Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Enforcer

So, it's hot.  And even when you are a nature-loving, forest-dwelling family, still succumb to the heat.  Folsom has pretty much given up his daily squirrel chase.  You can find him soaking in a bin of mucky water pretending to fish.  Or sitting inside the air-conditioned tenthome, which is where he is lounging right now.  David and I are resilient to the heat and humidity.  We might sweat, but we don't melt.  And our skin somehow does not sizzle.  Sage tolerates summer well, especially for her age, but the past two days have been challenging for her.  Both mornings started great with our usual smoothies and plates of fresh, whole fruit.  Sometime around mid-day the party train derails, and by dinnertime I've wanted somebody to stop this crazy ride.  Apparently I still have not mastered the Poker Face, because last night David decided to have a sit-down with me.  Reinstate the daily nap, he said, because her behavior turns bad when she's hot and tired.  I knew this, and yet I have not enforced naptime because we were involved in structured activities all summer that often overlapped naptime.  Further, she refuses to admit defeat -- like her parents, I guess -- and tries valiantly to keep up.  Poor kid.  Yesterday was day one of the new naptime.  Each day during the hottest point of the day she must get into bed and listen to relaxing music.  No DVDs.  No toys or books.  Nothing that might stimulate her imagination except music.  Sage fought, she screamed.  But when she woke up yesterday, even she had to agree that she felt better.  In her words, the nap is important so she "doesn't scream at Mommy."  At this very moment, she is inside with Folsom, dreaming of the ballet, most likely, since classical seems to be the most effective at lulling her to sleep.  No longer do I hear crying protests; and all seems harmonious once again in our tenthome in the forest.  Let's hope that she feels as good as she did yesterday when she wakes up.

Back to work for me...stay cool and hydrated, y'all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Swim lessons and realized dreams

This morning after swim lessons Sage and I listened to bird calls and giggled all the way home.  Yes, that's right.  My little beach girl, who loves jumping into waves and observing creatures of the sea in our homemade "study tank", is finally learning to swim.  She is becoming as nimble and free in the water as the fishes she adores.  Although the first few days she only reluctantly dipped her face into the water, today her teacher beamed as she congratulated her (and me) for her jumping off the side of the pool, touching the bottom, and putting her entire face and head underwater to blow bubbles.  Thea exclaimed, "She's there, Mommy!"  What a milestone for my sweet beach girl.

Yesterday she announced to Daddy and me that she wants to study birds, especially hummingbirds.  I downloaded free bird call apps to accompany what I refer to as my "Mamaw Book", the Golden Field Guide "Birds of North America."  The only people I've ever met who own this book and log the species they see are somebody's Mamaw, or at least of that grandparently age.  And me.  It is an excellent field guide, by the way, and Sage and I can use it to document her adventures in ornithology.  Thrilling: not only is she becoming a fish, she is also interested in becoming a bird expert in addition to a butterfly expert and an artist.  Don't forget princess fairy of the forest, too.  Nature girl!

We were having a great time this morning as we drove back to our tenthome in the woods.  I began to think ahead to my to-do list for the day: make smoothies, hand-wash dishes, clean potty, water and check on garden.  Then I remembered we wanted to make "nectar" for Sage's new hummingbird feeder and practice writing letters and numbers in her cool big girl-writing pad with her big girl-pencil.  Oh yes, and don't forget to run payroll, pay bills, submit two more estimates and one invoice, and return emails.  At that moment I realized I'm living out many of my dreams, some I've shared with friends and family over the years.  Our business,, has rebounded and is growing and changing in feel-good ways.  Being a green entrepreneur means I am fortunate enough to earn a living doing good things for people and planet.  My plans for my own off-shoot green business venture have been a little stalled, but I'm not in a hurry and am feeling patient to let things unfold as they should.  I'm honored to be able to put my child into learning and playtime environments that honor her natural interests.  This life is far from perfect, yet in almost every facet of my life I am fulfilled, encouraged and eager to continue pushing myself to discover the core of my happiness.  To discover what a simple, good and sustainable life means for me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Last week a friend of mine who is a life coach posted on Facebook a link to an article I needed but didn't know I needed to read.  Titled "15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy", I assumed there would be things like coffee, a stimulant that can sometimes induce or exacerbate anxiety.  Instead, there are "let go of the past", "let go of your need to be right".  Whoa. 

