Our First Trimester!

We put a lot of thought into this attempt to live in a camper. But still with all the reading of blogs, and web pages and watching YouTube vids and asking solar gurus we were still very naive. This was not at all the image we had in our minds. The stress started pretty much in day one, the day we bought the camper.

We lived in a shared home with an awesome room-mate but her lease was up and we had to leave. We decided that we could go into another shared home but we have done that before and it is very hard to get an awesome room-mate. So, the camper is what we did. We have been searching for a camper that will fit our size of life style we wanted to live. We searched the internet in our area and it was a river of RVs and campers. There were a lot, and it made me think that we should find something awesome. We looked and looked, months went by and winter was closing in and we had to move back into our car if we didn’t find something soon. Desperation took over and we took one that we hoped would be a good one. It is a 32 ft 5th wheel. The owner said he would deliver it to where we wanted for us, since I drive a small car it would have been very hard to move a 5th wheel. He said it was a 92, he lied. It’s a 89. He said it had no water damage, he lied. I almost fell through the loft floor the water damage was so bad. I didn’t notice this as I didn’t take steps that far up into the loft area to have this happen when looking at it. Silly me! He said the water heater didn’t work, he told the truth.  He said it was winterized, another truth. He said it was sealed just this summer start. he lied. When I went up to the roof after I got hold of a ladder, the sealant looked to be 5 years old. Then of course before I could seal it up fully, it rained. Oh did it rain, inside and out.

My daughter and I ripped out the loft and discovered that lofts do not have support across the front, oh no, it’s the bed that holds everything together. what a crappy way to build anything. I learned there that building a camper is as cheap as can be and is not worth those very large price tags. After we found someone with a powerful drill to drill in some 2×6’s into the frame so we can have a temporary fix of support and no falling through the floor we insulated and boarded it up. I even added some plastic to help with weathering. This process took two full weeks and a lot of elbow grease.

Then we moved in. That’s when we discovered the lie of the leaky roof, windows, walls, and vents. Oh yes, it all rained down on our sleeping heads. That was a long night I don’t mind sharing. Next morning up, up I go to the roof top. I see very crusted, pealing weathered caulking. Gaps, and even holes that looked like nail holes. So off to Home Depot again. A few dollars later and two days later, I hoped it is all sealed and ready to go. Just in time as it rained and hailed that night. So, was it sealed up tight now, water tight? Hell no!

The window where the awning pulled out was leaking. I looked with a magnifying glass and could not find a single hole. So I decided it was probably the awning itself some how it may be leaking into the wall and coming out the window inside. So I caulked that like it was a gingerbread house and voilà! No more leaks. Only now I am positive the walls are water damaged from years of leaks. I am sure of it. Our goal with this camper was to live in it this year, and when the weather warmed up we would rip off the camper from the frame and build our own tiny home. so the weather damage inside the walls I decided to not put more money into it now since it was going to be torn off in 4 or 5 months.

I bought a solar panel. Hooked that puppy up and thought it would charge my 12V marine deep cycle battery so it could run the fridge. HA! I thought it was working but the battery was just running down and two days later, no fridge. lost all our freezer stuff and some of the fridge stuff had to get tossed out but we learned. So learning about solar power is not as easy as we thought it would be. But I am strong, independent, I can make this happen. Well I discovered that is an expense at this time I am not willing to put out for. I have seen some very complex solar system set ups and I just want a simple one. I don’t want this adapter and that adapter, I have seen some simple ones and those are still pretty pricey. I am up to getting some 6V Gulf car batteries, since they are a bit cheaper. The other solar panel will have to wait until summer, or later, that will depend on money.

For now we are getting into the cold weather so we can put stuff in the fridge just because it is damn cold in the camper. For now we eat a good deal of raw vegan foods that can sit on the counter and the food that is cooked is the dry foods that can be stored, such a lentils, dried mashed potatoes, rice, quinoa, that type of stuff. This is not so bad as we used to be raw vegan for 10 years. This type of eating is easy and familiar. One trick with this is we have no electricity, so no smoothies, no blended ingredients to make nut cheese, or sauces, or cakes, or any of the typical raw foods. We are officially eating raw foods that you chop and / or mix in a bowl with a spoon. We have had to be very creative with our meals and in doing this I am writing a cookbook for this type of living.

