Pages

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Travels for Thanksgiving!

Hi all - I got home fine.  Late.  Very late.  The plane in FFL (florida) had mechanical problems that took over 5 hours to repair.  We finally took off and I slept most of the trip to SJO (Costa Rica).  I was woken by the bumpy weather as we neared SJO.  Then the bumpy landing.  When I got off the plane the pilot was walking with me down the ramp and told me that we nearly didn't make it!  Weather and more mechanical problems.  He was hoping they would not make them fly back that night.  I later found out that they did not have to go. So I had to spend one nite in my favorite hostel in SJO -- Casa Ridgeway -- because I missed the buses to San Isidro de General (Perez Zeledon) for that day.  Wednesday morning I made my way to Musoc Bus for the ride to San Isidro, arrived just in time to catch the Bus for Angastora/San Agustin/Ciebo.  Unfortunately after the bus left I learned that the road from Angastora to Rivera (a town before San Agustin) was closed due to a landslide and mud that is impassable.  So - I walked, in the rain with my bags down the muddy slope that used to be a road, crossed the bridge over the river and waited for a neighbor to pick me up after they finished work for the day.  (Yes, I certainly have an adventurous life - and yes, I had to remind myself of that as my white sneakers turned redish mud brown color!)I got home with wet bags and all the packed items damp or wet as well.  Though I was safe I was very tired.  So I basically settled in yesterday and slept a lot during the day as well.  I woke this morning rested and anxious to get busy washing laundry and starting new projects when a neighbor called to ask if we wanted to go to town as they were heading that way and they offered to stop by a bank and grocery store for us.  So I am in town, bought the groceries already and am waiting to connect for the ride back home.  I am grateful for all the care and concern of the pilots, the airline (okay it's their job but hey...never know about these guys), the bus driver - Macho (his nickname), my neighbors and my family and friends online that all sent messages wondering if I was alright and got home safely.Thanksgiving was a wonderful feast - both TurkeyDays, Ariel's TurkeyDay at her house in St. Albans, ME and Jason & Judy's at their home in Hartland, ME.  Visiting with my sister Linda & Steve was also a treat, I enjoy sharing walks, shopping and talking (of course talking!) and food while visiting with them.  Steve makes an awesome seafood chowder! (yes I love Raw Foods and aim for a MOSTLY raw and definately simple lifestyle - I am, however, human and at times eat other things)So I am safely home.  Glad to be back in the tranquility and simplicity of my Ranchito project, enjoying the new solar toys I brought back.

Friday, October 7, 2011

$75,000 earings

So I woke up thinking about a television program I had seen, maybe last week.  The woman, was crying over having 'lost' - momentarily - a $75,000 earing!  She 'lost' this when her boyfriend playfully tossed her off a dock into beautiful blue green tropical Bali (I think it was) ocean water ---- say what! Geez.  Do people really have earings that cost more than most people have ever made in a year of hard work?  How many people actually have this kind of life?

I also got turned down for Food Stamps - now my only income is Social Security Disability or SSDI.... ? again go figure!  The form letter basically said that I am not a migrant worker and that I have over $150 in monthly income?  Incredible.  Well - after a phone call, I was actually only turned down for Emergency Food Stamps and that would be correct, because I am not in Emergency Crisis status today.

I also, yesterday saw news online and the stories about people protesting Wall Street and the 1% Rich! It's about darn time people got together to make some noise about this situation.  We, American's, are viewed as the richest country in the world by most of the world, mostly because some media program or news program on a television 'told' them and they believed it.  Reality is a bit different, we have some of the poorest people in both dollar amounts, and ability to creatively survive - we could learn a whole lot from the poor families in 3rd world countries!  I know that I have personally learned volumes from my experiences traveling amonst the poor of Central America.

gotta run for today....
hugs
and Keep It Simple - and Smile a lot, it will make others wonder what you have been up to!
Simply,
Lesa


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day

Labor Day - I totally forgot there was another holiday this weekend!  I wondered why the neighbors were headed out of town on the back of motorcycles and all.

I just found out that a family member was having a cookout today.  I guess I wasn't on any invite list.  I also learned just in the past 45 minutes that I have been the subject of yet another family drama --- surprise surprise.  All my life, all I have to do is breathe and I have somehow done something wrong and purposefully hurt someone and I didn't even know anything about any of it..... (sigh)

I so am looking forward to getting the Explorer fixed or sold or whatever...because I want to get on with my own life.  I so need distance from these blood relatives - I have so many more friends and collected 'family' that actually respect me.  Heck some people actually like me.

