Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day

 For Earth Day I went to a Public Hearing on the Governor's Climate Action Plan and then came home to write a scathing criticism of the deforestation happening under his watch. These Canada geese love it by this conference center. They are raising young and are quite comfortable with people. When do they become American geese?
 My spikes of digitalis/foxgloves are lovely right now. When I first did nursing digitalis/digoxin was commonly prescribed for people to strengthen the contractility of the heart muscle. It isn't prescribed anymore and I'm not sure why this ancient remedy fell out of favor.
 These roses are exploding. The bush is very vigorous and is planted on the body of one of my goats who died after being attacked by dogs. When the blossoms fade and pedals start to fall I'll take handfuls of them and throw them in the air with fragrant gratitude for the blessing of that goat's fertile body.
 In the afternoon spring clouds started to build up but this is a photo of a whale that swam by under the mulberry tree.
And tonight it was whimsy aside as we went over our Riparia land partnership agreement. We have been land partners in this beautiful place now for well over 25 years. It's good to still be together even if I did miss a film about the plastic gyres floating on the seas that showed on this earth day night... perhaps better to get through the day without a broken heart.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

More Pancakes, More Peace

 This is my friend Susan. I think she got me through nursing school in the early 70s-- helped me over-come my disgust at cat dissection and helped me grasp kidney physiology... no small things. She's an FNP at the Hoopa Clinic near Willow Creek and she surprised us with a wonderful snapshot visit. I feel graced.
 Rafael and family. This is a long story. Rafa was a teenager when our land partner Leslie, who is an attorney, got him out of an adult border prison and into the care of Richard and Spring who adopted him. Here he is with wife Patricia, sister Mely and his kids as well as Richard and Spring. So much better than being recruited into one side or the other of Guatemala's civil war!
 Dave Garcia has been the inspiration and driving force of Frack Free Butte County and Aramenta Hawkins heads up the Media team for our campaign and has gotten us the visibility and energy we needed. An amazing duo.
Dear Deepika and her son, nicknamed Shub. He's had surgery after surgery and has suffered more than anyone should ever have to due to the heart defects he was born with. Yet look at that impish smile. How wonderful they are. Holding them in intense protective Love.
 Here's a great shot of a great mix of people. We are really determined to get a Fracking Ban in Butte and save our groundwater. Only about 5000 signatures to go.... Send financial support to FFBC PO Box 6395, Chico, Ca. 95927... we will need some help to get there but are determined.
 Guthrie is visiting from Vermont. Enjoying her role of Easter Bunny. It's wonderful having her back on our side of the country.
 Marci and her daughter got matching Tee Shirts and look so sweet. 'Had to share it with you.
And speaking of sweet... the egg hunts are controversial now days (cruelty and feeding issues as well as the vegan issues,) but it is still very pleasing to see the little ones out finding the eggs throughout the grassy lawn behind the Pancakes for Peace benefit for the Chico Peace and Justice Center. Enjoy the beauty of the Spring Passover--it is fleeting but the P4P punctuates it beautifully.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday at Beale. It was.

 It was good to be back at Beale after so much time away. Our friend Shirley, above, right, had just been acquitted and gotten good coverage for an earlier anti-drone protest. The day was warm and hazy with dust from the plowing for rice fields and distant fires but the land was still green with a sprinkling of wild flowers.
 Caroline and I rode down together (on bio-diesel) and were delighted to be in such good company.
 There was a Good Friday service that started off with the recognition of the power of the four directions and much about the fear and challenge of those last hours of the life of Christ for there was an analogy to our own times as things seem bleak now too. The songs of the Civil Right era with their contemporary verses lifted our spirits.
 And after a communion breaking of bread by a young woman minister 11 people gathered themselves and crossed the line into Beale Air Force Base with a letter to discuss with the Base Commander.
 Among them was Nobel Prize nominee Kathy Kelly who spoke to us about the suffering of the Afghan people impoverished and in refugee camps because of the drone strikes.... the examples of wounded children in agony and with missing limbs were sobering. A moving testimony and  indictment of a morally corrupt foreign policy of domination by robotic drones.
 I love the purpose of these people striding together into an unknown legal situation. They moved across this line, this arbitrary line, in order to put drone "warfare" on trial not to sacrifice themselves. If Christ was alive would he not be with them? (Below is Reverend Sharon Delgado of Earth Justice Ministries. You can read more about this day from her blog and from Learn more about Kathy Kelly's international work at Voices for Creative Nonviolence.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Some of the things..

