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Monday, October 16, 2017

Simply fun, simply exhausted!

I gotta give you all in blogland an update....honestly we had fun at my GTG and we arent exactly finished, and im exhausted.  Since Facebook and Blogger are NOT on my phone and my only camera is on my tablet...please bear with me till things slow down a bit more and i will write more about the happenings!



Sunday, October 1, 2017

The excitement Simply builds!

Wow only a few short days - filled with tons of projects to finish before the GTG campout starts here at my place! Whoo hoo!

5 years ago this week...wow five years!
I finished up my last housesitting gig in Costa Rica


I made a home coming gift for the owner, from stuff gathered on her property.



Borded a plane


Bought a van site unseen (by the way she now lives on a farm nearby hauling hay and stuff)


And i was back in the United States after many years away....reverse culture shock and all!
Today I am making a tiny batch of apple butter with leftover apples while preparing myself and my property for 20ish campers! Yup life sure has changed!


Friday, September 15, 2017

SimplyLesa GTG! Oct 5-12, 2017

Who: YOU!  Blog readers, friends, newbie nomads, rubbertramps and travelers!
What: SimplyLesa GTG (Get ToGether) - 1st Annual camp out
Where: 524 N7407, Witch Well, AZ 85936
When: October 5 - 12

Come and camp for all 8 days, a short overnight visit, only for coffee or for one activity!



YOU MUST CONTACT ME!
You do not need to be a Nomad or RTR or VanBuild person...you might like to know something about me or you might be surprised!

Thursday Oct 5 - arrive, settle in and say hi
Friday Oct 69:00 Welcome & Introduction
 10-10:30 am Q& A 
10:30 -11 am visit with each other
5 pm - 5:15 pm Short Welcome for late comers
6:00 pm (Sunset) evening Campfire Feast
7:30 - 9ish pm Campfire chat (casual conversation)
Saturday Oct 7th - No Work allowed!
Relax all day, walk, lay in your hammock, read, sit and visit with neighbors!
(Im aiming for a no electronics day! You can use electronics inside your rig only)
Sunday Oct 8 ~ 9 am Announcements and Schedule updates
~ 9:30 am living simply, community without borders, how to truely help others
~10 am Q& A
10:30 -11 am visit with each other 
Monday Oct 9 ~ 9 am Announcements and Schedule updates
10 am Cooking on an open fire
10:30 Dutch Oven cooking (we will bake bread)
Tuesday Oct 10  ~ 9 am Announcements and Schedule updates
TBA 
Wednesday Oct 11 ~  9 am Announcements and Schedule updates
TBA
11:30 am potluck lunch
Thursday Oct 12 - headem up and moveem out! 

I'm inviting you to my sacred space and home! 

I have limited space - I have overflow camping in locations a short drive away.  Large or long rigs may prefer staying at the Witch Well Estates RV park 12 miles South on  191. Boondocking on BLM and State Trust land for larger rigs is closer.

Saturday please respect the no work or electronics from sunset to sunset, it may be different but its one day.

My private yard is fenced. Please respect my privacy and Ozzie's space and provide for your dog at your campsite, unless they are already very good friends - he has had a tough history and deserves his space.

YOU MUST CONTACT ME! When you do I will reply with directions. Though there is signal, Google isn't good in our rural area and gps might not get you here.

Im looking forward to a fun relaxing time of sharing!

Simply,
Lesa

Friday, September 1, 2017

Whazzup on the Simply Schedule!

Now that Jamie of Egmatic Nomadics and Bob Wells of CheapRVLiving have made their big official announcements, its my turn!

Surprise!
October 5-11, 2017 join me for my first GTG!
In Witch Well, AZ
Come and camp! For all 8 days, for one day or come for coffee or for one activity only!



YOU MUST CONTACT ME!
You do not need to be a Nomad or RTR or VanBuild person...you might like to know something about me or you might be surprised!

