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 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.