Monday 30 September 2019

Solar Panels In A Snowstorm

So, this weekend marks the first time I was in a snowstorm since having solar panels installed on Wanda.

After getting the winterizing done (I’ll tell you about that tomorrow) I drove back to Western Home to stay for the weekend.

I was overcast most of the days and snowing, which reduced the light hitting the panels. 

The problem was that with the snow, now covering my panels, that further reduced the light hitting them. 

Less light = less power

So I had to go up there and brush them off about every forty-five minutes or so. So much so that I had to put a new place for my ladder.

I grumbled but went up there to brush it off regularly anyways. It was frustrating but I was able to finish the day with a full charge in the batteries.

The bonus was that I didn’t have to turn my fridge on because the house was typically colder than 10C all day. 

I turned the furnace on now and again, to boost the heat a bit, but for the most part I relied on my tried and true methods of bundling up (including using the sleeping bag to relax on the couch).

I pulled all of my comforters out and put them on the bed so I was toasty warm, and yes slept in my sleeping toque this weekend.

The frustrating thing was this morning I went up to brush the panels off and found that there was a layer of ice on the top of the panels.

I am not going to brush them that hard, as I don’t want to damage the panels. What I will do is wait until the end of the day and brush them off again.

It is my hope that after the day of the sunlight hitting them, that the ice will be melted enough so that I can just brush it off.

At least that is the hope. If not, I know how to function with little electricity, so I will be fine no matter what for this evening and night.

All in all, I survived my first snowstorm with solar panels relatively unscathed.

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

Friday 27 September 2019

Okay, Sigh, I’m Ready For Winter

So, it got a bit cold last night, nothing remarkable just . . . Fall-ish . . . and that was unwelcome.

This morning as I got up and heard the weather reports and weather predictions for this weekend, I did so with growling, grumbling protests.

I will admit that as I thought of the upcoming cold and yes snow, I had a mild hissy-fit. It’s tradition, that at least once I have hissy fit as the cold weather starts.

After that, I just sigh, and accept that the weather is getting cold, and start to adapt what I do in order to deal with it. It’s what I do.

I will still drive up to park near the RV Dealership, so I am there bright and early, and I also don’t have to drive in the snow that will fall overnight tonight.

I don’t want to risk it, if I don’t have to. I don’t have to because I am mobile, and so mobile I will be.

(Despite the cold and snow.)

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

Thursday 26 September 2019

The Switch Is About To Be Flipped

Aaaaaaand just like that . . . summer’s gone. Yep, in true Alberta style, overnight tonight the switch will be flipped and we will be into fall, with a dalliance in Winter.

There will be cold weather (low single digests Celsius) with moderate sub zero temps overnight.

Friday will be a mixture of rain and snow, so that meant that Saturday Morning should be fun to drive on (rain, falling, turning to snow, then freezing).

So, I will be driving up to stay overnight near where the RV Dealership is, tomorrow afternoon. (I just don’t want to take any chances).

I am not pleased with winterizing, as I lose my running water indoors. This is just a fact of life, and I only use the water to wash my hands and flush the toilet.

I still haul in and store my potable water in my two litre bottles, even in summer. It is just a habit that I have, and I do it for most of the year, so I just continue.

This is all just a fact of life and another mark of the changing seasons. Just like de-winterizing is a sign of spring and summer.

Always be ready for and positively react to change. 

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

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Library Software Acquired

So, with the ever growing library that is The Homestead Archives, a way of organizing as well as keeping track of what I have is a necessity.

My first thought was to create some sort of database as I am skilled in doing this. 

The thought occurred to me that why reinvent the wheel? Someone else must have done this already.

After a quick web search I landed on this piece of software from This is not an endorsement, per say, just a statement of what I ended up buying.

I still don’t like renting software, but this is licensed in one year increments, so I have a year to decide if I like it enough to pay to have it again. 

They have three options, one is web based, one is an app on your phone/tablet and another is software on your computer. I went for the software on my computer.

It has a number of features, but what I like the most is that I just type in and it retrieves and downloads all of the information available (including the front and back cover images) of the book in question.

