Friday, December 31, 2010

So this is my last post of 2010. Tonight @ work has been peaceful thus far. They asked if I wanted to stay tonight. If it isn't mandatory, I am not spending my time here. There is an old Roma antiqua custom to do your trade or hobby on the New Year so that blessings be upon you in your endeavors for the year, sort of like stepping off on the right foot which after Christmas is so important. I think it will be a good year, lots of changes but still good. My last discussion with a family member was about some of my family members unwillingness to move or follow thier dreams from fear of the unknown. I will be losing weight, exercising again, and exploring nature which I started to do this past summer and getting my travel on. I lose weight while traveling and I love the sun. 12 weeks left and its going fast. It was a month ago I started preparation and 2 wks that I started counting.
Ajah doesn't appear to be feeling well. She had a green really thick chunk in her normally clear eyes. Of course it is new years eve, I don't think its an emergency because she isn't running a fever. She just seems bleh. She has been lazy for a few days now so monday I will take her in and keep an eye on her. The kitten looks fine. But since they are both due for a visit, I will go ahead and take both which will finish the kittens shots and hopefully this will be the last visit prior to leaving for az.
Since germs can make a cat sick, I decided to clean from top to bottom. They got a new litter box, litter and fresh cleaned bowls. I washed the litter box floor area and vacuumed the room rug. I will dust and mop tomorrow and probably do a go through of my stuff again as I got gifts from family that I need to decide what to do with. I appreciate them but I might trade with friends for stuff I can use.
I downloaded an antivirus for my phone today and it seems to be working better. Time will tell all. I also got some cryptic message in my text. That is now fixed. The antivirus said it wasn't made for my phone but I pressed forth anyways. I didn't know I could get viruses on my cell. Maybe its the computer technology with the smart phone that makes it more vulnerable. Of course my phone isn't the common OS systems so I just go with the symbian option.
Today I do not have to work. I got up early, cleaned my 2 rooms which took all of 10 min to go through my laundry, clean the cat box, sweep the floors and make the bed. Its amazing how quickly little piles of stuff accumulate.
I did go to walmart last night, added a new camping roll over the trifold and thinner camping pad to add firmness. I got my foam to soft so I sink and I have been waking up with a sore hip as I sleep on my side but the trifold was almost 200 dollars so I would rather spend 12 dollars for a copper then a new foam pad. Plus the two camping rolls work well together with my sleeping bag. They are good enough for camping or staying overnight. I will probably if the weather holds use my back packing tent when possible so having van and tent space to sprawl out. Written 12 30 10
My cell phone is randomly calling someone a rediculous amount of times without me knowing so I have to keep my phone turned off and will have to call straight talk tomorrow about this problem. I had virtually no problems with my last phone except it got wet in the rain one day when I called for help when my van was broke down in an area I didn't feel comfortable staying inside.
I watched avatar for the first time when I bought the box set. It came in a pretty box and I enjoyed it. I also bought night at the museum 1 and 2 and salt. It is indeed cheaper to buy a few DVDs and workout gear than to keep going to movies or join a gym that may not have facilities from one town to the next. So its going to be interesting. My phone just tried dialing again. I need to get this figured out and then trade this phone in perhaps. Maybe time to go back down to the phone that does most of what this one does minus gps and has widgets. Oh yeah and my phone bill can be 30 again and not have to worry about this. Maybe technology is moving to fast. I will be staying with the qwerty but the 1 through 9 keyboard wouldn't break my heart and I am starting to type faster without needing to backpack every other moment or have cramps in my fingers. It sure took some getting used too.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I have been pondering lately those that should retire and one thing Is for sure, when you get to the point you complain about everything, when no one can do right no matter how hard they try, its time to move on. Whether you need to retire, take a chance and see greener pastures or simply go back to school. Or maybe you need to take an extended trip while working or not To gain some much needed insight on what course to take be it professional, personal, spiritual or a change of scenery. Sometimes its not the destination but the journey. We spend too much of our lives punching the time clock, racing from one point to another that we never stop and enjoy the trip there. And then we continue to take vacations like we work. Its time to just relax and thats what I am doing tomorrow.
So I am still getting used to typing on this phone and I think the next one will be a touch screen with the 1 through 9 keypad. I like the qwerty but I miss easy dialing.
Otherwise all is quiet on the midwestern front. I am just at work doing the residents laundry, taking my lunch and stocking rooms. Pretty normal day.
We are doing a late winter festive get together. For those that don't know I don't celebrate christmas in the traditional sense. I celebrate the birth of the Roman sun God. Although I respect the right of others to celebrate their beliefs as they see fit and I will go along as the escense of the Roma is acceptance of others so long as they don't violate the other parts of the whole. Allowing everyone to believe and practice as they see fit gives way to harmony acceptance and inspiration for new ideas. So whatever your flavour enjoy the season.
So thank the Powers of be that so far this week is smooth. I am going down to a temp agency on tuesday of next week to see about some few week jobs just to see what my options are. I will also be taking a ancient Roman culture test next week. So I think thursday I will do some studying.
And for now I shall eat my mac and cheese from the microwave and diet mtn dew in peace and ponder the future. I know some of the posts lately seem less deep than past ones, but I have been incredibly busy working, visiting friends before I leave, getting prepared and sleeping in there as well.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My rant post. Lol. I am still sewing. This new cell got me in a good mood for a few days. I missed christmas dinner w my family to be @ work. It wasn't my choice. But I got stuck with someone that was sleeping, on break the entire afternoon and on cell during DINNER with the residents and the entire night for that matter. Well, after not getting my break or no longer wanting to listen to her boo, I said something. She didn't take it well and raised her voice to me. I went on break at that point. And of course the other girl there is cool but it wasn't a good 2nd impression. Good grief. bah humbug. My posts will get better at new years, a lot of crazy stuff has happened at the holidays in the past.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas- Please Spay and Neuter

