Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

It will be a wet Halloween for all the trick or treaters tonight.  I will be working, not that any would come up to my van.  lol

My work called me last night at 8pm to remind me it was Halloween and to say l could dress up if l wanted to?  Really?  You tell me now?  Less then 24 hours before l have to be there?  How's that for planning ahead?

Maybe l can find a pirate patch at the dollar store. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Made It Through - Snug As A Bug

All safe and sound on this end.  It was a windy night and felt like someone was outside shaking the van all night long.  I got used to it and was only woken by the occasional really big gust that felt like l was the target vehicle in a riot where they are trying to tip it.

I’m happy to say despite the rain for the last week now – l haven’t seen sun since last Wednesday, or very very little of it, Fiona has kept me dry.  No leaking in that window above my bed as it has happened before.

I’ve checked the gutters/sill on it a couple of days ago and nothing was blocking it, it could have worked itself loose, or perhaps since it is winter (close anyways) and l actually LOCK that window now, it might have been just enough leverage (?) to seal the small leak l was experiencing before.  Who knows, l’m just happy the leaking has stopped.

I had a couple of calls last night of offers to come indoors to shelter from friends, but choose to stay in Fiona.  It really was comfortable with Mr. Buddy heating up the joint.  I was watching NetFlix on my laptop and not worrying about my battery life because Mr. Buddy was heating and not using battery power (yeah).

Earlier in the day, listening to the radio, the radioheads were telling people to be prepared for power outages, and such.  And here l was ready for them without even trying.  I had battery power, heat, food in the fridge (that runs on propane and won’t spoil), a stove to cook a hot meal on,  water to drink, a cell phone that l can charge without effort, and a toilet that will flush (at least for a day or two longer……might move onto kitty litter). 

Some people in Toronto have downed trees and no power, but it is nothing compared to NY and NJ.  I wish them luck in the clean up and hope the death tally doesn’t rise.

Monday, October 29, 2012

If You See This Van A Rockin.......

It's just Hurricane Sandy blowing her top.  Woo!  There are some mighty winds blowing here in Toronto, and the worst is yet to come.

The cats haven't ventured outside today.  Well, Charlie did for a New York minute and was right back in.  I'm just not sure if she blew back in or if it was her choice.  Either way the van door was tightly shut just behind her re-enter in the van-os-mere.

The rain has been off and on and really cold.  Bite to the bone cold.  Yuck!

Stay safe everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fired Up Buddy


I am still waiting for my hose, but with the cold weather back here again l stopped by WalMart after work tonight to grab one of those little propane bottles (the 1lb green ones) so l could use my Buddy Heater.  It's supposed to last 3 to 6 hours.  It was $4.64 a bottle, but at this point l don't care how much it's costs to be warm on a cold damp night.

It took a bit to get the pilot going, being new and all.  Once it was going it was fantastic.

I've got it on low now, don't worry l have an air supply coming in, and l am toasty warm in the van.  And I don't have in the back of my mind that l am burning through my battery power running my furnace.

Don't worry, l won't run it all night.  I rather enjoy sleeping with the cold fresh air while buried in my blankets.

Sandy Is Coming To Town

Hurricane Sandy is coming up to Toronto Monday/Tuesday.  Well, maybe not Hurricane Sandy but her equally miserable cousin Tropical Storm Sandy.  Those two can be a terror.

It will be a very wet, windy week with cool/cold temperatures.  The sun isn't forcasted to show its face at all for the next 5 days. 

I guess l will be seeing how well Fiona the van holds out with 90 KM wind driven rain.  I have started thinking about little alcoves that l could park in that might keep me out of the wind on Tuesday.

I know l do have a little leak on my big window above my bed.  It seems once the sill fills up it drips inside.  Not the end of the world, but you may understand why l don't want driving rain on that window!!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

47 Years Young

October 27th is my Birthday and has been for 47 years (imagine that).  I've taken the day off work, because l refuse to work on my birthday.  It's just my thing, My day - spent the way l want.

During the day l will be taking my investment class again, then the evening will be dinner with friends.  Pretty low key, just the way l like it.  The only thing that would make it better is if l was somewhere tropical. Maybe next year!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Best Of Both Worlds?

I came across this picture today on this website that advertises for homes for rent.  How cool is that?  A trailer inside ahome.  Now if only the whole home was on wheels.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Minor Heatwave

Last night it was a balmy 53 degrees.  Since it has gotten cold in this neck of the woods l have 3 blankets on my bed and l usually crawl under all three.  Last night however, in the middle of the night l woke up sweating and kicked one off.

