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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Turning 65 (!)

 The official part of my Birthday day started with watering my friend's orchids. There are so many opportunities to see beautiful and unique blooms at her house-- I didn't mind the chore at all. It's a treat..
 Next my friend Kathy and I went to Upper Bidwell Park to a shallow but beautiful and secluded section of Big Chico Creek where she loped off my hair, which I had braided, for Locks of Love. We meditated and that helped me grasp some element of how effusive, blissful energy "uses" me sometimes and staying present to that I was able to associate more with a non-manic, contentment that seemed much more sustainable and in harmony.
 We finished the day with dinner out. Michael has been working incredibly hard trying to get us out of Chico but he has been stalled out trying to sell the old Veggie Voyager Cab-over camper. (We have only a few days left in our house and the next posting will be about our departure--exactly 5 years from the first Veggie Voyage!)
 On Thursday I participated (in my role as an Women's Health Nurse Practitioner) in the health screening the California Nurses Association put on at the Chico Downtown Plaza Park. Our press conference, town hall meeting and screening efforts coincided with the Supreme Court Decision on ObamaCare. No one was discouraged in the least. We know Single Payer is what is needed--until we have a comprehensive health care system in this country a lot of tireless people won't rest.
After another treat lunch with another dear friend, last night we officially brought my 65th Birthday to a close with a movie and dinner... all the women in my life are amazing. You will have to take my word for it. I love them so much!! My hair is almost how it will be on the trip where water access and drying conditions will be iffy.
I'm almost ready to go! 65 and very Alive!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One day before...

 There are a lot of forces that are gently lapping at my consciousness and there's some somewhat muddled cresting of energy that I am being present to... I'm going to be 65 years old tomorrow. An elder. Like Scarlet O'Hara I'll think about that more tomorrow but for today it's like a gradual crescendo that only I can hear.
We are preparing to go back on the road again and Michael has rebuilt the old Veggie Voyager Cab-over and we hope to sell it soon. The end of that 5 year era-- five years ago I retired and we went on the Veggie Voyage around the U.S. and Canada. Now I am more or less even more retired (after what? four intervening jobs?) We both can sense the years now... Sasha's aging has especially accelerated. We Celebrate and we Live.
 Meanwhile, the figs, apricots, plums and blackberries are all coming ripe.
 Hollyhocks are splendid and Nigelia is headed to its unique seed pod.
 I've weeded poke today, dried figs and apricots... been, done, going to do...
 The season of drying and post solstice harvest has begun. Tomorrow will be and me with it, Gratefully.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sierra Buttes Trail

 What happened to me is that I got staggered under the numbers of photos I took when Warren and Carol were here. I just posted a bunch of "people ones" to Facebook and decided against a bunch that were goofy or didn't show people in a good light. With nature it is all about Light when it comes to photography. This carpet of creeping phlox may not be as appreciated as it should be because of the bright light.
 As we headed up the Sierra Butte Trail the wind really picked up and the temperature dropped and the sky started to darken... better for photos but I didn't catch the Sierra waves very well...
 But I did appreciate this startling Young American (?) Lake with Upper and Lower Sardine below it.
 And the jumbled and sharded rocks along the ridge line. And, most of all, the backs of my family, always in front of me...whether on the Sierra Buttes trail or coming back from a mellower Big Bear Lake walk.
Now I have to abandon the photos and the computer and get out in the sun. Back to the essential Sunday work of weeding here in the great Northern Sacramento Valley at Riparia Farm, home sweet home.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Family Threads

 As I look through the photos it seems the place to start is with Fathers' Day. Orien was home and we celebrated with Michael and Sheldon and Penny. Family is so precious. You always think you have time but then sometimes you don't. This last week we took advantage of a little window of time we had. My only sibling, Warren, came out to California with his wife Carol. We had almost six days together after almost five years apart.
 They met us up in Healdsburg and we visited friends of Orien's in Dry Creek at the Hawley Vineyard and also at Bella Vineyard. Friends Ross, Lauren, Meagan and Paul are with us in this photo. (Michael stayed home to keep working away.) We had an ideal day-- tasting first at the Hawley's, then at Bello, where we also  had a picnic lunch and then finished up, for comparison, at Coppola Tasting Extravaganza where their friend Remi was pouring.
 We then went to S.F. and Orien put us up in style near the Asian Law Caucus where she is currently working.
 After we parted from Orien we came up to Chico for some toasty days of bike riding, eating out, etc, then headed into the Gold Lakes Basin. Some very kind friends loaned us their cabin and Warren, Carol, and Michael summited the Sierra Buttes and then we walked out to Big Bear Lake... in 47 degree weather with a stiff wind. This morning when we left for the airport it was raining!
It's all a whirl to me now. Part of me is sort of mourning a loss but its hard to say if it is for my brother and sister-in-law or my friend Ed whose memorial I went to on our return home, or if it is for a little girl I used to know who now has a provisional schizophrenia diagnosis (I just found out.) Again, life is short, sweet and the transitions momentous. Live fully and not so much in the rear view mirror. Love your family and friends as if you may lose them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Complete Self Attunement Facilitator Retreat

