- JC sheep and i walked/hitched up to Washington a couple months ago to pickup a little dairy sheep that we found on craigslist and put a $50 paypal deposit on. The little sheep “Dottie” had many of the characteristics that im looking for; floppy ears, long tail to hold in her poopcup, fine wool, a small body weight, tri-colored.. except she wasnt a very good milk producer and she was missing a tooth so she was noticably less efficient in her eating habits so i ended up giving her to someone in Eatonville, Washington under the agreement that i could come back and breed my dairy ram with her and have the first round of offspring..which would have all their teeth AND have more dairy production than their momma! Since then JC and i’ve been making our way south back down to the Applegate Valley in Southern Oregon to switch out my grandma ewe who’s now in-milk and farmup my current ewe on-hand JC(daughter) until she’s rebred to be milking for me by early springtime.
Around Centralia, Washington we got interviewed by a reporter and here’s the link; http://www.chronline.com/nomadic-shepherd-in-centralia/image_2d22ce56-6380-11e7-b806-af0558f64f62.html
Then we hitched a rideshare from Chehalis down to what was supposed to be Portland but was actually Janzen Island which turned out to only have one way for my sheep and i to get over the bridge; the Portland Max train. Yes i bought a 2.50$ ticket, boarded the Max with my pet dairy sheep(wearing a poopcup), had her lay down like she does in car rides and we were in Milwaukee Oregon in 20 minutes!
Then we got interviewed for a Portland TV news KATU channel 2!Or you can read the article here; http://kval.com/news/offbeat/roaming-shepherd-spotted-in-canby-heads-south-to-jacksonville
Then I picked a gallon of blueberries at a u-pick patch in Dundee Oregon while JC grazed inbetween the bushes til she was fat, then i let her dig into the gallon of blueberries..she was soo happy!
Its pretty difficult to find a place with wifi where my sheeps can graze nearby long enough for me to load all the backphotos/descriptions from the last time we posted with available wifi. I will continue to try to upload with just wifi, but if people want to see more then you can buy Tmobile prepaid phone cards(available at any convenience, grocery or drugstore..its the pink one!) and email the number to me so i can input it in this phone, have data, and then be able to blog while in nature, away from wifi!?
There has been too much going on! I will try to highlight; since the Ashland city councel banned my dairy sheep(seriously watch it at 1:57:27)from walking through town i have spent at least 6 months trying to build/invent a bicycle trailer that could haul 2 of my dairy sheep through town, as a necessary loop-hole to their new law. I develope a working model that we traveled around the Rogue Valley and lived out of for 2 months! Unfortunately, i found Ashland itself to be much too hilly to have to pull my sheep up since i could not legally let them out to walk!? For another couple of months i fielded the possibility of helping select homeless to build their own version as a simple bicycle trailer-home with the $5000 that i raised for the Homefree Hostels project in Ashland 5 years ago? The idea was if the homeless had a legitimate camper that was self contained then they should be able to park it right behind a rich tourist’s camper to sleep as they are allowed to do? Unfortunately, i found myself gathering more material possessions with the increased trailer space and subsequently having to put those new possessions under the bike camper while i slept, so it didnt seem like other homeless would be able to keep a “self-contained” appearance at night either? I wanted to try making it a little bigger and work-in some wall and overhead storage so it could be more self-contained at night, but i felt that the other homeless who would make theirs’ would need to make it even bigger which would be too difficult to ride on the shoulder of roads, and may seem like a general homeless nuisance instead of a respectable homeless solution? I ended up givingup trying to evolve the bicycle trailer-home idea because i didnt think it would actually be able to help the homeless as much as it would piss people off that homeless bikecampers would have to be legally allowed to park everywhere a regular bike trailer can? I didnt have time or money to work on it and i didnt want to burden anyone by asking to park it on their property so i decided to just park it down on the bikepath across from the Wellsprings with a FREE sign on it! Lets see, what else has happened? I felted A LOT of wool and taught myself to make my own clothes for the winter!I also tried raising $2000 on Kickstarter to complete and publish my “World’s smallest survival guide” that fits in your wallet so you never leave home without it! I quickly found that every successful fundraiser on those sites actually has to pay a person/company to promote their project so that it will be funded. If you dont have money to begin with and you have the best idea in the world(not saying mine waslol) then you don’t get funded! I then saved up $60 myself and scheduled an appointment with the graphic designer at Printfast to simply complete my “World’s smallest survival guide”! Its now free to print and share, just click here! Then, for the first time in my life i actually decided to get a facebook “profile” to start connecting with people better? I been trying to learn to blog on there for the past month under my name Aaron Fletcher. Follow me on facebook here!lol
February 13, 2016(original post date)I was just blessed with some more Sleep Slip Dollars that i have been able to hand out to the Ashland homeless so they can get them signed for a legal place to sleep for the night! I’ve also been giving them to home/business dwellers in hopes that some will return them to me signed with a legal place to sleep for the night?! Last time i was in town i had 3 different spots that i was allowed to sleep, but i have had dozens of spots over the years through these simple Sleep Slips. This time in town it didnt take long for the first person, Christopher Briscoe to hand me back one, simply allowing me to “be” on the front porch of his downtown business between 9pm and 8am through the entire month of February! Everyone can now personally address the homeless problem themselves and become as proactive and as virtuous a citizen as Chris! Click here to watch video footage of my first night “being” on his front porch. Print out these Sleep Slip Dollars here and email the pdf to everybody you know who may have the selflessness to help solve homelessness!
