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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Oh yes the emo side of full timing

From my friend Bob's blog.....

http://cheaprvlivingblog.com/2013/09/forewarned-is-forearmed-emotional-reactions-when-you-start-vandwelling/

Friday, August 30, 2013

Refridgeration or Not? and in a van...?


Refrigeration or coolers or ice or don't ice or dry ice or 12 volt coolers or way expensive 12 volt refrigerators or low-tech zeer pots or ....

This was a simpler decision once - living off grid with no electricity and minimal at best solar or battery operated stuff.  Living as a raw vegan - growing my own food in a land of year round growing seasons.  Add to this my love of all things natural and home made...and 2 years spent living with NO plastic (there is another story for another day)

So now, living in my Simply Van - I have chosen not only a mobile lifestyle but also a life inside a dark colored passively solar heated (when you want it or not) small metal box with windows!  I live inside an oven.  Yes, I can, thankfully, open all of my windows.  Unfortunately not every van can do that.  I have chosen not to install a rooftop vent or an air conditioner.  I haven't added Freon to the air conditioner system that came with the van and I don't use the air conditioning system - because if I used it while driving, then when I stop for the night or evening, I would possibly be hot and miss it at night - so why get used to it.  Besides it just adds to the wear and tear on the engine and lowers my gas mileage.

I prefer to eat fresh veggies and fruits.  I carry dehydrated foods for when fresh is not readily available or for when I decide to take my food with me on a hike.

It's incredible how habits get formed.

In my childhood, we raised chickens, bought a side of beef for the freezer each year, had a half acre vegetable garden, canned at least 1000 quarts each of green beans and tomatoes, pickled, jellied, jammed and kept foods stored in the smaller corner and cooler room of the basement.  I remember mustard pickle barrels.  My Aunt and Uncle's northern Maine home had a basement under the garage/woodshed where they raised rabbits.  Another part of their basement had a fresh water spring fed cistern where they raised fish.  Potatoes and squash were layered in straw.  I baked only Whole Wheat-Oat-Honey bread that kept on the counter for a week if no one ate it (which didn't happen in a house with 8 or more people).

When I moved to Central America, and into an Indigenous village.  I thought it different and a bit odd that refridgerators were simply filled with very few and odd things and freezers often only had plastic bags filled with water that became ice, while the outdoor kitchen area might have a rack of bananas or platanos hanging and a basket with potatoes or yucca.  Often a pot of meat or soup would sit at the side of the Fogan's ever ready pile of warm coals.  After I learned enough Spanish to communicate, I learned that the village had only gotten refrigerators in the past 8 years.  Many homes had them, tho more as a status symbol.  I took the opportunity to learn (of course I love learning the old ways anyway - so I just had to know 'how Grandma did things").

After a cow fell down a hillside and broke its leg.  I got to learn the old way of processing meat - because the cow had to be slaughtered and that was a village and family process.  How kewl to learn to keep meat over a week! of course it was kind of hard to keep any of the dried and jerkied meat because of the neighborhood kids and not so kids just visiting!  This Gringa is a good cook!

Another lifesaver I learned after receiving the gift of an bout with parasites from visiting another village, and as well having a family dog near death from depression.  Was the very life saving Leche Agria - sort of a kefir or yogurt like naturally fermented raw milk.  Taken a few days past its prime, you have a natural fresh cheese.  Wonderful stuff - and take my advice, if you travel in other countries it will do your health good to have some (doesn't take much) of that country's fermented milk product to give your body the healthy bacteria that will help fight off diseases.

So where is all this leading?  For the time being, i have decided to insulate an old basket for food storage and to carry a bag style cooler mostly for carrying water bottles and keeping a few things cooler than the air inside the van.  I would like to be living plastic free again and that is a constant thought process as I continue to work with my life.

I may write about foods that dont need much cooling at some point, for now, im just carrying pickled beets, pickled eggs, other pickled veggies like okra or dilly beans, saurkraut, occasionally rice cakes (why plastic bags to hold waxed paper packages can we get less trash please), a jar of ghee (long shelf life butter), a jar of really raw honey w wax particles (btw why is it that farmers markets have to use plastic tubs for honey in the comb now),.  I also try to carry a chunk of really hard real and raw if i can get it cheese for pizzas,  and kippered herring im still searching for a way to get this without all the cans which are just trash after use.  I carry rice flour for pizza crust, a tube or can of tomato paste also for pizza, a bag of wild rice and dehydrated brocolli incase i need a company meal, rice udon noodles and rice papers for spring rolls, and spices, herbs, peppermint tea, coffee which i cold brew and drink room temperature unless its bitter cold and there is a crowd and fire when nothing but cowboy coffee is appropriate :)!  Lets see, i also carry raw cocoa/cacao powder and coconut sugar for hot chocolate on cold nights.

