An excerpt from my upcoming book.



This was an exciting couple of weeks.  There was a fair deal of work with which I am comfortable and competent to execute, as well as a good deal of learning new practical skills.  After a week long intensive first aid course, I feel like a much more competent citizen, with a basic understanding of how to help a person in need.  At the same time, it was a experience humbling and I hope I should never have to dress a sucking chest wound or provide traction for a broken femur.
Leadership was another interesting aspect of the course work and though I wasn't explicitly engaging in a leadership position it was neat to see those skills emerging from within the student cohort.
As summer settles in, the spring is subject to reflection.  It can be tricky to evaluate performance when your measure of success is not in line with the socially accepted standards.  That being said, it feels like things are moving in the right direction and though there is always room for improvement... the current path is certainly pleasant.  The future will consist of more of the same, with a bit of refinement.


Cruising Altitude.

It is almost like I know what I am doing... but not quite.

Things are going very smoothly these days.  Work has been coming in at a consistent yet manageable flow.  There is even some degree of security with contracts being signed for future projects and invitations to new positions.  I feel compelled towards some small scale expansion/refinement of my processes, even bringing others in on some appropriate projects.

Within all of this there even exists a bit of relaxation and freedom.  Time to garden, tan hides, draw and mess around with my bikes.  Like I said, it's almost like I know what I am doing...

There is certainly a mountain or two to climb in the not too distant future but I feel comfortable in my current state and I imagine it will be an excellent challenge with some appreciable benefits upon completion.  I will let you all know how it goes.  Until then... Be Well.


Saint Spring

This spring has arrived with a small handful of treasures.  Mostly intangible, these little pieces are all fitting together quite nicely into the bigger picture.  Some simple realizations certainly help the fit (mostly, patience), as will a bit of nudging, scraping and pounding, but on the whole, things are looking pretty sharp.  Some of these treasures include a new focus in my Zone 1 garden, potential partners in a compelling collaborative project, future career opportunities befitting of the masterplan and gallons of home brewed wine that tastes great and works even better.  Also, the morels have shown up this year and they are always delightful.

On a differnet note, I have been doing a bit of drawing from life and thought I would share some of this with the world.  This is from a recent trip to San Deigo's Mission Beach.


El Regresso

It was a busy year.  Kind of.  Apparently too busy to maintain my silly little blog here.
But after speaking with a number of "frequent users" I realised that there is more to these posts than my own cathartic musings.  Some people (I won't mention any names), some where (I won't point my finger) like to see my art work and it makes me really happy to oblige.

As far as the rest of life goes... I'll be brief.  Peru, work, work, work, Peru, bike riding and "poaching" fruit, backpacking, Advanced Permaculture Training, two lost sketchbooks, no work, no work, no work, Holidays and a trip to the Bay Area and the most recent chapter involves a return to my old haunts at the alma mater.  Weave a beautiful woman through all that racket and that sums up 2012 for myself.

Things are going well enough now.  I am still balancing a number of projects and some tasks are going better than others. All of them seem to fit into the big picture and I imagine I am learning something from each of them.  The future holds some cool new potentials and I will do better to keep those interested parties up to date.  On the horizon... my work will be published in an international magazine, my worms will be free ranging in the garden and hopefully my current sketchbook will stick around long enough to reach completion.


Warming Up

There has been a good deal of reflection since I last wrote. I will try to keep it brief but help you understand where I currently am.

Learning, working and enjoying oneself are all great ways to spend time. The last year of my life has contained a good deal of each though the relationship between the three has seemed a bit erratic. It can be hard to see where those three activities overlap, abut or totally deviate from each other. In hindsight it is all making perfect sense and as this spring draws near I am beginning to understand the successes, failures, mistakes and lessons from the previous leg of my journey.

Looking forward, my role is becoming a little more defined. Too much pressure will crush you. Not enough and your left empty. Finding a position, where one can confidently contribute, continue to learn, and appreciate the interplay between those roles is certainly tricky. A few projects on my horizon may offer up a chance to do just that.

