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My dehydrator frenzy: preparing vegetarian/vegan trail meals for a 4-day hike in Tasmania

I’d done a bit of research about pre-packaged dried meals for a camping/hiking trip, and came away disappointed in all the chemicals and crappy ingredients I’d have to put up with. It seemed at odds with the pristine, healthy landscape we’d be walking through in Tasmania, and my usual good eating habits at home.

So I got inspired. And you can too. Within 10 minutes of posting on Facebook to see if anyone local could lend me a dehydrator, I had an offer of the top-of-the-range Excalibur.

And thus it began.

Who knew a whole head of broccoli could be held in your hand? Hope I don’t get searched at the airport though; does it look a bit suspicious?

The tomatoes were fresh from the Farmers Markets the day before- so juicy- I couldn’t believe how evenly they dehydrated. The sweet potatoes are an experiment; kinda like chips I’m hoping.

And so, totally inspired, I moved onto preparing my meals. I decided to just make my two faves, and alternate them for lunch and dinner (we need to carry 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners). One of my lovely Pilates clients caught my enthusiasm, and offered the loan of her vacuum sealer, and so began ‘GG’s Dehydration Empire’.

I watched a few YouTube videos, and learnt I can’t use any oils, as they don’t dehydrate. I chose to do Vegetarian/Vegan meals, with lots of flavour and veggies. Once I’d made them fresh, I served up a huge bowlful (imagining I’d walked 10-15kms), then dehydrated that amount on a sheet. Here’s my brown rice and stir-fried vegetables:

I try to be gluten-free as well, so did a quinoa pasta with pumpkin, mushies, kidney beans, and tomato:

This meal looks the dodgiest, but hopefully it’s all going to taste great!

Ta-da! Pretty proud of myself I must admit. It all weighs less than a kilo, so plenty of room for treats like my dehydrated figs, and apple slices with cinnamon.

Eight dehydrated vegetarian/vegan meals ready for hiking in Tasmania

Eight dehydrated vegetarian/vegan meals ready for hiking in Tasmania #dehydratedmeals #hikingfood #vegetarian #Tasmania #ThreeCapesTrack #Australia #over50 @boneAndsilver

Now I’m posting this from our Airbnb house in Hobart; the other three friends and I have spent an hour giggling and packing/repacking our bags, and we set off tomorrow, so I’ll be gone till Thursday- not even a Comment will be answered, sorry.

Not sorry.

I’ll miss you all; please don’t post anything too exciting while I’m away!

In gratitude for best friends turning 50, wild scenery, and no mobile coverage, G xO 

Freaky Friday: Why did I just mow the lawn with a backpack on?

Walking up hills and mowing lawns in preparation for a hike, wearing a 50-litre backpack

Walking and then lawn mowing with a backpack on #training #cardiofit #over50 #wellbeing #determined @boneAndsilver

I think my neighbours are used to me doing slightly weird things (like walking on stilts around the garden, or dancing like a mad woman with earphones in so no one else can hear the music).

Yesterday was probably my peak though: I mowed all my lawns while wearing a 50-litre, approx 5kg loaded backpack.

Why? Because I’m going on a 4-day hike in Tasmania, and I need to get fitter and stronger ASAP.

Admittedly, the bag was only half-loaded, but I still think I deserve a 10/10 for effort, yes? Hit that Like button!

We fly to Hobart on Saturday, then begin the walk on Sunday afternoon– here’s the link to the Three Capes Track if you’re curious. My beloved friend ‘G49’ turns 50 when we finish, and is a huge fan of bush hiking, so 3 valiant friends are going along with her.

We have to carry everything except a tent (hurray), and sleep in fancy-ish huts at night (no hot showers or fridges, but nice mattresses and views apparently).

I can do that. I can do that for 4 days/3 nights. I can do that for her.

The 3Tracks website is so detailed and informative; apparently our bags should weigh maximum of 12kg. I’m going to officially weigh mine tomorrow fully packed, but I think I’m up at about 15… *grimaces and whimpers slightly.

I may have to do a clothes cull. But I’m not culling food and treats! No way José. I actually got completely inspired this week, and borrowed a friend’s fancy dehydrator to prepare all my own meals. Another 10/10 for effort methinks? And that’s a whole other post, because I took lots of photos of the processes.

Right, gotta go march up and down the only hill in town, to build up these weight-carrying thigh muscles- remember when I did the same hill training for the climb up our local mountain? SO MUCH HARDER with a loaded backpack… *grimaces and whimpers slightly again.

