Wednesday 28 February 2018

My Home While My Home is Away This Week

So, Wanda went in for service yesterday after work. She will be in for repairs until (it is planned) Friday afternoon. 

As we all know, things may not go as planned, so we shall see what actually happens. I am optimistic, though, and am confident that things will be done on time.

I am looking forward to having my propane system working again, amongst other things. Yet, I am not looking forward to the bill, though it is manageable.

What this means is that I checked into a hotel in my Eastern Home. It was a treat for me, and I appreciated all manner of simple things. 

(A shower in my room for one, heat for another, and yes running water.)

Here is a shot of my home while my home is away.

There are other repairs to be done, and I am looking at upgrading my batteries so that they can work in temps below -20C. 

I have yet to find a satisfactory product, so I am still looking. 

I refuse to waste resources and gasoline running my generator every two days in the dead of winter when that same generator run time would last me a week in summer.

I will continue to enjoy the treat that staying in the hotel is and not think of the bill. This is all part of the cost of repairs, when you live in your RV full time. 

I will also get back to building my savings, on the 22nd of March. Yet I will do so with a working propane system once again.

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

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Water Harvesting Anywhere

So, in my mad dash to the mountains I forgot all but one of my bottles of water at work. 

Before you freak at me for buying bottles of water, let me clarify that they are two litre soda bottles that I keep refilling with water.

I have found that two litre bottles are the right size to handle and store. They are not too large and heavy to handle (such as my 5 gallon jug) yet hold a decent amount of water.

I keep them at work (during winter) because there, they won’t freeze. I typically take one or two home each day so I can have water at home to: drink, cook and wash with.

I tuck those bottles into bed during the evening and keep them there at night, again so they won’t freeze. 

I have found that these bottles filled to the tippy top (as in you literally can’t get another drop into them) will stay liquid far longer than a partially full bottle of water.

So there I was with only one two litre bottle of water with me, certainly this was not going to last the weekend and so I needed to refill it. 

Yet, here I was at the typical bathroom sink and my problem was obvious.

So, I needed to figure out a convenient way to refill it in this sink. Here is what I came up with, and what you will need.

First fill the cup with water.

Then put the funnel into the top of the two litre bottle (unless your aim is stellar).

Then pour the water into the bottle by way of the funnel.

Then simply repeat as needed. For the last fill, lift the funnel up and just pour slowly into the funnel as you aim it still into the bottle. 

This way you can get that bottle filled to the tippy top, yet still use that funnel.

For those of you “bottling your own water” I hope this tip helps.

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

Monday 26 February 2018

Relaxing Weekend in my Mountain Home

I went to my Mountain Home, and had a nice and relaxing time. It was a well-needed break, that perhaps might have been better to have gone the weekend before. 

Ah well, such is life but: I have a plan, I am working the plan, and the plan is working. (As in my plan for wealth building and my future.)

Here is a shot of where I was for the weekend.

For those of you who are curious just where my Mountain Home is, here is a link to the exact campsite that I go to. 

I was able to get the inside of my trailer up to 20C and stay there which was a welcome break from the 0C if I’m lucky that I have been living in the past while.

Mostly I relaxed and played around on the computer, but I did get out for a few walks, here are some of the views.

Not to be outdone, but here is a nice panorama shot.

It is my hope that the really cold weather is behind us, but no matter what comes, I will weather it, as I am determined.

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

Friday 23 February 2018

Run To The Hills

Okay, so after last weekend of doing nothing, not even going to my Western Home, this weekend I am running to the hills of my Mountain Home. 

The official reason that I am doing this (that I am telling the taxpayers of the great and noble House of Westlock (currently with only one member . . . me) is . . .

That I need to plug Wanda in for the weekend in order to charge her batteries up before she goes into service . . .  yep . . . that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The fact that I am tired of the cold, cold and more cold, is beside the point. Yet the break is important and it will serve as a nice pick me up as the second half of the 18 month winter begins (or so it feels).

