Saturday, April 30, 2011

For being a minimalist, I am feeling like I have a lot of stuff to haul out to the van. I didn't plan on adding but I found it easier without a washer and dryer here to have more clothes, storage for organization seems the biggest pita particularly for the few items I truly care about but most stuff packs down pretty good, but its a difference of accessible and packing. Here goes the adventure, I am going to finish laundry and vacuum the van one more time. I really could use a bike rack for the van, I think the rest will pack in okay.
I got my dads new, my old desktop up and running for him, my relatives dryer was funky so I have to redry my clothes, and my aunt just called and said she is giving me a cooler so I will have 2 plus the 12v gadget. Add some cooler packs and ice and life is good. I don't plan on having much freezer goods but I can use them for storage if needed. Hoorah. I think the farewell emotions are over for the most part but I'm not rushing out the door but still looking forward to the adventure.

Friday, April 29, 2011

This is my last post before I start packing tonight. I had some VERY good food in the last 2 days and watched tv including William and Kates wedding which was amazing. She is such a modest women.
There were indeed some tears shed today but everything went as it should. My route has been altered for less miles and more small towns. I am still going through some large areas but I hate straight express way driving and won't be giving any money to those turnpikes that still have back ups galore and the highest prices for everything.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do you ever get the feeling everything is going to work out in the end? I was listening to our local christian station kluv and I just got that feeling.
I stopped to get some provisions, sold the last of a few odds and ends and now I am ready to go. I even cleaned my interior and grabbed some organizers. I am sad because a relative I was forging a relationship with again has returned to alcoholism and is turning inward. Its going to be tight Emotionally but I need to get out of the rain.
Heading on the road today but not going far tonight. Going to a cat show in IN tomorrow. Gas went up quite a bit.
Starting to pack today. I am going now to sweep the van carpet and trim the reflectix. Then put stuff in. And we are off. I can't believe it, its almost time to go. I will miss the cats until I get a camper van with ac and hookups access.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

All of my stuff sold last drop off is tomorrow @ noon. Van repairs are 800 total and done fingers crossed. Today I am packing the van and heading out in the morning. The stress is almost over and I have to thank my friends and family for their patience because mine has been lacking with the van in the shop one day after another.
Thankfully taco bell has vegetarian fare because its my cheap totally stressed fast food of choice. I am typing this from a taco bell. Its a calm environment most of the time and I get good internet signal in here to get some work done.
plus its really windy enough to pull my windshield wipers open. I am driving it around locally a bit to make sure no more problems. So here is to the road to come and an evening of packing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The solenoid is an issue now... Talk about getting gouged, this is starting to hurt. 650 and growing hurt. I can't take much more. One more thing and I am calling it quits, downsizing more and backpacking. The words done and truly frustrated come to mind. I haven't been so angry as to tears in a long time and I am there. I still have things to do and I am screwed. This van was 900 when I bought it, we are @ over 2000.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

yahoo! Today was much better. My cousin is due july 14 so I won't be able to make it back for the baby as planned. She is further along than thought, but its a blessing for sure.
Family and friends gathered for a small but awesome family dinner.
bike is fixed and I got my stuff gathered. I remember on vandwellers list someone mentioned getting ready for the road would take longer than a person thinks, it sure is true. I need the van repairs done and that's all that remains.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today I went over to the house where my washer and dryer have been kept until we could move them to a relatives that wanted it. I went to wash my clothes in the meantime and the back door was busted. someone stole my washer and dryer, my large garbage can that was going in the van with me and my favorite frying pan that's been in the family for a long time. It has sentimental value from the days when my grandma and I could cook together, before her parkinsons became more pronounced..
The police arrested the tresspasser but didn't take down the lack of a washer and dryer, they also didn't mind the left over mess.
Anyways no biggie, the mess anyways. We called to do a report and we stayed 4 hours. Now I live quite a ways from there and you won't catch me overnighting the area, plus my dad and I drove his car, the dogs and house here have things to do, so we came home. 6 hours they call saying they are there. Little late now...
And furthermore, after 500 in work on the van it acts up today and had to be towed in. Driving with locked up brakes is no fun. So there is that. This week has been hades to say the least. I hope tomorrow @ my going away things go better. I am trying to get out of here and life keeps making that hard, but I will overcome.

