Frillery and Summer Plans

I never did extend my No-Frills 5 to 7, weekend included. Too hard to give up our weekend spending treats. Too hard to even want to.

But we’ll have plenty of time for weekends full of wholesome, creative, money-less activities this summer. Because, have I mentioned? We’re going home! We’ll be in our little coastal (read: cold and rainy) Alaskan town from mid-May through August.

I’ll be working part time, cooking at a local lodge. My Man will be working part time doing the same paper-wrenching he did before law school came along. We’ll split the parenting, which is always how I prefer it.

We do have a house back home, that we’ve been renting out, but we won’t be staying there. We’ll be living in an old broken down school bus! In the same hippie squat where we first lived together in My Man’s homemade tipi. Some folks might consider this going backwards, but we’re excited about it. It’s a great place to be, especially in the summer. It’s only a mile from town, and right off the road, so not bush living by any stretch. We can still go to the library whenever we want. And with a little community of good folks, and woods, marsh and a pond, it’s an awesome place for kids.

Although I haven’t been homesick really at all this winter, now that summer at home is approaching, I’m getting a yearning for mountains, wilderness, moss, dumpster diving, and especially friends who know me well. I’ve really made quite a few good friends here since my poor, lonesome me post. But there’s nothing like people who’ve known you for years… And especially having a community of friends. Pot-luck dinners, music jams, bonfires, “a pack of hippies” as we jokingly call ourselves to go berry picking, plant gathering, and adventuring. I’m sure I’m romanticizing, a lot of my good friends don’t even actually live there anymore, but nevertheless, I’m excited.

Every now and then My Man will get a restless look on his face and say, “Let’s do something fun tonight.” It’s interesting to compare what “something fun” ends up being in these two disparate locales. At home in Alaska, the only “fun” (which really means out of the regular routine) thing I can ever think to do is go for a hike. I had really imagined that here in New Orleans there would be so many exciting things to do at any given time. But in fact, with a toddler and a baby, “something fun” almost invariably means going out to dinner. There’s a few other things we do here, but they pretty much all involve money and consumption. We do walk or ride bikes in the park a lot, or go wandering around in the French Quarter, but even those often lead up to a purchase and frankly feel somewhat unsatisfying without one.

It’s the culture I guess. Here the culture is spending money. And don’t get me wrong, I am definitely enjoying it! I feel like a kid at the candy store with all the incredible food to be had here. (We just ate dinner at a Thai restaurant the other night that was divine. Scallops in a spicy basil sauce. Oh god, so good. But– there was a $52 bill at the end.) Still and yet, I do occasionally have a feeling of weariness about it all. And a sort of gladness that our time here is limited. I know myself, and my weaknesses, and although it’s fine for three years, it would be hard to balance in the long term.

So a little dose of home is in order. Where there are no scallops in spicy basil sauce, no chocolate croissants, no berry brioche, no 100 year old Italian gelato shops to tempt my weak self. Just good friends, fantastic pot-lucks, craggy mountains and wild rivers. Here we come!

6 thoughts on “Frillery and Summer Plans

  1. Wow, I feel a loss, and don’t know why? Kind of strange, huh? lol. So I hope you come back at the end of summer. Lucky you, no horrible humidity to deal with, fresh air and to kill for seafood. Eat some Copper River salmon for me, will ya?

    I don’t think living on a bus is going backwards at all. I think it’s logical and a great idea. When it’s time to come back, you will have less to deal with. The bigger the space, the more you accumulate. I sure would.

    Does your husband enjoy doing caring for your children?

    I thought about you at Walmart yesterday. I was teaching my dil how to make applesauce and we needed to buy a foley foodmill to make it with. The only place to go yesterday was “there” and we rushed in and didn’t find it and left, after we checked the fruit out. The strawberries were on sale. Apparently the dumb asses ordered to much and decided to sell at a loss, lol. The largest basket was $3.00 and after I read the label I told my dil that we had no idea if the fruit was organic or not. We decided to NOT buy any for jam.

    I wanted to ask you where you find your pectin at. I haven’t found it here.

    Do you have stuff you leave there in storage and leave your stuff in NOLA or do you have to move stuff back and forth?

    I am very happy for you and your family and envious too. I have a sister who lives in BC on the Island who I have never met. She is flying down to Texas on May 31 for 10 fun filled days. I am so excited. We have 4 brothers, three in Montana and 1 in Washington state, she has met them but there is no love lost there. My opinion….she looks like our dead dad and that drives em crazy! Me, I am highly amused and wonder if he was my dad after all! We don’t look at all alike, ha,ha,ha! He was married to her mama, who is Canadian, for time enough to get her best friend knocked up, who was my mom. Funny shit I tell ya. Anyway, he divorced her mom, married mine and no one saw each other again. What the hell? What a crappy thing to do to kids. Now our moms are dead, dad is dead and I want my sister dammit! This is gonna be fun.

