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

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Business Plans and an Epiphany......

Before I begin this latest update, I wanted to mention that I have added a photo archives on the left panel. Here you can view most of the photos contained in this blog, including a chronological order of bus construction and a separate folder for travel photos. I will be adding more regularly as we go along...

We are still in Santa Barbara and probably will be in and around the area for awhile, or at least until Moss's legal stuff is resolved. The other day we got to listen to Dennis Kucinich speaking down by the pier. He is, as most of you know, a possible candidate in the presidential race, and one of my all time favorites. Last time he ran on the green party ticket. It was so refreshing to hear someone tell it like it is. He will certainly have my vote if he ends up a candidate.

Anyway, I do enjoy this area but it seems we have been trying to head north for so long, and each time we are delayed. On the bright side it feels sooo good to be back in our home again ! There are a few good paid initiatives that Moss has been working on and that has been wonderful for our cash flow, although we are trying to wean ourselves off petitioning and onto more creative ventures. These initiatives will be going until possibly December which will give us lots of time to save up money to invest in our fledgling business's and to live off.

There are a few things we have been tossing around, but so far the best ideas seem to be a combination of eBay sales, felt boots and a travelling puppet show. The felt boots have been coming along quite nicely and we have recently sold three more pairs ! We are still perfecting and fine tuning them and I hope soon we can offer them on our site here. In addition to the boots we have also been selling the herb kratom on eBay and doing well with that, picking up lots of regular customers and bringing in hundred or so a week. This is great, but our cost of living is higher now since our old engine was destroyed and with it the veggie oil system as well. Until we get that up and running we have to pay for bio diesel, which is more expensive and harder to find, though there is a place here in Santa Barbara. The new veggie system, when we finish it, will be way more efficient and operate on three tanks, two for the veggie and one for the diesel.

The other thing we are working on is a travelling puppet show. For the past year I have been experimenting with turning my felted dolls into puppets. That's the easy part . The hard part is coming up with good stories. Ultimately we hope to have a mix of stories, some political, some educational, and some fairy tales for children as well as psychedelic ones for adults. Some shows will be specifically for street busking and some geared more to schools, libraries and museums.

Moss, who has extensive theatre training and experience ( a BA in theatre and one in audio engineering) , will be doing the audio and probably most of the puppetry. He has been dabbling in puppetry since he was a young child, even doing paid shows at country clubs and dinner theatres! His sister, Holly has a degree in puppetry and lots of professional experience (she taught him how to move them well) to lend. We are very excited about all this and will update everyone on our progress as we go along, though it may take a year or longer to develop.

Warning..I am about to launch into another deep, poetic and sappy soliloquy about my beloved daughter, get used to it......

Sage is doing well and growing so fast ! Everyone always says how alert she is for a three and a half month old. Since we both have had very little experience with babies, or even children, we both assumed that's just how babies are, but people keep telling us that is not really so.

It seems I spend a good deal of time just gazing at her, dreaming of all the things I want to share with her and teach her. I realize we do not have the money that many other families have, so my aim is to fill her life with so much love, magic, beauty and poetry that she will grow up completely unaware that we were a "poor" family. It will only be when she is older that she will suddenly realize that her family was poor. As I dream so many things for her it is hard not to lose myself completely in her. At the same time though, I now understand that to a certain extent it is part of being a mom. However I also think that it is important to keep a part of myself for me. This may seem obvious but it is surprising how so many women seem to forget that. It is also, I have recently realized, the secret to allying my sadness of her growing up. The love one feels for their child is so encompassing that it threatens to swallow you up. One can become so identified as a mom that as the child grows and needs you less and less, it can feel as though you are withering away. Eventually when they move away there is great pain and sadness as the role of mom is diminished.

The inevitable question at this time becomes, "If I am not a full time mom, then who am I ? "

This is even more so for younger moms who have not had the chance to really find out who they are and explore their world. I have had 18 adult years to do so and so it is easier for me to recognize this as it happens. The answer, I am discovering, is to continue to pursue your passions and to follow your bliss, whenever possible, so that when your baby grows up and leaves, you have something left for yourself.......

