Tag Archives: Simplifying

Summer Day

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I had a toasty Saturday cruising the town, I headed up toMcKinney for their weekly farmer’s market at Chestnut Square.

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I didn’t spend all my money at the market, just picked up a  bunch of lavender (which I’m attempting to dry and it’s shedding all over our dining table, but gosh it smells good) and some yummy mango drinkable yogurt from Lucky Layla Farms.

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Here are some more pics from the day…

Chestnut Square………

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Downtown McKinney…

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 I also  stopped by Jacob’s Reward Farm to pay Cindy a visit and got to say hi to her new alpaca boys. They are less then a year old and just so darn cute, still a little skiddish, but will soon warm up to their new home and barnmates. You can check out some funny videos and her updates on the farm on her blog, http://www.jacobsreward.blogspot.com/. She’s even started recording a podcast, so check that out too. She’s a wealth of knowledge and it’s been fun to pick her brain on some things. I hope to visit her world again soon and give Jeff the official tour.

  The new boys on the block…..

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Thing’s I’m loving:

Mary Jane’s Farm magazine: http://www.maryjanesfarm.org/magazine.html

Crissa’s Closet , a women’s consignment shop run by Hope’s Door, Plano women’s shelter. Designer clothing at less then $10, and your cash goes to a good cause, who can beat that? Much of my excess clothing that was weeded out last year has made a home there too.

Currently reading: Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest’s Most Controversial Season, next up are Truck and Population: 485 by Michael Perry,  just finished Farewell My Subaru by Doug Fine,http://www.dougfine.com/ ,  (a must read!)

Take it easy, stay cool, I think we’ll be hitting the 100 degree mark here next week, thank God for air conditioning………….

Welcome to Bus Life 101

Kitchen…….and Mr. Parks, originally uploaded by dancemntn.

I apologize I haven’t been updating our blog with more then just a couple of sentences lately. We’ve been crazy-busy packing and moving our belongings into storage so that we could finally call our bus home for a while. And no, before you get too excited wondering if we have hit the road, I have to tell you that we are staying put in TX for now. This is where we’ve been placed for the time being and I’m guessing there are many reasons for that (not that I know all of them). But what I do know is that this transition to smaller living has been easier then I ever dreamed it would be. Having only owned one vehicle between the two of us for almost a year, selling alot of our “stuff” last summer, and just knowing that this move would get us closer to our goals just prepared us for our jump into tiny house living.
This is our third week in the bus and the time has really flown. We’ve both been amazed at how natural it feels to be living this way. I think I’ll just list some reasons that we’ve come up with so far:
Living in such a small space requires everyone to do their part, so there is no being lazy about anything. It makes us take responsibility for everything we do, whether that’s taking care of the dog, making sure items are picked up and put away everytime they are used, taking out our small bags of trash and dumping the recycling when it gets full, and monitoring our use of hot water (we only have a 6 gallon hot water tank). We are so much more aware of the requirements of simpler living. Either use it, reuse it, recycle it, or don’t buy it in the first place! This bus has great storage, but there is no room for excess. RV’ing is the perfect example of conserving resources like water and electricity and I will talk more about that in a future post.   It has been a joy for me to be able to work by natural sunlight in my new “office.”

Another major thing we’ve learned is that this life all about living purposefully and realizing that everything you do and what type of attitude you have doing it affects the people you live with in a major way.We also get outside so much more then we ever did living in our duplex. Yes, we had a backyard, but we also had everything we needed inside too, so the yard was never a very enjoyable place to be. Now, out of necessity, the outdoors becomes your kitchen, your play area, and somewhere to get some fresh air and exercise. Marley’s happier when she gets exercise, and so are we, because after working desk jobs all day, we need the walks way more then she does. Parks loves to tag along with his bike and is loving our little patio area. It’s the perfect place for him to hang out with his trucks and rocks, his dream!
So, that’s in a nutshell what we’ve been experiencing so far this month. Of course, the summer may bring a whole new twist to this experience, but as of right now we will enjoy this cooler spring weather while we can. I’ll also be adding some more pics to the bus set, click on the pic above to see the current set of photos I’ve posted on our Flickr. Just wanted to at least get a quick update out about the move.  I also have some Easter egg hunt pics from Jacob’s Reward Farm in Parker, TX still to post and will blog about some other topics I’ve been wanting to chat about.

