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.

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.

Cleaning out

Well, I did say that the posts would likely be scattered.

I’ve been going through my drawers and cabinets trying to figure out what I’ll really want to bring with me. Stacks of blankets? I might need those no matter where I spend my winters and they can be laid out flat under the mattress for storage. Fifty billion t-shirts? I’ll have to sort through those and pick out my favorites. Two pie pans? I don’t use those for anything besides the occasional package of cinnamon rolls. And I doubt I’ll be making those on the road. Baking dishes, a million jelly-jar glasses, a thousand coffee mugs… I don’t need all of these. Granted, I won’t just take one of everything with me, but it will certainly be pared down significantly. I think that, by doing this now, it will give me more time to really figure out what is needed, what will go into storage, and what will be sent to the thrift store. By getting rid of a lot of this now, it has the added benefit of making my next move a lot easier.

I also need a workstation. After embroidering several items, it’s pretty clear that the desk is just not going to cut it. I’ll most likely end up making one to suit my needs since I am pretty sure I won’t be able to fit one through the door of the motor home. Heck, I’d probably have a hard time fitting one through my front door and that’s a standard one.

100_0037My main concern is really for the cats. I know that they are doing fine in this apartment, but even the big RVs are about one third the size of this place. Will being able to go outdoors on harnesses be enough? Will the travel stress them out too much? I can’t be sure, but I see that others have brought their cats on the road and all seems to be fine. I’ll just have to make sure to pay close attention and do what I can to head off any issues before they start.¬†Another concern is for the food. Part of me thinks that a small freezer would be beneficial to keep enough fruits and veggies on hand. I will have to research the amperage and such to be sure that it will suffice, though.

The funny thing is that I am ready to head out now even though I’m nowhere near ready to buy the RV. Each day I have more items to add to The Raven’s Cauldron and I’m about to order more yarn for Alina Shea Creations (gradient skeins!). Each sale is a mini celebration since I know that it will bring me just a little closer to this goal. And, as long as I stay focused, I know that it will just be a matter of time.

In the meantime… this might sound pretty silly to some of you, but the other day when I was on the phone with my son, it occurred to me that I will not only get to visit with my customers and friends, but that I will also be able to visit places I’ve always wanted to see. Crazy, right? It took me a while to figure that one out.

For now, I will keep making things for the shops and I’ll keep downsizing all the clutter. I hope you’re all having a fabulous evening!