Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Back in GA

Well, looks like Abbey and I are here for a while. The rest of the family is heading down to our new farm in Chile pretty soon. I am interested to see how they like it, if they like it. It is quite different than America. The weather has been nice in GA. I did my first stone building competition in KY. Frustrating and fun at the same time. It was good to see Joe.

We also did a quick trip down to Orlando for the weekend. Good to see cousins. Cousins rule. It was also nice to go to the beach. I kind of missed the beach.

It was good to see Gehrig and Fabiola. They are doing awesome. Beautiful garden. I wish I could spend some more time up there. Have not had much time for anything other than work so far.

Flea markets were kind of a flop. We made some money, but not really enough to make it worth while.

Michael and Wyatt each had cavities that had to be filled Not sure why. They have never had any before. Must be what we are eating. But I am kind of worried now that I may have some. Paranoia, maybe? Jak and my appointments are next week. Abs, no cavities. But new braces.

Almost done reading the bible all the way through again. About 50 days to go. Youversion is good. Also, I am still learning spanish. I can't wait to become bilingual one day. Seems like a good skill to have.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Move

What a stressful week. Moving sucks. Leaving Montana was hard. Especially when Abbey ran away from home the night before. I am glad she did not make it into the mountains. She probably would have died. Thank you lord for watching over her. We just finished driving across the country with one heavy trailer of crap. One the bright side, we stopped to see uncle Guy and aunt Diane in Pagosa Springs. Aunt Terry, Mike and Trisha were there as well. We all got to take a hot air balloon ride which was very cool. We threw up a little rock structure on the river at aunt dianes house.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Less than 3 weeks to go

Wow, time is creeping up on us. I finished most of the front wall. Need to finish the side and use up as many of the rocks as possible. It is looking pretty badass if I do say so. My proudest achievement for sure. Turtle and Jak came back a couple of weeks ago. Jak stayed here, turtle returned to Atl. She is supposed to return to help pack up soon. Only 3 more weeks in paradise. Montana rules. Between working, building the wall, cleaning up, and packing, the kids and I have managed to get to burnt fork lake once, kootenai a few times, painted rocks once, and the river several times. This has been the most smoke free summer since we got here. Only 2 days of smoke in the valley. And it was blowing in from WA state. I will miss this valley. Oh, and I finally got my leg behind my head in yoga. A milestone for sure. I did not think I would ever be able to do that.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Closer every day

Wow, it is amazing how much junk you collect over time. We have sold so much stuff, but still tons to go. The rock wall is growing. The fence is back up. No more rabbits. Down to 2 ducks and 10 chickens. I think we have had about 10 bonfires this month of scrap wood. We are getting there slowly but surely.

Still need to figure out some logistics, but things will work out. It doesn't look like we'll be able to keep Max and Loveheart now in GA. What a waste of money buying a van and a waste of Monica's time and money driving the dogs to GA. It would have been nice to know things before she did all of that. Their puppy money was going to be our plane tickets back to the US every year. So I assume God is telling us not to come back. There is really no other rational explanation.

Helped my buddy move to the sandpoint / bonners ferry area. What a beautiful place. I think that is where I would want to live if we moved back out here. Very green and the lake is gorgeous. I took Jak sailing on it before he left. It was great.

Abbey and Wyatt really want to stay here, but it is just not in the cards for us at this time. We all do love it here, it is a wonderful valley. Almost every sign in our lives over the last year, however, have been telling us to go to Chile. When you sit back and really pay attention to things in your life and meditate on them, you can clearly see which are positive and which are negative and which are seductive and which are trying to take you down the wrong path. God is definitely making me much more perceptive to these things and directing us. I am quite sure of this at this point. Too many things to be coincidence.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Selling Everything and Heading to Chile

We have been busy getting rid of junk and selling stuff to narrow down our move. Still lots to get rid of but we are getting there. We had 2 baby goats recently, so we'll need to sell them and the other animals soon. I am also trying to finish up as much of the wall as possible before we leave. I can't leave rocks sitting everywhere. We are all excited for the next adventure in our lives. Hopefully things will work out. I believe in my heart it was meant to be.

Monica will be taking the dogs back soon and I'll be heading back to Atlanta later in the year with whatever will fit in the trailer. I think the biggest obstacle to this is going to be learning spanish fluently.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring in Montana

The weather has been beautiful of late. Sunny and warm. Unfortunately for the kids, snowboarding is done for this winter. They had a blast including Jak skiiing for the first time and Michael doing black flips on his board. Abbey and Wyatt got very good as well. Abs is a speed demon. Michael beat me in chess for the first time last month. Wyatt almost beat me. They are all getting very good.

We are now cleaning up around here in preparation for a big move coming up. I think we decided today to sell everything we own instead of ship anything. So we are going to start a new life from scratch pretty much. More on this to come.

I'll miss the bitterroot valley. It will always hold a special place in my heart. From all of the things to do in close proximity to the unlimited rock for me to build with, this is a truly great place to live in America. Great people too.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Random Thoughts on Our Trip to Chile

Abbey and I drove a few hundred kilometers around Chile exploring over the last 2 weeks. Here are some thoughts.

