Posts Tagged "texas"

Odessa, Texas – My Father’s Hometown

I wasn’t really sure why I added #8: Visit my father’s hometown, until we were actually pulling closer to Odessa, Texas. It had always been he and my brother who spoke about visiting. But as we were driving down the 20 it suddenly became very clear. There were quite a few gaps in our relationship, some as wide as three years of silence. Others were smaller, missing pieces that you only come to miss when someone’s gone. It is the history, the connection to his past that I crave. Based on what he spoke about I know exactly four things about his childhood: That any good dentist could tell where he was raised, because the water there was known for the stains on his teeth. That he moved away from his hometown and to Las Vegas when he was about 12 or 13. That he developed diabetes when he was…

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Rethinking Everything (And Being On Stage)

The Rethinking Everything Conference was amazing. This was our 3rd “unschooling” conference, but this one was so much more than unschooling. It’s that whole-life unschooling thing we were talking about, applying these principles to every area of your life. There were workshops, talks and discussions on everything from parenting and education to health, work, sustainable housing, travel, barefooting and more. There were funshops for shaving cream sculptures, taking apart electronics, gaming, wand making, Lego, copeira, fencing, salsa dancing and hooping. We even took part in a documentary! But the best part of any conference is the community. For five days we took over the conference center; we created our own village in the middle of Fort Worth. And we thrived in the atmosphere of love, acceptance, authenticity and cooperation. It was amazing and difficult to leave. I can’t even begin to describe to you what we took away from the…

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Off The Beaten Track in Jefferson, Texas

We’re heading up to Nashville to visit with family for a few weeks. On our way we needed to find a printer and a fax machine for some business of ours. Thankfully, we were tipped off to check the local library. We travel with a GPS gifted to us by my mama and it is a serious godsend. We searched for nearby libraries and it gave us the ones along our route and a phone number to call and check their services. Had it not been for the tips and gifts we’ve received, we would never have discovered this tiny little town tucked off Hwy 59 in east Texas and the quaint library I’m blogging from now. The library is small and the selection tiny, but it’s air conditioned and the librarian knows her patron’s names and their favorite genres and happily peruses the shelves with them in search of…

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Friends and Photos

We’ve flown the coop and left Louisiana. Our original plan was to head south to New Orleans, but the heat and humidity is proving to be too much for any enjoyment to be had. We’re hoping to make our way down again when the weather is kinder. Instead we headed west, just over the Texas state line to camp for the weekend with Chris and Sarah Parent. Chris was recently laid off and they just purchased their RV and are planning to hit the road full-time very soon. We truly needed this weekend to relax, reconnect and commune with our friends and with each other. Number of photos taken: 4 Justin has been giving me a hard time about my lack of photos lately. I still love photography, but I realized this weekend my focus is changing. For such a long time I took massive amounts of photos as a…

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Playing, Parents and Podcasts (On My!)

It seems like everywhere we go is better than the last…or maybe our excitement is simply renewed with each turn of the key? We’ve been chilling in DFW since last week and despite the humidity (can I overstate how much it sucks?) we’ve had a blast with the unschoolers in this area. If you’re looking for a hoppin’ mindful parenting community, this is the place! We were told of the Whole Life Unschooling Meetup and planned our arrival to coincide with their park day last Thursday. I’m SO glad we did! The whole tribe was amazing and we enjoyed the discussion group as much as we enjoyed swinging like monkeys. We met LeeAnn and her kids there and Zeb and Seth hit it off immediately. We made plans for ice skating with them on Tuesday. That lasted about 20 minutes before the boys had other plans. They all set up…

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Spinning and Hooping

This weekend has been so busy we are only now catching up on sleep and downtime. One of our stops was visiting with Anna and her family in DFW. We’ve been chatting for awhile online through Twitter as she contemplated dreading her hair. We were hoping to do that on Saturday but the timing isn’t quite right for her. Instead we had a relaxed day at her home. Zeb watched Anime with their 5 year old son, we laughed as her two year old daughter introduced herself about 23 times throughout the day (she was so cute!), we chatted about organic living, the awesomeness of the internet, education and life in general. We coordinated a taco dinner and a few mixed drinks. And we played. Anna is a fiberista! She dyes, spins and knits the most beautiful yarn. (You can check out her shop on Etsy.) She was kind enough…

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Old Friends in DFW

Kristin and I were best friends from elementary school through her graduation. Even after her family moved away in middle school, I would fly to Texas, then Florida, to visit her over the summer. I have so many fun memories of our times together: walking down Harmon Hill after school, prank calling the radio station (we really wanted to hear that song!), talking about boys and laughing over nothing funny. Things weren’t always beautiful between us, though. I often felt a lot of (probably imagined) judgment from her family. They were very conservative and traditional and…well, we never have been. I even vaguely remember being referred to as a “bad influence” on my dear beloved friend. When I became a teenage mother that feeling became very acute. The last time we saw each other was almost exactly 10 years ago, the June before Zeb’s first birthday. I had flown to…

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Sculpting A New Passion

It’s been almost three and a half years since Zeb has been out of school. And it’s been five years since he decided – with the negative encouragement from some very poor art teachers at the age of five – to believe he wasn’t an artist. In fact, until last week, there were three truths he held firm to: That only women made good artists That he was not artistic, nor interested in anything art related That at some point in the next few years he would have to outgrow his beloved LEGO collection He no longer believes any of that. In fact, several nights ago he declared that he is going to be a sculptor, and that he wanted to go to bed early so he could get started on a new project the next day. The last words he spoke before falling to sleep that night were, “Tomorrow…

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At Hill Shade

We’re here and settled in at Hill Shade RV Park (in Gonzales, TX) and are super busy. Between the three of us our hectic days consist of doing yoga on the dock, swinging in a hammock, endless hours of gaming, eating picnic dinners with friends, solitary bike rides, jumping on the trampoline, hunting wild onions, and quiet walks. Crazy, right? I’m not even sure how we’re managing to keep up with the pace. We’re here with Matt and Sara, Jennie and James, Christine and fam and plenty more traveling families, including others rolling in for the NuRVers gathering in a few weeks. We’ve been stocked on milk from a local farm, eggs from Jennie (yum!) and plenty of good conversation. It’s been a perfect place to unwind and decompress and think and write and finish up some work (like 48 hours of continuing education for my massage re-certification). I’m still…

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West Texas Oasis

I’m not sure if you’ve been to West Texas but it’s pretty dry and dusty without much to see. Unless, that is, you cruise off the I-10 and wander the back roads to Balmorhea State Park. Quiet, lush and beautiful; so what I needed. We only spent a day but cool evening walks, plenty of wildlife and an awesome natural pool built around the spring…21 hours of heaven. More photos here. Zeb was most excited to add a new sticker to our U.S. window map. Last night we boondocked in a Walmart parking lot. This morning we headed to Gonzales to meet up with the Janssens. We’ll be here for a few weeks, checking out the state, meeting up with old and new friends and hanging at the NuRVers gathering. Words cannot describe the idyllic setting we’re in at Hill Shade. I spent all day in a state of bliss,…

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