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Dabbling Down Under

I would like to introduce a new contributor to Not Dabbling in Normal. Please welcome Fran from The Road to Serendipity.

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My name is Fran. I go under the moniker of narf7 and I live on a 4 acre property on a river that I inherited from my father when he died 3 years ago. Prior to living on the property I lived in Launceston city and was studying horticulture with my husband Steve. I am decidedly not normal. I occasionally try to pretend that I am but the life that we choose to lead isn’t conducive to normality in any sense of the word. We have chosen to live out in the bush and do the most that we can with the incredible chance that we were given to change our lives. We have visions of being part of 4 acres of natural cycles that all integrate together and work as one small ecosystem in harmony with nature and her cycles. In saying that, there are many stumbling blocks in our way, not the least being our lack of ready cash to facilitate the change that we are after. What’s a middle aged penniless student hippy to do? Do it yourself…that’s what!

Fran and FamilyI blog about how we try to arrive at where we want to be via decidedly not normal channels. We need to use the resources at hand and a whole lot of researching to do what we need to do without having to find ready cash which isn’t usually all that “ready” in our neck of the woods. In the process we have discovered that our local library is a wealth of precious information, the internet is an incredibly valuable resource so long as you learn where to look and that doing things yourself might be a bit harder than paying someone else but you learn new skills, you become a valuable member of your local community and you get the complete satisfaction of doing things yourself and saving a tonne of money. Life is good on Serendipity Farm and as rank urbanites we have certainly learned that living in the country isn’t all roses. We live on the coalface between human society and nature and that’s a pretty precarious place to roost.

DSCF3494We share our property with a lot of chooks. Aussies call hen’s chooks. I was led to believe that chooks are lovely fluffy things that lay eggs and that are beneficial to the garden but have since learned that each individual chook is a mercenary individual cell of a crack team commando raid patrol. They can move into a garden and defoliate it and bare the soil of all mulch in no time. They are also programmed to find the most inaccessible place to lay their eggs, their favourite place being anywhere covered in thorns. When we decided naïvely to release our chooks to free range we never factored in that some of them would go clucky out in the wilderness we call our garden and would raise feral batches of semi wild hens that roam free outside our sphere of influence. Fool us once hens! We have a strained truce with our chooks and their antics are the stuff that blogging epics are made of.20626_4406679479230_281891643_n

Steve and I try to grow everything that we need for our food forest ourselves. We walk our two dogs every day and aside from pounding a lot of backwoods roads in our local area, as horticulturalists we can see what kinds of plants do best in our local area. We collect fallen walnuts that lie on the road verge and have grown small trees from last year’s haul. We have been given hazelnuts from one of our neighbours and have small hazelnut trees ready to plant out this year. We also have chestnut trees grown from chestnuts sourced from the local green grocer. You would be amazed at just what you can grow from regular produce and dried beans/peas from a health food shop. Frugality requires that you keep your eyes and your mind open to possibilities and we are both always ready to attempt to learn some new skill or project in order to find a cheap way to do something.

I am incredibly honoured to be invited to write posts for Not Dabbling in Normal. I have been reading this blog for a while now and enjoy each and every “Not Normal” post. I hope that I can bring a decidedly Southern Flavour to the blog because Tasmania is just about as far south as you can get before you hit Antarctica and at the moment, it certainly feels like Antarctica is pretty close as our winter has been particularly cold this year. Feel free to drop by and check out what we get up to on our blog if my posts here pique your interest and I am looking forwards to sharing our antics with you all here.

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Is this really true?  Pinch me? Am I really writing here with all these other wonderful contributors? What an honor.

My husband and I have been living north of San Antonio on the edge of the Hill Country for almost four years. When I arrived here I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do. When we left Palm Springs, CA I had a business beading and selling jewelry. I did a market every Thursday night in downtown Palm Springs and on weekends would travel around doing other shows usually in the LA and San Diego areas, but I would go as far as Tucson and San Francisco at times. Initially, I thought I would continue along the path of beading. Beading definitely took a back seat once the garden was in and my perspective on things was changing fast.

