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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Birthdays are no exception. ..

Especially when you are restoring a new 'home'...

And yes I am officially 'over the hill now' at 56 years old. ... where has the time gone?

Friday, June 27, 2014

And the saga continues. ..

Morning all,
I am in the waiting area at the lab. Waiting my turn for blood tests to determine allergies!  Finally. I sure hope it helps.

On my early drive over here,  I passed a storage building yard sale. ..kewl deals.  I got a couple kewl things for my new travel trailer. ...Yes Ms Linda I bought the Scamp! I got a great deal.  Of course I was nervous as that great price came complete with a project! But (think about the acronym Belief Under Transition) as I began the demolition to assess how extensive the project will be - I have been pleasantly surprised.  This thing is soooooo easy to work on.  So far I have done all the work alone, with my travel tools (AA battery powered screwdriver). With the exception of electrical stuff.  I'm kinda scared of electrical stuff and have a healthy respect so I will work on it ONLY when it is completely unplugged. Then I have someone check my work and test the system for me.  Some times I even have to walk away while it is tested.   Hey I have to manage my emotions and fears - darn hypersensitivity leftover from trauma!

I have also been pleased to not feel too anxious as I processed the decisions that lead to buying the Scamp. I reminded myself to breathe and wait until I was clear about the next step. I kept in mind the analogy of a child asking their father for an ice cream. The father says yes and as the child anxiously awaits, she is thinking of the chocolate or vanilla that she is familiar with.  The father is excitedly thinking about how kewl it will be to share a new flavor with his child. To see her eyes light up in response to the color of a new flavor. Then to watch her response as she tastes it for the first time. .... I don't want to limit my response to  the opportunity that God may give me by only looking for my proverbial chocolate or vanilla choice.  And I didn't and the process was relatively painless and I never imagined that I could afford a Scamp! And whoohoo!

I have a goal to take more pictures to share of this project so stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A funny thing happened on the way. ..

To Vandweller Full-time RV land

Omgosh I am so blessed! And busy. 

PS nothing to report on my health issues today. Though I am alive, I am challenged every few days with allergens, asthma and chemical sensitivities.  Today is a good day.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Hey!

Hi all, I am feeling WAY better today.
I have rested in the shade and in the air conditioned (think filtered air) comfort of the RV park's lounge.  I have had great showers - this RV park has wonderfully strong water pressure.
I woke up to see a peacock (yes, the bird) strolling past the front of my van this morning.  I had not charged the battery on my cell phone so I wasn't able to get a picture to share (I am truely sorry - and hey, I am human)
This morning, I have only very light circles of allergy under my eyes as opposed to the black circles I had a couple days ago.  I also am not blowing my nose quite so much today.  I have eaten very carefully all week and am nearly back to my normal size after all the bloating and swelling.

I feel much more able to think and focus.
I am feeling more normal today.  So I went to a drum circle and had a great time playing Djembe with some newer friends. Then went shopping at a Food Pantry in town and picked up some Kale and Avocados to make a salad to take with me to tonight's Community Picnic in the park.

I learned, quite some time ago, to pace myself carefully when I am not feeling well so that I can heal more quickly. This time, I have had to ask for support and help to both stay focused and to be sure that I accomplish vital tasks on time.  It has been especially challenging.  In fact, I had to ask someone to just be with me and listen while I tried to remember what was important right now, so I could make a list.  They were so helpful and understanding.  The seemingly small focus of being reminded which thing needed to be accomplished first allowed me to not only get the one thing accomplished but I was able to get 2 things crossed off the perverbial list. And, yes, I have started a new list in a new Dollar Tree notebook that I can carry everywhere with me for a while - just in case I get forgetful again.... darn Senior moments brought on by Allergens!

I also want you all to know how much I appreciate all the comments, kudos and support I have received from my Online, Full-time RVer and VanDwelling family.  You are priceless!

Hugs and stuff!
Simply,
Lesa


Monday, June 9, 2014

Thoughts and process

I have been struggling with illness, my thoughts and  financially.  I have  both a therapy and doctors appointment today. I have lost something along the way. I love to travel,  to meet new people,  and see new things. I seem to need health food stores and fresh produce to keep healthy and control my weight. I feel as though I have lost Lesa along the way.  I have no sense of adventure. No sense of belonging.  No purpose. I help people because it is part of my soul although I am tired -it feels useless now. People don't appreciate help. Its as though they don't want the hand up connected to a heartbeat and soul. It leaves me feeling sad and useless.

I have wonderful 'friends like family. You know the kind of companions you really can and do call when you need support or when something goes wrong. The people you can cry with. For me these people are scattered around the world.  Mostly in Costa Rica and the United States.

