Change for Chimps Year-End Update

Hola readers!

How long does it take to establish a tradition?

Well, I’m not sure if it’s quite a tradition yet but this year marks year 2 of this blog’s donation to the Jane Gooddall Institute. It’s also year 2 of this blog.

A little recap–Since starting, I have travelled across the country via greyhound, seen a complete solar eclipse, worked on a cashmere goat farm, explored The Big Apple, living in various sub-standard yet semi-charming communal living spaces, tried out a handful of odd-jobs, chipped away at creative projects, integrated into society somewhat, and honed in on the art of tap dancing.

It’s the first time in many years that I have stayed put for longer than a few months, which I must admit is a struggle for an idyllic, adventure seeking soul like mine. Mental sabotage aside, its been good to stay in one place, sit still, and focus a bit; good to observe the passage of time and seasons within and without; good to experience life on a continuum, get a taste of the “grind” rather than ramblin’ around from one storyline to the next. Its been a good period of reflection and developing focus. At least for now that is my feeling. Time will tell if I get squirrely again.

All in all, this blog has been helpful for keeping track of projects. I appreciate all of you who have been reading and following along. Special shout out of course to my Grandma Pat and maternal units who read my stories and provide feedback, also to the international readers: hello India! Hello New Zealand! Hello UK! Hello Berlin! Hello Israel/Palestine. I’m very stoked to be reaching such a diverse audience and really welcome everyone’s comments and input.

Looking back, last year I donated a forgotten amount to the Jane Gooddall Institute because it was the best option I could find to contribute to the cause of chimpanzee conservation, something I really wanted to do since I admire the work of Jane Gooddall and the conservation efforts she has inspired across the globe.

As a bonus, JGI sent me a story about one of the chimps at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabiliatation Center in the Republic of Congo. A nice touch which provided an interesting insight into chimpanzee behavior and emotions. Read the story here to see for yourself.

Luc
Luc, Chimp sponsored by junebugbayer.blog in 2018

That’s why I chose to donate again this year, this time using the funds I raised while street performing over the course of the year, a hard, yet joyfully earned $200 for JGI. Thank you New Yorkers!

Interesting to note, I made a whopping $0.08 off of advertisements on this blog in the same time period…I’d donate that too but WordPress doesn’t cut checks that small, so the pot will grow for next year…

Anyway, according to JGI, my donation will be doubled as part of their year-end fundraiser, so that’s $400 which will go towards replanting important forest habitats and restoring critical forest corridors that chimpanzees and other great apes need to survive. I say “my” donation but I’d like to note that I consider it “our” donation, since this blog has anchored my efforts, and you are a part of it all by reading.

That being said, I’ll elaborate on the impacts of our donation.

According to the JGI thank you letter, we are supporting programs that improve the health, education and livelihoods of the people in communities surrounding chimpanzee habitats whose future is vitally connected to the future of chimpanzees. Donations also support the Roots & Shoots program, which is equipping young people in over 100 countries to become the next generation of conservation leaders. Side note: The Urban Mining event I hosted this year was part of the Roots & Shoots program.

A big part of JGI donations go to the running of the Tchimpounga Rehabilitation Center in the Congo and providing medical attention to the chimps brought to their doors. According to a letter sent out by Dr. Atencia, the executive director of the Jane Gooddall Institute-Congo and head veterinarian, the sanctuary takes in chimpanzees rescued from poachers, saving them from being sold as pets or bushmeat. Chimps often arrive malnourished and injured and in need of urgent care. It costs about $7000 to care for one chimpanzee at the center per year, and they live about 60 years. Merp! Donations go towards formula for infant chimps, food for adult chimps, and lifetime veterinary care. Chimpanzees are endangered species, with an estimated 150,000 left in the wild. Once rehabilitated at Tchimpounga, under the care of a dedicated team of veterinarians and care-givers, chimpanzees are released into sanctuaries where they are protected from poachers and habitat loss. Here are three  examples of chimpanzees being cared for at the Tchimpounga center, made possible through our donations…

