Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On the Road again....

Camping and establishing routine and order. When we pulled into our camp spot we knew we were going to have a challenge, we had not taken the bus on the road since we adopted our newest son. He has special needs and we were concerned for his safety as our assigned spot was RIGHT next to the road.
We made the arrangements to move and it took the remainder of the day to get settled. Laundry for 8 ppl in a 40 ft bus takes some serious order! We have established a method to keep the madness in check.
Each child has a small roller case, ALL of their daily ware stays in that case. during the days we lay each case out on the top bunks, when it is time for bed, we move/transfer everything to 'the laundry bay' this is an open closet that one day will house a washing machine, for now it is the perfect size for all of our cases.
We have had a GLORIOUS time here in Bear Lake State Park
We rented a water trampoline the first day (and the storm clouds rolled in) then today we rented 2 RZR's UTV and rode in the hills for a scenic but uneventful ride ;) Good times on the beach, where the kids play in the turquiose blue waters and I read my 2nd novel in as many days ;)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Eat your WEEDS!

When living mobile, and needing a good source for food, make sure you are familiar with as many edible weeds as possible! If you Don't have a garden, knowing what to eat (and how) can make the all difference! Here is a list and some descriptives I compiled over the past 2 years. But PLEASE do NOT eat ANY plants on the roadsides!

Edible Weeds:



Lambs quarter



Medicinal Herbs:


Wild Onion

Queen Anne’s Lace



*Amaranth (like spinach)

*Chickweed (also made into essenc

e) *Lambs quarter




Amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus)

Young leaves, old leaves, even non-woody stalks are delicious as a cooked green; chop and boil for 30-40 minutes. Serve in their own broth; freeze leftovers for winter use. Use instead of spinach in quiche (you may never grow spinach again). Collect seeds throughout the autumn by shaking seed heads over a lipped cookie sheet; or by harvesting and drying the entire seed head. Winnowing out the chaff is tedious but soothing. There is a special thrill that comes when you toss the chaffy seed in the air, and the breeze catches it just-so, and the seeds fall back into your tray, while the prickly chaff scatters "to the four winds." Amaranth is good combined with Watercress,Parsley, Chicory, Dandelion, And Lambs quarters for Anemia rich in Folic Acid

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Young leaves and stalks, even flowers, in salads. Blend with virgin olive oil and organic garlic for an unforgettable pesto. Add seeds to porridge.Pour boiling water over chickweed, apply warm plant to the eyelid of affected eye, leave on until it cools, throw away plant after use. Poultice up to 4-10 times a day, eye will be clear within 48 hrs.

Lamb's quarter (Chenopodium alba and related species, e.g. Chenopodium quinoa)

Young leaves in salads. Older leaves and tender stalks cooked. Leaves dried and ground into flour (replaces up to half the flour in any recipe). Seeds dried and cooked in soups, porridge. Good for constipation.


(Malva neglecta and related species)

Leaves of any age and flowers (the closely related Hibiscus flowers too!) are delicious in salads. Roots are used medicinally.Calcium Rich

Purslane (Portulacca oleracea)

The fleshy leaves and stalks of this plant are incredibly delicious in salads and not bad at all preserved in vinegar for winter use.


Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Roots of non-flowering plants harvested after frost make a vinegar that is deep, and richly flavorful as well as a world-renowned tonic. Petioles of the leaves and the flowering stalk are also edible; for recipes see my book Healing Wise.Bitter Tonics for emotions on even keel.

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria officinalis)

Year-round salad green. Leaves used in any season, even winter. Roots are harvested before plant flowers. Seeds are a spicy condiment.

Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) (AKA WILD CARROT) Use 1 tsp. seeds daily as birth control

Leaves finely chopped in salads. Flowers are beautiful edible decorations. Roots of non-flowering plants, harvested in the fall, and cooked.


Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) supplies more than 100 grams of calcium than milk! Leaves eaten at any time, raw or cooked, but especially tasty in the fall - not spring! Roots harvested any time; pickle in apple cider vinegar for winter use. Dandelion flower wine is justly famous.

Leaves add a sour spark to salads. Cooked with wild leeks or cultivated onion and potato they become a soup called "schav."