 Spring Birthdays, like Marcia's, found us at her Faery home(s.) Drinking in the beauty and the relaxation of her little island life.
 Such a nice break being with my sisters along the gentle Butte Creek...
 Another thing to tell about is Re-Doin-It Right. Women are committed to only buying second hand and altering as needed and some are even so committed they are raising flax and will spin and dye the cloth themselves. This is because of how working people are treated in the contracts big box stores have with factories in poor countries but also because of the endless waste in our country.
 Lastly, a good retirement party for a good man out at the GRUB farm. You can have a wonderful CSA box that will feed 2 for just 15$ a week from them. Local. organic. Heartseeded.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Inserting Uncertainty

 We've gone away every other week before chemo three times now. It's a lot of work to get away from town but it always has released us from care. This time we headed up Friday afternoon on a chilly over-cast afternoon and spent the night at Wilson Lake, a place that has always been a respite for us. We've been there when it is frozen over, alight with moon showers, dulled out by forest fire smoke, dry as a meadow and sprouting mist like floating dervishes. It was just wet, gray and nourishing it's noisy population of ducks and geese this time.

 The next day we parked at the McGowan Lake trail and headed a straight perpendicular until we were up in the open country high above the established trails, crossing and recrossing the big pawprints of a wandering bear. We stopped for lunch with the sun on our backs but clouds loomed up and filled the sky by the time we were done.
 We got up to Lassen National Park Lodge parking lot for a brief flurry of sleet and settled in for what could have been a pleasant night but Michael got quite ill with flu-like symptoms and it was very distressing. In the morning he was better but still queasy and not wanting to eat.
 So we did a little exploring above Payne's Creek as we moved down toward the valley. All the time running on straight veggie oil--just want you to remember the commitment Michael has made and that this is how we roll.-- By the time we got home it was over 80 degrees and it seemed we'd traveled a thousand miles through delight, discomforts, seasons and uncertainty to this fixed position here at the kitchen table. In this beautiful spring sunset delivered home to the week ahead.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April fulls

 Michael's been working on the electrical shorts on the Veggie Voyager. This is what a day under the hood looks like. Whereas I'd like to say my world is more like this:
 However, that's not really true either. I've been working hard on the Frack Free Butte County campaign to get a Ban on Fracking in our county and pretty much missing a lot of my usual love affair with nature.
 It was nice to stroll around after the rain this morning with Michael and get completely soaked below the knees. It is all so luxurious right now at Riparia! This is the area by the swimming hole.
 So, I am just posting photos of lilacs, ceanothus and apple blossoms just to celebrate this brief and magical time of the year.
 We've had thunder, lightning, hail, rainbows and even tornadoes but now it looks like the second phase of spring has begun. The heat will return and with the longer days it will be staight on to summer.
 But I love the little caresses of spring. So fleeting and  soft-earthed... so easily dug and so willing in new growth.
 Whenever I come home it's this little jog by my neighbor's house and the well-head and into the arches of the great old black walnut trees and the canopy of their branches that I know my home life is re-joined. There is much that needs doing in this world but living with beauty needs to be the fuel that stokes the spirit.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Snow above 7000 feet

 We made it to Shasta last night and the photo above is out of sequence from lunch today at the base of the wide bowl of Panther Meadows. The photo below is from 7000 feet, from Bunny Flats. The lot was full of people and cars... many from Washington and Oregon. Apparently these snow chasers couldn't find much of what they craved north of here either. There's been a lot of rain up there but not much snow.
 We just went up the road this morning. It was icy in the tree shadows and pocked with snowmobile and other tracks. The day was bright and warm but the air was sweet and it felt complete to be toiling along on the uphill and just gliding along on the down.
 I was reminded of two days before when I'd gotten into a heated discussion about Sierra Pacific Industries clear cutting with an SPI patrol guy who was kicking us out from where we were already leaving from our over night camping spot. The old growth trees, especially the gnarly old ones near the edge of tree line, are always such characters. I can't help but wonder what this summer will bring to the forests, both wild and "even aged" tree farms that are passing more and more as "forests."
 The snow locked into the freeze-melt cycle up here where the nights still freeze is really one of the last reserves California has for surface water in Shasta Dam and the Sacramento and the Delta and many points south. The mountain stands so silently and so immutably above all the concerns we have about drought.
 On the ski down Michael insisted on a photo of me. Ok. Now there is a photo of me too. It's too bad I missed his poetically beautiful telemark turns through the trees.
It was a long drive back down to Chico from Mt. Shasta. Michael processed 35 gallons of veggie oil to make the trip possible and drove the entire way. Now tomorrow it is back to the indoor veg out of chemo. I wish I could bottle the air from Shasta to infuse all of our days.