All posts by Selka

I'm a Canadian woman living in an off-grid tiny house on a small organic orchard farm in Nova Scotia, always aspiring to a "better"- more conscious, ecological, and organic- life. I blog to keep my family and friends up to date; to share things I've learned and discovered with difficulty so that hopefully, it will help others who internet research to proceed with less difficulty; to maintain a practice of writing; and to create an illustrated journal of the arc of my life. I try to post every second day. I write about my garden, my travels, Iceland, my chickens, dog, bees and other pets, books I read, and stuff that I build and make. My husband is passionate about bicycling and he sometimes pipes up with stories about bikes and bicycling. Sometimes I swear. You can follow on Facebook too, but all I ever do there is put up my blog posts.

Truck truck truck

See how it glistens in the rain...that incessant rain we've been having

Overwhelmingly  in love with my truck!  It’s full of fun gadgetry- took ages for the previous owner to explain them all to me, with their odd symbols.  Fog lights, robotic collapsing side mirrors, heated seats, adjustable shocks, altimeter, compass, digi interior/exterior thermometer, giant sun/moon roof, auto temperature settings, floor storage, headlight washers, and an emergency flare.  Diesel of course, so I can put bio in it.  The stereo is so sophisticated I couldn’t figure out how to change the radio channel, and it can bluetooth my phone for handsfree chatting- not a headset, but the kind that will make passing drivers think you’re a crazy person talking to yourself.  I couldn’t get that hooked up yet either though, even with the help of an 11yr old- the one I have to ask when I need help with MY camera.

But most of all, it’s sexxxxy!  I can’t even explain why, but I think it’s gorgeous and pretty and hot!  As my friend said right away: “OMG, I want to climb on top of it!” I’m instantly over envying anyone’s Rav4s and Toyotas and flashy hybrids, that cost 8x as much.  Well, I still envy Smart cars, but you can’t tow a camper with those. Continue reading Truck truck truck

Reindeer

The hatch-battening days have struck.  Today was not cool by numbers, but had that piercing quality that makes you wish you were wearing a warmer hat, and mentally assess your coat and scarf and mitten collection.  Will it be enough?  The days that soberingly remind you that winter is cold, and reminds you what that feels like.

Inspired by the possibility of earning a little money at Xmas craft fairs, today the kids and I opened Santa’s workshop and made some prototype reindeer.  First we filled the back of my sexy new truck with branches and dragged them home, importing that wonderful wood and snow smell of Christmas.  It went incredibly well.  The green wood was really easy to cut and drill, and the process was creative, flexible, and rewarding, rarely frustrating.  The oldest boy amazed me by pumping out three different sizes.  The smallest one is only an inch and a half tall.  The “head twig” was too tiny for him to drill for antlers.  We’ll see how large a team, or herd, we can create tomorrow.  This should be good.

Its almost like they hatch- they just come together as though they were meant to, and then they emerge- full of personality and mocking their intended design, if you started out with one.

Kelowna's good side

A beautiful view in the morning after an awesome night.  Spent the night on my friend’s guest futon and had a very “cozy in my heart” night talking at high speed with much laughing about everything!   It was really lovely to “re-find” a friend from long ago that I can feel still connected to (Thank you, T**, for your spontaneous welcome- hearts!).

Kelowna

Nothing can make a person “love money more than things” quicker than strolling a Kelowna mall.  Feel completely sickened and repulsed by the superfluous junk, all brightly lit, packaged, and bedazzled with a horrendous ignorant excess.  And this is normal.  Wait for the loud and masochistic orgy of Christmas splurging, as so many people spend lavishly and painfully beyond their means in a well-intentioned corruption of love.

Kelowna isn’t designed for the foot traveller.  All the stores and businesses are large, spread apart, and serviced by gigantic parking lots, all built for a culture of drivers.  The entire city’s design assumes that everyone has a vehicle to go from store to store in.  It’s always been a horrendous town to hitchhike through, but have I ever put a lot of miles on my feet this time. I feel like an anomaly, unusual because I’m on foot.  In places, there aren’t even sidewalks.  Plus people aren’t looking for pedestrians, and since I’m big on jaywalking, I have to be careful.  Ironically, I’m here to become a driver.  I haven’t owned a car in a while, and I’m here to pick up my dream truck, not without a few palpitations and some second guessing.

