Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The House has a new Hat

it has been an eventful week.  Last Wednesday the roofers started tearing off the old roof shingles.  In two and a half days they had it all done through some of the worst weather.  It was below freezing, sleeting, hailing, snowing and blowing.  I certainly admire their dedication and fortitude.  This was one project my feet stayed firmly on the ground.  My only job was to provide steaming coffee to cold workers.

Watch out for Lolita!!

On Saturday morning at 6:30 the truck arrived to deliver the shingles.  My nerves were frazeled by the time they had them on the roof.


Fortunately, the experienced driver moved the shingles onto the roof without any accidents.

I however, may never be the same!   
The roofing was done in one day with the ridgecap installed the next morning. 

And the finished roof will satisfy any inspector and homeowner.

     It feels good to have one more step completed.  
I'm certainly ready to be DONE!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Are You Ready for the The Pantry Challenge?

The elimination of all the things that I have accumulated over the years certainly didn't end in the kitchen. I have already purged a large accumulation of appliances and kitchen gadgets. But it doesn't end there. After cooking for children and groups of people I have also accumulated a large pantry of spices and and food items.
Here is my pantry in all it's glory

Some of the items are no-brainers.  When I applied the "have you used it in the last year, they didn't make the cut. Then of course there are the items that are clearly outdated!!  They won't be making the transition to the trailer either.  I certainly can't take them all with me so I have been using an interesting method to use up the remaining items that I have on hand.

I have found a number of online recipe sites where you list the ingredients you have on hand and a list pops up with recipes with the ingredients in them....  See good things come to those who spend time on computers!

So here are a couple of my favorite sites.  These will come in handy in the RV when food storage is limited. 

Ingredients on Hand
http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,ingredients_on_hand,FF.html  Type in some items you have on hand and the web-site will give you a number of options using some of the items. 

  The Leftover Wizard
http://www.bigoven.com/recipes/leftovers  Search 160,000+ recipes at once. This one is kind of fun, because it seems more interactive than most. As you input each ingredient, the # of recipes available to you automatically changes — as do the photos of the ingredients you just entered.

 Play with these planners and enter some unusual combinations of ingredients and see what creative recipes you come up with. So whether you are starting with raw ingredients or using up leftovers... these websites will help you make the most of the ingredients you have on hand.

They are helping me to use.... reduce....eliminate!!

Are you ready for the pantry challenge?

So what unusual ingredients can you come up with for dinner?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When I Grow Up




I Don't Want to be



I have spent my entire adult life trying to chase the American Dream.   Oh, there were moments of enlightenment (in the early 70's I participated in food coops, natural childbirth and parent run preschool groups.)  There were lots of moments where money was scarce and I was only able to plan to buy the American dream.  But I bought the American Dream, hook line and sinker. So after nearly 45 years of accumulation of debt, junk and shattered dreams, I am embracing a new dream.


What's that you say.... Not exactly a novel thought.  You are right!  It has been talked about for a long, long time.  The problem is it hasn't been practiced for an even longer time.  We look back at our Grandparents generation, who lived through the Great Depression and don't understand their frugality.  But they lived the consequences of grand dreams, short-sighted planning or an unstable economy.  They lived with World Wars that changed the landscape of their personal economy and availability of goods and services in a way that today's hoarders have no concept or understanding.  

I bought in to the dream.  I sought to have a better life.... (defined as more stuff, bigger house, fancier car ) than our parents and Grandparents. 

Don't get me wrong....This is not a judgement as I have been in the cashiers line accumulating my stuff with the best of them.  I have bought the best I could manage and hope for the best.  I have a five bedroom house that has been crammed to the rafters with the stuff I couldn't live without.  After a while, the stuff owned me.  I kept accumulating the newest and the best and continued to maintain and store the depreciating or outdated as I was never quite sure when I might need it. 

Here is a perfect illustration. After all how many saddles does one horsewoman need?  I still have my first saddle I ever bought, a show saddle, a kids saddle and and English saddle.  I can only ride in one saddle at a time.  I even have a tack room to house all the tack for my horse.

