Thursday, June 7, 2012

Community Soup Kitchen

What a wonderfully organized run Soup Kitchen! We totally love this place! We sorted, bagged, and delivered lunches & groceries to shut ins. We made soup and served on the lunch line all week. We definitely will be volunteering here again!
Ms. Sue and Ms. Frances helping the Soup Kitchen roll like a well-greased wheel!

Bagging groceries
Making lunches
Groceries for those in need

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Spring Garden is blooming!

Yes, you can grow things even while fulltime RVin'!  Ok, so it's not quite harvest time yet and it's not a crazy abundance of food, but once the vine'y plants start growing - well, ya just never know! 

We've tried this over the winter and got Broccoli and Romaine!  Mmmm!  So, far we've inspired other families to do this in the campground we're at!  I'm not an expert, but a homeschool family, which means we are learning as we go! 

Before we left our stick home, we had just started learning alot about getting back to basics, like traditional gardening, container gardening, vertical gardening, aquaponics, hydroponics, canning, making our own laundry soap, windex, dog shampoo, etc.  (The only thing I haven't figured out yet is to how to make my own beloved Pine Sol!!)  I learned soooo much from!

I wasn't as upset about leaving our home for 20 years as I was leaving all these things behind that I thought I couldn't do on the road.  It was seriously one of the only things I was depressed about!

So, I started out with a plant or two and then it grew to 16 containers, slightly burdensome to travel with, but POSSIBLE!  Recently, I came upon and even better way to travel with more veggies and more space!  The Topsy Turvy!  I can hang them up in the shower or even in our hallway when we travel and outside when we stay awhile!  I love that!

Ok, so now I have my 'container' gardening thing taken care of!  Our next project is AQUAponics!  A protein and veggie source that take care of each other!

“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.”  Richard Bach  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Reality Show Opportunity

Got this email this week: 

I AM casting families who live full-time on the road for a possible reality show!
You can see a partial list of my credits at

I am also attaching my company Bio.

I am looking to develop a show about a dynamic, interesting family that lives life full time on the road. We're employing a variety of casting techniques to make this happen - including internet searches and reaching out to various living-on-the-road families.

Would you mind very much answering a few preliminary questions?

1. What made your family decide to give it all up for life on the road?

2. How many members are in your family? What is everyone's ages?

3. Do you plan on and/or are currently expecting any additional children?

4. How do you financially support yourself on the road?

5. How long have you been living on the road?

6. What are your biggest challenges?

7. What are the best parts of living on the road?

Do you have any photos of your family you feel comfortable sharing with me? Or better still, video?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Georgia Jellystone Park, Bremen, GA

We're headed to Georgia Jellystone in May!  The boys get to do the everyday stuff like lawn mowing/maintenance and us girls get to clean cabins and work in the Ranger Station!  But come the weekends, we'll get to do crafts, outdoor movies, run the train ride and even play Yogi Bear!  There's swimming pools, putt putt golf, hay rides, train rides, playgrounds, pedal cars, game room, campfires, outdoor movies, themed weekends, and of course, Yogi Bear!

This is going to be one summer the kids won't forget!

Georgia Jellystone Park
106 King Street
Bremen, GA 30110
(404) 855-2778

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mar 4, 2012 - Mar 31, 2012 Safe Harbor Farm, NC

Whoo Hoo!  We went a whopping 700 miles to our next Volunteer/Workamp location!  Again another little town sandwiched between Jacksonville, NC (a military town) and New Bern, NC (a historic town).  Lots of places to visit and things to do and the beach is only about 15 miles away! 
TJ building a deck
Brogan helping with fencing for Dog pen

Kameryn at PetSmart Adopt-A-Thon

Cleaning out the Chicken coop

Fresh Eggs every day!

