May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you and the pure light within you, guide your way on "~Incredible String Band

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year !

We left the land in Oregon towards the end of November, with lots of hugs, sadness and promises of a speedy return, and headed south towards California. Along the way we stopped over near Mt Shasta for a few days, to visit with some friends. While there, on one of the nights the temp got down to 11 degrees. This was the coldest temperature we have ever endured in the bus and all things considered, it was rather comfortable. If we were to remain in those kinds of temps long term however, there are a few simple winterizing things we could do to make it much better.

The front of the bus where the stove is stayed very warm, but the back where we sleep was a bit cold. We realized that directly under our bed where have a storage area, is the only place we did not put insulation. That, coupled with the fact that the bed is surrounded by windows, is the main reason it did not heat up the way the front of the bus did. We blocked up all the windows near the bed with pillows and blankets and this helped a great deal. We did this during our recent stay in Oregon as well, as there were some real cold nights. For living long term in below freezing weather I think that some cut up wool blankets sewed into curtains and hung behind the regular curtains would be all that is needed.

Moss went to court on the 5th but the lawyers requested another extension. The new pre trial is set for January 7th. Sigh...these things can take a long time.

We celebrated Winter Solstice/Christmas/ Hanukah with Moss's folks and his sister's family. This is quite funny as they are all atheist Jews and Moss and I celebrate pagan holidays. We had a great time none the less and exchanged gifts, lit candles, sang songs, ate cookies. A merry time was had by all.

Sage was gifted a few nice wooden toys, Moss received a printer for his music Cd's and for myself some wool roving for spinning on my wheel and some pre spun yarn as well. I have been in a knitting frenzy lately, making wool soakers/pants to go over Sage's diapers.

I love my in laws dearly but they are such techno savvy geeks ! Since we have decided to definitely not do t.v, video games and electronic toys, this may present some difficulty in the future.I realize that it is unrealistic to think that we could shield her entirely from t.v, video games and the like, nor would I want to. Our goal is simply to limit her exposure while we are able to ( being careful, of course to not "demonize" it therby making it more desireable) and gently encourage her towards other intrests while still young. We do plan on introducing computers and movies, but not until she is 8 years or older and then only if she expresses and interest. Instead we will focus on exploring nature, making things with our hands reading and listening to the radio. It is not that I feel computers and movies are inherently bad somehow, I just question the effect they have on developing minds and imaginations, and feel they are best left for older kids and adults.

Speaking of my inlaws, I want to take a momment to help them out by shamelessly plugging their websites...

Moss's mom, Carol Ratafia has been in the art business for 37 years selling her paintings with her husband, Less, at art shows all across the nation. They have just put up a new website featuring her work,

Also, our brother in law Scott Mccloud, is a comic book artist and has a great website featuring his work,

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog posts...

As of January 9th Sage will be 7 months old. In late Decemebr she began crawling and now is quite mobile. She has also been having a terrible time with teething lately and after having tried everything, I bought her an amber teething necklace. These are very common in northern European countries where they have been used for centuries to help alleviate teething pain.The amber necklace, when worn against the skin gets warm and exudes an oil that is then absorbed into the bloodstream where it has an anti inflammatory affect on the gums.

It really does seem to work ! I am thinking of making these and selling them on etsy to help generate some extra income.

Speaking of..we opened a shop on etsy this month and I am happy to report that in the first week we made a whooping 435 dollars ! I sold my favorite needle felted guy ever, the elf in the green overalls on the top of the page, for 350 ! We also sold a beautiful pair of boots that Moss made and a small needle felted figure. This is very encouraging and we are now busy making more stuff .

We will be in California through January then we are going back up north to do some more work on the farm in washington..

Sage on solstice morn, playing with her new favorite toy, a silk play cloth..

The soaker pants I am curently knitting ....

Sage and her new amber teething necklace. These really work !


Sara said...

Wow!! Congrats on the business ventures...that is awesome. I'm off to check it out now...

We have spent some pretty cold nights in the RV...the coldest we've gotten down to is 25. We put down comforters and blankets over all the windows and it really helped a lot. Without them, we had a serious hair would blow in the wind :) You can also put insulation in any vents you might have in the ceiling. We're hoping to avoid any more cold by heading south for the winter! I'm so jealous of your wood burning stove...we have central (gas powered) heat and it's so spendy.

Stacy Garner said...

Hello! I just stumbled upon your blog through the motheringdotcommune forums and I love it! You have an amazing bus/home and a beautiful family. And your fiber art friends are so cool. I can't seem to find your shop on Etsy. What is the username?


Effortlessly Average said...

Hey, I'm really glad you gave and update. I was beginning to wonder what happened to you! You're all an inspiration. We used to dream of spending more time on the road in our RV, being closer to everything the world has to offer, but unfortunately spirits haven't been with us this year and a great deal has become uncertain. Reading about you all gives me hope that something will work out for the better eventually.

Lemme ask you, what do you say if you want to offer blessings to someone, but not being a religious type, you don't want to say "God bless" or the like? Whatever that is, picture me saying that to the three of you.


Rima Staines said...

Hello :) I was pleased to come across your fabulous blog and wish you all a happy and creative year. I have added you onto my links... :)
Happy travelling, Rima

Nina said...

