Here I sit, in a beautiful, beautiful house in South East Portland, blocks away from everything a simple lifestyle could need. Jimmy and Randy own this house together and man, did they hit the jack-pot, it’s unique and beautiful and what they’ve down with the basement/downstairs… WOW, freakin’ brilliant.

Anyway, today the day before I attend the Challenge Course Facilitation Training Level 1. Today is a day for cleaning out my car, which reaks of mold because anytime it rains, my car leaks and a puddle forms both in the trunk and on the floor inside the car. And I’m in the Northwest mind you, and it rains a lot here. So, as I said I will clean out my nasty (but wonderful) little car and hopefully continue on the job hunt.

Yesterday I dropped off my first physical resume at a place called “Next Adventure”. Bad idea… I choked, I TOTALLY choked. That place is amazing. Gear EVERYWHERE. Gear hanging from the ceiling and the stairs. Really, as soon as I step into places like that my veins start tingling with excitement and nervousness. Point is, it would be my dream job to work at a place like that, but I’m pretty sure I fucked it up by allowing the first thing to come out of my mouth be “I doubt your hiring, but…”. COME ON MAN! That’s a HORRIBLE way to say “This is the coolest place I’ve ever been and I bet all of the people who work here are 100 times more awesome than I am and doubt you’d hire me but…” . Blarg. Just. Blarg.

I just can’t wait for training to begin tomorrow. And SPEAKING of which, thank you to everyone who has helped make it possible. Really, I simply cannot put into words how much it means to me. So a big big big big BIG Thank You to Hank Bollinger, Tyre Dawn, Danny Duffy, Jamie Gray and Dominic Allamano. Thank you!

I can honestly say “I don’t know what I’d do without your support”. Truly, this means the world to me. And while I’m doing thank yous… Thank you Tom Shelstad for pointing me in the right direction, the courses you’ve encouraged me to take are not only fun, but a way to get the jobs a dream of. Also, thank you Dad (Ed Keller), Jessica Vineyard and Steve Brown for helping me with my beautiful resume.

I love you all.

I wish I could take a picture of the light beaming from my eyes.

Endless gratitude on this beautiful day.


I don’t know where to begin. Literally.
You know, some people are just bursting with beginnings and by saying “I don’t know where to begin” they are in fact beginning. Who knows if that’s what I’m doing now, I can’t tell. I figure if I go long enough, a beginning has got to show up sometime or another.
Well, I am sitting in the Portland Community College Library. There’s a sort of beginning. I have a to-do list open on another window. Why am I here? What do I want to share with you? What do you want to know?
I want to share with you where I’ve been, where I am, what I’ve been doing and what I want to do next. Yes. That it is.
Here we go.
Seriously, this whole beginning thing just isn’t my forté .
I am in Portland. Before I came here, I was in Olympia, WA. Before Olympia I was in Ashland, OR for a little less than a week. Before I was in Ashland, I was in Santa Cruz, CA for a little while. Before I was in Santa Cruz, I was in Ukiah, CA. Well Redwood Valley to be specific. There, I stayed on a small home-steady farm and did different sorts of things in exchange for room and board. I had originally planned on staying on that farm for 6 months or so. As you can tell, that’s not what happened. I was there for a little over a month. The place itself was great and I really appreciated what they had going on, but unfortunately it simply wasn’t a good fit, so I stayed at a different farm up the road for a bit until I felt comfortable enough in taking the next step. I could go on for a while about what I learned there, not only about “sustainability”, gardening, food preparation, goat and chicken care, cob building, herbal medicine and community living/dynamics but also about the inner-workings of myself and how I interact within a group or community dynamic, BUT along with being unsure of how to make all of that even mildly relevant in the coming text, I’ve not yet found an effective way of articulating my lessons in a way that I feel others will fully understand. (WHOA, run-on sentence)
Before Redwood Valley, I lived in a tipi outside of Ashland for a little over a month (The later end of the month of January, on through February). I lived out there in a fifteen footer, across the way from my Cousin Kayla and her husband Ande’s tipi. Occasionally my “niece and nephew” Rowan and Isla would meander over and join me for cheese and crackers, or a little puzzle.
After all of that, here I am. I don’t know if that was follow-able at all (it’s all a backwards puzzle), but forgive me. In my year of not being in any sort of formal English education, I fear I’ve lost what little knowledge I had of proper writing. WOOPS!

I am currently “homeless”.
“homeless |ˈhōmlis| adjective
(of a person) without a home, and therefore typically living on the streets”

I’m living out of my car, have been for a while, and now I’m growing weary of it. I’ve recently tried to recall the last time I had my own comfortable space. And I wasn’t the only one shocked when I realized that it has been over a year. Let it be known: it is taking its toll.
I’ll begin attending EMT classes this fall at PCC. I applied for FAFSA, but I don’t know what kind of financial aid I’ll be awarded or if it will cover the cost of everything. I’d like to apply for scholarships, but it seems that many of them require knowing how much I will be awarded from the FAFSA before I can submit an application. I am late in the game. – Two weeks ago I had no idea where life would lead me, and now I’m enrolled in college and will be registering for classes at the end of the month. Everything is happening so quickly and I have this constant feeling of grasping for something just as it disappears. A close friend of mine described how she was feeling as reaching for a smoke ring, grasping it and then opening an empty hand. I feel like that’s an appropriate analogy for my situation as well.
Everyone I know here in Portland and whose couches I’ve been sleeping on have said that the crashing economy has definitely affected the job market in Portland in an unfavorable way. I am doing my best to listen to their words of experience without allowing them to rain (“Rain”. HAHA. Portland. Rain. Get it? HA) on my “parade” if you will.

