Friday 31 July 2015

Oh Look, I’m Home for the Long Weekend

My friend did leave yesterday to go back home with her kids and doggie, but later than planned. She had planned to leave mid-morning and drop off the keys to Wanda to me at work . . . but the day away from her and she ended up meeting me back at the campground. 

We had a nice evening visiting before she headed off back home to be reunited with a forlorn kitty (who had a kitty-sitter).  I had arranged to extend my stay until this morning, but I got thinking. 

Why leave a campground just before the long weekend when I can stay here for the weekend? I decided to splurge and so I will be here till Tuesday morning. I was able to sweet talk them to upgrade me from the daily rate to the weekly rate, so it wasn’t so bad.

The campground itself is to the east of Calgary yet still on, or just off of, the Trans-Canada Highway.  The spaces are intriguingly designed so that you back up to the space across from you (behind you). What this means, as it did for me, was that if nobody is there, you can drive through the space behind you to line up nicely in your spot. 

There are a lot of things to do for families, as in a small mini-golf course, a patio and even a few caged bunnies and peacocks. There are also the necessities such as a small store for essentials and treats and yes washrooms and yes Laundry. 

So I will pick up my mail after work and go back to the campsite to do my laundry there, instead of my usual laundromat in town. The nice thing with being at a campsite when things get hot is that I can use my air conditioning and yes even my ‘storage cupboard’ (microwave)!  

As far as writing this morning, no, that was a write off as I was so tired that I slept in. I will get to writing this weekend and at the very least get that chapter in my head written. I do like how this chapter is shaping up and slowly the revised storyline is forming.

All in all, it looks like it will be a good weekend.

Thursday 30 July 2015

I’m Not Used to Packing for the Day

I am running late today, not because I left late. Nope, I left with enough time to grab a fast food breakfast and get to work at my usual time. The trouble was that as I stared at the front door to work, I realized that I had forgotten my work keys in Wanda. Wanda was back at the campground. 

We had decided to stay an extra day, because only a sadistic me would have made tired little bodies get up and move before they were fully rested. Imagine mom lugging cranky and tired kids around the city and then going on a road trip home . . . no, not me.

So that was why I didn’t take my home with me to work, as per usual. So this meant that I actually needed to pack a lunch and take it with me. Furthermore I needed to actually plan ahead and take with me all of the stuff that I would need for the day, like my wallet and my work keys. 

I have gotten so used to not having to worry about packing anything, because I take everything with me wherever I go. Thankfully I always get to work with enough time to dash home, if I need to. Ah well, I am here at work with enough time to get going for work. No harm, no foul . . . well, gotta run.

Wednesday 29 July 2015

I Got Invaded Again

All was quiet this morning as the tired little bodies lay asleep in their beds, with one spilling over to the floor. Even in my bed I was not alone as I had three (including one micro-miniature invader). 

The only movement was either me sneaking around getting ready for the day as quietly as possible or the odd sleepyhead stirring in their sleep.

Why were six bodies added to Wanda’s usual compliment of one? A friend of mine had to come down to the city for a couple of days, running errands and needed a place to stay. 

Okay, she really was down for one day but we decided to extend it to two nights. I agreed to move to a nearby campsite for a couple of days so she could bring her kids (and Chihuahua) down.

So that was how: my friend, her four kids, and one dog came to stay in Wanda. So far it has been a pleasant interruption of my usual routine and I look forward to the real visit tonight. Last night was a bit rushed and there were frazzled nerves galore, but all survived with no bloodshed.

I was going to take a picture of the serene scene that I described this morning but decided against it. I will try take a shot of everyone tonight though.

What this means is that I wasn’t able to write this morning and won’t tomorrow morning either. That’s okay, I have an idea for the newest chapter itching to go. Hopefully it will flow out of me Friday morning, so I can really get going for the weekend.

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Bad Begets Good

Okay, I don’t know exactly what this means, or the significance it has, but it was cool. I went for a walk and it started to rain, sprinkle really. I was okay, as I was wearing my hat, so I pressed on.

I looked up and saw a rainbow, thought it was cool, snapped a pic and kept walking. 

A short while later I looked again and had a better shot, so I took it.

I kept walking and looked up again and then I noticed it . . . I had to take this shot.

There it is, a Double Rainbow!

As I continued walking occasionally sprinkled by rain a thought came to me, this rainbow would not be possible without the rain. The same is true with regards to many of our better qualities. We are shaped more by the bad things that happen to us, than the good. 

