Monday, February 28, 2011

Another day today. I was considering working in the morning but they didnt offer that shift and I want the afternoon to get my laundry and some other things done. I figured out that ordering from wifi on the kobo ostensible easier than trying the desktop app. Plus I then don't need a desktop and if I get the usb adaptor to 12v option I can run the kobo independently. I still need to figure out typing papers and the like but I have hardly turned my computer on as I have the games and internet and gps on my cell and now books on the kobo. I am keeping my scanner printer so a nice used tablet should solve the problem or a laptop. I am still searching craigslist. This paycheck I am buying a couple cards for my phone, paying off dad, paying a few months of insurance and then my windshield is the next one. After that other than gas and food, all expenses will be paid. I still have my income tax coming, and will pick up more shifts next week so I get another nice check and then all is good to go. I have 4 weeks left until I am done. Its crazy and time is going fast for sure.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Okay so another shift. They tried to mandate me to stay tonight and I said no since I did one last week. good thing I remembered the details. I already did 2 16 hr shifts on friday and saturday so I just simply need some sleep and need to get some things done around the house. Tomorrow I need to pay bills and I am off on tuesday. I will go back to picking up after I catch up on sleep. Right now my eyes are red and I have had so much coffee its crazy. But on we march towards the finish line.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

So two doubles in different places all of which I like isn't bad @ all. Of course in a nose to the grindstone sort of way its a different attitude. I am here for them and money. It was never hours and hours but I want it right now for what its worth although tuesday I am off. I don't want to be burnt out but @ this point it doesn't much matter. I want to be tired, drained and then take a small few days of enjoying ohio spring time, work on the van and then start out is the plan. What is now a month long plan was originally 7 weeks but more money starting out means more time and more comforts.
Double day 2. Its been good so far. I actually got up on time, took a bath and then came to work. I am working half on campus and the other @ the hospital. I did the same yesterday. Then I work sunday morning and monday afternoon to be off on tuesday. This is like the sprint at the end of the marathon. The more I can push now, the more I will have to start with. I am going to go to the end of march and possibly a week or two more while van dwelling locally. That way I have some additional funds for a camper and the first month or two of campground fees. There is more to do in tucson but for now I am settling in an outskirts town due to no emissions and I like the plentiful campgrounds and cheap rates, that way I have options on neighbors. I can simply hitch up and go down the road. I will eventually find my way to tucson but that will be later.

Friday, February 25, 2011

In van news, we have been showered with snow. I am working a double today as there isn't anything better to do. I am off tomorrow and working 16 hrs today, I can't be required to stay any longer other than sleep there which the van is a comfortable option.
This next check goes to the windshield, an air filter, tune up and oil change. That should pretty much wrap things up for now.
Then the bed frame but I will work on that after the weather gets nicer as I want to take my time on it and do it right. I know I am going drivers side along the wall with hinge up lid and kilz paint.
I still need to figure out power needs, there is the kobo e reader, cell, and some form of computer and tv. Heat will be propane most likely and there are fans as well.
Also, one of my fellow citizens in Roma got into a car wreck. Please keep her in your prayers.
I bought a kobo book reader this time around and it came with several of the books I cherish so someone else can now enjoy themselves. I am going to be in over time in short order and doing the many one on ones I have been doing I wanted some easy to carry options. Its also nice for the van. I am getting a usb to 12 v converter kit so I can charge it from the starting battery as I don't have another usb device. I saw a tv with usb input that could use both DVD player and computer tower. when the money is there, I saw a dell notepad that is on a swivel base, has optional keyboard or touchpad and would be perfect.
The little notebooks are nice but don't have the ability to run my graphics programs. I have been wondering if a portable hard drive can plug directly into the usb of the tv and work. If so, that's my new computer. One can be a backup and one the main computer. I was also wondering if an android tablet could read a portable hd. That could work as well.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

