Saturday, September 29, 2007

hello goodbye

Earlier this week AJ met a little boy while we were playing at the pool. They bonded immediately as they recognised the cheeky playfulness of each other. The little boys name is Tom and he's almost 6 years old. Tom became part of the family, often spending hours here playing, or he and AJ were all over the campground on Toms bike and AJ's scooter, or over at Toms tent or at the playground or somewhere together. Toms mum and I became friends and spent hours chatting. They extended their visit by one day, but then they had to go. On their last night here, Nicholas went to bed early but the rest of us hung out on the lawn outside our annexe. We sat around playing funny games like Chinese Whispers and "If you could be any kind of animal/vehicle/insect/food/colour, what would you be?" and duck, duck, goose which somehow (that 5-6year old humour) became 'toilet paper, toilet paper, flush". All this under the light of the full moon! The kids spent a while playing hide & seek before we eventually called it a night. Sami and AJ fell into bed and were asleep within seconds. Good fun, good friends.

Living like this, we know that the people we meet are not going to be in our lives long, so we make the most of it while we can. These short-term friendships are an interesting lesson. I think we are appreciating these new friends, as well as old friends, a lot more. We're also finding it easier to share bits of ourselves, our stories, our things.

The morning that Tom and his mum were due to leave, I thought we might be able to go over and help them pack and I was surprised at how sad I felt that they had already left by the time we got over to their site. I thought AJ would be sad too, but he actually seemed ok. There are so many kids in the park at the moment and this afternoon we had some really nice kids pitch their tents in the site next to ours. AJ made friends with one of the boys there who is 10.

We're looking after some bunnies and a cat for some friends that have gone away for 2 weeks. We can't have animals here so we're making daily visits to their house which is not far from here. On the way to their house today, Sami said "I'm glad we don't live in a house anymore" When I asked her why, she went on about how she's really enjoying living outdoors and the camping lifestyle. She also really really loves the pool at the campground we're at. AJ however is really looking forward to a time when we can have our own pets again. He recently declared that he was going to be a veterinarian when he gets older. He's always had a fascination with bugs and lizards and he is very comfortable around all kinds of animals and insects. Whatever he ends up doing, I just hope it makes him happy and excited.

pool photos

There's AJ coming off the bottom of the water slide after going down on his tummy. There are two other bigger slides over to the right (not in view) and the kids refer to this one as the "baby slide". It's such a great pool. It's fun for kids of all ages, even the little ones...

An afternoon in the life of Sir Nicholas...

Splashin' around in "MY ring"

Hanging out with the big yellow guy with water squirting out of his head.

Looking for pearls

Just looking cute

Taking a little rest

And back to it...he's sitting on a water fountain here which might explain the look on his face!

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For you exprienced bloggers out there...I am trying to change my profile photo but just can't seem to do it. I've following the help instructions but it keeps changing back to the old photo. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Living our life..

I usually go to bed very tired and wake up still tired. After a short time of being committed to eating much better and focusing on having vibrant health, I am waking up not as tired as I was. So I can see that it is working. I'm eating less food than I was, but of a higher nutritional quality and my body is appreciating it. As we are saving so much in our costs of living compared to when we had a house, we are putting our health high on the list and only buying organic fruit and veg where possible.

It's school holidays here (spring break). The various states start at different times but I think this weekend is when they all overlap. The campground is booked solid. It is so interesting to see all the different types of camping - all kind of tents, camper trailers - an ingenious creation where all the camping basics are attached and stored, complete with pull out kitchen area and hard floor tent - caravans (travel trailers), motorhomes, and every now and then we see one of the big US-style 5th wheels or class A motorhomes. A lot of Aussies are impressed by those but then talk about the cost of petrol and how one of those here is about the same price of a solid house on land.

We've been meeting so many interesting people from such a variety of places. Country folk, city folk, people in between, ...every one has a story and it is like creating a living book as we all share ours.

