Friday, September 26, 2014

Simply a hot spring hike

So on the way to our current location in the Fenton Lake NM Lake State Park. We stopped to visit the Hot Springs on Rt 4.

A tiny parking lot with only one RV space led us to quite a lovely hike. It was Ozzie's first hike with me and I was so proud of him. It was a challenging hike - perhaps too much for some people.  He maneuvered well and even behaved off leash - well leash attached but it was only wise to let him loose to maneuver the steep rocky climb. He stayed between Al and I as we climbed. We were rewarded with a nice soak in warm natural pools and even a hot steamy and cosy visit inside the cave where the water comes out of the earth! Ozzie stayed nearby although he didnt seem to like being at the waters edge.

Simply a great day

We should all sleep well - especially in this fresh mountain air.

What a gorgeous drive - I took some illegal drive photos to do this trip some time in your life! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Simply Living in Process.

I wrote this a while back and just found it...And breathing through the moments as well as glitches. I'm so very thankful for my Framily (friends like family). At times I am not sure how I could have made it without them.
I believe that everything happens for a reason and that we are not given more than we can handle.  We often don't or can't recognise those truths during the moment.

And some new stuff! Al, Ozzie and I continued our September travels today.  We backtracked a couple miles so Al could get pictures at the Hot Springs from a few days ago.  Then we drove in a North Easterly direction on Route 4 through the beautiful mountains toward Los Alamos. And yes perhaps we aren't given more than we can take. ...but wow 10 mph hairpin curves and the cliffside views that come with them.  And I'm so glad that I was not alone! And I'm proud too that I did fine.

Good ole Wal-Mart rest stops!

Simply a slower pace

As we broke camp and drove to resupply in Albuquerque. ...

As Lois are some illegal photos from the drive

Simply things that make me go hmmm

Over the past two weeks I have been busy re-organizing my life in many ways. Downsizing stuff I gathered over these two Vandwelling years before buying the Scamp. A day or two if enjoyable handsewing pillowcases and a mattress cover walking Ozzie and making simple soup meals. I even caught myself happy enough to be humming and singing.  Well mentally hunting for songs and the words to them.

My thoughts running through this subject and that. Last week my sleep was disturbed by thoughts and a few nightmares as my physical situation became more and more safe. I think that is a normal human process.

I'm sleeping well this week. Even waking to the peeking out of the early sunrise. I often cuddle with Ozzie and am starting my days slowly.

I am beginning to wonder what the next bit of future will hold. Not planning - just preparing my mind for the only absolute of life - change.

I wonder about places to see and people I would like to visit with. And I even wonder about my reactions to the people who have helped me so much.  And some of the men I have met...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Simply a few hundred miles into

The trip -and omgosh I am doing it. I am towing and becoming more and more comfortable doing so.  The Scamp has changed my travel perspective immensely.  It's as though I have my tiny home with me. The stuff in the cupboards still shifts around although it is still in its basic place when I go to fix dinner at night. Ozzie knows both his mama (me) and his home (the Scamp) as well as 'wanna ride' sends him straight to the van door. :)

What an incredible blessing to be able to travel along with Al ( His as well as other people's kindnesses are mentioned in my gratefulness journaling. It's especially nice to only have the responsibility for learning to tow safely and for set up and pack up. It would be difficult to need to figure out directions as well.  Thanks for your patience, time and supporting friendship.  BTW Ozzie says thanks for being a buddy too.

The Scamp will be an ongoing project for some time.  The basics are fine. My door hinges, as is common with the majority of Scamps, will need adjusting.  After some serious research because why make a mistake when you can learn from someone who already did that.  The windows though ghetto (as apposed to red neck which involves the use of duct tape! ) will be ok for quite some time while I save up to have them replaced by a pro. Painting both inside and out can be done as weather and budget allow - Marine paint and a roller I'm told. Cushions well my mattress from the van is a start.

I find myself downsizing like crazy - and I am already a minamalist! Lol I feel safer. More stable somehow.  It's a feeling that I recall having had when I lived in NYC. My income changed by a disability diagnosis and the security of an apartment that I could afford and no one could take away easily.  That feeling of stability allowed me to travel and eventually led to my life in Costa Rica.

All that stuff aside....I was gifted a trip to Canyon de Chelly AZ. And a Jeep tour!  Omgosh talk about forgetting your problems and projects!  I began to remember who I am and what's important to me as I heard the questions I began to ask our tour guide. ... see I'm not really the walking dead...