This next week is when Wanda goes in for service (on Tuesday evening) and hopefully will be done by Friday evening. Again, we will see what happens.

All in all I am taking this break because I need it, yet I will try to balance this against my need for frugality. 

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

Thursday 22 February 2018

The Duality and The Bleeding

I was able to balance my budget and put that extra hundred that I have wanted to, into my Mid-Term Savings Account. (YAY!)

This then begins what I see as the “Duality Payperiod;” as in the payperiod between today and the morning of the 7th. Why? 

Well, while on one hand I will be living as frugally as I can, on the other I will be racking up quite a credit card bill. 

I have: Wanda’s Repairs, the hotel bill (for when I am not in Wanda) and the eating out costs of not having a kitchen to pay for. 

All of this I will be putting on my low-interest Rate Credit Card. Don’t freak, it will all be paid for during the “Payperiod of Bleeding.” 

You see, due to the fact that February only has only 28 days in it, the last payperiod of this month is the shortest and my smallest cheque of all (I only have 66 hours on it). 

I am taking a full 25% hit on the paycheque on the 7th . . . (that’s my rosiest estimate) . . . ouch. 

Yet this will be the payday that I will settle this large bill, so I will dip into savings and pay for it. 

I am thankful that this is not as large of a deal as it was in the past. As I have worked hard to reduce my expenses to the point that they are, yet it wasn’t always so.

I will get back to savings in one month from today, for now, I will get back on track and do what I can to keep my frugal head about me as I go through this next month.

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

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Homes, Homes, and More Homes

I mention a few different “Homes” throughout this blog and there seems to be a bit of confusion around which is which. 

First of all, I only really have one home: Wanda. Wanda is the name that I have given my trailer. 

I tow Wanda around behind my truck (“Treabilla”: named after a character in an unpublished novel of mine.)

The various places or areas that I park Wanda in are what I call my various “Homes.”

This is a play on the concept of the very rich having various homes spread out all over the place. 

Since my home is wherever I park it, wherever I am is home. Yet there are regular places that I park my home in, which have become my “Home”, or neighbourhoods, to me. Here are the top three.

Eastern Home

First, and the Home that I spend most of my time in, is my Eastern Home. 

The company that I work at is located in an industrial park, that industrial park is my Eastern Home. 

When I am in my Eastern Home, I am parking on the street and so there is little comfort here. I don’t have my slide-out out, so space is a bit “cosy”. 

I also don’t put my stabilizer jacks down, so there is a bit of sway as I walk or move. After all, a trailer is a box on springs, on wheels, so it moves and acts as such. .

I park in one spot at night and move to park at another spot during the day. The distance between these two spots is 1KM door to door. 

I do this to never been seen always in one spot and never moving. Never moving is one sure-fire way to attract unwanted attention or otherwise get a ticket, in my opinion.

Western Home

The place that I spend the second most amount in is my Western Home. My Western Home is a “Big Box Store Shopping Area.” 

At least that it the best way to describe it, imagine a neighbourhood made up of “Big Box Retail Stores, and you have an idea of my Western Home. 

One particular Big Box Store, for the most part doesn’t mind people parking there, so this is where I go for the weekend, (most weekends).

I always park in the outskirts of the parking lot and look for places that people are not using anyways. 

I try to be considerate when I am here and be a good neighbour. I also do my weekly grocery shopping in the Big Box Store whose parking lot I am staying in.

Staying in my Western Home is nice because I do have my stabilizer jacks down and my slide-out out. 

So there is space and comfort and I can use Wanda, as she was designed to be used. 

The other thing is that I have a bit of space around me and I don’t have traffic zipping by me, two feet from my window, as I do in my Eastern Home. 

Mountain Home

The last place that I consider a Home of mine is my Mountain Home. I do not spend nearly as much time here, as I would like. 

My Mountain Home is the campground in Banff. I have a particular camping spot that I like as the view is breathtaking. 

