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Under Blue Sky The Life of a Herdsman

 
Posts: 43
Location: where the fox howls
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I promised someone I would tell my story so here it is.A life of a herdsman.

I have been silent for too long.
Where our you from?I was born in Pittsburgh Steeler Country.
I cam from Montana.
How do you like it here?
I like it here.
These our the questions yo will hear in the desert.
They our good conversation starters I have learned.
My mother is  a teacher now retired.
My father was an electrician now in prison.due to get out soon.I give alot of credit to my uncle Eugene"Geno" A vietnam Vet.He is a strong figure who raised me.
I was born 141 am the house I was raised in was on 141 Victoria.There is a 100 acre family farm we would go there often.I have fond memories of that place I was taught many things there.So much plant diversity in the North East.
Alot of tree species.----
To be continued--------
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Ben Skiba
Posts: 43
Location: where the fox howls
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I had a troubled adolescence growing up with out a father.I could only hear his voice on the phone.I drank,did drugs as most youth do.was destructive.I did not enjoy high school and often left after 2nd period which was art class.I would walk to the park and rose garden near by and play in the woods.I am thankful for my mothers driving force or "naggig"as it is sometimes called.She motivated me to get my G.E.D. and drivers license.I had a job off and on since I was 15.First I dishwashed.worked at horse camp at my aunts work.I really like being outside and by the river.Me and my friends would go camp by the river and get drunk,fish and build forts.I will never forget you Ricky.you left too soon.I realized one day after working this job or that job I wanted to work outside.I did odd jobs and landscaping for friends and family members.One day my mom told me about Bidwell training center.A grant program free school.(if you look hard enough there is free school out there.)They had a horticulture program.I took a test and was accepted.I hardly missed a day.(maybe 3 days being sick)I would show up early.Leave at 4am to beat traffic and wait till 7:30 when the school doors open.Often walking on the river trail.For once in my life I completed all my homework.It was mostly hands on and they helped me along the way.They even had a hydroponic set up and were growing orchids in a 2 acre greenhouse in the city.They took us on field trips every 2 weeks.I made many good friends.I graduated moved to the family farm and got a job at a tree nursery.
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Ben Skiba
Posts: 43
Location: where the fox howls
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I hit some bumps in the road in between here and there.Started gardening and planting trees on the farm.I was introduced to was introduced to masanbu fukwoaka sepp holzer and bill mollison thanks to my friend andy who sat behind me.Worked at a landscape company.fell in love once or twice and out.I was gardening hardcore at this point.had a 20 by 40 foot patch.I volunteered with an organization called Quiet creek. They our a positive force in my life.they taught me many things and provided me with postive reinforcement.instead of debby downing me like some peers do.(People places things people move the hell away.)We went mushroom picking,planting maple groves,blueberry picking,gardening,soap making,herb walks,herbal medicine,bread making,worm composting.The list goes on and on.I still talk to them to this day.The families sons would teach me many things as well while riding unicycles climbing trees and running thru the woods.I was reading heavy masanobu fukowa ruth stout,ben law at this point.I was putting the words into practice.I had noone to share it with at home though.I ran across a website called permies.I was reading things on there,studying and experimenting.They had this thing called ant village where this kid named Evan and his friend Kai were doing all kinds of cool things.Building houses,gardening,Shooting weasels with arrows and eating them.I thought man I wanna do that.I was working at a railroad tie plant and finally one day I said i'm going.I put in a months notice,bought my bus ticket and packed my bags.I had never seen such high mountains,grasslands and snow covered peaks.The blackhills in south dakota were alien to me.Somewhere in South Dakota a guy got all drunk and started screaming.Then he did dust angels in the dirt outside the bus.The driver left him there and called the law.Evan and kai picked me up from the bus station and the rest is history.I arrived at ant village ready to work.I followed Kai and Evan around like a puppy dog.Sometimes they didnt know what to do with me.They would say maybe go help so and so.Take it easy bro your still on the clock.I think a couple of days after staying there I was invited on a cruise to see mike Oehlers place.The underground house builder.It was amazing.I had never seen anything like it before in my life.There were hobbit houses carved into the hillsides and a mansion on the ridge.I was invited on many more expeditions to other places which maybe ill cover later?