So this seems like an odd title to some, but it narrows down the story for those wanting the clear, concise truth of this post. And from memory, that's what they told me to do in Journalism, get to the point. However, this is my blog and I can be a chick giving you all the details you may or may not care about. Please forgive me as I just worked 16 hours. And I work another 8 tomorrow so I decided since everyone is having Christmas more miles than I want to commute, I would hang at the empty house and chill with said relatives lonely cat.

My loving aunt whose name I choose to leave off this blog for privacy reasons, has a tabby cat that she adores. She got said cat, called A for short here, from a trip to her brothers in the country. A road in her tail pipe and by some miracle survived the trip. She was an infant and my aunts baby. She still is 10 years later. But the one thing she didn't do was get her spayed saying it was surgery and something she wasn't interested in putting A through. Except over the past week A has a very large stomach. She was acting fine, just seemed gassy and was eating way more. I figured false pregnancy but suggested a vet visit just to be sure as A is much older. The vet diagnosed her with pyometra (pyo for short in the cat community) which is a cats ovaries filled with puss. 3 days after being at the vet office and an emergency spay, she is now at home. Furthermore, they found a tumor in her throat that had to be removed and had it not, she had days to live. So I don't know if A developed said tumor because of her stress levels and hormones affecting her immune system or if its a blessing she had one problem as they wouldn't have found the other until far later.

However, A has constantly been in heat for most of her life, dealing with the stress of hormones and moodiness and it nearly took her life. Let me break it down: the infection gets in the ovaries and eventually the rest of the body when the vulva of the cat is expanded while they are in heat, bacteria gets in and the rest, as they say, is history. Cats are induced ovulators meaning they continue to go into heat until they are bred. And trust me when I say there is nothing pretty about cats breeding, they don't need to become mothers for the sake of motherhood like humans are taught to do. Lets just say a female screams in pain during the process, the males are rough the majority of the time and then 9 weeks later, the mom has a risk of c section (2000 + in vet bills), the risk of loss of life, besides lethargy and if she wasn't mature enough for kittens she may sit on them or other things I won't talk about here. Then there are blood type differences, rare but do happen, transmitable diseases and the daunting task of finding homes for the kittens. And lets just say, there is no shortage of kittens in this world.

So unless you are showing a pedigree (papers from a registering body like TICA, CFA, CFF, ACFA or some other show registering body) cat that has exeptional type and has proven it in the show hall, a cat in excellent health and KNOW for a MATTER OF FACT  that the pedigree is sound and without defect (meaing you need to know how to read a pedigree, score a show and have someone to coach you for starters) and have the MONEY, emotional stability, network and time to dedicate, please do us all a favor and spay or neuter your cat. Your cat is unique to you, is loved by you and yours and that's great, they all need a home, but kittens and the risk to your beloved pet or explaining to your kids why they lost their cherished family member just aren't worth the risk. And for the ferals, visit a shelter and see how that ends up. I guarantee you if you are feeding ferals and not getting them fixed or seeking help, those cats are bound to be road kill or death row at the shelter.  And if you rescue a feral, congrats, you did a good thing, but get it fixed and stop the cycle of useless killings, wasted tax payer dollars, and humans that see their cats are nothing more than an object.

