Wednesday, 1 April 2020

More Meals Made.

So, last evening I cooked up a storm and did a smaller batch of my frozen meals. Again, not great, but at least it keeps me alive.

So, there are eleven meals all portioned out. Again I measure out my meals at 10 ounces per meal (just because that is about enough for me).

What is in there is:

1 can of chilli
1 can of corn
1 can of peas
1 can of beans in maple syrup
2 boxes of mac n cheese
A healthy amount of hash browns fried and seasoned.

The only thing I may add next time is a can of Spam diced up and fried up just to add a bit more meat. 

A pound of ground beef would also be good, but I am trying to do this with only things that I can dry store and not have to refrigerate.

This concoction when done I let sit in the fridge for a day to let the flavours mix. After portioned up it goes in the freezer.

So, we shall see how this goes but this way I can still last longer with less need to refrigerate or freeze my food. 

Sure I have to freeze my meals but since it is a smaller batch, I still only need my small freezer and it the batch doesn’t take the whole thing up.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Another Handy Item

Okay, so when the height of the fear of this pandemic hit, I will admit to buying a few items just in case I might need them.

I am convinced that one way or another we, as a society and a people will be fine. We will get through this and the economic fallout afterwards.

What I did buy was this.

So the large box is a gravity fed water filter with a spare replacement filter, a few water treatment tabs (for treating suspicious water) and seeds.

I have heard that there is a bit of a run on seeds, but I bought this a couple of weeks ago. (Shipping was slow and I get my mail once a week).

That water filter will mean that I could . . . if I needed to, go find a nice spot out in the wilderness somewhere not too far from a mountain stream and be okay.

I have solar panels to charge my batteries, I have the filter to filter the water, and I have propane to cook and heat with until that runs out. 

After which it is switching to open fire and not refrigerating anything (other than the old putting it in the running stream trick).

There are a few more books on the way, and all in all, I am okay, and I do believe that everything will turn our okay, that this pandemic will pass as well.

I am doing my social distancing and isolation . . . as I have always been doing. So, thing just haven’t changed much for me.

As always, Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 30 March 2020

Three Day Weekend & 4 Day Workweeks

So, this past week was the first time I had a four day workweek and a three day weekend in quite a while. 

What I mean is that this is the first time that I am doing this as the new “normal.” As in I will have more of them coming up in the future.

Boss has decided to close us on Fridays, and so that makes the shorter workweek and the longer weekend. Not bad, but it is still an odd thing to get used to.

Just like the considerably slower pace at work. As in our business has slowed considerably. So that is a worry.

What is nice is the new 75% subsidy of wages for small businesses. That will help us keep our doors open and us still working. 

We shall see what happens, but I am still working and still staying home. So nothing new for me, but this new normal will be something to adjust to.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 27 March 2020

Down To Four Days

So, today’s blog is late because I slept in. I learned yesterday, we all at work did, that our office is not opening on Fridays.

So, that means that I only work four days a week for the foreseeable future. Thankfully Boss is continuing to pay us for Friday, so we have not taken a pay cut.

Our business has been down considerably over the recent times, and so things have been slow. We still get some orders but almost all of them are over the phone or internet. 

I still get the feeling that the general lockdown of the country is coming in a week or two. Or that our office will shut down in around that timeframe.

Until then I will still go to work and be thankful that I can do so. I have been practicing self-isolation for years now, so I’m okay with all of this.

Whatever will happen, will happen, but I will do my part to help stop the spread of this virus. 

For now, I have three day weekends and a four day work week. I know this can’t continue for long, as Boss only has so much cash reserves.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Be The Light In Times Of Darkness

When things are bleak and those around you are losing hope, give them some of yours. When others fear the dark, shine a light into their world.

I will be honest, I see a few different ways that current events could unfold to turn out bad . . . really bad.

Even if the economy crashes worse than it did in the 1930’s (and that was really bad) the world will keep spinning, though our lives may change drastically.

We must always remember to keep our humanity about us, and focus on being the better person of who we are, the good, decent person who is inside each of us.

Inside us there is good and evil, chose good over evil, light over dark, helping rather than hurting. 

No matter what comes, we must always remember to stick together, work together and help one another. 

Be the light that shines hope into the darkness of a bleak world.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Hope Is All We Have

In times of darkness and times of trials, Hope is the only thing we have to keep us going. For if we abandon Hope, then there is no reason to go on.

It is Hope, Hope for the future that keeps us trudging through the muck and the mire. 

It is the Hope that on the other side of this dark forest that we are in there will be a green field of grass waiting for us with sunshine to warm our body and our soul.

There are many things currently that give us reason to dread and fear, but we must cling to Hope as we do what we must to get through these fearful times.

This pandemic and the economic fallout of it shall pass. Things will get back to normal, at some point. 

For if we abandon Hope that the future will be better, than we had all better start fashioning improvised weapons for the anarchistic apocalypse that the lack of Hope shall surely create. 