Back up.  I consider myself a happy person who finds life exhilarating and defined by one adventure after another.  My approach to conflicts with others is that life is too short to...fill in the blank as you wish.  "Spend it with mean people" or "allow others to rob you of joy."  Most of the time, I'm not bothered by other people's behavior and I don't hold grudges.  I'm pretty adept at maintaining objectivity, even when someone I love is treating me unkind.  Still...I have some unresolved hurts.

If you have followed any of my three blogs you know about the mobile odyssey my family began almost two years ago.  Our guiding principle through that journey and our continuing path toward sustainability has been to peel back the layers of life to discover the core of happiness.  We began by purging possessions and streamlining our business so that we may together.  As I read this article -- in fact, I have re-read it a few times -- I expected to simply read and share with people in my life who might need a little reminder about being happy.  What I discovered, however, were a few obstacles in my own path toward happiness.  This mobile-then-sustainable journey has been filled with adventures, joys, firsts for our little girl, and experiences to last a lifetime.  But, as I always say, you have to put up with a little poison to live in paradise.  Believe me, as rewarding and profound as this odyssey has been, there have been a handful of doses of poison littering our path.

People I believed were part of my inner circle revealed that they are not, in fact.  People I love who I was led to believe loved me too, do not.  People I thought I shared my vision and mission in business, and also pretended to be my friend, do not and are not.  Betrayed.  Bitter.  Yes, I felt both.  After reading this wonderful article my friend shared, I was able to let go of these parts of my recent past.  You know who you are; and you are forgiven.  Just as I did with tangible possessions, I am purging emotionally.  Moving on...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Good morning

Lately I've been awake earlier and earlier.  Eager to start my day in the last moments of darkness.  I stretch my body, breathe deeply.  Sometimes I put water on for coffee, sometimes I sit quietly in the dark and think.  Initially I organize my day, or how I want today to go, knowing that I will probably not accomplish everything.  And I'm OK with that.  I have to be, because if I let myself obsess about distractions -- all the other moving pieces and parts in my life -- I will distract from my larger life-purpose.  My purpose is to transition to a sustainable lifestyle and share my experiences in order to educate, entertain and empower others who are interested in living a simple and fulfilling lifestyle.  I must take these frequent detours in my day as opportunities for learning, for enhancing the goals I've set for today.  I must learn patience.

It is a good morning, after all.  Morning traffic has begun its daily hum.  Nocturnal creatures poke around in the mulch of leaves for one last snack before bedtime.  Birds sound their day-alarms, each one different.  Perhaps the job of birds is to sing their song for a specific creature?  Cardinals wake up humans but mockingbirds wake up squirrels?  Or maybe, regardless of species, each bird is assigned to an individual creature?  Time to get up, they seem to say.  All of you.  I listen, and I keep writing.  And thinking.  And meditating on filling my heart with love, my mind with creativity, my soul with patience...all before my family hears their bird's song.

More birds are calling their creatures to start their day.  Leaves and tiny drops of condensation  have been pelting our roof for the past hour.  I thought perhaps it was raining, until one of the "raindrops" skidded across the peak of the roof and slid all the way to the ground.  Deer are passing near; I hear the quick bursts of air the bucks use to signal to the herd of possible danger ahead.  They are not sure about us yet, though they will come close enough to eat apples we put out for them about 30 feet from our tent-home.  Now that we have begun planting our garden, I'm sure they will come closer and more frequently.

Creatures inside my home are stirring.  Night-time noises are fading to the background as daytime moves forward.  I still want to write about and post photos of our home.  Time for coffee.  Have yourself a good morning.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New journey, new post...

Welcome to my new journey via an old 'vehicle.'  Sort of fitting, isn't it?  Since I drive a 21-year-old pick-up truck that has more than 200,000 miles on it and shows no signs of stopping.  Neither do I...

This new journey will focus on the sustainable elements of our lifestyle.  A lot of changes will be made to this blog in the coming days, and soon I will announce some thrilling news.  Please come back often, read posts new and old, leave comments.  And if you know of anyone who might enjoy reading my blatherings, please share this link.

