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mother of josh, richard, and mutt. lover of books, yarn, and the quiet places. spinner, knitter, kayaker, survivor, vandweller, warrior.

Monday, October 18, 2010

thermos cooking a la heidi

heidi just did a post over at vansteaders on thermos cooking. i haven't done it in some time, and with the cold weather approaching, will welcome hot food with little effort or fuel consumption. one of my biggest complaints was poor results in cooking brown rice. heidi's blog shows success with that, here

you can read my old blog post on making a reflectix cover for my thermos here.

thermos dimensions: 4" diameter and 7"tall
                    circumference of thermos alone 12.5"
                    circumference with cozy 17.25"
                    20 oz. (0.59 liters)

some photos of my thermos:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

knitting worms

"what is that?" you say. "what are you talking about? worms that knit?"

nope! knitting a worm! heidi has me all in a dither. with all the new found time on my hands after restructuring my life a bit, i have been able to delve into, and actually bring together, several passions. today it is homesteading (vansteading to many of us!) and knitting......

last night i emailed heidi to remind her that Brian the Younger had been doing vermiculture (composting with worms)in his rv when i met him in pahrump. i have some pics somewhere of the cute little guys and the resulting rich, black compost they produced, but thought heidi might be able to get brian to contribute his experiences to the vansteader information pool since i, as i told her,  don't know much about worm poo. i have long been interested in trying it (making it, not eating it) but becoming semi-mobile put a stop to that.....

or has it? i was interested when i saw brian's set-up, but he has a much larger rv with room for that sort of thing. i immediately dismissed it as impracticle in the rondyvan, which is a very silly thing to do. i should know by now that ideas should never be dismissed, only shelved temporarily until heidi gets me all inspired again, and ya throw a whole network of vandwellers and such into the mix :-)

so, the knitting, what about the knitting?

i remembered a discussion on vermiculture in small spaces that we had on a group called ishcon, where friends of ishmael gathered. it took some digging, but i finally found the thread, and lo and behold! i not only found the website of the marvelous woman who created "worm-ware", the sustainable answer to composting on the go, but a pattern for knitted worms! all on the very same website! now ya wonder why i think my life is pretty amazing?

i'm gonna quit rattling on here, and give you some links to check it out yourself. enjoy!

travels with worms

knit one red worm


i can't wait to see where heidi goes with this! kylie, you too!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


 heidi just did a post over at vansteaders  on doing laundry. i recently got a new laundry plunger and she has inspired me to finally get to posting about it. i first heard about the mobile breathing washer  from steve spence at green

for years, in between trips to the laundromat, i have done my laundry in a 5 gallon bucket with the rapid washer from lehman's hardware. the big tin-plated steel washer was one piece, too bulky for vandwelling, and had a tendency to rust, so i was pleased to see the newer, portable version.
in my van, i use the 3 gal. paint buckets available at lowe's. as you can see, i cut a hole in a lid for the plunger. i need to do smaller loads, obviously, than with the 5 gal. bucket at the farm. i have a small washboard i use in my collapsible sink for small stuff.

the breathing mobile washer is very sturdy, and disassembles easily. i got mine on ebay for $15 with free shipping. it works just as well as the rapid washer did, and is easier to store. i'm going to do some experiments with heidi's ammonia method, and i'll report back my results in a later post.

Monday, October 04, 2010


i am very excited to announce a new blog that is the blending of so many things close to my heart:


i am so blown away by this, and shouldn't be. heidi is one of the most creative people i know, and when she puts her mind to something, it shines. she shines! this is so timely for me. when i got home in may, i expected to be on the road again  by july. that got pushed back, and now is on hold indefinitely.

being at the farm has been really good....the time is well spent. i have enjoyed my family and friends so much. my homesteading urge is all stirred up, though, and i peruse my container gardening bible and poke around searching out edible wild plants. and dream of doing it on the road....

another thing i have at the farm, that i don't have in the van, is a studio. my creative juices are at their peak when surrounded by the yarns and fiber and tools that i so love, hanging from hooks and draped over furniture where their colors and textures inspire me. there is no re-creating that when i have to lift the mattress and dig under the bed in the rondyvan.

but a solution to that has been dreamed up by another dear friend of mine. sandy has created a little vardo that would be a perfect little pull-behind studio/shop. he has invited me to come to BC and he will teach me how to build one of my own.......isn't that sweet?  i can so picture selling hats out of the side of that rig, and having skeins of yarn, baskets of fiber, and my spindles always handy and ready....

i am going to use my time here in the east well. it is an opportunity to make some changes, and increase the dream. vansteaders will be a great resource! thank-you Numees!