Monday, August 25, 2014

The Tiny House Prevails!

Tiny home.  Tiny house.  I slumbered in your womb.  Your ability to comfort, surround, impress has not been lost on me.  The tiny home is worth her fame.  The sleep was splendid.  Never a moment of claustrophobia.  I could winter warmly and comfortably in the tiny home!  Thank you for this experience!  May I say that all who are skeptical must be immersed into her real and practical existence.  Go and sleep in a tiny home.  Spend a moment of your life imagining a world where we consume less and are happy with little material burden.  Trust one who feels this freedom from the dizzying rat race which many run.

The bunk above is spacious.  There is more than three feet of clearance above your head while sitting.    The convertible couch below sleeps our whole family with room to spare and much head room.

The beams in this photo, with the addition of some netting, are perfect for hanging herbs, drying plants, storing garlic and onions for the winter, etc.

Monstrous thanks to our dear friends for offering us hospitality in this model home!  I see the reality as definite possibility.  My definitions of needed space are shrinking rapidly.

From Harrisonburg to Lancaster.... Over 2,000 Miles!

The 200 miles leading to Lancaster...though you may think 'you made it, you're home', it's not quite true.  We are in Pennsylvania, true.  We are from Lancaster, true.  We still have about 200 miles to ride however.  There are still more stops to be made, people to see.  The tour goes on.  

Matt joined us for the week and is getting ready to leave Harrisonburg, VA.

After a night in Maurertown, the Chicory was vibrant.

Harpers Ferry

Communing Bicycles of the Womenfolk

In Berrytown, VA with baby Ephraim!

Michael and Matt sharing a traditional Quaker greeting!  What a beautiful tradition this is.

Sun-choke Flowers

Gettysburg, PA at Sundown

Crossing the Susquehanna into Lancaster County.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Ride Through Western Virginia

The day was unusual...highly anticipated...enchanting in so many ways.  First, we began at a church beside a major highway.  Not so special.  After riding out of town, we were taken aback by the weather and by the scenery.  Special.  These vibes remained until we entered Harrisonburg, about 30 miles to the north.

The Weather... Immediately after getting into the countryside, it was apparent that the wind would make riding challenging.  However, the scenery was fantastic and kept us content.  Our ride headed north through a valley in those great Shenandoah mountains.  The hills rolling all around us were a deep emerald green which travelled far to the grand wall of high rounded blue ridges to our left and to our right.  Grasses grew high in these vast pastures and dramatically swayed with the gusty breezes.  The sky a deep blue with puffy white clouds so very far above.

Cows, mostly Jerseys, spread through the lands soaking up sun and eating rich fodder.  The air was so crisp with a fall-time feeling.  We rolled up and down endless humps in awe of this day and of this beauty.  My romantic ideas of Austrian countryside were gratified by this experience.

Romantic?  Yes!  Hopeless?  No!

The ride continued up Keezletown Road in Harrisonburg with lots of tight steep hills.  This was a challenge and then we saw the sign welcoming us into the arms of this great city.  The view beyond was worth all the hard work.  More green.  More mountains.  Cool air.  Only two miles to go.

We are beyond thanks for this opportunity.  To see the violets, indigos and purple beauties.  The chicory, the thistle, the teasel, all in bloom and vibrant.  Bees danced from one to the next, eating their summer feast.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Chicory Dances...

 Why do we call ourselves Brother Chicory?

We get that question a lot.  Here is an brief look at our love for Chicory.

It begins with location, timing, and beauty.  Our appreciation for the flower, the plant and the root lies in it's total being.  By nature, it grows in mostly abandoned places (quite stubbornly).  Roadsides, hillsides, sunny, rocky slopes... against the odds, this little flower springs up everywhere unlikely making abandoned places beautiful and bringing character to monoculture-manicure attempts.  We relate with it somehow.  Not only does it begin to flower at the very end of spring (after the most popular time of growth), but it blooms in full glory in the full-trying-heat of the sun.  It lives where most will not.  Withstands what most will not.  And nourishes in ways that most can not.  From medicinal uses (which I won't get into), edible uses, coffee-substitute usage, beautiful vibrant purples and even whites and pinks sometimes, and the subtle perfume, to cattle fodder, the plant is a true treasure beneath our fast moving wheels of society.  It will be there.  It will thrive.

We love to see our Brother Chicory.  In relation, it is near us, beneath us, among us when allowed to grow.  We have relationship with it.  We honor it with the title Brother.  We assume it's identity and hope to embody the spirit and character which it represents.

The Chicory dances openly to the song of the cicada, that blistering song which chases humanity indoors.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Don't Fear the Kombucha

Every attempt to brew Kombucha that I have made has been a huge failure.  Who knew that I could get one going and have it on this tour doing nearly everything wrong and it is thriving! It's about 3 weeks old now and doing so well.  

Sweet tea is easy to come by, especially in the South.  We just add in more tea when the bottle gets low.  

I was even able to share my culture with a  friend in Lynchburg!  

The kombucha that I brewed before was surrounded by fear.  Do this, don't do that, make sure you use only this type of water, only this type of bottle, everything must be sterile! cover it with this type of cloth....  All the rules make my head spin.  We just decided to go for it after that stomach bug got us.  No more fear.  Just a bottle, some kombucha culture starter and a paper towel, or coffee filter, and a lid.

This wonderful little brew rides in the trailer all day, sealed up, shaken up and brews fast! I uncover it sometimes at night or on rest days.  It is carbonated so well.  I don't know why it works.  It works.  That is all I care about!  No more spinning head.  Luscious Kombucha to drink everyday!