Dom and I have have talked about living in tents for about 10 years. In the beginning, the topic would arise after I would get out of three week hospital stay because of pneumonia brought on by mold. Our whole marriage (we’ll be married for 15 years this month) I’ve been ill. All our moves from one house to another had to do with mold until we left the east coast and moved to New Mexico 10 years ago.
The conversations would go something like this:
Dom: That’s IT! I’ve had enough of this crap…water damaged buildings, unbelievable slumlords who don’t take care of their rentals! We’re getting rid of everything and moving into a tent if we can’t find suitable housing.
Me: Okay, I’ll research where we can move to.
Then time would go by, I would recover from pneumonia and we would resume our life as usual.
Over the years, it became more apparent that tent living was something that would help our lives. I don’t think anyone really thought we were serious about it.
When the opportunity to purchase three bell tents came along, we knew it was really going to happen.
I’m so excited!
We have been busy over this past month deciding what will come with us, what we’re going to sell, and what we’re going to give away. Bell tents don’t exactly offer the side walls to accommodate dressers or taller furniture.
This coming week we’ll be putting our third bell tent up and bringing down more of the things we’ll be keeping. Dom is feeling a little overwhelmed since we finally made the decision on a moving date. Okay, overwhelmed might be an understatement…it’s more of a freakout.
I wanted to put the tents in place so we could start spending our weekends there and then we can accomplish more this coming month. Right now, we’re going at a snail’s pace with only one day a week to get stuff done.
This week we’ll be:
- Putting the remaining bell tent up
- Installing more t-posts in the horse pasture (they’re still in a small holding area and not happy about it)
- Repairing small holes and tears in two of the tents
- Repairing a major rip in the third tent
What we need to purchase either new or used or donated:
- kitchen sink
- more welded wire fencing for our camp area
- building material for our outdoor kitchen
- Lots of 2×4’s
- PVC for the market garden covered beds
- Lumber for the market garden greenhouse and post harvest washing station
Dom cleared and graded the area of the first bell tent. There was only a slight slope. The second area needed a LOT of grading. He nailed it!
The tents only take about 30 minutes to put up, and he was able to do it alone.
They’re roomy and provide enough space for our bed and some furniture.
We haven’t cleaned the interior of the tents yet. After I repair some of the little slits and holes in different areas, we’ll clean it. On the walls in the above photo, you can see what looks like stains. They aren’t. Those are areas that have dirt, dust and HAIR. Yes, it’s gross to see other people’s hair in my bedroom. Haha
That crazy look on Dom’s face was captured as he was looking at the nasty hair and dirt on the interior of the tent and mud on the floor pan. He stands at 6’2 and the peak of the tent goes to 10 feet.
We’re excited and enjoying the process. Usually moving to a new place is extremely difficult due to my health, but this time around my health is recovering and I can actually help with the move, clearing land, digging (not my favorite), chop down trees with an ax…I do enjoy wielding an ax. It must be my distant viking DNA being activated.
I also started a Patreon channel for anyone that would like to learn more about what we’re doing. I will only be posting free content on our website, and then there will also be paid content available on Patreon.
The types of things we’ll be sharing on Patreon are:
- Recipes and meals (we are predominately raw primal, eating raw cheese, raw meat and organs (yes, you read that correctly), fresh fruits and vegetables, lacto-fermented veggies, cured meats, etc. We do still eat some cooked food, but it’s mostly raw at this point.
- Tutorials on how we market garden and farm
- Animal care
- Natural building techniques
- Making our own mattresses from organic material and local sheep wool flake. It’s coming to us from a local farm unprocessed, so I’ll be going through the process of cleaning the wool, sewing the mattresses, and creating our non-toxic beds. (I’m so excited about that!)
- Maybe some personal rants. 😉
- Doing laundry by hand because we are choosing not to use a washing machine
- And anything else that seems interesting and fun.
Here’s a link to our Patreon channel: Click Here!
So what do you receive if you become a patron? COFFEE! Become a patron and get coffee delivered right to your door. If you are already purchasing coffee, how about getting some fantastic fresh roasted coffee from us instead? Think about it…it’s killing two birds with one stone. You are helping us to get to our goals and as a thank you, you’ll get fresh roasted coffee delivered to your door.