last night I got mandated. It took 2 hours to get home. Add an hour of scrape and defrost to get clear so I could take an icy breathtaking drive through country, city and expressway. Then I get home and the power is out. I went to my aunts to do laundry and take a shower and tell work there was no way I was making it back on time for the next shift only 4 hours away. I will have a full time check and will make the day up over the weekend as anything I work now will be overtime.
I put my hair in a braid yesterday. Its a small one but I think it holds well . It might be immature but my african friends say braids hold best and to them I give credit.
Tomorrow more ice but I will be better prepared. I wasn't before bc I hadn't been feeling good and @ 3 hours of sleep I am still not great but far better than I was. Plus during laundry I get to watch tv and see family. I checked on the cats and they are cuddled up in my sleeping bag so that works. Although still not slow and on that note, someone is selling ipads and I saw a dell touch and keyboard pad that is nice. The ipad is cheaper but the ebook more versatile but at twice the cost , we shall see who lands on top.
I am off saturday and per the plan I am building the van bed frame. Then I can kilz it which I have the paint so its impervious to moisture. I am going 2.5 ft wide and 6 ft long. It will go over the plastic storage since I am hinging the lid.
We have power now... I get to thinking this is rough and can't imagine maine. I was at pilot tonight and saw a 7 inch tv with usb connection. It is a flat screen on a removeable stand. My DVD player would work with it as would my computer tower. I can then watch movies, listen to music, watch tv or take advantage of cable @ campgrounds and type my papers for school or see my phone on a larger screen w a micro usb cable. I would like one a little bigger but still under 200 but a 7 inch would work. with this screen I can keep my beloved computer and replace my tv.
I am @ work now going on lunch at 740 pm. Far later than my normal routine. I go from sweating to freezing but its only 8 pm and I am done with 2 of 3 people and that's a nice change. I normally have far more to do but I got pulled tonight. I am going to wash myself up, put my food in my cooler in the van for tomorrow and stop @ grandmas for a shower tonight. I am considering filling some water jugs tonight and I could wash my hair tonight. As much as I am sweating I am also considering cutting it tonight as its getting heavy and hot to work with.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Afternoon 2.22.11 I feel weak and my brain not here from the diabetes and shakes, I haven't ate much in 2 days so I had a spicy chicken sandwich from bk and a salad. I have another sandwich and the chicken from the salad for later. I walked yesterday and am burning more calories from the cold so getting through this is my goal.
Morning 9/22. I am toasty. The bag passes the test with just wearing pjs inside of it. The cats crawled inside at various points as well. Its vary padded and no moisture to speak of. Its a field and stream oversized sleeping bag. The other unzipped bag is on top and makes a difference. Its 6.5 ft long and 3 ft wide. I am posting this log here as you can be comfortable without heat I think through the night if required. my coat is even cold to the touch. Today I will be wearing my underarmour as well. This bag will be going to work with me and I will put the other one out for the cats as I did yesterday.
So today is the 21st and we are in round 2 of snow. the roads were bad but not impossible. it is now 9 pm and I decided to stop in to Dicks. I have a walmart sleeping bag but its rated for 20 degrees and I couldn't get to walmart so I got a new sleeping bag. Its to freezing but @ 75 dollars it works. It was recommended for a mummy but I get claustrophobic plus the cats need room. However in my room lighted by my phone, typing this blog on it, listening to music, munching on ramen uncooked, I can say this bag is working well with 2 over it. Its 6 lbs but roomy and long. I could fit my pad in as well but on it is working.
I am also thankful my cats are hardy. One is a russian with a triple coat and snow shoes on her paws. The other was born outdoors.
I am definitely getting a mr buddy heater for my trip and pudding foam on my bed.
We had two great days of weather on the 18th and 19th. Too bad I have been to sick to enjoy it. Today the 20th has been better health wise but we got sleeting rain this afternoon leaving it a mystery how the drive home will be. I picked up tomorrow as well because someone said they have an ipad for sale and that would be nice to have. Then I could sell my old computer for hopefully a couple of hundred to make back some of my investment.
I am also going to make a trifold bed from the seat cushions out of my van since they aren't selling.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Time, only 6 weeks

As of today, I have 6 weeks. The weather was nice today but I am still sick. However, I sold my bean bag cushion which was like a sentimental going away or something. I also talked to a friend and they are attached to the cats so I have the option to leave them with her for as long as needed. I love them and for that fact with the AZ heat, I don't want any mistakes. I would rather get there, get more stable climate controls and ventilation and work from there.

