Thursday, August 21, 2014

Let's Play Catch Up

It has been several months since I have posted.
My apologies.  Life has been interesting to say the least.

A follow up to my previous post, we did, in fact, have to move to higher ground as the river flooded.  I received the urgent call from my daughter, who was riverside, at 6am as I slept in the parking lot in my car following an especially wild night of drinking with the co-workers.  I dashed home, bleary eyed and spent the next 7 hours dealing with relocating myself, my daughter, my neighbors, etc.  The drama around getting everyone moved was thick, as the river was only a few inches from my daughter's bumper by the time they came to move her.  They then refused to help move her other belongings and we don't own a truck, but we found a kind fellow camper that was happy to help......  we finished the day by going out for sushi, un-showered and looking like a couple of refugees.  I believe "F*ck this day" was uttered not less than 20 times that day.  Oy.

Since then, around mid-June, I relocated to suburbia.... where I am only 15 minutes from my office.  I am staying in the back yard of an amazing friend, her fiance and her family of 5 children.  It has been absolutely refreshing to be around such a bustling and energetic mix of children.  If I could identify a downside, it would be the lack of climate control which has really turned out to be not much of an issue at all.  My electrician friend was going to come wire a 30 amp plug for me, but that never came to fruition and as the days ticked away I, as well as the dogs, became more acclimated to the weather.  I should also mention that we have had an incredibly mild summer, so temps have been fine the majority of the time, even for the dogs.  We are camped under tree cover and have relocated to the side of the yard where the sewer access is located.  I fill my holding tank about once a week, so am using around 28-32 gallons of water a week including the drinking water I take from the inside faucet.  I shower in my rig most days and my 6 gallon, propane hot water heater is more than sufficient to cover a decent shower.  I may shower inside once a week when the kids are at their father's or fewer people are home.  (I don't want to be in the way or a burden in any way.)  The only electricity I am using is for my fridge, a fan and a radio during the day and charging my cell, laptop, etc.  No AC though, which is great!  I have come accustom to it and really do not miss it at all.  It even gets chilly in the evening but I have acclimated to the point that I regularly sleep with no blanket, only my pajamas.  The cab windows stay rolled down halfway, which Sherlock really enjoys and my windows are open fully, except for days of rain.  It's nice to breathe fresh air and my lung issues are under control right now.  No complaints!!

I have thoroughly enjoyed it, but not wanting to outstay my welcome, am looking for the next place to park my rig.  There is a nice woman in WV that I found on Craigslist, but it would be a 94 mile drive just to get to my office, which is excessive considering I spend my day driving on showing days.  I think I would lose my mind and the cost for gas would be excessive.

The rules have changed, yet again at the "resort" I stay at.  They are now closing during the months of Dec-March with exception to the weekend and holidays.  My daughter and I are trying to secure a piece of land that we can at least run electric to, and preferably with water access, however we have both proven that we do not need water access to make it.  She is in a similar situation as I was last winter (think muddy field) but she is on a river lot.  It's a great piece of land but she is also not wanting to overstay her welcome, so we search and hope for the best.

Hope this finds my blog readers well.  We are doing fine, continuing our exciting journey while living full time, with all of our belongings in a 22' Tioga by Fleetwood.  :)

Ms. Minimal

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Flood Watch!

It's that time of year again, when living by the river becomes an adventure.  We've had several inches of rain and up to 3 more on the way today alone.  More rain tomorrow.  The river is up several feet, and we anticipate it cresting tomorrow morning.  Mad dash to higher land may ensue, but for now... it's kind of fun to watch.  :)


Ms. Minimal

Monday, March 17, 2014

Facebook & Dining Out Sabbatical

Facebook Sabbatical

It's time for me to take some time off from Facebook.  It has again become a distraction in my life and I'm spending way too much time scrolling and liking.  This is taking time away from my real life... meditation, my A Year and A Day work, etc.  This Sabbatical will be for 7 days, starting tonight at midnight.  I'll delete the app on my phone and will not log in, except maybe once half way through to make sure there are no pressing issues.  Believe it or not, some people only communicate via Facebook and that includes important stuff!!  Crazy.  I'm looking forward to the break.

Dining Out Sabbatical

Since my situation has changed, there has been an addition to my household that I am really enjoying... groceries.  I've been cooking!  Last night I made chili and cornbread.  First time baking bread in my oven and it turned out great.  I have a very heavy enameled dutch oven and it actually fits in my tiny oven.  The thickness of the cast iron helps distribute the heat and bake the bread perfectly, I may pitch the thin crappy pans I have.  Isn't she a beauty?

My daughter and I have a bad habit of not buying groceries then dining out way too much.  We both have food and I plan to stay strong about saying no when she asks if I wanna go out to eat.  It's hard, especially when I've worked 10 hour day and don't want to deal with meal preparation and dishes.  (Remember, to do dishes, I haul and boil water.....  it's not as simple as running a sink full of hot water... )  However, if I'm committed, I will do it.. without fail for 7 days.  In the spirit of keeping the sabbaticals in synch, I'll start this one tonight at midnight as well.  Considering I'm snowed in, it probably won't be an issue today.  I'll be dining on leftover chili and cornbread here shortly.  Yummy.

I'm sNoooooow over this winter!

We have had I believe 18 storms this winter and I am ready for spring, painted toenails, skirts and sunshine!  I don't know how much more I can take, seriously.  We have 12" of snow on the ground and it's flurrying now.  Another storm may be in bound next week.  Will it ever end??

Hope this post finds my readers warm and comfy.  Spring is only 5 days away!!


