Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Food for thought

I’ve done a little research folks. I’ve been looking at survival sites for a couple of years now. What I have found interesting is the propensity for the favor of the Mormon sites. Oh sure, they are great for food storage advice. People need to understand that there is a reason behind that. It is not because they are just smart, good natured, and think it’s a good idea. It’s manly because they are just sure they are going to be the majority of people left after the apocalypse, or whatever you want to call it. Geeks, think Borg…
This is not a good thing. Look it up. Unless you want to assimilate, you may be right in keeping and stock piling your guns. And you thought the Government was after you...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunshine and some rain!
The sun has finally come out and is trying to melt the snow. Yea!
Christmas is over. It’s time to get back to thinking about what’s ahead. I find myself in a bit of a conundrum. I want to get serious about collecting and stock piling food, but I also have this constant nagging thought in my head. We are going to have to move sometime in the near future. Everyday I check the mail expecting there to be a letter giving us some number of days to get out of here. I’ve described our situation before and I’m not going to get into it again. Anyway, we’re going to be moving. I don’t know if it will be the big move to Texas, or if we’ll just move to a local RV park. Either way, we are not going to want to haul a bunch of extra stuff. I guess I just answered my own question. Bummer.
Now, I’m thinking we should focus efforts (and $) on the pod and the tow vehicle. Here’s what I think we’re looking at in that area.
First and foremost , put the suburban back together.
Tires for both
2 new batteries for the pod
Check and fill propane tanks
I need to sell some stuff to lighten the load as well as create another influx of cash for the move and the afore mentioned expenses. I really don’t care for trying to sell stuff on E-Bay, just haven‘t had much luck. Craig’s list isn’t much fun around here either. People in our area don’t want to pay anything for your crap, but want a butt load for theirs. I guess I’ll just have to change my attitude, and be as hard nosed as they are. Maybe, just maybe people are getting in the mood to buy used stuff. We’ll see. I’ve considered selling stuff on a new blog. I’m still working on that idea. Any suggestions on that idea would be great. Put them in the comments or send me an e-mail.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Chiristmas

Merry Christmas! We made it!
I cooked a turkey last night. I don't normally eat meat, but Randy got a free turkey last week at the company Christmas party. It was my second time cooking a turkey. I'm telling you the only was to do it is in one of those cooking bags. I even made giblet gravy. It was my first time on that one. There are only two of us, so we've got left overs to last us a couple of weeks. Anyway, that was about all of our excitement yesterday, other than a little more snow.

Oh yeah, Randy's friend down in Hood River, WA gave Randy some brilliant advice. He suggested that maybe we should start stock piling food. Hmm... No, that just sounds crazy! I'm kidding. Randy let him know we had already started doing that. We need to keep stocking up though. I've been whittling away on the beans, rice, and a few other things. On that note, we really need to get appropriate storage containers. I've looked around a little locally with not much luck. Dog and cat food containers don't really excite me. I guess I'll have to get some on line.

Well, have a good Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh great, more snow...

Ok, we don’t have it as bad as Busted. However, we were without water today. Randy went back to work this morning. So, I had to wait for him to get home and help me figure out where the frozen spot was. He took off from work a little early and we found it. He had a pretty good idea of where it might be. Long, wet, dirty story short, we can flush the toilet, and I can wash dishes and clothes! We’ve got a pretty good supply of drinking water, Three 5 gallon jugs. Anyway, time to take my wet shoes off and change my socks. My feet are wet and cold!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cabin Fever!
It has been just too damn cold to do anything outside. So much for getting the heads back in the truck. I've been writing stuff for this blog, but I didn't put it out there and now it's out dated. Maybe I should just write here, and post like everybody else seems to. Anyway, I wish I could say that we've been working on the truck. Although, I can say that we found a good use for the snow...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holy crap! We got snow! yippee…?
And it’s friggin’ cold! Down in the teens during the day, single digits at night! It’s about the same as Busted knuckles. Romeo, our native Texan cat, is pissed! He likes to be outside and this weather is just not working for him. So, he’s in and out, and that’s not working for Randy and me. The other cats are smart enough to stay inside and only go out if necessary. We’ve got Thomas, the neighborhood cat, set up pretty sweet. He’s got an old couch cushion, w/ a heating pad, and an outside chair cushion on top of that. We also rigged up a little shelter for him with an old foldable lawn chair. It must be the best digs in the neighborhood, because he was in it all day. (He won’t come in the house and we don’t have a garage.) Warm, dry, shelter from the snow, and free food, now that’s surviving in style! Spoiled bastard (relatively).

This is Thomas yesterday afternoon. He bailed when it got dark. He must have another spot more secure with a wind block.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Befores

This is the living area before.

The dinette before.
As you can see, by taking all of it out we gained quite a bit of space. We, however, lost most of our storage space. You might think that's bad. But, with more storage space comes more stuff, and more weight. I've mentioned weight before. It's a big deal. We also did not need the extra sleeping space. The little doors that open up from the outside can now be used as cat doors. We will most likely get a cage or something that they can open up to. That way the cats can go outside somewhat safely if we have to stop somewhere for a while(ie: an rv park). That plan is still in the idea stage. The openings are too small for the dog much less humans. So, no worry there. It will also be pretty easy to seal them up if we want to later.
The suburban heads are in the shop. We should get them back next week, and get started putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Just one more exciting part of the adventure!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I know I promised pictures of the pod renovation some time ago (Oct.?). I kept waiting because I wanted to make everything perfect. I decided that was a dumb idea. I'm always changing stuff around, so I decided to just take some pics and post them.

This is the new pseudo couch with most of what is left of our christmas stuff.

Dining/sitting area with foldable table. That's a little heater on the floor.

Here with the half fold.