So again.... How many saddles did I need

I discovered a long time ago, the rush from obtaining the new and best item only lasts a brief moment.  The cost, upkeep and time needed to maintain or repair it all lasts much, much longer. So the pursuit of the American Dream then involved buying large and eventually small items on credit.  The weight of carrying the payments around has fueled a false economy based on what you can finance rather than your incoming currency.  In addition, I had no time or energy to enjoy it all.  The job to earn the money to pay off the ever accumulating debt and the energy required to maintain the stuff already possessed was crushing me.

I have observed many who have traded the bills and credit of living in a mortgaged life  in a sticks and bricks house for the best road vehicle and home with wheels  that (all) their money can buy....

Have they traded one master for another? 

I can't answer for them.... I am not sure I can even answer for me.  But I can say that it is not important for  ME to continue down that path.

This is not intended as a judgement of any life style or path that someone might choose.  It is only a reflection of my path and current thinking about my future. 


I am at a cross roads.  I am unable and unwilling to maintain it all. 
I am on a path of reducing what I own and what owns me.
I am planning a budget that includes an emergency fund but NO credit or debt.
I am determined to live life rather than juggle it.

I ask .... Why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What a Difference a Day Can Make

This is part two of the bathroom makeover. 

I could just kick my self for not taking a picture of the bathroom before I started.  It seems to be my forte to begin (often before thinking it through) and then take a picture sometime in the middle.  

Hence, the gutted bathroom of yesterdays picture.
It took longer to paint the bathroom than it did to put it back together again.

I have always loved the home remodel shows on television although I could never understand why people put money into their houses to sell instead of putting money into their houses to enjoy.  Well, now know I've learned why.  You are spending money to make the house more marketable, competing with houses at the price point you want to be.

During the thirteen years that I lived here there never seemed to be enough money to invest in the house.  All of my investment capital lived in the pasture eating hay and well, you get the picture! 

So here is the finished bathroom..... 

I'm pretty pleased with the finished product.

The view from the throne

It sure beats the 1970's bathroom!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

It All Started With a Little Paint...

March 1 is fast approaching.  The date I selected to have the house ready and will be signing the papers to have it listed to be officially for sale.   While getting my house ready for the real estate market I have walked through the house with 'buyers eyes'  looking for all the little defects that will catch a buyers attention.  I have been attending to some of those details such as re-staining all the moldings and doors and re-calking in the bathrooms.   I also noticed that condensation in one of my bathrooms caused some mild mildew stains.  So I decided to paint the bathroom.

I finished painting the bathroom last night.... See what you think!

 The bathroom is now a soft beige and most important without any mildew.  A little paint should do it!!

What's that you say..... "Where is the rest of the bathroom?" 
It's in the front yard!

don't you love the blue and white patterned linoleum.  It was matched up with a blue marbled countertop!

Don't you love how when you start with one little thing it leads to one more little thing?  And before you know it..... It is a really big thing.

Lesson to be learned..... beware of a determined woman with a hammer!!

Stay tuned .... to see the finished bathroom.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Buyers' Remorse

I love old TV programs... You tube is a great place to find once forgotten relics of fun to enjoy again and again.
A great Pilot Episode of Fibber McGee and Molly is all about buying a vintage trailer! The episode is broken into three links below....... 
This episode is a comedic look at buyers remorse.  Have you ever suffered from this all to common malady?
If you want to just see the trailers start at 6:00 on the first link as that is where it begins with the Trailer Show!!!!!
1 of 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9kf4wK_IWI
2 of 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFi7jsNPEgs
3 of 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAD28_s_sw4
When I bought Lolita, I haven't suffered a moment's regret.  No buyers remorse for me!  In fact the opposite is true.  I have found many trailers that would be more suitable for Full-Timing.  But I can't bring myself to part with Lolita.  What are a little inconveniences, like a bathroom and refrigerator!!  Stay tuned for updates to see how I cope with these, thought to be essential luxuries!  (Wouldn't you love to peak into the future to see where I will be and WHAT I'm living in five years from now.... 
Sorry no peaking allowed, It is all about the journey, my friend!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Anxiety Girl

My dear friend just bought her new home on wheels.  I had expected to hear gleeful shouts of anticipation as she has a plan....
                      a home....
                                                          and anxiety.
Now that the time is here to give notice on her apartment, the vexing problem of anxiety has robbed her of the joy and anticipation of the launch.

