Picnic Police

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Holy hairballs what a week!! We spent multiple days breaking down camp and cleaning up the campground, making sure to leave it better than when we arrived for the wonderful people who let us stay with them, drove Zoe up to Portland to fly back to Santa Fe for a family function and moved all of our vehicles- RV, three cars and a trailer- to a BLM spot outside of Grant’s Pass. We stopped at a park in town the first evening and set up a picnic spot using large Rubbermaid totes for a table and a platform for the propane stove(it was over 100 degrees and we were urban, the wood stove inside is so not happening!), then used the tow platform covered in couch pillows for an outdoor ground couch. After a lovely meal of red pepper, tomato and black bean soup with chicken and fresh baked bread with brie for dipping, we were relaxing with the cops showed up. Three people, a dog and an epic picnic setup with no drugs or booze involved were able to make such an impression that people called the cops out of concern. Style has its price, and this one I am actually proud to pay. I managed to put on a picnic so epic it’s absurd. Fortunately the cops were nice fellows who were as shocked about us as we were about them, and it ended quickly and amiably with them giving us some advice about places to look at property options as well. So first thing tomorrow, hooray for government offices. 

Joy

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Fabulous Haircuts at a Beauty School 🙂 * Fresh red current sauce mixed with a dash of sugar and squeeze of lemon to make syrup for french toast* kittens, kittens, and did I mention kittens (the adolescent phase is over and they have sold their souls and self-respect for bacon 😀 ) *New phases of life- getting back on the road*  funny faces*  forgiveness for friends’ mistakes, big or small and the look of faces when they know they are loved*  cold brewed ice coffee in 95 degree weather*  fresh painted toe-nails*  happy puppies*  writing letters to grandpa and learning the real history of the world, right from the horses’ mouth*  new music*  friends’ successes- Gabe Rima won the contest, music video coming soon!!*  honest poetry*  unicorn luck*  picking fresh herbs from the garden*  any excuse to wear lingerie or kiss someone special*  watching dreams become reality, one day at a time

Enjoy your tuesday and your everyday, good for your health, heart, and world, xoxo!!

-V

Picnic Luxury Lunchboxes!

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One of the ways I have learned to live so cheaply, yet luxuriously is knowing when it’s worth it to put in the effort. I’d much rather do the extra few minutes of work to pack a lunch than to work for someone else the extra hours to pay for eating out. I’ve also found that if you eat quality food, you don’t need as much. Gourmet is truly achievable if you eat portion sizes. Have a few small luxuries and if there are certain people in your family or group who need extra calories, make that up with more staple fare- sweet potatoes, pastas, sandwich bread, eggs and other cheap but filling options.
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Here are a few ideas for picnic luxury lunch boxes:
bread with brie and apple slices, plus chocolate of course
bread with cream cheese, nut butter and jam,
yogurt parfait- yogurt, granola, and fresh berries, or a quality trail mix(my favorite is hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, shredded coconut and chocolate chips)
cream cheese, roast beef and fresh greens sandwich
shrimp with curry powder, fresh fruit , crackers with herbed goat cheese

If you have a chance to cook: sliced ham, brie, caramelized red onions, and a very light drizzle of honey, toasted like a grilled cheese is one of the most memorable tastes imaginable.

And in my world, lunch is not complete without a few bites of dark chocolate at the end, never forget the chocolate!
Siilin

Carousel

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Ahh! The start of summer, painting projects, fresh berries, travel adventures and growth on every level. Hope you enjoy this month’s Carousel of fun!

The Gypsy Network: Some of my favorite gypsy blogs

http://foxandgypsy.blogspot.com/

http://www.nestinggypsy.com/

http://www.drifterandthegypsy.com/

http://sevengypsies.blogspot.com/

http://lipstick-gypsy.blogspot.com/

After using chalkboard paint to transform my fridge, I have really gotten into seeing all of the fun stuff that can be created via chalk medium:

Beautiful Art:
http://www.viralnova.com/weekly-chalkboard-art/

http://www.boredpanda.com/5-most-talented-3d-sidewalk-chalk-artists/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ariellecalderon/brain-melting-works-of-3-d-sidewalk-chalk-art

Chalk Art Tips:
http://inmyownstyle.com/2012/07/how-to-draw-like-an-artist-on-a-chalkboard.html

http://indiecraftparade.com/blog/archives/2370

http://gwenmossblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/10-things-you-should-know-about.html

On Making Fairy Wings:

Inspiration:

How-to:

http://lusaorganics.typepad.com/clean/2011/11/how-to-make-your-own-fairy-wings.html

http://lusaorganics.typepad.com/clean/2011/11/how-to-make-your-own-fairy-wings.html – This blog is wonderful for all things fairy!!

