Saturday, March 29, 2014

And There Was Light!

The last post reported progress in Lolita's getting ready for the road trip.  At long last I can report that all lights are properly working.

I last left you with the interior lights taken apart looking for a simple fix.  This of course was not to be.  Step two was to check voltage from each light as it looped through the trailer as we looked for a short.  The short was between light three and four out of seven. The loop of lights snakes through the ceiling and walls and would not allow a new wire to be threaded threw so it required some creative decorating to cover where the wire needed to travel on an interior wall. It is now barely visible and I'm sure that no one will ever notice that it is there.  It is now safe and all lights are working.
I call that a big win!!


Ever notice how no matter how hard you look for lost items, they are always located in the last place you look?

The phone showed up, having dropped out of my pocket and slipping to a hiding spot near my sweater.  It is not that I talk that often on the phone but it is necessary on the road for safety.  Certainly glad that a new phone is not necessary.  I hope to milk every bit of life out of that phone.

My granddaughter is one social butterfly and I am her driver.

A drop off here.... a pick up there, keeps one teenager happy as a clam.  She managed a no-sleep slumber party, bowling with a friend and some mall therapy before I pooped out.  In between drop offs and deliveries, I did some spiffing up in the trailer and changing locations of some of the interior space to accommodate the addition of my partner in travel.   When traveling solo I used the upper bunk for storage.  It makes sense to have Hailey sleep in the upper bunk so that either one of us can lay in our own bed or still have the couch available for sitting if we want.   (She is super agile and doesn't require multiple trips to the bathroom at night so she is elected to occupy the upper bunk.)  The extra bedding and pillow will still travel on the upper bunk while going down the road.  In most small vintage trailers there is also a dinette.  Lolita has a dinette but it is set up permanently as my bed.  Generally we eat outside but in poor weather we can eat on the couch with TV trays.    The two beds will be always set up so it will require less set up and take down time.  That sounds like a winner of an idea to me.  Crawl out of bed, arrange the pillows and we will be good to go.  In any event, if we aren't happy with this arrangement we will be able to change it back but I think this arrangement should work pretty well.  We will give this set up a try and see how it goes.

Six days till blast off!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tiny Steps Forward, More Stumbling Blocks

Made a little progress forward today..... Lolita has exterior lights again.  When the plug for the trailer to attach to the new truck was installed it didn't match up correctly with the ground... Newer truck and old, old trailer are often a problem.  So we had to install a ground wire through the plug and screw it to the trailer frame.... Presto - exterior lights again.  This means the trip is back on......Yea!!

Now for the bad news..... Still no interior lights but I'll be having my help again tomorrow so hopefully I will get that fixed also. If need be, I can live with that for the trip, after all I am a creative gal.

More bad news..... My Millenicom hotspot died.... Still under warranty by 3 weeks but then I will no longer be covered under warranty so I won't be able to upgrade to the more reliable hotspot.  If I get the antenna as I had planned it will not fit the upgraded model.... I hate dilemma's where there are no clear answers.  It always seems there are lots of win/lose solutions.
On top of that..... my cell phone is MIA.... I refuse to give up.... (There is plenty of time for panic later!!)  Hopefully I find my phone.  The phone can be replaced..... the phone numbers not so easily....

  I must get my act together!!

Don't call tonight.... I will be busy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why, Why, Why....


Why is it as soon as you get serious making plans, the universe sends trials and tribulations??

I have spent the last 10 hours with a neighbor trying to nail down the source of an electrical short in Lolita.  There are currently no running lights or interior lights working inside the trailer.  So far we keep taking things apart but have not nailed anything down yet.  Every light fixture in taken apart.  The plug to the truck is taken apart.  The ice box is on my bed.

Last night dreams of trailers bursting into flames caused a sleepless night.  All the pictures of trailers going  up in a puff of smoke haunted my sleep.  Such nights make for a very long day after....

In one moment of sheer brilliant thinking. I asked if there could be a seperate fuse for the running lights. While he thought not...... he checked .... and there was a fuze AND it was burned out.  But that certainly was not the whole problem.  We went through the whole fuze box in the truck and replaced and bought replacement fused to have on hand.  I actually learned a lot in the process.

Why is it that the problem never has an easy fix??.