In past posts I’ve written about how Dom and I were on a primal diet. We’ve been primal for a little more than a year, and we kicked it up a notch by becoming keto-adapted in 2014. Making a switch from primal to a ketogenic diet is very easy, since it just involves maintaining a very low carb meal plan. We were already grain free, and for the most part, starch free, but January 1st began our ketogenic lifestyle.
In the series of photos above, the top right is my before photo. Dom snapped that photo of me last fall before we started on our keto journey. We are still eating a primal diet, but eat very little fruit (if any), moderate protein (about 35 grams per day), high fat, lots of veggies and salads, and great dressings. We have never looked back and I feel even better than I did when we were just primal. Granted, I had a LOT of healing to do over the last year, and I believe that the healing had to happen before I could begin to lose weight.
I no longer weigh myself like I used to. Instead I go by how my body feels and how many dress sizes I’ve dropped. When I first started in January, I was in a size 2x and now I’m currently in a size 16. I don’t expect to stay there very long though. My 16’s are getting loose and I’m already thinking of going back to the thrift shop for more clothes. I went to the thrift shop a few weeks ago and spent about $50 and brought home a great number of treasured items. Topping that list was a 50% alpaca and 50% merino wool Bill Blass coat that I got on sale for $3.00, linen clothing by Banana Republic, 100% wool sweaters, and so many other gorgeous high end clothing…in my new size. I walked out that day with about 10 bags of clothes. It was a great day!
The other thing that has changed about me is my hair. I have wild woman hair, and I’m learning to embrace it. On most days I keep my hair tightly pulled back with a rubber band and/or headband, but recently I let my wild hair down and Dom loved it, wanting me to go out to the movies with him that way. I was mortified. Seriously, my nutty hair has a mind of its own, but I worked through my own discomfort and he enjoyed having a wild woman at his side.
Opening up and sharing photos of myself is another thing that I decided to do as well. I’m usually the person behind the camera, but being that we will open for business in the next few months officially, it would be good for others to at least know what I look like, right?
It all started on Facebook when I posted a photo of my crazy hair recently. I thought everyone would laugh as hard as I did, but everyone seemed to love my nutty hair. I had purchased a few products for curly hair since my hair was just a frizzled mess.
I put the product in my hair at night, pinned it back out of my face, and in the morning…POOF! I was really mortified and hysterical laughing all at the same time. I took the photo and sent it to Dom at work.
Well, that started the conversation about letting my hair stay wild.
So here I am, Farmer Jane, growing wild and free…
If you need me, I’ll be in the garden or greenhouse.
If you’re wondering if it was the coffee all this time causing my hives, the answer is no.
Two weeks ago when I decided to go coffee-free, I postponed my decision until my hives were gone.
I was still using Benadryl each night and I had only mild itches and burning. Since I was so close to the hives disappearing altogether, I waited a little longer to stop drinking coffee.
I’m glad I did!
If I would have stopped drinking coffee last week, I would have thought for sure that my hives were the consequences of the yummy brown goodness worshiped by people the world over. It turns out, that it’s not.
Food sensitivities can be a very tricky thing. If our bodies are already hypersensitive, it would be very easy to convict an offending food with a guilty sentence, and banish the food forever! Some foods have proteins in them that mimic other foods and that can confuse matters even more.
The only way I’ve found it possible to identify key food offenders is over time. All too often we want quick fixes and dramatic results to happen overnight, yet sometimes it just takes patience, observations and time.
I’m not sure if it’s our culture that makes us so impatient or if it’s our inability to realize that our bodies are on a different timetable than our minds, but either way, it can be frustrating waiting for positive changes in our bodies to occur.
A prime example of that in my own life and health is wanting EVERYTHING to be better all at once. It’s unrealistic to think that way, yet I do find myself wondering why I’m not further along than I should be. Can you imagine that? If you’ve been following our Primal journey each week, you’ll find that amazing things happen each week for us.
I guess when I experience amazing energy, a lack of pain in my joints, clarity of mind and thought, and overall happiness, I look at other parts of my body that aren’t as quick to respond and wonder what I can do to speed up the process. Is that a good thing?
NO, and here’s why…
My body started falling apart on me in 2001. I was struck with partial paralyzing peripheral neuropathy. They ran tests for all kinds of disorders after admitting me to the hospital. My health made a turn around for a short period of time in 2002-2004 when I became a raw food vegan. I was able to shut off the autoimmune responses happening to me and my life dramatically improved. But it was short lived, and from 2004 until 2012 my physical life was like a nightmare.
