5 acres but is PLENTY of room for LOADS of yummies.

**Hope for rain and pray my trailer stays level in the mud. ;-)

**Greenhouses...underappreciated. Add 15-20 degrees to the current outside temp...yum.

**Fresh organic strawberries - DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVINE - I could have been a commercial for strawberries today the way I ate one - I even had to pause and just smile.

**Fresh Snap Peas - I have never tasted such a watery, crisp sweet treat - the ones in the store aren't even in the same food group!

**Harley - where does the grass end, ma??? it goes on for as far as the eye can see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**Feeding where you walk - little toes scampering all around (and you thought I was going to say something about their poop!)

**Rubber boots - best investment EVER for this trip.

**Internet - be thankful for your connections and the ease of getting in the sticks - no signal for miles (or at least no neighbors for miles that you can tap into!) ;-)

Projects ahead...install a solar shower, weed the blueberry bushes, weed the onions, keeps the chickens happy and productive, talk to the goats, help clear out brush under the new cherry trees (did someone say CHERRY trees...if I had known I would have stopped here in August!), sell strawberries, eggs and snap peas to friendly customers, help with a 'tomato talk' demonstration, eat all the blemished strawberries, relax and be still...

Will write more as I get smarter....

Love to you all!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Finding Joy on the Bend, Oregon - Part I

Hi Friends and Family!

Thought it was time for an has been a month since leaving Austin?!? Oh my!

Well, after leaving Austin/moving out of Baxter, my life could have been titled - Food, Shelter...and DIESEL! This was the core of my existence - what was I going to eat, where were we going to park 'er and how much further can we go before we needed DIESEL....

Driving through Texas left LOTS of time to observe and wonder (it is a GI-normous state)...I just gotta say that SOMETHING fishy is going on in can drive for miles - nothing-nothing-nothing and then BAMMM a HUGE factory - then nothing, nothing, nothing - then BAMMMM - another huge factory - and they ALL look soooo suspicious - suspicious in what way?!? I have no idea - JUST suspicious!! I guess I became schooled in suspicion when I used to watch the TV show '24' years ago. I learned to 'smoke 'em out' like Jack...anyway, these are not oil shops - they are something...something strange. ;-) That much time to wonder - I came up with a number of possibilities - I will save you from hearing them as you might all institutionalize me - no, no, some of you will get it -haha!

However, the PEOPLE in Texas -ooooh, the people in Texas...what I would give to hear someone call me 'Mammmmm' - or say 'Howdeeeee' or can you imagine, 'Howdeeeee, Mammmmmm'??? Music to my ears! ;-) Haha...there is something super friendly about Texas...every park I rolled into I was offered help from every angle - advice, support, suggestions and then a lot of 'Maaammmm...are you all by YOURSELF?!?!?' So funny!

New Mexico and Arizona greeted me with crazy bumpy, pot holed roads - but it was a good obstacle course for a newbie...learning how the truck handles. The winds, the glorious winds...I never knew the importance of the WIND forecast - I mean, how many of you put any thought into whether the winds are 5 or 30 mph? Let me tell you, it MATTERS when you are hauling 25 feet!

It was soo nice to finally arrive in Bend - to be here with my folks - and to be able to finally take the time and get settled and organized after my move. You see, I packed the RV so nicely after the move (well, okay, threw everything in)...I had no idea what a travel trailer goes through on a drive...EVERYTHING was EVERYWHERE in my is quite the feat to organize them in such a way that they no longer shake and stir. Eugene will be the true test...I have a feeling keeping my cabinets organized might be a year long challenge...errr...opportunity. Stay tuned.

Harley has been amazing - he is a total trooper - the first day I kept him up in the truck with me - but then realized it was a lot of work for both of us - so, he stayed in the the bed...deep under the covers - it was pretty cute. He is getting a lot more time outside so he is a super happy camper...he has all of his nooks and crannies scouted out - hiding places, safe holes, etc..he is doing great!

My parents are doing good - thanks for the love and support (to them AND all of you!) My mom is making progress - she is in good hands and her spirits are ever improving...just one day at a time. I guess that is the big lesson in it all - she is always such a go-go-go-er - her body is telling her, 'no, Judy, slow down, one step at a time'. The biggest challenge she has is with eating and swallowing - she is doing a treatment now that should help with that - probably will take a few months to see results. Anyway, it is really nice to be here with them - they have been so helpful with my vagabond life despite everything they have going on.

In a few weeks I will be landing at my first farm (April 8th-ish) is a berry farm - I chose them because a.) berries are the only fruit ready in Oregon in May, b.) I liked their vibe - they are doing a lot of cool things - having music festivals, a farm stand, farmer's markets, provide u-pick and sell to grocers - I thought I would see a nice array of farm to market activities, and c.) they are in Eugene - a college, funky, hippie town that I have never lived in but always been curious about.

Once I get on the farm, I will be taking more pictures and sending more updates! My plans are forming rapidly for the rest of the summer (still need to use up my free flight voucher from my Panama trip!) After Stillpoint (the first part of June), I will be at a farm in Estacada that makes and markets their own pesto... as well, they are forming an Intentional Community - should be a great adventure (plus, I will have more time to see my Portland Peeps!) I am going to a BIG raw food festival in Southern Oregon towards the end of June...My sis and family also arrive from Germany around the same time...and, of course, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah in September - other than that, everything is still open and up in the air! Will keep you posted on what I learn and where Waldo is!!!

Lots of love to you all!!