Welcome to My Full-Time RV Living LifeStyle Blog!

I suppose I should mention that this is an RV blog. The picture of me standing beside a motorhome in the banner probably tipped you off to that fact already, but you know how it is with blogs, any body can put anything in the header.

Anyways, I was born, raised, and live in Maine, I have 12 cats, and some people would call me homeless. Nope, I have a home, I just don't have what people call a standard house. My house has wheels and her name is Rosebud. My backyard stretches on for thousands and thousands of miles all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Once upon a time I had a "regular home" but a flood came and took it away. Me and my cats spent the next 3 years living under a 8x6 tarp and survived through 3 blizzards and Maine's coldest winter on record when the temps hit -48F. After that me and the cats moved in a Volvo. As hard as it is to live in a tent with 12 cats, it's even harder to live in a Volvo with 12 cats, and a motorhome named No Hurry was the answer. No Hurry: my home, my office, my RV.

I plan to use this blog to share my thoughts, ideas, adventures, and advice on being self-employed, living and working a full-time RV LifeStyle with an army of cats, while boondocking in the wonderful (and sometimes sub-zero) state of Maine.

I hope to write a post a day featuring random thoughts as they pop into my head, and hopefully 2 or 3 posts per week will focus on something helpful to those seeking to live in an RV full time. If you've any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on what sort of posts you'd like to see me write, please comment and let me know.

I hope you all have as much fun reading this blog as I know I'll have writing it.

~Wendy

Sunday, June 10, 2012

EelKat's Thoughts on The Journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

As with last semester, at the end of the Summer Semester 2012 @ SMCC, I am now putting my college essays online. This is one of several book/article reviews written for the Lit&Environment class:










Wendy C Allen
SMCC
LITR 245 Literature & Environment
Prof. Robert Verttese
June 10, 2012

The Journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

Did you like the writing style?

The style of writing left me feeling somewhat bored, not actually bored, but I can’t think of a better word to describe it. I like informal conversational style writing, but I think, the writing here was a bit too informal for my liking in that there were too many grammar and spelling errors making it very difficult to read in a smooth flow. Also the style is choppy and disconnected and seemed almost to have a touch of demeaning arrogance sort of “talking down” to the reader, but not in colloquial or conversational way. He does not come off as being a “friendly” person. The story itself was good and all, just the style of writing felt really awkward and is evident that this was written by someone who was not a writer. It is painfully clear that this piece was never edited which was causing my mind to stumble quite a bit while reading. I think perhaps I would have enjoyed this more, had it first been edited to make it more readable, at least by correcting the spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

The “voice” was very raw and open, which I liked. They tell it like it is, exactly the way they saw it. Many writers try to appeal to the reader’s sense of political correctness, but Lewis does not. He just writes whatever the heck pops into his head. I wish more writers did this.

Did the ideas appeal to you?

While I felt garred by the writing style, I enjoyed the ideas/theme/story itself. The observations were clearly from someone whom had never been in such wild territories before, giving the reader a sense of wild-eyed wonder, which is okay if you like that sort of thing, however I prefer a more thoughtful look at nature, more philosophical, and not so “OhMiGd! LOOK AT THAT!”

What SPECIFICALLY did you like/dislike?

I’m not sure I either liked or disliked it, it was okay, and good in it’s own right, just not my style so much. I good story I suppose, something to make you think about how wasteful humans can be at times. That was the message I got out of this, at least.

There wasn’t anything I really liked or disliked, but the part which I found the most interesting was the descriptions of the dead buffalo washing up on the shore, and the fact of the tribes running them off the edge of the cliff, then leaving the bodies to rot. I just found that part interesting because you always hear how Native Americans respected life and such, yet you never hear of the mass killing of animals or the burning of acres of forests which many tribes did. My grandmother was Native American, she was raised by white people so knew very little of her culture, yet when we tried researching her tribe’s history, we’d only find “fluffy bunny” stuff, little of is accurate, most of it fantasy, like everyone was trying to hide the horrors which also existed. It is very difficult to find accurate accounts at all. Yes, some did respect life, but they were humans just like the rest of us, and many did not respect life. I don’t like one sided stereotyped views on things, be they good or bad. Other than my Native American grandmother who married into the clan, the rest of my family are Gypsies, Scottish Travellers to be exact, and people give a very one sided stereotyped view of us, usually a bad one. I have had a very in depth look at what it is to be stereotyped based on race, and I don’t like it when any race gets stereotyped, be they hate slurs about a person’s race or the fluffy bunny views such as Native American culture’s so called “respect for life”. Thus I liked it, when Lewis tells of the tribe senselessly slaughtering hundreds, because it gives a more raw and accurate look into what Native American life was like, not mystical, not demi-god, but human.