I deleted the Feb 14th post which I will repost when I get the chance.

Today I also realized that I need to get started on the van as I want to live out of it for a week before I leave to work out the bugs. Curtains and privacy are first. Then the bed frame along the drivers side with hinged top, totes underneath, 2 buckets (one for doing laundry when needed and one for you know what) and the rest I will figure out. Clothing storage, food storage and temperature control are on the too do list but I will work on it as money allows.

I am going to get reflectix and white board and velcro for the windows. 2x4s with hinges will build the bed with drywall screws and anchor into the seat mounts. My two storage totes should fit behind the drivers side under the bed and the buckets in the back behind the bed as I don't need the full space for sleeping, I am a shorter person. That leaves the other side open. I need power for the fan, some LED lights and charging my cell phone. Most nights should be cool for now, I can use my portable lights and charge my phone from my starting battery. Eventually, I will need a laptop for school and a ice powered AC unit. I think things should work out.
I also saw on another blog those closet organizers hung across the top and shoe totes hung inside for organization and those are options for the smaller things. As for bathing, I do a lot of  wash ups now, entertainment will have to be figured out and onward we go.

They say when prepping for a van its the stuff you do in the house, I get up, eat, have quiet time, read (digitally mostly), clean up, go to work, come home, eat, exercise a bit, and go to bed. I watch TV or DVDs every so often as it catches my attention. Therefore a modern contemporary design with a minimalist look is my desired outcome. I want black and white with some splashes of red for color, my dashboard is really deep so that will probably be my office area. I have thought of removing the passenger seat and putting in a really comfy chair so I can use the space more efficiently. The passenger seat is uncomfortable. I also need to get some type of additional cushioning for the drivers seat. I was thinking of foam cut to size, with the seat cover overneath.

The kitchen set up is still somewhat of a mystery. I use a microwave at home or eat raw veggies ect. I was thinking on a tuna fish hiker style portable stove (aka alcohol stove) for boiling water, my Stanley thermos for keeping hot water/coffee and a coleman 1 burner for the larger projects. I don't want a lot of stuff as it starts to get in the way aka clutter but I want to be comfortable. I also don't want to much propane to be carting around due to the risk of explosion. I can drink, cook and wash on 3 gallons a day comfortably. I do have a solar shower as well that has its uses.

The hard part is achieving homey while being stealthy and not looking like a giant camping trip. I don't want a ton of bumper stickers or attention getting items. I like house dwelling to be clean lines, stealthy and splashes of decoration for low dust and a greater appreciation of my truly sentimental items.

