Our favorite mistakes

Here’s an abbreviated gallery of mistakes we’ve made:

We’ve been baking in our grill and it doesn’t really work. Takes forever even if we use the smallest containers we have. When we don’t have room to fit containers inside (they can’t get too close to the flame) I’ve put some on top, and once, when moving a pyrex bowl to the side, it shattered. Must’ve been too cold on the grill’s side table (can’t imagine how that can be cold, but clearly it was). We’ve lost more dishes to the concrete floor, but thanks to Capula we have enough.

First time we went to Costco we ended up with a box of sugar packets, rather than a box of sugar. We could blame it on not reading the Spanish carefully, but truly, I made the same mistake in the US years ago!

After opening packet by packet each time I baked for a month or two, I finally got tired of it and sat down with a podcast and opened every single one, pouring the sugar into a container. The packets became mulch in the gardens. No waste!

When we first arrived en El Terreno we expected to get robbed a lot. So Phillip quickly built a shed and we dug a root cellar underneath for hidden storage. We haven’t used it much since we’ve only had one theft and no one has come onto the land without our knowledge (ha, in our knowledge, you know?)

Well…we did have one tub of books and gear under there - stuff we were keeping in “storage” outside the van. These tubs have proven themselves rainproof. We never considered whether they were pond-proof, since we didn’t plan to have them underwater.

Not only did everything get soaked, it sat in water getting stinky like a swamp. We lay each item out, rinsed and rinsed, sunned and sunned, and salvaged most of the gear a handful of books.

But sunning the books put them in rain’s way, so we spread them throughout the kitchen where we constantly tripped over these reminders of our idiocy.

After weeks of hoping the problems would resolve themselves, the pages would unstick, the smell would dissipate, I got too grouchy about the mess and we found the handful of books that can still be read, and I’m mulching trees with the rest.

We’re glad to have a roof over the outhouse since it rains so much these days. Somehow our toilet paper got soaked anyway (maybe from the ground up?) and we used one roll (sustainability and all) but it was yellowish with gray flecks of mildew, and I tossed the 2nd wet roll out. We can afford some new tp. Now we have a Costco pack with individually-plastic-wrapped rolls, which is truly wasteful…and handy en El Terreno.

Guess what else rain has ruined?

The first time we made a solar dehydrator we went full simple. It lasted about six rounds of drying, because by then it had been rained on three times and couldn’t hold shape any longer.

Our new one is much sturdier and working well. We’ll post about it another day.


Bob Gross September 27, 2018

I love the relaxed confidence and recognition of the human condition behind this sharing of mistakes. Good example for all of us, and fun to read and identify with!

Anna Lisa Gross September 28, 2018

Thank you! It’s good to confess these mistakes publically:-)

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