Ruby Ramblings

Ruby Rambles in Nepal
February 25, 2019, 1:26 am
Filed under: Nepal, Non Profit, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

In 2007, I lived in Bhaktapur, Nepal just south of Kathmandu. I was learning, teaching, almost getting married, and transforming myself yet again.  I wrote a few of the songs off Fieldnotes From a Caravan, including Appalachia to the Himalayas.


In 2011, I spent a month backpacking in Mongolia, and met a woman named Meredith who runs Fire Projects out of Flagstaff.

They do a lot of medical work with HepA prevention, cataract/glaucoma surgeries (lack of vitamin A in both countries leads to early, but treatable blindness) and rebuilding in Nepal since the 2015 earthquake. I’ve been trying to get the funds together for a few years to join them. This year for my 40th Bday seemed like the right time to make it happen.

Here’s a video outlying what we’ll continue to be working on.


Of course, the trip is quite expensive. There is a Dana (Buddhist practice of cultivating generosity) donation to FIRE to cover the medical, building and food supplies we’re bringing to the villages, as well as to cover our three weeks of lodging, jeep/bus transportation, food, and paying local porters. I have my plane fare ($1200) saved, but am asking for help with the donation to FIRE ($1800).

Rather than use a crowd-funding source, which takes 4-9% of your donation, I made a “family and friends” Paypal link where nothing will be taken out in fees. PayPal link for Shanna’s Nepal trip.

I’m back at my 2nd job and selling books and clothes that don’t fit anymore like crazy, but I’m still going to need a little boost to pull this off! A small donation from lots of folks goes a long way.

Here’s more information about the volunteer project, maybe you want to go too! FIRE Volunteer

Nepal Fund

$525 of $1800 raised so far.

Hurry Up and Wait
October 10, 2014, 3:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am still a little confounded how easy it is to get on a plane and wake up in Beijing. And how familiar it is at this point. The smell. The noise. The air.

I was all excited about taking a picture outside of our hostel courtyard of what I thought was a very huge moon. The young lady at the hostel pointed out that it was the sun. The pollution here is so thick, you can stare directly at the sun for an extended period of time. I was asked if she was sure,and she said, “yes, yes, is sun. Moon is not so red.” There you go.

So far I can’t log into my e-mail,and of course, facebook is banned. I know there are work arounds, but that’s not what I plan on spending my day doing. Pablo and I took a long jaunt around the city today, and get on a 28 hour train north the day after tomorrow.

Attempting to upoad some pics, but I’m not counting on this being successful. Yep, no way. The internet at this hostel may as well be brought to us on the back of the monolithic tortoises at the confusion temple.

April 26, 2014, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Books, Dewey's Read-a-thon, Travel, Uncategorized

Colin Thubron is a classic choice for the first book in a travel inspired read-a-thon.  This one is short, and the only fiction I’ve ever seen by him. It makes sense though, all those characters he’s met and observed in his life that can’t be written about in the journalistic non-fiction format in the way they can be characterized in fiction.  To The Last City is the tale of a small group of people journeying to less-visited Incan ruins.  A Belgian and his French wife  who is half his age, an older British couple whose resentment of each other fills the air, a mis-guided and confused aspiring priest, and the doubtful guide whose job it is to keep all these folks safe and happy.


Last City

This is a really good book, but here is  quote that really stuck out so far:

” The Englishman lay in his sleeping bag listening to the quick, regular breathing of his wife. 

In the faint light, he could see she had placed her boots between them, with her anorak and a water bottle. “


And finally getting around, four hours late, to the introductory questions:


1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Portland, ME, USA
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Red Dust, I think. Maybe Grass Roof, Tin Roof.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  I’m not nearly that prepared.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! A lapsed traveler, due mostly to my drive to be a musician which keeps me tied to where I’m playing, recording, and also perpetually broke.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  I was so excited to realize I didn’t have a gig booked on a Saturday night so that I could participate! Although I do have to go to the studio, and also to work at some point during the 24 hours. 


Pages read: 66

Page in current book: 67


Hour six update: Book finished, 168 pages read.  Heading out to get some Indian food….


December 9, 2009, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Kathryn over at Lessons from the Monk I Married was kind enough to think of me for two blog awards she received and is passing on:

In turn I’d like to pass this one on to Susan Young Photo, a wonderful collection of photography and snipets of music, food, and culture.

This one I would like to give to my online turned real-life friend Susan at Naked Without Books. A witty chronicle of what she reads, and the endless pursuit for English books by an expat living in Korea.

This also made me realize that I need to branch out and start finding more well-written inspiring blogs that I can pass awards onto. I seem to have become stagnant lately.

The Life You Can Save
October 25, 2009, 8:37 am
Filed under: Books, Dewey's Read-a-thon, Uncategorized

The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty by Peter Singer

One charity I found particularly inspiring in this book is the Worldwide Fistula Fund, an organization that helps women who are injured through childbirth or violence in a way that is treatable, but often ignored.

Please, please, please watch this video. It is amazing.

Pages read in current book: 102
Total pages read: 603
Please consider donating the charity I’m sponsoring: Child Upliftment Center

August Reads
August 30, 2009, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Books, Uncategorized

19th Wife The 19th Wife by David Ebershoffl

NPR Interview with David Ebershoff

Sugar Queen The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

This was a great surprise. Addison is an author from North Carolina, and the book shows it with the imagery and dialogue. I’ve read a couple of North Carolina authors and really enjoy the vibe. This book chronicles the breakthrough of a late-twenty something late-bloomer who is trying to get out from under her mother’s control. She hides food in her closet as her form of rebellion, and one day she finds a local woman hiding from her new boyfriend in her closet . This woman ends up changing her life and helping her find her own strength.

Last WishThe Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski A really pleasant surprise. A coworker leant it to me with high recommendations. Judging by the cover, I wasn’t so sure, but I was sucked into a two day read-a-thon getting through the adventures of The Witcher and his ethical delimmas as a monster hitman.

AquariumsThe Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulagby Chun-Won Kang

Sea of MonstersThe Sea of Monsters
Book 2 in the Percy Jackson series.

Teaser Tuesday Meme
August 26, 2009, 3:06 am
Filed under: Books, Uncategorized

teasertuesdays31 Give us a two sentence teaser from your current read.


The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag by Kang Chol-Hwan

“The feeling of being isolated in the very place where I lived, to the point of not knowing who else was there or even where the camp was located, seemed particularly inhumane. It wasn’t just a way of keeping me in the dark about where I was, it was a means of attaching my identity.” Pg. 78

Hosted Should Be Reading.