Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let's face it....


I am COLDDDDDDDDDDDDD!! Brr...cold....did I mention cold? Yeah, frizzin. It is supposed to be 20 degrees tonight - and truthfully, I am not smiling (okay, I am in the pic).

Whew! Got that out of my system!

I was talking to a friend tonight and came to the conclusion that it is not so much the cold but it is the lack of connection with people. Somehow being indoors and running to my car and covering my face and body - well, I feel a sense of disconnect..it seems to accentuate it for me.

I wonder if I had people to hug and snuggle with - if I would feel differently - if maybe I would embrace the cold as a chance to just sit in someone's arms for a really unreasonable amount of time...I wonder.

The need for human touch is powerful - or heck any kind of touch...there are studies that show animals do not survive without touch from another. How can we be any different?

So, reach out and touch someone - give hugs freely - especially to those whom might be going home to an empty home (either literally or emotionally).

Hugs,
Joy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And I can breathe in a small town...JC

So, here I am - in Corvallis, Oregon...oh delight.

This town is so full of 'perfection' for me right now...the pace, the traffic, the groups, the options...it is all perfect - IN FACT, I could probably go smaller...but we aren't going there..yet!

I am working part-time for a delightful CPA firm - full of sweet, kind, funny people. I ride my bike to work - and on the way home, go by neighborhoods where people leave bags of apples out on the sidewalk for passers-by.

I sure enjoyed fig, apple and pear season here - and now we enter winter (we still have persimmon season - in a week!)...I can see it being just as lovely...maybe not as food abundant - but that is okay - the rest is worth the 'gap'.

I have also noticed that even though we are knee deep in rainy season, there always seems to be a day or two with no rain. In fact, I was pretty certain I wouldn't bike to work this week - and then today - blue sky...fun. I do need a face/robbers mask cuz it's chill-aye, Christmas list. ;-)

Simple living suits me very well - some highlights:

** The nature trail right outside my doorstep - a mile of up and down hill terrain and ALL nature - think, 'Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!'

** Biking to work = 5 minutes, biking to town = 5 minutes...lots of singing.

** 2 Co-ops

** Abundance of farms, springs and farmer's markets

** No traffic!!!

** Sweet, friendly people - and no one EVER seems to be in a hurry...they all like to chat!

Just good fun...

Love and happiness!
Joy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The importance of roots for growth...

So, my journey this past year has been really wonderful..it has been about being free to just explore. And one thing I have learned is that my root system is equally as important as my freedom. I thrive when my roots feel cozy, safe, loved, watered and comfortable...and that is how I am feeling here in Portland.

A friend of mine said to me the other day, 'The grass is always greener...where you water it.' To me, this quote speaks to my current life experience. Where I focus and put my energy, is where the beauty of my experience lies.

Another friend said to me once (I have a lot of amazing friends with GREAT quotes!) 'Bloom where planted'...and that, too, says oodles to me - I have bloomed wherever I have parked my RV in a physical, tangible sense...and yet my true blooming is more of an internal process - and the parking relates to being still, going inside and letting my truth blossom.

So, here I sit in Portland...really happy to be here - and really happy that it is raining out (most people are not very happy about this concept in June!) And, truthfully, I am happy because I am seeing what I want to see these days - I am also feeling a lot of love in my heart - and it seems when there is love, everything else is immaterial...

My blog will likely take a slightly different direction - about me setting up residence here in Portland, maybe even about a special farm/garden/green space I create - and certainly about the amazing people I encounter...and, of course, more of me talking about my personal, internal travels - the explorations into my views on life - now this could be the most fun adventure yet!

Much love and gratitude!
Joy

Monday, April 26, 2010

My adventure filled trip to Portland!

My timing was so spot on...I was on schedule for departure to Oregon and everything fell into place - that is always confirmation for me that I am on the right path...

I headed to Dallas to spend a few days with my loving friends Peggy & Kelli - and my other friends in Dallas...it was great to see 'em all and get caught up. It seems everyone is experiencing LOTS 'o change in their lives...a favorite quote, 'the only thing constant is change'.

I left Dallas and made my way up through Oklahoma...fun to see the country side - and to stop into the famous raw restaurant 105 Degrees...I must say, it was the MOST fancy raw meal I have ever had...so yummy - and a really fresh and bright atmosphere. Who knew you could have raw red velvet cake?????????

I then headed up to my dear childhood friend Stephanie's in Kansas...it was SO great to see her and her beautiful family - her husband, Buck and their kiddos...and of course, her lovely Mama, Anne...Anne and Stephanie are gorgeous Greeks whom I have always admired their exotic beauty - both inside and out.