I have sometimes called this place my “Very Western Home,” but I have settled on the name of “Mountain Home.”

In addition to enjoying all of the advantages of my Western Home, (apart from the store right there) I also have steady access to electricity. 

I can also dump my tanks and fill my fresh water tanks, in the warm seasons of course. 

This is a place that I like to go to unwind and relax, but each time I go here, I have to be ready to spend $200.00 to do so, in camping fees and extra fuel for the truck.

This is not a place that I can go to every weekend, but I do go as often as I can work it into the budget.

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Another Weekend in My Eastern Home

I made it through another weekend in my Eastern Home, all for the final push of savings into payday. 

Again, due to the very cold overnight lows, I didn’t bother to try to keep a charge in Wanda’s batteries.

I walked to a coffee shop that serves breakfast while having “charging stations” at most of the booths. I took advantage of this. 

I ended up buying not only my breakfast but an extra coffee as well, over the time that I was there, for each of the three mornings. 

I walked back to the trailer and bundled up as I played on my laptop. I had to pause regularly and hibernate the laptop as I warmed my hands up.

It’s okay . . . I had time. 

Again, all of this was to economize on the fuel budget so I could possibly put a bit extra into my Mid-Term Savings Account this payday. 

It all seems so silly when next payday (the one on the seventh) I will be taking cash out of my Mid-Term Savings Account to pay for the repairs that will be done next week. 

Again, it is a thing I do, try to save as much as I can, so I can get to that fully-funded Mid-Term Savings Account ASAP.

All in all, it was a quiet weekend, and that was not a bad thing. 

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

Friday 16 February 2018

A Boring Long Weekend, For Savings

I will be spending the long weekend in my Eastern Home, and not in the mountains. This will be a pattern for some time to come; there is a reason for this. 

I will be getting the repairs done to Wanda later this month, or rather, most of them. 

The last bit I will have to look into doing some other way, the subcontractor is unable to do the repairs in a timely manner. 

All this while, all this year, I have been putting what I can into savings, and in so doing, building for my future. 

Sure, my savings took a bite due to me paying off the few niceties that I bought myself. Yet I am back on track to building those savings. 

Those savings will take a hit when I pay for these repairs, but not as much of one as I had anticipated. As well, they will not clean out my savings.

I am still focussed on building up my Mid-Term Account to the point that it will contain enough cash for me to live for two years. 

After that I will built up my Long-Term Account to the point that I can start to shop for land (after I put my target dollar amount in there).

I will do this, all while paying my current expenses and staying debt free.

The point is that I have plans and I need, for my own sanity and peace of mind, to build up those savings as soon as I can. 

My real sense of urgency is around fully funding that Mid-Term Account. With that, I can at least relax a bit, knowing that I have a bit of a cushion to land on.

I also, and mainly, just want to get my savings back on target and blowing a few hundred bucks to go to the mountains, when my favourite spot is not available is not worth it.

So, I will stay here, and save as much cash as I can, for my future, and my peace of mind.

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

Thursday 15 February 2018

Half-Way Through February

Here we are on the ides of February, and all is . . . non-hideous. This is important to me, because in my mind, come March, things will start shifting towards the tolerable. 

At least that is the theory in my mind that I am holding to. At the very least, come March, I should have Wanda back and all fixed.

As in I will be able to cook on my stove and run my furnace . . . yay.

What keeps me going is looking to the future and what it will bring. As it is, my life at present is quite boring and cold. 

It is what it is, and it is the way that it is, because it is necessary. Again, I tolerate winter, I get through it, I do not frolic or revel in it.

I will take these silly markers as progress in order to keep me motivated and on track. 

As I said before, I have frozen my tuchus off to pay the banks back their pound of flesh, so I will freeze my tuchus off to build my future.

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

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Valentine’s Day . . . Again.

Oh joy, it is that day we celebrate love . . . again. I was going to make a blog entry about love and what I want . . . but my feelings have not changed since last year.

