Two perplexing problems we currently face.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lately with our current state of affairs I find myself thinking of major societal problems and building
on the same solutions. This is my version of a daydream. I like to think of logical ways to execute plans and how they can be implemented on a massive scale.

Out of all the dilemmas there are two that will have an extreme impact on humanity. Both having simple solutions. The solutions would work for both problems and create amazing economic boots as well.

The first problem humanity as a whole faces is drought. I come from the East Coast which is an area that faces drought. However it seems to be more glaring when you live in the desert next to a National treasure (the Colorado River). Daily I see the rise and fall in the River from my office. I hear conversations when Guests of the Resort come to collect their mail about how the citizens of Nevada and California face the impending doom of strict water rations.

I can see California and Nevada in the horizon, they are neighbors of Bullhead City. It's no big deal around here to see license plates from three states on a regular basis. Other than the stores, jobs, and attractions the main thing the tri-state area shares is our water source.

I have friends that talk about taking Navy showers where they turn on the water to get wet, cut it off to suds up, then cut it on again to rinse. Others refuse to buy homes with pools because they feel that it is a waste of water. Water Conservation is the name of the game and we are the players. We all feel this yearning to take care of our planet, and even if we don't all take Navy showers we carry the guilt of this problem with us on a subconscious level.

News flash: human consuption of water is not the problem. 

According to Hoekstra "Agricultural production takes the largest share, accounting for 92% of the global WF" (Hoekstra, 2012).
Water Consumption. The water footprint of humanity in the period 1996–2005.
The data are shown in millimeter per year on a 5 × 5 grid.
Agriculture means production of the food we consume so in essence humans are the problem right?

This is an argument for another discussion but for now I will say no, this statement does not reflect reality. The reality is that corporations who create massive amounts of food, more than enough to feed the entire planet, waste water on agriculture. Water is used inefficiently on a grand scale and then the food that is not purchased and consumed by humans is thrown away instead of given to the hungry.  

We can and should take measures to save water where we can. New faucet and shower head technologies allow us to save water without restricting ourselves to 60 seconds of water use per shower. There are also counties left that allow us to collect rain water. In areas like Bullhead City I think each house should have a cistern that would collect enough rainwater to last for a few months... this is possible.

Don't believe me?  Check out the water filtration/ preservation systems used in the Earthship Biotecture community in Taos New Mexico.

One of my best solutions will also solve the second problem humanity faces. Rising sea levels.

Whether or not you believe in climate change we should all agree to face the facts that sea levels are rising and we are capable of implementing solutions to this problem.

We have all seen the photo series produced by the mainstream media featuring city streets in the future if the sea level continues to rise. Take your pick: The Weather Channel  or images like the Jefferson Memorial on the right after 5, 12, and 25 feet on Mashable.

While there are many amazing solutions for combating this issue one of them would actually help with the drought conditions faced around the world.

: to remove salt from (something, such as water) via Webster
If all residents of LA County used desalinated water I estimate that we could pull 2,630,343,300 gallons of salt water from the ocean. This is from one city, imagine if all coastal communities were to get their water from the ocean.

The construction of massive Desalination centers would create jobs, being able to use more water in City Parks and Recreation or in agriculture would also create jobs and a boost in the communities economy. I can see all of the benefits, but I also hear this argument when I bring it up:

Desalination is expensive and this would ultimately raise the price of water right?

My first response is that money should be of no value when it comes to providing clean water to all of humanity but if I'm basing my answer out of reality I would say yes. Desalination is expensive and it may lead to a price hike on water.

Steam distillation would be an effective procedure for removing the salt from the water on a massive scale. I haven't weighed out the costs of chemical filtration compared to steam distillation but I can assure you that it would be cheaper than paying top dollar for one of the remaining bottles of clean water when we run out.

Maybe this issue has weighed heavily on my mind lately because of the drastic reduction in water levels in Lake Mead. While it is something I have thought about a lot in the past I play in the water in the Tri-State area on a regular basis, I know the travesty these areas would face if it were dry... or dead.

Anyways... I just felt like writing. I am very passionate about this topic and feel that there are simple/ effective solutions. While everyone is arguing about pop-culture I daydream about a better tomorrow and I just wanted to share my thoughts with you all.

On a personal note we are doing great.  We decided to go back to school for our Master's degrees and we love living in Bullhead City. My little brother is in town spending some time with us, he flew all by his self from North Carolina! We miss everyone back home and plan to visit. We feel like this is right where we are meant to be and we love it!