My van is a great vehicle. Yet i find it is both a burden and uncomfortably small. I miss the freedom of every thing I own fitting in a backpack for traveling. My income is small enough to be more limiting than I prefer. I can take advantage of local resources for the Homeless and low incomed and yet I have to be careful that the food won't make me sick with allergies. So a portion of my income goes to support a healthy diet and keep my body and mind functioning well.  I've been reminded of that the past week or so while feeling sick. Migraine headaches and fuzzy thinking bloating and weight gain and sore throat and ear aches - used to be weekly or daily struggles that I thought were under control or gone....but I let the allergy doctor put those darned pricks on my skin even when I knew I would be sick for a long time. .that was nearly a week ago.  Last night I reached out to my friends and cried on a shoulder. Then I took two benedryl and slept. I couldn't eat yesterday I felt so sick. Even my home made lemonade (lemon juice,  water and raw honey) made me nauseous.

I think that more and possibly bigger changes are coming.

I may even be ready to sell my van. Yes. My kewl vinyl floor,  bed with storage,  I repair her early. ..and she has great tires VanTucket. 

I should be happy. I should be laughing.  I should be doing enjoyable things. I need to live in a manageable life.

What works for Bob Wells ... I am not Bob Wells. I have lived in vans and cars and workkamped as a campground hostess many times before. Like 30 years ago-when my then husband didn't like to pay rent. And when 20ish years ago my boyfriend and I became homeless and lost jobs.  I am a go getter and problem solver.  I built a tiny home in Corinna Maine - I guess my ex-husband gave that away.I began homesteading in San Augustin Costa Rica -big mistake, agreements don't materialize and it was not my land.  I have given and given. ..and it says 'don't become weary in well doing'

And this too shall pass!

Perhaps I am simply venting a part of my process. ..

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Simply chchanges

Hi there,
In an effort to provide safety on the open road and in wonderful boondocking land...I have decided to rent an RV space.

What?  And pay money! ?   You might wonder what is happening with me. ..well if you have been keeping up with my blog posts,  you know that I have been struggling with some allergies and testing. .it's not healthy for me to be driving around struggling with my being sick.   Yes it is not easy for me to add this expense to my meager budget. And I think it is best for all of us. Imagine me driving while feeling all stuffy and with brain fog. I can rest more this way as well.   I got a beautiful shadey site and permission to be here with my van and my tajmahal. ...I began putting them up earlier and am taking a break while its hot... I got the tent up alone. I think for now I will just use it free standing and without the rain fly...mostly because I don't have the energy to do any more.

I sure hope that the stain on the ground, that I noticed this morning under the van. ..I sure hope it is not from the van. ..because I might just break down and cry.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

More allergic stuff. .

Now we're talking!   If made the call to reschedule my testing.  I spoke with the office manager and told her what had happened and how I felt. She was unaware of what happened and afterwards we discussed how serious my issues have been. ...she apologized for the experience and told me to expect a call from the doctor soon.

We then spent time discussing my history in detail.  I think we were both relieved to find a possible easier way to go about helping me. She was glad to hear that i keep a food diary with notes on my reactions... she gave me more homework and said she would make some recommendations to the doctor and tell him about our conversation.  I feel a lot more encouraged.

Allergy update


A bit of an update. ..about 11am I was called in for an appointment with the new to me, allergist at 12:30. I went thinking that it would be mostly paperwork.  Surprise - processing error with insurance took most of the time. Then a quick. .sit right here and hold your arms like this is - and we're testing for environmental allergies.   I see labels that cause my self protective thoughts to kick in.  Those thoughts were saying 'Omgosh don't let them get that near you....you will be so very sick' I asked God to help me let go of my fear and allow him to take over the process so that I can experience the wonderful health he has given me. 

So my arms are outstretched and being covered with marker dots and pricks of allergens.  The attendant walks away and my pre-asthma attack lung ache starts, then the coughing, and my arms start going numb, my ear aches, my nose is (look away all you squeamish folks) running clear snot and I can't move my arms, my eyes are weeping and the attendant walks past asking it I am okay? Do I look okay?   I am thinking because I can not answer.  A few seconds later the Doctor walks in looks at my arms and orders a quick wash off of my arms and a holt to the test..he had to repeat use more water to wash that off and give her benedryl right away.

By now my throat is sore and I feel scared as well as exhausted.  The doctor says you will need to wait outside -of course I feel rather confused and likely have allergic brain fog. He has to tell me second time. Then shows me the door - the door to outside the office?  What about an appointment - he informs me that I need to call to schedule another appointment in two weeks time. I am confused and don't even have his phone number because they called me.  He writes down the number for me and says I can't do anything else for you right now because you are so sensitive I can't risk even giving you more medication. You just sit here until you feel well enough to leave.

