Friday, April 14, 2006


This place has me spoiled. If/when I go back to renting somewhere, everything will be measured against my stay here in Austin. It's an awfully big act to follow. Everything is just so...perfect. I love how big this house is, with room to roam inside, and out in the huge, ivy covered back yard. The kitchen, with the adorable double ovens and the industrial stainless steel island. The living room, with the big comfy couch and the amazing stereo and vinyl collection.

My roomie Fred and I are like ships passing in the night...we hardly ever run into each other in the house, but when we do, he's the best roomie ever! I know Fred has been home when I come back to the house to find the chocolate chip cookie supply down and the toilet seat up.

Yesterday I made a big batch of cookies. A couple of Fred's buddies came over just as the cookies came out of the oven. They gladly inhaled a dozen or so, pronounced themselves stuffed, then took off with Fred to go on their annual fishing trip. Half an hour later, Fred suddenly appears in the living room. They had to come back to get some things...after they left, I noticed the cookie pile in the kitchen was down. Hmmm, I thought they were stuffed... :-)

I brought the remaining cookies to Whole Earth that evening, when I met up with the sales guys. We ended up going to Barton Springs for the free swim after 9pm. I love that place! It was extra cool last night, with the full moon glistening across the water.

The point of this post? Ummmm.....Austin Rocks! I'll miss it when I leave. Oh, and I just made a couple of loaves of bread, completely by hand. Fun!

I had never done yeast bread without a bread machine before. I'm getting in as much cooking as possible before hitting the trail. Tomorrow - baked french toast, with the bread I just made.


DeAnna said...

Hi Heather,

This is totally off-topic, but I was just reading through some of your archives and came upon a post where you were expressing your frustration about the lack of people unschooling college. I don't know if this is something that still frustrates you, but thought I'd let you know that you have inspired me to unschool a Masters Degree in Environmental Learning. I've been working on it for the last 6 months or so, and I imagine it will take me several years to award myself the degree, but I'm sure having a good time learning the material.

I also came across a reference to awarding oneself a degree, but they didn't know the word "unschooling" so they didn't call it that. Steve Solomon is the author of several really great gardening books for the West, including the one I have "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: Steve Solomon's Guide To Natural Gardening". He awarded himself a Bachelor's of Horticultural Science after a year of serious studying, based on the Oregon State University bibliography and course outlines for their version of the degree. He's the founder of Territorial Seed Company, which is a fairly well known organic and heirloom seed supplier.


Anonymous said...

if its so perfect why leave so soon the trail will be there next season

Heather said...

The trail will still be there, but will I? Life is about recognizing opportunities and not letting them pass you by. My stock answer to queries like that...I could get run over by a mack truck tomorrow! I want to take advantage of my youth and health while it's still there. :-)

Anonymous said...

yes we all are passed by by mack trucks every day.What if you wind up 80 and healthy but broke and alone.That might be ok but it might not be. some times the glass is half empty then other times its half full, The point ,i think,to this, you have done the hike "thing" why not stay in tx. and try a new adventure and at the same time add some future to you future. ie new job skills a class or two, met some more new, different type, pep. the ones you will meet on the trail will thy be different than the one you met on the at sorry about the typos and spelling but its 1 am and lent has been over for a hour and the wine botttle is half empty lol so what ever you do have fun and work to live never live to work but never think that tommorrow wont be there. act like it maybe but never think it

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last anon. Though I am sure you adventures are fulfilling, I think that maybe trying the new adventure of planning fruitfully for your future may be in order. While taking advantage of your youth/health for travels, perhaps you should take advantage in the same way so that you may work some while you are able, pocket some money for the future for those days when you are older/disabled and unable to work and provide for yourself. Living on a small check each month at an older age with no additional source of income is not a pleasant task.

DeAnna said...

Don't listen to them! Don't get bogged down in "preparing for your future" (said in a deep, dramatic tone, like the serious narrator in those pharmacuetical commercials). Follow your passion! The rest will work itself out. It always has, hasn't it?

If you're feeling passionate about "preparing for your future" (da da da dummmmmm), then by all means, do it. But if you are feeling passionate about exploring your world, and the limits of your body and mind now while your body and mind are at their peak, do it! You can sit in stuffy classrooms, and work boring jobs to pay the bills when you are old and your body doesn't work any more. But will you still be able to bike across the country when you're 60? Maybe, but not if you decide that working and staying put are more important than pushing your boundaries.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you misunderstand some concerns I have. Granted, this is Heather's life and she is welcome to live it however she sees fit, but there is nothing wrong with BOTH having adventured and preparing for your future. I have known several friends that have put their adventures to use in their field of work. For example, Heather had expressed an interest in outdoor studies before and perhaps becoming a park ranger.

