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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

stuff i'm doing

thought i'd show you some of the things i've been up to besides knitting hats. these are the pics of some sweaters (mostly lambswool and cashmere) that i have felted and am re-constructing into armwarmers, ear bands, hats and bags.

these are in different stages of deconstruction/ re-creation. i love recycling stuff. the possibilities are endless!

Monday, October 03, 2011

needs update

our people at Occupy Wall St need blankets, rain gear and warm socks! this wet, raw weather is rough. help them out if you can. it doesn't have to be new, just clean and in good condition. the address again:

UPS Store 118A
Re: occupy wall st.
Fulton st #205
New York, NY, 10038

occupy wall st. UPDATES

if you are behind those on the whatever city they are
occupying....but you can't be there, here are some other ways to help:

"Where: Liberty Square (How to get there)
Help & Directions: +1 (877) 881-3020
General Inquiries: general@...
Press Inquiries: press@...
Watch: This 10-Min Documentary
Read: Latest NYCGA Minutes
The UPS Store
Re: Occupy Wall Street
118A Fulton St. #205
New York, NY 10038
Money orders only please, cannot cash checks yet. Non-perishable goods only. We
can accept packages of any size. We're currently low on food."

here is the home page for info and updates:

here are ways to donate. they need food. scroll down on below link to see
restaurants that will take phone orders and deliver. you can order an occu-pie
pizza on-line at the links provided.

i don't have a lot of funds, so i sent a care package of non-perishable foods to
this address:

UPS Store 118A
Fulton st #205
New York, NY, 10038
Non perishable, no checks (money orders okay) , any size package okay

i sent nuts, dried fruits and veggies from storage, ramen noodles, foil packets
of salmon, trail bars, stuff like that.

it looks like they added a ticker at the bottom of the donate page which expands
it to the needs of occupiers across the country.



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

occupy wall st.

a quick link for those looking for info. i can't be there, so i'm sending support in the form of some non-perishable foods from the stockpile.

some info from that site:

"Where: Liberty Square (How to get there)
Help & Directions: +1 (877) 881-3020
General Inquiries:
Press Inquiries:
The UPS Store
Re: Occupy Wall Street
118A Fulton St. #205
New York, NY 10038
Money orders only please, cannot cash checks yet. Non-perishable goods only. We can accept packages of any size. We're currently low on food."

there are apparently some restaurants and food services that are taking phone/credit card orders to deliver food also. check these out before you use them....

added: it's spreading, so if you can't make it to New York, check here. remember, they all will need support!

thanks, and more later!


Monday, August 22, 2011

a new blog in town

there's a new blog in town, and it's a good one!

Kathleen has many years experience in mobile living and has a wealth of information to share.....check out her blog at:

this is gonna be resource intense, i have to head back there now cause i got a glimpse of something about a paddling floats!!!

good job, Kathleen!

Monday, April 18, 2011

a constant stream of good things coming out of Portland....

the town is rockin' out in portland. all the time. this is some of the latest goodness to be coming from there. please read this, and pass it on. before it's too late.....

eat your violets

spring is finally here. i have been walking the fields and wooded areas on the farm waiting for the first offerings to make their presence known. fiddlehead ferns should be up shortly here, and this will be my first year to try to preserve them....i am going to try pickling them. i'll let you know how it comes out.

i have been inspired by some of my favorite blogs this winter. i'll be watching for thistle for a new experience.....Feral Kevin says the stems are similar to cucumber when raw; like green beans or asparagus cooked:

Rebecca Lerner talks about violets in her blog this morning, "First Ways" :

i follow Rebecca's blog via email, and on Facebook. in a sleepless moment last night, i read her latest entry on my cell phone, and thought of violet jelly.

Violet syrup:

fill a qt. canning jar with the blossoms, packing tightly for richer syrup. pour boiling water over them, just covering blossoms. cap tightly, and let sit 24 hours. strain.

to each cup of liquid, add juice of 1/2 lemon and 2 cups of sugar. bring to boil, pour into pint jars and seal.

**use as a gentle laxative and cough suppressant

Violetade: add 3 tbsp. of syrup to cold water.

sprinkle on anything from pancakes to fresh snow. (fresh snow becoming somewhat of an oxymoron, sadly enough)

this definitely needs re-doing without sugar. suggestions welcome!

Violet jelly:

follow procedure for syrup. to each cup of liquid, add the juice of one lemon and 1 pkg. of Surejell. bring to boil, add 4 cups of sugar. hard boil for 1 minute, and pour into jelly jars.

yikes, the sugar! i haven't made this stuff in awhile, looks like some experimenting is needed.

Violets are rich in vitamins C and A. 1/2 cup of greens supplies as much vitamin C as 4 oranges, and more than RDA of vitamin C.

i do not know where this info comes from, and cannot vouch for it's accuracy.  i've been making this off and on for a couple decades, and can vouch for the beautiful color in the jelly jars, and the delicate flavor.

Monday, April 11, 2011

the orchard / 10,000 ways

upon request, this is a reprint from a post i wrote at Vandwellers to a newcomer, trying to find his way.....

