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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Camping Simply!

Yup. Whoot!
I  am taking a break from creating my travel trailer docking station of sorts on my property. Maybe I needed this?
Simply meeting some newbie RVing buddies in a couple days near Flagstaff.
I took Kathleens advice and stopped at one of her favorite free campsites. Its lovely and peaceful  and I m gonna sleep good.

Ozzie seems to be fine, hes fitting right back into travel routine quickly.  Hes listening pretty well to, i think he knows better whats expected of him. Okay hes still Ozzie and his bark can be annoying and though mostly his excitement and wanting to play through his doggie lingo is messed up...I am looking into vibrator style bark collars for large events, we always have anxiety pills if we need them.

Simply on the budget side, this trip will cost me an extra tank of gas and a few groceries more than my usual budgeted living expenses because I stocked up the cupboards at home before I got the news that these friends were ready to rock and roll! I spent about $50 at a Wal-Mart along the way. I am using my tablet as my gps because why buy something else! Id been trying to figure a way for it to stand up without getting in my way..Wal-Mart had a rubber kiddy case with a kickstand for an iPad that fits fairly well, with access to the controls and it can ride on top of the cooler in the front passenger foot well. It was $14 and the only thing is that i have to make a hole for the camera.  And I've been wanting a cold icey drink, so I splurged on a bag of ice as well.

Im noticing some car issues that will need fixing, my hood started wiggling on I40 at 70mph so I slowed down to 64-65ish. Probably need to change out my front shocks too. And I want to replace my clutch before it gets too bad...of course I  have no EMF (emergency fund)  right now and no savings either. Im doing well in the bill paying department though and paid off in full one more debt this month!

Im gonna relax this trip. 😉

Monday, August 7, 2017

Simply rearranging

I did a liitle rearranging. I finally ditched the old crumbly foam mattress. I havent gotten to painting yet.
Ozzie seems to like it.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Simply too much!

I often suppliment my tight budget with foods from a food pantry. I qualify for food pantry assistance because I have a low income of under $1000 per month. Our local food pantry in the town of St John's AZ does not have  an income qualification. Thanks to Pastor Mike and the New Covenant Church, once a month we line up our cars on a Tuesday early in the month and collect our food boxes in a drive thru fashion. Its a very organized and personable process.

I was able to drive out of my property as the puddles have dried up, although the cattle made a bumpy mess of the closest puddle to me, by standing and wallowing around in it. Darn bumpy mess...haha. Back to the food pantry story. So I  rode into the food pantry with my neighbor Kathleen.  Im grateful that she was willing to drive. As you can imagine, after being home alone with Ozzie so much this month, the trip and interaction with others was nearly overwhelming.

Our food boxes nearly always include frozen meats and lots of produce. This month there was frozen shredded cheese, frozen sliced turkey, frozen hot dogs or frozen ground turkey, 1 loaf of bread, 10 pounds of potatoes, a very large cabbage, raisins, frozen cherries, grape juice, concentrated cranberry juice, canned pears, green beans and diced tomatoes. I think that was all. Kathleen and I went through the boxes together. Recently I  was able to connect Kathleen with a man who sold her both Mr Buddy heaters and a nice Whintner 12V refridgerator. She got my cheese because of my allergy to commercial cow dairy. We split up the meats and I put mine in my tiny cool bag, it will be fine a couple days because it is frozen.



I've wanted to make a stand alone solar dehydrator on my property but I haven't gotten to that project yet. Here's a picture of what i want because of the wind and sand here in Witch Well.  If it were ready I would dehydrate both cabbage and potatoes. I may make a small batch of sauerkraut, altho last year I didnt use the batch I made and had to add it to the compost pile before I traveled for the winter.



So what do I choose to do with things like my bag of frozen cherries? I cant eat them all right away and they sure dont stay frozen long.  Well fire up the wood rocket stove! Im making cherry preserves or jam or whatever. Old fashioned before the days of refrigerators style preservation. I learned many old school skills over the years and now I have the space and basics that I can process this abundance of foods that I have been blessed with.

