Posts Tagged With: RV

Who We Are

This week, my vet was back in the country, so we scheduled Ked for his ultrasounds. They came back clear of cancer, or any other kinds of bladder/kidney/liver/stomach disease, so that was awesome. The only un-awesome part is that we still don’t know exactly what his issue is, so we’ll be going back for more tests in the future. They thought it was possible that he had an infection in the bladder lining (since his is a bit thicker than normal), which is hard to diagnose, and doesn’t show up on tests very well, and although she thinks the Amoxicillin he was on SHOULD HAVE gotten rid of something like that, we’re doing 10 days of a broader spectrum antibiotic, just to make sure. The next thing on the list to see if we can rule out will be Cushing’s. If it is Cushing’s, he only has one symptom, so that’s atypical… We’ll just keep going down the list to see if we can figure it out, but in the meantime, as long as he’s acting normal and happy, I’m not going to stress.

Rowan has finally come in heat, at 10 months old. I was really hoping she would come in at 6 months, so she’d have two heat cycles under her belt by around a year old, when I want to spay her, but now it’s looking like I won’t be able to expect her back in season until she’s about 15 months, at the earliest. AtΒ 15 months, we’ll be at the sheepdog trial, so I don’t want to have her in season there. At 16 months, I will probably be heading out of Utah… So I’m thinking I’ll compromise and go between a year old, when I originally wanted to spay her, and 15 months, when we’ll be at the trial. I’m thinking probably the 14 month mark – July. It was really a lot easier to decide on when to fix a dog back before we had all the information we do now. Spay before this age, and risk all these side-effects, spay after this age and risk all these other side-effects… Ugh. I feel like 14 months is a good compromise between cancer, endocrine, hormonal, and bone plate issues. I don’t want the inconvenience of having an intact dog to factor into when I decide to spay her. When I spay her will have life-long repercussions, so I want to do what is right.

This week I got the RV transferred into my name (finally) and got temp tags so I can go get it fixed and inspected. I also picked up new-to-me kitchenware so I could pack all my own kitchen stuff and still have stuff in the kitchen to use. My roommate talked to the landlord and confirmed that he would be staying here in the house when I move out, and the new prospective roomie filled out paperwork and turned it in to her to get approved. She told me I was welcome to stay, because I’ve been a great tenant, and said we could work out rent to have 3 people living here. *lol* Very kind of her, but that won’t save me the money I need to save up, so… nope. The roomie and I have been touching base to figure out when the best time for both of us would be for him to vacate for a couple days so I can shampoo all the carpets (including his bedroom). In the meantime, I’ve been working on packing the remainder of my stuff.

It’s a cold, wet day here in the Salty City today. Mother Nature’s indecision over the status of spring means mostly rain, a bit of sleet, and occasional snow falling. Yesterday it was warm and sunshiney, with bright, poofy My Little Pony clouds. Β Days like today call for good music and a big mug of hot cocoa while I pack, so I’m working on the closet (when I’m not sitting here typing).

Yesterday I was shoe shopping with Em, and thinking about how picky I am (not hideous, no leather, must fit my fat feet, no known sweat shops), and looking at everyone else who was out shopping, and thinking about how they picked out their clothing, and I was scratching my head at some of their choices. So today, while packing the remainder of my clothes, I was looking at my choices, and smiling about what they said about me. I choose things based on what is the most practical and comfortable. All my pants have extra pockets. They are all denim or khaki-type material. I have short socks, long socks, thin socks, and thick socks. Almost every single shirt in my my closet is aΒ printed t-shirt. Almost all of them are animal causes or band shirts. There is some environmentalism and comedy thrown in for good measure.

(Exhibit A, my favorite Tori Amos shirt, and one for Squatters, a local brewery that donates money to No More Homeless Pets based on the sales of its dog-inspired beer, Chasing Tail):

shirts-tote

I pulled out my most favorite shirts out of the bunch, to see what they say about me. They are the shirts that I don’t want to wear because I want to keep them forever and I’m scared of them getting stained, torn, or just plain worn out.

Here’s the first one. Let me just say that I had an inner battle over buying a shirt made by Hurley. I refuse to pay $50 for a damn piece of cotton, no matter how much I love it. So the day these went on sale for cheap(er), I jumped on them. I wish I would have bought two. I lovelovelove this shirt. The painting is by Brandon Boyd, one of my favorite singers of all time, and I just love the design. If you look closely, you will see that the whale has a teardrop. The shirt is organic cotton and buttery soft. Yes, I’m a hippie. But I don’t care, this shirt is amazing!

shirts-hurley

The second shirt is made by Life is Good, and features Jake and Rocket going for a hike. It’s simple, it’s cute, it has the dog hiking with his human, and has a message I try to live by when I’m out in nature. The shirt is also buttery soft organic cotton and I love it. They no longer make it, and do not bring back designs they’ve retired. When I saw this shirt at REI, I jumped on it. Matt rolled his eyes at me, but again… I wish I would have bought two! The day I brought Rowan home, she put a hole in this shirt with her claw, and I know that it’s only a matter of time before it completely unravels now. 😦

shirts-lifeisgood

The last shirt I got from Tori. We were packing her stuff for a move, and I saw it and was like MUSTHAVE! She never wore it anymore, so she gave it to me. The shirt was rare when she got it… She saw someone wearing it and had to have it, so her dad searched high and low to find it for her. It is made by Patagonia, and the front says “Support Sustainable Forestry”. I love the “hidden message” in red. Trees are near and dear to my heart.

shirts-patagonia

I think my wardrobe is a fair representation of who I am, and what means the most to me. Saving the animals, saving the world, music, farming, doing what you love, and hilarity. πŸ™‚ Oh, and… ya know, since I’m a crafty hippie… lots of tie-dyed stuff. πŸ™‚

Categories: dogs, lifestyle change | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s going on (oh, what’s going on)…

It’s been too long since I wrote last.

