Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Extraordinary Outdoors Has Moved!

Hi all! It's a new year, and that means it's time for some new adventures! And Mia and I are off to an exciting new adventure, as we've moved to Somerset County in Maine!

While we're here, we're going to explore what the surrounding area has to offer for hiking, camping, fishing and hunting. And we want you to join us!

If you're interested in having an Extraordinary Outdoors event near you, please email me at miasmomma06@gmail.com. Stay tuned for some great outdoor hikes and and outings in the very near future!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Time has slipped away from me. In the blink of an eye a couple of years has flown so quickly that I desperately long to pluck them from my memories and have them re materialize in hopes of a do over. Having made the move to better Mia's schooling, much has changed on the financial front. And while I would do it all over again and again for her benefit, work has consumed nearly all of my free time in an effort to keep up with the costs of every day living. Mia and I have not been able to enjoy our favorite things nearly as much as we would like to, and I feel as though we've become stuck in a rut. 

That is soon to change. 

In the midst of work, work, and more work, and old dream has revived itself. Since I can remember, I have dreamt of having a small house in the middle of nowhere. A place where Mia and I can truly connect with the natural world around us. Where we can live simply, live independently, and as sustainably as we possibly can. 

As a single mom in a unique financial situation, it seemed that the dream would have little chance of coming to fruition. And then five or so years ago I picked up on an article about a couple abandoning their materialistic way of life for a much smaller, simpler venture. They built their very own tiny house and away they went. 

Instantly, I was in love with this idea, and started daydreaming about being able to do the same for Mia and I. But again, I thought that finances would simply get in the way. I was barely scraping by, and coming up with money to buy land and build even a small house seems impossible. And, silly me, I worried about how others would perceive this idea of living in a tiny house with a child. Would I be seen as a crazy, reckless mom? A simplistic woman teacher her child a simpler way of life? A general weirdo in a world that revolves around material belongings and "net worth". 

Fast forward a few years, and (forgive the phrasing) my give a damn is completely busted. How I want to love really isn't anyone's business but my own. If my daughter and I are happy, and she has a safe, warm, Comfortable place to call home, does the size of the place we call home really matter? 

Not one damned bit. Working 24/7 to keep up with high rent payments, high mortgage payments, and high utility costs, holds little value to me. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not lazy, and I am certainly not afraid of some good old fashioned hard work (and many can attest to this). But in the grand scheme of things, is it really worth slaving your life away for so many material possessions that you simply can't enjoy because you have to work so much just to have them sitting around the house collecting dust? Not in my book. 

So today, I made the first step in moving Mia and I towards a more financially stable, independent way of living. I purchased a 19' camper from some dearly wonderful people. This camper is not usable as is. But what can be used is its frame. On this frame, I intend to build Mia and I the most comfortable, affordable, and (someday) energy independent little house. 

This house will be small, but what it will lack in size it will make up for in efficiency, and peace of mind. We will lack absolutely nothing in the way of comfort as we will have the amenities of any large house. What we will be forgoing is a high cost of living, and having to be completely dependent on grid living, debt, and having our home planted in one permanent place.  

It's going to be an adventure for us, and though it's small in scale, it's going to be one of the biggest adventures of our lives! We will be documenting our process here, I have created a tab above dedicated to our tiny home adventure. I have also started a fundraising page in hopes that a few kind souls might help us along our way to achieve our dream a little faster. My hope is to have the house completed and livable by the coming fall. 

Any left over proceeds from the fundraising page will be used to help another family start their tiny home dream, and future families as well. 

The Start of Our Big, Tiny, Project!

Last week, I was finally able to get the base of our little house to our current residence. This little camper is going to be the start of our tiny house adventure. We're going to be demolishing what's left of the actual camper, cleaning and strengthening the frame, and extending it an additional 5 feet to make the base a total of 8.5 foot by 24.5 foot for the frame.

Now that the frame is here, it's time to start acquiring more materials to start the build. I'd like to use as many recycled pieces as possible, and pallet wood is going to play a big role in the finished product. I do, however, need to get some framing lumber. I've figured out that just the 2 by 6 studs for the walls only will run about $500.00 all said and done. Not including framing for the lofts, roofs, and main floor. If anyone has any building materials that they're looking to get of of their hands, Mia and I would be more than happy to take them off of your hands! Donations to our GoFundMe account would help greatly as well!

Now, it's time to tear things apart!
The start of our tiny house!
The slight mishap while in transit

I thought flat tires were going to be an issue during the haul home. We burned some rubber instead! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas from an Autism Aspect

Merry Christmas to all of our friends, family and followers! We wish you a bright holiday season and a Happy New Year.

I wanted to share Christmas from our aspect today. From the Autism Aspect. Mia’s first Christmas was a typical first. She was six months old, and wanted to play with nothing except for the wrapping paper that hid the wondrous play things beneath it.


As the years progressed, Mia showed little interest in unwrapping gifts. She does not do the whole “Santa” thing. And she could care less about an Elf on her shelf. In fact, to Mia, it’s just the time of year when there’s a tree in the house instead of out, with lights on it and things under it.

While many people will gasp at this stark contrast to how a kid would usually grow up loving Christmas and getting excited for the big guy in the red suit to show up, there are many out there that go through this holiday season much in the same way Mia and I do. Many are upset about it, and I can’t say that I wasn’t at first. But now, at our seventh year of Christmas together, I’ve got nothing but positives about it.

So, I decided to share some of my favorite parts of Christmas from our unique Autism Aspect.