If you look real close you might see the pvc pipe curtain rods. We haven't fixed that yet. You get the idea though, that we were going for light weight. This is also stuff we can take out later when a cabin or something gets built. The table folds up all the way, but I figured that was enough of the dining area. The chairs were on sale(closeout), plus another 50% off for a little damage. They came out cheaper, lighter, more comfy,and nicer than foldable chairs we had looked at. The cushions were an Overstock.com puchase. Set of four for less than the cost two. So we've extra in case of spills. We didn't do so great on the couch thingy(double papazan sp?). But, we couldn't find anything light weight enough in a reasonble price range. Color was also a challenge for us, and limited our choices. I'll bring in some pillows or something to pull it all together, eventually. But, for now, that's what we've got. If it didn't take forever to upload pictures from our crappy dial up, I'd post before and afters. The befores are somewhere on a previous post. Check 'em out.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Productive day?

Wanna know what I did today? Sure you do. We’re all voyeurs in our own little ways. That’s why we blog, and that’s why we read blogs. That being said…(not necessary, I know.)
My day started off productive. I once again started with the second bedroom full of crap. It is mainly full of stuff to be sold and packing materials. Ahh, the best laid plans and such. It’s much easier to buy on the internet than sell. So anyway, I found myself gleaning through the cluster of crap, throwing out what wasn’t even worth giving away. I don’t really know how it manage to stay in there the first few times I went through it. Then I find yet another batch of video tapes I have to go through. Oh joy of joys. I get to watch Randy’s brother in law’s attempts at catching nature spirits on video tape. Hey now, I have no problem with nature spirits, fairies and the like. What I have a problem with is watching his videos of a whole bunch of nothing. Ok, I could go on and on about that, but I’m not. I also got the joy of watching more than one video my mother left with us of her husband singing country songs, via karaoke. Everybody wants to be superstar in one way or the other. Ya’ll know as well as I do, most of the real superstars are the ones we don’t hear about. So, there's still stuff I’ve got to go through. Most of it really is junk. I’ll figure out what to do with the rest.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Don’t judge me too harshly.

We joined the sheeple Friday, for some adventures in shopping. Randy had never done it before, and I thought he should experience it at least once (heh, heh, heh). We got up at 4:30 am and made it to our first store around 5:20. It opened at 5:00. We left the house with a plan. There were about 3 things we were looking for. Shopko was our first stop. This store is usually dead. Not Friday! It was packed! The check out lines snaked around to almost the back of the store. The stuff we were looking for was gone and the other things we might get (socks, t-shirts…) weren’t worth waiting in the lines. We had an hour to kill before the next store opened, so we stopped to get some breakfast. The next store was Office Max. No door busters there. Everything they had was also available on-line at the same price. So, it was much calmer. Remember, we were really just doing this for fun. (Seriously sick people, we are.) Since we were done, we checked out Target. Again looking for t-shirts and socks. It was slim pickins by the time we got there, and again not worth standing in the lines. The main thing that I noticed was that the prices really weren’t that great. Even the clearance stuff was only 50% off. Target has better sales throughout the year. I remember times when these sales were much better, with huge discounts. It was pretty disappointing. I kept threatening Randy with heading over to the mall, but that was just asking to much. Anyway, a fun time was had by all. And because we got up so early, we got a few things done around the house when we got home.

Monday, November 24, 2008

We got the other head off Saturday. Randy is going to take them in tomorrow. We're not in that big a hurry. We just need to get it done before it gets too icy. Only one busted knuckle. And that was on the first day. It should be good and calloused by the time we put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
We cleaned up in the shop. I got sick of reading doom and gloom, and political crap, and added some gardening, cooking, and lighter blogs to my list of reading. I still read some of the ones I removed. I just make it harder on myself to get them. We''ll see what happens next...

Friday, November 21, 2008


One side off! It was a bitch. Next is the other side. I'm sure it will be just as much fun. Then, Randy goes back to work! He'll take the heads to be reconditioned next week. And then, we get to put it all back together! Oh wait, after that, we get to put the sway control and weight distribution crap on the trailer. If we're lucky it will be freezing f*cking cold with sleet and wind by then.
Sorry for my foul mood. I pretty tired.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

As I had mentioned, Randy has been off the last few days. We actually started on getting the heads off the Suburban. This is not a job for the faint of heart. I had no idea what a serious pain in the ass this was going to be. I’ve taken my usual position as tool runner (I’m even getting better at it), medic, etc. This time however, I decided to bag and tag bolts and removed parts. I’ve also been writing down each step on a legal pad. I’m hoping this will make it faster and easier to put this jigsaw back together again. I’ve been taking a few pictures as well. And, of course, I’m going to share…

I don't know if you can see it in this picture, but there is this black carbon sludge in the oil galley. (I know it's there twice. I couldn't figure out how to get the small one off without starting over.)

And now for the money shot...

I'm also resident photographer, so no pics of me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Hell of a day!

It just keeps getting better and better. I didn’t mention why exactly I didn’t care for the nosey neighbors. I will now. This morning the meter reader was down the street on her way to our house. I put Ruby on a leash, opened the gate, and walked her out side the fence on the edge of the road. She likes to smell all the smells outside of her yard. Plus, we’d be out of the meter reader’s way. Seemed like a good idea at time. Before I could do anything, the neighbor’s two dogs (lab mix & ridgeback mix) were on top of us. Although I had seen them out earlier, I also heard the neighbor whistle to call them back. I didn‘t see them when we went out to wait for the meter reader. So, I thought it would be fine. Apparently, they had been following her while she made her rounds. Anyway, there I am in the damn street spinning around with Ruby on a leash and these two big fucking dogs growling and biting at her. During this fiasco, I’m forced to stick my hand in the middle and let Ruby off the leash so she could at least run away. I did, and she did exactly what I thought she would and ran back into her yard. These two pathetic dogs didn’t care about Ruby anymore. All they wanted was her out of the way so they could have the human’s attention all to themselves. So, as calmly as I could, I walked the two dogs back to their home and close the gate, which had been left wide open. One might ask why I didn’t knock on the door and speak to the neighbor about the dogs being out once again. There are two reasons for that. Number one, I didn’t want to go to jail for beating the shit out of the stupid, pill popping, pathological liar, bitch. The other? That’s how we ended up with Ruby in the first place. Ruby’s story is an interesting one. I should tell it sometime. This whole little street has many interesting stories. I fondly refer to this area as the “Hell mouth.” Yes, I got that from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it seems fitting.
Note: Although, the ridgeback did get purchase on her back end, Ruby is fine. Maybe a little bruised on the behind and ego, but no broken skin.

If that wasn’t enough, it was really windy today. The tarp came loose on the house side. So, I say to hell with it. I’m not going to waste another one of Randy’s days off to jack with a stupid tarp. Randy is going to be off next week. We’ll just hope for decent weather. I guess plan C is to just get the damn thing (heads off)done, so we can be ready to get the hell out of the hell mouth!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Plan B

It's a crappy picture because the truck was in the way. We haven't moved it under the tarp yet. We've had a pretty good rain, and it went pretty well. No real wind yet. It's actually not a tarp. It's some leftover construction stuff that goes on the walls when they build houses. (from Randy's former life) He knows what it's really called, but he's at work right now. (I wish I had remembered we had it before we bought the big tarp.) It's got a bear leaning on a house. So, it's cute and obnoxious. I've gotten to where I enjoy annoying the neighbors. It's really not as obnoxious as the big blue one. And, you can't see the bears from the road, but the nosey next door neighbors can! Plus, it blocks their view. Now we can work without as much of an audience and with some protection from rain and snow. The hard part is going to be getting Randy out there to get the heads off. He just loves working on cars. I don't blame him. He'll be glad though, when it starts getting icy on the roads.

Friday, November 7, 2008

On to plan B… The day after we put the big tarp up we had a light rain test that barely passed. The wind test did not go well. The tarp was just too big to pull and secure tight enough. So, we took it back down. We’ll use it for something else. That was a lot of work just to get some pictures of our cats. We’ve had nothing but rain or wind since. Winter around here is pretty yucky. Never fear! We’ve got another plan! We better get something done quick, because the really bad weather is coming. I’m hoping to get to it the next couple of days. Randy will be off. I’ll get the pics up as soon as we get plan B done.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

One last inspection by the "big dog" Ruby.

Good enough. Bring in the truck.

That's it? I liked it better on the ground.

Now, I know it's not much, but it works for now. That is, as long as it doesn't rain too hard. We had a little rain last night. It's definitely not going to hold snow. We may work on it a little more. The thing to remember is that it's just temporary. If we don't damage it too much, I'd like to be able to use it for shade over the escape pod when it gets warm again. Anyway, Randy's going to have to take some more time off so we can get the heads off and take them in to be worked on. I don't quite get it yet. I'm sure I will when he starts on it. I'm just the tool runner, light holder, and resident medic on these jobs.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

If you remember, one of our goals was to do the heads on the Suburban. So, Randy took off a couple of days, giving him a four day weekend. Sure, that would have given us enough time to get that done. However, there was some prep work to be done beforehand. In our part of Washington winter time mainly gives us rain, wind, and a little snow. So, we needed some sheltered area to do some work. Not an easy task on a small budget. The inspectors showed up while we were trying to figure out our plan of action with this huge tarp.

They did a very thorough inspection. So much so, they had to send one in and look for the lost crew member.

Don't worry! I got her!

Geeze! These guys worry way too much! Looks good to me. Carry on.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We did it!

We voted! Ok, it's not that exciting. Wanna know who we voted for??? Too bad. I'm not telling. I'll sure be glad when this whole thing is over and done with. I've always been told that you don't discuss politics or religion in polite society. It makes sense to me. You're not going to convince someone to change their mind on either one, in most cases. I can see how it's fun for some folks. It can be an entertaining brain exercise. Anyway, it's over for us. We did our part and voted.
Now it's time to move on. What's next for us? I don't know. I'll figure something out. There's plenty to do around here. I suppose I should pick something of the list and get to it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Well, I'll be!!!

Isn't that somethin'! It's working as good as new now. Thanks for the mojo Busted!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


This is really getting on my nerves. The stupid "update template" button doesn't come up. So, I still have no layout tab. I can change some stuff, but now I have to refer to my written list of blogs I read, and then type them in to get to them. I don't know what they were thinking. If you're going to make an upgrade for everyone, make it workable for everyone! It's not just me. I'm seeing the same question asked on the help forums with no real answer. The only band aid I've seen is some complicated computer language thing that you have to copy and paste somewhere. I picked this "blogger" thing because it seemed easy and user friendly. It's starting to look like I'm going to have to start over with a whole new blog. I've tested it. It looks user friendly enough. I just didn't want to have to start all over again. I'm still hoping, but hope hasn't been my friend lately.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


The Honda is up and running again! It was the igniter. A little cheaper fix than a new computer.
Oh, that was after being awakened at 8:00 am by the police rousting some jackass behind us, banging on doors and such. We also had a lovely encounter with our neighbors across the street while Randy was working on the car. They were playing with a pump pellet gun. And joy of joys, right down their driveway in our direction. Man, I love this place! So, I say to hell with it. We'll sell our stuff for a few bucks, save our pennies, and get the hell out of Dodge. That's really been the plan all along. We fought the good fight. We didn't know the state was going to come down to $15,000. If we did, we would have done things a little differently. The real shame is that my mom and her husband chose not to help us get a little head start. That's alright, we'll keep on keeping on. That's what survival is all about.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The problems I'm running into with making changes on the blog are on Blogger's side. They wanted me to upgrade. Then I lost the layout button and all of my links and blog list. I'm still working on it. I don't do computer language, so I may just have to wait on them to fix it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Under construction

I'm working on some changes on the blog.

