Monday, March 31, 2014

Adventures in Yuma...

So as the Snowbirds exodus from the warm or soon to be hot desert back to the North, I am still loving the warm temperatures.  A friend and I returned to the Q Casino in Yuma to enjoy the benefits of a city, the great bathrooms casinos offer and an opportunity to watch basketball games inside a luxurious air conditioned building....which included some dancing to the band on Friday night. Great excersize plan aye!

Yesterday, I attended an old fashioned church service at the Faith Baptist Church.  Then I did some exploring off Algadones Road.  I didn't know anything about boondocking on Indian Reservation land, though I will talk to nearly anyone and ask questions. How beautiful a campsite I found within walking distance to the casino and to free showers and bathrooms.  Incredible.

I forgot that the bball games were still going on, and I moved to the nature filled campsite in the afternoon.  Oops my buddy didn't join me but I managed to get a tour of the area ffom a new neighbor.  The tour was a nice 1 mile walk filled with local and fulltiming information.  Later in the early evening I heard a vehicle, thinking it was my friend, I waited a second before looking out to find an elderly couple and thier Pleasure Way van camper, stuck up to the axels in sugar sand! And the adventure of the week commenced!

I apologize for not getting pictures....but, it was 9:40 pm before I met the AAA truck at the canal and gave the guys a ride down to the campsite and then return them to thier truck. Once they assesed the situation, Jim and Muriel felt safe enough to tuck in for the nite.  I had to leave for Brawley at the crack of dawn this morning to have a scheduled major job done on my van.  I wasn't able to see them safely on thier way, although they are in good hands with the AAA tow company from nearby Winterhaven, returning this morning.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Why Did I Choose Vandwelling?

Many times I am asked why I chose to live in my van.  The truth is, I have wanted to travel and have adventures since I was very young listening to my older sister read books to me.  We would often go to the local library which was a short bike ride away to pick out books.  She read all the Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn books to me - we even plotted a runaway complete with bandanas tied to a pole when I was around 5 years old. 

I am a traveler.  A nomad.  An artist.  I am social.  I love to meet people.  To learn as much as I can about other cultures is also something I learned when young.  My parents brought home lost people to stay off and on.  Koko was a Japanese girl who didn't speak English when she arrived at our house and spent the better part of a year or more.  Radd was a German history buff and we endured the jokes and comments at school when he was seen wearing German military clothing and driving a VW Thing painted in historic German military style...

When I got out on my own, after highschool, I began to meet interesting artsy people.  I had my share of glitchy starts and bumps in the road along the way.  I learned who to not trust probably better than who to trust - and I kept moving on. One situation lead me to leaving Maine, where I grew up and I moved to Virginia.  It wasn't quite the plan I had envisioned for my life, I kinda thought I'd meet a guy who would love me and want to ride bicycles across the US.  The powers that be had other plans and ... I moved here and there, maybe 28-30 times over my many years spent in Virginia.  The next big move was when I lost my job and ran out of unemployment.  I figured that I had pretty much out stayed my welcome in Virginia.  While searching for what to do next, it occured to me to start a "before I die" list - now they call them Bucket first item on the list was to live in New York City... so that's where I went.  After a couple years, I moved back to the state of Maine, although to a town I didn't know.  I had a nervous breakdown, which is where and when I became disabled.  I moved around a bit more until I re-settled in a section 8 apartment back in NYC.  Feeling relatively safe in my new apartment, I worked on more of my Bucket List crossing things off one by one, including short trips by bus or train.  I used to spend many great days at Coney Island walking the beach.  Then an opportunity arrose for me to go to Costa Rica - and I did, and returned and stayed. 

Around the time that my father passed away, I returned to the US thinking I would help family out and perhaps re-establish myself in the states.  Things didn't go well and I returned to Costa Rica to regroup.  I came back the following spring to hike on the Appalacian Trail. That seemed like a good idea and similar to my dream of bike riding from my youth.  I walked, alone, for three months.  I didn't finish a through hike that year - perhaps I will be able to finish it as section hikes in the future.  The events that came after led me again back to Costa Rica and a return to my thought process of where am I going and what am I going to do?  I saved some money and decided that since having a home has seemed so elusive, perhaps if I got a 'small' home, I could take it with me when I decided it was time to move on...I've lived in a tent, a hammock on the trail, a ranchito with a thached roof , a 68Chevy van, a Shasta travel trailer, apartments, rental houses.... and this time I didn't want to give my energies and time and effort to someone I looked up some info I'd found years ago. And found the title Vandwelling...ha they gave it a name.     

