Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Consumerism at it’s most adorable

January 25, 2016

Kipling is coming on one year, and the cliché is right, it just flys by. In that time he went from a wide eyed, big mouthed little blob of curiosity, to a smiling, chatty, running little man who takes charge and isn’t afraid of anything.


Raising him thus far hasn’t been without challenges, but it has given me time to really get to know my son, and take him on some really fun local adventuring. Future blogs about our hiking excursions are coming soon.

One thing being a parent has made me more aware of, is purchasing handmade items I can trust in quality and safety, especially when I can support another mom. The following are some of my favorite mom produced items, beautifully designed, exceptionally made, and adorable to boot.

Boolah Baguette

https://boolahbaguette.wordpress.com
Erin, located in Saskatoon Canada, creates plush dolls and animals which she sells through etsy, has a sweet wordpress, and just put together the sweetest baby gift set that has me eager for a friend to announce their pregnancy so I have a reason to snag one!

 One of the baby sets, currently available via etsy.
Boolah Baguette was responsible for Kipling’s main Christmas gift, a baby safe custom cat with his name.  Kipling snuggling with his custom cat.

Anchoredeep

https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnchoreDeep

This California based company creates handmade clothing, my favorite being their harem rompers, and pom pom hats. I was lucky enough to win a romper via instagram, and have since purchased a few more of different material weights allowing us to rock this cute style all seasons (or at least all California seasons).  They also make pants, leggins, sweatshirts, and hair accessories.

 Kipling in his Anchoredeep pom pom hat, for which someone always comments and asks where it from.
 Kipling in his Anchoredeep romper.

Chewable Charms

http://www.chewablecharm.com

For a mom with a young child, teething necklaces are a great help especially on the go. Chewable Charms has joined the marketplace with a fashionable necklace, I would rock even without the baby. Additionally, teething bracelets are available to tie your outfits together, and are great for handing to your little one in a restaurant when you forget they’re teething toy (trust me, I know)! Located in California, this company’s charms are a must for any jewelry loving momma!

 Kipling enjoying a Chewable Charm bracelet

 

 Rocking my Chewable Charm set.

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Rabbitstick

October 13, 2013

When I was looking into taking time off from work and figuring out my path it was important to me to have at least one thing to look forward to each month, be it a farm to visit, a camping trip, a trip out of the country, or a chance for learning.  During the time I was planning everything out I came across a notebook where I had written ideas for things to do in the future.  In that book was written ‘Rabbitstick’.

Living in a place where the importance of DIY, sustainability, survival, and knowledge play out in conversation daily, I knew Rabbitstick, a primitive learning gathering in Idaho would be a good option to pursue.

I left for Rabbitstick in September with all my camping gear, sunscreen, and an eagerness to do it all.  A week of learning and community, and me an open book.

I arrived on a Friday with the actual even beginning Monday after every one else (for the most part) arrives on Sunday.  I set up camp near the shadow of trees alongside a huge open meadow, next to the snake river, which would be my bath for the next 9 days.

The path to the meadow.

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When Sunday arrived and the place filled with over 300 more people, the teachers and schedules came out, allowing me to ponder over and sign up for classes.  Knowing that I didn’t want to spend my whole time on one thing, like 3+ days of braintanning, I signed up for smaller time contraining classes, like knife making, duck processing, duck scalping, and fire making.

I spend the next week being immersed in a very kind open community, much like the cycling one I am lucky enough to have in the Bay Area.  For these people at Rabbitstick, THIS was their community. And I was happy to see that it did exist outside of the one I know and love at home.

My favorite part aside from meeting such wonderful people all of which are so eager to share their knowledge was duck processing.  Taught by Tom, who every year holds a huge lunch feast for all of camp, I learned how to take a duck (already dead this time), and make it into a meal.

In process while plucking feathers.

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The finished meal, alongside the damascus steel and horn knife I assembled.

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Another class Tom taught was scalping the duck, which enabled you to use the feathery scalp of the duck to decorate- I chose my knife sheath.

