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.





“One must be completely determined to reach one’s destination, and move without haste, but with deliberation.”

~J.K. Rowling

As the year finally comes to an end, I can’t help but to look around and see how far I’ve come as well as how far I have to go. And the thoughts become a chaotic tangle of threads while I sit here. My morning has been filled with the clearing of projects that will be the final fundraiser items (not counting the striping yarn club since that is ongoing), making notes of what must still be culled from my possessions, and how to organize my life and shops so that they run more smoothly. During the last couple weeks, one word has continued to ring in my heart and I’ve decided that it will be the word of the year for me.

Apparate. Yes, it’s a made up word by one of my favorite people, but it also symbolizes everything I have planned. “According to Wilkie Twycross, Ministry of Magic official and Apparition Instructor, one has but to recall The Three D’s: Destination, Determination and Deliberation.” (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling)

Let’s break that down by pieces, shall we?

Destination: I know the destination may seem a bit hazy, but it’s really not. My destination is to buy a used home on wheels (a motor home is the best choice for my intents) that doesn’t need a lot of repairs and to travel around to visit my loved ones and the people who have become great friends through Ravelry and Facebook. Part of that Destination is the attend fiber shows and festivals, to stop in coffee shops and knit with my customers and others who I call ‘fiberly’ (which is a combination of fiber+family), and to see places that I’ve never had the chance to see or only barely remember from childhood. Part of the Destination is to share pictures of dyeing yarn out in the woods or deserts or plains, blogging about the walks I take in the wild and the inspiration that stems from that, and to bring you all with me so that you can share this adventure. Part of the Destination includes teaching the new puppy (who will be adopted shortly before I leave, I hope) various tricks and good manners, perhaps allowing the cats to come outside on harnesses, and to do all the things I need to do to remain healthy (I am still striving to avoid any cardiovascular surgeries). The Destination includes moving every couple weeks to a new location fewer than 300 miles from the old location. For example, I might be in Sandusky, Ohio for the winter holidays then travel to Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia for a couple weeks. The Destination is fluid, but also certain.

Determination: I will admit that some of my Determination faded during this last couple of months when the work schedule became one of stress and pressure. Longer days of physical activity wore me out and left me needing so much more sleep than I thought possible. Arriving at work at 2 o’clock in the morning and staying there until around 10:30 put a strain on my physical reserves that I’d not thought possible. Adding the hours at home trying to keep the shops from folding increased that strain. And so, the determination faltered just a bit. Now, however, I can see that I really need to stay focused and clear on my Destination. The Determination has increased ten-fold and I have tightened my budget, planned out some changes for the shops, and am letting go of more things that will have no place in that Destination. I’ve mapped out a daily schedule that will allow me time at the ‘day job’ as well as give me plenty of time to work on the shops, physical movement (I’m focusing on yoga right now since it’s gentle), and still give me a full night of sleep.

Deliberation: Now comes the harder part. So many of my decisions have been mostly on a whim and with little forethought. Granted, many of those worked out for the best (like starting to dye yarn), but a few of them caused me to land face first in the mud and having trouble getting back up (like moving to Asheville). But I must move forward.

According to Merriam Webster:

definition of deliberation
1: the act of deliberating
2 : a discussion and consideration by a group of persons (as a jury or legislature) of the reasons for and against a measure
3: the quality or state of being deliberate

I am currently in the third definition of being deliberate. Every decision I make must be a deliberate one. Do I buy this coffee pot or that one? Should I replace the toaster oven now when they are on sale or wait until it breaks down? Will this dresser really work or should I think about simple shelves for my clothing and business supplies? Even things as small as which earrings I’m wearing that day has become deliberate since it causes me to think about the jewelry I still own but haven’t worn in years. Will I take it with me or cull it along with the countless t-shirts I still have in the drawers?

When it’s time for me to take that big step of making the purchase of an RV, I want to be sure that I’ve planned everything I need to plan and avoid any possibility of splinching (for those unfamiliar with that term please go here). While a mild ‘splinch’ could be something as small as not realizing that the sink needs a new faucet, it could also be as huge as the entire roof leaks and will cost hundreds of dollars to repair.  And so, my Deliberation must be thorough.

As the sunlight begins to make its way to my windows, I want you all to know that I am looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can.

And so it begins…

Sunlight through the branches Hello, and welcome to the beginnings of my journey. I am Shayla and I look forward to sharing this with you. There may be long periods of time before a new post comes about, but that is mainly because the beginning sometimes doesn’t have a lot of action. I hope you understand.

Several years ago I had this idea to buy a motor home and travel around the country, selling my herbal salve to tattoo shops and health food stores, homeschooling my kids on the road, and generally traveling around to wherever the wind took us. I was in a relationship at the time and I knew that it wouldn’t work out so I stayed where I was. I set the dream of traveling aside because it just didn’t seem to fit into my life.

Here I am, nearly seven years later and I still want to hit the road. There are so many new events that have happened since that long ago dream and they have all led to the time when I can say that I’m going forward with it.

My children are now grown (Anthony) and nearly grown (Brianna) and I will be living alone for the first time in my life. It’s exhilarating and a little unnerving all at the same time. There is a freedom that I’ve never had the chance to experience until now. At first, I only shared this with a very small number of people and was actually afraid to share it publicly. Silly, right? Nevertheless, I had a fear that people would be negative about my news and would try to talk me out of it. It finally occurred to me that this was my dream and no one had the power to take it from me except, of course, me.

I invested in an embroidery machine to help bring more sales into the business and I’ll be opening a new shop in December. The new shop will have a variety of embroidered goods, candles, crystals, and much more. My goal is to make enough with the two shops to cover the cost of keeping them open and to be able to travel to the places where my customers live and visit with them. I think it would really be wonderful to sit down with them and knit while chatting away with them. And, I promise not to overstay.

So… now I’m saving for an RV. Not anything fancy, but an older model that I can remove all the furniture and renovate it to suit my needs (yarn business, embroidery machine, supplies, cats, open floor space, bold colors). The main idea is to get it renovated and move into an RV park (I found one that is close to work and pretty cheap) and keep working where I am until I have a sizable chunk for emergencies in my savings account. Then hit the road and start meeting with my customers, attending fiber shows, and all kinds of other stuff. I’d mostly stay in National parks and such since they are free (it’s called “boondocking”) and I’m planning to get a solar setup for the electricity and a water filter that will allow me to use water from creeks & rivers. I’d incorporate my current kitchen filter, too, so that my drinking water is double-clean. I’ve been looking into rocket stoves and other items that will make the yarn-dyeing easier and more efficient and I’m happy to say that there will be a lot of ways to cut the energy usage.

Right now I’m in the waiting period. I need to save up enough to cover the cost of the motor home and some of the renovations I’ll be needing. I think, if I’m super careful, that I can have enough money in 9-12 months. That seems like such a long time right now, but I’ll be doing all that I can to bring in more money to reach that first goal.

I know that this won’t be easy. At the same time, there will be compensations that will make up for the challenges. Meeting with people I’ve only known through Ravelry or Facebook, attending fiber shows, seeing the country, and meeting with other people who live in their motor homes full time, all of these add up to a potentially wonderful experience. And I look forward to each step of it.