Friday, April 22, 2011

today has been good. I get the van in a few minutes, I am going to register with a temp service for tomorrow and maybe monday and I can see about a few extra pennies that way. This isn't going to be easy but its doable. But since I am already here and my everything is registered here it should be easier. Local references always help.
But I wanted my van fixed by my mechanic with cheap prices and local resources.
Its been a long time coming to this point but its getting closer. I am also building the bed today as soon as I pick it up.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I got a call from the mechanic that my van is done. It set me back 450 dollars and that got a new hub something or other, 2 new axles, and a few other this and thats. Add 2 tires in the mix and we got a van minus the windshield that's going to run 160 or so. We shall see. I was planning on leaving friday but that begs to differ at this stage. It may be monday as being out over the holiday doesn't play out well.
I will indeed be living in my van if things don't go as planned instead of a room. Its going to be hot oh boy but that's what public areas are for I guess. I was good until the van bill but it needs done as public transportation in tucson area is less than stellar.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Toledo Museum of Art peristyle. Commonly used for grand events. Art is 1400s and older. Visiting the Museum one last time was one of my goals, mission accomplished.

 This arches in this room are from 3 different monastaries in France. The fourth was made locally. I love this room, its so old feelings. Anywhere I am, when I need peace, I mentally come back to this room. Its amazing. Thanks again to the guard at the Museum that knew many things about this room. I learn something every time I come back.
 This was the advertisement piece for the special pay exhibit they had. The regular museum is free.Interesting, not sure I know what to think. I did miss the Mummies of Egypt this time but I saw it a few years ago.
Meet Mr Thinker. He is by far one of my favorites. I always think of Night at the Museum when I see him lol
This is the OH MI line.  I walked this today along with riding the bus, walking more and some more, and getting a ride from a stranger. Thank you stranger. I went to the Museum, walked 6 miles to get there, and then walked to the bus stop, then walked and finally got a ride home. Its been an interesting day to say the least. Tomorrow could be just as interesting.
Also, I added a PMP player 4.3 inch screen from Big Lots for videos when the laptop isn't practical and I can now also record my cello playing to make mp3s and podcasts, cheaper than a plain old recorder with way more features. It isn't a ipod but it does the same thing. It is usb run but I have an adaptor for that. Another 12V gadget but I can't enjoy the cello if I can't record myself to see where improvements need to be made.
Below is my cello.... And finally I decided I need to start carrying a backpack, the messenger bag today was rough.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I washed my hair last night, which I have been shampooing about every 4 days. I do baby powder and baking soda treatments as needed inbetween.
Last night my hair was incredibly frizzy, then this morning I took the braids out, and ponied it, its still pretty crazy in the pony but the roots are starting to settle, tomorrow it should distribute and settle more, then need baby powder and finally a day or two later need washed again. My hair has changed drastically since going this route, it gets less oily, is more easily managed and has been growing. I did straight baking soda, vinegar for a while, outdoor rx and poo rotatively and straight poo and then water only in the past year and they all work, but poo every 4 to 6 days seems to be the magic trick as letting my hair settle through the grease was painful but afterward a bit flatter then preferred. So some grease cutting is needed for me.
Of the comparison on class b or c, mechanically sound and no water leaks or rust is my criteria. Gas mileage is less of an issue as I won't be driving it much except for every few months or a weekend here and there. But the fact it can drive is a huge plus. It also needs to be under 20 ft or close to it for access to more remote areas. A truck and camper is an option for that but you won't find e that far off the beaten path. Plus I like access from front to back especially when the weather is bad.
Then I can also drive home or to remote job locations for summer work or whatever. It needs to look nice as well and last a while.
With my niece, nephew, and a great cousin on the way, something they can tag along with aunt is very much needed. They can come visit me out west or I can visit home.
I also decided I am going to electrify my bike which will still fit inside the minivan and easily in a camper, then a toad car that can be retrofitted for overnighting.
Waiting @ the mechanics so I can get her fixed. Then onto the oil change and tomorrow is the windshield. The shimmying I felt a few days ago was less so today. I suspect a slipped belt in the tire but its hard to say and I want to get her on a lift and looked over before I head off. With the windshield repair tomorrow and backup on wednesday, then the pup gets spayed, and I am off saturday morning it looks like. I got a couple of places I am looking @ room rentals that are in my budget for a few months until I can find a class b or c which I have decided is ideal. I can tow something behind it for local transportation and still drive it with direct access to my home. My issue was I want home and transportation separate. This should work. Its the most cost effective and gives me time to look for a mechanically sound class b. I want something newer then 1995 with ac, heat, toilet, wet bath, bed and kitchen.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Talk about an eventful day... I played the cello for a good hour. Its miraculous how once I am not tired up with work I am free to work on other things. Other options of creativity and its gorgeous. Of course I could teach lessons to young children, record for fun and participate in community orchestra. I am no where near where I was 8 years ago but its coming back. I can practice along the way and within a few months I will be ready to step it up. I simply feel alive. Its amazing.
I am starting pack up the van on tuesday as I really need to get settled, then get the cats, start school and yay, then I can attend cat shows and begin to enjoy a new environment.
Next my cousin is having a baby !!! So that's huge and I am happy for her. She is due in august and we are incredibly close so this should be fun...