November 29, 2015(original post date)
On November 17th, The Ashland City Councelers changed our community’s “Keeping of Animals” laws to make clear that driving, riding or leading livestock in any street, public right-of-way, or city park is deemed to be a public nuisance except under the terms of a valid special use permit issued by the City Administrator.
In their meeting they slip up, use my name and admit that they are changing the laws specifically to target me and my innocent little sheeper pets!(watch it here at 1:57:27) In their reports, the Ashland City Clowncil accuses my 2 pet dairy sheep and I of being a nuisance, that my sheep are unsanitary and that they cause property damage?! We have always had “poop cups” on our mini goats/dairy sheep to catch their compost-ready little poop pellets! We make people happy when they get to see these harmless animals peacefully grazing on the weeds. Yard owners plead and pay me to bring the sheep to graze their yards! We have dozens of yards now in Ashland that we have been providing free lawn maintanance to for over 2 years! Citizens also tell me how much nicer it is to have a break from hearing the loud and obnoxious lawnmowers/leafblowers! I also constantly hear tourists happily saying “only in Ashland” when they see my sheep grazing, which has been proven to create something called “eco-tourism” in many other communities..they could actually make money off our existence instead of trying to get rid of us?
Here is the video of their city councel meeting, watch it for yourself and see how exclusionary our spiritual community has become so you can do something to prevent further corruption in the future! Click here to watch! (They start talking about changing it at 1:47:50, then they slip up and admit that they are changing the law to specifically target me at 1:57:27 !)
October 07, 2015(original post date)
First i woke up(6am) and remembered that i had forgotten yesterday to go to Comak’s first potluck since he’s been back! I woke up feeling so horrible because i kniw first-hand how shitty it feels to try and help your community and to have them not respect or partake in it. I was soo happy when Comak said that he was gonna give his potlucks another go to see if people still wanted them..then i forgot to go and show some basic support!? God i hope some other people webt so that Comak is encouraged to continue these much needed community potlucks in the park. They arent as much needed for feeding as much as they serve as a meeting point in the week for people who otherwise have a difficult time connecting because they dont have a home or phone. Then after i was able to control my nausea from forgetting to support one of Ashland’s only true activists, i remembered that i forgot court this morning!? I called the courthouse and they said my “leaving animals unnattended” ticket for tying my sheep up while i ran into Webster’s was not an actual crime so it wouldnt result in a warrant but that it would be sent to a collections agency. I asked if the other “leaving animals unattended” ticket (that Carpenter also gave me for having my sheep lay down 6 feet to my right in order to protect them from the dog that was with the person i was talking to who was sitting on the bench to my left) would go to collections if i missed the second court date and she said yes because it was simply a violation and not misdemeanor crime. So i don’t see any point in waiting around town for a bogus court date when the result would be the same; a fine that i am literally unable to pay, it is sent to collections and then officer Carpenter gets his wish of banning me from the whole downtown area for 6 months under the already questionable “Ashland exclusionary zone”? So i’m gonna leave town, at least for awhile because Ashland seems to have become less and less supportive of the projects and efforts. As a result i have become less and less patient with the other people who live here, which is creating a downward spiral of respect for both of us. The room is about to be fire(the economy when the shit hits the fan) and i’ve been trying to preemptively hand out fire extinguishers(solutions to the problems) to the people in town and they have just laughed at my offers, then they tried to ignore them and now they have been fighting against them. Well i don’t want to keep pushing these solutions because i don’t want to “win” as Gandhi put it, because i just want to help, but if Ashland doesnt want or think that they need any help, then so be it? I’m headed north in the next few days to find a community that is actually supportive of sustainability-mindedness and to help them to preemtively transition to reduce their suffering when the SHTF. Blessings Ashland.
