The many ‘if onlys’ of my life

May 30, 2012 at 10:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Flickr photo by Stig Nygaard

Today I was reading the latest post from Mike at Minimalist Lifestyle. It was about enjoying the moment, which also lead to another one of his posts, a plan to become location independent.

These posts had me questioning the many “if onlys” of my life.

If only I didn’t have student loans.

If only I didn’t spend so much money on my college education or planned better.

If only I didn’t have something — BILLS! — that keep me from exploring life.

If only I didn’t have student loans. Those freaking students loans are ruining my life.

What would I do without my student loans?

Backpack through Europe, LIVE in Europe for awhile, freelance while I travel cross-country, being a hippie mom, who carries her kids around on her body and makes all their food.  Save every single penny I have, load all my crap at my parents’ house and EXPLORE.

A girl can dream, right?

But for now, I am embracing some things that gives me a sense of happiness despite being stuck to a 5-day-a-week job (that pays well, mind you.) I hike. I farm at my CSA. I make crafts. I lessen my load in life so I can enjoy the things I DO have, instead of accumulating more that I don’t need.

And this is how I feel about a lot of things: my future wedding, my future house, my future path. Lessen my load and enjoy what I have.

The crazy idea post, week 1

May 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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stock.xchng photo by brokenarts

I get attached. It doesn’t matter if it is a person, a place, a thing or an idea. I have issues with attaching myself FEROCIOUSLY to it.

I noticed in the past two years I have had a crap ton of crazy ideas. (yes, crap ton.) Just ask Batman, I have been driving him CRAZY.

Now, it might not be as cool as shark repellent but I still have them. Some work, some don’t. I want to do a yard sale, live minimally, get a bike, use said bike more often than my car, get married, buy a house, start a business. This is all to name just a few, the very few I can remember.

I think I might make a weekly or monthly post of my crazy ideas. I guess it all depends on how they come to me.

This week’s edition: Buying a house.

Continue Reading The crazy idea post, week 1…

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Virginia vegan Brunswick Stew

May 21, 2012 at 9:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Projects get out of hand, time slips away. This has been my life since I posted the original 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes post!

I have started farming again, thinking about decluttering my apartment, hosting a yard sale, among so many other things.

The finished Brunswick Stew, in my crockpot

But I DID start the project, and it was with Virginia: Brunswick Stew.

This was in honor of my three-year anniversary trip to Damascus, Virginia, at the beginning of May. You can read all about that adventure here.

When I did an online search for recipes to veganize, I was confronted with a problem: Both Virginia and Georgia claim they were the creators of the stew. You can read about the history at this Wikipedia page.

The main difference I concluded was the Virginia variety was more tomato-based and was more soup-like. Also, they prefer chicken (also rabbit. ew. ) Also, there are a variety of vegetables each person says to put in, weather it is succotash, lima beans, okra, potatoes and corn, to name a few.

Continue Reading 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Virginia vegan Brunswick Stew…

An adventure of an anniversary in Virginia

May 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I don’t really even know where to begin with my three-year anniversary trip with Batman.

We had some ideas of what we wanted to do, such as camping on the Appalachian Trail. If you know me, or knew me at least 5 years ago, I am/was a girly girl. I hate bugs and the outdoors.

But something has changed in my heart, and I think a lot has to do with my veganism and love of the Earth.

But it takes baby steps to get where you are going sometimes, so plans were modified.

Instead, we decided to drive 7 1/2 hours down to Damascus, Virginia, also known as Trail Town USA. The Appalachian Trail runs RIGHT through town and they are darn proud of it!

This little, one-road town with a single stop sign has a church, a few homes, a Dollar General and FOUR to FIVE bike/trail stores. YES! I have to drive 45 minutes from my apartment to find a bike store, yet this little, tiniest town has 4x as many with quality product.

The day before I finally purchased my bike, a Trek 820, which I fell in love with. It barely touched Pennsylvania soil. After some issued getting to Va. (traffic, shifting bikes), we settled in and prepared for the next adventurous day.

This was NOT the right trail. But it was fun.

So, Appalachian Trail it was. We headed out and THOUGHT we were going in the right direction. The path was narrow and barely kept. Downed trees were everywhere. We even saw poop! I was disturbed at that, thinking the thru-hikers were rude, especially when I saw garbage about. It was quite a treacherous hike, with cliff areas and jumping across a small stream.

Well, would you know it, we emerge an hour and 1/2 later to see TWO thru-hikers walking perpendicular to us! Yes, we went in some RANDOM trail. The Appalachian Trail — the REAL one — is so much more well-kept and wide and beautiful! Batman said he should have known, as he didn’t see the tree markings, but we were too far in by that time.

Well, it was on to bicycle riding and what I call an invincibility factor. I blogged about it on my work blog, Twenty & Change. Wanna read? Go here.

Basically, we biked 31 miles. I haven’t ridden a bike in eight years, and Batman has never gone that far in one sitting before. Yea, we are CRAZY! We thought at younger than 30, we were like our high school days — young and free. We are

At the Confederate cemetery

officially free but definitely not young.

Well, we woke up the next morning and decided, no, we couldn’t bike anymore! We were too sore! So we decided to enjoy the town and go back to Abingdon, where we biked to and had to rush back from the previous day. We viewed the many bike shops in Damascus, then we headed to the winery we originally biked to but was closed on the previous day.

Abingdon was so cute! Very small Southern town but enough people that it was busy. We viewed a historic home; went to an old-fashioned soda shop; went to a Confederate museum; went antiquing (I got a typewriter!); and enjoyed a farmers market and some lavender tea. It was great. I enjoyed how NICE everyone was, and all the ya’lls.

It was a great trip, to say the least. It really put a boost of energy in me, making me more adventurous and making me realize that I need to go out more, do more, experience more.

And we all need a little bit of enlightening sometimes, don’t we?

Beautiful river right next to the Inn where we stayed.

Body is like a puzzle, and the pieces are not fitting

May 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The title for Rochelle’s photo — “Just .. ugh” — says it all for me.

This happens maybe once a month or once every two months: I feel like my body is made up like a puzzle and for some reason, the pieces aren’t fitting right or they fell off, waiting to be put back in.

This usually happens when I visit my parents. I love my crazy, unusual, frustrating family. But whenever I drive back to where I live now, there is a frantic feeling. I have bags to get in the house, which is usually a mess, despite Batman’s attempt at cleaning. I have to throw everything out of my bag in a crazy-fast attempt to get ready for work. (Night shift, wee!)

The problem comes the following days, when my life is too busy to put said stuff away and it sits all over my apartment, increasing my general anxiety. And what about with this time, as I hauled a crap ton of stuff for the future yard sale? I need to sort through that and that takes up room. ANXIETY!

And I love the fact that I usually have an empty fridge, so I must rush off to the grocery store and get something unhealthy to eat for dinner. There goes my diet.

I get overwhelmed with my regular life and the projects I take on constantly despite being tired.

I don’t know why I feel this way. It isn’t productive for me: I don’t sleep well; I get depressed and don’t feel like doing anything before work; I bitch at Batman for nonsense things.

I went to therapy for a few sessions years ago (shocker!) for this same thing, but before I knew it, I was off to a new town. I haven’t looked for a new therapist … because anxiety gets the best of me and I am freaking lazy.  And I don’t want pills. I don’t like taking medicine if I can help it.

But I know I need to do something about this before I shut down.

Have you ever felt this way? What are some things you have done to cope?

I have tried slowing down and eliminating things out of my life. I really need to do the breathing techniques again, like my therapist showed me.

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