And now that A needs a million meds, 4 to be exact, is battling for her life and my aunt has 3000 in vet bills, I will spend my Christmas worrying over A and coaching her on how to mix meds in food, spend every evening for the next 10 days helping her pill her cat as she doesn't have the demeanor to pull it off, teaching her how to take temps and help her babysit A while she gets anything else done so she doesn't rip out her sutres.

So to you and your loved ones, hold them close, be thankful you can be together and pray for those you can't so that you can in spirit. Be thankful everyone is safe and keep the Poinsettas away from kitty, they are deadly.

Now that Saturnalia is over, it was December 17-23, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holidays whatever your spiritual flavor. Until we meet again....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Cats New Pictures

Ajah and Julia 12-23-10. I will do Christmas photos very soon. Its hard to believe Julia is already 13 weeks old, such a unique little girl but finally starting to calm down. Ajah has fully accepted her and things are developing a routine which was my goal before we set out on our move. It will make the journey easier as its just transitioning from one home to another.

Back to a computer for a moment

I have been updating my blog from my new cell phone which is spiffy although I am finally figuring out how to use it so I can spend less time staring at it. I am now getting days off and have been getting out more and I am only picking up shifts on the days I am scheduled to work. I have been visiting old friends, seeing movies every now and again and in general attempting to visit and get as many things done before I head out. I have 99 days left.

I went and saw the Black Swan, a truly mind boggling movie and rightly so rated R. I am still pondering how I felt about it. I went to see the Chronicles of Narnia but their projector for it was down so I had to pick another and I already drove that far to see a movie, so I did. And Monday and Wed night I went and hung with an old friend in her new townhouse, its very nice.

Then I went to get the last of my laundry, and that's pretty much it. I am still wrapping my head around the whole fired after 3 years thing, how I want to handle it and have been trying to remind myself to eat more as I haven't been feeling like it, although I can't say shedding a few pounds won't break my heart but this is entirely unnatural. Ah well, guess time will tell. I have been sleeping more, its winter though so I guess it makes sense.

The van is the van, its still there and so I am here. I have been getting clusters of things lately which I don't feel like going through. I think its setting in, the stress is kicking in and time in winding down. I have never liked Christmas, its a rough time for me and mine, but we dredge through it and the guilt trips I knew were coming from family are starting in. Also trying to pay attention to the dogs but not get too attached. And the cats I was planning on letting stay with a family member but I still have thoughts on that, like maybe its not a great idea plus the cost of shipping or driving back will be expensive, time consuming and take time away from school. I am also still figuring out the cello issue, I just have a feeling I don't want to leave it here. I should either store it, ship it or sell it. If I sold it, I would have plenty of money but I love it and spent my high school career paying for it, so I don't see that as an option unless I absolutely have too.

For some reason I thought leaving would be easy, I am following my dreams and going through with finishing school, maybe having a family in the future, I am starting to consider that as well, but the guilt trips and the family drama are weighing down on me. I know I am leaving, its just the process of getting there is not an easy one. The saying good bye because life happens because some of my family are severely bi polar and are weighing down on wanting me to do various important tasks for them instead of standing up the challenge itself. I left one bad situation recently but closing the chapter isn't easy. It wasn't the first time, but I am older now and hopefully ready for what lies ahead. And hopefully I can wrap myself around the task at hand, man up and get everything done no matter how daunting the task may seem.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What a day. I decided to not buy pop but drink the coffee I had at home instead. and now I am doing laundry. I should have left sooner but I think I will be alright. I am attempting to save money as it seems harder to make than save.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The last post that went through was the last post from my old job. It was a normal day other than I was tired from a very long work stretch. I was fired with well wishes, which was an odd experience. My last call off, see previous post, was due to van repair issues so now I have one job left. The good news is its better paying but I missed the Christmas bonus which would have been nice. However I will be able to save some of this paycheck, about 50 of it as this cell phone wasnt cheap but so far its a handy gadget. I have some more things to add to it to make it fully functional besides how absolutely thrilled I am to have a smart phone, the best 200 spent.