I am in a better place, but I am still in frugal mode, so I am not really in a mindset to date. Yet, I am still open to the possibilities, yet I am not holding my breath.

Again, once I start the Homesteading Phase, and have actually moved onto the land or otherwise I am in some sort of fixed address, sure, I will start looking in earnest. 

As far as how things are now? My focus is on living as cheaply as I can, so I can get out of this phase of my life and on into the next one . . . that aforementioned “Homesteading Phase.”

You know, that part of my life when I actually move onto the land and try to make that patch of raw land: a home, a farm and a town.

As for now I will work on me and just be okay with that, be okay with being alone. I would love to have someone in my life, but I will not change my lifestyle to suit anyone.

That is to say, I will make her comfortable, but I will not move into an apartment or other fixed address, just to make her happy, my life is focussed on savings so I can build for my future. 

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

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Breaking With The Bad

I find myself getting worked up over stuff that has no impact on my life, and worse still things that I cannot influence at any rate.

I have a habit, or had a habit rather, that found me checking both a certain social media site and various news sites regularly, throughout the day. 

On one hand, it is good to keep up on things, but on the other, sometimes all they can do is serve to aggravate you. In so doing, that can and will negatively impact your life.

I still hear the news in small bits on the radio, and that’s fine. I am still working on me not yelling back at the radio my opinion.

As far as that certain social media site (or all of them for that matter) I find that just scrolling through it will invariably find numerous things to aggravate me. 

I have realized that many people will have many opinions about many things. Not everyone has to agree with me, and that’s okay. 

I just need to get through this world in the best way I know how and let others do the same. I don’t need to make sure that all people think and speak like I do.

All I ask is that we all “play well with others.”

So, I am seriously reducing the time I spend checking the news and social media. I see little point in aggravating myself for no good reason.

Even in the one day that I have been doing this I have noticed a huge improvement in my overall mood. 

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

Monday 12 February 2018

I Swiffered My Ceiling

So, there I was, having one of those “why am I doing this?” moments. The weather warmed up to around freezing on Saturday. 

This meant that all of the ice and frost inside the trailer (which had built up on every surface) started to melt. So the dripping started. 

This led me to start to wipe down the ceiling to gather up the water. The rag was frozen long before I finished.

Then, I had to finish the job of removing the water and ice by using my Swiffer to scrub the frost off of the ceiling. 

It was a bit odd but it was needed to be done. 

The other thing that I did this weekend was to do my laundry . . . and organize my clothes storage. 

You see, I have one large overhead cupboard that I use for my clothes storage. It is literally one large rectangular space with two doors in it. 

While it may be okay for those of you whose houses do not move around, it doesn’t work for me. 

Why? Well, what starts out as neat piles in there quickly get knocked over and strewn about after me driving my house down the road. 

So, I came up with this . . . 

Those are clear containers that I can just about get in and out of there by lifting them up and angling them in and out. 

I am able to fit eight containers in there with a bit of space behind the containers and above them as well. 

This way my stuff stays where I put them and I can clearly see what I have. This may seem a bit too “retentive” but I don’t have a chest of drawers.

That little plastic bag tucked in the back there is my bag of lonely socks. 

Those are good socks made lonely by the fact that their partner sock wore out and had to be thrown out. 

They are waiting for another sock to be made lonely so they can be a good new pair. My way of reducing waste. 

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

Friday 9 February 2018

I’m Still Here, Still Determined.

Yeah, it was a might bit nippy this morning, more so than I had expected.

So, this sums up my morning . . . 

Those are not more grey hairs, nor are they white ones; those are frosted and frozen whiskers. This is me after getting to work, after walking that 1km to work in this.

Why? Well you see, as soon as I wake up, but before I get out of bed, I check the weather app, just to see what greets me after emerging from my hibernation. 

This is what I saw . . .

No matter how you slice it . . . that’s cold. Sure, that’s the weather outside, but my trailer is not heated so inside it was hovering around -15C (at best). 