I read another blogger's tales of reverse culture shock and difference of priorities with the average American.  I so can relate.   Living simply so works for me, especially after living with others that are on the world's poverty lists.  I have learned what is important for me and I choose to only invest my time, my energy and my money in those things....everything else, like who won some tv show something is just wierd chatter in my life.

I am so anxious to meet up with some other van-dweller/full time rvers.... even some gypsys or nomadic groups.... I'm in that preparation limbo! darn.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your burgers or what have you!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricanes & Earthquakes .... enough already?!?

The east coast of the US seems to have made through this major storm of the century! (did anyone see that movie - one of the only scarey movies I actually liked.) 

Sometimes I think that the media blitz during these events is just annoying chatter that stirs up the average persons emotions and keeps everything stirring.  I feel it is good to be informed.  And then we could move on for a while and come back to be informed again.  Just spending days and nights huddled around the giant TV sets of the world seems somehow a bizzare event in and of itself.  and perhaps I am becoming one of the old people of the world....

My 'friend' Steve "Love Life" Frugate is in southern Maine, I hope to meet up with him when he gets closer.  I got the brakes fixed on my Explorer although I still need a few things done to feel comfortable driving it a long distance.  I have decided to sell this vehicle and use the money to buy a mini-van which I can live more comfortably in - a mini-van having a bit more space.  My income being a Social Security check of $795 a month is the driving force in many of my decisions because I just can't afford many luxuries.  My choice to live Simply and Frugally and to learn as many survival skills as possible definately gives me many advantages.  My experience hiking on the Appalachian Trail, earlier this summer, was an excersize is rustic living out of a backpack.  Owning only what I can carry physically allows me to choose a few nicer pieces as owning a quality piece of equipment or clothing certainly pays off when it is the only one of something you own.  I have bought a couple more items of clothing since being in Maine, because I was cold and my situation changed a lot, having the Explorer lets me carry a few more items too. 

I miss my supportive friends, the ones that know me in a respectful way, those that have taken the time to ask me why I have chosen the things I have or why I have made the decisions I have made.  I do not miss those people who have just assumed or decided who I am or why I did something .... don't miss the judgemental people who have decided that I am "broken" and need fixing either (and of course they are the only ones who can 'fix' me!  --- isn't that a definition of self richeousness? possibly?.... whatever)

When natural disasters strike the world, I, like many others I expect, turn my thoughts to the people who have been most important in my life.   I wonder where they are, if they are alright, if I should call or email, just make contact again.  Sometime I do, sometimes, I just let it go - sometimes the choice to contact is taken out of my control, like with some of my family members who have informed me that I am dead to them... I leave the communication door open a crack and briefly peek out that door only to be reminded that it's not truely open for me.   (yes, there is a story there and I'm not ready to tell it)

I have been so disappointed by the people in my life.  and I am not alone.  We were watching the Chopper's reality show on television last night and Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. have been going through law suits and family 'divorce' .... it is not just my family.  It can be challenging to know who to believe or trust or visit or even to strike up a conversation with.  I like to be social, I just have learned to be quiet (wisdom), watch others actions and listen carefully to others, mostly people talk about themselves even when they think they are talking about others.... I still make mistakes.  These days tho, I don't stay so long... what ever form people ue to talk about others they will eventually talk about me the same way - so if they are drama queen talkers I will eventually be the subject of some drama in their lives.  It's another annoying part of being human...interpersonal relationships...and it's pretty easy to just watch for patterns and to choose what is fairly safe to deal with, then as soon as possible - get more control over my own whatever and get off to myself.  And no I'm not a hermit - I don't like to be alone.  I need alone time, absolutely.  Days alone, nights completely alone in the woods...well, I don't like them, it's scarey when the night animals make sounds or the thunder booms and the lightening flashes - 10 feet away!  I like knowing someone is nearby.  I enjoyed my hiking buddies like The Bear and cliff or "SlowMo" being  a couple hours ahead or a half day behind me on the AT, because I knew eventually we would meet up and have stories to share.  Those are the kinds of friends I need - and appreciate catching up with for a chat, for encouragement, and even for advice.

I feel like I am rambling today.  I am feeling anxious to be on my own although I am at the mercy of others for a little longer because I am waiting for paperwork to come in the mail and waiting for someone to make another couple repairs to my Explorer.  In order to save money, it only makes sense for me to just stay here and wait until my nephew has time to help me out - after, of course, he takes care of the other pressing priorities of his life.  I am reminded of how blessed I am to have a friendly, generous nephew willing and able, with the skills, to help me with a mechanical issue.  So I spend my waiting time, knitting (a gift of bags of yarn & a couple pairs of needles!) and providing transportation back and forth to work for his new wife, who has been accepting her husbands enjoyment of having me visit his house although fairly obviously she doesn't feel quite the same way.  Staying in other people's homes gives me the opportunity to observe how they interact as well.  I find it particularly interesting what things people give priority in their lives.

