A Quick Trip to Tuskegee Institute

I’m writing from the Kellogg Conference Center at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. This morning, Uzuri, Little Lotus, and I found we had received scholarships to an organic farming conference held at Tuskegee Institute, complete with hotel room reservations, so we quickly packed and drove for several hours stopping at fruit stands along the way. The conference actually began today, but we’ll attend a day of organic farming classes tomorrow.

I love being here. There is a bust of the founder Booker T. Washington in the Lobby and lots of cultural and historical art decorating the walls. It feels profound to walk on ground that Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver stood on. I am humbled.

Things at the farm are going beautifully. We’ve finally finished weeding the hoop house, and we’re beginning to harvest zucchini and sweet peas. Uzuri and Little Lotus harvested two big drinking cups full of sweet peas to eat during our ride to Tuskegee. They were delicious. After eating sweet peas fresh from the garden, we are all baffled by the thought of cooking them. They are so tender and flavorful when fresh and raw.

Our happy household has decreased by two. The lovely Rasta couple moved last week. Beginning an organic farm from scratch is an adventurous idea, but the reality is a lot of work. It’s not easy, but it can be a wonderful growth inspiring experience.

In love, joy, and peace,
Asante
http://www.LivingOurBliss.net

Weeding and More Weeding in an Alabama Garden

I am rising earlier each morning and establishing a routine. Because we’re closer to the equator than we were before, 8 o’clock in the morning feels like noon, so waking earlier comes naturally. This morning I rose, made a pot or yerba mate, did my morning yoga asana, and headed to the hoop house in the garden to weed.

Uzuri working in the hoop house

Most of our work this week has been weeding. I know we’re making progress, though, because the children in the neighborhood say the inside of the hoop house doesn’t look like a forest any more.

Yesterday Yawah, her daughter Uzuri, Little Lotus, and myself headed to the hoop house together for a day of work. We all wore straw hats and smiles. I got to use a hoe for the first time, and, I swear, my arms are going to be well-defined by the time our garden starts to produce. We got so hot while we worked that we drenched ourselves in water and worked some more. We got dirty and muddy and worked some more. I loved it. By the end of our work day about 15 people from the neighborhood had joined us in the garden. Some helped work, some just had conversations, one little lady played piano, and lots of children ran around playing. It was amazing,

Our garden fresh lunch

Today we made a delicious pate from sunflower seeds and wrapped it in romaine leaves fresh from the garden. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

In love, beauty, and light,
Asante George
http://www.LivingOurBliss.net

A Teary Beginning to a Wonderful Adventure

Little Lotus and I are in a small town in Arkansas. We’ve stopped here on the way to our friend’s land in Alabama. The adventure we have prepared for over the last several months has begun!! We envisioned our project, plotted the steps it would take to get here, worked really hard, and here we are at the beginning of what we call our ecoadventure. Amazing and exciting, right? Not exactly. As the last steps of our preparation became a reality, we realized that embarking on this new beginning meant saying goodbye to people and a place we had come to love. We left Oklahoma in tears that left me wondering whether I had made a very wrong decision. After about fifty miles passed under our adventure-mobile tires, we were both able to catch sight of our dream again. The vision of our plan came back to us in small glimpses at first, and before long we were both smiling again.

We are excited, once again, about our road trip with our cat Max (who travels on a leash) and about our plans to build an eco-house, but we’ll never forget the folks we love that we hope to see again very soon.

In love, adventure, and bliss,
Asante
http://www.LivingOurBliss.net

The Upside of a Failed Modem

What began as a failed modem became a wonderful break from the computer that I didn’t know I needed. It has been a wonderful and productive few weeks. For example, I’ve partnered with The Health Food Center (one of our local health food stores) to offer my Raw Brazil Nut Tacos in their deli every Tuesday starting in March. I also began counseling with a really wonderful woman. I’m so excited about this. Like most of us, I have “stuff” that blocks my joy at times, and I’m ready to work these things out and step fully into my bliss.

This week we placed our first order for Azure Standard. Azure Standard is a company that ships high quality food to food buying coops at a discount. A good friend of mine suggested that we order food from them, and we’ve finally placed an order. We’ll go the drop point on Monday with all the other families who’ve places orders and help unload the truck and pick up our pounds and pounds of organic nuts, grains, and dates…yum.

Today I’m on a mission. I want to find barrels with which to build a simply water catchment system. I also want to find plastic sheeting to reuse as a cover for a greenhouse. I want to make the greenhouse out of found materials, and I believe I’ve collected enough pallets for the frame. Now I need to find a cover. I’m so excited about this idea and about gardening in our yard. Perhaps we’ll create a little urban homestead. I’ve always wanted to do that, and there’s no better time to begin than now!

