A new place to call “home” 2/17/22

Not far from where we were before on the State Trust Land in Phoenix, Arizona, we found a most wonderful spot. We had scoped out this back corner before we left, but hadn’t “picked” an exact spot because all the land is free game and ‘first come, first served’. We were sure to arrive back in Phoenix with enough daylight to choose a good spot and get settled without worrying about running over any cactus in the dark. (We don’t have experience 🀞, but we’ve heard cactus and tires don’t get along too well.)

We snapped this picture as soon as we parked. We hadn’t even turned off the headlights! Braydon is just excited that we have our own saguaro cactus. (That tall iconic cactus 🌡 on the right.)

We immediately started to make ourselves at home. We put up our sun shade that we got from our friend Konnie at Skooliepalooza. She had two and agreed to give us one in exchange for helping her mount hers, too! We also moved the rocks away to make a sort of front porch and lined them up around the perimeter. Some of the rocks here in the desert just stick up out of the dirt and are easy to trip on, so clearing the space was helpful for walking around at night as well as making frequent trips out of the bus much easier.

It’s looking very cozy πŸ˜€
We decided to make a “driveway” in a similar fashion to our front porch. We leveled and cleared the rocks out and then lined all the rocks up along the sides.
Take a second to notice how green the desert is becoming!! When we were here in January it was all brown and barren. Now it’s turning almost lush!! It’s hard to tell here, but we have a round about at the end of the driveway so we don’t have to turn around every time we park the Jeep. Right now the bus is just a bit too close to use it, but after we back the bus up a smidgen it should work great!

It took us several days to get the driveway and porch all done, but we are super happy with it. Mike, one of our neighbors, said that he really liked it, too. Braydon especially had a lot of fun with moving the rocks for the driveway. He used his big yellow dump truck to help. “Dumpy” has been getting so much use out here in the desert 🏜. Hardly a day goes by that Braydon doesn’t race past me running top speed as he pushes Dumpy.

Braydon found this rock, held it up to his upper lip, and said, “Mama, look! I have a mustache!” It comes to a very nice point on either side.

There are always projects we were dreaming up, tinkering with, or wrapping up. One of the projects we are hoping to tackle soon is sealing and finishing up the front “garage” area. We’d like to prep the metal floor, seal it with some POR15, and then bed liner it. Without having a physical address to ship things we buy online, we looked up a dealer for the POR15 and found a Sherwin-Williams in Phoenix sells it. When we left their store, we saw they had two perfectly manicured orange trees out front. We grabbed a few oranges each and headed for the car. We were eager to try the oranges as we had been passing hundreds of citrus trees, but never any we could stop and harvest from. Yay! We peeled one and took a bite… it was so sour! Worse than a lemon straight!

After some research, we discovered that this popular ornamental orange tree is called the Bitter Orange. 🍊 Interestingly enough, it’s common name is the “Marmalade Orange”! We were excited that our glean was salvageable and couldn’t wait to try our hand at marmalade!

On the way home Braydon made an “orangeman” because there isn’t any snow to make a snowman.
The marmalade turned out absolutely delicious! I love having a spoonful in my tea 🍡 in the morning. We also add it to yogurt – so creamy yet refreshing.

We went grocery shopping to replenish our sugar stash after making all that marmalade as well as get some more groceries in general. One of our favorite meals, if we can find all the ingredients, is Ramen. There’s a brand of organic Ramen noodles that come with four noodle servings in the box. We get a box of organic chicken broth and then make our own soup base with baby bok choy, and all the Asian sauces like soy and fish as well as sesame oil. A hard boiled egg, cooked sweet potato, fresh green onion, and a sliced avocado top off this amazingly delicious, yet fairly simple, dish! While we aren’t classy enough to eat it with chop sticks, we do use a spoon AND a fork!

So filling, fresh, and delicious πŸ˜‹!

There’s so much going on each week, it’s hard to pick the most important things to share. One last important thing is that we are fairly certain Sue Ellen is with kitten. We had become fairly accustomed to her daily and hormonal schedules but recently she has been wanting an extra meal (breakfast) and then going back to bed and sleeping until about 4 pm. While she was always happy to get a snack in the morning, she now prefers a larger, more consistent meal. She is also very snuggly all night and often will be stretched out under our blankets “little-spooning” either Jeff or me. We will keep you updated!

We have been trying to post around Tuesday night each week. Clearly that doesn’t always happen, so if you want to be notified every time we make a post, subscribe to the blog and, each time we post, you will receive an email with a link to our latest post! It’s the simplest way to keep up-to-date with the goings on around here!