Friday, April 15, 2011

I love my family but to call complaining to me about how they used to have money is not it. I have been nice enough since being off of work to help out here and there BUT I do not feel pitty on those who choose to do nothing but sit with their big screen tv in their home they can't afford. Sell the house, live somewhere cheaper, or better yet get a new job. Said relative talks of leaving her current position, she works a few days a week and makes what I did on a 60 hour week. I am not passing judgement but it would be nice if I was extended the same courtesy. The longer I am here, the more I am ready to go. Hopefully the college experience, living out of a van for a bit and seeing the world will put me in better spirits. I also want to do some international travel and do online courses. Life is waiting. Time to restore and renew and give back.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I will be leaving on the 22nd of this month for sure. I got another load out of family storage that they insisted I not get rid of then, but have been living without and therefore not worth hauling a cargo trailer for. Taxes are done and refund comes in on the 22nd, same as my final check. My debit card still hasn't arrived so I want my financials taken care of first but by the 22nd we should be good to go.
Now its just a final clean of my place and where storage was at, which I started to tackle yesterday. I am going to finish packing here, do the floors and then its just waiting until the van repairs are done.
Then hopefully I have a few days to enjoy some peace and quiet.
I am also going to turn my old ragedy towels into strips to make a braided rug with for the front passenger seat as my giant dashboard is good for reading when I am sitting roadside.
Also, I found old shelves from my bookcase that I threw out some time ago, that would make a nice countertop for my stove. there are 3 shelves, and I found 2 other scraps from a garbage that will make for a nice 3 shelf unit behind the drivers side to hold the bins. Then my bed will be open for the portepote on one end and the water on the other.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yesterday was my last day of work and I started right into this new work which I am glad as focusing on both has been hard.
I got the tools I borrowed in my apartment back to their owner, some furniture I had in storage to a new grateful owner, and bid farewell to some good friends.
Today I went to walmart, got the rugs, some flip flops, a tire inflator and led light, and 2 innertubes for my bike. I decided to simply stay with my current bike even though it needs work because it fits me, was expensive in its day and is reliable. I got it in junior high so its been with me a very long time even though its been garaged for the most part.
I am now finishing laundry up and got most of my clothes packed. This is the final load before my washer and dryer go to their new home.
I also narrowed my stuff down to 2 bins, 1 smaller bin and a 3 drawer. Then I will have room for the bike as I don't trust people. I need to also add my ozark trail 2 burner set, 5 gal water container and kitty litter toilet. Still debating on a tent for the campgrounds I can visit 20 min from school and for the added room.
The van gets her final repairs tomorrow. Then I need to move the washer and dryer and finally pack it all up.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What a crazy day... this is my last day of work. The van gets worked on wed, the windshield later this week, we are taking the carpet out as well and just laying a new layer down. Then the bed frame, cargo net and stuff beneath. I still need a Cook stove but I got the bathroom, wash up and water taken care of. I need to also finish some mild projects with a few on the road as well.