Until next time………

Have cup, will travel………

 

Coffee for the road

Reusable coffee mugs (Target special and mug made from recycled plastic)

BYOC-Bring your own cup!
So, for more then a decade, we’ve been carrying around our own coffee mugs and water bottles (before Nalgenes were “scarey”) wherever we went.  We’ve probably saved thousands and thousands of coffee cups from going in the landfill without blinking an eye. It just became a habit and I liked it better when I didn’t have to worry about putting that plastic top on my scalding hot drink and risk burning myself and wasting a good hot beverage (I have a very good memory of not applying that top so perfectly once.) Plus, it just kept my drink warmer then those paper cups with the cardboard bracelets always did. Now, we can’t leave the house without taking our cups just in case we might grab a cup of joe while we are out on the weekends. We even bought a couple of plastic mugs with an IKEA special where you could get lifetime coffee where you purchased the cup. Now that’s dedication!
Check out this coffee waste calculator and see how many pounds of waste you can save by just using a reusable cup!
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Camping Necessities (Stainless Steel water bottles, Dr. Bronner’s
 Peppermint and Sal Suds natural soaps)
Bottle Love
We’ve moved from using the bulky plastic bottles to mainly stainless steel bottles. They clean up really well and don’t seem to get as funky as the plastic ones.( Here is a link to a page on Nalgene’s website that has a good FAQ section on BPA, here. )We fill those up for traveling, to take to a workout class, and for heading to the park. Instead of stocking up on plastic water bottles for camping, we’ll fill up those large reusable water jugs with filtered water or just purchase multiple gallons at a time. We definitely have to invest in a Brita or other water filter, since we are not fans of our local tap flavor! Some good brands of stainless steel bottles to look for are Kleen Kanteen, Sigg,and a company out of California that I just stumbled upon with some beautiful designs called EarthLust.
Investing in reusable anything whether it’s water bottles, coffee mugs, or kitchen napkins  is a great idea for saving money and reducing waste. I don’t use paper napkins anymore, just some reusable cloth napkins I got on sale from Steinmart that I absolutely love. We keep paper towels in the house just in case we need them, but they don’t go to constant use in the house for cleaning or just wiping up spills.
For me, living “lighter” on the planet shouldn’t have to cost you anything, it should actually save you some cash. Even using refillable mugs might get you a “cup” discount at a local coffee shop, so it’s definitely worth a try!  I feel like every little bit helps, and If I can be conscious of what I’m throwing away, or even recycling, then I’m making steps to living simpler. It stretches my imagination when I force myself to think of ways to reuse things in a different way (without becoming a pack rat). It’s these kind of  habits I’m trying to form, like making sure we have food for the week so that we don’t eat out, and cleaning up once every day so that when Saturday comes I’m not overwhelmed by a house that looks like its been through a tornado. OK, so I think I went off on a rabbit trail there, but those are my simple living thoughts for the day. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps………….
Be faithful in small things, that is where your strength lies. Mother Theresa

Before and after

So, I’m looking forward to what our rental house looks like after the sale, not before! Our buddy Jenn comes in tomorrow night to help us out on sat for our yard sale. We are pretty much selling all furniture, lots of kitchen stuff, and just random frames, and clutter, all priced to sell!  Of course the weather looks stormy for sat, but we thought we might just have to sell from the inside of the house. It has been interesting trying to figure out what we would keep in an RV, but with everything we’ve heard from others that have “downsized” before us, you’ll always start w/more then you need and you can always weed out, donate, etc. after you start living in such a smaller space.

Thanks to all of you who have given us such positive words of encouragement!!! Keep them coming!