In gratitude for strong legs and a stubborn mind, G xO


World Wednesday: Tell it like it is

In 2014, a campaign was launched online called Ban Bossy. It wanted to end the use of ‘bossy’ as an insult or control mechanism over assertive girls and young women, and instead promote ‘has leadership qualities/shows great initiative/stands up for herself’.

When I watch this speech by Emma Gonzales, speaking in such passionate, articulate, and distressed terms about the terrible Florida school shooting, the Mum inside me is so damn proud of her.

Tell the world Emma, what you know is wrong and right! Call BULLSHIT on that crap President of yours, and the other politicians lining their pockets with donations from the NRA!

Tell the truth, and tell it like it is.

Because 17 dead school children aren’t ever going to graduate, or travel overseas, or have their own children or start their own businesses…

I cannot begin to imagine the pain of their bereft parents.

Shame on those politicians indeed.

So stuff being ‘good’. Stuff being ‘quiet’. Be a leader if you want to, big or small.




Teenage Tuesday: I swear I’m not writing what he said (as ordered by ’17’), but take a good look at this…

My teenage son makes me put my thinking cap on, with his philosophy of life on creativity, blogging, and self promotion

A Mum tries to come to terms with her smart, opinionated teenage son #over50 #blogger #australia #teenager @boneAndsilver

At Home last Weekend

Me: Can you wipe up please


Me: Sweetie, the wiping up needs doing


Me: Come on, I need you to wipe up and put away the dishes


Me: OK, I’m getting cranky now, I’ve got better things to do than nag you all weekend


Me: Put the washing up away, or there’ll be no dinner!


Teenage son doing the dishes makes me feel grateful

What kind of person does that?? #Australia #dishes #chores #teenager #OCD #over50blogger @boneAndsilver

The return of ‘normal programming’: Me Monday catch up

Full of gratitude for a refreshing sunset beach swim practicing self care

Beach selfie #gratitude #over50 #Australia #beach

Hi. What have I got for ‘Me Monday’ you wonder? I’m back from the burrow of that Permaculture Paradise, and ready to reconnect with all the Readers who were just yawning at so many photos of trees and veggie gardens.

Well, H is here from Melbs, so that’s been fun- Summer has given us a last hit of humid steaminess, and we actually had to lock ourselves in the living room with the aircon for a couple of days, including dragging two single mattresses onto the floor to get some proper sleep.

You could tell who didn’t have aircon around town because they looked sleep-deprived and grumpy; after 3 nights in a row of + 30C, I was praying for the cool change! When I lived in Adelaide a few years ago, we once had 10 days in a row of + 40C (104F) and my tiny garden studio had no aircon; I was ready to kill someone just for a good night’s sleep. In fact, one afternoon I snuck into my landlady’s house (I had my own key as I used her spare bathroom), and just lay on her couch for a couple of hours while she was at work to save my sanity… although I nearly lost it again trying to remember how all the fluffy cushions lined up correctly so she wouldn’t know what I’d done.

Hiking boots and cut off baggy shorts, so glamorous now I'm over 50

These boots are made for walkin And that’s just what they’ll do One of these days these boots are gonna #Australia #wellbeing #over50blogger #walkingboots @boneAndsilver

Anyway, back to the present: we’ve gone swimming most days, and the ocean is about 22-25C; truly delightful. H leaves tomorrow, and then this time next week I’ll have flown to Tasmania, and be about to start a 4-day/3 night wilderness hike for my dear friend’s 50th birthday. Exciting! Well, apart from the slight trepidation of carrying all our own food and water etc… we are staying in huts at night, equipped with kitchens and bunk beds, but no refrigeration or hot showers- if we had to carry our own tents and sleeping mats as well I’d have had to pass on the adventure I’m afraid- I don’t even like to carry my car keys as a rule.

Yes, I am a Princess. Is that a problem for you? ‘Cos it sure ain’t for me (verified ‘Princess response’ #79).

My cousin did the walk a few months ago, and told me she did no training. I’m fitter than her, so I did pretty much no training either… then last weekend she clarified that she actually did lots of lunges and squats, PLUS 4 10km walks AND one 16km walk!

Oh shit. I could be in trouble…

The track guidelines say we need to carry 10-12 kilos, and be able to walk for 4 hours a day. I can do that can’t I? I have made myself do a few one-hour long beach walks, on the flat, but not even carrying my car keys…


In gratitude (I hope) for inherent “bone&silver” cardio fitness, G xO 

#Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver #wellbeing #intentionalcommunity

Final Day 7: Integration of Eco Village intensive

#Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver #wellbeing #intentionalcommunity

#Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver

I was really ready for Day 7: to walk the actual land of the proposed site, and for it all to finish. I needed a break- to do loads of washing, reply to a bunch of boring emails, re-connect with the status of ’17’s homework, and sit quietly by myself, not speaking or listening for several hours at a time ASAP.