I had Kedric’s blood and urine ran a couple weeks ago, just to make sure the Rimadyl he’s on wasn’t affecting his liver or kidneys, and found out that he’s got something else wrong with him. We aren’t sure what yet. Vet dropped the C-word on me as a possibility. The specific gravity of his urine is at below a kidney failure level. She says you usually only see those levels with infections, like e. Coli, or cancer, but it could be a few other things. He is on 10 days of antibiotics right now, to see if it is an infection. We go back in on Monday for another urinalysis, and if it looks the same, we move onto the next thing… Really hoping things look better when we go back in. 😦 He’s been playing and acting completely normal. I would have never known there was an issue had I not had his urine ran. So time will tell on that…

Rowan is still a handful. I took her to the vet clinic recently for the first time, and she did okay. Not amazing, but not terrible. No barking or growling or crazy behavior, but she was overwhelmed by the number of dogs and people, and when anyone reached for her she shied away, which was okay. The dogs were everywhere, and she was intimidated by them. There was a little poodle-cross wearing a jacket that she was unsure of, and at one point tried to nip it, but she did it slow enough that I could give a leash and voice correction. Then she tried to nip at a little Pug, and all it took was a voice correction that time, and she shut her mouth and acted friendly toward the dog again. Pushing her limits, I think, just to see what she can get away with. Little shit. We stayed until she was a bit more relaxed around all the commotion, and then before I could get to the, “This is going good, let’s stay a bit longer and see how she does” stage (which is just setting a reactive dog up for failure), we left. It wasn’t perfect, but it was okay. Better to leave on a good note. She even met a standard poodle and an ENORMOUS Great Dane while we were there. She’s only met two Danes while walking before, and was terrified of them. This guy was standing still, so she walked up to him to sniff him and check him out, but whenever he would move, she would jump back away from him. At least she felt okay enough with him to approach and sniff. The biggest Dane I’ve seen in years, too. We’ll take what we can get when it comes to good experiences with strange dogs.

The RV project has been kind of sidelined while dealing with Kedric, since I don’t have money for his medical bills AND the RV. It’s one or the other. Which sucks, because it would be SO much easier to deal with visiting the vet if the RV was up and going, because my vet is a 15 to 20-minute drive away, and I currently have no car.

So since I’m not doing a WHOLE lot with the RV, I’ve been doing more inside the house. I have my first officially empty closet, as of 2 days ago. I was so excited about the empty closet that I stood and stared at it… Closing the door, then opening it back up just to see the emptiness. *lol* I’ve been slowly working my way through the little tedious stuff, and I am getting there. I condensed all my first aid kits down, and have been sorting through my other collections… Pens, stationery, clothes, bandannas, beanies, and crafts. I went through what I call my “emergency kits”, which most people would refer to as bug-out bags, and wrote a list of everything I have in them, so I can compare those lists to the lists I have on my computer, that tell me what I SHOULD have in them. I have a bag for me, and a bag for the dogs. There is a list of things I will need in the RV, and a list of things I need in the emergency bags. I enjoy (way too much) looking through the lists at what I have already (almost everything) and what I need (not much). I can’t wait until I’m finally done here at the house, and I can organize the totes that will be going into the RV.

I have some random stuff that needs to go out to the RV already, but I don’t want to put anything in it until after I get the wipers worked on. You just never know what people will decide to steal… I’ve been to too many repair shops that have warnings posted telling you they aren’t responsible for anything in your vehicle. I’m not sure if that means people stealing from the parking lots, or people who actually work there… But I’ll err on the side of caution.

My roommate’s friend wants to move in here when I move out, so that’s the current plan. He has a lease on his current apartment until the end of April, so at this point, that’s what I’m shooting for. I have almost all of my kitchen stuff packed up, except for the stuff I use all the time, and the stuff I will want in the RV. Since my roomie is a messy dude, things tend to disappear into the void of his bedroom. So as things like my silverware slowly appear in the kitchen, I’ve been washing them and packing them, so they can’t disappear again. *lol* I have also extended the offer to shampoo his bedroom carpet before I go, both to leave the house the best that I can, and also because if he has to drag everything out of his room, all my missing silverware is more likely to make an appearance. πŸ˜€

Today I made a list of all of the ingredients I have in my kitchen pantry so that I can start looking up recipes online to use them all on. There are some items I use all the time, and some that are so bizarre, I’ve only used a handful of times, if even that much. So I am aiming to use up as much of the “weird” kitchen ingredients as I can in the next 2 1/2 months, so the only things I’ll be packing into the RV are items that I am likely to use frequently while on the road. The dogs are going to be stoked. I have a whole list of strange flours that I am planning to make into dog bones. Oat, rice, spelt, almond, flaxseed, barley, etc. The kitchen is going to be an interesting place for the next little while! πŸ™‚

And just because I know you are going to be as impressed and awestruck as I was by the sight (okay… probably not), here’s my very first empty closet! πŸ˜€

firstemptycloset

Hope life is treating everyone well, and that you’re working toward your dreams! πŸ™‚

Categories: dogs, goals, lifestyle change, prepping | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slowly But Surely

I’m kind of torn between wanting to update this frequently, and not wanting to post nothing but dog training. Currently I am working with the puppy (now named Rowan) every day, but have not been working much on the RV, so I feel like that’s all I’d be doing. The puppy is learning and doing better. Not reacting as much, but still has obvious issues. She wants to eat the cats, has not learned the art of “Quiet” very well yet, and does still react to my roommate and one of his friends (although that also seems to be improving). I don’t think I mentioned this, but she did nip my roommate’s friend a couple weeks ago. He was one of the people she tried to bite when she was new here. She’s taken quite a while to get over her issues with my roommate, and she’s still not there 100%, so I figure it’s going to take quite a while for her to get over her issues with this friend, because she doesn’t see him as often. He had been over to visit, and it was the first time she’d seen him since the day he kept trying to pet her after she’d warned him to leave her alone and she snapped at him. So this time, she ran up to him, and he reached down quickly to cover himself, and it spooked her. She jumped back away from him, then jumped back in and nipped his pant leg. It was closed-mouthed, and she just pinched a tiny bit of the jeans, but it was still very upsetting for me. I am not sure if she went in with the intent to bite in the first place, or if she only decided to bite once she got spooked. It happened too quickly. So I’ve been wary of letting her near him ever since. She needs to get over her issue with him, because he comes over frequently, and I’d rather not play interference. He is very sad that she doesn’t like him because he loves dogs, and wants to be her friend. She’s seen him twice since the nip, and did not try to bite him either time, although she was not comfortable with him either time. The second time she saw him was today, when I was outside working on my RV. He was carrying a computer, and she barked and barked at him as he walked through the yard, then circled him, sniffing the air around him, and then turned her attention to my roommate, who was leaving the house behind his friend. I thought it was pretty ballsy of the friend to walk through the yard with her loose out there. I don’t know why he didn’t tell me he was coming so I could grab her, but I was relieved that she didn’t try to attack him.

