About Me

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I'm 39 years olds and I'm just trying to find my place in the world. I've had a few careers, owned a few businesses, and overcame a few challenges. Now, after an entire life-time of trying my hardest to be who and what I thought everybody else wanted me to be, I'm finally ready to be myself. The fun part is uncovering who that is.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More Gear Has Arrived!!

Hi Peoples,

I'm so stoked. Today I went and picked up three more pieces of my vandwelling puzzle. One is my mat. It's huge!! 36 inches wide, which I'm very thankful for considering I am still a substantial size. I also received my battery and charging system monitor and my heater, which was already there as of last week.  I also went to Northern Tool to pick up the 12V Over Discharge Battery Protector I ordered online last week but a mixup was made in the shipping. Instead of sending me the battery protector, they sent some kind of solar kit. After a nice phone discussion with customer service for their online orders, they agreed to send what I ordered directly to my house, free shipping of course.

I'm so stoked about receiving my bed. It's like everything else was just stuff but the bed makes it real. I can take off right now and I have a place to sleep. Of course I STILL need to have the 2nd row seats taken out before I can really make anything happen, but that will definitely be done tomorrow. I also went ahead and purchased some velcro strips for the front and back areas where I'm hanging black fabric. Before this Sunday, I plan to trace out the 4 side windows with the brown packing paper I bought tonight, , head to Home Depot for reflectix to cut to size, and finally hit a fabric store for the much needed black fabric.

That's all for me. It's late and I have several things to complete before I can crash.

Take care and Be Blessed.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Van Items? No. Relationship and Tatting Progression? Yes.

Hi, nothing van related happened this weekend, thus the silence. I did get to spend about 24 hours with my boyfriend (from Saturday night to Sunday night) so that was awesome but still, not very blog worthy. In addition, Maku attached on to my bf right away and even slept by his feet, which I thought was cool, but again, not of interest to those who have not experienced the awesomeness of my cat personally and up close.

Tomorrow I have to drive 2.5 hours one way for a doctor's visit and a discussion of my minor surgery on Friday. Whopee! That's always fun. On the upside, the VA pays me mileage and I'm in the red on cash so it could be way worst.

Other than that, I've been practicing my tatting. These freaking picots are driving me batty. In case you don't know, tatting is an old form of making lace with little knots. It's very calming and quite pretty when done correctly. It's frustrating and stroke inducing when first learning with a shuttle - at least for me. I hate the learning process. I hate not being able to do what I want to do. I hate practicing. However, after saying all that, I love been an expert on whatever it is that interests me. See the problem?

Tatting is one of the hobbies - there are many - I plan to use to entertain myself, and maybe make a dollar or two, while van dwelling across the US. While most of my creations will be needle tatted, I'm learning shuttle tatting because it's unique, it's difficult, and not many people can do it. I like being able to do what most people can't. Is it ego? Yes. Do I care? No. My motto: As long as no one gets hurt, whatever floats your boats or gets your rocks off is fine by me.

Anyway, while I got the flip without a hitch, these freaking picots are driving me mad. I've tried to hold my hands a 1,000 ways to make it easier and nothing really works. Every time I go to try and stop the thread I either twist it or drop it or do something else not right and it's aggravating the freak out of me. I'm going to get it eventually but until I do, AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! And I can't go on to make anything cool until I get the basics down. Did I mention I've been practicing off and on for over a month? AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Ok, whine over. I just had to get it out my system.

That's it for me. Hope everyone had a great weekend and an awesome Halloween. Stay cool and Be Blessed. Hugs.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New Purchases and Arrivals

I completely failed to tell you about my purchases from Academy yesterday (well Thursday). Someone left a comment that she got her stove there and I was like duh, why haven't I tried any local stores other than Walmart. To be honest, I never gave it a thought. But I'm glad I went. I picked up a fold-up director's chair and a 12 volt lantern. Plus I got to look at a bunch of stuff without having to order it. Very nice.

Today my Texsport Stove/Grill arrived. I LOVE IT!!! It's so freaking cool. I'm going to try it out this weekend with some grilled onions and broccoli and a fried hamburger patty. That's pretty much the extent of my cooking but it works for me.