We met beneath a giant fig tree, grateful for the shade on a hot summer’s day. I know a bit about trees, and assumed this was an ancient one 150+ years old who’d somehow survived Australia’s love affair with mass tree-clearing, but turns out to be only about 70! Unbelievable- that’s how rich the volcanic soil is- both basalt red, and peaty black. Bodes well for the proposed Permaculture gardens…

We walked some of the land, which was an old dairy farm, so full of grass paddocks and weedy Camphor Laurel trees; a re-forestation plan would be paramount. But from one vantage point on the North side, you could see the ocean, and thus amazing sunrises/moonrises.

#seaviews #Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver #wellbeing #intentionalcommunity

Sea views! #Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver

Unfortunately, you could also hear the freeway noise, which gets louder/softer depending on the wind direction. Thick tree planting could help, but it’s also the price you pay for being close to the coast (the favourite holiday destination of most Australians). Something to think about though…

The whole site has been mapped by a ‘Geomancer‘, to gain an understanding of laylines and energy patterns, including the use of several Radionics Towers/Earth Pipes (I’d never heard of either of these things, as I’m not an avid alternative gardener- have you? Quite fascinating.)

We looked at experimental mud bricks and poured earth walls, which our homes could be built from, some of which came from the land we were standing on. ‘Hempcrete‘ is also a proposed building material, and as I stood there in the hot sun, I realised with certainty that I have zero interest in making mud bricks or building my own home. If I was 30 years younger, yes, maybe. But all I really want to do is read and write all day, so it was good to find this clarity. I guess the idea is that as a community, we all do what we’re good at, so I could prepare delicious meals to feed the young healthy folk who were building my house…

The South side of the land was softer somehow, and I felt much more drawn to living on that side of the hill; it also has a spring, and a remnant of original rainforest vegetation, albeit surrounded by more weedy cow paddocks.

#rainforest remnant #Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver #wellbeing #intentionalcommunity

Proposed #Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver

But the enormity of the transformative task facing us did daunt me, so it was a good thing we broke for lunch and I could re-fuel myself.

#Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver #wellbeing #intentionalcommunity

#Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver

Then we did Speed Dating. Yes, you read that correctly. Previous participants of the first Eco Village intensive arrived, who’d committed to the next level of community building by meeting once a fortnight to learn and practise Dynamic Governance/Sociocracy and Conflict Resolution/NVC, so we spent 9 minutes clustered in trios to learn about each other. Many of those previous participants were over 65, so nodded their heads in agreement when I articulated that I’d realised I didn’t want to actually build a house; there are SO many questions/issues/challenges to be dealt with as this Eco Village proposal unfolds, and equivalent contributions of labour is just one of them.

We closed the Intensive with a Visioning exercise: standing in a big circle, we all took one tiny step forwards as we imagined it was a step one year into the future. Then another step, for another year- were the first roads being excavated, and garden beds dug? Five years with the next step- were clusters of houses already built, with the Community Hall and Kitchens already servicing us? Twenty years with the next step: how tall were the new generation of fig trees we’d planted? How many new babies had been born? Had we buried some of our elders? Final step: 100 years. We would all almost certainly have passed on, but what legacy had we left behind, for healthy living with the Earth?

boneAndsilver blog 'Day 7'

#Australia #ecovillage #permaculture #nature #over50blogger @boneAndsilver

It’s been a fascinating experience, and thank you for sharing it with me, dearest Readers. As my disclaimer, all these observations, opinions, and reportings are my own, and I have excluded activities for confidentiality or brevity. I have no idea if I’m ever going to live on the Eco Village, but I’ve certainly done a good investigation. I drove away feeling both exhausted and exhilarated, as well as curious about the next instalment; I am considering joining the ‘Future residents working group’, meeting fortnightly, to see how I keep engaging…

Any observations or suggestions from the outside? 

In gratitude for my blessed life in Australia, where community living can be just one of many positive options available to an ageing woman, G xO

PS: Day One (Eco Village Design & values), Day Two (Non-Violent Communication/NVC), Day Three (Dynamic Governance/Sociocracy), Day Four (Permaculture/Deep Ecology), Day Five (alternative Economics), and Day Six (Conflict Resolution/Deep Ecology) conveniently linked here for you xx

Random/Reblog Thursday: I stand with her #guncontrol

America has just had its 29th mass shooting this year. There have been 45 days so far in 2018. What the hell are you all doing over there? This is a great and visceral response to it which I had to share, and stand beside her in her distress. Please visit.

