The adventures of Pioneer Girl travelling with enthusiastic Camper Barn Owl Guy

Started as a blog about my trip from Pittsburgh to California in a Ford Pickup, hauling a 30' refurbed trailer/camper. Ah, California Dreaming, 'n all that. Found that adventures can be long distance or in your own neighborhood... I look for my own twist on local sites, don't take the known for granted...and always find something new. It's easy, just open your eyes..

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eat Like an Artist in 2012

I found this awesome article by Meg Worden, a Writer and Health + Creativity Consultant and loved it so much i wanted to share it. Is it okay to put it on my blog?   I wish I had written it...

"...Oxygen is THE primary nutrient. Get as much as you can. Take long deep breaths before, during and after you go to bed, get out of bed, speak, respond, make a decision, eat something, drink something or smoke.
Don’t smoke. But if you do, breathe more than you smoke.
Hang around trees. They are making oxygen all day long and giving it away for free.  They are also willing to teach you how to be still, silent and patient, to have deep roots, a strong spine and arms that reach towards the sun.
Drink water. Drink more water than any other liquid. Have a glass of water right after you breathe and before doing any of the things above. Go have a glass of water right now.
If you drink coffee or wine or scotch, be moderate. Stop with the first flush. And always-always-always drink only the finest coffee, wine and scotch you can afford. This is non negotiable.
Eat Food. Real food. Beautiful food. Vibrant food. Living food. Eat many plants because plants are so smart they figured out how to turn sunlight directly into food. Eat that miracle every single day.
Eat food with people you love. Even if you’re alone.
Do not eat the inedible stuff that is pre-made, packaged, frozen, canned, is an unnatural color or comes from places of unspeakable cruelty and disease. But if any of this is, for whatever reason, the best of your available options…eat with grace and graciousness. Allow it to nourish you anyhow.
Same goes for meat, dairy and sugar. Not much. But if and when you do, with grace.
Move around. Find exercise you enjoy and do it. Try yoga.
Be still. Try meditation.
A strong, flexible, well-fed body with a wide range of motion and a tolerance for stillness will give all those ideas you’re going to have in 2012 a sound container to percolate in. It will make sure those ideas are so clear and righteous that they spring forth from your forehead fully formed like Athena from the forehead of Zeus. Immortal ideas, darling.
Feed your immortal ideas with music, art and literature that is so breathtakingly beautiful that your body hurts from the experience. Then write to the artist and tell them what their work meant to you.
Consume more art than news.
Do not stay in toxic relationships. Period. Sometimes you have to love people from a distance. That’s all I’ll say about this.
Do cultivate healthy relationships. Make time for people that inspire and uplift you. Consider these meetings with your brilliant friends and collaborators the most important part of your job.
Consider belly laughing till tears stream down your cheeks to be the most important part of your job.
Also consider time alone to nurture your immortal ideas the most important part of  your job.

And if you hate your job, for the love of all things, please do something else. Don’t let “the economy”  or any one or thing guilt you into being thankful for a job that is killing you. There is always another way.

Being an artist in the world- whether you write, paint, take photographs, grow orchids, craft wedding cakes, practice healing arts or create your own entrepreneurial income in any format is a big responsibility. It requires a tender sensitivity, exquisite bravery and deep, rhythmic tenacity. It can be, at times frightening and painful. Ask for help when you need it. Be alone when you need it. But do not, under any circumstances, stop. Because your work is crucial. In fact, the whole wide world waits with bated breath for your unique light to shine upon it."

This is your one precious life. You have arrived.

New Year's Eve in Thailand

I'm very happy to be spending the LAST of 2011 and first of in Thailand with loved ones.  May your new year be filled with kisses and more frowns~~~move past any sadness or bitterness and live today as if it were your first, set the stage for bigger and better things, sit quiet and let your muse show you the way. Thank every being that has touched your life and let go.   Breathe and let breathe...  Happy New Year...a wondrous year is yours for the taking.  I love you, Mom, thank you for my traveling pants  :)

Warm breezes flowing through this house, and the smell of...yepp! pork roast and kielbasa and sauerkraut wafting from the kitchen.  PG went to the Villa earlier and bought an organic pork roast, found the slow cooker...this place never smelled so good (so I've been told :)  The kielbasa (tastes more like hot dogs) leaves much to be desired but but tradition is tradition...soon as I redd up here, shower and polish, we are heading to the club for dinner, drinks, fireworks...then back to the homestead for PORK and champagne.  Life is good....can I pleassse get lost here??? 

The Doctor Fish will see you now...

PG feet
December 31, 2011...Good afternoon, friends, and pioneers everywhere!   Yours truly, PG, and PG niece...found the Fish Spa in Chaing Mai and decided we needed a treatment, no appointment necessary.  So, what the heck is this controversial Fish Spa or Fish Pedicure treatment?   If someone said to you:   Hey, come and stick your feet in this tub of fish so they can eat your dead skin!" (makes me wonder...who thought of that first??) You'd probably say...uh, I don't think so!! 

