Freitag, 31. August 2012

Hippie stuff

Oh yes. Today we have been doing a little bit of hippie stuff. We tie dyed curtains and bed skirt for the van. It was fun. Hanging outside on the clothesline they make the yard a happy place. Hopefully they will light up the bus as well. I can't wait to put them in!

Donnerstag, 30. August 2012


We get ready for the next part of our journey. We prepare for our trip to Portland, OR.

Yesterday I run a sewing marathon to get our curtains seamed. And also produced some sort of bedskirt so our storage room is a little bit hidden.

The day before we made our second attempt to built a stable bed. The first frame wasn't solid at all because the wood we had bought was too thin. Now it's there and we're so satisfied. The bed is so comfy once you lie down, you don't want to leave again.

Next week we're leaving Florida. First heading towards Texas. We'll make a stop in Houston for Sisto to play a concert there. Afterwards we're planning on going to Denver to see beautiful Colorado.
We want to cross some national parks on our way to the southwest and I'm really looking forward to riding our nice bus through all those awesome landscapes.

Montag, 27. August 2012


A few weeks ago Sisto opened an avocado that was so ripe the pit inside had already split. A little sprout lurked in the middle so I couldn't resist. I planted it.

I had to be patient but now is the time.

My dill though never made it. Not a single plant did grow from the seeds I sowed in my first month here. Another project was more successful. When we had pineapple once, I remembered a project from a gardening book of my childhood. So I saved the top with the greens and I just put it on the ground outside and frequently watered it. You can as well do so in a pot. You can finally see that it must have developed some roots 'cause it got new leaves and the greens brightened up a lot.

Sonntag, 26. August 2012

Sourdough success

Bread is done.

I adjusted the recipe a little bit: my starter had a weight of 660 g, so I increased the total amount of flour and water (proportional to mihl's recipe). And after one hour added a tiny bit of yeast to the dough (you can do that with a new sourdough) cause it hadn't risen at all.

I just tried my first piece of bread and it was so worth the effort. I'm so gonna start sourdoughing as soon as we're settled!

Little Challenges: Sourdough

6 days ago I started my first sour dough experience. Did you ever make sour dough? I didn't even think about it before I read >this<. But for the last half year every once in a while I came back to think about doing it.
The facts that made me try it right now were
 - my need to bake bread myself because I can't just go out and buy a nice loaf of "real bread"
 - the fact that they don't have fresh yeast which I really prefer for baking with yeast
 - the warm climate which should make it so easy peasy for the bacterias to grow.

So after nearly three months I got a big jar. And I got rye flour. In germany you get rye flour in every supermarket. I just saw it in some of the supermarkets in the organic section or at the health food store, so it was kind of expensive and whole grain, too. When I read a little bit more about sourdough yesterday I found out that whole grain flour is not the best one to start your culture with because there are some germs from the skin of the grain that make it harder for the desired bacterias to grow. So if you try it choose another type than whole grain for starting the sourdough if possible.

About my experience.. The first days were fine. The surface was bubbly. And it started to smell a bit sour. But after two days or so I really thought it might not work out. My dough wouldn't rise. There was some excessive fluid on the surface in the mornings. Yesterday was the last day of the process and I wanted to know if my dough was right or not. The internet did answer my question. It's ok if there's water on the surface. It's ok if it doesn't rise a lot. Your dough is ok as long as it doesn't start to mold, if it doesn't smell like you don't want to put your nose close to it again and if it doesn't start to be green or red or black. It is ok. I have a healthy and developing sourdough culture in my jar. And when I fed it for an additional time yesterday morning it would start to bubble nicely and had a gentle sour smell.

Today there's not a bit of water on the surface and I'm going to bake my first sourdough bread when I'm finished here. You wanna see a picture? Here you go:

Check out my bread >here<.

Freitag, 24. August 2012


Being here raises a lot of questions in me. I even more stumble upon topics that already bothered me back in germany. But here I feel those issues are 1000 times worse.

Like: what food do I want to buy if most of the things that I can afford are either highly processed, full of pesticides, produced by major companies I really don't want to support, sold by large supermarkets I neither want to support ore genetically modified. And worst: most of the times all of this together.
Like: how can I live in this consumer society while knowing about the system of consuming, the system of exploitation, of waste and abuse that's hidden behind all those shiny products and in every plastic bottle that is sold in the supermarket.

I feel helpless and caged in the face of those facts.
And I stumble upon topics that I really want to share with you.
So I do:

There's a film about natural birth that will be screened quite soon where ever people are willing to screen it.

And there's things to consider when you go out to buy "organic" stuff

There's more. Sure! There's so much more. Like the gmo-labeling debate going on right now in California. And the fact that there are still millions and millions of cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens that are tortured every day because people feel the need to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner meat, drink milk that was meant to feed baby animals and fill their cholesterol level up with eggs.
Yes, there's soo much more. There's so much I'm getting sick right now.

