Category Archives: General

Snapshots: The End of Summer

IMG_20150819_185648~2I have this special place. A place that is this oasis from real life, though it was my real life for a while.

When I was 18 years old, I moved out of home and a friend brought me to this house and said that if I was ever in trouble, this is where I could come. This house was filled with music and warmth. It was a place that I could be welcome no matter what. Here, I could rest. And be loved.

IMG_20150819_185645Now I come back to this home and the feeling is the same. The smell of the house is the same. And some of the people have changed but they have only added to the beautiful house. And now I get to share this with my kid.  IMG_20150819_141413

There isn’t much better than going to a place you love, and having the people you love, pour their attention onto your child. They are not obligated to give her attention. They do not have to play with her, or entertain her, but they do it because they too, love her. And it fills my heart right up to the top. IMG_20150818_193422

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Another cool thing happened on this trip. We got to visit the boat we lived on for 14 months. Gabrielle didn’t remember the boat. I got to tell her where we hung her jolly jumper, and where she slept, where we changed her diapers. I told her where I had to sit when I was pregnant with her because I couldn’t fit anywhere else. And where the cat always slept.IMG_20150818_184212 IMG_20150818_182511

And she got to fish off the bow of the boat, just like I imagined she would when we were living on it.

Soon we returned home to enjoy the last couple weeks of summer because the Autumn busyness comes. It’s all good things, but definitely different things.

Please enjoy the last few snapshots of our summer. IMG_20150815_165601 IMG_20150815_131630~2 IMG_20150814_065958 IMG_20150813_152432 IMG_20150812_121332~2

From our tiny home to yours, happy end of Summer days.

July since 2009

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I have been blogging since 2009. Life has changed a wee bit in 6 years. But also, not really.

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This is the first year we ever had a garden. A few tomatoes and a mammoth cabbage that we had no clue what to do with. (We’ve actually refrained from growing cabbage two years in a row because we get so many with not enough consumption.)

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Then in 2010, I was pregnant and still gardening. 2010 was the first year we harvested honey. It was quite the harvest.honeyfromlucinda uncappinghoney2 ramona2

It was the year before the blog was inundated with pictures of my child, so the cat still got a starring shot every now and then.

Then in September of 2010, we moved onto a boat. And stopped gardening for a year. I don’t remember missing it, but I was very busy caring for a new baby. And living on a boat is incredibly time consuming. Everything takes longer. I posted recently about living slower, but then I realized I don’t have to spend time pumping out the grey water tank, or boiling water to wash dishes. Bathing doesn’t have to be planned because it takes up a good chunk of the day. Slower living is definitely boat living. Below are pictures for July 2011.

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Then in November 2011, we moved back onto land and slowly began reclaiming a garden from 8 foot high blackberry bushes.

img_1653Above is 2012. And the little one grew and grew.

img_1474 img_1682I had started my Doula work, so everything for Brie was babies.

ontoabirthsmallThis picture is of me, after a birth. I’ve been awake for 50 hours in this picture. I remember the birth well.

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Then July 2013, Brie is growing! And after a lot of hard work, my body is back to it’s original size. This is the year I recognize our life again. Our activities are similar to what we are doing today, and I am wearing all the same clothes.

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IMG_1512And now we are almost caught up.

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Gabrielle looks familiar to me in these pictures. The garden, again in July, dominates most of our home activities. We are processing something most of the time. And usually our life is mostly outside.

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Above is 2014. 5 years later, we are still showing off our tomatoes.

I am so grateful for this space. There have been times when I’ve thought, “Why do I do this blog?” But I’m glad for the record of writing it. I’m glad to see the pictures, read the stories. And I’m incredibly thankful for the worlds that it has connected me to.

For whatever part of the journey you have joined us, thank you to you too.

Starting again

Every year I employ faith. I gather my faith up as I hold a tiny seed in the palm of my hand and drop it gently into fresh black soil. Will this tiny spec actually grow into a plant and that plant will grow food I can eat?
It seems like a miracle.

But every year it does.

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So here we are again, dropping seeds in pots of dirt, hoping and wishing them to turn into food.

Like magic.

Island Life for Me

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Naturally, after two weeks in Granada we missed island life so much, we found an island and headed there to explore for a week.

We hired a van to take us from Granada to San Jorge, a quick two hour ride, and the van dumped us off at the ferry “terminal” at 11am. (I use the word terminal loosely.)

IMG_5655 IMG_5662 IMG_5694 IMG_5747When we arrived, we sat in a building with a little shop that was filled with gringos. We thought with smug satisfaction that we must be at the right place.

And we were.

But we could not determine, for the life of us, when the ferry was going to depart. Every single person had a different answer when we asked. As an islander, I can complain about the ferries with the best of them. I can whine on and on about the scheduling and how inconvenient it is for us. But there is a schedule.

Maybe there is a schedule that only the Nicaraguans can understand. But finally a boat pulled up. And we hoped to God that we would not be going on that one.

IMG_5723This is not the boat that pulled up. The boat that pulled us did not have the capacity for vehicles. Half of the gringos gathered their stuff and headed down to the boat to try to board.

By this time, we had been waiting for a couple hours in a ferry terminal, with bored and cranky children and limited snack supplies. It was tempting to grab our bags and jump on the ferry. But a little voice told us to wait.

So we waited.

An hour later, another ferry was ready to depart and this one looked a little more sturdy. The waves, which looked quite rowdy by mid-day, were less threatening now so we shuffled our stuff down to the dock and tried to board the slightly larger ferry.

IMG_5749 IMG_5755Successful, we stationed ourselves in front of the bano in case any of our party had to be suddenly seasick. Yeah, we weren’t joking. This lake was rough!

IMG_5763Soon we saw Ometepe Island rising up to meet us. Ometepe has two volcanoes that jut out of the lake, forming a beautiful sillouette against a jungle horizon. The kids were delighted that, just like the moon, the volcanoes followed us wherever we went.

IMG_5833 IMG_5839 IMG_5843We arrived at the dock on Ometepe an hour and a bit after departing San Jorge. A quick taxi ride landed us at Hospedaje Soma.

IMG_5854Hostel Soma was absolutely lovely. If you need a recommendation on a place to stay in Ometepe, Hostel Soma is my first choice. It is located in the small town of Moyogalpa, right where the ferry comes in. It is a 5-10 minute walk from town. There is a local dog to greet you, (Tricky, we still miss you) and fantastic friendly reception staff. Most of the units have a hammock and a front deck area.

IMG_5858 IMG_5861 IMG_5862 IMG_5863 IMG_5864Inside, the rooms are simple and clean. Only two of the units have hot water but it is quite humid there so showering in cold water is quite refreshing.

There is a fridge in the common dining area where you can help yourself to bottled water, cold beer or juice anytime. Then your drinks are marked on a tab you have and you pay for everything at the end of your stay.

Granada felt fairly safe though every doorway had metal gates. Every wall was topped with barbed wire, and the banks were punctuated by an armed guard. Everyone was friendly and greeted you as you walked by. In Ometepe, the metal gates were gone. The barbed wire, absent. There were still armed guards at the banks but you barely noticed them because they were reclined on chairs, chomping on fried plantains.

One morning, I went for a run as the sun started to rise. I found myself with a rooster as a running companion. I greeted the wild horses, grazing in the ditch. I ran in the shadow of Vulcan Conception. And a pig on a long rope, snuffled at me as I jogged past.

Ometepe may have required some guesswork and patience to get to but soon I found myself swinging in a hammock at Hostel Soma, I knew, island life was still the life for me.

Masaya Volcano

You don’t have to take a bus to Masaya!!

We took the bus to Masaya, thinking we could catch another bus that said “Volcano” on the front but if you catch a bus from Granada to Managua and tell the driver you want to get off at the Masaya Volcano, you will have much better luck. And it will only take you about an hour instead of two hours. It will cost you around C$10. (Cordobas)

You pay at the gate upon entering the park. And you can walk or hire a taxi to get to the top. The taxi was C$100. (About $4 USD) and for us it was worth it because then we had more time to explore the volcano itself. (Because we had spent so much time on the busses just trying to get there.) The walk isn’t difficult though. It’s all on the road and it isn’t very steep. Half way up the volcano, there is an information centre. And it is a fantastic one.

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Masaya Volcano reminded me of the hole where they try to throw Hans Solo and Luke Skywalker in the third Star Wars. Yeah it’s steaming a bit more but it drops off the side of the mountain into oblivion. Into, what I imagine to be, the bowels of the earth.

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It was a beautiful hike. Very windy. We walked around and explored for a couple hours and then we got a ride back down the volcano. It was beautiful and totally worth the explore. The sulfuric gasses are something to be cautious about as there is no one regulating how long you stay by the edge of the volcano. There are some paths they encourage you not to explore past 4pm. And at the information centre, you have to give your information on a sheet so they know how many people ascended the volcano. The little pamphlet they give you say that you should be issued helmets but we received nothing of the sort. And as Marc pointed out, we don’t know what good helmets would do for you if the volcano decided to erupt.

This thought is much happier sitting down at the bottom of the volcano again.