Monday, June 30, 2008

Independent Vibes

I am sad for the 4th of July. I am sad that we live in a country that I am ashamed of. I think a lot of people must feel that way about the state of the nation. I want to be able to wave a flag and sing patriotic songs and wear red, white, and blue, but I cannot. And that makes me sad. While I love Vermont and our way of life here, I also know we are all contributing greatly to the concept of escapism that I also get so agitated at - primarily because I am a major proponent of escapism - me and my farmhouse lifestyle. Escapism is also a survival technique and one that I don't think is going anywhere anytime soon. That is until the population starts to be able to sustain itself on a local, national, and global level. I mean think about it, the major issues of the world all boil down to the raw fact that there are simply too many people. I encourage you to visit Vermonters For a Sustainable Population for more information and resources on this issue -

I wish everyone a safe, healthy, and most of all happy Independence Day. May we all someday be independent from depending on escapism - or at least see a a glimmer of this in our lifetime. My quote of my life, business, and love is "it's never too late to be what you might have been." Today someone actually said to me "it IS too late to be what you might have been." I guess I would rather live my life of escapism from the horrors of the world in beautiful, green Vermont where I can make a small impact of people sharing positive vibes then dampen spirits that are already soaked underneath.

For the record, I wholeheartedly support and endorse Barack Obama. I understand the traditional political issues with this choice, but I also know that tradition is a major part of the problem in this country's political mess.

Love and Light.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Backyard Exploration

The Charlotte farmhouse is located on 500 acres of farmland. Some of it is fields, but most is underbrush and new growth forest home to bobcats, deer, and moose. Mitch and I decided to spread our Vermont Vibes in our own backyard this past weekend with a small group of friends who we've been chatting about our backyard with for months. And backyard exploring we did! We started off with a hearty breakfast of farm fresh eggs and Vibe-o-Tots and made our way to the barn for backyard exploration energy stretches.

From there we headed into the higher fields of tall grasses and gorgeous views and then down into moose country. It was here we learned and should have retained that the old logging roads of Charlotte do not mean continuous trails - we were already starting to get lost when we knew where we were going!

But, we made it into moose territory and found a relatively flat and shorter grass area where we enjoyed hammocks, wildlife reading, tree viewing, and of course fanning.

It was then that we decided to try to find the Lewis Creek swimming hole with only a compass and no point of beginning or end reference. So silly. We traversed to a neighbor's field being chased by a thunderstorm - we were all literally electrified. After the excitement of the storm and the beauty of the field we lost all points of reference and got lost in my backyard!

We used the compass and sun direction to go back the way we came which in actuality took us on a very round about way, but we eventually found our way back to the very opposite end of the "yard" - all the way on the Hinesburg border. We traipsed through more fields, ridiculously drenched to the core and laughing the whole while, exclaiming it was a good thing we did our stretches.

Love and Light to the newly initiated Vermont Vibers - Jess, Kash, and Rachael - well done!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gardening Vibes!!!

Finally I get to write about the beautiful gardens Mitch and I created!!! Oh, yes, and Caitlin too who is our new fabulous neighbor as well! Tri-Vibes!!! We rotatilled, dug out rocks and weeds, scratched and hoed, mixed in compost, and planted lots of yummy veggies!!! Lettuce, kale, green beans (ick - those are for Mitch), carrots, tons of herbs, peas, brussell sprouts (ick - those are for Caitlin), spinach, chard, broccoli, onions, zucchini, and a very vast variety of cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes.

As this is more of a Plog (picture blog) - enjoy our gardening vibes!!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

North Star Lodge/Inn/Resort - Vermont's Worst Customer Service

I write about positive Vermont Vibes. But, if you cross me, I mean really cross me, I will share the experience to help Vermont Vibers stay away from those same negative vibes.

The North Star Lodge or Inn or Resort (seems to have a few names) triple crossed me. Badly. At the Essex Craft & Fine Art Show last month I entered a weekend getaway contest. I got a call a few weeks ago saying I "won." Of course in order to redeem my weekend getaway, dinner for two, and $1000 online shopping spree, I had to be over 25, be living with a significant other, and make a certain income. I also had to agree to drive to Killington, Vermont to have a tour of the North Star Lodge/Resort/Inn. I understood at the time it was a timeshare marketing gimic, but thought the hotel stay would come in handy for my travels, could use the $1000 for the numerous things I still need for my house, and best of all, I could use the trip to write a Killington area Vermont Vibes blog post.

