Kid’s Day

•December 17, 2011 • 1 Comment

A long time ago, when our firstborn was a wee babe, Kids’ Dad and I made up Kid’s Day.

It was to fall on December the 5th by default, or any day that a child called for it, particularly when called forth as parley.

It was to be comprised of making a day of fun activity, presents, cake, ice cream and party hats, balloons, dressing up, decorated trees or any quality of any type of celebratory act as put forth by child request, or by parental default as necessary.

We had a few instances of Kid’s Day being invoked, in the way of “Think of the CHILDREN” might be wrought down during a disagreement that can still be resolved, somehow.

We dug a shallow trench into the ground and filled it with ball-pit balls, we dragged a slide to it, we built playhouses and forts and tents and tunnels in the middle of the woods. We sat in the park when we were without a house, taking pictures and turns pushing kids in the swings. We walked for hours, I sang. We dressed up, we unwrapped presents and raced shopping carts in parking lots.

We went to the dollar movies and ate popcorn and candy, we went to the beach and flew kites, we went for pancakes and waffles at 2 am, and then we went to the park and played. The last time together we all went to Chuck E Cheese, after I moved out. We had fun together, all of us did. It still hurts my heart that we couldn’t have that all the time.

We did Kid’s Day as a way to escape our own problems and focus on our children. It was rocky but those moments are the ones I strain to remember and cherish.

Well, today, Azzo called for Kid’s Day for the first time in a long time. He wanted me to call his dad and arrange a trip to Chuck E Cheese.

I tried, but the phone number he gave me is disconnected.

Azzo wailed and cried and I told him it’s cool, it’s hard to keep a phone on sometimes, maybe it’s broken, maybe it doesn’t have minutes. I told him I’d email him and we’d try again another day.

And by george, I’ll take him to Chuck E Cheese on Monday regardless – but it did sort of make me twinge so bittersweet when he reminded me of all the Kid’s Days past, and that he wanted one again, with his dad, like old times.

Caraway Cabbage Soup

•October 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is the time of year I like soups, and when “cold season” is in, I start craving garlic, especially in broths.  This is a very easy soup, and was perfect medicine for me and the kids today, what with us having a little bit of a cold:  the garlic, onions, caraway and fennel all support the immune system.  Plus the caraway and fennel are good for boosting a flagging milk supply, sort of a result of poor immune health and too much snot.


In a large pot, pour a goodly layer of olive oil.  Turn on medium/low heat.

Mince 5 cloves of garlic,
Add garlic to pot.
Mince 6-7 green onions,
Add to pot.
Two celery stalks
Dice three potatoes
1/2 head of cabbage.

Add to pot.

sprinkle generously with sea salt.
Add a tablespoon of caraway seeds,
And a tablespoon of fennel seeds.

Cook on medium for about five minutes without water,
Turning with a spatula.

then add enough water to cover.

Put lid on pot and cook for about 20 minutes on a gentle simmer.

Serve with toasted pumpernickel or rye bread drizzled in garlic oil.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie (and oil crust)

•October 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This pie finishes with a tender, flaky crust and a very creamy, slightly spicy filling.  The baby even loved it.



1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup almond milk

Mix flour and salt with a fork. In a single cup, measure the oil and milk. Pour them together into the flour and salt. Blend with fork and then with hands, roll out and lay in pan.


2 c pumpkin (canned or strained/drained pumpkin)
1 c almond milk
3/4 c brown sugar or Sucanat
1/4 c cornstarch
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla1/2 tsp EACH ground ginger, nutmeg and salt

1/4 tsp ground allspice or cloves

Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the filling into the pastry and bake 60 minutes, covering the edges with foil if they begin to brown too quickly. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate overnight before serving.

Housing Letter in the Mail.

•October 19, 2011 • 1 Comment

It came in the mail today.  The notice that I am nearing the top of the waiting list for the subsidized apartments I applied to in September of 2010.  We’re Number 8 on the list.  I don’t know how much longer it will be.

I have an appointment tomorrow for an interview.

What I do know is this:

* We will be placed in a unit with a minimum two bedrooms

* Rent will be 1/3 of my monthly income

* Water is included, I pay electricity and gas (for heat and cooking)

Perhaps, I can live there for a few months, while I clean up and sell the RV and do my taxes and use the money to get a pickup truck and a 5th wheel or travel trailer and three good carseats?  Work on getting the solar array?

Get certified as a carseat safety technician?

If nothing else I will certainly have room to work on my business.

So once again, the idea of traveling is there but this plan, this new angle will take a little more preparation.

Establishment, I love you.  You will have been our home for probably over a year by the time we get into this housing.  Having a sticks and bricks will give me the necessary space to re-plan my traveling ideas to fit my family better.

Thanks, Universe, for looking out for us and keeping us safe.


Baby Zuli, now 14 months, was only 6 months old when we moved into the RV fulltime



•October 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I just had this half-asleep fantasy.

In it, I had an extended cab diesel truck and either a cabover camper or a fifth wheel.


And all my babies rode rear-facing in the big truck and we parked our house and took the truck for drives and converted it to run on french fries and lived happily in the woods, being that we were able to make town runs for food stuffs and water and so on.

And then I became a certified carseat safety technician and traveled the country teaching people how to put their babies in their cars safely and on the side, I sold upcycled handbags and wire-wrapped hand-mined crystals for gas money and trips to the theatre.


Once Upon a Time I had this Truck


•October 17, 2011 • 3 Comments

“Indoor Plumbing”, or the peculiar habit of shitting in water, seems much more bizarre and incredibly inconvenient when brought to your attention on a daily basis, in the context of dealing with it yourself.

Needless to say most of us never think twice about waste water.  You have drains in your home, and, with minimal proper care (like, not flushing your clothes down the toilet), all the yucky used water just goes down a hole.  And fresh clean water comes out of faucets.