Monday, October 6, 2008


To avoid finding yourself or someone you care about in the situation that Randy and I are in there are some things you should know and share with your loved ones. There is a federal mandate that states that every state has to have an estate recovery program. Just google “Medicaid estate recovery”. It’s a scary thing. It does not matter if there is a will or not. You could lose your inheritance, or your loved one could lose what you have willed to them. I know this is in the case of one having to go on Medicaid, but you never know what could happen. There are a few exceptions, but not many. Below is a snipit of something I found on an AARP website.
Protections in Medicaid Estate Recovery: Findings, Promising Practices, and Model Notices
Research Report
Erica F. Wood, American Bar Association
Ellen M. Klem, ABA Commission on Law and Aging
May 2007
“Estate recovery has been federally mandated since 1993 when Congress required states to recoup the costs of LTC and other related Medicaid services from recipients’ homes and bank accounts. This makes Medicaid for institutionalized and older people very different from most federal benefit programs. Requiring low-income Medicaid beneficiaries to reimburse the government for services received often stuns surviving spouses and family members of deceased Medicaid recipients.”
It will most likely cost the state more money to foreclose on this place than it’s worth. All I’m saying is do some research and be prepared. We haven’t given up yet. We’re just working on plan C now.
Because I came into this scene late in the game, one day I’ll let Randy tell the whole story.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Crunch time

It seems like everybody is feeling the crunch right now, in some form or another. It’s times like these that you find out who‘s with you and whose against you. Some of that has gotten straightened out for me these last couple of weeks. We got a breath away from saving Randy’s mom and dad’s place last week. Randy wrangled a hell of a deal with the AG’s office. A lot of options/promises were passed back and worth across the table between Randy and me and my mom and her husband. What it came down to was her husband wanted to buy it outright and give us the privilege of living here to clean up and take care of the place like share croppers. Well, my momma didn’t raise no fool! I suppose folks the likes of Randy and I don’t deserve a little place of their own. I even mentioned putting it in just mine and her names and leave the men (and their egos) out of it. The response was a firm insistence that it be put in their names. If she ok’ed this, it was most likely because she had thrown her hands up. She didn’t want this place. She said as much on more than one occasion. It was just too sweet a deal for her husband to allow anyone else to have, when he could just take it all for himself. Greed is an ugly thing. My mother is by no stretch of the imagination a greedy person. I know who was behind this cluster f*ck, as do the ones watching. She went above and beyond to not come between her husband and his kids. And now he’s created a riff between my mom and me that I don’t know if we can ever recover from. In the end, I may have been the one to cut the ties, but enough was enough. With his influence, it was a long time coming. At my mother’s request, I have tolerated his bullsh*t for over 12 years. This was just the straw.
The whole thing makes me sick. All I can do is remind him that karma is a bitch.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just another little update. A settlement agreement was offered and paper work sent to us. The lawyer is looking it over and doing some research on the logistics. How and if we're going to be able to pay it is still up in the air. We've got until October 15 to send proof of availability of funds. Stress around here is pretty thick.

Randy got the katalytic converter on the Honda. No test run yet. He said he's got to loosen a couple of bolts on some springs (?). I didn't help on this one. Not much room under there, and not much I could have done anyway.

That's it for now. Maybe I'll have some news on Monday. Until then, I'll be reading Mayberry's (keep it simple...) blog. Even if I may not always agree with 100% of what he says, he still cracks me up. His rants are the best!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I haven’t written anything in a while because there seems to be so much going on here as well as other places, it‘s difficult for me to focus on one subject matter. Our friend in Houston has reported that he’s doing ok. The damage doesn’t look too bad where he is. This man taught my mom and me a lot about being prepared and keeping safe in dangerous situations. So, I know that he’s got it together and will be just fine.

Our situation here seems to always be in flux. I guess that’s just what life is about. There’s always something coming at you or falling out from under you. Every once in a while, the sun comes out and all is right in your little corner of the world.

Would I like to go back to Texas? Sure. Would I like to stay where I’m at? Sure. It would be a lot easier to stay here. I could do almost everything here that I wanted to do in Texas. Being off grid, water catchment, gardening, and all of the other stuff would be even easier to do here than it would be down there in the desert. Anyway, we’ll see if the woman from the AG’s office comes through with a settlement offer. That would be great.

Monday, September 1, 2008


This weekend has had it's ups and downs. We started on the weight distribution hitch Friday. That's when things took a turn in a downward direction. "Where are the spring bars?" "I don't know. Where did you put them?" It was finally decided that they did not make it. The box was pretty torn up upon arrival. This is what happens when you don't go through and check to see if everything is there. In an effort to stop playing the blame game, and get something productive done, I put the stuff we took out of the trailer on Craig's list. It's gone now. We didn't get much for it, but at least we didn't have to throw it away. It inspired me to put more stuff on there. We also got the trans cooler on the suburban. So, the weekend wasn't a total bust.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The curtains are up. They look really nice. No pics yet. I'm not done with the detail stuff. As a tease, I'll tell you that we are using some pvc pipe that was laying around here for the rods. I know you survival dudes don't really care about stupid curtains and my effort to update our escape pod, but that's ok. If I'm going to be homeless, I'm going to do it in style!

In the meantime, we've still got real work to do. Tomorrow is "work on the hitch" day(Get those parts out of my escape pod!!!). I get to be the helper on that job. Randy is going to take some days off in the next couple of weeks. Then we'll work on the Honda. When it's made dependable, it will be time to take care of the heads on the Suburban. Oh, I'm so looking forward to all of this! I'd much rather be dressing up the pod or playing with new recipes in the kitchen. Oh well, it's all got to be done.

