Healthy living, healthy parenting, healthy gardening. One Family's approach to off grid living.

Posts tagged “off the grid

Homeward Bound

6:48 am and today is Moving Day.  Thank you so so so much for all the help packing Brooke!  We love you!  I’ve got to take the toys and random bits out to the van, but we finished the majority of the packing yesterday.  On Saturday we ripped the carpet out of my van, since it spring thawed into a distinctive wet dog/leaky dump run smell to it.  The plan is to re-insulate/pad it with the Dance Dance   Revolution pads Mr.T insisted I order off E-Ray during the Old House We Flipped years because DDR was certainly the answer to all our Woes.  And then, cover it with dirt/coffee covered vinyl flooring likely bought from Wild Bill *the guy who has sold us all our our house furnishings and utility supplies.

I still haven’t actually spoke to Mr.T.  As far as I know he still thinks he are leaving Thursday.  I think it is a little bit funny.  It sometimes drives me nuts when we don’t talk for so long *a week this time.  I used to worry about all of the things that any wife would worry about, namely death and affairs.  Now, not so much.  I genuinely trust Mr.T and well, he has had a pretty good tack record of keeping himself alive and my brother would call if there was an emergency, and someone else if it was a double emergency.  It would surely be on the news after that, right?  So, I now deduct there is some problem on the property that I can’t do anything about from here and he hasn’t been near a phone/computer for 7 days.  And he never even calls his own Mother, so he’s not the type to call his wife or kids.

So just trust me honey baby my eyes don’t stray

My boys blow my mind every day

and I’m just staying home preparing for you

waiting for you

loving you


So, as I was saying I think it’s a little funny that Mr. T may not know we are leaving today.  We have Hotels booked for Medicine Hat and Cranbrook and then it is an easy drive to Slowmo.

Wish me luck and safe travels!


Goodby to the Grid Life, Packing Day

So, here I stand procrastinating on packing while Coach Rapper and His Lordship crafting away on a Easter gift for Gramma and Grampa and #3 strapped to  my back.  The Easter Bunny always brings a birdfeeder for the kids and this year we are turning it around and Easter Bunnying my parents with feeders the kids have painted. 

We are leaving earlier than planned because my parents stairs are being torn out on Monday.  I got a good deal for a hotel on Monday night about 1/3 of the way home, and in the process of booking one ( ) for Tuesday.  I’ll have 2 500-600km days and 1 300ishkm day alone with the 3 wild boys.  Should be fun.  We have a hot dog roast planned with good friends for lunch on Monday 2 hours into the drive.

I am nervous.  Oh yes I am.  When I left, it was dark, rainy, I felt terrible.  The laundry was overwhelming onces the days got colder and muddier.  On more than one occassion I filled every single washing machine in the Castlegar Laundrymat.  !On the upside- the laundrymat has free wifi so I aim to post at least 1x a week from there

There is gravity fed water in the yard now.  Wedged into the crack of our hand thrown Magician Creek.  The water comes out so crytal clear and tastes like magic, or well, nothing.  I am not actually sure if I am okay with this or not.  A) I said I wasn’t going back until the pump was in for the well and we had running water and B) this divertes the water from our little garden pond and dammit, that’s my secret garden go dig your own mother effing water supply!  But then, I would rather not haul water from the neighbours well than have a pond.  Le sigh.  I have no idea if Mr.T has purchased a pump or not.  We speak briefly every 4-5 days when he calls from a payphone or a friend’s house.  I get the odd email.  I have to not really think about it, because I worry about him falling out of a tree or lighting a forest fire ( he assures me he can put out the fires he starts with a shovel.)

So there is that.  We have a small black hose with potable water running constantly in the yard.

I have no idea where our new woodstove is- if Mr.T has picked it up, or if it is still in Castlegar.

I have no idea if our new big! propane generator is going yet. 

I have no idea if there has been a pump purchased, or if a plumber has been found.

I actually have no idea what the new steps up to the Yurt look like.

And he has no idea we will be there on Wednesday.  Last we spoke I told him Friday.

!Wednesday should be interesting

Hey darlin’- if you read this before I get home, we will be there on Wednesday now and uhh, can you please make sure the composting toilet is shovelled out before we get there?

July 2010-He finally understands cat ladies

We were in the front yard, the voluntary sunflowers were drooping down overhead, a little bit sparkly.  I was shovelling new garden beds into the stepped (cliff) front yard of the Yurt.  By this time I was wearing ear plugs and sunglasses, even inside the Yurt.   Not that Yurts feel like you are inside anyway.  They seem like….an outdoor room.  I was shovelling quickly, the baby was either on my back on in the jumperoo, or the playpen- which I kept outside.  I couldn’t let him loose, I was too afraid of losing him or throwing a shovel full of rock on him.  The bigger boys sat on the path cutting blades of grass with scissors for hours and hours.  I worked like a maniac.  It made me stop thinking, it made a change I could see.