Traditions are still traditions, even if they’re not the traditional kind. Every year, we drive around looking for the best Christmas light shows….in new Christmas jammies! We also visit “the big one” at the L.L. Bean store in Freeport. Mia gets more excited at the idea of looking for lights then she does about bringing in a Christmas tree!


Save the paper, hold the bows. Mia will peek under wrapping paper when she is shown how to unwrap a gift. But unless it’s fully available to her, she just thinks it’s something under there that she can’t play with. Unwrapped presents under the tree are her favorite. She immediately knows those toys are for her, instead of wondering what those brightly wrapped cubes are.

Big ticket items are usually the simplest. One year, as a stocking stuffer, I found Mia one of those toys that has all the pins in it that shows your hand print or whatever when you put it on something. It was at our local Walmart and I thought that it would make a great sensory toy for her. When she found it in her stocking, it was her most favored toy of the day. Best $5.00 I had spent all season!

Twenty toys, ten toys, two toys, ONE?! As a single mom, money is always tight. While most people are scrambling to put a pile of gifts under the tree for their kids, I don’t really have to uphold to all that pressure. With Mia, she could care less if there were one toy, or a hundred toys under that tree. She’s happy with anything that is given to her. (Of course, I try to spoil her as best as I can every year regardless!)


Bake those cookies, for MOM!! I don’t know when this started, or why Mia made the association, but we do bake cookies for Christmas just like most people do. We put them on a plate and set them on a table next to the tree. After a while, Mia started bringing the plate back to me. When I set it down, she started bringing the cookies to me, and then wouldn’t leave me alone until I started eating them. Now, we bake cookies, set them on the table along with a plate of Cheeze-it’s and skittles, and then Mia brings both plates to the couch and we sit and snack. Different? Yes. Adorable? Absolutely!

Let’s go pick out the toys! Most kids start circling things in ads or making wish lists shortly after Thanksgiving. But a kid who can’t talk or write, doesn’t have the ability to tell me what she want’s for Christmas. But, she sure can show me! Every year, we make a trip to local toy stores, and I let Mia show me what she really likes, and I interpret it as what she really wants. I take pictures with my phone and go back later to get them. I win by making sure she gets things she will really use, and she wins by getting things she picked out in her own unique Christmas list!

What can we fit into this year? Every year, Mia likes to cram herself into the tightest spaces she can find. The past few years, she has chosen to do the stocking dance. Next year, I’m going to have to make her a bigger stocking, because this year she couldn’t fit into it!


Mia gives the best gifts ever! Most kids either help pick out a gift, or make a gift for their parents for Christmas. Where Mia is so sensory based, she has a hard time constructing things, so handmade Mia gifts are hard to come by. But that’s ok. Mia fills my life with smiles, love, kisses, and cuddles, every day of the year. She is the best all around gift, and I couldn’t be happier with being blessed to have her in my life!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! May you feel joy and happiness this season, and throughout your lives!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Need a Little Help From My Fellow Bloggers Please!!

Recently, I've noticed on my dashboard that I've got comments on some of my posts. BUT, the comment tab is now gone, and I can not see the comments that have been left, nor can I make them available to the public side of my blog! GGRRRRR!!!!!

Has anyone else had this problem at all, and could you please tell me how I can go about seeing these comments and make them available to the public?? Internet searches have turned up nothing useful.

Thanks!!!!! Also, please email me with your response since I can't see the comments here!! miasmomma06@gmail.com

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's Time To Hike!

November is fast approaching, and Mia and I would like to know where YOU want to hike!! Our last two group outings ended up being Mia and I outings, so we want to hear some feedback from our followers on where you'd like to hike, along with a time that works best for you and your little ones!

Feel free to email us at miasmomma06@gmail.com with your suggestions, or facebook us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Extraordinary-Outdoors/219540621426350

We hope to put together a great hike for mid to late November, and hope to hear from you all soon! :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First School Day Blues (For Mommy) and Brights: A Recount of the Last Year

Mia is seven years old. SEVEN!!! How on earth did this time go so quickly?!

Today in our area. It's the first day of school for many kids, but for Mia it's just another day of school. At age two, she started developmental therapy. And since that day she has been in school all year, every year, minus a week of "vacation" here and there.

I'm scrolling through my friends posts on Facebook, seeing all the pictures of their kids in their first day best outfits, bright and ready for the first day. And I break down into a sentimental mommy moment. I don't get to celebrate this mile stone.

Or do I?

In between my tears, I start to realize that while Mia and I may not get to share the typical mommy daughter moments, we do still have our moments. And those moments are wonderful and filled with so much joy, pride and love.

And even though this isn't her "first" day of the school year, it does mark a new adventure. She is technically a first grader this year. And in the previous year she's made so much progress.

She's learned to go potty like a big girl. She's learned to play appropriately with her peers. She's on the way to a solid form of communication, first using a picture exchange program that had small benefits, to signing for drink, eat, all done, and help!!

She's become more interested in the animal world. She now pets Molly and Camo, our yellow lab and black lab puppies. She pets our chickens earn I bring one to her. We went to the topsham fair where she freely petted sheep, goats, horses, and even a pot belly pig!

And, one accomplishment that I'm very proud of, Mia now waves and says hello to people, and waves goodbye, and almost always completely unprompted!! And yes, she even waves at all her animal friends too! :)

So even though I'm being sentimental mommy today, Mia and I have much to celebrate. We're on to
the next school year, and I can't wait to see what her accomplishments will be in the next 365 days!!

Checking the chicken coop for eggs!
 Feild day at school!
 Ferris wheel ride at the Topsham Fair!
Best buddies!!