Saturday, March 31, 2012

1 Day Left.....and Day 1 of a Fresh Start

While it is the day that my countdown ends, it also is the day that a new one begins.

I have finished my stint with CorpCom.  I was selling advertising on Real Estate folders, traveling across North America.  While l enjoyed it, as l have said before, l didn't completely enjoy some of the people l worked with, and being at the mercy of a Boss.  Also, the company didn't mind their employees stretching the truth (read Lie) in order to get the sale.  I just don't agree with it.  It's not the kind of place that l want to work.  There are enough things that can happen to disappoint your customers, but to condone and reward lying, not a place l choose to continue working.

I have been a wee bit secretive about where l am moving onto, but now, no more.  I am happy to say that l will be moving over to South East Publications.  It is a great company that has been around for 26 years printing campground maps.  So l will still be travelling around, in my camper-van, selling advertising spots to be on the campground maps.

It is work, and will require hard work at times.  A definite benefit will be that l will be staying in campgrounds while l do this work.  From my experience, campgrounds are close to nature, a relaxed atmosphere and WAY BETTER then a hotel!!!  I will have control over where l work and for which campgrounds and which projects.  If they are crappy and are not working out, l am not at the mercy of a prepaid plane ticket where l can't leave until the set date.

So follow me, l'm sure there will be some things to write about as l travel.  :-)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Last Plane Ride for Work

Well, that might not be totally true.  The plane ride tomorrow is kind of for work.  I will be attending meetings and such.  Let's say it is the last plane ride for THIS JOB.

I'm hanging out at the Saskatoon Airport, where l will fly to Calgary to catch my connecting flight to Toronto.  It will take me 9 hours from the time my plane takes off until it lands.  That's not taking into account showing up early, checking in, going through security (no customs this time).

When l was returning my rental car, a guy in the next stall was returning his car also, l offered to him a book l had finished.  It was a really good novel by Ken Follet (?sp?).  He declined since he had 3 of his own, but he offered me a shitload of candy.  So l broke the rules and took candy from a stranger.  And no, l didn't end up in his trunk going down a dirt road to the woods.

He had all this cool kind of candy and was just going to leave it behind in the car.  He was a rep for a candy manufacturer, and was in town for a trade show.  Let's just say, l got the latest, greatest sugar goodness.

2 Days It's Friday, Friday!!!!

I Just have to get through today.  Which won't be hard.  I need to head to the airport by 1:30pm to catch my flight home.  My work day will be short, however, my travel day won't end until after midnight.

My count down is almost over.  Looking back, it seems to have flown by.

I received a call yesterday that will change my plans a wee bit.  Good job l am flexible. :-)   The change in my plans are that as soon as l get back from the conference in Palm Springs, l have two days to pack up, then l will start my new job.  A project came up that needs to be done right away.

I was planning on taking a week off to work on "renovating" the van, but that will have to be put on the back burning for a little while.  I really wanted to paint it (the interior), and l may do that on the Sunday or the Monday before l leave since it will be much easier to do while it is empty and l am not living in it.  That will depend on the weather when l get home.

Actually as l type this, l realize when l get back it will be Easter Sunday, so  it will have to wait until Monday, since our stores in Canada will be closed for the Easter Sunday Holiday.

Whatever happens, However it happens, will happen just the way it's supposed to stress here!!!!

Have a great Friday Every Body!  :-)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Can You Say "3", Yep 3 Days Left

The great thing about my job now was that l was only anywhere for 2 weeks at a time.  So the first week was spent getting to know the town, and the second week was busy tying things up, and before you know it, l was back on a plane heading back to Toronto.  So my first week in Saskatoon was spent booting around, figuring out the town/city.  And this last week has flown by.  I will be getting on a plane Friday afternoon.  And then that't it.  Over.  Gonzo.

Actually the 30 day countdown has gone pretty fast.  Yes, the days spent in the office were long, but the week did speed by.

I just had a thought, l can check in online for  my flight home tonight.  Speeding by l tell ya.

4 Days...Come On, Come On

Oh, it's coming fast!  Woohoo!!!  It has been a tough project, being stuck here when all l want to do it move on.  I only have four more days left (actually only 3 work days).  I am so looking forward to being back in the control of my life.  To being able to direct my life, my way.  Stopping and smelling the roses when I choose.

