May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you and the pure light within you, guide your way on "~Incredible String Band

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Beat Goes On....

Happy belated new year everyone !



Our original plan of going to a nice boondock location and working on the bus has been scrapped temporarily. Instead we will be doing some initiative work in the state of california, northern and southern. This is good as it means money for us, money to finish the bus especially. Curently we have been going between helping Moss's parents fix their house to sell, camping out at various campgrounds and working and saveing money.



Being as this is the first month of the new year..I figure it is the apropriate time to re visit, and perhaps, redefine our original goals.



It seems like years since we left Washington state for Florida, where we did much of the work on our house bus. In reality it has been just a little over a year! Since ariving in ca in May, things have been going quite slow as much of our focus has been on working and makeing the money to complete the project.



Those of you who have read from the beginning may have wondered about the phase two of our plan. You know....the naive and idealistic part about how we are able to make a meaningful living, traveling the country selling our art and music at fairs and festivals.



Unfortunately, that part is not as straight forward as building the bus is, and until the bus is complete it is hard to focus on phase two. In the meantime, we have kept our day jobs gathering signatures on various state initiatives that we support. It is a good job that pays either by the hour or by the sig, though work is seasonal and highly unpredictable, at best. The greatest difficulty is finding good initiatives that we can truly support and can get behind. Often, the initiatives are very conservative or just plain obnoxious, and if we dont support it, we dont work it..no matter what the pay. For this reason we often find ourselves haveing to pass up work.



We are planning on scheduling a few shows this year where I will go in as a roving vendor with a few wool sculptures, some handspun yarn and some felt boots. Because the sculptures take so long to make it is doubtful that I will have enough to fill a booth, so the roving vendor may be the best bet for me.



Moss is still putting together his solar powered, mobile recording studio and is working on a live show for festivals. Since most of the music on his c.d, Songs From the Electric Greenwood, is made by himself, playing the insturments then recording them as tracks, a live show has proven to be a complicated endevour. A live show however IS an essential ingredient if we want the music to truly get out there and be heard by the masess.



The mobile recording studio that he is putting together consits of a laptop with numerous professional audio recording programs, a small keyboard/midi controler, a firewire audio interface with preamps, a condensor microphone, a stero microphone and 4 portable solar pannels /battery pack to power everything. With this set up he can take all his recording equipment and insturments and walk off into the woods, canyons, meadows or mountains to record and write his new c.d. The idea is to capture the spirit and energy of the beautiful, wild places that we visit, a sort of "sounprint" of the enviroment. Plans are also in the works for a c.d of just the two of us, myself on mountain dulcimer and he on banj mo ( a combination of a banjo and a mountain dulcimer ).



Speaking of the dulcimer, I am so enjoying becomeing re aquainted with this insturment. I have played off and on for many years now. Although other intrests and endevours pulled me in different directions for awhile..I always knew I would come back to the dulcimer when the time was right, and that time is now. What a joy ! What a simple, intuitive and forgiving insturment! I encourage those of you who feel they could never play an insturment to try a mountain dulcimer.



As for the bus, we have finally been able to get some more cabinets built in the kitchen and we painted some more brown around the windows. On the ninth we will be taking a week off to do some more interior wood work and maybe finally install the water system.The shorterm plan is to work hard until late spring, working on the bus whenever possible. By then we hope to have saved enough money to complete the bus and get us through the rest of the year, along with the few shows we will be doing when possible.



Meanwhile, we continue to meander about southern California, working hard, seeking out the quiet wild places on the outskirts of the cities, at every oportunity....

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Groovy...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, I love the way the bus blends in with the enviroment!

Talithia said...

I come to this site ever so often and love what you have done to the bus. I wish I could be as brave as you and your Husband and just "let go". I have 3 kids a husband and lots of bills are home is 1850 sq ft. And the kids go to public school. And my Husband and I work. We are not connected to our environment nor each other. I admire ya'll very much. Much luck and love. Talithia and Family

Talithia said...

I come to this blog often. I love what you have done to the bus and admire your live lightly on the Earth way of life. My Name is Talithia and I have 3 children and a Husband. We are both working and the Kids go to "PUBLIC" school. I wish I had the guts to just "let go". Bills on top of bills and frustration on top of frustration. That is our life. I hope to see mor pictures of the bus and some pictures of you and your husband. Talithia

jackie said...

You seem to be living the life that I , at one time, wanted. I have come to realize that I am such a creature of habit and NEED the security of knowing where things are comming from and where things are going. I wish you well in your life. This world needs more people like you. Peace and joy.

Pippa x said...

I live in England and feel desperate! I long to give up the day to day struggle of paying a mortgage and working so hard that as a family we never see one another. To be able to live with nature and see things that many do not. My husband and son however are very set in their ways and will not give up this life we lead. I follow your diary with an ache in my heart. Your diaries keep my dream alive and I thank you for that.
I wish you love and may your travels be peaceful and safe!
Pippa x

Kaisenji said...

Way to go with knowing how to legally defend yourself! Intimidation seems to be the tactics of the law (I should know I work on the "punishment" side of it). My own ride is months from completion but yours and another free minded folks keep me going when the work is too much. Hope to see you on the roads up north. I'll be up there in SF for the Haight street faire. My first trip in my mostly completed bus. Good luck and happy sig gathering!

Steve said...

