Monday, January 25, 2010

Life is what you make of it

I have taken a break from writing in order to refocus what my intentions are with this blog. It seems as though in the past I have used it to vent and to express my inner thoughts and situations. It really can be used for whatever I want it to be used for, but mainly I want it to shed light on places and experiences that we love.

From where I stand, I can see a ton of good things ahead for both Rose and myself. I am sure that I have never been in such a loving, balanced, supportive, healthy, and peaceful relationship in my life. It is just so nice to be supported by those that love you, even when it might not be the norm. We have simplified our lives so much to the point that it is kind of self-sustaining. I have nothing to say except "you are correct", when others say "It must be nice." The bottom-line is that yes, it is VERY nice. "I wish the same for you", I conclude.

My role this year will once again be a non-traditional role when compared to 95% of American households. It is growing on me to be honest, I enjoy being a partner to Rosemary, helping her grow her business, her errand boy I should say. I am quit surprised at what we are accomplishing together, actually what I help her accomplish. She is doing 90% of the work with my opinions and advice. One of my roles will be to learn how to build 100% self sustainable housing for us. While we are low on cash, it is still a blast to be this free. Freedom to be whatever I want to be without justification to anyone but myself and my family (Rosemary, Katie and Marley).

Rosemary and I are both wishing the best to all of our friends and our families and are looking forward to sharing our experiences with everyone. Thanks to everyone that supports our non-traditional lifestyle of pleasure and passion. It certainly is unfortunate that pleasure and passion are considered non-traditional to some...Shouldn't we all seek to fill our lives with passion? We are.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

On the road again.....GUATEMALA 2010

In a few days Rosemary and I will be headed back to Guatemala. We are so excited. We will be spending 9 days in and around Lago Atitlan. It is Summer and in the 80's there. I am sure we will be doing some cliff diving and swimming, volcano hiking, tree-top jungle tours, and possibly bathing in a hot spring. Last time we journeyed there, we spent only 2 nights at the lake, then traveled to the Peten region, Belize, and then back to Guatemala City in 10 days. I remember there being 100's, literally, of humming birds flying everywhere, right past your head. The clouds seemed to float lower than the peaks of the mountain tops. The north side, south facing cliffs were covered in lush vegetation and reminded me of terrain I imagine in Asia. It is simply hard to explain how beautiful this place is in my mind.

Upon arrival, we will be staying in Antigua for one evening. Rosemary has set up a dinner date with Jose Coutino, a daykeeper of the Mayan Calendar. Rosemary is interested in learning more about the way he views certain aspects of the 2012 changing of the calendar. It will be interesting to pick his brain and listen to his views and opinions.

The following day we will go to Lago Atitlan and make our way to the hidden paradise of San Marcos la Laguna. This is just the beginning of a great trip.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What are you doing with yourself Andy???

I am not sure if I mentioned previously, both of the houses that I own are up for sale. My primary residence is under contract and my rental property is still not under contract. Both are short-sells which take alot of time. Some good news is that my primary residence has been under contract for almost 90 days. Yesterday a mortgage broker came by to establish what the house price should be based off of the conditions in my neighborhood otherwise known as comps. I could not believe that homes were selling for $12K and $15K!!! Since I am ready to get my primary residence sold, I was worried about the price of $21K being too low, but he seemed to think that the price was good. This is really good news. So he submitted his opinion to the bank, and I am one step closer to being out from under this mortgage.....I think I have an interested party in the rental house. We'll see

