29 June 2008


Here are some photos of where I'm living and the storm we had the other night.

These are wasps and their nests that I have been cohabiting with since I've been here, and more keep coming!

It was mighty stormy last night with really fierce winds blowing. The clouds were amazing to watch and when it rained it poured! But after about 5 minutes of it pouring it kept raining but only lightly.

Last night a bat came in to roost with me while I slept. Or didn't sleep, considering it woke me up and kept me up. I thought it was either a dying mouse or a dying bat but had no idea what. So when one of my coworkers (who is a full foot and a half taller than me) got off work for lunch I asked him if he could get it down/out for me. It turned out not to be a mouse but a bat. She flew around the room after Brad moved her and reroosteed. She had beautiful wings and was a fair size.

We got two new workers today, which I believe means only two more workers are left, Joel and Oliver -- the latter whom I have no idea who he is. I will take more pictures eventually but they will most likely be relegated to sundays when I have my day off.

Things are going well. I miss Joel terribly but hopefully we'll be able to see each other next weekend! But other than that, farming has been very interesting, with the wildlife being exceptionally so.

25 June 2008

Livin' in a Barn

Hello everyone, I am truly a delinquent in my posts. But I promise pictures will be coming soon! I am truly indeed living in a barn, I am one of the luckiest people in the barn in that I have a mattress. Most people have plywood bed things that they lay a mat on. I go to the bathroom in an outhouse without a door and the dinner house is pretty bare. But besides that its a lot of fun and I'm getting use to the other parts. And I'm getting comfortable enough with the doorless outhouse too, which is a good thing since its my only option.

There are 8 workers on the farm and there are four farms on this plot of land (I think). One of the guys is named Malla, who is from Nepal, he's really funny and I think he appreciates when I laugh at his jokes. There's a new guy who started today named Zach and he goes to Brown University and is a creative writing major. Danielle and Mike went to Warren Wilson University and were environmental majors (yay!), Jeremy went to Warren Wilson (I think) but took some time off, sounds like me? And then there's me! Oh and another girl Emily but she's on vacation and I haven't met her yet.

Right now the sun has almost finished setting and I'm sitting on a piece of farm equipment near the farmhouse (not to be confused with the barn, I think they actually have flushing toilets in there!) and there are hundreds of birds singing, bullfrogs are croaking and there are a ton of fireflies.

I work on three farms on this property. I dunno how they figure out where I go but they do. Today I bundled German statice so that it could be dried. I also mulched tomatoes and cucumbers. Its nice to finally be learning how to do all this. Right now a bird is looking at me. And another one is squawking from across the gravel road. And as I said, I will be putting pictures up soon! I'm missing everyone from Baltimore and California and Arizona (where are you Rachel?) and everywhere. Its nice here but it would be nicer with people I loved. :0) I love you all!

13 June 2008

Oh, and...

This is a bit like a PS post. I made a painting for Joel for our anniversary. Its a bit of an inside joke, but yes, that *is* a capybara that has invited us to tea at his house. :0) Its called, "Jacques the Cosmopolitan Capybara and His Two Merry Guests." That would be me and Joel.

And this is my license examiner's list. I passed! And I should be getting my official license in the mail sometime in the near future.

And thats all!

12 June 2008


The day started off by being woken up by two scurrying ferrets. And by scurrying I mean, ran across my arm. Luckily I didn't freak out and it wasn't a Baltimore rat, which is what I was afraid it was before I opened my eyes. But I tapped Joel's shoulder and before I could get a word out one of the ferrets ran across his leg. So, needless to say, it was strange: the last thing I would have imagined being woken up by. Ever. Save for the one time a raccoon sniffed my face while I was sleeping on a houseboat. But thats a tale for another time. So we made flyers and posted them around the neighborhood and was stopped by one of Joel's neighbors who told us it was Joel's next door neighbor.

The ferret above is named Peanut, I later found out.

Peanut was the friendly and less psychotic of the two ferrets (the other ferret's name is Scooter, they're both girls) and decided she liked it over at Joel's house so much that she decided to come over again today (two days later). Just one ferret is fine for me!

Scooter is the lighter ferret. They're really quiet when they're sleeping, you'd never known they'd exist if they slept like this all the time! When I was looking for Peanut a while ago she fell asleep in a suitcase -- but I didn't know that so when Ron, her owner, came to look for her I panicked a little cause I couldn't find her. Not but two minutes later I was smarter than the ferret and figured where she had hid herself.

We then went up to Annapolis Rocks which is just past Frederick, in Gathland State Park. We were going up for our honorary anniversary since I wasn't here when our real one was. So it turned out okay. On our way up (2.5 miles, steep grade and 95 degrees -- I wasn't sure if it was worth it at the time) there were lovely white flowers that made the trail into a corridor of celebratory blossoms. I even said they looked celebratory before I knew what was going to happen. :0)

There was a lot of wildlife along the way too. So many spiders, caterpillars, cicadas, and so colourful too!

