Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting Back on Track

It’s time to get back to what this blog was originally supposed to be. A chronicle of how, on a limited budget, we were going to get down to West Texas and live off grid . That budget has gotten even smaller than when we started talking about doing this and bought our land in Terlingua. While we were trying to get it together, we were also fighting the state to keep this place. The hope was that we would be able to sell it and have a small nest egg to use to start over in Texas. As it has turned out, we can keep this place by paying the state $500 a month for the next 5 years. It doesn’t sound like much, but now, more than ever, I’m ready to get out of this evil place. There is no way we could make any of that money back. The place just isn’t worth that much. We agreed to the deal because, yes, it’s cheaper than rent anywhere else. The good news is that I’m not starting from scratch as far as research goes. I have a rather large binder full of info I have collected over the past 3 or so years. When I was getting started with this blog the best information I was getting was coming from the survivalist folks. The election and politics seemed to have become a distraction for them. I had my own thoughts about that stuff and was not interested in getting in any discussions nor reading about politics. However, I am going to list some of their blogs back here on mine again.
Can I say I’m getting back to my roots? Nope! I’m a Houston girl. I never minded roughing it on the weekends, camping, sleeping on the boat in foul weather, etc. But, doing it long term is something else entirely. I can say, I’ve gotten some experience living with less. Humans are very adaptable. Damn good thing!

A couple of notes:
I called the fire chief. Nobody is coming to check it out. We can get rid of it as soon as we want.
Ruby has gotten more spoiled than normal.
Oh, and nobody is talking to me as of yet. Maybe they think I have the bird flu, or whatever the newest pandemic threat is?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

No new news. The burned carcass of the van is still sitting in the yard. And it stinks!!! After not hearing anything from anyone, I sent an e-mail to the fire chief Thursday. He was the only one that left contact information. I’ll call Monday. I’d like to get that thing out of my yard soon. Seriously, every time I walk anywhere close to it I can smell it. It smells like it’s still burning. I get a knot in my stomach and have to walk over just to make sure. There’s not much they can do, but I want it written up as arson, not an electrical fire. I think I’m over the initial shock, but now, when I do sleep, I’m having nightmares. I know I’ll get over it. It was just a stupid van. I just want to move on and not worry so much that something else may happen, and that it might be worse.
As I said before, we’re taking this event as yet another sign to get out of here and head south. Now it’s just a question of when? Tomorrow would not be too soon enough for me! I think we’re going to have to spend another winter here. I don’t think we can get the funds and everything else together before it starts getting really cold (snow & ice).
I’m a little concerned about Ruby with the snakes and scorpions, but I’ve heard there are classes you can go to that teach them to stay away from snakes. I’ll worry about that one later. Right now the focus needs to be getting things organized and prepared for the big move.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ruby the Wonder Dog!

Well, Ruby, with all her annoying antics earned her keep this morning. At some point last night Randy let her out. She has a habit of barking at nothing. Usually, she’ll go out for a little while. Then, when she’s ready to come back in, she’ll bang on the screen door once or twice (the lower half is metal) . This morning I awoke to frantic banging and scratching at the door. My first reaction was a groggy “What the hell?” So, I get up to let the stupid dog in. I open the door and notice an orange glow. “Is it that early/late? Wow, that is some sunrise.” It was 3:00AM. “Oh shit, fire!!!”
To better understand, the view out my front door is the pod. About 30’ directly in front /along side is the van we bought from Randy’s work about 3 months ago. It was the van that was on fire, along with the super dry grass under and around it.
I ran back to the bedroom, got Randy up, shoes and shorts on, and out we went. As I ran out to get the full view of what was going on, I saw about 5 people standing in the road watching this fire. I was grabbing the hose while they were taking turns yelling at me to get away from it. “It’s going to blow up.” Pissed, and all adrenalined up, I yelled to Randy to turn the water on and get my gun. Ok, I hope you can understand, I was seriously freaking out. How the hell does a van in the middle of the yard catch on fire? And would you shut the fuck up! After this guy yelled at me that if the fire hit a fuel line it was going to blow up in my face I nearly lost it. I remember yelling back at the guy, “One more fucking time, ‘cause you’re not looking real good right now!“ (I was pretty sure he was from the gypsy camp behind us.) Needless to say, Randy did not get my gun. They all evaporated when they saw the flashing lights coming down the street. Gee, thanks assholes. Were they just out there to view their handy work? I don’t know. I didn’t get a good look at the ass-fuck that kept running his mouth. It was still dark and I was a little busy.
I knew that the van was a lost cause. What I was really worried about was the dry grass around it spreading the fire to the pod and/or the house and my car. So, Randy had the hose putting out the burning grass and I used up 2 of our fire extinguishers. Note: Those things are about worthless. But, I guess we should buy a couple more, just in case we ever have a nice small fire to put out.

After the fire was out, I was talking to the fire chief and sheriff’s deputy about what happened and what the cause might have been. That was interesting. The fire chief says it was a short in some wiring near or in the heater coil. Ok, so here’s my problem with that theory. We haven’t driven or even started that van in over a week. I don’t know much cars and electricity. But, if there was a short seeping juice from the battery, wouldn’t the battery be dead after more than 7 days? I guess that’s my big question. The fire chief almost has me convinced, but I’m still having trouble with it. Take a look at the pictures.
After looking at everything in the daylight, I’m pretty sure someone put something either on the tire or in the tire well on the passenger side to start the fire. We’re going to pursue this one. Fucking cock suckers! Oh sure, we’re taking it as a sign to get the hell out of here. But in the mean time, those assholes better lay low. ‘Cause this bitch has had enough!!!

The distance b/w the pod and the van. It's closer than it looks.

That fire was hot and movin' fast!!! (Looks like may date & time on the camera is still messed up.)

Doesn't look like a short in the enginge compartment to me.

Good dog, Ruby!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I’m melting…, I’m melting…

It’s Hot !!! Maybe not as hot here as it is elsewhere, but hot just the same. Not much is getting done around here. Randy has been working a lot of extra hours as of late. That’s good, since they had cut back his hours a while ago. As usual there has been talk about staying here or leaving. We’re both on the same page as far as getting the hell out of here. Now it’s just a matter of how and when. Shelling out an extra $500 bucks a month to pay off the DSHS lien is really putting a dent in our plans. The idea of staying here another 5 years is daunting, to say the least. At some point I said that we could do everything we wanted to here ( off grid, etc.). The thing is we’re really not far enough away from our neighbors as we would like to be. Every other day, if not every day, one of them is on their riding mower mowing their lawn. When they’re not doing that they are watering in the middle of the heat of the day. Most of the water is immediately evaporated or sprayed on the road or driveway. It’s ridiculous! This also causes the humidity to go up so much I feel like I’m back in Houston! I guess what I’m trying to say is these people are wannabe suburbanites, mixed with white trash and meth-heads, not country folks
Pardon me while I digress for a bit…
Ah, the joys of county living.
So you move into an area that you think is in the country. It takes 25 or even a little more minutes to get to the closest grocery store. Sure it seems rural enough. “ Hey, I can have chickens and/or goats. I‘m in the country now!” It seems like that. The problem is, so does every other dumb-ass in the country. “Hey, this would be a great place to cook meth without the po-lice noticing.” Living in the county isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So, you anti-tax paying, survivor guys, what exactly are you going to do when the real bad guys come a‘callin’? At some point you’re gonna run out of bullets. Trust me our government is not your problem. It’s not great, don’t get me wrong. But, there are others that are way more armed than you, and they are begging for riots in the streets. So ya'll go 'head on... In the mean time, me and mine are hunkerin' down.