Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sweet Home West Virginia?

The "For Rent" sign went up yesterday! Here is a picture of where we're moving (far left - yes, trees soon to be completed with a tarp, some selected strawbales and a tent)! I'm not certain when this image was taken but since, it's been cultivated and is primarily an organic vegetable garden. Not only organic - "veganic". I'd already heard that many organic fertilizers contain animal blood and bone but decided to really look for myself a couple of weeks ago when wandering around the Home Depot. Wow. It's so insanely difficult to be ethical! I imagine we'll still be relying on others for awhile but do get excited about the prospect of being more self-suffient and self-reliant. I'm looking forward to growing some organic herbs and veggies of our own, as well! Seeds of Change is great and just so happens to be the place were the bulk of the seeds for this garden are purchased! Southern Exposure Seed Exchange interests me, too, but simply because it is an outreach/business of ACORN Intentional Community!

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Marriage, New Shoes and A Cupcake Order!

No, not me. I'm not the marrying type. Heck, I'm the kind you don't take home to mother...I will never let your spirits down..I'm a superfreak(which reminds me of "Little Miss Sunshine" - anyone see that movie? Satirical and rather funny)...anyway, I guess I'm "the new generation". The ones that say, hey, I have no moral issue with living with the person I love and feel no obligation to have the state/government/church recognize my companionship. I find weddings to be a waste of money and seriously rooted in tradition. I'm all for dispelling tradition and following what is logical. The marriage, I should add before I get too sidetracked, is that of my ex. This should help him obtain the Canadian citizenship he desires. He was quite stressful to live with - I'm hoping things have changed and that they are a better match than we were. I have, afterall, won the lottery in the compatibility department. Unfortunately, I did NOT win the PA lottery this weekend.

Look at these beautiful, all-purpose, all-terrain, summer, hippie shoes! I don't own them yet but I will in two weeks! Does that make you as happy as it makes me?? $85 is a big OUCH. But, look at the description - it's a hiking/water shoe! How appropriate for our summer. Really, I can't imagine needing much more. (The justification is in full-swing!)

And, guess what?! A lady from my work ordered a dozen Tiramisu cupcakes from me! I'm bringing them to her on Wednesday! I wasn't sure about what to charge her so I ended up saying $12/dozen. Is that high? low? Michael had suggested $15 but I wimped out. They are probably worth that - especially given the market rate but I'm not business saavy. I just like to make pretty things. I also have another cupcake venture approaching soon!

We'll be tabling at an "activist" trade fair. We have loads of vegan literature (including hundreds of "Why Vegan") and I'll be selling vegan cupcakes! Plus, the venue is about 3 miles from my house! Given that I'm actually quite shy and socially akward, I'm slightly nervous, but, given that I'm creative and love food activism, I'm excited, too! :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

First Stop - Hell!

That's right folks, I visited Hell today and I can't even say "and all I got is this lousy t-shirt" because there is no flipping way I'd ever buy a t-shirt at that place. I literally wanted to scream at everyone in the store "DON'T LOOK AT ME! REALLY, DON'T LOOK AT ME. WE CAN NEVER EVEN NONVERBALLY COMMUNICATE BECAUSE I HATE YOU!" Hmmm. When did I become so hostile, I wonder? I was in tears at this store. Physically shaken. I should have had at least SOME idea of what I was going to see but, nothing can prepare you for reality like...well, like reality. To clarify more - the store is a "hunting, fishing, outdoors, camping" store. It's right off of the highway on the way to Wheeling, WV and we saw some impressive camping supplies online that we wanted to at least see. Ultimately, though, we both want to make most of our supplies - instead of erecting plastic and nylon in a natural and beautiful woodsy setting. Inside of the Cabela's, you will find a hundred dead and stuffed animals - set up almost like a museum exhibit and thoroughly disgusting. We walked out the door, looked at each other and exclaimed that we couldn't every buy anything from that store. Never. bleck. Horrible.

Fortunately, our next stop of the day was extremely pleasant - we drove into Wheeling to stop at Jebbia's Market - a wholesale produce market with incredible prices. We left with a box full of produce for $20. We'll be able to live as royalty this summer! That may be a stretch according to society's standards but not for us! We took a short stroll around New Vrindaban today - the rain eventually stopped us. I love Michael! Love him and I love our night hikes, and snow hikes and rain hikes and...

Friday, March 9, 2007

Dead Batteries, Whirlwind Life, Complete Happiness

Who would have thought that I get paid to actually work?! I was beginning to assume that work was just an acronym for "internet play time". I was wrong! That 40 cent raise I got came with some extra work and LOTS of drama. Drama at work never ceases to amaze me! Our office "thief/snitch/liar" makes life stressful on a daily basis. Her most recent antics (in a effort to avoid personal responsibility) left me swearing up and down and proclaiming my innocence! Fortunately, I wasn't the only party involved and my story was ultimately validated. This is the same girl that STOLE MY IPOD! I couldn't officially PROVE it but, I know. Last Friday I was so upset, I could see myself doing this to her head.

Alright, alright, so maybe not "literally" but bring on the figurative speech cause I for surely wanted to figuratively do this to her! Grr. Mean me. (and yes, that turtle is vegan - and see, he's smiling - he doesn't mind having his head eaten - cruelty-free indulgence!)

As for food, I still cook and eat it everyday. I keep forgetting to buy new batteries for my camera - hence, no pictures. I made some fantastic "tempeh italian soysage" on Wednesday! Oooh. Eye popping. I also made some chocolate chip scones from VwaV, black bean burgers, and spicy fries (sweet potato and potato mix). I made "my" spicy black beans with spinach, tomato and zucchini on Monday and on Tuesday, we focused on more simplistic eating - pressure cooked navy beans, brown rice and steamed carrots. Soon, our meals will all be "one pot"

It's an ackward transition for me right now. I'm well aware of leaving and it's consuming my thoughts and actions. It's near impossible (other than food) for me to purchase anything that isn't "simplistic living" friendly. Still, we'll have things ready VERY soon! We traveled to New Vrindaban just last weekend for a festival. I'm not particularly keen on religion in any form but it's still nice to be surrounded by hundreds of vegetarians and kicking drum beats. The most exciting part of the visit, however, was seeing "potential homesteads". We'll likely be back this weekend to hike around some more (sans little munchkins). Here are pictures of New Vrindaban (just outside of Moundsville, WV) from their website and also a few that I took over the summer.

The picture on the right of Eva and a cow is also from NV. Wow. These images are stunning to me now. They feel completely right. I get anxious at times about living within a religous community - even if not required to participate in religious practices. This reminds me, however, that what I really want is to submerse myself in the aspects of the community that these pictures display!