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

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Spotlight On: Zen Tempest – Spoken Word Hip-Hop for a Spiritual Generation

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I’m extremely picked about music, especially in the hip-hop arena, as I am more of a new age/classical/indie music type person. However, Gab Rima of Zen Tempest is one of my few exceptions to the rule. If you are fond of spoken word artists such as Atmosphere, Aesop Rock or Immortal Technique, this up-and-coming lyric artist is worth your full attention. Few people in history have been gifted with such talent for wordsmithing, and this compassionate man uses his talent to help others feel capable and comfortable expressing their deepest thoughts as a hip-hop educator for youth groups in New Mexico and most recently Oregon. He is currently entered into a contest for a complete album and music video, take a listen and open your heart for one of the most moving voices of our generation.

Contest link:

http://nextbigthingeugene.com/frontpage?page=1

The song is Fath and Hope. It’s on the second page.

Music link:

http://www.reverbnation.com/zentempest

http://www.facebook.com/zentempest

Recipe Book: Sugar Wax Beauty

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I am so happy to have met Tiffany, she bequeathed me her magic book of beauty recipes which I have been spending some glouriously fun time experimenting with over the past week. I was thrilled to try out a recipe for sugar waxing, yes, waxing. I know I’m a hippie, but I love the feeling of smooth skin, and shaving while showering outside can be a tad bit brutal. “Sugaring” is significantly less painful than waxing because the resulting caramel from the recipe is strong enough to pull the hair but not the skin, so it’s far easier on the body. It’s also all natural from ingredients in the kitchen, and clean up or disposal is as simple as warm water.

Mix 2 cups sugar with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, heat in pan stirring continuously until it becomes caramelized (it should become a thick gooey but still liquid consistency). Pour off into a widemouth jar. Keep jar in a pan of warm water to keep the wax liquid. Cover areas of body to be waxed with cornstarch or talcum powder(do not bathe before sugaring). Use popsicle sticks, or similar, to spread wax over desired areas. Let cool on body and peel off. I recommend doing short sections and be sure to keep the skin taunt, pulling the opposite direction of hair growth. Shower off any sugar, shave any minor missed spots and finish with a body oil  such as jojoba for wonderful smooth skin everywhere. Yay bathing suits!

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

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.

 

Photo Update :D

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ImageAaron making a mess in the Workshop tent

I’m taking a short trip down memory lane today. Aaron has been in Santa Fe for nearly a week for his sister’s graduation, and I’ve been a bit lovesick. I even miss arguing with him! So, I’ve been taking comfort with kittens, fantasy books, and repainting the interior of the RV. You know, the simple things.

We had a great trip up to Portland to drop him off at the airport. The flight was for an ungodly early hour, he had to be there before six am, so after showers we recovered at Zoe’s favorite place from the time she lived in Portland, Sound Grounds cafe’. It lives up to it’s reputation as a comfy and eclectic art world. We arrived as a couple of clowns were doing a kids storytime, which was an interesting way to enjoy a late breakfast. I was very impressed with their coffee, tea and food selection. They did a $3 Dave’s Killer Bread egg in a basket with cream cheese that was AMAZING! They also offer a wide variety of activities for a wide range of age groups(there are more than just clowns). My favorite part of the trip was all the roses though. We walked so many streets just drinking in the sight and smell. I saw every kind of rose imaginable, even pink and yellow ones as big as my head!

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Of course we were all eager to get back home for kittens and a good night’s sleep after a very long day. The little grey tiger has been adopted by Zoe and Sakka with the deceptive name of “Muffin”, such a sweet name for an increasingly large terror. I adopted the gold tiger kitten, who is bratty enough to befit her name of “Princess”, and Aaron adopted the black one, adoring his mellow nature and little white-dipped tail, and calls him “Alfred”.

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Sakka holding the little Muffin of doom(they’ve taken to calling her Bran Muffin)

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The greenhouse (pictured above) is thriving, though we had to get ladybugs to eliminate a mild aphid problem. But the echinacea is blooming, the mints threaten to take over, we’ve eaten enough greens to feel like rabbits, and we just got a pile of oils, shea butter and beeswax to make salves out of a number of the herbs.