Vienna
Vienna was rescued from poachers in Niari in December 2017. Vienna fears abandonment after the trauma of being taken from his mother so clings to his caregiver Anotonette, who holds him tightly against her chest, which quiets him and makes him feel secure. Antonette spends 24 hours a day with him to make him feel loved and safe, and at night they sleep in the same bed. Once acclimated, Vienna will meet other rescued chimpanzees who reside on the main Tchimpounga sanctuary site.
George
George was rescued and brough to Tchimpounga sanctuart after being taken by poachers and sold into the illegal pet trade in Angola. George’s caretaker Chantal knows how to interact with him, providing him hugs, games, and attention. He will soon meet other caregivers and rescued chimpanzees to avoid being too dependent on Chantal, and they will help him to become fully adapted to sanctuary life.
Kabi
Kabi was brought to Tchimpounga sanctuary in May 2018 after being rescued from a group of poachers near a town called Mokabi. Kabi’s caretaker is Cristel, who spends 24 hours a day with him to help him heal from the traumas he experienced with the poachers.

Its pretty crazy how much individual care is required to rehabilitate a baby chimp. They are much like humans in this way, requiring a lot of affection and attention in order to develop into healthy, sociable creatures. Without that love, they generally do not survive. I’ve heard gorillas are even more sensative and prone to losing the will to live when separated from their mothers. Interesting.

Well, I’ve run out of things to say but I think we are creating some great positive ripples in this world folks by engaging with this topic. There are so many causes and creatures in need, it can be overwhelming and discouraging to think about where to start and what to do to help, but as Dr. Jane Gooddall says:

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I like the way she thinks.

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Also I’ve thought about this while wondering if chimpanzee conservation is really what I should be focusing on in light of all the other crises going on in the world:

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Ok ok, thats all for now, thank you for reading!

Happy weekend!

KB

 

 

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Palestine’s Fine: Chapter 2

The Waiting

As soon as we all unloaded from the bus from Jordan and waited in another line to cross the boarder into The West Bank, I could tell something was up. There was tension in the air as we queued up to have our documents reviewed and to proceed across the boarder. It was taking forever.

A Palestinian man waiting behind me made disgruntled comments about how long it was taking for the officials to review another person’s documents ahead of us. I nodded as if I understood his sentiment, even though at that point I hadn’t witnessed any injustice. Beurocratic processes are notorious for being painfully slow everywhere, I thought, so I wasn’t that disturbed by the hold up. I did notice it was a Palestinian person the man was referring to, but again wasn’t sure if it was a coincidence or discrimination and didn’t have enough experience in the land to pass judgement.

Inching along, I finally made it to the counter to present my documents. The officials were Israeli, I came to find, which is strange since we were entering the West Bank, a Palestinian territory.

Technically the West Bank is part of Israel, so I suppose it makes sense to have Israeli government controlling the boarder, but its still a strange situation if you think about it. Usually when you cross into a country, the officials are of that country. Like I said, the land is technically Israel, but we were passing into Palestinian territory so it would have made sense to have Palestinian officials at the boarder. Just sayin’. Especially since the Allenby Bridge is the only border crossing point Palestinians can use to enter the West Bank.

If a Palestinian travels abroad, they are not permitted to fly to Tel Aviv and enter the West Bank from the Mediterranean Sea side like Israelis and other human beings. They do not have the same privileges. Palestinians are only permitted to pass through the Alleby Bridge, which is only accessible by way of Jordan, so Palestinians are restricted in how they can travel abroad. Its a pain. They cannot go through any other border crossing point from the Jordan side either, which there are two of, one in the South via Eilat, and another in the North near the Sea of Galilee. No, all Palestinians have to come through the Allenby Bridge, where I was at the moment being described.

Its a bit confusing but I digress, when it was my turn to step up to the window and present my documents in order to pass through, I was surprised at the way the officials conducted themselves. There were two officials, young military women. The official took a long time to review my passport, passing it to her colleague and the two of them talking between themselves without cluing me in as I stood there, wondering what the issue was, waiting for further instructions. It wasn’t very human, but I suppose any country could have grumpy, jaded border patrol employees. I wont count that as a strike against Israelis, but its worth noting. They were not friendly.

