Jun 10, 2014 -

Promenade Interruptus

I was heading out for an evening stroll before getting cracking on my last file of the day, when I stopped dead in my tracks upon seeing C&C’s flatbed trailer parked in front of my property. That could mean only one thing, an invitation to load it up with the huge amount of branches leftover from Charles cutting down my trees this spring.

I spent, oh, maybe a half hour hauling all the branches to the trailer and filling it. Of course, the biggest and heaviest branches were under the little ones, so I filled the trailer in reverse logical order. I hope nothing falls off, but at least the trailer is just going around the block!

This is perfect timing because I am going to Regina on Friday (hence why I am again burning the midnight oil; I am trying to get ahead in my work queue). I aim to come back with a lawn mower, weed whacker, and tree limb lopper so that I can make an attempt at taming Haven’s badly neglected eastern perimeter.

Charles, wonderful neighbour that he is, mowed my lawn last night with his tractor, but it’s high time for me to be self-sufficient about that! I was going to get a reel (push) mower, but may talk myself into a gas model. It’ll depend on prices, features, and what’s on sale.

The RM emailed today to ask if I still wanted more gravel this year, stemming back from an early winter discussion. I am impressed with their powers of retention and/or note taking system! I was going to get gravel to put under the buildings, but it’s too late for that. I did order a load (25 cubic yards) to go from the front of the RV pad to as close to the sidewalk as possible.

I requested the cheap stuff that’s mostly sand and stone, since the last load has turned out to be much more satisfactory than expected. For one thing, it’s not muddy even in heavy rain!

I don’t know when the load will be delivered, but I do hope my neighbour will be again available to spread it out, otherwise I will have a lot of shoveling to do before my friend L gets here in just a couple of weeks!

Haven is just that these days, a lovely, idyllic place where the soundtrack of my day is the melodious call of the mourning dove.

I love having a reasonably weather tight building in which to store things, meaning my yard looks neat. And I might have lost my winter view of the hills, but I’ve gained the amusing sight of a gopher circus.

Summer is already racing ahead much, much, much too quickly, and I look forward to L’s arrival and my second wagon train vacation, days that will hopefully slow down time just a little.

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May 30, 2014 -

Moving Forward

I thought I’d give a status update, an indication of where my head is in terms of Haven and future travel plans in response to some comments I’ve received.

Let’s start with Haven. My goal with this property is to develop it slowly over time so that when Miranda is no longer liveable, I will have a paid for home to move into. So converting the grainery into a liveable house is a long-term plan for me, but there are immediate things that need to be done to ensure that the structure does not deteriorate.

As for the property itself, I want it to be very, very low maintenance. I intend to be away from Haven during the winter months from now on and eventually take even longer trips that could see me away for years and do not want my neighbours to be stuck with the sight of a neglected property, nor responsible for doing my maintenance (it’s not like I can hire a landscaping company out here!)

So I am researching xeriscaping and beginning to collect hardscaping materials so that I can start pulling weeds and sod and replace them with plants that won’t grow out of control and/or inorganic materials.

I’m therefore spending a lot of money, time, and effort on Haven this summer because I am going away soon, and for a long while, and I don’t want to be overwhelmed when I get back.

Going away?

I had a thought for last winter that was too late to pull together after Neelix died unexpectedly. That thought was to drive to Mexico in my truck and rent an apartment for the winter.

I’ve come to realise that the only big bucket list item right now that is overwhelming anything else is the wish to live in another country for a while, one where the main language is something other than English or French, and with a different culture. Mexico is within reach right now and would definitely satisfy that itch.

RVing to Mexico is just too daunting a prospect, what with two vehicles and two borders. Plus, staying in RV parks wouldn’t really be living in another country, but rather living with a group of like-minded ex-pats. Renting an apartment in Mexico in a Mexican community is much more what I have in mind.

A few weeks ago, a blog reader sent me some information on apartment rentals in an area she goes to every winter, as well as leads on what would be the perfect apartment for me. I’m not quite ready to contact the owner of the place yet and make arrangements to rent (the size of the apartment being so small that there’s little fear of it disappearing), but I’ve started my research and am committed to leaving for Mexico in October!!!