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Young leaves cooked for 40-45 minutes and served in their broth are one of my favorite dishes. Seeds can be used in baked goods, porridge. Strengthen the kidneys and adrenals. Tonic for hormonal system use Infusion increases fertility. VIT K = infusion , ease leg cramps, diminish pain after childbirth. prevent hemorrhage after birth, reduce hemorrhoids , increase breast milk supply.

Yellow dock (Rumex crispus)

Roots pickled in apple cider vinegar are tasty and a boon for enriching the blood. Leaves, especially young ones, are eaten raw or cooked. use Comfrey or Yellow Dock for swelling, stop bleeding, and ease pain.

Dandelion greens (good before they flower)

The site below says you can boil and eat the roots also. We could season them with wild onions or garlic. I'm not sure which one we have but there would be plenty of that too.

Other common weeds in our lawn are narrow leaf and broad leaf plantain, sheep sorrel, wild dock, poke and once in a while I see Lambs Quarter.

Chicory is edible too. I've never seen it in my own yard but it grows along the roadsides in town. I think it must like asphalt. It has pretty blue flower.

Wild Johnny jump ups, Wild rocket,



Wild Violet

Commonly found:

Lamb's Quarters

Sheep Sorrel

Green Briar

Wild Grape (leaves and fruit)

Dock (leaves)

Wild Carrot (young leaves, deep-fry blossoms, seeds for seasoning



Cleavers or Goosegrass Mint



Ground Ivy

Cat Tail

Evening Primrose





Poke Salat (must be cooked twice)


white clover

red clover

spider wort

Edible Weeds:



Lambs quarter



Medicinal Herbs:


Wild Onion

Queen Anne’s Lace



*Amaranth (like spinach)

*Chickweed (also made into essence)

*Lambs quarter



Wild Johnny jump ups, Wild rocket,

Yucca white clover red clover spider wort daylillies lambs quarters mallow chickweed plantain Jewel weed chicory violets elder berry mulberry sunflower wood sorrel Virginia creeper wild onions grapes asparagus cat tails gooseberries raspberries strawberries comfrey mullen black walnut Poke weed lambs quarters mallow chickweed plantain Jewel weed chicory violets elder berry mulberry sunflower wood sorrel Virginia creeper wild onions grapes asparagus cat tails gooseberries raspberries strawberries comfrey mullen black walnut Poke weed courtesy is owed respect is earned love is given

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hype...or Help?

It's not about the hype, because life changes from hype are not long lasting.

It is about the HELP.

Help your neighbors when a storm has knocked out power. Help your friends when they are unemployed, help your children understand quality of life, Help your self to be healthy from hard work and healthy foods.

While many of us make healthy changes (Say, in January) how long do those last? Why not start each day with a resolution to do what is best for YOUR family and YOUR health right now?

Yesterday in the garden I watched as the weeds encroached upon my squash and melon plants, they were almost undetectable. So I dug in, with tools and hands and sweat and effort I rid those weeds, even though they were lovely little purple flowers on each of those weeds, I knew it was better for my plants if they were not competing for nutrients with those lovely little flowers.

Of course there are places I allow the weeds to grow, because many of them have wonderful, medicinal purposes. But for here, in my lovely bed of zucchini, yellow crook neck and cantelupe I do not let them flourish.

What has encroached into your life that needs to be thinned out? What is making it so you do not have the nutrients to flourish and grow? What can you do to change that?

I put that challenge to you, see if there are any lovely little purple weeds in your life, that may make it so you are NOT your best self.

Go ahead. Try it!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spring has Sprung and the grass is growing!

I will share with you our little garden of Eden. We have been growing and spending our mornings in the sunshine. What a blessing to be able to produce our own foods! The secret to a harvest? PLANT and then pant again...and then plant YET AGAIN! We are also as a family working on a sustainability project for a West African community, for any who would like to join us, leave a message and we will add you to the email list! This project will include: sustainable growing of produce, herbs and medicinal plants. Providing local workers the opportunity to sew and make maternity pads, and newborn diapers. (need to provide a foot operated sewing machine) and facilitate an adult education program where they can learn technical skills including mechanics, carpentry, computer skills, and basic business.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Brrrr.....Prepare for the COLD!