I am approximately one month behind her in my departure date.  Will my old companion anxiety come calling for me too. 

According to Wikipedia - Anxiety (also called angst or worry) is a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. It is the displeasing feeling of fear and concern.  Anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness, and dread.   It can also cause feelings of restlessness, fatigue, concentration problems, and muscle tension.  Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to a stressor. It may help an individual to deal with a demanding situation by prompting them to cope with it.  Anxiety can be confused with fear. However, fear is concrete, (a real danger) whereas anxiety is the paranoia of something out there that seems menacing but may not be menacing, and, indeed, may not even be out there.

Enough of that dribble.

I will admit right here, right now, the one anxiety that follows me around on every adventure.  It happens almost like clock work.  I slip behind the wheel of the truck.  I start the engine.  I take off to parts uncharted and unknown.  Here is is.... the creeping thought that takes over my mind.  "What if I can't find a place to park?"  I don't have the funds to just show up in a campground.  I love the idea of boondocking but the reality of not knowing where I will land does create my own angst during the travel.  Once I have decided on a nightly home I find renew excitement and joy..... until the ignition turns on the next departure moment.

Do you suppose that Columbus had camp anxiety too?     

Ok.... there I have said it!  Be gone old foe, anxiety!!

I have too much to do to get ready for my own departure date.  I need to focus on what is real and what needs to be done.  One of my best coping skills is my ability to problem solve and create a new option when none seem apparent.   But the moment between defining the obstacle and choosing a course of action leaves me ripe for the seduction of anxiety.

Anxiety has the power to strip you of deliberate action and thought.  Anxiety comes calling in the quiet hours of morning when you should be fast asleep. Anxiety creeps in when the work is all but done and the new beginnings are ever so near. 

Is that doubt you whispered in my ear???
                 Are feelings of helplessness stalking my indomitable spirit?

Be gone my evil foe!!!

Anxiety Girl......You are my new pal....

 Vanquish all Anxiety! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Making Dreams Come True

It has been a busy couple of days.  Yesterday I made another trip to the dump with my little pick-up.

 I must be crazy.... I love going to the dump.

As hard as the work is, it is also freeing.   I drive away from the garbage transfer station... one step closer to my dreams.

Each day another step.

Each day one step closer.

Thursday I paid a handyman to help me take apart the sliding glass door to the patio.  We cleaned it and put it back together again and it slides like a greased pig.  It has been important for me to recognize that sometimes I need help and find a way to just get it done.  Two hours with a handyman is a lot less expensive than a new slider door with installation.

Friday I worked on the bathroom.  I re-stained a cabinet above the toilet. Spilled a can of stain on me and the bathtub.  Not to worry, the bathtub and I cleaned up with paint thinner and a lot of Dawn soap.  I swear Dawn Soap works miracles.  It should be in every RV emergency kit along with duct tape and WD 40.

In honesty I should admit I fell off the counter in the bathroom.  I know I shouldn't be standing on the counter.  For heavens sake I have enough trouble standing on solid land.  But I did manage to stain the wood next to the ceiling before my tumble.  I'm a bit sore but fortunately I wasn't badly hurt.....this time.  I must be more careful, as I certainly don't need any more broken bones.

Today I was fortunate to have some help.  My son-in-law and his friend came with a big pick-up and we loaded yard waste and old yard toys and off to the dump they went.  An old work bench from down stairs, a broken chest of drawers and much more that I had piled up.

Gone, Gone, Gone!

My handyman was back this afternoon with a solid wood replacement front door.  He picked it up at Habitat for Humanity for $15.  Two hours later and it's in place to welcome a new owner.

I'm pooped and  I'm done for the day.   I hope I have the energy to eat!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Need a Mental Break!!