So tomorrow is the beginning of fittings for curtains, adding a white cover to the top of the van interior and a rug to go along the passenger side to add both color and keep dirt out. the 25th and 26th I will make the bed frame and we should be ready to go.
Today I am going out to enjoy this weather. 6 weeks to go, time just keeps going. I have been in a creative mood and downloaded some music instead of spending money going out. I love that part of the internet, I can explore music and thoughts the world over.
When creative, I find myself back into the Celtic flavor and discovered Holly Mithias thanks to Irish MP3 Magazine as well aaron Fiddlestix. I will buy thier CD thanks to this free opportunity to enjoy thier work.
In other news, I got an email from Folk Alley that the FCC is considering cutting funding to non profit and public broadcasting to zero.
This relates to van dwelling and those who like clean and educational programming because without the funding these will cease to exist and I find that unamerican, leaving only the rich to run the media. I enjoy Charlie Rose, many documentaries on the ancient and classical world, and the Celtic hour on pbs radio. Please write and fight for funding to continue, next to our children losing gym class and music, this is the last reachable vestage for seeing a world outside of our bubble.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So today I didn't feel good but I got up took a bath and then a nap and it made a huge difference. I have also been dehydrated. I am off tomorrow as I don't want to pick the only day off in 7 up coming. Which is good for the money but its a lot. I just want to take a week after working to relax before the craziness begins.
There has been discussion still on leaving the cats until christmas which I am still debating on doing. I don't want to but I think this will be hard with everything going on. But time will tell and it depends on the money situation when we get there.
Sorry for the blog mess up. I sent it from my phone and it was too long so it broke up and posted as such. For those on reader, truly sorry.
I got the chills last night and couldn't stop coughing around cigarette smoke. I am okay with it normally and respect others rights to partake, but I think my days of diet coke and cigarettes are completely over. Too hard on the system.
6 weeks 1 day until April 1. Time is flying now. I talked to a friend yesterday and she said for once I seem positive with the move as I have milled over it before. But all things happen in their time and place. And I think this is my time and place. At 26, I have visited everyone possible, done many things but not financially efficient. I think this is both travel and reason and with van dwelling it makes the entire notion affordable doable and flexible.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What a day. Went to work, and now get to take care of laundry. I didn't feel to well on thursday so I didn't get to much done plus the drive to do laundry is near work so it doesn't make sense to do a specific trip @ current gas prices.
Tomorrow is the cat show and I haven't been home yet to do the prep work which is a good hour. Then tomorrow the show and then sleep finally. Sunday I will attend the show in the morning and dad will do the afternoon shift. This is different showing without more involved but it should work. One day @ a time and 7 weeks left. The days are flying although I am considering working through the final paycheck as I would then have another check after going on my journey thus only needing a month of travel with financial room to move. I also want a few days to a week to finish things here but we shall see.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It was a rough day yesterday and I drank a wee bit to much coffee. But I made it through with many more to go. The key was by the meal. Yesterday was one of those non stop insane physically grueling no matter the caffeine @ the end tired and sore days. There now leaving that at the door and coming back to this set of projects.
I need to set up for the cat show today, and move onward with cleaning. Beyond that, I was reading a more practical thought on minimalism and the idea that technology has merely replaced physical things is realistic I suppose. I don't play many physical games anymore, I play digital ones, I read more blogs and books online, get the news online, and listen to music in mp3 format, watch videos on DVD and write journals, keep a calendar and write memos digitally. This doesn't make music, reading or games with friends any less important, just less space consuming so why have all of those items except for a few for those unplug no power situations. So realistically, its not minimalism, its more digitizing. But I still choose to have fewer things and would eventually like to have a van and camper for a home base and then international travel with most of my stuff able to fit in 2 sacks, one for the van home and one for airplane or train travel. This obviously doesn't include food. Plus I would eventually like to develop a network of travelers to explore different areas. But I don't want commitment neither. So off to some space. I am definitely going for a mini hike today as well.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How do you count the days to freedom? I am counting by the 4.5 paychecks left or the 7 weeks and 2 days. Other than that, I will be working quite a few doubles. I have avoided it because I originally had 2 jobs and then the 16 hrs is a bit much, but I will just drink more coffee and deal. And boy is the coffee good, oh wait, I drink it anyways Lol... the more I work now the less I need to later. I want to use this trip to just sit back and relax. Then if all works out, I can go to school the first semester without working. Then in december take a train back for the holidays. I only have 2 weeks off and I won't want to take the time to drive and I hate flying although I do have lots of airline miles.
Time will tell, until then I will work and keep counting.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I realized looking at my room just how close I am. I really made progress and have my piles separated. 7 weeks and 3 days left. Now just a few items to sell and I will have all the comforts of home in 2 16 gal totes, one 12 gal, 2 laundry baskets and one 3 drawer stacked. add some bedding, the instruments, a large carrier and a bag for the cats, we are good to go.
Duffles are also nice and I have an evacuation bag as one but its not water proof which with condensation issues that could arise I prefer Rubbermaid totes.

