Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the home

For those who are interested, here are a few photos of the rental home.

The house was rented to us from a property rental company. The nice thing about it was that it is new. Everything works. Also, it is a comfort being able to fell good about putting the youngest down on the carpet.

The building company is building a new house right next to the one we are staying in. It's so like God to give us a first-hand look at a house being built from the start. I wonder what He is planning for us. :)

The back yard is a far cry from the Pasadena house. It's a pretty view of the forest though!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

back to school again

This Monday will be the first day back to school. I am somewhat excited to get the year started, but more excited to get it over with. Not that I don't want to teach this year or in the school that I am at, but that this year the task of finding a farm will be consuming our thoughts and actions. Although it hasn't taken any of our time yet. We are still slowly moving into our rental home! Yesterday and today were successful days in the house. We got most of the boxes of books unloaded onto the shelves. More and more it is feeling like home.

I read a great article in Newsweek today. It was an article about the newest trend of Universities to go Green. Going Green is just a shorter way of saying that the school is interested in the environment and is doing it's part in trying to reduce, reuse, and recycle. From the looks of it, over the next few years we should see some graduates come from the schools with more of the "good life" desires. New degrees are being offered and even new schools like the School of Sustainability being offered in the fall of '08 at Arizona State University.

Which leads me to the reason we moved. We had talked about sustainable farming for awhile before we actually sold our city home to move the more rural area of Winston-Salem. After being here for a month now, we are beginning to feel like this too is a little too city-like. Our original plan was to purchase a house on a couple of acres and grow some food for us to live by. As well as vegetation, we would add some animals to the mix when we were settled and knew how to take care of them.

Now the story is unfolding slightly different than that. We are now working on the thoughts of owning several acres and the possilibilties that come with owning a substantial amount of land. I can hear some of my friends saying "what are you guys doing NOW!" But, you know us, willing to take the risk a do something a little different. Speaking of different, it doesn't seem all too different with the amount of people we read about who are already working on family farms and now this new information about schools working on becoming more agrarian

In the next few weeks, we are going to visit a church in Tennessee. It's right on the border of Tennesse and Virginia. It's a family integrated church that Ildi has been looking at online for awhile now. For the meantime, we have been attending a church in the neighboring city of Greensboro. Quite a lovely group of Christians who love God and one another.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

In reflection of today's events, I thought of several things. During our school/county training, we were required to role play several times acting out real life school situations using the new teaching strategies we have been learning. (using William Powers' work on PCT)

Anyway, when most people were acting out their skit, they spoke with a pronounced southern accent. It dawned on me that they were not "putting" on a southern accent like I had done before. In fact, they had a southern accent.

Tonight, after I got home, I went to the store to buy half/half for our morning coffee, two other occurrences reminded me that I was no longer in proverbial "Kansas" anymore. One was the shock of going outside after dark and it being as hot as it was during the day. That's just plain weird. Secondly, frogs were crawling on the side of our house. Two of them were sitting on the shutters like they were waiting for the next convention. When I get a moment, and a service besides dial-up, I'll post a couple of photos of their visit!

Good report...We have found the MILK. Ildi contacted someone today who purchases milk in SC and then transports it to the lucky customers here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

a leisurely drive

Today I drove through the country to get to my scheduled school workshop. The point being that I drove through the country and not that I went to another school workshop. Even though the workshop was good (Perceptual Control Theory and applications in the classroom) the drive to and from it was even better. It took me around twenty-five minutes to get somewhere that could have taken me only fifteen. But, I had a mission in mind......

I knew that if I continued driving south from the city that I would eventually run into a cross-road that would get me to the south-west part of the city that I needed to be in. I gave myself plenty of time so as not to be late for the training, and enough time to drive slowly and look at the farms in the area. By far, it was the prettiest part of this area that I have traveled so far. Slightly rolling hills, houses set back off the road, ranch style home intermingled with older country farm homes. The kinds of places you know for sure that work is happening and that at the end of the day, you could sit for a spell on the porch and watch the traffic go by.

Which reminds me of an encounter yesterday at the post office I had here in town. I needed to send some packages out and wanted to pick up some postcards to send to some friends. I stopped by the Old Salem post office downtown knowing I could accomplish both things there. It was there that I realized I was in what seemed like another world when I heard a lady from the museum giving directions to a man, who along with his wife and daughter, where visiting the Historical Living Museum of Salem. In passing, I heard her give him directions about how he could just walk right out the front doors and take the first road to the right to get to the historic buildings. To which he replied "Oh no! I'll be driving around the back o' this place cause it's the only place I saw that I can by cigarettes and I ain't had one in THREE hours!" I chuckled as I walked out the door with my postcards and stamps. Not that I was laughing at him, his need for a smoke, of how he even said it, but more at myself being in a place that is so different than I've been in the last twenty years of my life.

On the way home I traveled the same way. I noticed a blacksmith shop on the corner of one of the turns I made and I made sure to stop by to check it out. The Smithy wasn't in so I peeked through the doors and got a real good eyeful of some of the work he has done. It looked like a shop that had been there for years. I'm going to return to see if I can actually go in and see his work. On the last leg of my trip home, I deviated from the path a bit to do a little more exploring. To my benefit, I came across an antique store (which was also closed) that I will be SURE to visit soon. I saw a couple of Tiffany lamps in the window and am curious to see if they are authentic. Tomorrow I am going to travel the same way to catch all the things I missed today.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

in and settlin'

The trip, in hindsight, wasn't all that bad. Looking back over the last few weeks it seems to have gone all to plan. Traveling, staying with friends, finding a place, then moving in. Rather simple really.

Our stay at our friends was refreshing. Lovely couple with six beautiful children. Having been raised in Ohio only a few miles away, I was completely taken by my new attitude about the northwestern part of the state. I actually could envision myself moving there! We spent time visiting, cooking outside over the fire pit, and visiting some local agrarian farmers. The time spent with them completely motivated me to action. I really want to own a farm now.

After our stay, we drove down to NC to find a rental home. Our idea was to rent for a year while we look for possible places to buy. The hunt for a home was exhausting, mostly due to the time crunch with finding an address to have our furniture shipped, but after two full days of looking, we settled on a house a few miles from the school where I'll be teaching. Here's a picture of the side yard. I mean the side forest :)

We have begun to travel out to see what the countryside looks like and are excited about the possibility of actually owning some of it to farm!