03 December, 2008
16 November, 2008
But now here I am sitting on my rug in my room trying to imagine a life where things didn’t fall into place; an existence where pain is a daily occurrence. I fall back into the old thinking of “why me”. Why the privilege, why do things fall into place when they need to; but when I least expect it. Love, Pain, Forgiveness, Joy, Surprise. I think above all, I crave surprise. I love change, I fear monotony. The unknown is what I crave, not the routine of one day after another going by in a blur as life is considered no more than a zombiatic refuge.
Now there is my new friend. Now there is my new friend. Someone who pushes me to work to my full potential. Someone who respects who I am; WHO I AM, the quirky bursting with life humanitarian. That same me who cries at the thought of a starving child, the me who battles insecurities, the me who things she has it all figured out at times and then turns a corner and realizes she’s internally lost. The me who can get completely caught off guard at a simple yellow handwritten note which he hid in my glove. To me it was much more than the quickly written “Hope you’re having a good day!” note. It represented the unexpected; the unexpected to me is like a drunk finding a swallow left in a discarded bottle.
I yearn for the unknown with all of my existence...
27 August, 2008
26 August, 2008
We landed and like robots kept our seat belts on until the plane was secure at the gate. Then there was a surprise in store for the paying patrons sitting so anxiously and obediently. The sickly sweet voice of the flight attendant came over the intercom asking “us”, the people who paid to be on this flight if we would do “them”, the paid employees, a favor and close the shades and open the air vents around your seating area.
As my mouth dropped open, I thought…would an expensive restaurant ask you to please bring your dishes to the kitchen as a “favor to their waitstaff?" Would a pet boarding facility ask you to remove your dog’s poo from her kennel as a “favor to their paid workers?" Why is it okay to ask paying patrons to give when the airlines continue to cut back. Give me 20 bucks off my next ticket and I’ll be more than happy to make sure my shades are drawn and my vents are open as I gather my things to depart. I’ll even make sure I wipe the sink basin as a courtesy to the other passengers. I will gladly help, but please in return, may I ask a few things in return…Just a few things from one paying customer to a paid employee.
1. Don’t come to work wearing the smoke smelling uniform you partied in last night after your last flight.
2. Use 20 oz. less perfume…or better yet NONE! before you get on the plane.
3. If I have my travel coffee cup in front of me, ear phones in and my book covering my tray table – DO NOT nudge me and ask if I would like anything to drink or a bag containing a maximum of 6 peanuts. I saw you! We made eye contact…if I wanted something I would have smiled sweetly and asked you!
4. and do not under any circumstances ask me if I would like to purchase a duty free item or remind me that the in-flight-catalog can be found in the seat pocket in front of me.
I think that’s all for now…until my next flight…
I came across some words that I had scribbled down in my notebook while on my recent flight to DC. Basically it went something like this:
I hate the aspect of getting from one place to another via an aircraft. As I took my aisle seat I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was able to sit one empty seat away of a studious young man well engrossed in his medical book. I awaited the string of others who would go by...the stale smoke smelling chain smoker, the pocked face 20 something who smelled of fast food, the oxymoron peasant dress/oversized Gucci bag wearing lady. I glanced at the empty seat next to me and silently willed it to stay that way.
Earphones in place, book in lap, eyes closed I head my breath.
“Oh please please no one come to me.”
“Why can’t I ignore the mixture of greasy food combined with day old smoke and who knows what else which is whaffing around me.”
“Dear God, why was I born with an overly acute sense of smell?”
As I lift my sweatshirt over my nose, I pretend that I am somewhere else…that I am already there. I’m a different person – can I adjust…but, do I even want to…Like a convict, I will do my time until I can once again be let free…..
I open my eyes, we are moving down the run way….my space is secure.
17 August, 2008
Well technically that isn't exactly true. I am WORKING here, but at the moment living in GlenDale or silver glen, or springing glenities or maybe it's even Glen and Silvia's town. I could actually be WAY off on the name, but traveling into DC on the train everyday plus taking every line (green, red, yellow, blue, orange...) to see potential permanent places to live has gotten me really mixed up. Basically, I jump on a train and if I figure out that I am going the wrong direction, I just jump off and back on another.
