Took A Little Time Away….

Sorry for the radio silence.

I had so much fun on my first trip south that I never quite got around to posting anything. What a bummer, as this blog is a great way for me to revisit my past and help my brain remember stuff! I did take pictures though. I think I’ll do a few remembrance posts soon, with lots of pictures, and try to recreate the past few years. 😊

This post is just me dipping my toe back in the water.  Feels odd and unfamiliar!

It’s Official. My Brain Is On Permanent Hiatus

First, the good news: Oliver’s Nest has a working inverter and is pumping out electricity to the outlets. My phone and tablet are happily charging away right this minute. So amazing how easy it is when stuff works! The tech who did the replacement looked over the system and commented on how the layout makes sense and will be easy to work with if needed. I had a little lump of pride in my throat, as I made most of the decisions for what/where/how the whole system would function. 

However.

Why oh why didn’t I remember how easy the inverter was to deal with?! I could have replaced it myself in less than 15 minutes. Or less, if I misplaced my screwdriver, which I haven’t. My brain, argh!  So very bad with the memory type stuff. 

Here’s what it took to install the replacement.

  1. Unplug the top plug which gives power to the breaker box.
  2. Unplug the battery connectors at the bottom.
  3. Unscrew the ground wire.
  4. Unscrew the inverter from the wall.
  5. Screw the new inverter into the same space.
  6. Reverse steps 1 through 3. Done.

I could have easily saved myself the $60 minimum they charged. Some lessons are free, some cost money, and some take just a bit of your pride, hehehe.

Yellow plug to breakers, black and red plugs to the battery bank, and the copper ground wire

Not everyone has the dead-simple hook-up like mine, of course. This system is wholly sun-powered, without a way to charge the batteries from either shore power or the truck engine. Still, it pays to really know and understand (and remember) your own system, as it’s often just not that hard to handle your own repairs. Now that the inverter has been replaced, anyone know of a spare brain with working memory out there?

About Donations

Quite a few months ago, a couple readers asked me to post a PayPal link as they wanted to help me out during a particularly rough financial period.  After wrangling with WordPress a while, I (sorta) managed to do so.  I received some help, and I thank you.

But I’ve come to realize that on mobile devices my link shows up first, and I don’t want that! As I’m solely working on a mobile device myself, I find that editing that information to place it less conspicuously, or even removing it, is not something I can figure out. For this I apologize.

I’m not rich, but I’m doing ok. If plans work out moderately well, I’ll be able to save and be really ok.  So, please bear with me in my continuing failure to understand WordPress. 😀

Enjoy your day!

All The Things I’m Learning To Do On The Road

Hello!

Welp, my truck is still running (yay), but my inverter bit the dust. I don’t think it’s repairable, so have started the return process through Amazon, and gone ahead and purchased another. All things considered, if anything in my system had to go I’m glad it’s this, as it’s by far the cheapest component at under $200.

I’ve decided to use my Amazon Visa to get the 5% back and to stop the immediate bleeding of my bank account. The new inverter is being shipped directly to the repair shop. Interestingly, there are about 20 “lockers” nearby where the shipment could go for me to pick it up, something that I’m sure I’ll find very useful in the future. The repair shop I’m using does the NASCAR thing, so has a small window for the tepair, but Prime shipping will get the inverter there on the 1st – plenty of time. Right? Ugh. As long as I stay put in Vegas there are options.

I have to say that truck stops are great when you’re stuck in an unfamiliar place. Power, food, laundromat, showers, and this one has free movies. They let you stay as long as you need to, and I feel safe. Oh, and unlike at the Tenopah Nv truck stop (elevation of over 6000 ft) with nighttime lows of 19 degrees, here in Law Vegas it only dips into the mid-40s at night. I like that. 🌞

Cold and omg windy Tenopah


Last night’s sunset in Law Vegas

The entertaining part of Vegas is waaay over there

So far the fun level hasn’t been high, but the challenges haven’t been so hard they couldn’t be overcome. And fun isn’t everything. Handling problems without completely falling apart is more important for me for now. Having friends be there for me when I get stressed out has been wonderful. Thanks for the encouragement, you guys! 😀

Wish Me Luck

Hey, I made it halfway to Arizona! The solar system just wanted sun so badly I decided to not head for the ocean first. So far, my truck had a minor breakdown with a $55 bill….and an $850 tow. Wiped out my emergency fund right there, but that’s what it was for, eh? At least my truck is healthy again. Had to get some kinks out of it’s system I guess! The fix was so minor, it was laughable. All the mechanic did was bypass the water extraction thingie and replace it with a bent metal tube. Ah, to know engines….