Hey, R, welcome to the tribe! I am very impressed that you already have a
plan and a goal and the ability to save to meet that goal. Good for you! You are a good example to many of us here.

I say go for it. Listen to your heart. Keep your mind open to ALL the
possibilities out there. Cause as you are reading here, they are unlimited.

Life is like an orchard full of every kind of tree in existence. Some of the
fruit on those trees is sweet and nourishing. Some will give you the sh!ts like
you wouldn't believe, even though some folks can eat 'em all day long and
exclaim "these are the best fruits in the world!"

10,000 fruits! (10,000 ways to live) what do you eat?

I can't tell ya that. I can tell you DON'T CUT DOWN ANY OF THE TREES! Let them grow, whether they look appetizing or not. Someday you may find that you just love that fruit. And it'll be right there for the picking.

The good thing about this group is the wide range of experiences we can share
and draw upon. The bad thing about this group is we sometimes are so caught up in what works for us that we forget that there is no one right way to live our lives. Then we kinda get stuck on the details and try to figure out who's right. It's usually the ones not talking :-)

I graduated from nursing school when I was 30. Gave me some of the best
experiences of my life. I never heard the end of "you'd a been a great doctor".
Did I wrongly cap out at a nursing salary? Don't know, don't care. I made a
difference in the world. And I did it when I was ready to do it.

Prune and water the whole orchard, richard. And don't be afraid to try the


P.S. And if a fruit does give you the sh!ts, don't do like I often did, and eat
it anyway (waaa, but I LIKE that fruit!).....move on to a different fruit!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


it's not very often i read something that moves me to tears. not just the blurry eyed, flick-away-with-a-finger-move-on-to-the-next-blog-post kinda tears, but the heart-squeezing-purging-grief-i had-forgotten-was-there kinda tears.

i have alot of friends on the internet. in my wanderings around the country, i have had the joy of meeting so many of them, and deepening those relationships. it has been a hard road, finding community in my life, something to do with knowing from an early age that the world had another story, that there was another way to has been through this "artificial" means of cyberspace that i have cobbled together my community, my tribe. however far-flung they may be, whether or not we have met in the flesh, they are as real and solid as any i have had in my life. and there is something particularly binding in the shared beliefs.... the knowing....that draws us together.

this month i celebrated 26 years clean and sober. i've spent some really peaceful time reflecting on those years these past few weeks, and the nightmare years that preceded them. this is as opposed to all the times i have agonized with guilt and shame, wishing for a different story. to really embrace the path that brought me to this place, this now....that is the miracle of my life today.

i made a new friend recently on facebook. i have already learned much from him, in his postings and links, but did not know much about him: his story. he gifted us all in a big way with a blog post on his birthday, and he has given me permission to share this with you here on my blog.

his story is real and raw and in so many ways my story, our story.  *"i am he as you are he as you are me as we are all together"*  it was a sharp reminder to me of all the years, so often lost in the blur of time, that are simply moments strung together, like bread crumbs left in the wilderness in order to find our way home.

thank-you Danny, for this gift of your story, to not only  know a deeper you, but also a deeper me. i believe this connection is the only thing that can save us in the end.

here is what he shared:

*"I am the Walrus" spooky tooth*

Saturday, March 12, 2011

brian's baja adventure

my friend Brian the Younger just wrote of his trip to mexico. a worthy read:

i only just got it tonight that he didn't take his rv.....that photo of the hammock under palm fronds? that's his! check it out!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Support anti-tethering in your state

this is a photo i took today of a neighbor's dog. his doghouse is surrounded by water, and he is standing on a tire to stay dry. this dog is exposed to harsh conditions, tethered on the end of a heavy chain (like from a tow truck), year round, 24/7. multiple reports to animal cruelty have been inneffective....his circumstances are deemed adequate. the desire to defect to canada with him is strong......

yesterday i found out that House Bill 826 was introduced to the PA. House of Representatives, and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. this bill will make it illegal to tether dogs 24/7, often lacking adequate shelter and access to food and water, and most certainly the companionship they crave.

if you are a pennsylvania resident, please go to the following website, sign the petition and send an electronic letter to your local representative:

if you are not a Pa. resident, please check your state to see where they are in passing legislation to protect these animals. currently only a few states have laws enacted to unchain dogs.

thank-you in advance for speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves, and spreading the word on their behalf.

van window reflectix

    here are some pics showing how i installed reflectix insulation in the windows of my astrovan. 
    above is pictured plain, uncovered reflectix in the rear passenger side window of the van. the edges of the cut-slightly-larger-than-the-window-panels were tucked into the space between the glass and the plastic around the windows.