Mooakite Necklace

I laugh as I think of all the changes I have gone through to get to where I am now. I was a high school exchange student in Tasmania. I went to college and have a degree in Art and Interior Design. I worked in that field for a while. I then started taking flying lessons. At the same time I started working part-time at the flight school as a receptionist and secretary. That soon turned into a full-time job and I continued on with flight lessons working my way up to holding my commercial license and also flight instructing. I met my husband at that airport. He was flying and maintaining vintage airplanes at the air museum next door. My husband and I then moved to Kenya for a year. He flew tourists around Mt Kenya in an open cockpit bi-plane (think Out of Africa, complete with leather headset playing the music from the movie, leather jacket and white silk scarf) and I helped run the business from the ground and occasionally flew for fun. When we returned to the states we headed out to Palm Springs, CA for ten years, and now we find ourselves in Texas.

Within the first year in Texas, we put in a large vegetable garden with raised beds and my mom showed me how to make no-knead bread. That was one of the turning points for so many things for me.

Cheddar Cheese

I realize that nothing happens overnight, although there are times I wish it did. There are also set backs along this path and I realize that I can change some of those things, but others are in the hands of Mother Nature. As I look back on the past few years I see that I really have accomplished a lot. We have 1300 gallons of rain water collection set up and after this year of drought I realize I really need to increase that by A LOT if I want to continue to grow more of the food we eat. I have increased the amount of vegetable growing space and increased other flower and herb gardens with plans to do more. I have learned many new things from making soap and pasta to making hard cheese and I look forward to learning more things like making lotions.  Recently I have taken a few classes to be able to read knitting and crochet patterns and have take some sewing classes to brush up on reading those patterns too. Right now I am in the middle of a personal challenge to knit scarves for the 2012 Special Olympics Scarf Project.  I love herbs. I love growing them, cooking with them and learning about them.

Dill

I can remember when I was a little girl and making gifts. I am sure there was a macaroni necklace in there somewhere, but I have progressed a bit from that. Even though I am not beading full-time anymore, I still find time for some beading and other creative and crafting things like sewing, making cards, crafting, knitting; some of which I will share during REAL Holidays at NDiN as I make my holiday gifts this year. I always seem to have a long list of things to do or try. I look forward to sharing some of those things with you as I learn along the way. The holidays will be here before we know it.

I am very excited to be here at Not Dabbling in Normal. I will be posting here every other Saturday, and if you have the time, stop by my blog Sincerely, Emily to see what else I am up to.

Sincerely, Emily

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I feel like I was just adopted into a family of the most amazing women! Each blog post I read by each author makes me feel like I have been united with my people.  Sometimes I have found that being so aware of what I consume and being extremely passionate about where my food comes from, isolates me from people. It is validating to be a part of a community that shares the same values with regards to food, family and the environment. I’m beyond excited to be a new writer here at Not Dabbling in Normal and share with you my experiences.

I am Ryan, a permaculturalist, an educator, an artist and a beginning farmer in Central New Hampshirewhere I blog regularly at Phoenix Hill Farm.For the last ten years, I’ve been on a quest to become more connected to where my stuff comes from. At first, my quest was fueled by anger and rage. I couldn’t believe (and sometimes still can’t believe) how far we have been lifted from the Earth, how much money is made from this disconnect and how much the environment, people and animals are hurt. I still have moments of extreme frustration, but since I’ve decided that the only way I can change the world, is to start with myself, I am not so angry all the time.

My path went from frustrated to empowered. Slowly, I began to change my habits, my diet and my outlook.  It was then I  began to garden, shop at farmers markets, and begin to  have visions of what I could do to change the things I was unhappy with in our world.

I also became a founding teacher at a charter high school. I started educating my students on a daily basis about our food systems, how to grow their own food, and the path of consumption. We integrated these topics in art making, discussions and by starting an organic garden at our school. Teaching was my outlet for four years. However, over time I still felt like I was still missing a major component and that was being a part of my own food cultivation. My husband and I were moving in rented apartments every year and had no solid ground. For one year we lived on a permaculture farm and this was the catalyst for developing our dream to buy our own house and start our own permaculture farm.

In the last two years, as we have embarked on the adventure of starting our farm, we have begun to get closer and closer to where our food comes from. We now raise our own pigs, poultry and cultivate gardens. Our house is 250 years old and was standing vacant and vandalized when we moved in, the 5 acres it sits on were heavily deforested ten years ago and needs lots of regeneration to be fruitful.

It has been an interesting year and a half, I have learned more in this short period of time than I have learned my entire life!   I look forward to sharing my permaculture perspective, my journey beginning a farm, learning how to live in an old, old house, my love for whole foods and cultivating a sense of place with you all.