I was thinking today that l have waited four months to make the move.  I knew l had my new job four months ago.  I have patiently waited for the time to pass to this count down l am doing.  I wanted to time it so that l was in a position to succeed.  By going to the conference for the new job, l feel l am achieving this. By picking the brains of successful in the company, on how they do things, the best way to do things, the right way to do the job.

Yesterday turned out to be a great day weather wise, they were calling for snow,  it was too warm for it, and it didn't even rain.  The skies cleared and the sun came out in the afternoon.  It was great.  It made the day easier to take.  My jacket was off, the car window cracked a bit.  And l could have sworn, l had a spring in my step.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

5 Days..... So close

It's so close now.  Only 5 days left until l have turned the page in my new life.

Is it any wonder why l can only think about it?  I am constantly thinking about what changes l want to make to my van when l get home.  The downfall of that is that all l want to do it move on.  I am relishing the change.  The jitters are gone, the excitement is there, the longing is driving me crazy!!!


Monday, March 26, 2012

6 Days...Not A Moment Too Soon

Saturday won't come a moment too soon.  Pretty bad when it's only Monday, isn't it.  Why is it always easier to get out of bed on a weekend, then on a weekday when you have to go to work?  And then we only have 2 days on the weekend, it should be 5 for a weekend, and two for work.  My opinion

I am chopping at the bit, and just want this week to be over.  One reason is l'm tired of the gloomy, snowy, cold of Saskatoon when other places are breaking records with high temperatures for the season.  Another reason is l want to travel to Palm Springs for the conference, to pick the brains of successful current employees.  And of course, l want to get the Van ready, do a Vanover (Van Makeover).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

7 Days

Down to 7.

I'm in Saskatoon, a little bit bored.  It's still cold outside, and snow is on the ground, that makes me want to hibernate.  I guess l should have grabbed my mitts from the van when l left Toronto.

Only 7 days to go.  Wow & Yippee at the same time!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

8 Days until l'm Homeless

Do you ever wake up with a  thought that has crept from your subconscious  to the front of your mind? Crept forward enough to wake you?  I did,  this morning at 5 am.  I woke with the thought that l will be homeless is 8 days.  Okay that is a bit dramatic, l won't really be homeless until 23 days.  8 days is how long until l am no longer working for the job l am at.

Of course l will have my van that will be my little mini home, but in all aspects, l will be homeless.  By my own doing.   That has got me a little nervous, l can not lie. Nervous enough to wake me.  It will be an adventure, and by my own choice, but still scary when put like that.

There is a lot of unknown with the job l am going to.  First of all, l am the rainmaker.  So it is up to me to get accounts and then sell the ads.  I have a little more responsibility with the new job ( and way more freedom too).  I will have a better company behind me, a reputable one that has been around for 26 years, one that values honesty and customer service( l like that).

In the past l have made changes in my life, one segment at a time.  This time it will be the whole kit and kaboodle.  How's that for flying by the seat of your pants.  Things are moving fast now, it's like my pants are on FIRE.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Single Digits...9 Days left

It's Friday and l'm in Single Digits.  That almost doesn't seem real.  Will l be ready?  It seems like l have so much to do, and l am so far from being able to do anything to get ready for the transition into the van.  I haven't put it down in a list since l'm not able to do anything about it being 2000 kilometers from home and the place where l am able to take care of it.

I am excited though.

I'm glad it's Friday.  And l'm glad l am not coming home today, since Air Canada is on strike, and that would make it really hard for me to get home tonight and fly out tomorrow to Palm Air Canada has a whole 7 days to get it's ducks in a line to get me home next week, so l can fly out on the Saturday to the new job/life.

I feel for the people that needed to catch flights today - bummer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

10 Days And the WINNER is .....

Saskatoon for the worst roads l have experienced since l have been travelling with my job.  All over the city are pot holes, some are pretty big, and could really damage a car.  I'm glad l'm in a rental!!!!  :-)

Saskatoon also wins the award for a pretty cool university that has a husbandry course with a real size barn and necessary animals in the middle of the city.  Sure the city is only 276,000 souls big, but it's still pretty cool.  I'll try and snap some photo's on the weekend.

10 days left.  It's coming up fast.

11 Days It Came .....It went

The roads yesterday morning were snowy, icy and slushy.  By noon, everything was melting.  By was all gone.  Don't get me wrong, l am not complaining about the snow melt.  If fact, l'm quiet happy about it.

