Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I will be working mine this evening with my work family and then onto my own immediate family for a late night celebration. It should be a fun time and lots of free food and left overs. Besides doing laundry as well and yesterday it snowed a little. Winter is upon us. This is my last winter in this area so I am going to make the most of it. Have a Happy Holidays everyone. I will probably post again on Sunday, my next day off.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Top is some of the gorgeous fall leaves we are still having. Its November and we still have leaves. I can work with that. I love fall. We had a VERY hot summer, not my favorite season but fall and spring are nice. Winter is good in moderation. I prefer AK in the summer and AZ in the winter but this will do for now lol. And living out west prior I did miss Fall and the changing of the colors. After all, people drive from miles to see the leaves change and the birds migrate. Its gorgeous so I can understand why and makes for absolutely astounding photos.
And just as a treat so to speak, above is Tippy, the pup pictured in the beginnings of this blog. She lives with a relative but she visits me a lot. She prances around like a filly with her long ballet legs. Of course complete with long nose and bat ears lol. And then a picture of the two cats in the window. It was like an odd glow, so we will call them the kitty saints in a non religious term -:)


In other news, I am worried about Korea because we do have such a strong military presence there. I have interviewed veterans who were POWs to North Korea as well as have 2 relatives with permanent shrapnel from the Korean War. I will scan and share those interviews at a later time, some are from my high school paper, and some are from free lance work, some of which has been published and some I chose to not share due to the graphic nature of what was said. Basically, I am worried for those civilians, expats and US military over there. I pray Obama can help them resolve this as I don't truly believe that they want to wage war. Its been quite a few years of them sitting at a border making glowing remarks at each other.

The bare bone facts according to (click for full article) with quotations provided to give a simple outline:
"The skirmish began when Pyongyang warned the South to halt military drills in the area, according to South Korean officials. When Seoul refused and began firing artillery into disputed waters, albeit away from the North Korean shore, the North retaliated by bombarding the small island of Yeonpyeong, which houses South Korean military installations and a small civilian population."
"The entire skirmish lasted about an hour. Each side has threatened the other against another attack."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What is Home?

I was in a conversation recently with someone about what is home? What is a nomad? What is a geo nomad? And what is the difference between hippy, hobo, nomad, adventurer and traveler? This is merely my opinion but it comes from much reading, thought and discussion.

What is a home? Home is defined by Meriam Webster as "ones place of residence." Home isn't defined as a house or a physical location. Home is where the heart is is perhaps closer to the truth. So whether you live in a house with your family, and then go on vacation somewhere. Your home is where you currently are, the home you own or the hotel you rent.

A nomad is someone that travels and doesn't ask for hand outs, bums do that. Now I am saying that one is better than the other as we never no the circumstances that lends a person to ask for help. "An individual who roams about," is the actual definition of a nomad. Nomad was the term used for our ancestors, for the Bedouins of today and many native peoples the world over. Its simply traveling but for a long term. There is no guidelines that state how long a nomad stays in one place but they do move about more regularly than the average joe.

A geo nomad is one that travels within a specific area for a longer period of time. People without a fixed address who work in a specific area but stay/park in different areas each night could fill this genre. Or people who may have a fixed address but wander about for work or pleasure not always staying in the same place. Some might call this exploring as well. I am a geo nomad. I have 2 jobs, a sort of apartment, a van and a bike. All used to take me to varying places for different adventures or to take care of a variety of wants and needs. My things are mobile and I take the same bed from my apartment to my van or when staying with someone else. The sleeping bag on top of my bed goes on the bike or on foot. My food, cell phone, bare bone toiletries and 2 changes of clothes are with me at all times in case I get stranded. Life is an adventure and working to change that which we can and accepting that which we cannot is what makes our glass half full or half empty. Food for thought...

Hippies were partiers, hobos rode trains but worked where they stopped, nomad is a simply a wonderer, and an adventurer is someone who takes their condition in life and makes it into something educational and fun. Afterall, adventures are educational, fun and don't have a pre-determined purpose. 

So what are you? We don't realize it but the nomad is still active and strong in us humans. We move for jobs, we take vacations, we stay various places to handle various needs ie closer to a job, exploring getting a new job, seeing if a neighborhood is good for our family, ect. The only thing is society has created a wall that tries to kill this in all of us. Mortgages that eat all our money, consumerism that takes our money. Money is something everyone wants but doesn't bring happiness. The next time you want to take a trip, think about saving coins and in the end of a week, see how much you have saved and think about how many hours you worked just for that and multiply that over a year. I gave up pop this week (tried caffeine but not there yet) and have saved 7 dollars. I simply pocket the money every time I would have bought a pop. Great way to stop other vices in life as well.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Litter Box, living with a cat AND a kitten in a cofined space

I normally give my two felines Orijen canned food. Click Orijen for more information on this entirely organic made in Canada cat food. I have been in the Cat Fancy now for several years and have tried everything from Royal Canin to Friskies to you name it. I have fostered a large number of cats in the past 5 years and have also worked with a few pedigrees as well. I have encountered several health problems, many challenges and found great homes for ALL of the cats that have come through my doorstep. I don't mean to brag but I am glad this can occur and if I can offer any advice feel free to pass a question and its likely you know something I don't, so perhaps we can learn from each other.

Well, I ran out of the Orijen and grabbed some tinned food from the gas station, some 9Lives which the kitten had been eating outdoors prior to being captured. And sure enough the litter box reminded me why I don't feed this stuff. If you have a feline in the van or RV with you, heaven help you lol. I am glad my Tidy Cat 24/7 works well but I must admit my apartment took on the litter smell. Boy, I opened some windows and dumped the box and all is back to normal but I just wanted to share.

However, this also brings me to my next point which is about litter box holders. When I get enough money for a trailer and larger van, I will remove the passenger seat and convert it to a litter box area with and end table looking thing. The tray will slide out and the cat will enter from the back. There will be a litter mat in front, a velcro bed on top and a floor scratcher velcroed to the sides. That's my new idea. I am going to build it now because the ones on the market are really expensive, too big and very bulky. I will be sharing this progress with you. Also, wanted to mention courtesy of information found from Technomadias blog, they mentioned a portable litter pan and its amazing in theory. I am going to order one and will update here on how it works out.

My plan for this design is to be able to fit in the foot well of the front seat when the seat is removed, or when I stay somewhere like a cabin or friends, or in the shower area of the travel trailer although I absolutely want a wet bath vs a stand up shower (too small for me). It needs to be light weight probably balsa or similar material so its easily movable. Plywood is too hard to disinfect. I might also use mylar which is a plastic type substance that is non porous. Then I will be able to put the box in the portable outdoor run and not have such a mess to clean up with litter tracking. As I plan to stay in one area for a few months at a time as I don't see how my budget or finding work would allow otherwise, besides the opportunity to take it the sites and truly explore the area around me. Now I figure I will order 4 of those portable litter boxes so I don't have to move them constantly, I can have one for the trailer, one for the van, one in the emergency kit and one as a back up. They are so small folded up I can't resist.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Saving vs Spending & Work at Home

I have been having some serious mechanical issues with the van: 200 for brakes, 130 for starter and coil, 900 for the van in mid September and now the exhaust is detached which means welding work and another day off spent in the shop. Its expensive for me to drive 50 miles a day in gas as is, its hard to pick up shifts knowing the van isn't reliable entirely, and moreso difficult with a 2nd rental payment to repairs. I don't have the credit for a new vehicle and 900 was tough. This van has some serious issues and its the same thing I did last time and the time before. I attract lemon vehicles.

So I have been thinking on it, lets say I make 9.75 at one job, its about 1/3 after deductions, and 7 dollars in gas, that's 9.75x8 =78, 78 x 1/3 for deductions is 23.4 and 78-23.4 = 54.60. 54.60/8 is 6.8 per hour that is actually coming home.

Now figuring if I worked from home I would have approximately 1/4 deductions as there are tax write offs and all that jazz, there isn't gas to get somewhere and no stress in traffic, meaning I could put in an extra 2 hours as I spend on average 45 min to drive one way to work. That's 1.5 hours of driving per day not including errands. Now add getting ready and relaxing to wind down, add another 2 hours, that's about 3 hours of waste as its more work to get ready to leave the house than if I was at home and stayed here. So I could effectively work for 9.75 an hour and keep 7.5 per hour thus a pay raise PLUS 3 hours of at home work time hence more money.  Of course not having to drive means less repairs on my vehicle, cheaper insurance from fewer miles and so that bill would be decreased. I already pay for high speed internet and have land line and cell service effectively giving me plenty of phone contact options.