Mitch and I embarked on our adventure to Killington just yesterday, June 1st. Without a clear understanding of just how long it would take, we gave ourselves about two hours and headed down Route 7, over 125, south on 100, where we drove through Pittsfield and realized we were going to be a little late. Luckily, my cell phone was working and I called the North Star Lodge to let them know where we were and that we were motoring our way to the lodge for the tour as fast as we could. They said we would be fine.

Now I am one who is always rushing around because I always seem to have three too many things to do. That is a part of why I love Vibing, it lets me slow down and see the world - of Vermont. I also understand that there are not excuses for being late yet there are always excuses as well.

When Mitch and I arrived at the North Star Lodge, the receptionist treated us with disrespect, the short-man-syndrome time share man with the tomato in his hand treated us like dirt, and the woman who I spoke with on the phone got one look at our youthful, jeans-and-t-shirt appearance and said we were late and that was not acceptable. I said, "But we just spoke with you and drove all the way from Charlotte and gas if $4 a gallon." She responded by saying she was aware of how much gas cost and actually had the bitter-old-lady nerve to compare the North Star Lodge to an airport in that if I was late for the flight, the plane would not wait. In retrospect I had to think, was she seriously comparing the white trash "retro style" North Star Lodge to an airline? I mean look at this place - I am not good enough for a room that looks like this?
A place that can't even cut it in the uberly stylized Killington "big mountain" ski area by operating as a hotel but has to resort to timeshare operatives run by Endless Vacation Rentals (RCI) through a marketing scam company - Summit Vacation - located in the Berkshires, owned by a partner who already had a timeshare fraud lawsuit brought against him between 2000 and 2002 while timeshare scamming at the Cedarbrook Club also in Killington? (It also looks like Cedarbrook is part of North Star which is part of RCI which is using Summit Vacations as the untraceable marketing scam company.) And wasn't it Killington that wanted to secede from Vermont a few years ago and become part of New Hampshire? What is going on down there?

Anyway, after storming out of the North Star Lodge and crying for a bit in the car - not in their parking lot of course - Mitch and I slowly headed home and watched the $30 or so in gas just waste away. Not one to usually cry over spilled milk, I tried to bounce back thinking of all of the positive vibrations I have felt and impacted upon others of my years of Vermont Vibing. It really roughed up my psyche being treated that way and I tried to think of what I had done to deserve to be treated with such rudeness and lack of civility and I realized - nothing. Many others had endured such scams and violations and it was my job to use my talents to bring this issue to light, so hence forth I share.

With this knowledge under my belt (and not to mention I thought I was lookin' pretty hot that day - probably enough so to make Ms. Panties-in-a-Bunch think I would make all the scabby and leering time share men think impure thoughts and piss of the time share wives who were paying with their daddy's trust funds) Mitch and I shared some of our own hugs and kisses and took a breather in Hancock.

We stopped at the Hancock Hotel Vermont Home Bakery where I healingly browsed for local Vermont products and chatted with the gal behind the counter about hummingbirds. Waaaayyyyy more my style establishment - local, Vermont, authentic, real... Then we headed back the way we came only this time thoroughly enjoyed the scenic Route 125 - I highly recommend this route if you happen to be in the area. I remember going to the Hancock Soup Dinner a few years back, but never having driven on 125. We stopped at the glorious Texas Falls and breathed deep for a while enjoying the sounds, smells, and sites of the waterfalls. Then we walked the entire nature path in silence, each deep in our own thoughts, thinking about the dreadful event at the North Star Lodge, our own stresses about moving and the immense time and energy it takes to get settled, and stressing about the state of the world and the inability to overcome the detrimental cost of living battle each of us is up against. Maybe the timeshare sales were dependent on the North Star Lodge staff feeding their families for the next month and maybe not. I find that hard to believe especially when the marketing phone calls said this program was for tour attendees to spread the word about the North Star Lodge. Lies are never the way to go and I am certainly doing my part in spreading the word.

Mitch and I departed from our jaunt in the woods and stopped again in East Middlebury for dinner at Rosie's where the customer service was fantastic, the food yummy, and the atmosphere filled with real, living Vermonters, like us, working hard to make life work without treating others like subordinates. Good for them.

Love and Light...