Embrace Hope, all ye who inhabit here (Earth).

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Bought Groceries Last Friday

So, since it was a payday weekend, I did my usual grocery stock up for two weeks. It is a thing that I do, where I stock up what groceries I will need until the next payday.

I will still need to buy bread for sandwiches at work, but other than that, I will be set for groceries.

As I perused the store shelves and found them shockingly bare, I felt an impulse to overbuy. 

That voice whispered into my ear “if you don’t buy extra now, you may not be able to buy it later.”

I didn’t go crazy, and I didn’t hoard, but I did buy extra, food that would last me for a few months. I stocked up on canned goods but did not buy all that was left.

I bought extra of my oatmeal that I eat in the morning (as you get older fibre is not just a good idea, it is a necessity).

I resisted the urge to totally overbuy, but just prepare for when, not if, that edict comes down for everyone to stay indoors for the foreseeable future.

I understood that urge to grab all that you can for you, but I resisted it, because that is the path to the dark side of our humanity, the path to the road warrior future.

I choose the path to unite and work together to solve the problems that face us, no club each other over the head for the last can of beans (or roll of toilet paper . . . yeah, I went there).

Seriously, this current virus, (while serious and must be taken so) will pass, this too shall come and go in our lives. 

We will get past this and we will deal with the after effects of it, economic and otherwise. Of this I am certain.

Yet, I like to be prepared, so I bought a bit extra food, for the medium term.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 23 March 2020

The Homestead Fund Update (Embrace The Chaos Edition)

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” (to build my "Homestead Fund") 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 

For review, here is how things looked from last payday . . .

That is 19.4% (of my Savings Target).

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . . 

That’s right things jumped up to 30.8% of my savings target. 

That means I put away an astounding 11.4% of my total Savings Target this payday! That is an astounding number and one that strains credibility.

No, I didn’t short the market, rob a bank or otherwise gain a large windfall. What I did was revamp how I measure that number.

You see, I have been trying to keep the number fairly stable and take out the wild swings of investments.

I have a few different types of investments going and so they will swing up and down in value depending on different factors. (Don’t ask me for financial advice as I am not a financial planner).

I have decided that with me moving to put more of my cash in the stock market. The market is lower now and the interest rates that my savings account has also tanked.

That means that my savings, the value of my investments (across the different types) will vary greatly each payday. 

So, this number is going to go up and down, regardless of how much I put into my savings and investments each payday.

So, I will just measure what those investments are worth on the eve of payday and plunk that number into my savings target calculations.

So, there will be no predictability in that number going forward, it will be chaos. But also fun to watch . . . and I hope moving in and upward direction.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Friday, 20 March 2020

The Recipe For A Depression

So, with all of this talk of the virus pandemic, there is the added fear that the cure to stopping it will trigger another depression, like the one in the 1930’s.

How? Well, let’s walk through it. Okay so this pandemic is here and needs to be stopped, but the best way to stop it is to keep people away from each other.

To do that we:

Isolate sick people
Institute Social Distancing
Wash hands really well and often
Shut down social areas
Order people to go home and stay there
Shut down non-essential businesses
Wait it out until the virus dies off

Yet, while that will work the risk is that these measures will push businesses (and people) who were on the edge of insolvency into insolvency.

Don’t forget that even before all this we have the debt crisis. As in the average person is overloaded in debt that they are servicing and carrying indefinitely.

A serious downturn in the economy for long enough (even a few months) could push businesses to close and/or people to go bankrupt.

Every business that closes puts not only more people out of work but the jobs they had are gone, which means that there are less jobs around and more unemployed.

Seeing this trend will cause people to panic further and then they will further not spend a dime they don’t have to. 

Survival mode will set in across the general population. 

This will put further pressure on the economy and push more businesses to fail as there will be a general dread of the state of things throughout people.

This will be a self-feeding cycle that will cause a downward spiral into an economic crash. 

The only real way to stop this and/or break the cycle is to convince people that things are okay and that things will get better.

A good way to do that is a direct payment to the population, as in every last adult gets a guaranteed income, regardless of their employment status.

That would give people the confidence to go out there and either get a job or start a business. 
There is, however, a fundamental refusal by government to directly help people. It is somehow thought that only business or the rich should be helped in such ways.

I am hoping that all of this will be avoided but this is a real possibility.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Billions In Aid, And I Don’t Qualify

The Canadian Government just announced a wonderful financial aid package to help people with the economic impacts of this pandemic.

That’s a great thing and all, but after looking it over, I don’t qualify for a dime of it. Yet this is nothing new, as I never qualify for any sort of assistance or aid, I never have.

You don’t understand I don’t qualify for this aid not because I am living in my RV, but because I just don’t.

Even if I was still living in my townhouse buried in debt, I wouldn’t qualify for help from this aid package.

I am still employed, so no “quarantine pay.” I don’t have a mortgage, so no help there. 

I don’t know if this package would pause truck payments, nor have I heard any impact they may have on credit card debt.