Monday, February 7, 2011

So now that I had an entire weekend off, I feel very refreshed. I really needed it, and it actually felt long. So now I am ready to give all my gusto again. Its that lull in the storm that gets us through it, I can feel positive energy flowing, I have been writing more and achieved some personal nirvana of sorts yesterday. Its crazy how organizing my entertainment collection, going through other nooks and crannies , pulling out the dust bunnies does wonders. I really feel like I made some serious progress and that feels good.
I lit the candles on my lariarium and just sat and reflected on life and my brain did something its never done, I found the off switch, the point of silence in my brain. Its amazing. I sat and made some small offerings today and I feel at peace, surreal.
Now the journey begins, self reflection. More about others, not apologizing for believing as I do and listening more: to people and to nature, to the world around me, afterall, I might learn something. And to think I am a libra and left handed.
The west coast... As mentioned previously I have plans for the west coast, places to visit and people to see. Some I haven't met and some I have. Its a new region for my 2 kitties and lots of great panoramic views to take pics of. I can't wait to see the Grand Canyon, visit the Joshua tree, visit Yellowstone, hopefully drive the Alcan again and spend some time in Quartzite.
I mapped out this trip which will take me from Oh to KY, over to St Louis and out to CO. Then down through NM to AZ. I haven't driven this route entirely before so I wanted to try it. It will be spring time and too hot for the cats on the I 10 so I won't get the texas route this time around.
I will explore that route when I return home for the holidays. Then next summer I want to drive up the west coast and take the ferry to alaska and visit some friends there for the summer and maybe make a few bucks. I also plan to do a horse or mule ride tour in the Grand Canyon and perhaps explore california of which I have friends there. All in all, its sad to say farewell but we only have one life to live and live it I shall.
I entered the cat show for this weekend. Its our final one and the chance to say be well to many friends I have had for the past few years here in the great lakes region. But I look forward to the southwest with the CFA international show, arcadia, colorado springs and a few others. I thought when I moved here that with so many shows I would enter them all but I did about half. It was none the less an educational experience and great fun with so many Siberians in one show, we made history for the US. And on this trip I get to see several of my past kittens which will be nice. I get yearly updates but in person is better since its hard to say when I will be in this region again other than quick visits with the family.
I have a bucket list of places I want to see on the west coast. I did a trip in 2008 to pa, nyc and nj. I saw quite a bit, got lost in nyc and met all different types.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Its such a pretty day today. Depending on how cold it is, I may go for a walk. I am also starting more projects and will have way less to do in 2 months, hopefully once I get all these projects done as far as going through that which needs gotten rid of or organized better, it will be a cake walk to simply take a drive to donations for whatever doesn't sell and be on my way. Also easier to pack out the van. Its amazing how much junk we pick up without searching for it. I wish food and cat food weren't individually packaged because I could then go to the store, bag it and be on my way. I know it doesn't work that way and germs would be a problem, but there has to be a more conservative and econoline friendly option besides grow or kill your own, neither of which I am into even though I have grown up on a farm. I admit it, I like quick easy food with a little spice at the end, and love indoor plumbing.
Today was productive in a non rushed kind of way. I cleaned up my computer, deleted dark pictures, have the baseline organization accomplished and now I can back it up with a 5G flash drive. And then I can download my music on a second one so I have a backup of my cd collection. I got through my cd/DVD/games after deleting and taking out many. The computer took 4 hrs and the binder took another couple over the past few days. It truly feels like I am getting somewhere. Organizing a media library seems like a pointless task for many but I love my tunes and its been chaos for a while. Tomorrow I will tackle the kitchen items which is 2 drawers, clothes and blankets and finish the media library. The computer is now defragging. Doing these projects helps distract from the larger daunting ones that I really only began a few days ago.
