5.27.2011

The house is really coming along these days... The garden is full of big beautiful plants, We're getting a new roommate soon, her name is Brit. Ryan put his AC in his room yesterday, it was 96 degrees! In fact yesterday and the day before were both really productive.

So with the whole new roommate thing. Currently our house is Vanessa, Ryan, and myself. And between the 3 of us we have an overwhelming 10 bicycles. These are all kept inside, In our tiny walk way next to the stairwell. They often overflow into the other two rooms this hallway is attached to. Many times you'll open our front door to bring a bike in and find there is hardly enough room to get in the house, this happens if a few friends come by. Anyway, with a new roommate comes a new bicycle. So we decided it was time to get some of them up and off the floor and out of the way.
We Built this beauty on wednesday afternoon.
We decided to only hang the lightest bicycles on this rack since we are hanging so many on it. Vanessa went for a ride out to a farm with two friends to help work for a few hours this morning, thats why there is an open spot.
It's Transformed the entire room. We have bigger visions of hanging a few more bicycles and getting some chairs for that table so we can have real family dinners and such.

Also on that same day, we rebuilt the Teepee structure. We had taken it down a week or so after putting it up the first time because our landlord needed to do some work to a tree in our backyard and it was in the way. But now its back up and much bigger and better.


The plan is to leave it as is for the summer months. Far to hot to think we could possibly hang out in a wrapped up teepee anytime between now and september. But over the summer months we hope to work on the tarp we have to wrap it with and have it ready to be put up by fall. Giving us an outdoor/indoor fire pit hang out area for the entire fall and winter.

You can see it in the back there. The tallest bamboo poles are the height of our house. Before we get it wrapped up we want to make a flag or two to hang up there.
In other off time we've been gardening as usual and finally getting to eat some of the fruit/veggies of our labor. We have been filling our salad bowls regularly with fresh lettuce, spinach, Radishes and most recently swiss chard. The tomato plants are starting to bloom and we've got a plant full of jalapenos waiting to be picked. Other things were growing include potatoes, red onions, Serrano hot peppers, Sunflowers, carrots, butternut squash, a bunch of different herbs (basil,mint,oregano,summer savory, cilantro) and lots of other flowers to attrack all the good bugs to get rid of the bad ones.


You can do a lot with a little bit of space. I've had a good time trying to figure out the best ways to utilize what we have.
But like I last wrote, as much as we love everything that we are doing right now, we also really want to do something new that we have wanted to do for a long time. So after searching for the right opportunity we have found a place in need of our help and it sounds perfect. From mid June till the beginning of August we will spend our time on the Calliope Farm in the eastern part of maryland. Its a small family farm just 6 miles outside of salisbury maryland, about 40 minutes to ocean city. They farm about 3 of their 50 acres for a variety of vegetables and berries. They run a small scale CSA and sell at two farmers markets each week. Our jobs will include harvesting, weeding, farmers markets, csa pickups, building projects, canning/preserving, transplanting and anything else we can learn about. They also have a flock of laying hens and two nubian dairy goats but thats just for their personal needs not for market. We'll essentially just be volunteering in exchange for room/board. and the experience and knowledge of the owners of this land. Its a newer farm, Owned by a couple who have a 2.5 year old son. They bought this land just 4 years ago. They sounds really nice, vanessa and I are really excited to go spend our summer with them. The internet has only provided me with these two pictures of where we'll be.

Hopefully in about a month or so I'll have pictures of my own.


So we will leave Richmond behind for a short while. We'll be passing off watering responsibilities to Ryan and Britt if they wish to take care of our garden. We will harvest the late season stuff upon returning.
The next 5 months are going to be good. really really good. We'll go spend some time working in the sun of maryland, Come back to Richmond just in time for best friends day activities and August HEAT, start working, then fly to San Diego at the end of september for a week, and we have a weekend trip to NY planned for october for my cousins wedding.

Im glad I over worked myself at a job I didn't love for a few months. For if I didn't, none of this would be happening.

5.19.2011

Another date to remember.

We have a flyer hanging in our kitchen for a show that we went to while we visited Richmond on our bicycle trip last year. There are lots of flyers and posters in our kitchen, mostly of things ryans been to, or just cool posters we have found that we like, and this one particular show flyer because it was a really great time, it was a show at the house a bunch of our friends live at, and our friends played as well. ANDDD it was the 2 day of our 4 day stay in richmond, VA.
Anyway, what im getting at is this. Vanessa and I went over to our friends mark and Courtneys house two nights ago for dinner and hanging. We met some of their friends who live own and work on a farm west of here call " Root Force". Our bicycle journey of a year ago came up in conversation. I then thought out loud about how it was probably almost exactly a year ago that we rolled into Richmond for the first time ever and it was the very next day that we met both Mark and Courtney at that house show because mark was in one of the bands that played. And in that moment I looked above mark and saw the flyer for that show, the same one we have on our wall, posted on the wall behind him. Which reads the date " May 18th". It was an "ahha" moment. Because it wasn't almost exactly a year prior. It was exactly to the date, one year ago that day that we first came to richmond Va. And there we were, having dinner with two people we met who were open and friendly and inviting since the day we met.
I remember courtney telling us to come over for apple dumplings the morning after the show, she lived in a house directly behind ryan at that time. We got there to late, for it was the first time since we left san diego that we had partied to that extent, we slept in later then usual.
But here we are, one year later. Sharing a home with an old friend of vanessas but surrounded by new friends we had not yet knew we would have one year ago.
We are of course, once again getting the itch to do something new and exciting and productive and fun. A lot of ideas are being tossed around. We aren't looking to run away from richmond, but we are looking to take advantage of our super cheap rent and try and go do something for a month or so this summer. Ideally we want to work on a farm or stay at a homestead. Get some real experience in the areas we have been pushing our lifestyle towards. We just want to see some new places, do some new things, and learn as much as possible about the life we aretrying to work towards. AND then hopefully come back here for the fall and winter or the remainder of the summer as well and work and save money and plan for next years plans. Oo and fly out to San Diego for a week at the end of september! bought our tickets a month ago!
While im not at work this is what my time has been put towards, our front stoop!

