Just another day commuting..

Image So as I venture farther and farther, I learn so many things as a new cyclist in the city. Everyday it’s about seeking the eye contact needed not to get plowed over, gaining more and more nerve to hold my line/lane.

Today I learned two more things to add to my list.

  1. You can get run over by some odd characters on Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, people try to run you over all the time, but usually just on Halloween do you almost get creamed by the Tinman in an Izuzu.
  2. People that ask cars on the curb or what not tend to not ask you for money while on your bike. This guy actually avoided eye contact and moved to the car behind me. Brilliant. And I didn’t have to make a car payment this month probably unlike the car behind me. Double score.

All and all, it was a great trip! Beautiful weather despite the recent storm. I love the parking. People still look at me sketchy when I walk in with my book bag, but you know what they say.. Haters gonna hate 😉

Happy Halloween everybody!!

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Dear Prudence.. Open up your eyes

ImageThis weekend I had the opportunity to go to the mountains to camp with some friends. So grateful for a few days of crisp mountain air, I was hoping for some clarity on some things rolling around in my head. All these new changes has put stress on my house and everyone in it. We know we are all doing the right thing and that it will get easier, but sometimes… it gets a little tense. Change is scary sometimes even for the right reasons. I wanted to get out of my own head for a day or two and see if I couldn’t gain a better perception, a simpler grip if you will. You can go through all the motions of anything and get it done, but if you don’t know why, you’ll never do it for the right reasons.

Example.. I can sell or give away all but the basics of my possessions to live a minimalist lifestyle. I know that’s what you do to get there, right? But if I deep down don’t want or understand a simple lifestyle, I’ll never be happy with what I have. The feeling of not having what I want or what I think I need to be happy will remain until I absorb the mindset of the minimalist. There’s the process itself and then there is the understanding.

I feel I really got some of the clarity I needed. Things became clearer than they have ever been to me. It’s all about being simple. I realized the answer is simple and beautiful. Doing for others because you want to, not because of a possible return. You have to get things right within yourself. Be peaceful and grateful and simple on the inside and your light will shine through. Wow, I’m in the middle of this epiphany that all I need is really inside me. If I’m good all the way through, I can handle anything that comes my way. To find that peace deep inside, you could be happy in a rainstorm. This is my life. No more getting angry or upset.  What does that do? Nothing and I realized how selfish that was. I control  my thoughts and actions.Helping other people, helping the environment around me.. These things in a constant will help me realize more the happiness that can come from within if I allow it.. No, not just allow it, but make more effort to repeat kind acts that bring happiness. I know this part is the understanding

This is my American dream…

Image I mean think about it. Wake up with the sun, crawl into your custom breakfast nook to enjoy the kiss of sunrise. Think to yourself.. What do I want to do today. Get rid of the have to. We don’t have to grind away at a corporation setting to have things, nice things. We just have to change our perception.

Remember in school, where they ask you to take out a sheet of paper and write where you want to be in five years.. ten years.. Every year it changed, so why was it so important to push specific goals? For me to realize later, I failed them all in some way or another. I remember my 8th grade ten year was to be married to Buck Cargile, well that didn’t happen. Neither did I become a veterinarian, nurse, astronaut and I’m pretty sure the first female President floated around through elementary school. What’s the point? What if our teachers didn’t ask for specific goals, just directions. Maybe write out our favorite hobbies over a few years span, collect them and let us explore the options that have appealed to us best.

I think its more important to lean towards behavior rather than strict goals. If focus is put towards good behavior and open direction, we could have several places we could end up and that would be perfectly fine. I want to look more into ‘unschooling’. When we get our place, I would like to unschool Sydni. Let Nature be her guide. Giving her questions and answers at the same time. I picture us going through out our day making observations and talking about it. Going to the library to look further into things we had questions about. Just this time together, outside of four walls, will be beneficial to us both. Working in the garden together, talking about the principles of things without it seeming like a drill, working out the details of the house. Letting her see that we built our house, we own it, not the bank. We are free to do as we please with our time due to the simple way we live and that is true riches.

Garlic is in the ground and the potatoes are piled high!!

We planted three rows of garlic cloves today! I spent the morning weeding the beds and hard raking all the loose dirt the chickens have been scratching away from the beds. They have really screwed my pooch on the Fall garden, I knew they would and the precautions I took just weren’t enough. I planted the garlic in the beds to the farImage left. Not like a regular Fall crop I guess, it stays until May. I think I’ll rotate out with a block of corn.

Writing down bed layouts for crop rotation is one of the biggest things I want to learn and work on. I planted legumes after the corn to hopefully fix nitrogen for the next crop. Each plant can help or hurt each other just by the way you plant it! I guess it’s time to reread all my Permie stuff. I have different questions this time through, just like they said I would. The old theory vs. practice. With Winter approaching, I’m sure I’ll get my fair share of catching up on my reading. A new GRIT came just today, with winterizing your chickens on the cover, just what we’ve been talking about!

I piled the potatoes today as well, tried to leave just the tops showing. This will be my first trial with growing them this time of year. I’m assuming just like the carrots, if I keep the tops from getting freezer burnt and die, they’ll continue to grow. The carrot tops in the container out front are a good 4 inches now. I’m glad they’re out front, the chickens would have had a field day with those fluffy tops! I plan on getting onions from Renfroe’s this week and a couple bales of straw to add some finishing Fall touches.