Anyway that's enough for this morning....
You all have a nice day - thanks for stopping by and don't forget to feed the fish (upper left corner, move your cursor, click and the fish will swim over and eat the food...kinda kewl!)

Keep it Simple,
Simply,
Lesa

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Repairs already!

So my new-to-me Explorer needs a total brake job! It just started that tell-tale scraping sound so I took it to a relative of a relative's Auto repair shop only to be told its a $1200 job with much more work to be done before the next inspection sticker can be had in Feburary.... bummer - I made a good decision - didn't I? 

I slept in the local WallyWorld parking lot a couple nights as I debated what to do and how to tackle this new set of issues.  Then remembered I have a handy nephew near by.  I contacted him and have been staying with them the past few days.  I sold my hammock camping set up in order to buy the pads and 2 rear roters, my nephew and his neighbor are going to help me out with the job and they will look it all over and see if I have any other major stuff to repair.  Anyway my life is still an adventure!

I heard from my Great Aunt, who had been a missionary in Japan.  She is wanting to visit with me this week while they are traveling here in Maine, so we made tenative plans to meet up. 

I watched a 60 minutes special report show on a guy who was wrongly accused of murder in Nicaragua a few years ago and kept in prision for a while.  The story with it's many references to "Gringos" reminded me of one of the reasons that I recently returned to the US.  So many people in other countries feel that we Americans think we are special and above the law and tat we have so much stuff and money that we can buy our way through stuff or out of stuff or what have you.  I did feel tired of defending my being a normal human being, who, although I am American, am a poor person with less income than many average third-world country people.  I receive a Social Security check once a month and have a yearly income of around $9000.  Many people, especially American's and even some Central American teachers/professors cannot relate to my income or my lifestyle and although I have a very low income, I still choose to see my life as an adventure, to travel often, to be generous and genuine (as much as humanly possible).  Anyway, the show reminded me of how many people in Central America hold a grudge against us "gringos and gringas" and how that was one factor in my choosing to take a break from traveling and feeling a need to protect myself all the time.

I sang Karioke with my nephew and his new wife last night, that was a lot of fun and we all laughed so hard that we nearly had tears running down our faces.  It has been nice to relax a little bit.

I have also been enjoying their kitten Max who curls up at my feet to sleep, during the night.  

Hopefully tomorrow's planned auto repairs will be successful and not take too long.  The new question of the day --- given my trust issues, who will I be able to trust enough to help me with auto repairs in the future and will I be able to afford repairs when they come up????

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mobile Lifestyles!

Incredible, take a look at this! --  http://thetuckerbag.blogspot.com/

So I've been couch hopping (different from Couch Surfing which is related to the website....couch hopping is w/ppl I already know and didn't use the CS site to contact)... ever since I got the Explorer.  I'm staying w/family off and on and geez...I'm so done with that.  I clean, wash dishes, paint walls and generally clean up other ppl's messes or cook for them so I can have the 'honor' of sleeping on their pet infested couches or to have the other 'honor' of hanging my hammock in their junk room.... I'm sooooooooo done!  So this morning I'm thinking why I haven't already just moved into the Explorer and gone to sleep in the local Wally World parking lot?  Good q (short for question) isn't it!  So after my niece returns from work tonight, I will discuss what she wants from dear Auntie Lesa before I actually do that and leave... OMGosh I just learned that one of the Giant dogs is preggers so she is NOT getting rid of it! 4 cats, 2 HUGE dogs in a leaky, wow, it's incredible mess of a house trailer....

Because of the Explorer purchase, I am low on cash until early next month, so I need to make do a bit - the windows are tinted and close to black and I probly won't have a curtain yet (or I might surprise myself).  If I could just sell the Gregory backpack that's only been slightly used and has been on Craigslist for a month, then I'd feel more comfy about my money.  I'm also a bit concerned about being warm enough as I have felt cold at night even in the houses up here in the good ole North East of the USA.  (I was spoiled with that weather in Central America the past 5 years!)

Oh and I don't have a camera right now...so bare with me as I get a little more together - at least the libraries in the US have computers for us to use!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another month already!

I think I need to organize my  blog time - I can hardly believe it is the begining of August already!  Time just flies sometimes.

It's my older sister Linda's birthday today and no I'm not telling how old she is :D!  Love you Linda, Happy Birthday I hope you have a GREAT day today!

Linda is to become a grandma again tomorrow.  Amos, my nephew, and his wife Alice are having their second child - Congrats!

