Not a big one, I still have room under the bus for wood. There will be a path, too.

November 6, 2011

Goals –

short term:

buy 10 gallon fish tank, set up and get fish. Start playing with aquaponics in March.

Move oak blocks

Pick up limb wood

move pullets to the barn and make them a good home for winter

Jack up and dig out back north wheels of the bus to help level it up.

Long term projects:

figure out how to make a solar room on the south side of the bus.

Complete bus enough so that it is livable in cold weather

Set up aquaponics system here at mom’s as a test run

Make long term plans for barrel system aquaponics
-find ways to make food for fish so that they do not have to eat
commercially prepared food. Worm bins, duckweed etc.

make plans for micra hydro plant at the pond

plant bamboo that is suited for the “swamp” area. Build a hog panel fence around it and make sure to have it where the sheep and goats can access any run away plants. Use bamboo for homesteading projects, food for myself and for the rabbits, sheep and goats.

get a dairy goat that will get along with the boys. That way I only need one dairy goat.

fix chicken tractor hoop house for a summer home for the hens. Make it predator proof.

make a rabbit tractor big enough for a duo or trio colony. Easy to move …

figure out how to cultivate the white clover that grows by the trees

build a outdoor wood fired food dryer

build a smoke house

plan and make out door living areas. North side only?
Outdoor cooking area.

Porch at backdoor?

move wood stove?

What about sleeping outside? Platform and under the trees kitty corner from the bus? Camp out at Summer Camp (too far from bus but it is so nice there)

Fix Summer Camp for visitors. Sawdust toilet for needs, place to hang solar shower, etc. Fix fence better to keep sheep and goats out. Remove stumps so people can park closer with out ruining tires.

Figure out how to tarp the bus in the summer months. how to tie the tarp to the oaks with out doing them harm.

build a wood shed and utilize storage under bus from back wheels for wood

winter quarters for animals. Figure out winter plans for fish.

where does the green house go? By the solar trailer?

redo the solar yard … seal panels … put down lots of mulch to keep weeds from growing.

fix the solar trailer or get rid of it altogether (move it?)

journal april 9, 2011

west fenceline at lindornea

west fenceline at lindornea

I used to take every Sunday off and stay in Lindornea, not talking to a single soul all day. I’m not really disconnected because the phone is right there and sometimes people text or mom calls.

I’m very sensitive to the vibrations that other people send out. I’m like a sponge and I absorb them. I’m also very empathic. Mostly I guard against it with various soul numbing tools that I’ve picked up along the way. People who are extroverted drain me excessively. After a time I just get tired of holding up my reflector shields and I have to be in a safe place to let them down so I can heal and rest. I really cannot rest when I am around other people. It does not happen. I can feel them and what they release… emotion, pain, energy. It is just there. It is nobody’s fault.

Also, electronics emit energy that constantly stimulates me. The raido, in itself, does not but other things do such as computers and televisions. I can watch a movie and relax, tho but I cannot relax in front of a computer in itself as it normally runs. Facebooking, emailing, reading etc does more harm to me than “good”. I can’t deal with the television on all the time but at the same time the noise is a good buffer for me not to pick up on everything everyone is feeling and the energy they are omitting.

The best thing I can do is go somewhere, or stay home, where I do not have to speak to another human being all day long. Sometimes shopping at thrift stores will help because I use a part of my brain … I have an awful time shopping at the grocery store, for example, with out an iPod in my head to keep me from picking up on other’s vibes. I actually prefer to listen to Thom Hartmann’s political show, which is weird but his attitude and voice are very soothing to me. Audio books help a lot. Music is “okay” to shop by but not as good as something that occupies that part of my mind.

It is getting to the point, with all the caregiving I am doing, that I need to make a list of things to do to take care of myself. It is so odd how easily I forget to even take care of my very basic needs. There are so many other details that slip through the cracks because there is always some other need that has to be filled right now that I forget.