A duck egg

Tom, Brogan, and Jerry helping with Dog pen fencing

The Chicken Coop

This is how deep we dug

So, Safe Harbor is home to about 80 cats, about 30 (mostly lil') dogs, goats, ducks, and chickens.  Some permanent, some adoptable.  We have been busy from Day one!  Building rock culverts, clearing flower beds, putting dog beds together, mowing, grooming cats, etc. with lots more to do!  Kameryn, Brogan, and TJ have all got to observe and help on Wednesday Surgery Day!  What an experience!  We've helped at the PetSmart adoptions, which is an all day event.

We've found a nice lil' (and I mean lil') library.  Residents here are very friendly.  I've been reading Nicholas Sparks' books and in it he mentions some incidents in New Bern, Maysville, and Pollocksville.  The things he fictiously talks about in his books - well, let's just say, they're based on true events.  Totally Cool!

All in all, this has been a good experience in patience, training, whispering, and working.  Lynne is a no-nonsense kinda gal who expects things a certain way and runs a tight organization!  Plan on doing LOTS of hard work.  This is not an easy, sit around kinda workamp experience.  I am not recommending this for families with younger than 16yo's who like to work.  Younger children and children who don't like to work aren't as 'useful'.  There is some work, such as land/path clearing that has yet to be done, but be forewarned about ticks and venemous snakes.  We loved the church and friends we made in Maysville, but we won't be returning.

Lynne Swanson
Safe Harbor Farm
PO Box 493
Maysville, NC 28555
(252) 422-6770

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fabulous Alfredo Sauce with Whole Wheat Pasta!

WHAT??  Alfredo Sauce?  Aren't you like dieting or vegan or something??  Who knew you could make a plant based Alfredo Sauce??  Definitely a BIG drawback for this part Italian! 

But plant based Alfredo?  My Nana is up in Heaven, just a laughin' and asking "Why would you do such a thing?" or more like How??

Ok, so forgive me vegans, vegetarians, and all the other -atarians... I'm new to this ok?!

So, I drew off of other's recipes and kinda came up with my own.  It's not perfect and I'm sure it will be adjusted many times, but here's the basics...

1 cup Walnuts (everyone else's called for Cashews, but I only had Almonds, Pecans, and Walnuts.  Next time, we'll try different nuts..)
Garlic Clove (of course!)
3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (I love this stuff!)
3/4 cup Almond Milk
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce (I didn't have any Tamari on hand!)
2 tsp Dijon Mustard (maybe just a lil for you, but I like flavorful kicks!)
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Paprika

Blend it all in the Cuisinart or Food Processor!  DE-LISH!

I made Whole Wheat Pasta, added a can of Diced Tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves.  It was wonderfully garlicky enough and the kids LOVED it!  Next time, we're going to try some Broccoli, Zucchini, Squash, Mushrooms, Spinach, Peas, (even Corn! As my son suggested, which um, ok, if he's willing to eat it!!) or anything else!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The basics of the Engine 2 Diet

Now, I know you think you've tried everything and some it is a big ol' YUCK in you're mind, but just ACTUALLY try it!  My hubby and children were adamant that they would not eat chili, tacos, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, etc. without some type of Meat on it.  Naturally, I made all these Wonderfully Yummy dishes that they ate up completely with NO leftovers and didn't even realize they were NOT eating any meat!  (Sometimes you just have to JUST DO IT and let the food do the talking! Score One for Mom!)


Salt:  Instead of salt, season with lime juice, lemon juice, low sodium tamari, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, vinegars, tomato juice, soy sauce, and vegetarian Worcestershire sauce.

Sweeteners: Replace ordinary sugar with pure maple syrup, Sucanat, turbinado sugar, blackstrap molasses, unrefined dark brown sugar, xylitol, fruit juice, mashed bananas, or applesauce.

Dairy and butter: Try sliced bananas and fruit and no-oil-added nut butters on toast in place of butter. Use blended Silken Lite soft tofu in recipes in place of sour cream and milk.

