Friday, June 29, 2012

Meet Houdini

Now this cat may not look like Houdini the famous magician,

but she has the same skills as the real Houdini.

I went to work tonight at 6pm.  Locked up the van with the cats in it.  Of course it is warm out so l had the windows open.  The driver and passenger side windows down about 3 inches.  The side door ones that open on a push out system,

like the window on the right.  And the two back windows also on the same push out idea.  I had the windows covered in with reflective so the temperature was comfortable in the van, with a very nice cross breeze happening.

When l came back to my van at 1am, Charlie the Houdini cat was outside, hanging out by my wheels, waiting for me.

I have no idea how long she was out there.  I'm glad no one picked her up as a stray.  Of course she is a bit skittish, so she wouldn't let anyone approach her l am sure.  I have a feeling she got out of the back windows by climbing on the toilet and squeezing out.  It must have been a sight to see.

What a cat.  Little bugger!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Head Lamp

 I have to say l really like this head lamp that l bought from Wal-Mart a few weeks ago.

It is battery operated, a LED light that has a high and low setting, straps comfortably to my head and when reading at night, sheds enough light on my book that l don't require my damn 1+ magnification glasses to read.

I found that my van house lights were only so bright, and l needed to wear glasses to see the written word clearly at night.

This headlamp goes where l go, it's pretty cool that l don't have to lug a flashlight around when l am out poking around with the van bumper carrier in the nighttime, it's attached to my head.  I may look like a nerd, but at least l can see!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Living Stationary

So even though l am living in my van, l am stationary. Sure l drive around to and from work, to and from groceries, to and from where l park for the night, but l haven't been doing any trips to see new things, so l am bored. 

I am finding that l am either needing to work more, start drinking or doing drugs just so l can conquer the monotony of everyday life. And that just seems wrong.

How do people do it? Work and home, then home and work. I guess that is why so many people drink and do drugs! lol

Monday, June 25, 2012


I wonder if l will ever get used to waking up in the morning and having to take a millisecond to remember/ figure out where l am.

My immediate surroundings are the same.  I am safe in my van, l have my little sink and stove to my left, my cosy pillows under me and my blanket (depending on the weather) wrapped around me.  It's the view outside the window that changes.

Sometimes it's the same view, just from a different angle.  It really is bizarre.  I used to wake up and look outside my bedroom window and check out the weather, was the sun shining, was it rainy?  Did l over sleep?  Did l have to go to work that day.

Now it's somewhat the same, however added to the mix is, do l have to move the van right away?  Where did l park last night?  Kind of funny and bizarre in it's own way.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Google Adsense

I used to have a blog over with wordpress over on HostGator.  I had over 50,000 reads on it over the 6 to 8 months that l wrote over there and l made a total of $4.52.

I moved my blog over to Blogger, and with only 880 reads on it l have matched that amount.  I'm starting to think that something wasn't quiet right with my other blog and with wordpress.  I have Adsense hooked up with both.

So what gives?  I am not paying anything for blogger to host my blog, whereas l was paying for HostGator to do the same job.

Is Google Adsense a better match with Blogger since they own it?

As some of you know, every time you click on the ads you see on this blog, and other blogs out in the in World Wide Web, the bloggers make a few pennies per click, it's not much, but if the traffic is high, you can make a few bucks for the effort you put in to up keeping the blog.

If anyone has the answer....please enlighten me.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Free Lunch

I guess my concerns about the cats not really liking the van life are not warranted.

After work tonight, l let Charlie (Tommy too) out to get some fresh air and she proceeded to catch a mouse, which she ate for lunch (or a midnight snack).  She's not one just to play with her food she completely devoured it.

If you look closely the mouse is in front of Charlie

Yummy, for a cat.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Coffee With A Friend

One of the good things about being back in my hometown, is meeting up with friends for a coffee! 

When l was on the road, l really missed that aspect when l travelled.  Now that l am back in town l can do it as much as l want.  Yeah!

The thunderstorms last night really cleared up the heatwave so l am picking up the kitties today.  Funny how only two days apart, l ended up missing them.  I'm not sure how much they missed the van, but l know they missed me.

Too Hot Baby

Well, l ended up leaving my cats at my sisters house until this heat wave passes.  Whew, it's hot.

The air is hot, the breeze is hot, it's just plain hot.  There is an extreme heat advisory in effect with temperatures reaching into the 115 range with the that means, no it's not a DRY is a most uncomfortable heat! :-)

Last night l was in the van by myself, no kitty cats.  I missed the little buggers.  Even though when l finish work l spend a couple of hours giving into their demands of "outside" time a the Lowes parking lot. 

I'll pick them up in a couple of days once the heat breaks.  They are saying only one more day of it.

It was warm for me last night, but nothing too bad.  Daytime is a different matter.  Today l work from noon until 9pm, so l will miss the day in the van (l'm okay with that since it will hot as hades).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fixed Some Things on Fiona

I took the opportunity to fix some things on Fiona today. 