Steve is having some back pain - what a reminder of my days of herniated disks.  The memory of John Z., my ex-S.O., seeing me off at the back of an ambulance on the 5th of July a few years ago.  My back was achey and I felt a twinge and pinch in one hip while we were enjoying the 4th of July in a historic section of Brooklyn.  I stood up all day because sitting was just painful.  I didn't tell John how painful it really was, because I wanted to enjoy the day hanging out together again.  We did this 'on-again-off-again' relationship thing over nearly 20 years.  We loved and do love each other, I just guess we are either too different or ... well, really I don't know why we aren't together.  John told me once, in the year after my father died, and while John was going through some personal problems, he told me that he never loved me and he had been leading me on for years --- who knows.  If that is completely true he certainly would be a good liar.  Anyway - I haven't spoken to him in a long time --- and he did put me in the ambulance that early morning when I woke up and could not move my legs - not at all.  I spent many days in and out of the emergency rooms getting morphine shots for the pain over the next 2-3 weeks before I was scheduled for an epidural and months of physical therapy.  My back and my health improved after that as I religiously followed my physical therapy instructions exactly and even increased the excersizes.  I wasn't 'going out' that way - I didn't want to be an old lady driving a scooter chair around I was and am too young for that.    Soooo - Steve, Linda's fiance, went scuba diving yesterday off a little cove here in Maine.  Beautiful spot, nice day, calm water AND Steve had not been diving for a few years.  He recently had all his gear repaired and decided that this was the morning, so Linda and I went with him to watch and be near the ocean for a while.  I guess his equipment was heavier than he remembered and his weight belt shifted around on his waist a lot and he said he kind of wiggled once and felt a twinge in his hip then a couple spasms in his knee... So he's heading for the chiropractor's office this morning as he can barely walk without a painful look on his face.

I would like to 'let go' of more of my past and lately I have been considering just deleting the 30ish years of personal jounals I have.  I started journaling when I learned I was pregnant with my 1st child, my son, Joshua.  I didn't expect to live very long, at that time, partly because of the physical abuse I was enduring and partly because if that didn't kill me, I certainly didn't want to live and had considered suicide many times.  In fact I heard that last week the authorities permanently closed the Memorial bridge that connected Kittery, Maine with Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  I had a pivital life experience on that bridge one late night in 1978.  A few days earlier I had taken an entire bottle of sleeping pills hoping to die, or at the least get in a really good sleep.  I was exhausted from trying to be who other people wanted me to be or to conform to some standards that just weren't working in my life, I couldn't see anyway out.  I had no support.  No friends, that I knew of, my family had abandoned me again.  I just didn't have what it took to keep going after the events, including a rape that happened at that time in my life.  Anyway, I swallowed the whole bottle of pills and wouldn't you know it I was wired for 3 days, like I couldn't sleep at all.  I was so nervous and filled with energy.  I remember feeling even more stupid because I couldn't even get killing myself right.  (looking back that sounds rather silly and it is where I was at that time)  So after a few days of wandering around because I couldn't sleep, I found myself on the Memorial bridge, holding on to the railing, reminding myself that the shock of hitting the cold water would bring me to my 'senses' and I would have to resist the urge to swim in order to drown.... just as I was lifting up my leg to climb on the railing I heard this screaming voice calling "Help me!"  "Lesa - Help me!" and I"m like shaking my head and looking from side to side, like I'm crazy or something because it's 1 or 2 in the morning and there is NO one anywhere.  I continue to climb on the railing and hear it again "Lesa! - help, help!"  so I climb down and spend the next hour and a half or more hunting for a person and I can't find one anywhere.  Not behind garbage cans - no where... so now I remember being so puzzeled and wondering if I was crazy or if it was an supernatural event.  I walked home, where I was staying and went to bed.  When I woke I remembered that 'only God knows the day and time' of our death and decided that it wasn't up to me to decide about dieing.  I never tried to commit suicide again.  I didn't understand my life nor my purpose in being alive and I decided right there that I had to live the life God wanted for me, no matter what that might look like.  Walter Hodgeden, a friend from highschool, came to visit me one and only one time, in that week that followed these events.  He reminded me that I was liked, I was an interesting person and friend and that someone liked knowing I was alive.  I wonder what happened to him?