People often ask me "where are you from". I used to give kind of a long answer explaining how we moved out of our house nearby and how we're fine-tuning the process of living on the road so we can travel, blah blah. Now I just answer that question "originally Sydney, most recently before here it was Las Vegas, Nevada. We live on the road in search of adventure." That opens up a whole lot of questions which are often different coming from different people. People with children usually ask about schooling and I tell them we homeschool. Sometimes they go on to ask about how that actually works and when I explain how we do it - learning from life, following the interest of the individual child, exposing them to lots of different experiences, playing lots of games and honestly answering all of their questions when they ask - some of them seemed amazed that children can actually learn all they need to know in this manner.

When hearing about our life, a lot of people tell me "oh that sounds so good, I wish we could do that, but....". I don't judge or try to help them figure out a way, I just tell them "anything is possible" and plant a seed, or water an existing one.

Sami and AJ have found a friend who recently was given a Nintendo DS and they have been helping her learn about it and borrowing games from each other. They've been spending an hour or so at her campsite every day lately. She's in her mid 20's. I love that my children have friends of all ages.

Recently I purchased a shopping trolley - the kind I used to only see older people use as they went to buy their groceries, that they could just pull along. Mine is blue (of course!), has several pockets on the outside as well as the big inner area and it folds up. I tell you, it has been a great thing. My bag tends to get so heavy with all of the water bottles and bits & pieces and also the weight of all the aussie coins ($2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c are all in coin). So when we go shopping, I put all our stuff in there as well as most of our purchases now that we buy more efficiently. Saves my back and the kids enjoy pulling it along too. When we're not using it for shopping, we take it to the pool with our towels, goggles, flippers, water and snacks in it. When it's not being used for that, Nicholas likes to play with it around here.

The earth is warming up and life is good!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Raw Life

I looked in the mirror the other day and saw some new wrinkles. I thought about how my body has been feeling lately, which is not great. I go to bed exhausted and wake up tired. My digestion has not been good, but it has been sensitive my entire life and I learned to live with a fairly constant unease in that department. With the exception of when I was eating only raw foods when I felt physically and mentally light as well as energetic, enthusiastic and just excited about life.

I was thinking about what causes the appearance of aging as well as the physical discomforts that people expect to go along with that. I would put it down to one word. Stress. The stresses of our lifestyle, our diets, our mental processes. I know I've experienced major stress in the past 12+ months that I could have handled better if I'd changed my mental chatter as well as my food choices. People tell me "but you eat so well". Maybe compared to a lot of others, but having lived only on raw food previously, I know I'm not serving my body. Perhaps the effects of aging show up sooner or later, but too much stress can definitely make them appear sooner. I am changing that now.

The conditioning that surrounds food is a deep topic. It's linked to all kinds of emotions - good times with family and friends, as well as comforting ourselves when upset and stuffing down uncomfortable feelings. Throughout our education we're told that we need "all five food groups" in order to be healthy.

When I was eating all raw foods, I felt like the true me, the raw me, was exposed. Sometimes that was not pretty and I did not know how to process some of that and eventually went back to eating cooked food.

I consider myself to be back on the raw path. Raw as in peeling the layers and exposing my succulent self. I have a commitment to health - mental and physical. I am allowing those uncomfortable feeling to surface so that I can process them now - look at them, see where they come from, how they've been serving me, and then thank them and kiss them goodbye if I have no more need for them in my life. I've grown and learned and have new tools within myself to be able to do this.

Living this life of simplicity in my outer surroundings is allowing me and inspiring me to simplify my inner life. To remove the unnecessary layers and allow my truth and the real, raw and juicy me to stand proud and strong and sure.

One way for me to get back to this is by eating a diet high in raw food, and for other food choices to be as close to nature as possible - like steamed veges and rice on a cold day.
Another way is for me to consistently do Reiki on myself as I go to sleep and when I wake up. To continue doing my morning yoga, to drink lots of water, to be in the moment, to focus on the joy and good things here and now.

I aim to live a long and vibrantly healthy life. My commitment starts right now!

Friday, September 21, 2007

moving into the groove

This past week has been busy for me. We've just been running around doing 'stuff' that hasn't really been all that exciting - organising the storage shed, shopping for some camping supplies to make life here more comfortable but then those purchases required some shuffling of our stuff here, picking up stuff we had for sale at a Tender Center that did not sell and just general busy-ness around camp with the ongoing prep'ing meals, cleaning up and washing. We have had some playtime at the pool here or catching up with friends.

On Friday Sami wanted to go to the school to watch the Main Lesson Sharing. She said that her class was going to do their first violin performance (after 6 lessons) and play 'Hot Cross Buns'. She just said it as a matter of fact, she did not seem sad that she was not involved. I was a little concerned about going to the school and how the kids would feel, but she wanted to go so we did. We all enjoyed seeing friends again. And we enjoyed leaving and going to do our own thing. We had a really fun afternoon. We spent a couple of hours at the Plaza, looking at books and toys and getting a few things for dinner. Sami had been asking some geography questions lately. We went past a jewelery store that had a beautiful world globe on display. Every country was a different type of stone or shell or wood. So we spent some time looking at that. It was the first time that it really felt like we were unschooling again. It was like we had all let go of something by our visit to the school and were back in touch with the way things used to be. Sure, we're all a little different, but we were connecting on a level we hadn't done for a while.

While we were shopping, Sami bought some blue nail polish and painted all her nails and AJ's too and Nuke's and my toe nails when we got back home. Nuke is so thrilled with his blue toes he kept taking his little crocs off to show people. It's a darkish blue but that's the only blue they had and that's what she wanted. I was thinking about what I wrote in the meme about my favourite colour being a medium blue and I don't think that's right. When I looked at my clothing and jewelry and accessories, the predominant blue was turquoise and I realised that it is that colour that gives me the most joy. Other colours in my collection of personal things, are some medium blue things, are some dusty pink, a little brown, black, khaki and peach, light purple, some cream coloured clothes and one mint green t-shirt. I don't feel good in yellow, or most greens. I also don't like things that have patterns on them with the exception of sarongs and skirts and maybe a pair of swim shorts. I feel cluttered and uncomfortable if I wear a shirt or long pants that has a print on it. Just one of my little quirks. Actually I don't really like patterns on a lot of things in the house - like sheets, though it's ok for a doona cover. Curtains and tablecloths I prefer plain but can live with some patterns, I just feel better if they're plain. I go a little nuts when I see patterned wall paper and carpet. Silly little things about me that I'm just recognising as a fact of who I am.

After painting our nails this afternoon, we met some friends at a nearby playground. Sami wanted to walk there by herself. She is wanting more independence. I decided to drive as Nuke hadn't napped and was getting tired. Even though the park wasn't far, I didn't feel like carrying him the whole way back. So Sami walked there without noticing that I was still keeping an eye on her by driving slowly. She's getting so tall..a camping neighbour that we've become friends with, thought she was a teenager.

The mornings are getting warmer here. It's making my sunrise yoga even more enjoyable when I don't have to wear so many clothes and can just do it in my long yoga pants and a tank top.

Ah, life is good, I have great kids and a great man and a world of adventure rolling at my feet!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More pics

Random sand stuff.

Nunu's and my footprint.

Happy boys.

Lunar eclipse in progress.

Sami at her last main lesson sharing.

Local wildlife

Local duck family... ah, they're so cute

More rainbow lorikeets. Interestingly, they have not been around for about a week, after being daily visitors for a few weeks.

A Plovers nest. Looks like a pile of leaves on the ground. If you look close to the middle of the photo, you can see two brownish balls that are the eggs. The birds spent did not always guard the nest so the eggs disappeared after a few days. Probably taken by a Magpie.

I should have zoomed in on this but wanted to show where the Plover built the nest. That's it actually sitting on it (the white/grey blob in the middle of the pic). It's lucky it was a quite time at the campground as it's located right in the middle of two campsites, and on a popular cut-through for other campers. Although it's not so lucky as we know the fate of the eggs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

School's out!

School is out for Sami and AJ!
AJ had his last day of school on Friday. After a moody start to the day on his part, he had a very good day. I didn't go on the bushwalk with the class as Sami had decided to take the day off and we did some other things. After the previous week, when it seemed that AJ was getting into trouble all the time, I didn't want to go, and left it up to AJ as to whether he wanted to or not. He did. The teachers gave him the role of Leader and he enjoyed that and actually did what they asked. I don't know what to make of that. They said he "plays up" more when I'm there. Maybe he feels he can be himself when I'm there and not restricted and told he can't look at something interesting. I think there's been so much change around here that it's catching up with him. He's been different and a bit distant and I'm looking forward to getting closer again.

