Camping, Barking Mad Farm Style

The kids were jonesing to go camping – my daughter, who is four now, has never slept in a tent out in the woods. Our truck needs some mechanical attention, so we decided to pack up our gear and head up our mountain on foot for a night. We lit out for the Territories on a hot afternoon. Here we go.

Our Gear Trusty Pack Mules

I guess I should probably help. But shouldn’t I build her character a bit, first? :) Kid Power

This is great, I thought. Until we got to the hill. I stopped to rest a lot felt it necessary to take a number of photos of us versus gravity. I discovered grades become steeper in direct proportion to the amount of crap you are trying to haul up them.

Up Hill UP

Almost thereAt the top, we rested. The trail is mostly flat now. I am dripping sweat and red-faced which is why I have the camera. Into the Woods

Made it 

Now we go this way. I’ll pull the wagon now, kids!


Making camp.

Making Camp

Ensuring the ‘rents have adequate supervision.

StretchingBe sure to set up right





Tent and Kitchen

When’s supper?Whens Supper



This is Ranger. Ranger is huge. (Ranger will have saddlebags next camping trip.)

Ranger and Chris

Cook fire ready.


I didn’t take any more pictures because I was feeding the kids. Then it got dark. Then we went to bed. Then I discovered my husband had pitched the tent on huge boulders, all of which were under my side of the foamy. Every…single….part of it.

Early the next morning we were homeward-bound. It was already hot.


Funny thing was, that one night away from home, crappy sleep, aching bones and all, completely refreshed me. I felt invigorated, mentally and physically, when we got back. If one night in the woods does that, I’ll push that wagon uphill any old time you like.

Practical Sustainability

What is sustainability? There’s a bunch of definitions out there. I’ve often thought we just need one to use at those stultifying moments when we stop and think about what we’re doing. For me, this is usually when I’m opening the garbage can. Is this plastic recyclable? What the heck do I do with it if it isn’t? Why am I standing here with the garbage can open? Why is there still plastic in my house? When did I start thinking so much about plastic?

I can tell you it started a while back, but plastic really began to prey on my mind after I watched The Clean Bin Project. This documentary illustrates my garbage conundrum precisely – a couple who wants to live more sustainably have a competition to see who can make the least garbage in a year. This is harder than you’d think.


But the film also details just how difficult it is to avoid overconsumption and packaging. I highly recommend the movie – it’s funny and poignant. And the account of what plastic is doing to marine biodiversity is an eye-opener.

Sustainability isn’t about avoiding plastic, or growing your own food, or harvesting rainwater. It’s not even about caring for the environment and living lightly on the planet. It includes all of these things and more, of course, but they are the end results of sustainability, not the cause. Sustainability is not even a way of life. It’s a way of fuck you too fence.thinking.

It’s the psychological resiliency to counter the fear and lack of confidence imposed on us by an outdated, narrow, culturally-instilled mindset.


Practical sustainability is about overcoming what we’ve been raised to think and feel. It’s about bringing creativity and innovation to every aspect of living. It’s losing the fear of doing something wrong, or making mistakes. It’s knowing you can face whatever comes. It’s the realization you have to face whatever comes anyway, so you may as well be standing ready for it.


So on my sites you won’t find prep lists, or how-to’s, or detailed instructions on gardening. What you will find is an honest, authentic sharing of the growth of one person’s psychological resilience (I hope), and the events behind it. It’s a tricky balancing act, because along with adversity and despair comes wonder, surprise and joy and it’s damn hard not to get carried away with it sometimes.


I think….I like getting carried away a lot more than the alternative.