After deliberating and having another soldier come look over my passport, the officials directed me to a waiting area.  I didn’t know how long I’d have to wait or why. Apparently, I was not in the clear to pass through and I had no idea what made me suspicious. As I sat there waiting for the next step, the seats around me filled with Palestinian families. Eventually, Hanan came to meet me, as she was also sent to the waiting area for further review. I was glad to have met her, otherwise I would have been much more anxious and confused waiting there alone.

It was a half hour before my name was called. I went into an office with an Israeli man who questioned me about what I had been doing in Israel and what I would be doing next. In the end I think the questioning was related to my visa, as my re-entry into the the country from Jordan would result in my visa being extended another 3 months.

Since I already had a plane ticket out of Tel Aviv a few weeks later, it was a non-issue and I was allowed to continue through the boarder. Simple fix.

So I went through, first stopping to confer with Hanan. I told her I’d wait for her on the other side, not knowing how long that would be. And guess how long it ended up being, by the way….

7 HOURS.

Seven.

With no clue where I was, no idea where to go, and no gumption to set off on my own, I waited the entire time for Hanan to pass through, even though I barely knew her.

While I waited, I observed the people passing through. I had never been in a Muslim country before, save for Jordan, and was mesmerized by the clothing people wore, especially the women covered head to foot in black, with only slits for their eyes to see. I found it strange, but that’s just the way things are there.

Allenby Bridge Boarder Terminal

During my hours of waiting, two noteworthy things happened. First, I met a man from South Africa on his way to Mecca with a group of 13 others. I had never met anyone from South Africa before, and never met anyone going to Mecca, a pilgrimage I had learned about in religion class back in my Catholic School days. The concept had seemed quite mythical, but turns out lots of people really do that, including my new friend, the South African.

The man was wearing a funny little pillbox hat and a white linen tunic and was very nice to talk to. I sat with him for about two hours as he waited for his party to pass through security and collect their bags, one by one. I asked him about South Africa, the wild animals there (chimpanzees and monkeys, of course). He entertained my chimpanzee fantasies and gave me pointers about good beaches to visit, but I forgot all that information because I didn’t write any of it down. Eventually everyone in his party made it through security and they moseyed along, leaving me with my bags to wait in the figurative dark for Hanan to come through.

It had been several hours already and I was beginning to doubt if she’d make it through. Of course she would, but it was taking so damn long the worries began to creep in. I staved them off as I continued to observe the flow of people coming through.

The second noteworthy thing to happen was among the funniest scenes I’ve witnessed in this life. Funny in a peculiar and irreverent sort of way.

It went like this: I had my big backpacking backpack propped up in a corner and was sitting a bit away from it in observer mode. Then all the sudden a pair of devout looking Muslim folks laid down mats in front of my pack and started bowing to my backpack. Well, actually they were doing their prayer ritual in the direction of Mecca, but it looked like they were bowing to my backpack. I found it very funny and wanted to take a photo, but didn’t because #1 my camera was in my backpack and #2 that would have been oh so rude.

I’ll draw a picture and include it here someday.

Finally, after 7 hours of waiting, Hanan came through. She was surprised and glad that I was still there. It was dark out by that time and we took some sort of bus van out of the terminal to where Hanan’s parents were waiting for us. They had arrived hours before, not expecting to have to wait until 9 pm to pick us up. No one expected it to take that long.

In the drive to Hana’s parents house I gazed out the window into the night as Hanan’s father talked about life in Palestine. I got my first glimpse of the wall and learned that inconvenience and waiting are not at all unfamiliar to Palestinians living in the West Bank under the Israeli occupation, which is what the situation is, I was learning for the first time.

There’s a Gnome in my Pumpkin; DIY Toothpaste

Hello All, Happy Weekend and Happy Fall!

In recognition of the passage of time and seasons, lets take a moment to admire this pumpkin with a heart on it …

Magic Pumpkin of Berlin
HeART of Gatow –WWOOF Berlin, September 2016

Can you spot the pumpkin I am referring to?

Right there on the bottom row, right side, third pumpkin in. You see it?

Bingo!…a pumpkin with a heart-shaped “blemish” on it’s skin.

