Pantry + Passover

    So, the kitchen is coming along......

    We decided to rebuild our stove support in order to raise it up and make it so that our new vent could be routed out through the blocked-out window. It's all hooked up now and heating our tea water!

    We also rebuilt the support for the icebox to make it tied in with the pantry above it. We added extra insulation around the ice box to make it extra efficient.

    We also put a heat shield around the stove top and used pieces of copper pipe as spacers - just like we did with the heat shield around the wood stove only on a smaller scale. We sealed all the plywood with that Safecoat stuff to prevent off gassing. Eventually we will add a row of small, shallow over-head cabinets above the stove and the sink for extra storage of dishes and things.

    We also hung up curtains all around the bus - three layers: top fabric + flannel sheet piece + regular sheet for the back. I added velcro tabs to the tops and bottoms so that they fit snugly against the window and help stop the convection current. There's been lots of time consuming odds and ends like this that we've been working on lately.

    We have lots of safety gizmos now: a LP detector towards the floor (propane sinks), a smoke detector, a CO detector and two fire extinguishers.

    We also re-did the gray water tank connection to smooth out the kinks that were happening in the hose. We also replaced the regular nuts that we shouldn't have used in the first place with lock nuts that won't rattle loose on us.

    And yes....we replaced those windows we smashed up a while ago just fine. We ended up taking out two of the far-back windows in the bedroom and covering the inside up with cedar fence boards. We've been using lots of cedar fence boards for the interior lately - it smells great and looks pretty darn nice for $1.99 a board. Sometime soon we'll sand them and finish them but for now they kind of give it a rustic, cabin feel on the inside.

    We're also in the middle of building our fold-out table right now. It's trickier than you would think! Pics on that to come.

    We've been sleeping in the bus for a week or so now. It snowed/hailed/rained here for most of the time we were out there so we've definitely been learning how to work with our wood stove.

    Heating and sleeping are a-ok. Cooking is another matter. Having discovered that our only local hose option for filling our fresh water tank is "drinking water safe" PVC, we've started to look elsewhere for a non-pvc (polyethylene?) hose. Looks like they only make them in Europe...arg. We may have to settle for a PVC hose for now and upgrade later. We'll decide what to do soon enough.

    oh yeah....and HAPPY LATE PASSOVER!

    we were very proud of our spread this year......

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Two Roads Diverged........

    In early March we said goodbye to our friends in Santa Barbaara, (with the exception of Sunshine and Dylan who split town in true gypsy fashion. I understand guys, when it's time to go it's times to go ! No worries !)and drove south for Moss's court date.

    I am happy to report everything went well. At the last minute the DA suddenly wanted to make a deal. She offered to delay for six months then drop the charges. However, Moss would have to agree to some community service work. Our lawyer advised us to take the deal because it would not hurt our civil case at all and it would save us money in the long run with not having to go to trial. Now we can proceed with the civil trial, but not before a much needed six month break from legal hassles.

    In mid April Moss, Sage and I flew to Florida to see my mom and dad, who had yet to meet Sage. We stayed for 12 days and had a wonderful time swimming in the gulf and visiting. My dad and step mom live in Sarasota and my mom and step dad live in Vero Beach.

    We are now back in California and contemplating our next move. As always, we have many options. We will be vending at the Faerie Worlds Festival again this year and need to find a nice woodsy place where we can settle in for a time to make boots, dolls, puppets and dye 30 lbs of wool. The question is, where would be the best place to do that. It needs to be someplace easy to get to, but at the same time remote, wild and inexpensive. There are some beautiful and very remote campgrounds in the mountains north of Santa Barbara, but the tiny mountain roads that lead to them are winding, narrow and prone to rock slides. If we can make it down those roads, it would be a lovely place to nest for a time. We may also head north ( which we need to do anyway this summer for the FW festival), and stay near Cougar Hot Springs in oregon. Then again, Northern California has some very beautiful and inexpensive campgrounds as well.

    The truth is, with our veggie system down, we now have to pay for fuel and diesel is up near 5.00 a gallon. Increasingly we find ourselves parked for days at a time in one spot as we save money just so we can drive to another spot. To make matters worse we have recently purchased another vehicle, a 1983 Mercedes 190 D. It's a great little car that gets about 40 miles to the gallon. We bought this car a month ago for only 3000 dollars. We bought it because we thought we would be staying on some friends land up north for an extended period of time and needed a way to get in and out of town easily. Now however, due to to some serious family/domestic problems on his part,it seems we might not be able to stay there after all. That is really to bad as it is such a beautiful cabin, hand built in the 1850's right on the Rouge river.It has the most beautiful balcony and porch, as well as a bathroom with a jacuzzi tub. Gorgeous. We were going to stay there in exchange for work on his organic farm. There still is some hope that we can stay there, but it is slim, so we are making other plans.

    As much as I love bus and nomadic living, I have been a bit conflicted about it of late, and am starting to wonder if full time travel is the best thing for Sage.

