Thursday, October 30, 2003

Wednesday, October 29, 2003


I'm sick of people in positions of authority who don't do their job, or do it crappily. The state trooper should have had her lights on. Bush promised to expand Americorps and other like programs, and instead he's slashed them so much they're teetering on the brink of extiction. The President of the VYCC gives lip service to the motto "Teaching individuals to take personal responsibility for all of their actions" but fails miserably to do so himself. And last but not least, I'm still dealing with the paperwork and aftermath of the Michael incident.

I think I'm going to start a revolution...I'm sick of having to be polite to people in authority who aren't doing their jobs.

Monday, October 27, 2003

How To Build Your Own House

I get a fair number of emails each month from people asking me "How do I build my own house, like you did?" I'm finally sitting down and doing a webpage about it. I'll have a building terminology primer, basic tool list needed, places to get plans, etc.

What would you like to see? Send me an email at and let me know.

Free Backpacking Gear

If you're interested in backpacking and want free gear in exchange for writing a number of reports on it, check out Backpack Gear Test.

Great Place!

Women's Conference

Oh yes, so that conference I was telling you about ...

It was a one day event sponsored by our Governor. It's a free day of workshops punctuated by a free lunch. Who could resist? The workshops were geared towards non traditional jobs like carpentry and plumbing, how to start your own business, estate planning, resume writing, and how to help other women thrive.

We walked away with some freebies and a lot of great information. I'm all fired up about entering Step Up for women and a carpentry apprenticeship program. I'm going to call tomorrow. :-)

Police Warning

It's been raining for 24 hours straight. There are flood watches in effect through Vermont, New York and New Hampshire. Thankfully, we have inside carpentry jobs. :-) Today was spent on runs to the lumber store for a bunch of upcoming projects, estimating for other jobs, and building some boxes on wheels for storage under the community center stage.

The lumber yard is situated at the bottom of a divot in the road. You can't see very far to your right. Once you're in the road, you're committed - you can't back up, or you'll get smushed by the oncoming traffic. As I was pulling out to make a left hand turn, a dark colored car without their headlights on popped over the hill. I had no choice, so I kept going. Turns out the car was a state trooper. We went approximately 4/10's of a mile down the road before she turned on her flashing lights.

I was let off with a warning and told not to cut in front of anybody. At least I only got a warning. I'm still miffed that part of the blame lay on the trooper for not being very visable - driving in a dark car without headlights on during a dark, rainy part of the day. It's a state law in New York that your headlights have to be on while using your wipers. Why not here? It would make sense. I had MY headlights on.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

At a conference

This blog is coming to you from Randolph Techical Institute. I'm at a conference geared towards women. Currently I'm in the workshop called "High wages, high skills. Whoops! it started...

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

New Van Updates

I've been a bit busy again. My work life picked up over the past few days. I got to hoist a 3x8 balcony 10+ feet into the air and nail it back onto the house, do some sheetrock, grade a basement, and uninstall some shelves.

At the home front, I've been digging new raised beds. Each of them is 4x10, with a 5 foot walkway down the middle of the bed area, and 4 foot wide lanes between the beds themselves. I'd like to procure a massive ammount of old railroad ties and use them as permanent bed side supports.

I also worked on my van, and updated the van poll.

New Van Pictures

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Lost Files

We recently installed AOL version 9.0. It had a snit fit, had to be reinstalled, and lost our filing cabinets. As a result, all of our previous mail dissapeared.

If you've written to mom or I in the past few days and haven't received a response, it's because we no longer have your email. Please, write back. :-)

Saturday, October 18, 2003

New Garden Pictures

In case you're wondering why I dropped off the face of the blog the past two days - Garden Work!

After I get all of the beds done, I'd like to calulate how many cubic feet of dirt I've moved. That, and how many tons it adds up to.

Friday, October 17, 2003


I want to know without a doubt that I'll find and live happily ever after with my soulmate sometime in the future, when I'm ready. In the meantime, I'd like to live blissfully and without a care in the world...knowing my soulmate really is out there, and will arrive at the right moment.

While on that thought train, I'd like to suddenly become independently wealthy and have every ounce of my time free to devote to learning to rock climb, building a sailboat, building another cute house, writing a few books, traveling Asia and New Zealand, become the star of an acapella group, finally learn to draw realistically, tour the US by bicycle, foot, and Harley, build a multi story treehouse, work as a chef in an exquisite restraunt with an unlimited budget, give running a marathon a whirl, hike the Eastern Continental Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the Superior Hiking Trail, get a pilot's license, buy houses to remodel and sell at a huge profit, do the same thing with vintage automobiles, practice firefighting out west, learn mushing in Alaska, and actually finish all of the projects I've already gotten myself in to.

But back to that soulmates thing. I really don't want a relationship now or anytime in the near future. Too busy. Have other things to concentrate on. Instead, I'd like somebody to talk, banter, converse, argue, debate, orate, and snuggle with when needed. Best of both worlds. Keep the intellect fresh and sparkly, and get the tender physical contact we all crave - without the pitfalls and hurdles of a romantic relationship. I guess a nice gay guy would fit the bill. Now where would I find one...