So the cat’s out of the bag and you can all breathe easy now that you know that my nomadic tendencies are alive and well. 😉

There is a lot to think about, especially banking and internet matters.

I know that Scotia Bank exists in Mexico, so I will go to a branch in Moose Jaw and Regina to see about opening up a secondary account with them so that I don’t have all my money in one bank and so I can get help locally if needed.

Internet is going to be extra important now that I have my new amazing client that requires tons and tons and tons and tons of bandwidth a month. So I have to make sure that I can get in Mexico the 40 to 60GB of bandwidth a month I will need, reliably and without going bankrupt. And, please, no suggesting that I find a place with a WiFi hotspot I can tap into as I am not a thief. 😉

I am so excited about the winter ahead, even if the thought of leaving Miranda behind for eight months is more than a little daunting! But she has taken me where I needed to go and it’s time to continue my traveling adventures with Moya. I am so looking forward to an easy drive straight south through Wyoming and Colorado without worrying about taking a huge rig through all those mountain passes.

Eight months? Thereabouts. I’d like to tag a month in the States on both sides of the trip. There’s no problem taking my truck out of the province that long and a letter to SK Health will ensure continuity of my health coverage. I’ll have been in Haven eighteen months when I leave in October. I don’t think an eight month absence will be excessive, but rather a much needed mental health break. 🙂

So all that to say, I’m pretty sure my travels with Miranda are over. I want to continue blogging, but I don’t know yet if it will still be on this blog or if I’m going to start a new one. I’m not in a rush to make that decision since I am still living in an RV and will continue to write about RV life. Just remember, you can look forward to a post about coating your RV rubber roof! 🙂

Right now, I’m about five years ahead of where I thought I would be today, but in an even better place than expected. Having a property I own outright never factored into the new life plan I put together in 2008. How secure this place makes me feel is incalculable. It makes me comfortable taking risks, making big plans, and continuing to live as I am determined to. This place is true financial security.

That my RV travels lasted five years instead of ten does not feel like a failure to me, but more like a triumph and a reminder that when I set goals, I move forward doggedly, obstacles be damned. And I’m most definitely in the market for a little travel trailer. Probably not this year, but likely the next. Maybe it’ll be the Miranda II. With me, who knows? 🙂

There’s lots of good stuff coming down the pipeline. So just remember that every post that has me expending energy into my property is a reminder that I am thinking of pulling out, not that I am getting rooted. Much as I love this place, and I do, it is a port of call, not a final destination.

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May 29, 2014 -

Ridiculously Happy About Having a Clothesline

I’ve missed having an easy way to dry clothes these last many years on the road. Dryers ruin clothes and, if at a laundromat, are very expensive. Hanging clothes about the rig makes my home feel like a sauna and also for tight quarters. Having the chance to string out a clothesline or put out a drying rack outside has always been a luxury.

Last year, my first at Haven, I ran a line between a post and Miranda, to get a few dozen feet of line, but it wasn’t enough and it was saggy. This summer, a proper clothes line was a priority project. As it turns out, a proper clothesline doesn’t have to be a permanent one. I have no intention of living with my current setup for the rest of my life, but for now, it is going to do very nicely!!!

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What I did was simply install eye hooks along the sides of each grainery and then I pulled 200′ of clothesline through the eye hooks and across to the next building, back and forth, until I ran out of line. I tied the ends off with inexpensive clothesline fasteners. Total cost: $5 for the line (purchased at the thrift store last year), $2 for the fasteners (of which I have several left), $5 for the eye hooks, for a total of $12.

Laura is convinced that the weight of the clothes will pull out the eye hooks, but so far so good with a heavy load that had lots of jeans. I doubt I’ll ever use all the lines at once except to spread heavy blankets across them, so I’m optimistic that this set up will last me until I’m ready to reclad the buildings. That that point, I’ll do the digging, cement, and post thing.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to pick up a table that will allow me to set up a laundry station outside. What a luxury that will be! I washed this load at my neighbour’s since I was getting backed up and didn’t feel like spending my evenings kneeling in the shower.

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