On our walks, she has been pretty good. Definitely needs improvement in just about everything, but she isn’t reacting to cyclists, runners, skateboarders, or strangers with insanity anymore. Some people she is wary of, and will cross behind me to walk on the opposite side as they pass, then she wants to sniff the air behind them. Most people she walks calmly past and (mostly) ignores though. She gets treated for all good behavior around strangers. People she’s met before and had good interactions with, she is a crazy excited puppy toward when we run across them again. Lots of new people passing seem to see her and want to make friends, since she still looks like a puppy. Most of them she is shy with, stepping back from their outstretched hands, then she steps back in and licks them or lets them pet her, and then instantly turns away from them (if they are someone she is unsure of), to direct her attention back to me, because I give her tons of praise and treats for good interactions with strangers, or she jumps all over the place like a complete lunatic 6-month-old puppy (if they are someone she’s decided she really digs).

I’ve been trying to only have good interactions with dogs as well, but they’re such wild cards. You never know what you’re going to get as people are approaching you. Yesterday I was walking my usual route when suddenly there was a loose dog on the sidewalk. A little Pit-Hound looking mix. The owners saw me coming, their dog was off leash, and they acted like everything was fine. And then the dog approached Kedric with all raised hair, passed him by to get to Rowan, and then proceeded to growl at her and try to jump on her (twice). WTH? Why would you let your dog approach strange dogs if he has aggression issues? NOT the experiences I’m looking for with a fearful pup! We have had some good experiences with larger dogs, but for the most part, she’s pretty scared around them, until they get to know each other well… And who has times to sit and let dogs get to know each other as you’re passing someone on a walk? But little dogs she LOVES. She goes all crazy for them, and wants to play, and I have to hold her back, because I don’t want her to jump on them and hurt them. She likes to play tag with Stella, the little Chi-something that lives in our apartments, and she REALLY wants to play with Sam, the Jack/Rat mix, but he’s an old man, so he doesn’t put up with her shenanigans for long. So at least I know, for my own references, that she needs more exposure to good-natured, well-trained larger dogs.

So basically, I’ve been doing nothing but eat, sleep, shower, work, and dog training for the last month. My brain is tired. I need a serious vacation from work, some kind of recovery period. It also sucks because I can never let my guard down with this pup. Today, as I was leaving the back yard, she slipped out before I could grab her, and was intent on not being caught. Scary moments, for sure. When she’s in the house, the only place she can be off-leash is in my room. The door has to be closed because she flies over the large baby gate like a Grand Prix horse… Or should I say she used to, until she crashed the gate trying to get to one of the cats, and broke it in half. Until she is trustworthy with the cats, the roommate, and recalls, she cannot be let off leash outside of my room though. So I’m pretty much thinking she’ll probably be on leash in the rest of the house until we move into the RV. Which is a pain in the ass. When I take a shower, she has to go in her kennel, because I can’t trust her to not chew shit up, and I can’t leave her outside in the yard, because I view her as a liability (and don’t trust people to keep the gate closed). I’m just getting to the point where I will SOMETIMES leave her out of the kennel for a couple hours in the morning, after she’s went out to potty, and before I’m ready to get out of bed, but I can’t sleep well then, because I’m constantly checking to see what she’s into. She is the BIGGEST pain in the ass.

So I’ve been looking into trainers with different philosophies online. Basically, I am an eclectic kind of girl, and I like trainers who are the same way. There are a whole lot of training methods I look at as either evil, or completely unrealistic. I need to find a happy medium. I just ordered some Michael Ellis DVD’s. Expensive as hell, but I really dig him. The more I see of him, the more I like him. He makes sense. He has great energy, and gives the dogs the benefit of the doubt, treating every one as an individual. Highly skilled marker trainer, but also believes that it’s okay to tell your dog when they’re doing something wrong, rather than ignoring it and hoping your dog figures out the right way. Let’s be honest, folks. I don’t have 20 years for my dog to decide that she’d rather not do the things I don’t want her doing. I may be wrong (I’m not), but I’m pretty sure that Border Collies are considered the smartest breed in the world. So I’m pretty sure my dog understands when I say, “Hey, I don’t like that behavior,” and she isn’t going to be in mortal fear of me the rest of her life. I can disagree with behaviors without the relationship that I have with my dog bursting into flames. Really, who thinks this shit up? (Maybe they just have ultra-sensitive dogs that they’ve over-corrected?)

I despise clicker training. Don’t get me wrong – I think marker training is AMAZING. But the clicker itself drives me nuts. I could NOT listen to that damn thing all day. Maybe my hearing is just sensitive, but clickers seem SO loud to me, and who has the extra hand for that? I have a bag of treats on one hand, and a crazy, reactive dog in the other. I am not an octopus. Β I can hear people using a clicker a block away from my house. Dogs have amazing hearing. Who designed these things to be so damn loud?? So I love marker training philosophy, and will stick with it, because it is undeniably the best training method out there, but until I start to go deaf, you will never see me using a clicker. I will also continue to tell my dog, “Nope, that’s not right”, and I roll my eyes at the people who say that is a terrible mistake. Maybe they’ve never owned a dog with such a high-functioning brain?

Anywho, yeah. So this is my brain lately… Dog training, dog issues, dog reactivity, what we need to work on next, what skills need improved on, what tools I need to have for the next step, etc. It gets pretty boring, believe me. There are days I’d rather just sleep all day, and maybe read a book later. But time is critical. Rowan just turned 6 months, and I feel like the closer she gets to adulthood, the harder it’s going to be to change her innate reactions, and fear-based behaviors. So for now, my brain is in doggie overdrive, and dammit, I’m tired.

The winter is supposed to be officially rolling in… oh, 36 minutes ago. We’re supposed to have a day-and-a-half-long snowstorm to kick things off. So I got the dogs walked this morning, then finished sealing almost every seam I had left on the RV (there are like 3 things that need redone, but nothing that some rain or snow could hurt), then put the tarp on top. I still haven’t gotten around to resealing the roof. I need a skinny person to hop around up there for me for that project, and all the skinny people I know have been busy, so it will probably just have to wait until spring. But the tarp is on, so I’m not so concerned about that.

When Em was here last, we tried to figure out what the deal with the washer fluid was. All the tubes seem to be in decent shape, and there is some suction in the tubes… just not enough to generate fluid spraying onto the windshield. Rather than bother with tearing shit apart that I know nothing about, I’m probably just going to take it in and have it fixed. Maybe the motor is dying. Or maybe there is a pinched or cracked line somewhere down in the engine compartment. I don’t know.

So I have to get the washer fluid fixed, get it inspected/licensed/registered, and I’m considering reupholstering the cushions to make them a color I like (and because the top bunk upholstery is falling apart in the center, where people have slid off the bed). Then a tune-up and oil change and whatever other basics I need, and she’ll be good to go.

