Grants Pass the woods and the bears

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For turning out to be such a shockingly conservative town in the middle of generally liberal eastern Oregon, this town has been very open to alternative living. There is a large amount of BLM land not far outside of town for camping and a local convience store with great wick service and an impressive alcohol and food selection as well as usps, all useful in the middle of the woods. The town has a surprising number of assistence groups including very clean fully supplied hot showers six days a week and food banks overrun with produce. The people have been incredibly nice as well and Aaron has been shocked at how quickly he has been handing out business cards here compared to elsewhere on the trip. There are also dozens of little festivals within a few hours radius of this city and I have found multiple herbal shops to seek apprenticeship with, so it looks like a goods idea we decided to settle in this area.
Tonight we are headed back to Eugene and then to Portland to pick up Zoe back fromher family trip, I cant wait to show her the campsite, it is the prettiest one yet esp since the rain caused the river to rise. We have collected half a dozens frogs for a new terraium and Aaron accidently caught a scorpion as well, oops!
Valentine also bought a new truck and is in the process of selling his subaru so right now there are six motored vehicles, a trailer, a bike, a dog, two kittens, a rat and soon to be back to four people all camped in the woods. Fortunately the locals have been pretty openminded and figure anyone who owns a 65 VW and carries trash bags around cleaning up the woods are alright by them so they’ve become fairly neighborly which is fine by us. I am trying to figure out the new photo uploading system on here (cave woman better at paper than interwebyness) and soon as I do I will do another photo showcase of all the fun going on!
xoxo
V

Aside

Books-

Non-Fiction-

Survival Lessons
Alice Hoffman
4 stars
I didn’t think I could love Alice Hoffman more until I read her short memoir of her battle with breast cancer. No matter what you are going through in life, her words will be a balm to your soul.

French Women don’t get Facelifts
Mireille Guiliano
3 stars
As I personally develop more awareness of the toxins and chemicals in commercial products, I must admit to disagreeing with a number of her recommendations. I did however, find it interesting to read about life from the perspective of one who has been through so much change. I think it is good for me to remember that one day there will be consequences to all of my repeated actions in potentially drastic ways. Easy and mellow read.

Salt, Sugar, Fat
Michael Ross
4 Stars
Truly by the end of this, all I could think was that if as much time, energy and scientific resources went into agriculture and feeding people REAL food as goes into the fake stuff, al solid 25% + of the worlds health and other problems wold be solved. Only read this if you have a punching bag nearby(though that’s how I’ve been feeling about a lot of non-fiction recently)

Unless in Moves the Human Heart
Roger Rosenblatt
2 stars
Reminded me too much of college writing classes, all critique and academia, no beauty or passion. I’m not saying a writer shouldn’t know grammar, I’m saying one should be encouraged to learn rules and break them freely.

 Fiction-

The Language of Flowers
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
4 stars
Being a romantic, and a Victoria, myself, I found myself relating to this story on an unnaturally deep level. The simple premise, of a girl speaking through a forgotten language, speaks symbolic volumes. The entire style reminds one of flowers, simple on the surface and yet with every deeper though, becoming more and more complex, ending in an timeless message of growth. Sad, beautiful, wonderful read.

Game of Thrones- A Dance with Dragons
George R.R. Martin
Bah! I broke my rule- always wait til the series is ended, that way you can read it all, but no, now I must wait for the next book, unable to relieve the torturous misery! The pain! The pain!……

Like Water for Chocolate
Laura Esquivel
4 stars
A joy to read, sweet, easy, powerful.

 Restaurants-

Ashland-

Mix Sweet Shop-
Best Coffee place on the road so far- coffee, tea, desserts, quality food, wifi, cute basement area, and Strawberry terrariums, what more could one need?

Thai Palace
We went here for Zoe’s 21st birthday, it was the only place close by that had alcohol and vegetarian food. We sat outside in the sun on the back patio, listening to a babbling creak while we stuffed ourselves silly on rice noodles, veggies and chili sauce, even leaving leftovers from two meals split by four hungry young people. The waitress brought Zoe a complimentary dessert of thai tea vanilla creme brulee’ that sent each of us into spasms of sugar and cream induced joy. The sugar feast was topped off with their “Buddha Bowl” of rum and juice in a deep stone dish, set on fire and decorated with fresh orchids, enough that we all stumbled back to the car and hung out in the park for a while before being able to drive home. Wonderful day 😀

Eugene-

Library- I want to live there, they have a coffee shop with dollar coffee and great prices of everything else, ebook collection, massive computer areas, the magazine section carries stuff I’ve never even seen before, and the staff is amazingly sweet. Truly, I would simply live at the library if they’d let me, and I’d live or commute to the area just to go there. I’m a little obsessed. Obviously.

Winco- is the best grocery store in existence. great produce section, bulk foods selection, amazing prices on everything. Yes, just yes.

Cush Cafe’
We got turned onto this little up and coming place by a friend who works here as one of the bakers. It is a giant renovated old house turned into the most complex coffee shop I’ve ever seen. They carry a moderate selection of gourmet drinks, including the most delicious decaf chai I’ve ever tasted with spices that will give a healthy burn on the way down, along with a collection of organic coffees. The food is amazing, with pecan pie, peanut butter chocolate chip, banana walnut bread, and espresso chocolate nut on the tasting list all passing muster with flying colors. There is a piano, a guitar and bongos, among other instruments always available to play, as well as a stage and pool tables set up in the back all ready for the regular concerts and open mikes hosting here every week. The back patio is beloved by the boys, as they have a place to be outside hammering away at projects and smoke. This place is a must visit if you are ever in the area.

Recipes-

 Vitamin bowl

Soak 3 types of beans(i use black beans, black eyed peas and kidney beans) in a 1 cup beans to 2 cups water ratio overnight. Add wild rice, quinoa, millet, and lentils at a 1 cup grain to 1 cup water ratio. Put on stove and cover, stir about even twenty-thirty minutes until all the water is gone. Ultimate cure for anemia and impossibly helpful for PMS and cramps. I add the mix to scrambled eggs, tortilla wraps, or add cheese, meat and curry paste for a filling dinner.

Gourmet Grilled Cheese
Spread two slices of bread with cream cheese, on one slice add avocado, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dill. Add slices of cheddar and/or pepperjack cheese, close sandwich and add to hot buttered pan, cook both sides evenly. Can also add bacon, or a fried egg for a breakfast sandwich. Also, spreading butter on the outer sides of the sandwich first makes for a more even crisp, if you are as particular as I am 😀

 Homemade Rice Free Sushi

spread 1/4 avocado across a piece of nori paper, lay a line of cream cheese and smoked salmon down the middle, roll and done! Can also use other canned/smoked fish or top with roe. I’m also found of adding chipotle chili powder for extra spicy flavor

 Camping-

Ashland-
Let me put it this way- we were camped for four days on the side of a small highway, right by the entrance to a private airport from which planes and helicopters were taking off and we never even saw a cop drive by, much less mess with us. It was a little disconcerting actually, but fun sights to watch over breakfast.

Eugene-
Sorry folks, staying with friends in this area, so all safe n snug with no fun cop stories(hopefully), but there have been so many cute kittens!!

Vending

Ashland-
More invites than straight sales, though the networking was definitely worth it as a lot of custom stuff was ordered.

Eugene-
Laid back street vending and a LOT of activity. The Saturday Market drum circle is very popular. There also happen to be a lot of feeds in this area, if that’s a need.