    Don’t forget to take some pics in Alaska so we can all salivate over them. I have never been there but have always wanted to go. I wonder why we don’t “go for it” and do some of the fun things we had always wanted to do.

    We did do something fun when we lived in NE Washington state @ 13 years ago. I was half done with nursing school and wanted to stab my eyes out with something dull….nursing school will do that to ya, and since I was working 3 jobs at the time, decided to give my husband something fun for Christmas. I gave him Hawaiian shirts, shorts, sandles and sunscreen. There was a few feet of drifted snow outside and it was colder then hell. I told him to call a travel agent and book a spring trip to Baja for just the 2 of us. He found out it was cheaper to go to Tahiti for 10 days. Oh hell yeah! It had always been a dream of ours and we actually fullfilled it.

    I am purging my home and now my husband appears to be jumping in and not only help out but is throwing his cast offs out too. I went through my linen closet and pulled out the sheets and other lineny things I never use, folded them up and priced them for a yard sale. I have a huge pile, just from the one closet.

    I have one of those huge paper/cardboard barrels full of stuff I have been collecting for grand daughters for dress up. Prom dresses, bridal gown, real fur coats, necklaces and other jewelry, high heels, hats, over the elbow gloves, feather boas, omg, a shitload of stuff, some even hanging in my closet. So now a question. Do you think I ought to put this stuff on etsy and sell it? My latest granddaughters are less then 6 mo old. I have a serious amount of junk and it is taking up lots of space. Would you eliminate it? I think I will sell it. I actually have enough for at least 2 or more dress up trunks. Ah geez, I think I answered my question to you, lol.

    I better go finish my net surfing. Have a great time getting ready to go home for the summer. Elaine

    1. elaine,
      wow, lots of questions! yes, my husband most definitely enjoys taking care of the kids, in fact he’s been looking forward to having lots more time with them all year! when he’s with them, not much else gets done. mamas seem to be the multi-taskers, eh? so, i’m sure i’ll end up with more than half the remaining housewife jobs. (i think he thinks mostly all i do is take care of the kids) but oh well. i do plan on dramatically falling back my green-ness for the summer. we’ll use disposables, and eat less good i’m sure. zats how it goes sometimes, no?
      we do have storage in alaska, tons and tons of stuff. i couldn’t believe it when we packed up our house. wowza. and we will leave lots here as well. hopefully we’ll find a subletter, and just leave our boxes in one of the many closets. but, no, hardly anything goes back and forth, not worth it.
      i got pomona’s pectin at whole foods, with the baking stuff. my strawberries weren’t organic btw. and not cause it was some cute family farm that couldn’t afford certification either. i’m sure it’s a (relatively) big, bad farm selling mostly to grocery stores. but i couldn’t resist. i haven’t seen any organic strawberries here. hardly any organic booths at all at the farmer’s mkt.
      i will take pix this summer, and keep up the blog if only a little.
      about the dress up items. omg! not mentioned on this blog, because it’s not exactly relevant, i am a HUGE dress up QUEEN!!!! i love dressing up, and think every little girl and interested boy should have a big box of frillery. so, although you answered yourself no, i say YES! hang on to that shit! or send it to me for next mardi gras….

  2. well paint me green with envy CJ….sure wish we were off on an adventure like that! Have a ball with all the plannin and preparin in the way between now and the leavin part. I’ll be checkin in all the time in the meantime, so I can get my fill of another angsty mama…

  3. Hi, Welcome home. Are you flying home or coming on the ferry? We are only a ferry ride from Ketchikan and would love to see you and the family. Greta and Liam are about the same age as your little ones. Jeremy is getting married in June and we all are going down for the wedding. I am enjoying your blog so much. Are you going to be able to keep it going while living in the bus? We sold the one on the farm and it was hauled off and someone is happily living in it. I guess mice and squirrels had made it a home within all of Jeremy’s stuff and it was not the pleasant of places to clean up. Bob worked for three days sorting though the stuff! I hope you haven’t had any creatures in yours. I know you will have a good summer.

    1. we’re flying…. the ferry would be fun, if we had the whole summer to goof off i would LOVE to come visit you! unfortunately, we’ve got to work to make any kind of dent we can in our mounting debt. so, straight home and noses to the (respective) grindstones!

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