Sunday, October 28, 2012

Celebrating seasons

I've been craving some sort of ritual in my life, a way to symbolically divide the constant flow of work.

After hearing me talk about carving a pumpkin, Claire brought one home from the grocery store. Coincidentally, my friends Hilary and Rick invited me over for a pumpkin carving get together. We sat outside and removed pumpkin guts, separated seed and carved. When the sun started to set, we went inside for mugs of mulled cider and Rick's delicious pumpkin custard. After desert, I took home my pumpkin and a baggie of seeds.

The pumpkin sits on the kitchen table where it glows a wide smile. The smell of cinnamon, maple syrup and butter wafts from the oven, where the spiced seeds roast. I feel cheery.

My pumpkin

Can you spot mine in the line up?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Meeting the hare

Last week I wrote about tortoise-speed without realizing that this week would be all about the hare—well, actually more accurately the Dancing Rabbit.

My search for a deeper understanding of off-the-grid living led me, Claire and Leo to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage this past weekend. While I hope to synthesize my thoughts about the experience as I work on my manuscript in the coming weeks, I can say that Claire and I agreed that the place is amazing.

The growing 60-member community is designed in the fashion of a European village. Everyone lives in close proximity to each other and agricultural activities are done on the periphery. The set up and the close social ties reminded us of our childhood in Sudstadt, Austria.

There's more to say, but for now I've got to focus my energy on pulling together my thesis proposal which is due before the end of the week and will dictate my work for the remainder of my time at the University of Missouri.

More soon.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


This week has been busy with covering extra shifts at the Missourian and spending last weekend off the grid. Despite working hard on stories and coursework, I never seem to get as much done as I hoped. I've been telling myself that the important thing is to keep going; the tortoise wins the race.

"Perpetuum Mobile" has become my soundtrack and mantra.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Off the grid

I've spent several weekends with the off-the-grid community of Maya Creek working alongside them, eating meals and hanging out. This was my final weekend stay. As I drove back to my on-the-grid life Sunday afternoon, I felt incredible gratitude to the residents who have opened up their lives to me. I have learned a tremendous amount and hope to publish something very soon. For now, I'll offer a few pictures of the place.

The outdoor kitchen
Last of the tomatoes
Wild persimmons in the garden
Bed of alpaca wool used to create the right
mushroom growing climate
The 'duplex' that I helped plaster
And Kita (I'm a sucker for dogs)