Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Woah....the past 7 months recap

Oh hello again.  We've been on quite the adventure the past couple months and I thought I'd tell you about it.

Last time I posted here we were in Germany.  Sounds nice doesn't it?  Well it was in some ways (meet some very nice people, experienced living in a different place, kids learned some German), but it was definitely not a vacation.  Glad to have done, was very glad to get back to the states (with the exception of the god-awful customs line/rat maze we had to wait in when we first got into Philadelphia and consequently missed out connecting flight).
Our studio apartment in Cologne.  All those books and only one was in English: a book about Kylie Minogue.

Georgia eating some fish eggs in our apartment.  That's my baby.
After Germany we stayed with my parents for a couple weeks through Thanksgiving and then the girls and I planned to head to our new neighbor's house in New Mexico to stay the winter while they were house sitting in Hawaii.  Miles was going to stay in Kansas City and work.  One of our goals of building a house was to not incur any debt.  So to save money we wanted to live rent free for a couple months before we starting building.

Our neighbor's house was not totally complete (something they had fully disclosed to me), and that combined with the extra chilly weather and me being alone with two kids and having to almost constantly manage the wood stove left me looking for another option.  I signed up for the World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farmers website (, which was one of the best $30 I ever spent.  I found a woman in Tucson who needed help with her gardens and welcomed children.  We exchanged some good e-mails and decided I could come down after Christmas.  I had a couple delays (transmission went out in my car and we spent the New Year's Eve and the first couple days of the new year in a hotel while it got fixed, then we realized Miles still had the key for the lock that was on the hitch of the trailer and it had to be mailed).
So finally I got to pack up the trailer in negative degree weather and we headed for a warmer climate.
Once again the trailer came in super handy as we traveled south through New Mexico and west into Arizona.  I love road trips!  We stayed just at a couple campgrounds and Wal-Mart parking lots, but the best spot was a dispersed camping (free camping) spot in the Cochise Stronghold in Arizona.  I highly, highly recommend camping in the National Forests and BLM land.  One it's free, two, it's usually very private, and three it's beautiful.  Dispersed camping is like a library of land.  You can pick a spot and it's yours for 14 days.  I've honestly never felt so free in my life as when I'm out camping on public land.  It's great.  The only downside at this particular location was we had no cell phone service, so I couldn't let anyone know we were just fine and dandy, so I left earlier than I would have liked.  But we came back on our way back to New Mexico.

So, yes, on to Tucson.  We parked our trailer on the land of a very lovely woman who enjoyed the kids and taught me about her gardens and kept me company!  I would work for her for 2 hours a day (which was challenging at times with the almost 2 year old Georgia constantly needing my attention).  I dug a big trench for humanure, pruned her apple and almond trees, double dug a garden bed, oiled all her garden tools, and weeded a lot of grass.  Her land was in a small semi-intentional community several miles outside the city.  So we could take walks out into the desert, walking though the sand washes.  It was so nice to be warm (most of the time).  We did arrive right at the beginning of a cold snap, and we saw it snow!  We left at the beginning of March, I was pretty frazzled by that time, having spent 3 months with the kids by myself.  I was ready to be with Miles and to be at our new home.

Exploring the desert
Once we got back on the land, we started working on the house right away, digging into a hill.  It took about a month to dig out the house area, then we dug a trench below where the walls will be, and then dug holes for concrete for posts which will be on the inside of the walls.  We just poured the concrete last week and the next step is the harvest the posts out of the forest and get those up and the roof on.  Meanwhile, I love exploring the forest around us.  We have an amazing spot here and I'm so grateful.

On our land

I love our neighborhood forest

1 comment:

  1. Yeah Jesse, I loved getting a chance to see all those adventures. Inspiring how you held it down in a variety of settings! Your land is also amazing, hope all is well...