I often buy or pick fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, berries I have quite a few that I dehydrated while visiting a friend recently, carrots, leaf lettuce....stuff like that oh and a couple apples and 2 or three citrus fruits.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

These are so cute!

Towing Lessons

Ive been busy and ive been sick÷well, actually I have asthma.  my asthma can be brought on by excertion/excersize, food alergies, cold air temps or mold n mildew.  ive been helping a dear friend clean up thier stored stuff that had been thier life in a 31ft motorhome.  shortly after their live in and elderly mother passed, the troublesome motorhome died as well.  it has been nearly three years that my friend has kept the old life in storage.  it was time to dig out and bring her inportant things back to life.  we have been handling the project in stages.  some items were stored at friends homes, some at a storage facility and some in a utility trailer. 

we began this project by going after the utility trailer which was stored a couple hours away.   i recall my exhusband and I having a travel trailer at one time. i dont, however, recall if I ever drove with it...so, i pulled up my proverbial bootstraps and off we went into utility trailer towing history  lol.  we found the trailer with flat tires.  the lights worked fine, but the hitch and ball didnt click like i thought it should have....off  we went to find a gas station with an air pump.  now with full tires i can pick up speed.  stop at a red light, then a jolt and shudder...i turn and ask the friend if they thought the car behind us hit the trailer.   light changes and we pull forward maybe 100 feet and the crash n scraping and....i stopped as i saw the trailer coming toward the back of the van ... whoa... well, safely stopped - im a pretty good driver! the trailer came off.  the safery chains did thier job and my rear door mounted tire kept the back of the van from damage.  now how do you suppose we got a loaded trailer back off the ground an correctly attached to the van?  we thought about jacking it up and then called a tow truck for help...tow truck drivers can be so nice.  he did need to unbend one handle  and got us all hooked up. and this time the tongue and ball clicked!  of course i drove slowly after that - what an adventure!

most of the friends things were gone through the other day. it was a long hard day of dump and sort.  the kind you might see on a reality show.  then the tougher decision making and emotional work my friend endured to get her life more manageble.  she did a fantastic job!  though there will be more to do to finish up, she has a good head start. 

and then my asthma took over my lungs and life and ive been in bed a couple days.  probably from breathing the mold, mildew and dust while doing the big sort.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Permaculture Playing Cards!

I just found these kewl playing cards.  They would make a good gift as well as teaching aid for all you like minded naturalists out there!



http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/permaculture-playing-cards

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wednesday's Simply UpDate!

I'm back in Simply Van and traveling! It seems like its been so long.  

New York State is filled with lovely and friendly small towns.  I was glad to have the opportunity to meet and make some lovely and hopefully lifelong friendships while I was visiting and having work done to my van.  Cindy and her grandchildren, Rashaun and Davian were lots of fun to hang out with. We shared healthy food preparation ideas, organic and local food gathering from farms and farmers markets, and even

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Belly Crochet! Whadya say?

Hey take a look at this!  My friend Cindy's Etsy store is offering Simply Lesa blog readers a 20% discount on all purchases during August!  Cindy talks about her creative process on her blog - check it out here:
http://bellycrochet.weebly.com/blog.html
Cindy has some lovely jewelry, belly dancing costumes, clothes, assesories that are all handmade unique works of art!  And her prices are truely reasonable.  Check out the Belly Dance costumes and more... Help support cottage industries and all things handmade!
To get your discount, simply type "SimplyLesa" into the coupon code at check out!  You can find her store here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/BellyCrochet?ref=search_shop_redirect
Simply,
Lesa
20130809_195251.jpg

Friday, August 9, 2013

Whirled wind days...:)

EDIT: Fri Aug 8 to reflect requested change, delete double cut and paste error and spelling error. (Sorry and darn I'm starting to think blogging from a tablet is harder than a laptop)

Over this past weekend, a 2013 Winter RTR and Vannin buddy came to visit with me.  Yes, I am still in Upstate New York.  It seems that God wants me here a little longer, things just keep coming up - and incredible things at that.  But then I am not the only person who has these kinds of things happen.  Many people seem to understand about coincidences that aren't really coincidences. Anyway, as I was thinking over my upcoming travels, my son called to ask me a favor--to please have my brakes checked before I leave this area. Good thing too, because I needed rear brakes!  I am so glad that I had found a local mechanic shop that I feel is fair and reliable and I scheduled an appointment with John at Swift Automotive. He fit me into his schedule and

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Online Empires --- enough already....

