I am Jo. I am late thirtysomething. I was a city chick.

I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and spent a good part of my life in and around Washington, DC. There was a time when I could not fathom living away from the city. I loved the sounds, the smells, and the characters. However, all things change over time.

First, I was dragged to the suburbs by my husband. Let me just say that the suburbs are the worst place to live…all that driving, the pressure to have the perfect lawn, HOA’s, and just general¬†¬†¬† keeping up with the jonesiness. It sucked.

In 2006 we left Northern Virginia and moved to Minnesota…to another suburb. My dislike for suburbs blossomed into a seething loathing. I met many people I liked and wish I could transport them wherever I go, but something tells me they would not thank me for that. However, the move to Minnesota opened up the west to me. We started taking many road trips to Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado (obviously not a fan of the Front Range). We also fell in love with northern Minnesota and eventually bought a cabin there.

Last year my husband was offered a job on Alaska’s North Slope. He is the school counselor in a village. It is hard to get more isolated than this, as the only way in and out is by plane. It was an amazing experience and I will value it for the rest of my life.

This year, I am living in Homer, AK with two of my daughters. My oldest needs an orthopedic surgery and my youngest wants to be with me. My middle daughter loved the village and went back with my husband. We live out of town on a 2.7 acre site. We were lucky to be a able to buy a place that had vegetable gardens and high tunnels. Now I am busy learning how to be a farmer. So far though, I think I am learning more from my screw ups as there have been many!

We also have medical issues in our family, so part of our life is learning to work around challenging situations that arise from living in a rural environment. My oldest has cognitive and physical disabilities, as well as epilepsy. My youngest daughter and my husband both have Celiac and thus must eat a gluten free diet. Sometimes we have to get pretty creative around here!

I am back in school…again. I am studying Natural Resources Management at Oregon State University via their distance program. It keeps me very busy, along with the garden, while the kids are in school. I also love photography, mostly landscape and macro. I might not be great at it, but it makes me happy!



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