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    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    The Trip

    (scrambled, and not the prettiest post ever, but that what ye get when I'm really tired. *sleepy smile*)

    Took some pictures before we left so that we could compare how everything and everyone had grown while we were away.

    We're on our way!

    Sun 2nd 3:13 am
    Tried to leave in the morning. Had plans for a 10am departure from the house at the latest, but ended up staying up until 8am finishing putting the rest of the plants into the garden and ended up leaving town just before dusk.

    It seems we can't even leave for camping during daylight. Likely we will come to be known as the nocturnal arrivers.*sigh* It's terribly annoying to know that we are, even with as quiet as we try to be doing as little setup as possible, disturbing the sleep of our friends and fellow campers.

    So, on top of starting out late. We got lost too. *sigh* As with all hippie directions, one has to be fracking psychic to be able to find the place (or have been there before). We stopped at a gas station for directions, then later (22 miles out of the way) at a fireworks stand, and finally at a campsite in the forest to find where we needed to go.

    Keebler, of course, rejoiced over the fireworks stand stop, and immediately bought 2 packages of HUGE sparklers.

    On the way there, we stopped on the bridge over the lake of the Ozarks and took a lovely night photo. I REALLY hate heights, and the bridge shook every time a vehicle passed us. I ended up kneeling for stability while I took the shot. *chuckle*

    We didn't manage to get a picture of the raccoon family that we caught in our headlights when we finally arrived into camp. You will just have to trust me when I say that 6 baby raccoons bounding after their mother and stopping in the grass in your headlights to discuss you is adorable and thought provoking.

    I wonder if the kitchen(s) in camp have secured their dry goods.

    We hear a strange conglomeration of natural noises tonight. Cows,sheep, frogs,the random baby crying, human gas expulsion, coughing, snoring, night insects, and coyotes. Interesting.

    Sunday 2nd 9:26 pm
    People came from all over in all types of vehicles.

    And stayed in all manner of interesting tents and living quarters.

    Got drafted to run the kitchen because PeaceBird had the kitchen, and her car was broken so she couldn't show up and therefore the we were completely devoid of a camp kitchen.

    We had a nice little barter circle

    Keebler gave a lesson on MREs

    Beautiful fire, nice drum circle, tired & sore after the first night's sleeping on the ground as usual.

    Cooked peach pancakes for breakfast, made gourmet coffee, and made my first "stone soup", which ended up being a lovely cream of vegetable soup (smoke flavored because I'd burned it a bit on accident.

    MMMM Thick Hippie Soup! People came back for thirds!!!

    Ladybug had a sleep over with a friend from last year's gather.

    There were many happy bees when the watermelon came out. This bee was literally trying to vibrate itself into another dimension, I swear it! *chuckle* There was watermelon nearly every day.

    Great sister from FLa brought lots of free goodies to give away, (including about 3 trash bags full, of MREs that I took for some health care products, and stashed in the trunk for Keebler.
    (hence the lesson about MREs *chuckle*) and the books we brought to give away were a hit as well, so we made a gifting corner right across the walkway from the

    trade circle. *smile*

    Tried to blog too late at night (in the woods, that's after dark) and ended up deciding to do an outline in the evening and finish the post in the morning, as the bugs were out to attack the screen.
    There were rumors of water snakes in the river.

    Ladybug caught a live cicada.
    Much swimming will occur each day by all of us here.

    Monday 3rd 6:36pm

    Fire juggling last night. Was very pretty

    There was a piercing ceremony in central circle. A woman pierced her own nipples to drumming. I didn't go over and take pics for the blog because I wasn't sure if naked nipples counted as "smut" on Blogger, and I don't want to be kicked off Blogger for art KWIM?

    I found out that I am the background picture on some newfound friends' computer screen. Seems they had previously looked through pictures of last year's Gathering of The Tribes and had picked their favorite shot; a picture of me being goofy, and decided to use it for the main picture on their computer. *chuckle* I am honored. *giggle*

    Didn't do the kitchen today. Helped with the fire a bit, as I was entirely too tired and sore from the day before. There are two other natural channels out here that I know of. I think we're going to keep in touch with eachother. *smile*

    Littlebit was brought back from the river with a bleeding head wound. I dabbed at it a bit and discovered that she had found two lovely healthy ticks and had pulled one of them off by herself, thus causing the bleeding. We will have to check the kids more thoroughly. (We later found out that Littlebit was the ONLY one in our family with ticks all trip long, as she was actively wandering in the wilder parts of the forest)

    Latrines are neat! 'course it's possible that I'm the only one to think so, and I bet I wouldn't be so danged enthused if I'd been the one digging it or making the path to it. *snicker*

    Keebler and I sat and talked for most of the day with Window, and flirted with Byron (her parrot) .

