Goats and Grapes

First stop, a goat farm in North Carolina. That’s the plan right now for #RoundAmericaWithADuck* across the USA via bikes, buses, trains and WWOOFing on organic farms. Pilot testing is being scheduled right now on a nonprofit urban farm here in Metro Atlanta, staying in a teardrop camper in the woods for 10 days. It’s sort of scary. But scary-good.

Hubby is so on board (from home) that, in addition to helping with scheduling (having done a cross-country thing himself), he gifted me with this goat book. I kick back in the hammock and get lost in its simple beauty. The leaves above me have not turned, and yet they will. They will turn and drop and start to grow again before I set out on a journey at this crossroads of change and challenge.


Always if. For me that’s not an out, but a freedom to know that things can change, and often do. And yet my destiny always seems to find me, to reappear in different formats, just as my Peace Corps service (derailed due to COVID) readjusted before my eyes as Sharing Gardens and refugees-of-war. I would have returned after 27 months in Uganda last week. It’s okay. That’s not where I was meant to be. I was meant to be here, for now:

The world is a place of abundance. The falling muscadine grapes, right on the tail of the ripe figs which followed other free public fruit, remind me of that. I fill my bike helmet with all the ones I pluck that make it past my mouth.

They are thick-skinned. I am not. I am vulnerable and sensitive, more than people know. Overstep my boundaries and you lose me. Past trauma created protection techniques that are hard to break, and frankly, that still serve me. I pour my heart out in my writing, for those who take the time. For those who notice that. Maybe, mostly, for myself. See my books. Buy them, please. Warning: they will change your life (or so people who’ve read them have told me).

The deep-purple muscadines, by the way, are abundant with resveratrol, heart-healthy phytonutrients in grape skins that the alcohol industry touts to push sales. I’m 117 days alcohol-free, by the way — a habit, not yet a problem, that I broke starting this past Mother’s Day, mostly out of, well, curiosity about the burgeoning Sober Curious movement. For folks somewhere in the muddy middle, although there really is no muddy middle (I now realize) when talking about carcinogenic neurotoxins.

The farms to which I may be going mostly require an alcohol-free stay, and you, know, Virgo that I am, I like to pilot test and plan, even if I know the reality will most likely veer from my expectations (and I love that). Wine had been my dinner friend many, not yet most, nights and now it’s not. An app named Reframe has been tremendously helpful, as have the products in the TikTok below, which I reserve for weekends to keep them special:


Day 110 #alcoholfree for #sobercurious article I’m writing for the #NYtimes and here r some of the products I’ve tried. Plus apps, books, and much more. Stay tuned! #wellness #fitness #af #selfcare #mentalhealth #foryoupage #fyp


And so, goats, grapes, and good ol’ fashioned road tests. Before the path forward tests me once again.



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