I buy my propane from the local gas station and have a solar system, so I have no utility company to pay, or for them to cut me off if I don’t pay.

I am happy that the government is doing something and I am happy for the people who are getting some help from this aid package.

I also wish that this pandemic will pass over us quickly and that the economy rebounds quickly afterwards. 

This is why I have said repeatedly to deal with your debt before something large happens, because you have to be able to rely on your own resources if need be in times of crisis.

It is nice to see that some aid is coming . . . to some people, yet not everyone is being helped. Once again, I am told that this is fair.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Broom Handle Hang-Up

So, I like to have my broom by the door in order to help keep snow and dust out. I have a hook on a spot near the door to keep the broom handy.

I had tried a solution of screwing an eye-hook into the top of the handle of the broom in order to keep it in place, but that didn’t work.

I had bought a wooden handle for my El-Cheapo broom as I kept breaking the handle, so rather than keep buying new brooms, I bought a solid wooden handle.

Yet, I broke off the eye-hook on the top of the broom and sheared off another one just trying to screw it in.

I don’t have an electric drill, as charging them has always been a pain and for the few times that I want to drill something, it seems silly to spend that much.

So, I bought a hand drill. It is a manually powered drill that you turn a crank in order to turn the drill bit. Not fancy, but effective.

So, with the help of that and a handy thing I find many uses for (key rings) I made this . . . 

There you have, it I was able to drill a hole through the broom handle and loop the broom handle onto the key ring, like it was a massive key, and voila! I can hang up my broom again!

This should be much sturdier, as the next time I need to do this, the broom handle will most likely be broken.

Again, not fancy, but effective.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Choppy Savings Ahead

So, with the current state of the economy and the markets, I am forced to make some changes to my long-term savings.

With the rates that I was being offered being insulting, as in close to zero, due to the fact that the prime rate tanked, I have been forced to rethink how I save my money.

I am still saving, but investments are more volatile by their very nature than a good old savings account.

So, this kinda throws a wrench into the whole “posting up a percentage of my savings target” thing.

I am still committed to saving and I still have a number, and I could still post that percentage each payday, but that number would swing wildly.

Why? Well, it would be a reading of what the value of my investments were at that particular moment. The next moment the value would shift . . . again.

I will see how things go but the one thing that won’t change is that I won’t stop saving. I am just not sure the best way forward, or how to report that progress.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 16 March 2020

The Less-Than-Glamorous Necessity of Winter Mode.

Okay, so when I am in “Winter Mode” as in I can’t use my sinks, faucets or toilets, one question I get asked is how to I go to the washroom.

For the most part I try to use public facilities or facilities at work. Yet, what do you do when it is late at night and work and other places are closed.

Besides it is a bit of a pain to pack up and go to a local restaurant just to take a pee.

So, therein lies the birth of the “Pee Jar.” Once again, not glamorous, but necessary.

So, here is the contraption that I have come up with.

What that is, are two two-litre soda bottles connected together. The top one has its bottom cut off, so it forms a nice large funnel.

This is key because the swirl and rush of peeing can make the pee swirl out of a regular funnel (Yes I know this through experimentation).

Here is the nice little connector that makes this happen so smoothly.

You can pick this up fairly cheaply online, just search for “Vortex Bottle Connectors” and it should come up. They are sold as a way to make a whirlpool swirl in two solid soda bottles.

For me, I was looking for a way to make my pee jar.

I made my own connector, so to do this you will need two two-litre bottles and three bottle caps.

One bottle cap is there to seal the pee-jar when not in use. The other two you glue together and then poke a bunch of holes in the two, now joined bottle caps.

The Vortex Bottle Connectors are a much better idea and well worth the few bucks you spend on them. They come in a pack of four.

This way you can have more than one pee jar so you can still pee yet not have to find a toilet to pour the contents of your pee jar into. 

Once again, not fancy, but effective.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Friday, 13 March 2020

Winter Hath Returned

So, it’s dark and we’ve already hit the daytime high . . . for the weekend . . . it’s all downhill from here.

Again, it is only for a weekend and a bit into next week, this too shall pass.

I could rent a space at a campground, or, perhaps a room at a hotel, but that would be a poor use of cash, and it is just one weekend.

I will endure this and I will get through it, as this too shall pass. 

I am hunkering down for my future, as I am still dedicated to having a house without wheels under it on land, and a fireplace to cosy up to when these nasty winter blasts come calling.

Until then, I have my warm blankets to keep me warm at night, and my sleeping bag on the couch to keep me warm during the day.

Not fancy, but effective. Not forever, just for now.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Bracing For The Blast

So, here we are another (hopefully last this winter season) blast of winter. In perfect timing winter has come back with a projected high of -20C for the day on Saturday.

To me, that is hibernate weather, as in I just hunker down, listen to the radio and stay warm. I know how to do that. It’s not all that fun, but I can do that.