What a crazy day... this is my last day of work. The van gets worked on wed, the windshield later this week, we are taking the carpet out as well and just laying a new layer down. Then the bed frame, cargo net and stuff beneath. I still need a Cook stove but I got the bathroom, wash up and water taken care of. I need to also finish some mild projects with a few on the road as well.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Then my 2 totes, canvas bag and basket can fit underneath. The smaller one can go right in back along with the cooler and water. I found a pump and hose at an auto parts store so I can have fresh water and easily add water from smaller containers. This too will be turnbuckled down as it will be heavy. I am also on the hunt for a one burner propane stove, but I also saw a coleman duel fuel. I am still debating this one. I don't need anymore 12v appliances nor batteries. Right now I have the fan, laptop, cell, and cooler on 12v but I don't use the cooler often and the laptop will be limited. The mp3 and camera and flashlight are battery.
I am still keeping a backup duffel for emergencies and the cello is staying here until I come back.
I don't see me in an apt long term. I am more interested in a camper still. But one bridge at a time.
So today is the bed frame and stove.
I am finishing packing today and heading out this coming weekend. Tomorrow is my last day of work, its nice so I am going to vacuum out the van, and load it up and see what it looks like. Then its off to home depot to get plywood and 2x4 for a simple bed and frame. The frame will be 6 ft long by 2.5 wide in 2x4. I am going to put it above the wheel well so I can keep my storage below. To save money on hinges, the upper frame will be lipped and 3 plywood pieces will sit inside. I will then get three cushions from a couch being thrown out and put them on top. Then all three pieces can be stacked when not in use. I am getting turnbuckles to secure the frame to the former seat spots in the floor.
The frame will have 3 support beams across where the plywood sections fit on top and the standard 4 legs. Then my stuff can go underneath and my cargo net across to keep it there. The cargo net was from a former car trunk.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I am starting to stress a little more but luckfully I paid everything off for march so now its onto the windshield for right now and I am good to go. Now just finishing up the housing situation and hopefully finding someplace cheaper for the windshield. Then packout, get the dog fixed and we are off. I am hoping to be out of here on the 15th.

Friday, April 8, 2011

So on my way to work my van died. But it is parked legally and I still got to work. My van is faithful and I am glad I thought of plan b. The train is still an option. I am going to have to get home which means about 15 miles of walking and a ride home. It should be okay of the weather Holds. I got some stuff in my van for the emergency situation and I am glad I do. I just have to make it home by tonight to get to the bank tomorrow. I have my bike at home for that.
monday is my last day technically but if the van isn't working and its something serious, I will say ah well, sell it and move earlier as option b requires more planning and effort. I have through bike, need a train ticket, need a tent, and have the bags for the bike. Everything else will just have to go and I can then use the money saved to set up there.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