Making decisions about everything I own is HARD WORK!!  Keep this, ditch that.... Did I really keep this all this time?  I need a mental vacation, a few moments to ponder all that I am working towards. So I'm going to take you to a different place.
 (I have had it with all this cleaning, sorting, etc!!)

I love to hike.  I am an explorer at heart.  The lure of what is around the next corner, hill or turn, can keep me going for miles and miles.  I am also somewhat of a klutz so I need both hands free at all times to TRY and keep myself safe.  I have always kept a small back pack ready at a moments notice with items that I might need on a hike. I really didn't like the pack as it made me feel off center and that is the last thing someone who is NOT sure on their feet needs.

Last summer while on one of my adventures, I thought of a great solution.  A fishing vest with lots of pockets to keep all the little items in.  I mentioned it to Auntie and low and behold on Christmas, Auntie Santa found me the perfect vest.

vest front

 Look at all the pockets.  There are also loops that I can hang an emergency whistle from the vest hoops.  Pockets for a cell phone that can zip closed so I don't drop it.  Plenty of room for a first aid kit,  chap stick, sun screen, Handi-wipes, Kleenex, snacks, car keys and identification and emergency information.


The material is a close weave which should help to prevent snagging it on branches or other protrusions.  On the back side is a light weight netting that will be cool allowing plenty of ventilation and look..... three more pockets for a total of 27 pockets.  WOW!!    

Where, you may ask is do you carry water ?

I hate to carry bulky water bottles, so these are my new water bottles.  They come in different sizes and colors are reusable. The lay flay win not filled.  Perfect.  I plan on putting extra water in the back pockets which will have a cooling effect. A collapsible water bottle for me, a collapsible water dish for Furby!

collapsible water bottle
dog water dish

Mike at "Mello Mike's RV and Off Road Adventures" did a great post on
Making Your Own Survival Tin
Here is the link to his post.....

Now I don't need to fill ALL of the pockets but... 
 Making sure I have all that I need with on a day hike is important....
What things do you carry with you?

Now where shall we go???

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

No Pain! No Gain!

I met with the realtors and came up with a game plan.  More cleaning, sorting, disposing.......when it comes down to it.... It all has to go.  I have hardwood floors in the living room that are in really rough shape so we decided to lay carpet over them.  It will give a clean first impression.  Certainly a better first impression that the hardwood floors.

They came up with a couple more things to be done so yesterday I set out to find a handyman to help me get done what I cannot do on my own.  There are some scary people out there masquerading as handymen.  After talking with a few and having a couple look at the work I need done I decided on one and he will start on Thursday.  So onward I go.

 Next weekend if the weather cooperates (big if in winter wonderland I will be starting on the outside.  My son in law will be available one day next weekend with his pick up so we will be making more runs to the dump.  The yard is definitely looks worse than I recall from fall.  Now if it just doesn't snow before than.

I am certainly battling  feelings of being overwhelmed.  Sometimes paralyzed.  But the next day, it is all here waiting for me again.  I just have to push past the feelings to get it done.  This must be the pain they are talking about with the no pain, no gain.  Well I'm feeling plenty of pain!! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Free Kindle Book

This is just a short post today.  I am madly working on my house getting ready for my first realtor to come this weekend.  The rooms are beginning to come together and certainly look bigger and more organized than they were.  Why are there still so many things I still want to do?  But I am going ahead and talking with the realtors to get their input on what things I need to focus on.  My goal is to be done with the house my mid-February..... so I'm pushing ahead hard.   Wish me luck!!

On another topic. 


I ran across this free Kindle book about Workamping. today and wondered if any readers might be interested in taking a look at it.

I certainly have read a number of blogs about workamping so I am going to gather some more information.  I certainly want to consider all the options.  But I suppose I'll have to get over some of my wonder lust first.

All of my adult life I have had so many other people to consider that I have never been able to go where I want, when I want and do what I want.  It feels selfish to me to say that out loud but I know that for at least a while I need to spread my wings and just wonder as suits me for that day.  I certainly want to continue to learn about all the options and find what fits for me.  Who knows what the future will bring?