I sat down and cried for a minute while my thoughts explored why someone would make you sick on purpose and then just leave you.

And not only that but leave you knowing that you have to start over and do the same thing in 2 weeks????

Really
I stumbled to my van with tears in my eyes. ..I hate living alone

And a woman a few feet away sitting in a car...came and hugged me - I am on her prayer list now

I am grateful for angels in people clothes!

Darn allergies and the ER

Omgosh I was chilling and re-grouping my thoughts this evening.  Nice comfortable location complete with shade tree. So I made myself a lemonade (real lemon and raw honey) and took my evenings dose of vitamins.   It was nearly time to head of to my overnight parking spot so I hopped into the van and took off.  A short distance down the road and my breath just stopped - if was as if someone or something sucked my breath away.  I'm driving. ..Omgosh I think. ..what is happening. ..then I can feel my skin burning. ...and I feel prickly and hot...and scared really scared...and my skin is stretching and I feel my legs and arms blowing up like some weird balloon. I come to a stop at a red light and look down to see my bloating red skin stretching my clothes... I say a quick prayer for safety and guidance ..and I aim the van directly toward the hospital.

An hour later, my body returning to a more normal size and color I am released with directions to follow through with the allergy testing my new PCP has planned. I was also told not to take one of my vitamins. ..I had no idea that a vitamin could cause such a reaction.   Exhausted - I drove slowly to my parking spot to take a Benedryl and pass out for the night.  I feel blessed to find another vandweller I recognize to park beside.

Night all.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Simply DIY Pizza! Part 1

Okay...you all have waited looooong enough! so here is that post about how to make a pizza while camping or hiking.

Some of the people at the Winter RTR attended one of my pizza making classes - and some creative types even got the basic idea and came up with ways to make not too much work pizzas in their 12v Lunchbox ovens (ask Mr. Al at RollingSteelTent.blogspot.com)

So here we go....

Method #1:  Buy a pizza from a pizza restaurant! eat and enjoy....
Okay just kidding - but hey maybe you don't want to be a kewl campground pizza chef.  It's okay do what makes you happy.

You will need some tools for pizza making - mainly a source of heat (camp stove, camp fire, camper stove, hiking or even hobo stove...or what have you), a heavy-ish frying pan (your pan will determine the size of your pizzas, think individual personal size pizzas) with cover (its okay to be creative - I have used a couple pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil in a pinch), a spatula is helpful as is a knife to cut up pieces of your toppings and to cut the final product into slices.

You will also need some ingredients - some people like sauce bases which can be made with tomatoes, or spreadable cheeses or even sloppy joe mix; toppings - wow have you seen what people are doing with pizza these days - it truly can be almost anything - Hawaiian pineapple and meat, The Kitchen Sink, Meat Lovers...Veggie lovers, Vegan and even Raw Living Pizzas.  Then many people just must have cheese --- not those Vegan folks. and then there is the crust....

Method #2:  Buy a prepared pizza crust from a store - some bakeries make them, look into freezer sections at better grocery stores or health food stores, or buy a Boballi or some similar product (I even noticed some personal sized pizza crusts at the Dollar Tree). You could even use a whole pita bread don't cut it open. Gather your toppings and prepare them ahead so that you can work with them rather quickly.  Because we are making stove top or camp fire pizza you will need to prepare your toppings and COOK them (not the cheese though) before you put your pizza together...you see normally the temperature of the oven would cook your toppings, but we are going to do this differently so brown your meats, cut up and cook your veggies ahead of time (Raw Foodists won't likely use this method or prepared crusts)
Now lightly oil your frying pan and heat it up.  Put your prepared crust in the warm fry pan for a few minutes to warm it up.  Check the crust and flip it over with your spatula when it is just barely toasted on one side...as soon as you flip it, spread your sauce on the cooked side and then add your toppings and lastly your cheese then put the cover on the frying pan. Cook a few minutes, watching it closely to prevent burning the bottom, until the cheese melts.  Then using the spatula, slide the pizza onto a plate or a cutting board to cook slightly, cut into slices and enjoy.

Method #3:  Make a homemade pizza crust.  Now you need to do what works best for you - you can buy a pizza crust mix or a gluten free pizza crust mix and follow the directions on the package, keep in mind that you will not be using an oven.  Gluten free mixes are often a little more crumble-y so it's wise to make your first experiment in a small size so you can flip it ... you will figure out what works best for you with practice. OR you can use flour and yeast.



(To be Continued)