A quote or two you liked and why you liked them:

I’m trying to think of any quote which stuck out at me, but nothing really did.  I think perhaps the line which struck me most was:

“the cattle behind driving those in front over and seeing them go do not look or hesitate about following untill the whole are precipitated down the preceipce forming one common mass of dead an mangled carcases: the decoy in the mean time has taken care to secure himself in some cranney or crivice of the clift which had previously prepared for that purpose. the part of the decoy I am informed is extreamly dangerous, if they are not very fleet runers the buffaloe tread them under foot and crush them to death, and sometimes drive them over the precipice also, where they perish in common with the buffaloe.”

It shows that not only did they not care about slaughtering hundreds of animals for no reason at all, but they gave little, if any, thought to the life of the young boy. This was not a killing for fur or food, but rather for sport. There was plenty of meat, bone, and fur for the entire tribe for many seasons, and yet it was left abandoned to go to waste, and if the youth went over the edge too, well then to hell with him, his body was abandoned as well. To me, this does not seem to be a hunting party, as much as a gang of drunk men showing off to one another.

The quote I liked, just for the sake of liking it was:

“from the reflection of the sun on the spray or mist which arrises from these falls there is a beautiful rainbow produces which adds not a little to the beauty of this majestically grand senery”

I liked this because it was the only thing he said which wasn’t dismal and focused on fear and death. This story was overall rather dark and this line is the one glimmer of hope that something good exists in the world. Yet, as quickly as he writes these words he has second thoughts and upon looking back at the scene he views it “with disgust”. He seems almost to regret having shown weakness by seeing any part of the world as “beautiful”. The man was morbid to say the least, I don’t think this work could have been written by a happy person.

How does this reading connect to another idea, reading, film, etc. and explain the connection.

It somewhat reminds me of Grizzly Adams, a TV  Show I used to watch years ago. He was always running up against city folk ambling up the mountain, getting lost in the forest and ending up needing him to lead them back out. I got the impression, reading this, that Lewis and Clark, had they been left to their own defences, would have been hopelessly lost in a matter of hours and dead only a few days out. The way they oohed and ahhed and wowed and marveled over every little sight and sound, tells me they were totally out of their element, which in this day and age would not be unheard of, but heck this was 1805 we are talking about here, and these guys were acting like they had never seen bears or wolves before! Like the many characters in the Grizzly Adams TV show, I don’t think Lewis or Clark would have survived a day without the help of their guide,

How would you characterize Lewis and Clark’s interaction with nature. What did they choose to highlight?

I think he(they?) looked at nature with a bit of awe. I got the impression that I was reading something written by a city dweller who never really experienced nature before.

They seemed to highlight violence, indicating that they were writing with the intent of sensationalism. It almost reads as though they were intending to publish them as penny novels or pulps.

Lewis makes distinctions between humans and animals, civilized people and Indians, civilized places and natural places. What does this tell you the explorers valued most?

I’m not sure that I actually got an impression of their values through reading this. They seemed to focus an inordinate amount on death. Maybe it was just the fact that they were surrounded by dead animals, piles and piles of hundreds upon hundreds of them at every turn? Kind of hard not to think about death when every lake, river, stream, valley, and mountain you pass is just piled a mile high to heaven with countless hundreds of dead bodies right? But then again, is it even conceivable that there even existed such massive mountains of dead animals as they described, or are they puffing up the story with vast exaggerations, as was common in writing of this same error? Are there not also tales of dragons and lake monsters and Indians riding on the backs of flying horses, commonly written about by explorers of the same period? It was the fad of the time to make a story of exploration out to be more than it really was, and it seems utterly illogical for every place they went to be bombarded with mountains of dead animals. I wonder, how far we can trust this detail of the story? Was he being overly dramatic and glamorizing the piles of carcases which he encountered at every turn? Where are the massive mountains of bones today? That many bones, from so large a beast, there should be evidence of their existence. It’s more believable that they found one or two bodies on the shore, one or two here and there, maybe ten at the most and greatly exaggerated the numbers.


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Good morning Starshine! Liked this post? Looking to connect with me online? I love social networks and am on most of them. You can find me on: BloggerEtsyFaceBookGoogle+KeenMySpaceNaNoWriMoProBoardsScript FrenzySpoonflowerSquidooTwitterULC Ministers NetworkWordpress, and Zazzle Feel free to give me a shout any  time. Many blessings to you, may all your silver clouds be lined with rhinestones and sparkle of golden sunshine. Have yourself a great and wonderful glorious day!

~Rev. Wendy C. Allen aka Empress EelKat of Laughing Gnome Hollow



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This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Press and was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK's Star Log @ http://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat and http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com  If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat @ http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day! ~ EelKat



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