Speaking of the kitchen, have I mentioned that I love my cast iron skillet? You can cook just about anything in that thing. Although, I must say if you make anything with tomatoes in it, you've got to clean it right away. Most people know that. I just thought it was worth mentioning. That tomato acid will eat through almost anything. On another note. The Berkey has disappointed me. A bug got into the lower tank. Maybe it was because we didn't have water in the top tank to weigh it down. I don't know. I don't really care, there was a bug in our water! It didn't hatch in there either. How could it, right? We should have just gotten a reverse osmosis system. Yet another lesson learned.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The curtains are here! The UPS guy got here pretty late in the evening. To me it's an indicator that people are still buying stuff, just getting it cheaper off the net and not driving around from store to store. Anyway, we're really happy w/ the curtains. The color will work just fine. The carpet and the weird wallpaper were the concern as far as finding something that would work and not be obnoxious. So, we're getting there.

Next, (which should have been first and foremost) is get my Honda running reliable, so Randy can drive it to and from work. Then, we can get the heads taken care of on the Suburban. And, still hanging fire, there is the extra hitch stuff that needs to be put on. It's time for Randy to take a few vacation days.

On another note:
I'm going to have to agree with the folks saying it's going to be one heck of a cold winter. Summer was here for about 2 weeks. It's also been oddly humid this year. This is usually the hottest part of summer, and it's only supposed to get into the eighties today. The birds seem to have checked out too, as in headed south. I just wish we'd been right behind them. It looks like we may have to hunker down and stay through winter if we can. We'll see...

Monday, August 18, 2008

2 Fronts

I have been on this computer all day! I find myself fighting on 2 fronts. The state of Washington wants the land we live on. You may have already known that. Now, I'm trying to figure out what to do about the property owners association for our Texas property. (I did something stupid almost two years ago and bought 5 acres on Terlingua Ranch.) At first I thought, "$145 a year to keep up roads and access the lodge facilities, including pool, coin washing machines and bathroom w/ showers." What I did not know is that there was a lawsuit in progress. So, after paying the $145, they needed a "one time" $100 to pay for legal fees. I thought, "Ouch, but ok I can see that." Wait, it gets better. Now they are closing down the aforementioned facilities, including limiting road maintenance. On top of all that they want another $65! Yeah, it gets better. Next year they want the full $245 upfront, with the option to add one time fees whenever they want, not to exceed some amount. I don't have the stupid thing in front of me, so I don't remember that amount. Does it matter?! We're talking about a dried up piece of land with no electricity, no water, and dirt roads. Anyway, that's what I've been working on today. As far as I can see, I got nothin'. They can do whatever the hell they want. I could try to get a new law passed. Gee, that'll be fun. Florida is the only place I could find any info on what to do about problems with an HOA. Let's see... there's the Federal Trade Commission. You know, I was planning on living there in the relatively near future, so I don't know if that's really an option. I read on a blog or somewhere else that in America you never really own land. It's sad, but it may just be true. I have no problem paying the whole $60 a year in taxes on the property. But, come on! $300 plus for a whole bunch of nothin'? Oh yeah, did I mention they can put a lien on your place if you don't pay? Not far off is foreclosure. Oh that's just great. Are we having fun yet?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

After a dry run and, lots of research on the curtains, I have decided we are going to buy some. The material I had was too thin and really just didn't work with the colors in the trailer. So, I found something that should work on sale on JC Penny's web site. My mom's poor old sewing machine was having a hard time too. And yes, we oiled it. The next step would be taking it apart and working on it. It's just not time or cost effective. The china mart had one for about $80. Again, the cost of a new machine, plus material(s) would be a lot more than what I paid for the curtains I ordered. Anyway, I'm just waiting for them to get here. Randy's been working some overtime, so not much has gotten done as far as hitch updates and vehicle maintenance.

I made another batch of beans and some rice yesterday. I'm going to refry some of them tonight. I doubled the batch, so now we got more beans than I know what to do with. It will be somthing w/ beans for the next few days. It's getting hot here, so I think I'll head over to the escape pod for some a/c. I know Ruby's ready to go!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Alrighty then.
I am trying to get myself out of this funk I’ve been in for the last few days. My usual way of doing this is finding something I think I can do with relative ease (or enjoy) and just doing it. Some chores may get left aside. But, I figure if it’s something I’ve been putting off because of those chores I don’t really want to do, then maybe it will bring me back up enough to want to take care of the day to day stuff. So I finally did it. I got started on those curtains for the escape pod. Randy gave me the thumbs up on my first attempt. That being said... I suppose I must say the sewing machine came from my mom. I didn't remember the original owner. Thus her comment. She's the one that took some time to teach me how the machine works. I still have the original instructions that have been a helpful reminder. She's in Australia right now, and for some time, with work. I wish she was still here ( in Washington) to help me figure out how to do what I'm trying to do. She knows that machine quite well. We had lots of fun updating her RV's interior when they first got it. Of course, she did the sewing. It's good for me learning how to do it for myself, but still it would be nice to have her here to give some suggestions. Ok, tell me what I'm doing wrong. (hee,hee)
Speaking of mum ( she is in Australia you know), I made a dinner last night that reminded me of growing up. I put a little spin on it. I cooked up some veggie burgers (her's were ground beef). I made some potato flakes( she used real potatoes most of the time). Then of course, peas ( she usually changed it up b/w broc and green beans). Growing up they were separated on the plate. I pretended to be a chef and put the potatoes on top of the patties with the green peas on top of that. A good old fashioned birds in the nest. It was like a personal shepherd's pie. Yummy, and reminded me of home.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this before, but bouillon cubes are a must have. If you're not able to make your own stock, you're going to need something to make your food taste good. It's light weight and lasts a long time. Heck, you might want to stock up on Lipton soup mixes too. Now, if I could just figure out a quick and dirty way to make and keep a health stock of beer. Yet, another must have.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Well, we can finally drink our well water. Not even the Berkey was getting out everything. It was better, but still had a funky taste and smell. So, Randy found this Filtrete faucet water system - professional filtration at Lowes. I have no idea how it works. I can't really find any details on it. It's relatively new. It's not perfect either. Now we run the water through this new filter, then pour it in the Berkey. It's better than lugging 5 gal bottles to and from the store to get drinkable water. I don't know what the problem is with our water. It could be a number of things. It doesn't matter. Fixing it would be more expensive. I'm sure the Berkey will be fine for rain catchment later, when we get set up in Texas.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I did it! I made pinto beans from scratch. I only cheated a little. I cooked them in the crock pot on high for about 3 hours. It's the biggest pot I have. Plus, it keeps from heating up the house. Also, since I don't eat meat anymore, I used Crisco for the fat. I was following a recipe from hillbillyhousewife.com. Randy chopped and sauteed some onion, and graded some cheese, and it was yummy! We also added some Johnny's Garlic Spread & Seasoning. It's for garlic bread, but we're garlic freaks. Anyway, we may do a mexican style next time. My next endeavors will be bread and flour tortillas. Yahoo! I'm having fun cooking and saving money, just a couple of my favorite things. I really must learn more about solar cooking.