In gratitude for gun control in Australia, G xO 

I try to write carefully on this blog. I try to be thoughtful, to be careful of what I say and how I say it. I try not to be awful. But I have learned a terrible, terrible truth today, and this post will focus on that fact. I am afraid that my words will […]

via My Terrible Truth — Empty Nest, Full Life

Trees will save the world #gratitude #nature #wellbeing #over50

Day Six, & my favourite day of the Eco Village Intensive

Trees will save the world #gratitude #nature #wellbeing #over50

Buttress roots holding the earth like fingers #permaculture #ecovillage #Australia #nature #organic #wellbeing #over50blogger @boneAndsilver

Let’s imagine 200 of you bone&silver Blog readers want to live with me in a community (and why wouldn’t you). How would we make that work? And more importantly, what would we do when it wasn’t working?

Carol Perry is co-founder of Dharmanada Community, established for over 40 years- they have dinner together 5 nights a week, and grow 70-80% of their own food, including running a dairy and making their own butter and cheese! She is a dispute mediator and mindful communication teacher, plus cute and fun to listen to. She ended up travelling Australia doing Conflict Resolution presentations and mediations, right up to the corporate world. So she knows her stuff; she could help us out.

What happens when we get triggered? We’ve learnt about arguing before here on bone&silver haven’t we?

We lose all our intentions for harmonious, cooperative living, and just want to be Right.

She started her presentation by saying the most wonderful thing:

“My first Invitation to you all is that all the parts of you are Welcome, and I have all the room in the world for all your parts.”

Trees will save the world #gratitude #nature #wellbeing #over50

Buttress roots holding the earth like fingers #permaculture #ecovillage #Australia #nature #organic #wellbeing #over50blogger @boneAndsilver

Then she turned away, and let that sink over us in silence for several minutes.

I was shocked to find myself nearly crying, and many others felt the same. Then she gathered us into our bodies with a few awareness exercises, including breathing of course [Seems like there’s gonna be an awful lot of breathing on this community].

“Living in Community is a big Cauldron of Life and Challenge- you’re actually choosing to tune in and really FEEL your life. There’s no Right or Wrong; it’s just Being.”

She talked about childhood patterns of conflict, and a strategy for really dealing with very uncomfortable issues as an adult:

  • Feel the feeling
  • Identify it
  • Work out the Need behind it
  • VALIDATE that Need to yourself (a very important step- ‘I’m allowed to have this Need’)
  • Request to have the Need met
Trees will save the world #gratitude #nature #wellbeing #over50

Buttress roots holding the earth like fingers #permaculture #ecovillage #Australia #nature #organic #wellbeing #over50blogger @boneAndsilver

Easy peasy right? Well, if you’re NOT finding it easy, that’s because you may have been sucked into The Power Game Triangle… where different parts of our triggered selves react to the other person’s: The Persecutor, The ‘Victim’, or The Rescuer. We’re not staying centred and empowered, from which to take compassionate, generous actions.

I really felt taken care of by Carol, and that she had a great grasp of the fundamental skills needed to live within a tribe, and function well. We practised various exercises, and we all agreed that if there was trouble, we were gonna call her, rather than the Ghostbusters.

After lunch, our main facilitator Shane explained that our deep Values as a community can help glue us together- Dharmanada has a Buddhist philosophy for example. He explained the 8 identified healthy ways we can connect with ‘spirit’ or a higher power, or God/Buddha/Allah/Ganesh for example:

  1. Meditation
  2. Yoga/Martial arts
  3. Dance, esp Ecstatic or 5Rhythms
  4. Song/Music/Chanting
  5. Nature
  6. Creativity/Art
  7. Prayer
  8. Reading/Study

I’d never really thought about it so clearly- we split into the practice we most aligned ourselves with, and then thought about ways we could increase that in our ideal Community- I easily built an amazing dance studio with sprung wooden floor, glass windows overlooking Nature, and the latest surround-sound system. Come join me anytime.

Trees will save the world #gratitude #nature #wellbeing #over50

Buttress roots holding the earth like fingers #permaculture #ecovillage #Australia #nature #organic #wellbeing #over50blogger @boneAndsilver

We finished the day with the incredible John Seed again, of Deep Ecology – “… an ecological and environmental philosophy promoting the inherent worth of living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs”- Wikipedia 2018

You can do this yourself: look out at a green view of trees, then spend 5 minutes breathing out the carbon dioxide they need, and breathing in the oxygen they provide which we need.