Tomorrow we start again at 8:00 AM.
Ok universe..... I'm not in the mood for this.
I'm not Job and I don't handle tribulation well.  Send kind thoughts and well wishes!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lolita Came Home

With winter finally put to bed, it was time to bring Lolita home to start getting ready for departure to Utah in 11 days.  I waited till now since their were a couple of really rainy days this week and I wanted to keep her under cover as long as possible.  Sunny skies and temperatures in the 50's certainly put me in the mood to step up preparations for the long awaited trip.  In the coming days I'll be getting the truck and trailer readied for blast-off.

Along with preparations I can't resist the opportunity with the warm weather to take another hike.  I have been exploring local trails that I have never been before.  Funny how in an area I have lived most of my life there are so many places I have never explored.  Palisades Trail is one such place.

Palisades Trail is on the farthest western point of Spokane.

 It is a volcanic cliff that runs from North to South with Hangman Creek and Spokane River cutting through the gorge.  Palisades trail runs along the bluff facing to the east.

 The views were spectacular of Mount Spokane to the north.  

We found a cave during our explorations. At first it seemed  that it had a small opening wich was more like a window and Hailey climbed right through.

Too small for me so I went around to the other side and found a larger opening. There was clearly enough room for all three of us (and more) to stand up in this cave.

Sorry about the bright light.... the sun wouldn't move!

On up down gorge to the south.
The bluff on the left center of the picture is where the Bluff Trail that I hiked on the last post.    

How long could you sit and gaze at views like this. 
I could drink in the landscape forever.... if I could just put a stop to the urge to see around the next bend in the road.

~ Happy Trails ~

Friday, March 21, 2014

The WAIT is over, Spring has Sprung!

Have you been watching and w a i t i n g for Spring.


It is official.....
     winter is done.

Spring has finally arrived.

I gave the yard the once over to see what might be popping through the soil to bloom.... pickins are still pretty slim.  All that I could find was a few crocus.

and these windflowers. 

Tulips are poking out of the ground but it will be a while yet before they are blooming.

To celebrate the arrival of Spring, I went for a hike I read about this last week.   It was an area that I am familiar with as my maternal grandparents lived near the northern start of the bluff.  Some of my earliest memories of my Grandmother are of us picking wild flowers on the steep hillside in the Spring.  And of the protective ole lady trying to chase us off of the 'private' property.  (Houses may own their lot but do not own the bluff area.... more about that later)

This little bungalow is where my Grandparents, Mom and Auntie lived.

   I started my trek at a small park near where my Grandparents lived.

It is called the Bluff Trails. It sits on the west boundary bluff of  Spokane over Hangman Valley.

The Bluff is a border which remains from water erosion  from Hangman Creek which  carved out  a valley with the steep bluffs.  Spring thaw still muddies the waters with sand from the bluffs as it rushes down stream.

The trails were uniquely built by volunteers who walked this area over decades, creating a trail system that track up, down and across the sandy bluff.  The city ignored the trails and the trail system grew and is maintained by the people who use the trails.

A link to an article regarding the trails,

A New House being built along the bluff.

Homeowners attempt to block access to the trails by building fences across the trails.

Hikers make new trails, often on less stable ground.

I am reminded of a Native American view of land ownership. 

"What is this you call property? It cannot be the earth, for the land is our mother, nourishing all her children, beasts, birds, fish and all men. The woods, the streams, everything on it belongs to everybody and is for the use of all. How can one man say it belongs only to him?" -Massasoit

Oh I know, that people want to preserve their view and protect their  possessions.   But free, green spaces are needed by everyone.  Blocking access does not solve the problem.  On up the trail is the Spokane Country club and an exclusive housing development protected by big iron gates and fences.  The trails continue farther down the bluff but easy access is denied to most folks.

Houses continue to be built along the edge of the sandy bluff and locals continue to regard the buildings as folly that will one day result in a free ride to the bottom of the gully.  "Oh the price of a great view. 

Near the country club area a pull out along High Drive provides a wonderful view.

The city has provided a bench hidden from view with a little walk....

Unfortunately, the crazies have found it too!


  "Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." --Ancient Indian Proverb

At many places the hillside trails are too steep for me to climb so I have to be content for all the views and places I can explore..... and I was rewarded with my first wildflowers of the spring..... Buttercups! 
 There will be more explosions of color shortly........

Spring is finally here................I'M BACK!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Living, Dying, and Birthdays

Well I have done it.  I've gone and had another birthday.  Who would have ever thought I would have lived this long.