Othen than that, I still have to send the battery charger back to Amazon. Luckily for me, it refuses to charge 100% anyway. It keeps hanging out at 50-60%. It says on the box to charge every 3 months but the sticker on the front said it was last charged November 2010. Maybe that has something to do with it. I don't know. I just hate to pay all that freaking money to return it. That's what I get for not waiting for experienced help when it's offered.

I still haven't been able to pick up my heater from Walmart. It's there but their system isn't showing it in. I saw a Mr. Heater Buddy or something last night at Academy that I liked better anyway. I can leave the windows cracked and still be pretty warm. Plus I don't have to light it with a match which is a major plus on the side of safety.

Ok, that's it for me. It's 3:42 am and I'm still awake. That generally doesn't bode will for my morning routine.

Sleep tight and Be Blessed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gunman and Meds

Ok, you know I usually sleep late, which is no big deal because I'm usually up late, but last night I decided to do something different. I was asleep, soundly, no later than 12:30am. By my calculations I should have been up and at 'em by at least noon. Well that didn't happen. I woke up at noon, used the bathroom and went back to sleep. I finally got up for the day at 3:43pm to 20 freaking text messages.

A gunman is loose in the area of my youngest son's school so all schools in that area were on lockdown. Apparently a black guy stole a car yesterday and when he was approached today by a white female cop - still in that car - he shot her.  By God's grace and mercy she's not dead. Normally I don't care about anyone's race but I mentioned theirs to say unless he turns himself in to the FBI or in another area, he's a dead man and he knows it. That ups his level of desperation. I woke up not knowing where my child was or if he was ok and it was a scary few minutes to get everything straightened out. Luckily my ex, who's completely awesome, was on top of everything and by the time I woke up, my son was at home with his step-mom, who's a teacher in another school district.  I was seriously freaked for a minute.

Then my middle baby thought I wasn't answering because I was in jail. My ex commandeered my car for a few days and forged my name on some of the checks he found in the glove box - I had just moved that week so things were crazy. Anyway, I got things worked out with my bank and the police, which is the reason he's sitting in jail now. However, two checks were returned when they hit my closed account. I just got the letters at my new address from the store threatening to lock me up if I didn't make everything right. An additional letter was also forwarded to my son's new apartment. Since I had spared him the drama about the checks, he thought I was in jail when he couldn't reach me today. So he contacted my sister in Memphis to get help in locating and freeing his mom. Yeah, it hasn't been pretty. I had to explain to my sister and my son that, yet again, my taste in men wasn't the best but everything was fine now and that yes, my ex was made to suffer for his actions. In my family, suffering for a wrong done us is very much necessary. However, while they would prefer that more physical harm was done him, overall they're ok with the situation.

It's been drama, drama, drama and I've only been up an hour.

As soon as possible, I'm getting with my doc and we're changing out my med. With babies I bore and love out in this unpredictable world, I just can't keep sleeping half my life away. We're going to have to find another solution.

Anyway, that's it for me. I haven't moved from the side of my bed since I woke up. I'm about to prepare to meet the day and I'll holla later. Be Blessed.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ugghhh!!! Returning Items

Okay, so I'm looking at some of the stuff I have and, like usual and like I knew I was, I've bought too much gear and my bills still need to be paid. So, I have stuff to return.

Right now, to Walmart, I know I'm returning a red pillow, a eating utensil multi-tool thing, the Coleman stove, and a 4-function whistle (I found a 6 function one). I may also return the heater. I spoke to a guy at Battery Plus and he stated that I could just get a deep cycle battery and use solar panels to recharge it. I don't know about the panels but if I get the battery I can easily get a 12-volt heater and fan.

I know for a fact I'm keeping the sleeping bag, the cooler, the sleeping mat, the battery doctor battery protector, the battery monitor and the lantern. I'm buying the Texsport Stove I wanted. I finally reached the guy in customer service and he said the burners were 3.5 inches and that a 16.9 oz bottle of propane would last 4 hours. That's good enough for me.