I would never have learned to be so resourceful or that I could truly take charge of my life and my destiny had I not been so mired in debt. Had my boss not made that off the cuff comment to close the shop in frustration, I would never have been spurred on this journey.

Sure, I froze my butt off last winter, but in so doing my fear of winter has gone away. I still respect winter and still loathe the cold, but I do not fear it. I know that I can manage and survive in any weather. In so doing, in so surviving, I have learned to adapt and make the best of any situation that is thrown at me. Keep calm and carry on is not just a slogan, but a great ideal.

To me, these are invaluable skills to have, which will not only let me survive in this life but to thrive. My life will steadily get better and I will not always live in this trailer, but I could, if I chose to. I could even live without this trailer and still be fine; I would adapt. 

I do not hate failure, I welcome it. For while I am not proud of my failures, I know that, just like the bad events that happen to me, they help shape me. In so doing, failure and bad events, beget the good that is in me. Like a sculptor chipping away at a marble statue, the bad chips away at me, revealing the beautiful statue beneath the needless stone; the same is true for you. 

I do not fear the future, I stand up and face it head on; hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst.

Monday 27 July 2015

Dream, Plan, Focus

There he was, parked three stalls away, just sitting there. To the untrained eye it just looked like a guy sitting in his car, but I could tell; I knew what to look for. The pillow, the quilt nearby, the changing of the shirt while sitting in the driver’s seat, and yes being there so early in the morning after being there late the previous night. All this added up to one thing: he was living in his car.

I don’t know if it is just that, as a result of my situation, I have become more attune to it, or if it is just more prevalent. I do notice more people living in their: RV’s, vans and yes cars. He was not the first and I know not the last that I will see. 

I was tempted to go over there and offer him a cup of coffee, but I admit I didn’t. I kept thinking, wondering really (and perhaps this was a weakness on my part) where would this charity end? If he was living in his car, even temporarily, then he would need more assistance than I could provide. Yet just a friendly cup of coffee and perhaps some pancakes would probably have brightened his day.

I didn’t keep an eye on him or watched him if that is what you are thinking, but as I would come and go he seemed to spend most of his time just sitting there. He would come and go occasionally but otherwise he would just sit there, unmoving; odd really. 

As for me, I decided to make another small batch of my taco stuff, as the batch of frozen lasagna stuff didn’t turn out quite right. It didn’t spoil or anything and when ate, seemed to be okay when tomato sauce was added. 

The problem with it was that when it was defrosted it would hold the shape of the bag (I defrost stuff with the bag removed when frozen). Stranger still was that all of the water would drain out leaving the mass of stuff with the feel and consistency of a sponge; quite unnerving. 

I found myself avoiding eating this as I wondered if all of the goodness had been drained away in the water. The main reason that I ditched this was the fact that I wasn’t eating it. There is no reason to keep my freezer full of something I will eat as a last resort. I will end up eating other things, and so this is not cost effective. 

The key to the success of the taco stuff is to keep it simple. Take whatever amount of beef you have and add the equivalent in hash browns and/or mixed vegetables, and then add the appropriate amount of taco seasoning packets (and yes water). 

So if you have two pounds of beef and add two pounds of vegies, then use four packets and four cups of water. While you will notice the peas and carrots in the taco meat, the hash browns mixes in seamlessly and stretches your meat. I will limp along until payday and make another batch of this stuff, and not get crazy with it; that is the key, don’t go fancy. 

Version three is coming along well and I am making progress heading down this path. I feel that I am on track for a good book. I am taking this one chapter at a time and working it through, I know that it will pick up speed as we hurtle down this path, before long book two will be done and then on to book three. 

As with everything: Dream far ahead, Plan a short ways ahead, yet Focus on today.

For no reason at all, here are your sunrise shots.

Friday 24 July 2015

Knowing How to Break Something is Important

Since I have been going through the book one chapter at a time and either adding and editing it or discarding it, I have been able to redefine my key storylines. It is a literary thing and trust me this is important. 

Now that I know what my storylines are, I hope that this book will fall into shape. Then again, I have thought of this before, but hey, all discarded chapters and versions were not a waste of time.

Every time you do something, whatever it is, you get a little better at it. As well each chapter and version that I write, I allow myself to explore a possible literary path. This is not a waste of time. 

