Something New

One year has gone by with no personal vehicles. It has been fun, and I know it will end soon, so I am looking for the next challenge.

Does anybody have an idea or two?

I’ve already done the blindfold thing, wearing a bandana over my eyes for three days. Now THAT was something to get used to! That was back in …. 2008-9? I have so much respect for the blind now. It was quite the eye opener.

The summer I postponed hiking the Appalachian Trail (2010), I challenged myself to take a scuba diving course, getting certified in both open water and dry-suit.

Right now, having just gotten through the holiday festive foods, I have cut out cane sugar. This is day three. Mostly over the headache now, but still craving sweets. Wouldn’t really count this as a challenge though, more as a detox.

Seth thinks I should get my motorcycle license. Great idea, but without having a motorbike or knowing anybody else with one, I don’t know how it could be feasible. Love the idea though!

Any other great ideas? Anybody?

 

Opposites

Most of my side of the family came down from Canada during the holidays, so we got the biggest family photo taken in years! My neighbour did the honour of clicking a bunch of shots, and my little sister Maret did the photo editing.

Back Row: Seth, Everette (Dad), Anders, Mitchell, Toveli, Gaelyn, Maret, Karen (Mom), Laars Front Row: Rauchelle (Me) with Trista on back. Elita and Marin in stroller
Back Row: Seth, Everette (Dad), Anders, Mitchell, Toveli, Gaelyn, Maret, Karen (Mom), Laars.
Front Row: Rauchelle (Me) with Trista on back. Elita and Marin in stroller.

As you can see, there is a REALLY BIG van behind us. That is the 15 passenger van my folks drive around from Canada to Mexico and back, as need and/or whim dictates. My mom has a really good blog about their adventures that you should check out if large family travel interests you.

The thing I think is a little funny about this photo (besides the goofy faces) is the stroller, which is our main mode of transporting, in comparison to the van. These are two totally different, opposite, yet equally awesome family lifestyles represented here. Seth and I have a stationary family, living in one place, raising our girls with alternative means of transportation. My parents have the family of movement (which I would love to mimic when the time is right), raising their kids in alternative locations. So far, my younger siblings have an almost equal grasp on Canadian, USA and Mexican cultures. They have participated in community activities in all three countries, and they can get by in more languages than me!

Keep doing the great adventurous things you do, Mom and Dad!

P.S. I’m still car-free.

30 Day Count Down

It has been 335 days since I took a ride in a personal motorized vehicle.

WHAT?!?!!!!

Yes, it’s true, and in another 30 days I will have hit the one year mark.

I’m sure there are a lot of other people out there who have gone for just as long or longer still, and I would love to hear their stories!

Here’s how my year has gone so far…..

December 13th, 2015; Four months pregnant, ran a couple errands with my dad’s truck before he headed north to Canada.

The rest of the winter was spent walking with the girls in the stroller, or riding my bike with them. Once spring hit, we did a lot more cycling, going farther and spending more time outside around the neighbourhood. We started clowning around a lot too, becoming a regular at one of Olive and Dingo’s weekly Story Times.

Off to get a whack of balloons.
Off to get a whack of balloons.

My dad flew through a couple times, but he has started taking transit from the airport. When my mom and little sister came up for end of my pregnancy to help out, us girls took the bus and train out to meet them. See? No cars needed.

Trista’s birth went perfectly well, and three weeks later we were back on the bike for short rides. Our first one was Peddalpalooza’s Monster Ride, which just happened to start three blocks from our house.

Through the summer I did have a hard time trying to get the girls out to have fun, but not overly exert myself, which is kind of hard to do when hauling 200 lbs of bike, kids and gear. But we did it!

Last month Seth took the Blondies (Marin and Elita) out to Maine to visit his relatives. During that time, I had multiple vehicle offers, both to borrow a spare, and hitch rides to far off places. But with only two months left to hit my one year goal, I painfully had to decline. Oh the places I could have gone with a vehicle in those two weeks!

Now there is only one month left.

For the most part these last 11 months have been easy. I started from a lifestyle that made it so. We do not own a vehicle, so there is never one easily at my disposal. For most people, a year car free would be a huge challenge. For some it would be logistically impossible. For me, I was already four months in before I decided to stretch it to a year. I guess with that said, it really isn’t that much of an accomplishment. Oh well, I’m still glad to be able to say I did it!

Now the question is, how shall I end the year? Shall it be with a car ride? Or just throw myself a little party and see how much longer life takes me without a vehicle?

Ideas? Suggestions? Comments? Anybody in a peanut gallery?

Monsters on Etsy

Seth and I like to be creative in some way every day, even if it is just doodling on paper with the girls. Sometimes we get a little more time and dedication to do something bigger.

Seth usually goes out in the garage and builds or modifies bicycles, while I prefer to sit down at the kitchen table and play with fimo clay.

Usually I make air plant holders in the guise of Monsters. Later when I get another chunk of time, I take it outside and set up a little photo shoot, then do some online editing, and then finally post a new listing in my shop on Etsy. Sometimes the whole process can take a couple weeks from start to finish. I know, I could be more diligent, but I kind of save that for when orders come in, getting them made and shipped without delay.

Here’s a couple of the monsters up in the shop;

108_3631 108_3795 img_6061 img_6065

Clown Time

On the weekend we were invited to join Portland’s clowns Olive and Dingo in the Division Street Parade. We arrived on time, were all set, then one of the bands started up right beside us in the staging area, setting Trista into a scared crying fit. There was nothing to do but back out and comfort her while the parade took off. Trista eventually did calm down and fell asleep, so we were able to rejoin the fun further down the street.

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A few days later, we hung out at a coffee shop just down the street from our house for Story Time where the clowns do their act every week. Don’t worry, they have a NEW act each time. This particular day they had a camera crew filming them. If the footage gets posted online, I will add the link!

At the end of Story Time, they always make balloons for the kids. Marin usually asks for a bow and arrow, while Elita is happy with anything, sometimes a flower, or snail, or dog… yup, content girl! Today they got something completely different. Observe….

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Twix is Here!

We are proud to announce the arrival of our third daughter. While she was still cooking, we called her Twix, following the pattern set by the other girls whose nick names were Snickers and Skittles.

Now, let me introduce you to Trista;Trista

Born on May 29th after only one hour of labour.

She checked in at an even 10 pounds and 22 inches long.