Friday, April 11, 2014

Barefoot Farm Profile; Maizee

Deputy Maizee
While I'm here at Barefoot, it looks like each week we're going to highlight a member of the farm; so you all can get to know the crew. We're starting out with the farm's resident second in command; Deputy Maizee. Luckily we just happen to have a real writer hanging around the place, so he whipped up a little profile on the Deputy.

"Maizee (named so because she came in when the corn was also coming in) is almost two years old, and she is a mix of German Shepherd, black lab, and probably some small breed(s). She was rescued from the Asheville Humane Society; she had been abandoned in West Asheville. Maizee had nearly been deemed unadoptable because she is especially "mouthy;" she likes to chew and sometimes accidentally bite. The Humane Society thought that she would never get adopted because of this "chewy" history, so we decided to take a chance on her. She still definitely likes to chew on things, but she is much better these days.

At the Humane Society, she was literally jumping over the walls of her concrete cage. The walls only went up 3-4 feet, and even as a puppy, Maizee was climbing the walls and springing out.
Though she is not terribly well behaved, she is surprisingly responsive on the trail. When I take her running with me in the forest, she stays right by my side and obeys commends that she typically ignores back on the farm.
She's somewhat of a coward. On the trail, she runs away from any dog she sees (even little yippy dogs).
She is remarkably fast. She has caught a few birds out of the air.

She has also killed a few squirrels who ventured too close to the bird feeder, and she once snuck in to the chicken yard and killed a hen.
Kissing my thicket scratches for me. 
She looks up to  her big sister Hailee (The Sheriff), but she was especially enamored of our old dog, Jaxsun. She would do anything that he did and followed his mischievous, sneaky example.

She is really sweet when she is sleeping.
She is a first dog who can actually fetch. And she might be our smartest....though she is young and has a lot to learn.
Maizee is River's favorite dog, and supposedly his responsibility to feed and look after. Check out this link to see why adopting a rescue is such a great idea!
Maizee is another testament to how great rescues really are. And how young one can be deputized...

A dignified shot, looking professional

What she normally looks like all the time

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Places you should visit before you forget to. Better yet, move there.

March 6, 2014
In the middle of a pile of belongings. (Side note, please click the photos and enlarge them. Its worth it.) 

I'm sitting on the brink of adventure; again.

These moments before taking the leap into a new story always bring out the self reflecting, ponderous me. I am such a lucky woman, its hard for me to express the joy I have been allowed to find in life. I'm pretty sure this next one will only continue that.

Tomorrow morning I set of on an expedition to calm my soul at a small farm outside Asheville, NC. I'll be staying there for a few months with my adventure partner Miss A. To date we've had more adventurous moments than most people could stand. She cooked up this plan in the nick of time, and I'm so happy for the chance it affords me. We'll basically be wwoofing for the lovely people that run this farm, earning our keep the old fashioned way.

I've spent years chasing my goal. I gave up every summer in college, every break, most holidays. I've left all the people I love time and time again. I've not lived in more than one spot for more than 9 months since I was 18. I've pushed, published, conferenced, dug, DUG, lived in ridiculous conditions, worked for ridiculous people. I have pushed in every way I know how to get to where I am. And where I am is a fabulous place. I've recently been accepted into two INCREDIBLE grad programs (one more to hear from!) and I can finally breathe. I've made it, and its so glorious. Its hysterical that from another perspective I've done all this to attain a graduate degree in getting sweaty, dirty, and sunburned/hypothermic. In love. I figure though, its alright to take a breather. I'm going to settle into the mountains, plants, goats, and tea; practice my yoga, and feel the earth without destroying it.

Its a fabulous time to reflect on all the amazing places/things I've got to see. I have this built up knowledge of all these incredible places I've gotten to visit. People are always asking me where to go, what to see, I mine as well compose something on all the visitable places. We'll go by states.

Peaks just outside Lac
New York; this will not be about "The City". Visit NYC, go see the shops and lights and hordes and culture. Know that it is a TINY part of New York as a whole, and whatever time invested into NYC you have, you should multiply that by 5 for the rest of the state. The Adirondack State Park was created in 1892, and is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous US. Its I think roughly 6 million acres of the incredible Adirondack mountains, mountain towns, B&B's, 49 peaks, and resorts. Ew to the resort parts. Within the park are so many fab places to visit its hard to slim them down. The Adirondack Museum is a super cool place with a bunch of things to do. As a critical eye for museums, I highly recommend this one, The Adirondack Museum. Also there are a lot of little towns, but a lot of people head to Lake Placid. Don't. Its super expensive and touristy. Instead head to someplace like Schroon Lake. Just make sure to drive there in the daylight...and stay in this B&B; The Lakeview Inn! Its so gorgeous, and the couple that own it are incredible people. So worth your time. Albany, Syracuse, Utica, Buffalo, Rochester, all have awesome things to do, but Albany has a beautiful historic area. It sorta borders a shady part of town tho, so lock those car doors.