I have a list of the things I am going to need while on the road that has been on my computer for years, and I am just now starting to go through it and color code everything, so that I will know what I have, what I need more of, and what I don’t have at all. It’s pretty exciting. πŸ™‚ I brought in my emergency bags tonight so that I could go through them and make lists of what was in them, so I will know what I need to add into them… I do like to be prepared. πŸ™‚ (Girl Scout for life!!) (Yes, I’m a nerd.) πŸ˜€

I tried to get a happy family picture the other day when I was raking leaves in the back yard… Here’s how that turned out. (Kedric’s face says it all).

kedisnotamusededit

And here’s Flash with the tarp on, ready for winter!

flashtarpedit

And until I can really get on the ball with my exercise program, I’m not even going to bore you with the details. Been so busy with this crackhead puppy that my exercise routine has been put on the backburner. But that’s temporary, I swear! πŸ™‚

Hope everyone’s having a great night.

Categories: dog training, dogs, goals, RV maintenance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intermission

Whoa, okay. So that absence was unexpected. The lowdown of the hoedown is…

I can’t even remember what I was doing the first week of my absence here, but I’m SURE it was something amazing (okay, maybe not). I then got sick because… well, germs. And inconsiderate people. And then I got a puppy.

I couldn’t find what I was wanting through rescue. Every dog I seemed to like had aggression issues. And I have a roommate, and he has two cats. So bringing home a dog with aggression issues didn’t feel like something I could take on, while being a considerate roommate. I considered waiting another 6 months for a puppy from a breeder who would be having a litter I really wanted a pup from, but that would then be a full year of Kedric being alone. And honestly, at this point, getting a puppy was mostly for him, because he’s been so lonely. I figured we could get over the annoying stuff now, so he could enjoy his retirement with a well-trained companion.

So there was a breeder nearby whose dogs I really like. Her males are all eye tested, and she’s working on getting all her breeding stock hip tested, which is more than I can say for the majority of the breeders out there… And she had a pup that I’d been checking out since she was little, but was never sure about… She also had a pup last year that I really loved, but didn’t go get because it was a boy and I knew I’d be wanting a girl next. And I saw how gorgeous that dog turned out, and I feel like I missed out on a good thing there. So rather than waiting until this pup had been picked up by someone else, or until she was a year old and I was kicking myself, I decided to go for it.

I went out a week ago, and we talked, and I decided that I was for sure taking the pup home, so money and paperwork changed hands, and I had myself a new dog. She was a dream the whole (very long) car ride home, and was fine that night in her crate… And then the next day came. And my adorable puppy turned into a lunatic. She had lived the first 4 1/2 months of her life in the country. Not much happens out there. She had no exposure to skateboards, bicycles, runners, traffic – nothing. The breeder suggested I just let her chill and get used to me, but I couldn’t just leave this high-drive puppy locked in a kennel for 8 hours while I was at work without burning off some of her energy, so I started taking her on walks in the morning. She is super reactive and fearful. Within a couple days, she had tried to bite my coworker, my roommate (twice), and his best friend. Everything was freaking her out. Strangers and children were not on her happy list. Pretty much everything was triggering her. I figured it was basically just sensory overload. Over-stimulation triggering just extreme fight or flight reactions.

I was a wreck the first few days, thinking that I’d finally made a decision to bring this dog home, thinking it was the best thing for all of us, and I’d bought a psychopathic biting machine instead. So I did what I do best, and got online to research things. Fearful dogs. Reactive behavior. Fear aggression. On and on… Hours of videos and papers about training. Some articles said that since she was older than 3 months, she would never be “normal” again. Some articles talked about how BAT had turned their own nutjobs into normal, sane dogs. I was just frustrated that I could have picked up an aggressive rescue for a fraction of the price, and instead I paid more for an aggressive puppy from a breeder. Of course, she was sane when I picked her up, because she was in her own familiar environment. So to me, the problem was twofold: that she’d never been socialized, and that she was being exposed to everything at once. But I can’t pick and choose what she is exposed to in the city. I never know when I will run into a longboarder or a sprinter. It’s the luck of the draw. I am not going to the park. We are walking on quiet streets. But everything is still so new to her.

So I started doing some modified BAT with her. I can’t turn and walk the other way every time someone approaches or we would never get our walks completed. So I step off the sidewalk, far enough away that she isn’t feeling too triggered, and she gets rewarded when she breaks contact with the trigger and checks in with me. I’m allowing her to check out the things that scare her, rather than continuing to make her walk with me, because I feel like in order for her to stop reacting when she sees things, she needs to have come to a conclusion about whether or not they are scary in the past. It seems to be working. I let her investigate the scary things (some things I have to approach myself, and then lure her to them with a treat), and then she’s like, “Oh, just kidding… It was only a garbage can,” or whatever. And then the next scary thing we run into, she is like, “Oh, yep, seen that before.” Within 3 days, she was no longer reacting to scary Halloween decorations in yards along our route because I’d let her check them out, and then praise her when she looked relaxed and satisfied that they weren’t as scary as she first thought.

She has a remarkable memory, but she reminds me so much of Shannon in how she does things. She doesn’t care a WHOLE lot about treats. I mean, all puppies like treats, but they are not her driving force. She wants to see things. That’s what Border Collies do, they look at the world around them. There are commands that she already knows, that she will just brush me off on, because she just doesn’t give a shit that I’ve asked it of her. Just a hard-headed little shit. But when you have a treat and she wants the treat, the behavior you ask for is done in milliseconds. Within 3 days of moving in, she knew No, Let’s Go, Off, and Leave It. I taught her Sit in about 15 seconds. 24 hours later, after not having repeated Sit a single time in that many hours, she gave me the behavior the first time I asked for it. She’s smart as a whip, this one. Today we started on With Me. It’s more of a mouthful than Here, but I just really dislike how closely Here and Heel sound to each other. All my Borders have been able to tell the difference just fine, but I really want something that sounds different, so I’ll be phasing out Here (although I still let it slip from time to time, since it was Kedric’s command).

So I’ve really got my work cut out for me with this one. She has that typical headstrong bitch personality that Shannon had. I see it and it makes me smile at the same time I want to give her a shake for giving me the finger. What drove Shannon was not food, nor was it toys. It was love, and drive. The day after coming home, this puppy challenged Andy’s dog because it approached me for some pets, so I know she’s becoming attached already. It’s only a matter of time before I can turn that into something constructive, I think.