When l lived in a house, l used to freeze at 67 degrees (the temp the house was kept at).  Funny how your body adjusts.
                                                             View for the afternoon

It's to warm up to 68 degrees today, and after the fog cleared this morning it was sunny skies all day.  I've got the van side door open that cats are coming and going as they please.  It's a beautiful day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Funny Story

Here is a funny story that l find a bit of humour in.  And no, Maria it's not about my toe lint.  As fascinating as that is.....  I'm just saying, it's pretty cool especially if you dig deep into the crevasses!

Tonight for the third time in the last week or so someone at work has miss heard or made a joke about something l said.  It all involves something like "l though you just said you live in your car".  I have chuckled to myself and said to them, "oh yeah, l do".

If they only knew!!!!  

Could It Be?

Could l be running out of things to say?

Living in my van now for almost 7 months, and mostly staying in the same city has me running out of things to say.  Or it could just be a slow week!!!

I'm still enjoying it, perhaps l am really getting settled in.  And here l thought l was settled in months ago, however every day my comfort expands. 

I'm hoping it's just a slow news week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rainy Tuesday

It's a rainy Tuesday as l slept late listening to the rain on the roof of the van while parked at the Walmart parking lot.  Not much going on, surfing the net, eating a van cooked meal, taking one day at a time.

I'm in my own little bubble, the world goes on around me as l "pause".

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A First For Me

I had a very busy and long night last night at work.  And this morning l had to get up early to go visit my Grandpa (who's in a nursing home), before l had to go do it all over again.

As you guys know, l live in my van.  And while l have a shower in the van, l have only every used the little thing once. Why?  Because it is so little. Occasionally l have showered at friends, but usually it is at the gym.

Today was a first for me.  I went to the gym JUST to shower.  There was no workout involved.  1) l was zonked.  And 2) l slept in a little longer then l should have.

It was busy at the gym,  l just put on my "l don't give a shit" hat and did my business and left. I might actually do it again in the future!

I'm Having A Hard Time

Getting up the gumption to go to work has been really hard for me.  My boss is a bit of a boob.  I work at a restaurant as a server.  I love the (usually) stress free aspect of the job.  I don't have to take work home with me, l don't have to hit targets.  It is what it is.

My boss the 'boob' made his money in a different business and decided that he was going to "play restaurant".  You know, kind of like how we played "store" when we were kids.  Just because we liked the idea of ringing up the cash register, didn't mean we should own a store.

This guy shouldn't  own a restaurant.  For all those people out there that think they want to own a bar or a restaurant, please, please, please work in one first and see what it's really like.  It's not all fun and games.

I think l need to find another job....or l might just get tempted to say F*** It and pack up and go.  Which would be OK with me, but goes against my plan.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Picked Up Buddy

I went for a drive today to pick up Mr. Buddy.  He had to be specially ordered and it took a few days to get in stock.  I got the call yesterday that he was in. 

So that was my project for today.  Go get Buddy.  Should have been easy right?  Yeah, that's what l thought.  So l punch in the address of where l have to pick it up on the GPS and it doesn't come up.  Luckily the business card had some kind of map with the RV shop location.  Now l just said "some kind".  It was a bit of an adventure to find the place and took me longer then l would have liked.

I ended up trying to call, but only got their answering machine (it was lunch hour).  Thank goodness that l travel with all my possessions with me so it was no problem to fire up my laptop and hook up to the Internet.  They had some half assed directions on their website.  I felt like Sherlock Holmes trying to find this place.

I'm not familiar with Orangeville, and the place was on the outskirts of the town.  And it was really a rinky dinky place.  I had only seen them at RV shows and had no idea what their sticks and bricks place looked like.

I thought it was a dealership.  I thought wrong.

So, l pull up and start looking for someone to let me buy my Buddy.  I walked in buildings calling "hello", no body showed up for about 10 minutes.  I was starting to steam.  First l was a bit prickly because l had a hard time finding their location.  Now l couldn't get service.  I was starting to think, l should have gone to the other place.

Finally when the guy comes to help me, l pay for my Buddy then remember that l needed a hose to connect a 20 pound tank to him.  I didn't preorder one because they said they had lots at the shop.  They didn't.  They had plenty of 5 foot ones, but not the 12foot ones that l wanted.

I'm starting to get even more prickly.  I don't want to have to drive back (it ended up being an hour and a half each way).  The guy begins to flip through his catalogue looking for the hose l want.  Yep, he's got to order it in.  Half way through the process of ordering it, another customer comes in and he drops me like a hot potato, leaving me at the counter. 

I gave up waiting for him after 5 minutes.  I took my Buddy (yes, l had already paid for him) and left.  I don't plan on going back there, l'll get the hose somewhere else.