Dienstag, 21. August 2012

It starts to become a hippie!

Nothing more to tell at the moment..

Freitag, 17. August 2012

A trip to the beach

Today we went on a trip to Crystal River. We still need to change at least one tire of the van and had heard of a cheap tire shop over there.

Unfortunately they didn't have a used one of our size and new tires cost about 120 $. But the two guys from the garage totally freaked out about our car. Funny.
And after all that trouble we had with it it's good to have someone who's a bit into cars freaking out about it. It reminds us that even if we had to put some money, work and tlc into the car we would get enough if we'd put it up for sale again. Yep. "If you'd put it here on the street for sale, you could get about 23" (hundred), that's what he said.

We tried to find tires at some places. We thought tires would be the easiest part. It is not.
Right now those drivers with a pick up truck can't find their size anymore and put the size of our car onto their autos. This means: our size is rare and gone immediately at the tire places. No good news.

Good news was: the beach was empty when we came there. The sky was clouded and it had rained a little. There even were some smaller waves. It was nice!
We went the little mosquito path. I had sprayed myself furthermore there weren't too many. Instead butterflies and some nice flowers. And little lizards that were hunting butterflies (one had a catch in it's mouth).

I went into the water. Real swimming. Suddenly no ground under my feet. I don't know how long I havn't been swimming. Too long. Swimming was awesome. When we drove back home I really had the feeling that we had been at the beach.

When walking in low water we suddenly saw a strange fish. First thought: a ray. No, something's wrong. This looks a bit different. Like something between fish and crab. With a shell. And flippers that were used almost like feet. It had the size of a breakfast plate.
Some ancient fish species. I just looked it up and obviously this thing is a horseshoe crab.

We shortly stopped at the mall in Crystal River since I havn't been to a mall yet and I was curious about it. Ok, it wasn't what I had expected. It was like Mülheim inner city on sunday. Dull. Most of the shops were empty. Some closed. The air smelled like popcorn and speakers transported what a girl sitting on a chair in the middle of the hall played on her guitar while singing. Something was wrong about the ratio of people and space in the large center hall.

And when we came home from our long long day Sisto got 6 letters from that stupid insurance company that didn't want to take us. Six times the same letters telling him in the same words that he doesn't fulfill their requirements. It's like a bad joke reminding me of Harry Potter getting his Hogwarts letters. Wicked, not.

We end our day by doing hippie stuff. But that's another story.

Mittwoch, 15. August 2012

That's it.

We registered our car. Finally!

Dienstag, 14. August 2012

A clear view

The windows of our car were tinted when we got it. All windows except the windshield were covered with purple lamination. And the lamination was covered with a thin film of dirt. It was not possible to clean this off properly. So we first decided to remove the foil from the front windows. And after all from the back, too.

It looks so much brighter and nicer inside the car. I'm happy I went through the mess of removing  the lamination and especially that sticky glue underneath. It took some hours but today I could finish the last two windows.

Obviously the roof is fixed, too. Right now we're pretty happy. Just need to find insurance now and get it on the streets, hm?

Montag, 13. August 2012


There was a firefly in our room yesterday night.

Samstag, 11. August 2012

Lately Finds

We have been around. In thrift stores. On yard sales. Sometimes lucky and often not at all. So much crap everywhere. And nice things are often pricey.
On friday there was a clearance sale at a thrift store in Crystal River. We had seen it when we got there for the starter and waited the whole week long for friday to come.
It was awesome. The thrift store had some nice things. And you could go through each and every box in every room of the building. The had a big garage with yet not sorted items in big boxes. They had a bunch of halloween stuff. They had electronics and a few pretty boxes.

And we got a whole bunch of stuff for 15 bucks.
Sisto found an equalizer. And my treasure find was an old handmade quilt. A little bit worn out and to be repaired on the edges, but someones beautiful craft.

 The little iron is from todays tour. The only find on a long and annoying morning looking for at least a few hidden yard sales around Inverness. The little pocket I got from a thrift store a few weeks ago when I was looking for something to carry around bills and coupons and international drivers licenses and stuff like that. It's doing me a good service!

You know what? I can't await to look for things in Portland or when we're traveling the country. Looking for treasures in the nowhere! What nice things did you find on flea markets or in thrift stores?

Freitag, 10. August 2012

banana pancakes

I made pancakes a few days ago. To gather strength for working on the car. Ok. That's just an excuse.
But these are pancakes the healthy way. Or at least a healthy way. 

I used whole wheat flour. And bananas. And I put blackberries in the first and second one. That really was a good idea!  

