Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Do I have a Condition or Do I Waste Away?

I hate waste. I hate wasting. And, most of all, I hate wastefulness. Is it just me?

When I walk in nature (or in town) and I see garbage lingering in the woods or along the curbs, I am appalled. What is so hard about throwing trash in a provided bin – even if it is placed a few steps away – or carrying it back out of a park or forest and dispose of it at home? Why does anyone have the need to throw empty cans, wrappers or plastic bottles through open car windows, while any gas station (or your own house) has a trash can? Do these ignorant soilers really prefer to drive or walk in a littered environment instead of a pristine one? Do they not care that their neighbors or fellow citizens have to roam amongst trash?

Some people do not care where they dump trash... This photo was taken near the Western Portal of the Hoosac Tunnel

Some people do not care where they dump trash… This photo was taken near the Western Portal of the Hoosac Tunnel

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WW – Details on a Walk to a Viewpoint: Morning Dew

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays. I hope you enjoy them.

My theme “Details” for this week comes from The Daily Post. From the moment I saw the prompt, this photo came to mind. I rarely take photos of details. Maybe I should in the future?

Morning dew

Morning dew

The walk to the lookout revealed this view (the details all blurred together :-)):

On top of Takaka Hill, South Island, New Zealand

On top of Takaka Hill, South Island, New Zealand

Or was it this view (where all details are pushed out of sight)? I can’t quite remember…

Another view from Takaka Hill

Another view from Takaka Hill

Do you prefer photographing landscapes, wildlife, portraits or details? Or, anything that strikes your fancy (but mostly nice views), like me?

(Super) Natural Wonders around Us

Hoosac Tunnel

“We have to look for ghosts in the Hoosac Tunnel while we are in this area,” Mark said, out of the blue, during one of our drives to North Adams, the closest real city to us, about 40 minutes away. As we climbed Whitcomb Hill and mentally prepared for the steep descend, I gave him a puzzled look, “Ghosts? Where?” “Have you never heard of the haunted Hoosac Tunnel?” he asked. How would I? I am not familiar with local legends and folklore anywhere, let alone in Massachusetts. Of course, the notion peaked my curiosity. How could it not?  So, yesterday, I added the tunnel to our sightseeing itinerary.

Approaching Hoosac Tunnel from the east

Approaching Hoosac Tunnel from the east

The digging of the 4.75 mile Hoosac Tunnel in the Berkshire Hills started in 1851 and wasn’t finished until 1875. At its completion, the railroad tunnel was the longest in North America and the second longest in the world, after the Mont Cenis Tunnel in the French Alps. To this day, it remains the longest active transportation tunnel (for freight) east of the Rocky Mountains and operates without a schedule. The building of the tunnel, however, was a nightmare of blood, sweat and tears. Continue reading

6WS – Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls

My  Six Word Saturday is full of flowers. How is yours?

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WW – Looking up, Then and Now

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays. I hope you enjoy them. My theme “Look up” for this week comes from The Daily Post.

Doing yoga on a beach in the San Blas Islands, Panama, years ago

Doing yoga on a beach in the San Blas Islands, Panama, in 2012

Walking in "our" forest in the yard today, Heath, MA, USA

Walking in “our” forest in the yard today, Heath, MA, USA

Ceilings in St. Petersburg, Russia (September 2015)

Do you remember to look up when walking in nature, towns or museums? What is you favorite sight to look up at? Mine is … a boring blue sky or a sparkling black one! 🙂

In the Heat of the Kiln

This past weekend, the weather was miserable and all but summery. It rained, it was cold for the time of the year and the sky was a permanent grey… perfect conditions for the activities we had planned!

Earlier this year, Mark and I did a three month house sit in Kent, CT, where we took care of two great dogs, Henry and Mickey, and two cheeky parrots, Tutu and Kookoo. The owners of the house are both respected and acclaimed artists, who we enjoyed meeting and getting to know. Steve Katz is a founder of the famous band Blood, Sweat and Tears who recently wrote a book and is touring again. His wife Alison Palmer is a very accomplished and talented ceramics artist. When we said our goodbyes the end of March, we promised to pay them a visit over the summer. What better time than the day of an exciting “pottery event”?

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Monthly Expenses – June 2016

Every month, I post a report of our expenses to show that it is possible to live a comfortable, exciting and relatively adventurous life without being rich. Or even without owning/earning a lot of money. That being said, Mark and I seem to manage one big expense a month for some reason, whether it is car, plane, travel or computer-related. Luckily, we live totally rent-free and in comfort, wherever we end up. :-)

This report includes ALL of our expenses, for the two of us. Under groceries we incorporate all the food, produce and non-alcoholic drinks (100% orange juice, oat milk for Mark and organic 2% milk for me) predominantly bought in supermarkets. Dining out means eating at a restaurant and/or take-out food. The health category covers medicines and Mark's vitamins and supplements. Utilities are always phone and Skype-related, now that our internet is free. 

Here is an overview of our expenses in June.  Once again, we did not manage to stay under $1000. Maybe next month? The grocery bill was much higher than usual, because we organized a family gathering over the 4th July weekend at our current place. After months of having no sound, "off balance" color settings, random crashes and regular "freezes"  on my three-year-old computer (which Mark, my personal IT-guy, did not want to touch anymore for the last six months, because the thing frustrated him too much), I finally gave in and bought a new computer for a great price on eBay. Next week, it will be up and running. Thank you, IT-guy!

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Recap of My Book Writing

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing. Starting this month, they have added a question as a prompt to get the juices flowing: “What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?” It has been a while since my last “book update”, so today is a good day for some insights and an answer to that question.

The Background

As some of you know, my biggest passion is traveling. Since graduating at 22, I have been on the road or on the water full-time for 14 out of the 18 years. I’m not sure whether to count our current lifestyle of house and pet sitting as traveling, since we are semi-settled “abroad” (for me anyway), but still explore different parts of the country while at it.

The other thing I have been doing most of my life is write. I have always enjoyed writing and have been pretty engrossed by it since I started my first diary at the age of 10. Continue reading

WW – Opposites on Wharariki Beach

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays. I hope you enjoy them. My theme “Opposites” for this week comes from The Daily Post.

Wharariki Beach in Golden Bay, New Zealand

Opposites that come to mind are: sand-rock, dead-alive, arid-lush, air-water, dry-wet, bumpy-flat

Which opposites do you spot when looking at this photo?

Climbing Mount Greylock… the Easy Way

Ever since we arrived in Heath, MA to do this five month house sit, Mark has been interested in climbing the biggest mountain of the state, which is located an hour drive away. Usually I’m the first one to partake in any exciting hike or adventure, but ascending a 3500ft (1067 m) mountain is not in the cards anymore for me. Many times in the past, when scaling smaller hills and mountains, my “Sure, let’s do it! I’ll just walk at my own pace.” turned into tough, steep climbs with loads of sweat, many breaks and a guaranteed headache. Turning 40 is no joke!

Entering the mountain park

Entering the mountain park

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