Apparently there is a bar code scanning bit of software . . . somewhere, but I never found it, or perhaps it didn’t come with what I bought.

They have software to keep track of other types of collections: movies, comics, music, etc. 

There were a few books that the “about the book” entry was blank. So, I ended up typing in the paragraph on the back cover. 

Again, we shall see how it goes, but for now it worked well and was a seamless process.

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

Tuesday 24 September 2019

The Power Of Visualization

So, I had an understanding as I was looking my budget over this past Sunday. It was payday and I had just finished enacting all of the things that was in that budget.

I paid what I had to pay and put into savings what I had decided to put into savings. Yet as I stared at the completed list, I thought to myself “Didn’t I already do this?” 

Now, on one level, and in one sense, I have; I do this every payday. Yet, what the sensation was that hadn’t I already enacted this budget.

That sensation was a result of me spending so much time during the previous payperiod looking at, and tweaking this current budget (the one that I had just enacted, and I am still inside of).

I realized that by spending time looking at and working with my future budgets with a thought and concept of “This is going to happen” I make those budgets happen.

Now, a word of caution is required here, as there is a temptation (yes I have fallen prey to it) to look at something and say “Oh yeah, sure, that’s going to happen, so I don’t have to worry about it or do anything to make it happen . . . it’ll come to pass on its own.” 

No . . . no it won’t.

You have to work at it. Visualize something, sure. Imagine that it has already happened, sure. 

In this case it is looking at the ending balances on the next payperiod’s budget and believing that I will make have that much cash in my accounts. 

Yet, you have to actually work on it. For me, it is controlling my spending. Looking for ways to live cheaply, do what I need to do, and do so without harming myself or my budget.

I do this in order to build my future, to have that piece of land yet do so without debt, and yes have a bit of savings to do something with it.

That is what keeps me going, it is that greater picture, that larger visualization that gets me through the tough times. 

It will come to pass, because I am visualizing it and working towards it, each and every day, through each and every budget I enact and work.

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

Monday 23 September 2019

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 11.6% (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 12.1% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 0.5% of my total Savings Target this payday.

Okay, this was expected because I am building my personal library, “The Homestead Archives”.

There will be another hit to the savings next payday as I pay for that next bunch of books that I bought to jump start my library.

I am still debating as to whether or not to buy $100.00 worth of books each payday, or each month (on the 7th). 

I have a long list of books that I want to buy, so another bulk buy will not do, so buying in small bits over time is the best way.

Anyways, the point is that while my savings took a hit, I still put something into savings while remaining debt free.

With those two basic principles in mind I will continue to venture forwards. 

On the upside next payday will see me fully-fund my Mid-Term Savings and put a good chunk into my Long-Term Savings (specifically my TFSA).

I use the term “Long-Term Savings” to mean the collection of bank accounts/investments that take more than a day to get money out of. 

Those are used for long-term savings and thus pay more to compensate for their lack of convenient access to your money.

I will continue to remain positive as I move forward as I build a better future for myself through my frugal ways.

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

Friday 20 September 2019

Last Weekend Of Running Water

It is that time of year and this year the event at the RV Dealership that I bought Wanda from has its winterizing special next Saturday (as in a week from tomorrow).

So, since I don’t want to do it myself, and it is cheaper to get them to do it (winterize Wanda) I will be saying bye-bye to running water until . . . May.

It is not all that much of an inconvenience as I use the running water for two things 1) washing my hands, 2) flushing the toilet.

I can do both things with the water that I pack in on my back. I can still use my Grey and Black Water Tanks until the cold weather really starts.

So, I will enjoy this last weekend and week of running water, and get ready for the coming of Fall. As that is what this winterizing means to me, the true end of summer.

Ah well, I will adapt and change what I am doing in order to not only survive but thrive. It’s what I do.

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

Thursday 19 September 2019

Water Is Life

So, it is that time of year again when the weather can turn cold, as in darn cold and become so on a dime.

So it is also that time of year when I have to be ready to deal with the eventualities of what to do about water . . . it freezes.

