Monday, December 31, 2012

Keeping The Van

So l've come to a decision.  I'm going to keep the van.  It helped that l wrote the blog yesterday, defining my decisions to all of you, making it clear for me also.

As l was waiting for the guy to come and look at the van l was hoping that he wouldn't show up so l wouldn't be tempted by an offer.  He granted my wish and didn't show up to look at it.

I'm going to live in it one more summer, l felt that if l gave it up and moved to a sticks and bricks l would be mobile l will stay -- as soon as it's not freezing cold outside.  :-)

So, Happy New Year Everyone!!!!  The Best to You and Yours!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Not Sold On The Idea

So my van is up for sale, but l'm not sold on the idea of getting rid of it. I have had a few inquires and a guy is coming tomorrow morning to take a look at it.  Is it wrong that l may still not want to sell it?

I love my van, but l have been tossing around what the future holds for me.  In three days l will have two jobs, a day job and a night job.  The plan is to have these jobs for a couple of years and save mad money.  Will l be able to keep these two jobs for two years?  Knowing my track record, it may be a challenge.  I may get bored or more likely - pissed off!!  LOL

The whole reason l am thinking of selling the van is when the summer comes and time to move back in the van, l won't have much time in the van, and if it gets too hot, the cats will be miserable.  A big question is will l be miserable not living in my van and stuck in a sticks and bricks apartment.

A couple of reasons why l was thinking of selling the van was  the price of gas for using it as a daily driver.  One of you guys suggested that l buy a car and have both.  So if l got a beater for a couple grand, and then insure it, l wouldn't be saving anything and l might as well keep the van and put the whole idea of the cost of gas out of my mind and forget about it.

Another reason why l was thinking of selling the van is, l was thinking l would like something just a bit bigger in the future.  It is a bit tight with the cats and the kitty litter.  It's do-able, however Tommy tends to take over the passenger chair and that leaves the sofa/bed for me to lounge on.  And when it gets hot in the summer...... the poor kitties are hot in the van when l am not there.

I have been thinking of ripping out the ceiling air-conditioner, since to run it l have to be plugged in, and replace it with a fan-tastic vent which will run off the batteries and keep the van cooler with air circulating in the summer.

I've also toyed with the idea of renting a spot at the local campground for the summer.  I've also thought l could rent a spot for just the hotter months, and stay at wal-mart or such for the cooler spring and fall, again.

I've got a lot running through my mind and l am trying to sort it out.

When l really think of selling my van l experience a huge sense of sadness, which says alot, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

I woke up this morning to a very light dusting of snow.  I hear there are lots of places getting hit with Christmas snow,  however l am glad it's just a dusting for me.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

I'm going to be heading out soon for a kind of new family tradition (been 4 years now) of going down to a homeless shelter in Toronto and bringing coats and bag lunches for some people down on their luck.

Last night l baked cookies and made tuna sandwiches, my sister made egg sandwiches, the guys really appreciate them.  I know we should think of others less fortunate more often then just on Christmas, and l do help out the guy on the street corner, but Christmas is the big production.

I meet up with my cousins, distribute the loot, then we hit a McDonald's in the area for breakfast. 

We used to have a big family Christmas, but as all things, times change.  Our family has become very fractured.  It's kind of sad really, however it is what it is.

In the afternoon l will go visit my Grandpa in the hospital/retirement home.  My Aunt should be there, depending on the snow.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Tomorrow it will be one year since l have owned Fiona.  On December 23rd l registered her in my name at the licencing office.  The job that l bought her for is long gone, l'm no longer living in her, and last night as the winds and snow blew l was quite glad.  Brrrrrr.

I recently acquired another job.  I will be keeping my old one since it is just nights and weekends and the new one is Monday to Friday 9 to 5.  The plan is to stash the money away so l can get out of this rat race and back to the wandering lifestyle that l LOVE, and to never have to work again unless l choose too.

What l have been toying with, is do l let Fiona go?  I will probably be working for another two years.  Should l sell Fiona and buy a car that would be cheaper to run as a daily driver?  In the summer on those hot days l wouldn't have to worry about the cats melting in the heat, and in the winter, not have to worry about Tommy burning his ass again while l am working crazy hours.

I've kind of decided that l will put Fiona on Kijiji and Craigslist, and if she sells, it was meant to be.  If she doesn't l will look at my options come summer again and may move back into her and see how the cats fair.

I will be sad at her departure, if it happens, however l know when the time comes l will buy another home on wheels (it might be a wee bit bigger, so the three of us can spread out a bit more), but I will return to that lifestyle. 

I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Metaphor

A very talented mother brought in this cake for her daughter sweet 16th birthday last night at work.  It looked like a beautiful cake, with so many delicious surprises inside.

Unfortunately like so many things in our society today, too much time was spent on the outside and not on the inside.  The inside was a disappointment, very dry, not much flavor and needed some work.