Yeah, the idea of having fish eat your skin, is justa bit creepy. But, here in Thailand and other Asian countries, many spa's offer this treatment where you become fish food.  These species of "doctor" fish (Garra Rufa),feed off of dry, flaking human skin.  Don't worry, they don't have teeth, so they don't bite, in fact, it they chew off calouses and hard spots, it's a win-win situation, they get to eat, you get smooth tootsies.  PS I don't believe this is legal in the States...  so, just saying, gotta get your adventure pants on and come to Thailand..

But this PG was tickled pink to have tried it..lots of giggling going on,  which is always a good thing.  Havent giggled this much for months, what a great trip so far~  

Friday, December 30, 2011

You Say Bangkok, I Say...

Bangkoks official Thai name is the longest in the world...
Watch "Bangkok Official Name" on YouTube  Translation:   The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (of Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.

I knew you couldn't really say Bangkok...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Massages and Messages

December 26, 2011 - Sa-wad-dee-ka (Hello), Pioneers..Same day, different time....days seem to have to end and no beginning, having a hard time delineating days..can't believe it's still December 26.  After having no sleep once again last night, I feel I'm starting to crash and burn.  Today, Pad Thai served at pool side, followed by a Thai Massage, in the hopes of relaxing for some well needed sleep.  Unlike any massage I've had, I enter the darkened room through the curtain to find a small, neat futon on the bamboo floor and folded loose cotton pj's ready for me.  The smell of eucalyptus rising up through the, wait that's a different song from a different continent.

The massage is performed on the floor and is called "nuat phaen boran" (the ancient-manner massage).  I'm instructed by the petite Thai woman to lie on my stomach and starting at my feet, this little woman inflicted a SERIOUS deep tissue massage and wake up call on every single muscle and tissue, every meridian,  in my body.  Using her elbows, knees, forearms..she puts my body into many yoga-like positions and stretches and pulls...sometimes hurting to where it was confused with a pain and a very large tickle, sometimes grimacing, something almost laughing.  (this would be a great adjunct to my regular yoga practice at home)   PS all for about $12 US.   It enlivened me instead of relaxing me.
Headed to a swim lesson at the International School for my niece, Ali...what a ham that girl is, with a very good butterfly stroke..and she's speaking Thai, a most difficult language, more and more every day.  So the message from Ali for the day:  doo-lae-dtua-eang-duay-na-ka!  (meaning "Take care of yourself...")

xoxo PG in BT..

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Turtle Love...Warning, Explicit Video

December 26, 2011 ... Love is everywhere in Thailand, and why not?  It's tropical, warm, friendly, close and filled with smiles...even the birds and the bees do it, why not reptiles and amphibians?  Tortoise keepers in Thailand have a perfect climate to keep them outdoors in a pen, and they can live up to 50 or even 100 years.    A long term commitment indeed.  These local neighborhood turtles are feeling the love...and if it could make you feel like a turtle voyeur, whatever you do....don't watch the awkward couple in the sun lit middle of this video..
(courtesy of M & K, who happened upon the happy noisy couple)

Hey, I'm entitled to at least one distasteful post!   Still smiling...xoxo PG in BT

Lost and Found

December 25, 2011...  Good evening, friends and pioneers.  Today was quite the eventful day.  After a brisk walk around the lake...stopping for fresh cleansing juice and feeding the gigormous carp in the lake, we headed out to the largest outdoor weekend shopping district in the world...Chatuchak.  Covers 27 or 35 acres..have seen both numbers.  It's very inexpensive because competition is high, so you gotta haggle.  Once you get the hang of dollars versus bahts, it's pretty easy.  Items for sale range from handmade Thai jewelry, hemp woven elephants and dragons (you can watch the woman make them and they are awesome!)  , food of all sorts--some smell good, most do not, maybe because I'm a westerner-- wooden rocking horses, to puppies and kittens and roosters.  I had to get out of the enclosed area where the pets for sale were displayed, made me feel creepy.

We did end up getting disoriented and came out on the wrong side of the market and had no idea where we were..he tuk-tuks all parked in rows (motorized rickshaws), drivers calling to us for rides.  We were waiting for our driver and finally found a Thai speaking girl who could communicate to our Thai driver where we were on the cell phone so he could pick us up.  In the meantime, snacked on a lovely cup of husked roasted corn, salted and sugared.. and fresh coconut water.  Yum.  Haggled with vendors for a beach mat, and a cute pair of hippie pants for yours truly.  And saw sights and sounds, and bells and bubbles, and even a band striking up some Sweet Home Alabama..