Something to remember is that first of all, the water (or liquid rather) that is in my Grey and Black Water Tanks can and will freeze. 

When they freeze they can and will cause a great deal of damage. Which is why when it look like it will go below zero, (nearing or dipping below -10C) I will dump my tanks.

This year I may go more of a wuss and dump my tanks at -5C, just to avoid trying to thaw out my Grey and Black Water Tanks enough to dump them (like last year). 

The other thing to think of is fresh water, and how to keep it liquid. What I do is to keep it in two litre soda bottles that I have rinsed out.

Those bottles are about the right size and weight to use an handle, yet I can also put them in my bed to keep them warm and prevent them from freezing.

Another trick to help prevent these bottles from freezing is to fill them right up to the tipy-top with water. 

The less air space there is, the less likely they will start freezing. That’s what I’ve found anyways.

Again, figuring out where you will get water, how you will store it and how you will keep it liquid are vital things to know BEFORE the cold of winter hits.

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

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Mild Winter Expected

So, the weather prognosticators predict a mild winter in the part of the country that I am in. 

That’s a good thing, but given that I have been in my trailer through some cold and bitter winters, the weather doesn’t scare me.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love cold weather, I hate it, but I can manage with it, I can survive, and thrive all while still saving money.

So, no matter what happens this winter, I will be okay, because I know that I can handle just about anything that comes my way.

I also have the confidence in my abilities, experience, and resourcefulness that I can even handle the stuff that I haven’t seen yet. (Famous last words, I know.)

So, I will do what I always do: Keep trudging onwards.

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

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Indoor Towel Drying

Okay, so one of the issues I have is how to dry my towels when I’m at work. Sometimes just putting it back on the towel rack doesn’t quite do the job.

They need to be aired out, rather than bunched up on the towel rack. As for the tea towel, it hangs through the refrigerator door handle, (So, it’s worse off).

This was my solution.

How I did it was use those hooks that I put in the ceiling to hang the tea light lanterns from. 

What I do is use those monster paper clips to clip to the towel and hang it between two of the hooks.

This will work for a larger towel, like my bath towel, but for the tea towel I needed to do something more creative.

What that is, is a coat hanger with three of those monster clips on it. One is on the very top to allow it to hook onto the hook in the ceiling. 

There are two on either “shoulder” of the coat hanger in order to clip to either corner of the tea towel. 

Thus I am able to hang it up to dry out as well, all inside my trailer, while I’m away. Not fancy, but effective, a reoccurring theme in my life.

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

Monday 16 September 2019

Expanding The Archives

So, part of what I will be doing as I move forward will be to storehouse information, information that will, or may, prove useful during the Homesteading Process.

This archive that I am adding to is what I called the “When You Need To Know It, But Can’t Google It” archive.

As in I want to have books on everything that I may need to build and manage that homestead, as if I was a pioneer, if necessary.

I don’t plan on throwing away technology to do this, quite the opposite, but I want to be ready to be able to build a homestead from scratch, if I need to.

So, I will be adding to this archive each payday, as I build my savings. I bought a bunch this payperiod and will buy another bunch this next payday.

After that, I will add about $100.00 each payday (enough to qualify for free shipping, of course).

I plan to have a good start on a library for the homestead and town that I plan to build. I will also start to archive as much free electronic books as I can.

The printed material of the physical library is important as you can read a book if your computer, tablet or phone’s batteries are dead.

Feel free to send me suggestions for books (links or titles, so I can find them) that I should add to this collection.

Tools I will wait until closer to the time of starting the homestead, as those are harder to store and should be easier to get a hold of (should be).

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

Friday 13 September 2019

Adapt And Change To Thrive

If there is one thing that I have learned in my journey of being an Urban Nomad, it is the importance of being able to constantly change and adapt to the current situation.

I mean change and adapt what I am doing, not who I am and what I believe. I have a set of directives, objectives, goals and beliefs that I cling to.

Yet, how I live, and what I do, those things change in regards to my current situation. I am always asking myself “what can I get away with?” 

What this means is, “how close to full summer mode, can I get?” I do enjoy relaxing around the house with the windows, vents and door open as a breeze blows through.

I can live and get what I need to get done in -30C as well. I grumble and mutter through it, but I still get done what I need to get done.

I do this so I can get ahead both with my goal as well as financially. 

For while I wish to build my savings, I am doing so, in order to own a house and land. 

All this is possible because I am willing to adapt what I am doing in order to do what I want and need to do, despite what is happening around me.

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

Thursday 12 September 2019

Mr Bold and Mr Fear

Each of us have two people within us, constantly talking to us, urging us to do this or that. 

More specifically one is urging you into action while the other is urging you out of action. The two of them are Mr. Bold and Mr. Fear, respectively.

Mr. Bold is the voice urging you to take that leap, take that chance, always telling you “You got this! Go for it!”

Mr. Fear is the ‘voice of reason’ as it were and always urging you to take some precautions and be careful.

When these voices are in balance, we are in balance in that we take appropriate risks, but are not foolish in doing so. 

In so doing, we can experience new things and get things done, yet not behave recklessly as we do so. 

Mr. Bold is a good part of ourselves as he urges us to explore and take risks, to do new things, to have an adventure now and again. 

Mr. Fear is also a good part of ourselves, as he urges caution and whispers to us the many and varied ways that the action that Mr. Bold wants us to undertake can go horribly wrong. 

If either Mr. Bold or Mr. Fear get louder than the other than we put ourselves at risk, either by taking too many risks or not taking enough. 

If we take too many risks we can injure ourselves or cause great harm and disruption in our lives. 

If we don’t take enough risks we stagnate, do nothing and live in constant fear of anything and everything. 

This is why these two voices need to be listened to, and are essential, yet neither voice can be allowed to be too strong . . . neither voice can be allowed to rule us.

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

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Remember The Past, But Don’t Live There

Today is the eleventh of September, and I think we all know what this day means, so I won’t go into that. 

There are many things in my life that I would like to go back and change if I could. 

Yet again, even if I could go back and change those things which I am not proud of, I wouldn’t. 

We are formed by our successes as well as our losses. 

The glories of the past should propel you to even greater ones in the future. Do not linger and focus on them, for the future is not found in the past.

Likewise your failures and f*ckups are also things that should be left in the past. Sure, pause, reflect on them and learn what you can from them. 

Yet again, as with your glories and successes, do not dwell on your failures and f*ckups, for the future is not found in the past.

Move forward with the confidence gained from your glories and successes, yet with the hard-earned lessens of your failures and f*uckups.

For the future, for better or worse will be found when you . . . 

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

Tuesday 10 September 2019

It Was Decidedly Un-Warm Last Night

So, last night and this morning it was quite un-summery . . . and that was not nice. I know that fall is coming (or mayhaps be upon me) and that winter is coming. 

I also know how to handle it, despite my whining about it. I have the gear I need and know what to do to get through it. I just like being warm without bundling up.

It rained all night, and in fact most of the day yesterday, so . . . that reminded me of Vancouver. 

My life is always lived in a state of reacting to the weather and temperature. What can I get away with? What would be unwise to risk?

So, I had to put on my fall clothes, and hang up my shorts for the evening. Again, it is all good, as I was warm and I will continue to be warm.

I find ways to get things done regardless of what tries to block my way. I do this all while trying to spend as little as possible.

(Still crowing about $26.31 for a month’s worth of fuel for the truck.)

I will bundle up a bit now, and I will slowly pull my blankets out of their storage and put them on the bed.

I will slowly adapt to the chilling weather, as needed, and wear my shorts when I can get away with it. 

This is the nature of my life at this point in time . . . “What can I get away with?”

So, while I dislike the colder weather, it does not scare me.

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

Monday 9 September 2019

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 10.7% (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 11.6% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 0.9% of my total Savings Target this payday.

So, this is about as close to 1% as I am expecting to get on a payday, because this 1% of my current savings target is larger than my current average paycheque.