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I’m elated to be joining the Not Dabbling in Normal group as a new contributor (look for me every other Saturday). I’m writing from the Southwest—a remote Texas town (population 49) where I have been homesteading on 5 acres for the past decade.

In my former life I was a botanist and graphic designer. My husband and I gave up the big city to live our dream of a sustainable, organic, rural life complete with animals, honeybees, a large garden and this old house. I suspect this may be your dream, too? I’ll be sharing the intertwining of joys and challenges that such an adventure brings!

Our area

Where the hill country meets the desert

For starters, there are only 4.4 people per square mile in my county, and it’s a 3-4 hour round trip drive to a grocery store, bookstore, Starbucks, or hospital–if that gives you some perspective of the ‘not normal-ness’ around here. We live without television (by choice), radio and cell phone signals do not reach us. DSL is a lifeline that thankfully keeps me connected to friends all over the world!

Not only do we live on the edge of a desert, we are in what is known as a ‘food desert’. This means that 100% of the population here has low (read: no) access to healthy food, according to the USDA. (You can explore food deserts on this nifty interactive map).

Even though many of the locals are descendants of the original farming pioneers, those skills were lost somewhere along the way as life ‘modernized’ to BPA-lined canned goods, frozen dinners, and fast food. We tried unsuccessfully for many years to get a farmers market started—to be sure there’s a desire for one, but unfortunately not enough growers are interested. And for several years after that we organized free monthly community workshops on organic gardening and homesteading, empowering people to produce their own wholesome food. A group of us still trade surplus.

Our garden last year

Our garden last year

During our long growing season (roughly 230 days) we have been able to produce most of what we eat (with the exception of grains) in our vegetarian diet. We’re used to going out in our garden and picking what we need for the next meal—you can’t get much more local than that! But after experiencing the worst drought on record this year—during which our well went dry for six months and our garden died—by necessity we’ve had to seek out (more distant than we would like) farmers markets to get by. Over the coming months, I’ll be looking forward to sharing some healthy, vegetarian cooking ideas with you.

Our eggs

Rainbow selection of our eggs

Bartosz the Buff Laced Poland

Bartosz the Buff Laced Poland

Our main source of protein is eggs. We sell eggs locally as a CSA.­­­ I am crazy about chickens and specialize in raising rare and unusual breeds. They make such wonderful pets.  Currently we have about 80 birds (all have names!)

We just finished building our breeding facility out of 90% recycled materials. I look forward to telling you more about these lovable creatures and giving you a tour of their nifty abode! I’ll be able to give you some tips along the way for creating your own poultry housing, especially on predator-proofing and passive solar considerations.

Oriole painting detail

Oriole painting detail

Besides the egg business, you’ll find me teaching guitar, dabbling in photography and creating all sorts of things–paintings, quilts, and jewelry. I invite you to look for my creations on Etsy, follow my gardening adventures on Folia, and read more about my homesteading life on the flowerweaver.

Until next time, keep dabbling!

–Sage

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I’m so excited to have been asked by the wonderful contributors here at Not Dabbling in Normal to be part of this venture. For the past 5ish years I have been living and urban-homesteading in Austin, TX. For the past 2.5 years, my blog An Austin Homestead has been my outlet and journal of my ventures in DIY, gardening, cooking and sustainable/frugal living. While working (on and off, bah humbug to this infernally poor economy!) as a freelance illustrator, soap maker and taking the occasional part time job as needed, i make time to cook dinner for my family every night. In Austin, i tried to grow as many of our veggies as possible and got much of our protein from 4 laying hens’ eggs. Here in Oregon, my husband has been lucky enough to work on an organic farm that pays in part in organic vegetables. I’m passionate about serving Real Food every day, including to our 1 and a half year old corgi, Pocket who gets grain free kibble mixed with raw meat and vegetables. I have dabbled in cheesemaking, canning, and my personal favorite: fermenting, in order to extend our harvests and nourish our bodies with wholesome foods during all seasons. We drink raw milk, and have big plans for dairy goats, meat/milk/fiber sheep and pastured Guinea Hogs.

making spicy, herby cheese

We miss our urban homestead, but I can’t say that we miss 90+ days in a row of 100+ degrees. I’m sure the rainy Winters will take some re-acclimating for both myself who was raised in this state, and for my husband who was raised in balmy Houstin, Tx. While we’re without land to till, I have been focusing my homesteading time on the fiber arts and on providing for our family in ways other than food production. I’m still doing plenty of canning and dehydrating of foraged local fruits and veggies, but my biggest passion right now is developing my skills as a spinner and learning to knit.
My drop spindles