So may get lost (..) but you may also find...and it's the finding that counts.. Laa- Gon-Ka for today....  xoxo, PG in Thailand

Bird singing competition, Thailand.

December 25, 2011 - Merry Christmas from Thailand! Today, your's truly PG and bro, Michael took on the outskirts of Pakret on the scooter and happened upon a bird singing competition. Check it out

rry Christmas from Thailand...\

Bird singing competition, Thailand.

December 25, 2011 - Merry Christmas from Thailand! Today, your's truly PG and bro, Michael took on the outskirts of Pakret on the scooter and happened upon a bird singing competition. Check it out

rry Christmas from Thailand...\

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hometown Girl needs a Bigger Bag

Got of you a rough start..unbelievably!  But salvaged my sanity and now flying to Bangkok via Hong Kong.  All my packing efforts in vain...repacked literally on floor on Pittsburgh Airport with an awesome United ticket agent and packing expert.    Wish I had been able to video that!  Saved me $70 though and didn't have to give up all the lotions I just bought...and I bought a lot..  Request from my family for lotions and sunscreen....seems they are pricey in Bangkok.   Only one checked bag allowed!!  Need a bigger bag!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18, 2011 - Good morning, fellow travelers and pioneers.  Today wise Shiro reminded me of travel as a confluence of both spiritual and physical travel.   As we travel through our lives, we encounter lessons both good and instructive...I hesitate to say bad, because even unfortunate, seemly bad events are to be analyzed and blessed as seeds for growth.  We've all had them, but we know that ruminating and holding grudges should not, in the overall scheme of a well balanced life tarnish our journey.  Sometimes the ride may not be comfortable, sometimes its scary but focus on the goal of the JOURNEY...happiness and spiritual growth,  love and forgiveness and loyalty and peace..some of the true qualities of life that are outside of so many people's reality that as they shop and shop seeking perfection, they believe they are buying happiness...such a simple existence.

So as I really mark down my days prior to my big birthday adventure to the Land of Smiles, I will smile again and  focus on family and loved ones both past and present, and thank them for blessing me with their lives both for the happiness and the sorrow.. seek forgiveness for any of my trespasses.   and hope that I have blessed them in many or a few ways.  You never know what may happen along the way, but if ones does get lost out there somewhere, I know love can bring them home.

So, enjoy your own trip...keep your eyes open and you can find new adventures in your own backyard or your kitchen.  My Sunday morning philosophy..before I head out for my morning walk.  xoxo..PG

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Joys of Packing

December 11, 2011... Things are shaping up!  I'm getting so much closer to ..well at least dumping items on my "packing bed."  As I think of things I may need, they go right on the bed.  Step Two will be to organize it all in true Pioneer Girl fashion.  Wonder what that is?   Rolling, and zip lock bags..

Went to Bakery Square over the weekend, picked up a few cute trinkets and tropical items at Anthropoligie...I love that store! Got my oversized funky sunglasses there..  See 'em?? on the left, very cute.    Hair accessories are really big at Free People, hippie headbands, feather earrings and clipins, floppy hats...  Oh, if only my hair were long again.

Well, still in prep stages for my solo adventure.  Guess it's not REALLY solo since I'm staying at my brother's once I get to Bangkok...but the travel almost around the world (32 hours including 8 hour layover in Paris, will be solo.  It's a little daunting, but PG is up for the challenge, new places, new people, new adventures.

A bientot for now..xoxo PG

Friday, December 9, 2011

Picking and Packing and Smiling

As a true Pioneer.. I'm preparing for my trip, checking off my checklist and picking and packing.. but I'm still smiling...cause I'm headed to Bangkok..a City of stay tuned. Let's just see how much this PG can fit into one checked suitcase and one backpack, and stay organized. xoxo PG (SMILING...) i

Thursday, December 8, 2011

America's Heartland - Episode 714 - Owls Save Crops

Good morning, Pioneers! Last year about this time, I began this blog during a cross-country trip hauling a trailer. We began in Pittsburgh and since I felt like a pioneer, well...hence my blog name. The purpose of the trip was to set up camp in a beautiful vineyard to begin a study on the effect of barn owls as a natural rodenticide instead of poisons. The study was created by researcher, Mark Browning of the Pittsburgh Zoo and my BOBG (barn owl box guy!) Barn owls will feed on pocket gophers, mice...pocket gophers in particular can damage the roots of the grapes. The study is ongoing and is the subject of an episode of America's Heartland which is shown across the country's heartland farm lands on RFDTV and also PBS.

Check out the episode below, Mark Browning of the Pittsburgh Zoo.

America's Heartland - Episode 714 - Owls Save Crops

You done good, BOBG!!

Stay tuned as Pittsburgh Pioneer Girl will soon become Thailand Pioneer Girl, as my travels will take me around the world to Asia in a few short weeks..

Over n Out for now... XOXO, PG