That’s okay, because progress is progress and any step forward, however small, is still a step in the right direction. 

I have that grid and that chart up there to remind me daily of my progress and to help prevent me from getting discouraged (and quitting).

The biggest news of this payday came in the form of how much I spent on fuel for the month of August (August 7 to September 7).

I spent . . . to replace . . . all of the fuel . . . that I burned . . . within that time frame . . . a total of . . . $26.31!

Yep, that’s it, that’s all that I spent in fuel for one month. 

It is small things like that which add up to help my overall savings project. It is also the sorta game that I have made out of savings which helps.

I just know that I will keep focussed on savings as I . . . 

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

Friday 6 September 2019

Keep Calm and Carry On

It really is the best piece of advice that one can hold on to in the midst of a crisis. 

Panicking has never helped anything . . . other than to make whatever calamity that you are going through worse.

There are some issues at work which are impacting us and cast a shadow over us. The US tariffs on goods from China is one of them.

I could get all worked up and worried about this. I suppose, if it were six years ago, I might. Back then I was still buried in debt and blowing through cash to service that debt.

I know that there is nothing that I can do, Trump won’t take or return my calls. Even if could get through to speak to him, he wouldn’t do what I say, so why bother.

My point is that worrying about things that you cannot impact or effect is pointless and counter-productive. 

All I can do is keep doing what I am doing. 

1. Do my job to the best of my abilities
2. Keep building my savings
3. Offer suggestions as required.

All of this is “above my paygrade” as it were, so why get all tied up in a knot over them?

So really, all I can do is . . .

Keep calm, and carry on.

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

Thursday 5 September 2019

Don’t Take On Anyone Else’s Problems

There are people in this world who want you to feel bad for them and their situation. 

They want and need you to empathize and truly take on a bit of the emotional burden of what they are going through. Be careful with such people. 

All of us have problems and all of us need to talk to someone to vent about them. It is also nice when someone sympathizes with what we’re going through.

Yet there are those who want you to feel as if their problem is yours. Yet those same people will not show or care the same about your problems.

Always be aware of people trying to emotionally manipulate you. 

Always ask yourself if they would reciprocate the same level of emotional investment in you and your problems.

You have your own problems to take care of, problems that nobody else will fix for you. Sure, you can get help, get assistance, but your problems are yours and yours alone to fix.

I can listen, offer advice and when appropriate, offer assistance, to as much as I can help you with; but always know that your problems are yours and not mine.

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

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Keep Your Head

When the world around you is unravelling, do not let yourself become unravelled. It is simple advice that is sometimes hard to put into practice.

The more we look at the news today (which is a reoccurring refrain) the more worried about the future we can get.

Panicking can lead to impulsive choices that may not be the best in the long run. 

The best adage is to “hope for the best, yet prepare for the worst.” It is folly to always think that everything will always work out fine.

Yet you will never get anywhere when you believe that things will always go bad. The paranoid may survive but they are also quite jittery and miserable.

It is with a calm head and a practical, pragmatic approach to an increasingly uncertain future, that is, and shall always be the best approach.

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

Tuesday 3 September 2019

The Dreaded Day Was Not So Dreaded

Okay, so the day where we count the inventory (at work) came and went without incident. It was just a job that was done with no shouting or freaking out.

This has me worried.


1. Boss has turned over a new leaf and decided to take a more chill approach.
2. I and my co-workers are so fantabulous at inventory control this year that there was little to freak out about.
3. Boss is too distracted by other larger issues facing the business to freak out now, but will get back to freaking out later . . . at a time of Boss’s choosing.
4. Boss is not bothered because Boss has plans for the business that may or may not involve much of a future for it . . . which may or may not involve us lowly employees. (sell/shut down/start a different business).

I am choosing to go with Number 2 as to why . . . after all I’m not just good, I’m Westlock Good . . . yep . . . I said it.

Anyways, the point is that I got through a challenging day and I am none the worse for wear as a result. 

I will continue to move forward and look to achieving my next Milestone Goal on October 7, just over a month away (12.5%).

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