And some fun in science news:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140609153508.htm

 

Sorry about the irregular programming lately folks, we are deep in the intrenchment of government offices and real estate issues, punctuated with regular trips to far reaching wilderness, so the wi-fi access has been nearly impossible. But it should all be coming to a head soon and I’ll be back with a pile of new work!!

xoxo

-V

Summer Bar-b-que

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As a perfect prelude to a miraculous few days the weather cleared up on monday, right as Pam and Brian’s daughter Tiffany- the remaining family we had not met- and her husband and kids came down to visit for a few days. Family friends showed up with their 3 month old and before we knew it, summer kicked in full swing with a massive outdoor barbeque with 12 adults, four kids, 9 chickens, I don’t even know how many cats anymore, and a dog just to make everything a little less chaotic. Paradise in a backyard.

I have witnessed a miracle of life in watching this progression of events- from chance meetings one after another that have lead to people connecting to build dreams I never imagined could truly happen before. We had an impromptu community meeting to discuss issues, ideas, concerns and set plans. And it happened automatically. I’ve always felt like dealing with people was frustrating, oftentimes, impossible. I feared that there were only selfish, uncaring people in the world, that I would wander alone forever. Without even realizing how much I wanted and needed a family, one ended up surrounding me, and it is openly growing everyday.

As I was toasting rolled oats in a frying pan this morning, cook the bacon first and toast in the gristle, Tiffany and I talked about the idea of combining forces on this, my blog and hers, so that between the two of us we could post more easily as I have many projects and she has many children. I add eggs and cream to the oats to cook it, and as we shredded cheese and chopped fresh fruit and avocado to top the oatmeal with we discuss book ideas. I love collaborations- all the beauty and creativity of a project, with the support and enhancement of loved ones. Kindred spirits are rare treasures. And with this new influence this page may be coming to you under a new name- The Nature Spirit. ( I have also been informed, repeatedly, that not everyone will think of the old english spelling of Faerie while looking this site up- simplicity has it’s usefulness I guess)

Zoe and I took Tiffany on her first Girls’ Night Out in, well, enough years she didn’t remember anymore. We arrived at Sonia’s house in town, proceeded to kick her boyfriend out of his own room( he was smart enough to bow out gracefully when girl number 6 showed up- a wise man knows when he’s out-numbered) and leave us to our sacred feminine goddess time. We turned up the music, danced wildly, laughed and talked to wake up the next few blocks and made almond-butter cherry chocolate chip cookies- Sonia’s recipe. She is now a contender in the ever ongoing cookie war for “greatest cookie ever”- a very scientific and technical title that can only be conferred after many years of tasting and debating. Consistency is key of course.

After a chance to let loose, hug, laugh, support and care for each other, we were all finally able to go back to our lover’s revitalized and strong. Apparently it had a major effect because I caught Aaron helping to hang laundry without me asking and even before running off to the shooting range. The effects of women coming together can be terrifying ;P

Tiffany had to return home this morning, but I am certain of seeing her again soon, and look forward to further adventures with a new part of my family.

Love to all!

xoxo

V

June Moon

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The new family rooster, Starbuck, who’s way to pretty for his own good. All the hens have been beating him up!

It has definitely been a mercury retrograde kind of week- all plans have just somehow gone awry or taken ten times as long as they should have, but all that being said it’s been busy. Radiators fixed, five loaves of bread and two cinnamon rolls baked, kitchen and laundry room all squeaky clean, and all in time for tomorrow’s Strawberry Moon!

Galadarling “how to survive mercury retrograde”
http://galadarling.com/article/how-to-survive-mercury-retrograde/

Cinnamon Rolls

Use base bread recipe: yeast let to ferment in warm water(about 4 cups water will end up with about two large loaves) with honey and a bit of flour for about 20 mins. Add flour(about two cups to start, esp if you add flax, bran or other grains), salt and melted butter or oil, stif into soft mush let stand in warm oven or sun for about two hours(24 is ideal, but let’s face it, you want to eat some bread), for sponge rise. Add flour to stiff texture, let rise, repeat once more. After second rise, flour and split into two portions, roll out on floured surface, coat with melted butter and cinnamon/sugar until the melted butter becomes thick. sprinkle with salt, roll up and place in pan, bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes. Can also add cream cheese, marcapone cheese, dried fruit or nuts to filling.

I’m looking forward to a full moon celebration, I’ve been sorely neglected my nature practice, and I’ve noticed it’s so much harder in the winter. One wants to be outside to enjoy the sky and honor nature, but she can be just so cold! Watching the January Wolf’s Moon rise over the mountains was definitely the best one so far this year. I’m hoping the weather will work for a small bonfire tomorrow night to celebrate. As it’s the Strawberry moon, or sometimes known as the flower moon, a bowl of strawberries shared among friends and a little bouquet given to someone who needs uplifting seem like as excellent way to honor the moving into summer phase. Along with gourmet s’mores of course! Cinnamon graham crackers, dark chocolate Lindt bars, and fresh vanilla marshmallows(whole foods carries very good ones, often in the deli section) make outdoor living absolutely lush.