Escape pod update:
Still working on updating the inside. The hitch stuff came in, and Randy is getting his mind around all of that. If all goes well, I'll be sewing up some curtains on my grandmother's sewing machine soon. There's still lots to do.

I'll be honest here. It's not always easy to be so upbeat about doing things the hard way. It gets overwheming sometimes. That's why I write this blog. It helps me remember the things that I have accomplished. With that in mind, it makes it easier for me to keep on keeping on. So, thanks for your encouraging comments. They keep me moving too, just so I can have something to report.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Busy Summer time

It's summer time and getting ever closer to fall. Everyone is busy prepping for whatever they may think is coming. Well, we never know what's coming. That's the joy of being human. It's also the bane of our existence. I'm not ignoring what's in my face. Trust me, one day we are going to have to move to our little place in the desert. And that will be a whole 'nother adventure. In the mean time we're doing our best to prepare for said adventure. Make hay while the sun shines!
My (not so little) ass finally made regular rice. I know it sounds stupid simple, but after growing up on box meals like hamburger helper, this was a sorry adventure for me. It turned out great. Ok, 10 minute rice in a bag vs. 20 minutes in the same pan? It's worth it. That rice was good! The other day I made regular oatmeal in a real pan. I added some of the crasins we bought a while ago, cinnamon, and honey. I didn't even add sugar! It was really good. I know this may sound silly to most folks, but we're talking about someone born in the early 70's. I am really trying to learn how my grandmother cooked.

Topic change:
I'm writing my light hearted thing and Randy turns up the news. Seriously? The oil companies making record high profits! Yeah, I guess we all know what this means. Maybe that Michael Moore wasn't so wrong, not that I ever doubted it. You just gotta love the good ole boy club.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Well, the hillbilly is back up, after recognizing the error of his ways. I'm glad to see he is getting more support from the people who read it regularly. I imagine he's pretty overwhelmed now. I know I would be. At last count, I saw 35 comments.

Anyhoo, we took the couch out of the escape pod yesterday. It's a lot more open now, and a heck of a lot lighter. We haven't done another tongue weight yet, but that thing was heavy. We didn't need the extra sleeping room either, so why not take it out? The more we take out the more we notice the mediocre craftsmanship. Randy was seriously disappointed, being a former carpenter and all. We've got some ideas for the new decor. We pretty much have to keep the aqua-green carpet, way too much trouble to take out and replace with anything. We lost some storage when we took out the dinette and couch. That's ok, because that way we won't pack it full of stuff (just added weight). We're planning on using the little door things that open to the outside for cat doors. We'll get a collapsible cat cage, and finagle a way for them to go outside and get fresh air w/o running off and getting lost or eatten by something. But that's not even really in the design phase yet. I'm going to try to sell what we pulled out. It's in really good shape, just heavy, and not our taste. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the windows as far as curtains. Seems like I'm trying to do a lot of stuff. I better get up from this computer and actually do something!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

That's it!

Now Ron at hillbilly2be has canceled his blog! I've always been too chicken to comment on other blogs, I didn't really have anything interesting to say. Well, if that's what I have to do, then so be it! I enjoy reading ya'll's blogs. And now, you're gonna hear about it. I already left a comment for Wretha for the first time. I guess it's time for me to come out of my little hidey hole, and let folks know I'm appreciative that they take the time to write their blogs, whatever their motive.
So watch out ya'll! Kim from Ruby's big adventure is coming over to say Howdy! You don't have to do the same. I'm not gonna quit on ya. My little blog isn't all that informative, just sometimes passes for entertainment. And that's just fine with me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Changes are just coming up everywhere! People are changing up their blogs(me too, a little). Some folks are moving. We are doing a few things as well. While Randy was at work I read up on making changes in the travel trailer. When he got home, we took out the dinette! The plan is to put in a small table and chairs. Next on the list will be the window treatments. This is a picture of the dinette from when we first got the trailer. I'll post befores and afters when we are done with renovations. I know things are looking kind of bad, but change is good. The world may change as we know it, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be all bad. We've had it pretty good for a while, now may be time to start thinking about living a simpler life.
We bought the escape pod with that in mind. I got a wild hair and bought some "cheap" land in Texas almost 2 years ago, knowing, eventually the state of Washington was going to want retribution for Randy's mother's care. I'm kind of excited about this little project. It's taken me almost a year to talk Randy into letting me make some major changes in the decor of the trailer. He's worried about resale value, but if we do it right, it shouldn't hurt it. Plus, I wasn't planning on selling it anyway.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here are some of the things that have been going on. The phone company came out yesterday and finally fixed the line. Maybe now I can put some stuff on e-bay or Craig’s list. I’ve already got some sprouts coming up from the seeds I planted last week. We’ll have tomatoes (sans salmonella) in no time! We got the Berkey up and running. The next big test will be running this nasty well water through it. It was suggested that we just get the filter and build our own. But, we needed to see how it worked and I wanted it for the aesthetics. We may make our own in the future. For now, we’re happy with it and maybe we won‘t have to pay for our drinking water anymore. I’ve been trying to get paper work organized. It’s a constant battle. I’m also working on making a little schedule for myself in an effort to use my time more wisely.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another busy weekend

