October 2012

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10/4

The 15th Anniversary Reunion is coming up this weekend. I volunteered to be the Fun Coordinator. That means I have to organize fun activities and find people to host them and put together some entertainment. The blues band that was going to play for the entertainment tomorrow just canceled so I’m not sure what were going to do about that, but it’s my job to make it up last minute. That’s been the most frustrating thing so far, but other than that it is fun, fun, fun planned for the weekend. There is going to be games and dancing and a relay race and tours and Laird is going to host an auction. I’ll also have my own silent art auction in the hallway for some drawings I’ve been doing this year. It will be really exciting but I’ll also be glad when it is over because it has been so long since we started working up to this big weekend.

10/7

The reunion weekend has been really fun. About 50 DR affiliates showed up to celebrate with us. I got introduced as the Fun Coordinator, but the guests started calling me the “Fun Queen.” Instead of live entertainment on Friday, there was a bonfire and a dance party instead, although most everyone went to the bonfire and the two people in the Casa got tired of dancing and went to the bon fire also.  There was a frost last night and Sandhill is in a crunch to save their crop of sorghum so a bunch of people are going over there to help with the harvest.  I also got to meet some of the founders of Dancing Rabbit, and they seem like really cool people. Last minute we pulled together a band for the contra dance that consisted of Cecil, Jacob, Anya, and Penn. Cecil hosted the talent show and we had a blast. The relay races were awesome and included activities like emptying a hummanure bucket and getting a cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands, only the muscles in your face. I had to do the cookie one and apparently I was really good at using my face muscles to control a cookie. We also had a fun ground breaking for our new common house and Alex, the architect, gave a “tour” of where everything is going to be in the new common house. We also had a fun auction that Laird hosted and Rachel and Katherine helped out to hold things up that were being auctioned. Laird is a very hilarious auctioneer. No one bid on my art, but I didn’t announce it either, I just hung it up in the hallway with a sign and some bidding sign up sheets, I figure if no one buys it I’ll just put it up in the common house somewhere and the rabbits can enjoy my drawings instead. I don’t think I expected to sell any of it anyway. Travis was taking a trip to Quincy to drop off some guests at the train station so I hopped along for the ride because I needed to deposit a check at the bank from painting, but the closest Bank of America is an hour away in Quincy. We also saw a movie at the mall and did some errands at the hardware store after dropping off the guests. It was kind of weird to go out into the world and do something fun and “normal” like seeing a movie, I think it’s been a year since I paid for a movie at the theatre, even though the movie wasn’t anything too fantastical, we were so excited because it’s something we so rarely do when we live at DR. The food for the reunion has been really great, Nani has cooked for some of it and Main Street Cafe catered some of the other meals, the Mercantile also served breakfast. And you know who gets to keep the leftovers, Sunflower 🙂 I ate like a queen this weekend.

10/11

Today is 10/11/12! We realized this when I went to the kid committee meeting, but usually I don’t keep track of the exact date.

This week brought the fifth session of visitors. Some of them want to move here but they have to wait to apply until next year because we have reached our maximum percentage of new people vs the people who have been living here longer than six months. I think it is 40%. For the first time in DR history, I think, we are telling people we are full for accepting new people for now. We do want to grow to be a village of 500 to 1000 people, but it would be too much for us to grow that much in a very short time, considering we are only 70 people now, and new people need time to get integrated into the culture and life here at DR.

It was my last pizza night at the Mercantile. I don’t always get pizza every week, but I did today. I’m leaving next Thursday to get onto a train and be away from home until next March. I’ll be working on cruise ships and spending time in Seattle until then. It’s strange to think that this time next week, I’ll be on a train.

This weekend I’m going to a mushroom workshop near the Possibility Alliance, where I am going to make logs to grow shiitake mushrooms on. I ordered 45 logs and we’ll bring them back in the truck along with other rabbits’ logs.

10/16

One of my last days in rabbit land for the year, and I’m eating beans and rice for lunch, what a surprise.

The mushroom workshop was rainy but fun. We brought back 116 logs for people at Dancing Rabbit, good thing they all fit in the truck. I got some good knowledge about mushrooms, and I’m now a little mushroom farmer at DR with my 45 logs in the forest.

I’m leaving in two days to go back out on cruise ships for the winter.

10/20

I’m finally in Seattle after about a 50 hour train trip. I’m staying with my family for a couple days before joining a cruise ship in Vancouver that will travel to Hawaii and Mexico, I’m coming back home to Seattle for Thanksgiving and my 10 year high school reunion, then it’s back on a ship going to Australia and New Zealand until I come back home to Dancing Rabbit in March.