In the least I will have 90 hours of vacation time I wouldn't have had if I had quit but still I don't think one can prepare for this. This last check will be the driving money to AZ. I am sad to leave and will miss my individuals I served and keep in contact with some good friends there but its over and time to move on. Peace love and harmony to those I served and Blessings on those I worked with. Its been a good ride, a great lesson and now its time to move on. Thanks for the last 3 years of my life what its been worth and too the individuals  I served who helped me see hope and what it means to be thankful for what we have and too go after what we don't because we don't know what will happen next. Not saying I want to know, its the journey of life and this is my life.

Io Saturnalia....

Monday, December 20, 2010

So I finally grew tired of my last phone and replaced it with a new smart talk phone. I spent 200 on it but with my pending trip forthcoming I did not want to be without a phone. I have also been looking at a pda and laptop. This phone does all that for me which works well. I now have music internet apps and gps rolled into one. I would still like a tablet like the ipad and an ipod but those would be extensions of my existing system. I am currently in the process of consolidating m y computer so i can sell it before I leave. I do not see my desktop or old style tv making the cut. I have also been considering trading my cello for a viola. I can read viola music, the strings are the same and I do not get the useage from my cello I would like. I am hoping by getting something smaller I will play more and will be easier to travel with. Beyond those items, i think everything will come along and now I do not have to get lossed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A bit better today

Okay now that the panic is over, I went to work today and had a good day. Time will tell on that situation. The van works for now and 14 weeks left until leave date. I will update here when there is more to update. In the meantime the cats are doing well and we are taking everything one day at a time. I have a relative who has offered to house the cats until I get settled so that will mean one stable environment to the new one. I will have AC, an address of sorts or a routine, and school will be figured out. It will also be past the dead of summer. I will miss them but it will be motivational to get things figured out. I hope it won't take more than a month but it gives me a cushion if it takes longer. Now that funding and logistics are stable, I am back to taking it one day at a time, I am going to step back from planning for a moment, just focus on the present, and unplug for a day or two at a time. I have been super stressed and its time for brain shutdown. So long as the van runs, there are places to rent at campgrounds or rooms (which I will contact sooner to the move date), and I am employed, life goes on.

Therefore, I think other than class registration and the trip out west, everything is in order. The cats are good to go, my belongings remain nice and small and other than a mock pack up of the van, I am good to go. Now hopefully in a few months after I make the move, I will have a camper of my own and an Astro or like van so its like having the house and car with rent (yes) but my home will have wheels and can be parked. I don't like foundations, they mean permanency and I suppose after a while of a certain place and neighbors, I like to move on. Now granted, its December now, I will be on the road for April and part of May, then settling in, and that's going to be busy. And hopefully I can then settle for a bit until December when  I come to visit the folks and bring my cats back with me. Long enough to enjoy snow at Christmas and then back to the warmth. Hopefully next Jan I can also spend a few weeks in Quartzite and enjoy the rock and mineral show. I planned to go this year but it didn't happen.

I came home to heal after a challenging period in my life but it didn't feel like home the way it did before. But once you settle, its so easy to fall into a routine and its even harder to move again. I hope this will move the rut and I won't feel bad about buying something like land and a trailer because its desert, mountains, green and central to many paths with lots of free camping. The midwest has cheap camping, seasons and some great shopping and entertainment, but its low on jobs, opportunities and no mountains local. Mountains are something I am really attached to for some reason and I love the dry heat.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And here we go...

Well, 2 days ago, the hood was frozen shut, wouldn't start, simply put, broke. I am very glad I didn't stay the other night. This way I am at home with the cats and not stranded 45 min in the middle of no where. So I had to call off yesterday (not my plan believe me), and it got towed. I got the van back and now I have turn signals, flashers ect as well as a van that starts. Yep, that's pretty important. However, it took 2 hours past the start of shift at my other job and so I had to call off. Not good for either. But I won't give up until the fat lady sings so to speak. If I can keep one of the two, then things will be okay.