I also began putting the get rid of and sell items in a corner and its getting full with van seats, organizers and other random things. In addition, I enjoyed some personal time in thought which makes getting things in order much easier. Sometimes we have to turn the off to get our game on. I had been lacking motivation after the daunting school process. I think we are moving along and I am glad I chose to keep my days off. Its relaxing in a way knowing I am getting closer to my goal.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Today I decided to go out even though its snowing. I only get one weekend off a month so its special. The roads weren't really that bad but I am not in a hurry either and keep my distance plus its daylight. That's why I didn't pick up a shift today I don't want to drive tonight. So I got a bag of chips, hit the pet store and took a pair of pants back that didn't quite fit right. So I spoiled myself with a new candle plate and holder. I like to meditate and pray with my cinnamon flavored soy candles and I only have one holder. So to fix that I added a new one. At 6 bucks, I can't complain. Its a nice way to spend my remaining time indoors.
In the van, I can light them outdoors and when I put them out, bring them in to enjoy the fragrance. There is also the oil burning ones and some nice led candle lights. I got an energy drink and filled up the gas tank as well so I don't have to rush before work monday. I am starting to grow peaceful with winter again for now...
I explored at work to see where I could get my vhs tapes to DVD and someone mentioned walgreens and a few other options that I want to explore. I bought the DVD for most of my tapes throughout time but there are a few I haven't found like miracle of the white stallion ect. There are 10 and I found a home for them with a VHS collector after the conversions. I also got rid of my jewel cases a long time ago so my DVDs are in a travel case to begin with. So yesterday I began getting rid of and throw away piles of the music I don't listen to, put my computer discs in the travel case and will finish sorting the collection today. I need to go through my clothes today as well.
Its like starting the journey I started when I became a minimalist but there is a key difference. Back then it was fitting it all in the minivan, now its using everything and having some floor space. In the van I want music, space for food and clothes, a small bin of crafts for rainy days, bed, small toiletries bag and wash up kit, and a place to sit. Having been without my own washer and dryer for a while now, I prefer more clothes less laundry days.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Today has been another day off. they come in clusters and then I work a bunch. Odd it really is. Right now I am sorting and attempting to sell the van seats. I am going to call some junk yards tomorrow as well if I don't get any offers. I also decided on a passenger side bed but can go lengthwise in either front half or back half as well. I am going drivers side bed. The rear drivers side seat folds down and I have a table I am taking. I can build the bed on top of the table and chair with just a plywood board, my 2 bedrolls and bedding. Then if I want the table, I have it and the chair is there as well. The cats tree and carrier can span the back behind the seat. Wardrobe and office stuff in the slider recess. Food can go up front and under the table. The rear windows are tinted as well and my sleeping bag is black.
Option 2 is to put my Rubbermaid totes instead of the table and build a permanent bed frame from front to back seat that is level with the seat down which sounds more reasonable.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So far I haven't been mandated. But time will tell. I am ready for it though. The van is packed with most everything going except the cats since my neighbor is going to check on them. I need to find a cat sitter in home if possible because I wasn't planning to work but I prefer it as its one thing I enjoy and it keeps me sharp.
I had two days off. I got my laundry done, bought some new sweats and tanks, got my grandmas cat food and litter as she is wintering with my aunt, and started an inventory of what I am packing and what needs sold. There are quite a few things yet to be done but if they don't sell, I will simply donate or throw them away or maybe store a few items with a friend but I would really like some more money and I don't see the items in use in my new life.
I am at work. It took over an hour to get here and they are calling for more snow so I suspect I will be @ work tonight in lock down but that's okay. There are people who are working 4 shifts with 4 hours of sleep. I will be sleeping in my van tonight anyways until morning in the work parking lot. I don't feel comfortable traversing back roads @ night. But not wanting to work all of tomorrow, I won't tell them. then at daylight I will take a shower at a friends and be on my way. I may have to do this program until monday or so so I don't get snowed in. I also need to get to walmart for a bedroll because I forgot mine @ the apartment. But I can still live without it but not by preference.