Category Archives: creativity

Small world and interesting timelines…

This is truly proof we live in a small world with all kinds of timelines.
First, let’s go backward in time.
[[[2013]]]    I stopped at an intentional community (Henry Thoreu’s definition) in Tennessee while headed south.  This was an open community that more closely resembled extended family. Anyone was welcome there with only a couple “requests”.
The community garden and animals needed tending and everyone was expected to do some part.  Nobody ‘assigned’ your part, that was for you to find and decide. The name of this place was “Shut Up and Grow It”.   There was some connection to other feed the people groups hence, the grow it part.
###  First link to Shut Up  ###
As you could see from the blog post a great little place with a mission to allow people to live their lives.   Now fast forward a bit to ….
[[[2015]]]    Brenda and I stopped at the same place I had been a year or so ago.
Except this time we were visiting at Christmas time. Our travels were taking us south so why not go west first?
Christmas Eve at “Shut Up and Grow It” was a unique experience. While a number of the the folks there were gone traveling to family.
We were greeted again openly and almost as extended family. Everbody pitched into the evening meal either foodstuffs, cooking expertice, or critique.
And we made friends there that we stay in touch with today.

###  Second link to Shut Up  ###

### Third link to Shut Up ###

So what does all this have to do with Oregon 2017, our vanlife, or even the total ecplise?
It goes back to those timelines. You see we returned to the Oregon coast to escape the heat east of Eugene only to realize that the coast area
in the line with the “area of totality” was going to be crazy. At least that was the opinion of all the media and therefore most of the people.
So we fell for it and headed for the forest and back to North Fork in the Suislaw National Forest. We hoped that all the places were not already full of people driven by the same instincts as ours.

[[[ 2017 ]]]  We were pleased to find not only was there a space, there was that bus again.   Before you go back and look at the above paragraphs searching for a bus reference there isn’t one.   We FIRST saw the bus several days ago when we were staying here while headed south down the coast. That’s when the world as a whole shrank in space and time.   Now Brenda will tell you I will talk to just about anyone, ok everyone. So, after having spoke to the neighbors one of them comes up to me and says she knows me.
While that was no cause for alarm it did surprise me. She said she recognized the picture of Layla and I on the card I gave to one of the travellers in their group.
(I have a suspicion it was Layla she recognized.)217

It had been a little more than three years, she had longer hair back then and was holding a baby about 6mos. old.  It was Jen from the “Shut Up and Grow It” community! IMG_20170817_141922Now the five kids were all much bigger and the 6mo old was a curly-headed delight riding a bike. IMG_20170817_120953.jpg You see, the timelines crossed and then crossed again, this time on the other side of the country.   Since we’ve spent a night or two in casino parking lots what are the odds of running into people like that.
AND, even larger, recognizing someone you ran into on a chance meeting. (OK,ok, I know it was Layla’s eyes.)
It was great fun to run into Chris and Jen again. Their bus had been painted, the kids had grown much bigger, my van was totally different, and I was no longer traveling alone. We were all amazed at how things had lined up to bring our paths back together.
This meeting renewed my faith in our travels and in our guidance through this big old universe. I learned that Patrick had changed the name of the place to “The Garden”.
The name change may have helped with garnering a little more local support.

[[[ 2018 ]]] So I guess this means we now have a 2018 destination to “etch into the Jello” of our plans. https://www.facebook.com/shutupandgrowit/
So more than a **Flashback Friday** we moved back forth along a timeline that ties us all together.
My usual tagline is flavored this time with good memories in the past and to be made in the future.

So…
“Get Out, Be Safe, and Go Adventure.”

Cool idea for hammock lovers

Today during the GTG (that’s Get ToGether) at Raccoon Creek Wildlife Mgmt Area in northeast Alabama I got the chance to examine Gypsy Jane’s portable hammock stand. Now having seen it, and lusted after it  on the internet, it was real exciting to see it put up.

Jane had the tripods set and the spreader bar up before I even realized what she was doing.
Jane had the tripods set and the spreader bar up before I even realized what she was doing.

She made this setup herself out of a couple of different sizes of  EMT conduit. The pieces simply slip together to form the stand from a package small enough to be carried in her van.

A closeup of how the tripod is made.
A closeup of how the tripod is made.

The tripods are made from 1″ conduit with “eyebolts” in each leg, tied together with a shackle.  The shackle also supports the spreader pole and the hammock.

Tying the hammock onto the spreader bar.
Tying the hammock onto the spreader bar.

As you can see Jane is tying hammock to the spreader bar.  The spreader bar is used to keep the hammock stretched out.  She told me it’s best to make it out of two pieces each of 1″ and 3/4″ conduit.  The reason for this is the bar needs to be about 15′ long and conduit is sold in 10′ lengths. she slides the 3/4″ piece inside the 1″ piece, being sure to offset the joints for strength.

Living life large!
Living life large!

As you can see here she’s living large set up in an open field with no trees.

the rain fly makes it a perfect place to sleep.
the rain fly makes it a perfect place to sleep.

Since her hammock has an insect net zippered onto it, all she needed was a rain fly for a complete shelter.