Here's how you do a small batch: 
 take 1 ripe banana, mashed
add 1/2 a cup of whole wheat flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon flax meal and 
mix it with 1 cup of soy milk and 1 teaspoon flax oil (or other vegetable oil).

Ok, the rest should be familiar with everybody. Grease a skillet, pour in small batches of batter (I made two bigger and three smaller pancakes), bake for a couple of minutes, flip over, and bake until slightly browned. Put on a plate and enjoy.

I really like to put some cinnamon and sugar on top of apple pancakes and it was perfect with the berry-ones, too. Add a little bit of vanilla or cinnamon to the batter if you like. It goes very well with it!

Donnerstag, 9. August 2012

Junk yard

We went to the junk yard a second time this noon. To get the little spring that was broken on our car.
Today I was well equipped, I took my camera.

It was hot again, but we didn't stay long. Got the part, got a rear mirror, too, and drove back home.
Now I'm sitting with two slices of this awesome self-made bread (just tweaked a bit: wheat flour instead of spelt and sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin ones), some vegetables and massaged kale.

Mittwoch, 8. August 2012

Still working on the car

Though the car seemed to be fixed it wasn't completely. When we took it back from the automotive they told us to do a tuning and check back on the battery. 
And the next morning it wouldn't start again. So we had the battery checked, it was good and got spark plugs, wiring, a carburetor. The stuff was exchanged and the car ran. We drove it two times the street up and down. And celebrated.

A few hours later, when I wanted to take it for my first ride - the street up and down - it wouldn't start. We tried and tried and tried. And it just made click.
So on saturday, we got the starter out. Brought it to a parts shop and let them test it. It wasn't working as it was supposed to. That was good news. Because otherwise we still had the problem but no way to figure out by ourselves how to solve it. 

On Monday we went to Crystal River. There is a shop for used auto parts. They work kind of like a junkyard, but you don't have to pull out the parts from the vehicles by yourself. And the give a warranty. Well, anyway. We got a "new" starter there. And it cost us just half of the price of a new one. 
Back home, Sisto put the starter in, reconnected the battery and we trembled. The car started immediately. Oh my, this moment of pure happiness. We would be able to drive that van through the country without being worried that it might not start at some time of the tour.
And I drove the van for the first time. Two times up and down the street.

Then we finally got the rear seat belts out. Now it looks still biger and we don't have them in our way when we put the bed inside. That was hard work. The screws were rusty and the nuts nearly broken.

Today we wanted to fix last minor things. 

1) A hole in the roof. The stupid former owner sealed it with some sort of play dough. That goo wasn't even hard or anything. There was so much water under the TV when we pulled it out some days ago. And rotten wood. Luckily not inside the insulation. Now we put a piece of alu onto that hole. Epoxy should work. And for sure will seal it when the glue is dry. Sitting on top of the roof is so much fun.

2) The broken headlight. We already got the light. But the assembly unfortunately was rusted through. So we went to a junkyard. Unfortunately I forgot my camera. 'cause it was so nice over there. All those cars. And rusty pieces in the sand. Just unbelievable hot. After that half hour we spent there, I was completely wet. The sweat was running down my legs. It was horrible. I don't like to sweat anyway. And this was so much sweat and no way to get rid of the heat. We got the assembly. 

3) We got a horn, too.

4) And some little wiring connector for the fuel injection. The squirrel had taken it as dessert. 

When we came home. We tried to put headlight and assembly in. But it didn't really work. Because the wooden piece (which the former owner rat guy put in) was just holding on two screws on the back, but did hang loose and way too far down in the front. So we went to the hardware store to get some metal strap to get a third fix point for the construction. This worked out perfectly. We were satisfied.

Then we wanted to have the horn in. We first cleaned out the spot where we found the broken horns before - there were two rusty remainings laying on the bottom. Do you want to know how much rust and dirt we swept out? The car really started to fall apart at that corner. After we could fix the horn to some spot, there was no wire for the minus pole inside the van. We just found a plus side wire. The wiring in the car is really fucked up. Really. That guy did a lot of self-wiring in there and most of it doesn't make any sense. Instead there's lots of loose contacts. So you have to always be careful when you pull the key if the car is completely out or still sucking energy.

When the horn was in and Sisto somehow connected the minus to the battery we went back to our main issue: the headlight. And found out that we still were missing one part. A tiny little spring that we didn't see befor and that would be holding one of the three points of the light. It was so rusted away that we didn't notice that it was part of the assembly. How stupid. But when we didn't got the light in we compared both sides and found that spring on the left side light. That was really annoying. We checked the auto shop and the hardware shop for the little spring, but they both did not sell it.

That means: going back to the junkyard tomorrow to get that tiny part.

And then, and then finally... we can drive the car! 
(Ok, still need insurance and a license. But still.)
I can't believe we're nearly done!