Today in Saskatoon it's supposed to be sunny and a high of 48 degrees.  I'll take that with a smile on my face.

I am finding it hard to get through this week.  I am loosing my patience more and more with my inside partner and this job.  Mostly with my co-worker.  I find it funny (not really) that she thinks she is pulling the wool over my eyes.  Yesterday she said at 4pm (Saskatoon time - which is 6pm Toronto time) as we were talking on the phone, touching base, well, l'm going to let you go because l do my best phone calls the last hour of the day.  She didn't realize that l heard her boyfriend in the background.  I can assure you no more phone calls were made.  I actually couldn't reach her for quiet a few hours when l didn't receive my fax with my appointments for the next day.

She blamed the front desk at the hotel for not receiving my fax.  She forgot they are time stamped, and l could clearly see that it wasn't sent until much later then when she said she sent it.

All l can say is........l only have 11 days left.  :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

12 Days to go and 2 Inches of SNOW!!!!

When l arrived from Toronto to Saskatoon Monday night there was freezing rain on the rental car.  Ten Minutes after l arrived at the hotel the snow came.  Fast and hard.  The spring l was enjoying morning  in Toronto is a distant memory. :-(

On top of the snow l have the  joys of hotel living. Being woken up at 2am by a guy knocking on a nearby door, continuously for 15 minutes, calling "come-on Boss" over and over again. Yeah me!  Not!!!

There is a type of dream that is stressful.  It's common in the restaurant industry, if you have worked in the front of the house in a restaurant you are familiar with it.  We all seem to have had it.  It's a "server's dream".  It's stressful because, no matter how hard you try to efficiently serve the people in your dream, things go wrong, over and over again.  The stress builds, and you wake up like you never left the restaurant that night.  They absolutely suck.  I had one last night.  And l don't even work in the business anymore.

Monday, March 19, 2012

12.5 Days until departure

This morning was a bit cooler when l started the van and no problem keeping it going.  This afternoon, when l was leaving work heading to the airport, it stuttered a bit when l started it.  It had sat there for 4 hours, it had warmed up 15 degrees (the air), and the tank was with the good tank of gas, and it STUTTERED.  It didn't stall, just gave the feeling that it would, so l lightly pressed the accelerator.  I guess l will need to get that attended to when l get back from Saskatoon.

It seems a shame to leave this beautiful weather we are having here and going to a colder climate.  Only 12.5 days to go though, so all is good.

I'm lucky this time, staying in Canada, l don't have to go through the hour line-up at customs.  And the security line-up  is never an issue on this side of the airport.

When l was going through security, there was a lady travelling with her cat.  I chatted with her a bit about it, since it is a big concern of mine to travel with my cats.  Right now they don't want to go near the van.  It has wheels, and to them that means, a trip to the vets.

When l had my fifth wheel, they didn't mind snooping around in the interior when it was parked in my driveway.  So them not going near the van is a wee concern of mine.  My fingers are crossed that all works out with them (and me)!!!!

I'm thinking when l do my reno's on the van l will paint the interior.  I really don't like the fake wood panel look.  I'm thinking of a lighter color to brighten it up a bit in there.  I can't believe that in 20 days (because after the 12.5, l will be going to a conference for the new job in Palm Springs for a week) l will be jumping in with both feet getting Fiona (the van) and me ready.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

13 Days

Yesterday l spent the day organizing and consolidating my files for my travels.  Pretty boring stuff, but totally necessary.  Easier to do in my home then trying to do it in the van.  Of course, the less l take the better.

I also jumped outside for a bit to check the fluids in the van, and  change the air filter.  Now that it's a bit warmer out, the van seems to stutter when l start it.  I think the choke needs to be adjusted.  When it was cold the choke would rev the engine enough, l never had any problems.  Just the last two days it sounds like its about to stall (just when l start it - until l drive off).  But when l changed the air filter, it wasn't that dirty.  So, l'm thinking it's the choke that needs to be adjusted or there is a bit of water in the gas tank.  The last two times l have gone to a independant gas station and filled up one of my gas tanks there.  I have now flipped it over to the other gas tank and will see tomorrow am when l head to work if l have the same issue.

ON a side note; when l went to Canadian Tire to buy the air filter, a couple of guys drove up beside me when l hopped back in the van to head home.  One of the guys has a similar van and just wanted to chit chat about it.  Nice guy.  I guess in the summer l can expect people to come up all the time since they won't be freezing their butts off.