October 05, 2015(original post date)Ive been getting more refreshing sleep lately thanks to another Ashland resident letting us sleep in their yard! Thank you so much to Beth, Mitchell and Alex for taking the initiative to solve homelessness themselves by giving a homeless person a “home” to sleep for the night! A “home” is anywhere you feel safe to lay your head down to sleep. These 3 “yard angels” are not even religious! This is not surprising to me because in my more than 10 years of traveling as a homeless man i have been “adopted” for the night by far more non-religious people than i have been helped by people claiming to be spiritual. I have tried to make it easier and more fun to help citizens in houses actually act spiritual by creating something called “Sleep Slip Dollars”. These new Sleep Slip Dollars can be printed out for free and then issued to a homeless person for even just 1 night, giving them permission to simply “be” in your yard or behind your business between your designated time-frame. If even just some citizens did this and twitted about it then we could start a new trend of individuals working independently to collectively solve the world-wide homelessness problem! If i could get these printed on a carbon-copy pad like the ones that police use to write tickets, then the citizens who issue the Sleep Slip Dollars would have a carbon-copy to carry in their wallet so that they could show their friends how humane and spiritual they are the next time they pull out their wallet to pay for their group’s dining bill. These carbon-copies seem to be absolutely necessary to make these work and provide the incentive for citizens to issue them because then they can show it to their friendssince people seem to be most interested in just making it look like they care. So carbon-copy Sleep Slip Dollars would be able to help not only the homeless become better people with sleep, but they would also make it easier for citizens to become better, spiritual people too! By the way, the home owners here also think of the sheep and I as “yard angels” because we maintain the plant growth and subsequent potential fire hazard.
My yard angels also insisted that i accept this gift(pictured) of blanket, ground blanket and pillow from them.. pillows are a HUGE upgrade to a homeless person’s quality of sleep, but we can never carry such volumn in our backpacks! This is the only way that i know of that homeless people ever get to sleep with a pillow..is when someone who has the space to store such an item helps us for the night. I have tried to invent a new portable DIY pillow. I used an empty wine bag for a few months by just blowing it up at night and then deflating it each morning so that it would fit in my backpack, but they aren’t stable and you end up unconsciously using your micro-neck-muscles all night to stay balanced! If we could find a way for homeless people to easily tote around their own pillow it would change the life of many homeless people.
October 04, 2015
Yeah, now officer Carpenter has given me 6 tickets in the past 5-6 months? I usually get only one in a year period, maybe? This time he ticketed me for supposedly “leaving animals unattended” because I tied my sheep to the tree right next to a bench where i stopped to talk with another traveler who had an aggressive dog. So i set the girls down with a pile of kale and then sat down myself to rest with the traveler when officer Carpenter came walking up the stairs, past a travelers dog who was tied up to the railing on the other side of the stairs with nobody around it. He approached me to tell me he was writing me a ticket and I asked him to call his supervisor to the site before he writes any ticket because i don’t feel comfortable with his judgement, which he is then legally obligated to call and then wait for the supervisor to arrive! Then, officer Carpenter broke his sworn legal protocols when he just simply called his supervisor there but then quickly wrote out the ticket anyway, handed it to me and left the scene after assuring me that his supervisor would be there shortly!? Officer Carpenter’s “leaving animal unattended” ticket is $110, and he gave it to me for what you see below..i was sitting on the bench and my pet sheep were laying on the ground next to me.
On the bright side, the girls and i got to catch the tail-end of the Saturday Farmers’ Market downtown and get a bunch of donated kale from Happy Dirt Farm! I darn near split the entire bushel with the girls because i was so thirsty for greens since all the wild edibles have been becoming woodier with the fall season. Then Zach from the Pop Cakes booth gave me his leftover samples of quinoa/rice cakes and i was just gonna eat them straight cause they are that good but as i was leaving Maria from Higher-Power Raw Foods gave me a new package of her spinach dip, which i just had for dinner! My new friends Beth, Mitchell and Alex are letting us sleep in their backyard until they move out at the end of the month!! It’s so frickin wonderful to actually sleep deeply, safely and legally for an extended period..Thank Goodness.
Comak Tapp and his mother have been feeding soups and stews to the Ashland homeless at Lithia Park gazebo for the past 10 years, solely on donated produce with zero funding! He recently took his first sabbatical down to his cultural homeland of Mexico and is now back to feed the needy! The Potluck is on now on Sundays 4pm at the Lithia Park Gazebo(just past the childrens’ playground). Feel free to bring your own plate, cup and utensil to help minimize work and waste! He also sometimes plays his classical guitar for us and invites anyone to bring their musical instruments for us all to enjoy too! Thank God for Comak, one of the best souls in Ashland!!