Nine years of physical misery. Nine years of pain, and almost everything that I experienced over those years has been erased from life as though it never happened. Can you imagine that? I’ve been primal for two months now, and I’ve reversed my health problems. I sometimes wish I would have known about eating a primal diet back then, but I can’t change the way things have been done in the past. I can only move forward from here, improving my life in amazing ways where I no longer sit by as a spectator in my own life.
I thought for sure the reason I only had a little scratching last week was due to taking a night time cold medicine. It had a cough suppressant in it as well as an antihistamine. But I haven’t needed to take anything at ALL over the last three days and I don’t have any hives. I do have a little bit of itching, but not due to hives. When I used to scratch, I actually clawed at my skin, usually causing bleeding and leaving long thin scabs in its wake. Right now those scabs are in the process of falling off and they are mildly itchy. No more hives! No more painful itchy skin.
It feels so good to go to bed at night without needing to take Benadryl for the pain and itching, which leads to me getting a great night sleep. I used to wake up in the middle of the night in pain itching my body when the Benadryl wore off…not anymore! Woot! 🙂
At this time last year:
Simmi was pretending to make us strawberry pie. She did a great job making her pie!
I’m simply amazed. There isn’t any real way to share the feelings deep inside of me concerning primal eating. I thought for sure by now I would have succumb to the temptations of having potatoes, pasta, or a little bread, or even a dessert, but it hasn’t happened. “Never say Never” is always in the back of my mind, so I try not to be rigid and unyielding when it comes to eating this way. Needless to say, it hasn’t been difficult for Dom and I to eat primal and keep to it 100%.
My energy started surging last Thursday and it hasn’t stopped since. I haven’t done anything different, and attribute it to being in ketosis. I’ve never been in ketosis before these last few weeks, so each day is truly a unique experience that I look forward to.
I wake up refreshed, and my mind is clear and charged for the day. I don’t feel groggy, and my bones don’t ache nearly as much as they used to. Usually getting up on a cold morning would be painful and difficult. I just attributed it to having arthritis and getting older. But now the pain is gone, with only a small ache remaining (this week), and I am almost positive that the next few weeks will bring total relief to my joints.
Dom has been thrilled beyond all expectations about my very fast recovery. We were talking on Sunday about all the energy I have and how I just don’t seem to stop. By the end of the day after putting Simone to bed for the night, I’m still going for at least another few hours until I stop myself.
I never expected this to happen to me, but I’m definitely not complaining.
When we ventured out to pick up our Christmas tree and headed to the park, I never thought I’d find myself fooling around on the basketball court, throwing a ball, and running after a run away ball. Normally I would have been sitting on the bench, taking photos and trying not to think of my bones in the cold weather.
In the past, if I would have ventured out to play ball, the first few steps would have resulted in the collapse of my body dropping like a ton of bricks without warning. I don’t attribute not collapsing however, to the primal diet, but to eating more healthy over this last year. I’ve been able to chase chickens and ducks without falling or collapsing, and that was the first indicators that I was healing. I would suffer for the next few days in bed if I chased anything, or did anything out of the ordinary that involved exerting myself.
Arthritis is a bitch! But not anymore. The aches are so small that I can just shake it off and keep moving.
The same goes at home. I used to be able to clean or move around in small spurts, with long rest and recovery times. Now? It doesn’t even cross my mind to sit down and relax. I don’t need it.
When it’s time to go to bed, I do have some achy spots in my lower back and knees, but it’s not painful in the least. I’m starting to sleep more soundly and my dreams are more vivid AND I remember them.
My hives still continue, but they are less frequent and less painful than they used to be. I do still take Benadryl at night, but as the itching decreases, I’m hoping to also reduce the amount of Benadryl I take until I don’t have to take it at all.
I was going to drop dairy to see if that was causing the hives, but since the pain is greatly reduced, I’m just going to continue what I’m doing until they go away completely.
So far I’ve lost 14 pounds and dropped a dress size. That’s like icing on the cake! I haven’t tried to lose any weight, it’s just coming off.
Since I have so much energy and my bones aren’t in pain, I’m considering getting on the treadmill. I have to do something to work out this energy! My guess is that if I got on the treadmill, I’d just end up with more energy. 😉