Closing in on summer

Kitties01I sit here this morning with the windows wide open, my toes a little chilled, and hot coffee in my hand. Can it really be that we are entering the second week of June? I check out the upcoming forecast and I see that the temperatures are rising into the nineties in the next day or so. Yep, summer is here and the air conditioners will be running full blast while the fans do their best to keep the air moving in this apartment. Its layout isn’t conducive to staying cool with only one a/c unit running, unfortunately. Still, if I can keep my room below seventy-six degrees at night, I’ll be okay.

This leads me to thinking about life in a motor home. I’ll be using solar power nearly exclusively, so how will I keep everything cool enough? I can deal with the heat better than some, but what about my cats? Parking in the shade will only help so much. Using a misting system like I had in Phoenix would likely cause too much humidity inside (leading to mold or mildew) unless I’m in a very dry climate. I asked Ms. Google what she thought and was happy to find so many ideas and tricks. I’m hoping that some of them work well enough to help the kitties stay cool during the warmer parts of our journey.

In the meantime, I’m playing around with solar methods of cooking and dyeing yarn, looking around at the things I still have and wondering how much I can cull before I buy the motor home, and trying to decide if a dog is really what I want. I love the idea of having a walking buddy and another critter to love, but is it a smart move right now? Until I can decide that, I won’t be getting one. I’m also working out a different way of dealing with the cat box. I don’t want to spend $15 every month on litter, but I know that I haven’t got the patience to teach my cats to use the toilet (though, that might change once we’re out there in the woods). The last stuff I tried didn’t work well, but I have more hopes for the pea gravel that I’m using now. Whatever I use must be non-porous for ease in cleaning, but also small enough and light enough that the cats are okay using it and I’m okay picking it up (litter boxes are heavy, in case you didn’t already know that).

Having my appendix removed recently has set me back a little in my walking/running and yoga. Certain movements still cause a bit of pain near the incision, but I can feel each day that the healing is going well. The silver lining is that this happened while I was still in a place where someone could take care of the cats and that I was able to get to the hospital quickly.  My kids were great in taking care of everything from cleaning the cat box to walking me up the stairs.

As I look toward the upcoming tomorrows, I can’t help but think of how many adventures I’ll be having and how many people I’ll be meeting. It’s daunting and exhilarating all at the same time. I am a hermit, after all! But it will be fun to see you all when I reach your part of the country. For now, I’m sending you love and light.

Recovery

A quick update for some of you. I’ll be writing something more detailed in a few days.

Cauldron's Path

ClothHappy Monday to you all! I have to tell you that I’m really, really happy to be here. I had my appendix removed on Wednesday  and was completely unprepared for the whole situation. No backup plan for orders and dyeing, no real plan for dealing with the cats’ feeding schedule and litter boxes, not even a will or living will. Yep, I fell short on this one, that’s for sure.

Luckily, everything went smoothly and I was able to come home the following evening. My kids had taken care of the cats, of course, and there was no need to worry about possessions and bank accounts and all that other jazz. But it was a little bit of a wake-up call for me. I’m still sorting out my feelings and thoughts over it all and will likely be doing so for a couple weeks.

For now, I want you all…

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Sadness and Sunshine

I’m going to say the first part swiftly and without elaboration. I think it will make it easier.

Aurora died at the beginning of April. Her health had declined rapidly and, even though I knew it was coming, it hit me really, really hard.

There. I did it. Yes, it’s been over a month, but I miss her terribly most days. She brought so much laughter to my life and there were so many things that I did because of her that every day has been an effort not to cry. Everything from announcing that I’m “doing foil” so that she could go hide (she was afraid of the sound) to the immediate purry-meow whenever I opened a bag of cheese… all of these things I now do without my blue-eyed sweetheart. I have never had a more loving animal in all of my life and I think I’ll miss her for a very long time.

01In other news, Ofelia is completely recovered from her spaying surgery and has even been taking naps with the other cats. She has her favorite toy and, while she will occasionally play with something else, she gets a little sad when she can’t find the purple mouse. Usually it’s found under a table or a blanket because that’s where she put it and promptly forgot. We shaved most of Lyra’s fur recently to help her stay cool during the hotter days and she seems a lot more comfortable. She still “bosses” us around if we’re up past our normal bedtimes, but mostly she seems to be enjoying her golden years (she’s now 12). Serephina has been sleeping by my side lately instead of at my knees and I can’t help but wonder if it’s her way of letting me know that she cares about me.