So l have Buddy sitting on the floor right now, and l can't use him.  At least l'm no longer prickly!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1 Year Anniversary

It is my 1 year anniversary in blog writing.  Wow, who would have thought that l would have continued writing for a whole year. Not me!  I'm quiet proud of myself.  Who knew that l had so much to say!  Or not.

I had a different blog on blogger for a month, then moved over to a wordpress site that was (l've moved those posts over to this site).  I was travelling by plane for the first 6 months to parts in Canada and the USA, and it has been 7 months living in my van now.

While the last 5 months or so l have been stationary in Toronto.  I certainly enjoy living in my van more then travelling by plane and living in hotels.  I did like seeing the different sights.  Living in a hotel out of a suitcase - not so much.  Although it did teach me that l don't really need all that "stuff" that most people have.

Now l'm aiming for year 2.  To all the people that read my blog, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I have been contemplating a couple of choices the last couple of days.  I'm not sure which way to turn, so l am just letting them paths percolate in the back of my mind.

They all have to do with my living arrangements.  As you know l live in my van.  And l really like living in my van.

Here are the choices (so far);

1. Stay in the van all winter, l will have my Mr. Buddy heater on Thursday, so l should be comfortable. Might have some nights to deal with moving when plow trucks come through the parking lots to clear big snowfalls (if they happen)

2. Think of moving to a friends for a couple of months to get through the harshness of Toronto's winters( l will be paying rent there), keep the van and move back in next spring, rinse - repeat.

3. Take advantage of  an offer l'm going to see about tomorrow, which is, rent a place with reduced rent by being their maid - one day a week.  I don't know all the details yet, it would be a one bedroom apartment.  They have rented the apartment for $1500 a month in the past, so what would be reduced?  Details tomorrow. 

The sticky part about number 3 is, it's not just for short term.  So that would possibly involve selling my van, since the expense of gas and l'm sure these people wouldn't want an older camper van in their driveway of their million plus home.

If l pick number 3, it would mean a big change or me, not one l'm sure l want to make.  I like living in my van.  Sure it would be easier to roll out of bed and head to the shower rather then going to the gym.  I would still need a vehicle, so selling the van isn't going to get me that much ahead.

I really want to save money now, so l can retire early.  Living in my van helps that.  Of course, once retired, l will travel by van/RV.  My time line on the retirement is 5 years.

I'm still going to percolate this, but if you guys want to chime in......go ahead.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Buying A Buddy

Yep, l've gotta buy some friends to keep me warm.  And make sure you call him Mister!

I'm going to buy a Mr. Buddy heater to warm the van on cold nights.  Others have recommended it on their blogs.  The great thing about Mr. Buddy is he doesn't require battery power to heat.  My furnace is a battery power hog (so l'm told), not that l have run my battery dry (yet), but l certainly don't want to do it when it's -20 out.

The candles are doing well for now, and l am using the furnace too.  The other night it got down to below freezing.....burrrrr.  When l'm sleeping all wrapped up, the cold doesn't bother me, l just can't be sleeping all day and night!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Are Your Thoughts?

Tonight the temperature is dipping down low, close to freezing.  The candle is doing a great job (l think l will buy one or two more to double and triple the heat), however, there is a wind that is blowing something fierce.  And luck would have it, my van is hole-y, almost to the point of being blessed by the Pope.

I have big drafts coming in so l have strung up a blanket on my side doors to block the breeze and doubled up the curtain dividing the cab from living space (all that has helped).

Do you think if l put on that plastic sheeting that people put on their older home windows it would work?  You know the kind that you shrink with a blow dryer?

I'm looking for suggestions here, since you all have been so helpful in the past.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Setting The Mood In The Van

This was last nights scene.  I purchased a scented candle (they don't sell big non-scented candles at my wal-mart) to help heat the van.  This way as l was surfing the Internet l wasn't running my furnace It wasn't too cold out - only 51 degrees dropping to 45 degrees overnight.

I have to chuckle when l say that it's not too cold my previous life l would have been miserably cold, cursing it.  Now it's not so bad.  Of course l like to flick on the heater before l get out of bed and get dressed in the morning.  But it ain't that bad.  I sleep like a rock all snuggled up under my blankets with a cat or two on top of me.

So, with Suz suggestion l purchased a candle, and l have to say l love the added ambiance.  I've put it in the sink so the cats don't knock it by accident (not that they would).

Just another exciting day of my life in the van.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Waiting for December 21st

I know what you are thinking, but it has nothing to do with the Mayan Calendar, it has to do with daylight.

Man, l miss my 16 hours of daylight.  And usually on December 21st (could be the 20th to 22nd) it is the shortest day of the year...which means..... it's only gets better from there.

