20 August 2010

We are thismuchcloser to freedom from Florida!! (Check out Gus's blog too!)

Hey everyone!

We have gotten rid of 90% of our things that we aren't either storing or bringing with us.  It is a pain in the neck to get rid of stuff.  Two yard sales, several Goodwill trips, countless Ebay and Craigslist ads later .... and the house still needs to be rid of quite a bit.  It's been a way bigger undertaking than I could have imagined ... or than I did imagine ... but it's also pretty freaking exciting and freeing.  A whole bunch of clothes that don't fit me any longer went to a girl who had to leave all of her stuff behind when she escaped an abusive relationship ... Gus also gave her a set of dishes, a toaster oven, and some of his clothes for her son.  One of the neighbors, Humberto, collects metal to take to the scrap yard, and he helped us by grabbing tons of our post-yard sale items ... less for waste management to pick up!  We also got responses to our Craigslist ads from: a retirement home, a few families in need of clothes/etc for their kids...  It was awesome to see our unneeded belongings going to others who can really utilize and benefit from them.  Good feelings and full circle sharing all around ... so much of the stuff that was passed on to others, was bought from Goodwill or given to me by others as well ... it's just really awesome to see so much being shared and given back into the community.

Grandpa the cat is doing very well after his snip snip ... for those of you who don't know him, he is possibly the sweetest kitty in the world.  He stands on his hind legs on command, speaks on command, and snuggles all the time.  He's super gentle and friendly to other cats, so he was in the habit of getting beat up on by the others in the neighborhood.  Luckily, Gus's awesome friend Kara said she would adopt him ... all of her Facebook profile pictures show her being all lovey and adorable with the cat she has already ... so we both feel (I've sorta ninja-ed partial emotional ownership of Grandpa, much to Gus's chagrin, I think? :-P) really happy about him going to such a good home.  Anyway -- he was neutered the other day and it was most definitely heartbreaking to take him to and from the vet.  He couldn't eat past 10 PM the night before, and he was freaking out, keeping us up till three in the morning when we had to be up at five thirty to get him to the appointment.  I've never seen a cat so determined to be fed ... he was very vocal about it. :)

His appointment was out in Sanford, so we drove around the area for the day.  Gus showed me the Senator in Big Tree Park:

It's a really big, really old tree.

Pretty difficult not to feel humbled standing next to it.  And I made friends with this guy, who inspected my arms, hands, and face with his beautiful, velcro-y little legs and his super delicate, curious antennae.   :)  He rode along with us on our walk for the majority of the visit.  I was surprised and happy that he didn't hop right off.  What a gorgeous little creature:

(I stole the pictures from Gus's blog :P)

We also hit up a Thai Market and bought delicious juices ... I also got Squeeze N' Bites - my favorite Asian candy EVER ... lychee jellies with coconut pieces inside.  So good cold.  So good in general.  I also got ginger candies... a little kick to them, and great for your digestive system. :)

We went into a bunch of pawn shops before picking the kitty up ... he was definitely disoriented.  Poor little guy.  He was a trooper though, and seems basically back to his regular self.  I think he'll be really happy in his new home ... I hope Kara posts pictures of him on Facebook!  It's always mindblowing to me how easy it can be to grow attached to an animal.  He's got such personality, communicates with looks and the way he walks, tries to vocalize when he feels or needs something.  I love him so very much and he's not even *my* cat, at least officially. ;-)

Really beautiful thunderstorm last night.  Gus and I are pretty sure we saw some small flames and a little smoke coming from a tree; we were thinking lighting hit.  It went out and everything seems OK in the neighborhood, though.

So ... I do believe we are going to be staying in Atlanta for the first week of September, helping to build a yurt.  After a few more visits in NC and perhaps NYC, we may be house/dog sitting for a lovely couple in Tennessee!  They seem absolutely awesome, and their property is beautiful, and their dogs are adorable.  I hope it works out -- I love the exchange of help/work, and it would be such a good chance to be able to see the Smokey Mountains.  The pictures on her website are incredible... they remind me so much of my parents' home in Northern WI.  Hummingbirds, woodpeckers, raccoons, finches... We'll see!  Everything that's meant to happen, will.

Twitter is awesome.  I've never used it before starting this blog, but I've been able to contact so many others interested in what we're doing.  Others have contacted us as well - folks involved in backpacking, hiking, camping, travel blogging, travel journalism, eco-conscious living, etc.  It's really, really, really inspiring to see how many people out there travel the world frequently and on their own terms.  It makes me so impatient to start our adventure. :)  Check out my Twitter!  Please follow/message me - I'm loving meeting new people across the globe!

The world is unfolding before us!  I can hardly believe how lucky, how blessed, we really are.

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