Not every single attempt when you are trying something new will work out, that is okay. Learning what doesn’t work is more important than learning what does. If you succeed the first time out, you won’t really know why you succeeded, only that you did. 

Once you know what doesn’t work and why it doesn’t work, then you will truly know what to do, and what you can get away with and still succeed. Knowing this, my friends, is a very important and vital skill to have in any endeavour. 

There will be times that you are in a pinch and need to get something done, but don’t have quite enough to do whatever it is that you want to do. Knowing what you can get away with is quite handy. I use this all the time and it is this ‘out of the box’ thinking that allows me to do some of these crazy things yet still work.

Thursday 23 July 2015

On Track to Success

It is the day after payday, so that delightful short blip where my bank account held a sizable sum is over and done. A meagre pittance is in there now, but my bills are taken care of and I have enough set aside to last me till payday comes around again. 

I took a sizable, larger than usual, bite out of Card #2 and its days are numbered; one payday, perhaps two and it is done and gone. I am still steadily chipping away at Card #3, but once Card #2 is done, the speed of its demise will ramp up considerably. 

I have a good bead on things and while the pace of this paydown is not to my liking, the fact that it is happening and progressing is heartening. Surely there have been setbacks, both ones which life and chance have tossed my way and those that I have made myself. 

Life is a learning experience and we can and will muck up and make mistakes. The thing to do, in order to keep yourself on track to success, is to not let those mistakes drag you down. When mistakes happen: examine them, learn from them, correct them and move on. Do not drag the guilt or self-doubt with you.

If I had not managed to master that (okay, perhaps ‘master’ is a bit of a strong word) then I would have given up on this journey long ago. Success does not come in handling what you do right, real success comes in handling what you do wrong.

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Ducks N’ Trucks

I had a pleasant and relaxing evening and even slept in this morning, it was much needed. Don’t worry, I wasn’t late for work, I just slept through my writing time.

I awoke this morning to the sounds of ducks quacking, birds playing and chirping and trucks roaring by. While this street is not the one that trucks park along, it is still the one they drive on. It is something to get used to, and something I have dealt with before and will do so again.

It is payday and today was supposed to be the day that all of my credit card debt was paid off. That day is now shifted forward a few months to October or perhaps even early November, but it will arrive nonetheless. Today, I will be taking a large bite out of Card #2, and that is a reason to smile.

I have started to mull over ideas for this new version of Book Two, and the slightly different direction that it will be going in. I will get back to it tomorrow, and continue forward.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Nicer View Here

I did move to another block, not far from a place I used to park. In the middle of this industrial area is a wetland, which is in essence where the storm drains of the whole area lets out. There are duck, bullrushes and other vegetation and wildlife. 

All in all, not a bad view.

I am parking down the street a bit from this wetland area and not right in front of it. Just on the other side of this wetland area are the offices of a home-building company who seem to keep late hours. 

I don't want to freak anyone out who is coming and going by parking right across from active offices. Where I an parking now there is an equipment lot and the side of a building on the other.

As far as my literary troubles with Book Two is concerned I realized that the problem was the fact that there was the beginnings of another novel in the middle if this one. 

So Literary Mitosis occurred again. I have begun another version of Book Two and take out those remnants of another book. So I have the kernel of Book Three already. 

I will ignore and put behind me the nasty message and teenage antics that was done to me and move on. I will continue to do my walk around before going anywhere from now on. It is always a good idea, anyways.

Monday 20 July 2015

What I Learned This Weekend.

I scoffed, shook my head and turned on the wiper blades to erase the crude message. I had things to do and wanted to get going, I didn’t want to pay any mind to nasty notes written in rain.

What am I talking about? It had rained on Friday but by the time I returned to my truck it had stopped. It was still covered in those rain droplets all over it, again not a concern as wind and windshield wipers will make quick work of them. 

There, on my windshield, written with a finger wiping away the droplets were two words, one above the other: “F*ck You.” You can guess what letter the asterix stands in for. They took the time and care to write that message backwards to them so that it would be forwards to me as I sat in the drivers seat.

I went about my Friday errands: I checked my two mailboxes, did my laundry before arriving at my western home. Even there my usual spot was taken up by three motor homes. I ended up parking in a forlorn spot way across the parking lot; that’s life.

That was when I saw it; that was when I noticed the other part of the message from the windshield. My back, passenger side tire of Wanda was flat, as in zero air pressure flat. I checked for damage and found none. 