I love having a couple of hours of daylight dancing in the sky before l open my eyes, and of course, having daylight until 9:30pm is fantastic. 

Have l mentioned before l am a 'summer' girl?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Canadian Thanksgiving

Today is the Canadian Thanksgiving.  Okay, really it is tomorrow, but l celebrated it today with some friends and a big dead bird.  It was delicious!  Poor bird.

It was a very nice time visiting the friends, unfortunately l had to leave early to head to work.  Ah, the life of the working class.

You can certainly feel the change of seasons now.  Much colder in the nights, and never warming up enough in the day.  I've turned on the heater in the van, sparingly.  In the morning to get out of bed, and a bit at night as l relax after work.  I'm afraid the battery might die, so l use it occasionally. 

I need to buy that battery monitor, but can't seem to find one that plugs in the lighter/12V socket.  I will need to order one on Amazon l think.  I'm also contemplating buying a catalytic heater so l won't have the problem of running down the battery. 

There is an RV show this weekend coming up in Toronto, so l will see if l can buy either of the above mentioned on the weekend.

I'm also experiencing some guilt for leaving the cats in the van all day when l am not around with them, especially if it gets colder.  I know they have those nice fur coats but the babies haven't been subjected to cold weather outdoors before.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Secure, Secure, Secure

The trick with living in an RV, Van, or anything to secure your things BEFORE you take off.

My heart kathunked with my laptop today when l took a corner and my laptop slid to the floor from the stove top where l had forgotten it, l was half asleep, when l moved my van this morning on my way to the gym.

As soon as l stopped driving l fired it up, and to my relief, it was still working.  Crisis averted!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Halloween Candy & Hair Cuts

I caved today and it's only the 4th of October.  I bought a package of those little mini chocolate bars.  You know the kind that come out every Halloween.  It was just the 30 pack, but let's just's not a 30 pack anymore, and l'm on a sugar high.

I also got my hair cut today. Just above my shoulders.  Don't you just love when someone washes your hair, l know l do.  Almost as good as someone rubbing your feet.

Although, l think the kid beside me at the time was thoroughly traumatized with the experience today.  Poor guy.  The whole time no one took the time to explain what was going to happen, and that it wouldn't hurt.  They just man handled him into cutting his hair with the sheers, and got a lolly pop at the end.

Hey....l didn't get no lolly pop.....wait oh yeah...l got those 30 chocolate bars......

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's The Little Things

Whoot Whoot!  I just found out that the place where l go and dump my tanks is open until November 1st.  That is a whole 15 days longer then l thought they were.

I will have three  four options after November 1st for dumping my black tank in the van.

1. Find another place to dump the tanks.....I know there is one 45 minutes from here, of course if l can avoid travelling that far to dump, that would be great.  And if they don't freeze solid between dumps!

2. Get a bucket and utilize the kitty litter l have on board already.  I would use establishments toilets more during this time, but for the middle of the night would be the kitty litter.

3. Get a short term rental, or house sit.

4.  Just don't pee

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One Less Mouse In This World

Here's how it went down.  It's a beautiful morning, the sun is shining, l'm sitting in the parking lot of the Courtyard Marriott, using their wi-fi signal for some Internet surfing.  The van door is open so the Kitties can come and go as they please to this grassy area with trees that l am parked beside.

I'm totally distracted and don't notice Charlie come into the van.  All of a sudden l hear a very uncharacteristic growling.  I look up and Tommy is trying to get close to Charlie (she is by the toilet in the rear)....who happens to have brought a Mouse into the van.  It was still alive, if only for a few minutes. 

Charlie was having none of the "sharing" that Tommy wanted.  She quickly took the mouse back outside (Yeah for me!) and devoured that sucker in under five minutes.  It's been a while since she has caught a mouse or a bird, so it must have been a real treat for her.

I'm happy the carnage happened outside.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rent Cheque - NO WAY - Not This Month, Again

Well, October is here and once again, l am rent free. That makes 6 months of this rent free living for me. 

It's getting cooler, however, l am hoping to stay in the van longer.  How much longer l don't know.  I will take it one day at a time.

I am amazed at how my body has adjusted to the cooler temperatures.  The nights have been bouncing around the 38 to 50 degrees area and l have been okay.  I am amazed that l don't feel as cold as l used to feel in a sticks and bricks home where the temperature was kept at 66 degrees.

In the middle of the night when l get up to use the 'facilities', me or my feet don't freeze.  After work l sit in the van on my laptop or reading, of course l have a sweatshirt on, but l always seemed to have that on in a sticks and bricks house as soon as cooler temperatures hit. On the warmer nights (50 degrees) l even have the door still open for the cats to come and go.