I prefer my cake, just like my friends, with depth, intelligence, reflection and a little bit messy on the outside.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dark Cave

Well a few days of self imposed rest and relaxation -  ah, who's kidding who - living in a basement is a wee bit different then living in my sunshine filled van, let me tell you.   My laryngitis is getting better, however the voice will be put to the test again tonight when l go to work.

The last three days l have been holed up in  the basement that l live in and have become a hermit.  I usually become a hermit in the winter, the lack of sunshine and warmth really zap my energy and desire to go outside.  I have a feeling that this year might be worse.  And l am worried about that.  Sure l can make an effort to go outside and bundle up for the weather, however that task might be a bit insurmountable for me.

It doesn't help that my job is in the evenings and l am not forced to get out of bed early and shower and see some day light.  The job l had last year when l started this blog was good for me.  Why?  I was travelling all over North America, and even though l was in some cold parts of the country, there were new things to go see, so l usually got out and about.

Living in a cave for a couple of months might be a bit depressing for me.  I'm counting down the days until l can crawl out of the cave and back into the freedom of the van.  I will really have to come up with a plan for next winter.  There has got to be a way for me to get south!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Free Medical Advice

Since l live in Ontario, Canada and have OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) as all Ontario residents do, I took advantage of a service last night.

I can go to a Doctor or an emergency room for free because of OHIP.  The emergency room was out of the question.  I certainly wasn't having an emergency.  I was just a little concerned that l still have laryngitis.  My voice doesn't seem to be getting any better, but otherwise l feel fine.

Some people do choose to go to the emergency room for little illnesses, which is a problem because when you do end up being sick with an emergency, you now have a bigger wait at the emergency rooms because of these people.

Another choice was a visit to my Doctors office.  Which also seemed extreme since l really wasn't all that sick.  I have been resting my voice, mostly because l have been off for the last couple of days and haven't needed to talk all that much.  I just wanted a little bit of medical advice to know that what l have been doing is about all l can be doing.

So, in walks a new service that has been advertised on the radio and TV for over a year.  It's Tele-Health.  You place a phone call and speak to a nurse practitioner.  Tell them your symptoms and they advise you.  If they think it is worth while for you to go to a Doctor they would tell you to go, or recommend little things for you to do to ease your symptoms.

She said l could have this for two weeks. (great!)  And for me to keep doing what l have been doing, rest my voice, drink warm liquids, rest.  Advice all given to me from the comforts of my couch.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Family Christmas

I know it's a bit early but this evening l went to a family Christmas get-together.  The family is all from my fathers side who we never get to see.  Actually, l don't get to see much of my family anymore.  It seems to have shattered once my father passed away.

It was good seeing all my cousins (or most of them) from that side.  There were about 30 of us.  We spent about 4 hours talking, eating, drinking.

Plans were made to go with one cousin and her family to a homeless shelter for men on Christmas morning.  We have been doing it for 4 years now.  Her immediate family and my immediate family no longer have big Christmas shin-dings so we give back to the community that morning.

A number of years ago we inquired about going and serving a hot meal at the shelters but found out that you needed to apply months and months in advance and jump through hoops, so we struck out on our own.

We bring lunches and coats and blankets for the men.  I probably benefit more then the men who receive the items.

It was good to see everyone tonight.  My, how we have all changed.

Sick Again

I'm sick again.  And for someone who never gets sick......this is unbelievable.

It's nothing too bad, l just don't have a voice. My throat isn't soar, just a squeaky voice like a boy going though puberty.

Could it be living indoors - maybe the house has cooties.  Could it be that l am unhappy with my job situation.  Probably a nice mixture of both!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Trip To St. Jacobs, Ontario

Saturday (yes, l have been a wee bit tardy in my posts), some friends and l went on a little trip to St. Jacobs, Ontario.  It is a Mennonite community about an hour and a half to the north west of Toronto.
The weatherman said it was Freezing Fog, but it sure was pretty.
Our destination was the farmers market, Main St. for a wee bit of shopping (yes, l actually sucked it up and went shopping - OK, l went browsing while they shopped) and then off to a little Mennonite restaurants called Anna Mae's for a lunch of Broasted Chicken.
A cold way to travel this time of year.
The farmers market - beautiful flower bouquets for only $20.
At the farmers market l bought bagels & homemade fudge.  I sure wish we had such a great market closer to home.  In the summer the market is expanded outside and triple the size with all the local farmers selling their produce.
Farmers Market
Main St. was quite busy and I have to admit, it had some really cool shops.  They were very quaint and very pretty compared to Walmart.
Shop on Main St.
Snowman is cute, but l would prefer "Let it warm up" written on it.
Lunch was delicious (sorry, no pictures).  The broasted chicken was so moist and tender.  It's cooked in a pressure cooker, with a table spoon of oil, and it comes out like southern fried chicken.  The chicken is raised local, organically.  The prices were cheap under $7.00 for two pieces with two sides.
We finished it off with homemade carrot cake.  Yumm.
It was so good we bought a slab to take home from their bakery section.