So I kept personal journal writing for 30ish years after I found out I was pregnant.  One time after my now ex-husband burned a number of my journals in a fit of --- whatever? because 'You are always writing in those damn journals'.  I took my journaling very private and eventually typed all of them into computer documents and at first emailed them to myself, eventually creating documents and storing them in what people are now calling the "cloud", first Yahoo documents and then Google documents.... I even carried copies on a mini-sd card in my fancy-expensive all purpose cell phone that I took on my first adventures in Costa Rica where it was promptly stolen!  Anyway - lately I've been pondering deleting them.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Decisions, decisions

I'm anxious to get moving again.  I've been visiting in one location for quite some time now and I am sure my hosts as well would like a break, I know I get that way myself.  I have been struggling with the idea of getting a loan (omgosh after 7ish years of debt free living!) to buy a vehicle so I can travel a little easier.  I learned from 170 miles of hiking that carrying everything on my back is a kewl idea and it can get old - quickly.  I can live out of a backpack and I would like a few more things than that style of life is giving me at this stage of my life.  So it's probably a good idea, since it might look a little kooky to see a middle aged woman walking on the side of a road dragging a wagon or something, to just buy a car, a mini-van, a van, a small suv --- something.  And big enough to be comfortable and to sleep a night or two in while traveling.  So I've been looking and a found something interesting and I have contacted my credit union ---- and now the wait... (fingers tapping the table...)

I have learned a few things this time, as is usual with travels.  I haven't been very good about buying normal, everyday items off the internet and I just decided to try on buying stuff from Amazon, since I had an address available - it's amazing that the prices are similar to going to a store and they just deliver it to the door --- whodathunk! (go ahead laugh at how long it took me)

I seem to go through stages of amazingly boring down times after some of my adventures.  I border on the depressed, lazy, computer junkie for a week or two as I just barely function, sleep lots, take hot showers - drink pots of hot coffee - want to eat ice cream and potato chips (and sometimes I do).... until - one day or morning I just come to again.  Like I've just recovered and am able to open my eyes completely, the world isn't fuzzy anymore...  and then I'm usually only less than a week away from another adventure.  It's pretty quickly that I can't sit still, start organizing and day-dreaming or planning the next thing.

So the loan officer called - they can't approve me for the amount I would like based on their standard income levels...sooooo back to the drawing board.


PS Oh and the fish in the upper left hand corner of the blog page --- they like to be fed!

Monday, July 25, 2011

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/The-Laundry-POD-is-on-TheHomeShoppingNetwork-TOMORROW-.html?soid=1106253725832&aid=xaH62nxI0qg

It's GREEN, It's non-electric, It's great for Off-Grid or RV/Location Independant types... check it out!

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/The-Laundry-POD-is-on-TheHomeShoppingNetwork-TOMORROW-.html?soid=1106253725832&aid=xaH62nxI0qg

Vincent (my Van that Goghs) and I...: Food For Thought

Vincent (my Van that Goghs) and I...: Food For Thought: "My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants. J. Brotherton"

Food!

I admit it I am a Foodie!  Okay I just love food.  It's so creative.  It makes people happy and I can make pretty dishes with it that help people smile or remember good stories to share.  I just love touching it and molding it and putting flavors together.... and honestly I like eating some of it, I don't like eating as much as one might think.  I have eaten - more than my share sometimes,  yup that's how I got fat - maybe not the Why I got fat - that is another story.

Food is fun!  We need it everyday, more or less.  I think it's a wonderful thing that God gave us a way to survive, to fuel our physical bodies, to affect our emotions (think relationship break ups & chocolate cake, or PMS and pints of wickedly flavored icecream!), to play creatively mixing colors and textures and show love and we can do this every day - or share the experience with others and do it a couple times a week.  Food is great!

My family's physical heritage affects our digestive track, it seems most of us do not digest foods in ways that the general population of America do, so we as a family unit have tendencies toward allergies, athsma, diabetic related health issues.

This morning my sister and I were discussing our frustrations and changes with our weight and diets over the years.  We were sharing what had worked and not worked, why we made some changes and why we let other circumstances affect our choices and of course there was some discussion of big business and how they have their hands in our health and well being thoughts.

I have tried many different styles of diets for health and for weight loss.  As part of my mother's life process, she would add or subtract stuff from our family diet as she learned or changed a belief so it was a familiar process that I guess most of us American's tend to do.  My tendency for being allergic to all kinds of things gave me reason to learn and research different ways of relating to food as well.  I studied Natural Hygene, learned about Herbal Teas and Aromatherapy, Protien Power and cottage cheese and hard boiled eggs, liver cleanses and getting Back to Eden, macrobiotics, blood types, Orange Juice therapy, fruiarianism, raw foods, suncooked foods, Essene diets, wild and foraged foods, native foods, Nousishing Traditions...

I know how to do lots of stuff with food - I can manipulate the simplest of foods into wonderful taste experiences - and I am still human, still have times when the knowing and the doing don't seem to match up very well.