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Ben Skiba
Posts: 43
Location: where the fox howls
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maybe i won't who knows?Eventually the boys decided I should build a house on Josh's plot.So I set to work building a house.I had a alot of help from Gappers and ants alike and built a house just in time while also helping others.(You get burnt out you know gotta walk away from the project sometimes and also have fun.Go swim in the river.Pick Huckleberries.)Paul and Jocelyn our the owners of this homestead and basecamp.Paul is eccentric a man of alot of ideas.Jocelyn for me is a motherly figure.We call her Saint Jocelyn.I talk to Paul mostly about Dune,some science fiction.Sometimes if he's in the mood he'll play a game.I talk to Jocelyn about gardening,help cooking.We listen to music.Alot of potlucks and many fine memories.Two houses and a kitchen later.Lots of square dancing and dumpster diving with Fred the pecan shaman and lord of the dance floor.(Sometimes i think he leaves trails of fire he's so fast.)Lots of interesting characters passing thru from the states and across the ocean.(Let it be known tim the australian finally had his first squirrel compliments of the strawhat.)For personal reasons,a crazy women and wild fires.I got a job in town working day labor.One day I was talking to a wise man on the phone and he says If your work you might as well do something you like.So Every landscaper I see working in town I start asking if there hiring.Finally a guy calls me and says I heard your looking for work do you want the job?Yes when can I start? Monday.So I work all over Missoula and in some other counties even at an airport.All te while dealing with crazy women.While in the hospital with her one day I say what do I want to do with myself?I want to herd and shear sheep!
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Ben Skiba
Posts: 43
Location: where the fox howls
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I contact several organizations.Dine Be Iina gets back to me.They put me in touch with a very talented individual pretty much family and close friend Roy.Roy is a fiber artist a weaver,felter,shearer,and herder.You name it he's done it.A damn good cook too.He drives an old beatu ford truck.He's gotta little dog named tsilly.Raises sheep and goats on a 2 acre farm.He teachs me the ins and outs of everything.How to cook.How to herd sheep.How to shear.How to set up a loom.How to tell which direction your going.(I have a broken compass I still get lost driving.Not walking though interesting enough.I think maybe driving is too fast paced for me.)I am taken to many events called spin offs.Where people get together and teach each other crafts.I learn knitting from my friend Rose.(Rose is also a badass farmer I didnt even know.)I am fed well.(I can eat for 10 people.)I have the desert and mesa pretty much to myself.although I share it with wild horses,coyotes,foxes,jack rabbitshorn toads and the like.I herd everywhere around.I am invited to many family events.I am invitred to meetings and various occasions.Roy,his sister and I sometimes go see a movie.Especially if it's starwars.His sister will go see a chickflick.My neighbor Rozz often comes over for coffee.She was retired but now has a little job in town.We move the sheep and goats up to the summer pasture.It is about a 25-30 mile hike.We split it into two days and setup basecamp and corral at base of mountain.It is a struggle and feer our sore but we make it to the sheep camp triumphant.This is my home for the next four months.I don't want to leave.Just give me a women,a horse and a yurt and I will stay.We have a huge party when we make it up the mountain with lots of food and mutton.My friend butchers.We help clean it.I am full beyond full and take 2 naps.Everybody packs up leaves the next morning.It is quiet.My new neighbors our wild horses,mountain lions,bears,squirrels,rabbits,blue birds, paw patrol seven dogs,cows and sheep goats.It is quiet here.I like it that way.I often talk to my mom in the morning.Sometimes I talk to my friends which is good.The mountain doesn't allow me to talk while herding sheep.Its my signal off and ends my calls.It is alive and it allows my to be here.I truly believe that.My friend Roy visits from time to time.WE laugh and carry on with whoever decides to join him.I have grown as a person out and have many more friends.They our good to me.They give me food,water,shelter,tell jokes,make me laugh.Text me and ask me how im doing.I miss the strawhats I call or text and pester them from time to time.My Mecca is Mongolia.I get whatever library book I can get my hands on and read about it.Sometimes I watch youtube when I can.I will live there someday and herd sheep on horse like here.This is my story.My history.I have shortened it there our many chapters missing but I don't want to bore you.I want to keep up with the present not the past.I have been told I should share my story so I wil.Maybe you will learn something from it?Maybe I will learn something from it?
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When I was younger I felt like a man trapped inside a woman's body. Then I was born. My twin is a tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater heats your home with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove
http://woodheat.net
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