Also I would ride my bike to the supermarket and things of that nature thus giving me even more money and saving the planet at the same time. I gave up smoking almost 2 years ago, now I am giving up pop and hopefully caffeine but that's a longer journey and tea is good and not expensive. I am also trying to eat less starchy food so I can lose some weight, drink more water and make my moods more stable.

So how does this go with van dwelling and the mobile lifestyle, it fits like a glove. Once I am able to support myself, create an online marketing plan and presence, I can then take my career anywhere including on biking trips, backwoods hiking trips and overseas if I choose. Then I can work as a tour guide or volunteer and push further.

I used to get bent out of shape from van troubles and so forth, but I am becoming more comfortable in the notion I don't want the corporate time clock anymore, at least not as my main source of income. I have effectively restructured and downsized my belongings, am starting to keep better track of the chaos around me and have been far more organized. But I feel like there is more, that my time at work is inefficient and that I have been getting irritable as well as stomach ulcers from stress again (haven't had ulcers since 17) and maybe I need to step back. I understand the need to work and am not lazy, but I hate getting mandated, being told that every move is another write up that could happen and the unknown of a schedule I have no say so in. Its like when I hit 26, I realized change was needed but wasn't sure what, and I am still not. I just got some strange feeling that I was dying, something we start doing from birth, but that my lifestyle isn't sustainable. I drink a lot of coffee, don't drink water hardly at all, have diabetes II and some mood issues. All of which can be over come but when stress gets bad enough, it makes the entire structure go crazy and no longer functional, thus rending me non functional.

I realize my plan may fall flat on its face, that I may be to square zero and in the end, this could be the wrong path, but there comes a time when its time to see what happens. I may also play my cello on the street corner, who knows, I just want to feel whole again, something I haven't felt since working in journalism. The stress did it in for me though although I must admit the crazy manic too much caffeine, sporadic food, constant travel and a rush from deadlines spurring creativity from the most recessive areas of my brain are dearly missed. Perhaps that's what I am looking for, a recreation of that feeling without someone else creating deadline.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A tour of my 2 rooms

This is Julia, the new kitten, now at 8.5 weeks old who is my new travel companion and Ajahs buddy. She is like a supermodel and loves to play, and boy is she a talker.
So I promised a tour of my apartment or 2 rooms (288 sq ft) as I share the kitchen and bathroom with a room mate and I keep my hygiene stuff with me to avoid confusion, so with out further waiting, here is the tour: (Please note this is what an apartment furnished by van dwelling looks like and I have actually grown to like it)
This is the back room. The top is the right side of the room housing the cat corner and the closet (nothing else in it) houses the litter box. The 2nd photo is looking from back to front with my 3 drawers for a variety of smaller items, mostly van items (tire pressure gauge, temp gauge ect), my jump rope, some candles and other misc items. Then there is the TV, DVD player and radio and of course the tri fold bed.
 Back right of room is clothes in the larger bin and smaller bin is entertainment.
And above is the front room closest to the entrance. This is my book and office area. The closet on this side has our camping/hiking and cat carriers as well as a few hanging items (3 dress suites). 

 This is the amount of things I have had for about 2 years now. I do have 2 folding chairs and a bean bag for sitting. I will be getting a new flat screen for the computer and a better cell phone (finally gave it on that one) for internet that can be tethered to the computer. Then a laptop with a USB TV Tuner so I can ditch the TV and have the flat screen, CPU and laptop to take care of all my entertainment needs.

I have been talking of minimalism and simply wanted to share my space with the world and maybe inspire someone else to down size, think of what they need and organize, hope you enjoyed the tour.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Everyones Doing It - Nomad and Minimalism

It seems everywhere I look now, there is another blog on minimalism. I started this one as a personal journal and it will continue as such. My journey started with some dust allergies and too much fur for my comfort, so instead of spending hours of my life cleaning and sneezing, I got rid of what needed dusted. If it was that valuable, I took a picture. It was like a waking moment when I realized how much time was being spent cleaning that I wanted to be doing other things. That was almost 2 years ago and I its the most freeing thing I ever did.

