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Monday, December 23, 2013

Mi Nuevo hogar!

Before I forget, if you want to receive notifications of updates to this blog, please enter your email address in the field above. This will be my last time zapping all 81 of you via Google+, which no one seems to use anyway.

Encontré mi nuevo hogar! (I found my new home!)
My agent and I negotiated a very fair price last week, the money is on its way and - assuming all goes according to plan - we will be signing the paperwork today or tomorrow. I just got myself my greatest Christmas present ever! The gift that keeps on giving.

About my new finca/farm/orchard, in Manglaralto, Ecuador:
1.1 hectare/11,000 square meters (almost 3 acres, which is nearly three American football fields)
Covered in dozens of mature, productive fruit trees: papaya (the size of footballs), banana, plantain, pear, mango, guava, Chinese plum, apple, avocado, pineapple, cheremoya, cherry, grapefruit/pomelo, orange, mandarin, fig, tree raspberry, lemon, sweet lime, coconut, grenadine, grape, (and the more exotic) guanabana, giant matapalo, mamey, toronja, caimito, pitajaya, vinus, chaya, aracha, achote, etc. & even aloe vera, chile, herbs, sugar cane, yucca, cacao & bamboo! Also, trees for wood: Balsa, rubber, tagua, cedar, guayacan, caoba. I will never have to buy fruit again!
4km from the main road, and...the Pacific Ocean - only much cleaner, bluer and warmer (60s) than we have in SoCal. Manglaralto Beach:
There are two structures already on the land: the blue-roofed one you see in the photo (10x10m open kitchen/dining area with loft/bedroom/yoga studio above); and a 2-story concrete building off to the right (bathroom/shower downstairs, bedroom/recording studio up). My near-term plan is to build another floor or two up on the concrete structure, for additional sleeping space.
The grass you see in the forground is soft, spongy turf, installed years ago by the former owner - for volleyball. (Croquet, anyone?)
Large garden, currently occupied by flowers, but will soon be overflowing with mostly vegetables.
There are already horses on the land (belonging to my caretaker/gardener), which he says we can ride, and a chicken coop with several chickens and room for more. Eggies! Eventually, I hope to add a couple of goats & a piggie - you know, for companionship.
Weather is 60s/70s year-round, moderatley humid (= greeeen!), with a rainier season, December - April.

Here is more about the region, and our neighboring town, Montañita:ñita,_Ecuador

The Universe, ever conspiring to have everything go my way all of the time, has introduced me to the very first (human) occupants of Terra Nova de Corazón! I met a lovely California family - Ty, Christine, and their three children - who were hoping to rent a home and some land to work, near Montañita - just a few minutes away by car (or bike!) Ty has many years experience in farming, as well as music production; Christine is a midwife. They plan to occupy the land come April. I'm sure they will breathe much life, light and love into our new home.

Another great advantage to this place is there is a beautiful new, inexpensive ($35/night for a room that sleeps 5, including breakfast) beautiful B&B opening across the road from me - with a swimming pool! The owner is most kind and friendly, and (like everyone I have met here) has offered to be at my disposal for anything I should need. He also assures me he will keep an eye on my place whenever I am not there.

Any other takes? I know +Jameson Wiltermoodj  is considering coming down for a spell. And
+Champoy Hate+Sophia Bonita y +Joseph Bedford (already on their way to Ecuador via motorcycles). +Omo Abode ; +Jeremiah Campion & +Amy Campion ; +Vlad The Retailer (ready to put your money where your mouth is?) +Rachel Carlson (duh) ; +Neil Botticelli (you ever walkin' (ridin'?) the walk?) ; +Bobby Gadda & his new bride may already be on their way via tall bike ; +Sean Hurdle (c'mon, Turtle) ; +Noah Bremer (fresh new start with me?!) ; +Stephanie Molstad (I had a dream last night, with you here in Ecuador with me!) ; +Karen R ; +Sarah Petersen ; +Heidi Tungseth ; +donnie Pepper ; the inimitable +Guy McPherson ; the list goes on and on...
Several of my ladyfriends with kids ( +Laura Koniver +Erin Lehn Floresca +Anita Campion +Susan Campion +Susanna Barkataki +Maureen Campion +Mary Campion ) plan to come down once I have it a little less, um, rustic.

These will be a few of the first new animal additions to the land. Noelia has five kitties, but really needs to downsize. We will get them clipped (all boys) soon, and move them to the finca when the family arrives.

