The C Word

I always tell friends if they’re scared about an upcoming event that something awesome is likely about to happen. The thing is, those magical life changing events usually don’t come without significant change. And with change comes fear.

When we bought the Goodship, we had no truck to tow it. When we finally found a truck to tow it, we had nowhere to park them. As my lease at my apartment was ending, and we still had no land to live on, just in the nick of time we received an email from someone with the perfect spot for us.

Everything fell into place. Frankly, it was shocking how perfect everything went. It’s in the depth of those moments of paralyzing fear and endless agonizing that you watch the pieces of the puzzle come together, and your eyes finally open. Everything fell into place because we are on the correct path. I’m not quite sure where it leads but I’m stoked about the adventure!

Shortly after moving on to the Goodship, I had a long phone conversation with my Dad who, incidentally, lived clear across the country. We started discussing the Goodship and our plans for the future. He then proceeded to tell me that unbeknownst to me, I was living his and his father’s dream. He almost gushed with pride for a brief moment and he stumbled over his words. It was the only time I’ve ever heard or seen him cry.

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Little did I know that less than a year after that conversation he would be gone suddenly. It doesn’t seem so sudden in hindsight, but we all feel like our parents are invincible no matter how old we get. Before he left he gave me a tremendous gift. He told me he was proud of me. He showed raw emotion for the first time in my life. He also made me realize I was born with gypsy blood and it alllllll makes sense now! It goes down as the best conversation I have ever had with him in my life. I can replay it perfectly in my head to this day and I’m so grateful for that.

When he passed I inherited a small piece of land in North Carolina that he bought decades ago for retirement. But he never retired. On the land sits an old rusted out trailer full of missed opportunity and broken dreams. He never stopped working long enough to travel or truly enjoy life (in my humble opinion), and that in itself reminds me that I’m on the right path. This is what he wanted for me all along.

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Dad didn’t want any sort of memorial when he died, and honestly,  I’ve had a really difficult time with closure because of it. He was afraid to fly and he never traveled. So, I’ve decided I’m going to take his ashes on an epic road trip from our base in Los Angeles to his land in North Carolina. It’s where he wanted to be and I’m going to make sure he rests where he belonged many, many years ago. Maybe it would have saved him. Maybe it will save me.

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Moral of the story? Change is scary but if you pay attention to the little clues life gives you, you’ll see that the answer is right in front of you. I assure you, selling all of my belongings and taking the leap into full-time RV life was nothing short of petrifying. It is also the single most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life next to raising my son.

 

 

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Food Waste Is the Pits!

The amount of food waste in America is nothing short of a sin. Have you ever given careful consideration to where your food comes from? Yes, veggies come from a farm, for example, but unless you went and picked them yourself, those veggies passed through a lot of hands to get to your plate. A crop was planted by one person, harvested by another, loaded onto a truck driven by someone else and transported to a grocer where it passes through a few more hands before it lands in your cart. That’s a whole lot of people working hard for your veggies! Now, imagine how many more people take part in the production of processed foods, from growing the ingredients, to processing and packaging. I feel that when we choose to be thoughtful about where our food came from, we come to appreciate it’s true value.

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There are so many things we toss in the trash that are perfectly useable. So, what are some ways we can reduce food waste?

  • Aquafaba: What is aquafaba? It’s the brine from canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans which can be used for things like meringue and mayo. We use dry beans as opposed to cans, but its pretty amazing. Visit here for recipes.
  • Coffee grinds: I say to rub them on your face, but here are some other cool ideas.
  • Juice pulp: If you own a juicer and throw away the pulp after juicing you’re missing out on tons of fiber and nutrients. The uses range from baking to skin care! Veg Times has some great ideas here.
  • Regrow veggies in water: You know the root part of the green onions you’ve been throwing away? Yeah, you can regrow them on your counter by simply putting them in a glass of water! The same applies to leeks, romaine lettuce, and fennel. Free food!
  • Stale bread: If your bread is a little hard and dry but otherwise good, make a batch of homemade croutons, stuffing, or bread pudding.

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  • Veggie tops: I make a pesto out of carrot tops that far surpasses any plain old basil pesto in flavor! Other common greens that should be treated as equals of kale and the like are turnip greens, beet greens, and radish tops. Think twice before tossing those tops!

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  • Veggie broth: Now that you’re thinking about eating more of those veggies, let’s discuss the inedible parts. The garlic and onion skins, peels, ends, you name it, it goes in the broth! Homemade veggie broth packs a nutrient punch that you will never get in a store bought broth. You will see by the color alone that there is no comparison. We don’t follow a recipe (rebels!) but should you prefer a little direction, here is a good one.

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If you have an abundant garden or fruit trees, check out Falling Fruit and share your bounty.

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Meal planning is another great way to reduce waste. Plan your meals for the week and make a list (and stick to it!). Choose ingredients that can be used in more than one dish. For instance, make a large pot of quinoa and use it as a base for a number of different meals throughout the week.

When you sit down to your next meal, stop and take a good look at your plate. Acknowledge the work of others that went into each ingredient of your meal and remember to savor each bite in appreciation.

Nom, nom nom!

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Living Large In Small Spaces

People are often shocked to hear that we live (well) in less than 200 square feet but living in a small space doesn’t mean sacrificing conveniences or simple luxuries. At the same time, we don’t want tax the environment in our quest to save time.

Some of the simplest changes can greatly reduce the amount of trash you produce. The kitchen is a great place to start if you’re looking to reduce your environmental footprint. Here are a few of our favorite things.

Tall-Food-Scrap-Bag-2-RGBWe do our dishes with dish rags instead of disposable sponges and find it to be way more sanitary, as well as greener.

We also use cloth napkins, and paper towels do not exist on the Goodship. For spills and cleaning, we use terrycloth rags. Not only does it reduce paper consumption, which is staggering in the U.S. (some numbers here) but they are sturdy and do a better job.

The small amount of trash we do produce goes into BioBags biodegradable trash bags.

small-whiskey-rocks-set-of-12For the drinkers out there, stainless steel straws and whiskey rocks are awesome! No more watered down drinks on those sunny days. If you prefer ice, silicone ice cube trays don’t crack like the plastic ones that you wind up replacing every year.

We recently realized that our recycling bin looked like a club soda graveyard so we bought a Purefizz soda maker. It’s way smaller than the Soda Stream and no more plastic bottles!

6b5d0a8f3e0caa37eff0e0ce211c8abd4d28d5eb942afc86e7ae1752f6ed8ecfMy favorite space saver in the kitchen are our stackable stainless steel pots and pans. They fit easily in the storage ottoman with our pressure canner. Yes, we have a 16-quart pressure canner in an RV.

We make use batches of veggie broth and plan to start canning all kinds of yummy food! See? It’s all about priorities in a small space and for us, quality homemade food is at the top of the list.

shoppingBy far the most-used appliance in our kitchen is the food processor, albeit, a small one. This Ninja does surprisingly good job on hummus and cashew cheese and it’s pretty much my best friend…and we’ll be giving one away!

We also love to make homemade chips in addition to the pounds of veggies we prep with our mandoline slicer. It stores flat and is a must-have for anyone who loves to cook.

Living on wheels doesn’t have to mean eating off paper plates and cooking with one pot. It’s all about making the most of the space you have.

If you want to remember any of the things I listed, download Wunderlist! It’s an awesome app that lets you share grocery and ToDo lists with others, eliminating paper lists and notes.

Have a beautiful day, friends!