Preserves love to be made in enamel ware pots, i have small ones right now. This one was big enough for the bag of cherries. I only use a wooden spoon for preserves or jelly and have a bamboo spatula thing so its what I'm using. The flies are annoying right now, so I've been placing the spoon inside a weighted plastic bag after stirring because flies - yuk. Ive got plenty of wood right now so a slow simmer for a few hours and then i will add sugar and finish up. I and some neighbors have been saving up tiny olive jars just for jellies and the like. Many of us live alone or in small families and dont want to open even a pint jar sized jelly or preserve, so i will wash and boil those to be ready for the end result.



There are many recipes online and I am making up mine as i go along today so I'm not going to provide a recipe. I thought it would, however,  be nice to share some of my Simply Lesa ways of thinking and living without a refrigerator as well as handling excess.

I hope you all have a great day! As always Keep It Simple Sweetie!
Till next time,
Simply,
Lesa






Friday, July 28, 2017

When Food is Simply a Friend!

Check out this video if you can....


video
If you can't,  heres the story. Ozzie is so cute unless hes excited or trying to protect our home. Most dogs are like that. I dont know when it started, but he plays with his food. He's made such good friends with his food, especially his milk bones that he now barks and play hops and waits as if the milk bone would play back. I tried the video function on my tablet to share it with you all.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Simply a Recycled Morning!

Morning!

I made hot water on my rocket stove made out of a recycled chimenea chimney (say that 3 times fast!) this morning. You see I love to recycle kewl old stuff and make them useful again, besides that I like cheap to free! I got this piece about a month ago and finally got around to working with it. Being stuck at home, the 2 wheel drive Honda won't go everywhere that I would like it to. Its monsoon season and I 've had a few crazy thunderstorms that dropped an incredible amount of water in an hour. The ground can only soak it up so fast, so there are puddles. Some the size of lakes. Normally, given a day or two of sun and some breeze they dry right up - unless it rains again. I have slid in mud and wet puddles with both Vantucket and the Honda bedroom, so I learned to gauge when its more comfortable to drive out my road by the one closest big puddle-err lake! If it has standing water, I just go home and give it time, its way less anxiety producing. So here in am


Along with my coffee,  I  decided to check out what my nomad buddies have been doing. I miss them all terribly and I have had the urge to travel alot. I need to stick with my plan though, so I won't be going anywhere until it gets colder. I hope they will visit me when they are nearby.


Its fabulous to be able to pick up my tablet and login to the internet through my mifi jetpack nearly anytime I wish. Having a complete simple solar system has allowed me this luxury. And thanks to a neighbor who not only was generous but appreciated the help I continue to give others, without his assistance I wouldn't have this. Now its possible that some of you wonder why I didn't keep other solar systems or parts of systems that I had... the answer is that every other set up in my past needed something else, a battery, a charge controller, a whatever...I  simply couldn't afford to complete the set up, it didn't give me any improved functionality or, the kit I tested and sold at RTR was too bulky to live with in the Honda. Each other set up went to help someone else in need, that could either store it, use it or afford to add to it and get it functioning. A couple systems were sold along with the vintage trailers they lived in, waiting for additional parts. And NO this ones not going anywhere! Well, I do want to mount the panel on the roof. This one lives with this trailer, on my property. I may not be able to see or imagine very far into my future, but I have myself on a 5 to 7 year plan with this trailer. It's my place to come and go from for the next few years. I can't sell it, its for me. My car can't tow a trailer this size. And I will likely need a different vehicle in the next couple years and I would like an automatic and maybe 4 wheel drive (can I have that in a vintage pickup or minivan?). I need to save money for that because I want to pay cash for it when the time comes.





Thanks for stopping in again,
Keep it Simple Sweetie, 
Simply,
Lesa