So I fished out my electric air pump and pumped the tire up as I listened for hissing and felt for air, again I found no hint of any damage. It was simply that someone had let the air out of my tire, as in all of it, down to zero air pressure, and I do mean zero. 

Someone hated me enough to take the time to be thorough in their deeds so as to let me know their hatred, but not so far as to do actual damage. The words were not carved into my truck or spray-painted on. Neither was the tire punctured or slashed, just the air let out. Again, even if I knew who did this, this would be a misdemeanor at best, barely worth a cop’s time to arrest or ticket them.

Why had this been done? What was my offence? I remained parking in my nighttime spot during the daytime, that’s it. I was parked where someone else wanted to be, and expected the place to be clear. At least that is my best guess. I could speculate and guess, but in truth, I don’t care.

Why was I parked there when I usually wasn’t?  Since Friday was an early day I wanted to see if I could just leave my truck and trailer in one spot. I would be moving it by two in the afternoon and if this worked out I might just leave my truck parked there. 

I assure you that I won’t do that again but here is where I learned the first two lessons this weekend. For one, always keep moving when parking on the street, that way people will get less angry with you. The other was that I should have taken the time to do a walk around as soon as I saw that message on the windscreen.

Saturday morning I was asked to move by some hot dog vendor, because I was blocking the view of his potential customers. I moved even though I arrived the night before and was there when he arrived that morning. I didn’t need to be right there, and in truth was thinking of moving anyways. I was able to find a spot in my usual spot, so that wasn’t bad.

The rest of the weekend went fine and I relaxed as I still pondered on what to do with this chapter that won’t come. It is looking as though I may move on to another version of book two, just so I can nudge the storyline in a slightly different direction. 

The other niceity came at four-thirty this morning while I was dumping my tanks and filling my water. A man approached me with a sob story that I suppose we here in Alberta should get used to hearing. He came out here for work but the project was cancelled so he was left out in the cold, literally; he was sleeping in a park. 

He was talking me up with that sad look in his eyes as he put his bag down at my feet; a sign that my fate was in his hands. He didn’t even take the hint when I replied that I lived right here, pointing to Wanda, after he asked where I lived. I clarified and explained my situation, still he stayed. 

His eyes just lit up; as he stood there he pondered the possibility of me taking him in. He didn’t say it, but I could read it in his eyes. I told him I had no cash to give yet he still stuck around, trying to work up the courage to ask me something. 

He was mumbling something about food, I was starting to tune him out. I eventually gave him the contents of my coin holder from Treabilla and continued working. He finally did leave as I was finishing up, but he was disappointed. 

I get it that he is falling on hard times but I can’t afford to adopt anyone. I am trying to get my own life back on track. A life partner is one thing, a partner, an active partner in my life would be one thing, but a stranger? A passenger? Dead weight? No.

The last thing I learned this weekend was this: know the limits of your charity. Know what you can and can’t do. It is okay to say no to something that you can’t help with. The world is not your problem. If you can help, great, do so. 

I help all sorts of people in little ways all the time, most times without being asked and expecting nothing in return. I most certainly will not take in a total stranger and trust them with everything I own, nor will I be made to feel guilty for leaving him in the condition that I found him. 

As far as me, I am still pondering where to park, as I don’t know where to go, but it would be wise to avoid that stretch of street. I do not own the street and in the end, I just don’t want the trouble. I am mobile, so mobile I will be. I can and will find another place to park, 

Also I will remember to: 
  • Keep moving every twelve hours (unless in a parking lot) 
  • Do a walk around each time I plan to move my vehicle.
  • Help people when I can, but know my limits and stay within them.

Friday 17 July 2015

Literary Logjam Cracking

I have been stalled at this certain point in Book Two for some time now, too long as a matter of fact. I have ideas to move the plot forward, but none of them hit me as right. Instead they remain in my head as possible future chapters.

The further complication with this book is the fact that there are a number of smaller plotlines to take a peek at. In general there are three main plotlines (or plot areas) that we look at and fit these others into. It makes sense when you read it (at least I hope it does).

I have recently had an idea to further the one storyline that I have been stuck on along and reintroduce some action into the book. The idea is percolating, but I hope to write this chapter tomorrow and yes finally get moving forward.

As I have said before, I want book two finished even before Book One is getting ready to be published. I hope to be writing Book Three while Book One is released. In essence I want to stay a few books ahead of what is being published. This is to be able to increase the pace of book release, and thereby keeping interest in the series going and a high pitch.