Wherever I am living now, it's great, but just a little far. Kudos goes to Toni who graciously contacted her brother and asked him if her "poor" friend could crash there for awhile (there may have been money involved as Toni knows how to take care of a friend, even if it calls for putting down a down payment! ha ha). My 2-legged housemates, Frank and Tina, have been great, and so have the 4-legged ones, Faith and Molly. They are finally getting used to me and I'm becoming just another person instead of "the NEW visitor that must be assaulted at all times" (by "They" I am referring to Faith and Molly, not Frank and Tina!)
I love my new job even though I have been putting in long days. It's just part of the job for now. I have to get totally comfortable with the processes as well as figure who/what/where and why of everything. Job wise, it's basically same, same...but different. They do have great coffee, though and a Vegan Cafe right around the corner!
The house hunt goes on...The actual move into another place will be no problem as I only have a large suitcase, but finding the right place to move to is proving harder than I thought. It's not a lack of cool places, it is an abundance of people trying to snag them. I went to a "showing" the other day and I showed up 5 minutes early only to find 3 people already there and another one right on my heels. During the course of the 10 minutes I was there, 5 more showed up. As the 2 current roommates "grilled" everyone, I felt like I was in some kind of a weird off-line dating ritual "name, stats, reason for being in DC, previous experiences, etc...
The whole bio thing is getting old. I don't want to say too much or too little...do I tell them I:
am 40? - TOO OLD!....
am vegetarian? - FREAKY ANIMAL LOVER...
don't want to sign a yr. lease - COMMITMENT PROBLEMS...
don't have a lot of stuff - WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU...
from KS - DOROTHY GO HOME!
I did talk to a guy today who has a place to rent in an area called Takoma, which I was told would be a great place for "people like me"...which I can equate to meaning that the people in Takoma care about the planet and animals,other people, artsy stuff, used clothing and vegetables. I will look at the house on Monday and it's definitely in my price range and area and he did say that "it's weird, I feel you would be right for the room, you are really easy to talk to and I feel you would fit in with the other roommates (5 of them)".
I thought to myself "no, Mr. potential landlord, it's not weird...I have used my positive mind power to entrance you through my words and am willing you to pick me as 'THE ONE'. 'THE ONE' who will earn the right to live in your Takoma 'people like me' neighborhood. 'THE ONE' who on this phone call will tell you everything you want to hear, because 'people like me' can control 'people like you' with our peaceful ways and our talk of healthy living, recycling and vegetables; our commitment to pitching in to clean, dividing electric bills, bathroom rotation and the ability to respect other's spaces".
Mr. potential landlord it is not weird, it is fate. I am the chosen one and little did you know that when you picked up the phone, I would have you at Hello.
08 July, 2008
01 July, 2008
Swinging from a vine!
24 June, 2008
This is a "coconut animal" as the local's call it. It causes a lot of damage to the trees so it doesn't have such a good rep.
Of course, I about freaked when I saw it calmly walking across the patio as if it was movin' in...I yelled to Guadalupe, who was cooking in the kitchen. (She and the other local women always get a good laugh over my 'freak-outs') so she calmly said "That coconut animal is bad, it should be killed". I looked at the small statured woman and said "You can't step on it; it's as big as your foot!"
G took a kitchen knife and tried to cut it in half and it FLEW into the brush. She then managed to cut its head off...GROSS! Esperanza was looking at it the whole time and said, "gross, there is stuff bubbling out of the spot where it's head was". And then the damn thing started walking or at least trying to...minus a large leg and a head. E then grabbed it and was really inspecting it as I snapped a couple photos and then retreated to another area.
