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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Valley to Mt.

Michael is back! After a day to settle in and attend Pancakes for Peace, we headed up to the snow and wandered into a storm high up on the plateau steps up the flanks of Brokeoff Mtn.

For me it was good to be up in the wild of it and away from Wikileaks and things I might involve myself in at home. We had to put some diesel in the car since I'm out of the Santa Cruz Greenstation biodiesel but at elevation a little of that is needed anyway.

The place below was the turn around place and where we snuggled up to drink our tea, out of the storm enough.

And back home it's almost Beltain and didn't rain here at all. These are some of Bruce's starts, healthy lettuce waiting to be set out, the backbone of many delicious salads.

It's almost three years now since we returned from the Veggie Voyage. From this vantage point I want to continue a little longer with the blog. Please pass the link on to your friends (this Chernobyl Anniversary.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Earth, Labor, Pancakes

Chico had a wonderful Earth Day Celebration put on by the Butte Environmental Council. First I want to tell about one cigarette butt campaign before I say how glad I am that they are doing their's.
A guy cleans the sidewalks of some of the businesses downtown. The one that really bothers me is a popular bar where lots of people smoke. He shoots the butts out into the gutter to be washed into the storm drain and down to Big Chico Creek. My attempts to reason with him have had no effect and my appeals to others for help didn't work so finally on Saturday I did a Citizen's Arrest which didn't exactly get him hauled off, which is fine, but now Code Enforcement is going to make him use some sort of a collection device... I am SOOO Glad! And I didn't even have to dress up in a butt suit.

MaMuse at dusk in the brisk and magical evening was wonderful, especially powered by all the people off to the right powering the stage on bicycles. These young women bring environmentalism out from the spirit, recognizing in a deep and fundamental way our connection with our roots as beings in and off nature.

The next day there was a dynamic Labor Rally attended by about 350 people in the same place we had enjoyed the night before. I wish you will click on this sign if you have any doubts about the Righteousness of Collective Bargaining.

The most touching for me were all these clients and their workers together supporting the United Home Care Workers, just one of the many groups of organized workers there. What will happen if these people have their benefits cut and what will happen to the workers? We just can't let it happen.

Finally, Pancakes for Peace and the annual Easter egg hunt! It was a wonderful morning. Last night I'd gone to the Label GMO foods, Right to Know Campaign dinner and then left to pick up Michael at the airport... so good to have him home although I was off to volunteer for my 6:30 shift at "Pancakes" which I didn't mind a bit... so many beloved sweet good Chico people and such a good benefit for the Peace and Justice Center!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Table Mtn etc.

On Wednesday after a full day of work in Oroville and with a turbulent sky above I decided on the spur of a moment to go up to Table Mountain. It's been a late, mild spring so this incredible lava cap domed plateau is still exploding with wild flowers, made even more dramatic by the brooding clouds. I did about a 10 acre loop covering various micro-climates from bog to the thinnest of dry soils. If you click on the photo above you can see the Sutter Buttes, a tiny mountain range rising up in the middle of the valley that you can see for miles, believed to be the home of the souls of the ancient people of the region.

Other souls, living beings, filled my week with Monday being Tax Day. Some of us peace folks leafleted in front of the downtown post office about the permanent war economy and the need to cut military spending and tax the rich and corporations their fair share (and leave intact our social safety net and environmental protections.) There was also a Tea Party gathering across the street with their cut taxes and government spending but don't bother me with the repercussions folks. Our congressman Wally Herger joined the Tea Party caucus...his pronouncements on everything from Planned Parenthood to Medi-care have swung ever more to the right so with dread but determination I just made a phone call to meet with him. Another Dona Quixote action in the making.

My friend Laurie is leaving the area after I've known her 30 years--nothing I've done I assure you. If I were her I'd stay if only for the plants in the yard... just look at this glorious peony and try to think of leaving it.