My journey as a green entrepreneur, as a mobile family for more than one year, and my current life in the woods (my modern-day Walden) have taught me much as I navigate this wondrous life.  It is my pleasure to share these lessons with you.

If you would like to read more about sustainable landscaping services, please visit our business blog at and our facebook page at!/pages/NativeDavecom/60388359631.  Find us on twitter, too...You may also read about our mobile journey at

Monday, October 3, 2011

Last Post...Here

Since the loss of El Valor, we have toyed with the idea of renaming this blog. We needed a name for our redesigned tiny-home-on-wheels, and until recently, nothing really "stuck." Seabean makes sense and is easily recalled. So renaming our adventure-blog to Seabean or Bluebonnet + Seabean, or something easy to remember, seemed logical. Well...since one of the guiding principles of this odyssey is simplicity, we have opted to streamline our blogs and make all future posts to Sustainable landscaping and living, adventure travel, and business happenings all seem to overlap now. This odyssey is no longer merely an experiment; it is the way we Thank you for joining us this past year. We hope you will continue to travel with us over on the nativerave blog. Green blessings, y'all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Even more raw

My body was accustomed to mostly raw foods...or so I thought.  When we were camping in parks with full hookups, not much had changed from living in a home-without-wheels.  We were just living in a significantly smaller space, that's all.  Now that we are out, remote, everything is different.  First, who wants to wash dishes when you have to pack in all your water?  Hint: not me.  I'd rather use it to drink or rinse off our bodies.  I've given in to paper plates and plastic flatware...only because trees can be planted and plastic can be recycled easier than creating new sources of water.  Plus, I can cut out the middle man and just burn the dang stuff AND create heat energy for my family.  So our daily water consumption has plummetted to around 5 gallons per day for the entire family.  That includes teeth-brushing and hand-washing.  In this area, we rock.  Our energy consumption is more difficult to measure.  If we use the generator, we burn through 2-3 gallons per day.  At around $2.70 per gallon, that's $8.10 per day.  Yikes.  Relying on 12v means letting the diesel truck idle for several hours.  As of this writing, "Daisy" (our truck) has been running for about 5 hrs and does not seem to have consumed even one gallon.  Diesel here runs around $2.80 per gallon, maybe $2.90.  Either way, that's a HUGE savings over using the generator.

Running the truck has other benefits, as well.  The deep cycle battery inside the camper is connected to the truck's battery and is constantly being recharged.  That means, when we turn off the truck, we have stored energy in the deep cycle to power lights and the 12v outlet inside the camper.  One caveat: the outlet does not seem to be capable of handling the power load of one, much less two, laptops.  So while we work, at least for now, both computers will need to be connected via extension cord to the power source outlets (also 12v) inside the cab of the truck.  And until we replace our laptop batteries (they are fried from using the generator as their power least we think that's the problem...) the truck will also need to be running.  The laptop batteries will charge but will not HOLD the charge. 

We could rely on solar energy but have not yet settled on the brand or configuration that best suits our needs.

So our diet has changed due to our limited access to energy.  The first couple of days we made smoothies by connecting to the generator.  Power surges concerned us and we decided to explore raw foods that require little to no preparation.  Avocadoes, bananas, tomatoes and more are excellent sources of portable nutrition.  But we overestimated our rate of consumption, and we found ourselves eating to the point of discomfort to avoid wasting produce.  My next grocery shopping trip will be Monday.  I am paring down our list is our list for one 3-day block.  There will be approximately three variations to this list to avoid monotony and spoilage.  Other non-raw items might fall into my buggy...:)

1 large watermelon -- that will be our only food for an entire day.
6 small avocadoes -- two per person for one day.
1 pint grape tomatoes -- to be shared among three people in one day, preferably with avocadoes.
6 bananas -- one per person for two days.  Breakfast on "avocado/tomato day", and the next.
2 cucumbers -- to be shared among three people in one day, preferably the day after avocado/tomato day.
2 red bell peppers -- to be shared among three people in one day, preferably with cucumbers.
1 lb. raw cashews -- snack between meals.

My body was adjusting slowly (and clumsily) the first few days here on the beach.  I spent a lot of time "in the dunes."  Today my digestive system seems to have adapted and is functioning normally again.