The drivers side door handle had come loose, so l purchased some screws from my friendly neighbourhood Lowe's (l also have been squatting there in the evenings using their Wi-Fi and their great big field for my cats to run around).

My house battery hasn't been holding too big of a charge, not that l have run it flat since l do drive during the day.  Previously l had noticed that it needed to be topped up with water, so l bought some distilled water and opened the back to gain access to the battery.  As you can see, not the easiest access because of the box l built.  Only to discover that, when l poured the water in, once l reached a certain level, water came out.

When l moved the battery a while ago, l did notice some acid leaking out of it, so l guess it's time for a new one (how do l know it was acid?  My jeans are now holy!)  At least both the starting ( replaced two weeks ago) and the house will be the same age (almost) when l replace the back one in the next couple of days.  I hear Costco is the best place to buy a battery, so l will check out their prices.

I also took off the back rest of the sofa.  I have never liked the sofa, it was never wide enough to cuddle up on with a good book. And it was a pain in the ass to make up every morning and night.  Actually, that wasn't such a pain, but once it was made into the bed, it was hard to navigate around the van, so it was the very last thing to be done before bed.  And once it was put back into the sofa position, it was uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time. I was contemplating ripping out the whole thing and just putting a platform with a twin mattress on it. 

However recently I discovered that all l needed to do was undo four bolts and the whole back rest would come off and l would then have a platform 33 inches wide.  Smaller then a twin bed but enough for me.  Enough for me to sit on comfortably and read a book AND still be able to get around the van.  SWEET!!!

So now l have a day bed, l need to buy a couple more pillows, or at least upgrade the ones l have for more support.  I am so happy with this arrangement.

I have kept the backrest so if/when l need to replace the backrest l have the original.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Checked Into A Campground

I checked into a campground yesterday for the first time in 3 weeks.
I needed to dump my black tank and it would have cost $12.00 ( black tanks lasted 2 weeks), where as for $34.00 l could stay the night, be hooked up to electricity, free Wi-Fi (not that that is an issue, since it's pretty widely available in my area), run the Air-Conditioner (we are in the 100-120 degree range with the humidex) it's pretty sticky and energy zapping.

Run the Fridge on electric - freeze some bottles of water!

Having a real shower is not such a big deal since l belong to a gym now and l shower there daily, but being able to park and stay and not move the van from place to place is a big deal.

And mostly lets the cats run free for the day and do some house keeping.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Something I've noticed since moving back into the city is the crazy drivers and how some people expect others to pick up after them.

What l mean is, they think nothing of firing their garbage out of their car in a parking lot,driving down a highway, knowing, expecting someone to come and pick it up for them.  When, only 30 feet away, in the same parking lot, there is a garbage can waiting for their garbage.

Garbage cans are all around us, gas stations, outside of almost every store, there really is no need to throw your crap on the ground.  It looks bad, it's not good for the wildlife, and it's just not necessary.

I don't know about Men's restrooms, but in the Ladies, do you have to be so gross?  Let's all pretend that it's our home's bathroom that we are using, then there won't be a problem, right?   

Also, l simple "Please, or Thank You" goes a long way.

Okay....l'm climbing off of my soapbox.  Cheers!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cats In The Van

So as you all know, l have two cats, and they live with me in the van.  It has been warm and muggy the last couple of days, but windows open, it's not so bad for them.  How do l know this, well, l also spend time in there with them.

Just this past weekend at a shopping mall not far from me, a couple left their puppy in their locked car, and he died from heat exposure.  Where the windows opened?  I don't know.  I do know he didn't have any water, whereas my cats have water, food and bathroom facilities on board.

I'm not worried about them.  I try and make them as comfortable as possible (an me too), the windows are tinted, the ceiling high for air circulation.

I am worried about some concerned citizen calling animal control or the police if they happen to see my cats in the van. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Joined The GoodLife

This is the good life, change of scenery when you want, no rent to pay, however what l mean by l joined the GoodLife, is l join the GoodLife Gym.

Now that l know where l will be working it was time to arrange a place for a warm shower whenever l want one.  The gym is right across from my work.  How's that for convenience?  Pretty damn spiffy in my opinion.

It's a 24 hour gym, which is cool, but l really don't see me using it at any of those odd hours, but just in case, l have it if l need it.

And maybe as a side effect, l can loose the extra weight l gained when l was travelling by plane around North America for 9 months.  That would be a very nice bonus, indeed!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Just Move

One good thing about living in a Van.  If you don't like the secenery, just move.

I spent the day at a little parkette near where l used to live in a sticks and bricks house.  I used to live near Lake Simcoe.  It's a pretty big lake in Ontario, not as big as the great lakes, but big.

This was my view......

It looks nice and peaceful, but there was thunder in those skys.  It didn't last long and the storm was pretty far away as you can see in the photo below

Here's Charlie out and exploring and you can see Fiona in the background.

Price of admission.......