My friends made a special dinner for me on my last day in Rabbit Land, and they all told me nice things that they appreciate about me. There was also a double rainbow outside before dinner and everyone went out to look. It was so joyful and happy, but just like a metaphor for my life, amongst so much joyful happiness and celebration, there’s some perceived tragedy itching underneath, the kids were screaming about who’s pizza was whose and someone got upset cause the kids were screaming so loud and half way through dinner half the people had left the table to take care of their stuff, whether it was their kids or their emotions, but I appreciated it all, the fiasco of the whole thing was so beautiful to watch and experience. Then we had people over from outside our kitchen to eat dessert with us and everyone was happy with ice cream and pumpkin pie and cookies. I don’t get to celebrate my birthday at home, but that was just as good, although I don’t know that I’m going to want to get that much attention every year I leave in the winter to go back to the cruise ships.

I go back and fourth about how much I want to work to keep myself at DR for the whole year round without leaving to make money. Currently I’m not ready to give up my awesome job, and maybe getting away for a while brings me a greater appreciation for DR living that I wouldn’t have if I stayed there all year. I won’t miss eating hippy food all the time, but I will miss eating healthy every day without having to dodge the synthetics, processed, high fructose corn syrup and other garbage that permeates the food of Concrete Land. I won’t miss the flies and ticks and mice and chiggers, but sure will miss living in nature when I step out my front door, or any door for that matter. I won’t miss things like temper tantrums, the kid version and the adult version, but I will miss the family-like atmosphere of closeness that I have with my friends at DR. I won’t miss the crazy amusement park ride of personal social, romantic, building construction, gardening, you name it, etc, growth that happens with close knit 70 person village living every day all day, but where else besides DR can I experience such an orchestra of relations among humans and nature and human nature, probably nowhere like DR.

I have turned into such a hippie that I even forgot to put my socks on before my shoes the next morning when I had to get up at 4am and I left them behind at a friend’s house. A couple of the Browns rode in the car with me to see me off on my 6am train, it’s nice that people at home love and care about me enough to wake up at 4am for an hour car ride to the train station and don’t mind listening to my rant about turning into a hippy and forgetting my socks or not getting a chance to get all the goodbye hugs I was hoping for.

Compared to beans and rice and salad, train food is garbage. A hot dog on the train was $5, they pulled it out of some cabinet fridge thingy and put it in the microwave. I ate oats with raisins for two days on the train that I had brought from Rabbit Land.

Although Concrete Jungle Land seemed so familiar to me once upon a time, I think I had reverse culture shock coming back.  During the ride home I said things to my mom like, look a skyscraper, or look a real bum on the street begging for money, or look a whole flock of pigeons. You have to remember it’s been about 6 months to a year since I’ve seen some of this stuff. Gas was over $4/gallon. All I wanted to do was eat sushi and ice cream so we went out to sushi for lunch. My mom took me to the back yard and showed me the broccoli and carrots and tomatoes and other greens she’s growing and made home made cereal bar hippie food type things, which felt like home at DR to me.

I needed a couple things for work, like white tennis shoes and laundry detergent and a pair of jeans so we went to the mall for that. Apparently the latest fashion is for young women to wear boots with really tight pants and a cute shirt thingy that goes down past your butt, with the university close by, that’s all any of the girls were wearing nowadays, I mean every girl had this same sort of outfit on. And here I was in the only pair of jeans I own and grubby hippy jeans that don’t fit me properly at that, about to spend $50 on a new pair that fit me right, not from good will, and will probably last me another 5 years, although I lost at least 10 lbs in Rabbit Land and even the smallest size 2 pants were a little loose around the waist for me but I know I’ll grow into them eating cruise ship food for several months. The mall seemed like such a strange alien world as well with all the advertisements trying to convince you that you need everything and the hip young sales people and the escalators and the Starbucks, a place with tons of people where everyone is a stranger in their own little world and no one knows or cares who you are and what your own little world is like. But on the other hand Seattle is a very progressive city where I can recycle any kind of plastic I want, not just #1 and #2 like at DR. I also don’t have to sort my recycling. And in the city of Seattle it is illegal to give out plastic bags at stores anymore, if you want a bag to take away your goods, it has to be paper and you have to pay 5 cents for it!

10/21

I saw a large apartment complex today that had a huge array of solar panels along the whole roof of both the buildings in this complex. Wow!

10/27

I’ve been on a cruise ship cruising down the west coast from Vancouver to San Diego.

They’re going to dress us, the entertainment department, up as the Angry Birds for Halloween.

I’ve lost so much weight at home eating beans and rice and salad and lentils for six months. Now I don’t weigh enough to go on the Ziplining tour, so I hope I gain about 5lbs by November 3 so I can go on the tour I signed up for.

I won’t get internet very much crossing over to Hawaii, this is the first time I’ve had internet in almost a week so it is exciting to be at a Starbucks for once.

The world outside the ecovillage feels a bit more lonely than at home, even on the cruise ship. One of my co-workers didn’t really believe me when I told her that sleeping could be a social event at home for me. It’s hard to believe I probably  won’t get to cuddle with anyone for five months.  I think one thing I miss most about home is how nice people are and how honest and genuine they are.

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