I never really know what exactly was going on around my vivid memories.  Maybe Mr.T  was at work, maybe he was at home.  I was happy- my mood was elevated and I had tons of energy.  I couldn’t sit still.  When I was still, I couldn’t turn off my brain.  This means I was not getting much done.  I was dizzy.   That damn phone was ringing.  The radio was playing.  I heard dial tones, people laughing.   I stopped asking the kids, my husband, my brother if they heard them too.  I just sort of lived with it, since I can vividly remember hearing the radio/phones a lot when I was a kid. I hear things.  But they aren’t bad things really, just things.

What really got to me was when I started seeing things.  A duck would turn into a paper bag, though I swear it moved.  I saw mice all the time, in the corners, zooming by outside, running over my feet. 

Let me tell you a little story.

There was a big ol’ Grandpa mouse and he was eating the peanut butter off the mouse trap.  TWO days in a row.  We live in the woods, mice are bound to be an issue at first.  I mention to Mr.T that we should get cats.  He mumbles, which I think signifies he agrees, and he thinks signifies he isn’t listening to me.
The kids and I went on an awesome playdate with a couple girlfriends to an amazing little fairytale park bordering the forest with a huge grassy knoll and a view of mountains in Fruitvale.  It was lovely.  Somebody started screaming about something once we were in the car, I put in my earplugs for a quiet drive home, taking the scenic route hoping whoever was screaming would fall asleep.  Wait.  What is that?  How is it possible?  FREE kittens?  I stopped the van swiftly, backed up and eased down into the valley that held the farm of our future beauties.

“! WHO WANTS A KITTEN” I exclaimed while unbuckling Coach Rapper and his Lordship Ali.

And the children, in disbelief scrambled out of their seats and to the lady sitting on her steps ruffling her doggies fur.  “You’re here for the kittens?” She drawled; raising her eyebrows and taking a deep breath through her extra long, extra lite virgina slim.  She was wearing riding boots and had one leg resting on the stairs.  Or something like that.  There was a woman there anyway.

We picked the cutest two kittens (what, how would you pick out a kitten?) and drove them home to show off to Mr.T.

What?  No…It’s okay, we talked about it.  Surely you remember?

Within a few weeks our tiny, cute, rodent like kittens had killed the fat Grandfather mouse.

But I STILL saw mice.  Everywhere, running and zooming all over the ground.

I asked Mr.T if we could get outdoor cats for the outdoor mice.

“I finally understand cat ladies” he said as he walked away.

I took that as a no.

April 2011- Our cats are grown up, beautiful and great at killing mice-where ever they are.

PS.  If you have read all of this, and actually find it interesting, please pass it on.  I googled how to get more traffic to my blog, but it would take me a week to even figure out how to sign in to stumbler.  I won’t admit to how long it took for me to figure out wordpress.  I read the tutorials, oh yes I did!  Besides, I don’t have my own laptop (see for examples of why) and in a couple weeks won’t have internet access.  So for me to keep posting, I will have to borrow a computer and drive to the internet cafe.  I really won’t have time to both blog AND figure out how to find people to read my blog.  And to be honest, I’ll probably lose motivation to keep writing for 30 people with all that extra work! 
Maternal Mental Health awareness is really important, I know from sharing my story in person, that many women can relate to it.  Or are at least comforted by the fact I am crazier than they are!  Plus, you have the added TV reality show like hurdles I’ve created for myself in trying to wade through all of this off the grid! 

All of that rambling right there is basically begging you to share my blog, with whoever you think might enjoy it.  Because, simply, I don’t know how.

September 2010 Mental vs Rock, a love poem

 By this time I was wearing earplugs and sunglasses for extended periods of time, both indoors and out.


This rock has never been held by hands or eyes

 this rock is immortal

It is history, a record, a time piece

I wear no watch

and through it I am immortal too

I wonder what these strange hieroglyphs say

white line through slate black

They transform before my eyes, glinting in the sun

I squint and feeling how I was trying to feel when I was a church goer and looking for Jesus

this feeling that I am part of something more

I lick it, I always got off on communion

It tastes like…rock

And I am grounded, just like that

suddenly blinded, lush, green, light

The children’s  thirsty voices break my fog

and I dip my vessel , watching clear new water spring out from the rocks

they drink it clean