My First Birthday

I am the last from my nuclear family.  My Mom, Dad and my little brother have all gone before me.  My Mom lived till 77, my Dad till 55, and my brother till just 52.   Their dreams were cut short by realities beyond their control.  We don't all get our someday. 
This is never more real to me than on my birthday.

I had a realization, an epiphany if you will on my birthday.  When I was young I was in such a hurry to grow up.  It seemed that only adults were rewarded with fun and privileges, that I had all the time in the world. When I was older I believed I would go on earning a good living...celebrating family and friends forever. The fun would never end...  I now realize how wrong I was.

This is the beginning of my 63 year.  In my typical fashion of denial I changed the candles on the cake.   So instead of celebrating 63 years of living..... My cake proclaimed my age as 36.  I'm sure I wasn't kidding anyone.

Travel is a part of my big dream.  My dream was to travel full-time but that is not apart of the big picture for today.  But I'm looking forward to travel days and they are coming very soon.  I have talked to so many people about my plans and they respond with all the reasons they can't follow their dreams. You have heard the usual reasons, not enough money, to many responsibilities, the house, the job.... etc. etc. etc.   And I intend on traveling big when ever I can.

Sometimes my life hasn't gone according to my divine plan.... But I have learned to adjust, to form new plans and look for joy in every day.  THIS PART IS UP TO ME!  It doesn't matter what your dream is.....dream it and start the work needed to accomplish your dreams.  I know my dream.  I have done the work that I can to get my dreams in place.  We don't all get a someday.
Today is the day for everything..... I must and will live it fully.  Not a moment to waste....

This is ME getting on to the business of living.

A Happy Birthday - A day to celebrate a life well lived.

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”      ― Michael Landon

(Check back on the last post... there were some great comments about life after Full - RV Travel)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Snowbird, Ful-timer, Summer-timer, Part-timer, Any-timer, Some-timer..... What kind of RVer are You?

All words I have heard to describe the time reference of the RV Life style.   I'm sure there are more ways to describe the way in which to approach the amount of time we spend on the road.  My definitions may be different than yours.  I believe the details of the definition matter little.

What matters most is for each individual or family to define a way that makes sense for them the life they want to live, so that the plans and 'home' decisions made will match their definitions and their preferences.

Working Definitions as a Starting Point

Full-timer - one who lives in some type of an RV all of the time.  The RV moves from time to time to different locations.  They may or may not own a residence but do not occupy it during the year. 

Snow-bird -  One who lives in some type of RV during the winter in a warmer climate and returns to a residence/home base which they occupy the rest of the year.

Summer-timer - One who lives and travels in an RV during the summer and occupying a residence/home base during the school/work year.

Any-timer or Part-timer - One who primarily lives in a residence/homebase and travels extensively in an RV at any time of year regardless of weather, at every opportunity. 

Some-timer - One who travels or camps occasionally in an RV.   Lives in a primary residence.  May dream of full-time travel in the future.

So why give definition to how one lives in an RVs and manages their living circumstances? 

Perhaps one of the most important questions one needs to answer when considering living in an  RV either full or part time is whether to sell their home of residence or to maintain a home base/residence.  Then whether they will return to the residence for at least part of the year.  I am amazed when I talk with people considering living in an RV without ever having spent much time in an RV.   How will they ever know if the call to the road is greater than the relief  in the return to home?

Some of the considerations I pondered were based on finances, desire to live more simply, and freedom from long distance maintenance and changing life responsibilities and commitments.  Whether I choose long-term travel, financially I needed to downsize and change where and how I lived.

Another consideration worthy of consideration is the need for security.  Does you home on wheels fulfill your need for home and provide a sense of security. Or is it provided in another place that you must return to in times of stress.  The real test for me was the first time I became ill for more than a few hours.  Could I wait out pneumonia, while hacking and coughing for weeks in a tiny space? 

The answer for me comes with having a short-term Plan B.  What will I do if.....  There may be times that I need to land for a time do to illness, vehicle repairs, family need, (who can truly anticipate every possibility).  My Plan B entails ensuring that I always have enough money in the bank to cover an extended stay in a base camp complete with electricity and water when I need life to be simplified.