If I want to use my laptop, I have to trudge off to the coffee shop to warm up and use my laptop there.

As it is too cold to even try to keep the trailer warm. I know this from experience as the furnace is running non-stop just to try to get near zero. 

I will be okay, I will be fine, as it is just one weekend, and then things start to warm up to “I can do things around the trailer” weather.

I’m okay with that, I prefer warm weather, but I can do the not so cold weather.

In essence, this too shall pass, do what you have to do to get through it and keep your eye on the horizon and your focus on the future.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Balancing Demands

So, there are many demands on us, some financial, some time, and some attention. It is always important, yet tricky, for us to balance all of them out.

For you can’t spend all of your time on one project, nor can you spend all of your attention on one person. Nor can you spend all of your money on one thing.

We all have many different goals that we want to achieve with what resources that we have. So, how do you do that? How do you balance all of these things out?

You do so with asking yourself: what has to be done right now, and what can wait?

You can chip away at a number of different things over time, rather than focus on one thing at a time.

They will all get done, just little bits at a time.

Either that or pair down your list of things you want to do.

There’s always that.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Cold Cold Go Away.

So, we seem to be stuck in a sick and twisted cycle of being nice (a relative term) for the work week yet cold for the weekend.

This sucks for a few reasons, but for me because I am a homebody and so I spend a great deal of time at the trailer, particularly on the weekend.

I am just getting used to not just hunkering down in my sleeping bag or hibernating in my bed.

Yet when it looks to be -17C as a high for Saturday, that seems to be a bit too cold to try to warm the trailer up (without a wood burning stove).

I know that this cycle will pass and the warm weather shall return. Once again I will retire my sleeping bag for another summer season.

I do enjoy the days of warmth where there is a nice light breeze blowing through the trailer. I do not like the cold days of me hunkering down in my sleeping bag.

This is life though, this is my life and I do this now so I can have a nicer future.

So, I will endure the cold and whatever else comes my way, simply so I can get my house, my land and my homestead, and mayhaps, mayhaps  . . . a Mrs.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 9 March 2020

The Homestead Fund Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” (to build my "Homestead Fund") 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 

For review, here is how things looked from last payday . . .

That is 18.8% (of my Savings Target).

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . . 

That’s right things jumped up to 19.4% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 0.6% of my total Savings Target this payday.

I am still on track of getting to that magical number of 20% by next payday. 

To me 20% means that I will be finally at a minimum level of cash in the bank for me to feel okay. As in I can relax a bit. 

Of course this means that usually around the time that the sensation of “Hey, I’m not completely screwed!” hits me that the other shoe drops . . . on my head . . . as in I’m the bug on the floor and the size twelve hits me from above . . . out of the blue.

Anyways, I will continue to build my savings and move forward, but at least a sense of urgency will go away, after getting to 20%.

All I can do is the best that I can do with what I have each day, and each payday to move myself forward.

On a side note, I was able to dump my tanks on Friday afternoon before the big freeze this weekend. 

I was able to get the water out, but a pile of slush/ice remains in the middle of the black water tank. 

I can at least flush the tanks now, but I won’t bother to do that until next month. As that would require a visit to a full hook-up campground to do that.

I won’t start using my toilet again until I have flushed that tank out. Progress is progress and I am happy to see . . . a pile of slush rather than a ceiling of ice.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Friday, 6 March 2020

Winter for The Weekend

Soooo, it is Friday, and so the joys of the freedom of the weekend is here. The problem is that in time for the weekend, Winter is returning . . . for just the weekend.

Things will warm up next week, but probably get cold again for next weekend. So, my getting used to the warmer temps is premature . . . hopeful but delusional.

I will be okay as even at its worst it is only getting down to -16C or so, but during the days it will be only -9C then -7C.

So . . . cold all around. Not bitterly cold, but cold nonetheless.

Again, this too will pass and Anti-Fall and Spring will come . . . not soon enough, but it will come.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 5 March 2020

The Cusp of Something Bad

Fear is what triggers recessions. Fear causes people to stop spending, and it is the stopping of spending that hurts companies. 

Companies that are hurting cut back. Cutting back strikes more fear in the hearts of employees. 

Companies that are hurting also take in less revenue. Lower revenue from a number of companies sparks fear in investors.

Fear in investors causes them to sell their stock in those companies. The selling of those stocks, on mass is what causes the stock market to dive.

A diving stock market is a funny thing as it can either go back up again, as investors see bargains and buy, buy, buy. 

Or a diving stock market can continue to fall as investors rush for the exits. Investors rushing to the exits is what causes a stock market crash.

Fear is the underlying motivating factor in all of this . . . fear.

And fear is what this new virus COVID-19 has sparked in many people in almost every country on the globe.

If you haven’t started to get your fiscal house in order, now would be the time . . . before you have to . . . and when you have to it is almost always an ugly scene. 

So, use this . . . fear . . . as motivation to get your debt under control and . . . heaven forbid . . . gone! 