This photo is a story in and of itself but I'll be brief. In Western Maryland at this time of year (end of May, early June) the trees are full of caterpillars, that means, millions of caterpillars, munching on leaves and pooping. Its the funniest sensation because while its sunny it sounds like its raining, and well, it is in a manner of speaking, its just not water!

More cicadas and caterpillars.

The view from the top! We made it! Not without much ado but it was well worth it. This is where Joel and I sat for a while and talked about the last year and the good things about it. Meanwhile I was very distracted with the promised rain and the thunder that we could hear in the far off distance. But finally we got back to talking about our year together and Joel came up and sat behind me and said, "And those are all reasons why I would like you to marry me." He held out a ring for me and I threw my arms around him and said, "And I want to marry you too!" It was lovely! For those of you who are in MD, you'll see the ring in the near future but for those of you not in MD I'll be posting a picture of it in the near future cause I couldn't describe it well enough.

Its a beautiful antique ring thats about 75 years old, and came from Pittsburgh. We wanted to do something that was environmentally responsible and "green." So it fit our requirements and its beautiful! Its very elegant and subtle which is a lot nicer than flashy stuff. :0) As many of you know, I'm not flashy, ha ha.

In any case, we watched the storm clouds roll in over the hills and the farmlands towards us. The weather cooled down considerably and we both felt much better. It finally started to rain and the thunder sounded over head so we decided that it was probably a good idea to go back down before the rocks got too slippery. The rain brought out some animals that we had't seen before on our way up. We first saw a frog, and then later we saw this toad.

We saw a couple squirrels on the way up and on the way back.

And we saw a lovely iridescent green beetle, much like a June bug.

Here are the lovely white flowers again, they were so delicate and beautiful!

Here's the beetle again.

And another lovely flower that was at the entrance to the trail. :0)

I'm now engaged! Hurray! I will keep you all updated with further plans. :0)

09 June 2008


Oh its so good to be back!!

I've been back for about a week now and I've seen so many people and have been basking in the joy of having people to talk to and seeing people I care about. I'm in the Panera I use to work in and all the workers that were here when I was remember me. Brian is the manager on duty and he said hello. I had a fairly extensive talk with Alexandra though it was broken between Spanish and English, she's always so happy and wonderful to talk to. I also talked to Alejandro and Yenira, Alejandro is from Ecuador so he's been loving this weather, though I think he's nuts. Its been in the upper 90s and VERY humid. Its like living in a sauna!

Last week, the day after I got here, Joel and I went up to Timonium to pick up my bike. Its beautiful! Its a Marin Larkspur hybrid 24 speed bike, very smooth. Well, on our way back to Baltimore the lightrail was down over the longest stretch between stops but we decided to bike to the next stop anyway. Halfway there we stopped in at Barnes and Noble to figure out how to get to the Falls Road station. I will also mention that in the last seven years I've biked five times and it was raining as well. By the time we figured out where we were going and had rested up enough, night had fallen and we road to the Falls Road station. We managed to get almost all the way there before I fell off my bike and make seven or more large bruises on my legs. I was coming to a stop but then decided to continue going and when I turned onto the sidewalk (Falls road is intimidating to those of us who are amateur riders) which had a concrete wall sticking out, I lost control and fell off, and messed up my brand new bike a bit. It now has a scar across the name, Joel had to readjust my brakes and my chain had fallen off (very minor, which was able to be fixed once we sat down at the station). I got away without a drop of blood spilled. Just bruises. :0)

Then Saturday I went out with Joel to volunteer at Habitat for Humanity, where he works. That was the first day of the heatwave. It was pretty miserable weather-wise but other than that it was really cool to see where he works and be able to be a part of it too. His house was being dedicated, his roommate Jess was also having a house dedication that day too, which was cool. So after getting home, Joel went to REI to work that night and then Patty came to pick me and Jess up to go to a benefit concert (Hard Hitting Music for Hard Hit People) which was a lot of fun. Then we dropped Jess off, picked Joel up and went to Patty's house that night to stay over and go to church with her in the morning.

Church was wonderful, it was so grand to see all of those people again. Coming back to such a warm and welcoming community was so good, such a blessing! I love all of them so much! Everyone seemed so happy to see me and joy was bubbling to overflowing inside of me. Having such a loving community like that is the most amazing thing ever. I just can't put it into words what they mean to me. After church a handful of us went out to pizza at Ledo's, which was delicious. Jess came to church and lunch with us too, which was cool.

I am so ecstatic to be back here, even the horrid weather isn't able to get me down. To everyone of my friends in and around Baltimore: I love you!