I got tired of looking at books and stuff I hadn't touched in years or bought and never read: so it went. I don't entertain more than 3 people at a time, so I downsized my dishes, and I don't wear a month of clothes before doing laundry, nor am I a skinny mini any longer, so some of the clothes went. I had tapes, DVDs and random who knows what items that went out the door to various points.

At some point I decided a bed was too much work to clean underneath, to move to make and in general, just not worth it. So I sold mine and went for a tri fold on the floor after trying sleeping on the floor, air mattresses, foam mats and bed rolls (the bed rolls are good). I had plastic drawers for dressers I didn't even know what was in them. I got rid of them and went through their contents. I switched to various shoebox containers.

Then came the office clutter, the bathroom areas and the living room. I even got rid of the couch and armchair, it was just to much to vacuum. Well that was in a house, then I realized I had way to much house for one room of stuff. Then hey, a van is a good idea. AND IT WAS!! Now everything fits tidy, has dual purpose and is moveable. And then came the little apartment that is an in law suite in a persons home, like having a room mate with out the headaches (we share a kitchen and bathroom). Ah relief. And here I am again going through my stuff again before the holidays. No kids, no commitments, just a job, a roof and freedom from stuff, clutter and chaos of searching for things in a nest of junk. Now I can clean in under an hour, do two loads of laundry every 2 weeks, and pack up the van with a basket and duffel to go on my marry way.

But with that, my generation now lives this way. We are a mobile bunch, not much into buying new cars and expensive homes. we are realistic of utility costs, how hard it is to move when the employment we gain (which may or may not happen) ends, and how its important to be a utilitarian but yet live life for all its worth because many of us don't have health insurance, some don't drive a vehicle and some live in creative ways as it won't be available when we are older, we will be working for the rest of our days, so we might as well figure it out now. There are those as well who have kids but are shopping at Goodwill and Salvation Army knowing their kids will out grow their clothes quickly, their kids will probably move and some even have families on the road. We have given up trying to strike it rich and have the white picket fence as that doesn't lead to happiness, time spent living, exploring, learning and enjoying does -:)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Van

So I guess the Gods were shining down on me today lol or not, however you look at it. I have been working a lot lately to the point of being easily annoyed by the small things. I was on my way to work today and the van engine light came on and it died. So I got it towed, this vans first tow and a kind lady gave me a lift home. I had to call off work due to this issue. And of course they can't see it tomorrow as its sunday so Monday morning hopefully I will get the spaceship back. But I do get a weekend which I haven't had in 8 weeks.

I sure am glad I did laundry the other day so I am good to go there and also glad I have been keeping the van organized with my too go bag of important things in case of needing towed and then a basket with blankets, food and spare clothes so that thats easy to remove if I need too. The too go bag fits in my hobo bag, I was geared up for a walk today and with all my important stuff. The basket has stuff that if it got stolen is easy to replace, but can also be taken out easily for transfer to a different vehicle as my vehicle dwelling has mostly been nights between doubles of work, nights I need to stay in town for errands or visit family and I don't want to stay in their homes, hence more city camping than anything.

And so today I took a nap, took some neighborhood dogs for a walk, and have been organizing stuff from my last van from when I was full timing in the Dodge Caravan aka Betsy that has been hanging in the closet. I have gotten rid of some stuff and reorganized others as well as taken stock of some items that need replaced (the markers and colored pencils are looking pitiful) and I colored with my charcoal pencils today. So its been a good day. Its mostly been going through the small stuff and evaluating what I have to see where it fits. I try to go through my stuff at least once a season.

I also did something I have never done before, I had waited to do laundry so long for my pants and shirts (a week) and didn't have any clean clothes for the day so I stopped at Good will on the way to work and spent 13 dollars for a pair of pants and 4 shirts (2 long sleeved t shirts and 2 dress casual shirts). It took me all of 5 minutes to find what I was looking for, they had a 50 percent off sale, and I lost 2 pairs of pants and several tshirts this summer due to wearing out, so it was perfect timing. Since this shop is all clothes and everything is done by size and mostly by color, the staff were friendly, the clothes in good repair for the most part and my money will now go further nor will I have to go clothes shopping for a while. The long sleeved shirts will be nice for winter, the dress shirts for the forthcoming festive season, and the pants are a nice comfortable black slacks that wash and dry quickly, and are great for both being comfortable and looking nice. I have bought t shirts at garage sales and swore I would go to Good will at some point but there has been a mental block, & finally did it. I must say good job to Good will.