If not, then I will have to explore how to survive for the next 3 months. My lease on my apartment is month to month with 30 day notice so that's a plus. I have 2 more paychecks coming so some room to move and the repairs were free. So if needed, I will stay in the apartment through Jan. This Friday will cover December and the 28th will cover Jan. Income tax should come in Feb or early March. I am debating if I want to get a temp job for Feb and move out March 1. Then slowly meander across the country Mar 1 through May 15th before I settle in to western life. I don't want to get stranded in the winter in the van on my drive nor put the cats or myself in a bad situation. So that's why the wait. Plus I have an address and tags in this state. However, if I can't find employment and I lose both, I might take what I have for Jan and start heading west.

However, I have friends and connections out west as well so I want to head out in the spring. I have a family member willing to watch the cats as well while I move so I may take that option. I am still debating what is going to be easier on them as my younger girl is very attached to me. I am exploring this option as I have seen some trailers at campgrounds for rent for very little money but pets aren't allowed for good reason. However I could then use that time to get myself a class B camper or convert a new van and then bring them along once I am settled with stable hookups/boarding/pet sitting options. I worry about the summer heat every time I go to the store, about the van breaking down ect, so I want the logistics worked out before I bring them 2000 miles from their current location. They are comfortable in the van as am I but this van being a mechanical PITA AND living in the desert brings a new factor to this decision. I certainly don't want my friend to be responsible for my pets all summer as school and temps together makes for a great challenge.

Realistically, a toad and class B would be my best bet so I have a daily driver and a living space, both with motors, that can both be driven if the other breaks. It does raise expenses but no more than having a trailer would. And its cheaper to store/easier to unload a car than it is too sell a trailer plus depreciation. A van that can be parked with AC hookup works well, but it has to be a B to be campground approved I suppose. So many decisions, I will just take the van west and see what works best and what money options are available. I am focusing on what comes in a few months instead of right now as its stressful enough. Tomorrow will define many things like what options and leave dates.

Optime Vale - Be Most Well

Monday, December 13, 2010

More News

Today I did something I never thought I would do, and it just came out. I am surprised at me, one of those, where did that come from? My day started fine, the van actually started (been having some issues there), the windshield wipers were no problem and the snow wasn't too bad to drive in. Then it snowed, we had a social gathering at work which was nice but I felt claustrophobic, the pop machine didn't work and I have been sick all week. Granted, my flu isn't a reason to not go to work and I can drive in the snow. On my way home, the windshield wipers decided to not work which coupled with snow put me at the verge of insanity. So I took a few breathes, pulled over and made a phone call. Then proceeded to spend 2 hours driving home.

So what did I do today? They told me I HAD to stay at work when 2 hours earlier in my shift they said they were covered. I had already been there 8 hours, live an 45 min in good weather from work and knowing I have to go in tomorrow (meaning not even 6 hours of sleep) I wasn't doing it. I refused to be mandated on the grounds I didn't feel good, plan to be snowed in at home if its going to happen and they have an obligation to give me some planning time. I had clothes in the dryer, wasn't sure if the van would start and knew after a 16 hour day, my ability to cope would be greatly compromised. I had to stop at get my laundry from a relatives as it was and being sick, with that little sleep, it would be too much. So I simply said no, didn't feel good, turned the keys and left.

Does that mean I  am truly starting to feel an obligation towards my own health? I think so. I used to be money motivated but money only goes so far. I have never actually refused to stay for overtime but I have never worked for a company whereas I am required to stay every 15 days and wonder after those 15 days if I will be required to stay. Its been 3 weeks. I have grown angry at the lack of ability to plan for anything besides work, 2 weekends on and one off, meaning no mini trips and finding time to get with friends near impossible. My other job that pays less has only required me to stay 2 times in 3 years, is flexible on scheduling, and has a system that makes sense. I am thinking on picking up an odd job or temp job for the next 3 months in an office that makes decent money and will keep things interesting.

I am leaving April 1, looking for a new van and need to work, but all the overtime I was planning to do and have done hasn't gotten me further ahead, just more repairs. So I might as well winter it out, find a local job and go back to having a life for the next few months. Then I won't be spending 10 dollars a day in gas and 2 hours of driving to work.

Stress isn't worth it and money really does only go so far.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another day

I am waiting to find out from my mechanic on the once over for a vehicle, a 1991 Astro 6 cylinder that I am considering. A person I know bought it and feels its too much in gas money for her daily commute. Its fine by me. I am praying it works out because I really need something to come together this week. I have had horrible luck in the car repairs and I want something thats reliable, can pass an inspection and is reasonably safe.