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Rabbitstick is an event that taught me a lot, opened up new ideas for me to pursue (hunting, fishing), gave me a chance to camp for days on end, meet incredibly kind people doing cool things with their lives, and will be a yearly opportunity that I take advantage of to reconnect with myself and others.

Oregon Roadtrip Part 2

September 2, 2013

WWOOFing has led to incredible experiences for me.  In my two experiences I have met incredible hosts who have become friends, learned about running farms for profit, and for sustainability and to be less reliant on the food culture in the US, and have challenged myself by leaving everything I know daily behind for a new way of living.

Nagdeo Farm in Gresham Oregon felt like a totally different world even though it is just a bike ride to the town of Gresham and a 30 minute car ride to Portland.

If you know me you know how much my life is focused around planning, schedules, and the need to know.  When I go into a unique experience I am calmed by understanding what is expected of me, and how that relates to the bigger picture.  This is not how Nadgeo Farm is.  In contrast I had a few tasks to do during the day, but what I put in and got out of the experience was up to me (and the schedule of those around me).  The need to take care of oneself after a bad night sleep for example would take precedence over putting in physical work the next day.  Simply put, taking care of yourself takes precedence over everything else.

It took me a week to understand that, and to start to do the same.  I was concerned at first that I wouldn’t learn what I wanted to learn- farming.  But thankfully I did, alongside another way of living.

This is of of my hosts Tracy watering the garden area of the farm.

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While at Nagdeo I learned how to make planting beds and plant seeds and seedlings.  This is some of the completed beds, and some sweet pigs I was in change of bringing water too.

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One of the draws of Nagdeo Farm was all their animals- horses, goats, pigs, alpacas, a sheep, ducks, and a chicken.  My favorite was the super friendly goats.  Now I know I want chickens and goats when I have property.

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I plan to return to the farm and hopefully spend some more significant time there.  Hopefully with my move to Oregon in 2014 I will be able to visit often and get a better understanding of how to live a lifestyle that could be really beneficial to me physically and mentally.

Then and now

July 26, 2013

I have been spending the month of July in the Bay Area enjoying the warm weather, bike rides and bike events, friends, and re-visiting One Acre Farm.

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I revisiting One Acre Farm to thresh the wheat I helped harvest and enjoy a potluck.  I was amazed with how much everything has grown- especially the sunflowers which were small stalks when I left.  There were two other WWOOFers there, including one who was visiting specifically for the threshing.

To make a yummy meal boil the wheat berries, 3:1 ratio of waters to berries; add honey and banana.  Oh my!! Cereals have nothing on this breakfast treat.

This month also meant bikey event, including the 3rd year for Pedalfest at Jack London Square.  It was great to have a chance to hang with dozens in my bike community, and pose for ridiculous photos.

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Next month I will venture into Oregon.  I will be camping at Crater Lake with a visit to Wizard Island, visiting friends in Eugene, and then making my way to a farm just outside of Portland to learn about sustainable agriculture, and ancestral and homestead skills.

Crater Lake

June 27, 2013

When I went cross country in 2007, my travel companion and I sort of stumbled upon Crater Lake.  Having come from California and with no knowledge of what Crater Lake was (regardless of the obvious name), we pictures something closer to Lake Tahoe.  You can imagine our surprise when we came across the snow capped peaks and bright reflective blue water set below us.  It quickly became my favorite spot of the entire trip.

Now that I have family in Oregon, I find myself driving pass signs beckoning my return.  Thankfully I have very adventurous friends who quickly jump at the option of visiting, taking a boat tour to Wizard Island to hike around, and camp at the park.  

The plan so far-  WWOOFing in northern Oregon with a few day trip to Crater Lake on the way.  Can’t stop smiling….

Farm re-wind

June 5, 2013

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I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with One Acre Farm in Morgan Hill.  Above are my hosts, Michelle (left) and Gal (right).

Now that I am back home, I am eager to find more opportunities to visit and work on farms, and eventually find its place within my own home.  I am looking into internship opportunities to help build on the skills I have learned so far.

