Friday 28 February 2020

Goodbye FebBRRRary!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 27 February 2020

Thanks For Your Encouragement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 26 February 2020

To Blog, Or Not To Blog

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

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

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

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

It’s really fun to write though.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 25 February 2020

The Ever Ticking Clock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 24 February 2020

The Homestead Fund Update

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

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 

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

That is 18.1% (of my Savings Target).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 21 February 2020

Moving Forward

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

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

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

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

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

I will deal with what comes as it comes.

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

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

Thursday 20 February 2020

Patience Amongst Chaos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Focus On The Now

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

There are positives in living in my RV year round:

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

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

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

That and “how much savings is enough?”

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

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

All things to consider and all with no easy answers.

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

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

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

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Got a Bowl Cosy

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

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

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

It was a nice gesture and one that I appreciate. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 14 February 2020

To Mobile or not to Mobile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 13 February 2020

Find A Way To Enjoy The Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 12 February 2020

So Far, So Good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 11 February 2020

The Shocking Truth About Post-Truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truth should not be relative.

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

Monday 10 February 2020

Attitude Really Is Everything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 7 February 2020

The Homestead Fund Update

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

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . . 

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

That is 17.1% (of my Savings Target)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 6 February 2020

I Was Told To Give Everything Away Yesterday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 5 February 2020

I Have Taken a 10% Pay Cut

This is due to the fact that I have not received a cost of living increase year over year, and the last pay increase I got came into effect on July 1, 2014.

I did a little inflation adjustment calculation this morning out of a bit of morbid fun, and I found out the dismal news. I am making 10% less than I was on July 1, 2014.

Over time inflation has eroded my pay. As we all know if you are not getting a cost of living increase you are getting a pay cut each year.

Yet anytime anyone (such as me) suggests that everyone get a cost of living increase we are: 1) labelled a communist and 2) told that all of western civilization would crumble.

We are told of costs spiralling out of control if businesses don’t get to enact their basic right of paying you less every year and telling you it’s fair.

I have not asked (or demanded) a raise because I hear Boss complain all the time about costs and lack of profits, etc, generally the woes and blues of owning a business.    

I also wish to remain employed and I can already imagine the shock, horror and insult that would permeate the berating that I would get for even suggesting such an insulting (and ungrateful) thing. 

(How dare I expect to at least break even year after year.)

I am not alone and so I put this out there to shine a light on how unfair it is for an employee to gain knowledge, work wisdom and experience in the job that you do each day, each year, year after year, yet still be expected and required to work for less and less year after year.

I know, I know, everyone says, “if you don’t like your job, get another one.”

There is always the fact that I like my job and I know it and the perils and pitfalls of working where I work and doing what I do.

I am not saying to get an automatic raise, just a cost of living increase. I just want to make the same amount I did last year as I did this year.

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

Tuesday 4 February 2020

I Like One Weatherman, I Don’t Like The Other

So, since my life, at least at this time of year, is ruled by the weather (specifically the temperature) I check the weather forecasts regularly.

There are two different weather apps that I have and I check them to see if they concur as to what is going to happen (weatherwise).

They both say that things are going to get warmer today (as in up to 2 and an overnight low of -4C)

They also say that things are going to stay somewhere around 0C to -10 for the next week.

Then they differ . . . one says that as of a week tomorrow things will drop to a daytime high of -10C but a low of -20C. (cold but not all thaaaat bad) but stay that way for the foreseeable future. 

The other one says that it will dip to a day time high of -20 and to an overnight low of -30C . . . and stay there.

I like one, I don’t like the other.

The two things I do know is that this cold weather will not last forever, and that I know how to handle it.

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

Monday 3 February 2020

A Cold Day Or Two

So, the cold day is here, this is the day where it will get cold, a high of -8C with a low overnight tonight of -15C. 

Yeah, I’ve seen worse and yeah people have it colder than us right now, but the point is that it is one or two days of cold stuff and then it is back to the not so cold.

It was colder yesterday but I was able to stay warm by running the furnace now and again. 

The trick that I noticed was that as long as I don’t let the walls get cold, it is easier to warm the trailer up.

It is hard to explain, but when I let the trailer get so cold that there is frost on the walls, then it is harder to warm the trailer up.

By running the furnace for a bit in the morning and in the night, I can keep the trailer not so cold . . . almost warm.

I will see how it goes tonight and over the next few days, but I do hope that I don’t have to hibernate anytime soon.

I know that I will get through this, one way or another. 

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