Settling in Bullhead City

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hello friends and family, we miss you all back home!

Lately we have been terribly busy. I have taken a job as the Reservations Manager at Silver View RV Resort in beautiful Bullhead City. We are in our last class (whoop) of school, and... ... we have been apartment hunting.

So far, since Robert and I met, every time we have made plans new opportunities have come up that have taken us far from the course. Please note that we are extremely happy with our choice to stay in Bullhead City but it is something new for us.

We loved traveling across the country and we plan to explore the West Coast as much as possible. However, for now Robert and I feel it would be best for us to stay settled.

We have always felt that everything happens for a reason and when we do our part the Universe (AKA our intuition) tends to lead us in the right direction.

I will have to say that living in this area of Arizona forces me to face a lot of personal fears. I have been experiencing culture shock and as the temperature continues to climb I feel myself adjusting to this beautiful place.

Bullhead City is in the desert, but it is also in the mountains. Back home in a little corner of North Carolina when I went hiking I always knew that trees would block my fall if I tumbled and the trees felt like a safety net. Out here the trees we have are planted and tended to. The vast majority of natural vegetation includes sage bushes.

Robert exploring, see his lantern?
Robert has found a calling, exploring the desert, and if I am to join him in this I need to get over this
fear of heights/ vertigo so I can explore along side of him.

Again, living in the desert is totally new and quite a wild experience for me. I love it though!

Sometimes I feel like an exposed nerve, taking in all of the new surroundings and culture. When I notice these types of feelings creeping up I use them as steps towards growth.

I love it when people ask me where I'm from, because of my southern draw, because when I say North Carolina I think of all of my friends and family back home.

I wouldn't say I'm homesick, more like familysick... I spent the first twenty five years of my life in NC and while it is a beautiful place its not the scenery I miss.

Sleydo, Robert, Me-Mum, and myself
Having my mom and little brother come to visit was very good for me, for all of us. We had a chance to see Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and explore Bullhead City together. I miss them so much already. We hope to have the little brother for a few weeks in the summer and we would love to have any of the family for a visit.

It is kind of sad to think we will soon be selling The Defiant (our freedom vessel). We are eager to be able to spread out some and I'm sure the cats agree. As it heats up here so does our camper and if we plan to stay in this area for a while we want a place that can handle the heat, the wind, and one that we can invite friends and family to!

We have made some amazing friends here and found neat ways to spend our free time. We still have many stories to share about our exploration, and we plan to continue blogging. Instead of laying out a road map of what this blog will be we plan to use it as a place to write... for fun... about things we love, places we visit, ideas we have, and whatever else strikes our fancy!

Stay tuned!

I love this pic because the river looks pink!

Oatman Arizona: The land of wild donkeys and hogs.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Back in Kansas a friend of ours told us about a town in Arizona named Oatman. She said it was a cute old mining town turned tourist trap. I love a bit of history and a tourist trap so I thought yeah I'll go. Then she tells us that the place is home to a bunch of wild burros. So I thought I definitely have to go.

We got lucky and the RV park we are staying at is not far from this unique little town so we got the chance to go. I have heard the town referred to as a ghost town but I do not think that moniker fits. Sure it is not as lively as it was in its hay-day, when it was a booming mining town, but it still has a bit of life in it.

The town, at least the touristy part, is a single road lined with old buildings full of shops. There is a historic hotel with an interesting restaurant on the ground floor. A mine museum with a short walk cut in to the mountain just big enough to make you feel claustrophobic. Scattered about the shops along the side walks and on the porches are a bunch of cut-outs for photos.

I have heard that they have a shoot out but both times we have been we have missed it. I also hear that they have people who walk around dressed up like wild west shop keeps and cowboys but I have not seen a lot of them. We did meet a town drunk who looked like someone out of the old west and if he was acting he was convincing. We thought for sure he was drunk.

Mostly what we saw there was tourists, bikers, and burros. My favorite part though is all the ass jokes. There are a lot of jokes about losing my ass or finding my ass in Oatman. We just had to go in to the shop called the classy ass. There is an antique shop called the Glory Hole that I also had to go shopping in too. I got a cool book of Roman poems. The shop keeper was really friendly too I wish we had had more time to talk with her. She seemed to know about everything in the town.