An Autumn Miracle, or the work of a garden gnome? Its tough to say…

German Gnome, Gatow
German Gnome, potential windmill squatter and pumpkin artist

Until recently, I believed the heart to be some sort of miracle, like the image of Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich. What else could explain it? Well, then I stumbled upon a book about gnomes which illuminated a new possibility:

Perhaps this was not a “natural occurrence”, the “hand of God”, or “magic”, but instead the clever, whimsical handiwork of a garden gnome who had been living in the windmill on the property.

Gnomes are known to occupy windmills from time to time, and this pumpkin was grown in close proximity to a windmill, the one pictured blow in fact.

Windmühle
Windmühle, WWOOF Berlin Fall 2016

So it could very well have been a gnome.

Oh nature.

It is my love of nature that inspires this next topic, please enjoy.

Zero Waste Living

As some of you may know, garbage is an issue close to my heart.

Lunchlady on Liberty
South Carolina, Golden Bear Cruise 2016

It all started in college. Yep, went to college, fell in love with garbage.

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Its taken me a while, but this year I finally made it a goal to adopt a Zero Waste lifestyle. I am inspired by two ladies: Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home and Lauren Singer of Trash is for Tossers and The Package Free Shop, both women have written extensively on the topic of Zero Waste Living and rely heavily on glamour shots for advertising.

Aside from eliminating plastic utensils and straws (cept the jumbo ones for bubble tea) by switching to Geico…I mean To Go Ware and Simply Straws, I have two recent developments in my Zero Waste game I’d like to share with you in case you were looking for a nudge:

Dental Floss

I bought a fancy dental floss called Dental Lace that is made of silk and comes in a refillable glass container. The idea behind this product is that the natural fibers are better for you to slobber all over and the refillable glass containers reduce the waste associated with plastic dental floss containers. I will continue using the fancy dental floss for these reasons, but will admit the floss breaks easier than what I am used to.

DIY Toothpaste

Most excitingly, and actually the whole reason for this post, is DIY toothpaste. I ran out of toothpaste and decided to make my own to elimiate toothpaste tubes from my waste stream. Using a recipe I found on a zero waste lifestyle blog called Trash is for Tossers, I am quite satisfied with this DIY alternative.

The recipe is simple:

2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon baking soda,  10-15 drops mint or other essential oil

Tastes a little salty and does not froth, fluxuates between solid and liquid depending on temperature, but all in all, I’d say this toothpaste works great and is a suitable alternative to packaged toothpase. I put mine in a jar leftover from home-made jam my gramma sent me. Yummmm.

Now, go forth and brush!

xo

KB

P.S. For all you tap dancing enthusiasts out there, some tap dancing education for you: an interview with Brenda Buffalino, tap master, maybe the first lady to popularize ladies tap dancing in flat shoes as opposed to high heels (must fact check for you), founder of the tap school I am attending. Thanks Brenda! Follow link below for interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcWIM6EWw2Y

 

 

 

 

Palestine’s Fine Excerpt: Peace in the Middle East Tea

Sunrise in Palestine

I learned about this tea recipe while volunteering at a goat farm in Jerusalem. The farm was within a village called Moshav Zafririm, which was probably once occupied by Palestinians but invaded/apprehended by Israel in 1948 when the country was established. Out with the old, in with the new it would seem.

Unlike in Hebron, there was not trace or retelling of foul play in this village.

Propaganda in Hebron

Israeli Propaganda

It was quiet and rather empty, with no banners or propaganda to be found, just an unmanned military check-point at the base of the village to ward off intruders. Unfortunately I have no photos from the village to share.

The tea on the other hand….

Peace in the Middle East Tea Recipe

This tea was made on a daily basis at the farm and we enjoyed it throughout the day, hot and cold. All the ingredients were picked at the farm or gathered in the nearby hills.

Today I drink it as a reminder of the crazy experience I had in “the Holy Land,” encouragement to continue telling the story, and nourishment for the soul.

Ingredients:

Geranium

Pelargonium ‘Citronella’ : Large citrus-scented leaves on a robust plant. Lavender flowers.

Sage “Culinary Sage”

Sage. One of my favorite culinary herbs and one of the herbs people have easy access to no matter where they are. Salvia officinalis – even the Latin name gives us an idea of the respect this Mediterranean beauty has earned. Salvia in Latin derives from the word salvere which means, “to save.” Historically, it has been used in many ways from a facial toner to a plague remedy, as well as drying up breast milk and easing a cough. Sage is a well-loved and well-used herb throughout the ages.

and

Mint (any variety will work)

mint grown in pot

Process:

Steep a few leaves of geranium, a bunch of sage, and a cluster of mint in hot water for any amount of time, add sugar or honey to taste (or not), and serve hot or cold.