For it is far much easier to manage a downturn in the economy when you have little to no debt, than if you are buried in it . . . and suddenly unemployed.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Ground Was Clear, Then It Wasn’t

When I got up this morning I looked out the window to see if it snowed last night (as had been predicted) . . . the ground was clear(ish).

I made my morning coffee, got settled in to write and after a bit, there was a great rush of wind outside which kept up for some time (I don’t know how long).

When I got up to make a new cup of coffee, about an hour later, I looked outside again only to find that a fresh dump of snow, just a blanket of a few millimetres had been dropped.

Just like that I went from being happy I didn’t have to break out my ladder and brush off my solar panels to . . . having to break out my ladder and brush off my solar panels.

Things can and will change quickly, we all know that, especially those of us who have been involved in traffic accidents.

Even worse is when those accidents turn fatal, but that is another blog entry. My point is that we think that we have plenty of time and that everything will always be okay.

We don’t and it won’t. So, while it is never good to go around being paranoid, it is good to try to be prepared for whatever may come. 

Again, you can only do so much, but thinking about what you would do if this or that happens, and taking necessary precautions is always a good thing to do.

You never know when that skiff of snow will be suddenly dropped all over your best laid plans.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

The Hope of The Slush

Okay, so as I reported yesterday my black water tank has a large block of ice in it. You know, ice made of “water.”

I check on how it is doing, how the block of ice is melting, by looking down my toilet. Once again, yet another aspect of this lifestyle that is not glamorous. 

Anyways, so what I saw was not a solid block of ice looking at me, but rather a slush. This means that things are working, and that that ice block is melting.

I also have not seen any puddles or other signs of damage from a draining and dripping cracked black water tank.

In fact the rush of water coming out is a good sign that such a crack does not exist. Again, we shall see, and only time will tell how right this assumption is.

Again, my real problem stemmed from not dumping my tanks quick enough when the weather froze.

Sure I had long since winterized my fresh water lines (early October). But I continued to use my toilet and sinks until the weather gets cold enough that I can’t dump anymore. 

Once that happens I have a problem getting the “water” out of the black water tank. I have solved this little dilemma by buying a hand activated water pump.

Again, this is for use when the drain pipe at the bottom of the trailer, the part that sticks out under the trailer, gets frozen up.

This way, with this pump I can pump the water out of the toilet. So, next year, next time I will be okay in getting the water out, this time I was not so lucky.

I was lucky in the fact that the tank was about half full at the time that it froze. Again, it could be damaged, but who knows.

I will have to wait until enough of the ice block melts (due to warm weather) so that I can erode it through water. 

When I do de-winterize, I will do so at a full hook-up campsite. I can then simply flush the daylights out of the back water tank until it is all clear of ice.

Again, that is the theory, for now all I can do is wait for that block do melt and drain it a few gallons at a time. 

You know, until I can get a steady rush of “water” coming out to drain the whole darn thing.

So, remember kids, when the weather starts to turn cold, air on the side of caution and dump your blessed tanks sooner rather than later.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 2 March 2020

Still Carrying Around a Block of Ice

So, on Friday afternoon I tried to dump my grey and black water tanks. Again I paid my 50 cents to try and after running around gave it a go.

Unfortunately all that came out was a few gallons, I mean like 6 gallons tops (and that’s pushing it).

My best guess is that the main part of the black water tank is taken up by a large block of ice. 

So that when there is enough water in there, it floats. Drain the water and the ice will drop down and cover the exit (as in the drain thing).

The good thing is that I haven’t seen any signs of leakage or water draining out where it shouldn’t . . . I haven’t even smelled anything to suggest that. That’s a good thing.

There really isn’t much that I can do other than wait for it to melt on its own. I could go to a full-hook up campground, plug in and run my heat tapes. 

Heat tape are a special kind of electrical cable that heats up, so you wrap it around pipes or water tanks to keep warm them up.

I am hoping that the weather will get warm and the thing will met on its own. Yeah this is all my own doing by not dumping that one last time back in late December. 

The one thing I did do was buy a hand operated water pump, so I can pump the “water” out of the black water tank by sticking a hose down the toilet.

It works but I can’t do that, as all I see is the top of a block of ice . . . and I can’t pump ice out.

Again, we shall see how things progress, but for now, I am stuck in Winter Mode. Joy.

As always: Keep your head up,  your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 28 February 2020

Goodbye FebBRRRary!

So, here we are at the cusp of another month, the month of March, and I for one and thankful. The temps have not been all that bad as of late, and I am thankful for that.

I am also very much looking forward to spring and shifting towards the “not so warm” temperatures that the first part of spring (known as “Anti-Fall”) brings.

Anything north of zero during the day and north of -10 overnight is okay in my books, at least at this time of year, if it was year round, I would be moving.

With each passing day, with each passing week, with each passing paycheque my life gets better, and with that thought I cling to hope for the future.