We spent our time there walking around inside the shops looking at all the cool stuff for sale. A few of the stores are just imported mass produced junk that you tend to find in touristy places. Some of them though are real treasure troves of antiques. I love to see all the old tools and mining equipment.   

We enjoyed all we ate while we were there despite the mounds of burro poop that lined the road. We even found a candy shop with pomegranate Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Ice cream seemed to be the treat of the day as almost everyone turned to the cold snack to cool down in the Arizona heat.

If you walk the street and read the signs hung up on almost every wall you will learn a thing or two about the town. There are a lot of Ass jokes but there is also a tale of the horror that lead to the towns name. The story sounds like something out of a block buster movie. I think someone wrote a book about it. Find the story here.

The hotel in the center of town is a popular draw. It has a little museum upstairs that is more like a gift shop and not worth the trek up those crooked steps. It is the oldest adobe two story building left in the county. A famous Hollywood couple honeymooned there in 1938. Clark Gable and Carol Lombard may have been the first of the famous to find more then gold in Oatman but not the last.

Perhaps their most famous guest of the hotel is the late William Ray Flour better known as Oatie the ghost. An old miner who drunk himself to death. No surprising feat in a town with two bars for every shop and 36 million in gold passing through. It must have been quite the town as its gravity sucked in the now famous route 66 that is partly responsible for its recent rejuvenation.

I am glad I am staying close by as I think I would like to go back and spend some time. I think that most people can get their fill in one day but you could make a full day out of it. Just a suggestion though if you've got to go, use the facilities in the hotel not the public restroom at the end of the road. Remember there is more than gold in Oatman.

p.s. We took a ton of photos on our phone and then had to update our phone. Since then we have not been able to access 99% of the photos we have taken since December.

Things change

Thursday, February 12, 2015

This is a picture of my first blog header.
Do you remember this?
Hello my friends and family!

Before I talk about what is changing I want you to know that I will continue to blog.

Now, onto the change. When ApotheKayla began I had time, space, and a need to make products from scratch. I guess I needed this time to connect the reality of health and beauty products.

With a better understanding of all natural health and beauty products and a general lack of time to make my own I have started researching and purchasing products, I believe in. We also live in a motor-home now and if you have used coconut oil I'm sure you can relate to my frustration when I say the variable temperatures we see in each day is a problem.

This blog is going to be going through a shift in focus. I still have a yearning to teach the world about the risks of conventional products and share the trusted brands I stand behind.

I still feel the need to create a community of like minded folks who want to make a difference in the world by changing their health and beauty habits. So this will be the new focus of ApotheKayla.

As I finish my Bachelor's degree in Journalism I feel like I am ready to write investigative articles about issues that I feel so strongly about. I am working on one now about Alzheimer's.

I also plan to start offering sessions as a Holistic Health Coach. I have now spent years researching the topic of holistic health and feel that the information I have may be of value to some people. I see the difference simple changes make in a person's life and I know from experience that making these changes can seem overwhelming. That is an area that I can help with. I am not a physician but I can hold your hand through the switch from conventional to holistic and act as a trusted mentor.

I can tell you from the sum of my experiences holistic health is a necessity. I also know that it can seem scary to start because you are used to the products you have at home and don't know where to begin.

I want to hear from you my friends and family. How can I help? What products would you like to replace? Which ailments do you face that you feel could be improved with holistic remedies? Please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail if it is a private matter.

I have seen the power of mother nature in my own life and in the lives of loved ones. Thank you for being a part of my journey! Until next time, be well!

Stuck in Bullhead City

Thursday, January 29, 2015

After we paid the bill at the mechanic I thought that our plans were shot. We had hoped to get a lot of traveling and writing done with that money. I was thinking we would spend some time in Vegas, see SoCal, and tour the Grand Canyon. Now we don't have enough gas to get to any of those places. I have to admit I was kind of depressed. 

When we first got to Bullhead I wanted to sit in the RV and feel sorry for myself. For the first few days I did. Things were not going the way I had planed and I felt like having a pity party. We did not even have the warm weather I was looking forward to.

It snowed on us here. Out of all the locals we talked to none of them remembered it snowing here before. We were snowed on from Kansas to New Mexico and now it seemed we brought the snow to Bullhead city.

The snow did not last for long though and soon after the snow melted so did my doldrums. You do not have to have a bunch of money to have fun here. We are in a beautiful park full of friendly people. We would surely find a way to have fun.