They gave me a tour of their darling town of Winthrop - and while my stay was short, it was sure nice to see them...here is their puppy wishing me a safe journey.

My next stop was Denver...I was hoping to get to Cheyenne by night time so I only stopped in Denver for a few hours...had to stop at a Whole Foods where Harley decided his best spot to chill was right in front of the driver's seat on the dashboard...I don't think so. :-) Luckily, he was only there for a minute or two!

Having spent a lot of time in Denver due to my software installation days, I now realize I didn't see much of Denver at all...it is full of young, energetic people - kind of a similar feel to Portland. It also feels very 'new' to me - and probably because Denver's huge growth spurt has been more recent...

When I left downtown Denver around 6PM, I made my way North...found a Flying J to park at...and then...the most bizarre thing happened.

Sound asleep at 2AM - I woke up to what I thought was a massive earthquake!! Soon to realize it wasn't an earthquake but rather a woman busting into my truck with her mini-van - likely at around 30 MPH!! WAKE UP!! When I finally came to, I ran outside and she was completely out of it...I sense it was some sort of sleeping pill or something - and luckily there was a witness that saw the whole thing...she 'got up' from sleeping, moved into the drivers seat, left it in reverse for 10 minutes and then hit the gas (in reverse). As my dear friend said, 'only 2 women could get into a car accident while both asleep'! I guess the blessing is that we were both asleep so injuries were kept to a minimum. The sheriff came and blessed the whole event and I headed to the Dodge dealership to see if the road trip could continue. I was given my 'inspection' along the way orders and made a beeline to Oregon.

Once in Oregon, the insurance process kicked into play...it ended up being a 'total' - still working towards resolution - and know that it will resolve perfectly.

Sooo, here I am in Oregon - at a RV park - my parents were so generous to allow me to stay in their RV for my stopover - as one of my neighbor RV'rs (who remembers me from last year) said, 'you have upgraded'!

I look forward to seeing my Portland Peeps! It will be fun spending more time with my Sis and her fam - and my folks!! Tomorrow Auntie Joy picks the kids up from school! :-) Wheeee!

What's next for Waldo??? When I know, I will let you in on it!

Hugs and Love!
Joy

Fun in Austin before rolling out!

Being back in Austin sure made me grateful for all that we have here on the mainland - we are soooo blessed with an abundance of EVERYTHING...I mean, seriously, we can find most everything we want - at all times...especially with the internet...not to mention, have it delivered TO OUR DOOR for next to nuthin'.

The first few days back I was in 'task' mode...I had to start selling and downsizing immediately. So, I put my scooter on Craigslist and poof - she was gone in a day! Everything fell into place perfectly.

I spent some wonderful time in great conversation with my dear Austinites before heading back on the road. So, so, SOOO grateful for all of their friendships - Austin is full of special peeps!

I even baked an old-school-have-no-idea-what-I-am-doing apple pie! Michelle said she wanted it covered - but when I tried to put the crust on top, it all fell apart - and so we called it our toupee apple pie...clearly I should stick to raw fruit - simple, simple, simple for this girl!

Before I left, I also lucked out in being able to see Craig Sommer's cob home and self sustained homestead in Bastrop. Wow - it is amazing...from the lake, fruit trees and total design. He had some WWOOFer's there which brought back some fun memories - cool to see all the self sufficiency going on - he is clearly far ahead of the curve - extremely inspiring - and great 'food for thought' for my upcoming road trip!

Next stop...road trippin'!!

Love and hugs to all!
Joy

St. Croix!


Well, the much anticipated adventure to St. Croix finally arrived. I had to take a flight - I mean a flight that Ron White would joke about (you know, where the geese are flying by faster than the plane!) I SWEAR the pilot was pedaling like Fred Flinstone - it was a hoot!

St. Croix was definitely full of permie peeps - and great fruit stands...and even a raw food restaurant, if you can believe it! Keep in mind, these islands are uber tiny (15-25 sq miles).

I decided to drive out to the BIG permie farm right when I got there...basically, the 'rainforest' on St. Croix...as I drove down the road, I found an AMAZING papaya tree (wild, of course) - it must have had 200 papayas on it - crazy! I am not sure how edible they are - but it was sure fun to see (if you click on the image, you might be able to see all the fruities!)

When I got out to the farm, I couldn't find anyone...so, I just took it all in - beautiful grounds with lots of great sounds - very tranquil. I knew there was another camping site nearby so I headed to that location. The owners were not there - however, I met some wonderful people staying there...they had just completed a 'survival' course - I mean, bare bones survival.

