Author Bio Long Version
I have been writing since I was living at large, travelling around the West in my 1960 VW Transporter. This was my 20’s, and what any free loving non-conformant would be doing at that age. I’d do a simple watercolor painting of a scene from my travels on a post card sized heavy paper, write a little something about my recent days on the road and mail it off to my Ma or Grandmother when I reached the next small town.
In my early 30’s I realized from the response to an annual holiday letter that friends and family actually enjoyed my painting in words and it was they who have been my encouragement. I started a gardening service, and in the second year of its twelve year stint I launched a quarterly journal, decided to call it Earth Nurture with teaching clients basic garden concepts and reconnecting them to Nature in mind. It has from its inception had a consistent subscribership of 60-100. 2014 marks the 18th year in publication; self published before that was cool. The content and deadlines are set by me. Recently it has become available in digitized fashion. I invested in a fancy new laptop and am so very well socially connected to my media-well, pretty well. Being 50 and having just missed computers being introduced into the high schools, the new technology does not come automatic to me, in fact, I struggle with it but am always learning. I want to make the on-line version of the newsletter have flip pages like its hand held version, and I love doing it in color! We’ll see how much I can advance technologically by August, the next issue.
In 1995 the nursery at which I had been employed presented the opportunity to further my education and credentials by taking the Certified Plant Professional exam. The exam consisted of 50 plants to identify by genus, species, cultivar, and variety as well as a 200 multiple choice question. I was well studied for it and terribly frustrated and disappointed to find how very badly those questions were written. Those of us taking the test could hardly decipher what answer to give let alone what exactly they were asking. The squeaky wheel gets to rewrite the test. I was given part of the section on perennials and am credited with so much in the latest edition of the Montana Nurseryman’s Association Certified Plant Professional manual.
In 1997 I contributed garden how-to articles in the monthly newsletters of a quaint garden store in Missoula, Montana.
2001 a new page is added to Earth Nurture; a page regarding a new business venture, lavender farming. I have planted 1500 plants as a share cropper at a local winery, still living in Missoula. I write my findings, my experiments, my failures and successes, not knowing much about the details involved in farming a mono crop.
2005 after my mother leaves me some money on her death, I have purchased a 20 acre plot in the indescribably beautiful Mission Valley some 45 miles north of Missoula. A new page is added to Earth Nurture. The Rosalie Ranch page becomes my readers favorite, in fact they cannot wait to read about my shenanigans of homesteading, off grid living, hose, vole, and deer wrangling. I place the ‘cabin’, a micro-home of 77 total square feet (7’x11′) near the small creek and take to journaling my experience on every weekly visit. Journal excerpts are fodder for the newsletter.
2010 I jump into the blogosphere Loripapaers.blogspot.com, Lavenderloriparr.wordpress.com, Traipsink.wordpress.com
I am a reluctant blogger, not realizing all I have to write about, but am slowly figuring out how to use this new media.
Having been a Bluegrass music enthusiast since my first Telluride Bluegrass festival when I was 22, I, of course, attend a concert where Del McCoury and Sam Bush play in one weekend. I am so thrilled, I take to writing a spontaneous and solicited-by-no one review on my phone. I email a friend who has a burgeoning Bluegrass concert series and on-line newsletter. She loves my writing style. I become the writer in residence of the Ruby Jewel Jamboree and write articles about the performers in trade for tickets to the concerts. I gain a little foot hold as the articles are printed in local events papers like Corridor, and the Missoulian. I am forced to You Tube bluegrass all day when writing the articles such as Kathy Kallick, The Two Bit Franks, Bradford Lee Folk…I love this job!
After suffering major crop loss in 2009 due to strange and extreme weather conditions that can only be attributed to global warming, and picking my way thrugh post divorce trauma all of it christening my own launch into what can only be described as a bona fide mid-life crisis, I find myself living in the Cabin, off grid, eating kale and rice mostly. I do three night stays in some strange situations (couchsurfing at friends, a murphy bed in another friend’s garage/bar, and often in the back of the truck – everywhere the dog in tow. I’m wrapping up work projects and maintaining my social life in the town Fall 2013. I go looking for work closer to home (the Cabin) and find a new man in the process. Winter comes on with a vengeance and he takes me in for the duration, and I haven’t left yet. His lovely home has indoor plumbing, hot water comes right out of the faucet, and I needn’t light a fire to warm up enough to be able to type.