September 27, 2015(I’ve had to repost blogs after the website got hacked) Yesterday i went into Ashland to buy a felting tool that I wanted to try at Webster’s, a downtown wool store. I tied my 2 sheep up to the pole in front and rushed into the store. I quickly purchased close to $40 in merchandise and when i came out literally 2 minutes later officer Carpenter who patrols the area was standing next to my sheep telling me that it was against the law to leave animals unnattended in Ashland! I told him that I was sorry but i just needed to buy something real quick and that there are ALWAYS dogs tied up outside downtown businesses like Louis’ and Martoli’s while their owners go in to dine and that he and the other officers never even stop to say anything to them!? Officer Carpenter then gave me another one of his tickets, this time for only $110!
Here’s the history; Carpenter has given me 4 tickets now in the last 6 months. The first ticket was a bogus “keeping of animals”, the second was a bogus “scattering rubbish”(couple pellets shook out of poopcup onto sidewalk and i threw them in the bush?), the third was another bogus “keeping of animals” which caused a newspaper article to be written about it(read it here) resulting in the police chief filing motion to drop the illegitimate charges..but the chief didn’t file motion to drop the first “keeping of animals” charge because that case was already done with and my fine had already been sent to collections!
Here’s the problem; If the Judge finds me “guilty” of the fourth ticket of “leaving animal unattended” then she and officer Carpenter will likely try to say that i am BANNED from the entire downtown area for 6 months under their new and already questionable “exclusionary zone policy” which states that anyone who receives 3 tickets downtown within 3 months will be banned from coming withing the downtown boundry for 6 months! I already unrighfully suffered for the first ticket by having to stress over the initial injustice, waiting in town for the court dates, stressing over separation from my animals while i had to sit through a actual trial over this, the stress from the judge saying that im guilty and then ignoring me when i repeatedly asked her what specific law did i break, then i suffered by having that fine sent to a collections agency and finally i suffered by having my credit further damaged by not being capable of paying the fine! If those 2 people are able to unrightfully exclude me from the downtown area that i have been a patron of for over seven years(btw Carpenter doesnt even live in our town but lives in Medford) then God help the rest of you Ashland folk in the future cause one-by-one, neighborhood-by-neighborhood the rich and powerful are trying to push the lower income out of Ashland using their rule of law..its call gentrification! Ask any Ashland elder and they’ll tell you that rich people have been coming up from California to buy property, pushing their weight around legally to tighten neighborhood association type regulations which drive the locals out..all to raise their(4th home’s) property value? Well, that’s what Carpenter and the judge are trying to do with me; push me out of sight to raise the perceived “quality” in that area, all for the purpose of price hiking and profit making? It seems that their profit blinders don’t enable them to see the fun and amusement their tourist are having from the eco-lawn trimming sheep and the honest enrichment that results from having such a diverse yet behaved populace. United we stand, divided we fall..so if this actually goes down and the first citizen in Ashland is illegitimately excluded without the rest coming to the rescue then i’m not sticking around Ashland to witness the increasing abuse and mistreatment of others. If so, I will continue to journey for a new community that i can help stand “when the shit hits the fan”! Please help support the security of our community by supporting me..
September 13, 2015(I have had to repost blogs after this site was hacked)
I was interviewed by an Ashland Mail Tribune reporter last month to cover just some of the legal bs that I’ve had to deal with for having a couple dairy sheep for pets instead of dogs!? You can read the article here. In a nutshell, the editors at the Mail Tribune took out 2 very important parts of the reporter’s originally written article, and it ends up making me sound less responsible than I am? They took out the part of his article that describes how I have specially designed poop cups on my sheep to catch their valuable compost-ready pellets and that i was given a scattering rubbish ticket because one of my sheep “shook-off” and a couple of her poop pellets rattled out of her cup onto the sidewalk and i responsibly picked them up and threw the few peices into the bushes as fertilizer! The other important part edited out of the article was where police chief O’Meara was interviewed by the reporter and said that he didnt know how or why i was given a “keeping of animals” ticket since those laws only apply to peoples’ backyards!
Dispite the newspaper editors making me look less responsible than i am, the article still brought justice to my case! After the article was published, Police Chief O’Meara filed a motion with the court to have them drop the officer Carpenter’s illegitimate charges, and they did! This proves that all the other charges that Carpenter gave me are also bogus and that I should be justified for them!!..but i obviously dont have any money fir a lawyer to sue and Carpenter and Judge Judy knew that i wouldnt and thats why they decided to treat me like that! “The last will become the first and the first will become the last.”
(Journalist/photographer Alexandar Mesadieu)