above is the same panel (covered on the inside with fabric) being tucked in with the blunt tip of a butter knife. this is how i install reflectix panels that i don't remove often, or ever.
these are super strong magnets from Joanne's
the screws are flat headed and just a weensy bit larger that the hole in the washer. the washer hole is beveled so that the screw head fits flush with the surface of the washer. this is important because you need the whole surface area of the washer for strong attachment of the magnets.
you can see how the screw fits flush and doesn't stick up above the surface of the washer.
here is the washer screwed into the plastic frame around the window.
this shows how a magnet is laid upon the strip of beloved duct tape, and the end folded over so that the magnet is completely enclosed in tape. the remaining sticky end is overlapped onto the reflectix so that only the black tab sticks out over the edge. the resulting tab reminds me of the tabs on paper doll clothes.
this shows the tab on the window covering,  attached to the washer.
this shows me holding down the tab .  when i let go, it will flip back up and attach to the washer again. these are strong magnets. for those who don't want to drill holes into their vehicle, the washers can be atached with gorilla glue, but be aware that the magnets are strong enough that they may pull the magnets pull the washers off. it was suggested to me that roughing up the surface of the plastic first for better adhesion may prevent this, but i have not experimented with this on plastic. this is how i do the reflectix on panels i want to be able to remove easily and be able to quickly reattach.

hope this helps!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Ramen Knitting 101

this is my first ever posted video. i found this on youtube, and am delighted to have a new use for ramen noodles since going the route of paleo nutrition. i may not be able to eat them, but now i can knit with them!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

looking, seeing and becoming real

Mutt and i look at each other alot, but he looks at me the most. i can't tell you how many times i look over from the drivers seat, and see him gazing at me. nothing makes me "present" much more than this. it's like a little electric shock goes through me. there is nothing like opening my eyes in the morning, and seeing his dark brown eyes staring patiently down at me. 

i have vague recollections of reading somewhere about pack, and dominance, and staring.  i don't remember exactly, but i think it said that a dog staring you down is trying to dominate. that you should stare back at them till they look away. i don't know about this, maybe some of the more dog-savvy can weigh in. all i know, is that Mutt and i spend an awful lot of time looking at each other, and i don't have any sense of "winning" or even of competition.  all i know is that we see each other.

i wrote a blog about one of my experiences, about seeing someone and being seen by them. take a moment today, not just to look at someone, but to see them:

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

my best friend. ever.

 he seriously sleeps like this sometimes. there is a story about plucky duck. it's sad though. another time, maybe.
 halloween. cleopatra, if you didn't guess. no matter, the humiliation is the same.
 he loves the van. it is his real home. sometimes when i don't know where he is, i will find him sitting next to it, just waiting.

Mutt is so patient, so zen. he asks for so little, and gives everything. i posted once before about him, just waiting:

and here:

and for those who missed it, here is how i lucked into the best dog in the whole wide world:

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

fiber goody giveaway and a chance to help

saw this on facebook (thanks DeAnna!) and wanted to share it with everyone.

Pete's Greens, an organic CSA in vermont, suffered a devastating fire recently. Juniper Moon Farm is having a giveaway in an attempt to help. you can enter the giveaway whether you donate or not, but every dollar will help this guy get back on his feet before the growing season! they have raised over $5,000 already. check it out here:

Juniper Moon Farm Giveaway

they are giving away an enormous amount of cool stuff, from books, yarns, fibers.....and again, you do NOT have to donate to enter.

kudos to Juniper Moon Farm for their huge hearts!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the value of empty

i get a daily meditation from the tao te ching. todays was especially meaningful because it speaks to me on so many levels.

"Thirty spokes are joined together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that allows the wheel to function.

We mold clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that makes the vessel useful.

We fashion wood for a house,
but it is the emptiness inside
that makes it livable.

We work with the substantial,
but the emptiness is what we use."

when i first read this, i thought of my van. on my first couple cross-country trips, i was proud of how much i could fit in all the nooks and crannies, and how many valuable, useful things i could haul along while remaining organized. on my last trip, though, i began to realize the value of emptiness.....of useable space. for many of us, downsizing is an ongoing project, a renewable goal. 

the last few months have been a downsizing in many other ways. i have been doing things more mindfully and with greater focus than i am usually capable of.   it is very hard for me, slowing down the inner turmoil and the cacophony of thoughts tumbling around in my head. even when those thoughts are positive or cheerful, as they often are, the are tiring. my mind does not always feel like my own..... it is crowded and busy and all to often self-absorbed. i said to a friend not long ago "i will really attain minimalism when i can downsize my brain".

i thought of that statement again after re-reading the above meditation a few times. "we work with the substantial but the emptiness is what we use". it hit me this evening how meaningful that is to me.  i don't think i have come close to understanding it....if anything, i don't want to overthink it, and miss the whole point. for now, i'm just going to let it be what it is.

i've been really scarce on the internet lately, been on a kind of digital diet. i have been practicing slow-down kind of things (i am reluctant to use the word "meditation" in the same blog post that references my thought processes!) and i have been having some success which delights me no end. i have fallen in love all over again with knitting and have taken up colorwork which involves counting and following charts.....mindful and purposeful and satisfying.  i am appreciating simple things in a way i haven't in a long time. i am grateful for the snippets of stillness that i stumble over, when i least expect it, and i have no doubt that there will be more........

Friday, January 07, 2011

new vandweller forum

wanted to get the word out about the new vandweller forum over at Bob Wells'  "cheaprvliving" website.

so many of us have gotten our start, or benefited from Bob's website in some way. there is a ton of information there, and now a new forum where we can ask questions, share our stories, and glean information on the mobile lifestyle. please come join us, we will be glad to have you!