Night 4- Al Fresco, not Al forno

We’re getting into the rhythm of trailer-camping.
Owen rides his bicycle throughout the day. He makes friends and they explore the trails. I asked him what they talk about and he reports, “we talk about mine craft”.
As soon as the week ends, we’ll be homeschooling again. Al-fresco style.

Happy Boy on his bicycle

Happy Boy on his bicycle

Making a pick axe out of twigs, inspired by mine craft.

Making a pick axe out of twigs, inspired by mine craft.

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Richard found an abandoned broken bicycle and claimed it his new project. He’s dismantling it and picking out his desired pieces. The aeronautic engineer in him is elated with the outdoor project.

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I’m finally able to read a novel! Currently fascinated with historical romance set during WW2. Since we’re living a minimalist lifestyle, I get done with my house chores in no time. Who am I kidding? There are dishes that needs to be put away but it can wait. My purple lounge chair in the screened-in canopy beckons me.

The weather has also improved. Maybe because we’re deep in the forest, but we no longer feel like we’re inside a sauna. There’s a cool breeze, my peripheral vision shows all shades of green, the sound of Richard’s wrench and Owen laughing in a distance is very soothing (maybe not the wrench). I can feel oxytocin being released in my system.

I am where I need to be.

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Detectives for a week

Owen & friend David are attending Summer Camp this week at the Hands on Children's Museum.

Owen & friend David are attending Summer Camp this week at the Hands on Children’s Museum.

Young Detectives Owen and David are all smiles. Not only will they get to play all week but also solve mysteries. They will dust for fingerprints, analyze hair fiber samples and mystery substances. They’ll examine evidence, extract DNA from a strawberry and keep a private eye journal to solve a crime.

In the mean time, Richard & I will have our own mystery to solve. Where to go after summer. Where to live and where to work.

Night 1 at the trailer

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We moved most of our kitchen pantry items into the trailer and the bulk of it are tea bags. We could practically open up a tea house right here at the campground.

A few things to get used to: limited wifi signal. Oh how I missed falling asleep watching my Korean Drama. On the bright side: I have I Love Lucy DVDs that I can watch to “giggle” me to sleep.

I share closet space with Owen and I lost my dressing area! Bright side: I grab what I need to wear and use Richard’s bedroom. There’s just enough space for a hobbit to get comfortably dressed.

I slept well, woke up here and there. The smell of trees is undeniable. The sound of chirping birds is like being in a Disney princess movie. I can belt out a song but that would have been rude awakening for our neighbors.

Watching Richard rummage through unpacked boxes looking for his honey is painful and amusing. Today’s project: organize pantry so my partner in crime can have honey in his tea.

Oorlogs Museum, The Netherlands

I love history. I’m particularly fascinated with WW2 Germany. A friend of mine thinks I may have been a soldier in my past life. Perhaps. I absolutely loved going to this museum. Finding the war cemetery was icing on the cake.


The Overloon War Museum is the biggest WWII museum in The Netherland. Right here, the tank battle of Overloon unfolded in the autumn of 1944. The village of Overloon was totally devastated back then. In order to remember the casualties and victims of that episode the museum was founded in 1946, even before the village was rebuilt. Nowadays over 100,000 people visit the museum every year.

The first exhibition is about the occupation of The Netherlands from 1940 till 1945. The second large exhibition, contains over 150 military vehicles and artillery, both from allied forces and German.

In addition to these two main exhibitions there are several smaller presentations, of which the Battle at Overloon presentation is definitely worth a visit. A museum restaurant and a shop completes this museum, which can be found in the so called Liberty Park in Overloon.

Oorlogs Museum

Oorlogs Museum Address: Museumpark 1, 5825 AM Overloon, The Netherlands


Overlorn War Cemetery

Overlorn War Cemetery. A few headstones that moved me.

May 2015 War Cemetery (15)

Mental Preparation

This is it. This is our last week living in a single family residence, aka a house. A spacious house with room to stretch my arms, legs and sanity.

Don’t get me wrong, trailer-camping for the entire summer in a forest is the place to be; the smell of forest, the aroma of firewood burning, the sound of children playing, the sound of birds, crickets—- you get the picture.

What I’m most worried about is my claustrophobia. I survived it for 4 months last year, so I should be able to withstand a month (or two) living in a confined space, right? I pray to the gods of open space that I’ll be fine.

But just to be on the safe side, I’m preparing myself mentally.

1. If I have to, I’ll use the facility shower. So what if it takes extra effort to pack my toiletries and change of clothes? My goal is to enjoy a hot shower without feeling like the shower walls are closing in on me. Not hitting my elbows and knees in the shower will be a bonus. On that note: I won’t have to cut my hair. I won’t have to worry about clogging the drain. I’ve been growing it out for a year. I want what Rapunzel has.

