Bus life …. the down side of it

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Well, I was hoping this day would never come however with all the good weather we have been having we have been out of the bus more than in most days, catching up with friends and family. ¬†Now with the rain coming down our bit of a lapse in the cleaning while the sun shone seems to have caught up with us ….. Our bus got its old smell back! ūüė¶

Maybe it is the rain though … maybe that is all it is. ¬†Maybe just a bit of not getting the place ventilated enough? A bit of damp? ¬†Admittedly a wet/damp dog doesn’t help matters either. I don’t know but the smell was unmistakable when I walked in the door last week after being out and even himself smelt it …. yes, clearly it had a funky stink happening!

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Keeping the place smelling sweet with some orange and cloves.

So it was a busy day of ‘Spring Cleaning’ as soon as the sun did appear – briefly. ¬†Everything out and airing, cupboards emptied and wiped and floors thoroughly swept (no … still have not made that dream of a vacuum come true) and washed. ¬†Along with that I have invested in a few natural house fresheners, ¬†my favourite being an orange with cloves stuck in it. ¬†Baking soda sales at the local supermarket have soared to as I have been using it to collect any nasty smells.

I’m not sure how the winter will go if we have rain for many days in a row??!! Luckily (or unluckily) we don’t notice it until we leave so maybe the solution will simply to be hermits until the sunshine allows us to open the windows to the fresh air. ūüôā Until then I’ll try to keep on top of things using a few of these natural and nifty ideas from Bustle.

Hope this finds you bathed in fresh air, lovely smells and sunshine

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Girl Guide Biscuit time again

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Yes … it is that time of year again where I lose all sense of good eating and choose to forget the effects of wheat on my system in order to support my daughter .. (read that as stuff my face and enjoy scoffing a load of yummy biscuits). ¬†Herself has been busy happily selling down here in Southland so we have been busy happily buying and eating.

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In the tin ready to pop in the fridge

It is also the one time of year that themselves get fudge-cake (aka hedgehog slice to some of you) made for them. ¬†I know that last year I shared my fudge-cake recipe with you however now that we are on the bus I have made a few more changes so as to fit in with what we have in the cupboards and what we are prepared to store. ¬†Icing sugar is one thing that I’m not buying, or even attempting to store on the bus, so no icing this year. ¬†That hasn’t seemed to dwindle the demand though so it is obviously still just as yummy and maybe a little bit healthier …. but only maybe ūüôā

Bus Fudge-Cake

1 packet of Girl Guide biscuits – bashed into small pieces

115 gm Butter

2 Tablespoons Cocoa

1 egg Р well beaten

1/2 Cup desiccated coconut

1/4 Cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (or a mixture of both)

1 teaspoon peppermint essence

  • Melt the butter in a pot and once melted stir in the cocoa and egg
  • Bring just to the boil then remove from the heat
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Press mixture into a lined rectangular tin (an old butter paper works well) and refrigerate.
  • Cut into small square and enjoy!

Hope this finds you all warm and well.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Fermenting on the road

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It has been 10 weeks tomorrow that we have been on the road. ¬†There are lots of things we have changed about the way we are living however there are a few that have remained the same …. my ferments are some of these. ¬†I was determined to keep up my kombucha and milk kefir on the road and so far so good. ¬†It felt so good having this practice continue that I have even tried to do another batch of sauerkraut.

The large kombucha jar simply gets a screw top lid put on it and placed in a cupboard with ‘non-slip’ matting on the bottom whenever we travel. ¬†When we arrive at our destination ¬†out it comes, the lid is taken off and on the bench top it is left. ¬†Easy as! ¬†I did notice though that after a week or so the kombucha didn’t taste as sweet as my usual batches however soon I realised that where it was sitting never got sunlight on it, as it did in our house. ¬†My solution? ¬† I simply try to get it into the sun for a bit each day (when I remember) and it seems to be back to its usual sweet, fizzy self. ¬†I usually only leave it for a week before creating another batch and apart from judging cooling time for the tea before adding to the SCOBY. The SCOBY is incredibly healthy and continues to grow happily, thankfully. ¬†I have given loads away and still had to pop this big bit (see photo) in the compost today.

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Another Sunday and a fresh batch of Kombucha on the go

The kefir grains, which I use in Rice Milk, are much easier.  They are transferred into fresh milk daily as I consume the fizzy goodness for breakfast.  The other equipment needed is a clean jar (I have 2 in total to swap), a plastic spoon and the milk.  Once again they are simply popped into a drawer with the cups when we travel and then brought out onto the bench while we are parked.  I think they would be my favourite ferment for ease of making (without thought involved) and also that I get to enjoy it everyday without running out.

