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, December 29, 2012

top of the year to you!

 Christmas lights; Christmas at all. Illusion and free meals. A scary, sacred and uneven patch of territory this year. There's things here I can't tell you about except that they dance on hope and survive in a nightmare.
 Today we went up to Butte Meadows, or almost. I was driving and didn't go much past almost plowing into someone on the sheer iced roadway. We met a nice snowman. His creator was slugging down white wine while he created this kindly spirit. You never know who you'll want to have your photo taken with. That's Michael in his Christmas hat by Orien. He's my heart's honey.
 And in the valley it's roses in December. When exactly does one prune when global warming keeps growth going all year?
 In other areas it's the tail end of autumn and the colors pop and the shapes pepper and life reminds us over and over how much it wants to be appreciated. Not just for its variety and beauty but for the sheer amazing light that illuminates it all. Our winter sun, the light inside us that grows us, the flames that burst that flicker that smolder that go out. All of it happening always all at once.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Days like none before

 Well, things have been about as spikey as they can get. I'm looking for the little bloom within each moment and situation.
In the mundane world I finally got some black walnuts in to "The Walnut Farm" with the caveat that they no longer buy walnuts... in fact, nobody buys walnuts. To cut costs candy makers and etc now leave the walnuts out. How they then call it walnut anything is beyond me but I know the walnuts are good for you so it is a shame to lose the food source. Anyway, my trade for two and one half of the big barrels in the foreground was that little bag of walnut "meats" propped on the corner of the bin.
 Yesterday a big front hauled in from the north and we had an exciting unpredicted episode of unremitting thunder and lightning and fierce rain. This is the front end of that front approaching before dusk where we went for a wee stroll east of town.
 We are shadows and stone is stone. There are some things we neither understand nor can do much about. Some of these things invite pain, even loss. We face them together, in the moment and with humor and what stoicism as we can muster. Life is far too short and when life is challenged there is disbelief, shock, some numbness and most of all Love and Appreciation.
 I love Michael and have loved him since the moment I first saw him. Unfortunately there is no bargaining and there is no mortal listening God. There is only the vast, divine of Wholeness that we and all nature are heir too. And, just perhaps, the mystical lives somewhere where our souls are joined. We'll all just wait and see to know. All of us.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fracking our Public Lands

 18,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management Public Lands were auctioned off today for oil and gas extraction. This is after 800,000 acres of public land has gone for oil shale development in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.
About 50 of us converged from around the state to protest outside the BLM office in Sacramento. It was ludicrous... Homeland Security wanted us to sign a form just to stand on the property while they allow our land to be sold off to polluters who just want to make a huge buck for themselves.
 There are so many issues about Fracking but the chief one is that the chemicals used to blast apart the rock to reach the oil or gas contaminates huge amounts of pressurized water needed to release the shale oil or gas. This water can not be recycled--the information about what's in the frack fluid is proprietary so there isn't even a chance to recycle it and when fracking occurs or contaminated water is reinjected into the earth there are frequent earthquakes-- just what California doesn't need.
 Our water is precious and the Delta region where salmon and other species of wildlife are making a last stand is already contaminated and suffering from the low water levels and increased salinity. We can't afford to ship water south for fracking or any other non-essential use. The oil and gas companies don't care if there is a glut-- they will simply export their product and leave surrounding farms, communities and our state in decline. See the movie Gasland if you haven't. See the coverage
 On the way home we went by about 15 gas frack wells right up against the Sutter Buttes. These are owned by the Venaco company which is fracking also in southern California. Large water tanks capture the contaminated water but who knows where they truck it? This in one of the most scenic areas imaginable.. miles of wells.
Wake up any of you who haven't been paying attention. This is our only earth!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Riparia Celebrates 25 Years!

 We celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a whirlwind of family, friends, and feasting. Guthrie visited so we had our full complement of land partners, so lots of meetings too. Above are Scott and Richard who are part of our history-- both lovers of the land.
 Our youngest is Bennett who is just two but Addie and Amani are teenagers now and as beautiful and smart as young women can be so I decided, out of dozens of photos, to post their sweet faces.
 And then there were games... after tummies were full we had games that Orien produced and taught. Soon we were sliding around tiles, flipping cards, snapping down tiles like they do in Jamaica.
 There were about 30 people in our circle before dinner but this is the late night, after games crowd, a beautiful cross-section of who we were, who we are and who we will be. Love to all who went on and to those who couldn't come and those who were here with us. It's been an amazing 25 years of community.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Embraced another week.

 The big news is the loving relationship between Keith and Orien. It was so wonderful having her home and getting to know Keith.
 Meanwhile the bent toward activism continues as it must. These two actions took place on the same day. We did a solidarity action at the Kinder Morgan tank farm in opposition to the pipeline doubling they want to do in Canada across sovereign First Nation land. The issue is about even more than sovereignty-- it's about global warming, the risks to the web of life along the coasts and in the forests along the long journey of the oil to China. Please see:
There was also the Beale Drone Protest that was carried out mostly in the dark due to the short days. R Addison, a former Chico activist-above, joined us after dozens of years away and we celebrated the birthday of a fantastic Nevada City artist and activist with a circle of candles, song and a full moon.

 And yesterday I caught a fly-by soggy shot of our Chico Peace Endeavor and Food Not Bombs. For the love and respect of these and many other good people I can keep up my end of the struggle for a sustainable future.