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

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Unkowingly in the Mississippi Delta

While watching the news in our hotel room last night, I learned that Little Lotus and I are in the Mississippi Delta. I also found out about a music festival happening in Greenwood, Mississippi commemorating the 100th birthday of blues legend Robert Johnson “The King of the Delta Blues”. The festival is free, begins tomorrow, and we are less than 120 miles away! Two of my favorite musicians, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Keb’ Mo’, are playing.

Last night, after learning of the festival, I completely talked myself out of going with arguments like, “I didn’t budget for two extra nights in a hotel,” and, “It’s a bit out of the way.” When I awoke this morning my first thought was, “What am I thinking?! We are very close to the historical home of one of my favorite musicians when two more of my favorite musicians are playing at a free outdoor festival!” So… we are on our way to Greenwood , Mississippi to visit the Robert Johnson museum, at least, and perhaps stay for the festival.

At Little Rock, Arkansas our journey took us from driving on an interstate to driving on a highway. Interstates are much busier and flanked with hotels, gas stations, and chain stores, but by traveling on a highway one gains a true sense of a region. While driving on the open highway I felt as if I has been transported back through time.

I must admit, it’s hard for me not to judge this region for its past. As I drove through Little Rock, I thought of the Little Rock Nine who desegregated Arkansas public schools. While passing large beautiful trees, I thought of Lady Day’s Strange Fruit. Shells of burned houses reminded me of nighttime riders in white sheets. I look forward to exploring the southern U.S. more deeply and rounding out my knowledge of this region that saddens, intrigues, and inspires me. Our trip to the Robert Johnson museum is a great start.

In love, beauty, and peace,
Asante
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

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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