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

Posts tagged “physical health

Never take your dishwasher for granted

We all had baths/showers today.  The kids all smelled great for about 20 minutes, as soon as we got home they had a swim in the pond in the garden.  Now that it is hot out, we’re just going to keep Coach Rapper at home for the summer.  He’s too dirty for school anyway.
We’ve been working hard on all the free things we can do around the property.
Main projects include:
moving a ton of lumber so it doesn’t rot and so the propane truck can come up the hill
#3 proofing everything- I swear that this is about 3-4 weeks worth of work
garden prep

Tonight while I did dinner clean up, #3 lounged on the kitchen table for a good 30 minutes.  Well, actually alternating between crowing and lounging.  He is becoming such a mountain boy.  The other day he walked up and down the “old road”.  Which was about 20 minutes of hard core hiking, for a baby.  He walks easily up to the garden site and down.  Doesn’t seem that far, except- 2 short weeks ago I was short of breath walking up the garden site.

I’ve been tearing out all of the thimble berries and black raspberries from in front of the yurt, with a pitch fork, rake and shovel.  I have a serious of Kitchen Garden garden beds going terracing down the hill with some stairs dug in now.  It’s been my Work Out(doors) for the last 2 weeks and I can definitely tell the difference in my upper body strength, especially when shovelling rocks.  I’ve had to halt progress on Magician Creek in the upper garden ever since my promise to Mr.T that I wouldn’t mess with the gravity fed lines.  And I really like having water in the yard.

A lot.

Now I am dreaming about an outgoing grey water hose for the sink.  It just sounds so luxurious to not have to take and dump the grey water when doing dishes.  We ran out of paper plates yesterday, so tomorrow I really have to get into gear with figuring out a sink set up.  I have the sink- the hose- an rv pump, a very large blue water barrel and a small propane on demand water heater.  I need a faucet.  Probably some fittings.

Oh yeah, and some mad plumbing skillz.  Which I don’t have.  But might in a couple days.  I hope.

Today we burned 3 large piles of brush right below the Kitchen Garden and the Bird Tree.  It really is opening up the “front yard” a ton.

Tomorrow we also need to get the washing machine going.  We’ve got about $20 worth of laundry and well, I hate the laundromat.

I’ve got the Evil Wizard and #3 in the van and there are starting to be protest noises, and I’m not willing to risk someone waking up.

Until next time- enjoy your dishwasher for me.  Never take it for granted.


Barefoot running; perfection of the morning

The last two mornings it has snowed.

The kids have been wearing winter jackets in the house in the morning.

We really need to pick up the new wood stove.

We’ve been fighting.

We’ve been laughing.

I went for a 3K run this morning before anyone was awake in my new <a href=””>Soft Star Run Amocs</a>  I’ve been planning on starting Couch to 5K, but didn’t have the walk/run times or a watch- so I just ran and walked when I needed to.

Fog was settled in the valley, trailing in long wisps through the skeleton cottonwoods.  I could see my breath.  I ran, like my body was built for running.  I meditated on my heart beat and my oxygenated blood pumping through my body.  I saw where the clover was full and green, where it was just emerging.  I know this is because there is water in the land.  You can see stripes of growth all of the mountain side.  If I dug there with my dirt covered hands from my pre run gardening, I would find water.

I hiked up a stream I found, to see where it goes.  resting on logs returning to earth.

There is snow tucked in shadow pockets.  It will be gone by noon.  I touch it with my toe and it dissolves with the heat of motion.

Because I can, I run.  My feet hitting the tail fluidly, solid, muscles adjusting to the curve of the ground.  I feel rocks and sticks, in a good way.  I feel balanced.  I am in love with minimal running shoes or barefoot running.  So far I’ve put about 25K on them, mostly on a treadmill.  My RunAmocs provide just the right amount of protection underfoot.  They fit really loose around the top of the foot- so I was skeptical they would stay on  and during the hiking portion of my journey they did slip around.  For running on relatively level paths with lots of big hills they were just amazing.  Usually my calves hurt or I feel like I have shin splints while running.  Not at all with barefoot or minimal running shoes!

I get back in and drink fresh pressed espresso bean coffee out of pottery with heavy cream.  The clouds are parting and blue skies are poking through.

There is a pile of dishes in the yard.  I imagine left over the winter when the water was frozen in the lines.

I am rearranging the kitchen, the bedrooms and finding homes for everything.

During the night the kids pressed close to me for warmth- I lay awake cold and careful not to smother them while my arm cramped up under my head.

The boys are so happy.  Water pours from a hose in the yard and they play, with mittens on laughing and silent.  Exploring waterways and river systems.  Making oceans and spraying themselves in the face.

There is so much to do it’s overwhelming.

There is so much to do that anything you do makes a difference.

My soft city hands are covered with scrapes.  My rubber boots are muddy.  I am alive.  Surrounded by life.

Spring time in SK is like winter in OK


I was surprised by how much this fresh April day reminded me of Oklahoma in January.  The same driving wind rushing through dry grass, hurting your ears.  The kids are just so excited it isn’t bitterly frozen we’ve been spending a ton of time outdoors.   Many of the behaviour problems I’ve been struggling with are gone almost overnight!  We’ve done about 3KM/ day yesterday and today.  After many races the boys started to wind down and were so thoughtful and kind together.  I took all of these pics with the DSL my Dad recently gave me.  I am just starting to figure it out, in a few months I’m hoping things are going a bit better with my understanding of digital photography. 

So with some brief editing (mostly turning to b&w) and dealing with fill shadows.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Living the Grid Life

Greetings friends and family!

We are mere weeks from heading back to the property.  Our good friends just went home yesterday leaving behind lots of fun memories and a day of cleaning!  Today we are taking it mellow with a morning of weekend cartoons and spelt blueberry pancakes with cantaloupe. 

Mr.T  has arrived back to face the winter damage and do spring clean up.  Uncle B is housesitting off the land with his new puppy for the time being. 

To recap- we left in the fall under short notice and came to Saskatoon to live in my (very generous) parents basement for the winter.  Mr.T  joined us around Christmas when his movie set job was done and worked for a Mennonite building a log cabin for the remainder of the winter.

My parents are in Cuba, and the boys and I are alone at last!  Well, we are on day 1 of 8 now- so that isn’t too bad. 

I’m starting to blog now, before anything interesting happens so I get in the habit before leaving easy internet and electricity access.  I’ll use these next weeks to set the stage for the summer to enfold as we figure out how to winterize the yurt, get water flowing, electricity going in place without having to go to move back into my parents basement next September.  My inlaws had the special privilege of bonding with our cats and dogs all winter.  We owe so much to our family, who have all helped pick us up and wipe us off after our second failed winter attempt on the land!  This blog will be about family life, crafts, (lack of) organization, yurt living, recipes, my mental and physical health.  My sister blog The Dream of a Ridiculous Man will chronical the development of our raw land into our personal paradise. 

Here is to Spring 2011- “It’s time to wake up from our long winter’s rest” says Coach Rapper (my oldest sons self picked screen name).