I’ll do some more catching up in the next day or two,  laptop battery is going down and I’ll have to charge it tomorrow.  We had rain here today so it was overcast and the solar wasn’t kicking in so well.

Until next time…

Get out, Be safe, and Go adventure.

 

 

A New Album – – – “FLUID MOTION”

I’m starting a new photo album that will reflect my attempt to catch the beauty of water in motion.  These are large hi-def pictures so double-click on them to see full size.

Here ya go…

Fluid Motion Series_1
Fluid Motion Series_1
Fluid Motion Series_1
Fluid Motion Series_1
Fluid Motion Series_1
Fluid Motion Series_1
A Shady Spot To Lean
A Shady Spot To Lean
Beautiful Babbles
Beautiful Babbles
Fluid Motion Series_2
Fluid Motion Series_2
Fluid Motion Series_2
Fluid Motion Series_2
Flowing Sunlight
Flowing Sunlight
Fluid Motion Series_3 The Salamander
Fluid Motion Series_3 The Salamander
Fluid Motion_3 The Salamander
Fluid Motion_3 The Salamander
Fluid Motion Series_3 The Salamander
Fluid Motion Series_3 The Salamander
The Swirl
The Swirl

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Down the Chute
Down the Chute
Over the Edge
Over the Edge

DSC_0373

Fluid Motion Series_4 Little Niagra
Fluid Motion Series_4 Little Niagra
Fluid Motion Series_4 Little Niagra
Fluid Motion Series_4 Little Niagra
Fluid Motion Series_4 Little Niagra
Fluid Motion Series_4 Little Niagra
Fluid Motion Series_5 Cascades
Fluid Motion Series_5 Cascades
Fluid Motion Series_5 Cascades
Fluid Motion Series_5 Cascades
Hard To Say Goodbye
Hard To Say Goodbye

 

I hope you enjoyed the handiwork there in nature.  please comment below.    This album is part of an ongoing project.

 

And as always..

Get out, Be safe, and Go adventure.

Just Shut Up and Grow It!

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ALL ROADS LEAD SOMEWHERE

On the first leg of our July adventure Layla and I checked out an intentional community called “Shut Up and Grow iT”.

This was different than I had expected.  Having some experience with “community” groups years ago I thought what could be so different about this one?

This one is working!

(I’m going to try and tell the story of the place without invading the private lives of those that live here.)

 

 

Talking with Patrick about this place has been very easy since he’s so laid back in conversation even though he’s a ball of constant motion.  As I am writing this Patrick and others have gone to an auction to replace some of the chickens that were eaten by a dog.

This was the destiny of the land when it was purchased a few years ago. He says that the idea for a community was in the original purchase decision.  That vision and the journey to fulfill its’ destiny has kept Patrick busy and happy.  The idea of community with minimal “structure” is what attracts people here.  It’s the feeling of belonging without being hampered by all sorts of rules is what makes it work.  The few existing rules are just common sense things to allow for the freedom, privacy and safety of the community.  There are at this time somewhere between 12-15 adults living on the farm with what looks like about the same number of children.

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Counting the children was like counting rabbits. Because this is a family group the kids are free to roam about play with the other kids and interact with everyone.

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I was first struck by the gardens and the fact they are really building up community places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are two domes that are being built, one of which will be the teaching center.   Obviously the children will be educated here together.DSCN2026

 

 

 

 

 

The kitchen is where there are community meals prepared daily and shared at a large table together.  DSCN2022

 

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The evening meal I joined them for was great and helping (a little bit) in that kitchen was fun and easy.  The cooking pit was very solid, check out the logs on the side!

DSCN2012 The “shower house” is fed from a large container up the hill that uses solar energy to heat water. The location up the hill provides enough “head pressure” to be a good working shower.  Simple is better, no pumps to fool with only gravity and the sun which always works.

After the meal folks gathered around and it was time to relax.  Someone commented how much it felt like a big family. I have to agree that was the same thing I was thinking.  This is a place that it will be what you want it to be, family or community.  There were those that stayed more to themselves, and then those that were more community minded.

At the start of this post I wrote a great deal about Patrick.  However, this truly is a result of everyone’s efforts.  It’s just that I learned so many names in such a short time,  I’m struggling to keep them all straight.  I’m going to have to be leaving soon to continue our travels,but you can bet this is a place I will be returning to in the future.  I want to take the time thank all the others for making me feel welcome, you guys would be a great family.

Having things….

“To have much in life, waste nothing.”

Not your’ resources,  whatever they may be large or small.

Not your’ time,  there is a season for all things and you need to do all things in their season.

Not your creativity,  mind-numbing activities such as watching other peoples imagination played out on a screen doesn’t challenge your’ own, at least read a book for escape.

Not your faith,  I didn’t say religion that’s a whole different topic, believe and act even though it may appear not to be true at that moment.

Not your’ energy, remember just like your time you have life energy that must periodically be renewed. If you use it in a way that does not bring reward you may exceed the level that can be regenerated.

Remember it’s all those little things that add up to create the whole or the hole.
It’s your choice of adding or subtracting the little things that decides hole or whole.
So be safe, get out and go explore the world you live in.