Also, if you missed our recent short Story Post, we have stickers for sale on our Sponsorship Page. For $5 each you get a vinyl, full color, kiss-cut sticker! We are super happy with how they turned out. Perfect as a “bumper sticker” or for any other indoor or outdoor application.

That’s all for now, folks, but tune in next week for Bus Updates and Sarah Gets A Job!

10 thoughts on “A new place to call “home” 2/17/22

  1. oh wow! reading these are so exciting! you always find something awesome!!
    I didn’t realize if you leave, you lose your spot?! I also don’t see any neighbors 😳 I guess that’s good .lol
    is this the place you can get water and stuff from, has a play area and trash disposal area?
    it looks nice! love the rock formations!! great idea!! you have enough for a fire pit? πŸ˜‰
    love Braydon’s orangeman and his mustache! πŸ‘πŸ» he’s so cute and smart!!
    the pictures are amazing, it’s so pretty there!
    the soup looks good and the marmalade too! can you spread it on toast?
    are you close to stores?
    is it warm there? are the solar panels doing well?

    a job?!? ooohh.. I can’t wait!! lol

    ooh.. I’m getting a sticker! πŸ‘πŸ»

    enjoy your week, hugs to all!! πŸ€—πŸ’•


    1. Ahhhh! Where to start!?
      Think of it like if you go to a local park and you are hoping to spend the day and eat lunch there. You can’t reserve a tree to have your lunch under… it’s all public space. And someone could have brought their lunch sooner and picked that same tree you wanted to eat lunch under. Same thing here! It’s all a public space.
      We are on the same land we were before… just a mile or so away. We are still going to the Lake Pleasant Recreation Area for our water, trash disposal, and playground. πŸ™‚
      We do have a fire pit too! Hoping to make some more use of it when the nights aren’t as cold. We are having a chilly week. Days in the 60s and nights in the 40s.
      The marmalade is good in and on just about everything!
      Solar system is doing so great! We don’t even think about it anymore! There’s always enough power to charge and run everything we need (besides the dryer, as mentioned before). And best of all… it’s free!
      Yes! A job! Woohoo! Can’t wait to tell all about it!
      I just put your sticker in your envelope! Will mail it tomorrow! It took 11 days for mom’s birthday card to get there, so we will see how long the sticker takes to get to you 🀞
      Hugs back!!!πŸ’šπŸ’›


      1. Forgot to say, we are about 15-20 minutes from everything, but there are some great stores here! We are in Northern Phoenix with lots of fancy rich people, so the stores are high class πŸ˜€


  2. Wow, you guys know how to set up an enviable homestead..!! Complete with your very own saguaro..! Grandma loves your cactus, Braydon. So Homey.
    The awning is great. Thank you, Konnie; that was very nice..!
    Good job Braydon on helping with the driveway and patio. You might want to go into the dump truck business..! Boy, I didn’t recognize you with the mustache.
    And I think I like orangemen better than snowmen, they’re more colorful.


    That ramen meal looks tasty and healthy..! But I’d like to know how much it costs to ship a jar of that delicious marmalade..??!!??

    Can’t wait for the new posts..!! (And stickers to arrive..!)

    Love to all.!


    1. Hey thanks! Moving all those rocks was a great workout! We are hoping that the improvements are welcomed by the next people to use the land, too!
      I’ll read Braydon his comments tomorrow, he’s asleep now.
      Kittens… we shall see! 😌 Someone at Skooliepalooza had puppies for sale and they named them each National and State park names and challenged the new owners to take the dog there at some point in its life. Kinda cool. Good inspiration for our potential 😸. Not 100% sure yet.
      Haha! I have no idea!
      I got the stickers in the envelope. Will mail tomorrow! Hope it doesn’t take 11 days like mom’s cars!
      Love back! πŸ’›πŸ§‘πŸ’š


  3. impressive! thanks, I get it now.. 😁 just sounds so cool!! very relaxing!! so happy for you!! can’t wait for the sticker!! thank you all of you!
    hope you got the mail lately ☺️ not sure the last time you said you’d be getting it..
    love the cactus, just be careful.. lol

    enjoy your day!πŸ€—πŸ’•


  4. Hi Sarah and Jeff and Brayden,
    It’s Cathy Ruff here. I read your blog. Your Dad was so proud of you. He said it was really well done. So I couldn’t wait to read it. I read it all the way through. You did a wonderful job. Jeff you are an amazing β€˜Jack of all trades’. You’re all so adventurous. I loved Braden’s rock mustache and the orange marmalade was a great choice with sour oranges. Also the Asian soup bowl with all the good things in it made me hungry. I may have to try that sometime. Be well and safe. Love to you all


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: