NLHG Road Trip 2018: Mother Earth News Fair Prep and Day 1

08/08/2018 3:41 PM | Amanda Stephens (Administrator)


Quincy Gardener, Cyndi Ball, Trina Reynolds

From Cyndi Ball:

Friday morning, after saying goodbye to our Airbnb hosts (they were fabulous, and we highly recommend their place!), Trina and I drove a little way to Sisters, a cute town nestled in the shadow of the Three Sisters mountains. We met with Quincy, the President of the LHG of Deschutes County, OR Chapter.

We had the most lovely time together - 2 hours chatting about homesteading, LHG, the pros and cons of living in the area, and how the LHG community is growing. Brunch was delicious!! Trina and I, because we try to get to the next place as fast as possible, don’t typically stop for meals when we are on the road. Snacks are our typical fare, and they must be suitable for being eaten in the car while driving.

Gorgeous views greeted us as we headed up and over the pass toward Albany for the Mother Earth News Fair (MENF). At one point I asked Trina to stop … I saw a river close to the road, and I NEEDED to go to the water. I’ve learned this about myself since traveling over the last year. I’m good for a day or two without being in nature, but after that, I MAY get a little cranky.

A short climb down the rocky hill, a little walk and I found myself right beside this beautiful running water … so many gorgeous smooth rocks. Breathing deeply, spreading my arms wide, listening to the soothing sounds of the river. As I climbed back up the hill, Trina greeted me and asked, “You doing better?” YEP! See, she knows me, and I’m so grateful she understands.


While Cyndi found her center, Trina found a La-Z-boy recliner.

We finally came into town, Albany, the site for MENF. We unloaded our luggage filled with stands, the LHG quilt and all the “stuff” we needed to share the vision of LHG with the ladies in this area. It’s fun now, too, to see familiar faces, the staff who run these conferences, the regular speakers, and the exhibitors who follow MENF around the country.

After setting up our booth, we settled in at the Airbnb where we had reservations. Trina has done an amazing job of finding us great places to stay. She made me laugh when she called to ask me about this particular Airbnb. She sold me on the home, the views, the sleeping arrangements, and amenities ... then she asked, ”So how do you feel about ghosts?” Umm ... say again?!

My house in New Hampshire was built in 1806 and was supposedly haunted. A couple of odd things happened throughout the years, and we figured IF there was a ghost, it was a nice ghost and didn’t mind us being there. So no, I didn’t mind going to an Airbnb home that had a ghost.

The home we stayed in was beautiful!! A restored 1845 farmhouse complete with a friendly female ghost, according to the hostess. She had a particular affinity for this lovely haunted house since she previews horror movies books as her occupation. Her décor? A bit of macabre style. Not sure of macabre style? Look it up, and you’ll understand! Vicki’s yard is immaculate with the occasional gargoyle overseeing the outside of the home and casket filled with flowers. Side note – Trina and I slept great!!!

That evening, Trina and I met with friends of mine who drove down from WA. They knew me when we only had one child! We had so much fun catching up, and Trina probably learned more about my history than she cared to know!

Saturday morning, we were up early. I checked over my powerpoint for the day, and then we headed to MENF. And what a great day! We met ladies from all over the Pacific Northwest. So much fun connecting ladies and referring others to existing Chapters. We had a great time at our lunch talk – I asked Trina to share her homesteading journey, and the audience followed suit. The talk at 3:30 packed out the tent! So exciting! Lots of ladies interested in LHG.


I love hearing the stories (my favorite part) and looking at pictures, swapping info, tips, and tricks about all kinds of subjects. And the community grows, and grows!

After a full day, Trina and I headed back to the Airbnb. Beyond exhausted, we tried to discuss dinner. To Trina, the only thing that sounded good was ice cream. I had to agree! We stopped by Safeway and picked up a pint each of our favorite ice cream for dinner. We arrived back at the “haunted” house, grabbed a couple of spoons, and settled in to watching the movie, “13 going on 30.” Not much brain power needed for that chick flick!

After the end of the movie, we each said goodnight and slowly walked to our respective rooms. A fabulous day and we were ready for much-needed sleep.

(Click here for the next post in the series.)


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