“Breathe out Carbon Dioxide, breathe in Oxygen.

Breathe out Generosity, breathe in Gratitude.”


‘Tropical Tuesday’? It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?

[While the negotiations with ’17’ re the continuation of ‘Teenage Tuesday’ are ongoing, I thought I could try this one instead…]

That feeling when it’s 10am, already 32 degrees C (90 F), 100% humidity, and you’re cleaning the house energetically for the imminent arrival of your interstate love ‘H’, when you kneel on the floor to vacuum under the bed, and stand back up looking like this:

The glamour of vacuuming under the bed and getting dusty

#notagoodlook #over50 #selfcare #humor


Day 5: An alternative to the Economic System via an Eco Village

Altar to a new way of learning and living, with wellbeing and the environment paramount

#Permaculture #ecovillage #Australia #over50blogger #wellbeing #gratitude @boneAndsilver

We need an Intergenerational rebellion! That was the essence of the presentation by Helena Norberg-Hodge, an author, filmmaker, Global Eco Village founder and pioneer of the ‘new economy’ movement. Check her out, especially her film The Economics of Happiness (trailer here).

Did you know that under the current economic system of trade agreements, governments can actually be sued by the Multinationals if they bring in any legislation which affects their profit-making capacity?? Countries literally export and import the same product, such as beef in America, and 97% of ‘money’ is made of thin air and run by algorithms.

*shakes her head in disbelief and sadness

Sushi for a healthy lunch, handmade, full of nutrition and care

#Permaculture #ecovillage #Australia #over50blogger #wellbeing #nature #gratitude @boneAndsilver

But WE can BE the change! Despite all the depressing facts and figures she has collated from round the world, Helena remained positive, and upbeat, with a simple yet profound call to change direction from a global economy to a local one.  And shopping locally at the Farmers’ Markets is a gold-star resistance action-  did you know people have TEN TIMES more conversations at the Markets than the supermarket? We also need to:

  • Join the Eco Village movement
  • Support the ‘local food’ movement- buy locally grown
  • Use local financial investment services
  • Join the ‘Slow Food’ movement
  • Celebrate life with creative engagement, not a daily grind

 ~ Connect ~ Resist ~ Renew ~ 

Imagine what you/we could do with our days if we weren’t working 9-5 to pay a mortgage? The creative possibilities were all around me at the retreat centre:

You/we could spend more time in Nature, walking with our families, growing food, meditating, swimming, enjoying our time on this planet together:

We then studied Social Enterprise, after the delicious homemade brown rice vegetarian sushi lunch, which would be an income opportunity on the Eco Village, for the Eco Village (such as a café, a bakery, a Wellness Centre for massage/acupuncture/meditation etc, a pre-fabricated hemp building blocks business, a weekly Open Day, or dance/yoga residential retreats).

The key is “Right Livelihood”, according to Buddhist principles, in that we align ourselves with work that resists the Commodification of Everything, and nurtures a respect of the planet, plus our grandchildren’s children’s children.

boneAndsilver blog 'Day 5'

#Permaculture #ecovillage #Australia #over50blogger #wellbeing #nature #gratitude @boneAndsilver

For me, this Intensive asks us to truly examine what we know is wrong with the World– the super powers of Multinational companies; massive monoculture farming; huge global inequities of access to resources such as clean water and reliable food; Climate Change; lack of uptake of renewable energies (especially here in Australia- WHY IS EVERY ROOF NOT COVERED IN SOLAR PANELS? And yes, I’m shouting again); a growing sense of disconnection, especially among the young, as Youth Suicide rates climb every year…

And then offers the actual, proven, possible, challenging but rewarding possibility to change all that, and live in alignment with the Earth, and a sustainable, regenerative future.

It’s definitely getting my vote so far.

Wild ginger flower in Australia retreat centre eco village intensive

#Permaculture #ecovillage #Australia #over50blogger #wellbeing #nature #gratitude @boneAndsilver

But it’s a long way from the dreaming of it today, to the reality of it in 2-5 years. So we also had a talk by a lawyer with over 40 years experience of litigating with, and establishing the legal parameters of, many ‘intentional communities’/’multiple occupancies’/’community title ventures in Australia. Smart move if you ask me.

More to come tomorrow, if you missed Day One, Day Two, Day Three, or Day Four here.

In gratitude for the simplicity of swimming in a saltwater pool, or the sweet yellow zing of a native red ginger flower, G xO