AJ's class did a lovely goodbye ceremony for him. Ok, I had a few tears. We've been at the school for almost a year. We've met a lot of friends there and it did have a lot of good points - the festivals, the singing, the music, the plays, the crafts, the art, the community. The school itself is absolutely lovely, with it's wood and stone buildings and bushland setting. Sami seemed pretty content there. There were some things she didn't like, but on the whole, she enjoyed her experience there. She had a very special bond with her teacher and, yesterday afternoon as they were saying goodbye, I had more tears. I was grateful to this woman for treating Sami with such gentle love and care and guiding her in ways that I have not been able to. I cried to release the mixed feelings that have come with the children being in school, and later I cried some more to finish that process and out of relief that we were finally getting on with the next phase in our lives.

When I picked Sami up yesterday, she looked very happy. She'd been given some special things from Tracey (teacher) and the class. She was surprised that she got to take home all of her books and pencils from her desk. When we got home, she happily went through it all looking at her different crafts and paintings and things. We are actually going back to the school today to a surprise birthday morning tea that I have arranged for Tracey from the whole class. I feel that Sami and Tracey will keep in touch regularly, whether it's us popping into the school to see her if we're in the area, or by email, they will continue their friendship, and that's comforting to Sami.

Sami has grown up a lot in the last year. She still struggles at times (don't we all) and can be very dramatic, but she also has a calmness and gentleness that seems deeper. She often helps out around here without being asked, and is willing to help out when I do ask. AJ loves to annoy her and I hope he calms down a bit now that he doesn't have the school influence and they can spend lots of time swimming and playing together.

I was going to download some photos to post here, but I just realised that the camera is in the under-seat-converted-into-a-bed-storage that Nicholas is sleeping on at the moment. I think we're going to find living in this a bit cramped now that the kids are out of school. Sami really needs to have her own space so she sleeps and keeps her special things in one of the end "bedrooms". Cary and I sleep at the other end and the boys sleep right next to us, with just an optional curtain between us, on the seating that converts to a bed, which is a bit of a bother to set up every night and break down every morning. Finding time for intimacy is a bit tricky, but we do have the annexe as an extra room (not that there is much room in there though) after the kids are asleep and I'm thinking about setting up a small tent outside. The lovely "afternoon quickie" has been put on hold at the moment as it's impossible to sneak off to another room while the kids are busy. With Cary in the US at the moment, it's all on hold anyway. Hope he's back soon!

Something we've found about this lifestyle is that clutter accumulates rapidly. It doesn't take much at all for the place to look like it's been through a tornado, so I need to stay fairly organised. Still loving it though!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

8 facts about meme

I was tagged for a meme by my beautiful and inspiring friend Dharmez at It's like an online chain letter. I'm supposed to list 8 facts about myself and then tag 8 other bloggers to do the same. I'm just going to leave it open if you want to do it, consider yourself tagged. So now, here are 8 facts about me....

1. My favourite colour is blue. I prefer a medium blue to a real dark or real light blue, but if they are they are the only options, any blue will do. I don't remember when it became my favourite colour, maybe around age 9? A few minutes after Sami was born, I remember thinking "pink is my new favourite colour". Silly huh? But it's never replaced blue.

2. I also like sparkly things like crystals and the reflections that they make. I think the love of both blue and sparkly things stems from growing up near the ocean, watching and playing in the blue, sparkly water.

3. I've worked in a McDonalds, a dry cleaners, a bank, an office dealing in waste management, a supermarket, a bakery, a shoe store, a porn company, restaurants, bars, I had my own business hosting cocktail parties, I also worked in a general store and nightclub on a tropical island, in a health food store, as a personal fitness trainer, as an aerobics instructor, a receptionist at a health club, a Reiki practitioner, doing all kinds of support work in an holistic health center and best of a Mama.