Enjoy the pleasant pink color and floral taste of a tea that will sooth the senses, calm the mind, and bring peace to the middle east in your heart, which reflects the world. Enjoy with friends for greatest therapeutic benefits.

Cheers!

KB

 

 

Monkey Business

Hello All,

This time last year I was leaving Germany, California bound.

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Saying goodbye to all the strange foods, people and places….

Cue dream sequence sound bite (click here):

There was the..

German foods with Jello 

 

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Gimmicky American packaged food at Netto 

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Ewok messages, vintage scooters, and clever business combos

 

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 Spock-packs

 

elfie hair and outfits

 

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Silly street signs

 

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American politics from afar:

 

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Peace efforts

 

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Ape art, Windmill, and a special pumpkin

 

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Which leads to more recent ape art…

a postcard I found in New York

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Cool Relation – Gute Beziehung

made in Germany.

Tis the season! Cheers to the passage of time.

I tip my hat to you.

❤ KBelly

Travelling Junebug Updates: Boredom, Farewell Goat Farm, Hello New York

Hello Reader-Friends!

Well, my Tennessee adventure has come to a close with mixed feelings of relief and a tinge of remorse; yes, remorse.

How can I sanely leave behind that beautiful setting and that peace: tucked away in a mountain hollow–the creek, the goats, the chorus of crickets and starry nights, the wide open spaces–how can I leave all that and replace it with a top bunk in a shared room in Queens with a backyard I cant even go into and no way to grow my own food…a very stark contrast of environment and lifestyle, to say the least. I also feel this way about leaving Santa Cruz, my beautiful hometown by the sea.

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But alas, this is what I have chosen to do. All so I can pursue tap dancing. Lets hope this works.

A few days ago I left the goat farm and hopped on a Megabus from Knoxville to NYC. It took about 15 hours, cost me $14 for one ticket…whaaat?! I paid $20ish for a second ticket for my extra bags. And guess what, they DIDN’T lose my bags like Greyhound did! All in all it was a good experience and I give Megabus 2 thumbs way up.

A little about my last bit of time at the farm.

I got very bored for a few days. Bored and restless. Familiar feelings and thoughts circled in my head–thinking forward to life in New York, thinking back to times when I had more fun, more contact with people, more cute guys to flirt with (TSGB)…wanting to leave and not appreciating just BEING, being at the goat farm. I noticed myself getting real irritable and not wanting to talk much with my farm host. I was blaming her for my boredom. UNTIL, I started to realize my feelings couldn’t be her fault, because I had felt that same way before on many of my adventures. So, I did what I normally do with phsychological problems these days…I consulted my moderately qualified counsellor…the internet. And found a video of a sweaty guru talking about boredom that at first I was hesitant to watch but am now glad I did.

My takeaway from that video is that Osho is a very interesting man and, more importantly, that boredom is a beautiful thing. It is a feeling, that when you have it, you can say: “Welcome boredom, you are my friend and I am happy you came to visit me.”

Once you realize you are bored, that the thoughts swimming around in your head are just thoughts and that you can dismiss them, or let them pass, THEN you can realize where you are, realize that you are YOU, just sitting in your kingdom (your body) and just be…be like that. Enjoy just sitting in your palace–your body, baby–just like a king, or Daenerys Targaryen, enjoys sitting in his/her throne. Something like that.

For some reason that idea really helped me get past fretting about my boredom. Something about me that I have been learning over the years is that boredom is among my least favorite feelings, it is uncomfortable! When I feel bored I feel anxious and want to DO something to change it. That is perhaps why I live the life that I do. Because I don’t like to be bored, I move around a lot, seeking out adventure and new experiences. But even on my adventures, I get bored. Sometimes terribly bored. Now however, I am happy that I can welcome the boredom and start to just chill when I feel it. Exciting times ahead.

Also in my boredom internet therapy session, I did some research on the speaker/philosopher Osho and his desire to spread his “cool love” throughout humanity.