Garden Work

I've been getting a great workout in the garden lately! So far I have created 12 new 4' x 8' x knee high raised beds. One of these days the entire garden will have raised beds that are neat, tidy, and lined up with one another.

I'll post pictures in a few days.


Vegetarian culture fascinates me. It seems to go hand in hand with a lot of new age hot air. For instance, this article about why humans as a species are overweight, versus wild animals, who are not:

The Pleasure Trap

A lot of points go unmentioned - like the fact that wild animals don't have access to a lot of calorie dense foods. It takes grazing animals all day to injest enough calories to keep living. Give me a pint of Ben and Jerry's, and I can do that in 20 minutes. Pretty much every sentence in the article amuses me. :-)

On another note, below is a delicious recipe for vegan french toast. We had some this morning. Mmmm...

Vegan French Toast

3 Cups raw, unsalted cashews
Soy Milk
6 Ounces Maple Syrup
6 Ounces Tahini

Put Cashews into blender, then add soymilk until it's 1" over the Cashews. Add Maple Syrup and Tahini, then whir until creamy. Coat bread with mixture. Fry in oil. Eat. Have another slice. Make more the next morning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

New Van update

Put up one new picture and a myriad of name choices for my van. Vote for your favorite! I have a soft spot for Toby. Like I said, I've always wanted to name my dog Toby. I figure it will be another few years before I get a dog - so a van will have to do for now. :-)

Van picture and poll

Monday, October 13, 2003

Back from the gathering

Home again, home again. Where are all the hikers? I miss them all already!
The past 6 days have been jam packed with talking to other hikers, hanging out, and running around the Dartmouth college campus to go to different workshops. The slide shows were phenomenal! The one on the John Muir Trail gave me goosebumps. Western scenery is jaw dropping...every time I see a picture of out west, I'm sorely tempted to hop into a plane/train/automobile and visit the cacti and ocotillo.

One of my favorite things at the gathering was seeing Radar again. :-) He's such a sweetie! He also presented a fabulous slideshow/workshop on digital photography and keeping an online journal. Radar is a great computer geek! I'm not the only one who thinks so - droves of people kept coming up to him on campus afterwards, complimenting him on the great workshop.

As I mentioned last night, there was a rolicking good contra dance. I only danced two sets, but had so much fun! Both were with a hiker whose real name is Toby. I've always wanted to get a dog and name it Toby. :-) I ended up sitting out the rest of the dances and yacking with Radar instead.

This morning we packed up and hit the road back to home. We arrived around 1pm. I hauled everything into the house from the van and started in on the garden work. Death to weeds! I whipped out the weedwacker and went to town for 4 hours. My arms are still vibrating...

Sunday, October 12, 2003

In Between Classes

Dartmouth is one of the most expensive colleges in the country. One of the really nice things about being around so much money is that the halls in this college are lined with state of the art computers. They all have pretty fast internet connections.

I just came from a slideshow/workshop about the John Muir Trail. Absolutely fabulous pictures! I want to go! :-) Next I'm going to a workshop about the Pacific Crest Trail. My resolve to stay home next year is wavering. :-)


Saturday, October 11, 2003

Heather is in Dartmouth

Hi! I'm in Dartmouth college at a contra dance. We're in between sets. Time to go back out! More later.


Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Gone to the Gathering

I've gone to the hiker gathering. I'll be back Monday or Tuesday. Have a nice weekend :-)


Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Full Disclosure

It may suprise you to learn that I'm a very private person. I'm not much of a talker in real life. It drives my mom crazy - she says I'm too much like her sister, Liz. Apparently we don't volunteer information - you have to pry it out of us.

Although most of my life is on the web, I do leave out a lot. Take my recent trip to Maine...

I was depressed and cried a lot the first week. I spent a lot of time reading the book Motherless Daughters, hoping it might have some advice on how to cope with the possibility beforehand, to stop worrying. It only made me more depressed. Stupid book. I was also aggravated by the whole court fiasco that I had to deal with because of Michael. Replaying the court scenes in my head only depressed and pissed me off even more. Stupid court system.

I make great miles when I hike mad. Mountain? What mountain? I actually paid a couple of bucks for somebody to slack pack me 10 miles. It was kind of neat not to have mom be the one doing it.

The town of Andover was the first place I had paid to stay in indoor accomodations. There were a lot of firsts on this trip...first time I took Zeke on an overnight. First time I hiked topless. (It was hot, and no shirt was heavenly!) First time I did 3 miles in a day and felt totally beat. First time I intentionally night hiked. First time I blue blazed to get somewhere quicker. And at Shaw's Boarding House, the first time a guy got down on bended knee and asked me to marry him. (Jokingly, of course)

Why am I suddenly pontificating about everything to do with my life? Well, I'm trying to become more comfortable with letting people see every side of be comfortable talking, to not hold back when I really don't have to.

Michael was the first person I had ever met whom I could talk to about literally everything and anything, with no qualms. We talked about everything from the viscosity of snot to theories on why the Pope exists. He was fun to debate with. But as we all know, Michael turned out to be a horrible, abusive bastard who will eventually get the come-uppins he so richly deserves.