Of course, all this would be helped along, if I had already acquired a few things. Minor items really, trivial details, such as:

An editor
An agent
A publicist
A publisher

I know I could self -publish but that is not for this book series, this series needs to be published in a traditional sense, so as to enable the movie/TV shows that I envision for this franchise (in my head).

For now, I will ponder that pivotal chapter and get ready to write it tomorrow. Off to work I go, to pay the bills.

Thursday 16 July 2015

Keeping Hope Going

My life is a steady trudge of drudgery where one day slips into the next. Thriftiness has become a way of life, where every thought goes to how to save a bit more and conserve more so I can put that extra bit of saved cash onto a credit card. 

Credit cards; don’t get me started. 

I do all of this to pay this never-ending and wholly unfair business arrangement I made years ago. Yet it was a business deal I agreed to, so I will live up to it. 

Yet with each of these actions and with each dollar put on the credit cards, I am moving that much closer to getting rid of these credit cards. 

I have proven to myself that I can manage credit cards. I have charged things on these cards and paid them off. They do not scare me anymore, I still resent them, but I can use them and not let them overwhelm me. None of them are staying maxed out, with no movement on them at all.

I have made financial gains over this past year and a half. Card #1 is paid off completely, the others I am still working on. I have made significant progress on paying off Card #2, not to mention the steady plodding progress on Card #3 since April. I have stayed out of the overdraft for months now.  Last but not least is the fact that I am on track to having these cards done well before my December 5 deadline, my two year anniversary. 

Still, now and again I need to pause to reflect on the positive things that I have accomplished and less on the tasks left to do. I need to remind myself that I am further down the road towards my goal than it seems at the moment. 

In so doing, I will not only keep my sanity but also help keep hope alive. Sure I live in an RV with no permanent place to park it, but I do have a home. My life is not as bad as I sometimes think it is.

Soon, this phase of my life will be done and I can focus on my future, and savings, rather than paying off the past. For me, that is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

I Found a New RV Alley

So there I was, needing a place to park so I could buy a bit of groceries and look for a tune-up kit for Jenny. I had to do a bit of shopping last night so I moseyed on down to my local big box open mall. I didn’t feel like driving back to my usual parking spot afterwards, so I needed to find someplace to park for the night near there. 

The trouble was that all of the parking lots in this area have been cut down in size, as the outlying and underused areas of the parking lots are being turned into new retail space. From what I can see, unless you advertise the crap out of your business, this is where new start-ups go to die.

The one nice thing about unfinished developments is the fact that there are those lovely streets which go off to nowhere. Or those streets that ring around behind a large development for no good reason. They are there to leave the developers the option to develop the other side of that street and expand. 

I found a nice spot to park along one of those streets. Behind my grocery store and another big box store there was one of those ring roads to nowhere. Along there were a few other RV units parked, so I joined them. I have yet tried to start an impromptu tailgate party or other such BBQ.

I was able to buy my half a bag of groceries but not able to find that tune-up kit for Jenny; I will have to order that online . . . ah well. So if you are ever stuck for a place to park and snooze, look for those roads to nowhere. It is a pity that this place is not closer to work or I may even try to park there for the week.

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Odd Wakeup

I did sleep well and did wake up when I planned to, but then went back to sleep and dozed for the next few hours; until it happened. 

There I was, half awake, eyes closed and in that place partly awake, partly asleep and debating the merits of getting up vs staying in bed a little longer. 

As you may remember I have three hooks in the ceiling of Wanda so I can hang three of those IKEA tealight lamps. This way, in the darkness of winter, I can see, yet not waste my batteries. 

Well what I heard sounded like one of those lamps was up there and shaking back and forth, until it came off of that hook. 

That lamp then fell down and hit my ankle where the little door opened up and the candle tumbled out of it where it and the lamp rolled off of the bed and into my garbage can. 

All this happened while my eyes were closed but from sound and feel I could tell what was happening. 

There is just one problem, all three tealight lamps were still in the side cupboard, where they have been for a few months now. I didn’t have said lamp up nor did anything drive by so fast and so close that would have shook said lamp that badly. 

The feeling I got was not one of threat or imminent danger, but rather that of someone telling me to get my butt out of bed and face the day.