So much for posting everyday. When the wind blows I loose my connection. We called the phone company, and of course, it was dead calm when they called back. Just another work in progress...
I started some veggie seeds. I didn’t do this sooner because I didn’t want to start a garden if we were going to be booted out at any time. Since it looks like we’re going to be here longer, and the price of everything going through the roof, I decided it was worth it. I have had great success gardening here in the past. The seeds were 10 packets for a dollar, so what the heck. Maybe we’ll get to eat fresh tomatoes again.

The Sherline tongue weight scale came in Friday. We weighed the pod Saturday. The tongue weight was 1250 lbs. That’s too much. Time to lighten up! Out go the canned goods in the pantry. We’ll weigh again later. I guess we’ll have to put together a mess kit to haul in the suburban (just like camping). We’ll just eat the canned goods and collect dry food from now on. Being newbies at towing a travel trailer, we thought it best to get the scale rather than take a chance at guesstimating. It’s a pretty cool little device.

We made a trip to town that was interesting. We got to witness lines at the pumps that were reminiscent of the ones in the 70’s. We finally broke down and got a Costco card. You’ve got to watch their pricing just like you do anywhere else. Some things are a better buy, while others are as much, if not more than the grocery store. Non-perishables were the only things I was interested in. I figure it’s worth the initial cost just in saving money on gas by cutting down on trips to the grocery store. We also went by a restaurant supply type store. They had lots of bulk items. We were pretty tired by then, so we’ll go back some other time for beans, flour, and other stuff. I noticed you’ve got to watch them too. They had the exact same taco seasoning for almost 3 times as much as Costco! Sneaky lil' buggers.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm going to start including at least one thing we’ve done each day to get closer to our goal. This will help me keep focused, and let anybody who cares (family, etc) know what we‘re doing. Eye on the prize and all that. I have listed the survival blogs that I read because they inspire me and give a lot of useful information about living on less. They also focus on being prepared for any kind of disaster be it financial or natural. This is important information for any and everyone. I don't always agree with their politics. I’m not big on politics or history, but I get a lesson on both almost everyday from Randy. I’m not getting into a political discussion with anyone. That’s Randy’s forte.
I have other things going on in my life besides getting ready to get out of here, so that may get posted also. If it bores you, that’s ok. I don’t enjoy every post on all the blogs and sites I read either. Just wait though, something interesting will come up soon.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Working weekend

We got lots done this weekend. We cleaned up around the travel trailer, and pulled the slide in. This was in preparation for moving it to a better location on this property. We bought the trailer before we bought the tow vehicle, so we haven't even towed it anywhere yet. I know, it's kind of backwards. But, I was freaking out at the time, sure they were going to throw us out on the street any day. I was also thinking about the land we had purchased in Texas. It's a pretty big trailer (26') and very heavy. So, we got a bigger hitch (class IV). Now it looks like we are going to have to buy more stuff in order to haul this big thing safely. Big trans cooler, dual cam sway control, and weight distribution hitch. What's next? Actually, we knew we were going to need those things. Now's as good a time as any. The prices are only going to get higher. We still need to look into getting a couple of marine batteries for the solar. Randy corrected me on using solar for the a/c, "Ha!, you're joking right?". Fans, swamp cooler, maybe. Oh well, wishful thinking on my part. I didn't know! As I mentioned before, Ruby and I spoil very easily.

Topic change:

The woman at the AG's office is coming around on how much she's willing to take for the property. The tax assessed value for just the land. Well, since she wasn't so accommodating previously, we've been spending all our money on getting the hell out of here. We had also been told earlier, we couldn't buy it even if we wanted to. I don't trust these people. I feel like we've been lied too and are now being extorted for what ever they can get out of us. I'm calling bullshit. Our friends and family think this whole thing is insane, or we are. They sound like they aren't real sure if they should believe us or not. Even the lawyer gave us a kind of cock-eyed look. Well, folks, it is happening. I'm getting ready to get a voice recorder to record what this woman is telling Randy. The only explanation I can come up with is that the state needs money, and will take whatever they can get. There is an awesome well-fare system here, and I imagine that gets pretty costly. If this keeps up you're going to get to read my rant on that. The lawyer did say that if we do manage to work out some kind of deal, come back and see him. Yeah, no kidding? It's not like we want to stay here forever, but it would be nice to leave on our own terms. That's enough for now. I'm just getting mad all over again.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hotter than hades!

It is hot here in the armpit of Washington state (that's SE Wa) 102! I had to retreat to the escape pod with a/c. They say it's a desert here. But, with all the farmers and sheeple watering in the heat of the day, it gets pretty darn humid. Ruby the wonder dog has totally whimped out on me! She won't even come out with me when I go out for a smoke. I knew she didn't like the heat, but come on. She's going to have a hellava time if we ever get down to Texas. I may be spoiling both of us, but it's hard to even think in that kind of heat! I'm going to have to just get up earlier in the morning, get stuff done then maybe retreat.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I feel a rant coming on, but I'm going to wait and see what happens next. That being said, I'm going to try to think in a more positive direction for now. Stealth survival blog mentioned today that it seems like the survival blogs are getting kind of gloomy. I was thinking that the other day, but can you blame them? It comes and goes in waves. Linnabary reminded his readers of that today. There are others that are trying to bring us back up too. That's just the one I thought of.