So I have some time with google tonight. I found a replacement battery for my acer one for 35 dollars. I just wanted to see how much one would run me as I tend to keep my computers and technology based items a long time. I love my desktop but it doesn't work with the travel plans. So now I have a netbook and so far its been a lovely device. Add a portable hd that's nice and completely usb powered. The disc drive is also usb. All handy but bulky and I am afraid of the above items getting damaged. Hence each has item has a pouch inside the netbook bag.
Then there is the mp3 player run on batteries. Quite handy. I took it for a trial run with a few walks and it does what it was designed to do. Those solar yard do dads will provide a nice charged battery. Ha, I found one single item to come in handy Lol... That was for an email I got.
Then my beloved cell phone. I am feeling like the laptop and mp3 player are a dumping ground for my cell leftovers Lol...
those go with me by whichever travel mode. No more gadgets.
Hi how r u.s. Greetings from bored Lol... I got mandated at work. my last day is the 11th. it can't come soon enough.
Adding to that thought an SUV or mini van with a hitch mount for the bike could work as well if my room rental isn't to high and I am close to school. If its on the higher side, then adding a camper makes sense. Its really a gas vs rent thing. After school, visiting home and possible summer employment, I don't want a bunch of things to store, I don't want to spend an hour driving to school like I do work now, but I still want an economical way around, a place to cook, sleep and enjoy when I travel, and won't cost a fortune in upkeep. A bike is great for gas mileage and an SUV for bad weather or driving home and being able to sleep in on the way there and haul my stuff and bike if needed if I need to store both, they can be together for one rate or the bike inside the SUV at the lot although I don't know dimensions at this stage, I simply know the bike should mount on the rear of my daily driver when needed and still be able to haul a camper. So many decisions, but I got mandated at work on a very slow night shift so I got all night.
Other options are travel trailer and scooter, with the option of bringing the van out or having a vehicle for both coasts. Then there is the motorcycle and smallest a frame camper option which could be a bit small but with a SUV or minivan I would be able to haul the camper and bike for minimal weight, be able to do road trips with great gas mileage on a bike, drive a great gas mileage vehicle and still have a place to stand up, sleep and cook. plus I may not always need the bike when I have the drivable and the camper gives me access to campgrounds for longer periods. Also if the car or bike breaks, I have options.
Plus it would be nice to drive home every now and again and not spend a mint.
I think starting with a room for an address, getting a scooter or motorcycle for local runs, then a light weight trailer that's small and from there work on the daily driver issue makes the most sense. I will probably take a train home for the holidays, see family and bring the van and cats back so I have a tow vehicle for the camper and driving in bad weather. The bike will be my transportation mostly and the camper my home.
I can't believe I am considering working longer but if I don't its doable I will. Plan B: if all else fails I will rent a room and do a biking and bus adventure there and once I get more money from my stipend I will return for my van or wait until I can buy a new one. If my job lets me work longer then I can get the van in better condition.
If not, then I could store the van at a relatives, keep the stuff not going in it and move to tucson that is cheaper, has better public transportation and bike trails and be near school. If the van goes, then I will be in a different city where emissions isn't an issue. Adventure is nice but so is having enough money to get there, having a roof over my head and a quiet place to study. Finding a job isn't a number one priority so having a vehicle isn't a number one priority.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I feel dog tired today. Its odd how when forced to work with the one person who is a negative just drains you. I was good until the latter half of the day... Now I got someone rude to deal with and I just want to go home and curl up under the covers. Thankfully we are passed the major events of the day so I can Move on. But not fast enough.
I am tired now. Of course I didn't get to bed until 11 pm and got up @ 5 am. For me that's not much to go on for a 16 hour day... But what the heck, with 10 days left, I am getting itchy feet to go. Everytime I get a day off, I am too tired to get much done. So I really need to call it a day and have a few days after working to get some things done. Money is good but it doesn't get the details worked out. 10 days to go, its crazy that I made my last rental payment, utilities are almost done and we are moving on. Its getting harder to focus at work as the time comes up.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I just work next weekend and that's it. I am off to whatever the world throws at me. I got a shower today which was nice, I have to finish the computer sale, packing the van and delivering some sold items. Then its into the unknown. I am leaving the passenger seat as I may use it. Today I am walking before work as I suspect I will rain today. I have found the outdoors equals mood stability but yet I prefer nights for those intense journies. I did one last night with the two dogs and they and I liked it. I hope to find dog walking and pet opportunities as I will miss my kitties. Even volunteer is good and I prefer no kill shelters as the pounds are in need but that's emotionally trying and I want this positive.
What a day... 9 days of being a vegetarian. Its taking some work on the recipes. I did a black beans and flour with onion, mushroom and garlic for dinner 2 nights ago. it is taking some work getting used too and the nutritional balance is even more work.