    More people arrived and set up camp, and a few people left. No matter where you are, if you have a job, duty calls, so they had to leave this morning.

    I saw the owl post had arrived before we went to bed...

    Ladybug found it in the morning.

    And read it.

    Then read some more with her friends standing nearby.

    Then ran all over camp showing everyone that she'd been accepted to Hogwarts Summer Correspondence School. *grin*

    Then read some more and realized how much work she had ahead of her. *chuckle* She's still overjoyed.

    Littlebit found a field mouse and picked it up whereupon it bit her. Snake Oil to the rescue!

    Someone had raccoons in their food last night, and someone saw a grouping of them, so now I am believed. *chuckle* All the nonperishables go on top of the tables from now on.

    I sold a bottle of Snake Oil to a sister who has terrible itchies from her stretch marks and wakes up each morning with her tummy raw from scratching in her sleep. She had used some SO on her tummy before bedtime, and woke up with no scratch marks.

    Window learned what happens when one tries to take a picture of me when I have my camera.

    But the kids were too fast when they got off a shot. *chuckle* I have no clue what sort of retribution they thought I was about to bring down on them, but the running in mock terror was fun to watch. *smirk*

    Twofeathers taught some of the kids about camp cleanup.

    It was a pretty relaxing day.

    The hammock later broke from the strain of too many children swinging like munkeys. :P

    Drumming of one sort or another was pretty much a constant.

    A very relaxed and calm puppy. HUGE, but patient. Good Rainbow dog! He even kept out of the kitchen. *smile* Mind you, Littlebit is actually standing a wee bit up a hill from Zeus while hanging onto his neck.


    Tuesday 4th 6:55pm

    It was a bit chillier today than the other days. Like maybe 70 degrees instead of 85 *snicker*

    We are seriously loaded up for the next fire, especially since we ripped up that stump everyone had been tripping over and hurting themselves on in the night.

    The Neb family (the folks who had me as their computer background) had brought with them an "impossible" puzzle. It's one of those ones that has only triangle pieces and looks like every piece goes with every other one. Well, they gave it to another person in the camp to work out just to see if it could be done, and 5 minutes later, he brought them the completed work. We were all amazed.

    There was exchanging of contact information. What was once phone numbers is now email addresses and myspace URLs. Amazing how things've changed over time.

    I made a button for Window (she collects buttons with her name on them) and Button Man taught us how to make it into a button. Later (with someone else's Window design) he let me actually MAKE a button on my own! It was so exciting. *grin* I would never impede on his market, but I HAVE to get a button machine now for my business. Buttons are SO much easier and cheaper to do than t-shirts. (I had been considering making t-shirts for folks who wanted a remembrance of their face painting at the random shows)

    And the puzzle master's wife learns about aiming a camera at me.

    Last night the kids played brain card games in the dark. It was odd to hear them yelling out random words at regular intervals. They seemed t be having quite a bit of fun, so I might have to find out what game it was and get a copy of it for Ladybug to play with her friends here at home.

    There was more fire dancing as well.

    Ladybug was playing with the non-flaming training things for a good portion of the day, and the fire dancers were about to offer to let her work with fire when she dropped a training ball on her head. *snicker*

    They decided against offering her live flame at that point, but eventually gifted her the light-up rubber training balls before they left.

    That was uber-kind of them.

    Three dragons visited the camp in the late evening hours, or so the camera tells me. They say the camera never lies, so I'll just have to take it as a good omen. *grin*

    Woke up to people talking loudly. I was hoping that I would get to sleep in a bit because of the expected meditative silence until noon. But it was raining anyway, so there ended up being no noon circle.

    Dinner was shredded Greek chicken, & portabella mushroom garlic rice.

