Monday, May 28, 2012

Town, Farmers Market, Kiteboard Fest & More

Even though I am busy, I have the nights to myself, which is a new thing for me.  Alone in my thoughts, my mind tires me. I feel isolated being in this nice, huge place up the hill and 5 miles from town. But then again, I am going to use this alone time to write, and learn, read, research. It’s funny I crave time to do all these things, but then I don’t like being alone and away from communities. Maybe that’s because I was just raised in a city. First week was adjusting but doing much better now!

I’ve been able to get rides from friends and their friends, yoga teachers and farm market peeps, but I feel like I owe something and I don;t have much to give back. I dislike the dependent feeling. I did catch a ride from a couple at the grocery store, so in a way its cool being able to meet new peeps too.

We opened the Farmer’s Market this weekend and we even were interviewed on the public radio. Click here for a listen, I spoke way too fast. I layered up as I was warned about the wind and cold, but my hands and feet still froze even with two wool socks on and liners in my boots. Next time heat pads! I met so many vendors and it was one nice, huge, happy family. 

Afterwards, most of them go to the Brewery, which is close by.  I met the owner, from TX, her and her hubby have been brewing here almost 20 years. You could only buy growlers (1/2 gallon) and drink it outside in the beer garden. Then Robbi, the Market Manager and her dude, Chaz, had a potluck dinner. What a long, fun day/night. I nearly drank my entire growler, whoops!

Nannying has been cool as Tania is super nice and the kids overall behave and play well. The hours are flexible which is nice. I plan to work more while the husband is away and then less when he is back so I can do a few small trips.

Lastly, my friend, Will and I checked out kitefest, baby moose, glacier views, and more all in one day! Click here for pix!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nanny Life & Island Getaway

Wow, taking care of twins is so much more work than I thought. They don't usually sleep at the same time and it’s hard to carry both. They both loved to be held and usually u have to be are standing, which is tiring. I don't know how this mom, Tania, does it. I guess she had practice w/ the other 3 kids, but she said having two babies vs one is so much harder. But I survived my first nanny week.

I’ve already visited the only Homer winery, one of the few in AK, right at the bottom of our hill. They import all the grapes but make tons of combos to include many AK berries: rhubarb, berry, strawberry, and more. Next on my list to visit it the meadery and brewery.

This past weekend I stayed with my adopted wwoofer family, Rick & Dorle, from last year and their wwoofer Jeff. It was great to catch and visit their magical place. It’s so nice to be so welcomed. They are older than my parents, but we just have so much to talk about. We had a birthday party for Rick’s son, Ben who is now 30. He visited with his fam so we had a nice, small fun party. We even got to sauna at the neighbors which is always a lovely treat!

On the transportation update, I looked into a small motor scooter only 50cc. I always thought I wanted one to get around town easily. I test drove it and it was scary. The turns are hard and I just felt so unsafe. It can only go up 35 and some parts of my road is 45. I did not even like being at 15. The bikes I thought I could borrow are way to big for me. There’s no used bikes on craiglist here. So for now it’s about an hour walk to my volunteer gig and 1hr 45 mins to town. I’ve been able to organize rides and run in to people in town to get a ride. Hitchin is also a safe option. Everyone knows everyone, which is a good or bad thing at times. Click here for some pix.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Home in Homer

I have been swept away my first few days here. I made it in time for the 20th annual Shorebird Festival. I checked out a few free workshops discussing sea birds, tracking birds, environmental journalism by the author of “The Big Year”, and viewing a live bird presentation.

The day before my flight, I found out I got the paid position at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. It’s only 8 hours a week starts May 26th – Sept 29th. My 1st day here, I met with the yoga studio owner and for 1.5 hours worth of clean up work, I get access to 5 classes a week.

I met with Kyra who runs Sustainable Homer, where I will volunteer. She is awesome and knows so much. She did Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. I am excited about the few projects we discussed. She said, “I don’t want you to go home the next day. I’d like you to stay till January.” Her org has an AmeriCorps position that started in Jan that I actually got but later declined to move to VT. It’s funny how things turn out. It’s also amazing how quickly things have worked out for me.

On my 2nd day, I borrowed a bike and biked 6 miles. Man, I am out of shape. I have not biked in a year and was never a biker before. I’ve been having knee issues and the doc says biking is great for hit. I saw a moose and wondered what I should do. I was far enough so I felt safe and whipped out my camera with the awesome new lens (thanks dad).

Later on, I then got to visit a local family who are very creative minded as they never went to tradition school. The guys build awesome structures for the family and tons of farm animals they have (ducks, chickens, goats, sheep, yak, donkeys!) to live in. They drink donkey milk and swear by it. They are not too far from my new home and hope to visit them some more.

On Saturday, I met the kids that I will nanny for about 15 hours a week in exchange for a lovely studio, attached to the lower right of their awesome house. I can get in via the sliding door and we have great views of the bay and mts. There are 5 kids ages 6, 4, 2, and two 4 month old. So very busy and hands are full and I am tired. Their house is further out than I expected and up a huge hill, so I am looking at some solutions as I don’t think I can bike it both ways. Homer's pop is 5,800 but the small town is spread out.

Summer is the best time to be here. It’s not easy and all good times living here year round. I am excited to be here but at times I wonder what the heck am I am doing and get sad. Its kinda lonely and I miss Honey. And naturally I miss Dave. I guess sometimes, you can’t have it all…click here for pix

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Big News

Well long story short, I left VT. There’s lots of factors involved that are hard to explain, but I was not adjusting well here and just was not feeling myself. It is sad as Dave and I still care for each other, but we gave it a shot despite the challenges, and think the timing just was not right.

So I am sticking to my original plan from last summer and heading back to lovely Alaska for the summer. This time just one town, Homer. I got a nanny position in a lovely home, 2 miles from downtown, with my own small studio. They live near a woman I want to volunteer with, Sustainable Homer, to work on local food systems.

I just got to NYC as my parents are caring for Honey again.  I take off to AK on May 9. Using my air miles for a one way ticket since I am not sure how long to stay and where to go from there :) I hope to stay till end of Sept. I am nervous and excited. I have Déjà vu as I flew to Homer last year w/ a one-way tix on May 11th within two weeks of making the decision. Pretty strange!

There are many good things about VT and it would have been nice to stay for the summer.  Volunteering at ECHO and substitute teaching has helped me figure out what I want and don’t want for a career. I learned how draining teaching and talking/engaging w/ people all day can be. You always have to be on. And, after volunteering for a day at ShelburneFarms, I was reminded how important and interesting local food systems are in terms of our health and health of our environment. I swear I wish we could change the word “environment” issue to “human” as our survival depends on the “environment”.

Anyway, I hope to be outside and not indoors on the net much; I won't have wifi, but will post updates with great pix.  You can text me, but obviously that does not replace real talk. I have Verizon and weekends are probably best. AK is 4 hrs behind EST and 1 hr behind PST. Click here for some pix of VT from visiting farms, towns, more pottery etc.

Have a great SUMMER! And go to a local farmer’s market, if you got one :)