Thursday 5th - arrive, settle in and say hi
Friday 6th - evening dinner at sunset and campfire chat.
Lets call it a Campfire Feast!



Saturday 7th -   No Work allowed! Relax all day, walk, lay in your hammock or chair. (Im aiming for a no electronics day!)
Sunday 8th -  morning chat 9-11
Monday 9 -  morning chat or a class 9-11 (what do you want to learn?)
Tuesday 10 - morning chat or class 9-11 (?)
Wednesday 11 - say good bye, pot luck lunch
Thursday 12 - headem up and moveem out! 

I'm inviting you to my sacred space and home! 
I have limited space - I have overflow camping in locations a short drive away.
Saturday please respect the no work or electronics from sunset to sunset, it may be different but its one day.
PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR A RESERVED SPACE AND THE NUMBER IN YOUR PARTY. I can only take 7 or 8 campers onsite! Overflow may be arranged. Tell me your need, we will try to help. 
My private yard is fenced. Please respect Ozzie's space and provide for your dog at your campsite, unless they are already very good friends - he has had a tough history and deserves his space.



Simply my tentative schedule looks like this:
October: 
5 - 11 Simply Lesa GTG - Witch Well AZ 
26/27 travel - Winslow, Flagstaff/Belmont, Kingman

November: 
1 - 14 Jamie's VanBuild - Lake Havasue City  (I have a project cooking for the work crew) see EnigmaticNomadics on You Tube

22 - 23 - 24 Thanksgiving (tbd)

December: 
30 - January 11 Prelude to RTR - Dome Rock see Rubbertramp group on Facebook 

January: 
11 - 21 RTR - Quartzsite  (I will continue my early morning campfire and coffee tradtion, though I will need to camp a little away from the center and ask that you are very careful with bringing dogs to my camp, I may have to sedate Ozzie because of the crowds being overwhelming)   see Cheaprvliving.com 


Exciting aye!



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Simply Helping Others and Dream Camp Kitchens

I've been discussing Dream Camp Kitchens lately...
I've also been in a personal funk. As part of my process of working through the funk, I made a list of things I've loved, not liked, in the history that I can remember of my life. That was a good exercise. Its an excersize that I have taught in my Personal Project Planning workshops. Its an excersize that helps you to recall the reality of your best self. It helps you/me to recall the best physical things as well as the best activities and work, even workstyle that you have experienced.  Heres an example of somethings I listed in my I love it list.


  • I loved the hand blown wine glasses I had made for me years ago.
  • I love handmade!
  • I loved my silver spoon ring (remember those)
  • I loved how satisfied my work and daytime life felt when I worked on the Daffodil farm in VA. I picked daffodils 8 hrs a day!
  • I loved helping Travis & A refurbish that farmhouse in Costa Rica
  • I love, like love helping others. I nearly set up a 501-3C non-profit called Simply Helping Others. 
  • I love building a fire first thing in the morning!
  • I love how quiet it is when I get up first and its just me and God alone with the sunrise.
  • I love sharing my blessings with others - okay so much that I've given away stuff I needed and then had to find a way to get again. (Darn..oh well)
  • I love Ozzie. He's so strong and such a survivor. And he needs me, I need to  be needed.
  • I loved my MR2! Darn that was a fun car to drive, and it was so good on gas. I could go nearly anywhere I wanted.
  • I love clean hair
  • And hot water!
  • I love taking something old and kinda past its prime and making it beautiful and useful again.
You kinda get the idea.

I was feeling stuck and funky, tired of fixing on this current travel trailer when I went on my camping trip to Flaggstaff a few weeks ago. I perked up at the thought of being helpful to my friends Santa & Barb. I was nervous as well because I wasn't sure that I could remember how to do anything except feel stuck. I was pleasantly surprised to get 30 miles outside my daily/familiar territory and feel the excited relaxation of being where I belong! 