Yes, i spin yarn. No, my wheel is not an antique and neither are the robust group of friends i’ve made here in Oregon who are part of the even more robust fiber community. I am often asked “you spin yarn? can you spin hay into gold?” or “people DO that?” or “why would you spin yarn when you could just buy it in the store?” or “why would you want to knit a hat when you could just buy one in the store?” I believe those people are missing the point. But in case you too are wondering, check back in 2 weeks and i’ll wax on some more about the joys (and pains) of spinning.

I look forward to posting more about spinning, knitting, cooking and crafting up handmade holiday gifts, some easy and some more time consuming. I will probably be posting some tutorials and may invite you to a sew along. I’ll be “not dabbling” every other friday, and you can generally find a new post from me every weekday at An Austin Homestead. I hope you’ll join me there as well as here, and will come along for the ride as I post updates and make my eventual transition to a whole new blog and homestead somewhere in this fertile Willamette Valley.

Dabble on,

Miranda R.

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Why hello! I am Emily’s husband, Jeremy.  You might’ve seen pictures of me doing various farmy type stuff.  I like to be very supportive towards any and all of Emily’s flora and fauna vices.  I love animals and I like to eat vegetables, but I’m really whiny when it comes to physical labor. I’m really appreciative that Emily puts up with it.

I draw for a living, which is easier to do from the inside of a house, so about 94.78% of everything Emily posts about is all her.  I know it bums her out a little and she covers it up really well.  When she does tap me on the shoulder and say “I need you outside” I drop my brush and try not to be a poop head.  I do love the out-of-doors and we do make several camping trips throughout the summer.  The things I love to draw the most are organic in nature and are influenced by artists like Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Walter Crane, and Winsor McKay to name a few.

I, myself, like to be a bit creative in the kitchen [not as successfully as Emily] and I appreciate her exotic layering of different flavors to entice the palette.  I do the majority of the cooking though and usually that means a meal that is less thought out and quicker in prep time.  Emily is outrageously good at preparing special suppers and the like, when she has a goal in mind. She’s getting a lot better with multi-tasking several dishes at the same time too, but she sure can fill up an empty sink with dirty dishes afterward! ;) HahAAaa!

I never saw myself as a farmer when I was little, I’ve known I wanted to be an artist since I was like 6 or something, but I did not see this coming.  Still, I help put the critters out and feed them, and then put them up for the night. It’s not really that hard.  I’ve promised Emily an hour a day to help her in the garden when she needs me.  I know that doesn’t really sound like much but it takes a lot of time to do what I do so that I can pull my weight with bills and things.

I reeeeeaaally enjoy living where we live right now and hopefully we will be here for a while.  You should see the gardens Emily has sweated over; they are really beautiful.  She has an incredible stamina for working outside, I know I couldn’t do that.  But then again I sit at a drawing table for 10 hours a day.

When Emily and I first met she knew me as that art snob that worked at the art store and she totally had a crush on me.  I remember seeing a really pretty girl that I thought was out of my league.  Then, a year later I eavesdropped on a conversation between her and a coworker of mine about Terry Gilliam and I had to put my two cents in about his brilliance and that’s how the ball started rolling.  I think the thing that really cinched it was our mutual love of childrens’ books.

While she is trying her best to become the next Tasha Tudor I am working hard to be somewhat of an Arthur Rackham with the line work of Gustave Dore.  Now when Emily posts pictures she usually does really nice photos of her gardens or the animals or something she conjured in the kitchen; I don’t really do so much of that.  Soooooo I will put up some of the stuff I dabble in. So here you go.  Hope you like it and can sympathize with why I spend so much of my time avoiding going outside.

I too have my own blog. I am not as efficient as Emily at loading it with good stuff on a regular schedule but you can see more of what I do, while Emily is earning her callouses outside.  You can visit me at jeremybastian.blogspot.com.  Thank you all for taking the time.

-Jeremy

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Photos: Our Fellas

This week we gals are celebrating our guys and all they do for us. Since Father’s Day is this coming Sunday we’re devoting the entire week to the men in our lives – even if they’re not “proper” dads. I think we’d all agree that dads come in different shapes and sizes, with different experiences, teaching methods, and sometimes even different species as “offspring”. What matters is their support and love of their family.