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Simply Sharing

Simply Chillin

A little more progress!  Actually a lot of big stuff crossed off the Honey Do list... today's Biggie the threshold and entrance floor.  I couldn't wait any longer after this morning finding mouse poo under the sink and near Ozzie's food -yuck and geez I haven't even moved in yet!  Lol.

I will be working on details in the Scamp for a while.  But hey. It's safe to drive it down the road.  The kitchen works. We even had water running in the sink using the 12V pump...but I can't seem to keep it going. Maybe the pumps not strong enough?  It's a luxury anyway so I feel like it can wait.  Man I am so thrilled to be able to wash dishes in the sink!  The roof is more waterproof than it was, I did some patching ..hasn't rained to test it yet.  And doesn't have to right now.  I'm chilling, listening to Lake Whoabegone on the radio. Ozzie is napping on the dinnette bench.

By the way for any of you entrigued by my progress or Scamp project.  Please try to understand that this is not something you should try at home (lol)...this isn't for the light hearted and it's hard to live under construction or even in a van.  I am doing it and I needed help.  It might be easier for someone who has a close family that will help them.  And IF one of you find a GREAT deal on a project Scamp or FG (fiberglass) travel trailer, please please contact me for is available online especially at but chat with me too because I wish I had someone to get educated advice from.  These are relatively SIMPLE travel trailers although that doesn't necessarily mean that they are no brainer or easy to figure out.  Too many people mean well and want to help though without experience thier advice could lead to big expensive mistakes, I learned the hard way me please.

Al is a wonderful friend and help. I couldn't be here enjoying life today without his help. He has been sending me emails with ideas of places to go and see after here....and some great ideas too. I've wanted to see cliff dwellings and do some mild hiking . I had also heard about different native American villages that seem interesting and there are many historic and national lands nearby. I think we will do some exploration before we get to New Mexico. I'm beginning to look forward to that.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Simply a new start!

Whoohoo - our first morning out with the Scamp!  I'm proud of myself for towing comfortably and safely the 140ish miles from Cottonwood to the Mogollon Rim. Major mountain driving and all considered.

Al and I got separated once and I had to back out of a turn because there was not enough space to turn around. After much and many turns and a little fussing at myself for being in the situation. I prayed for guidance and ideas, took a deep breath and calmly went back at it.  I got both out and practice as well as a feeling of success.

The Scamp tows well. Although slow on major hills.  Though I recall that the van did that without towing. Its an older van.  I  need to be patient with her.  I will check fluids and especially oil today.

It was nice pulling stuff out to make a quick dinner to share with Al last night.  I got a little glamping style as I set the table. And this morning,  Ozzie and I woke up early opened a shade to watch the sunrising. Then dressed warmly to do the morning pee (he's a dog no offense). And then we made coffee in the kitchen of the Scamp and sat at the table to wake up.   :)

It's beautiful up in this area. We will take a longer walk soon. Then a few more Scamp projects to piddle with.  I'm smiling!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Simply living

I read a book a few years ago called Living in Process.  That book really resonated with me.

I believe that we are not given more than we can handle and that the stuff of life happens for a reason even though we often can't see why.

Our day started with plugging the Scamp's 7 pin plug into the van - which promptly filled with smoke and the rushing to turn the engine off and get the two unplugged.  Darn curve balls of life!  A little 'it's too early in the morning' mechanic shop cursing and another cup of coffee and that set the tone for the day.
There are three guys working at Hurley's. The master mechanic and owner and two apprentices.  As most shops, many projects waiting their turn.  A little straightening up, a look at the Cadillac project and darn that needs a new engine not just a head gasket.

The shop talk was about how we might think that we, especially mechanics,  would be used to the surprise curve balls of life. And yet we aren't so used to it. Smooth running days can feel very good.

Pastor James from the neighborhood church came by to pick up a donation for the homeless.  As he was preparing to leave he got a phone call of a family members auto accident within minutes of it happening.   Prayers are definitely appropriate.

We all are Living in Process - different surprises with various degrees of stress requiring different levels of strength. ...

I'm not so different from you.  You are not so different from me. 

I keep us all in my prayers.  We are not alone.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Simply outta jail

Well just kidding - but hey it feels like it to me!

