Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Sunday

Today we knew we wanted to go walking but weren't sure where. We ended up cutting north off Hwy 32 down to Big Chico Creek then up to Ponderosa Way and the Cohasset Ridge.

We were in a two wheel drive gas powered small truck that a friend is selling Michael. After sunset and the crescent moon was hanging in the western sky we had some real adventures with making our way out of there but the hikes along the creek and then up to the ridgeline for the view to north and west were amazing.
I read that there is a bill in Congress to enlarge the Ishi Wilderness by 48,000 acres, saving the spawning grounds along Deer and Mill Creeks. I think of the ancient genocide of the Yahi and Yana peoples who lived in this country until 1850. For the wild spirit of these lands it would be good to do. The Off Road Vehicle people are thrashing everything that is accessible to them and currently there is nothing protecting these wild places.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Law School Break

Sheldon and I drove to SF to see Orien on Friday since she couldn't come home for Thanksgiving. While she studied we walked on the beach last night and today we went for a long walk in Golden Gate Park, reviewing flash cards with her with all kinds of legal "stuff" that she miraculously seems to be able to retain. I felt so LUCKY to be able to have 24 hours with her! It was actually pretty mellow for how much stress she's under with school.

Thanksgiving was lovely. Here was my harvest. We ate at the neighbors' and it was just pleasant and sweet. Too much food though... we needed a dozen or so more people.
Hope your Thanksliving continues. Mine and Michael's too.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I remember a Thanksgiving when I was here in the kitchen and the sun was shining and I was listening to Gilda Radner from her book It’s Always Something, and she was talking about life as “delicious ambiguity.” Right now I’m poised to go out and harvest the ingredients of my Thanksgiving offerings to the land dinner. The garden has put on a huge show of green that will make it hard to find the acorn squash I’m looking for and the rodents have started in on the squash so there may not even be enough… we’ll see. There is lots of food out there and it’s my job to harvest what’s left and bring it to palatability. Winter and freezing can’t be too far off so today is really it for the finite bounty of the summer garden.

I’ll also make some pumpkin pie out of the Halloween survivors.
It was with great relief, for my sore fingers, we finally finished the great English walnut shell out last night. I have already started to engage in giving the walnut meats away since the 3$ a pound I was offered at the Co-op is way, way, way below the effort involved. Tis better to give.

I’m a bit sad for missing family. My heart yearns for the well being of all those I sense are suffering out beyond my current boundary of attention. My heart is also full for All that’s Good. May the ache of Fullness in me merge with the ache of Fullness in you as we offer our Thanks to Life. I hope our final harvests will be tasty and enough whoever we are and wherever we are.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

People and Bees

So, I got my black walnuts up off the ground and turned in to folks who make candy with the nut meat. The price I got wasn't worth doing it but I'm glad they will go to some use.
The man who has kept his bees on our land for a number of years says his hives have "tanked" here. He doesn't know why but this year is worse than last. This is sad and alarming. I hope he will try to find out what is killing the bees.

The GRUB folks continue to do their earth magic. This guy was at the Frisbee Golf (contentious) hearing and was a person who spoke for reconciling the needs of the earth to heal from all the foot wear and the needs of the enthusiasts to have a way/place to play their sport.

Ah, I come back to the story of losing the bees. My friends keep getting cancer and other environmental illnesses despite living well. My friend Spring is going through it now and my friend Sheryl is a survivor. This morning I had a flash of those of us who live now just in some invisible cue waiting for our time and our disease to ride out on. It's always been that way and the diseases have just shifted around but still, these are dangerous times with complex treatments that are also themselves illnesses with no guarantees. I just want my friends (and all of us) to have our natural life span, like the bees.

Monday, November 17, 2008


The raccoons are on the roof and it's time for me to go to sleep. I'm showing one last view of summer here. I am deeply relieved that the Chico City Council voted 5/2 to keep our land on the agricultural side of the Greenline, meaning we won't have future zoning of high density residential, at least in my probable life time. Thanks to everyone who helped with this. I see now that getting them out here to walk around and talk to the people who are doing the farming was worth more than all the letters and petitions.
I realized tonight just how a community can change based on zoning. Many people will be shocked and dismayed when they find out the changes that were voted on tonight in the name of the General Plan update.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pine Creek and Equality

Well, I missed out on a lot of great photos at the No on 8 (NO H8!) rally and march today. The speakers really hit a chord. It’s like gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have rushed out of the closet with their hair on fire! Their stories and passion are just riveting and I’m glad to be part of the movement for Equality with them. It really feels like we can get homophobia behind us in the near future by overturning or blocking this marriage amendment.

