Monday, November 29, 2010


Apartment in Oakland secured. We move in tomorrow. We got a cheapo cell phone with unlimited long distance, month to month.

Going to a meeting at four. Please hold your breath one last time.

Fingers crossed

Sunday, November 28, 2010


We have arrived in Berkeley and staying at La Quinta Inn. I am exhausted. The kids finally broke down for the last three hours, such good kids for almost the entire trip. Unbelievably good kids. Rome actually got the feistiest.


snowy pass on the way in. scary...

in and out burger = wonderful

one more day of travel today

Saturday, November 27, 2010

left turn at Albuquerque

We are just outside Albuquerque and safe. My fingers are too fat to type on this mini laptop. All the well wishes seem to be working. The drive grueling, the kids are behaved, we are all scared.

Thank you,


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pray for us.

The stress is overwhelming. Many things are still tentative. We need your well wishes, contributions to the collective consciousness and prayers. There are six states to cross and a promise of questionable weather. Luck favors the prepared, hopefully the seat of our pants will work one last time.

Please think of us.

Karl and family

Saturday, November 20, 2010


As many have guessed we are going through a drastic change–life altering. I have tried time again to write this post. You are all my friends and I need to explain. First, Tabitha and I are together forever. Second, I have the best boss at The Alternative Energy Company ever. Zeke has my allegiance and will continue to be my friend.

Here is the deal. We are leaving our little farm. The reasons we are leaving are many and mostly logic based. The catalyst however was pure emotion. Tabitha is terrified of handguns–an incapacitating phobia. Our newest neighbor, just out of our back door, had a propensity to have a few drinks and repeatedly fire his hand gun. We entered civil conversation. I pleaded with him that my four year old autistic son couldn't bear the nightly extended gun shooting, which is true.

Finally, his landlords stopped by and asked us "did the hand gun shooting trouble us?" We answered a gleeful "yes" hoping for a simple solution. They responded that they had a prior agreement that *if there were any complaints* they would have to stop the nightly shooting. The Crazy Mother Fu%*er, CMF for short blamed us even though all the local neighbors complained. At one point the Sheriff became involved and the CMF became enraged. He started threatening my wife, children and animals by yelling across the hallow. Tabitha became racked with fear and would not let the kids out to play in our own yard. He would brandish his gun and yell *BANG BANG* toward my children and wife. He would yell "you better get your cow out of here" while holding a gun. (expletives deleted)

Tabitha did not feel safe and fell out of love with our little farmstead. The disillusionment was complete and all encompassing. She began to work on me trying to explain her terror and that there is a better way. Needless to say I resisted and cited promises of living here forever. Foremost, I love my wife and desire her happiness and safety.

The contributing factors are my spotty employment during the past six months, and our barely keeping our heads above water. Maintaining during financial difficulty requires a deep blind love for this lifestyle and a hope for the future. On the positive side Tabitha has been pining to go back to University but commute from here is unrealistic. This is especially true since it would require stopping homeschooling. Our local schools are simply not an option.

In the end we have decided to move back to the San Francisco bay area. A risky endeavor indeed but we are on the five year plan. Tabitha will attend University, the kids will attend a charter school, I will get employment in the active California solar industry (my true passion). After five years we will reassess our position.

Crazy? Yes, I agree but we have learned countless lessons here and can better try it again with true preparation. I want to build our own "perfect" home someday. At that time, Tabitha will carry the torch of employment while I and the boys build our dream home. It must be geographically protected and neighbors few.

Are we financially OK? Kinda, mostly, but we are scared. I have been repeating to myself "hold on tightly, let go lightly." I fear for my children but I want them to be fearless and can only show them this by example.

I will continue my blog taking lessons learned from the country to the city. It might even be more useful to a greater number of people. Buying in bulk in season and preserving while in the city is something of true value. Attending U-pick, buying in bulk and everything fresh in season is our lifestyle. I hope to ride my bike to work everyday. I spent most of my twenties with only a bicycle as transportation and miss it.

It will be a new deliberate adventure. I hope you stick around to see what happens next.. I plan to document our preparations for our next foray in to self sufficiency and sustainability. A pastoral life is something not to be attempted lightly. Our lessons from this practice farm promise decisive preparation for our next iteration and future.

Special thanks to Patrick, Bob, Zeke, Matt, my sister and all of you. Your support has been well appreciated.
I love you all, blessings of peace.


Monday, November 01, 2010

dias de las muertas

A celebration of life through celebrating death. Also the day of finding half eaten pieces of candy stuck to various surfaces in the house.

Me: "alright, who left this here?"

Our kids almost never get commercial candy. Although they do get to binge during this brief season--it is part of being an American kid. The kids are now begging for "real food." I jokingly said "NO, all you get to eat all day is candy." a little reverse psychology?

(one Hour later)... my plan might be backfiring on Toly.


The Halloween line-up.
Black Kitty, Percy Jackson, Prairie Princess, Mermaid Princess, Saber Kitty, Prince Zuko & Christmas Tree

Saber Kitty is a homage to kassi's kitten, may she rest in peace.
Prince Zuko we love the animated series "the last air bender." Even adults should appreciate the depth of the character development. Easily a precursor to a reading child. Following a complex storyline is a necessity for this series of shows.
Christmas Tree, this was entirely Toly's idea. He loves nightmare before Christmas mixing Christmas and Halloween seemed like a good idea to him. The costume was a huge hit. The lights lit up and he guided our way on the darkish streets, kinda like Rudolf.
Rome had to be a kitty since Kassi was one--MEEOOW..
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