Started 10/26/11. Finished 10/27/11.

Sorry about not finishing this post. I had to take off and finish running errands and then I went to my bestie's and spent the night so I wouldn't have to drive so far to my dentist appointment this morning.

I did go ahead and return things at Walmart, including a carpet cleaner I had from back in the day that was still unopened. FYI: They don't like stuff like it when you do stuff like that. While I was there I also picked up my whistle and potty that was waiting for me back at Site to Store.  My heater was in also but because it was showing in, they didn't give it to me. Now it's another trip to pick it up but that's ok. I'm not really busy right now anyway.

Going forward I'm just going to stick to the basics, the bare minimum, and then I'll add things as a need comes up. If I don't do it like that, I'll have my van full of cool, useless crap that I never open just like I have my apartment and all the apartments and homes before this.

I found a women's traveling group online and quickly became a member. I'm so glad I did. Vandwellers is awesome and there's a lot of info and help there but I do feel more comfortable with this group. Within 24 hours of posting an intro, I had 24 responses.  On Vandwellers I had 3. These women are so freaking cool and so honest about the bad stuff as well as the good. I need that because when we get honest about the problem, others can help us with the solution. Plus their honesty opens the door for me to admit my fears and insecurities.

Ok. This post is going on way, way to long so I'm going to cut it off here. I'm heading to a meeting and then running errands. After that, the night is my own.

Take care and be blessed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Really? Really Maku?

Today Maku, my cat, played with an imaginary flying object, ran from an imaginary enemy, stalked imaginary prey, battled toys that never moved, played hide and seek with himself, and meowed for 20 minutes as he walked around an empty bedroom.

I asked the computer one question and he looks at me like I'm crazy.

Go figure.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Another Day, Another Experience

Hi, today was another day but it was more than that. Today I was honest...somewhat. Today I connected with another's words and I shared my thoughts, fears, and actions in response. However, some of my words belied my actions. In sharing my fears and actions, my ego creeped in, like it's wont to do. I just could not leave them with the impression I was needy or wanting. I know a possible answer/solution to my fear/anxiety. And while I haven't implemented it, I wanted to put it out there for the tool box of the one who was like me. So I lied.

Now that I think about it, the lie wasn't necessary. I guess a lie is never necessary. I could have spoken about what I was going to do or what I thought was the right steps to take. Instead I spoke about the solution I was already taking and I closed myself off from their assistance, their wisdom, their support.  Like always, in that split second, I panicked that they might offer their love and that I might make myself vulnerable by accepting it. That risk is just too large for me to take. Right now. This day. But tomorrow is another day and every day I grow just a little, I learn just a little, I experience just a little more. Each day I am made anew. Tomorrow I might not be better but I will be different.

On another note, my lantern and oven came in the mail today.  Second guessing the oven, for now. In addition, while I was second guessing my Coleman 2 burner Propane Stove - you know the one I told you about before - I found ANOTHER stove that I want instead. Unfortunately, after checking my account, I can't afford it. It's the Texsport Dual Burner Piezo Igniter Propane Stove AND Grill. It has 2 burners that are 10,000 BTUs each and a small grill in the middle that's 5,000 BTUs each. Even though I don't cook even a little bit here at home, I just know in my little heart of heart's that grill will have me preparing healthy, gourmet meals every day in Dude. Alas, my budget disagrees.  So all I have is to show for hours upon hours of research is a picture of my lost love:

Maybe once I start returning things, I'll have enough money to get it. Until the meantime, I must bid it adieu.

And the same goes for you. Have a great night and Be Blessed.

PS I don't have a store with Amazon, Walmart, or anybody else. I'm just totally confused and hoping that if you see me making a really harmful or unwise purchase, you'll let me know. Hugs.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Just a Day

Today has been quiet. Woke late, went to a meeting, ate junk and picked up some stuff from Walmart. Talked to fiance, thought about past love, and decided to make a permanent change in one area of my life.

Hope things are going well with you.

Much love and Be Blessed.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Update or How to Marry a Frustrating Stranger to Celebrate a Date While Living in a Warm Dumpster

1. I'm up.

2. My little $20 heater works great. So does the $15 one in the bathroom.

3.  Charles left his coat in my car so I'm going to drive 35-40 minutes to return it. Today. I've had my fill of people for at least the next week and did I mention I was returning it TODAY? Yeah, I'm not too happy about it but he needs his coat. He's already worked 8 hours today, outside in the cold with a not-as-warm jacket, and he's going back for another hour or two at 7:30pm. I feel obligated to return his coat. Plus I asked him to marry me on 11-11-11 and he said yes. Yes, we haven't hung out in months but that's so not the point. The point is I want to do something life altering on 11/11/11 so I can have it as an anniversary. Right now the only things I've come up with are either marriage or an orgy. I think marriage would be less work - and less embarassing.

4. A tribe member off the vandweller's yahoo group is going to meet up with me sometime next week to discuss my power needs. He's only an hour away and he has a shop about 20 minutes away. I'm so freaking stoked.

5.  I'm seriously getting to the point where my messy apartment is bothering me. I had to move a ton of stuff to give the heater enough clearance not to set the place on fire and now my room looks like a dump. I'm not joking. It looks like a dumpster full of good stuff. I'm going to take a pic so I can create an awe-inspiring before and after post. Not sure when the after part is going to come into play but still, you heard it hear first.

That's it for me. I'm off to deliver a jacket to my fiance.

Holla and be blessed.

It's Early

I'm so freaking tired. I haven't been up this early, for this long, in weeks if not months. While I missed the farmer's market because of my laziness, and the cookout because of my laziness and Charles work schedule, I did get to spend time with Charles yesterday. We did dinner, visited friends, walked around downtown, and finally cuddled in front of the television. I forgot how much I like just being in his presence. He adores me and he's very touchy-feely; I like being adored, touched and felt; therefore we work good together. LOL.

I spent the night in Greenville so I could have as much time with Charles as possible. Since he had to be at work by 830am, we got up at 7am - yes A M. And I've been up ever since.

I forgot how amazing it is to be awake and see the world slowly unfold from it's cocoon and stretch to meet the day. I find a calm and a peace in seeing it morph from shades of black to gradations of grays and blues. A new day is born, new possibilities await, old issues are past. I can breathe and I feel that peace deep in my soul.

Yet it's left me so very tired.

I hate to do it but I'm going back to sleep. I bought two force fan heaters yesterday so my room is rather toasty right now.  What's funny is that even though I have an entire apartment to live in, my living space really consists of just my room and the bathroom. I don't do anything in the rest of the apartment. I started separating myself in my room from the rest of the world as a child and I've just never stopped. It's where I feel the safest and where I can just be me. I think that's one of the reasons I'm so excited about van dwelling. I'm already use to living in small spaces and I love to travel. What more could a girl ask for?

I'll holla later. Be still and Be blessed.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vandwelliing Update

I've made some additional purchases for Dude. Here they are, in no particular order:

ATD Tools 5928 12 V 1700 Peak Amp JumpStart

Rayovac SE3DLN Sportsman Xtreme 300-Lumen LED Lantern

RoadPro 12-Volt Portable Stove, Black

Some of what I'm buying is not going to make the final cut but I want to see everything together to decide what I do and do not need. That's one of the reasons I like buying from Amazon and Walmart. Amazon takes returns up to 30 days and Walmart up to 90 days.

I also bought a few things from some different stores:

I got this from Northern Tool:

Battery Doctor Automatic Over Discharge Battery Protector — 12 Volt

This from Sears: 

Coleman 50 Qt. Wheeled, Ultimate, Ice Green

I plan to get the $69 mattress from Walmart to sleep on and a couple of plastic drawers for clothes and food. I'm also going to pick up a plastic plate, bowl and cup from the dollar store.  I think that's all I'm going to need for my first major trip, something 5 or more days.  The trip to Richmond Tattoo Festival is only going to be 3 days. I may go ahead and load everything for that trip anyway so I can give it a true trial run.