Vandwelling gives me the opportunity to have a home of sorts that is more mobile than a larger RV.  It's protected more than a tent by the material it is made out of.  A van is also accepted in the more mainstream and urban areas.  With my van being a low topped passenger van in its former life, I am able to stealth park in many areas where even other vans might be questioned. 
I bought the now Vantucket (think Nantucket Island off Cape Cod)... and thats how it all happened.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vantucket island and her new neighbors!

OMGosh look at what the cat dragged in!  Lol.  Its so kewl to meet up w Full-Timer and travel buddies. And you never know when you will meet up again.  Its hard to see but Al and Greg are here too!


K.I.S.S. personal update of sorts ... from the Library!

It certainly has been a long time since I've been in a library.  I miss working on my blog on a real computer! that might be hard to believe since I'm always talking about how I only have a tiny android phone and a 7"tablet.  It is nice to not need much power and too keep things small and relatively simple....but - stuff happens and changes take place.

Today, I was feeling a little woozy and was needing to use the bathroom quite a bit this morning....(I know TMI!)  but hey, reality check.  My friend and travel buddy, NC Greg texted that he was at a kewl library that was very comfortable.  It seemed like a good idea to get out of Vantucket for a little while and maybe get a little computer work done and hey libraries often have nice bathrooms!   

It is a bit easier to work on a larger screen and there are just some things one cannot do on a tablet these days.  Things like manipulate the pages or format of the computer pages on my blog.  Content can be typed easily on either the phone or tablet -- tho, honestly, I would like to upgrade to a larger phone and ditch the tablet. 

It has been a nice change from the normal day to day of the past few months.

I also, was able to finally connect with my friend Donna.  Donna and her husband, Mark have been visiting friends in another town back in Arizona.  I miss them.  We all became close while renovating my van into Vantucket (think Nantucket) and during the RTR. 

I sent Bob of my guest post for editing and comments.  He had helped me to find a way to afford a HeatMate alcohol heater during this past winter.  He asked me, inexchange for help with articles on stoves and heaters so I have been working to repay his favor with a couple guest posts on his blog.  Which I will share here after it is published.

My health has been improving greatly.  Being in a comfortable location has allowed me to feel more stable.  With the stability has come a return to things more valuable to me.  I have begun walking more often, visit the hot springs daily, have been to Bible studies, intend to go to a book club meeting on Thursday morning.  I am beginning to return to a schedule of sorts that is not only familiar but seems to be healing as well.  This has enabled me to tie up some loose ends in the business-y end of my life as well as spend some needed time considering what to do with my life.  In order to heal up whatever has been going on with my physical health, I continue with my goal of not eating processed foods and, yes, I am as human as the next person and often 'want' to reach for something easy.  90% of the time I don't.  Another issue with food and everyday diets is that I do live in a van, so space to prepare and store good whole foods can be limited and just wonky....I mean, its not easy to chop tomatoes or celery and keep it off the floor and get it into a bowl that is tiny or I get creative.  and once in a while I give in and buy a freshly made tub of salsa or guacamole because I just don't want to deal with the process in such a small space.  I recently decided that I would try a green powder to help heal up my digestive issues as well as add more greens to my diet without having to dehydrate them myself or without having to figure out how to store them longer than 2 days in the heat.  I bought a jar of Raw Reserve with E3Live and probiotics.  I guess its pretty natural to think that this is going to be a nasty tasting way to improve my health - but I have been surprised that its not that bad a flavor when mixed with carrot juice - which I bought prepared and in a bottle.  I've only been using this for 3 days, although I feel remarkably improved already and I'm not living in the bathroom any longer. 

I started writing my personal journal pages again too.  I haven't done that in quite some time.  It's a nice process to just clear your mind of whatever is rambling on in there.  I just write in a stream of consciousness style for about an hour before I have my breakfast.  It feels like a good start to my day.

That's about all I can think of for right now...I have a ton of emails to answer, vehicle insurance to finalize and a refund to get processed.

Have a great day,

Friday, March 7, 2014

K.I.S.S. Office

My KISS office in the Slabs... i have been working on a guest post article on stoves for Bob Wells od That is primarily why you havent heard much from me this week.  I am also pretty much healing mentally and emotionally while walking and enjoying this tiny community. Another VanDweller friend came to join our tiny RTR buddies campsite so visiting and finally getting to the infamous hot springs takes time.  Heck it takes time to have a live that creates stories to tell so bear with us bloggers please.  I certainly have not forgotten anyone.