To tell you the truth, I didn’t bother to look at the thermometer in the house.

It takes a special kind of motivation to get out of bed at moments like that, I can assure you of that. (Remember, I sleep in my skivvies.)

By the time I finished getting dressed, my fingers were getting numb and fumbling. This is even though my clothes were laid out at the foot of my bed. 

I didn’t bother to move the truck and trailer, and just walked to work in my plain street clothes. I didn’t even bother to dress up in my cold weather gear. 

(My grumbling, bitching and bemoaning at the injustice of it all kept me warm.)

Yet, I am still here, despite the more cold weather to come. Sure, it is not supposed to be as cold as it was, but it will still be darn cold. 

Yet, I am still surviving and thriving. I stay motivated by looking at my budget and peak a few ahead; so as to see my savings grow. 

I remind myself of my goals and dreams and how enduring this now, is getting me there faster than calling it quits.

I do not like the cold and I hate the bitter cold, but I hate admitting defeat much more . . . so, I’m staying.

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

Thursday 8 February 2018

The View From My Front Door

So, as most of you know, during the week I park on an industrial side-street not far from work. No big deal, I am not bothered (for the most part) and things go along fine.

Where I park there is a green space (when not covered in snow) out my front door, and a nice bit of “Borrowed Patio” in the form of a sidewalk. 

This is from this past summer (in the same spot) . . .

So, you know that when I say sidewalk, I mean a proper concrete city owned and “maintained” sidewalk. 

As in not only is it a sidewalk on a city street but the land that is my green space is a garbage dump, or rather a long-deactivated-which-no-longer-smells garbage dump . . . owned by the city itself (as far as I know).

This, however, was the view out my front door this morning . . . 

On the surface that may not seem like much but keep in mind that is my trailer door and I am in my trailer, that is about two feet (or more) of a lovely mixture we call “snowcrete.”

Snowcrete is a mixture of snow and ice that is packed together and hardens into a glacier like consistency that is as hard as concrete. 

This happens when you pile up snow and it melts and freezes and melts and freezes and is also walked on to compress it. (It’s lovely).

So that pile is about two blocks long and runs the length of this forlorn sidewalk. On one hand it is handy as I don’t need to step up into the trailer.

Think I’m kidding? 

Here’s a close up of the back of the trailer and the snowcrete. 

Here is the view beside my trailer. 

Looks kinda smooth and level for a random snow bank eh?

As most of us know the city will get on property owners to keep the city owned sidewalks in front of their properties ploughed and clean, fining them if they don’t. 

This is to ensure that those sidewalks are safe to walk on. 

Yet, the ironic thing is that, which may come as some shock (or not) that the city can (apparently) pick and choose which sidewalks of its own it chooses to clean. 

I can verify that this one is used on a regular basis, by more than just me. 

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

Wednesday 7 February 2018


No, that was not the interest rate of some loan shark “debt consolidation loan” that I saw on offer. That is the percentage of my paycheque (today’s) that will into savings.

This is something that I have been working towards, something that I am most proud of. I have reduced my cost of living to the point where I can put that much into savings.

The whole point of this is not to be a miser or have a large savings account for the sake of having a large savings bank balance. 

The purpose is to build up those savings so as to bring my dreams into existence that much sooner. (At which point move out of my trailer . . . but not until then.)

I have the Wanda Repairs and Upgrades which will be coming out of that savings account, but that’s okay. 

The point is to build up those savings while staying debt free. That way, whatever I have is mine and mine alone. 

I will be keeping an eye on what is going into savings, however, as well as how much is in and how quickly my savings are growing. 

For now, I will keep trudging on and stay motivated by looking to my future while keeping in mind what I can do today, to move me towards my desired future.

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

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Wanda’s Repair Date

Okay, so Wanda finally has a date with the RV Dealership’s repair shop. That date is at the end of this month, as in the last day of this month, the 28th.

The upside with the wait, which I expected, was that they will be able to slip Wanda in and out fairly quickly, which lowers my hotel bill.