I’m dragging home a bathtub to burry to plant my day lilies in. that way the gophers don’t eat the tubers and I will have survival food crop planted (and beauty to look at!)
I was watching a movie called “Skinwalkers” the other night. I have watched it before. One part of the movie where the lawyer talks to the cop and tells him how the medicine man had her grandfather walk out to the mesa every morning and make an offering of corn pollen. And before he knew it the grandfather’s diabetes was under control, he had lost weight, was off of medication, etc. There is a little place up on the edge of the ridge that I like to go. There is a place there that I call the altar. Boom and I used to go there all the time and watch the deer graze in the evenings. I would love to put candles and so on there … but my cousin would be in my business and would mention it to my parents and then it would no longer be a private thing.

It is so easy to pop a pill but taking the herb itself in the form of teas, tinctures, influsions is a better idea. Why you may ask? Well, in my rabbit trails around the internet I found this:

“A study performed by ConsumerLab.com (an independent company that tests the purity of health, wellness, and nutrition products) found that of 11 brands of echinacea purchased for testing, only 4 contained what was stated on their labels. About 10% had no echinacea at all; half were mislabeled as to the species of echinacea in the product; and more than half of the standardized preparations did not contain the labeled amount of active ingredients.”  University of Maryland Medical Center

(bold is my emphasis)

See, I saw a professor one time on television do a study with his students … he gave them all the flu (cleansed their noses with saline then literally gave them a cold bug … don’t know for sure if it was the flu or what) and then gave half of them echinacea and half of them a placebo. This professor taught a “myth buster” type of class and he, in this test, was “proving” that echinacea was ineffective against illness. The experiment (if I recall correctly) results showed that echinacea did not have an effect on illness his students suffered. Either the study was flawed or echinacea is indeed worthless (which I do not believe). My thoughts are along the lines that the fault may have been in the potency of the herb pills the students were offered.

The article goes on to say:

“Several labratory and animal studies suggest that echinacea contains active substances that enhance the activity of the immune system, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects. For this reason, professional herbalists may recommend echinacea to treat urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast (candida) infections, ear infections (also known as otitis media), athlete’s foot, sinusitis, hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis), as well as slow-healing wounds. One study even suggests that echinacea extract exerted an antiviral action on the development of recurrent HSVI when supplied prior to infection.”

All good to know. Glad to learn that science is starting to catch up with what Native Americans have known for over 400 years.

well worth reading for those who have the freedomsong in their hearts or just have a love for independent spirits living out of the box

Southern New Mexico by Carla DeMarco

Oldtimer Bob Sundown is a dropout in the true sense of the word. For 40 years he has voyaged about 20 miles a day along the West’s gritty highway shoulders in a donkey-drawn sheep wagon he and some kids built from discarded materials. “Thousands of friends,” a few live-in chickens and his knowledge of edible plants form his sometimes tenuous security net. Although he intentionally draws no pension nor social security, he claims he’s the richest man on Earth because he knows how to “use his mind.”

The seventy-something, slow-and-steady traveler espouses hard-won creeds borne of stark life experience. It’s apparent this slight, one-eyed, leathery-faced man in dusty clothes has conquered concepts cerebral seekers grapple with perpetually. As his story unfolds, he untangles fear, worry, surrender, attention to the moment, freedom and peace of mind sagaciously in the rough, unfeigned tongue of cowboy slang.

Sundown bears his Nez Perce Sioux mother’s name. He drove his Caucasian father off at age ten with a pitchfork after the man “whupped” his mother and sisters one too many times.

He left home at age eleven to begin a lifetime of labor that continues to this day, although a heart attack last year curtailed his fence building and “cowboying” activities. He still teaches survival skills to children, announces for children’s rodeos and ranch-sits for friends – mostly in Arizona and New Mexico. He says when he gets too old to work, he will lay down and die.

He eats plants, jackrabbits, chickens and eggs. His burros, he says, “always have hay.” Sometimes, if he has money left over after his burros are fed, he treks to town and treats himself to some store-bought food. “I’m not afraid to go hungry,” he says. “It never killed me yet.”

The former Marine, prospector, sheepherder and owner of two ranches used to travel the highways incessantly in trucks loaded with show horses and cattle. But four decades ago, after his wife was killed in an automobile accident, he decided the fast lane was not his friend. He relinquished his worldly goods and properties to his children.

He motions to the range beyond the highway. “I wanted to prove that a person can survive if they know what to do. Do you know there are 190 different plants you can eat around here? Pretty soon people better learn to be self sufficient.”