I'm not a stupid person.  I even know a thing or two about computers and electronic gadgets --- geez I was a subcontractor for IBM even!.... I built databases before Access was user friendly.....  I KILLED off the Big Blue F (Facebook) from my online life - and geez now the Big Red G+ is trying to take over ----- seriously!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another day...another dollar?


Tomorrow will be pay day for me.  I will see a counselor again today - perhaps I will talk more about that soon...I'm not sure yet how much of that info I want to keep private.  I learned last night that I will be getting a visit from a northern RTRer on Saturday.  I will try to find some touristy and interesting as well as budget friendly (preferably FREE) thing to do while she is here.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Running Red Lights???

Well, we all know that running red lights on the road is NOT a good idea...  and on my way to church with a friend yesterday I did just that.  I ran a red light - I couldn't stop - the road was wet, I was traveling at the speed limit and the light seemed rather short...and I just couldn't stop.  Then the flashing lights and I was opening the window ...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New York - and camping in New York?

I've been hanging around in New York State - cleaning up some online stuff.  Working on the blog, journaling, fixing SimplyVan, getting a little healthier, making some new friends and saving money for the next BIG trip westerly and on to South Dakota.  I was previously scheduled to leave yesterday

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Catch-Up Wednesday!


I have been house sitting in New York State this week.  I have been blessed with the use of a full sized desktop computer and internet service so I have been taking advantage of the opportunity to organize my online life!  Being a traveler and minimalist and having a tendency toward a recurrence of depression...my simple online life and photos and files was getting rather cluttered.  Okay, it was down right messy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Simply gear --- stoves!


I've been wanting to blog about this subject for ages.  I just love gear.  I love stoves.  I love to prepare food and share it with others.  I like knowing how to make things happen....

Nomadic thoughts...

My friend Vonbrown and I were visiting and chatting and he told me that he has taken to calling himself The Nomadic Grampa!

I was thinking about that over my morning cup of coffee today...so I looked up the idea of Nomad...because I travel a lot and I don't know how to describe

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Big Blue F Freedom!

Freedom comes in many different colors and flavors and styles...yes it does...
and today I am celebrating my liberation and freedom from

Monday, July 8, 2013

Simply Van just simply stopped running!??

Wow, what do you do when your van/home/rv just mysteriously stops running?  I mean, it was running, I just started it and then it just shut off - no surprise sounds no nothing.  Just not running and won't start.

Well in my case - I take a deep breath and text my mechanically

Friday, July 5, 2013

OMGosh it happened again!





Darn Blogger Graveyard!

Okay, I now know what happened.  I was writing and posting in my Blogger Dashboard and the wifi went down for a moment or two during a thunderstorm.  All the work I've done in the past 2 hours is GONE! Drat, double drat and darn...

The Mysterious Missing Blog Post Graveyard??

I know I wrote and posted, or tried to, a Sunday post and I guess it has joined the mystery graveyard of blog posts that were sent from odd locations with tethered wifi which can be iffy at best... sooooooo  I did find the pictures???? I remember it being witty and good (aren't all my posts witty and good? Lol)
Saturday, June 29th was my 55th birthday.  I spent the day alone.  I traveled the final couple hours to the Syracuse NY area and checked out some campgrounds that were full in preparation for July 4th.  Then found myself a spot to overnight at the Syracuse area Camping World.  What started out as a rather lonely evening was filled with phone

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Loogootee....what?

As adventures go this past week and weekend rate up there as one of the best. Perhaps a little mild kind of adventure as adventures go. 

In my travels, I meet a lot of people and make a lot of friends.  Now that I am Road-Tripping the USA, I visit friends along the way.  A friend that I made in Arizona this past fall, invited me to visit his 'life' for a few days.  After leaving Beaver Lake Dam, Arkansas we met up outside of Saint Louis, in Pontoon Beach, Illinois. I got to see inside of his trucks semi cab and even watched WWE Wrestling in a truckers lounge. We met up again a couple days later in his tiny hometown to participate in their annual Summer Fest. 