Just outside Mt. Elba NY
Heart Lake

Lake Placid, NY
Just outside Mt. Elba NY
Vermont; Burlington. Its the most fabulous place. Everyone is happy. Everyone is drinking lovely coffee. Everyone is breathing in super clean pine tree air. Please go here. Bring granola. 

Montreal, Quebec; is better than Toronto. Montreal is kinda like a colder, cleaner New Orleans. Which is VEERY good thing. Its got a wonderful historic area, lots of fabulous places to stay, awesome food, awesome music, and great museums. Visit in the summer....

Flowers at Olebay
West Virginia; my home state. No place in the history of places will every replace her in my heart. It is a state full of potential, full of tragic and beautiful history, a place with mountains and hills so old the inspire your heart just looking at them. The whole state is worth your time. But if you just want a visit, you should check out Harpers Ferry, WV. There are adorable bed and breakfasts, lots of history, and its a 3 hour train ride to DC. Perfect for a weekend. Another breathtaking place is Oglebay, just outside Wheeling, WV. I grew up about twenty minutes from the park. Its a huge, incredibly beautiful park; it has enough free stuff to occupy you for days. Theres also a lodge, zoo, house tours, and lots of festivals. They are famous for their huge flower gardens, big enough to take a few hours to walk through. Oglebay Gardens

West Liberty University, WV
West Liberty University, WV

Harpers Ferry, WV
Harpers Ferry, WV

Virginia; this list could go forever. I spent most of my college summers here, and lived here for two nearly two years after graduating. Historic Homes, Hiking, Wine, B&B's, and BBQ. This state is meant for touring; or as I keep encouraging my western PA people, moving too. Get your pen out, and make a list.... Fredericksburg, Charlottesville,  Roanoke, Lynchburg, Williamsburg, and all the spaces in between. GO! Fred is just about ab hour outside DC, rife with Civil War history and beautiful 18th and 18th cent architecture. Recommendations; Ferry Farm, George Washingtons' childhood home,  Chatham Manor, Capitol Grill (which has awesome burgers and beer), Sammy T's (a fab vegetarian restaurant, downtown Fred, and all the battlefields. Charlottesville is a super fab hipster town that has grown up around the University of Virginia. Monitcello (Thomas Jeffersons home) and Ashlawn (James Monroes home) are both spots to hit. SO many food options here, but also a lot of wine tasting to happen. Between these two cities lies Montpelier (James Madisons home) where I worked for many years. This is my fav historic home, not because I worked there. But because its hands on, its got a lot of options besides the house itself. Its beautiful, and its interactive. A lot less boring. Lots of cute B&B's and wineries around Orange too (where Montpelier is located). Roanoke is adorable, with a GREAT music scene. The Black Lantern is a B&B I've stayed at before and hope to again. It had an incredible owner that made the BEST breakfasts. We ended up being about to catch Sierra Hull, and upcoming Bluegrass picker for like 5 bucks a ticket on a whim because there is just so much music. Lynchburg has Poplar Forest, which is Jefferson's summer home. And Williamsburg has Colonial Williamsburg, which is a no brainer. And a place that EVERYONE should visit. You don't have to pay to enter. You can totally walk around the grounds for free, but you must but tickets to go into all the small shops/programs. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs up through Virginia following the Blue Ridge mountains, and catches most of these places along the way. Its some of the best camping and hiking on the east coast, much like the Adirondacks! Its a scenic byway you need to hit up.

Turk Mt, Blue Ridges, outside Charlottesville, VA
Montpelier, VA

Montpelier, VA     
Montpelier, VA
Montpelier during The Hunt Races
Artifacts recovered that you can go see at Montpelier!