Ozzie and I came out to BLM land about dusk last night. Al came out earlier, which feels great to know someone else in the area when arriving later in the day.

Although yesterday was tiring with Ozzie's clinic visit for a rabies shot in preparation for getting his dog license and with work on the Scamp. We got through it in time to settle down some before the nights rain.  The van is overpacked and kind of tight. And we are fine.

I feel the kind of freedom that is vital to my health.  I forgot about this.  To wake up with a view like this. The ability to just open my doors. And to have Al nearby - I'm not alone or wierded out.  Of course it will get hot later on. And we will have errands to finish up...but I can relax and take my time waking up and starting the day! Now if I had only out the rug and lawn chair (I gotta get one again)....

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Simply "Living Small"

I will be leaving the RV park tomorrow.  I had a few minutes this morning and decided to go check out a nearby public land campsite.  It's nice to know what is happening in an area when possible.

The snowbirds are beginning to move around and the campsite has more rigs even though it is still hot during the day.

I spotted a Scamp and introduced myself.  Rick has been full-timing in his 13 ft 2008 Scamp since it was new. I am so thrilled to meet someone else doing what I am about to.  Rick, who had been a carpenter has done many projects in his Scamp and he and his dog Lady have quite comfy digs. He said that I could share pictures and stuff on my blog.....

He also invited me to park near by and he will help Al and I with ideas.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Simply a direction part two

Save money - goal $3000 (knowing that I receive my monthly check to keep me going)

Buy a campervan - Sept./Oct. 2012

Return to the United States - Oct. 2012

Attend RTR in Quartzsite AZ Jan 2013

Travel keeping an open mind for an area that feels like home. As well as revisiting important places and people from my past. Sort of evaluating my priorities at this stage of my life.

Save money to use to create a homebase in the US. A familiar and safe feeling place to come and go from.

I evaluated  the importance of this 'home' being land or stick built or mobile. My conclusion for now is that is not my priority. Land is kewl although for now I am not done exploring,  which by the way I love to do. I traveled from Costa Rica to Little Rock AR to buy my van. Then on to AZ. After May I was homesick for things familiar.  I had never been to the West Coast before and it truly is different from the familiarity of the East Coast.  So I made my way through the East and up into New England where I was born and raised.  I even spent a considerable amount of time in Canada. I visited friends and then struck out with the intention to spend a year checking out state parks in New Mexico.  You see New Mexico has an annual state park pass that is a great deal for full-time RVers. Things changed. I wandered a bit, exploring and making friends.

Now the van is a step.
The Scamp is another step.
Visiting my favorite places to stay a while or a few months is a step - a kind of homebase of sorts.

Ozzie,  me and Al visited the Scamp and mechanic...we are tired and the check up was good.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Simply a direction. ..

I've had it all along.  I didn't realize that I had an unspoken direction. I may not be crystal clear on the end result but it is a direction.

My buddy Al came to visit - it's wonderful to talk with someone who actually knows who I am. Someone who asks the right questions to more quickly get to the bottom of an issue. ..You see I'm not aimlessly wandering through life. Nope. I sure am not.  I am on a quest to make a home.  I've been trying this a few different ways over the years.  The PLAN is to have a home. One of my own. I plan to make my home more comfortable than I have been in the van.   Especially for those days when I feel sick or down - you understand planning for the worst then the best is a breeze.

It has been important for me to define and redefine home during this process. One home was my nightly hammock hang at the end of a days hiking.  From this I learned that I can carry my home with me and walk. I also learned that although I can do that I don't want that to be my only life.   So I regrouped and bought a van. I wanted a campervan - with a pop top. I got Vantucket instead. I decided to live and work with Vantucket for at least a year until I knew more about my wants and needs.

When dealing with life questions we often recognize what we don't want before what we want becomes clear. I have had a long list of I don't s like I don't want to live alone.  I don't want to be sick every day or week. I don't want to poo in a bucket.
I also had a list of I miss es- I miss gardening. Or washing dishes in a sink or relaxing by reading a book while in a hammock. Somewhere along the way I knew that I wanted a home I could set up and come and go from. I have been tired of dragging my home around with me everywhere I go everyday. 

I have some places I like where I could stay a few months of the year or winter. I visited before and realized that I could give my energy or money away by building something there OR using a tent OR I could take my homebase with me next time and take it with me when I leave.  The Scamp project came up. Its a good plan.

Simply Precious...

Monday, September 1, 2014