I excitedly arrived at the camp area and met a Facebook buddy, Pat, then comfortably set up my car campsite for the night. I need to set up a campsite,  unless we are overnighting in a stealth situation, because my dog Ozzie, who was raised in a shelter (think about being raised in jail to understand that),  needs consistency to be his best. Ozzie made friends with Pat's dog, Jake and they went exploring. As Pat and I got to know each other in person,  I so knew that I was back with my community. Visiting, walking and hiking, firing up the grill, fixing a meal. Cilling by the fire. Sharing coffee and news in the morning.... I was completely myself and forgot all about my funk. Moving over to a different campsite the next day to prepare for Santa & Barb's arrival, I continued to feel positive. I met up with other campers and boondockers that I knew and reconnected with some old friends along the way. 

Santa & Barb came, stayed 2 nites and then left, happy with what they learned and headed to Chicago! I love helping newbies learn they can be successful and get closer to their goals.... which reminded me of my PPP workshops! And my love of helping people to step off thier proverbial cliff, to find that they can fly! 

Santa & Barb left and an old RTR buddy stopped by asking for advice and my answers to her reminded me of the process I needed to do for myself to redefine my life. My stuckness was part depression (tho i have no chemical imbalances) and part lack of a goal! 

What in the world has this got to do with camp kitchens, you might ask?  Im getting there!

I left camp early because I was triggered by some pictures of my past life. I thought these pictures had been lost years ago. So, you might imagine the emotional overload I felt as I saw my children when they were young, or me when i was nearly 330 pounds, or the tiny house I designed and built when my oldest was 3 years old, or the  rustic home in St Augustine por Angustora CR ... or the picture of me at 130 pounds holding a copy of the book I wrote.  And I'm not any of those things...

I had to return home. I couldn't process all that in front of my friends in Flagstaff. When back at home my depression depened as I felt a failure with my whole life. Asking is this all there is? I refurbish this current trailer, make it comfortable for what? I can't imagine having enough money to afford a proper heating system or having the luxury of a comercial composting toilet. I've been paying down debt while truely living in survival mode for 4 years. 4 years! I know I'm nearly finished with that, but when I am finished, then what? I'm disappointed with the size of my body, with my sadness and depression... what?

I have been blessed with an affordable jetpack and mifi system and the unlimited solar power to run it, so I was catching up on Pintrest ideas until I was sick of them, then catching up on my old travel sites and cheaprvliving.com,  and boatgalley.com and... days of it, till my eyes were blurry with boredom of past life ideas. Homesteading. Tiny houses. Boat living. Costa Rica and its memories. Hiking long distance. Overlanding. Prepping.  Historic foods, cooking and reenactments. Raising quail. Dream camp kitchens. RVs. Vintage travel trailers. Tents. Domes. Earthhouses. Canned Hams..... arrrrg!

I am back on Facebook so I read friends posts, joined and then left groups. Read a few old books, mostly about self help or thinking....then I binge watched streamed movies and BBC period dramas. And I watched Bob Wells YouTube videos...nothing much new, and Jamie Dimon's Egmatic Nomadics videos...and Jamie was encouraging people to set a fitness goal. I wanted to but darn I dont want to fail. Then I learned that he's having another VanBuild event in early November. I wanted to go and to help but how? I can and do use tools, I refurbish trailers as a slow hobby...but last year the guys never really used my talents. I felt like I was in the way. I tried to help but I don't feel good in groups...and then BAM! It hit me, last year, I watched these guy work thier butts off and collapse with a cold drink around 5 pm. They didn't really seem to do meals...and I am really good at staying out of the way while fixing good healthy food! I contacted Jamie and volunteered to cook for the work crew. 

So now I have a focus, a goal.
Now the nervousness of do I know what I'm doing, do I have the right stuff, can I really....it happens to us all, it happened and one way out is to dream big, then find your way back to reality. Hence Dream Camp Kitchens!