I plan to be back in Hollywood by my birthday (January 6, but we'll celebrate the following weekend), as I have clients waiting on me to record some more commercials. Someone has to earn the green to feed to chickens!

Questions? Comments? Want to book a workshop here? Opinions? Think I'm insane?
Please comment...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pure Imagination.

If you want to view paradise,
Simply look around and view it.
Anything you want to, do it.
Wanna change the world?
There's nothing to it.

Why can't we retain the wide-eyed wonderment of childhood?
Oh, wait - we can! And I do.

Iiiiii'm leeeeeaving!
I knew back in August that, once I decided to head down there in December, it would feel like a lifetime for the time to come. Sedona seems like a month ago, and I just returned last week. Finally the day is nearly here. I won't miss the blustery 40-degree nights (yeah, I hear you, Minnesotans) we've been experiencing here in Hollywood. I thought I was getting cold feet about this adventure. Turns out it's just the lack of heating and insulation in my Spanish-style home.

I am flying into Guayaquil, where I will receive the First Class Treatment (okay, more like second class, but I usually travel Working Class) - being collected at the airport by a driver, and taken to my suite, where I will awake to a fresh chef-prepared breakfast of local culinary delights. I will likely spend the day wandering the streets of the capital city, before catching a 2-hour bus to La Libertad, where my friend/real estate agent resides.

From there, we will be exploring real estate possibilities within two hours of La Libertad & Guayaquil - mostly ocean-front towns. Still mostly excited about the 3-acre property, with the blue roof (posted last week). And I may have already found a nice family to occupy/improve it while I wrap up things Stateside.

I will attempt to take at least one photo/day (I usually take one per trip), and post to the blog once/week - both of which should automatically upload to my Google+ account, if you're connected to me on there. Damned (anti)social networking.  If anyone needs to reach me, my mobile should work just fine. I can definitely check emails every evening. It's not the stone age down there, people!

Before I go, tomorrow night, I am seeing The Place Beyond the Pines & Lee Camp.

Can we Be Lovers & Not Have Sex?
Yes, please.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sedona is the Disneyland of the Spiritual World.

That's the feeling I got. Not at all what I expected. I guess I pictured something more like Santa Cruz - a larger, younger, groovier scene than the very old, very wealthy, very white populace we encountered. One of the first things I noticed is that people drive well below the posted speed limit (which is 35 - even on what I would call the highway there), which didn't bother me at all because I drive like an old Asian lady myself - especially since I went car-free last year. The cars and houses are all upper-middle to upper class. Where do the young and working class live there? Oh, they don't.

Don't get me wrong - the trip was fantastic. Some of the highlights:
That photo was taken at the top of Bell Rock. So you can get an idea of just how far Rach & I climbed (do not let anyone tell you you can hike up there), without ropes:

Elevation: 4816 ft.

Neither of us are big picture takers - too busy being in the present - but, I did stage this photo of me being sacrificed to the Grand freakin' Canyon:
Um, have any of you been there? Did you know how BIG it is? I didn't. I mean, I had heard, but you clearly cannot fully comprehend its vastness until you have visited it in person. Another reason not to bother with photography there - it simply cannot do it justice. If water entered the roshambo arena, forget paper - water would clearly trump rock.
And, "some of the cleanest air in the country." So that's why I felt so high the entire time I was there! That, and the fact that I became truly aware of my infinite nature - both huge & minuscule - for the first time in my life.

Speaking of infinity and The Source of All Things/The Great I Am, our host, Edwin Kim (director of Change: The Life Particle Effect, narrated by yours truly), took us up to Sedona Mago Retreat. Where we saw this
I have envied the Korean culture for a long time - ever since my swami, Swami Veda, told me his Korean initiates are his favorites, because they're so disciplined. Aww, c'mon - I can't help that I grew up in the brattiest country on the planet, in one of the laziest, most self-absorbed generations ever.

But, I digress.
I bought a one-way ticket for next Saturday. I am looking at properties with my Real Estate agent, who has sent me sneak peeks of some beauties, including this one:
Nearly 3 acres (plenty of room for goats, chickens, a piggie & my Chimney Sweep), with fruit trees, and an outdoor kitchen! Alright, stop fighting, and make an orderly, single-file line. There will be room for everybody!
I plan to be back in time for my birthday, on January 6, or at least the weekend after that.
Felices fiestas, y te veré el año que viene!