An Astro gets the same mileage as my Lumina and will be more dependable with a truck drive train. The metal vs fiberglass body helps as well. I can easily add a ball hitch or a back cargo rack and it comes with a roof rack. In other words, its much more suitable to my travel plans. I could build the bed across the back, put in a full kitchen with plenty of water storage and a hole in the counter for the coleman stove to be used indoors or outdoors, and add a small wardrobe and mini bathroom as well. I could keep the two front seats and still have the entire center of the van open for the cats or crafts and reach my under bed items inside or outside with the hatch. I could put a full sturdi cage shelter in for the cats, more room for a genset (as someone suggested), battery power and fans besides camping equipment. In short, I would have plenty of room for me and the cats, my hobbies and room to move besides the better safety of everything inside.

I have thought on the trailer option but someone suggested the roof rack and a swing away is more practical, won't need additional insurance or wiring. Plus parking will be much easier. I was planning on buying a new rig once in AZ, but this works much better. It will be a less stressful trip, time to work the kinks out and space. Its like a dream come true.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Deciding on an eReader and an MP3 Player

Now that I am getting closer to leaving and realize even with so few things, they feel like so many things.
  • I need to trade or sell my desktop for a laptop.
  • Convert tapes and DVDs to digital files that can be stored on a portable hard drive.
  • Convert CDs to MP3 
  • Buy a MP3 player that can be charged from van battery or laptop. I don't feel an ipod at 225 dollars on sale is a good investment.
  • scan pictures to flash drives.
  • buy an ereader for digital books so it can be held on that instead of my hard drive memory
Essentially, the computer should pay for the laptop as I am not going for a high end one. I will utilize external hd and additional USB port add ons instead. This way when I switch or go somewhere else, its all there. All in one is nice, but I want my stuff backed up and transferable from one computer to the next. I am also going to backup my regular desktop to an external hd (should have 2 when done). That should make working easy with one and doing things like uploading pics easy with the other. Then I have spare room on the computer to watch DVDs or get directions.

I found an MP3 player at Odd Lots for 50 bucks. That should work for my collection of 2000 songs. Even having two MP3 players if needed or changing play lists via computer is nicer than having to switch CDs constantly. My van only has a tape player and I haven't ever used it as the only band I still have on tape is Depeche Mode.

So any suggestions on the best ereaders that can read multiple formats (b and n, amazon ect) and have email access would be great.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Just an update, today we are attempting to charge the battery and its getting cold. We had our first snow today. The cats are starting to get their winter coats and I am getting anxious to go, ready for the warmth. My friends in AZ keep reminding me of that. Lovely. Hopefully everyone is staying warm.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Plans brain dump

I finally started paying off some of my old bills that have been sitting on the back burner, nothing major, just the little things. I am also taking my earned vacation for the month of Jan from my 2nd job where I work 3 shifts a month. That way I can pick up at my main job and its like getting double time. I will be taking some of my vacation from said job for the next 4 months until I leave. My main job won't have vacation time as I won't have been there for a full year at that point. But its all good. I tell you now that I am trying to get everything done its getting harder to stay focused at work. I love what I do but the winter is kicking my but and I am missing money that was in my van. I am not sure where it could have gone but its a bummer.

Tomorrow I will be charging my battery overnight and back in line with that. I will also be building my 2 boxes 6 inches tall each that will lay next to each other behind the passenger seat. They will be hinged wood boxes that will store those items that I rarely use but are valuable enough I won't part ways with. I am thinking on putting cargo nets as dividers and putting my kitchen stuff in one half and my office stuff in the other. Then the clothes can go in their tub (which already has clear plastic containers to hold socks, underclothes and shirts separate with pants independent in the back). Blankets can go in the roof top carrier along with the cat bag. The rear seat can house the cat carriers and the 3 drawers behind the drivers seat. The litter box will be up front while sleeping and in the back or in the kennel outdoors during the day. I am still figuring out where the instruments are going. I was thinking on the bed during the day and secured at night, but we shall see. I really do need more space, but its not going to happen right now, so I will make it work.

And of course realistically I need a class B OR a full size van and in the least an Astro that can have a cargo tailgate box and a roof rack that can hold some weight. Maybe I should make it work without a roof rack on the Lumina APV and save that money towards my next vehicle.