As far as heating the camper we have used candles and the shared body heat under the blankets to stay warm through the night. I am waiting for a paycheque to buy a propane heater such as the Big Buddy or Mr. Heater type thing. I did look into the tiny wood stoves and since I grew up on wood stove for heat I am wanting to get that put in our unit we build. For now, we will use the propane heater.

I have plastic up around every window and spray expanding foam in nooks and crannies to seal out the sold drafts. I still need to skirt the unit and a blanket to Velcro to the door frame. I have the Velcro around the door, just need to sew the other half of the Velcro onto the blanket. Then I hope that is all that is needed for that.

I have a fire detector, and carbon monoxide detector, only now I need to get a gas detector. The camper does have one, only it is electric. It only works while plugged in.

Toilet. I am sure you may be curious how we can go the loo without using the toilet and flush system. This is where the compost toilet comes into place. I started with an electric compost toilet that we purchased. It would work awesome if it were plugged in, however our solar panel didn’t do what we thought and we can’t use that electric compost toilet. I searched around and found a non-electric compost system. Inspired by the lovable loo system I build my own. We love it. I was very amazed at how easy it is and how well it works. There is absolutely no smell in our camper. Even after those very smelling deposits. I watched some people’s posts in YouTube about this type of system and we tried saw dust. We did not like that at all. We tried hamster wood chips, that was the same as the saw dust. Then we tried the peat moss. This stuff is the best. I bought I hope enough to last the winter since I can only buy it here during the summer garden season.  I really hope I bought enough. I bought those large bails that take two people to lift, for $5.00 each. Super store and Wal-Mart sell them usually, we looked at garden stores and they wanted $26 for a 3 Kg bag. Absolutely ridiculous  price when one $5 bail is the size of my cars back seat. How does compost toilets work? After you make a deposit of #1 or #2 or #3 in the Boove’s case, you just take a scoop (like a pantry measure cup scoop) and scoop up some peat moss and cover the deposit. The rule of thumb is the same amount you deposit is the same amount you cover with. I find that urine is not a needed covering in most times but BM’s are covered for sure.

Water is not running either. Yet. I found a propane system that runs on battery to make water run and heats the water. I will get this in a few months as well, only right  now we go to our local recreation facility and go swimming and shower 4 or 5 days a week. We wash our clothes at the local laundry mat.  For the other water needs I pour out water from a 20 gal jug as needed. I heat water on the stove in a kettle for dishes and teas. The rest is just poured from the jug as needed. The two of us drink about 3 to 4 liters of water each a day and cooking is about another 2 liters/day plus dishes so we are using the 20 gal jug up in about 2 1/2 to 3 days when we are home over the weekend, and during the work week we use up the jug in about 3 to 4 days since we are not home for most of the time.

Here’s a tricky part. Charging our phones, tablets, and laptop. I am here at the library writing blogs, building a cookbook, typing stuff, answering emails, etc. All the while our units are charging it the library. At my work I plug in my phone and our batter bank charger so we have emergency power for our units if they run out before we get to the library or work. This has been frustrating at times. We used to charge the phones in the car but it was draining the battery to fast and it wasn’t able to charge fast enough, so now we just charge one phone at a time if we really need it.

 

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Light Bulb Moment -maybe-

As you have read my last few posts show some struggles, ok, some crap I am pushing through. The first day after the abuse I took from the landlords and roommates, I spent the entire day in bed. I only got up to go the bathroom, that was it. I did not eat, not really slept, and the inside turned and I felt like that little girl waiting for her beating in the coal shed, and I had to get the strap myself. Nothing like delivering the weapon that is about to put you in serious pain. So sitting in my room still trying to find a way out of my once again impending homelessness and still scouring the internet for work I had a thought pop into my head.

“To thine own self be true”. Now I don’t want to get all religious on you, anyone who reads my writings knows my faith right now is as strong as a tight wire made of a single strand of human hair. My hair, so fine it would snap if a spider set upon it. There is NO WAY that will hold up to anything. But as I was sitting there day dreaming, as my mind wonders a lot. I thought “what the hell does that mean?” “why on earth did that pop into my head?” Then I realized my mind, subconscious or perhaps a higher power, who the hell knows, figured out what it means for me.

I have suffered crap since the day I was born, from my birth mother trying to kill me to abuse of any and all natures and then homelessness and now what happened a few days ago. There is one thing that made me get through it all. My father. Now that he is gone, my life seems to have taken even a stronger dive. What is the link. My father was able to change his ways and learn from his mistakes and became a really great man. One that I have not met since. But what I noticed about him is that he knew himself. He knew his weaknesses and he worked on them, but most of all he knew what he wanted to become. He knew the type of person he was, is, and always will be. He knew so well that I could lean on him and he helped carry me through stuff by just sitting in the seat beside me.