I had really wanted to rent a car so we can see the sights around town. Luckily this place has good bus system. The town is not that big and the bus can get us around to shopping and dinning. We can even make it to the casino across the river if we feel up to a little gambling, via the bus and a quick ferry. If the bus cannot get us there they have a cab company that's not too expensive and with the town being so small we can get most anywhere for about 10 bucks.

Exploring the casinos with an awesome
couple we met at the RV park!
The park we are at has a lot going on too, so we do not have to go out to find fun. The office has a library with books from all genres. The clubhouse has different activities almost every day from arts and crafts to poker night. When it gets too hot outside we can hit the pool. If you just want to relax the hot tub might be more up your ally. If you have a hard time talking with strangers Saturday morning free coffee and donuts is a great way to meet people.

There are a few places I would like to explore and some mountains I would like to hike. I hear tell that there is a place with old Native American petroglyphs.  We are planing a day at the river which we can see from our RV.

I had not planed to stay any one place for an extended period of time but if you had to be somewhere I can think of much worse places then Bullhead City.The weather here is gorgeous, our daily temps hover between 65 and 70 degrees. I would also guess that between the city of Laughlin Nevada and Bullheady City there are thousands of RV'ers here at this time of year. This seems like the place to be
if you are in an RV.

We made it here in one piece and obviously we were meant to spend some time here! We plan to make the best of it!

New years and time zones

Saturday, January 24, 2015

On your way west from North Carolina to Arizona you change time zones twice. We arrived in Bullhead City on December 27th and had just enough time to get settled and meet a few locals before New Years Eve.

A nice man that we met while walking around Silverview RV Resort told us about the local fireworks display. He told us how he looks forward to seeing it every year when he returns to Bullhead City for the winter. He also told us to mind the time-zone gap as the fireworks display happened at the casino's in Laughlin, Nevada. We had an amazing view of the casino's during the day from our campground so we were looking forward to the view of the city at night and the fireworks.

Our first day in Bullhead City. You can see the Casinos in
the distance behind us, we are at the RV Resort in the pic.
Here in Bullhead City the state line of Arizona is defined by the Colorado River. The river also plays an important role on the internal sensor of your phone and the time on your phone goes backwards one hour when you cross it. The man we spoke with that told us about the fireworks said he watches them at 11:00 PM. Without further thought I set an alarm on the phone to go off ten minutes before eleven so we could set up our chairs on the bluff to see the show.

The night of new years we watched New York celebrate the ball dropping at 10:00; the Happy New Year texts began pouring in from friends and family back home as well. We started watching the clock so we could get the camera, chairs, and coats before we walked to our spot. At 10:50 we started walking to the entrance of the park, placed our chairs, got the camera out and waited. While we were waiting we started having a conversation about time zones and how they were hard to get used to and at 11:02 we realized Laughlin was an hour behind us. They would see New Years at 1:00 AM.

We laughed at ourselves as we carried our gear back to the motor-home and decided to cook dinner while we waited two hours to try our firework experience again. We noticed something else when we made it back to the camper. The internal sensor that automatically sets the time on our phone had gotten confused and we were on Laughin time on our phone. We didn't realize it at first and wondered how we managed to loose an entire hour in only a few minutes. We figured it must have been the automatic update on the phone but by this point we were feeling a little tipsy and we hadn't had a single drop to drink.

At 12:50 Arizona time we headed for a different entrance of the park to find an even better view point of the casinos and got cozy just in time. While the view was better there was also a lot of traffic because we were on the sidewalk versus being inside the park. Locals stopped at the stop sign a little longer than normal during the ten minute firework display, some even pulled over to take photos.

All in all, even with the time-zone headaches and the chill of the wind the fireworks were beautiful. It was an uneventful night for us, we didn't go out on the town or throw a bon-fire with friends like we had the year before, but we were together. In a new place, in a different time, and with our dreams manifesting. We realized how different we had become, the way we experienced growth from the people we were after all of the events that happened in our lives in 2014. We decided the only resolution we would set for ourselves was to never make resolutions and instead make each day a day of learning, living, laughing, and loving.

This year is sure to be a good one. While this post is a little late, we hope you all had an amazing New Year celebration. We wanted to publish our blog posts in the order that they took place and we are just getting around to sharing our New Years Eve with you. We look forward to sharing our new year with you. Thanks for being a part of our 2014!


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