In this post, obviously I am going to be talking a bit about poop.  We don’t usually talk about our poop, since most of us poop the same way, into a porcelain pot full of water, to be washed away by gallons of drinking water and “processed” some way or another, or in some cases, just washed into a big tank underground.  Every once in a while, our poop will come back to haunt us, requiring us to involve another party, and how embarrassing and awful is that?  Backed-up toilets, overflow, sick septic systems, storm water causing chaos…  oh, many are the ways our seemingly streamlined poop-water system can be disturbed.

So, most of us tenuously cling to an ideal, that we won’t have to deal with our own poops, that we can just flush them away where we never really need to see or hear from them again.  Nice enough.  This won’t work forever and it’s not good for us, and instinctively I think we all know this, or at least I hope we do.

Now, living in an RV park, at least this one – I have had to become much more intimate with our waste water.  I have been using a sewage… hole, more or less, that a flexible pipe from the bottom of the waste tank extends to.  What I’ve learned about all that – there are two tanks, each with their own valves and pull-thingers, the gray tank and The Black Tank.  Both tanks should be in the “closed” position (not draining) by default.  When traveling, the single outlet is covered by a cap.  When parked, or emptying, the cap comes off, a slinky hose is attached, and the valves are opened – first the black valve, and then after all 20 gallons of blackwater are drained, the gray valve is opened, as a sort of mucky chaser to rinse out the slinky hose.  Then both valves are closed. 

These tanks fill rather rapidly in a house of four, and no, you can’t just leave them open to run out like you’d think.  Or hope.  It’s something about not enough water volume to prevent “buildup” and I’ll leave it at that.  Funny thing, I only recently learned that you Just Can’t Do That, so I actually have no realistic concept of how often one would actually need to empty said tanks.  I’m going to assume, though, that a total of 40 gallons worth of tanks (20 each, black and gray) won’t take long to fill what with having three messy children and all – Washing dishes, washing hands, washing faces, rinsing wash cloths, rinsing diapers, taking baths, rinsing butts, rinsing feets, rinsing potties, rinsing toys, washing toys, everyone using the potty…  It’s going to fill up quickly.

So this reminds me of the time I lived in the woods, in a cabin, in a shack.  In a tent, in a van, in a car…  One time there was an outhouse – a real, fine, classy shitter.  A hole in the ground with a bench built over it, and a house built around it.  I just described most houses in our country.  Anyways.  I got something of a crash-course in proper shitting.  You poop in the hole.  Yes.  You don’t pee in it.  No, you do pee in it, something about nitrates and breaking down solids.  You cover it.  With dirt.  No, not with dirt, it can’t breathe.  With leaves.  You can put your food scraps down it, like a compost.  No, that’s gross.  No one seems to agree on technique, except for one.  Everyone agrees that ashes from the fire are necessary to keep it clean, keep odors down, and keep bugs away.  That’s a promise!  You *will* put ashes in your potty.

Then of course, if you’re out deep camping in the woods, you’re going to dig a little shitter.  A “single use” potty, if you will.  Remembering that “shit rolls downhill” and trying not to contaminate any water sources!  Pooping in little holes and covering them over with dirt and leaves.  Little presents to the Mother, packed with nitrates and proteins.  You’re welcome, Mother Earth, Trees, and so on.

So when we think of pooping in the wild, we instinctively know not to shit near the water.  Which is probably why it bothers me to be pooping in a ten gallon porcelain pot full of drinking water in a house, but I digress.

In an RV, these pots are just… pots, that use water as a rinsing agent, rather than a suspension.  By its very nature, the RV employs  water conservation:  using gray water to rinse down black water, extremely low-flow toilets.  And since the tanks have to be emptied manually, more or less, I think twice about long showers (heating water is a whole other scenario, one I’ve mentioned before), about cleaning house, about washing dishes and so on.  I certainly don’t leave the water running while brushing teeth.

So this is “living consciously” I guess.  I’m all right with this…

After this experience runs its course, I fully intend to build a composting potty-box to travel with.  At least if we’re going to be handling shit it should be getting properly neutralized and going to good use instead of just being washed into our water supply.

And one last thing, adding water to shit is also increasing its volume, and increasing its magnitude also proportionately increases its ick factor.

Stir Crazy

•October 15, 2011 • 1 Comment

Before I go off to craft…

I wanted to delve a little into some things.

First of all – wanderlust.

I recognize the pattern of wanderlust; it strikes me every few months without fail

I have it, really bad lately.  I want to go!  I’ve been wanting to go for so long now.  I fully intend to go in January.  I don’t make plans yet for how long, or where to.  But I need to get out there.  I want to hit some craft shows, markets, meet other traveling families.  Go south and evade the cold and the rain.

Maybe see the desert again.

I miss my family.

Show my children some sights, make more money than I am able to from here?

I fully intend to continue unschooling.

Before I can leave, I’ll be spending some time with my best friend.  I’d like to focus my energy on being a friend as well as some creation.  Need to make some minor repairs and make sure my home is road-ready.

Really, REALLY want to get the solar situation sorted out!!

Ahh.  I feel like I’ve been writing the same post in this blog for the last eight months.  I want to put the energy behind these words and push them through into existence.

There is a whole world to see!

I’m not even in a frame of mind right now, to fully focus and write.  Perhaps later.  Later there will be more.  Just a muddled jumbled mess in my mind of ideas and excitement.  Flashes of sunrises and acres and miles and roads and mountains and dunes and oceans and birds trees sounds other than the electric hum of a streetlight and an almost perfunctory siren screaming by all through the night.

Just want to go see more, more of the beautiful world…  it’s never too much to ask, to see the world, now, is it?

That freedom, that is freedom


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