    Keeb wore my wrap around for most of the morning, and did the bee dance after a yellowjacket literally stole some of his food. As in I SAW it flying off with a rice grain in it's little mouth!

    Nice drumming circle before dark, teaching the kids young.

    We were invited to go to a fireworks display, but didn't go, mainly because I didn't want to leave the gather and I felt a bit rude of a person to come into a gather and ask people to leave it. To invite folks to come to his place after the gather would be fine, but having people leave in the middle of a gather really seemed like a bad idea. A lot of folks left to watch the fireworks, and our kids went with them.

    While they were all gone I settled in for a nap, expecting only the sounds of the forest, when two separate groups of people decided to turn on their stereos. *sigh* Keebler asked both parties to turn off the noise, and I did finally get about an hour's worth of nap in before everyone returned and the children started jumping on me again.

    Saw Byron grooming her mommy

    A new arrival brought henna and started to work on people.

    I Got hennaed

    With Keebler's help, I managed to successfully burn the hell out of the popcorn, which led to a fight with Keebler, and caused us to start the movie later than we had planned. But man, you should have seen the smoke cloud when it all went up!. *laugh* It torched with such force that the aluminum foil bowed!

    Watched the movie Xmen3 on the laptop out in the woods. That was a cool experience. Next time, we're going to try and have a white sheet, and a projector lens to make it easier to see. Of course we will have a different movie by then
    too *chuckle*

    And people are watching me blog. *chuckle*

    It's not playa, but forest dust'll have to do for now. *chuckle*

    Wednesday 5th 10:08pm

    Too much going on in the evening, so it took me this late to be able to have the time to blog.
    There was nothing much going on all day until I managed to walk into the kitchen, whereupon the magic of the gathering took form. People came out of the woodwork to help cook, folks volunteered for store runs, and so much food was cooked that there were not only stuffed hippies everywhere the eye turned, but leftovers as well! We had ground venison, venison ribs, hummus-dressinged salad, fried potatoes & garlic, sauteed onions, hamburgers, hot dogs, two kinds of gourmet sausages, corn on the cob, coolaide, and lemonade mixed with red bull.

    Everyone Played in the henna like mad after the family who brought it left (they left it for us to play with), and I have discovered that I really like working with it. *grin* However, it does NOT work in a batik-like situation using acrylic paint as a resist on the skin, at least when it is kept moist. I will have to try it with normal drying next time. *chuckle*

    But the henna work from the other day turned out beautifully. *smile*

    There was also a goodly amount of face painting going on, and I even got mine done by Window.

    Would my painting her count as non-commercial window painting? *chuckle*

    A 250 gallon thing of water fell on a couple of the folks, but one of them has a metal plate in his head (the one who took the blunt of the blow) and he's much better now. Both folks are fine.

    I have discovered the link between the women who are all psychic in the camp. Come to find out we are all from the same two generations and are all from Florida. Now if you believe the "theories", there were all sorts of governmental tests going on between the 40's and 80's in that area where pregnant women and small children were given "supplements" or "additives" in their vaccines and vitamins that were "secretly" intended to create a better, more psychically aware being. That the governrment was trying to form a specialist psychic spy network of some type... Makes you wonder :D 'Course it might also explain why we all had similar features to one extent or another, even though our genetics and backgrounds are so drastically different...

    Littlebit was caught on camera feeding Inzane grapes while he relaxed on the hammock, which later broke and was repaired with spare rope. If hippies have anything on hand as a staple supply, it's rope. *laugh*
    There was much craziness with the paints I brought, as usual.

    Ladybug had an inchworm in her hair.

    Ladybug did quite a lot of henna work herself, even on other people, though mostly she just covered her own body.

    Inzane let Ladybug borrow his electric wheelchair for a short ride around on the road.

    Even more new people showed up, and one of the young ladies in the camp had her first moon. She is very proud of herself, and telling everyone.

    I modified a bag and gave it to her as a gift.

    Ladybug got another mailing from owl post while she slept near the fire with the other kids sometime last night. It was instructions on how to make her own quill pen. She did a lovely job of it too, now if I could only find the instructions or the pen! *chuckle* I will have to assume they have not yet been unpacked.