While traveling from Pontoon Beach through Illinois, my tablet kept beeping weather warnings.  After spending almost two months in Arkansas with threats of Severe Thunderstorms and Tornados, I have a healthy respect for weather alert beeps.  I also have a bit of leftover trauma from mountain top hail and lightening storms that I hiked through while on the Appalachian Trail.  Most of the warnings in Illinois were flood warnings and I drove past some very high rivers.  Then I saw the wall of rain ahead of me and coming closer, as the drops began to fall, I reached to turn on the windshield wipers and oh my gosh nothing happened....I mean nothing, Momentarily my heart beat stopped, then the downpour hit with full force as motorcycles pulled off and trucks wizzed past.  I pulled under a overpass and decided it was best to just sit out the rain.  I checked everything I could think of and came up empty.  So about half an hour later I carefully pulled by onto the highway amidst drizzels and made my way to the first gas station where there was this really strange black cloud swirling really fast....I ducked into a parking lot and went inside the building.  Sfter the storm passed, I made my way to the local Wallyworld and spent the night.  The next day I got directions to a repair shop.Luckly and oddly, the motor that lives just above my gas pedal (I never would have looked there) had come loose. Back on the road and on to...

Loogootee
What?  Where?

Loogootee, Indiana is truely small town USA!   This is a place where the parade has more participants than it does spectators.  Where proud 80+ year old men show off their prize tractors from the 1940's and 1950's.  Little red haired freckled 3 year old boys just say hello and show off their new shoes to a lady they've never seen before.  Where the mussel cars line up with the model t and 1960 chevy trucks .  The menonite and amish famillies mill around at same time as young teens in short shorts and cowboy boots.  The 2 block long food and vendor stands busy with neighborly visits, lots of lemonaide and fried everything even candy bars.

Ice cream socials, crafty women and youngsters keeping thier hands busy with knitting and crocheting scarves, making cute doorstops out of dressed up bricks.  Creating light weight 'cast iron' decorations out of cardboard. Jennifer can't stop taking pictures so she found a way to make these kewl magnets.  People here do what they love - Theresa organizes, Deno makes footlong corn dogs and funnel cakes and helped to make this year, especially memorable by getting carnival rides for the first time.  Complete with raffles for a 50" flat screened TV and a motorcycle run held by the local VFW to support a local program for disabled vets.   Other raffles were set up to help raise money for the community pool fund, to raise money for a women's shelter, another raffle for a Vera Bradley bag (that I won!) And a handmade scarf.

Entertainment came in many forms, 2 young girls (16 &17) made up the Sad Sam Blues Jam...wow! Look them up online.  And Terry Lee, an English Harry Conick Jr kind of act complete with local swing dancers - what fun to watch. Wish I could dance like that. I can't recall listening to so much oldies music in a very long time. Oh yeah and the fire department set up a fire safety program and gave out some really nice fire exstinguishers and fire alarms as door prices.  The parade was so old school and the little miss princesses and current as well as past years queens made up a large part of the parade on saturday, riding on the convertables from the car show. 

Between washing my van and doing laundry this morning and enjoying helping out a little at the Route 50 Cruisers car show, my friend and I decided to have lunch at the local chinese restaurant.  The China Wok is a very clean buffet style chinese restaurant.  I needed to order a specially prepared lunch because of my food allergies. But, perhaps the funniest entertainment we had was being waited on by a slim young waitress wearing a lot of eye make-up and streaky blonde hair....omgosh she was so funny but I will save that review for my Trip Advisor restaurant reviews.

I seem to have made a couple friends, people are just very friendly in this town.  I enjoyed myself tremendously. There were these two young boys, perhaps around 5 years old that were so cute trying to play air guitar and act like head bangers.  I wish I had gotten a picture of that. We played and laughed with them.  I sure hope that their Mother gets video of them before they get too old.  That will be a good tease as they get older.

The festival wound up with a performance by the Linda Smith Band.  Linda has so much energy and is a wonderfully possitive and playful performer.  She often came off the stage to dance with children and walk through the crowd.  Just a lovely and fun ending to yet another good day spent here.  The Mayor was pleasant and available and gave an update to the towns goal of upgrading their swimming pool.   The town has some major fund raising and grant writing to accomplish this goal.  The festival ended with a bang - literally!  As the first fireworks display jumped most in the crowd.

Sundays in Loogootee are quiet church and family days.  The festival will be a memory to be shared at dinner tables tomorrow as I say my final 'farewells' and head East on Route 64.