Love Love Love to you,

Asante

www.LivingOurBliss.net

Green Juice & Water Fast Day 1

I am embarking on a 10 day juice and water fast. Today has been very tough. I knew it would be. I got loads of rest last night, knowing that my energy might be low today. It’s tough now, but  I’m excited about doing this for myself and starting 2011 off at my very best. Today I enjoyed lots of water and a large celery, cucumber, apple juice. I don’t really feel hungry, just icky, spiritual, and optimistic. That’s a funny combination of feelings.

Love to you on your blissful journey!

Asante

www.LivingOurBliss.net

Vanilla Bean the Adventure Mobile

Vanilla Bean's trunkLast minute tasks are taking a bit longer to complete than I anticipated, but we are steadily preparing for our journey. My goal is to travel very light with 4 sets of clothes for each of us, our sleeping bags, art products, and several small crates in the back of the trunk containing carefully selected things like: water, art supplies, and food.

The back seatMy little one has her very own container that sits next to her containing books, food, workbooks and art supplies. I wrote a list of things I’d like to take including details on where to put them in the car, and in the end we are leaving behind about 1/3 of the things I’d planned to take. One of the things we are likely to leave home is our kitten Max. To my five-year old daughter’s delight, we planned to travel with Max the kitten. His travel carrier is ready to be buckled in to the seatbelt and a crate of his supplies has been packed. But in the last few weeks Max has grown from ‘Max the Cute and Cuddly Kitten’ to ‘Max the Ferocious Attack Kitten’. Is it pitiful to admit that I’m afraid of a kitten? Well, pitiful or not I am skittish around Max’s sharp kitten teeth and needle claws.  He hides behind corners practicing his hunting skills on any unsuspecting legs that are unlucky enough to walk by, and he gnaws on our limbs while we are sleeping. Needless to say, Max is not the kitten to travel with at the moment. The good news is he’s likely to grow out of this painful stage of his developement. The bad news is breaking it to my five-year old that kitty must stay home due to bad behavior.

Vanilla BeanWe’ve polished up our 98 Toyota Camry over the last couple of weeks. She’s had an oil change, tire rotation, replaced radio fuse, car wash, and interior shampoo. She looks great! We’ve dubbed her Vanilla Bean the Adventure Mobile (even though she’s white and vanilla beans are actually brown). Just a couple of days should see us on the road!

Abalone Sunrise Earrings

Last week I added my handcrafted jewlery to the products on my website. I love designing jewlery, and gorgeous adornemt blends nicely with my theme of self-care and wellness. I began designing jewelry at age 13; it’s nice to revisit this passion.

Happy trails to you,

Asante

www.LivingOurBliss.net

Creating Well-Being and Preparing for Adventure

It is a beautiful windy day. I love the wind, and today it is warm and powerful. Last week I began walking laps in our backyard. I know this sounds really funny, but it’s great! For years now I’ve walked several miles each day, preferably in the morning. I use to live by a big beautiful lake, so each morning I would throw on my clothes and head out. Since becoming a mom and moving away from my lake, my ritual has become a bit more challenging. Last week I decided I would try walking laps around my backyard. My usual walk is about 3 miles which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes, so now I walk laps around my beautiful backyard for 1 hour and 15 minutes. This way I don’t have to worry about getting us up, dressed, and fed before I get my exercise. I just head outside as soon as I rise. When little one wakes up she can join me outside and play while I walk. We both have fun, and there is no need to pack a stroller, or remind my little lady to keep up. Not mention packing a bag for our walk and driving to a trail.

Last night I developed a line of magnets from my paintings. I love them! My art has been keeping me up very late at night. I love being this inspired. I’ve been thinking about all the ways I create, all the ways I need to create. At present I love raw vegan culinary art, writing, poetry, jewelry design, painting, and I’m sure there is more to come. The common element between all of my passions is the direction of positive thought and well-being, so I’ve created the term “Well-Being Artist” to describe me.

Today, a beautiful friend of mine told me of her daughter’s death. Over the weekend, her partner who has been emotionally and verbally abusive, became physically abusive and took her life. What a waste! My beautiful friend and I are planning a green home building project and documentary, and this tragedy adds urgency and meaning to our project. Home and sanctuary are so important, especially for women. I’m so excited about this project. This is the perfect time.

We are still preparing for our trip. We have our backpacks, sleeping bags, and a travel carrier for Max and kitten. I’m putting finishing touches on a children’s story in order to submit it to a publisher before we go. Then, I can focus on beginning a new one about our journey. I can’t wait to tell you all about our adventures!

Wishing you love unmeasurable,

Asante

Well-Being Artist

www.LivingOurBliss.net

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