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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The 8.5 Lives

 Two days after infusion with a monoclonal antibody for cancer Michael was back up into the mountains. On the way up we saw distressing logging of the steep road cuts along Hwy 32. This isn't a great shot but gives you an idea that nothing will be left to hold back the slides.
 The reason I called this the 8.5 lives is because Michael has survived so many things that might have killed the rest of us...
 I've only heard a few of the stories-- parachutes that don't open right, being behind enemy lines without a back-up, helicopters that you didn't take and that were brought down, skiing into rocks, bike crashes, nail gun shot to the eye...
 Despite being almost in white face with zinc oxide the sun still got him hard though. The dancing light, the sweet space surrounding us, the pure blue, the pockets of powder, the beauty of his poetry coming joyfully down the mountain. It is all worth it.. Life clean and chilled and vast.
I've given up my skis and just clump up and down the mountains on my big feet snow shoes. Happy to be there and trying to keep up with Michael.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wheatland Gate Drone Protest

 Carol and I drove from Chico. Others came from Nevada City, Yuba City, the Bay Area, Sacramento and Stockton to stand up on this comfortable sunny day. A long and seemingly unending stream of vehicles poured out of the Wheatland gate at Beale AFB and we met them with peace signs and our messages about the harmful effects of drone warfare.
 Barbara had a suitcase filled with children's shoes illustrating the figure 176 children killed. I wonder though how many children and non-combatants have been killed in these isolated areas? Who is actually making an honest tally and how could they since no one is on the ground to see and hear the reports? It's a cowards war and that's for sure...
 And what all of us believe, along with General McChrystal, is that drone warfare fosters hatred. I quote:
"What scares me about drone strikes is how they are perceived around the world," he said in an interview. "The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes ... is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who've never seen one or seen the effects of one."
McChrystal said the use of drones exacerbates a "perception of American arrogance that says, 'Well we can fly where we want, we can shoot where we want, because we can.'"

 Besides some new signs and new people we also had people stop to talk with us. The mom on the right didn't agree with us on a lot of things but she joined us for the group shot with her boys holding the sign, "President Obama, you're a Nobel Prize Recipient, Act Like One!"

Monday, February 18, 2013

S.F. Climate Action Rally

 Yesterday thousands of us went to San Francisco for the Climate Change Rally. The volunteers were very focused and organized to get as many petitions signed as possible and everywhere there was a hum of commitment and focus. As usual, people were creative and flamboyant and joyful (a beautiful spring Sunday.)
 As an activist one group I think I will definitely be involved with is Citizens Climate Lobby --They conference call every Wednesday evening and share actual skills to advance effective energy policy. I like this because I know what I'm AGAINST -coal, nukes, fracking, tar sands oil and pipelines but how can I frame the solutions for Congress and others?
In California we have our a strong set of priorities:
Defend our landmark climate and clean energy laws against special interests.
Implement the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the provision of California's Global Warming Solutions Act which restricts the import and refining of tar sands crude in California.
Immediately put a moratorium on ALL hydraulic fracturing aka fracking in the state.
Divest our state funds from fossil fuel companies.
If you want to and can... please call Governor Brown on these 916-445-2841. Like Obama, he has to be pressured hard. Remember that the extractive industries are spending millions to keep us dependent on dirty fuels.
 It's all about the future. The most meaningful part of the SF Rally yesterday was the strong presence of Idle No More. Many drums led us in round dance friendship circle. Those who have suffered the worst now lead and it seems most appropriate that it is that way.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Our Family

 Went in to visit Katie at Third and Main today after the Peace Vigil. She's a joy to visit although I'm not being a very good customer these days.
It was a bright late winter day and Idle No More was having a Round Dance at the Plaza at 2pm so I stayed around after Farmer's Market and the Peace Vigil.
 Saw my friend Anna Kastner at the Idle No More with about 200 people in a huge circle stretching around the widest part of the plaza. There were only a few drummers but the guys who were there were excellent. A lot of heart and unexpressed issues and longings in that circle... people came from a great distance and I hope they felt the energy made it worth it to come together. The issues of energy exploitation and lack of consideration for the rights of Native People have come to a head in Canada and they resonate with the Native People here too who hold solidarity.
 Then tonight I went to Trinity Methodist Church to honor Ali Sarsour on his birthday with a few hundred of his friends-- a benefit as these things always are... Not sure if it was for scholarships in Belize or the Shalom Free Clinic but I brought food home to Michael and we had our dinner together.
 It was a good day... best was making tabouli from parsley from our garden for Food Not Bombs and for the Middle Eastern dinner for Ali. It was nice to give something healthy to those I love.
 Speaking of people I love-- Keith and Orien were together and home last week. We went for a bike ride in the park. I'm enjoying all my little outings but my main time is just being home with Michael.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Michael in Mountains

 Michael is dozing and the new chemo drug is infusing through it's pump with a dutiful little rattle into the port that has taken three cycles of chemo drugs into my dear husband's system over the last seven weeks. We have had our lives fairly blasted apart by this cancer he has (somewhere in his belly--perhaps gastric, perhaps appendiceal-- we don't know the primary.) It started with increasing girth but became pain on December 14th. We spent Christmas in the oncology unit. In a way we've adapted to it and to what we need to do to balance on the avalanche of the double whammy of cancer and chemo but my stomach is in knots with each new this drug and it's side effect profile. We'll see...
 I'm sorry to hatch this out now on our readers.
Here's something more palatable. Michael was feeling well during the week he used to have for chemo recovery so we fired up the Veggie Voyager (on settled veggie oil and bio-diesel from the folks in Grass Valley,) and went up to the mountains around Tahoe.
 It was so reassuring to feel so normal and so filled with the sweet mountain air and feel our muscles and lungs and the wildness around and within us. Also, to be in our cozy space and free to wander.
 I've been posting less as my world narrowed to pace with Michael's but you can see that he's holding on to what he loves and his amazing constitution and strong will aren't letting him down any time soon. My thoughts and feelings range wildly sometimes but it is good to know we are on the path of living each moment, each day and as fully as we can fill the cup without spilling it.