Today is Earth Day. I rose with a clock radio (tired after a raccoon invasion last night of our walnuts stashed on the porch.) So much of what I have done today has depended on external energy... even hard boiling the eggs right now to donate to the Easter egg hunt at Pancakes for Peace. I don't at all despair because there is a lot of momentum for change right now but I also don't really feel a lot of hope--I'm sure any reader could understand why without me saying. What I do experience is the moment and the appreciation of community and place--my place in the weeds you could say right now, but also in the rare glory, like this young dogwood. A balance of activism and being in stillness and nature is what will fuel this being and I wish you what gives you strength from your real energy source as the Earth is true to its Day each day with or without us.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fields are plowed

We have gone from weedy and lawless to disced and orderly in a matter of days. To me the weedy state is overwhelming but with a good tractor what is green, tangled, lush and difficult in its zest to outgrow or find a niche becomes disappeared in a sea of brown crumbly soil, ready to plant (and again rampage the competition of weeds just waiting for rebirth.) Bruce got his tomato plastic palace up and it was looking quite tidy and he put in some late cabbage family... one can't guess about the weather these days. GRUB is just behind, just plowing so far.
Michael is still in Wisconsin so I went out to celebrate another wonderful Aries on their birthdays and see the Banff Film Festival without him. Patti's tiara is a soup bowl. A bunch of us went to the Empty Bowls benefit for the Torres Shelter last night. The High School students make the bowls and local restaurants make soup for tasting and you get to take your bowl home with you... this is a good community benefit and I'm glad I went even though my vegetarianism left me a few bowls short of full.
The guests at Torres are lucky in some ways. Our neighbors on Comanche Creek have moved on and unfortunately, like the rest of our society, the plastic remains. I'm thinking about doing a Crapathon... offering 100$ to the person who can pick up the most garbage on Earth Day... I'm just concerned someone will cheat... perhaps it should be for the most articles of garbage? I picked up itsy bits of plastic out of the ditch to Comanche Creek today for awhile and don't know how to make the point that this stuff is overwhelming the waterway environments.
I do enjoy mind quieted walks with Sasha a couple a times a day and this is at the back of the land where Rocky's bees are where weeds still reign and spring is still evolving itself.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Into April

This morning I went and laid in the field looking up into the busy crowns of the old oaks until Sasha came up from the creek and dripped on me. There were a pair of orioles along with others I couldn't make out. A whole world of life we never see when we are walking along and rarely have our line of sight skyward.
Last night was skyward with Emma's Revolution. Part of life must be in the Beauty and in the Yearning for what we know is possible because it is so strong in our spirits. Their voices soared with that quality and that is still where my grateful Sunday self is.

I don't know if the rains are over (here on the Sac this week) but I certainly feel lighter with some of the federal budget stuff decided despite the fact I don't know what the cuts budget will mean yet in terms of suffering-- I was so obsessed about women's health I could barely focus on the rest and I'm sure that was part of the sneak in a bunch of nefarious cuts while we were focused on women's health. Next is the state. The Left at least is focusing more and more on drawing attention to the 1% that own the 25% and do not pay their share... Now will the rich and the corporations ever pay their share and will the wars end as a real solution to the budget crisis? I guess, as they say, the battle lines are being drawn while nature goes about her job of attraction, pollination, feeding, balancing, always filling those niches with endless creativity even with death, decay and rebirth. (This old tree and the lupins below it are three blocks from my work in Hamilton City.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

A brother departs

It was shocking and sad to hear that Michael's brother Bob had died. After a day of that reality, that he is gone, my mind still rebels. There is nothing I can write here except what a sweet man he was and what a great sense of wonderment he had. I wish he could have found his true life, that which gave him joy and fulfillment. Death itself is an adventure and I send love across the divide between us for that great unknown. I certainly don't regret going away this weekend and leaving the sweet spring behind. Now Michael will be away with family for weeks in Wisconsin... it was good for us to do a little Veggie Voyaging first. We did some cross country up to the ridge line above Fredonyer Pass with great views out to Mt. Lassen and the McKenzie Meadows.

And we skied out to the Mountain Meadows Reservoir having to weave around to find creek crossings. A beautiful wild place. Sasha and I will sure miss Michael as his birthday passes while he is away from us.