For it is hope that brings the willingness to go on. The willingness to go on forges into Determination. Determination is what makes your goals to truly come true.

So, I will keep going forward no matter what the temperatures are, for that is what I do. Though I will be thankful and enjoy the “not so cold” and “not so warm” temps top come.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Thanks For Your Encouragement

I would like to thank everyone for all of your kind words for me to keep going. I shall do so, as long as I think I am doing some good in doing so.

As I said before, I am always open to questions or to offer what advice I can. Or just feedback . . . preferably constructive criticism (rather than “are you freaking kidding me?” 

Anyways, so yesterday was a warmer day than usual and it looks to remain so for the next while (well . . . so far . . . at least at the time this blog entry was posted).

So this means that things have been defrosting, at have for a bit. I am talking about the contents of my black water tank. 

I think I may actually be able to dump at least some of it come Friday afternoon. 

With the fee to dump being 50 cents at my local truck stop (usually) it is worth a shot. We shall see what happens, but any “water” that I can get out of there would be great.

The fee is so low because a few years ago the fresh water line cracked over the winter and like most things at this particular truck stop, they have never fixed it.

I am particularly looking forward to a drained black water tank, as I would really like to use my toilet again. 

With the weather turning “not reeeeaaaly” cold I can (or usually could) start to use my toilet again, but not my fresh water. (This is Fall/Spring Mode).

Yet when all I see when I see when I look down the toilet is ice, I can’t do that. So, we shall try to drain as much as I can from that Black Water Tank on Friday.

You know, ‘cause “Winter Mode” sucks. (As in I can’t use my sinks or toilet). 

Anyways, one thing at a time and I am thankful for the warm weather. (Yet still aware that -87C temperatures may still come back at any moment . . . in July . . . this is the prairies after all.)

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

To Blog, Or Not To Blog

I’m just not sure if I should keep blogging, to be honest. I am just not sure if there is enough interesting things happening in my life that is worthy of being reported daily.

I am working, and work is work, same old, same old. I am writing again, that’s good. 

Though it is a book series that I am not sure I will ever publish (despite working on book 5 of a 6 book series). 

It’s one of those things where I ask “who would ever publish this?” as there is something in there (a few as a matter of fact) to offend just about everyone.

It’s really fun to write though.

I know that people want closure, as to what is happening to me on this journey, yet unless I get a large influx of cash anytime soon (seriously unlikely) the next phase of my life will be years away.

I may blog once a week, with a weekly update, like I did at the beginning. As it stands now, I am just unsure if this blog is doing any good for anyone anymore.

I will always be available for questions and advice, that won’t change.

The question of if I should blog anymore is still up in the air.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

The Ever Ticking Clock

Time is the one thing we both have, yet don’t have. For while we have it to spend, we do not have it to save.

We can both use time to our advantage, yet also fritter it away. Such is the dilemma of time.

We can either use the comfort of routine to better ourselves and/or our finances by establishing new routines to do just that.

That way, as we go about our daily lives doing that what is normal to us: our routines, we will slowly and surly make things better.

Or we can do nothing and watch time tick by and wonder why our lives are getting none the better.

Remember, that when it comes to time, the choice is yours what to do with it.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 24 February 2020

The Homestead Fund Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” (to build my "Homestead Fund") 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 

For review, here is how things looked from last payday . . .

That is 18.1% (of my Savings Target).

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . . 

That’s right things jumped up to 18.8% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 0.7% of my total Savings Target this payday. It was good progress, but still not enough to cross off a square.

I am still on target to get to 20% by the payday of March 22nd (a month from now). it feels like it is so long away, but it really isn’t.

Also, getting to 20% is a psychological barrier to me. It seems like it is the minimum that I need in the bank to not be totally screwed.

I will keep building my savings one payday at a time and keep looking to the successes that I have achieved rather than the things I have not accomplished.

I will get there, I have a ways to go, but as long as I keep making some progress each payday and keep focussed on my goal, I will get there: I will have land and a home (without wheels).

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 21 February 2020

Moving Forward

Here we are at the almost end of February (one week away) and I am ever hopeful to be moving forward in a number of ways.

The most obvious is to be moving forward (and away) from winter. It has been cold, not as cold as it could have been and not very cold for as long as it could have been.

So, those are good things and I am thankful for that. 

I am also moving forward with regards to my savings as it is payday tomorrow. That is another positive thing that I am thankful for.

There are many uncertainties when it comes to life and the future, all I can do is do what I can and find a way to move forward.

I will deal with what comes as it comes.

The best way to deal with things as I move forward is to do so with a positive outlook, as well as try to prepare for whatever may come, as best as you can.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Patience Amongst Chaos

It has been said that the thing that does people in when in the midst of chaos and upheaval is panic.

So, it must be true that when times are turbulent and things seem to be falling apart, that you must be calm and take a rational approach to whatever it is that you face.

I want my homesteading future to start now, and I want a number of other things.