    There is something to be said for staying in one place year after year, watching the seasons change and the trees grow. There is a feeling one gets from knowing a piece of land, it's secret trails and wildlife, as intimately as the lines on a lovers face. To know, through careful observation and long quiet walks in the woods all the magic and revelation the forest holds. To know the deer and vole trails, the best watering and swimming holes, where the various plants grow from year to year in all there many cycles. To see yourself and life cycle reflected in the seasons. To know the joy of planting a garden with your own hands, helping to care for it and then eating the food you helped grow. When living this simply and close to the earth in a day to day sort of way, there is a true magic and peaceful rhythm one experiences that cannot be substituted or experienced in any way other way. I deeply miss this connection to place, to land.

    Having experienced these things myself ( Moss and I lived in a tipi for years at one point )it is my hope that Sage will have the opportunity to as well. This is difficult on the road. Yes, we can walk in the woods from place to place and explore many and diverse habitats as we travel, but it is not quite the same.

    I guess what I am saying is, I am feeling a bit like it may be time to try to lay some roots. In my ideal world we would have a home base, somewhere wild and remote, preferably in a community but not necessarily, where we could grow a garden and build a cobb house. A place with lots of trees, a pond or stream and a nice sunny, south facing meadow. From there we could travel part of the year in the bus, maybe even leave the bus at times and travel internationally by foot, wagon or boat.

    So, we are putting that out there in the universe as our prayer, that we find a piece of land someplace wild and full of magic. A place where we can lay some roots and grow a garden, at least for part of the year anyway.

    One thing is for certain though, neither Moss nor I could ever settle down permanently. We both have the heart and spirit of a gypsy nomad. I have known since early childhood that I was destined, for better or for worse to spend a good deal of my life wandering, seeking out the dsuty, remote and wind swept corners of the earth.

    Gypsy, rolling stone, nomad, wanderer, tinker, us what you will,we have been called by many names, but one thing is true, most people who wander relentlessly do tend to feel this call from a young age. You know who you are. Keep in mind, this nomad that I write of is quite a different animal than the one who enjoys frequent trips, usually pre aranged via travel agents, to resorts all over the world. For the true nomad it is more about a way of life. There is also a kind of frantic yet aimless quality to the travel. It is rather like you are r`cing to experience as much as life has to offer in the short amount of time given

    When ignored this calling for the road only gets louder and louder until you find your thoughts increasingly filled with images of travel in all forms, train hopping, bus conversions, gypsy wagons, RVs, hitchhiking, sailing. Before you know it your drifting off at work or school, unable to concentrate as you continuously design and redesign the perfect bus conversion or gypsy wagon in your head.

    As much as I love this wandering life, at the the same time I have always been a homebody, believe it or not. In fact I am probably the biggest homebody I have ever known. I would much rather sit in the bus and read, work on felting, watch the fire or clean than go out to a movie or friends party.

    It's true, I am a basket of contradictions and somehow I must find a way to marry these two sides of myself, the side that wants, no, NEEDS to keep moving and traveling, with the side that wants to be grounded and have a home base.

    I believe I have found the answer and now we just need to manifest it in the form of a piece of land or community....

    Every Sunday this group of Veterans gather on the beach in Santa barabara and put up this memorial to the fallen soliders of the Iraqi war. One cross for each person. It is heartwrenching..

    Sage enjoying the beach in FL, who by the way, is now walking fully at ten months ! In fact, she is running !

    Camping on the beach , we have a nice view....

    Our friend Sunshine drew this picture for sweet pigeon Palomino, no longer with us..

    Sage peers from the bus window....

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Mr. Toad's wild ride

    Well, we took her out. We decided it was time to overcome one of the last hurdles of this project - learning to drive the bus. After getting a handle on how the air brake system works and checking a few fluids, Erin got behind the wheel to take her for a spin. She sure is BIG. The lesson we learned: it's going to take some practice.

    We just went around the neighborhood and it was pretty exciting. By the end of our session, Erin had started to master the left-hand turns. The trouble only came when we attempted to get it back up the steep/curvy driveway. We were doing fine until one of the sawed off branch stumps we had left took out a couple of our windows!! It was pretty dramatic. Next time I'll make sure to check both sides of the bus before I say it's clear to go - oops. But luckily we were planning on taking out a few more windows in the back, so it wasn't too difficult to swap them out. It made us realize that it would probably help to find a new situation for the bus that would make it more smooth to get in and out so we can practice more often.

    In the mean time, we are finishing up as many odds and ends to get it self-contained before we officially move in. We're working on a kitchen pantry/cabinet, installing our range vent and hooking the propane up, making a table, and finalizing the composting toilet apparatus. More posts on these projects to come. In other news, Erin finished sewing the curtains up - lots of windows lots of curtains.

    Hope everyone is enjoying the spring blossoming!Source URL:
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