Finally my sauerkraut. ¬†We came onto the bus with a jar just freshly opened, so that lasted us for most of the 10 weeks however when that came to an end I had to either justify storing an empty jar or fill it. ¬†I decided on the latter. ¬†As we had found some fresh, homegrown radishes in a road side stall I decided to create a radish, cabbage and carrot version. ¬†It is the first time I have used radishes and I’m hoping for a kimchi taste (fingers crossed!). ¬†The process of preparing the vegetables, while very messy and harder to clean up when you are trying to converse the water you have, was straight forward enough and I was feeling very pleased with my self as I packed it tightly into the jar.

Into the cupboard it went … out of sight and out of mind. ¬†Well that was until we next stopped and I realized that my sauerkraut had been jiggled around so much that it had seeped out in all directions as it fermented away. ¬†I have had this happen before at home when I didn’t have a tight seal on the jar or there isn’t enough room for ferment to do its thing. ¬†So after a lot of cleaning up and double bagging the jar we are all set. ¬†Time will tell on the taste and I will have to remember to be less enthusiastic with the amounts of vegetables I am preparing next time to avoid a repeat performance!

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Bagged up and ready for fermenting

Well that is it for now … just a wee insight into domestic life on the bus. ūüôā Until next time. ¬†I hope this finds you enjoying your own little rituals

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Prioritizing

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As we venture into the second to last full week in our home before jumping on our bus I am beginning to feel the squeeze.  It has been, and continues to be, a juggle in trying to maintain normality for the kids in a house which is gradually being depleted of its belongings, allowing viewing for renting our home out, prioritizing what goes for good, what goes on the bus or gets stored and getting all those little jobs (you know the ones that always get put off) completed in the bus and around the house.

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The name is on and we are close to flying off just like the Toroa (Albatross)

 

 

In so many ways it is lovely having less around to clean, tidy or wade through and yet in someways I am feeling a sense of loss at the way life used to be …. with lots of reminders of our life surrounding us at every turn. ¬† There are things that we will hold onto and store, then there are of course those things that we are not attached to at all which are easy to let go of …. for the rest of our possessions they need to give evidence as to their usefulness in our upcoming bus-life or worthiness of being stored. ¬†Everything is being prioritized at ¬†this point in time and put into rank.

We have sold up everything (except for 10 tea-chest sized boxes) and moved ¬†twice before this so we didn’t have a house full of clutter by any means. ¬†It is amazing though how much sneaks into a home, even when you think you are doing a pretty good job at keeping it out. ¬†‘Have house, will fill’ seems to be human’s subconscious manifesto! ¬†Most of our belongings were those that had made the final cut before and thankfully we do have a place to store some of the important things that we know we want to keep but don’t need on the bus. ¬†For the rest …… well the next two weeks will tell ūüôā

Hope this finds you enjoying the things that matter and letting go of the rest.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

The easier it is….

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It has be a busy week around here, nothing too out of the ordinary… just that constant feeling of having to be somewhere or do something or organize things. ¬†With my head in a spin I wasn’t even thinking about blogging until yesterday.

Yesterday we went up to see a family of five who are living in their house-bus which they have designed to be as¬†environmentally sustainable as possible.¬†As we spoke to them about their choices of food, fuel, materials and clothing it made me realise that I often forsake my values and what I find important to take the easy option. ¬†I know that this is something the majority of us do so, truth be told, I wasn’t feeling that guilty…. just in awe that this family had really put their lifestyle where their mouth is ūüôā ¬†In each aspect of their journey and life they put thought into the everyday details and choices.

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Fair Trade Organic cotton T-shirts by Free Set  who offer employment to women trapped in the sex trade.

I came away thinking how great it was that we had met this family and had an opportunity to chat to them. ¬†Then once home and checking e-mails I read an article by Joshua Becker about how when things are easily accessible we tend to use them more. ¬†It got me thinking about the family we had just met, about our own plans for travelling in a house-bus and dreams of living more sustainably. ¬†Maybe that is the key…. the less we have around us (easily at hand) the more we have to think about the choices we make.

Food is a perfect example… when there are chips in the cupboard easily accessible you can bet those chips get munched! Yet when we don’t have them in the house I have to think about either going to the shops (a bit of a drive) or going without. ¬†Usually it is the later as I start to weigh up time and effort. ūüôā ¬†It is true for other aspects of life too both ¬†in a positive and negative way…. it seems the easier life is (and the more accessible the things we want are) the more we use it.

The easier we make it to get¬†cheap, sugary food, unsustainable¬†resources and materials the more we use however the same is true when organic, whole foods, sustainable resources and fair trade materials are easily accessible. ¬†The reverse also works just as well… the more we use things the more accessible they become. ¬†Ultimately it comes down to choices in consumerism and I’m so glad a meet some people that have made me think about mine.

Hope this finds you healthy, happy and full of life.

Arohanui

Y

http://www.becominghealthy.co.nz