14 Days - That's just two weeks!

Holy Monkeys!!!!  Two weeks, that's it?  And most of that l will be on the road in Saskatoon.

Yesterday, I  bought some storage containers for my clothing that l will place up on the bunk.  There isn't much storage in the cupboards of the van.  Not that l am a clothes horse.  I can live out of a suit case now for two weeks at a time now. The only thing is, season change and l will need sweaters for the fall and winters, towels to shower with, files for work, tools to fix/maintain the van, bedding blankets, pillows...etc....etc.... so l will need the extra space up on the bunk for the overflow.

I also bought some curtains to hang between the cab and the living area of the van.  They were on sale, so bonus!  The hanging will have to wait until l get back from my trips.  Pretty much everything will have to wait until l get back from my trips. :-(

l will spend today doing laundry and packing up that suitcase for Saskatoon.  Yep, the fun never stops here!!!!  :-)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Deadsville..... 15 Days to go

Yep.  My fault.  No one to blame but me.

Yesterday when l went to work it was foggy, a bit thick in places so l turned on my headlights.  Well, l forgot to turn them off when l got to work.  It was sunny then, and the last thing on my mind was headlights.

Fiona is a bit long in the tooth and not up to the fancy standards of the new vehicles that will scream at you if you leave the lights on after you turn off the car and open the door.  Fiona was quiet as l exited her.  So of course, 8 hours later when l came out to drive her to a dinner with friends, she refused to turn over.

I knew it wasn't the starter this time, since l had fixed that problem.  The problem was me.  Yep, me.

I must develop a system that will remind me that in the dawn if l turn on my lights, l hang something, tie something on a part of the van l can't miss as l exit.

So, l got a boost, she started up fine, and l was on my way.  I was at work longer then l was expecting, then to have the battery be dead on top of it, let's say l was really happy to drive out of the parking lot.  And of course, now there are only 15 more days to go! :-)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sweet 16

Zooooommmmmm!!!!  Only 16 days left.  It's raining this morning in Toronto, but l don't care.  I definitely rolled out of the right side of the bed this morning.

I am so excited, l can't stand it.  It's so great  waking up in the morning excited about the new job, and the excitement surpasses the dread about going to the old one.And being that it's Friday; doesn't even play into it.  It's been a while since l have been in the position that l am really stoked about a new job.  Yes, in the past l have been happy that l am starting a new job, happy that l got it, happy that l will have a new, fresh experience.  But STOKED.  Not for 10 years.

Why, you ask?  Well, l have discovered that l work best alone.  I don't do well with management.  Mostly, because of egos that over run common sense, their laziness, or stupidity, favoritism to people, lack of following the rules, speaking out of one side of their mouth and doing another, and their control of telling you when you will work, where you will work, the begging for time off...... the list goes on.

I'm a self motivator.   I prefer working for myself.  I guess a bit of a control freak.  If l tell or promise you something, l will follow through with it.  I like to work like crazy, then when l know l need a bit of time off, l want to take it without having to explain to anyone why l want it.

The best manager l have had was when l worked with Books Are Fun, she was there if l needed her, but she left me alone to run my business.  It probably had something to do with the fact that l was a producer, but still, that is the best kind of manager, for me.

I think this next job will be the same, managers are there, but certainly not controlling my business.  I think it will be a great fit.

Have l said how STOKED l am????

****Hey, l just noticed that it's Sweet 16 on the 16th of March.  :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

17 Days- Loving the Weather & Saskatoon

It has been unseasonably mild for March, and l am loving it.

Even though l am working in the office this week, l have been taking some time at lunch to breathe in some fresh spring air and get my fix of Vitamin D a la' the sun.

I found out my next deal and last, is in Saskatoon, SK.  I have been close to Saskatoon (Prince Albert, SK), five months ago, and there isn't much to do there!  I sure hope the weather is nice there so l can at least get outdoors and enjoy the city more then when l was there last time.  I have already been to the little museum there, it was interesting, but not worthy of a second visit.

Maybe l will be so busy after my little chat with my boss that l will not have to find things to do to occupy my time.

Day 18 Lightening the Load

Isn't it just great to get things off of your chest?  I did yesterday.  My boss was playing hardball about my next deal.  Wanting me to stay at the next deal until Friday March 30th(which l don't mind doing, usually we fly home Thursday night or early Friday morning)  Problem for me is l fly out Saturday for Palm Springs (via Vegas - yes, all so confusing).  He did originally want me to fly home on Saturday, l said it wasn't possible since l had holidays (wink, wink).

So l laid it on the line, that there was no point in me staying longer when my inside co-worker doesn't get me enough appointments as it is.  Why would l stay longer on a project, if l couldn't get appointments to stay busy.  So we had a heart to heart, l showed him my numbers, that l have kept track of to back me up, broken down to show my lack of appointments.

My intention wasn't to throw M under the bus, l have tried to address the issues with her, and she brushed them off.  The positive thing about her brushing them off, and my Boss not listening to what l had to say a number of months ago when l tried to address the issue, M is their golden child who can do no wrong - and has been with the company for 3 years, where as l have only been for 9 months,is that it put my change of job plans in motion.  For that l am grateful for.

If things were going great at my current job, l probably wouldn't have made the phone call to the new job and say that l was ready to start, for another couple of years.

I guess you can equate getting rid of your excess possessions to lightening the emotional load, either one you just feel lighter and freer.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wow, Day 19

Counting down the days sure makes this thing feel like it is speeding towards me.  Isn't it funny how in the beginning it can seem so far away, that it seems like it will never get here, then bam, it's on the door step.

I'm going to head to work early to see if l can get a few things organized for the new job.  I  need to enter some things on my laptop, and at the end of the day, after driving in rush hour traffic, l really don't feel like doing it when l am at home.  I'm glad l didn't go to work early yesterday, for one, the building didn't Spring ahead and the elevators would have been on key card access when l would have arrived (l don't have a key card since l'm supposed to be on the road) and second, our office changed the door code to access our offices.  They fired two people, and that is standard procedure.

I'm lucky that it's March Break this week, so rush hour traffic isn't too bad, but it still takes me over 50 minutes in the morning to get there since l leave at 6:30 am to beat the traffic, and an hour 20, to get home.  That's over two hours a day l spend in traffic...what a waste of time!

My Grandpa

My Grandpa was 93 and had been in the hospital for a number of months.  He fell before Christmas while in his basement doing some stuff with his furnace.   While he was in the hospital for a couple of weeks with a couple of slipped disks he did come home in December.  He was still living alone, moving slowly, but getting along fine.  Just after Christmas, he caught pneumonia and he hasn't been out of the hospital since.

While in the hospital, at the end of February he caught C-Diff, and 5 patients in his ward passed away from it.  It's been tough on him, he's had good days and a lot of bad days.  It's also been tough on my two Aunts who have been there daily, feeding him and keeping him company.  He's lucky to have two wonderful daughters.

I've tried to visit at least every weekend.  It's been great to see him, but my heart goes out to him.  It must be so hard on him, being stuck in a hospital.  He was so independent until the fall.

I will always remember his laugh, it was loud and contagious.  He had a great mind and could remember so many things, from the names of the little villages he marched through in Italy in  World War II to all the nurses who took care of him over the months in the hospital.  He could actually tell who they were just by hearing them speak (which is really funny since he wasn't wearing his hearing aids the last couple of months).

While his passing won't make the newpapers, he will be missed.  He's reunited with my Grandma now,  Love you Grandpa.

Day 22, 21 and 20

Day 22 - Lending a hand to a Friend

Saturday, l spent the day helping a friend build the closets for his house.  Well actually, get the wood ready for the assembly.  We were at a friends of his work shop and were cutting and putting the edges( the finished edges that are glued on the cut ends) on the shelves.  I kept joking with him that he was putting big enough closets together for "Kate plus 8".  He was doing his and her closets for the master bedroom, two linen closets.

We had an assembly line going, C was cutting the 4 x 8 sheets of plywood.  J (my friend) was running them thru the machine to put the tape on them.  And l was sanding and cutting  the excess tape and taking the excess glue off.  I was there about 7 hours, l then went to visit my Grandpa for a couple of hours.

Day 21 - Cleaning the Van

The weather man was right.  It was a very nice day, sunny and around 58 degrees.  It was gorgeous.

I spent the day in the my van.  I was equipped with a bucket of soapy water and a bottle of fantastic.  It was great being in there when it was warm.  I flipped the sofa/ bed down, measured it and actually think l will keep it as is for now.  I trashed the foam mattress in the overhead bunk. Cleaned all the cupboards, lined them with shelf paper. Yanked down the lace curtains - not my  Scrubbed the stove top, cleaned the fridge.  It was all in pretty good condition, l just wanted it all cleaned.