If you are in the area in July, I hear that they have a local Catfish Festival which I can only imagine will be a great time.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blogging along...

Hi all.  I have made a few blogging decisions.  Aren't you all just so exited to hear that?  So first off, I set a new goal and I am going to send out new blog posts on Wednesdays and on Sundays for the next two months!  And secondly I am cleaning up my internet presence and on next Monday I will be deleting my Facebook account!  I am on all things Google and that includes Google+ .

I am excited to give myself a schedule and my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Mother's Day present from my son is so very helpful, this morning, I  got myself a Verbatim bluetooth keyboard to go with it.  Omgosh it is so much easier than the old typing on the teeny tiny Huawei Android cellphone. 

One of my Full-time RVer buddies sent an email yesterday with some requests for blog posts....a wonderful idea! Thanks Dianne. So I would love to hear what my other readers and friends want to hear....please comment or send me an email. This could be a fun way to inspire me to write more.

My Facebook decision -  well, I have been annoyed with Facebook since practically the beginning.  Along with daily reminders of who doesn't like or include me in thier lives, postings from people I hardly know that I can't get rid of, and now drive by commercials labeled 'suggestions' grrrr.  A family member 'friend' requested some privacy from all thier Facebook 'friends' and the software on my tablet wouldn't let me comply....so I'm done. Done done done, like that Thanksgiving turkey.   If you know me personally and want to keep in touch, please email me and we can keep up that way or on Google+.  Otherwise, please follow my blog.  There are many ways to do that using Apps that are like the old Google reader, RSS feeds, or sign up to follow me through Blogger or email. 

Please be patient as I work to improve my blog pages over the next few weeks. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Moving day!

In most everyone's life there is the excitement and anxiousness of a moving day...in the life of Fulltime RVers and Nomadic types there are many more. My campground volunteer friends Dee and Walter had yet another moving day experience yesterday - thier park, Beaver Dam Site near Eureka Springs, Arkansas is beautiful.  You can even camp on a lake here. And they say the trout fishing is amazing!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The songs stuck in our heads...

Maybe its 5 times recently that I've woken up with some lyrics to a song stuck in my head or in my dreaming memory.  Each time its the same song and it starts on the same phrase - "...tell me why I, never seem to make you happy though God  (heaven) knows I try.... make up to brake up thats aaall we do. First you love me then you hate me thats a game for fools..."  I lay in bed waking up and knowing that this is about a past relationship (and borders on some other peoples relationships that I've seen recently.)  I tend to be a long-term relationship person, even with major issues I try to keep improving myself and my relationships.  I don't give up easily - which, perhaps has annoyed former partners or maybe even family members that may have been unable to say that they didn't want to be with me and end it all quick and clean?  Of course some people feel more alive with drama beating down thier door, I've been too close to that a few times.

Back to lyrics and dreams - after my divorce, I was in a 17 year on again off again relationship with a man I loved very much.  I guess he didn't feel the same, but hey Lesa is an okay person, he may have thought, so why change anything.

In my few years of life, I have learned a bit about myself. Like I give people a lot of rope to hang themselves with...I mean, I'm not a fighter, I was taught not to be at a rather young age. So if you want to fight or argue, I listen carefully and wait to see whats going to happen, because actions always speak lowder than words.  If I get angry I usually get teary eyed first and its a long time before I explode.  I am a double cancerian too and I am very emotional.  I don't lie well, I'm no good at keeping secrets and I like to live genuinely (authentic, transparent, open)... I don't see any reason to lie, cheat, manipulate... if someone asks me a question, I answer it and generally don't wonder "why" they asked it. 

Anyway.  I trusted this man to protect me and care for and about me for years, even after he proved time and again that he had a weak charecter. He was and probably still is a dreamer, though less of a 'get er done' kinda guy.  Super talented, amazingly creative, a good story teller and patient instructor (well not so much with my mathmatic 'handicap' - not really a hanicap I just don't 'get' math).  I loved him.  My heart was broken.  I was depressed, I gained weight, I cried all the time, I was devistated and had physical chest pains for a long time. I learned to not trust my own judgement as I learned the truth about his other life and women, the humiliation of all our friends knowing except me... More lyrics - "I wondered what was wrong with me..."  Cheating. I don't understand. If you want to be with someone new, just end the thing you've got going. Wouldn't it be easier, simpler to not have to lie or hide stuff.... I just don't get it.  Anyway, now, if I think of it, I feel sad another death of a dream.

