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23 Skidoo

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Posted on : 10:38 AM | By : Nic | In : ,

A bit of history:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23_skidoo_%28phrase%29

I love that this is the oldest slang in America, and applicable to my life today. I will return to blogging in a bit, when I will post my Christmas picks for the year. Happy holidays, and I hope you bought nothing on Black Friday. ;)

A Few Who Remain Rat-Race Free

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Posted on : 9:27 AM | By : Nic | In : , ,

I am a Redditor, which is where I get my online news and conversation, and there is a category called IAMA, which means 'I am a....'insert interesting thing here'... ask me anything'. In the midst of offensive and boring, there are often unique gems of insight into other lives, like this one:

IAMA guy who dropped out from the rat race. Didn't have a job in about 5 years, and yet I keep a middle class facade. I am 90% self sufficient food-wise and energy-wise. Ask me anything.

My internet is incredibly glitchy today as our cable node is overtaxed, evidently. It means we get free internet that barely works. This post will be short because of it. The guy above reminds me very much of the Dervais family of Path to Freedom (Little Homestead in the City on the left - I would link it but then I would have to load the page and that would take forever).

As much as I complain about the Internet... it seems a bit ironic. 10 years ago I would have cried to have the internet speed I enjoy on a good day, lol. Not to mention how much MORE there is to see. Another wonderful person who is also free of the rat race is Linda Rose, and you can even ask her questions. It's hard to tell at first glance from her blog but she lives almost completely self-sufficiently in Nova Scotia and farms with horses.

Here's to not... being... a rat??

More About Food

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Posted on : 3:29 PM | By : Nic | In : , ,

"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."
Julia Child


Ok so I can cook. I rely on Betty Crocker to serve my family 3 square meals a day, almost all of them healthy. They taste like traditional American food except for the stir fry that in an emergency comes out of a bag. I hardly ever burn things and I can make wonderful pies and cookies. BUT, I am a noncook. I have always though it silly to put in 2 hours and rarely do even though the results are memorable.

My definition of a good meal centered around: 1. budget 2. health 3. how little time it took 4. taste. I think it all ended up tasting fairly good, but there's definitely something lacking. I avoided cookbooks because approaching the cookbook aisle was daunting - I want the recipes to be tested and taste awesome and there's just so many cookbooks in the world. I chose Julia Child's book because it has 180 five star ratings on Amazon, lol.

I never do things the easy way... when I learned to sew, I picked the most difficult sewing pattern I could find and completely destroyed a dress, but after failure comes success. That is my new goal with cooking. I don't want to just serve decent meals at a reasonable price. I want to want to eat at home because my food is better than a restaurant. Why is this important? Well... everything is food. Every major event in our lives, every get together, every normal work day revolves around food.

So I was thinking about this and I thought... why am I eating chili when I could be eating French food? Why am I not eating deliberately?! My new priorities are 1. taste 2. health 3. bring people together. I don't subscribe to the four food groups anyway because I lean towards the philosophy of eating seasonally and having plenty of healthy fats.

My meals usually look like this:


When they should look more like this:


I think in North America we too often hurry through the ritual or distract ourselves with movies and TV. My goal is to set my table like this....and sit there and eat good food. :)

I Will Cook!

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Posted on : 10:15 AM | By : Nic | In : ,



This weekend despite struggling with sickness, we headed off to Home Depot for a fun family outing. I am of the philosophy that if you aren't too sick and you don't come into direct contact with other humans, you should try to get out of the house. Sitting on the couch feeling icky is only good if you're really, really sick. We had fun looking and dreaming about what's going to happen in the bus, tools we will need, etc. We are delayed in bringing the bus home at the moment because John simply can't get the right days off work. The border crossing has to be done on a weekday before 4pm, and that's tricky for him to do. I could do it, except that I don't want to drive a 42' bus through Vancouver and onto a ferry. It struck me how many options there are for table saws. I've always been the non-electric sort of girl, but recently we acquired a Magic Bullet to make smoothies, and of course I still have my bread machine. For this bus project, we will definitely need a good table saw. We also stopped at a new outdoor store nearby that you could pick pretty much any activity and walk in and get anything you needed. They are the first store in Nanaimo that I've seen carrying guns, including handguns. It was interesting showing the girls the elk and bear mounted on the walls and explaining what a decoy is.