 We had a wonderful retreat. The weather started off quite cool and then warmed up to predictable broiling June temperatures by the end of our five days together. Rhonda, from Hawaii, is walking along the flume in this first shot.
Below is our teacher Don Kollmar. He's been evolving the CSA process ( over many years and it is always enriching, life changing and expands my awareness at each winter and summer retreat, this one was the same--- amazing.
 We spend long hours meditating in chairs so this was just a luxurious shot of Vita and Donna stretching out on the floor.
 This was a morning shot of a few of us. We were singing, actually sounding.
 And this is most of us on the last day, some had to leave early, but this is a lovely shot of the facilitators. You can find out more about CSA on the website and line up an attunement with our teacher Don or with any of these folks.
 And I just want to acknowledge what a wonderful space we had, how great our meals were (we self organize into teams for a dinner and lunch each,) and how much of a relaxing and likewise energizing and beautiful time it was.

Butte Canyon

 This last weekend was our Complete Self Attunement Meditation retreat and it was at a beautiful home in Butte Canyon, up the Centerville Road above the cemetary. This fierce eagle has lost its wings, they drape over the rock in memory of flight.
 One of the owners is an artist and I assume these figures out in the fields on the seven acres were her work but there was no one to ask. I loved how the alabaster changed through the day as shadows shifted to radiant white.
 The one out by the road, the wildest one, was chained against vandalism but it seemed symbolic of our attitude to predators.
 As usual, I took a lot of shots but missed the sound of the birds in the morning, the quails and skunk right near my tent and the bullfrogs chanting all night within the high canyon walls. Below is what I call a buckeye butterfly... I'm always afraid to say since I can be wrong. It's eyes stare up at you through the pale grasses so it looks like a face peeking out.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The beauty of the coast

 I forgot to mention that we got to the coast and back on bio-diesel. I wanted to include more of the photos from that wonderful adventure before moving on--next stop meditation retreat. It's already been a hectic few days and I'm very ready to sit for extended meditation.
 In the meantime, besides being a bitter electoral day yesterday it was World Environment Day. I guess it would help if I knew the name of the butterfly and of the incredible flower below, but I don't. I leave that to you...I'd certainly like to know but it is late and my day was long. Enough for me right now is to share the beauty with you and to make note that my outdoor activities consisted of whacking and cutting and digging Johnson grass, burr chervil, wild grape and polk. Not such an elegant celebration... but here is one:
 Sometimes simplicity and just taking note without a lot of description is the best antidote for an overly complicated life in the sped up and dumbed down world.
 We can't grow fuchsias over here in our valley heat and these gentle pink bells were a welcome sight of grace and peace and fragile elegance.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weezie's Birthday

 We brought the coastal weather back with us! I love this day despite feeling some pressure with my long "to do" list. The weekend at the coast was striking-- we stayed with this view out to the Pacific. A baker's dozen of women, some old friends, some new, all seasoned by life and love. We had a great time together and in our solitary time. I rode one of the rusted but trusty bikes from the Nye Ranch out to the state park and then back into Fort Bragg on our full day which was mostly luscious fog.

 It was Weezie's Birthday Celebration. She has a wonderful way of being Queen and bringing people together to share their lives and hopes and despairs and loves... it feels like a rich broth of heart energy by the end... a tapestry of lives woven with complementary and vibrant strands.
Some Hoo Hoos weren't there. They were at a Memorial for Cindy Kennedy, a wonderful full Life woman who went on. We send Love and Bright Light to guide her and Love for all those sisters who couldn't join us for all the reasons there are.