The frustrating thing is that I need money to do all of those things. Short of a lottery win or other such windfall, all I have is my paycheque.

So I have the frustratingly slow pace of taking a step forward each payday and feeling like I am getting nowhere.

All while thinking that the world is falling apart and things are going from bad to worse.

The thing is that, pretty much, the world has always felt like things are bad and that great calamity is about to befall us.

All I can do is take my little step each payday and work slowly towards my goals . . . one step at a time . . . one payday at a time.

And above all: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Focus On The Now

I have recently been pondering just what I want my future to look like. (Something I do this time of year . . . question my life’s choices that brought me here).

There are positives in living in my RV year round:

1. Freedom.
2. Wherever I park, I am home.
3. Increased cash flow (no rent or utilities to pay).
4. Increased cash for savings.

Yet it is the permanent impermanence that I don’t like. Again, that is why I am working towards buying something: land, cabin, etc.

Yet it is the after that that bothers me, the how to I make a living after doing that, that gives me a moment of pause.

That and “how much savings is enough?”

Which then leads to questions of just giving up and staying working here, at work until I am shoved out the door at the retirement age of (whatever it will be for me to qualify for a pension, if the pension fund is still there by then).

If I do that, I might as well just buy a small condo and give up on the whole “homestead” idea.

All things to consider and all with no easy answers.

The one thing I can do is focus on the here and now, as while I make up my mind, I can continue to build my savings, as the one thing that any of those futures will need is savings.

Even if I build a “tiny home” on the back of a large delivery truck or convert a school bus.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Got a Bowl Cosy

So, apart from being a nice long weekend (Family Day up where I live) I got something in the mail called a “Bowl Cosy.”

An acquaintance of mine decided to be nice and send me that little thing around the bowl that will keep the bowl warm.

This means that my oatmeal will stay warm longer in the morning. As well the bowl of dinner will stay longer at night as well.

It was a nice gesture and one that I appreciate. 

As for me, I am still just trundling along trying to get through February and on into the warmer weather again.

I know the weather has been warmer as of late, but today is a reminder that the cold stuff is not done with me yet.

So, there was more questioning of my life’s choices (past and present) and grumbling as I got through the morning routing.

A routine which included warming up my ladder so that it would open so I could climb up it and brush the snow off of my solar panels.

Ah well, things are not all so bad, and every day I stay out here moves me that much faster towards my goals of home ownership.

If I could figure out a way to do this without being cold and without sacrificing savings, that would be a welcome option. 

As it stands now, I either keep doing what I am doing, or I pack it all in, get a place and work and build up savings until I “retire” at age 67 or whatever it will be when I ge there.

I will just keep working my plan and worry about the future when it gets here. All I can control is what I do here, today, this week. The rest is speculative.

As always: keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 14 February 2020

To Mobile or not to Mobile

I have been considering how long I should be building my savings. As in how long should I live in this RV and work where I work (or work at all).

The current plan is to work for a few more years and buy that land, start the homestead and all that.

Yet doubts have started to creep in as to the wisdom of that plan. For one, do I want to do all of that work on my own? (‘cause I would be all on my own.)

For another, is it wise to quit working ten to twelve years before I can get any sort of pension? (and/or be kicked out of the working world).

If I am to continue to live in an RV (indefinitely) then I would want to be more comfortable . . . as in year round comfortable.

After my working life I could drive around and tour place, all in my all electric RV (converted school bus).

Again, possibilities and thoughts, mainly centring around the wisdom of my current plan.

We shall see what shakes out, but for now at least, I am going to continue to live in my Wanda and put as much cash into savings as I can.

What the future holds, who knows, the one thing I do know is that whatever I do, savings will be needed. That is something I can do now to build for my future.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Find A Way To Enjoy The Day

One of the things that I continually struggle with is to find a way to enjoy today. I don’t mean that I sulk or mope around, but I just . . . get by, I . . . just skate on through.

I don’t really get out there and enjoy life. This is because my current life is based around the philosophy of “putting as much cash as I can into savings.”

That’s fine, and that is an admirable goal, but life continues as I hunker down and don’t spend a dime I don’t have to.

I will have to find ways to enjoy life as it is yet do so without harming my budget. As, after all, my current lifestyle is to build up my savings so I can establish my Homestead.

My point is this: building savings is good, but I have to find a way to enjoy the process.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

So Far, So Good

It is that time of year when I check the weather predictions daily. This is to just keep an eye on how things seem to . . . might be in the near future.

All I can say is . . . and I don’t want to jinx it . . . but . . . so far it seems like things might be not so fricken cold . . . for the remainder of winter.

Who knows and anything can and will happen. I mean I saw it snowing in the midst of sunshine yesterday afternoon . . . welcome to the prairies 

There probably will be anther cold spell that will come, I am prepared for that, but as I have said before, I know how to deal with it. I know how to handle it.

I am just trying to get through until the risk of bitterly cold passes for another winter (yet does it ever really pass . . . on the prairies?)