She hasn’t tried to bite anyone in the last 2 days, and she actually had positive interactions with two strangers today – women who she decided just out of the blue that she wanted to be buddies with. She also met and had good interactions with two dogs she did not know. She then had a not-so-positive interaction with Andy’s new dog, who comes from the same breeder. He was very excited to see her and wanted to sniff her girly region, and then play with her while she was rolling around on the lawn. She was not having either interaction, so she got reprimanded for her bad reactions. I don’t mind a lip curl or something to tell another dog she is not pleased with their actions, but snarling and trying to bite are both big no-nos. A snarl at the wrong dog can land her in the doggie ER, so she’s gotta learn to keep that attitude in check.

But with all good things come the bad… On Friday, she chewed up my phone charger cable. So I am without a phone until the new one arrives. Then the next day, she chewed my internet cable in half. $40 and two days later, the internet was up and going again. Then this morning she chewed the new cable in half. Rather than spend another $40 on a new cable, I spent the morning splicing cables and connecting each itty bitty wire in the CAT-5 line together one by one, and patching it all with a generous supply of electrical tape. I was beyond delighted when it actually worked. *lol* I knew that degree wasn’t worthless! πŸ˜›

So yeah, my mind is kind of exploding with puppy training crap. I can’t have a biter or a lunatic, so we’re working on lots of stuff, and my poor brain is spinning. But I was totally stoked today when she had the good interactions with the strange people and dogs. She even offered up the sit after a few go-rounds of me stepping off the path of strangers. “This is what you want, right? Hand me the hot dog!”

I have toys shredded all over my room. It looks like a plastic and stuffed animal massacre. I am beyond tired. It is like having an infant, needing out at crazy times of the night. I have already thrown at least 6 mangled toys away this week.

At the same time, I am trying to get back on the exercise wagon after being sick for like 2 weeks and doing nothing during that time. I also still have not finished the outside of the RV, and I want that done before the snow season hits (it has already snowed a few times, but not for long). I plan to finish the caulking tomorrow, and try to get the windshield washer fluid issue figured out. Then my friend Emily is coming out next week, and she is going to help me finish the roof. Once the roof is done, I have a tarp I want to put on it for the winter. It won’t cover the sides, just the roof, so I can continue to go in and out of it, working on random things throughout the winter – like getting the cushions reupholstered, and doing some basic cleaning. I was going to work on it this morning, but I ended up spending the morning on that cable, and then I had a City & Colour concert to go to tonight.

Wish the phone wasn’t dead, so I could share some pix or videos from the concert, but it is, so a few pictures of the new pup will have to do.

Here’s one the breeder took of her… Her eyes are two different colors currently, but look like they’re changing. Her right eye is currently gold on the top, and brown on the bottom. Her left eye is gold and has some green hazely thing going on.

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Here she is, walking with Kedric. Their markings are kind of cool, I think. They have the same white shoulder, but their hips are opposites. She has a spot on her left hip, and a white streak up the right – he has a spot on his right and a streak up the left.

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And here’s what she looks like when she’s being good: πŸ˜›

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So there’s that.

And since it’s Monday, I suppose I’ll include this, to help get the ball rolling…

Starting weight: 272
Lost this week: Who knows?
Total lost: 20.6
Currently: 251.4

Starting BMI: 43.9
Lost this week: ?
Total lost: 3.3
Currently: 40.6

Hope everyone’s having a great week. πŸ™‚

Categories: dog training, dogs, goals, lifestyle change, RV maintenance, weight loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something else I’m working on…

So this has not much at all to do with RVing, but everything to do with getting to where I want to be in life. After deciding that I wanted to re-seal Flash’s roof, I realized that I was scared to actually get up on it. No, I don’t have issues with heights. The fact is that she’s a 1978 model, and I have no idea what water damage could be hiding up there in the roof, which means I don’t want to risk falling through the roof and ruining it, if there is any structural damage which I can’t see from the outside. Let’s be clear about something from the get-go: I am not a small girl. I look at that lovely expanse of previously-sealed aluminum roof, and I can vividly imagine my fat ass falling right through into the kitchen sink. Yeahhhhh… Not so pretty. So I went to Lowe’s to buy a ladder. I was looking for a 7′ ladder, which would be the perfect height. 8′ was too tall to secure to the back of the RV without creating added clearance issues, and 6′ was too short. Did you know that there are no 7′ ladders to be found, like… anywhere? I ended up at Home Depot, and they had the exact same selection as Lowe’s. 6′ seemed to be the only real option, although it was a bit too short. Ladders are rated by weight. Before deciding I needed to buy a ladder, I would have never known this. My happy ass just tromps up whatever ladder is handy. I never realized I was jeopardizing my life by not looking for the weight limit. So the options laid themselves out: a green one for skinny people, a blue one for overweight people, and a red one for what I can only imagine are huge, burly dudes who do a lot of roofing. I hate the color red. I know, it doesn’t make much sense. You buy a ladder to get a job done, not to look cute. But really, I just can’t stand red, and stood in the ladder aisle of Home Depot for probably a good 20 minutes, wondering if I should buy the blue ladder (which I ALMOST qualified for) or the hideous red one (which sadly, was made just for my big ass – not just burly roofers). I threw down my gloves. Fuck that red ladder. I’ve been wanting to get back to eating right and exercising every day anyway, so now I had something to work toward: not breaking my ladder (and dying in the process). I grabbed the blue ladder and triumphantly headed to the front to buy it.

So for the past month or so, I’ve been using the blue ladder, despite the fact that the giant sticker on the side of it warns me that I could possibly die by doing so. I guess it’s a warning not just about the ladder, but about my weight in general. My current weight can and might kill me, whether or not there’s a ladder involved.

So not only do I need to lose weight just so I can actually enjoy more activities, but ever since I gained all this weight in the first place, my knees have been rebeling. I feel lethargic and depressed. And this isn’t to say that I went from thin to fat all at once. I’ve been a big girl most of my life. But after college, when I moved back home, I put on a whopping 72 lbs. Holy. Shit. The day I got on the scale to see just how much I weighed after my knees started giving me shit, I just couldn’t believe how fat I’d become. I mean, knowing you’re fat and seeing the numbers are two different things.