Sage and I hanging out. The rocker in the picture is a folding antique one I got on ebay for 30 bucks ! Comes in handy for nursing Sage to sleep, yet takes up very little room.

Sage and I..

Our house plants enjoying a sunbath...

Palm trees and sun..need I say more ?

Dennis Kucinich telling it like it is.....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

We are finally back online with a new, or at least refurbished computer, thanks to Moss's brilliance ! He found a computer on eBay for 200 bucks with a 10 gig hard drive, bought it and replaced the smaller hard drive with our bigger 30 gig hard drive.. He then went on to replace the screens and wifi cards, figuring it all out as he went along.

As of this writing we are in Santa Barbara, after spending two weeks house sitting and visiting with our friends Jackie and Frank in the Valley. While there we took the time to get some much needed work done on the bus. In the back,above the bench/bathtub combo, a shelf was added for Sages clothes and diapers. Then we added a cabinet at the foot of the bed for our clothes and moved the bookshelf from the foot of the bed to above our heads. We also took the bottom of the birds cages and created storage areas. Some time ago we noticed that the birds never venture to the bottom of the their cages and hence that is wasted space. We now have a great place for recycling, trash and various other things. Lastly we took the ugly black windows on the outside ( spray painted black because they are blocked on the inside by walls) and painted them green to match the bus. SOOO much better looking ! Now all we have left to do is install our water system, which we have all the parts for, including the Paloma on demand hot water heater, a 70 gallon fresh water tank and a 40 gallon grey water tank. What we don not have is the money to have the tanks welded under the bus.

In addition to the work on the bus we also spent a good deal of time last week calling around looking for a lawyer to take our civil case against the "unnamed store" and "unnamed police Dept". This is in regards to Moss's false imprisonment last month. Every lawyer that we met with was willing to take the case on contingency. They all said it is not a big money case by any means, but it is the principal that interests them. All agreed Moss's civil rights were clearly violated and that he was very much allowed by law to be there. This, according to the lawyers is a clear cut case of false imprisonment and there is no doubt we would win in court. They are so sure that they will take the case on contingency. We went to court on Sept 17 to plead and a public defender was appointed for the criminal case, as we can not afford a lawyer for that part.The public defender seemed clueless and the only reason he did anything was because we suggested it. Moss of course pleaded not guilty but surprisingly the DA still wants to go ahead and prosecute. Everyone was sure he would not go forward. That's fine because it just makes our case better in the end.We go in again on oct 17th for the pre trial and according to our lawyer the judge will likely throw it out. After that we begin the civil trial. If for some reason the judge decides to let it go on and the DA goes forward then we have a full blown trial on our hands and we get to subpoena the store video surveillance, call our witness and have all kinds of fun !

If we do win we don't expect to receive large amounts of money by most standards, maybe 15,000 after lawyer expenses and such. Of course, that will help us tremendously, but it is, as our lawyer stated, the principal as well. Moss spent 24 hours in jail, was extremely disrespected and forced to post 5,000 dollars for his freedom. All for absolutely no legal, justifiable reason. Surely that is worth some compensation.

All of this means our plans to head to Oregon in October are delayed for and indefinite period of time. It looks like we will spending more time in Santa Barbara, which isn't to bad. We found a new place to park near some gorgeous botanical gardens. Sage has been enjoying looking at the flowers and trees. I noticed she is very visual, preferring intricate patterns and bold colors. From the time she was two weeks old I noticed her staring intently at the art on the walls and smiling. She does that in the bus also where the walls are much closer and adorned with artwork. Perhaps she will grow up to be an artist ?

On another note, to the person who made the (unpublished), nasty comment regarding my spelling and their hope that we were not planning to home school sage, thank you... It is true my spelling in the previous post was horrid ! I am actually an adequate speller. That post was written in a hurried manner and when I am doing rough drafts I misspell a lot of things then go back and fix it all later. At that time I had forgotten to do that. So thank you for bringing it to my attention, but I do think there was a kinder way to word it than the way you did. And to answer your question, yes, we do plan to home school.... :)

The bird cages with new closets underneath for storage.

Shelf for Sages clothes and diapers.

Book shelf above bed and Sage sleeping peacefully..

New closet above bed.

Bus windows now painted green.