And back to reality I've come. So who am I? Im a traveler and hobo (when i travel i often work/volunteer), not a nomad (travel on a route returning to locations w the seasons) or rubbertramp (travel and live in something on wheels). I'm kewl. I will get back to healthier. I won't stay stuck.
I wanna share more. Go more. Live more. Travel more. I don't want to buid a house and I do need protection from the weather on my property, thats why this trailer is here. I love traveling in my car/suv, its simple, it works.

I've basically got everything that I need. Even for the VanBuild. 

At the VanBuild I will need food to feed these people and I won't be able to afford doing that on my own food budget of $100 a month. I could use a couple lids for my pots and metal tongs for charcoal and a firepit poker...but most of the stuff I've got, I use it everyday. I simply have to pack it and take it.

So, Ms Katie, Im not going to create an Amazon Wish List. If people want to help,  they will contact me and we will figure it out. I will accept gift cards or actual items that I can use. Cards that can be used for groceries and small items, because Amazon is pricey and I can get cheaper deals on that stuff . BigLots for Olive oil and Java Time coffee. Walmart because its close to the location and Dollar General because it's cheaper than Walmart for stuff like honey or olives or tuna.  I'm human and I would so love a portable fire pit/stove like the Bad Idea Supply Co. one I posted before, or the Vortex blender or a campfire waffle iron, but truthfully I dont have to have it. The group of Nomads that will arrive are generous and would let me borrow stoves, even if I have to wear a face mask to prevent my getting sick with propane. Perhaps someone would come with a white gas stove to loan, or perhaps I will simply use charcoal with some adjustable height grill grate. And we should be able to borrow tables and coolers as well. 

Im also moving around and starting to do daily walks with a goal of getting in 1 mile a day consistently for 6 days a week by the time the VanBuild begins. I think that perhaps a flaw in my charecter has been consistency. Ive traveled and thrive on change so much consistency may be a challenge.

That's enough for today,
Simply,
Lesa









Friday, August 25, 2017

Continuing with Dream Camp Kitchens...

Omgosh.... I  just found this!



Its a Snow Peak firepit, grill, field oven - yup pizza too!
Okay its pricey, but its lighter weight than the other and a pizza oven!

Oh my who knew there were so many thing out there for overlanding style camp kitchens

Oh and they make a sit down stainless table thing to go with this!


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Simply the Stuff Dream Camp Kitchens are made of!

Hi ya'll  - okay I admit I spent a lot of years in and around Virginia...hence the southern drawl flavor.

Dream Kitchens!   WARNING - Picture heavy post!
Shall we get right into it?

Woodstove - the main biggie  - I'm in love. Just found this from a newish company! It packs flat, so I could manage it. I chatted with one of the owners the other day. What I'd love is to have one donated for my review! I also am planning to ask for a modification to one side panel. I would be able to cook in my own campsite, not the large firepit where people are visiting and I can be overwhelmed.  The pots are at a height thats easier on my back and I will have some control over the fire as well. Yup need welders gloves too

 And the little back up multipurpose that can be used with anything from sterno cans & charcoal to alcohol or wood. And also folds flat for packing.



Dutch Oven - I have a great 14 inch Lodge already  see it on the ground there. Nope not packing flat!


Griddle - I also have a great lodge one already, its like this


Montana cowboy coffee pot - okay, hanging my head in shame, I gave my 2 gallon one  away when I was overwhelmed last year (don't you want to be near me when I'm overwhelmed! ). I can borrow it back I believe, if not I always loved my smaller black one like this.




Wok or wok pan - makes big amounts of stuff, makes great popcorn (ask Wolf!) I picked one up at a thrift store, i need a lid though

Vortex blender - because frozen iced coffee or frozen margaritas or healthy smoothies and home made nut milks! I had one of these at my disposal in Costa Rica and loved it.

Something for ice for those frozen drinks, tables, a bucket for dishwashing.... we will have to think about that later...I'm feeling tired, whew!

PS Ms Katie says that I should create an Amazon Wish List to share, so readers could buy something go help me out. What do you think? Would that be okay with you guys or what?