I wonder who thought shag carpeting in a camper van was a good idea?  It's been ripped out of the rear part and a cheap cracking laminate is down now.  Up front is still shag, and of course the Dog House is covered about half way up with shag too.

The flooring project will come in April before l take off, and will include new flooring in the back and front.


Day 20 - Yuck!

I don't want to go to work.  Only 20 more days though....l can do it, l can do it......:-)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 23 T.G.I.F.

Friday couldn't come fast enough.  Being stuck in an office for 8 hours a day is a bit trying for me.  I have to admit l love being on the road, doing my own thing.  Doing my own thing doesn't mean not working, it just means working for myself - almost.  I like to have control over my day, what l'm doing etc.  And l love the fresh air, the sun shining on me.  Because honestly, it doesn't feel so much like work.

Being inside, in a grey cubby.....feels like work.

I will be helping a friend on Saturday doing some stuff on his house he's built.  It's supposed to be cold only 35 degrees fahrenheit, and  l have saved Sunday for myself to at least clean the van since it's supposed to be in the 50's.  A bucket of soap and water shouldn't freeze at 50 degrees.  lol

Only 23 days left.  It's getting close.  Wow

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 24 Temptation

There are only 24 days left until l step into another phase of my life.  Just 3 1/2 weeks.  It's coming up fast.

And then l get a temptation.  Work (current job) approached me to go to Alaska for 6 weeks.  The thing is, l have a conference booked with my new job in Palm Springs the first week of April. So it would seriously conflict.  I was tempted, Alaska is usually a good place for us to make money.  The cost to me could be a serious set back with my new job.  I could tell them something has come up and l can't start beginning of April (and still go to the conference).  But l don't want to.  Metaphorically, shall we say, my bags are packed.  I have started my countdown.  I'm ready to move on.

If l went to Alaska, there are no guarantees.  No guarantee that my partner will book me lots of appointments(she tends to not do well when she's working a different timezone and the fiancee is home when she SHOULD still be working), no guarantee that people will take the appointments (we have been there just recently, and people tend to spend less, or not at all, the more times we visit them).  There is a guarantee that l don't like this company and l hate lying to customers.

The only guarantee l have that it will serious set me back in my new job.  I need to get things lined up for the summer to make it successful.  But l can not lie.  The temptation was there for a while.  I did toss it over in my head, and woke up more firmly decided on me passing it by.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 25 Start 'er up

I have an appointment booked this morning to fix my starter.  I bought the part on Saturday, but today is the day for the fix.

Yesterday l had to crawl under the van 3 separate times to lightly tap the starter to get the van to start.  That was fun.   l'm so thankful that it started each time with ease after the little nudge from the hammer.  While it's in the shop l'm going to get them to change the thermostat also.  I'm not sure if it's on its way out, but l think it is.  So better to be safe then sorry.


I just got out of the mechanics.  Starters in, new thermostat is in.  He also repaired the spout on the water pump, so l can avoid buying a new one.  So, $300 and 3 hours later, Fiona is running great.  I will put my hammer back in my tool box instead of beside my drivers seat.



Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 26 Stuff it Down

Woke up this morning to a feeling of oh, oh.  It was the nervousness of my adventure looming closer and closer, bringing me out of my comfort zone.  It only lasted a second, and it was gone.  I'm sure the moments will stick around longer as l get closer to the day of departure.  Everything new brings excitement and the unknown.  This trip will be no different.

I will be changing two major components at the same time though.  My job and my living accommodations.  I guess you could say l'm jumping in with both feet, and no parachute.  :-)

It's still too cold 14 degrees fahrenheit and l'm too busy during the day to do anything to the van.  My fingers are crossed so that on the weekend I can get one day in.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 27 - Back to Rush Hour

Only 27 days left, and for 10 of them (not including weekends) l will  be fighting rush hour traffic in Toronto.  Well, actually l will be trying to beat the real bad rush hour traffic by leaving the house at 6:20 am for my commute to work which will only take 45 minutes at that time of the morning.  Where as if  left a bit later, the time would double at least.

So l will sacrifice sleep in order not to be frustrated crawling in traffic.

A bonus of working in the office is l will see a couple of fellow co-workers that l enjoy being with.  And l can use the time in the morning to get myself organized for the new J O B.