Plans for the motor home are coming along nicely. I’m hesitant to say much about it right now since things have gone awry in the past, but I’ve been researching solar panels, battery banks, water filters, solar ovens, and so much more. There have been days when my brain is so crammed with the numbers of amp hours, watts, battery percentage, sun percentage, and how they all mesh together to give me a semi-comfortable existence that I can imagine the numbers oozing out of my ears. But, it’s all stuff I need to know before I connect everything up.

I’ve been able to start walking again and have been able to keep my goal of one mile per day with 2 days break. This morning I slowly ran one hundred meters. I know that it doesn’t seem like very much and, compared to a 5k or a marathon, it’s just a drop in the bucket. But it’s a start. I’ve brought most of my health issues under control, though there is still the prospect of surgery, but I’ll cross that bridge when I’ve no other options. The good thing is that I’m back on my feet. And I intend to stay there, even though there are regular naps along the way.

It’s beautiful most mornings and I’m able to step out onto the porch and watch the sun rise. There is a slight scent of rosemary and lavender from the plants I have out there and I usually run my fingers through the leaves to make the scent stronger before I head back inside to start my workday. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to figure out how to take them with me when I leave, even though I know that neither of them like living in pots.

I’d like to write more, but I also want to knit a little today and I’ve not been able to just yet. So, I’ll sign off and send out lots of love to you all.

Stabilization

Another long while before I’m able to come in here and share my thouMossghts with you all. There are so many changes since I last posted! I’m not even sure where to start, but let’s see where the train of thought takes us, shall we?

This morning I had the desire to listen to some music that I’d not listened to since I lived in Phoenix. Lorrie Morgan, Tim McGraw, Juice Newton, and more. So I created a Pandora station with the thought that I’d get it out of my system and go back to the tunes that have been coming from my speakers lately. Instead, I find myself singing along to nearly every song that has played so far. The memories are no longer haunting, but are filled with smiles and goodness instead. I’ve come a long way from that young woman who was so excited to head east into a new life, a new dream. Do I miss her sometimes? Yes, I certainly do. The naiveté, the belief in goodness, and the softer edges. But I like who I am now. Sure, there are sharper corners and I have seen some displays of hatred that shattered my rose-colored glasses, but there is a deep core of energy and strength that I didn’t know that I could use.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over these years and the most uplifting thing is that I am still growing and changing and becoming more Me. I have been enjoying more days of feeling positive and hopeful about the future and that is a really good thing. I can believe that there will be a bright tomorrow for me and the ones I love.

Updates:

  • New kitten in the house. Ofelia is a runty female with mostly white fur and calico ears & tail. She’s going in for her surgery in the next month or so. The other cats are tolerant of her and have even taken a few naps near her.
  • The Tarot Workshop is coming along nicely and I’m coming up with new ideas each week. When I release it publicly I think it will be pretty good.
  • I’ve teamed up with a designer and she’s been wonderful to work with. You should check out some of her patterns at Designs by Mesha.
  • I’ve been without coffee for about 6 weeks, I think. It was a smooth transition to tea, but I’m missing that flavor so I’ll likely pick up some quality decaf or something.
  • I’ve learned how to pair several things through bluetooth as well as tethering my tablet to use for my internet. These are things that will come in handy when I hit the road.
  • Knitting and listening to books is still how I spend my free time and I’ve found a lot of time to think about the deeper lessons in my life.
  • My fatigue levels aren’t as bad as when I moved here even though I do still need a nap every couple days.

That’s about it for now. I’m sending out positive thoughts to you all!

A quiet morning

01 As the sky begins to lighten, I think about the way the last half of 2016 has gone for many of us. And I think about myself, too.

There were days, weeks even, when I thought that I’d give up my dreams of heading out onto the highways and visiting with all the people I’ve come to know over the years. I could feel myself giving up home of actually being able to make this into a reality anytime soon. After all, my failing health, slow sales, and so many other things were adding to the weight that I was carrying and it all felt to be too much.

That’s not true, though. There are more and more days when I know that I’ll be standing in the Acadia National Park or the Tonto National Monument Park, and I’ll be able to share those adventures with all of you. There are even more days when I remember how many people believe in me and those thoughts life me out of my doubt more than anything.