I am Simply going to LHC...

Jamie of Egmatic Nomadics is holding the 2nd Annual Van Build in Lake Havasue City, November 1 - 14, 2017. I will be there.

Last year, I watched the build crew go through their very busy days and collapse around dinner time mostly with a cold drink in their hand! This year I am doing something about that. Lots of work needs nourisment - so im doing something i do well. I volunteered to cook for the work crew!

Yup its a major undertaking.

Sooooo I am beginning my planning as well as my winter event kitchen set up.

When I travel alone i have very simple needs. Mostly, if i have hot water im pretty good. This is different and I want my bigger pots and things. I dont know if I'm only cooking for 4 or 5 people or for 15 - 20. I might not know till I arrive!  I need to be flexible AND I have health issues that can seem unusal to many others. I cannot use propane! So I  have decided to let you readers in on my planning process. I get asked about this all the time anyway so hang on lets go on a Simply Lesa is planning out her basecamp kitchen ride!


I wont be bringing my travel trailer on the road this year. It needs wiring for running lights, tires, heat... and an appropriate tow vehicle.

I can tow. And I don't love towing. I could get a small trailer and bring stuff that way...but I'd have to spend money and its not very simple...its not very me!

I miss the simplicity of living out of a backpack, where everything I own is with me. It's definately simple to make a change of plans and just stay longer or go left instead of right when everything is with you.  Mind you Simple and Easy are two very different things!

I  made a big mistake last year that cost me between $800 and 900. Darn I would be so much closer to my goal of being out of debt had I not done that. I'm not wanting to make another mistake that costs money this year. I'm so close to my goal! Financially moving around costs more than staying in one place. Its also boring as heck!

Space wise, I would prefer that everything fits IN the Honda! That's not very practical in this situation, besides the rear portion of the Honda is my bedroom!

Last winter I bought the cargo basket for the roof. Since I think that I should use what I have (this is a really good and thrifty idea people), it would be a great idea to simply travel with everything in and on the Honda, duh!

I have too much stuff - oops how did that happen in my minamalist lifestyle...I have too much stuff! Yikes! Freak out!

Oh okay, so there's some stuff i got only for the trailer...like a down comforter, a few cleaning supplies, the heavy firepit and racks, and bulk water tank...oh yes, they stay here don't they.... lol (you wanted along for the ride didn't you?)

Well let's take a break and look at Pintrest! Ya Pintrest picture ideas! Oooh googly eyes....

 I  could do this

na so much is outside 
it'd be hard to go shopping on the trip



Or um .. this...


 Well maybe...
Or ummmm


Yes, but we tried this already,
The wind blew it over and broke coffee cups and spilled stuff, 
What a mess..nope

Oh well, we're just gonna keep at this a bit
 as we K.I.S.S. the subject 
into reality!

For now
Simply,
Lesa


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Blog post..blog post...gotta write a blog post

And i cant imagine what to write.

I went camping in Flagstaff. As promised last October, I was there for some newbie RVers first nights on the road and their first boondocking. I also met some RTR and Facebook friends.

I had a great time!
Though for some unknown reason I was scared to go. I remembered how much i love and miss the simplicity of travel. I also rememberd a part of myself that I may have put on the back burner this year.... then on the very last nite, I came across pictures online of my entire life's history... wow

I havent quite been the same since. I can't decide if i am feeling depressed, was I triggered, or if I am simply re-evaluating everything from my life, past, current, future....

I cant write anything that seems interesting. Im filling my journal with lists and ideas and stuff i liked and didnt like. And how i felt or what caused a decision....
I want to get rid of stuff, like physical stuff that doesnt yell 'keep me you and I need each other'. Im burning trash, creating a donate pile - coffee mugs anyone need coffee mugs? - I m re-reading and re-evaluating books, quotes that formed thought patterns...im kinda hibernating.