And then there is --- Ice Cream!  black raspberry - honey vanilla - home-made - rice dream or raw and decadent almond mylk what have you.... hmmm

Friday, July 22, 2011

The How, The Why, The Where am I going...

Today is the first day of ... well - the rest of my life as someone says, so I figure it's time to catch up with all the blogging I haven't done.  While I have been pondering ideas of how to tackle this major project, I thought it a good idea to just post some history stuff by subject.  I do have personal journals that I have written most days for the past 30 years and it is possible that some of those entries will become part of this blog as well.  Many people have asked me to write a book or books - we will see where this leads.  I am open to many things and creative ideas generally spark an interest with me.  So hang on and enjoy the ride, if you dare!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

USA - Appalacian Trail...etc.

So I came back to the USA to hike the Appalacian Trail for the summer --- check here for journals www.trailjournals.com/simplylesa (or try here if that doesn't work  http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=352060  )

I have been visiting with family in Pennsylvania for most of this month after getting sick again...geez!  Soon I will make my way to New England - I am hoping to catch up with old friends and family and make that all important class reunion in October. (Fall - wow, thinking cold!)  I keep a journal with me all the time and will take time off and on to create some blog posts along the way.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Appalacian Trail - 1

A couple months ago I made the decision to 'Walk in the Woods' this summer.  I was between things, having just closed the chapter on rustic construction in Costa Rica.  While processing that ending as well as new begining, I realized that I had completed 3 'Bucket Lists' (Lists of things that I wanted to do before I move on to the next life).  The only remaining items were really just more traveling and seeing the world.  Then the Appalacian Trail popped into my mind and I thought well, why not - I'm fairly healthy and I have friends and family all up the east coast.  So I started doing some serious research.  Now I had the 'crazy idea' that hiking was just a different word for walking a long distance and carrying your home turtle style on your back... how hard could that be?  (yes, smile)

Well, it sure is challenging and the AT is like a really really loooooong walk in a park with some (unexpected! ha) mountain climbing involved.  This is perhaps one of the most social events of my life as well.  It is incredible the bond, team work, cheering on and friendship that are developing along the way. I have been blessed by Trail Angels and surprised by Trail Magic almost daily.  I started off with some gear I have had and used the past few years and an emergency fund that I thought would get me through until the first week of June.  I am on a fixed monthly income.  Now, mind you, I was used to living simply and rustically.  Camping is rather easy and fun for me.  Hiking well - now I am learning! 
And yes, I have been having some daydreams about RV's and National Parks!  What was I thinking!  And then I climb another incredible hill or mountain and get to that vista/look out or just realize that I am doing this incredible thing and that just makes me wanna try more...in fact I now get so anxious to get back to the AT when I have the opportunity to spend a night in a hostel or hotel - you know, cleaning up, washing laundry and stuff. 
I am so glad to have so many family and friends interested in my adventure.  I would be happy to 'walk' with some of you if you are out there near me - message me with details and we can try to coordinate that.  Also, some have asked about sending me a CarePackage along the way - I appreciate that and though I basically have things covered it is nice to get surprises so message me and we can work that out too.
I expect to be in, Wesser, NC in about 4 days and then in Fontana Dam, NC 28733 around the 3rd of June (happy birthday Ruth)
Some people are interested in some of the AT hiking details so here they are:
Gear: 
I started with a pack I bought in Panama, it didn't last 2 weeks, so now I'm using a Coleman one until I can replace it with a lighter weight one (Wish list: Granite Gear Nimbus)
Northface Blue Kazoo (used one that was a gift)
I am a hammock camper and am using a no-name paracute nylon hammock with a Hammock Bliss mosquito cacoon and a plastic tarp.  (Wish list: Sil Nylon Tarp)
Keen hiking sandals with Smart Wool medium wieght hiking socks (this really works great so far, I am a fair weather hiker)
I am using PocketProfileMaps - love love the simple no nonsense information
MSR Tealite kettle (Love - yet need to change for practicality0
Esbit Pocket stove (LOVE - no brainer easy)
Outdoor Products Walking sticks
Outdoor Products 2 liter Water bladder
Patgonia capaline long john bottoms (Wish list: the top)
LLBean Zip long sleeve top
Campmor Zip fleece
fleece sleep pants (I was freezing!)
Danskin tank top
ExOfficio panties (okay TMI - I LOVE - want more & a bra)
Outdoor Products dry bags (hey people these only cost $9.88 and they work!)
Energizer headlamp
Gerber pocket knife 
Parachute cord - ridgeline for hammock tarp & for hanging the bear bag at nite
Wish List:  Spot Satelite thing or cell phone for txt msgs, zip off leg pants,
Food: 
Ramen noodles (4 pks crunched and seasoned and stored in a qt size Ziplock freezer bag)
Instant mashed potatoes w/cheese
Snickers bars
Old fashioned oatmeal
Raisins
Occasionally: beef jerky (wish I could have pemmican), dried cranberries or blueberries, foil pouches of salmon (yea thats bear treats- just kidding), M&Ms