That night I had about 2 hours of sleep...I decided to sleep in the back of my 2 door yaris (oh my!) Well, it wouldn't have been so bad had 3 mosquitoes not decided to join me...the zzzzz in my ear kept me up all night...welcome, to the jungle - we have fun and games.

The next day I headed to the city (about 7 miles away!) :-) I found a great hotel in downtown Christiansted - fabulous - the architecture was divine - lots of renovations going on (in the entire city) - and lots of cool opportunities for growth. The city has a strong European feel to it.

It was a great adventure to go explore the Caribbean - while there was so much to love and embrace - there were 2 major deal breakers for me (from a 'live there' perspective). The first being the racism...it is something everyone brought up to me (Law of Attraction - who knows) - it was sad for me to see people not loving on each other more. The other deal breaker was the largest oil refinery in the Western Hemisphere being on the TINY island of St. Croix. The refinery has destroyed most of the coral reef surrounding it...the good aspect is that it brings in a TON of passionate people - from all angles...and that can be a very good thing. For me, right now, visiting is just perfect!

Back to the mainland!
Joy

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tortola...another country?


I made my way to Tortola - supposedly another country - short of Customs and the accents, you would never know...oh, and another fun stamp in my passport!

The ferry was a monster barreling through the water....a great way to travel - a nice breeze with water splashing everywhere!

The people in BVI (British Virgin Islands) were very friendly and helpful - and their accents super fun.

Roadtown - the primary city on Tortola is a bustling money scene (oodles of banks) - as it is an offshore tax haven. Even a few CPA firms - KPMG and the like.

This was my first stop to Couch Surf - very cool experience. I was sitting in a bar at Cane Garden (where, Mark, my CS mate lives - when around Brits, you use their language). There were a ton of drunk American's in this bar - EXACTLY what you would picture in the Caribbean - the music was perfect...even a guy got up with a tie that he could play - lots o' giggles. I was busted by the singer for not boozing it up - he said, 'water is no good - this is why we call it 'happy' hour'...

That night my CS host connected us with a gaggle of other friends and couch surfers. We went to the local bowling alley - after a great game of air hockey and fun bowling, we had a great conversation around the Brits and their view on the US (my inquisitive nature had to ask the completely non-PC questions!) Their responses were not what I expected - and it was good to hear their point of view!

I found more fruit on the road, as well - at least I thought...I found a woman selling DELISH papayas from her yard - and then poof, she was gone! No more local produce for miles - drat!

My time in Tortola was really nice - and the British accents were wonderful...good time.

Love
Joy

From St. Thomas to St. John...

All of the islands (St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola and St. Croix) all have such a unique personality - they are each VERY different and yet have so many similarities (like really wonderful cloud formations)...

I started out on St. Thomas - the 'Big City' - and then made my way to St. John (the Nature - UBER expensive island) - and then to Tortola (the Brits) - and then finally to St. Croix (a mix of everything - and my favorite island).


Oh how I love The, Gecko...


Let me count the ways!

I am surrounded by The in my wonderful tree hut here in St. John. Your whole family is so fun - the shorties, tall cousin Vinny, Peaty Coat Pete with his striped back and, of course, the punk teenagers with their red loop rings hanging from their chins...oh teenagers.

The view from your home is amazing and I am grateful for you allowing me to be family for a few nights. I am in awe of your 24 hour surveillance and diligent protection of me from your neighborhood vampire...the mosquito.

Love and Gratitude,
Joy

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ya Mon!!


Greetings from the Caribbean!! YES, the Caribbean...ahh, the only thing constant in my life is truly change...my trip to Thailand was postponed last minute due to civil unrest and suddenly I found myself here - in the Caribbean! :-) Long story...

So, here I am in St. Thomas - in awe of the beauty - and of the greenery...who knew that the US had it's own tropical paradise?!?! And, wow, does it ever!


Today I started my day with my feet in the water - at the heart shaped inlet of
Magen's Bay... did a few yoga poses - watched the waves come plopping in...really lovely -

I had sand on my feet all d ay long - fun!

The energy was wonderful at the beach - it was very early in the morning and there were a lot of people doing their morning exercise - some swimming, some walking on the beach, some jogging - all of them taking in the beauty.

Here i
n St. Thomas, it is a really nice mix of Natives and transplants from the mainland...I am always asking people what they love about the island - to see if I *might* enjoy living here...they all say they love it - and to be aware of 'island fever' - and when it sets in, you just leave for a short period of time - and instantly, you are grateful for where you live - I guess that could be said about any place, really.

The East side is probably my favorite, people wise - it has great energy - lots of music, greenery and happy people...pretty crowded (the island is very small and everyone wants to live here!) The North side...oh, the North side - I found a few farms and picked a few mangoes...shhh...oh my, I could get used to that.