She came over to me to show another horrid fact about the creature and I screamed (yes, like a little girl!) as I spotted it out of the corner of my eye moving towards my face. E apologized and said she wasn't trying to scare me but just wanted to show me something. Unfortunately “If you become a teacher, by your pupils you’ll be taught”, so I let her show me the uh…interesting?...markings and details of it. She finally retreated to go find the interns and show them, with my strict rules to “TELL THEM WHAT YOU HAVE before you shove the huge bug in their face!
18 June, 2008
I nannied for Mike and Allison's daughter in Hawaii, when she was an infant. I don't even want to think about how old she is now!
A little bit of information from the Friars Club website:
The team of eight riders and crew of 10 will be pedaling over 3,013 miles in elevations ranging from 179 feet below sea level (Salton Sea, CA) to 10,275 feet above sea level (La Manga Pass, CO), climb over 100,000 feet, pass through 14 states, cross the 5 longest rivers that are entirely in the U.S….and hope to do all this in 7 days.
Their goal (in addition to finishing) is to:
• Completely fund the building of an approximately 2,000 square foot orphanage in Haiti (100% of gifts go directly to the construction of the facility).
• Provide housing for 50 orphans.
The cost to completely build an orphanage is only $25,000 (or $500 per child). Our team is partnering with C3 Missions International, a Kansas City based 501c3 organization devoted to serving orphaned children in regions such as Thailand, South Africa, Cambodia and Haiti. Not one penny contributed will be used for admin or race costs – 100% goes to work in constructing the facility and providing a home, food and shelter for 50 orphaned children.
GO MIKE, GO FRIARS!!!!!
16 June, 2008
There are 5 interns here on the farm and we decided on this sunny peaceful Sunday to hike to the source of the river which is only about 30 minutes and then slowly float downstream back to the farm.
We started hiking and then I (the leader) admitted that I really wasn’t sure where to turn off the trail. I knew that at some point we would need to veer right on the trail. It had been a couple months since I went to the source and it was dry season, hence things looked very different then…
Four of the others had been to the source just last week, so they were confident that they would know where it was…something about we needed to pass a house with a nice yard?? as we hiked, the trail took a sharp turn upward, which definitely was not the direction we needed to go. We turned and headed back and then passed over a dry creek bed and after a democratic decision (that the creek bed must flow into the river) we started to hike along it.
After about 10 minutes of crawling and falling on the rocky surface, carrying our tubes, the creek bed took a turn to the left. K went on up ahead and shouted that it turns again…another decision was made by all to head back the way we came and go back down the trail. It was actually a beautiful place we were in so there weren’t any negative thoughts. We were all just hot and ready to find water!
Miraculously after getting back to the trail and walking for about 5 minutes, like the witches house in Hansel and Gretel the strange thatch house with the nice grassy yard suddenly appeared. Now we did not pass it on the way in because one of us would have noticed it! We must have previously been on some twilight zone parallel trail?? We passed through the yard and onto the trial in front of the house and immediately heard and then saw the river. It was a very strange experience…as if we passed through some time warp or something.
We arrived at the source and sat by the water for a while relishing in the cool water and then headed down stream. There was a rather scary drop off in the river which was pretty rocky. I took the initiative and went first. It was really fun and not that dangerous provided you stayed on your tube. The interns went one by one as I snapped the photo’s and cracked up! M1 fell off hers and was fine, M2 fell off hers and was not. M2 had slammed her foot into some sharp rocks. She was in a daze and we got her back on her tube and said we would head back quickly. She stuck her butt in the tube and stuck her foot out. I got a good look at it as it didn’t look that bad, but then I took another look. It had a large gash in it, but with the cold water and her foot in the air, it wasn’t even bleeding.
We got back to the farm and after 2 steps on dry land, it swelled up and looked as bad as Nancy the dog’s neck after Melon attacked her! J and I got on either side of her and helped her hobble along the trail which of course went up and up. At the top, we adjusted and M2 was able to put all her weight on us and hop a little. J finally told the 5 foot 10 M2 to get on her back and she would piggy-back her to the nearest rooms. J is strong and carried her steadily to a hammock. I told K to go get Dawn and come quickly (without the girls!) I rinsed the wound and picked out little stones which had made her foot looked like a butchered chicken with dead skin hanging and bright red meat gooping out, eughwwwwwwwww.
