Happy First Day of Autumn!
A quick update:
We’re still looking for land to build our earthbag home in the Ozarks, and planning the house and educational center to be off-grid according to our definitions. Know of land for sale? Please tell us in the comments or email MakeSomeRipples@Gmail.com! We’ve been vetting locations in the past couple of months and haven’t found anything that feels right yet. But we’re not giving up!
Instead, we’ve been focusing on skill acquisition. Ryan has gotten great at repairing things around the house, something he inherited from his dad. He just fixed the door to my art studio, which works perfectly now. I’m getting better with a hammer, too! Wait you didn’t know I had an art studio? Yep! I have been happily producing greeting cards which will be for sale online and locally at Ozark Natural Foods, Himalayan Mountain Shop and other vendors. Check our Ripples Facebook page to see the new designs when they’re released for sale! Here’s a sneak peak at a drawing from last spring when it was “a work in progress” –
This semester, I’m studying digital photography in a class at Northwest Arkansas Community College so I can get familiar with my Nikon DSLR DS7100 camera and learn how to capture what we’re doing for Ripples educational center. Eventually, we’ll be documenting native species on our land and any workshops we do, using video and other media to convey the information. For now, I’m learning where the buttons are located…
“Being a naturalist is like being Edge Habitat, a conglomeration of science, art, spirituality, philosophy, and love, never just one place but stepping into many at once.” (from my first naturalist blog post)
Ripples touches upon several topics, from sustainable living to social justice and making a difference. We mostly focus on how Ryan & I (Amanda) are changing our lifestyle as completely as possible using the Ripples method, trying to make intentional choices that improve our health and the planet as a whole. Recently, we’ve been posting about nature because I just graduated from the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalist program in the spring. It’s important for us to know as much as we can about native plants and animals because we live alongside them and wish to protect native habitat. Some of you have been following my naturalist summer blog series on water, mammals, birds, insects and fish. Apologies for only completing 5 of the 10 promised posts thus far; perhaps time and motivation will encourage me to finish them. But I think even posting them next summer would be cool – Ripples educational center is going to take a long time in development, and there will be plenty more opportunities to post on topics like these. Even better will be a more organized system of finding information, so you can see all our references to birds rather than just one post during one summer.
Since my last blog post, we’ve celebrated the 100th Making Ripples column in The Free Weekly!
You can read it and the previous 99 columns in our archives. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to be able to write over 100 columns in my career. I’m not sure how to describe the experience, actually. Being a columnist is an underrated position of power and potential to change the world for the better. It’s a bit like downplaying the significance of daily jogging until one realizes that they have avoided terrible health conditions that could have befallen them had they remained sedentary. Those little chunks of 500 words keep me writing and thinking. Not only that, they get others thinking, too – and being able to get hundreds of people thinking about making ripples in the world is quite awesome. For that, I’m very grateful.