He expresses concern for an exploited world and its victimized children, blaming corruption in government, the church, the media and other institutions. But the corruption, he says, is just the end result of the root problem: the unbridled human ego.

Humans will be free when they learn to surrender their fear-based need to control, says the cowboy, intimating that the mind can expand to a clear perspective when aired in nature’s open spaces.

“Lots of people are afraid to do the way I do; they say they can’t. I say, How do you know? Have you ever tried?'”

But the nudge is designed to click light bulbs rather than change lifestyles. Acknowledging his way would be inappropriate for most, he believes humans from all walks of life face tough roads, and the key to peace is in learning to handle the fear that accompanies struggle.

“People are worrying about, ‘what am I going to do tomorrow?’ Let a person who has real heavy duty fears of life just go someplace away from every place else and just give up on everything and relax and start to think – use their mind. Then they figure, ‘Hey! By golly! I made it through today!’ They realize, ‘Hey, I could have done this but I was afraid.’ Then they figure again, ‘What was I afraid of?'”

“Everybody can be free; it doesn’t matter what kind of element they’re in. They just sometimes get too afraid to turn loose. If they just take another step – it’s like a newborn learning to walk – they’re afraid but then they take it and everything’s all right.”

“I don’t give a hoot where you’re at or who you are. If you can use this brain and these eyes and legs, you can always make a buck or two. In 40 years, I’ve never worried about tomorrow because tomorrow is always a new adventure.”

Despite losing an eye and getting his legs pummeled with machine gun lead in the Korean war, Sundown has persevered. “They told me I’d never walk again. That’s just a big bunch of stupid words,” he says, nodding downward. “I don’t even wear braces anymore.”

An avid reader and gatherer of information, he lived through his recent heart attack without medical assistance by preparing beforehand for the unexpected. “I used my mind, what was give to me. The mind is the most powerful thing on Earth, if people learn how to use it.”

Sundown was heading west toward Flagstaff, Ariz. to teach a survival workshop and announce for a children’s rodeo. Then it was on to Wyoming and Idaho, where he says he’s going to die because “that there’s near where I was born.” Is he afraid to reach the end of the road? “Fear of death is one of the dumbest ideas they put into people’s minds.”

When will he arrive in Idaho? “Whenever I get there, kiddo.”

garden pathIn order for me to be able to write I have to be in the “right” frame of mind. This mental vibe has alluded me for the past year. Maybe I burned out cranking out articles for web content? Maybe it is because of my step father’s illness. Maybe it is because I am not living the life I want and I feel like a liar when I post here. I think it is an enchilada combination platter. So, this has pulled me out of my shell and has me writing again. I apologize for the imperfections of this blog post, I’m a bit rusty.

Dear reader, the topic today is on a battle going on in the virtual world that has real life consequences. A family, who I once had great admiration for, has gone rogue. The Dervaes family found their own path to freedom but has decided that others must bow to their wishes and is making life difficult for bloggers and facebook pages.

What they have done is to trademark several phrases, including Urban Homestead and Urban Homesteading. That sounds like a great idea, if they had stuck to what they say they are doing, and let anyone use them as long as no money was being made and to protect the words from corporate use and abuse. As my momma always told me, actions speak louder than words and in this case they have gone after community groups and small businesses. This includes The Institute of Urban Homesteading in Oakland, California website domain name was changed and their Facebook page was removed by the Dervaes family’s insistance. Denver Urban Homesteading used their Facebook page as a way to communicate with their members was also removed. These are two non-profit organizations who teach people how to homestead in their backyards, live sustainably. I can only shake my head over the WHY of the cease and desist orders.

Urban homesteaders Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen of the website Homegrown Revolution had to change their name Facebook page to Homegrown Evolution because the Dervaes family has tradmarked the prhase “Homegrown Revolution” and their blog to Root Simple to get the Dervaes off their backs, but the battle continues to get petty, on the Dervaes part over the title of the book by Coyne and Knutzen called The Urban Homestead and their soon to be released update of this book. Retroactive trademark?

How can you trademark a movement?