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(F)unemployment

April 27, 2013

I have only been unemployed now for a week now.

So far I have learned how to play croquet surrounded by a bunch of dapper dressed individuals; gave my kitty Quin a new home that I am confident will end up being the best place for him of all the homes he has had in his four years; ate abalone my friend dived for himself; contacted a farm in Oregon for August that is a self described homestead community that has a shared interest wood survival, and a farm in Hawaii for a season next year; and went to the coast to play at the beach while my friend ab dived.

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The journey begins

April 19, 2013

Had my last day at work today.  Didn’t feel like my last day as we were super busy and short a staff member.

Had a very nice time catching up and getting drinks after work with my coworkers, before coming home and permanently turning off my alarm for 6am.  No more!

I should have everything in storage by mid next week, and a garage sale by the end of the week.  Looking forward to a more minimalistic, but still more rewarding existence.

Outline of a year

April 2, 2013

It is wonderful how a path of uncertainty can become so clear.

The more I plan for my upcoming year the more things fall into place.

My number one concern was my cats, and thanks to amazing organizations and incredible friends I know my cats will be taken care of.  This is allowing me to further focus on my year plans and take steps for everything to come together smoothly in the way I need.

The following is a loose outline for my year…

May- After attending some amazing bike events in the bay, I will travel to Morgan Hill to work at a small farm learning new skills.

June- After leaving the farm, I will embark on a 3 day backpacking trip in Santa Cruz county.  The mid to end of the month I will be going to Portland for their yearly Pedalpalooza event.

July- I will be volunteering in the bay area including trail maintenance and Habitat for Humanity. 30th Birthday celebrations  will include mead, sushi, and Angel Island camping.

August- I am still looking for a farm to spend the month at. Hoping for one with animal husbandry preferred.

September- Attending the wedding of close friend in the Bay.  Mid month I will be traveling to Idaho for Rabbitstick (primitive learning), and possibly a trip to Boulder at the end of the month.

October- Attending the wedding of a close friend in Sonoma.  Then the much awaiting vacation time in Okinawa to visit a friend!!!

November- return from Okinawa.  Then….?

November and December are up the air.  Possibly go to Bend, Oregon…

My year in a nutshell

March 6, 2013

I have trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life.  A task that always seemed easy as a child, but as you grow and realize the vastness of choices becomes a nearly impossible thing to decide.  Or at least that is how it has been for me.

I have worked for the same company since I graduated college in 2005, aside from a few short detours. In 2007 I ventured across the country in order to explore and help clarify things. It left me with a love for traveling, a hatred for cars, and the same uncertainty with what to do next that I had before the trip.  In 2009 I had a short stint in Southern California working random jobs (at a Charter School, at the Academy Awards, and at a delicious pizza place) which furthermore didn’t clarify what was next.

After returning to the bay in 2010, and working an additional three years at my current job, I thought I would gain me some clarity, but I am left in the same place I started- confused and unsure.  I suppose I should have referred to the saying: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  I have been slightly insane.

This is not to say my time has been a waste.  I have helped spark a group of close-knit cycling friends who my life wouldn’t be the same without.  I was a part of creating a super supportive community of friends who will ride with you any time of day, and bring you soup and medicine when you are sick.

But, it has been clear for a while that I needed a change.  To uproot myself.  To challenge myself.  To take myself out of my comfort zone and figure things out.

So, I am doing “it”.  All my belonging are going in storage. I am going to be putting myself in various situations to gain new skills, try new things, and challenge myself.  This includes WWOOFing at farms in U.S., bike camping throughout California, going on backpacking trips, volunteering, going abroad, and keeping my schedule free during certain months to be open to what comes my way.

For the first time in a long time I have no idea what this year will bring, aside from new adventures.  I have a basic outline, but no clue of what my life will be like day to day.  And honestly, the not knowing feels so freeing that I am counting down the weeks till this begins.

I will use this page to update my adventures.  So tune in for what comes next.