Brave or Crazy?!

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Many times on our travels as we talk to others about our life on the bus I have had people say to me, ‘ oh, I wish I was as brave as you’.  Others, I can see by the look in their eye, think we are completely off our rockers!  I’m pretty sure the ones who think we are a ‘few sandwiches short of a picnic’ are only curious to have a look so that they can go home, take stock of all the luxuries they won’t live without and congratulate themselves on not being as mental as us 😉

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Visiting the longest place name in the world

I’m not sure if it is brave or crazy (though I’d probably verge on the latter) however I do know that throughout my life I have done this many times …. thought of something I wanted to do and then just got on with making it a reality.  Anything less would somehow feel like a watered down version of life.  Bad stuff can happen where ever you are; whether you stay at home or not, whether you take risks or not, whether you travel or stay put.  It is a fact of life that  things change and how we deal with those changes can make it a positive or negative experience.

One thing I do know about the life we are living now is that it is allowing our family to experience many more of the wonderful things that life and people have to offer.  It is certainly a great way to counterbalance all those negative stories in the papers, the ones that breed fear and uncertainty.  People, on the whole, are good and life is thriving all around us when we take time to look and listen.  Our children are seeing all the amazing things our country and people have to offer along with some of the issues which we don’t deal with and try to sweep under the carpet.

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Ahuriri Estaury

My point?  That giving things a go is worth it.  Making your ideas a reality can be life changing either through you deciding to go ahead or realizing that ‘dream/goal/idea’ actually wasn’t for you after all. So go on … make the most of each day if only to put your toe in the water of possibilities.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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Homemade Yoghurt

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Some of you may have the impression that this is a ‘Vegan’ blog (not sure why I put that in inverted commas) however while I share a lot of vegan recipes these are relatively new for the blog, as is our journey with our son into his preferred eating style.  Rather I like to think of this blog as sharing things that are happening with us on the bus, our adventures, experiences and more often than not the food we are eating!  This week after an amazing weekend away at a Road-schooling camp I thought I would share an easy yoghurt recipe.

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At camp with other fantastic road-schooling families

This comes about only because while we were away on our road-schooling camp a local farmer came down and offered our kids (all the kids on camp that is) the opportunity to come up and give milking his cow a go.  It is one of my favourite things about New Zealand, and being on the road, that locals are eager and open to share their lives and interests with us as a family.  While himself was more interested in patting the pigs and the cows rather than trying milking, herself absolutely relished the whole experience.  I even made a second trip up with her so she could milk the next morning!  She really got a rhythm going and was rewarded with a bottle of fresh, warm milk ….. along with a desire to own her own cow. 😉 Considering she is not a big milk drinker but is a huge yoghurt consumer we thought that creating a batch of yoghurt with her reward may be the best use of this delicious liquid.

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Milking Saffy

This recipe is one that I found ages ago and which we used to make regularly before moving onto the bus.  It is very easy (just how I like my recipes) with not much milk or effort needed.  The best thing about this recipe is the fact that it doesn’t require much stove power and, as long as you remember to save a bit of yoghurt for a starter, it can keep going as long as you have a milk supply. Thankfully we have a very warm spot above our fridge/freezer where we can incubate this for the night which makes it possible to try on the bus – our first bus batch. We have halved the recipe for us this time however 1 litre fills up an old preserving jar nicely with yoghurt.

Homemade yoghurt

  • 1 litre of full-fat milk (raw is best in our option)
  • 2 tablespoons of live yoghurt (this is your starter)
  • Large glass jar with lid

– Warm the milk in a pot until it is just about to boil then take off the heat.

– Allow the milk to cool for 20 mins and then remove the skin off the milk and discard.

– Mix the warm milk with the yoghurt starter and mix gently but throughly.

– Put the lid on and place the jar into a warm place (such as the hot water cylinder) overnight or at less 6-8 hours

– Transfer to fridge the next morning (or once it has set) to help cool and set further or enjoy warm with some wild blackberries.