Thanks, fellas, for all you do for us!

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Here at Unearthing this Life, I’m very fortunate to have a guy that enjoys helping me with projects and shares many of the same interests as I have. Even when we don’t share the same interest, he’s a great sport and plays along when needed. In fact, this spring he spent a majority of his weekends helping me build poultry tractors, taking me for motorcycle rides, and helping to reign in the birds. Love my guy – dad to one daughter, 17 birds, and two cats.

cushy shoulder
shoo

tractor

ride

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Starting with his kids, Wei is all about the little live things. While he’ll help in the garden when prodded
and given very explicit directions, I finally discovered the magic formula and started giving him all the tasks surrounding critters–fish, bugs, worms, children, rabbits, squirrels. Of course, now he wants bees and chickens. I’m not planning on letting him know that Chicago allows you to keep pet goats. Here he is at his favorite garden task (sitting in it).

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Here at Chiot’s Run, Mr Chiots is always willing to go along with the crazy things I come up with, from installing hoop houses on my raised beds, drilling taps in the maple trees, brushing up on his fish netting skills, to digging the hole for our new garden pond. Mr Chiots can often be found helping me in the gardens at Chiot’s Run. I have written an Ode to Mr Chiots on my blog and won’t reiterate it all there.


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Being married to an artist does tend to mean that when the weather is fair I will go entire days, seeing no more than glimpses of my husband. This is alright though, because when I need help, regardless of how heavy, gross, tedious, difficult or complicated the task is, Jeremy is always willing to drop what he’s doing (even when he has deadlines!) to come out into the gardens with  me.

Together we have dug fence posts, built coops, tilled beds, eradicated brambles, chopped wood, said hard goodbyes to pets and livestock and even welcomed new life… The list goes on forever, and whenever it’s something important, my man is by my side – ready for action!

(Err… usually, that is. Sometimes he’s a little peeved when he’s helping out and I pick up the camera instead of the shovel.)

Of course he has his goofy side as well; Jeremy has the worst fashion sense while farming, and has been known to utter the occasional Tuskan Raider cry while wielding various hand tools.  We’re both known for being a little bit eccentric, but how many artists/farmers do you know that aren’t?

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Won’t you spend the week and celebrate your fellas with us?

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The New Kid

Greetings fellow dabblers! I’m Jennifer, also known as whirliegig, and the newest writer around here. You’ll usually find me over at Unearthing This Life where I track our challenges of moving toward sustainability and responsible living and otherwise trying to follow the lessons my grandparents and mother taught me. I also document daily life and the beautiful things I find to share with my family and friends who are spread out across the globe.

plant collage

I grew up 30 miles outside of Chicago on the outskirts of a semi-suburban town, surrounded by cornfields. I was raised by a botanically-obsessed and crafty mother and heavily influenced by my grandparents, foodies and farmers themselves. Thirteen years ago I moved 500 miles south to the Nashville area – practically on a whim – to follow my dream of becoming an artist. I fell in love with the land and a fellow and got hitched, and the one year I intended to stay somehow turned into much more.

family

Many of those years were spent in restaurants and as an event photographer. Just as one thing leads to another, marriage turned into parenthood. Life took a different path and instead of pursuing a career in art, we decided that I’d stay home with our baby. After our daughter was born we returned to my husband’s rural hometown where I have ample space to experiment with what I’ve been taught. Out here I keep my organic gardens, preserve food, cook mostly from scratch, knit, paint, photograph, and make crafty projects with the Kid, now six.

countrylife collage

This is a year for big plans: we’ll be getting chickens in a few weeks, building a greenhouse, doubling our garden size, planting lots of heirlooms, studying under a beekeeping mentor, reducing our reliance on processed foods, and doing a bit of touring while I learn to ride a motorcycle. I’m sure there will be quite a few bumps and scrapes! We also plan to start homeschooling this fall. I’m a bit of a foodie, but I believe I’m in good company here. I hope to be able to share what I learn with each step further away from normalcy.

orach seedling

Thank you all for having me!

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I’m New Here

My name is Susy, I’m a new writer here at Not Dabbling in Normal. My pen name is Chiot’s Run. I blog about gardening, canning, local living and all kinds of fun stuff over at Chiot’s Run, you can also follow me via photos on my Flickr Photostream. I also write over at Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op several times a month.


