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super vegi-matic bus travels

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i am a happily married stay at home mama of two. i enjoy contemplating matters of faith and community,traveling, drinking good coffee, all things vintage,creativity, worship and prayer. if youre interested in hay bale houses, gardening,natural childbirth, homeschooling, natural and multi-cultural foods and living simply...stay tuned we are bound to talk about those things along the way as well. -tiffany chetta

stay tuned...updates coming in the next few days!

Hood River, United States

thank you for stopping by. i have fallen behind on posts...but please stay tuned. e updates you wont want to miss are on their way in the next day or two!

permalink written by  firebynite on February 25, 2011 from Hood River, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
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the god of miracles and fancy pasta

Portland, United States

after our middle of street until the middle of the nite adventure in olympia, we headed south to portland. along the way we had to stop to find and filter a new supply of veggie oil. we pulled off the freeway at the next town to begin our hunt.

while keith was out filling his barrels at an asian resturant, i passed the time looking for a little thank you gift for our friends who we woud be visiting that nite. i know it may sound silly, but when i am gift shopping, i pray. "what would this person really like?" i ask. then, i wait for something to jump out at me. this time the said item was pasta. i struggled with it. what a weird gift. pasta? it did happen to be really beautiful orange and green linguini...but still. i stood in front of it contemplating for i dont know how long... walked away, came back, tossed it into my basket. still undecided if i would actually give it, i also grabbed a bottle of wine for a back up.

when we arrived at the Jackys' in portland that night, we were greeted warmly by chris. i knew his wife from the natural birth community in idaho. althoughthis would be the first time we had been able to hang out with chris, he treated us like family. if you ever receive an invitation from the jackys you would be remiss to not take them up on it. he made sure keith,the kids and i had evertything imaginable we might need. then he informed us that dinner was almost ready, but he had to run to the store for a few things first.

i handed him our thank you gift (yes, the not so weird one.) he thanked me for the bottle of wine and laughed that it was one less thing he would have to go to the store for...but he still needed pasta. now i laughed and went out to the bus to retreive the gift i almost didnt give. these little coincidences make me wonder how often i miss holy spirit promptings by reasoning them away.

in the morning, kim treated us to a pancake breakfast followed by (one of our favorite past times) storytime at the library. our kids had fun playing with their girls, ella and mackenzie. abe (whom i often describe as "all boy") didnt seem to mind dressing up like pretty princesses with the girls. just like clockwork we were loaded up and ready to hit the road right at naptime. it as a warm day but the "free air conditioning" through the open windows would keep the kids comfortable enough to sleep while we traveled. i was feeling quite pleased with our organizational skills. several miles down the road later,i went to make a phone call but could not find the cell. i asked keith if he'd seen it. he thought, and remembered exactly where he'd left it.... at the jackys house.

we pulled over on the side of the road and detatched the van to go retrieve the phone. you may remember from our time in olympia that god had been teaching us that set backs can actually be set ups for good things to happen if we keep our hearts and minds in the right place. i remembered this and made the necessary adjustments and determined not to miss it. moments later i noticed a couple checking out our bus.

i went out to say hi. they commented on the velvet burning heart of jesus banner on our home's "mast." they also knew him. we had a short but sweet visit. the woman asked if she could pray a blessing on our travels. i gladly accepted. as we were exchanging farewells, i asked her if i could pray for her. i couldn't help but notice the neck brace she was wearing. she told me she had just had surgery. it had gone well, but she presently could not swallow without massive pain. she also had pain at the base of her neck.

i began to share with her that god cared about her and her pain, and desires for us all to be well...and that "by his stripes we are healed." (isaiah 53:5) she agreed, clearly not offended by this. a stunned look came over her face. "something is happening." she said. she felt heat in her neck and throat. i thanked god and told her that i believed he was healing her. we prayed and asked god to bring the healing into completion. moments later,she reported that she no longer had any pain in her neck! we jumped up and down and thanked god. she then tried swallowing, and could now do this free of pain! she radiated pure joy. it was wonderful.

as she was walking away, she turned around and shouted," oh yeah! i didn't tell you, but i also had a migrane when i came over and it's gone now too!" at that same moment, just like clockwork, keith pulled up. he was pretty curious about the stranger who was shouting about being healed of a migrane. i could not wait to tell him the rest of the story. as i recalled the events with keith, we were both filled with gratitude for a god who can turned a misplaced cell phone into an encounter with the miraculous. the same god who heals massive pain also cares about headaches...and fancy pasta!

permalink written by  firebynite on December 15, 2010 from Portland, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
tagged Healing and Portand

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thank you olympia! (we love you too!)

Olympia, United States

after being with our seattle tribe, we headed further north to chimicum, port townsend and olympia to reconnect with some old friends and family. first stop was to see my aunt and uncle who live part time at a retirement aged "SKP." for those who may not be in the know, SKP is code for "escapee". cute, right? this is a community where seasoned travelers park their RV's, tell travel stories and enjoy community during pleasant months of the year.

if you have never been around the olympic peninsula, you may not know what you're missing. lush emerald green, mossy ,viney forests spill off cliffs into the ocean. absolute majesty! you can really get in touch with your inner hobbit there. as we careened down those rural highways, i was instantly taken back to the first time i traveled those breathtaking stretches twenty years earlier. i then fell in love with the pacific northwest and promised myself i would one day live there.

we pulled in to my aunt and uncles' place. the vibrant ratteling hum of the bus was silenced. we took in our surroundings. giant evergreens enveloped us, the crickets sang "aleluljah" in the dusk. we let out a collective sigh. even our bus just seemed happier out of the city. it takes a few days to let the adrenaline of city life lift off. my aunt and uncle generously allowed us to stay long enough to be soothed. my uncle is pretty much a blast. he loves a good joke and is really good at setting himself up to be the butt of any and all of them. my aunt easily won my kids over simply by keeping them well fed. they keep a cute loft in their home just for kids. hava considered staying there forever.

inbetween our kids being totally dotted over and us all being fed way too much by uncle "ham" and aunt "tia", we visited some of my oldest friends lief and anna and their daughter zinnia just down the road in port townsend. leif is one of the few people on the planet who can make me laugh so hard i cry. his beloved anna, is one of the finest personifications of holy spirit i can think of. she is warm, gracious, wise and has a laugh that echoes thoughout the room. we enjoyed a fine meal harvested from their garden and were entertained by a sponeous play ferformed by a troup led by zinnia.

our next stop was in olympia. after a beautiful trek through the peninsula, we planned to dine that nite with another old friend trixy, her husband matthias and their two young children. i called trix to let her know we were almost there. i told her our exact whereabouts, to which she said, "you're just down the road, i'll bet i could see your bus from here." this moment was precisely when our bus came to a suprise rumbeling halt. puzzled, keith turned the keys in the ignition again. nada. hmmmm......

we figured the ol' girl overheated from the hilly drive and didn't think much of it. i was excited to see trix and ran down the road to greet her. when a good ten minutes passed and i didnt hear the bus starting up, i knew something was up. keith had checked all of the obvious possible minor glitches. nothing was doing the trick. so there we were: our big 38 ft bus, bikes on the front, junk on top, van towed on the back stuck at the intersection, pretty much hogging up the whole narrow road. yikes! well, we put our little drama on hold long enough to enjoy a nourshing home made meal with the eichlers. we got caught up a bit while sam (their 5 year old son) and hava agreed upon a shotgun betrothal. soon we had to face the inevitable: our broken down home in the middle of the street.

what do you do in those moments when you don't know what to do? well i'll be honest, i have plenty of experience in what NOT to do. however, early on in this trip i was given some good perspective from a wise friend. we had a major set back involving our engine which had the potential to be disasterous. her response to our scary situation was simple: "wow! i wonder what God is going to do in this situation...there must be a divine appointment with the mechanic!" (um,.... yeah! exactly what i was thinking! ha.) everyone ought to be so blessed to have a "jill" in their life speaking faith into every situation.

that exchange reminded us that whenever a trial comes our way, we have some pretty important decisions to make. it is an opportunity to see what we are putting our trust in.
am i going to become afraid stressed and/or angry, or am i going to trust in god's faithfulness? he desires to be with us and help us through whatever situation. we decided to trust god, and believe it would be all be ok. i reminded my soul that it didn't have to work hard trying to figure out every possible problem and solution. god was not caught off guard by this. why not go ahead and believe that he'll come through just like he always has before?

keith was on the phone with tripple A trying to locate a tow company equipped to tow something as big as us. by this time most of the neighbors were understandably becoming quite curious. soon we were surrounded. a kind woman came out to ask if we were ok, and if she could do anything. she helped the tow truck drivers on the phone with directions and invited the kids over to play on the tree swing in her yard. another girl from across the street stopped by to tell us that, "we rocked,and that she was stoked that we broke down there." she then got busy calling her friends to tell them about it.

i was releieved that we did seem to pick an ideal place to break down,if there ever was one. (thank you olympia--we love you too!) in the wee hours of the morning, a tow truck finally arrived. in and out of sleep i heard the guys dinking around with the bus. a short time later, the sweet reassuring vegified purr of the engine. it never sounded so sweet. they were able to jimmy-rig fix the starter and we were up and running! this would not be last time that what started out looking like a set back ended up being a set up. stay tuned. i will be sharing a few more set-up stories of even greater magnitude just a few miles down the road.

permalink written by  firebynite on December 2, 2010 from Olympia, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
tagged ANNA, Olympia, Trixy, Leif, Ham and Tia

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gathering of the tribe

Seattle, United States

i have no pictures of fish being tossed in the air at the pike place market. i also have no breathtaking sunset shots on mt. raineer. i cant even show you pictures of the u-distrist, my old stomping ground. my time in Seattle had one purpose: gathering the tribe.

what do i mean when i say tribe? my spiritual mom starting using the word to help describe a deeper than usual connection we find with others because of a strong shared passion or passions. you might say, people with whom we seem to share a similar D.N.A. in primitive times i dont think many people longed for their tribe, you were simply born into it. your family had a certain talent or function which your name likely reflected. it distinguished you amongst other tribes. today, it seems that many desire that kind of community, but are uncertain as to how it is found or devloped.

having layed a little groundwork, let me introduce you to my Seattle tribe: amongst us is

a lawyer, a cook, a musician, a professor,a horse whisperer, a retired secretary/grandma, a stay at home mama, and a construction manager to name a few. we are men and women from three (wait--now four!) generations. when i first met them, some of us has dreadlocks and some wore dockers (o.k. i was the only one with dreadies, but you get the point....a very diverse group!) what could possibly draw such an eclectic group together? for us it was one purpose: a passion to know god intimately.

gathering with these dear ones has been one of the greatest privledges of my life. over the years we have broken bread together, grieved loses, celebrated births, laughed, supported eachother through crisis,taken huge risks, and had fun, lots of fun together. in all of these different facets of life we were drawn back to the common goal of knowing god and his ways. it is who we are. life only makes sense to my tribe through this lense. i still remember significant, life changing prayers prayed for me through these friends fifteen years later. thats a good prayer!

this tribal thing is a big deal. i cant seem to get away from it. i often want to know if others have found their tribes, and if so what the process of discovery looked like. i have sat down several times now to write about this and struggled with what to share,what not to share, how to condense it. if it inspires something in you, good! please comment or send me an email and we can continue the dialoge.

permalink written by  firebynite on November 10, 2010 from Seattle, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
tagged Seattle and Tribe

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are we there yet? the life of a pioneer family

Seattle, United States

this was the moment we had been waiting for. after spending the summer working on the bus, moving out of our house, getting rid of our belongings, saying farewells to friends and loved ones...the time to ride off into the sunset had come. well, by the time all the loose ends were tied, the sun had long set. nonetheless! our brave moment had come. keith turned the keys in the ignition... and....the headlights failed to come on. i fought to not let all the air go out of my balloon. whats a few headlights not working? after all we had an electrician in the house. keith pulled out all of the stops in his jimmy rigging experties and a couple of hours and several wires later we were on the road!

we spent our first nite at a rest stop in ontario, oregon logging a whopping 40 miles on our first leg of the journey. it just felt good to be gaining momentum. the next morning we rose with the sun and (gasp!) the realization that we couldn't make coffee without electricity to grind our beans. i know, i know...what can i say? i like me some good coffee. so we opted for a coffee shop at a grocery store in the next city. at check out the cashier asked for my zip code. i hesitated as it dawned on me that i didn't have one. i told her so. she gave me a blank look. "we are on the road." i explained. she looked at my young children, my husband and back at me. her blank look turned into a sad/concerned look. de-ja-vu. i have had this expereince so many times. i was not going to be able to explain that we hadn't lost a job or a home, but we had actually chosen this life. i resolved to pick a zipcode, (any zipcode) and have it ready for the next time.

the next several days would become our education in the school of veggie oil traveling. up to this point, all of our trips on the bus had been fueled by diesel. things move slower when you travel by bus, and potentially much much slower when you add all of the unpredictability that comes with finding and filtering your own oil (not to mention the steep learning curve that comes with it.) i tried to give my friends in seattle, our first planned destination, a heads up on our estimated time of arrival. i had to call back several times with new e.t.a.s. i should note that i am not a flakey- hippy type. lets say, more of a reasonably responsible hippy-type. i like to give my word and keep it. this was tough and took time to give myself grace and embrace the fact that we were doing something we had never done before. it would take time for the adreneline of city life and schedules begin to fall off. breathe in and breathe out.

we had the pleasure of stopping in woodland, washington to stock up on oil filters, as well as filter some more oil. for me there is such exhiliration in exploring a town i have never been in before. once we secured a good parking spot, i took the kids for a walk to allow some space for keith to work on the bus. it was a beautiful fallish september morning. this charming town's streets were lined with craftsman style houses surrounded with japanese maples,fragrant lavender and rosemary bushes. vines and moss grew everywhere inbetween. ahhh...northwest green bliss. we discovered a neighborhood library in a victorian house that just happened to have childrens story time that day. i love that my children give me a legitamite reason to go to story time. life was beautiful.

at the close of story time, keith had finished his man jobs. we pulled out to drive our easy fifty miles to seattle. keith mentioned that because it was sprinkeling outside, he opted to not heat the oil he filtered and hopefully it would be ok. well...it wasnt ok. the bus started shaking and sputtering and thankfully we were able to pull off into a large church parking lot. we considered our options: we could either wait out the rain, empty the oil tank, heat and refilter the dirty oil and hope we could chalk it up as a lesson learned...or we could cheat and switch to diesel and just get to seattle. we took a minute to pray and hear from heaven. thankfully keith got the same revelation as i did. diesel it was.

i am thankful we had that idyllic peaceful morning to counter what would be a challenging second half of the day. we needed to find diesel and it was getting dark, pouring rain and we were now in rush hour traffic. easy. pull off the next exit and fuel up, right? we'd hoped so. however when you have a thirty seven foot bus with bikeracks in the front

and a van attached in the back there is no pulling into the narrow lanes of any ol' gas station. we do not have the option of just turning around. no truck stops at the next exit, but we did find a gas station with diesel. a wrong way drive down a busy one lane road in traffic was followed by a daredevil stop into a narrow driveway, detatching the van turning it around, turning the bus around, reattatching the van, parking the bus, unsuccessfully searching the town for a large gas can to avoid buying the scandously high priced one galon gas can at the gas station, parking a few blocks from the gas station, buying a scandalously high priced one galon gas can at the gas station, several trips back and fourth shutteling diesel one galon at a time to our bus in the cold dark rain. well, keith did anyway. i made dinner on the bus and tried to answer hava's many excited questions like," are we in seattle?" and "didnt you say we would be in seattle this morning?" we would make it to seattle. we would!

as we walked into the familiar refuge of my dear friend' s home that nite, it never felt so good to receive their warm embraces. the famous americanos that dan makes never tasted so good. the exceptionally hot bath i melted in that night felt quite a bit more luxurious than usual. we made it to seattle!

permalink written by  firebynite on November 9, 2010 from Seattle, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
tagged Seattle and StoryTime

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the first month on the road (FINALLY!!!)

Redding, United States

yes, yes i know.... all the build up about our upcoming travels only to leave you with NOTHING for the past month. hopefully, this has served to build up your anticipation. we are still in the exparimental stage of our vegimatic travels with our living quarters in a relatively primative state. hence the dilema: when we are camped at a friends home, we have access to electricity and clean running water (hallelujah!) but we are also busy catching up with those friends as well as cleaning clothes, dishes and bodies. conversely, when we are camped in the woods, more down time but no electricity. what to do? my short term plan is scheduling writing times in town where i can get wi-fi. (i am NOT a scheduler by nature, but i am learning to acquiesce when important things are not flowing.) the longer term plan is investing in a solar panel so i can write under the canopies of pine trees. ok business meeting over, thanks for indulging me.

my plan for bringing you up to speed on our travels is to give you an overview followed by some story telling just down the road. buckle your seatbelt, here we go! just kidding, if you know me at all you know i like to take my time with details. this will be more of a country drive rather than a roller coaster ride.

over all the past month has been an absolute blast! the kids have adjusted beautifully to traveling. i was most concerned for hava, my 4 year old. she would constantly ask who we were going to see and what we were going to do at regular intervals throughout the day. every day. i assumed that she had a great need for structure. how would she cope with all the unpredictability that traveling lends to? much to my surprise, what she truly needed all a long was not structure but stimulation. life on the road provides plenty of this for her so she is a happy camper. big big sigh of releif!

Abe on the other hand is my 2 year old fearless adventurer. i had many moments of anxiety about this before hitting the road. how would i keep him alive and myself relatively sane without completely stifling his unending curriousity? At our house i knew and he clearly knew the boundaries for exploration. before i could come up with a viable solution, i guess you could say, the solution found me. heres how it happened: we parked in a corner garden lot in portland in a fairly high traffic neighborhood. i watched abe like a hawk. a while later, i noticed keith taking him on a little tour of the garden's perimeter. for the next hour or so the kids played happily amongst the vegitation and mediterranean trees. my man came in to the bus and told me that he walked with abe and talked with him plainly about where he could play and what was off limits. he quizzed him on it and was confident he understood. further, abe actually seemed relieved to know the limits. dont you love it when you worry think and pray about something that seems so gigantic and the answer shows up so unassuminly? if it matters to us,it matters to god.

another major surprise for me was how s-l-o-w veggie travels can be. i understood that traveling on a bus means going slower. this i gladly embraced. however, up to this point our travels on the bus had been fueled by diesel. when we moved onto our bus and started this trip, it would be our maiden voyage running on recycled veggie. some people would do trial runs when doing something they have never done before. we are just not those those people, whoever they are. it does sound responsible. maybe i will give it a try some day.

veggie oil may be free, but you will work hard for it in most cases. for those who may not be familiar with the process it looks something like this: step 1. drive in alleys behind resturants and locate the recipticle that used oil is disposed in. 2. check it out--it must be a fairly full vat that is not overly junky you will typically spend most of the morning oil dumpster crusing to find a good supply. in some small towns you may find nothing. 3. once good looking oil is found you pump it into your 50 galon drum holding tank. 4. trasport tank to bus and send it through the filtering system in the bus' fuel tank. 5. heat up the oil and test drive your new supply. 5. if your enginine is running rough,(you might have water in your supply ) pull over and drain veg oil from tank, properly dispose, and start the process over. sometimes you may spend days in one town unexpectedly to filter oil. other times, you may need to really step on it to get some where and decide to bite the bullet and use diesel instead.

there is something indescribably blissfull about stepping into your destiny. we have always been destined to travel. it is who we are. it is just one of those things god put a lot of in our DNAs. i love being able to connect with friends we have made over the years scattered all over the map. i love making new friends, meeting fellow travelers (wow! there are some really fancinating resourceful folks out there) and those without homes. the bus seves as an easy conversation piece as well as a convient way to offer a meal a ride or simply conversation. keith often says "there are two kinds of people, those who like to travel and those who like the notion of traveling". you know which kind we are. which kind are you? do you know your destiny? do you know how it can be discovered?

i hope you'll travel along with me the next several days and weeks as i revisit seattle, portland, eugene, grants pass and redding. i will share more pictures and tell some outrageous stories you wont want to miss!

permalink written by  firebynite on October 21, 2010 from Redding, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
tagged Slow, VegOil and Destiny

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the two rebekahs (and why i didn't move to stars hollow)

Nampa, United States

today is our last day in idaho. i am getting an early start. actually hava woke me at 3 a.m. because it was "too dark". normally i would fall right back to sleep, but not this morning. instead, i was editing endless lists in my brain like, " move kitchen items into the tub, move stuff now in tub to roof storage" and so on...it is my last day to tie loose ends, until we will finally roll out of town!

i imagine that anyone who has made a major life transition can relate with this, but last week was tough! it was almost time to go. keith was working sun up to sun down on construction....making bike racks, building rooftop storage, inventing an effective veggie oil filtering system. me? i cant really remember what i was was doing. its a blur of caring for my kids, keeping us all fed and hydrated, packing, cleaning, errand running, getting rid of more stuff and drinking shots of chloraphyll. (affordable green drink, good for when you're depleted.) being too tired to read, i opted for watching lost episodes of gilmore girls.

we got so busy we kind of forgot to make time for some essentials, like playing. keith and i started taking out our pressures on one another. my anxiety level was super high. the kids were whiny. i looked at my few boxes of things i had whittled my life down to in the driveway. what was i thinking? maybe i was not made for a traveling lifestyle anymore. i didn't have a bed to lay my head down on. no stove to cook on. at that moment, i wanted nothing more than to forget about this whole thing and move to stars hollow.

thankfully that is not where the story ends. the next morning, some of my mama friends had planned a gathering for the purpose of praying for me and sending me off with blessing. talk about good timing! later that nite we would share a final dinner with our good friends. once in the presence of those dear and trusted friends, all the stress poured out of me like the contents of a pressure cooker. confession is so good for the soul. i am amazed how, in god's design, something shameful can not only be disarmed, but transformed. my friend and her husband prayed for us that nite(thank you gordon and tammy!) and brought into our weary souls the perspective of heaven, changing everything.

not only were our the needs of our souls provided for, but material needs as well. let me tell you how: it involves two rebekahs. the first is a dear friend, one of the coffee mamas who prayed for me. she heard of our need and without hesitation offered us her fold out couch. i am not talking about an extra piece of forgotten furniture stashed in her garage, getting no calls on a craigs list ad. this sleeping beauty was the centerpiece in her living room. i wrestled with accepting such a lavish and sacrificial gift, finally concluding i dare not turn down a pure act of love like that. these are the caliber of friends i have been blessed with.

the second rebecca saw our schoolbus and being the adventurer at heart that she is, decided to stop and ask us about it. we gave her, her boyfriend and son a tour and had a terrific visit. she asked me what color i was going to paint the bus. i looked around and pointed out a typewriter on the floor to show her the powder blue color i love that will soon cover the bus. she told me she had an RV stove that very color. after a quick scan she noted that we didn't have a stove and asked if we wanted it. a perfect stranger offering us a much needed (and turquoise) stove? the relentless generousity of god! he is too much!

as you have probably guessed, i didnt move to stars hollow, (which is for the best since it is a fictitious place.) although still busy, we are putting bike riding and frisbee throwing back on the to-do list. i no longer feel overwhelmed but remember where my strength comes from. i admit i am happy to know i have a place to lay my head and that we wont have to be become complete raw-foodist overnight thanks to the rebekahs!

permalink written by  firebynite on September 13, 2010 from Nampa, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
tagged Rebecca, GilmoreGirls, Prayer and Confession

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unexpected grace

Nampa, United States

have you ever got rid of everything you have owned? i know some of you reading have. having done it several times now,i have observed some predictable stages in this process: first, i start with the "good riddance stuff." you know, presents given to you by a relative who will come looking for it displayed your home, stuff that you had good intentions of fixing or upscaling that over time just made you feel kind of guilty when you'd look at it because you knew you never would...easy to get rid of.

next, comes the piles of things under your bed, (for me that would be pictures or art that i like but didnt make the present cut for wall space. the junk drawers and boxes in the garage i never got around to unpacking the last time i moved..."the easy to put off bcause it requires sorting but fairly easy to get rid of stuff."

lastly, as you have probably guessed is the hard to give up items. it was kind of interesting to realize just what those things were. i dont have much that i have held on to for long. some treasures that i have meant to, have long been lost somewhere. if i told what hardest to get rid of belonging was, you would laugh.

i overcame my tendancy to procrastinate and began the arduous process or sorting and sifting through my earthly treasures a few months ago. i had a yard sale with my friend which consisited of two van loads of mostly easy to get rid of stuff. next i took pictures of my furniture and posted them on facebook to give my friends first picks. craigslist got the leftovers.

here is where the unexpected grace came in. we had prayed over our stuff and asked god to get it to people who would be blessed by it. while i anticipated that this would happen, i was was totally surprised by how much those people blessed me!

the most remarkable encounter was with a gal who called me about my desk. i never really cared much for the cumbersome old dark piece of furniture until i transformed it with a sloppy coat of white paint and viola!-- shabby chic. when she arrived to see it, i instantly liked her. she told me she liked the style of the desk so i showed her several similar pieces, which she took. she shared with me that she was about to open an organic (natural, chemical free ) hair salon and my "hard to get rid of" furniture would outfit her new shop. how cool! i enjoyed hearing about her new venture and by the end of our conversation i found myself wanting to give her all the cool stuff i could find!

when she and her husband came back with a trailer, we talked for a long while, realizing we shared much in common. before they departed, i asked them if i could pray for them. they graciously accepted. we encounted god together and were filled with joy! in the midst of a business transaction, heaven came down!

through this i am once again reminded that god wants to be a part of everthing in life. he is not to busy with world affairs or too holy to be bothered with little details, like who gets my desk!

p.s. the hardest to get rid of item? a gaudy broqued vintage mirror that i spray painted

powder blue. i am going to find a way to bolt it onto a wall on the bus. see, i told you you'd laugh!

permalink written by  firebynite on August 14, 2010 from Nampa, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
tagged Stuff and Grace

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how this whole thing got started

Nampa, United States

how exactly did this whole thing get started? i'm so glad you asked. for as long as i can remember,i have had a love for living in unconventional spaces. when i went to school in california, i had the pleasure of living in an old shoeshop. i brushed my teeth in a sink in the adjoining garage. to me, this was wonderful. it was a little slice of adventure in the midst of a very busy time.

i also spent a summer living in a converted schoolbus with some friends in oregon. we parked in an old grove of apple trees in a wooded area. the tree's blossoms attracted bears which we heard singing at night on more than one occasion. i loved the rythem of rising with the sun, cooking outdoors and fine-tuning the art of improvisation. (such as "grinding" coffee beans with a hammer!) after all, the closest coffee shop was 40 miles away! the once a week trips into town for a bath, mail and supplies made me feel a bit like a pioneer. well, a pioneer who must have good coffee.

i was part of a circle of friends who enjoyed simple living and traveling on a shoestring. out of which the affectionately used term "urban-camping" was born. (traveling and sleeping in your vehicle.) i enjoyed short stints of urban-camping in my single days. at times, i met well meaning strangers on the road who assumed something terrible must have happened to me to be (gasp!) living in a car. after all, why would anyone in their right mind choose that? most cases proved futile to convince them otherwise!

now let me tell you a little about keith, my husband. years before we met, he was living, quite literally, on the beaches of key west. he often traveled without even a backpack. he ate when he found food or helped out at a local soup kitchen. he made his bed on a remote part of the beach, or a discovered cot on the roof-top of a floral shop in town. after a few years of island living, he made his way west to the redwood forest. the canopies of those beautiful giants would provide his shelter. soon after, he joined up with "jesus love you" a band of christian gypsies who caravaned on schoolbuses.

our honeymoon "suite" was a schoolbus parked at "The land" in northern caifornia. (more about that wonderful place later) we started our life together on the road, then settled for a few months at a friend's farm in tennessee. there, we stayed in ...you guessed it, a schoolbus. starting to see a pattern here? although pennyless, we dreamed of having our own home on wheels one day.

keith was a few credits shy of a degree in alternative building when he walked away from a terrible car accident. while he was fortunate to be alive, his back was quite injured. hence, until healed, carpentry was no longer a feasible vocation. how then would we fuel our travels? after some prayer,seeking and divine intervention, electrical proved to be that very thing. we buckled down for four years while keith went to school.

we saved up and eventually bought the bus of our dreams! keith graduated and passed his journeymans test. this enables him to work for himself anywhere. a month ago, he got layed off and we celebrated! while we are thankful he has had steady work, we were very excited to start that long awaited next chapter. it was time to put our energy into the bus.

while we are very busy with all the preparations, i write. for me this is an essential part of readying my spirit and mind for what is to come. maybe you have no desire to be an urban camper. that's ok. whoever you are, you have a dream. i hope in some small way this will inspire you to go after it!

permalink written by  firebynite on July 28, 2010 from Nampa, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
tagged Dream, Schoolbus and UrbanCamping

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want to go on an adventure?

Nampa, United States

ready to start a grand adventure? this is my first entry in my first ever blog. if you "travel" along with me, you are bound to discover that i am a reflective person who loves people and feels deeply! i am so honored to have you as a guest. allow me to introduce myself: i am a thirty something stay at home mama of two--havilah (4) and abraham (2). i am happily married to my husband of six years. i promise to tell you another time all about how i met this intriguing man in the woods and married him five weeks later...for quite some time, i have known that i was a traveling kind. i love people and enjoy culture. mostly, i love Jesus. i have found that following him is the the ultimate adventure. he is the one who has inspired this journey we are about to embark on.

presently, my husband and i are converting a carpenter schoolbus into an r.v. it will run on veggie-oil (perphaps i will invite my husband to write about that later) so far, we have removed the seats, put in a hardwood floor, put in a yellow vintage clawfoot tub and bunk beds. four weeks to go and we will be on the road. still much to do...such as put in the kitchen...and the second floor. we will do what we can, and the rest we will work on as we go!

i enjoy wild mountains, high deserts as well as big cities....but mostly, for me it is about the people. everyone has a Story worth telling. i look forward to introducing you to the folks we meet on the road, even as you and i get to know one another. even though what we are doing is not something you hear about every day, i hope you will not mistakenly think that we are the only ones on an adventure. there is much beauty to be discovered in whatever season of life we find ourselves in. yours is a Story worth telling. i hope you will tell it!

permalink written by  firebynite on July 26, 2010 from Nampa, United States
from the travel blog: super vegi-matic bus travels
tagged Adventure, Traveling, Jesus and Schoolbus

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