Hi Moss, Pixie and Sage. Loyal blog reader/stalker with a few questions:) When you travel from CA to OR do you take highway 101? I remember in one of you posts you said it was too treacherous. We are hoping to refurbish a bus/RV within the year, and plan to head west and live up and down the coast-hopefully spending a generous amount of time on highway 101 (I hope this is doable!?!) Another question, do you guys still use the veggie oil to power your bus most of the time-or do you use fuel too? And are there any areas that have not been receptive to giving the veggie oil? Sorry to barge in with a bunch of questions;) Thanks and peaceful vibes....Nina

Unknown said...

Sara ~ Hey there sister....always so glad to hear from you. I actually like being in the bus when it's cold. The bus handles cold a lot better than heat. We have been in 25 degrees many times and that is no problem, but over 80degrees and we are dying.

You many be envious of our woodstove, but I am envious of the air conditioners in rv's ! We are thinking of buying an rv swamp cooler, and giving that a try...

Stacy ~ We just opened an etsy shop at the end of December and sold out of everything we had (only three, so there is curently nothing listed. You can find us under Enchanted Gypsy Fiber Art. We are making stuff now and plan to have it up within the next few days.There will also be a link from our blog.

Effortlessly Average ~ Thank you for the comment and I encourage you to live your dream, if you are being called to the road, maybe there is somthing there for you.

Thank you for the blessing ! We are not religous but deeply spiritual indeed. I have no hang ups about the word God, so god bless is just fine. I am firm in my heart in regards to what and who I feel god is. Thank you...May god bless you as well..

Rima ~ Thank you for adding us to your links and welcome to our little blog.Feel free to email me and leave a comment on whatever you wish. I love to chat with people and meet new folks..

Nina ~ Welcome and nice to "meet" you ! I am happy to answer your questions..

We have traveled the 101 freeway for many, many years in all kinds of vehicles. It is the most beautiful route and so much to do..beaches, ancient redwood forests, mountains..

We do fine in the bus although it is quite steep in some areas, we just take our time, put the hazards on and go slow. The biggest problem is the fuel that is used on the hills, it takes a lot. Parts of Oregon are the the hardest so we just cut over to the 5 if were low on fuel. I would not do it in any bus with less than a 9.0 liter engine. An rv would do great. But yes it's definitely doable. Northern california is the best and in the summer there are some excellent free camgrounds to stay springs, rivers..In the winter the soutern part of 101 is where we like to be..santa barbara and above, miles and miles of beaches....

About fuel..a few months ago when our engine was sabatoged we had to get a new one put in. The guy who did it did not put the veggie system back in. So we are curently not able to run on it until we hook it all back up. Which we plan on doing but are waiting until we have a bit more $$. There are some things we are going to do different this time and that takes more monry. All told though we went aprox 11,000 miles on the system that we designed and put in ourselves. When we first did it in 2004 veggie fuel was fairly easy to find, especially down south, and it still is there. However, sad to say..all up and down the 101 it is getting a bit scarce as more and more people are looking for it, including the big bio diesel plants. Now a days it is not uncommon to find veggie bins that are locked with a sign saying the oil belongs to so and so. I would say that the 101 is one of the hardest areas to find oil.

In the meantime, we are using bio diesel. We do use regular diesel when we cant find bio diesel though. There are stations in Santa Barabara, Ashland Or, and Eugene Or...

PyroLuna said...

Hey, Sage is way too cute, That amber teething necklace seems pretty interesting. Your christmas sounded great, i ove spending christmas with jew athiests, even though i usually just go, or shall i say stay, caroling with them, but they always rock. Love your dolls, ttfn

PyroLuna said...

Hey, Sage is Way too cute, the amber teething neclace sounds interestiting though, sounds like you had a great holiday, we should make up a neme for christmas celebrated with jew athiests and pegan clebraters, i have no ideas so i am going to let more creative pweople think up some, well ttfn

Anonymous said...

Pixie, Moss and Sage....

I am so so glad you updated your blg. I was checking back frequently and I started to get worried. How did Moss' trial go?

Sage is getting so big. She is beautiful.

I am hoping you will make a trip to PA sometime in the near future! You can park your RV here at my house...we have 3 acres!

Miss you tons!

Cousin Alicia

Anonymous said...

Very cool site... you all sound like you are doing all the things you love in life. I envy you, even if you are hippays!

Anonymous said...

So glad to find your blog. I was wondering how you and the family were getting along. Glad to see you found ETSY and it's doing well for you! Your baby is perfect!

Kathy said...

Great blog. I found it while searching for info on Skoolies. I hope it is ok if I borrow some the book shelves and the heat barrier around the wood stove!!!! And how cute is that baby Sage????

Anonymous said...

lovely photos of Sage. Beautiful child.

I raised my son without TV or Media in the house till age 9. It was the best thing I could do. He is an artist and musician who knows how to entertain himself and has his own opinions and strong ideals.
He also does not fall for stuff as easily as many teens do. He is fit and lean, probably due to his time spent outdoors.

He uses his laptop to create music and adjust his visual imagery.

I wish ya'll the best.

Birdie said...

Greetings from the North Georgia mountain area. Just today discovered your blog. I felt so happy to read of someone doing just what they wanted to be doing. Sage is a beautiful child and oh so lucky to have the two of you for parents.
Bright blessings, Birdie

SJLD said...

Sage is growing so fast. It felt like yesterday I was pouring over your birth story.
My husband and I are waiting to meet our little one and I just love to come here and watch your little one grow.
We live in an RV park in texas and also love to follow your travel stories.
love annie
ps. where did you get the amber teething necklace?
im sure we will need one!