Again, the potential is piling up. Hopefully some of those past experiences will help me sort through the heap. By the looks of it, there are some premium prizes within. Take for instance, an alpaca hat. Or ceviche. Or chorrizo made from a friend (pig) by a friend (human). Una selva de la frutas tambien. Y dibujos en libros con casas, y arbolitos, y animals, y communidad. Si. En espanol. Veo trabajar en condado Whatcom tambien. No caca. Hasta luego.


The Long Run...

At times, being comfortable seems like worthwhile pursuit. As in most cases though, too much of a good thing... and pretty soon your pursuing something else.

A routine developed this summer. All of our projects were well enough managed, free time was enjoyed and the life was pretty fat. After settling into this position I came to realize that a few things were missing. Specifically, full stewardship of a small piece of land, consistent professional work throughout the winter and all winters to come, and an Ox cart.

These ideas are not totally new and instead have been buried under a pile of other plans. As another birthday passed and the whole experience came under review I realised that the old plans were losing steam and new inspiration would be necessary. Inspiration comes in many beautiful forms, including home loan info packets, hanging valleys with alpine lakes and waltzing in my kitchen. After a good deal of questions and consideration, the new goals have been clearly identified (see above) and forward progress has already begun. Though I cannot see from here, the road looks to be 4 years long, so stay tuned for new projects this winter, a housewarming party someday and the eventual painting of the Ox Cart.


Where its At

This has been an interesting time of year. The work load is growing, and growing and growing and growing. In fact I have never had this much work on my plate. It's an interesting position to be in and I suppose it qualifies as good problem to have... given the alternative.

The challenge is, as always, finding balance. Working all the time has its perks, but finding time for a little relaxation is critical. These days, that relaxation is often found in card games, square dances, house plants and bike rides. Cold beverages also help.

As a light at the end of the tunnel, the usual summer events are coming up. These are familiar, rewarding and simple endeavors which help to mark the progression of the year. I look forward to them as I keep digging into that pile of work. I'm getting pretty comfortable behind the shovel and consequently getting a bit more fit, a bit more paid and still having a good bit of fun.


Getting Grown

Spring is in full effect.  Projects are starting up all around us and we are doing our best to keep them healthy, happy and looking forward to a verdant summer.  

Wrapping up a big professional project from Costa Rica feels really great.  Working on some big volunteer community projects here in town also has its rewards.  The real goal now is to apply the super professional quality to the dream volunteer project and line up a decade of meaningful work for me, my friends and our community.
One step at a time though.  The next move forward will involve another couple of community work projects in order to show our fellow Hamsters what sort of potential this little city really has.  After that, we will line up an all-star team, pick a few key partners and start another epic adventure.  We'll keep you posted.


Rope a Dope

Two weeks ago, I was up against the ropes.  An ambitious challenge had turned into a lethal opponent and the loss of our support team left the remaining competitors with more than they had bargained for.  As the stress mounted a valuable lesson was learned.  The towel was thrown in and for a brief moment, I was severely dissappointed.

Then... as it often does... Life happened.  A closed door quickly revealed a window into tropical paradise, literally.  This post is coming from a hotel room in San Jose, Costa Rica.  

Tengo trabajo desino` agriculturo en Costa Rica.  

A different team has a new challenge and I have never been more excited about kicking a projects ass than I am right now.  In my first 6 tropical hours, I kissed a cute girl, ate a sapote and ID'ed the urban Grackle.  I have 2 more weeks.  You will be notified as the successes continue.  Until next time...

Hasta Luego.


Dangerously Creative

Its fun to embrace the flow of life as I move from phase to phase.  Each little step has its own unique character from which I try to learn.  This ungrounded sensation taught me a good deal about the value of space.  Finding good space, sharing space, not having space.  It all takes a certain getting used to.

 In one night, I will be moved into a new space, which is looking like an incredibly awesome potential.  There are certainly a few holes to patch but the bigger picture is rich with the pieces I have been longing for...  a shop, a yard, my own room and very little oversight monitoring the creative process.  There are a few big irons in the fire but I am certain they will be well formed by the time they are needed and after that we're gonna use these tools to move mountains... of mulch, and poo, and bricks, and compost, and food...  Lots of yummy food.