4. I'm enjoying being 42. I am trying to "gracefully surrender the things of youth". Not that I think I'm old, but hey, I'm double 21 and my body doesn't always respond like it did then. I feel a confidence and Knowing that I didn't have 21 years ago and that's a good thing.

5. My favourite foods in the world are tropical fruits, especially bananas and mangos. I feel so good when I eat just fresh foods. Succulent and wild - both mangos and me.

6. My favourite drink in the world is pure, fresh water. Second is any one of a number of fresh fruit smoothies I make.

7. I can't stand it when my kids fight. Nothing stresses me more than that. I try not to get emotionally involved, but I can't help it sometimes.

8. I love being a free spirit, living on the road, with endless possibilities, making our own map as we go. I'm proud of the way I'm living and Being.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The most important things..

I still haven't gotten around to downloading some photos, but I will soon. We've had a busy few days around here. Last Friday, I walked with the kids into school and enjoyed the smell of wood and lavender that usually greets us. I looked around the beautiful rooms and, for a moment, had a period of doubt about if we were doing the right thing. A couple of hours later, I went on a bushwalk with AJ's class. "Hold your partners hand...stay together...don't go there, that's out of bounds....that's too far...AJ, get back here...(AJ finds an 'acceptable' activity, gets deeply engrossed and then..)...time to go back now...AJ, you need to line up with your partner now...AJ!" Ah yeah, no doubts at all now. On the walk back, AJ and a friend wanted to look at a tree that was dripping dark red sticky sap but they were told to get back in line and not hold the rest of the class up. That afternoon we stayed late at the school as Sami recently joined the adult choir that practices then. So while we were waiting, I helped tidy the Kindy room in preparation for the big Spring Festival coming up and AJ and Nicholas ran around with friends.

Saturday we had a clean up day around here and then some friends came around to celebrate the mama's birthday. Great fun. Sunday we went to the markets for our weekly fruit and veg and then went to the Spring Festival at the kids school. It was lovely. Sami joined her class for a performance, but then refused to join the kids choir performance which she is also in, as she only wants to be part of the adult choir now. She always looks so confident and comfortable onstage. When she was singing with the adult choir, she was in the front row and was loving it. When she sings with her class, she's in the back row as she's one of the taller kids and isn't as impressed by the experience.

Yesterday (Monday) was a no-school day so we caught up on washing, made a chocolate cake and some friends came over for an afternoon of playing in the pool. A good time had by all.

The kids have less than a week of school left and have not said a whole lot about that. With the warmer weather coming and the opportunity to spend most of the day at the pool or on the beach, I don't think school will be missed. AJ will probably miss some friends, but they can still have playdates. Sami will definitely miss her teacher and the Main Lesson work. But I'm going to see if she can still be a part of the adult choir while we're in the area and we can always pop in and say hello if she wants. Sami and AJ have been fighting a lot lately, but hopefully it won't take long to rediscover that they are actually good friends and like playing together.

Both children have been a little sad that we sold the "big car". After recently moving out of the house and into the camper, putting most of their things in storage, Cary leaving temporarily, selling the favourite car, and soon to be leaving school...that's a lot of change in a short time. I take it on my role as Mama to try and protect my children to a certain extent from sad and uncomfortable feelings at these ages, and to try and provide a sense of security. Cary sees my point, but also thinks that this was a choice, not like it was suddenly all taken from us by fire or flood. They are learning at these ages that the important things in life are not material things...they are impermanent. But the most important and constant thing in their lives is the love of family and the adventure of living.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A moment here

Yesterday we sold one of our cars. We've had an offer on the other one. With Cary away, I'm wondering if I want to experiment with being car-less. I think it would be an interesting exercise - walking more, using public transport, and really thinking about if I need to go to the shops and, if I do, being efficient in doing so. I won't buy another car here, I'd wait until Cary got back as he knows cars better than I do.

Cary mentioned that it's a bit overwhelming being back in Vegas - all the traffic and people! He's gotten used to this quieter lifestyle. He is keen to get finished quickly and get back here. Nicholas still says "hi plane, hi Dad" when he sees or hears a plane fly overhead.