Quite an interesting tale, to say the least, the question remains, was it just a case of my imagination and the dream-state mixing with the waking world, or am I not alone in my Wanda after all? 

Monday 13 July 2015

One Full Year in Wanda

One year, it has been one full year (yesterday) since I packed up what little I had in that small room that I was renting from Landlady and moved into Wanda. I remember it being a day full of second guessing and wondering if this was the right thing to do. 

I also remember that feeling of expecting the police to knock on my door sticking with me for a few weeks. I expected them to tell me that what I was doing was out of the ordinary and/or illegal, so I had to rent a fixed address at once. 

I still am cautious with regards to my interactions with police and/or authority figures, as I am not entirely sure of the legalities of what I am doing. I am not hurting anyone; I just have found a way to get financially ahead by doing something most people wouldn’t do. It seems that the way to get ahead is found in doing what most people won’t do. 

It would have been nice to have my bills paid off by now, but I know that there have been setbacks, and expenses that I had not planned for. I also know that I have bought things and spent money in ways that perhaps I shouldn’t have. This is a learning experience for me, and I am steadily getting better at managing my money.

In retrospect though, I am still on track to meet that two year deadline to have my bills paid off in full and my truck and trailer loan consolidated. That is something and something to work towards. I will make it, I will get these credit cards paid off, and that is something to be proud of.

I made this financial mess for myself and I will fix it myself. Then comes the fun thing of building my savings and working towards my future, with maybe a toy or two along the way. Hey, it’s my money, and I can spend it how I want.

When it comes to that extra day that I took off, I puttered around the city for half a day and then went out early to McLean Creek. I sorta felt guilty for not working on a work day; it was an odd feeling, like I was letting the team down. 

It was nice out there, I rested, did little, but in the end I still came back tired and not as rested as I had hoped.  I will be fine, though, and certainly will sleep well tonight, I hope

Thursday 9 July 2015

Sputtering Into the Weekend

For me, this is Friday, as I have tomorrow off and on into McLean Creek to rest, relax and enjoy nature. I am looking forward to this weekend and need this time out of town. I just don’t seem to sleep well in town, that at least once a month, it seems, I need the time in the country to sleep properly.

Things are not that bad where I usually park, after all, this is the view from my front door. 

Not bad at all, considering it is an old garbage dump; nope, it doesn’t smell at all.

I have a few ideas on how to spend this day in town and yes it involves getting that bike of mine working and going for some sort of a bike ride, preferably along the river. One thing is certain, I am looking forward to this weekend of rest.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Card Chomping

Due to the fact that the boss went on vacation during this pay period and that I was reeeeaaaly busy when he was gone, this payday was larger than usual (yay) . . . no you can’t borrow any cash, as I am broke again. 

With some scrimping and conservative (yet not insane) budgeting, I was able to take an equal bite out of both Card #2 and Card #3. This will keep my Card #3 paydown on schedule and increase the speed of Card #2’s demise. I know that paydays like this are few and far between, so I take advantage of them when I can. 

I think I know what I will do with that spare day for me. I am going to spend the day going for a nice bike ride in our river valley trail system, perhaps heading towards downtown, I am not sure, it should be fun.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Payday Plans

Okay, this time I have not received my paycheque the night before, as often I do. So this means that I can’t properly budget anything ahead of time for what to do with my paycheque. 

This is frustrating, what I would like to do is sit down the night before and plan out exactly what to do. Instead I will have to try to do a bit of rushed budgeting at the end of the day. I know what I need to do at the bank and that is enough for now. 

I will plan out exactly how much to put on what card and what to set aside tonight. I hope to pay off Card #2 today. My focus will then shift to Card # 3 next month.

I also look forward to my minibreak and impromptu long weekend. I have not yet decided what to do with that day, but I will do something with it. 

The frustrating thing about how I live is that now and again I get a large truck with its engine idling behind me. Last night, sometime before 3 AM, some truck was behind me with its engine running at a high idle. This was not the chuga-chuga steady diesel thumping that you can almost ignore, no this was a steady running engine. I was tempted to run Jenny just for spite, but decided against it.

Imagine for a moment if someone decided to park a big rig just outside your bedroom and idle its engine half the night. So you can understand why I am just a tad grumpy this morning and tired this morning. Ah well, I will live, and tonight, after running around I will be in my western home with my slide out, out and everything. 

Monday 6 July 2015

Nice Weather and the Laundry Experiment.