It's bitterly cold outside this morning.  Not that l have time to work on my van anyways, l'm just hoping that the weekend will be warmer.  Fingers crossed.

28 Days....RV Show

Today l did what l was planning to do yesterday.  I went to the RV Show in Toronto.  It was Huge.  Lots of RV's to climb in and browse.  The two hours l was there were well spent.  I learned two things. 1. Holy Macaroni, there are lots of shpaes and styles to choose from.  And the selection is growing every year.  2.  I'm happy with my choice in Class B.  It's not a huge camper, but will do just fine.  Most RV's are made for families (Bunks, multi -TV's, multi Fridges, etc...).  It was the same when l was looking for a house a couple of years ago, there wasn't too much built for the single person (except the war bungalows from yester-year).


There were some oldies being built again.

[caption id="attachment_631" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The trillum from years ago"][/caption]

There were pretty cool aluminum trailers, until you looked inside and then they looked cheap.



[caption id="attachment_634" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Inside"][/caption]


There were neat ideas for class B's.  See the screen, it goes across the side door.

[caption id="attachment_632" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Screen door on a class B"][/caption]

I was tempted to by this baby....but walked away emtpy handed.

[caption id="attachment_635" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Almost"][/caption]

Saturday, March 3, 2012

29 Days....Van won't Start

Errrr.  I go outside to start my van.  And nothing.  Nadda.  So, what do l do now?  I don't think l left my lights on all night.  Shit.  And l have such a full day today.  I was planning on going to the RV show, then visiting my Grandpa who's sick.  Shit, shit, shit.

My sister's not home to get a boost (not that she can since she has a new car and there's a chance it will fry her computer brain).  I never got around to buying that tickle charger yet. Or CAA (like AAA). Crap.

So my Macgyver brain starts firing.  Hey, l got the house battery in back.  I grab my tools and head to the back of the van to pull the house battery out.  Let's just say, access isn't all that easy.  There is a plastic pipe for the toilet in the way.  After some finagling l get it out.  Carry it up to the front and bring out my booster cables.  Hook it all up, hop in my van, turn the key in the ignition.  Nothing, Nadda. No tick, tick,tick (the sound that is usually made when a battery is dead).

I get out of the van, fiddle around with the cables, making sure they all have a good connection.  Hop back in, try the key again. Still nothing.  I pull the cables off of the van to test if the house battery has juice, and l get a spark.  Then l do the opposite and see if the engine battery has a spark.  It does.  It has lots of juice (big sparks)

Okay, so not my battery.  Must be my starter.  I go in search of my hammer to give the starter a whack.  Crawl under the van.  Hmmm..wheres the starter.  It's been years since l've seen one.  I kind of remember what it looks like.  I just can't find it.  Winds blowing sand in my face and eyes when l'm under the van, l can feel the neighbours are watching me from inside their homes.....

So l a friend.  He tells me where it should be, and back out l go.  Still can find the damn thing. I dont' have a manual on Fiona so l consult the next best thing.  The Internet. Today YouTube won the day for me.  I watched some guy for 2 mintues install his starter on his van. Got a good idea where it would be located....and.....

Voila, l found my starter.  Armed with the hammer l gave it a nice little tap, crawled back out, key in the ignition, and smiled as the engine started.  Whoot Whoot!!!  I did it.

I started out on my day (a few hours behind schedule), first to go buy a new starter, then l was going to head to the RV show and see my Grandpa, but the wind that was blowing the dirt in my eyes, was pushing me all over the road.  At times l felt like l was landing a plane in high winds when they "crab it in".  They come in at a angle to the runway, then at the last minute turn and land.  My van was catching the winds something fierce.

So l turned around and headed home.  RV show and Grandpa are now scheduled for tomorrow.  I grabbed the starter on the way home at a parts place, grabbed some groceries, it will be nice to cook the next two weeks instead of "hotel" fare.

I feel proud that l could solve my problem today.  Have l said how much l love the Internet?  Greatest invention EVER! (today at least)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Delay Due to...... Snow

Ugh, stuck in Milwaukee with a plane delay.  It doesn’t look that bad outside, it is snowing, it is Milwaukee, Wisconsin, they get snow, they get winter.  Obviously they get cancelled flights too.

My flight home  to Toronto is only delayed right now for an hour.  My fingers are crossed that it will get out tonight.  Hey, what the hell, I’m crossing  my toes  too.  Might even utter a prayer!!!