I found a cool web site the other day through one of the blogs I read, and I can't seem to figure out which one. Anyway, it has some good easy and basic recipes. I grew up with a single mom who was busy working her butt off just to get something on the table. So, I don't have mom's or even grandma's recipes to fall back on. However, I love to cook. So it was exciting for me to find these recipes that use simple inexpensive ingredients. They are great for prep food too, mostly dry ingredients.
I'll warn you, it has some religious content. But, who couldn't use a little god right now?

Here's the site: hillbillyhousewife.com

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Few Updates

Here are a few updates:

We slept on the foam mattress in the travel trailer. It's pretty comfy. Good thing because it's getting hot and the only real a/c we have is in said trailer, a.k.a. the escape pod. It's just 3 pieces of foam (4"firm,4" med, 2" memory foam). We ordered it on e-bay from Sleepy Mountain Mattress.

The solar system was ordered and arrived yesterday. It has not been put to work yet. That will be reviewed in another post. It looks like a pretty easy set up, and we're excited about it.

On a more personal note: Randy's niece has found both his mom's and dad's wills. Better late than never. Had we not made nice with his brother in law, this would not have happened, as Randy's sister passed away unexpectedly. Now, maybe we can sell this place with everyone benefiting. Even if it's not that simple, this is good news because the lawyer didn't give us much. He said if the AG's office is working with you, keep it up. Of course, we saw the lawyer before we found out the wills had been found. Things might be made clearer Monday. Who knows?

No matter what, there's still lots to do. I better get to it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Well, I had this really long winded rant about the state of Washington coming to take our property, but things changed a little after Randy talked to them. We got an e-mail stating that they were going to start foreclosure proceedings by the end of the month. Randy talked to the woman handling the case and got a little more info from her. She had not been very forthcoming previously. For those who don't know, Randy's mom was in a nursing home paid for by medicaid. There is a state recovery law here and now they want this property to pay back some of the cost. After Randy talked to this woman, she really sounded like she didn't know how the whole process works if you're not willing to just let it go. Up until this point she was just trying to scare us out. She kept telling us we could sell it, with any and all going to them. The problem with that is how could we sell it if it wasn't in our name? Yeah, she didn't have an answer for that either. Anyway, we're going to a lawyer Thursday. Maybe we can figure it out from there. I don't know.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Things to come...

Summer is coming into eastern Washington. It's starting to warm up finally. It's been an odd spring here this year. It's usually hot before now. I'm not complaining by any means. It's been really nice. We're probably going to end up sleeping in the escape pod when it gets really hot. It will be much cheaper cooling it than trying to cool the house. That being said, I ordered a new foam mattress for the pod. Unfortunately, we had to do something. Not too long ago, we accidentally left one of the cats (Romeo) in there overnight. He decided to express his displeasure with us on the bed. (Damn cat! Stupid humans!) I'm hoping the foam will be more comfortable anyway. It was a cheaper replacement too. I'll report on our comfort level at a later date.

Randy is going to order our solar set up this week. That should help, if not take care of, the cost of running the a/c in the pod. It's a big chunk of change, but it will pay for itself in no time. We will use it here, and be able to get mobile quick when our personal SHTF event comes to pass. We're already using the fridge in the pod. Ours crapped out. You can follow my logic here, given our situation.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On my other blog I mentioned that we're trying to live "it" before we have to leave here. I keep reading all these great blogs and think to myself, "we're kind of in survival mode right here right now." Prepping is not just for the well to do.

We live "it" because we really don't have much of a choice. The state is eventually going to kick us out of this place, because Randy's dad didn't write a proper will. It's not so bad here, really. I'll miss the meth-heads that practically live in our backyard. And the regular visits from various law inforcement agencies. It's pretty impressive watching them line up down the narrow easement to visit the neighbors. Randy goes to work at a dead end job that doesn't pay what he's worth, and I stay home with the 38 and the dog to make sure the meth-heads don't rob us blind. But I digress...
I grew up in Houston with floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. So, we tried to keep a minimal collection of supplies. Now that I live in a more rural area in Washington state, it's much more important to be prepared for power outages, and anything else. It's a treck to go to the grocery store. When canned goods we like go on sale, we buy extra. We get the big box of rice, dried milk, potato buds, and anything else that will keep. I was buying bulk frozen stuff, but since we're going to be moving, we've gone through most of that stuff. We plan on selling the little freezer. (And pretty much everything else.) I don't know if this qualifies as being a prepper. It works for me though.
We have our junk land, a travel trailer and tow vehicle. We're working on getting a solar package. I'm still considering the Berkey for a water filter(a little pricey). Our land doesn't have water or electric.
I love reading Wretha's blog on how they are going off grid and being self sufficient. They sound a lot like us. There's much to be done before hand. I should get to work on that.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hey, I think I may be getting the hang of this new blog! I even got Ruby's picture up. I thought I should if I was going to name this thing after her.

Friday, May 23, 2008

So, I added a few of the sites I look at regularly. That is what I have been wanting to do, so people can see what has been driving me on this mission I have to get off grid and out of the rat race. My biggest hope is that I can share as much as these folks have shared with me. I'll add more as I can. There are certaintly more sites that I refer to often. I just need to get it together before I try to post their addresses.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Something new

I'm starting this blog because I just wanted to try something new. I think I may have more options here than on my other blog. We'll see.