                          ya can't beat that!!!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Kindle vs. 25 cents

I know. l know. Kindles, Ipads, or whatever reader you choose to favor ARE the bomb.  However, can you beat the 25 cent books at yard sales and used library book sales? 

Let’s face it, l don’t hang onto my books, l don’t have room, nor do l usually want to read them again.  So why put out the hundred bucks or so for a reading contraption when if l time it right l can grab a plethora of books for a couple of bucks.

I was especially turned off when l found the books that l wanted to buy online for a kindle or whatnot MORE expensive then what l could buy them at Costco or Wal-Mart or any other book discounter (including Amazon).  That’s crazy and needs to change…..then maybe l will think about buying the latest gadget.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Employed - Again

Things are turning around again.  Yeah!

The fix for the Van was pretty easy.  And now this.  I just got word that l have been hired.  :-)

I will be working in the restaurant industry again, and I'm really okay with that.  The money is there (as a server) and so is the social-ness of it.  I really missed the social part of my job.  Having little snippets of conversations with people you are trying to sell something to, just didn't cut it.

Not to worry, l still plan on residing in my van.  And l still plan of travelling in the Van, just going to be in a permanent city for a bit.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fiona Was Low in Vitamin B (for Battery)

Fiona is running like a top now.  It was her battery.  Who would have thunk with all the signs l had that it would have been that.  If l had only known, l would have bought one and replaced it myself.

Her symptoms hit her hard and fast.  There was no reason to think it was her battery.  Nothing was left on from when l shut her off, to 4 hours later when l went to start her again.  There was no tick tick ticking when l tried to start her, the noise that you usually hear when a battery has run out of juice.

I would have thought it was the battery if the same symptoms didn’t happen 3 months ago after l just had the new starter installed.

The good thing is by having the mechanic do it, l know that my alternator is running fine.  It was checked by his handy dandy tools, and all systems are a GO.  Yeah!!!

They Are Looking Up Fiona's Skirt

Fiona the Van is up on the hoist at my friendly mechanics'.  It's so nice to know you are being looked after, isn't it.  By people you trust.

The tow truck came last night, and tried to boost me last night, for about 15 minutes.  The bad news, it didn't work.  The good news, it might be the battery that is the problem.  My battery would take enough juice to and least crank for a second.  Since it would crank, the starter is good.

This morning l was sitting in the parking lot in Fiona waiting for the shop to open, having a tea, reading a book, all while at home, how cool is that.

Anyways, the mechanic put one of those little booster packs on the battery (the kind that my friend J has been telling me l need for the past 3 years - l used to have one, but not for a while; obviously), and she started right up.  I explained to the mechanic that the tow truck driver tried boosting it last night and he said, it's not the first time that he has had the power pack boost when a jump from another vehicle won't work.  Good to know.

I'll keep you posted (pun intended)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Isn’t life all a matter of perspective?  Sure, l’m not happy about my van not starting (this time), it could be worse.  How you may wonder?

Well, l could be in the USA, far from my mechanic who l trust not to rip me off.

I could not have bought the CAA a couple of months ago and the tow job could cost me out of pocket.

Of course, it is always hard to adjust our perspective when we are in the thick of it.  Adjusting it sure beats being as stressed out as you may be looking at the “bad” side of the story.

I always say “everything happens for a reason”, let me tell you l have been looking long and hard for that silver lining lately.  Usually it doesn’t show itself until you have moved on and seen more pieces to your puzzle fall into place.

I’m hoping it is all worth it in the end.


Okay, nothing like having a dead van that won't start and a Full Black Tank.

I've always known l can hold my bladder for a long time if need be.  My friends and l call it "waitress bladder", since when you work in a restaurant (which we have done) sometimes there just isn't time to go 'relieve' yourself, so you hold and go.

I've done whole shifts where l don't even think of going to the bathroom until l have a minute to breathe.

Where am l going with this??  I think my beat my own personal best last night.  I held it for 13 hours.  It wasn't that bad, and l could have visited the facilities earlier if l needed to.  And then of course, there is always the "emergency" measures.....

Monday, June 4, 2012

Having Starter Issues Again

Dang it.....I'm having starter issues again. Even after a couple of love taps from my hammer.  I'm dead in the water. :-(

I'm going to get it towed tomorrow to the mechanics that originally did the work.  Thank God this didn't happen when l was in the States- so far from my mechanic.

I'm a wee bit frustrated at this new issue, and would really have like to have it work with the love tap, like before.

Oh, Well.  At least my house is with me!!!!!  And l'm at near a library, grocery stores and in a safe place to park....

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer Over?

What the heck happened to summer in the North?  Ever since I've come back to Canada the weather has been - lacking.

It's not terrible, but rain and coldish.  Okay, I'm exaggerating....the last couple of days have been like that, the others have been pretty darn good.  Let's just say, since June started, it's been crap!!!  I guess being so spoiled in May, l was hoping it would continue.

The cats are going van-crazy, yesterday they couldn't get out at all, torrential downpours kept us all cooped up all day. 

At least l haven't had to resort to heat yet!!!  :-)