It is a beautiful country and very similar to California.

Food is cheap. But that may just be because the dollar is so strong against the peso right now. You can buy fresh fruit and vegetables cheap from hundreds of roadside stands throughout the country. All fresh from the farms. You can eat healthy down here for less than in the US. This is a huge plus and something we were looking for. Chileans also make lots a tasty pastries that are cheap too.

Building is going on EVERYWHERE. Roads, buildings, housing, etc. Construction everywhere.

Housing building materials are very different down here. I would say not the same quality as american homes. They obviously have to build for earthquakes as well, but overall they use different types of materials for homes. I did not get a good grasp on land prices or the cost to build unfortunately on this trip. Utilities are much higher. Electric and gas are higher than the US. Almost twice.

There is a tremendous amount of government housing which is easy to spot. They are huge grids of the same exact box house in most cities. There is a pretty big amount of government welfare down here which concerns me. Even though capitalism is somewhat happening, there are about 15 super wealthy families that control most of the biggest industries here respectively. And very mafia like from what locals told me. If that is truly the case, then it will never rival what the US accomplished since monopolies do not innovate efficiently without competition. Still trying to wrap my mind around this. There is obviously a HUGE gap between the rich and poor here still. I am not sure how many years of economic boom it takes to filter down and créate a strong middle class like America used to have.

Although there is very little to no violent crime, theft is a huge problem down here still. Gates and fences everywhere. People will just pull right into your driveway and steal stuff. So that is kind of disappointing, although understandable, since there is a high level of poverty still. Someone stole abbey's shoes at the beach.

We drove through some Little towns that were almost third world. And others that were very modern. Some cities have big box stores and malls. There is a ton of graffitti throughout almost every town we passed through. Painting must be the national pasttime down here or something.

There are a big variety of beaches down here. One of our favorites was north of pichilemu and had huge sand dunes right on the beach. Almost 100 feet high.

Weather is amazing all over. The southern lakes región is stunningly beautiful during the summer, but the locals told me it rains like it will never stop for 6 months. So not my optimal idea of a place to live permanently. Although awesome for summer vacationing. We hiked Villarica volcano and that was super cool. We saw 2 different ski resorts that were on the volcanoes.

We drove up into the andes a couple of times which are incredible. Living between route 5 and the andes would be nice. I would be playing in the mountains every weekend. The andes are very volcanic and have some great mountain lakes.

The weather is pretty much perfect between Santiago all the way to Los Angeles before starting to get into the Seattle rainy Winter weather pattern. Some áreas west of Santiago and around it are very, very dry. I think The Los Angeles latitude offers the best overall weather year round with enough natural rain wáter for gardens and crops.

We drove through hundreds of miles of orchards, grapes, trees and other produce. Much like California, they produce a tremendous amount of food. If you get the right piece of land, you can be almost entirely self sufficient down here. Solar panels would probably be great for most of Chile. While I am on the topic of land, apparently there are only about 100-200 realtors in the entire country. At least that is what I was told. So there is probably a huge market for reallty and marketing of real estate in Chile.

The internet is still very week down here. There is a lot of potential for growth in that área.

The bus system down here is incredible. Buses everywhere. We didnt use them but it is a very extensive system that covers the whole country. You can definitely get by with the bus system. I would probably not rent a car next time. The roads are private in Chile, so tolls everywhere. Between the high gas prices and tolls and car rental, it makes sense to use the buses.

I think our overall experience would have been better had we known more spanish. Not much of the population speaks English down here. So my goal is to learn a bunch more Spanish before I come down here again. The language barrier is frustrating when you are trying to learn a new culture. You can communicate what you need, but you can not get into deep discussions.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cowboy Party

We got dressed up for a cowboy party today to celebrate Dianas moms birthday. Lots of good food and cowboy hats. I shaved my beard into a mustache for it. It was pretty funny looking.

I took a shot at a wolf last week that was eating our ducks out back. I missed, but I won't next time. I set up a couple of snares out back to see if I can catch any coyotes too. I hiked to the top of the mountain just north of Kootenai creek twice last month. It is super cool and remote up there. Makes you feel alive.

The kids and I went snowboarding last week. It was a blast. Jakjak is learning to ski. Mike picked up snowboarding faster than anyone I have ever seen. He is quite athletic and agile. I have been working on my handstands with him. Trying to get as good as him. I do yoga practically every day now just to stretch out and strengthen my joints. Desk jobs kill your body.

Abs and I have been doing Spanish daily trying to learn as much as possible before our trip to Chile. I can't wait to check it out. I have also been reading the bible daily on the bible app. It has a 365 day plan to read it through. I have read it a couple of times, but it is pretty complex. Abbey is now being homeschooled after her communist teachers ran her off. She was the smartest kid in the entire school, but the teachers did not like her because you wouldn't conform to their fascist regime. What a bunch of pathetic losers public school teachers are. If anyone is going to burn in hell, it is these child molesters they call public school teachers. I bet there are only about 10 good ones in the entire country.