Thank you for the comments in the last post as it got me thinking about consumerism, and it gave me the motivation to try a second hand shop as well as save money, it worked like a charm. I also found a MP3 player at Big Lots for 24-50 dollars that will go nicely with my computer and later the laptop. And I found a 4 USB connector which will work great with a laptop, one for the camera, one for the keyboard, the mouse and then the MP3 player for charging and syncing. Now I am on the hunt for a smaller and more economical printer. Plus a flat screen for my home computer would be nice and an external hard drive that is smaller and can move between laptop and home computer would be nice. I think even in the van I will maintain my home CPU unit because I had it built the way I wanted with several slots for various size memory cards, 6 USB front ports and loaded with a variety of graphics programs that would be expensive to license to a new computer but I do have backed up on an external hard drive so  I wonder how that would work. And finally I am curious about the new wireless charging docks.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What technology has replaced

My computer and cell have replaced my phone book, several novels and tour guides/maps. Its nice to be able to have much less dust collecting items to keep track of, that are easily ruined and are hard to find and replace. I can back up anything digital and can carry a lot of "paper" on a hard drive. However, there will always be books and and maps that are kept for sentimental reasons which aren't many as some I have scanned and kept digitally.
I was considering doing pictures of my worldly posessions and sharing here as well. The goals of actual stuff are now more aligned with true travel. Given the cost of gas, I really want to travel by bike and foot more. So I have been down sizing more of my sentimental items and going digital on other things like CDs to mp3 conversions. I would also like to explore outside the US as well as work on my diet and better fitness level.

However, being minimalist, no matter how much you get rid of, stuff will find its way back and will need sorted, especially trash and the mail never seem to end although there is less trash, but junk mail is still there as well as offers from so and so. I just keep removing storage containers for stuff and force myself to go through the too large for the space provided pile until it fits. I am hoping to get down to 2 totes and 2 backpacks.

The totes or giant shoe boxes as some call them (one 16 gal and one 32 gal) will have kitchen, office and craft supplies while the backpack will contain camping and technology and the duffel bag will have the cats stuff and clothes in it. There will be a container of litter and food for the cats and an additional tote for the food. I figure the totes are for van dwelling while the backpack and duffel are for adventures from home (overseas and bike/foot excursions).

This is the plan for the future although this working all the time business is getting tiring and so keeping up with current projects is a pain let alone more to come but there always is.


My computer is older, my phone is from wal mart and I don't check facebook every day. I still use email from yahoo and gmail and upload photos on my webs account. Now I could upgrade to a new phone but why: I pay 30 a month and still have minutes and data usage left over. My computer still has enough memory to play Empire Earth and Joan of Arc, check my email, edit my photos in photoshop and create interesting flash graphics when the mood hits me. I can still use my flash drive and small portable back up hard drive for more space if I like.

I have come to realize that technology isn't making it easier for humans to stay in touch and develop society (it does in some cases) but moreso is taking away our ability to interact with other human beings, creating a sort of hermitage and a dependence on a power source. People seem to be ruder and more impatient. Now sure I have never been patient and I do get to the point, but when I go to the grocery store, I still stand in line for a cashier because I like the interaction of hello and having a human to talk to if something isn't right. I like to ask people how their day was and will likely here a full story beyond the common formalities. Guess what: I might learn something new and you may too. How about the people in line with you? I will not support a machine ringing out my groceries and if thats the only option I have then I will leave a store.

And the day I get a cell phone or computer that I answer to all the time is the day I am divorcing it all together. My cell phone allows me to check my email and read emails from groups and friends I deem interesting, it is my yellowbook and my reminder as well as alarm clock. Yep the folks from wal mart have provided all I need for cellular service. Many of my aquaintances are pressuring me to invest in a iphone. They walk around attached to their cell phones like zombies bidding a masters commands. I actually feel like I am on an electronic leash with my phone as is. So sometimes I do turn it off, especially at night, and if someone calls, they can wait. Email is the same way, there is nothing so pressing I will stop what I am doing to check it and blogging is because I feel like it. Are you married to your phone, is it on even during work because you might miss a facebook update, do you check a text at 2 am and answer your cell even during dinner out with friends? I have gone out with friends lately and their phone has become the third wheel.