We've had more rain for a couple of days and I hope it passes soon. We're doing well, but it does dampen my spirits when I can't start the day with doing my sunrise yoga.

I'm letting go of the things I feel I "should" do and I am trying to enjoy the process more often. Interestingly, by doing so, I feel calmer and I am actually getting more done as it crops up instead of putting things off.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Spring is here!

I forgot to mention in the previous post that Spring officially started here on 1st September. Right on cue, we have a pair of plovers who have built a nest close to our camper. They are not the brightest birds...they build nests on the ground and are known to choose areas that are not quiet or safe. I will try to get some photos in the next few days. They are also bloody noisy. If anyone walks within coo-ee of their nest, they make an awful noise to scare them away. I have some other photos to post as well, I just haven't gotten around to downloading them.

Leaving on a jet plane...

I recently went through the bag of clothes that I had brought with me. I took out things that I don't love to wear, and things that just were not my favourites for whatever reason - the colour was just not quite the right shade or the fit was not what I really like. I was able to fit all of my clothes into a 50L plastic container. I will admit that I have a few things in storage that are just not practical to bring on this journey, like my knitted jumpers (sweaters), and some dressier types of clothes.

I sorted through the kids clothes too and now all of Sami's clothes fit into the same size container as mine, though somehow she always has more washing than the rest of us. Both boys clothes fit into one the same size as Sami's and mine. I had another 50L plastic container that had toys in it, but the kids are just not playing with them. They are so busy playing with friends and each other and on their scooters and with the birds, that they rarely look for anything else. So I took some toys back to the storage unit and put some others into a smaller container. It turns out that I needed the larger container to put the beach and bath towels in. We had just been leaving them out on a drying rack. They were drying during the day, but as the sun started going down, the afternoon sea spray would get on them and they would get damp. so now I put them away once they are dry.

I had a clever blog written in my head in the middle of the night last night, but now I can't remember any of it. Oh well.

Cary left this morning. He was sad to leave us, but looking forward to tying up some loose ends and getting some new deals happening. Hopefully it will be the last time we have an extended absence from each other. I'll miss him. Sami was crying a lot after he left, and very dramatic with it. Nicholas didn't quite understand until he saw Cary get on the plane and then saw the plane leave. He started saying "Daddy..plane..NooNoo (what he calls himself)..plane". A couple of hours later when Cary called us from Sydney before he boarded his international flight, it really hit Nicholas and he started crying a lot and saying what he'd said before. He's asked for Daddy a lot this afternoon. It's been so great that Cary has had a lot of family time this year and has been able to bond so deeply with Nicholas.

When we walked into the airport this morning, I got all excited with the idea of travel. All the places we could go! Ah yeah, I am so not ready to go back to living in a house. I'm going to take some time going through things in the storage shed and really think about if I want to pay to hang on to them, or if they could be easily replaced. I think we'll stay put here for another couple of months so that I can do that without feeling rushed. I'll put some things on ebay, some on consignment and have another garage sale.

I can't stand feeling rushed. There's been a bit of that lately, when we were getting out of the house and getting Cary organised and some other things, and I don't cope well with the stress around those times. I think it's because I am a pretty organised person and when we rush to pack and do things, I am not as thorough and things can get mixed up more easily and then I can't find things and feel like I've forgotten to do something. That's why I need to take some time now and get calm and solid with where I'm at.

Cary proposed a change in our plans recently and I flipped out a bit. A friend asked me "what do YOU want?". It took me several days of pondering this to realise that I often consider Cary and the kids and other people's opinions and needs more than my own. That's changing. I'm starting to not feel guilty about taking time for myself when I want/need to. To just sit down and bask in the sunshine. To think about what I need to do in order to be true to myself and my purpose here. What we are doing is a part of that, I just need to be more in touch with my Self more often during the smaller daily tasks and times as well as when considering major changes.

What Cary proposed is still along the same lines of what we're already doing and planning but maybe going somewhere else instead of the South Pacific next year. And some other business ideas starting right now, and, and, and.... That boy is so busy. Anyway, he has some great ideas and we will start working them in and see how we go. Never a dull moment!