Keeping up the good work 😀

Word.. from my mother ;)

So I actually think mom is considering the idea of us coming down there. It would be awesome. We are going to look at the land they sit on when we go down for Thanksgiving. I don’t think they like the idea of cob as much as they would a cabin, tiny home style. That is fine by me!! That would let us build both if we wanted. Set up the homestead, actually build.. All the while learning the land, setting up the garden. I’ve never even practiced with cob so maybe this is a better idea to start. I want to do an outdoor kitchen area on whatever we decide, between the kitchen and garden would be nice! I would build a cob oven to break everybody in on what it’s all about and how it works.

I’ve been entertaining the idea of a Japanese style outhouse for the main bathroom. I feel completely renewed on my inspiration. I honestly thought my mom and step dad would shoot me down on this and I think the cob, they will. But the cabin, we may have hope! She says to me yesterday.. It’s all woods back there, Kortni. Yeah, mom, I know! I talked to her about felling trees on site. Renting a sawmill for lumber, hopefully harvesting all you need from what you cut down. We talked about composting toilets and solar panels. I think she is really starting to take me seriously.

She’s at a hippie festival this weekend, so I tell her to get in tune with nature while she’s there 😉 Ask someone what they think of earth homes and off the grid living. Hopefully her and Jay come back with renewed inspiration for us too!

I love pallets and Pinterest!

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I got this cool idea off Pinterest for a potting table. Something I could do myself!! We had been collecting pallets for a fence project that has long been discarded. There were so many things to do with pallets. I’ll start with a potting station.

I went down to Harbor Freight to get a saw. I needed one anyway for my fence. I was smart enough to get the two year warranty and was on my way. I got home and cut up my pallet and some 2x4s we had been saving. (Never know ;)) Michael had brought home his impact gun from work and with his help lining things up, my table was together!! Not only did it look good, it was very sturdy!

I had to scrap the pallets for for my failed fence because I cut them up, but something tells me the winter months will having me collecting pallets again and planning ideas for Spring 🙂

LOVE THIS!! I wanna move to Portland.. 🙂

Organic Green Roots

Portland has all the good ideas.

An 8th generation Oregonian, Geoffrey Franklin owns and operates Walnut Studiolo, a leather accessories shop in Portland, Oregon. A small, family run artist studio that specializes in leather accessories for bikes.

One accessory in particular is gaining attention, and for good reason. The 6 Pack Bicycle Frame Cinch marries two of Portland’s many loves, pedal powered transportation and  microbreweries. (Portland is home to more than 40 breweries—more breweries than any other city in the world).

And if you love bikes but prefer vino, you’re in luck. Bottle Belts are designed to secure a nice merlot or just about anything cylindrical- or bottle-shaped to your bike’s top tube. A bottle of water will fit just as securely as cabernet.

Walnut Studiolo handcrafts a multitude of  daily items helping to replace the ‘throw and go’ mentality with ‘reduce and reuse.’

”Bicycle accessories are my core focus…

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I can get my new tires now!!

Image My new score on the Schwinn didn’t come without extra costs.. The tires were super dry rotted and while Cody, Michael’s son, was riding, it blew the front tire. Now I need tires and a tube 😦

I had already said no to new tires until I sold the cruiser to pay for them. It also gave us time to shop for best pricing. Visiting bike stores is awesome. It is a whole different realm to me. Michael had a conversation with one of the techs and I didn’t understand half of what they were saying! Michael would love to be a bike mechanic.. There’s just not a lot of openings for them at the moment :c (He has a follow up interview this Thursday for GOP!! Yay!! Fingers crossed) One thing I learned right off, these people take biking of any kind freaking seriously. I mean it. These dudes are hard core, just look at some price tags. You have to be hard core to be able to afford equipment like that. Just so y’all know if I could afford it… I would want the Surly Troll, I like this years purple 🙂

Back to the Schwinn in my current reality.. I sold the cruiser yesterday for $50!! We had found the best price on Amazon, duh, and I might even have enough left to get a rack.. Maybe. I am so excited, so were the people getting the bike. It was win win all around!

Girl day :)

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Michael helped a friend of ours out on a side job, so Syd and I planned it where we could spend some time with Liz, his girlfriend/my confidante. I don’t get to see her much as it is and she loves to bake.. So perfect way to spend the afternoon 🙂 We decided to do jalapeno poppers (we are all still harvesting jalapenos every day!), a dip and a peach crisp for desert.

Goodness it was good to be just girls! Sydni played with the dogs, burying Coyote’s stick from him. It was so funny, he would sit beside her and act like he wasn’t looking when she buried it. Then they would ‘find’ it together. Liz and I sat on her back porch where you feel tucked away and safe. Her little treasures peeking from different corners all with a story to tell. We laughed the afternoon away in between preparing each dish. It was really needed..

She hollowed the peppers while I sliced up the peaches. I know they are not in season here right now, but I was craving the peach crisp. (She had already told me she had vanilla ice cream) Sydni helped me with the final touches on it. By then the boys had come back and we moved the dinner back to our friend. We ate black bean salsa and baked dinner. It was delicious!! Not only did I get some time with my girls, we made a kick ass meal with dessert. Day well spent..