Most of the farms on St. Thomas are on the North side because it is considered the 'rainy' side. Here is a picture of a mango tree - and then of course, my treasure from the tree!! These mangoes are interesting as they are a combo of Champagne and Tommy Atkin's mangoes- the juice was fabulously yummy!

There were tons of banana trees and of course, coconut.

I was greeted by a super cute little iguana today - I was trying to get a closer shot and everytime he scurried off a little faster - if you click on it, it might enlarge....

It is VERY hilly here – some crazy cliffs. I rather enjoy driving on the other side of the road, too – only a few mishaps – all in parking lots prior to be fully engaged in driving…One gal said to me, 'just remember Beyonce's song - to the left, to the left!'

I have to say – it is really a nice balance of mainland USA and 3rd world country here. Here, you get the best of both worlds (other than the high prices). For instance, mail, $$, cell phones, grocery, etc…it is all the same as on the mainland. There is 3rd world feel in some respects (shacks, potholes and poverty) – but it balances out with all of the major pluses. It is like smushing (technical term) an entire city into 13 miles – you would get a mix of everything – we just like to spread out on the mainland so we don’t ‘see’ all that really goes on in a city!

This was the picture from my balcony last night - the cloud formation was fantastic - and the view...well, the view is pretty much amazing everywhere - that is what happens when you are on a 13 mile long rock!! :-)

I am heading to St. John - then Tortola (British) and then....St. Croix - very excited about all - and especially the latter as I found they have a raw food community and are VERY into farming -

Hugs and love!
Joy

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The POWER of the White Elephant!!

So, for my lovely friend & Sista Michelle's b-day - she said, 'the only thing that is for certain is the White Elephant Exchange'...NORMALLY, I don't get that into these gift exchanges - probably something about my typical allergic reaction to 'more stuff'. However, because it was HER b-day and because ALL birthday girl's should have ALL wishes granted...the White Elephant Exchange was on the docket...ugh.

3 words...I got skooled.

Man, the White Elephant exchange was the BEST ever - and mainly because people know how to play. I had been so 'heady' in the past around these exchanges - wanting to 'please' and get something someone would like...my original plan was to sit this one out...

Then Michelle walks in...'oh, let's create a bunch of extras just in case someone doesn't bring a gift' (typical Michelle fashion - ALWAYS looking out for everyone else!) We start going around all our potential goodwill stuff - she starts pulling out hammers, VHS machines, etc - I tell ya, I couldn't believe she would package this stuff...

And then the party started...and then the exchange...oh my. When I finally let go of my head, I realized being in the moment of just being goofy is SO important and what LIFE is all about...the laughter started - and I couldn't stop - I had that belly-hurt-so-good-I-can't-stop-even-with-a-fire-alarm-laugh....oooh, it was good....my advice for all....next party - add in a White Elephant Exchange and just go wild - something super goofy - have fun and LAUGH!! :-)

Love!
Joy

Wonderful Friends...in Nature!!


A wonderful time in the Austin Greenbelt...with a delightful friend. I am so grateful for my most interesting, loving, compassionate, intelligent and DELIGHTFUL friends here in Austin...lucky is me.

My friend Sive and I went for a hike with lil' Coco - and had a great time - this is her backyard...lucky Sive!!

Just a quickie today...have fun!
Hugs!
Joy

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stepping out on a limb...

Such a fitting title for this past year. Since I sold my home (and much of my 'stuff') last March, I made a personal commitment to live out side of the 'box' (who am I kidding - this has been my life MO!) More specifically, this past year, it has been my focus to stay open, to see signs and to really trust that everything always works out.

I have seen clearly that there are no 'accidents' in my life...whether I call it destiny or coincidence, it matters not...to me.

Being open is now such an important part of whom I have become...extraordinary opportunities and possibilities come into my life on a very regular basis - when I allow them in.

I have many exciting gems up my sleeve for 2010....they are all in the incubation stage and you can be certain, when they start to manifest, you will be the first to be notified! Let's just say, they involve a big move, another ride in the rig and a reunion - and not necessarily in that order! I am bubbling inside with excitement!

As I continue to set sail on this great adventure, I embark on a trek to Thailand in a few weeks. It is my desire to bring you all along with me via my blog - to taste the delight of my first durian while feeling the vibe of the culture and it's people. I will be going with my friend, Pete, who is building a school and orphanage - we will be visiting monasteries with orphanages and assessing viable locations...no doubt an adventure.

Living my dreams and loving the ride with y'all!!

Joy