Another date to remember.

4.04.2011

goodmorning

I do not want to go to work in an hour, but I sure did have a great morning.

Bike ride with vanessa to Elwood Thompsons for juice and breakfast burrito. Stoped by J Sargent Reynolds to see If they received my suffolk transcripts. Saw Courtney and spoke to her while she walked to her friends house, stoped at Captain buzzys for an ice coffee, came home. went to the store with tim and bought a plunger for our clogged toilet and then planted potatoes! O and it's 78 degrees outside.

A truly great morning.

3.26.2011

summer.

In addition to what I wrote below I would like to include two videos that I found today on this computer. video video

One year ago today.

It was March 26th of 2010, exactly one year ago. This is the day that Vanessa and I started our long journey by bicycle that took us from San Diego, Through the southern states of our country and up the east coast all the way to new york. I think about this trip daily, In weird ways. The other day while working I had a strange flashback to a day we were in Mississippi. There was one campground in the area, and they were way over priced. We decided we were perfectly safe setting up camp behind this dentists office, And we were. And It was beautiful. The sunset was perfect. We cooked up a bunch of macaroni and cheese. I'm not sure what else we ate, but probably a bread of some sort and a can of veggies. Those were two things we ate a lot of.
Or I'll say to myself, "I wonder how Tony is doing" our friend we made in Louisiana. An Ex truck driver who injured himself and befriended us inside his cousins restaurant because we were clearly not from around the area and we had some tattoos. Tony drove trucks because he loved traveling and seeing new places, he also Loved tattoos. So we hit it off pretty well. What he did for us, cooking dinner, putting us up in his place for the night. That goes beyond southern hospitality.
Sometimes I'll think back to the worst hardest days of the trip and laugh about it. Im not sure how we made it through some of the things we had to, but it all worked out every time.
I could go on forever, I could talk about each and every one of those 72 days and tell you how amazing it all was. How unexpectedly wonderful the southwest was, How hot and tiring it was to get through the deep south, How Incredible to felt to go to Richmond and DC and be surrounded by friends under the roofs of their houses where we could really relax and be 100 percent carefree for the first time since leaving Richard and Bridgett's apartment That Friday morning on the 26th of march 2010.
Then I think about our return to New York, and how I felt there was no place id rather be in that moment. We had our friends and family there to welcome us and It made for the perfect ending to an incredible 72 days.

But I suppose that's it. It was the end of that trip but the beginning of so much more. Those days of traveling allowed vanessa and I to meditate and think beyond anything we had thought before. For At least 5 hours a day were were sitting on our bicycles pedaling, This gave us more time to ourselves then we had ever experienced in our adult lives.
I believe I will be forever changed as a person due to our travels last year. I also believe that in my dying days I'll look back at that journey as one of the greatest things I had done. I hope to continue to do great things but I have at this point now set the standard high and it will be hard to compare anything to what we have done.
The road, the ever changing landscapes, eating and sleeping outdoors, Being in the best physical shape of my lifetime. These are also things I miss.
It really is hard to look back on it all because It feels bitter sweet. To have done it and for it to be over. But I love where I am today and I wouldn't be here if we hadn't taken that trip. I'm sure I'll be able to say that more and more about things in my life as I grow older. And Really I suppose that trip was just a part of the big picture which I started a long time ago and will continue to work on for years to come.

Thank you everyone. Who supported us, Before during or after. For non of what happened could have if it wasn't for you.

3.24.2011

spring is springing.

I'm excited to start wearing shorts on the regular.
When I was a bit younger I would try my hardest to not wear shorts, even in the summer. I just wasn't into it. Now a days though, I'm all about it, makes no sense to me that I ever wasn't. Just one of those to cool for school things I guess.
I woke up early today, I drove Vanessa to work at 6:15am and then went on a coffee run for my store because we were out of Decaf espresso. I also bought a new coffee pot for our house because Tim Broke ours the other day while doing dishes, It was a good price and I brought home some super good coffee so I felt it needed to be replaced asap.
I'm off of work today, and tomorrow! Yesterday at my request, our landlord dropped off a 55gallon barrel at our house. These are used in the food industry to ship bulk items. I plan to convert this barrel into a water tank witch I will hook up to our rain gutter in the front of the house so that I can catch the rain. I will then use that caught water to feed our growing plants all summer long. So today I will begin working on that project.
I've started some seeds in our bedroom and bathroom(the two rooms which get the most light). This began a few weeks ago. The first round of seeds have sprouted and are looking great. Once I got that first set going well I started a second round and am currently awaiting for them to poke through and show themselves.
What you are looking at here is the starts of Onions, Carrots, Radishes, Swiss Chard, Spinach, And Oregano.
Under the plastic are more planted seedlings of the same listed above but in addition there is also, Sunflowers, And multiple varieties of Lettuce.

When the time is right I plan to transplant these little guys into the soil out in front of our house which I have been working over for the past week, getting it ready. At that time I'll also directly sow more seeds straight into the earth. By doing this I hope to have more plants growing at different stages throughout the season so that they will produce food over a longer period of time.

(these pictures are taken with vanessa's Mac. I have a nice camera which I got as a present from my parents for Christmas but the battery is dead. The next set of pictures will be nicer!)