I was thrown off by an unplanned visit which caused me some sleepless nights.
Ozzie is keeping guard, at times napping with one eye on me... we are sharing very quiet days.

Typing this has brought emotional welling up of tears that i dont understand....
And
I Simply will be fine
and I will write interesting blog posts again.

At least im open and honest and i live transparently. Its all good
Hugs, cause i do care
And
Keep It Simple!
See ya soon,
Simply,
Lesa

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








Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Simple Sounds...

Of a morning after a big rain storm... i wish you could experience these sounds yourself. There's a gentle stream sound down the ridge. Water is flowing down there. It almost sounds like frogs along with birds are down there as well. Up here, the sky was red with billowy clouds, i didnt grab the camera quick enough.

Ozzie and I got up at the crack of dawn!

These pictures don't do justice to the moment. The birds are beginning to stir. The hummingbirds were first.

Enjoy your morning!
Simply,
Lesa & Ozzie


If you can make the picture larger size you might see the hummingbird. 
I'm going to make coffee!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Simple Work Party Update

8 am this past Friday was my Work Party. I was able to purchase enough tposts and one more roll of fencing. Unfortunately the fencing has not yet arrived. We did, however,  install all the posts and had a few leftover.

My neighbor Debbie,  her husband Frank and grandson came as did another neighbor, John. John brought some water for my bulk tank and lots of tools. We made quick work of the fence and two cowboy or Texas gates made with leftover fencing. The gates may change over time as they arent too secure, they will keep a cow out for the time being.

Around 10 am Kathleen came with ice and a cold drink, we took a break for introductions and a drink. It was a hot sweaty morning. Then she tackled removing my old rusted licence plate and taking hinges and bolts off an old gate to save for parts. We finished up about noon. All the posts are set so wiring on the remaining new roll of fencing should be manageable.  That roll of fencing should arrive on Wednesday. I like that so many products can be bought online and delivered nearly anywhere these days. Technology has some benefits.

As John was saying his goodbyes,  I got a phone call from Ken who is an RTR and Wintercount buddy from Phoenix. He didn't have complete directions and was 3 miles away. Since Ken is on his way to Moab and other locations north of here, he decided to stay a few days. Hes been enjoying walking around barefoot and piddling (ha, some was more like work) with projects that I was needing a hand with. We finished patching the subfloor and even moved a dead tree that was very close to the trailer. With all the water on site i have been able to offer solar heated showers, which is nice. We've burned a little trash, killed a few rats in a trap made of a bucket of water and burried them.

Ozzie seems very happy and more settled in the fenced area. He even picked up a tenis ball that has been laying around and played alone with it for quite a while.

I think we will enjoy the changes...

And then the AZ Monsoons started! A gentle rain on Saturday afternoon then again, late Sunday with lightening in the distance and Monday afternoon a good soaking downpour. I got to test the trailer for leaks.  Ive got two things to fix, my roof vent needs weatherstripping and dripped some. But darn there is the roof vent for the refrigerator that i was planning to remove some day...its leaking and running into the wall so that quickly becomes a higher priority! And think about how many other people who live in trailers have leaks behind things and dont even know it!

I  will be in town a couple days, got stuff to take to Pancho at the junk yard and I need to stop in and help out scrapper Mike. I need to stock pile more food in case I cant drive out a few days during rainy season. My Honda is not 4 wheel drive. I also have a goal to get Kathleen a water storage tank over at her place, (of course its not DP - DrPepper) it can be difficult adjusting to the Monsoons for many people. I had a few days with very little usable water my first year

Path to a gate with a view!

This is where the patio will be next year. I want to pave it with this kind of blocks tho cant afford it yet. 
Soon I  will build my brick oven and outdoor kitchen where the grill is sitting now.

My bulk water tank and work area... shovels, wheelbarrow (thanks SB) ... and front tongue of trailer. The fence isnt finished behind the trees.

Well, thats all for now, tnanks for visiting and
Keep it Simple Sweetie

Simply,
Lesa

Friday, June 30, 2017

Todays Simple project!

