Friday, November 30, 2012

Miss The Van Living

I miss living in my van, but l sure don't miss the cold (or the singed kitties!).

It's below freezing today, and snow is expected this afternoon which should make for a fun commute to work.  I don't mind driving in the snow, grew up doing it. Actually had my very first driving lesson in a snow storm when l was sweet sixteen.   It's all those other knuckle brain ding bats that l worry about.

Even yesterday, on dry roads the car behind me got rear ended.  I'm just glad it wasn't me.  Makes me think l should buy a sleeve for my trailer hitch so the hitch and frame will take the blow and not the body of Fiona.  I did unload the box on the back of Fiona about a month ago.  It's at a friends house in their garage.  I wasn't really using the stuff in there (water hoses, various tools, camp stuff), and didn't see any need for it over the winter.

Part of my living arrangement is moving my van from the driveway first thing in the morning when l wake up.  I was parking on the road, but got a ticket one night.  I don't think the neighbours like me parking on the road since my friend S lived here for 5 years and only got 2 tickets for parking on the street every night during that time.

So when l wake up between 6am and 7am l got out in the cold and move it.  I'm very glad that l get to wake up in a warm bed, then brace the cold.  I'm counting down the days until Spring and to be living back in my van (only 4 months).

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Death On Facebook

I went on a cruise about 10 years ago with some friends.  While travelling and partying on the big boat, you meet people.  Chances of meeting up with these people again is pretty slim, but you exchange e-mail addresses and become Facebook friends (not sure if it was around then).

The other day, l logged into Facebook and found out that one of the ladies l met on that cruise had passed away.  Her kids had gone on her Facebook account and announced her death.  I hadn't 'seen' this women in 10 years, however l felt l have known her the whole time.  I've seen pictures of her other excursions, commented on her posts, and seen her life through Facebook.

She had posted a picture of herself and kids just the day before her death.  I felt as though l had just seen her the other day and was surprisingly affected by her death.  If it wasn't for Facebook, l wouldn't have known this women through the years, and l wouldn't have known she died.

So as much as Facebook has it's glitches, it's a pretty amazing thing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Need A Snow Brush

It's the time of year in the Toronto area that it snows.  As l was walking to my van after work last night there was a light dusting of the white stuff on my windshield, that's when  l realized l don't have a snow brush.

I gave the ones l had away when l packed up my house back in April.

Being in Toronto this time of year was not my plan.  Funny how things change. 

Here l am living in a sticks and bricks place for the winter in Toronto, when l should have been further south.  Oh well, it is what it is.  Time to buy a snow brush.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I've Gone And Done It

What have l done?  Well, my lifestyle has influenced a friend of mines father. 

He's been a bit of a wanderlust kind of guy his whole life.  I've known S (my friend) for almost 14 years, and so by association, her father.  About 4 months ago l became a topic of conversation between S and her father, and she mentioned that l lived in my van, in a Walmart parking lot.

A light bulb went off for Mr. M.  And he started to contemplate that path for himself.  He hasn't had a very, shall we say, stable life (l'm am seeing similarities, don't you worry, l'm not that much in denial).

Yesterday S spoke with her father and he is purchasing a small 22 foot C class, and shall we say.....the rest is history (to be written)!

Happy Thanksgiving my American Friends.  I'm still battling my cold, but l am gaining the upper hand.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I've Caught A Cold

For almost 8 months l lived in my van, through all kinds of weather- hot as hades to pretty darn cold, and now that l am living in a house with heat and all the modern conviences and  l catch a cold!  Really?  Must be all those cooties.

I've got the sniffles and a soar throat.  I am in denial about it since l refuse to be sick however l do have a box of tissues nearby and am eating Fisherman Friends.  Maybe l should move back into the van to be healthy!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I've Noticed

One thing l've noticed with my cats is that they love to be petted again.  They will flop all over me and want their pats on a daily basis.

When l lived in the van it didn't seem to take place as much as it does now that l live in a sticks and bricks basement.  They still like their pats, but they didn't flop as much.  Maybe there just wasn't enough room.  Could be that!  LOL

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Still Enjoy The Van

Even though l am no longer living in my van, l do enjoy the comforts of having my old house with me whenever l travel to work and such. 

I am the type of person who will arrive early to work to chill and gather my thoughts as opposed to rushing into the parking lot and heading into work.

With the cats out of the van, and my bedding in the house, it's not as comfortable as it once was last week, but it's not that bad.