Looking around my apartment I have so much junk to sell before I head out. Books I've never read. Stuff I've never used.  I'm seriously a hoarder.  But I'm not letting my stuff take me over going forward. Yes I might still buy books but they're all going on the kindle. Clothes will be limited to what I can carry in a tote. Food is limited to one drawer and a cooler. Shoes are limited to 3 pair - tennis shoes, hiking boots, flip flops. Personal hygiene, beauty products, and jewelry limited to a tackle box. Things are just going to be a lot simpler.

I am worried about how Maku is going to handle everything. I hate the thought of limiting his world to just the inside of a van. Plus I have to fit in his litter box, scratching post, and food and water bowls. Someone else mentioned putting her cat on a halter and letting him go outside on a long lead. I'm going to check into that. Maku means the absolute world to me and I can't risk him getting harmed but I don't want to diminish his quality of life either. Decisions, decisions.

That's all for me. Take care and be blessed. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm cold

I am so freaking cold. It's 49.3 degrees F outside and I live in an apartment with no heat. The low tonight is 38 degrees F.

Of course, I could have heat if I wanted it.  

1. I could pay the gas company the $268 I owe them from a house I once owned. It seems when I sold the house I forgot to close out all my utility accounts. At that time I was pretty traumatized from the SWAT Team raid so a little forgetfulness can be forgiven. Then once that's paid, I'll only have to pony up another $150 for a deposit and heat, oh glorious heat, would be mine.

Yeah, that's not going to happen. I have the money but the opportunity cost on that $418 is too high. Eventually I will pay the $268 because I owe it and I pay my debts; however right now that $418 represents gear for Dude, gas for trips, cool new craft supplies, new clothes as I rapidly drop in size from very big to just big, and a sense of security.

2. I could bring Maku inside, close the balcony door and just let him whine all night.

3. I could stop drinking this cold @ss diet soda, put on my footed pajamas, and get under the covers.

Of the 3 options, options 2 and 3 are for me.

Good night and be blessed.

Oh PS I am going to sleep at 10pm if it kills me. First thing in the morning, I want to go to the big farmers market 30 minutes away. Then I plan on shopping for some warm clothes that are actually flattering on me (I've outgrown almost everything I own except for some fleece pants that are to short). Finally, Charles and I are going to a friend's cookout - it's a high of 65 tomorrow so go figure.

But the point is I'm getting out the house. Before the only time I left my my apartment was to eat and run errands. The only time I had a conversation with anyone was with the waitstaff at the restaurant. Since I won't be eating there as much as I have been, I have to find other ways to connect with people. It's a little  overwhelming, but hanging with friends is another way.

Rows and Dieting

Hi world. Just for the record, I was up before 4pm today. I just haven't gotten out of bed or dressed until now (now being after I write this post).

I've decided to start using capitalization in my posts going forward. While it's just one more way for me to mess up, it is a lot easier to read a post that has it than one that doesn't. As much as I ramble, my posts need to be as easy to read as possible.

After I dress, I'm taking Dude to have his middle row seats removed. Then it's just returning stuff to Walmart and Amazon, hitting the gym, and hitting a meeting. Nothing exciting or earth shattering.

Except this. I have decided today is THE day I start my new healthy lifestyle. Since my weight can easily become my new obsession, I'm not really going to write much about it here. I'm going to start a new blog where I can go on, and on, and on to my heart's content without making people want to cut their wrists. I'll let you know the title when I do it.

That's enough for now. I have to catch the mechanic before 5pm.  Take care and be blessed.

My Town 2

My Town

Here's some pictures from my little downtown. I have it all by myself in the early hours.

sienfield moment - take 1

i can't sleep. We'll i probably could, if i wanted, but for some reason i just don't, so i'm not. which works out great for you because you get to see my am handout. isn't it lovely? and the best best part of the whole morning is the 4 drunk yuppies seated on the right hand side - the unviewable side - talking about someone's dry wedding and dropping the F bomb and dude every. other. word. plus two of them are gay and you just have to love drunk, preppie, gay guys cursing in their upper crust, drunk, southern accents . this puts Jerry to shame. shame. shame.