What do I know of myself? Who am I? What type of person am I? Am I a good mom, bad mom, or a fantastic mom? Am I charitable? A bully? Selfish? What am I really? If I am brutally honest with myself, no over thinking things, just stand outside myself and see myself for who and what I truly am and write it down. Don’t think about what I am writing down at this point, just think of any time I have been a bitch, bully, slut, and compare it to any time I have been charitable to others, been kind, helpful, caring, etc.

I realize that the world is not at all like it was when I was growing up. I remember people helping each other, strangers helping and friends were real true friends not superficial and what do they get out it. But I don’t want the modern selfish society to change what I know in my heart of hearts to be true, to be right, and to be admirable.

I realized that what if all those people in the world contemplating suicide, being abused, and depressed and struggling emotionally, mentally because they are from a different type of values that seems to no longer be in one with the non Christian world. Believe in religion or not, the fact that the world was ruled by the Christian values for many, many years. It has only been since Christianity is being attacked by non Christians and other beliefs that those core values of society have been altered, squashed and abandoned. Those still in the strong Christian moral value system are being under attack. So, even if you don’t believe in religion, do you still carry those core values? Are you kind at heart? Do you actually want to help others? Do you feel emotions so strongly you are empathic? Are you kind? Would you help a stranger just because they needed help? You don’t find humour in the modern idea of “reality TV” and the stupidity stunts and abuse of others? Do you care about the world and animals around you?

Why does this make any sense to me? If you know who you are, if you know without a doubt the person you are, and the person you are trying to become, that ultimate self that you are trying to be. So long as you are not trying to be someone else, but are trying to be who YOU are to be. Then it does not matter what the poo poo nay sayers are saying, who gives a shit what the judgy judgers are saying, and anything that is said about you, that is NOT WHO YOU KNOW YOURSELF TO BE, than you can disregard it. Toss it over the left shoulder into the abyss, and go on with your life. Doing what you know to be true, right, and worthy of you. Searching for like-minded people and leaving the rest in your dust. In the end, if, just if there is a judgement day, you can stand tall, head held high, and you will be successful over “those other people”. If there is not a judgment day and something else is among us after death, you can still stand tall and face whatever it is with those core values you know yourself to be. And you will make it through that too.

I believe we need to feel the pain, feel that hurt thrown on us. Think about it,and process it, but once we have felt it, processed the thought of it, we then can decide if it will continue, or be dismissed.

How do I learn about myself? Do I need to buy a fancy car or get a boob job or take a vacation to “discover” oneself? No. Nope, and No way. I feel we just need to sit down in a quiet place with a pen or pencil and paper or writing book. Then you start to ask yourself questions. Just like a writer asks their own characters who they are, to know them well, that is how you will know yourself well also.

I will post that in the next post how I am trying to work through this. Trying to reconnect with who I am and who I want to be? I don’t mean the house, cars etc, nothing of the world. I am talking deep in your soul, or perhaps you call it your chi, or maybe you call it your “self”. Either way, learn thy self is my new direction and focus.

Please share you thoughts on this, I would love to hear if anyone else has had an epiphany of how to overcome all of life’s challenges and is it working? have you needed to tweek it a little for situations? Does it keep you strong?

 

 

 

Stay Positive. Venting

I know I must stand tall, I know I must always show strength, never show fear. Be brave and speak true. Speak only when spoken to, not judge, think positive, keep an open mind and always be kind. This past few years I have done my best. But yesterday broke me.

WARNING:
Today I am venting, there is no angle, just letting it loose and saying it. There may be language that is offensive, or something. But if you are not interested in reading my vent, you might as well stop here. For those who read on, please realize that I am hurting right now. I am EXTREMELY hurt, alone, scared and angry. If you like to comment please do, I can use some encouragement. But if you want to add to my misery, don’t comment, I am literally at the end of my point of … well, I’m at my end.

I have lived through rape, beatings, molestation, survived abusive relationships, raised a child alone, and never did I feel like I had any support. My father was my only support, now he has been dead for many years. I did it all alone. Really, I’m not kidding. My family did not help, more so they criticized, ignored, and abused me. So when I got old enough I gave them a choice. Here it was.

