Still Glowing After an Amazing Family Reunion

I’m sitting in a little laundromat in Savannah, Ga on our way home from a family reunion in Jacksonville, Fl. It’s a homey little washhouse with wood paneling on the walls and counters, and no change machine to speak of, meaning the operator of the laundromat must personally change bills for quarters all day… I like it. The laundromat operator has just asked me if I’m reading something funny or if I just like to smile. “Definitely the second option,” I reply with a grin.

The Reunion

Little Lotus on Aunt Vivian's lap

Our family reunion was phenomenal! I expected it to be amazing, but I had no idea just how much effort had gone into this year’s event. My Jacksonville family, Auntie Monie, Uncle Arthur, and cousins Emius, Essie, Kevin, and Alicia did an amazing job organizing. We got to connect with family members from all over, some of whom I hadn’t seen since we were children and some of whom I was meeting for the first time. What is it about being around cousins that brings out the playful child in me? My favorite part was seeing Little Lotus cuddled by aunties and uncles that hugged and cuddled me as a youngster.

Great Grandmother Essie

My amazing cousin Essie researched and wrote an almost 200 page book detailing the generations of our family complete with pictures of great-great grandparents. It turns out my great grandmother, also named Essie, was a mother and land-owner who built her own home on her land. When my great grandmother Essie lost her first plot of land (through eminent domain), she relocated to Georgia, worked, and sold vegetables until she could buy another parcel of land on which she built a home, a school, and a church. Hmmmm I wonder where I get my determined and incurable homesteader streak?

The Forest Garden
Things at the Forest Garden were amazing, although not as permanent as we had hoped. We learned so much and we plan to go back soon to help build the necessary structures for the farm. Visit my fundraiser page to learn more about this project http://livingourbliss.net/GreenBuildingFundraiser.aspx
Wishing you a day full of magic and fulfillment!
Asante
www.LivingOurBliss.net
Read more of my articles at http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/954076/asante_george.html

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

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

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