    No, I have no clue why Keebler took this shot at an angle like this, but he tells me it is because I was sitting on a hill. I can assure you that the hill was not this steep. *snicker*


    Happy Hippie fire.
    Last Night I saw the neatest thing: a color changing wind chime. It's too neat seeing it in person. *grin*

    The prettiest pancakes I've ever seen were cooked up for breakfast this morning. I had to take a picture.

    K looks like a pretty princess in her new flower crown.

    Littlebit found herself a caterpillar of some sort.

    Then had her turn riding around in Inzane's chair.

    There was some sort of weird bug on the hood of the car as we were loading up.

    We left the gather early so that we could get to visit our friends we had scheduled to spend time with and still get home in time enough to do some straightening around the house before company arrived on Friday (Window was coming to visit with her newly acquired housemates after she got her eyeliner tattoos redone.)

    Stopped by DragonScorpion's and met his new boyfriend, then with what little information we had about anything really, we went on a mad hunt and drove all over Lebanon looking for our friend wee-e-wee-e. Using a little detective work and the random trusting nature and kindness of small town strangers, we found his house, and his work, and visited both. We never did actually find him, as I am sure he was at his mother's house (and I forgot where that is), but we can comfort ourselves with the thought that at least we left a note at his house, a message at his work, and the lady who sells him his gas will be letting him know we were looking for him as well. *chuckle* (Quick note: If you do not want to be found, don't live in a small town. At least he knew I'd come to find him at some point. *grin* I always do drop in on my friends when I'm in town if I have a spare moment, and as I couldn't get a hold of Rambleman, I had nothing but time while waiting to try calling him again.) It was really great to see DS again. I miss him, but he's as busy as we are, and with us living in different towns, it doesn't bode well for ease of visiting. *smile*

    Tried to call a Rambleman multiple times but his line was busy all the time so we had to go home without visiting him, so we will just have to drive up there sometime soon and visit without being "in the neighborhood" *chuckle*

    Had some really good dairy queen
    It was a long day.

    Came home, checked everything, and oogled the babies for a bit before we literally passed out on the way home. The bunnies are HUGE, and the baby ratties from Walenda's litter have their eyes all opened!

    In the notes taken by Gem, we found that the rat pups had started to open their eyes as of Wednesday afternoon, and that one pup had died while we were gone.
    And now for the news of what has happened since we got home while I was taking so long to get this all arranged and organized so that I could finally post it. *chuckle*

    Checked everyone's food & water, visited with Window & company (who came early) babysat Byron (Window's parrot) who refused to be quiet until we put on Princess Mononoke for her to watch, whereupon, Littlebit was equally entranced and the two watched the movie together, Visited with Gem (the pet & plant sitter)

    Cleaned the house a bit, trudged through all of my email, got some good snuggles in the morning, Keebler cooked dinner, I cooked lunch, neither were anything special, Played with all of the pets except for Roschoreo, who did get some love when Gem came by for a bit. *smile*

    Keebler did 3 loads of laundry at the neighborhood triple-loader

    We noticed that the neighbors who had been in the little house had moved out and into the house that had been being prepared for them. It took the owner long enough to get it done, but I can only assume that means that is was done right. *smile* I'll miss them being so close, but they said they'd stop by often enough even after they moved, so we shouldn't have anything to worry about. *smile*

    Found another dead rat pup, we are now down to only 16, but those that we have left are the healthiest little runners I've ever met. I think the ones we lost were because of Yodette being a first time mother, having too many kits (a common thing in a first litter) and not knowing how to be a good mommy in the first place. We won't be breeding her again.

    And of course, we took pictures to compare to the leaving shots to see how much everyone had grown. (Yes that's the same bunny as in the first picture)

    Everything has grown so much!

    We found yet another mystery seed, and the sacred Mayan gourds are up and doing well. I'm really excited to see them fruit!

    The ratty babies are so big now (even though you can still tell the difference between the two litters by size)

    And they are REALLY active too!


    The kids played outside and painted on clothing. Keebler took a picture of our first fruit! *grin* We have a yallow straightneck squash.