On another front, I have been digging deep into the goals and dreams that I have set for this year. Yesterday I received notice of an opportunity to join Michael Reynolds and Earthship Biotecture in the construction of an Earthship in Wyoming during the last week of April and first week of May. My calendar is beginning to fill up!!!!! I was wishing for an opportunity and it has presented itself. We will learn how to lay out the building, pound tires, install cisterns and thermal wrap, build interior buttresses, start pack out on tire walls, form and pour the bond beam, basically all the steps to get an Earthship project ready to put a roof on it. I could not be more excited than I am right now. My goal would be to get involved and if I like it, to become part of a team that travels all around constructing Earthships. There is a large project getting started in the Galapagos Islands that would be nice to dig into...The goal of course as previously mentioned would be to own land possibly in Guatemala on Lake Atitlan and to construct our own Earthship. It is only a matter of time.....How cool would it be to travel around the world building Earthships. This year alone their builders are traveling to Baja Mexico in February, Swaziland Africa in May, Pataonia, Uganda and Norway this Summer, and The Galapagos is ongoing. What a job that would be, to build and become a master at building 99% self-sustaining housing with people from around the world. We'll see....

So this is what I am doing today. The Earthship opportunity presented itself this morning and I am now on the list of interns for the Wyoming 2010 Earthship build. I have never been to Wyoming, but from the pictures, it looks like a beautiful place to spend 2 weeks in the Spring. I will more than likely stop by and visit with Katie, Xander and Josh on my way out. We'll see, I don't want to get ahead of myself....I think? I am also looking forward to not towing the Airstream and not having my dogs with me. We'll just have to wait and see...I look forward to seeing what else takes place between now and then, what else decides to jump into my path along the way.

In February, Rosemary and I will be going to Mardi Gras for 2 days. NOLA is her old stomping grounds and she will be returning during her favorite time. We will both be in costume. She actually is hand delivering a $500 costume she is making for an old client of hers. She is making it. This evening she was involved in an event at the W Hotel for a new high profile client, the Maverick Group. She is making 4 costumes for them in late February and before you know it we will be traveling to festivals. Life is definitely treating us well these days.

"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions." - Einstein

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 has begun

So....what is really going on these days in my world. The holidays are gone, January is now upon us and it is cold here in Atlanta. So I have been at the table lately, over the past 4 months, jotting down ideas about what I am going to do with my life. Sometimes I have even been verbally assaulted with this question....Maybe that is a bit much, but each time someone asks me what I am doing now, or where I want to see myself in 10 years, or whatever it may be, it allows me to reconsider what it is that I am actually doing. Where it is that I actually want to go...Where do I want to be in 2020? Most of my friends will have 9 and 14 and 15 or olds, Marley will be gone and Rose will be 46 and I will be 44. Now I know this is not answering the question, but it is nice to ponder the answers to these questions.

For the past 4 months I have been back in Atlanta, off the road, and in my home, I have slowed down quit a bit. I am no longer anxious from not holding a job title somewhere.....I have begun to actually believe that we will be taken care of no matter what happens. This is something Rosemary has said to me from day one. I have actually known what it is like to have a real partner in life, or felt it in a different way than previously thought. I pick up work here and there and have learned to live off of maybe 50 per week spending and the bills we share. I am not looking for work but have spent a large part of my time dreaming about what I want to do. I have studied lock smithing, and purchased the tools. I am in the middle of repairing my old friend Jeff Langford's airstream. I sleep in...I have mulched my flower beds with 6 inches of fresh wood-chips. I have worked for a very long time to get into the position I am in and am just now having fun getting myself out of it again.

I guess I have been spending my time figuring out what my next move is going to be and I think I am on the verge of moving in the direction of something big. What is the next move????? My next project? I think my next move will be in the direction of building sustainable housing around the world using the concepts developed my Michael Reynolds and Earthship Biotecture. Both Rosemary and I both want one for ourselves and we think it will go well in Guatemala. We'll see, but we are visualizing a land purchase to take place in the next year or so and then we begin the building of our very own Earthship. So......for the next year or so we will not only be involved with festivals around the country, but also I will more than likely be traveling to hep build Earthships. The experience will serve us well when we begin construction of our own. Now I know this is kind of out of the ordinary compared to the average North American, but I am coming to realize that I enjoy living the life of the not-so-average North American. So this is the latest and greatest idea and goal that Rosemary and I are setting for our year 2010. I can see so many wonderful things happening this year. Check out the website or go to your local library and rent "Garbage Warrior"