Roanoke, VA
Roanoke, VA
Roanoke, VA
Poplar Forest, Lynchburg, VA
Poplar Forest, Lynchburg, VA
Mississippi; don't wrinkle your knows, its ignorant. I love this state. I love it so much. Its completely underrated. I have been given so much flak for living here, and I am dearly going to miss it when I have to leave. Its my most fav state in the deep south. I am in love with the city of Hattiesburg. Its very typical of a southern city on the surface; strip malls, drive thrus, and bad city planning. But after being here for a while I've found the golden underbelly. If you're passing through, stop and visit some cool places. My FAVORITE bar of all time is Bennys Boom Boom Room. Its a dive bar full of fish tanks, weird seating, and dark corners. Love it. They always have great music Th-Sat, and have very friendly bartenders. When your done there go behind it and eat at the The Grill and Grocery, which is open til 3am. Get a burger. So delicious, so perfect, so on point. Do avoid the deep fried pb&j tho. Miss A fell victim to that ploy before, :/. Also while your in town hit up T-Bones. Its a record store with the best sandwiches and BEST coffee in town. So worth your time and money.
The Depot and Brownstones and also great places to eat, and the downtown area is cute, though not extensive. Gulfport and Biloxi have a bad wrap too. Its beautiful down there, and is starting to really make it back from Katrina. There are adorable historic house museums, beaches that are pretty much warm April-October, and Fabulous food all year round. Southern Mississippi is where its at. Skip Jackson, its ew. Natches and Vicksburg are both adorable, and have undergone a face lift recently to play up on the historic tourism, totally adorable. The DeSoto National Forest also has AWESOME camping, kayaking, fishing, and tubing. Yes!

Kayaking on the Black Creek, MS

View of my apt, fab. 
Louisiana; untapped potential. This could be your potential mid winter vaca, costing you peanuts. You may decide to move there. Between the Cajun and Creole food, Jazz and Zydeco music, the beautiful historic plantations, homes, and obvi the French Quarter its pretty much a party. After spending a god amount of time in the state I've come to terms with the fact that there are no rules. All rules that apply to normal progression of life can be and are skewed, in the best way possible. New Orleans has a terrible reputation. Everyone I talk to from up north about visiting usually tell me they can't or don't want to visit because its dirty, full of crime, gross; they have this image of a city full of half naked debauched college age people running around at all moments with a hoard of dirty street people behind them. Pretty much a ridiculous assumption. Its a city, the same as any other. Its got bad parts, no more terrifying than other cities. Just don't go there....and avoid Bourdon Street. Its meant to attract debauched people. If you aren't one, don't go there; it's just one street. The rest of the city is full of DELICIOUS FOOD (personal favs so far are, Tujague'sElizabeth's Walk-On'sHowlin Wolf, a bar with great food, Gene's Po Boys, and CafĂ© SoulĂ©), free, awesome music, artists, street performers, carriages, beautiful historic buildings, the National World War II Museum which is an awe inspiring place that could take two days to see (see the into movie if you go, its worth your money) the Audubon Aquarium (THEY HAS SHARKSS) and of course a bunch of cool bars. Go. Just go. Call me first if you need advice, but go. as my pal Mr. B says, the world would be a happier place if everyone visited New Orleans. Also, get a Daquiri, they have that stuff on lock.

French Quarter, New Orleans, LA

WWII Museum, New Orleans, LA
Fresh Shrimpies, Farmers Market, New Orleans, LA

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, LA

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, LA

St. Louis Cemetery, New Orleans, LA

Catch from Fayetteville Farmers Market
 Arkansas; I know, who even lives here? When I was asked to work in northwest Arkansas, I didn't even know where that was. It didn't seem like there could be anything there. Bazinga! There is. NW Arkansas is full of fabulous stuff guys! Its a super happening place, (gross face because its from WalMart money. Its their headquarters.) and the cities of Fayetteville, Springdale, and Bentonville are all bascially one large area full of super neat stuff. The University of Arkansas is located there, which only means there is an influx of hispterness happening. Buuuut, its worth visting. There are SO MANY AWESOME cultural things to do like the Crystal Bridges Art Museum which I loved, the Shiloh Museum of the Ozarks, both the Fayetteville Farmers Market and the Bentonville Farmers Market, and both cities downtown areas are darling. Eat there! Eat there at Hugo's for dinner and get a burger and the mint chocolate chip crepes for dessert, eat at Arsaga's for the best brunch you'll eat all year, eat at Hammontree's for the best grilled cheeses ever. And beer. Visit the beautiful book stores, craft shops, and parks. Head out and go hiking at Devil's Den State Park. Go on a little tour of northwest Arkansas, its adorable and full of fab people, places, and food.

Catch from Bentonville Farmers Market

Fall there is breathtaking

 I could really do a better job of each state, and maybe I will someday. There are also a lot more places, and states I haven't covered yet. I'll save those posts for a rainy day. Hopefully I'll have some brave new insights about North Carolina soon, I'll keep ya update. But for now, don't forget how beautiful this place is while your sitting in your living room. Don't let the fact that you haven't been there stop you. Don't stop wanting to see things because you grew up. Every state is glorious, but for me, these are the places I wish you all could see. There isn't a down side to traveling our nation; it will reming you of the reasons to love this place when you might have forgotten it otherwise.

*To read about my fav way to get around, check out my post on train travel! *