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Zoe outside of one of the Tipi’s

I have been shocked at how comfortable tipi’s have turned out to be. Sakka has been impressive at making it homey for Zoe, putting together a vanity table, and a set of flower boxes outside. The key is to use a broom around the rafters to eliminate spiders, but even that hasn’t been as bad as I expected- and being a first-rate arachnophobic that was a major concern.

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Zoe’s first completed knit hat

Zoe has taken to the knitting like a fish to water, but after several attempts and a good deal of improvement, as much as I want to knit, crochet is just more my thing. Maybe I just did it too long first, but either way, I find it significantly more easy than knitting. Momma Pam found a crochet pattern for socks so I could make them for Aaron instead and they turned out to be more than twice as thick in texture, which is what I needed for him anyway, and I can do it in a fraction of the time. Win-win. But I may do some knit lingerie for winter, light, warm and sexy 😉

I’ve been feeling like I’m on vacation, being alone again for the first time in months. Adjusting to such a large family in a short time has left me feeling a little overwhelmed and having a quiet space to retreat too for a few days has certainly helped. I’m remembering why relationships are so important and re-establishing my boundaries. Oh, and painting, lots of painting. And fabric dye, and hanging art, and my will I be busy the next few days!

 

May Carousel

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Enjoy some lovely end of May thoughts!! XOXO!!

 

All your relationship problems solved:

http://theeditorsjournal.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/the-difference-between-men-and-women-very-very-true/

For the Love of Lingerie:

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/04/29/what-if-sailor-moon-characters-were-lingerie-models-theyd-look-stunning-like-this-【photos】

True Help for the Homeless, I can’t wait for the rest of the country to follow suit:

http://www.nationofchange.org/utah-ending-homelessness-giving-people-homes-1390056183

As the noose tightens around our freedoms, here is proof that even charity is now a crime, i.e. if you want to help people, your donation must go through a specific or government organization so WE can determine how it’s used, control the money, control it all:

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/05/12/3436712/daytona-beach-feeding-homeless/

From Makeup to ART!

http://upopin.com/tal-peleg-eyelid-paintings/

It’s art, no it’s a landscape, no it’s a photo, no it’s real……

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/neil-simone-surreal-paintings

Nutrition data, otherwise known as the eat-real-food-and-enjoy-life-because-it-doesn’t-matter-anyway science:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512214128.htm

I don’t know which is worse- how much the Pharmacutical industry will charge for a treatment to bypass exercising, or the fact that American’s will pay anything to mot have to live a healthy lifestyle in the first place:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512112547.htm

When you’d lost all hope in science and medicine, this comes to renew the world of possibility!:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140513132703.htm

Paper sculptures!

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/katharine-morling-ceramic-sculptures

For the Relationship challenged, here are some difficult but renewing truths:

http://markmanson.net/6-healthy-habits

Whole new level of Flower Fairy Fashion 😀

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/grace-ciao-fashion-illustrations

so much cute!!

http://www.mymodernmet.com/xn/detail/2100445%3ABlogPost%3A1209765

I want this artist to do a mural in my home!!

http://www.mymodernmet.com/xn/detail/2100445%3ABlogPost%3A1235755

Fashion, Art, Cosplay and just downright beautiful!

http://the-dame.com/epic-headwear-posh-fairytail-couture/

What is homesteading exactly?

http://woodridgehomestead.com/rebirth-of-self-sufficiency/to-make-a-homestead/

If you are interested in becoming more self-sufficent and overwhelmed at how, this article is a great start for learning how to take the transition to your own comfort level:

http://newlifeonahomestead.com/2012/10/how-to-homestead/

Zoe and I just started getting super into knitting, this is now the goal:

http://www.mymodernmet.com/xn/detail/2100445%3ABlogPost%3A1235472

Political statement- Photographic proof that we all in fact are just people, what a novel idea!

http://www.mymodernmet.com/xn/detail/2100445%3ABlogPost%3A1205326

Art coming out your ears!

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/smartwater-10-artists-who-shatter-perceptions-of-reality

For the DIY and environmentally inclined, homemade solar lamps:

http://newlifeonahomestead.com/2012/04/diy-sun-jars-homemade-solar-lights/