We'll see. Next week Rose and I are back on the road to Guatemala to visit Lake Atitlan for 8 days. This is the beginning of a big year for us. Enjoy our travels with us by following this blog. I can't wait to get to the Lake and explore. We only were there for a few days last June, so this time we can visit some of the other towns around the lake, hike new volcanoes, and of course, do the zip-line jungle tour. The lake is seriously one of the most beautiful places that I have ever visited. It is indigenous in so many ways, something you don't get anywhere here in the US. Needless to say, I am looking forward to arriving to Lake Atitlan once again.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Year and Decade

Wow, what a trip it is going into the new year thinking about last years and all the years before. I just turned 34 and don't feel like I am in my mid-thirties. Time has flown past us so quickly....34....2010....There is so much going on..

So for the past 4 months Rose and I have been here in Atlanta, not traveling. November - February are usually the slow months for Rose. Every since I quit my job back in May, I have simply not been looking for work, but thinking alot about it. What a blessing it is to be able to not work and not be judged by your spouse/partner, rather motivated to take some more time. I thought about starting my own mobil lock-smithing business and also bought the tools to re-key houses. I've mainly reached a point of comfort with where I am, and don't feel the anxiety I felt previously, when not working. I have been filling my schedule with activities that include bird watching, gym (weights and cardio), walks in the woods with Rose, learning to shoot my pistol at a target, building a compost pile, studying Earthship Biostructure by Michael Richards in Taos NM, trying to sell a rental property of mine and trying to sell my primary residence in a short-sale. It is kind of like staying home with your kids or sending them to daycare, sometimes it is less costly to stay at home. I am becoming so much ore comfortable with my position in life and where I am with everything. It has taken some time to slow down enough to breath more deeply and to listen more and to speak less.....

Since we have returned to Atlanta, Athena passed peacefully, Katie and Marley are hibernating for the winter, I began smoking and quit again, and am back on the path of being in the best shape of my life. These days, compared to last time this year, I feel like mentally I am more stable and more connected with my intuitions, my gutt, my soul. I am feeling like most everything I wish for happens in time and is happening. It is a definite eye opener to watch life taking place. I have also simplified life a little more by downsizing forcably to a smaller truck/vehicle.

I wrecked my Ford F350 into a utility pole, totaled it, used the settlement to downsize to a Nissan Frontier, and pocketed the leftovers. The Airstream will sit until we have a tow vehicle we can afford and that runs good.

I completed my 2008 taxes and am ready to file my 2009 taxes as soon as the paperwork comes from my mortgage companies. No more procrastinating!!!

Rosemary is kicking ass. She and I developed a henna tattoo DIY kit this winter and are selling it on She has been landing custom costumes for people around the US and around the world. Private body painting events are taking place just about every weekend, and she has begun to work with a large Marketing Firm, The Maverick group. Lots of work!!!!! In the Spring we will be doing festivals, Summer in LA again she thinks, and Fall back doing festivals until October. I am really excited about all of the opportunities that she is coming into.

I am studying Earthship Biostructure's and might possibly be interning in Taos New Mexico for the month of June. These are structures that are basically off-the-grid. Check them out at

So Rose was just gifted some money and wants to go to Guatemala in a few weeks before her schedule fills for the year. We want to explore Lake Atitlan much more than earlier this year. We have heard about hot springs and hope to find them be sufficient enough to bath in. Another volcano hike would be nice, some swimming, cliff diving, zip lines, Mayan ceremonial sites. We want to spend the whole trip at Lake Atitlan this time.

So 2010 is going to be a great year or adventure and endless opportunities to go in any direction at any time, I believe. Katie and Josh and Xander, Ethan and Emily and Rosemary and I, all spent a good portion of time this year involved with my Mom and Dad's situation, and that too has seemed to come back together. I am so pleased and wish them the best years together full of travel, love, partnership, and most of all Passion for Life. I wish this for all friends and family. Rose and I are going to continue down the road of life and look forward to sharing it with all of you, even if we don't send christmas cards.