I hitchhiked here this morning.  Quote of the day, on the way: “The last chick I picked up hitchhiking smelled really bad.  I really can’t say the same about you….   ….why are you laughing so hard?”

Things are moving so fast!

Farming may be closer than I thought.  Out of the blue, as ever, my friend calls me to come inspect a house for her she’s thinking of buying.  5 acres, 5 outbuildings, and a house with a brand new well, roof, and water pump.  I wasn’t thinking of myself at all when I first looked at it, but a few days later the ways which the property could suit us both emerged, and suddenly we were talking about a partnership- a two year plan to be negotiated after that.  So possibly, I’ll be on rural land by December 1!  The working plan is that I will winter in the camper, parked in a shed equipped with hydro, and for the next couple years spend my time writing, creating a suite in the large, empty barn, and gardening and tending animals, all free of the burden of monthly payments.  Very exciting!

Hilarity ensues

One night they’re learning to start fires with flint, the next they’re shooting stop-motion karate sequences and Zoolander spoofs.  The kids asked tonight, in passing, if my Mac could make videos, and the evening turned into an hours-long marathon date with Photo Booth.  They enthusiastically uploaded their efforts to youTube, which tells the story best.  This is the best one. I was behind the scenes, starting and stopping and turning the music on and off.  Oh, and doing the blood.  I provided NO other direction.  The most demanding part of my job was to not laugh audibly, so I spent 100s of filming minutes with one hand clamped over a splitting grin, shaking with laughter.  Cleverly, they made the soundtrack with one earphone of a Shuffle rested by the mike of my computer, but it meant they could hardly hear the sound.  Again, boggled at the wild creativity of children, how well they cooperate and improv, and how transparently they filter their influences: hiphop videos, action movies, and Ben Stiller.  Apologies to the eight people out there who haven’t seen Zoolander- the finale will completely escape you- well, so might the whole thing.

Safe travels

Made it home just fine on Thursday.

Marriage proposals: three.  Offers of money for sex: one.  A successful trip.

Big news of the journey was that the urge to write “The hitchhiking book” surged up in me again along the way, this time in a motivated, urgent, desireful way, instead of an “I need to do that someday” way.  I even had to stop between rides to type for an hour, I was so filled with urgency to start.

Another sigh of grateful relief for having sold the house- I can write it now.  I have the time to do it.  There’s a few garden-variety resistances-fear of failure/success/putting in the work, but I know how to deal with those and still get the job done.  And all I need to do for a refreshing dose of motivation is to get back on the road and hitch somewhere.

Cows and town

Eye is recovering nicely now.  I’m not self-conscious any more with one eye swollen and weeping like I’ve been crying with half my face for a month.

I’m having fun riding the C-train around with trivial destinations and seeing what I find.  I’ve spent a generous amount of time in one cozily disheveled discount movie theatre, watching $3 movies, auditing portions of flicks I didn’t pay for, and getting free popcorn refills.  Although it must cost more overall to live in a major centre, it’s remarkable how cheap so many things are.  I’m giddy about two purchases:  Continue reading Cows and town

Happy Tricking!

One of our pumpkins, pre-move

Today I got laser surgery on my second eye.  In the intervening 12 years (since the fix was in on the first eye), the price has come down about $400 and the technology has advanced one tiny bit- they burn off a few less microns of eye material.

I am wearing an eye patch I made on the subject eye and no one looks twice since it’s Halloween, even though I’m not otherwise dressed in any way “Yarrr”.

More hostelity

I did not prepare this bed. The front desk guy did. It was so funny and cute I had to take a picture. It was like sleeping in a box, or a fort. Diagonally.

Another strange hostel experience.  I screwed up the date when I reserved my room in the Calgary hostel, and my reservation was canceled for not showing.  Unfortunately, my arrival coincided wth that of a giant (noisy, obstreperous) group of basketball players on the same night.  So they had nowhere to put me.  They were very accommodating, and  stashed me in the TV room on two couches pushed together.

Two for two nights in hostels on sofas.  Wow.