I'm tired of being on guard. I want to trust again. I just wish I would stop getting hate mail when I do post my true thoughts. The fan mail is nice. Thank you.

Sleep Deprivation

I didn't go to bed until 4am this morning. I got a little carried away with researching garden projects and jotting down my ideas. :-) I started a new page at my uncollege - Biodynamic Agriculture. I also freshened up the college index page.

I tumbled out of bed a little before 11am when the pile of books I had been reading earlier slid down my pillow and hit me in the head. Spent the gorgeous day outside giving my van a second coat of red paint and working in the garden. The highlight of my day was building a new compost bin to corral all of the garden clippings I generated.

My brain isn't up to speed yet...

Monday, October 06, 2003

Penpals Wanted

I like this blog because I can publish updates instantaneously. I don't need to spend as much time on the computer, which I'm trying to cut down on.

I'd like to get back into the real mail scene. Remember stationary and 37 cent stamps? I'd like to open my mailbox and find some real letters for a change. No offense to Gevalia and Discover, but direct mail isn't as exciting as a real letter.

If you're interested in corresponding with me via letters, postcards, or perhaps by sending me messages written on the fly of a new red Hilleberg Akto tent, drop me a line at:

Heather Martin
739 Collar Hill Road
Worcester, VT 05682


I like to pop into the vegsource Unschooling board every now and again to see what other unschoolers are up to. I keep hoping to find info on others unschooling college.

Last night I tried searching for other uncolleges, and came up irked. Every reference to college pointed towards how to get your homeschooled/unschooled kid into a traditional college. Spending your unschooling time preparing to enter a traditional college seems like an affront to all that unschooling stands for.

The point of unschooling is to learn outside of a school-like environment. The focus is on exploring your passions and learning for the sake of delight - not because learning something new will earn you an "A".

Why don't more kids choose to do unschool college? Why do families abandon the unschooling approach when the kid graduates highschool? Don't they see the disparity?

I'm currently working on my Outdoor Education degree.

I just posted the following message on the Vegsource Unschooling board. I can't wait to see the response. :-)

Last night I perused some other unschooling message boards in search of anybody else who's unschooling college. I came up empty handed. The only references to college I found were about how to prepare your unschooled/homeschooled kid to enter a traditional college.

What gives? Why don't more people continue their educational adventure, and unschool college?

I see unschooling as a way to learn for the sake of learning, to discover and refine my passions ... and traditional schooling as mainly a thing people do to earn a 4.0 GPA and good credentials.

Why don't more unschoolers see the disparity between pursuing their passions for years, then packing off to college and paying thousands of dollars for the privilege of only learning what the bureaucracy tells them to?

I'm in search of other kids who unschool college. Where are they? Why aren't there more of us? Are you planning to continue unschooling through college?


Uber Homestead!

I'm contemplating sewing myself a superhero cape to get into the mood. I want to have a super homestead! I was up until 2am last night reading gardening books and sketching new homestead layouts.

Today found me mowing over the rampant mugwort, weeding beds, clipping back the raspberries and rose bushes, making new pathways, tending the tire gardens, battling burdock, and planting purple iris near the outhouse. Managed to smack myself in the nose with a stinging nettle and become covered in burdock burrs...

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Current Life Plan

Long Distance Hiking is temporarily out of the picture. I've decided to devote this upcoming year to learning everything my mom knows about gardening, running the business of our CSA, chickens, grapes, making wine, propagating, greenhouses, when and what to plant where, permaculture, etc etc. I don't want mom to die on me and then suddenly realize I don't know a thing about gardening.

I've been spending my free time getting the garden ready for winter. All weeds must die! It's taken me three days to do 12 raised beds. I really let the garden go this year. I'm really excited to get it back into shape! I've been paging through the seed catalogs already, designing new garden layouts, calculating how many yards of manure I want delivered...

I'm still dreaming and planning on completing the ECT in one fell swoop. I've also tacked on the dream of flying across the pond to hike the remainder of the Appalachian Mountain Chain through Britain.

I've been getting my hiking fix by reading up on friends at Trail Journals

What am I doing up at 2am? Well, I haven't been able to sleep. My bed is currently strewn with back issues of Wooden Boat, Backpacker, and Scientific American magazines, three sketchbooks, 1 box of 24 colored pencils, a dog eared copy of Blue Highways, a half eaten bag of Sour Patch Kid candies, the library book "What Should I Do With My Life?", and two sleeping bags.

(( I really miss life on the trail. I have to confess that my bed isn't really a real matress is out in my house. I've been sleeping on my closed cell foam camping pad and snuggling up to my sleeping bags at night. I do have real blankets, because I don't want to wear out my bags too much by sleeping in them at home, too. ))

I'm not in the mood to clear off my bed to go to sleep, so I've been on the computer researching what I should do with my life. It's an amusing but never ending cycle. There are just so many interesting things to do! Currently I'm looking into nursing.
I've created this little spot on the web to update about my life with more frequency and juicy details. I'll also be using it as a space to go off onto tangents and to polish up my writing skills.