I’ve done the yo-yo routine for a long time, and I’m done with it. I want to get to a healthier weight so I can do more without feeling like someone just kicked my ass… Not just more physical activities, but things like being able to stand on my RV roof without worrying that I’m going to cave it in. I really want to have a healthier lifestyle firmly in place by the time I move full-time into the RV. In a not-so-related note, I’ve been using up all of the chemicals in my house, and replacing them with natural products. Everything from shampoo to toilet bowl cleaner has been getting switched out. I used to work for an herbal processing company, and I could get all my organic body care stuff for super dirt cheap, but since I stopped working there, and it was easier to just buy stuff at any old store, I’ve gotten lazy about buying things that are better for myself and the environment. So I’ve stopped that too. The only cleaning products I’ve bought for inside the RV are natural ones. I obviously can’t find a tree-huggin’, hippie-ass roof seal or seam caulk… But everything that there is a healthier, better option for, I’m going the healthy way. In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

So, speaking of pounds… (I do so babble sometimes…)

Last Monday, I weighed myself. I was down 10.4 lbs from my max, which is to say that I weighed in at 261.6 lbs. *cringe* For those of you bad at math, my max weight was 272 lbs. My BMI was 42.2. In non-tech speak: 42.2 is morbidly obese. That means that I am 100+ lbs over my ideal body weight. ONE HUNDRED PLUS POUNDS! I cannot overstate the horror of this fact. What the hell?

Anyway, I plan to leave that number in the past and never approach it again. I am doing a Couch-to-5K (C25K) program for running, which is a simple run/walk program that starts you out walking a lot and running a little, and every week you increase the amount you’re running, and decrease the amount you’re walking. It is set up in intervals, so you aren’t killing yourself. I’ve done the program in the past, but always end up quitting when I get to week 7 or so of the 10-week plan. Just because… ya know… laziness, depression, fill-in-the-blank… So now I’m posting about it here, so quitting would be kind of awkward, wouldn’t it? I don’t actually plan to RUN any 5K’s, mind you… I just want to get my endurance up, and the C25K plan will get me from couch potato to running 30 minutes straight without stopping in 10 weeks.

I also have dumbbells in various sizes, and am putting those to use with set exercises that I do 5x/week (the same 5 days I run on)… I also increase the reps I’m doing with those every week. And to top it off, I am walking my dog every day. He has severe hip dysplasia on his right hip joint, so I can’t do strenuous stuff with him (as much as he’d love to run all day, he pays for it later, and I hate to see him in pain). Before I got lazy the last time, we were walking 2 miles a day… So I’ve started him off at a mile a day, and every week I will up him a quarter mile, and then see where we’re at with how he feels when we reach 2 miles. If all is well there, I may just keep adding more on. He is currently on Adequan once a month, and gets a supplement of MSM/glucosamine/chondroitin every morning, along with 50mg of Rimadyl in his breakfast. He technically should be on twice as much Rimadyl per day, but I don’t want to max him out if I don’t need to, because when he gets worse, what will there be to switch him to? I’m trying to be proactive there. I plan to start him on fish oil as well, and hope that I can keep him as comfortable as possible for as long as possible on the combination (including walking, which also helps lubricate the joints).

So here’s the number breakdown:

Starting weight: 272
Lost this week: 4.8
Total lost: 15.2
Currently: 256.8

Starting BMI: 43.9
Lost this week: .8
Total lost: 2.5
Currently: 41.4

So I am currently 6.8 lbs too heavy for my ladder… Hopefully I’ll be skinny enough (“skinny” being relative here *lol*) in the next two weeks to officially use it. πŸ˜‰

I plan to put an update here every Monday with my weekly progress. If you don’t see an update, feel free to kick me in the ass and shake your fist at me.

Categories: dogs, goals, lifestyle change, weight loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Drudgery

So I spent my birthday coating all the silicone bits on the RV with McKanica silicone remover. Two thumbs up for the silicone remover, and a big emoticon of displeasure and pokey sporks for the company I bought it from, which took almost 2 weeks to send it out.

The application of the silicone remover is… not fun, to say the least. It is called a “gel”, but it is more like old, half-dried toothpaste. It’s sticky and grainy, but unless you smash it onto a surface, it’s just going to fall off. The label said to “cover it immediately” after application… Um, what? I’m coating every seam on an RV, I’m not going to go around taping plastic wrap over it. So I just left it.Β So after hours in the sun, applying the stuff, I came back outside to this. It was somewhat alarming…

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The stuff basically turns dark brown as it’s drying, and then white when it’s completely dry. I was worried about my paint, but when I scraped it all off, the silicone came off quite nicely (for the most part), and my paint was fine. I smoothed it on with a piece of cardboard, and I scraped it off with a plastic scraper. For any leftover residue, you just wipe it down with a dry cloth, and it comes right up.

Here is what the edges look like once done:

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So compared to how the seams used to look, these are a dream!

Yesterday I had to then clean all the seams with denatured alcohol to remove any residue and clean the seams. Um, yeah, eek. They don’t warn you that the denatured alcohol acts (and smells) like fingernail polish remover, so if you scrub it when it’s on your paint, it will eat the paint off. I cleaned the rest of the seams as quickly and gently as possible.

Then I started on the caulking… That was interesting. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the caulk used for RV seams has a consistency like super-duper thick slime. It is super dense. It also turns tacky extremely fast, so if you want to form it or work with it, you have to get to it within seconds, or you’re going to have a mess on your hands. So after a couple seams, I had my technique down.

Here is my main window, all taped up and ready to go:

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Here is my storage cubby with fresh caulk on the seams…

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And for a novice, I think the seams are turning out quite nicely. I’m not completely done with it just yet, but wanted to update this blog on my progress before heading into work. I’ve been using my hands (wet & soapy) to smooth out the edges of the caulk. It starts to set up so quickly that I don’t think I’d have time to sit there with a tool and work it, so I’m satisfied with how they look (finger indents here and there, but pretty smooth, for the most part)…
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I have the next two days off work, so I’m going to try to get the caulking finished then. The only annoying thing I’ve run into so far is that I did not use the denatured alcohol to clean the seams that did not have silicone remover on them, and after putting the caulk on those seams, I’ve realized that you can see some of the old dirty siding under it… It’s not a big deal, but the perfectionist in me grumbles a little bit at it. I figure if it drives me nuts later on, I can always just easily remove the caulking I just put on, and fix it. God knows I bought enough caulking! *lol*

And of course, Kedric is mightily disappointed every time I let him out the back door, and instead of going somewhere or taking a walk, we just work on the RV… Soon enough, though, we’ll be going places! πŸ™‚

Photo08241152

Categories: dogs, RV maintenance | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Frustrated.

Same story today as every other… Anything that can go wrong will with this project, evidently.