There is still the one subcontractor for one part of the repairs, which I may have to deal with on my own. 

They have not, as yet, gotten back to the RV Dealership with regards to an estimate of time and cost. 

Such is life. So, I am going ahead with the repairs that the RV Dealership can do itself. 

As for me, and how I am doing with regards to this cold snap. I am doing fine, I know how to handle the cold weather. 

I am still just hibernating the cold snap away, so while I am spending more time than I wanted in my bed, I am at least warm (and I have a nice: comfy and warm bed.

This morning was warmer than it was when I went to bed. This warming trend will continue and by the weekend things should be not so bad, weather-wise. 

I am still just getting through winter, and not enjoying it; perhaps that can be a challenge for next winter . . . we shall see. 

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

Monday 5 February 2018

I Survived

I made it through the weekend, staying in my Eastern Home, with no power and no heat. It is not something I would do to someone else, but it is something I will do to myself; I’m funny that way.

One of the first things I did was refuse to get out of bed until the sun came up.

So, I checked the weather app while remaining snuggled in my bed, sporadically checking the clock, to ensure when sunrise arrived. 

Then I would get up, put on my six layer cold weather gear and toddle off to the local Tim’s for breakfast. It is in walking distance, so I didn’t need to move the truck and trailer. 

After that I would return to the trailer and sit in a sleeping bag as I listened to the radio on my phone (with that FM tuner app).

Again, not that fantastic or exciting, but it was alright and I was able to get through it. I am looking forward to next weekend when the much milder temps are due to return. 

This week seems to be a week of transition going from the bitterly cold to the not-so-bitterly cold.

No matter what comes, I will endure it. 

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

Friday 2 February 2018

Staying and Enduring

Okay, so this weekend is going to be cold . . . and boring. As in pretty much hovering near -20C and staying there. 

(Yet, it will be between -12 and -17C in my house.)

So, the urge to run to the hills and Banff is strong. Yet, the other urge to just not spend any money I don’t have to is strong. 

The trouble is that this payday coming up was a surprisingly good one. Yet, if I run to the hills that extra cash would be gone. 

I just don’t feel like tossing that bonus away for a bit of warmth and comfort. I have repairs to pay for and savings to build. Besides, it feels weak to run away anyways.

I may or may not run the generator for a bit tonight, just to run it, and to put a bit of a charge in the batteries. 

Yet, I will not be doing anything with that charge, just putting it there to be drained away by the cold, and for the health of the batteries. 

I keep reminding myself that this will most likely be the last of the really cold snaps of this winter. There is no way to know for sure, however, but that is what I am telling myself. 

I want to get back on track with regards to my savings plan and at the end of the day, I just don’t want to spend on something that is not essential.

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

Thursday 1 February 2018

Warm Socks Are Essential

Okay, so it got cold, into the bitterly cold temps overnight (as in south of -20C). The happy thing to report is the fact that the temperatures were manageable last night.

This was due to the fact that my mattress kept me warm from underneath and my quilts and down comforter kept me warm from above.

The only difference is the fact that I wore my thick wool socks to bed (along with my sleeping-toque. This helped keep me warm all night.

My head needs the sleeping-toque because it sticks out of the covers all night.

My feet need the socks on these really cold nights because there is not much flesh on them, so there is not much there to warm themselves up.

At least that is my theory, but all I know was wearing the warm socks to bed yet still being down to my skivvies was the best way to go.

You see, your body, your core will warm up the bed and that will in turn keep you warm all night. For that to work you need to be wearing as little as possible.

Yet the feet take the longest to warm up at the best of times, on such a cold night as last night, I didn’t want to risk it.

Once again I am taking this cold snap one day at a time, or rather one portion of a day at a time.

Get through the mornings and into work (and warmth). Then after work get through the evenings and on into bed (and warmth).

As I have said before, I tolerate the cold, I do not frolic in it. Never underestimate the power of wearing a good pair of warm socks (or three).

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