That was in the Modoc National Forest, in California. The next evening I made it to Reno where I met up with a trucker friend at the Sparks Petro truck stop. Seeing a friend so far from home was great (and weird)! He turned back north and home this morning. But maybe half of the 700 or so drivers here couldn’t go on with their travels due to Interstate 80 closures and chain requirements. That includes little ol’ me. My friend said to me when I asked his opinion about chaining up and going for it, “chains are for getting out of trouble, not going toward it”. Made sense to me!

So here I am, at a huge truck stop in Sparks, Nv. Could be worse; free cable in the tv room, pay showers, laundry facilities, and a safe place to sleep. I’ve made some acquaintances, which is rare for me, so there’s company if I want it. Much nicer than being stranded at the side of the road on a lonely highway, that’s for sure!  Thanks for the memories, California!

But I’d like to continue my journey south. Weather patterns are looking bad through the weekend, so I might be stuck here for days. Please, think thoughts of clear, warm days here for me, and all the other drivers trapped here. 😀 We’d appreciate it.

Posting on a Mobile Device is HARD (but that’s not what this post is about)

I am deeply touched that a couple people have contacted me since my last post, checking in to ask if I’m doing ok. As a very solitary person, I’m not used to that! I used to rebel against having to check in with family and significant others, which confused and angered them. Not at all my intention, of course. I was raised by a working, single mom back when that wasn’t as common, and naturally was on my own most of the time. I’ve read that the term “dorky” might have come from “door-key” (aka latch-key) kid, which makes me chuckle. It would be true in more than one sense in my case!  Hehe.

I took a city bus home from my grade school across town, as it was a better school than my local one. (I remember one afternoon I took the wrong bus and how scared and confused I was! I believe that was when I was in the third or fourth grade.) Add in first a bike then later a pony, and I was everywhere other than at home, sometimes with other kids and sometimes alone. I became fiercely independent and adventurous…qualities not easy to combine with trying to build a life with others, especially someone you’re romantically involved with.

But time has mellowed me, or maybe I finally have enough solitude in a regular basis to appreciate being connected to others. The first message I received surprised me. The second made me stop and think about my connection to people. It doesn’t matter anymore if your friends are right where you are. The internet, and probably especially smartphones, has made friendships seriously viable across the globe. For a mostly-loner like me, that opens up wonderful options for connection. It also means I have a responsibility to keep people up to date. This might prove to be troublesome, depending on my mood, but it’s overall a Good Thing. I don’t hate people – I’m not alone for that reason. So, thanks for reaching out to me. Thanks for saying hi. The little things do matter. I’m good, btw. 😃

Here’s me and my boy, taken yesterday after doing a last adjustment on my scooter carrier. I have some bruises today (need to get comfortable putting my green baby up there) but with this task done I’m ready to hit the road!

He’s a handsome one, eh? Learned patience and tolerance from growing up with a crazy mom. Yay? Silver linings and all that.

One last thing today. My scooter is very important to me. She gives me a somewhat similar feeling to riding a horse, gets an incredible 90+ mpg, and is useful for local trips and errands. I would not be able to finance replacement if she were lost to me. So the very last thing to do yesterday was figure out how to (hopefully) deter her theft. A braided wire cable locked with an uncuttable lock is now wrapped around her belly and the carrier. I also have a movement-triggered alarm to put on her at night. Chances are I’d hear anyone messing with her or the truck anyway, but I figure startling a prowler can’t be a bad idea. I also have a motion-activated light to help convince people to move along. And a bad temper towards anyone messing with my stuff.  Given I literally chased away two attacking Komodors (I used to work with dos for a living and am definitely an Alpha) from a friend’s dog I was walking, I think I can be scary when necessary. I’ve been approached by unsavory men trying to intimidate me and scared them off too. So, funnily enough it’s my stuff rather than my person I worry about. I’m awkward in social situations, but don’t mess with me. Grrrr! 