But right now getting out west, getting the van outfitted as a starter vehicle on the road and getting everything up to date is the goal.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Moving Plan

Its been 6 days since I decided on a move across the country. I am going to AZ and have picked out several parking places in the area and decided on a roof rack and bike rack for the rear. This notion you save money by not living in a house, I am not sure it doesn't come close when you balance the additional repairs and hardware needed. I am going to make a list here of what the van needs to be functional for a month long excursion with 2 cats.
Repairs so far have been brakes, exhaust, windshield wiper motor, and now the windshield. Thats 420 so far.
Add a roof rack and cargo carrier to the mods as well as a battery and cont duty solenoid and a real spare tire. Thats just the beginning besides a box I am building to go under the bed by 6 inches for lesser used stuff.

Doing something you believe in

I was doing my usual scan of blogs from my dashboard in blogger and a blog called Zen Habits has a blurb on doing what you believe in to benefit everyone else.  We as humans spend to much time doing what society instructs us too, too much time accepting what everyone else says too, and way to much time doing menial tasks that make no sense like working jobs that leave us paycheck to paycheck and angry at the world and our families while we slave away and get absolutely no where. I have been pondering the time and money connection. The notion that time is money. There are those out there living without money who feel we should donate time and the things we don't use to others and I agree with this notion but I like money to some extent because I don't have to have what someone else wants and I don't like carrying a bunch of stuff around. But there is also the notion we should get paid lots to do little and I find this the truth in corporate America. Those who do most make least. I would personally rather make 10 dollars a hour instead of 8 because it means I can work the same amount of overtime and achieve 20 percent higher pay. That 20 percent can go to savings or buying something that will enhance my life (or someone elses) and allow me to have greater periods between work.

Nomadism is the between barter and mass money. You make little money but can save more than someone making 3 x as much because there is little to no rent and the car you would repair you have.
So what do you believe in, that your passionate about that is waiting and may need sacrafice but could happen. A dream is just a dream. A dream with a plan is a blueprint. Step by step goals one at a time is progress. And eventually the dream is reality.

I believe my "station in life" isn't getting better without a change of scenery and a better education. Those are my goals, what are yours?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

a few instruments coming along

I am figuring out the logistics of how to take everything I own in one trip in a mini van, the stuff I have been down sizing for over 2 years. By far, next to the cats, I love my cello. I don't play as much as I used too but its coming for the trip along with my steel necked guitar. The question is how to take an earthquake of a drive and keep the cello and guitar safe and in sound repair so I can use them in the future.
I am just now beginning the research. I would like to play on my way with some me time, but I am still wondering if I want to just take the guitar and have the cello shipped like I did the first time. But I did drive from AK to OH with it albeit risky but less risky than the shippers moving it and me not having my hands in the pot the entire time so to speak. More to ponder. I am working quite a bit right now so updates are sporadic, but I have been on the computer doing some serious research and filling out one form after another. I realize this blog is about van dwelling mostly but this is my major travel adventure except I won't be near family or close friends so I won't have local storage for this or that, everything that happens, to start with, until I reconnect, I am on my own. I am working on cleaning up some past bills, figuring out logistics and the heat in AZ. I will be going to school in the evening which is nice, I might be nocturnal part of the year.

I also got the good news that some old friends from AK will be taking a road trip same time as me and the felines and I will get a chance to reconnect. She is great at knitting and said she would better show me how. I also realized there is a cello group there so it will be nice to be involved again. So much to do, so little time.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Its my life, and this is the journey

So the title sounds selfish but I have been feeling rather emotional as this was a quick process. I woke up November 30 and decided I was moving out west and finishing college. At 4 m 30 d the clock is ticking. I have always been spontanious and this is no exception. I realized I won't have time to get a new van even though there are some costly repairs left to go but as much as I am done with already, to get another vehicle, I would have to repair that too and that gets really complex and fast. Exhaust and a new battery are tomorrow, then a new windshield next check. And after that, I am adding an AGM deep cycle battery and continuous duty solenoid.

Too see how everything fits, I put all my stuff in my apartment around my tri fold bed and realized that everything fits in the mini van but it fits exactly which means in order to drive and then pull over to sleep without tons of hassles, not to mention the easy possibility of losing things, AND room for the cats and their stuff/litterboxes (and not creating a huge mess) would be difficult without additional room. Realistically for this trip and to be comfortable until I decide on a housing situation (if I decide too) I need room to sleep, eat, cook, the cats, litterbox, have papers, books, electronics and clothes in order and easily accessible.