We live in the Midwest, and the weather here has been unusually warm for the past 2 winters. I would venture to say that last year was more like an extended fall. Today Old Man Winter has arrived, we have 2 inches of ice on the highways and side roads. The wind is fierce and there are TORNADO warnings! This has of course gotten me thinking of winter preparations, specifically of emergency winter preparations, our house is poorly arranged for living with out power, even temporarily we would be in a serious lurch. Our heat is propane, but without electricity we would not have ANY heat. We have a unusually TALL roof line, that has made putting in a wood stove improbable due to finances, so what is the back up plan in a power outage in freezing temps?? Our Bug out bus for sure! Our bus is equipped with a wood stove! I can see us now, all 9 of us piled into the bus, with blankets, pillows and GAMES playing as a family in a toasty warm bus, the family dining table is directly across from the Wood stove. One road trip as we were coming home from Goblin Valley, we hit an actual blizzard and the roads near Aspen Colorado were barricaded and closed. So we pulled into a parking lot, stoked the fire, and had a warm and cozy night of sleep. We could hear the semi's idling nearby on the highway, as they could not move, but we didn't have a care in the world. When we awoke the next morning, the snow was around 14 inches all around us but we simply drove right out of that parking lot, onto the newly plowed highway and trudged on home. I am grateful for the wisdom of my husband who INSISTED on installing a wood stove in our Bug out Bus. (there may, or may not have been ongoing battles about the appearance of pipes coming out of the roof....I may or may not have mentioned the Griswold's)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Humble Pie

I made a statement about the state of families and individuals during a crisis, something to the effect that there is no reason for them to NOT be prepared, especially knowing in advance that the storm was coming. It has been pointed out that some folks are without the means to escape a situation like this. And I do agree, the senior citizens and the children are without the strength, money or resources to take care of their needs. I do hope that by seeing what others have gone through WE ALL can learn how to be better prepared, Even if you are on a budget, there are ways to prepare for a rainy day. You WILL have to choose between your new iPhone, and buying a water purification system, or decide if your going to dinner and a movie vs. buying a wheat grinder. Make the decision, it is much better to sacrifice a little now, to be moderately comfortable during the Next greater Depression. What is on YOUR list to prepare for Tomorrow?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yummy Food

I have to admit, I love food. In all it's forms and many of its dialects (can ethnic food have its own dialect? I think so...I am going with it)
A few of my friends have been using the Shelf Reliance products for some time now...and I must admit I am a food snob, I refuse to consume foods full of preservatives and sugar. It is something I get a little bit fanatic about...
So here I was reading about my friend Erin G's experience with Shelf Reliance (She had recently singed up as a consultant) So I decided late one night to check out the ingredient labels and nutrition content of their foods.
Freeze Dried Peaches :Ingredients: Peaches Freeze Dried Apricots: Ingredients: Apricots Strawberries, Apples, Broccoli, Corn, Peas, Green Beans, the list went on until I had an ah-ha moment.... These foods were unadulterated, even more so than the canned foods you can buy in the store, and even more so than the foods I can preserve on my own. (I have attempted fruits without sugar, and it is an expensive and fruitless experience.) I was sold, I then spent time on their handy "Q" system, where it allows you to input the number in your household (9) and the amounts of food each person will need for your allotted time expanse (1 year) It then calculates how much of each of the food groups that you will need to keep your family well-fed. Here is the coolest part....you then get to decide on a budget amount, and their system automatically puts food items on drop-ship delivery each month. If you have ZERO food stored up, they suggest a 'smart-start pack' this gives you all the basics for a family, grains, leavening, Salt, Protein, etc... Depending on your family size and budget the Q then automatically sends your food! For my family we have a year supply already of grains, and legumes, we are sorely lacking in fruits and vegetables, so this is where the bulk of OUR purchases will be. We will have Mangoes, Pineapples, Peaches, Pears, beans, Peas, Corn, Broccoli, Spinach, ALL at our fingertips! This is mega-exciting for me! Fruits and vegetables regardless of the season and availability! Check them out, and ask any question you may have ...do the research and I challenge you to get serious about your food supplies, i honestly do not care where you get your food, I pray that you simply make the steps to get a supply of safe and nutritious foods in your stores...for there are times coming, where you will wish you had!