Of course I moved. And moved on. Changed cities, states even.  Distanced myself from that life, those friends and aquaintences...those daily remminders of not being smart enough to know or sexy enough to keep his interest or good enough to be wanted.  Time and distance helped.  And then, one day you wake up with song lyrics stuck in your head....

and rain drops rolling down the window

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Moms Day

To all my peeps, my readers, my family and friends...hope yoir day was as unexpectedly special as mine was, it sure feels good.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Quick blogging!

I didn't forget about you readers out there...and I sure don't want you to forget about me....

I've been kind of busy with traveling to Arkansas and catching up with both EMT-Sarah and my son.  It's been raining here and with that cold wet damp and spring -- think of my asthma and allergies! Omgosh I sound like a seal when I cough.  I actually have taken Benedryl (yuk chemical meds :( ) 
The cashier at the grocery today mentioned I should try out Nettles and order them through Amazon. I will look into the idea.

I will blog more this week and include some of those travel pictures of the van in New Mexico and stuff.  I do like to drive.  Driving can be a kind of busy meditation...  more of that sooon.

Keep it Simple!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Simply Food and Health...

So I think its about time for me to comment on food and health.  Any of you who really know me, know I prefer natural, rustic, handmade, even wild..in most things, including health and food. 

For 4 years of my life I was a raw vegan, I was a vegetarian for nearly 8 years. 

I also have health issues that affect my choices.  My asthma, for example, is exasperated by excersize, cold temperatures, food allergies and evironmental allergies and sensitivities. 

I studied and dabbled in natural hygene. herbal cures, tribal & native medicine and other alterative cures.  I especially like medicine plants that are wild and foraged.  And yes Ive dabbled with foraging as well.

And, yes, I love to prepare food - especially for others to enjoy.  My favorite preparation methods are using minimal ingredients and simple preparation....often the best food is the way it comes straight from nature.  Then add some loving thoughts and handle with caring hands and whala!

Food is a social mixer too, I have learned a lot about other people as well as cultures through my interest in thier favorite foods and preparation methods.  And where would event planning and parties be without snacks and food.

I am a rather creative person as well and preparing daily meals is an opportunity to be artistic as well.

Now given all that background...people often ask me to teach them what I know.
AND
I'm often reorganizing my thoughts on the subject because of whats going on with me personally.  

Im allergic to dry beans: pintos, garbanzos, black beans, lentils...all of them; also, cranberries; and corn syrup, and soy - all kinds, yup soysauce too, and that stuff on lables called "natural flavor", and purfume, which means laundry soaps, candles, propane and kerosene, tobacco (sorry smokers) and even marajuana - i dont like or do drugs anyway and thats just some of the list!

I love Raw, Wild n unprocessed foods.  I prefer them.   My life has been saved by Indigenous snake and crocodile oils, rice water from a Japanese recipe, foraged herbal leaf baths and beef broth from a neighbors farm.

I like the ideas of Storm & Jingee, Daniel Vitalis, Anistasia of Russia, among others....

I am looking forward to making my own clay pots and learning more about cooking with them, foraging for more wild foods, and finding a way to preserve some for a stormy day...

and as today was both cold and stormy, I took myself out for a hot bowl of green chilis at El Rancho on Beeline Hwy in Payson, AZ.  Not bad for only $6.45.   I hope to visit and review more redtraunts - especially raw food ones.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What a difference a day makes..or a few short miles

Its incredible how I can spend days hanging around a nice little town like Payson, AZ putzing with errands and steath camping at Casinos, Walmarts and Home Depots.  Then a 'camp buddy' suggests a retreat a few miles south because of cold, windy stormy weather and low and behold..... its wow incredibly beautiful and warmer and       only 10 miles from town.....

Yesterday, in the morning our buddy EMT-Sarah said her "see ya laters" and headed north toward home.  The rest of us caravaned comfortably to our new south of Payson location around Rye, AZ.