Ms. Minimal

Saturday, March 8, 2014

More Needed Maintenance for Ms. Minimal

Roof Leak

I have a minor roof leak and it's all my fault.  Instead of going forward with putting on a rolled rubber roof when I knew it needed to be done last year before winter set in, I put it off and now have a visible square-footish area that has had some seeping.  I would have never known had I not had a little too much fun last night, was laying in the cabover this a.m. trying to sleep off my overindulgence, and flipped my head to the other end so I could charge my phone...  damn.  I'm pissed off at myself for not being more proactive.  

Back in the muddy field, I climbed on top of my rig to fix a little bit of water intrusion from where the antenna is attached.  It was a quick, smear-some-sealant-around-the-cracked-compound fix, and I thought I'd be fine until spring.  The roofing material is not that expensive and it's not rocket science to do the roof, I just need someone to help me remove a poorly installed storage container and the solar panel perched on top of same.  I will have the wires to the solar panel terminated for now, but will add a new bigger solar panel later. 

Oh the joys of home maintenance.  Making sure there is no water intrusion is so critical in RV's though.  One tiny leak can cause so many more issues.  I'll be on top of this and make sure Ms. Minimal gets her RV maintenance on!!


Ms. Minmal

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This is Going To Be The Best Day of My Life

What if every day when you woke up, you believed that "This is Going To Be The Best Day of My Life"?

What a way to live....

I embrace this philosophy everyday, and rarely has it steered me wrong.  It's the reason I can listen to other people's drama and be virtually impact free.... because I know who's emotions I am responsible for, and that includes people I love very, very much.

So, tomorrow, upon waking... think to yourself, "This is going to be the best day of my life", and see what happens.


Ms. Minimal

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Coming Out of the Nomad Closet

Being Honest Feels Good

Recently, I had a paradigm shift regarding sharing the truth of my living situation with others.  I do not randomly throw it out there to just anyone, but selectively I have been sharing with those I feel comfortable with and so far nothing negative has come of it.

Yesterday, I shared with a client that closed on a new home last month about my situation.  A couple of weeks back, I was invited to his home for lunch with his family.  He had shared with me intense stories of his trying times overseas and having his family's safety in question as well as his own safety.  He told me of the night his daughter was born and literally fleeing a war zone for their lives.  Things I cannot even begin to imagine.

I've grown very close to his whole extended family and just yesterday met with him to discuss potential future business together.  The conversation shifted and I shared my story.

He was astounded to hear that I have been working without any personal internet connection for over a year and asked me how I was so responsive so quickly when he had questions or needs.  I explained that I had to get in my car and go find a public wifi network or go to the office.  I told him about my days in the muddy field, the challenges of not having direct access to water at that time, sleeping in my car on a night that I wrote a very nice contract because I have a limited number of overnights at the place I stay, and waking up in a 41 degree home, etc.

He never suspected a thing the entire time I represented him and told me how much he respected my fortitude and work ethic.

What I have endured is absolutely nothing when framed against his situation.

He then told me about a spiritual principle that he believes in about striving for something and having the same reciprocation from [the universe].  Like reaching out with your arm, and having an arm reaching back to you to give as much back as your have given forward.  It gave me goosebumps.

I explained that I will be building a home later this year, god willing, and that things are only getting better every single day.  I love that I am able to connect with people that I work for and that many times, my clients become friends.

That's better than a paycheck to me.


Ms. Minimal

Monday, February 3, 2014

Much Needed Rig Maintenance

Good Girl

My little rig has been a very good girl to me over the last almost 18 months of full-timing, so to show her the love, this past weekend we trekked out into the world for some much needed care and attention.  She got a full tank of gas, full tank of propane, oil change, fluids topped off, air in all of her tires and a non-pressurized transmission flush.  They even vacuumed the interior of the driver cab!  WOOT! 

I was very, very leery about doing a transmission flush, but while in the muddy field I discovered that there was nasty gunk sticking to the entire length of the dipstick.  In true Ms. Minimal detective style, I questioned the techs 20 ways to Sunday and determined that they only do it under the existing pressures found when the engine runs and they warranty the transmission for up to $2000 if serviced under 70K miles, then again every 30K miles.  My girl has 42K miles.  I was also able to talk them down $25, so basically for $150, I got a tranny flush and a warranty for up to $2K in repairs if anything should happen.  Sweet deal!

She also has a leaky steel braided air extender cable, so I had to drop $50 on new air extenders.  (BOOO!!)  Now just need a nice day to take off the hub cap and replace the silly thing, re-inflate the tire again and we will be good. 

Spring Maintenance

Looking forward to nicer days, she will also need a good bath and wax job, a new rolled rubber roof and some areas sealed to prevent little critters from getting in.  I would also like to remove the crappily installed storage box on the top of the rig, and fill in those holes before we do the roof.  Also very motivated to replace the existing solar panel with a bigger one or maybe two.  Insurance for those boondocking events and getting a wild hair somewhere to get the heck out of here, which could happen when my finances are squared away and I have money sitting around.

The interior will also be getting a new sink in the bathroom, since the existing sink was ruined this past spring......  long story, I won't get into that.  And again need to fix the f&#ing pipes.  If I could get all of the pipes fixed for any extended period of time, I'd be a super happy girl.  Finally, I need 2 new hub caps for the front two tires since they were ruined by an over zealous male that thought he could bend the metal and make the hole bigger for the air stem.  Jackass. 

Once all of this is done, I'll be a happy girl.  The beauty of it all is that none of these items are exceedingly expensive to do.  They just require someone that knows what they are doing, and I don't know that I qualify in that regard.  I will need to enlist the help of others and pay what I can to get it all done.  :)

Weather news finds another storm inbound this coming weekend.  This has been a BRUTAL winter.  I'm ready for spring!

Hope you are well, gentle reader.


Ms. Minimal