Irrelevant Side-note: I seem to be addicted to parenthesis and quotation marks. It’s simply how my brain works. I apologize if it’s caused you any frustration.

I have a clear intention. I know what I want to do, and I think I have an idea of how I want to get there. What I’m experiencing as a drawback at this point in time is my lack of personal income. Thanks to the wonderful people I have in my life, I continue to have a place to sleep at night, but how to get there will soon become a problem if I don’t find a job soon. My bike needs breaks, my car needs gas and I need new shoes.
• I’d like to work at some sort of camp this summer, but I seem to be late in the camp employment game as well. • I’d like to work at a rock climbing gym, but I have got less than a year of experience, and gyms generally look for people with at least 3 years or so. • I’d like to work at an outdoor retail store, but what does a Wilderness First Responder certification do for store work? Nada.

Next week I am taking a Challenge Course Certification training. They’re allowing me to do work-trade for more than half of the cost, but I still need to manifest $300 to cover the cost of the training. Taking this training means a lot to me and I feel like it will be a catalyst in getting me to where I want to be.

I’d like a place to live and I’d like that place to have engaging people. I’d like to have a job, and I’d like for it to be outside. I would like to not be titled as “homeless” because that is not entirely how I feel. I would like for money to not be a constant obstacle.

I would like to feel like I have a shot.

The End

Yesterday I learned how to make and build with cob (what a gift!) it was amazingly fun, and not to mention a wonderful thumb and forearm workout.

Life here at Road B is turning up. Connections are being made and I am learning so much about myself as a person. There is a seemingly endless availability if information about almost everything I am interested in here. Specifically gardening, cob building and herbology as well as the beginning of ayurvedic medicine.
So much. and so much more.

This is so much better than going to college!

As some may know and some may not, I’ve recently moved to a small 2 acre farm in Northern California. I am here titled as a “woofer”, but I see myself as a student, an apprentice. I am here to learn and grow.
Today is my 6th day here, which feels unbelievably strange to say, for I feel less at ease here in that amount of time with the circumstances of everything than I did in the 3 day stay I had here before. It’s somewhat discouraging, but I feel that a simple shift in the living situation will help with my emotional response to it all.
I feel like an outsider. I’ve not yet been woven into this sensationally extraordinary community. I am here, but I am not. I feel as though I am an enthusiastic newcomer, whose presence has not yet been acknowledged as something significant.

I can’t tell if this is nourishing or damaging to my over-all being. One could debate for both.

The end and the beginning are near.
The first bit of today is devoted to: a shower, laundry, packing clothing and cleaning out my car. Second bit of the day will be for errands. Third: adventuring with a friend of mine who is almost the exact representation of me, captured in the form of a young man. Fourth: family.

Yesterday I said to a friend “my life is amazing” at least 5 times. He loved hearing it, he said it was nice to hear someone say that with such honesty, or something to that effect. – What I took from his comment was that for one of the first times in my life that I can remember, I am honestly untroubled, delighted…JUBILANT, for real. It’s phenomenal.

Tomorrow is my last day of work. And Tuesday I am going to Bend/Smith rocks to climb [with the same friend I just mentioned]. I will return to Ashland sometime on Friday and then on Saturday morning I will leave Ashland. I will go to my next home. I am bringing cloths, an amp, a guitar, a crash pad, a bike, climbing gear and clothing. – My life really has begun and I LOVE it!

I am rolling in my bliss while also going over my life with a fine-tooth comb to see what peaks out. That sentence hardly makes sense and also makes all the sense in the world as well.
I just got back from a short jaunt down to Redwood Valley. My newfound home. The idea of actually leaving Ashland to live somewhere else feels odd. I’ve traveled away from Ashland, this last summer being the longest period of time I’d been away from it in 6 years. But really having the desire, guts and motivation to try and live somewhere else is something else entirely and I’m also just now realizing how many times I’ve moved in my life, but how there were never any consequences that might have occurred in any given situation that could not have immediately been mended by my guardians.

I am stepping out. Ready to mend anything I may trip over.

Where does one pick back up? How does anyone (myself in this instance) even begin to answer the question “What have you been up to?”
What have I been up to? WHAT HAVE I BEEN UP TO?! Pause and think about it for a moment. Do you realize what kind of pandora’s box that question opens? It’s an abyss! A seemingly bottomless box that, as time goes on, only continues to become MORE bottomless….
That’s what I’ve got to say about that.

Here I am. I graduated High School almost ten months ago and it’s been the fastest ten months of my life and somehow I’ve put it upon myself to feel as if I am selfish for not sharing every moment of it with others. Maybe selfish is not the right word. Anyway, I am regretful about the fact that I feel I’ve done so little to preserve what has happened through-out the past ten months. I’ve taken photos here and there, but nothing to capture the emotion of it all. No writing. It’s as if my eyes took over and my brain went on some sort of subconscious auto-pilot. I am processing while experiencing, which if you didn’t know, can be exceptionally tiring on the “energy-body” (or something to that effect).
Some days, for no apparent reason my body and mind need rest and I believe it’s some sort of side effect of living the way I do.

It’s been nice lately, to be able to say to my dad “I’m learning to love myself” and “I see myself becoming the person I want to be”. Learning to love myself without without the help of others (which I always knew was the only way) has been an ongoing project ever since I can remember having an opinion about myself.

This is hard.
I’m breaking myself in. Back to blogging I shall come.
IsBreathing is not dead.
We are here!