Appalacian Trail - 1

May 24, 2011 at 9:03am



A couple months ago I made the decision to 'Walk in the Woods' this summer.  I was between things, having just closed the chapter on rustic construction in Costa Rica.  While processing that ending as well as new begining, I realized that I had completed 3 'Bucket Lists' (Lists of things that I wanted to do before I move on to the next life).  The only remaining items were really just more traveling and seeing the world.  Then the Appalacian Trail popped into my mind and I thought well, why not - I'm fairly healthy and I have friends and family all up the east coast.  So I started doing some serious research.  Now I had the 'crazy idea' that hiking was just a different word for walking a long distance and carrying your home turtle style on your back... how hard could that be?  (yes, smile)
Well, it sure is challenging and the AT is like a really really loooooong walk in a park with some (unexpected! ha) mountain climbing involved.  This is perhaps one of the most social events of my life as well.  It is incredible the bond, team work, cheering on and friendship that are developing along the way. I have been blessed by Trail Angels and surprised by Trail Magic almost daily.  I started off with some gear I have had and used the past few years and an emergency fund that I thought would get me through until the first week of June.  I am on a fixed monthly income.  Now, mind you, I was used to living simply and rustically.  Camping is rather easy and fun for me.  Hiking well - now I am learning!
And yes, I have been having some daydreams about RV's and National Parks!  What was I thinking!  And then I climb another incredible hill or mountain and get to that vista/look out or just realize that I am doing this incredible thing and that just makes me wanna try more...in fact I now get so anxious to get back to the AT when I have the opportunity to spend a night in a hostel or hotel - you know, cleaning up, washing laundry and stuff.
I am so glad to have so many family and friends interested in my adventure.  I would be happy to 'walk' with some of you if you are out there near me - message me with details and we can try to coordinate that.  Also, some have asked about sending me a CarePackage along the way - I appreciate that and though I basically have things covered it is nice to get surprises so message me and we can work that out too.
I expect to be in, Wesser, NC in about 4 days and then in Fontana Dam, NC 28733 around the 3rd of June (happy birthday Ruth)
Some people are interested in some of the AT hiking details so here they are:
Gear:
I started with a pack I bought in Panama, it didn't last 2 weeks, so now I'm using a Coleman one until I can replace it with a lighter weight one (Wish list: Granite Gear Nimbus)
Northface Blue Kazoo (used one that was a gift)
I am a hammock camper and am using a no-name paracute nylon hammock with a Hammock Bliss mosquito cacoon and a plastic tarp.  (Wish list: Sil Nylon Tarp)
Keen hiking sandals with Smart Wool medium wieght hiking socks (this really works great so far, I am a fair weather hiker)
I am using PocketProfileMaps - love love the simple no nonsense information
MSR Tealite kettle (Love - yet need to change for practicality0
Esbit Pocket stove (LOVE - no brainer easy)
Outdoor Products Walking sticks
Outdoor Products 2 liter Water bladder
Patgonia capaline long john bottoms (Wish list: the top)
LLBean Zip long sleeve top
Campmor Zip fleece
fleece sleep pants (I was freezing!)
Danskin tank top
ExOfficio panties (okay - LOVE - want more & a bra)
Outdoor Products dry bags (hey people these only cost $9.88 and they work!)
Energizer headlamp
Gerber pocket knife
Parachute cord - ridgeline for hammock tarp & for hanging the bear bag at nite
Wish List:  Spot Satelite thing or cell phone for txt msgs, zip off leg pants,
Food:
Ramen noodles (4 pks crunched and seasoned and stored in a qt size Ziplock freezer bag)
Instant mashed potatoes w/cheese
Snickers bars
Old fashioned oatmeal
Raisins
Occasionally: beef jerky (wish I could have pemmican), dried cranberries or blueberries, foil pouches of salmon (yea thats bear treats- just kidding), M&Ms

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rio Claro

Visiting Rio Claro is like stopping somewhere in South Carolina or Georgia on Route 1!  It's kind of a no where town with a big highway running right through the middle.  It has the WalMart of grocery stores, Pali.  A bank, a bunch of restaraunts that remind me more of Panama than Costa Rica and a few rundown looking hotels, that aren't that inexpensive really. 