Ha ha ... is anything simple in a vintage trailer!

I'm making progress slowly and steadily. Sometimes the availability of another persons help takes precedence and changes the plan for the job at hand. Sometimes I simply have to think about the project before I actually do anything about it. Sometimes its a little step today, check supplies on hand, think some more or darn its to hot lets take a cool shower and read a book and fall asleep!

A few days ago i peeled up the vinyl floor covering a soft spot in the sub floor. This had been underneath one of the dinette benches and under the ceiling messy spot. There had been a swamp cooler on the roof at one time. Probly too heavy for the trailer it had long since been removed. The roof had a dried up glob of silicone that didnt seal. I removed that silicone plug and cleaned and repaired the roof prior to coating. I think we are water tight again, being in my area, and needing to haul my water, I will wait for rain to test it.

Back to the floor... the day I peeled up the vinyl, I felt overwhelmed by what I found. Today I began chipping away at the old poorly done patch. Please when patching, even in tight spaces, get all the bad wood out! Actually get past the damage and take out part of the good if possible.  So I  will plug away at this over a few days, because I still have company who offered to help me with some outside stuff and I have to help with that too. So in my spare time I'm chipping away at the old patch of floor. And imagining a nice beach house kind of wood floor great for doggies and bear feet!

Love this... 

Simply, 
Lesa

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Simply another day Older!

Today I turn 59. Its my birthday.

I got text messages from my daughter and friends. Lots of Facebook messages. An ex-boyfriend called.

Yesterday a friend took a picture of me while I was at the library.

Next year I will turn 60! Oh my 60...like officially I can be called old! Well I've got a little time - a whole year before then.

Birthdays.  So I vaguely remember a backyard birthday party at our family home in Maine. I was young enough that I wasn't in school yet. When my family joined the Worldwide Church of God, birthdays were no longer celebrated. WWCG believed that we should do the things Christ did as he set an example for us of a life lived successfully as a human, with God the father's help. The bible didn't show any positive birthday celebrations nor any birthday celebrations with Jesus in attendance.  So birthdays were simply another day.

I've often picked an age or birthday as a milestone or goal setting tool. Thinking for example that I'd be happily married by 25 and have 2.5 children, a cape cod style house with picket fence, a Jeep Cherokee in the driveway,  a yellow tabby cat and a cinnamon colored chow dog all by 30 years old. By 40 Id be thin, painting and designing fashion or starting an art gallery and still happily married to the same man, going on vacations and celebrating anniversaries with our friends.   Wellll dream on. My life sure didn't go that way!

I was married by 21, had the 2 kids and 6 miscarriages. My now ex-husband, was in love with someone else, he conveniently married me  because i was in the church. We moved a lot because he didn't like to pay rent and I was a problem solver who figured out how to survive the consistent upheaval of monthly financial and housing crisis. We weren't happy, there was both physical and emotional abuse. By 32 I was divorced, depressed and homeless my second time (the first being after getting my first apartment and job and being disowned by my parents). 

By 40, I had been in another relationship, had left the church, which meant self imposing the church's excommunication from my friends and family members. This relationship was odd, I  thought that if you loved someone you gave them room and emotional space to be themselves... well that just turned into a mess of confusion, cheating and emotional abandonment. I knew that was over on my 40th birthday but we didn't split up until much later. I was so lonely. And there never was any space in our apartments for me, they were places that looked like he lived there practically alone.

By 50 I made changes. BIG changes! I had become a raw foodist (a strict raw vegan in fact). I lost 175 pounds in the 18 months before my birthday.  I moved to  Costa Rica where I lived very naturally (like plastic free, sugar free, organic, homemade everything). I cut my hair real short and got a tattoo to mark that birthday and time in my life.