I made an appointment to get the RV inspected today. Mentioned that the only thing stopping it from passing the last time were clearance lights. I do the driveway shuffle (moving cars out of the way to get the RV out) and drive to the inspection place. The guy walks out and looks at the RV and is like, “Oh… I’m going to have to reschedule you.” WHAT?! Apparently RV’s cannot fit into his shop, so he has to hook up a hose extension to do the emissions on them, and his hose has a hole in it, so he cannot do the emissions. I clearly stated that clearance lights were the issue last time. What the hell did he think I was driving, a VW Rabbit?? So I drove back home, and while waiting for my roommate’s friend to move his car out of the way, I turned the windshield wipers on because the window was dirty and LO and behold, the washer fluid doesn’t work. At that point I could have just cried. Two months ago, the technician who did the last inspection certified that the washer fluid worked. So what could have happened between then and now that it does not work? So I log online, where I find that there is virtually no info anywhere for a model of Flash’s age. So now I’m buying a Chilton manual which claims it will work for her, which will cost me $30 and not be here for God only knows how long… My silicone remover is in “shipped” status, but still showing no tracking info, so I know they haven’t actually sent it out yet, even though it was ordered over a week ago.

I’m just feeling very discouraged, and on days like this, I wonder if this is the universe trying to tell me something, or if this is just the story of my life.

At this point, I will only have 2 weekends left to get everything up and going before the trial, or I will not be taking the motorhome. Β And if that sealant remover doesn’t arrive ASAP, I’m just going to be screwed entirely.

Not a happy camper.

Categories: goals, RV maintenance | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Caulking

So I have a sheepdog trial that I help with every year out in Soldier Hollow (Midway), Utah. The trial is all 4 days of Labor Day weekend, which is 3 weeks from now. The transmission is dead on my 4Runner, so my only real option at this point (unless I want to pay $1,500 to fix the 4Runner) is to go in the RV. My main goals before heading over the mountain are:

  • Re-caulk all the windows, doors, and seams
  • Re-caulk the seams on the roof, and then reseal the entire roof
  • Get it inspected
  • Get it licensed
  • Get it insured
  • Get the alternator tested
  • Get the oil changed
  • Get it a tune-up
  • Get my own driver’s license renewed

So I suppose that doesn’t seem like a whole crazy lot, but I essentially have 6 days off work between now and then to get it all completed. I wanted to get on the ball and get everything done ASAP, so I started on the caulking last week. I got probably 15 minutes into the job when I encountered THIS:

rvsil-2

Let me just state here the #1 rule of RV maintenance: You do NOT put silicone on the outside, anywhere! Click on any RV maintenance page anywhere on the internet, and it will be one of the first things you see people warned about. And yet some person in Flash’s past liberally applied this crap all over the seams of this RV. When my little plastic paint scraper hit the first patch of silicone, I could NOT believe it. I just stood in disbelief, staring at it, dumbfounded. Did someone really…?! Is that seriously silicone?! Yes, boys and girls, silicone. And then I started checking out all the other seams and cracks, and found, to my horror, that it was everyyyyywhere. Grumbling and shaking my fist at the moron who dared do such a thing without doing their research first, I figured the only way to get it gone was to jump in head-first and tackle it. All the little pieces of silicone you see in the picture above are from me scrape-scrape-scraping. It comes up in little tiny balls, but doesn’t actually come off all the way.

In a few places I was lucky, and since the silicone-slatherer was lazy enough to just pour it over the old caulking, it didn’t really adhere, and just came off by pulling on the end. But as you can see, there is still residue left all over the side of the RV:

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Kedric grew bored of watching me, and decided to take a nap in the shade while I scraped and scraped and scraped in 90*+ weather…

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And then, out of nowhere, clouds rolled in, wind started blowing like a hurricane, and rain started to fall. Kedric quickly moved from his spot in the shade to inside the RV when the thunder started to rumble.

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I figured I’d just keep scraping away and ignore the rain… until the thunder started cracking right over my head, and lightning started lighting up the sky. I’m determined, but not stupid, so I headed back in the house. Within minutes of coming indoors, the raindrops had turned into a downpour, and the thunder was shaking the house.

I got online to ask the RV experts what I should do about the silicone issue, and was told that unless I could get it 100% off, that the caulk I got would not stick, so it would essentially be pointless to try to caulk over it. I was offered a bunch of suggestions on how to get it off, and then the rain passed, so I went out to remove what caulk and silicone I could before the daylight ran out.

I found that the highest recommended silicone residue remover was available at Ace, so the next morning, Ked and I walked to the store. They were completely out, had none coming in on freight, and are the only store in the Salt Lake valley who carry it. *sigh* All the other recommendations I found had reviews online warning people that it would take the paint right off your vehicle. Eek. Thanks, I’ll pass!

I guess now can be the time where I mention that nothing has really gone according to plan up until now. I drove clear to the south end of the valley to Camping World only to find that they were out of everything I needed. In the middle of camping season, there was none of the caulk or roof seal that I needed in stock! WTH? So I had to order all of that from the internet. I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a new battery for the RV, and they were out of batteries. I went to AutoZone to get the battery instead, and ended up missing my turn for it and landing on a one-way street heading away from the store. Circled back around, and was told that I needed the exact van type, because they don’t carry motorhome models in their system. Went back home, dug through my info, and the closest I could come to a model type was “30 series”… So I went back to AutoZone, and he was like, “Okay, 30 series… What engine type?” ARGH! He said it would be in the VIN, so if I just brought the title in, they could tell. So I went home, got the title, and went back. Then they said, “Oh, this is a motorhome VIN, not a regular van VIN, and it doesn’t tell us the engine type.” I threw my hands up and questioned them about pros and cons of getting the wrong battery, then made an educated guess and went with the best damn battery they had. Luckily, and to my surprise, it fit perfectly. So now, when I need this silicone remover, I just have to laugh about the store being out of it. So I logged online and ordered that too. I hoped it would arrive by my next days off. But no. I ordered two custom dog tags for Kedric 2 days after I ordered the sealant remover. Those custom dog tags were made to order and sent to me, and I RECEIVED them (from two different companies!) before the company I bought the silicone remover from bothered to ship it. I just have to laugh though. Getting pissed isn’t going to make things happen any faster. I should receive the silicone remover before my days off next week though… Looks like this week is going to be spent getting it inspected, licensed, insured, and getting my own driver’s license renewed.

I feel at this point like it’s a good thing I’m flexible and not easily stressed out, or I would have thrown in the towel. I just have to keep rearranging the schedule for things to get done, and hope it all falls into place by the time I have to leave. Last year it poured and we had crazy electrical storms all four nights of Labor Day weekend, so I’d really just like to have my motorhome water-tight and good to go before I head out there this year. I really wouldn’t mind getting wet, but I can’t risk the water damage to the RV. It’s an adventure already!

Categories: goals, RV maintenance | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thar she blows!