Tomorrow morning l have a class that l am taking in Toronto first thing in the morning, which means either l sit in traffic for an hour and a half, or leave early, beat traffic and curl up with a book in the parking lot of the building where l will take the class.  I'm sure you know which option l am taking!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Can't Deny It

I can't deny that it is very nice to wake up to a warm room.  Since l was hesitant to leave the furnace on over night because of the possibility of a dead house battery in the morning, l would wake up to a very cold van.

Since living in a sticks and bricks home again (although temporary) it is nice to wake up in a warm room even when it's at freezing outside.  Very nice, indeed!

The transition to the sticks and bricks has been smooth.  Of course when it's only a handful of loads to carry from one residence to another, it makes life really simple.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I am continually amazed at my brain and how much information it holds.  How if you worry on a problem it seems to keep running from you, but if you stick it in the back of your mind it works itself out.

Like yesterday.  I had a problem with the heat in the basement l just moved into.  As l was sitting at my computer - moved on to something else - l had an epiphany, that l had shut the vents earlier in the year. 

I have misplaced things in the past and have torn up my van (or home, or work place) looking for them to no avail, l then say, okay l need to remember where this or that is, then l  move on to something else taking my mind off of my problem and out of the blue the answer pops into my head. 

I'm sure you have experienced the same if only when you try to remember something and for the life of you can't....until two o'clock in the pops into your brain the actor that was in that movie....etc...etc...

I love that shit!  I find now l don't fret as much, l give it to my brain, or the universe to solve for me.  It makes my life much easier!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Who Would Have Thought?

Who would have thought that l would be cold last night sleeping in bed.  I have the same blankets on, okay, they are no longer doubled up because l am in a HEATED HOUSE.  I was chilly and kept my socks on all night. 

I think l will have to double up a blanket or two in the bed.  I don't want to buy a new blanket since what l have now is more then enough for the van life. 

Maybe l should bring Mr. Buddy in?  lol

EDIT;  As l was sitting at my computer my wonderful brain kicked in about an hour ago and reminded me that l had shut the vents in the summer when l stayed here for a couple of extremely hot days to kill the excessive air-conditioning that was blowing.  It's warmed up nicely now.  Duh!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Next Stage -For Now

The last couple of days have been very nice and mild.  The sun has shone which has made the daytime in the van oh, so very comfortable.  Which makes it hard to leave.  Yes, that's right.  To leave. 

I have decided to rent the basement of a friends house for the next couple of months.  Okay, until April.  I just couldn't risk the cats attraction to the Buddy heater anymore.  Or my guilt on leaving them in a cold van while l was at work.

I will still be keeping Fiona, and plan on moving back into her in April and continuing the van dwelling lifestyle.  And if l can make it down to the south next year come winter, beyond that.

So now l have more room then l know what to do with, the cats are enjoying the freedom to move around more then 80 square feet while l am not there to let them out.

I am sure l will go through sunshine with drawl living in the basement. Of course, day trips are not out of the question.  I can already see myself heading to work early to hang out in my van.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Moving Forward

Things are going well here up in Toronto.  There have been no more mishaps with the Buddy Heater and my four legged friends.  Tommy does sport a rather brown patch of fur amongst his grey coat.  A reminder of his "hot seat".

It's been a bit milder, and the sun has shone the last two days which makes the need for heat disappear.

I may have some announcement in the next day or so......just want to finalize before l do the "announcing".

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Singed Cat Smells The Same

So, last night l had Mr. Buddy going with the WINDOW OPEN, and Charley walks by Mr. Buddy a bit too close.  I see a puff of smoke and the smell of burnt hair.  I guess Mr. Buddy has a bit of a bite, and Charley went a  little too close.

Charley seemed none worse for wear.  Kept on about her business.

Then this morning l turned on the Mr. Buddy, who is on the floor and curl back up in bed until the chill is off.  Well, that was the plan anyways.  Instead l have this over whelming smell of burnt hair again.  Only this time it's Tommy.  I look over and he is sitting in front of Buddy, not even noticing  that his ass is on fire.  Okay - not on fire, but pretty freaking close!

I quickly shoo him away and turn off the heater.  I grab the big guy and look at him, his rump is a bit singed.  I brush off his crispy hair, it was just the top coat.  His undercoat is fine and not damaged.  I guess l now know that he has built up a fine thick coat for the cold weather.

I need to find a new spot for Mr. Buddy.  I think he will be put back up on the stove.  I was enjoying the warmth on the floor, but it is too dangerous for the kids. 

It's bad enough that they live in a van, l can't have them burnt bald.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Crack A Window

I don't think l mentioned in a prior blog post that l grabbed a few pieces of insulation from J and put them in black garbage bags and stuffed them in a couple of key places.  One in the side door step and two in the cab door steps.  I was having a bit of a breeze come through those area's until the insulation was put in.