While others at Riparia walked city councilors around the land today and appealed to keep our land on the agricultural side of the Greenline, I went out to visit my old friend Howard W.
We met 31 years ago in Guatemala. He has a lot of land and allowed my ex-husband and I to build a cabin on his land as I was starting a nursing graduate program at Chico State. All these years later the cabin is settling into the earth and Howard and I have aged quite a bit too but the land is still strikingly beautiful along Pine Creek and Zimmershed and the “Serengeti” in between.
It helps me to recall that I loved the Pine Creek land as fiercely as I now love Riparia yet I was able to leave it and go on with my life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Frosty moon

Tonight was the Frosty Full moon of November except that it is supposed to be in the 80s in the next few days… I was able to hear Michael Brune, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network ( tonight and it sure reinforced my desire for the Obama presidency to get going ASAP. Today I had to drive to Sacramento and it was shocking to see all the new homes in the Sacramento River flood plain where migrating water fowl once enjoyed the rice field stubble at this time of the year. We HooHoo women have huge hope that our planet can be saved and human rights honored.
I’ve turned in my letters and almost 300 signatures to save the farm land where we live. I also picked up the last of the English walnuts and now focus on the still falling blacks.
Beauty of the full moon to you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Real land partnership

Remnant of last summer's fire.

A GRUB field.

The way back to the fields.


Ye old tractor.

There are times when we feel completely alone. That’s how I feel tonight. This Chico General Plan thing is pulling our land partnership to pieces. I don’t understand my land partners and they don’t understand me. What has happened to me happened many years ago. Even before Orien was born, 28 years ago, well before this land partnership, I felt my roots grow down here and I made some sort of inner connection to hold my ground here like the First Americans tried to do.
While we were on the road I really didn’t want to come back after awhile. I think part of me knew this was coming. I had a bad feeling. The pressures of growth on an urban edge are intense and my land partners do not share the commitment I feel in the visceral way I do. It’s like symbiosis. At first it’s about stewarding the land but after awhile it’s like the land owns you. I am its servant and its lover. It may be backwards but I belong to the land and the human partnership seems a distant second.
The idea of putting High Density Residential on this farm land and destroying this riparian-farm interface feels like having my child wrenched from my arms. It causes me just incredible psychic pain and what makes it worse is that I feel so alone.
Michael is a man of the wild country and the mountains. This flat and rather predictable land is not where he even wants to be. He would rather stay ahead of the bulldozers and live out his days in what is left of wilderness … I’m more about it being my home.
I’d rather leave it forever than see it destroyed but I’ll fight for it while I still can. There is still hope, maybe 50/50, on the zoning vote… It’s on November 17th.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sweet Victory!

The elation and euphoria we felt last night is still, more quietly, buoying me along today. It’s just such a wonderful feeling-- like we have seen the end of a terribly long period of a multi-layered mental slavery. I’m just so relieved and appreciative that our hard work has paid off at last…a great battle has been won and with that I feel some exhaustion. Our City Council held but our county and district remains with the old republican guard. The failure of Proposition 8 to preserve the right of same sex partners to marry is a sad reminder of intolerance and the fact that oppression still has its proponents.
To All who worked or voted for Obama I send my Love and Hope for a more rational and humane future. I embrace the fullness of your heart from the fullness of my own.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Day before

It’s raining and I am bungling my way through Calling Lists. Yesterday I called for a new California District 2 Congressman ( after 22 years of not being represented by Wally Herger… then today I’m onto a list endorsing Andy Holcombe, Ann Schwab, Jim Walker and Ali Sarsour for Chico City Council ( It is hard to self discipline when it’s not raining since I still hear that siren song of the walnuts waiting to be picked up but now that it’s raining it’s not as hard, although I’m obviously playing hooky right now.
This morning I got up early to participate in the ( membership drive. My friend Anna Kastner was doing Native Song, a show that I depend on to balance my hemispheres on Monday mornings (6- 8 am) and the only place I know of to hear Native American artists.
I have such great hope for a sustainable future and it’s all of the above people who are/will be part of making that happen.

So, it’s starting to get a winter look out in the fields but I love how the raindrops pool on the broccoli and the riparian corridor along Comanche Creek is as gorgeous as ever.

My humble zucchini pumpkin wanted some WWW attention before it melts down into a pool of fruit flies so here is one more small light in the darkness.

Tomorrow is the day that we have waited and worked for. May wisdom and fairness prevail!