The Dervaes family claims that this revolution would not have happened if it had not been for them. I find their arrogance appalling because if one was paying attention to the trends coming along in the last ten years one would see that people are looking more towards their own backyards. I recall that post 9/11 sales at big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes went higher because people were choosing to spend their money on their homes and “staycations” investing in their own backyards. Can the Dervaes family claim this? They were behind this movement? Also, it is a sign of a bad economy. Families are hunkering down, cutting expenses and yet are wanting to be more independent. After all the easiest way, as my momma always said, to double your income is to cut your expenses in half. If you want to live off of more than macaroni and cheese then you plant a few containers of salad greens and get a couple of chickens. I say that this trend would have happened before and it has the distinct feel of the backyard gardens that helped sustain families through The Great Depression and the Victory Gardens that supported the war effort of World War II. Many of these families were Urban Homesteaders. Urban homesteading goes back to the first cities before the words urban and homesteading were coined and before the English language was formed. It is about having a quality of life that one would not have otherwise. It is about feeding your family nutritious foods that you can no longer afford to buy at the grocery store, teaching children responsibility and where food comes from, adding income through sale of your produce and extra eggs. It is about sustainably and being green. It is about making it though the winter alive in hard, hard times. This is a path to freedom that our ancestors have chosen for thousands of years. Stick that in your hat, Dervaes family.

Get involved in the fight at Take Back Urban Home-steading(s) Facebook page.

venting the generator

I have a 1200 watt generator that is a two stroke engine. I bought it several years ago for $99 and I have googled and I cannot find one this size for less than $200 now. It has a two stroke engine so it sounds like a chainsaw *laugh* but it is soooo easy on gasoline. One gallon lasts over 10 hours.

When I’m working at the bus I need to use power tools, like the drill, and I need to run the gen but not constantly. So, why not hook it up to the batteries and charge them while I work?

Here is the rub. The solar shed is set up in an old travel trailer and I have not been able to figure out how to run the gen in there. There is the issue of venting the exhaust out of the trailer safely.

Today I spent some time with Google and I believe I found my answer in this article:

october update

I’ve had so many ideas for blog posts lately. I think that with the season’s change here in the PNW I’ve had a change too. I am feeling the deep seeded need to draw a firm line in the dirt between myself and my family. This line will change over time. Times of family illness and emergency will call for adaptation but for the most part I’m in desperate need to step away from being so meshed.

I’m ready to break free.

free dutch oven cookbook

for those who cook outside or long to





back to bus life

Hello Dear Readers,

Things have been really upside down this year with my stepfather’s illness. He has been in and out of the hospital with heart related issues and we don’t know how much longer he will be with us. That took a lot of getting used to.

When there is something going on like that life gets put on hold. Right now he is stable and we have, pretty much, adjusted to our new life.

In the meantime the bus sits. I’ve been home only for an hour or so, not counting sleep. Winter is coming and I had to make a choice … either take the time and do something, have another winter that is pretty rough, or move into mom’s house.

I can’t do the latter. I try and try to wrap my head around it and I can’t. i try to wrap my heart around it and there is just no going there. I love living in Lindornea too much. I also love having my own space and not having to worry about me and my dog disturbing a household of people who are ill.

So, the rest of August I will be getting ready to spend September on the bus. I only hope that life lets me. If it doesn’t then that will just have to be dealt with.

I’m excited about having what I want done accomplished. My brother has said he will help me get started. His time is really precious with job, family and all the time and money he is putting into mom’s house. He did buy some laminate flooring for the bus :O) and that was super nice of him. He got a good deal on it at the Rebuilding Center … he said it was 91 cents a square foot.

No matter what store i am in, if they have a camping section I always visit. Yesterday I was at Bi-Mart and I found a set of levels for RV. You put one at the front of the RV (or in my case bus) and one at the end and then with some quick, first grade math, you can figure out what tires need to be risen how much. I’m thinking about setting concrete under some of the tires to help give it stability. The front has settled, which is to be expected since the engine is so heavy.

Now I don’t have to do a lot of guess work (I do not do “level” well, I just do not have the experience) and this takes all the guesswork out of it.

So, I am happy.

I know I’ve said these things a hundred times but it is time for me to put my foot down, not only with my family but with myself and make sure that I take care of myself.