Today is Christmas and I am wondering where I’ll be next year. Will I be with the kids? Will I be on a mountain or a desert mesa? Will I have lights in the RV? So many unknowns out there and all of them with the potential for adventure and joy and wonder.

I wish you all the very best for the remainder of this year, and the best blessings possible for the next.

Determination

IMG_1206I’ve come onto this page several times to write this post, but each time, the words wouldn’t come and I would sit here looking at the screen and wondering how to phrase the things that were in my heart without sounding as if I’m falling apart or giving up. From the outside, it was really a small thing that happened to cause this withdrawal. But from the inside? Oh, how that shook me up!

There was a financial setback. Nothing major, I won’t be destitute or anything close to that, but it hurt my heart deeply when I realized that it will be another year before I can buy the motor home. I had moments when I questioned whether or not I should even keep trying. Moments when I thought I was making a huge mistake in dedicating so much energy into this foolish endeavor that it was affecting my health. Moments when I would ask myself if it would simply be better if I gave up this dream and figured out something else. And, I hate to admit this, I still have those dark moments while I am trying to fall asleep.

However, I have spoken with a few people who are close to me and they remind me that they are cheering me on, that they want to see me succeed in this dream, that they are looking forward to hearing more stories about my travels. I have people who believe in me and care that I’m working to get through this rough patch. I cannot ever express how much that has meant to me over the last few weeks. Their words have held me up when I feel ready to fall. Their love has helped me get out of bed each morning and continue putting one foot in front of the other. Their cheering has kept me from slipping into the sadness that wants to take all of the dreams away. Interestingly enough, I have met only a very small handful of these people, but they are now a part of my life and will continue to be so.

I look around this room that I’m renting and wondering if there is even more that I can cull from it. There isn’t, really. Perhaps a book here, or a bit of yarn there, but I’ve already stripped away so many of the “normal” trappings, that there is little left. I look over my budget and try to find more ways to increase what I’m saving instead of spending, but there is very little wiggle room in these numbers anymore. So I look inward. What, of myself, can I remove for a better life? And that opens a whole new realm of possibilities. Fears, doubts, the old voices who tell me that I’m not quite good enough to have what I want, the anxiety, the history of not quite reaching my goals, the self-sabotage of my own health (more on that much later), and even the weariness that I experience more often than I’d like to admit. But I can do this and I know that no one will hold me back anymore. No one to pour concrete on my wings.

I will continue with my plans to reach my goal. And, with any luck, there won’t be any setbacks to try to stop me.

I hope you all have a beautifully blessed day.

Destination

02Throughout the month I have been thinking about my chosen word for this year (Apparate) and how I can apply it to each day. This past week, I’ve chosen to focus solely on the Destination. In the simplest terms, I think about how the things I do each day would be handled in such a small space. In what ways would I conserve water even more than I do now? Would I prepare food differently? What about washing dishes? Clothes? Planting veggies?

Right now, as many of us do, I rinse my dishes after use then wash them when I have a day’s worth. I wash them in a small Rubbermaid bin and rinse them under running water. That’s a lot of water, even if I have it just above a trickle, but I’m not entirely comfortable rinsing them in a second tub of clean water because I know that the water will be more soapy as I rinse the last dish. I do know that I could collect the rinse water and use it for watering my plants, but that’s still only a tiny solution since I don’t water daily. Since the water will have a trace of dish soap, it wouldn’t be a good medium for dyeing yarn, either. Washing clothes? Perhaps.

I’m still using the laundry room here, but also have a bucket and (new) plunger for when I wash my non-work clothes and my hand-knit socks. I also have a Laundry Alternative Spin Dryer and that really makes a huge difference in the length of drying time. For the most part, I’m fine with washing my clothing by hand (except the work clothes), so I think that part is set.

I’ve also been spending some time reading articles and watching videos on various repairs that might be needed. Replacing a roof is certainly not something that I want to do, but I know that I would be able to. That goes for a lot of other repairs that could come up. This is one area that I am forever grateful to my parents because they involved me in household and vehicle repairs.

As I continue to set money aside and build up stock for the shops, I also think about the people I’ll be visiting. There are so many out there who I want to sit down with and talk about whatever comes up, knit a few rows, spin a couple ounces, or whatever else we feel like doing. There are some who have shown support and faith in me throughout the years and I am looking forward to hugging them in person and telling them how very important they are to me. While seeing the country is a great thing, it is the people who will make this all the more amazing.