2. It will be nice to have easy access to my favorite things like my art and my homeschool items. The “office” space in Owen’s room will now house my art and homeschooling items. Last time, I couldn’t get to my acrylics and canvas. I struggled to find an outlet for my creativity. I ended up painting the interior walls of our trailer in many colors and giving it a make over. Something great came out of that(!)

3. As cozy as I made our bedroom with soft beddings, a nice shade of wall color with matching curtains, it didn’t help with my anxiety. I used to wake up not knowing where I was. It’d be pitched black and I felt as if I just ran 5K. (More on that later!) I literally feel like I’m in a coffin. Here’s my solution: I’m taking over the living room! The couch unfolds into a bed. The bathroom is two steps away (literally). There’s elbow and leg room but more importantly, I don’t have a wall 6 inches on either side of my face. There’s room to breathe.

4. Cooking was a bit of a challenge. Just like art, I need counter space to spread out my art supplies; in this case, my ingredients and prep bowls. Well, I’m not a James Beard Award winning chef nor do I run a 2 star Michelin kitchen in this trailer. I have to cut back on a lot of things. It’s time to buy those pre-cut veggies, frozen ones and make simpler meals. Instead of making a vegetarian, a non-vegetarian and a kid-friendly meal, my boys will have to eat what I make (and vice versa). One meal. One pot. The benefit of this is weight loss. The moderation will do wonders for me!

5. Speaking of weight loss; now that we have no choice but to be outdoors. This means bicycle riding daily, walking after dinner and even playing badminton at the grassy area where the farm animals can watch. I’m looking forward to that. I also want to start training to do my first 5K.

In conclusion, I just need to remain positive and keep an open mind. It will be great. It will be a different experience from the last time. Who knows, maybe, this is the last time we’ll ever get to go trailer-camping again. It’s time to activate our motto and start believing it: Life Begins Where Fear Ends.

I think what will help me the most is to remind myself that this is all temporary. It’s not forever. And it’s not all about me. Owen will have a blast and the memories we’re creating is good for our family. Good for our souls.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost…

imageJul 3, 2015 Ocean Shores

Many wonderful things have happened since we closed down this site for our winter hibernation. In brief, I loved seeing the Autumn colors all over Olympia and its neighboring cities. Winter was even better. Yes, it rained and it didn’t bother us much. We hiked in the rain, got our boots muddy and came home to a heated home. We kept ourselves busy in our cave with homeschooling, catching up on (old and ) new TV shows and got to know our adopted city.

Spring came along and our kind landlady told us how beautiful spring in Olympia is, so we decided to extend our hibernation.

We flew to The Netherlands and got to see much-missed family members. Our trip was memorable. We emphasized on culture, history, family and food. Owen got to see where half of him came from.

But now Summer has arrived and it’s time to crawl out of our caves. It’s time to stretch our aching muscles and see what’s in store for us.


 

Previously on Family In Tow….

We said good bye to dear friends and family.

We said good bye to dear friends and family.

We said goodbye to dear friends and family.

We said goodbye to dear friends and family.

 

The hardest part was saying goodbye to my niece Abby, who I babysat when she was a baby.

The hardest part was saying goodbye to my niece Abby, who I babysat when she was a baby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I can’t believe we accomplished so much in 4 months.

 


 

On this episode….

Jul 6 icecream break

We thaw out of our hibernation and have ice cream at Port Olympia.

art continues

My style of art has broadened. I’m mixing media and taking all my experience and transferring it to my art.

Jun 2015 106

More importantly, Owen’s home school got more interesting with a more hands-on approach. After learning about algae, moss, kelp among other things, we locate one at the local beach.

I will also continue to volunteer at the Family Support Center. I was honored to be recognized by the governor back in Apr 2015 for my volunteer work.

I will also continue to volunteer at the Family Support Center. I was honored to be recognized by the governor back in Apr 2015 for my volunteer work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

6-20-15 Father's Day (26)

Not All Who Wander Are Lost… – JRR Tolkien

In the middle of July 2015, we’re going trailer-camping for the rest of the summer at our favorite campground at American Heritage Campground.

We have plans to visit family and friends in California in August. Depending on how the job hunt is going, it may just be me and Owen going to CA.

Richard wants to continue living the good life reading under the canopy of trees and marveling at the blanket of stars. Owen wants to hop on his bicycle whenever the mood strikes and explore the trails in the campground. I will  survive living in such close proximity with my boys (again). I like my space but I also love the smell of nature during summer camping. This is when I need all my friends and family to keep me from going insane…

Please write to me using our traveling mailbox. If you don’t have it by now, please send me a message via text, email or facebook and I’ll be happy to share it with you.

SAFE TRAVELS!