Then we came home and watched Julia & Julia, and I realized what a terrible cook I am. I am so good at survival foods, quick meals, and breakfast. But I am really bad at anything else. There are so many things that we don't eat that are so yummy, and I've been very limited by being lactose intolerant. I never realized how wrong I was about Julia Child, lol. I had mistakenly thought that she had written The Joy of Cooking... but only because I own very few cookbooks and rarely use them because my experiments often fail. I stick the the least complicated, shortest cooking time, and most well-known meals. But my motto is to do the thing I am afraid of, and so today I am going to go out and find the book she actually wrote, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. There was this one time I made roast beef in the crock pot with beer, and it was SO GOOD. But I made it up and didn't write it down, so it will never happen again. We might even pick up a bottle of wine and light candles when we eat. This is one aspect of living deliberately that I have avoided because I've been afraid, but the ritual of eating good food together is so important. Food is what brings people together.

This is a rambling post, because it is a lazy, blustery day and I should be doing things like cleaning up the debris from the garden and finishing my math assignment. It's much more fun to think about cooking a good meal and shopping for books.

Happy 5th Anniversary DL!

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Posted on : 8:06 AM | By : Nic

Here were all the blog headers for this year. Here's to another 375 posts! Thank you to all the people who follow me and fan me and post a comment - I appreciate it more than you know. :)







Update on the Bus and Life in General

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Posted on : 7:36 AM | By : Nic | In : ,

I want to apologize for the brief hiatus. I tend to take a month long break about twice a year, and I felt that since I just reached DL's 5th anniversary, I had earned a month off.

So much has happened in the last month. First an update on the bus... it is still in Blaine. Like all adventures, there's no way to plan ahead for everything, least of all extra bills and sickness and not being able to get days off work. The bus project has always been about doing something really big without getting into debt, and we paid some bills and bought an RV (for the bus) and a minivan, all of which totaled somewhere around $6000. So much effort went into paying for those things within a 2 month period that it seemed we had little energy for anything else. Incidentally, if you ever get a telephone rep from your bank or a credit card company offering you more credit, just say, "I don't believe in debt!" and they will apologize profusely for asking you. It is quite entertaining.


In the meantime, Rainn turned 6 months and Autumn turned 4. Annie learned how to read well, which was my number one goal for the year, and then.... I.... put her back in school. Actually, this was her choice. With me going to school full time, and her issues with whatever it is she has issues with (and which she will see a pediatrician next month for so we can get some answers - finally!), this has turned out very well. Homeschooling is a wonderful thing, and I loved being homeschooled. I was talking to my Mom about this recently, however, that homeschooling changes your relationship with your child from that of simply spending quality time, to having this attitude that we must always be learning. It's a more authoritative mode, a work mode. There seems to be less time to just... play. Not that that's a bad thing - but I think in Annie's case that situation was bothering her and hurting our relationship somehow, and in that respect, life has improved.

I started another semester of school and let me just say that learning feels good and it hurts at the same time. I am taking Human Resources, Microeconomics and Finite Mathematics. The economics class is by far the most difficult, but what is interesting to me is that I read a lot of things about the recession and why it happened and I blamed banks and economists and all kinds of government people, and what I'm finding out is that on paper, what they did makes sense. I read that one reason Canada did so well through this is because we have such a highly regulated market, but on paper a completely free market makes more sense. So to sum up, I suppose getting an education is in many ways helping me throw even more assumptions about things out the window, which is what I love to do. Don't assume anything! lol

It is rainy and cold, the garden is long done and I have a freezer full of tomatoes and beans and fruit. There's actually even more going on but it's all up in the air and I don't like to say stuff until things are for sure. Suffice it to say life is exciting as always. :)