    My mother came to take the children away again (so no visiting tomorrow like we had planned. *sigh*) She knew we were home as soon as we got back because somehow in her twisted little mind, going out of her way to drive down our alley is a rational thing to do so that she can check on us to see if we're really gone camping or not. Heaven's know that she has some sort of twisted moral obligation to make my life miserable as much as possible, so she must certainly keep tabs on me and disturb my life as much as she can. *growl* This time she wanted to come and beg for the children, then tell me that my mate was a horrible person, an idiot, abusive, and several other lesser qualities. I think she's just pissed that I'm happy. She has ALWAYS strove to steal my friends, insinuate herself into my life, and make me depend on only her for companionship. It's sad really, but I have to keep my venues for relaxation and my friends secret from her for the most part or she will. *sigh*( nevermind, you get the point. I'm just ticked that I cannot even call my own home a refuge from my biggest stressor. There is nowhere that we are truly safe from her influence.

    V came over with a dumpster score of a very small hamster cage V had found in the dumpster, and we cleaned it up and modified it for use inside the girls' huge cage as a kiddie playpen for the baby ratties (who now have all of their eyes opened, and are scampering everywhere like mad, much to their mom's chagrin)

    Lounged in bed for a bit and exchanged some really good cuddles, I read some on the new Robert Jordan book. Keebler made scrambled eggs and fried ham and brought it to me in bed. The kids were angelic this morning. I couldn't manage to stop checking the mail even though it was a Sunday. *chuckle*

    We made blueberry muffins! *grin*

    Lounged in bed for half the day reading and snuggling. For once, I used the time away from the kids for rest. *smirk* It rained, solid drenching rains at intervals all day long. I hope this means that the entire area got a good soaking. Heavens know we all need it.

    Checked the mail when I finally crawled out of bed and found three small bags of groceries attatched to the door, mailbox, and front porch, respectively. Very odd. I will take this to mean that either a church has discovered where we live, a friend has decided to randomly drop off food they didn't want that they got from a food bank, or that there is a new church in town that has a VERY odd way of prostelyzing. Taped to a can of beans was a bible verse, and a message from the church. Weird. Not that I'll ever complain about free food when I don't have to listen to someone trying to "convert me" or pray "with" me. *smile* Wooo free food!

    Went to the Radish for the potluck, and got to play with a hand press button maker. Now that I have had the chance to use both kinds, I know I like the bench press kind better. It was still really fun. Things have changed quite a bit in there since I was last around, but that is to be expected. We took some of the free food with us to the potluck because we were too darned lazy to cook today.

    My mother didn't bring the girls home or to the Radish tonight like she promised to. It seems my eldest didn't want to leave the house with all the storms, so they decided to stay in and spend another night at grandma's house. I'd better get them back on the morrow.

    We lost three babies tonight in an accident. I'm not going to go into detail. They died instantly. Another seems to have his back broken, but is still getting around alright. We will see how he is faring in the morning. Usually I would have put him down, but I have heard of paralyzed ratties growing healthy and strong and getting along just as well as their able-bodied relatives. It cannot hurt to give him a chance to live, and he seems to be in no pain. We don't expect him to survive the night, but could not, in good conscience, put him "to sleep" and not know if he would have made it without our intervention. *sigh* I cried for hours over the poor lost little ones and our damaged baby. If he survives, I will keep him myself and love & spoil him for all of his days. There was much petting and loving and treat giving all around after the accident.

    Ratty update: We just looked over at the rat cage and the mommies have dragged our damaged baby up to one of the higher floors and are giving him the cleaning of his life. With all of this extra care, he might just make it. He's also getting around much better now, moving with almost the speed he was before the accident, even if he does have to rest rather often at the moment. I figure it takes a while to gain that serious upper body strength needed to drag oneself all over the place all the time. *smile*


    lovelife said...

    I am glad that you had a nice trip. Sure missed reading the stuff that you all get to do lol
    glad the rats and bunnies are all doing good. and that your plants are all good also.
    you all need to stop by at some point.

    TheRambleman said...

    Lots of great pictures of you're really fun camping trip. Thanks for taking so darn many. I especially liked the one of the three dragons - COOL! Welcome back, and sorry you couldn't get ahold of us.

    rabb said...

    I know you from ratlist! This was a Gathering? Wow, I had no idea, and if I'd known I would have tried to find out and go. But, I'm an Old hippy who no one would ever believe now. And not living too far away. Wow. I did yogurt and sprouts and bread and gardens and babies and homebirth and have always wanted to go to one of these.