My travel partner Orlando and I have been tent camping for the better part of 3 weeks along the Pacific coast.  We spent the first week or so in Dominical rubbing elbows with some fishermen from a local association, which was interesting.  I learned to make yet another version of fish soup from a wife of a member.  We then traveled down the cost to visit Curre for a couple nights and to drop off some homegrown rice and beans to Orlando's family.  After that we were headed to Corcovado, a national park that starts near Drake Bay and runs almost to Panama.  Drake Bay was interesting as was the looooong boat ride, we decided to get off near the last small local store and spend a night before entering the park.  Good thing because I started getting migrains and feeling woozy so after a rather short walk in the park, we changed plans.  The park is beautiful as were the scarlet macaws and howler monkeys and we hope to return someday soon and actually hike.  We set out a day later for Puerto Jimenez then Golfito in the hopes of visiting a friend at the Rainbow Hostel, only to find out that they had sold the hostel the week earlier.  We were given the suggestion to travel to Pavones instead, which turned out to be a good experience...even with the earthquake tremor, a couple rain showers and an invasion of baby frogs (okay not really that bad personally, tho very interesting to see thousands of hopping things in the beach sand).  While there, Orlando was invited to a meeting in preparation for classes to certify Tour Guides which he found interesting - so we spent a few days so he could tutor with a local teacher and yesterday morning we made our way to Rio Claro for the entrance exam - to see if he can qualify for classes!  This is a big step for him and I certainly am proud that he is willing to give it a shot, cut his hair (he had long hair for 30 years!) and put in all the study time after being out of school for so long.  It is a wonderful opportunity for him and other Ticos, especially those with little or no income.  The agency providing these classes will provide, food and shelter along with the lessons so that helps a lot.  

While traveling, I have certainly been processing my life experiences.  I also came across a couple books that have been interesting and have touched some of my sore spots in life.  One a novel called The Wildflowers, which is about 4 girls entering group therapy for the first time, the other The Secret Life of Bees...which I never had picked up before.... ya, processing, that's what this is called.

I kind of want to talk about what happened to my "Simply Home" project recently AND I am aware of a need to be careful how I deal with that issue.  I no longer live at the rustic home I built, the events that changed that chapter of my life are definately part of this process as is the higher cost of living that now exists in Costa Rica.  I have been wondering how differently I might be living back in the states after nearly 4 years of being away, growing and changing.... just another of many thoughts and ideas... we will see what comes up as the day goes along - I rented a hotel room for 2 nights while Orlando goes through his testing process and our bodies get a break from sleeping in the tent.  It is a nice hotel, though at this price, 2 nights is all I can afford and still eat! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Life Challenges and Adventures!

I have had quite an interesting couple weeks recently with the 'visit' of my land-owner friend, a US Social Security glitch and a border hop.  I survived it all and am begining to process the reality as opposed to the survival mode I've been living in while getting through all this.

I find it totally amazing that I have so many good friends!  I have had wonderful support, a place to stay with privacy and freedom which also included the sharing of meals when I wanted.  I've had 2 offers of marriage to solve the border hop issues! (okay that is truely flattering).  Another friend invited me to join him at his rather fancy restaraunt for a brownie yesterday - which by the way was a killer chocolate love fix - the friendship, conversation and chocolate with raspberries definately changed my mood from the low grade sad - 'I can't think what to think'.  I have been able to breathe more deeply and am begining to process 'next step' ideas throughout the night and early morning.  I feel myself returning from what seemed like a whirlwind of shock.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Beginings!

Hi all,

This morning I decided that it's time for me to start a blog....so here goes.

I've been journaling for years, a rather private event, at some times it has been a daily event and at other times less seldom.  My profile information is a short description of the basic life goals I've been living since 2002 or 2003.  These life goals have helped to create quite an adventure of a life.

Today, I am enjoying a cup of black coffee as I sit at a glass topped table in front of the Bamboo Hostel in David, Panama.  The morning is progressing well, I did some email catch up because I've been traveling and off line quite a bit the past few days.  I also made one phone call to my ex-partner John Zachary, who has been going through a lot of life changes recently.

It feels so good to be traveling alone right now.  I enjoy company and travel mates and I need a lot of space, mental and physical in order to stay grounded and healthy.  I wonder why some of us humans need more space than others seem to - or is that actually true?  perhaps we all need lots of space and some of us actually admit it, perhaps others have enough money to create really big houses with alone space, and others just 'put up' with their situations?  (any comments?)  I do recall that Peace Pilgrim often dealt with this issue as well as she enjoyed her time walking alone and though others attempted to join her at different phases, it never seemed to be the right thing....

I think alone, quiet time is valuable and amazingly healthy!