I do not believe preparing for a sound future means a stuffy desk job or sacrificing the present. Fact is, most people don't get hit by mack trucks. Most of us live a lot longer than we originally fathomed or planned for. When you are fifty or so with nothing but hiking, biking, and part time jobs that last a month or two at a time on your resume, a prospective employer is not going to say, "Wow, looks like you lived you dreams!" While we can all sit back and admire Heather's adventures and travels, we ask ourselves at what point is it no longer admirable and instead merely a lack of commitment and responsibility in doing anything further? What appears admirable to you, to some (such as myself) it appears flighty.

Though this blog is not about my life, and I do enjoy reading about other people's perspectives, I believe anything that is in excess to one degree or another is not good for us. I merely pose the question, why not try something really different?? Not different for us, the readers, but different for Heather. Heck, I read this journal because it is a different approach from mine. I am merely suggesting some discipline in areas that Heather has not shown such discipline before.

Anyhow, this is just my view. Sorry, Heather, that you must read about yourself in the third person.

DeAnna said...

There's an interesting post about this topic over at (a really cool organization for women who blog). The link to the post is

The workplace is changing. I recently got hired at my dream company, the Wilderness Awareness School. In the interview, I got bonus points for having built a primitive shelter in my backyard, for having spent a lot of time running around in the woods with kids, and for being able to write well. He did, in fact, say something very similiar to, "Wow, it looks like you've been living your dreams." They were stoked that I was so excited about working with them that I would include it as part of my dreams. They didn't seem to mind that I've spent my whole adult life bouncing from job to crappy job. The people who work for (and hire for) the companies I'm interested in working for want people with life skills and experiences, not people who know how to toe the line.

We create the workplace, not vice versa. Don't let it mold you into something you don't want to be.

Anonymous said...

Deanna, it sounds like you did find your dream job, I am happy for you. I am not saying that there are jobs out there like that. It also appears (from what you have posted) that you have a work ethic. I do not see that on this blog. I see someone who essentially has trouble follow her wherever she goes.

I agree with your last statement, once you have procurred the job. Then you make the workplace. But the market is too competitive and the employee base too broad to have less to offer your employer. And, yes, I do believe we have to have something to offer our employer, it's not just what can they do for us.

Also, if Heather would like to work for a company such as you, perhaps you could offer her some suggestions on how to get started. Too quickly 22 turns out to be 42 and then where will she be? Still no plans, still discovering herself and having adventures, jumping from crappy job to crappy job and complaining about it? Suddenly the whole cute 22 yr old persona is gone and people are scratching their heads, some saying I told you so and others still wishing they had her life because they hate their desk job.

Heather, just keep your options open. Have fun, but remember that life does not always go your way. The best plan is to be prepared. At least start seriously looking into some options you have expressed interest for in the past. What could it hurt?

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon, Deanna. Why does it have to be all or nothing? Why not harvest her adventurous spirit into a work ethic at a job she enjoys.
It seems that this society we live in is all about doing what makes us feel good as well as having something immediately, on impulse. What is wrong with developing some personal responsibility and planning more than one day in advance (i.e. living situation, food, retirement, savings, etc.)? I think that shows a great deal of discipline, much more than needed to blow out of town after a short time and head out on her next "adventure".

I don't think any of us have a problem with her travels, hiking, biking, or otherwise, we just see the potential for a windfall down the road. My opinion from what I have read in these journals is that Heather's life has been a free-for-all with friendship from her mother, but no guidance. I am not saying they do not love or care for each other, but as far as Wendy providing a standard to live by, I have not seen that. We can tell by many of her posts that she is unhappy, and I am not just talking health issues. I just think it would be a shame for Heather, who started out with such good intentions, to end up on the same path. I would like to encourage her to look beyond only what she has known, to learn to not solely fly by the seat of her pants. She has so many areas of interests, her possibilities are endless!

DeAnna said...

anon and anon, I disagree with you, but I respect your intentions.

That's okay.


Gonzo Nurse said...

All I'm thinking is: how cool is it to have total strangers debating your next move?