Driving in the mountains has been challenging for me personally for a number of reasons.  One being after my nervous breakdown that resulted in my becoming disabled, I have experienced hypersensitivity.  it often shows up in unexpected areas of my life when i do something both stressfull and physically challenging.  For example, I dont recall being afraid of heights, yet while hiking on the Appalacian Trail not too long ago, I went to take a step down one morning and I was frozen and petrified of that next step.  Mind you I had been hiking for days, perhaps weeks....and now im afraid of a step? weird.  Well now I also recently returned from living in Costa Rica for quite a while, I havent driven much because the public buses are inexpensive and my last car was a Toyota MRII that I owned in NYC....so now Im driving a van in the mountains in Arizona.  The van kind of pushes you down hill and picks up speed incredibly fast. Yup then a panic attack kicks in, im hyperventilating and geez.... the first time I experienced this was on the drive from Arkansas to Arizona.  I secretly hoped that Id never drive near a mountain again.  Well, Payson is in the mountains.  I learned that my van has cruise control - its old enough that the letters were warn off, and someone at RTR was kind enough to show me how to use this kind.  And on aother trip EMT-Sarah taught me how to shift an automatic (okay hanging my head in embarrasement) Im generally an East Coast girl....I drive standard, stick shift vehicles just fine...I always wondered why automatics had 'gears' when nobody uses them... so im learning to shift an automatic.  And guess what?  It actually helps.  I am not as panicky going down hill, I am slow and I use my flashers for safety.  Please dont laugh too loudly when you wizz past me, okay.

As we arrived near our destination yesterday, I was patting myself on the back for safely and more easily shifting my way down the inclines from Payson, when the amazing view of snow capped mountains and wild flowers starting to bloom appeared.  We chose our individual campsites and then went for a walk.....oh my gosh...I was spreading my arms and thanking the blossoms for being there to great me, thanking the Great One for creating the beauty and the day, thanking the bugs......the clouds....the camp buddy who thought to share this place.... WE are so lucky!  Those of us who can slow down, perhaps travel, those of us who choose to live closer to the earth and the all that is all we are so blessed and lucky to have our daily experiences.   Its absolutely incredible what challenging my risk of fear (driving in the mountains, or living in a van, chosing to be diferent) AND a few short miles can bring!

Enjoy you journey!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Procrastination, why?

Hi all....
I used to blog.... Not sure why I'm procrastinating on that whole thing right now, could be the change in lifestyle and all...and occasional lack of cellphone signal.
I figured a few of you might like a little check in - so here goes, I'll work the kinks out of my blogging life some other day.

Sooooooooooo
I got out of Arkansas in early December and drove out to meet up with Bob and the Pre-RTR group.  I was there in 3 days and my van (gosh I love her now!) didn't have not even one issue.  I was so excited and thrilled to meet the group and Bob...we took morning and afternoon walks with Homer , made pots of Cowboy Coffee and cooked on the firepit, and talked and talked and talked.  Joey arrived the very next morning, and in a similar fashion was excited and thrilled.  We made lots of camp-buddies pretty quickly.  The group kind of ebbed and flowed as people came and went before the actual RTR event.  We convoyed over to Ehrenberg (sp?) for a while which changed the dynamics of the group as we went off in different directions and dealt with the cold windy and sometimes wet weather.  I was soooooooo cold - the desert sure isn't Costa Rica!  I eventually left that sight, tagging along with a new-found friend, just before Christmas with my van conversion in mind.  We enjoyed a lovely Christmas dinner cooked on the campfire and eaten around my palmtreewithsolarlights xmas tree.  It was great fun constructing my bed and a storage bin as a combined effort of the friend and myself.  Measuring twice or five times lol and cutting once.  Drawing ideas out and then taking a break to think them through.  We moved over to the RTR event site and created a KleanAirKamp in order to accomidate RTR attendees with health issues.  Early in Janurary, I invited anyone to join us there for my traditional first sunday of the month breakfast.  We had a lot of people, maybe overwhelming to some, and I made Huevos Rancheros, which was gone quickly - it was so much fun for me too.  I realized that I am so much more social a person than I had thought before that time.  I also realized that I needed to protect my friends - well, from me! me and my socialness (is that a word?)  So I moved over a bit closer to the center of the RTR camp...and was I social!  The people who came were wonderful and amazing and interesting and helpful --- I had incredible volunteers just take up the hammer and finish up my van construction, giving me a wonderfully comfortable mini-camper of sorts.  And then I got tired and more people came to RTR and stuff happens in the social world and....then RTR was over.  Kinda just done.   I'd had a couple asthma attacks and had to stop cooking so much on the big fires...the cold was difficult but I did it - reached yet another goal of attending RTR! woohoo!
I was feeling a bit lost as people began to leave RTR for home..."home"....hmmm, I don't have one ---err, yeah I do and she's been a trusted vanfriend for a few months now - my van.  And the next adventure began.
A few nights alone.  A trip to Yuma and Algadones, Mexico to get eye glasses...another meeting with Bob and the Post-RTR crew at Sidewinder, California.  and changes... more changes....
I'm starting to get this.  I am more comfortable and relaxed.  There are still things to do - details of life to clean up - phone calls to make, friendships to work with.
A group of us moved off together to Mittry Lake, AZ which was a lovely change of both scenery and weather as it began to warm up.  We had more wildlife to see, and water to kayak in...we even had a beaver for a neighbor.  and then it was time to leave and find a new camp - Fortuna Pond --- a lovely little fisherman's paradise tucked between fields of romaine lettuce, cabbage, broccolli, onions and ...  It was a nice change - I even found a little palm tree to park beside.  it reminded me of my Costa Rican adventures and brought a little bit of a smile - I told everyone I was on vacation while I was beside that palm tree.    Only a hammock could have made it better!
Recently another camp-buddy headed north to 'home' and we said our fairwellstillnexttime!
And another day - another adventure begins....