In addition, after I arrive, I will be starting school pretty quick, will need to transfer my plates to AZ, and figure out snail mail address and banking options. Thus, the van will be a home and later a camper as time goes on sort of like it is now. I will need power for my electronics ie laptop, cell phone, ect and space to write for papers and still have a bed and emergency kit. I will actually live between mountains and desert not so far from the Mexican border. So I will be getting a roof rack and pack, which while not stealthy, is the most affordable option compared to a rear box that anyone can easily access or a cargo trailer that I would have to get a hitch for and drive through rough terrain. As everything I own I won't use on the way there and everything I need for travel or cold weather I won't need there regularly although it does get cold at night, so upper storage is easy enough leaving me with room to sit and lie down inside the van.

And for the discussions I have attempted to have with family and friends, this trip is my life, its my journey. I came home the first time to take care of my grandma, to help out and too heal from some past events. I am thankful to those that have helped and hopefully the same is true in return. I am not taking this trip to run away, have vengeance on some past event or prove any points. I am doing this because the longer I sit here, not seeing family anymore often than I did while away the first time, and thinking, this isn't helping anyone, I am not going anywhere sitting here, and my life is slipping by. This trip is about me, the me without kids, obligations or a husband, the me that wants an education, desert, life without midwest winters and spring allergies, the me that needs to do this. I may come back in the end like I did, and I may just come visit, but in the end, this is my life, the life I want and need to live. To those that have supported me, who see I am doing what my soul is calling for, and has been for 2 of the 3 years I have been here, thank you. I came home, melted, and now I am recovered, I think.

So here is to the journey of life we must each embark on in our own unique way, that leaves a trail, tells a story and teaches a lesson to someone somewhere.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter is Here

Today here in lovely OH, the fall is now effectively over. Its snowing outside. I woke up to saying goodbye to the green grass. Yesterday and the day before were so pretty. Its now white and fluffy with the grass disappearing. This is my last winter for a while. YAY!

I am leaving a little sooner than planned and will be attending school in AZ as I want to finish up my degree. I love what I do but its time for a change. I have been saying that the entire time but hadn't thought of a concrete plan and this works. Plus I want to get back to the west coast and this is a way to slowly integrate. AND I started with this college back in 2005 and never got a chance to finish my BS but I don't have to pay an application fee or get new transcripts as they have my old file. I only have to take one class in person for funding so that leaves me some options. I have been been here for 4 years in this area so its time to continue on. I will figure out what I want to do after this point.

Its funny my dad went to the west coast and I was born there and he moved back for family. Things were always different he said. I went in the USAF and when I came home, its been different. I haven't felt tied to here nor like this is home. Its been an odd homecoming. I will miss some things here but I can visit, thats the nice thing with a home on wheels. I am going to be driving and living in my mini van for a few months and see how that goes. Then I will adjust as needed. In the mean time I am going to continue saving, planning and getting all the repairs done on the van as I can so it will be road trip roadworthy.

I lived in AZ for 9 months previously and it was a great experience and I look forward to seeing it again. I will also be getting an overhead container for the van, a roof rack and hitch set up for when/if I get a trailer. I won't be storing anything here as I don't want to pay for storage and I don't want family/friends to move and I am out that stuff. It gets cold at night so I will have all the uses I had before. I plan on leaving April 1 to the 15th, somewhere in there, I need to be in AZ by May 10 to have 2 weeks to get settled. I want to go slow and enjoy the trip.

I also found a day sitter to watch the felines while I attend school so they can stay with me the rest of the time meaning 90 percent of the time, which is what I have been looking for. I am hoping to find a place to park nearby as well or a campground to stay so I can focus on studies.

I am half way through the paperwork for the school, now the repairs on the van, getting the cats shots updated, and then planning the trip. After that, getting settled in a parking spot with hookups for an AC and establishing a system. It all seems so much easier when housing isn't such an issue. If I get a trailer, which I will likely do as I plan to stay at a campground or pay someone, as I have the funding to do so, then I am good to go. We will see how much funds I have left and how much rent the parking space will be before I make such an investment and the gas mileage difference will make towing a trailer a pain. I still want the livin lite trailer as I would prefer pre done facilities but light enough to haul with the mini van.