This weekend I was not scorched or cooked in Wanda, nor was it so cold that I had to turn the furnace on. So all in all it was a good weekend. I liked it. 

I still haven’t fixed up my bike or gone for a ride yet. I will repeat my mantra . . . perhaps this weekend (when I am at McLean Creek). 

Since this upcoming weekend is my one year anniversary of living in Wanda full time, I have arranged for Friday off. 

The trouble is that when I booked the trip to McLean Creek, I didn’t book Thursday night as well. So I am left with a day to do something with, Friday Daytime. I will have this week to think of what to do with that day, perhaps stay in town and go for a hike or see something nice. Hmm. don’t know. 

I tried out a theory with a pair of shorts I wear all the time after work. The material is thin so it is breezy and cool in that hot weather. As you can imagine it needs a wash now and again, so I decided to see if I could do this at home. 

What I did was put the shorts in an empty coffee can (rinse it out first) with a bit of water and soap. What you do next is shake that thing like a martini shaker (preferably over the bathtub). Then after a quick rinse, just hang them dry. 

This was the challenging bit as I have no laundry line nor any bar long enough to drape my shorts over and let them dry properly. After a bit of trial and error, I came up with this.

What this is, is my shorts hanging upside down by two ‘pants hangers’ these are the hangers with two sticks that are pressed together to hold up the bottoms of pants, so you can hang them straight. 

I simply attached one to each leg and hung it up by precariously balancing the hook on the shower curtain rail. It should be dry by tonight, and I hope clean. I still would like to get one of those “human powered washing machines,” but this will do in a pinch (but not all the time).

Friday 3 July 2015

The Intriguing Human Body

Okay, this won’t be a biology lesson or contain anything which would make this blog entry anything other than a ‘family blog.’ Why the title? I’m starting to get used to plus this hot weather, that’s why.

I woke up this morning and felt a bit chilly. I looked at my thermometer and found that it was 20C. Last evening I felt fine and comfortable in my shorts (sans T-shirt) when it was plus 30C. 

Sure the blazing sun is warm and makes me sweat but in the shade, with a slight breeze I am fine in 30C, comfortable even. It is funny how six months ago I was comfortable bundled up at 5C, 15C was warm and running around outside in a T-Shirt at -10C was normal. 

We do acclimatize and get used to whatever temperature that we live in. This is how people live and are fine near the equator or up at the poles, we get used to where we are living. This, of course is within reason, as it will be a few thousand years or so before we may learn to breathe under water. 

It is always interesting to note how we, or at least I, get used to one temperature extreme and then have to get used to one in the other direction. Ah well, such is life when you live in a steel box with no air conditioning to speak of and inadequate heating. As always, I will survive and yes thrive, no matter the weather.

Thursday 2 July 2015

A Happy Humpday

I didn’t do anything special for Canada Day, I just relaxed in my western home. I thought about going downtown to see the sights and/or fireworks but the thought of trying to find parking down there prevented me from going. 

I suppose I could have taken the bus or left Wanda somewhere and drove down anyways. I still have a problem with leaving Trea and/or Wanda anywhere for too long. Let’s face it, everything I own is contained in those two. As you can understand, leaving them anywhere for a long period of time is not a nice thought for me. Even parking up the street while at work, gives me a very minor moment of pause. 

It was nice to relax and rest, personally I think every Humpday should be celebrated like this; this splits the week up nicely. For me, it is only a day and a half to go till the weekend. This weekend, I hope it will not be too hot, so I can go for a bike ride. I am still trying to figure out how to get to Stampede and even if I should go, as I hate to go do stuff like this alone. Ah well, I have seen it, been there, done that.

On the weekend I saw something interesting; I saw a young woman seemingly to be living in her van. It was a brown van from the late seventies or early eighties. It had a large window in the side and barn doors on the side, instead of a sliding door. I am not even sure if it had a kitchenette in it, nor did I see what was inside. 

I watched her come and go, dressed nicely with a small backpack. I guessed that she was looking for work with a pack of resumes in her backpack while walking around talking to the many businesses around. 

I almost went over to talk to her but decided against it. I would probably have made her nervous or seemed like I was the creepy old dude hitting on her. She could see that I was there, if she needed help, she could always have asked. 

I have noticed more and more people living in RV’s in my western home and in other places. It is rumored that some are here from other provinces working and sending money home. I don’t know why they are here, I just know that our numbers are growing. Something to think about.