I want to spread Oshos cool love too, and I’ll start by sharing his talk on “The Coolness of Love.”

A few more farm updates:

I finished the garden, planting a variety of winter vegetables that I hope will grow.

Here’s a series of photos showing the garden’s makeover:

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Garden in progress

Garden in transition

And Finally…as done as I could be with it…seeds planted and starting to sprout.

Garden, Done

I also finished knitting socks and a baby hat and said bye bye to all my new animal friends.

Thats about it to wrap up my farm experience. I will add a post soon about cashmere production.

Thank you for reading and all the best!

Kelly B

 

 

 

Palestine’s Fine: Introduction

This is a story about when I accidentally went to Palestine in the Winter of 2014.

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“Wait what? This bus is going to Palestine?”

Surprised, yet not utterly shocked by my circumstance, I was both intrigued and alarmed by the situation at hand. How did I get myself HERE? I wondered.

No stranger to pickles, this was definitely my most unnerving to date. What had begun with a free trip to Israel two months earlier now had me alone, astray, and headed straight into the West Bank via minivan.

Remaining calm, I began to speak with some of the other passengers on the bus. Amongst them was Hanan, a beautiful woman I had noticed earlier carrying a US passport. Turns out she was on her way to Palestine to visit her parents and plant olive trees in an act of defiance against Israeli settlers.

“Hm,” I thought, “a twist.”

Everything I had learned up to that point was from the pro-Israel perspective. I had, after all, come to Israel via a program called Birthright, which sends young Jews from all over the world to Israel for an all-inclusive, highly insulated, 10-day bus trip to learn about Judaism.

Palestine’s Fine: Chapter 1

MacGruber Wreath- Step-by-Step

Calling all Crafters and Florists:

What can you do with unbent paperclips, some twine, and stuff you collect in the forrest…make a wreath!

DIY Autumn Wreath
Rita Reinecke Design

 

If you’re clever, like MacGyver or McGruber, you can make this without spending a dime.

Here’s how:

You will need:

  • the great outdoors
  • clippers

collect:

  • moss
  • ivy
  • hearty foliage (like so…)

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You will also need:

  • wire or string for wrapping
  • straw
  • floral pins (or paper clips, think “MacGyver”)
  • ribbon or twine to hang your wreath

Note: moss is not 100% necessary. If you can’t find it outside, you can buy it at a craft store, or just skip it.

Now, let me explain:

  1. Start with your ivy or twine and make a ring

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2. Cover the ring with hay or straw, wrapping it as you go, handful by handful, with string or wire, tightly. Remember to secure the beginning and end of your wire wrapping. I usually tie it off or twist it around itself. You’ll figure it out. Remember, you are a great ape.

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3. Next, if you can find some, wrap a layer of moss around that.

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4. At this point, the wreath its pretty as is! Make a loop for hanging with rope or ribbon

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5. Next, I’m so sorry made an epic fail and forgot to take a picture of this intermediary stage…take your hearty foliage clippings and layer them starting at the top, working down and counter-clockwise, while wrapping the stems with your wire or string…see how my hands are, that’s how you should layer the foliage. Keep it organized, it will save you a headache later, and try to avoid wrapping the leaves down flat, aim for the stems. This step requires some dexterity but it does not have to be perfect, because you will cover this part with your flowers and such…

Photo on 9-23-17 at 10.50 PM

6. Finally, use floral pins or unfolded paperclips (easier, cheaper, more accessible) to pin your nature walk treasures to your wreath. Remember symmetry generally makes things look good. Work on your wreath while it is hung up, stepping back every now and again to assess your work from afar. Don’t be too critical, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Go with your instincts. DSCN4650.JPG

7. And Voilá! A beautiful seasonal wreath.

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Here, I added a bunch of felted ornaments for a very early Christmas display

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Rita Reinecke Design

Questions, comments, frustrations to vent? Did I make it seem too easy? Note I made my wreath over a period of a few days because I do not have the patience or attention span to do it all at once. Let me know how it goes if you make one! They make great gifts and grandma’s tend to love them.

Show me what you come up with, I’d be happy to see your take on the MacGyver Wreath!