So here she is, on the day I brought her home:

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The previous owners decided that she was a boy, and named her Flash. They had the emblem even put on the hood, lightning bolt and all. It makes me laugh.

You can see in the picture that some of the clearance lights along the front on the top are missing or mangled. They were the only thing preventing it from passing inspection. Everything on it seems pretty good. At some point in the past, there was water damage inside, but it’s been dry for a long time. Nothing inside is wet. We’ve been having some pretty good rainstorms this summer, and it doesn’t seem to have sprung a leak. It looks like someone previously coated the roof with some kind of roof seal, and it’s held up well. Someone also caulked along most of the seams on the outside with silicone (I’ll get to that in the next post), so none of the windows have been leaking either.

Something seems to be wrong with the battery or alternator. It will start right up, and then refuse to start minutes later. Then minutes later, it will start up just fine… I didn’t start it for a week, went outside, and it started right up. A month later I went out to start it and it was dead as a doornail. So I bought a battery, and Kyle and Andy came over and we installed that, and she started up better than ever. I’m going to take her into AutoZone to get a free test done to see if the alternator is the issue. I really hope the issue was just the battery, but who knows.

So first things first, I ordered some clearance lights from etrailer.com. Great lights, great service, great price. Two thumbs up there.

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Had the lights in under a week, and Kyle came over to install them, since I don’t know jack about electrical, and I really don’t want to be the cause of my RV burning down.

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We worked until well after dark getting them installed, but they look great (I didn’t think to take pix of the install until the sun had already set – duh). Here’s the finished product:

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Things are coming together! Thanks, Kyle and Andy! πŸ˜€

Next up on the Flash to-do list is stripping all the exposed caulk from around the seams and re-caulking them all, as well as re-sealing the roof.

Categories: RV maintenance | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

And so it begins…

Life is short. You sit around, thinking about what you could be, or what you could do, and suddenly years have passed by and you have nothing to show for the wasted hours. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. We’re not even guaranteed a minute from now. You could die before you finish reading this sentence, and that’s that.

I’ve been struggling in this rip tide for years. It drags me out, I let the current take me, and then I decide I want to change, so I start swimming hard. And at some point, although I know I will eventually be allowed back in to shore, Β swimming parallel to it just feels like I’m getting nowhere, so I flip onto my back and let the current carry me along again. All that progress, lost.Β At some point though, I decided to fight the current. Sometimes the waves suck me under, but I feel like I’m actually making progress. I can see the shoreline now.

Four years ago, I moved out of the black hole that nobody ever seems to be able to get away from. Maybe it’s the magnetic pull in the area or maybe it’s simply that people without a lot of hope just simply tend to keep doing what they’re doing, rather than jumping ship and following their dreams. I felt like the longer I stayed there, the more depressed I became, and the more pointless my life was. I decided to make Salt Lake City my stepping stone. Not where I want to be in life, but far enough away from where I was to break out of that mindset and feeling of hopelessness.

It’s taken me a few years, but I downsized from an insane amount of stuff to a very small amount, and started to think about what I wanted from life as I began to realize that living my dream was possible.

So… what do I want from life?

  • To be surrounded by people who make me feel good. People with drive, passion, kind hearts, and easy laughter. People who encourage me to live my dreams, and who have great energy. People who communicate well and can reciprocate good friendship. Friendly neighbors. People with positivity, who are increasingly hard to find in this jaded world.
  • To be on the coast again. There is nothing that rejuvenates the soul like crashing waves, enormous trees, and great energy.
  • To have a farm. I miss my animals. I want to plant trees. I want to go back to raising gardens and canning food. I would love to be able to turn my love of farming into a business. That is the ultimate goal and dream.

So now that I know what I want, and feel like it’s actually possible to get it, what now? I decided I wanted an RV. I can pick up and simply move somewhere else, but what if it’s not the place for me? Then I’m stuck until I can raise up money to move again… I decided that I’d rather just live in my home. Then I could travel around and find the place where I want to be without having to make a commitment to a certain city, a certain house. I could stop into towns and get a feel for them, see if they have what I’m looking for… You just know when some things feel right, and I’m hoping to find that city or town that I just don’t want to leave. The only catch with this plan is that I’d have to stay put for some time in order to hold down a job to pay for additional gas money, or I’d have to make money somehow on the road. I do tie-dyeing for fun, and I also hand-braid dog leashes. The dog leashes are very popular among people I know in the real world, but I would have to actually set up a site online, or join a site where I could sell them. And until they got really popular, I’d still be living on money I’d saved or having to hold down a job somewhere. I’ve been kind of wishy-washy, not sure of what I’m doing, but saving up money for when the right opportunity came along, and then… it arrived.

On June 1st, I bought a motorhome. I’d been wanting something over 18′, since they were the smallest, and had zero storage room, and smaller than 23′, which had pretty much everything I wanted, but seemed like a lot of space to pay to haul around just for the extra storage. I really have to think about the cost of things, since I’ll be alone on this journey. I’d been watching the classifieds like a hawk, checking them day and night, when a 20′ model popped up. 1978, only 40,000 miles on the engine. Bunk beds (read: extra storage) and a decent floorplan… I texted the owner, and our schedules were all wrong, but the person who was supposed to show up that night fell through, and it was still available the next morning. The owner texted me to let me know it was still there, and Andy whisked me down to the south end of the valley to test drive it. A couple hours later, and I handed my savings over for a set of keys and a piece of paper.

So now I have the RV in the driveway, and a list of things that need to be done for me to feel 100% about taking off in her. That does not include setting up the dog leash business so that I can start getting some happy customers and putting money in savings for the journey. I want to document all the steps I’m taking to get where I’m going. From fixing up the RV to what I’m doing with my days while on the road. I’m thinking it would be fun to include roadtrip recipes (I’m greatly looking forward to lots of grilling and campfire cooking, as well as the learning curve with learning to use a tiny RV oven). I also love to take pictures of everything, but I do not have a high-pixel, GOOD camera. So I have added that to the list. And I think videos every now and then would be great too, because I know that I love seeing videos from travelers’ wanderings. I recently looked into getting a GoPro. I thought, from how much people talk about them, that they’d be a few grand. I was pretty surprised to find that they’re only a few hundred bucks. I also will be traveling with my dog (and more than one at some point), so there will be info on traveling/RVing/camping with pets… So basically, all I have at this point are ideas. But the means is in the driveway. The rest is just a puzzle to be sorted into place as I go. And this blog will be the journal of how I make it happen. πŸ™‚ Wish me luck!

Categories: dreams, goals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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