--
Keep It Simple
Simply, 
Lesa
 
Lesa NeSmith
USA phone: (347) 410.6480

Skype - Facebook - Gmail - GoogleVoice

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sunny days Finally!

Soon, I will send some pictures again.
I've been at Mittry Lake, AZ with a beaver for a neighbor.
It's finally warming up a bit and I can take off the winter bundle of clothes!  I'm so sorry about being 'incommunicado' but wilderness boondocking campsites don't always have cellphone reception!
 
I hope all my RTR buddies and friends are doing well, please let me hear from you soon. 
I'm hoping to have service at the next campsite....
 
REMEMBER the first Sunday of the month is on March 3rd.  I will make breakfast for who ever is around...I'm thinking breakfast burritios this time!  Come find me...
 
Hugs

--
Keep It Simple
Simply, 
Lesa
 
Lesa NeSmith
USA phone: (347) 410.6480
CR cell: (506) 8545-2575

Skype - Facebook - Gmail - GoogleVoice

Friday, February 15, 2013

Quote of the day..

My friend MA loves quotes, she shared this 'MA's Quote of the Day'
"and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music" Nietiche.....

Dance to your drummer!
Live your tempo! (thanks JZ)

enjoy the warmpth of this day - its finally short sleeve tempurature in the desert.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Staying warm....brrr

Hi yall,

I really didnt expect either Arkansas or the desert of Arizona to be so crazy cold! brrr... about froze my smartwool socks off a few nites.  I have been so very grateful for all the help and advice of fellow full-timers to get me through this. Dee n Walter in Arkansas gifted me reflectix n helped fit it to the windows.  A stranger left a mighty warm sleeping bag outside the van at Toad Suck COE Park.  Peace Lutheran Church too me under thier wings and blessed me a few nights at a campground, a lovely lunch and some warm blankets.  Pastor Ben from Central Church in AR brought me Thanksgiving dinner and firewood and also helped me with nites at a campground so I could plug in an electric heater.  After arriving in the AZ desert, Bob Wells and his tribe of Cheapgreenrvliving full-timers were a wealth of knowledge and assistance.  Charlene (swankiewheels) especially befriended me and not only helped me stay warm with her xmas gifted blanket, she and I worked together to build my bed and storage bench.  One evening, after nearly leaving the tribe because of the bitter cold and wind, she and Cheri showed me how to cacoon my sleeping space for more warmpth....I cant thank them enough.  Bob and Brian loaned me a Buddy heater which was wonderfully warm, although I was reminded, after using it a few times, of my allergies and athsma, so I decided to try other ways of staying warm.  Here are a few simple things that seem to help:
smartwool (any wool really) socks and wear them to bed!
winter hat and gloves or mittens wear them to bed also.
use an old fashioned hot water bottle n warm up your bed before getting in then hug it while you sleep
before bed, drink hot chocolate with cayenne pepper in it while you chat with friends around a campfire...and speaking of campfires, if your athsma is too active to deal with wood smoke, make an alcohol fire by placing a roll of toilet paper inside an empty medium size coffee can, fill it with rubbing alcohol and let it sit so the tp soaks up the alcohol and then acts as a wick....its a pretty clean burn outdoors.

I am still experimenting with heaters and fuel.  My new Kandle Heeter is cute and cozy tho a little small - I got better heat out of it last nite using an unsented candle in an empty tin can....I will keep you posted on this as I practice with it more.

So I pass the help along as other newbies arrive to visit or join the tribe.  Making coffee or hot chocolate and encouraging others to share the safety or warmpth of my tiny abode, or at the least its respite from the wind.