REMEMBER TO SAVE TWO TABLESPOONS FOR YOUR NEXT BATCH! 😉

Hope this finds you all enjoying new experiences and savouring the old ones too.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

A weekend away

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It is amazing how something with the same name can take on so many different guises.  A weekend away can be anything from sedentary to active, entertaining to down-right un-interesting, even to those involved. This past weekend was one of those; it had so much packed into it that I’m left feeling very grateful and yet somewhat exhausted! It was a massive mixture of emotions, weather, personalities, scenery, activities and thoughts.

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On the Kaikōura Inland Road

Thursday night arrived and we all bundled into the bus to begin our journey up to visit friends in Nelson the ‘Cider Festival’ with lots of eager anticipation.  It wasn’t long however before this was replaced with a lot of nervous anticipation as our bus decided that she no longer really want to use a particular gear.  Thankfully himself is a confident and capable driver … I would have been even more of a nervous wreck than I was if I had to drive that night …. and we got to our first destination (2 hours away) with a the simple strategy of leaving that gear alone.

The trip to Nelson was looking less than promising, however after a phone call to the mechanical (thank goodness we have such an awesome one) we were assured that all would be good. With this knowledge we headed on our merry way and making good time decided that we could catch up with another Road-schooling family.  Clearly, however, our beloved bus didn’t get the memo about ‘everything being ok’ and as we neared our destination it began to make a strange sound.  It wasn’t until we arrived and then saw a puddle of liquid under the front of the bus that we realised a bit of first aid was needed.  Luckily our friend had a heap of mechanical experience and knowledge so with her help we (the royal we that is) sorted out what we thought the issue was and proceeded to eat, drink, be merry and have some awesome conversations.

liam and his bbq at the sturrocks

Making the most of the bbq himself insisted on being with us …. a winner over the weekend!

The next morning we woke early, albeit a little tired from a late night and the nervous tension of the previous day, to get into Nelson, ready to see our other friends and begin tasting some cider.  Unfortunately it seemed that our bus was also a little tired and refused to start without a ‘jump start’  from our willing friends when the time for departure came.  Issue number three duly noted.  This didn’t hold us back though and we had yet another wonderful day with friends in the sunshine tasting cider, eating yummy food and watching themselves race around the venue trying out all the children’s activities provided.

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Enjoying the Cider Festival in Nelson

With the AA (Automobile Association) card at the ready on our final morning we tried to get the old girl to go ……. without success.  So after our second ‘jump-start’ in two days we got on our way, with everything sound tickey boo, and decided to keep the bus running until we made it back to Kaikōura to remove the need for more jumper cables.  It was half way home that the bus had obviously had enough and despite letting us now use all the gears she won’t let himself go into high ratio which meant a slow trip of no more than 70km rather than the 90km speed she should have been getting up to.

It was almost painful to listen to her refusing to go into high ratio but clearly not happy to be driving along in low ratio and it made me wonder how often we do this ourselves.  How often to we keep going (or let other drive us) when really we need to get something sorted? How often do we refuse to step up the gears and put in a bit more thought or energy to get us out of ‘grunting’ along in life?  How often do we create a story about what our capabilities are to justify what we are willing to do or not do?

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Himself sorting out our ‘girl’ with lots of encouragement

Over the weekend through conversations and observations I came to see that I am very guilty of this.  I keep telling myself that we are losing our sense of community and yet everyday I am part of one … the fact that you are reading this now confirms it … or part of creating a new kind of community.  I choose to believe my old story rather than own the new reality I have.   I ‘grunt’ through life thinking about the things I can’t do or haven’t got rather than stepping up to the higher gear and checking out all the amazing things I do have.  I make up ‘stories’ about having to do things for others when actually it is my choice to be ‘busy’ rather than taking ownership of the actual things I really want to achieve, the things which may challenge me or leave me feeling a little vulnerable.

It was certainly an interesting weekend that has left me deciding to question myself a bit more, move into the ‘higher gear’ a little more often or at least notice those times when I’m hanging around in ‘low ratio’ and grunting along.  Anyway those are my musing now that we are safely back in our paddock in Kaikōura and if it makes sense to any part of you then I invite you to begin the exploration into your ‘operating systems’ as I am doing with mine.

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Back in Kaikōura …. our bedroom view

Hope this finds you in good working order and smoothly navigating the roads ahead.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz