With spring suddenly upon us – at least according to the calendar as we really don’t have traditional winters here in Southern California – we decided to combine our minimalistic approach to our outdoor spaces, cleaning out all the old leaves, furniture, and general clutter inhabiting the backyard, area behind our laundry room, patio, and side entrance on the south side of our property. Out went the old plastic lawn chairs, corroded fire pit, and rusty smoker (retrieved by the unseen curbside pickers in the middle of the night), leaving behind only our patio table and matching chairs, chicken coop, and propane BBQ. Our vegetable boxes also remained, but they survived the cut due to both their productivity and attractiveness (and they occupy former lawn space). Continue reading
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” Socrates
In the spirit of our newfound passion for less, here’s an update on where I’m at in implementing minimalism into our cluttered household… Continue reading
After a three month hiatus to deal with Alicia’s mother moving in for the final leg of her life journey, I finally got back to working on our little camper in the hopes of making a one year anniversary trip back to our first trailer rally at Ocean Mesa campground in El Capitan, CA. The Aristocrat has been covered by a tarp all this time, but a scarily mild “winter” here in Southern California made its use almost non-existent; indeed, we’ve only had 2-3 days of rain (more like heavy mist) in the past 90 days. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 30 years now and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such unbelievably gorgeous weather, even if the flip side is the worsening of our already severe, years’ long drought. Continue reading
In our quest to minimize our household (as detailed here in a previous post), we decided to take a room-by-room approach, starting with our bedroom. This is logical for two main reasons; first, it’s the furthest room back, bordering our backyard, so initiating our house purge here and working forward is a great plan of attack. Second, with both of us susceptible to allergies – Alicia especially – doing a major cleaning and paring of dust collecting items in the room we spend almost one third of our lives in is good from a health perspective. As an aside, our bedroom had become a collection point for dozens, if not hundreds, of small memorabilia items ranging from buttons of our son in his Little League Baseball days, Burning Man schwag, no longer worn jewelry, piles of paper, old clothing, and unused fixtures. Continue reading
Though it may be chilly outside, I think the beginning of the year is an excellent time for a glass of homemade grapefruit ginger soda. I came up with this recipe when my partner swore off commercial soda, and after months of holiday indulgence, the light and tangy fizz is most welcome. The soda is sweetened with honey, not sugar, and the ginger provides a note of warmth for winter.
Looking for an alternative movie to watch in 2014? Here are a few of our favorite under-the-radar films from the last couple years. All are available for free or low rental fees on either Amazon Prime and Netflix.
After a NASA deep space probe returns from a mission and crash lands in Mexico, strange (and giant) life forms start propagating all over the country, causing the borders to be closed and its inhabitants to be quarantined from the rest of the world. The only way in and out of Mexico are by exorbitantly priced, infrequent water ferries that only run for six months out of the year. Enter two individuals, Samantha and Andrew, who (through a series of unfortunate incidents) miss their boat and are forced to hitchhike up the middle of the Mexican countryside to the Texas border (sound familiar), trying all the way to avoid the giant alien creatures blocking their path. Continue reading
One of the main goals of Our Urban Farm – in its reality – is to live as naturally and holistically as possible within the framework of our busy metropolitan surroundings. As such, and in keeping with our action-oriented plans on installing vegetable garden boxes, rainwater catchment containers, and drought tolerant landscaping, we’ve now begun the process of minimizing our material possessions in anticipation of a serious life change coming up in three years. Continue reading
Exactly one month after starting my Aristocrat Lo-Liner restoration project, I’m finally seeing some real progress and looking forward to the day she will once again roll the highways in all her vintage glory. I can’t say truthfully that I haven’t had my doubts throughout this whole process, but with the walls going up and everything fitting properly, my self confidence has received a much needed boost and I actually believe I’ll be able to complete the entire restoration within the next 3-4 weeks. Continue reading
In part one of my ongoing restoration project (involving our 1964 Aristocrat Lo-Liner camper/trailer), I discovered that simple fixes on 50 year old things are rarely that; and unfortunately what I hoped would be a repair confined to one corner of the camper turned out to reveal damage throughout the entire structure. This had me peeling off the outer aluminum skin piece by piece (held in place by about a million rusty staples), pulling out the entire kitchen area in the front, and removing the bed supports which had pulled away from the outer walls. Once exposed, I discovered wood rot along almost the entire bottom half and undersides, with further damage up each corner to the ceiling. Continue reading
The end of summer finally sees us undertaking a much needed restoration of our little 1964 Aristocrat Lo-Liner camper/trailer. We acquired it three summers ago via our friend Joe – aka The Secondhand Answer Man, who found her sitting in a garage in the north end of the San Fernando Valley, for $600.00. Since then, we’ve taken several trips, including a few to vintage trailer rallies as far as Pismo Beach, and some friends even towed it to Burning Man last summer for a christening of playa dust. Continue reading