Pixie, your blog is in my 'A' list of ones to read amongst the 300 feeds to which I subscribe.

I own a bus as well and still in the building stage before doing any serious traveling. Don't have the chutzpah to do it whilst traveling like you and Moss do. But I'm tempted!

OK, so my $60K question is...

What does "ewrgfrhtmntgm" mean?

I know, I'm way out of the loop and if I were cool I'd know, but...I even googled it and yours is the site that came up so it's a secret code? :)

Moss and Pixie said...

Hey Steve !!

Thanks for the kind words.

Ah Ha, so you want to know about "ewrgfrhtmntgm" eh...I could tell you, but Id have to kill you..

Actually, it is a typo. I remember seeing it somewhere on the site awhile ago, but forgot to take it off. Now I cant find it. What post is it on ?? ~ Pixie

Steve said...

I just realized I posted this in an older post, but you got it so, hey.

It's good to know I'm not so uncool that I didn't know the secret code...

It shows up on *all* of your posts when viewed in a RSS (atom) newsreader. That's why I thought it was a code to people 'in the know', because it was repeated everytime! :)

I have an old blogger account but don't really remember where to change this - it's the last word on every post. Probably in one of the templates somewhere. No big deal. If you don't fix it, I'll just grin the next time I see it, ok? ;)

You guys take care.

Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
http://home-gardening.blogspot.com/
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,
Stan
http://yourebooksuperstore.com/vegetable/

jesse james said...

pixie and moss,my name is jesse pippin we used to work together in1997 at sierra club in eugene
i hope you guys remember me i was friends of river and jenn in venneta ive been up to the teepee a couple of times im from dc originally im so glad i found you guys on tribe i now live about an hour from dc in winchester va you gus id love to see ya so if your ever in the dc area i got love for you both take it easy
jesse pippin

Anonymous said...

hey moss and pixie my name is jesse pippin i believe we all woked together in 1997 or 98 at the sierra club in eugene i look native american i believe i had dreads then well anyhow i was friends of river and jenn in venetta ive been up to the teepee a couple of times and enjoyed you both as friends i hope you guys can remember me im now living in winchester va about an hour outside dc did you guys make it to rainbow in west va i did it was so close only about three hours away i hope to come out to colorado this summer so mabe we can meet up or if you guys ever come out east your always welcome to stay i have great memories of you both peace out jesse

Anonymous said...

You live a dream life.

Larry said...

FYI, I want to make you aware of the down side of the Go Power (and other) charge controllers. It will reduce your solar potential by 30% or more. Also, it causes the batteries to constantly discharge and recharge while in regulation (bad for batteries) They use an antique method of charging by turning off the controller when a preset voltage is reached. The best way to charge batteries is with PWM to taper the current while maintaining the voltage,and MPPT. MPPT will let you get all 250 watts of solar power you paid for. With Go Power you are only able to get about 180 watts. And, that will only be on for 70% of the charge time. If you ever need more power, check out a quality charge controller first. To me it is sad that dealers don't care about these things. I like to help and am available to you for free advise on RV solar systems.

Carnival said...

Hi, I was surfing the internet and happened on your blog. I'm quite impressed , with how this all works. This is one to watch.

Best wishes,

american birding associaiton

squire said...

I love the "smart car", wish they were readily available here.

Steve said...

I LIKE your bench! Great Idea.

Anonymous said...

I love him. He is so beautiful. Your bus is gorgeous. Sandi, from FLA,USA

Anonymous said...

My, oh me, I do love your traveling home. What a wonderful adventure. Sandi, from FLA, USA

jackie said...

Thanks for a peek into the life of a gypsy. Like the tub/bench idea and your outdoor table!

pippa said...

Just to let you know that my husnband and son are ready to move on and try a different way of life! We are selling our home and moving into a caravan on a caravan site for a few months then who knows. We would like to purchase some land and move on, giving us investment but no mortgage.
We would like to run on sloar and wind power, and use biodiesel for our car. I would like togrow my own fruit and vegetables and try and find nature again.
You are an inspiration.
Pippa x

Anonymous said...

I hope those plants were strapped in. I followed you in the Southern Oregon hills, before Sunny Valley/ Wolf Creek. Sweet bus, I wonder if you used reclaimed donut oil if it would smell like donuts?
Didn't check to see what exactly what you were runnin.

Westbrook said...

This is amazing! I am jealous. I wanna come along.

kelly miller-lopez said...

to judge from his attire, i do believe moss is official staff for the realm of faerie....

Chuck & Dee said...

Cool Bird. I have never seen a bird like that. We lived in Grants Pass oregon for eight years. You say this bird is from Oregon?? What part?? Just wondering as I guess I need to open my eyes better. I usually see so much wildlife and do not miss much, so I feel I really missed out seeing this beautiful bird.
Nice blog by the way. If we ever meet while out in the world (chuck and I full time RV) you will have to let me pet and love on your babies.(dog and birds)
See ya!!

Chuck & Dee said...

Cool Bird. I have never seen a bird like that. We lived in Grants Pass oregon for eight years. You say this bird is from Oregon?? What part?? Just wondering as I guess I need to open my eyes better. I usually see so much wildlife and do not miss much, so I feel I really missed out seeing this beautiful bird.
Nice blog by the way. If we ever meet while out in the world (chuck and I full time RV) you will have to let me pet and love on your babies.(dog and birds)
See ya!!