It started snowing on my way to the airport at 3pm, it’s now 6pm, and l guess there is a bit of accumulation.  Probably around 2 inches, of pretty white stuff.  It’s wet and sticking to the trees, and planes and runways.

In my short career with this company of mine of 9 months (yep, long enough) it is my first weather delay, and if l remember my first delay over 30 minutes.  Not bad, really.  Lost luggage only once, and even then it was returned to me 5 hours later.

I’m too cheap to pay for Bongo Wi-Fi, it’s $9.95 for 24 hours of access…… but l have a good book which will entertain me plenty. (obviously, this post is written and save to be posted when l get back to FREE Wi-Fi), and every penny saved l can spend on the van!


Okay, l'm home now in Toronto the wet.  The flight ended up being delayed for almost 2 hours, at least we got out.  There were many flights that were cancelled, so l am one of the lucky ones.  Yeah me!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Can't Sleep

It's late, or very early.  Depending what your perspective is.  It's 3:30 am, and l have lain in bed awake for 2 hours now.  Not really tossing and turning, but laying and thinking.

Thinking about how my life will change in the next little while.  It's only 30 days now until it happens.

I've been laying here designing the van changes in my head.  I have been quietly thinking about them since l purchased it back in December. Thing was, l could never really get my mind to focus on them for too long.  I guess because l wasn't sure what l wanted to do.  And l wanted the changes to happen organically over time.

I didn't want to jump into it, make changes, and then discover, that they just wouldn't work for what l needed.  Another thing was, how many changes do l make that won't negatively effect the vans value if l choose to sell it soon.  Do l really care?  I didn't spend that much on it, but l also don't want to throw that money away if l change my mind on my lifestyle.  On a sidebar; if l live in it for just one year, it will have paid for itself - so l'm not too worried.

How was l going to need my living space?  What could l live with and what could l live without.  I need a small office space in there, and just how was l going to get that to work.

How would l manage living in there with 2 cats?  It's not the space that is a concern when it comes to my cats, l know we will fit just fine.  It was more of, how was l going to get them to 'relax' in there.  They don't like cars, especially cars that move with them in it.  And l will be moving. It will be a bigger space then a car.  And it won't be a trip to the vet, which would freak any human also - getting poked and prodded.  I hope the adjustment period isn't too long for them in the van.

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

Beauty  truly is in the eye of the beholder.  I could be hyper-sensitive to all the commercials of the 'must have's' that are continually pounded into peoples heads, as l scale my life down to what l can pack into my van.

This morning on Good Morning America, while l was eating my breakfast at the Comfort Inn in Marshfield l could barely contain my shock that they were doing a feature story on nail polish that cost $5,000. a bottle, it contained actual GOLD in it.  No that price is not a typo,  $60. per nail, each time.

Who would even think of spending money on this?  That is a $720 manicure. WHAT???  Seriously??  And l  to even consider this news-worthy???

Then today on one of my appointments l was in a bike shop.  Not the motorized ones, but the peddle your ass off kind.  There were many for $1,000 and $2,000, l also saw one for $3,300.  That's almost as much as l paid for my van.  Okay, l could see if you were a professional bicycle rider, but the average Joe?

If just seems so....collapsible, this crazy mentality for excess.  As l said earlier, it's probably that l am just hypersensitive to it since l am running in the opposite direction.  Things that make you go......hmmmmmm.

31 Days until lift off

I'm expecting the next 31 days to be a bit of a roller coaster ride.  I will be going through exhileration at the thought of getting on the road, and a big case of the nerves of guessed it, getting on the road.

I have experienced this before, about 10 years ago when l took a trip in my car around the USA.  I was so excited about going, and then about a week before l was to leave l remember getting a big case fo the nerves.  I even called a friend of mine who is was a world traveller to much more exotic places for longer periods of time (Asia, South America both for a year at a time) with just a backpack.

She assured me that the nerves are normal.  That knowledge in itself was very comforting and helped me relax.  It ended up being a good trip, and a small trial run for this adventure/lifestyle.  I slept in reststops and Walmart parking lots along the way as well as Hostels.  I will enjoy the experience of travelling with my home much more, l am sure.

It might be a bit of a challenge getting all packed and organized (with small van modifications done) before the end of March, so l have allowed myself a week in April after my Palm Desert trip to apply myslef to wrapping up my current life.