As for the computer, its great for research, note taking, internet access and occasional chatting, banking and blogging, but at no point should it be more important than human interaction. I have relatives that used to go out all the time with me and now don't want to leave over facebook games. Life is still pressing onward and your crops aren't paying you. There is a fine line between enjoyment and obsession.

So with that I feel like I spend to much time with the TV, the computer, my cell and on the internet but it isn't my ENTIRE life, so I encourage everyone to reflect on how technology is helping you and not taking up valueable time that could be spent elsewhere.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Life lessons so far: education, work and experiences

So I am now 26 and it didn't really hit me until this week as I work like a mad woman. Lets just say this week has been chalk full of experiences I can't share here but have changed my perspective on things quite a bit. The urge to up and go is stronger than ever. I am going to work one year, cut back on everything, pay off my remaining debt and move on. I borrowed some money to buy the van as my last one was quite costly in repairs. I paid that off today and in record time which tells me everything else can be paid off quickly.

I have learned that humans can be completely unpredictable. People you think you know you really don't. I have learned that watching these changes can be enlightening to what is human nature, what we need and want and how we express ourselves. I have learned that I miss being mobile because I enjoy meeting people, enjoying company and moving on. I believe everyone comes into our lives for a period and then its time to explore again. And furthermore, I have learned to appreciate the people in my life, to trust those whom I must and to rely on instinct for everything else. I love what I do but I have pretty much explored all I can without going agency which is indeed an option but budget cuts, getting with the right crew and finding a job that pays enough to be worth the work is challenging. Its taken me over 3 years to do just that.

I recently considered going into management and thats an experience I want but I don't want the obligation. I don't want to be tied to being "over qualified" when I simply want to work on the floor and not behind a desk with paperwork writing people up for events I wasn't present for and answering for peoples actions I have no clue about. Clearly, I would love to work for myself. I did so in pet sitting and that was great and its an option, one of many but I would like to do something that I can do from an apartment in Chicago to an RV in Canada. I want something that is going to make me happy, that continues the people I work with now but different. I have spent my time in my apartment reflecting and as winter approaches, the cost of gas goes up and Saturnalia approaches (December 17-23) that there is no more excuses and its time. Its written in stone, no more excuses, no more naysayers or obligations, its going to happen Oct 16, 2012 is my departure date.

I want to be a nomad without a destination, I don't want to be rushed and I want to know people long enough to watch and learn. I want to live life, see the world and take 2 crazy felines with me. I want to explore living carless and on bicycle in Chicago with the train, see Yellowstone and go back to AK. I looked at pics tonight of there and need a trip back for a moment, everything was so rushed when I left its time for a return. I hate having a time clock, having phone calls at 4 am and not being able to explore life the way I want.

I also learned that school is something I need right now and I am thinking on two options, becoming a graphic designer or a paralegal advocating for those with disabilities and farmers.I am a creative person and I don't feel challenged the way I would like. I love to read, don't have time for it, love history, no time, and that's where I am at. I would truly love to be a paralegal specifically for my ability to go to where I am needed and I can learn and teach online.

So for now I work, accomplish the impossible and move on. Once all bills are paid off in 6 months, I will never get stuck in the debt web again, then save for 6 months for a van and trailer and get ready to head west for some time off and do online schooling, then maybe teach school online, or substitute in the areas I am visiting as well as consulting work. My other interest in men getting custody of children. I would like to see more women pay child support, just because a women carries a child doesn't make her the better parent and its no easier for a man to raise a child financially than the women.

So the plan, work, pay off debt, save, go to school and LIVE. This is dedicated to yet another person I know who passed of cancer at a young age. We need to live now as there is only one life and what we do now will shape an eternity for those that come after (even if we don't see it) as well as ourselves.

So with that I toast a glass of wine to those who have lived deeply, fought bravely, been truthful and followed their dreams, leaving precedent and legacy for all of us here now to follow. The holidays have been a hard time for me and mine and this year I am going to focus on what we have vs what we don't for we can't change the entire world, just shape one strand of the fates in this moment.