I think I was asked to be a writer here because of some of my interesting hobbies. They aren’t the typical hobbies for an early 30’s girl. While many women my age are acquiring shoes, bags and clothes; I’m busy learning beekeeping, maple sugaring, canning, cheese making and other crazy things.


My husband and I own a small business, 2nd Mile Productions and I work for a non-profit as well, Colombian Christian Mission. We both work from home which allows us to spend our time a little differently than many people. I’m able to spend my days gardening and my evening working. When it’s maple sugaring season we’re able to run outside periodically to check the boiling sap, then get back to work.

Over the past couple years Mr Chiots and I have been building a network of local farms for our food supply. We feel very strongly about knowing where our food comes from and knowing the people that produce it. We get raw milk from a wonderful little local farm, with this we make our own butter and cheese each week. We visit the local farmers markets and have developed friendships with many local growers.


We try to source other things we need locally as well, like yarn for knitting and soap for bathing. When we need to buy a product like canning jars, we try to find a small local business instead buying from a big-box type store. If we can’t find it locally we search out small handmade places in other parts of the country. I love knowing that someone put love and effort into the things I’m using.

I hope you’ll enjoy the things I write about. Most people think I’m a bit weird, but I’m sure since you’re reading this blog you’ll be among the few people that find me interesting.

What hobbies do you have that aren’t seen as “normal”?

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Things I almost was…

I was born in the early 1970s. My parents initially wanted to name me Jedidiah. It’s clear to me now that they were insane…like so many people who survived the 60s. Although that name is remarkably close to Jedi. I don’t think it suits me. Of course, I am not sure that Warren is an easy name, but I have grown accustomed to it and I have a whole stack of free address labels from various charitable organizations. It seems silly to change my name now. I was born south of the Mason Dixon line but my parents quickly retreated north (isn’t that just like a Yankee?) I spent most of my childhood in Pennsylvania but headed back home to the South and have been here ever since. So, I was almost a Yankee named Jedidiah, the son of two insane parents.

Warren7thGrade

(see…I once had hair too!)

I went through school, but, I’ll tell you, I remember very little. I was ready to head back South. I entered a Southern college as an electrical engineering major, but I quickly came to my senses and switched to social work. Of course, I don’t like people so that didn’t last. One day as I sat in the library debating my future and pretending to study for finals, Emily (my current wife) dropped by and invited me to get some hot chocolate with her. She was cute, so although I don’t like hot chocolate, I decided to join her. I found out she was a psychology major. A few days later I officially changed my major to psychology and that’s about all there is to say about that. We got married after graduation and headed to graduate school in psychology. But I don’t like people, remember? After getting masters degrees, we headed to Nashville where I started a PhD in neuroscience. I was bitten, bled, peed, and pooped upon by unhappy monkeys, so I determined that, in addition to people, I did not like monkeys. I very nearly became a rabid, people-disliking neuroscientist who psychoanalyzed pubescent monekys.

This is getting a bit long, but I so much enjoy talking about myself that I hope you’ll indulge me. I left Vanderbilt but figured I didn’t like the job opportunities that a masters degree in psychology offerred. I decided to go back to grad school and I got a masters degree in computer science. As you might imagine, there isn’t much interesting to say about that. We lived in Nashville for those 10 years where we had babies, bought a house and started to grow up. Life was fun and all, but we finally got the urge to move back to Emily’s hometown of Charleston, WV. So, we loaded up the truck and drove to South…Hills that is. I am a partner in our company and I write computer software for a living. I almost let it rest at that…I was very nearly just a boring computer programmer. A year and a half ago, I discovered WordPress and blogging and My Home Among The Hills was born. Since then, I have been spewing my nonsense around the globe (well, my Mom still reads me, anyhow…) to anyone who will listen.

TheFamily

(I really do have an awesome family who seem to be very tolerant)

So this long story about what I almost was is really a way of telling you what I am. I am curious and I am restless.

I will be writing posts for Not Dabbling in Normal on the first and third Thursdays of each month. My curiosity has led me to be a beekeeper, a glass artist wannabe, a gardener, a bad violin player, a skateboarder, the next Bob Vila (still waiting to be discovered…I rock the plaid flannel so much better than he does), and a tinkerer. If you’ll come along, you will get the chance to observe my testing the laws of gravity and the limits of my wife’s patience …

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