|Howler Monkey descending|
Since it's probably been awhile since you read it.....I'd started to tell you about my decision to Snowbird in Belize, and the incredible chain reaction that set off in my life (okay, NOW go back and read it if you have a minute ;o}
|The road past my door-to-be|
|my little house in the big woods|
Now, I love my Oregon woods and its creatures, and my little house suited me well. I mean, just check out this year-long sketch/journal I did there in 2012!
But for some years now I had found myself sinking into a sedentary old age, swaddled in long underwear through the long, cold winters grudgingly warmed by a wood stove.
So January found me putting my house on the market and showing it for a whole three days before it was snapped up by a sculptor/videographer couple, just the perfect buyers.
February was an incredible stew of packing, planning, organizing and executing. I would live in Belize for the coldest six months of the year, but I plan to live here in Oregon for the other six months, so I needed a residence.
|35 years of "stuff" in storage|
|Plant Oregon, where I weed in summers|
|Sorting, storing, hauling, selling....|
In the meantime, I deposited the payment for my house and land, and I was negotiating buying my lot in Belize, discussing house plans with my Belizean builder, and looking at Tiny Homes to live in here in Oregon. It finally dawned on me that although Tiny Homes are darling, and speak to my Hobbity soul, they are REALLY SMALL and they are very expensive if you don't build them yourself. Since I'd be building a house in Belize, I didn't want to also be building a house in Oregon—I wanted something quick, simple, less expensive, easy maintenance....ah......a 5th Wheeler. They're quite a bit "glitzier" than really suits me, but they have lots of room, are low maintenance, and I knew the price of a used one would beat that of a Tiny Home by a huge margin—maybe only half as much!
|My house plan- 1075 sq/ft|
|Delivering my home to its spot|
|packing a shipment of books|
In the meantime I started thinking about selling the printed part (books) of my business, Nature Works Press, because there would no way for me to fill orders from Belize. Besides, it is time to "retire."
I decided to keep the sketch/journal e-book part of the business, and in fact even grow it. But I needed to find a home for the book end of it. So I put out feelers on a self-publishing forum.
|the view from my veranda-to-be|
So in May I returned to Better in Belize for a week of reconnaissance, conferences with Jorge, and to just sit (and sometimes sketch) on my building site for hours at different times of day to make sure I had planned everything correctly.
|Black Orchid and frog in my yard|
|Mama tarantula with 2" egg sac|
|Jorge, my Belizean builder|
I was pleased to find that I liked Jorge and that we could work together as we prospected around San Ignacio, Belmopan and Spanish Lookout for building supplies and appliances, and outlined my earth bag house with spray paint on the building site. Jorge is looking pleased in this photo because he had just rescued the orchid (by his left arm) from a fallen tree and replanted it in the hollow stump he's leaning on.
But arriving back home in Oregon, it was time to reconvene my old life and wait for things to settle down since my house wouldn't be finished in Belize until autumn. Jorge promised to send me pictures taken with his iPad or cellphone throughout the project.
|Lava Butte illustration|
All spring and summer, while this was going on, I was also working on several illustration projects that would appear in nature centers and national forests in Oregon. I did a couple of blog entries about the making of this Lava Butte illustration, then after that I created the Benham Falls and the Benham Bridge illustrations here.
These were all done at Daniel's Cabin, while the rest of my life swirled about in in total disarray.
|Benham Falls illustration|
|Benham Bridge illustration|
It's kind of amazing to me that anything at all could have come out of the astonishingly convoluted quagmire of my overloaded brain, but there they are. And there was also a huge illustration (40" high) of a Ponderosa Pine which nearly ate my laptop awhile ago when I tried to convert it into a JPG so I could post it here, so it's not shown.
JUNE To relax my brain a bit, I drove to Idaho to visit my brother David, who helped me sort out details with regard to the change from Microsoft XP to Windows (Why did they change? XP was a GREAT operating system!), showed me how to use Skype (which will be my only telephone in my off-grid community), helped me upgrade some programs, including Quickbooks and Photoshop, with which I run my business, helped me sort out my laptop and tablet, and showed me how to download ebooks to read on a Kindle program, and just generally soothed away a lot of the angst that had been building up.
|Home in its new spot in a madrone forest|
In early June, Jorge informed me that my house plans had been approved. I was also moving into my new 5th Wheeler. Dan bought and carted away a recliner and the dinette set which had crowded the interior, so I could start converting the dinette area into an office.
Next, I needed to start planning which of my belongings I wanted to take to my new home in Belize. And I needed a truck. Too much happening! My head was spinning.
Now, this isn't the end of the story, as I've only gotten us midway through June, and here it is October, so I'll start work on the remaining bit of summer in the next blog entry. I'm sorry I kept y'all in the dark for so long. I just didn't have the time or energy to spend on it with all the other stuff going on. Right now, I'm tapping my fingers while .....but more about that in the next blog entry.
In the meantime, to assuage your disappointment about the truncated story, I offer you this delightful little being I discovered while weeding a couple of weeks ago. The tiny jackrabbit toddler (it would fit in your cupped hands) never blinked an eye as I snapped its portrait. I left it in peace (after about thirty seconds) to make its way in the world after The Giant left. —Leap through life with happiness, Little Guy!