1) I want a positive relationship. Start to be positive, supportive, and stop abusing me, stop criticizing me and stop being assholes.
Now I am not completely stupid, I know family goes through hard times, but what I want is for them to stop being selfish, to stop putting me down, to stop everything negative. I know family will have arguments, my family… I am a chew toy for them.

2) Be an active roll. No more neglect, no more “pretending” to be the perfect family in public and behind closed doors its a nightmare. No more neglecting me and only saying hi at weddings or funerals. I want an active role. Every month take 10 minutes out of the 720 hours in a month and write me a hello note with something positive, something they want to share with me so we can know each other better. To respond to my stuff, to be a real family. Seriously, 10 minutes to send an email, or a phone call or something and be positive. Try to be a friend.

If they can not do those two things, I want them to know they are off the hook. They don’t need to be in my life at all. Be kind, or go away.

Pretty harsh some may think, but by putting yourself in my shoes, all that abuse I listed, and more not listed, most was from family! Right now I am all but homeless. And still family doesn’t help. I have 6 siblings, and not one of them have offered to help. NOT ONE.

I was adopted, and that seems to have made a problem with some of them. I am not their sibling they feel. Yup, said it they did. So, how is that supposed to make a person feel. They grew up in a family and even though it was a not so good relationship, you find out you are not wanted? Not welcomed? Not a part of something you thought you were? I have read a lot of other adopted posts and notice a pattern. They too get siblings claiming they are not. These siblings are grown adults acting like selfish children. Bad enough to be born and not wanted, but raised in a place you are not wanted, and they let you know it.

Here is a good one, when I did something as a child that may have been bad or maybe it was not bad but needed some addressing, sometimes I would not get beat. Sometimes my dad would talk with me and explain what I did and work through with me. Sometimes. My siblings did not like this. they said, that they got hit, and so will I, so they would beat me. Like wow! My father was trying to change his ways, to learn, to be a better person, and my siblings wanted, desired and craved for me to suffer what they thought I should suffer. Just because they wanted it.

So, back to what I was saying, yesterday about broke me. This past 7 years my daughter and I have had an extremely hard time. Now we have been sleeping in our car. I managed to find a room for us to sleep in, but that is about to be gone. Last month I asked the landlord to verify the rent amount, she flipped out. You see she is renting this place without a contract, so there is nothing written down. So she said that she can’t have a renter who is going to question her. And she texted me to leave in 30 days.

Now in Alberta this is not legal of her to do. So I served my refusal letter and there was nothing more said about it. Yesterday she served me a letter to leave in 60 days because her sister is moving into my room. When I talked to her, I told her that that is not legal again. You must give 90 days notice and the family moving in you must evict the entire home. Plus she already has one bedroom dedicated to her sisters. Plus, there are three bedrooms that are empty, not rented. I told her I would talk to the landlord and tenant act and get back to her.

Then she arranged to have the other tenants in the house to start treating me badly. If they don’t they are gone. So yesterday I had 4 people and the landlords attack me, insult me, mock me, and on top of that speak with racist criticisms. They are all Filipino except one and one highly manipulative Russian who just paced in the other room happily. One of the tenants refused to join in, she sat in the other room and refused to be a part of it. She later told me that they are wrong and she wants to support me. But with 6 people attacking me and my daughter, it was just too much.

I lost my family that I tried to get to be a family, no church, lost my father who was my only support, lost our home, our cat died, lost my job. My church actually told me that they would let me sleep in their parking lot, that was their support. And now in the winter, I am dealing with this. My daughter is numb now, she feels nothing she said. My daughter closed out the world because of all the hurt. I injured my spine and am in constant pain and because I can stand, the disability funds are refused, so we have no money, just what is last left from being laid off. There is nothing in me left to fight.

Holy fuck! What am I supposed to do? I have looked every single day for work, I try to just let it all run off my shoulders but right now, a fucking pistol is looking fucking better than standing out in that freezing snow. I can’t sleep, I have electric pain piercing my body all the time, I can’t eat, I try to eat something and there is no taste. So why bother eating it.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRTRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGG FFFUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK.

What am I supposed to do? I just wanted to get it off my chest. Just, yell it out that I don’t know what to do anymore.

I’m tired, really tired. It takes all I have to get out of bed, sometimes I if I managed to get a couple winks, it feels like it is all dream, none of this is really happening. I mean if you went into more detail you could make a movie on it, because it all doesn’t seem like it would really happen, but oh no, it IS happening to us.