I learned this style from my wonderful WWOOF hostess Rita in Berlin last fall. Credit where credit is due. Thank you Rita!

xoxo,

Kelly

Weekend Update – Yarn Store

Hello all,

Just another weekend update from Mountain Hollow Farm over in Tazewell, Tennessee.

This week I spent hours and hours shovelling shit. It was good.

And I finished burning that wood pile…see before and after…(Notice the giant pile of sticks and logs behind the burning pile of wood),

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…and now its pretty close to all gone. See?

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I also spent many hours shelling beans, picked from the LMU Garden Club in Harrogate, the next town over.

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…and made soup beans, nutritious and delicious (click here for recipe)

A note about beans, which I learned from a sort-of strange homesteader girl with a wonky eye: most commercially grown beans (think-canned beans) are artificially ripened by spraying Roundup (or something like that) on the crop, which ultimately kills the plants, but has the benefit of encouraging the plant to make a last-ditch effort at spreading its seed, i.e. ripening the beans. So, the chemicals make the crop ripen all at once, which makes it easier to harvest, since everything ripens at the same time (cost-effective). But, mo’ money, mo’ problems, I say, since the soils and groundwater become contaminated and ain’t no fixin’ that down the line without a pretty penny for clean-up.

Beans grown without chemical additives ripen more slowly, making it more complicated and time-intensive to harvest (more expensive), but I say the trade-offs for human and environmental health much outweigh the extra cost of organically grown beans. Buy organic.

Phew, getting off my soap box meow…

What else, well, the horse started engaging with me more than just eating the hay I bring to her on a daily basis. Its happened two times, where I fake run and then she actually runs and kicks her back legs up…and farts a little bit as she runs off. Its hilarious and I try not to be embarrassed for her since farting is natural.

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Also, here is a cute picture of Fiona, an exceptionally friendly 6 month old Cashmere goat, eating watermelon.

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That’s all for now folks, sorry I forgot to write about the Yarn Store. More on that later. That, and Poke Berry natural dye.

Thanks for reading!

xo

Kelly

 

 

 

Sunday Funday

Hello All,

Happy Sunday, again. Made it through another week, again, with a full moon, woo!

Updates from Mountain Hollow Farm:

The male goats are in “Rut” which to me means smell really bad and are feelin’ frisky. Apparently they do all sorts of gross stuff to make themselves “attractive” to the female goats, who are grazing in a separate pasture for the time being. One thing they do is pee on themselves. If thats not gross enough, they also pee in their own mouths and on their faces…goats are weird, man.

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That goat right there is my homie, he’s from California. He’s a cashmere goat. Pretty creepy looking but has valuable fur, so he’s alright. Yup.

Hm, what else? Well, I’ve been learning to knit, which is a perk of working on farm that raises Fiber Goats. The first week I got here, the farm sent out a batch of unprocessed Cashmere to be spun into yarn by an outside company. It looked like this when we sent it out:

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These are the goats which the fiber above came from:

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The lighter cashmere came from the white goats, and the darker cashmere came from the dark brown goats, which I thought was interesting since the goats are so much darker, but the cashmere comes from their undercoat, which is apparently lighter.

Ok.

So, my first project was to make felted coasters, which was pretty easy to master but I haven’t finished felting them yet, so I don’t have a picture to show you. My second project was a baby hat, which I made for my dear sailor friend Princess, since she’s having a baby in January. Here’s a picture of that project, which I have since completed an am now moving on to socks, my highest knitting goal while I’m here.

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Yay.

As far as work goes, I have been working on the garden, see below. First I weeded it, which was easy since the weeds weren’t very root-bound, thank stars.

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Today I worked on it some more, with the help of the farmers husband, who just got back from a delivery in Texas. (He’s a truck driver and is gone most of the time, much to the displeasure of my hostess).

This is what the garden looks like now, we’re working on the beds.

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Garden project, in progress

 

Other than the garden, I have been working on burning a woodpile, which doesn’t sound very interesting but does require a lot of work, and am almost done with that.

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Gotta go, taking advantage of the fire by having a few local homesteaders over and roasting hot-dogs and marshmellers.

Lots of love to everyone still reading this.

xo

Kelly

 

Ps. a good substitute for swearing: say “curses”…so good.