But I digress, I am focussing on the positive . . . of not being so cold . . . for the time being.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The Shocking Truth About Post-Truth

We live in a world where truth is relative, and that is the horrifying thing. I am not sure if it has always been thus, but it has grown bolder in recent years.

What is “true” and what is not, now depends on who you choose to believe. If you like someone or want to believe in them, then what they say is “true” to you.

Gone, it seems, are the days when we would look for neutral confirmation of what someone is saying before accepting what anyone says as being “true.”

I have heard glaring examples in recent days of two sides of a political chasm saying the polar opposite, and their people believing it as “true.”

I don’t mean reciting political ideologies, I mean stating bold faced lies, and having it not only accepted as “truth” but repeating it boldly and with great confidence as “truth.”

Even in the face of stacks and stacks of facts, the “truth” of their leader, the person they choose to believe in, is taken at face value as the “god’s honest truth.”

I suppose “fact checking” will soon die out, or at least be relegated to the obscurities, reserved only for the “weirdo’s” who do not have a political ideologue to tell them what to believe. 

I have seen this transpire not only in a certain country to the south of me, but also right here in The Great White North, particularly during the last political campaign.

Why can’t we get back to searching for and believing in facts and only in the “plain, simple, ordinary, unextraordinary . . . facts.”

Do some fact checking, filter out any bias, political or otherwise, before believing what someone is saying as the “truth.” 

Truth should not be relative.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Monday, 10 February 2020

Attitude Really Is Everything

Throughout life, and on this journey, I have been up and I have been down. I have been elated and I have been dejected; I have felt the highs and I have endured the lows.

That is part of life and you cannot really appreciate the joys of the high and great parts of your life without knowing the pain of the lowest of the lows.

While it is not practical (or healthy) to be so joyously delighted and uber-postive all the time (though, if there is a mental health condition that may be desirable, that would be it) it is important to keep a positive outlook . . . generally.

Shake off the bad times and the times that you have been down, and move on towards being and staying positive.

For you will not move forward without hope, and without a positive outlook. You need to have hope for the future and a belief that things will get better.

Blind dedication and trudgery are also very helpful when it comes to staying on the path to success, as they can help you through the lows, keep you moving forward when you lose hope.

With a positive attitude, you can weather the minor inconveniences or just irritations that come with being alive and take them in stride.

With a negative outlook, every little thing that goes wrong is some sort of “omen” of how bad things are and how horribly your life sucks.

Given the choice, which of those mindsets would you choose? Exactly, so choose to be positive and do whatever you have to (affirmations and all that) to get and keep your outlook positive.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 7 February 2020

The Homestead Fund Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” (to build my "Homestead Fund") 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 

For review, here is how things looked from last payday . . .

That is 17.1% (of my Savings Target)

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . . 

That’s right things jumped up to 18.1% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 1% of my total Savings Target this payday.

That looks like an impressive number but I am pretty sure is due to rounding up. You see, I only use a single digit decimal place.

So, while I did put a vast majority of my paycheque towards my savings, it was not a full percentage point. 

I’ll take the win though, and take the crossing off of a square. 

Building savings is a slow process, and one that is done one paycheque at a time, over a long period of time. 

You have to have dedication and a way to keep you motivated to stick with it. (Such as a chart to remind you of how far you are towards your savings goal.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 6 February 2020

I Was Told To Give Everything Away Yesterday.

So, it is no secret that I am living in my RV to build up my savings and improve my future. 

It is also no secret that I believe that it is possible, and strongly desired, that I and those around me succeed at the same time.

I do not believe that the best outcomes come from all of us clubbing each other over the head for the last dollar floating around between us. 

I believe in cooperation and consensus in tackling the common problems and in so doing, along the way, build each other up so that everyone succeeds: in whatever manner they determine success to be.

Yet, because of this outlook (more specifically not embracing the “live and let die” motto of hard-core capitalism) I have been labelled . . . wait for it . . . you know what’s coming . . . a communist.

And because I have been labelled a communist, the natural next thing is to be told (I’m paraphrasing here) “hey Commie, you have some cash, you should give it to those less fortunate than you.”

I know that the attempt is to point out the hypocrisy of me (the afforelabelled Communist) having any money at all. After all, all communists believe in everyone sharing everything, right?)

I am not a Communist, I am a “Fedrationist” (as in building the “Star Trek” future). 

I believe in building a place and a world where everyone has what they need to survive and can move forward from there to thrive and succeed (again, in whatever manner they determine success to be).

If success to them means starting a business and growing it, do that. If success to them means creating Art, do that. If success means pursuing Science, knowledge and the advancement thereof, do that.

I do not believe in taking from someone to give to someone else, I don’t believe in taking anything from anyone. I believe in living and let living and finding a way to build people up, to help everyone succeed.

Nobody needs to lose for you to succeed. I don’t need to be poor to believe in helping other people. I will do that, I will get there, but I need to build my savings so I can get my land first. 

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!