A Plan B Fund available to fund a start over after full time travel has ended.  I like many other nomads haven't a clear cut plan to answer the question of how long will I wonder?  But  having a fund set aside has provided a security to help lessen the anxiety of uncertainty.   Will I ever want to own a home again..... Who knows??? But I will have access to funds to get  started with the next chapter in life.

Many people do not talk readily of the what if's that come in life.  I have found that not talking about these questions wake me up at night and anziety.  So I say, let's talk about these shadows of the night, share in the dialog learning from each other.   

What kind of RVer are You???        How do you ponder PLAN B?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Awaiting Another Big Storm

News of the day is another winter storm coming in..... It's now March 1.... enough of this EWS (Evil White Stuff).

Here is whats coming.....

Rest of Tonight -  Snow likely. Snow accumulation of 1 inch...with isolated amounts up to 2 inches. Lows 11 to 14. Breezy. Northeast wind 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.

Sunday - Snow. Snow accumulation of 2 to 5 inches. Highs in the lower to mid 20s. Northeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent. Wind chill readings 5 below to 5 above zero in the morning.
Sunday Night -  Snow in the evening...then snow and a chance of light freezing drizzle after midnight. Snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches mainly before midnight. Lows in the lower 20s. East wind 5 to 10 mph in the evening...becoming light. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.

Yep you folks in Arizona are in the right place at the right time.  Someday that will be me... but in the mean time here was the rest of our day.

A little drive before the storm set in seemed in order.  And of course early morning coffee was needed to fuel the day.   I was close to a road I had driven by may times but never gone on.  That was just the invitation I needed.

Up the road I went to view a landmark I had only viewed from off in a distance.  Here is a view from the hill down towards town. 

Mount Saint Michaels

 St. Michael's was founded by Father Joseph Caruana  as a Jesuit mission just north of Spokane in the mid-19th century to serve the Native Americans in the area. In 1878,  moved the mission to its current location with a purchase of almost 1,000 acres pf land at the price of $2 per acre. From 1881 until 1915, Mount St. Michael was used primarily as a farm, supplying now- Gonzaga University with fresh produce and dairy products.

Mount Saint Michael (known colloquially as "The Mount") is a former Jesuit Roman Catholic school and compound in Spokane Washington that was later sold to Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI), a Sedevacantist Catholic group. (Sedevacatists are traditionalist Catholics who do not accept the authority of the Pope.)
It serves as the home of Saint Michael's Academy and as a parish cent for Sedevacanists in the Spokane area.  It is staffed by the priests, brothers and sisters of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen.

My understanding is Mt St Michael is still a functioning community complete with residence, school, barns, gardens, gym, tennis courts and a cemetery.

When I was doing foster care, I had a 14 year old girl and her 3 month old daughter stay with me for a while from Mount St Michael.    I never learned more of her story.   It certainly was an educational and cultural experience for us all. I wonder from time to time about the lives of the hundreds of foster children I met over the years.  What has become of them?  What have their lives been like?

  The sun was beginning to peak out and the road called me on....

"Watch out for the broad with the camera....She is following us."

On down the road I went.  Seeing movement to my left and I stopped and grabbed my camera to checked it out.   Just when the first picture clicked, I received the dreaded "batteries depleted" message. After jumping back in the truck for my spare batteries and replacing them I found these sweet babies were waiting for me when I returned to snap this pic.

The Living Statues

I came across this private covered bridge.
It has a swinging gate that locks it from intruders and goes crosses over a creek running full with water and up to a private residence. 

I love finding log structures remaining from pioneer structures in the Northwest.  This one although abandoned appears to be in great shape.

Back in town I saw this tiny little motorhome..... What is off in this picture?
Sure don't see many like this!!

Back home to wait for falling snow.

And make soup.... It is a perfect day for soup.

Fridays trip to Trader Joe's provided an assortment of yummy soup ingredients.

 Cheese Tortellini Kale Soup
1 onion chopped and sauteed with mushrooms
add 2 boxes of soup stock and simmer with garlic 
with Italian Seasoning to taste  Simmer 15 minutes.  
Add  TJ Cheese Tortellini and one can small drained navy beans 
cook according to tortellini package directions, approximately 6- 10 minutes.  
Add package baby kale cut up to desired size.  Serve when wilted  with hot garlic bread. 

Where's Mine????

Now all that's left of the day is the snow to fall.....

And it's falling.....

Where is Spring ???