Christopher and K took her to PG (to the river on J’s back, canoe down to the village, hike to the truck, drive to the town – reverse on the way back) to the local clinic to get her stitched up. They got back late that night and she received tons of stitches...inside and out! Dawn and I took turns piggy-backing her to her room.
Now M2's out for the count for a week until the stitches come out. We got her all set up this morning in a hammock in the main common area so she can be a part of the camaraderie.
11 June, 2008
09 June, 2008
08 June, 2008
Melon was at that time out of the water and Nancy was standing chest deep on a log in the water. Melon lunged back into the water and I creamed at her "OUTSIDE MELON" (their word for "go away") and she ran back out as I was running in. The area where I was is full of logs, sticks and other stuff that has washed into the area, but is now flooded so I was falling all over the place stepping on unseen logs and shit. The girls and the intern dragged Melon up to the house and I finally got to Nancy and after realizing that she would not move, I proceeded to carry her out of the water, sometimes using their huge dog Belaya as support. I got her to the land and she couldn't walk. I was in rescue mode, or else I would have broken down crying. I sat there with her and she finally tried to take a step and fell. She had lacerations all over her neck and 2 teeth punctures on her head and one on that soft place under her chin near her throat.
I carried her up to the house and laid her down on the bench. She could not lay down for awhile (I think she was still in shock) but finally did so and an hour or so later she fell asleep. Today, she is up and walking around (slowly) and the intern said he cannot believe that she is alive. He thought for sure no dog could withstand that punishment and live to see another day.
05 June, 2008
C&D are not surprised to hear that I am leaving the farm. They have known that the salary was not sustainable long term, but instead of waving goodbye (at the end of June) D decides to mention to a friend that her teacher is leaving. She mentions this to not just a friend, but a wealthy one; a wealthy friend who could pay me more money a month; one with a small child in need of a teacher…what an utterly convenient plan wrecker. A cross-road on an otherwise one way path. A fork in the road. A downpour when a list mist was predicted. Now what? I wait to hear from both positions…wait to see which one pans out. And if they both do? Well, I don’t have a meditation Tipi to go into, but I do have my incense, a peaceful environment, teachings from a Shaman and that wonderful intuition.
Bring it on!
17 May, 2008
Unfortunately, Brad found a way to utilize the Stinky Toe in a different way. One evening he was bored and since I was just on my porch laying in my hammock making a basket, he decided to make the TV (me) he was watching, interactive. He began by tossing little pieces at me. I ignored it for a bit, but then decided upon a counter-attack. I quietly gathered the pieces he threw and then bombarded him with my stash. I had to be careful not to hit Amy who was innocently working on her computer. The pieces started getting bigger until he threw a huge chunk which exploded upon contact with my wooden porch. I surrendered and threw the pieces I could find, far off my porch and commenced to my basket making. It wasn’t long before I kept smelling the stench! I realized that there was a big piece under my hammock and an even bigger one that had landed under the porch. I started making gagging noises while waiting for the smell to finally disperse while trying to ignore the snickering from my neighbors.
13 May, 2008
10 May, 2008
This is a photo of Cuddles and Cockaoodles (mother and daughter). They usually sit in the kitchen all day long hoping to snatch a fallen piece of food before the dogs can get it. It’s quite funny to watch one of the small cats holding off 4 dogs (one of which is the size of a small horse).
While walking back to the farm from Dump (not “the” dump, but Dump, a town between Columbia and PG) we came upon this poor creature. Who knows how he died, but was kind of interesting the way the animal’s form is still evident although it’s insides are all eaten out.
28 April, 2008
27 April, 2008
08 April, 2008
Close up of my house and porch.
Peeking in my front door.
Home sweet home!Nancy - My great guard dog! She's the best!
The Columbia branch of the Rio Grande River...which is our "highway" when you don't want to take the trail to the house.