It sealed it up nicely.  Maybe too nicely.

The net two days l was running Mr. Buddy to take the chill off.  When l decided to go to bed the first night l was feeling a bit nauseous.  I NEVER sleep with the heater running.

I didn't think too much off it since many people l know are getting sick this time of year, and they live in sticks and bricks and here l am in a cold van at night, healthy as a horse.

They next day l lit Mr Buddy again, started feeling nauseous again, went to the gym, felt better, then later that night, nauseous again.....and yes the heater was on again.  The light went off in my head (of course it seems simple in hind sight) l'm poisoning myself.

I've cracked a window and felt better ever since.  So when they say crack a window - it's important!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Clocks Back

One step closer to the 21st of December when the days start getting longer again.  At least this little milestone helps in the morning time with the sun (what sun?  Haven't seen any for so long - even though the weatherman has called for it.....nada, none, ziltch) rising an hour earlier. 

I have to admit l am wishing away winter...and l don't mind.  I know it will come faster then l think possible right now....but from where l am's still not quick enough.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Almost Every Problem Can Be Solved

I am learning more and more everyday that almost every problem can be solved.

On a small scale with me living in my van, l have fixed the heat issue nicely.  Not that it was too much of a problem, l did have heat, l had my furnace, but was worried about draining the battery if l only depended on it.  Then l bought the Buddy, and l had another source of heat, it might have been in those $5 a bottle green propane cylinders, however, l never had to worry about my battery supply.  Just my 1lb bottle supply, and Walmart was getting low on them (it's the off season and Sandys' warning made them have a run on them).

I'm now running the heat off a 20lb tank that l filled for $15.  It should last me 20 times as long right? For less then a 5th of the cost.Nice!  Problem solved.

Last night it got down to freezing, of course l don't sleep with the heat on.  I'm happy to report that l am still comfortable, l hope l can continue this way during the night.

Should l feel pangs of guilt for my cats?  They curl up with me at night on top of my covers - is that enough?  And there is no heat for them when l am at work for 5 hour stretches - should l worry?  They have blankets to sleep on and cozy little spots to curl up in.....I don't know if it would be safe to leave the heater (Mr. Buddy) on for them when l am working.  And l won't leave it on when l sleep at night, so is it any different?

I guess l still need to solve this problem. :-)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

First Flakes

Last night l saw the first flakes of the season.  They didn't stick, too much rain lately and the ground is a little too warm for that, yet.  But l know it's coming.

Today and for the next 5 days we are supposed to have sunshine, which will warm up the van nicely during the day, at night it will be all propane powered heat.  I also get to pick up my hoses for my Mr. Buddy (they finally came in).  Thank God.....just in the nick of time.

I have been using Buddy, just with those crazy expensive 1lb will be nice to move to the more economical 20lb tank.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I have been sleeping so well in my van.  I think the cool air coupled with the warm blankets relaxes me into a deep sleep where l have fantastic dreams.

What are they about?  Who knows, like always they are fleeting upon waking.  But the details l remember is amazing.  Who knew l was so creative?  It must be my mind that makes up these dreams, whose else could it be.

I only wish l was that creative with story lines when l was up right and on my laptop.  I would be a best selling author.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1st, Still No Rent

Well, chalk up one more month heading into rent free.  Will l make it through the whole month with out moving into some where?  It will be a wait and see.  I emptied the tanks yesterday for the last time this season (l can't wait until April when the dump stations open again, and they have only been closed a day!).

As l have mentioned in previous posts, l have been taking an investment course.  I hope to turn that into an income stream so l can leave the rat race and next time winter comes around to Toronto, l can be far south. 

What l have been tossing around in my mind is I may choose to rent an office so l can trade.  I find it a bit hard in my little van, l need a couple of monitors to pay attention to the charts, an Internet connection and electricity to run it all.  Before l become completely mobile with this venture, l would need solar power, extra battery bank and some way of mounting monitors in the van.

An office is a lot cheaper then an apartment in Toronto.  I have been looking at spending between $300 and $500 for the office, where as, apartments are in the $800 to $1200 range.  If l am extremely lucky, maybe l can find an office where on the really cold nights, l could sleep there.  It will depend on the set up.

I have read of another vandweller finding an office space where he did that.  And when l worked at the job where l travelled and sold advertising, one of the guys that worked in the office would sleep in the office overnight.  A bit strange since he would sleep under his desk, in a bull pen, and never shower or change clothes.

I would love a place where l could take the cats in with me.....