Spinach = chard = kale = cabbage = collards = mustard greens = arugula = bok choy = beet greens = romaine lettuce if you’re desperate

Potatoes = turnips = parsnips = beets = kohlrabi

Cabbage = broccoli = cauliflower = brussel sprouts = kohlrabi = bok choy

Winter squash = sweet potatoes = carrots

Leeks = onions = shallots = green onions = garlic

Celery = fennel = tart apple

Pears = apples

Broccoli = asparagus = peas = green beans = zucchini

Tofu, made from soybeans, is a hearty and very malleable food.  Tofu packed in water should be drained before using.  Tofu can be either soft or hard. Soft, or silken, tofu blends into a smooth cream and is excellent in desserts. Hard, or firm, tofu retains its shape, and can be sliced or crumbled. All tofu is about 40 percent fat (except for low-fat versions).  Firm or extra-firm tofu can be drained and then pressed firmly with a cloth to remove excess water. Crumble, slice, or dice it, and add it to the skillet for a spin
with your favorite vegetables and seasonings.  Marinate tofu the way you would chicken or fish—with herbs, citrus juice, cracked black pepper, vinegar, tamari, soy sauce, or wine. Cook marinated tofu in a sprayed skillet, under the broiler, or on a sprayed grill until it is nicely browned on both sides.  Try freezing a drained block of tofu in the freezer. After it thaws, frozen tofu soaks up marinades easily since it becomes more porous in the freezing process. It also changes slightly in consistency, becoming chewier.

Seitan is a wonderful substitute for chicken or beef, and comes in both flavors.  Derived from wheat in a process that extracts the gluten or wheat protein, it slices and dices easily without falling apart, and is delicious plain.

Tempeh is a form of fermented, unprocessed tofu; it is remarkably nutritious.  It usually comes in hard bricks that can be sliced or chopped, then added to stir-fries or chilies. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Introduction to "Engine 2 Diet" with Rip Esselstyn!

A couple months ago, I delved into juicing and trying a plant based diet and that really went well. I felt healthy, lost some weight, and had better than ever before energy.   I hadn't been able to give up the dairy, but after about 6 weeks and Christmas, my family sabotagers worked my will power down to nothing and I was back to not feeling good, let alone being healthy, and I started gaining weight again.  I started looking again at how I could get off the roller coaster and get on the straight and narrow track.  I had to find something to get me motivated again.  I went back to my netflix and tried watching one of the movies that helped get me headed in the right direction in the first place - Forks Over Knives.

So, I'll say it once again, if you haven't had a chance, watch Forks Over Knives and Forks Over Knives: Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue!  It is life altering, even if initially there's some groaning or sadness over what your spouse thinks you need to "give up."  I'd recommend watching it with the whole family, which is what we did in order to keep everyone on the same page and have our own lil' support group! 

Since, there's no "Whole Foods" store or anything similar nearby, the whole family went to a local bargain country store that had loads of vegetables and fruits and all their "healthfood" products discounted.  (I'm suspectin' that there ain't much need for a 'healthy' diet when you have an abundance of southern food around ya'!)  It wasn't a totally pleasant experience for the family, as they were absolutely miserable finding out what they shouldn't be eating anymore!  But, they prevailed and continued to read labels and determine for themselves if what they chose was a good choice.  If nothing else, it was a good class in 'Nutrition' and 'Life Skills', the spouse included!

Jumping right in is my specialty, however, that can lead to frustration, which is what it did.  Spending all my time planning, led to either eating the same basic staples or skipping meals altogether - neither of which are good.  Getting the family involved has been a tremendous learning experience for everyone and is the right way to stay on track!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


What is Geocaching you ask??  It's a World Wide Treasure Hunt!  No, there's no money involved.  But there are interesting places, deductive reasoning skills, orienteering, etc.  that kind of thing involved!  Great for a homeschooler or anyone interested in just doing something different that watching tv, playing video games, going to the movies, etc.  It will get you out an moving!  (Albeit moving and driving and moving and driving, etc. : )

Geocaching is a worldwide game of seeking treasure. A geocacher can locate a geocache anywhere in the world with the help of a GPS or GPS-enabled mobile device and GPS coordinates that are listed online. It’s one of the world’s fastest growing live, recreational social media activities.