I am 59! 59... I  am a landowner. I have a great doggie companion, Ozzie, who loves me and keeps me company, and gives me someone to care for. I have a pretty reliable car/suv. I have a home, a work in process now, yet a home. I feel more stable than ever. I have friends,  yup friends who check in on me, and wish me happy birthday  and want to be near me and to visit with me. I write a blog and people read it! My two children are grown and sometimes they contact me and we can even video chat.

Life is pretty amazing.

So whats up for this year and getting on to 60?  It's time for me to start dating. I would like to share the life that is coming up with someone. I think that I have a lot to share. I will be working on my trailer home. I will likely attend RTR (if there is one), at least I will travel to stay warm and visit friends this winter. I will be working on my health and weight, yup I didn't stay with a raw vegan diet and I am heavier than is good for me. I have a goal to get my outdoor kitchen area set up enough within a month so I can bake whole wheat sourdough bread and pizzas to take to the Farmer's Market. The Kombucha is already working its magic!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Simple little Work Party!

I need a little help! So I first asked neighbors on a Facebook group and after getting some interest and setting a date - we're on!

  • Who - anyone who is willing to work, can get here on their own, is radically independent and contacts me through the email button on my blogs home page (unless you know me personally then you know what to do) 

  • What - I am putting up my fencing.  I will have enough rolls of slatted fence and tposts for the job. I do not have the stuff for 2 gates, which i would also like to build. Gates could possibly be built with round wood from my site I don't have that skill yet, I'd like to learn though. Other stuff could be found to do if we have more hands than necessary and if the supplies are here. Stuff like assembling my outdoor kitchen, building more shade , I'd like to build a round wood pergola, leveling or edging my patio site (I don't expect to have paver blocks this year), cleaning up my driveway of downed wood. We might even be able to paint inside the trailer or do a bit of finishing work inside as well.
            BRING: gloves, a hat, a tpost pounder to share, water, muscle! If you are staying the weekend please be self contained! I have a compost and humanure bin, burn barrel for trash, and a shower tent for privacy. I have limited water. I do not have solar. I do not have a generator. 

  • Where - Witch Well, AZ. My property. More details will be shared privately.

  • When - Friday, July 7, 2017. (If you stay the weekend be prepared to visit our new Farmer's Market on Saturday morning it is 5 miles away)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Shade awning made Simple!

I have a vintage Nomad trailer. I live in Arizona and we need shade. Of course we are also in the midst of a heatwave right now so its even more important.

My trailer has a typical vintage awning rail, which is a channel that a side of a fabric awning which has a cord sewn into it would have been slide through.  With the typical Southwestern states winds, the potential is for the awning to get ripped off the side of the trailer causing damage to both the awning and the trailer.


In order to avoid all the damage I used a tarp made of shade cloth. Bought for $25 at Harbour Freight, mine is sold as a mesh tarp and is 8 feet x 10 feet in size.

Being frugal, I was looking for tent poles and since my friend Wolf is visiting,  I asked his advice! Omgosh why didn't I think this up on my own - wooden closet poles with a screw in the top! At a few cents a foot I bought one for close to $4 and one was free...whooo!

Now to attach to the awning rail I wanted a way to use elastic based bungee balls so the awning could stay up most of the time. The give of the bungee balls allows the awning to flap in a breeze without damage. Though over time I expect wear. How to attach bungee balls to an awning rail took some research on Pinterest! Some cleaver guy used aluminum tubing and paracord to make these loops. Well I had some copper tubing lining around and some cord that fit through it well, so I piddled one afternoon and made enough for me and Kathleen too.


For tie outs, Wolf having 20 years experience in the desert and at Burning Man, suggested I forgo tent stakes and simply use 3 foot long rebar. We pounded it in using a 3 pound sledgehammer.  Then using the last of my paracord, tied out the shade tarp and placed the poles. For safety, I picked up a 99 cent pool noodle, cut it in half with a  knife and slid it over the rebar.



Thats it! Grab a chair and a cold drink and you too can manage a heatwave!

Keep it Simple Silly!
Simply,
Lesa