For other moon ritual ideas:

 

http://mooncircles.com/full-strawberry-moon/

http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/full-strawberry-moon-june

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Brian has been preparing to bring in honey bees and spent the time Zoe and I were redecorating the RV making a giant “beehouse”, not the traditional upright hive, but a long bird house style home, with a lid that can be taken off and everything ready to go but the screens. It’s longer than I am tall! (Not that I’m very tall at all or anything…)

Momma Pam seems to have invented an excellent allergy remedy- Aaron and Brian have been seriously suffering so we’ve been working on a concoction. It seems that if you pack a jar of fresh grated ginger, cover it with warm water, let it steep for a day and strain, then mix it with a bunch of local honey, coconut oil, fresh ground cinnamon and drink about 2-3 shots a day of it, the allergies disappear. Aaron’s been so happy to be able to breathe through his nose again, I’m getting chapped lips from all the kisses, which would be easily remedied with some honey, but that just makes him kiss me more 😉

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Promise has declared that the rest of her time here is “Fairy Week” and set Brian to making her fairy wings, and has commandeered Zoe and I as actors in a play she is writing. It seems to involve covering everyone in glitter, so I am definitely looking forward to it. Uncle Sakka has been set to work on building a stage and Momma Pam, as always, is support with dinner and cookies. Aaron has not been pressed into labour, she’s too fascinated by the fact he’s doing things like building a motorcycle and melting metal.

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Zoe made her niece the fluffiest purse imaginable, and this is only her third completed project! (Aaron calls it the octopus, guess what he’s getting for his birthday) I have barely even progressed past the basic scarf stage of crochet! I am learning to make socks though, being a size four foot makes that a very useful skill. I’m learning that it takes me so long to make stuff, and custom fitted wool things get very coveted come winter, that I’m working on getting the supply done now. Maybe I’ll even finish a christmas list in time this year? EEK!

Paint Fumes become Gypsy Vardo Part 2- Tada! PICTURES!!!

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Outside- a standard RV, all set up pretty in it’s newly cleared out camp space 😀

 

Julia Cameron Excerpt from: Walking in this World
“We are miserable not because we are neurotic but because we are creative and not functioning in our creativity. Therapy may help us to “understand” our blocks. We do better to just get over them. Art is therapeutic. It is NOT therapy. Therapy aims at transformation through understanding. Art aims at transformation directly. When we make a piece of art about something we don’t understand, we come to understand it, or, at least, our relationship to it through our own experience- which is more full-bodied than merely cerebral….healing is a somewhat automatic by-product of self-expression, not a goal per se…therapists urge us to “accept how we feel”. Art teaches us to EXPRESS how we feel and so alchemize it. …therapy adjusts us to the world. Art adjusts the world itself….At bottom, art is rebellious: You cannot name me. I am more than the sum of my parts.”

 

 

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It started off ENTIRELY grey- grey grey grey, with a bit of dirty blue grey on the ceiling and dirty yellow grey on the curtains. It was a depressing sight. A whole winter of grey, filled with outside grey, and did I mention it was just generally grey? So, with the onset of summer, and a super deep clean need growing in my bones, when Zoe said “Hey we could paint the RV” as I was walking past the box full of acrylics, I kind of exploded out a rainbow. We did the walls purple, green, and yellow, and filled in all the space with a rainbow texture covered in a marble texture of silver glitter and a super high gloss clear coat- the goal was to make it look like the walls were made of polished opal- and I think I succeeded as much as paint possibly can.

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Promise petting Harold in the finished RV

Since I was already doing mad colors, the idea of a chalkboard on the fridge was only fitting. We also found magnetic paint, but it was SO expensive, instead we put metal on the freezer front. It has been a big hit already.

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The wood stove, fully finished and installed, with our collection of garage sale cast iron

Learning to cook on this has been quite an adventure- and now I have strategically painted to hide all the ashy marks from maintaining it all winter, yay!

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The most interesting part of this was the transformative effect it had on me. For so long I’ve tried so hard to keep control of everything, to be productive, capable, focused, planned. But as I was fingerpainting rainbows on my wall I simply had to let loose, to let go, to just have fun on a level that I had not touched since I was a child. All of a sudden I was caught up in the flow of creation, of expression, of simply being and impressing the greatness of my being into the world I inhabit. For the first time in a long time I felt a radiant and expanded soul.

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I rebelled against the grey, the standard, the mundane. I rebelled against the fact that I was sharing a small space with another large personality. I rebelled against the feeling that I had to stay within the lines or the world would collapse. I found out what it meant to stop trying to understand and simply to DO, and the power of heavens that resides there. Things that should not have worked out did. Things that were impossible were done. I worked harder than I ever have on anything and I was joyful every moment of the day. And I did it for myself, no other, and everyone in the community has appreciated it and enjoyed it. I took paint and made it a home.

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It doesn’t matter what else is going on, just create.