The history of geocaching can be found at

Rules for Geocaching
If you take something from the cache, leave something of equal or greater value.
Write about your find in the cache logbook.
Log your experience at

Millions of people geocache in nearly every country on Earth.  Geocachers are families with children, retired individuals and grandparents, hikers, explorers, and outdoors-people.  Geocaching appeals to such a diverse range of people because it’s adaptable, depending on what sort of adventure a participant is seeking.  Cache listings on include difficulty and terrain ratings (1/1 – the easiest and 5/5 – the most difficult) to help geocachers choose a cache that is right for them.

In its simplest form, a cache always contains a logbook or logsheet. The logbook contains information from the owner of the cache and notes from visitors.  When geocachers return from an adventure, they can log their finds on an online cache page, creating a dynamic community and social network.

Larger geocaches may also contain any number of more or less valuable items. These items turn the cache into a true treasure hunt. A geocacher never knows what the owner or other visitors of the cache may have left there to enjoy.

Quite often, geocachers may also find a Trackable. The most common types of Groundspeak Trackables are Travel Bugs® and Geocoins.  A Groundspeak Travel Bug is a trackable tag that attaches to an item, and which geocachers move from geocache to geocache.  Each tag is etched with a unique code, which the finder can use to log its travels on the website.

Geocoins are trackable coins created by geocachers to commemorate special events, or as a signature item to leave in geocaches.  They function like Travel Bugs, and should be moved from cache to cache unless otherwise specified by their owners.

People of all ages seek caches, so geocachers should think carefully before placing an item into a cache.  Explosives, ammunition, knives, drugs and alcohol should never be placed in a cache, and everyone should respect the local laws.

Food items are always a bad idea.  Animals have better noses than humans, and in some cases, caches have been chewed through and destroyed because of food items or other scented items in a cache.

It is common for geocachers to hide caches in locations of great natural beauty or personal importance.  Geocache locations can be quite diverse – from beaches to mountaintops to urban areas.  Before heading out on an adventure, geocachers should make sure to read the cache descriptions carefully, especially the difficulty and terrain ratings, as some cache finds can be technical and physically challenging.

For example, a geocache may be located on the side of a cliff and require rock climbing equipment, or may be underwater and accessible only by SCUBA.  Geocaches located in cities are often incredibly small, so that people walking by don’t notice them.  The cache page helps geocachers understand any special equipment or skills they might need to find a geocache and will often specify the cache size.

Geocachers should not move a cache from its original location.  If a geocacher feels that the cache is not located in the correct location, he can e-mail the cache owner directly or post a log on the cache detail page, notifying the owner of the concern.  It’s the owner’s responsibility to maintain cache placement.

Before considering where to hide their first geocache, geocachers should find a variety of caches in their area to familiarize themselves with the activity.  Then, they should review the Guide to Hiding a Cache and the Geocache Listing Guidelines before submitting a cache for review. relies on the geocaching community to abide by the geocaching guidelines, to ensure that permission for cache placement has been sought, to provide accurate coordinates, and to keep the contents appropriate for a family friendly audience.

It's great for the family and it will take you places that you would otherwise probably have never seen!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Everything" Spice

So, I'm totally in loooove with "Everything" spice!  It totally ROCKs and is better than just plain Garlic Salt, which I absolutely adore on Everything!  (Can you say OCD?)  So, I absolutely had to find a way to make this stuff in order to put it on Everything I make!  Here's what I came up with:

1 cup Dried Minced Garlic
1/2 cup Dried Minced Onion
1/4 cup Sea Salt
1/4 cup White and Black Sesame Seed
1/4 cup Poppy Seed
1/4 cup Carraway Seed

Mix everything together.  If it's real chunky, put it in the food processor to chop it down and make it a little bit finer.

This stuff is Awesome on Meats, Veggies, Breads, Salads.... you name it! : )