The Dawn of Modern Hippie Mag

Several months ago, as Jasmine started feeling the pinch of the economic downfall on Jaszy’s Jewelry, we both started looking more intently at what we really wanted to do, purpose wise. For me, I’d already decided that I wanted to focus on writing, perhaps do a play now and then for fun, and just put filmmaking on the backburner for the time being. I was able to finish a book and a screenplay since then and have a few more projects in the works. Jasmine had a little more soul searching to do.

Though she had guided her jewelry design business to be as eco-friendly as she possibly could, she found that regardless of how much recycled metal or fair trade gemstones she used, she just couldn’t make jewelry as eco-friendly as she wanted. Her passion was for a more healthy planet. We had gone through the motions of writing up a business plan the year before for a marketplace for artists that would give to environmental organizations, but the overheard was preposterous, and we kept coming back to the desire to educate people on ways to live consciously and eco-friendly. As she gave more attention to her intention, she realized how much she loved the research involved in finding new ideas and ways of doing things. She realized that what she really wanted to do was to publish an online magazine that would help her to share all of the information that she was finding.

It was around that time that the spirit of what she was trying to do really hit her. It dawned on her that, with her penchant for saving the planet, promoting community involvement, and advocating simple living, she was a Modern Hippie. And so the magazine began.

Since then, she has been fastidious in planning out what kinds of topics she wanted to include, learning all about Internet publication, coaxing many of her more eco-conscious friends to submit articles, and scheduling them with more precision than any other blog I have ever seen. When we first got together, I knew that her adeptness at playing Scrabble and her OCD tendencies would lead to something like this, but I never really saw how it was going to come together until she built it. This week, Modern Hippie Mag unveiled its new logo, designed by the brilliant Chad Richter, and started a Facebook page, gathering over 100 followers in its first two days.

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I think it’s a beautiful touch of synchronicity that she continues to build her creation on the top floor of the lighthouse, shining like a beacon to our community, our country, and the world as a guide to healthy, green, conscious living. I’ve been submitting one article a week to Modern Hippie Mag for the last few months. Of course, that number seems to be quickly growing as she gets new ideas and we discuss the possibilities in growing this thing together.

About a month ago, we decided to start adding video to the mix. After selling my Canon GL2 about two years ago, I was left with my Canon handy-cam, which has nowhere near the quality I want for anything I produce. Then we went to lunch with some friends who had the new iPhone. I saw the video capabilities and I was hooked. We got one the next week and soon shot our first profile. I found a new editing program through Cyberlink that would work on my laptop, and I now have a completely mobile production studio. Our first project posts this afternoon and I couldn’t be more excited.

So if you haven’t checked it out yet, go to http://modernhippiemag.com and sign up for a free subscription. We’ve got some wonderful things planned and look forward to sharing it with you.

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Garage Sales

I think we had a total of four garage sales over the last month as we tried to free ourselves of the possessions that held us bondage, but it wasn’t until we started taking things to the curb that our neighbors came out to support our endeavor. The first three sales had meager turnouts, to say the least. I think we had a combined total of fifteen people, half of which actually bought something.

There’s a certain amount of disgrace when someone haggles you down on a price and then asks for change. Twice did people haggle something down to a dollar or two and then hand me a hundred dollar bill, saying that it was the only money they had. The first one was a hispanic woman who seemed to take offense when I held it up to the light to make sure it wasn’t counterfeit. My wife wouldn’t let me accept the other one so the guy had to run back to his house in order to get a smaller bill.

We finally managed to sell all of the stuff that we thought had actually value, except for our washer/dryer and a teak TV cabinet. At the end of the sale last Saturday, we posted signs that said “Take what you want; leave what you want,” and directed people to put any money in the mail slot. Part of the reasoning was that I didn’t want to move everything back to the garage and part of it was that I really wanted to experiment with an honor system garage sale. To our surprise, we made about sixteen dollars that way.

When we finally moved the rest of the stuff to the curb on Sunday, it was gone within the hour and our old house was empty. We have a lot of good memories in that house. It served as our home for the first two years of our marriage, a lot of ups and downs, and a lot of good friends. But it feels good to be starting a new chapter.

It took a few days for all of the stuff we kept to find its place in the lighthouse. Five hundred and fifty square feet isn’t as spacious as it sounds, especially when you don’t really have any corners, just eight short walls. But we managed to fit most of it and came to final terms with more stuff that we really didn’t need.

That has been the lesson for both of us: how much stuff we really don’t need. Of course, it’s a lesson I’ve learned before, but it never hurts to have a refresher course. Neither of us really has any inclination to own much of anything ever again and feel pretty secure in the idea that anything we’ve moved into the lighthouse can just stay there when we move on to the next place.

We still have our eyes fixed on France for next year. Maybe now that the dust has settled and we have gotten past the stress of moving, we can start our French lessons. Viva la difference!