Wait, What? I still have PTSD

 

Originally posted at https://atribeuntangled.com/2017/02/08/wait-what-i-still-have-ptsd-2/

I never seem to be able to put my feelings about having PTSD into words. Once again I have to turn to another to do it for me. We all struggle in different ways, but there are universal truths here:

 

I wrote a post by the same name last spring. Amazingly, I asked this question to my therapist again the other day, nearly a year later and my reaction was exactly the same when he answered, “…

Source: Wait, What? I still have PTSD

Thoughts in the Dark

I woke up around 3 am this morning. Too many thoughts going on in my head interfering with my sleep, probably.  But it’s warm in here thanks to my little heater and the abundance of on-grid electricity,  so I got up, made some coffee, and read some blogs written by other people already living the life I’m soon to dive into myself.  Not a bad start to the day.
I’m not afraid today. Not yet, at least. Instead, I have that nowadays rare thing called peace of mind.  Even a tiny bit of confidence.   Used to be I had that in spades.  I miss those days. Refinding that confidence, in myself, that things will work out, that I’ll handle whatever comes up, is my primary goal for the foreseeable future. How I lost it is a long and winding path of a story, and probably not of much interest to anyone, so I’ll just say life got really tough and I couldn’t take it any more.
But it’s been several years since most of those difficult situations had any bearing, and my present status is all of my OWN making.  “I” made the decisions that got me to this reality. That realization and distinction is important. See, it means that I am steering my little ship, not someone else, and especially not the someones who cared not a bit about me or my life or my needs. Or even a someone who does care, but doesn’t understand me, so makes things much worse by their attempts to help. That wouldn’t have been such a problem except that control over my life was part of the caring package.
So. I’d say I’m at a crossroad,  except I come to them so often that they are just another intersection. Nothing momentous in this moment, only when looking back, if I do make a profound change. Won’t know until  the dust settles.

Plumbing the Depths of Inexperience

I think it’s high time to document some of the inner workings of Oliver’s Nest, starting with one of the things that took the longest to fully assemble: the plumbing.
Being a simple system, without water heater or electric pump, I thought it would go together quickly, once I decided on all the parts. Not so!

It took at least three visits to the local big box store and several reworkings  to get it assembled. The issue that caused the most problems was not having a normal drop between the sink drain and the waste water holding tank. I was determined to have as standard a system as possible, which included the p-trap to capture odors. The inclusion of the p-trap lessened the already shallow drain slope, but not enough to keep water flowing the right way. The big problem was getting the semi-flexible tube to run properly. It was at an angle that caused the end to want to pop off…once it was even coaxed/forced onto the piping to begin with. I’d read that others had the same problems with this tubing. It’s difficult to work with, but once attached is durable so worth the trouble. I finally searched out my extra hose clamps left over from rerouting the fuel lines and used a couple of those to ensure the tubing would stay put even through the rockin and rollin of the house on bumpy roads. Problem solved?
Well, yes and no. After using one gallon jugs for a couple months for fresh water, I finally stumbled upon the perfect sized and shaped five gallon jug at Fred Meters. Sturdy and cheap too, so I snapped one up with joy. Until I tried to fit it under the sink and realized with horror(!) that the plumbing I’d sweated over would have to be redone to allow the new addition to sit in the right place. Ugh!
So yeah, being me, I put it off for about a week, working up the courage to tackle that damn tubing again. Yesterday I finally confronted it, and wonder of wonders, it went together relatively smoothly. Thankfully, Amazon only sells this tubing in ten foot pieces so there was plenty left to cut the longer piece needed, and is now in its new configuration. Here is the pump I have.  This is the water jug I found, and quite a bit cheaper at Home Depot.

Proud pictures follow….

All tight and tucked away.

Everything back in place.

Fear Management

There have been so many aspects of this new life to get a grasp on in the last three or so months, that noting them has to take a back seat.  Unfortunately that means that some things I’d like to remember in the future will probably be lost, but I do what I can.  Combine a piss-poor memory with anxiety, a complete makeover in lifestyle and helpful/unhelpful medications, and you lose things along the way.  It’s ok.

As of yesterday, I have marching orders to vacate by February 20th of this year.  That puts the move out squarely in the uncertain weather category.  Around here, snow and ice aren’t unheard of through the end of March. Given, understandably I think, that I don’t want to attempt mountain passes under those circumstances, I’ll be looking for a safe place to hang out til it seems certain that roads are clear.  

Luckily, I was steered towards going to the Long Beach (ocean) area, where there are several year-round RV parks.  Paying to park is not my first choice, but options are limited and hopefully I only need a month or so there.  Honestly, staying by the ocean sounds wonderful! This rig has weathered several windstorm with barely any indication inside that anything exciting was going on outside…other than the incredible booming BONK when a pine cone hits the roof, or especially the skylight. It’s impressive how high both Leo and I can jump when we’re startled.

In any case, the ocean beaches will probably be our home soon. Leo will be learning how to walk on a leash there. Sort of throwing him into the deep end. I figure there shouldn’t be many people walking their pups this time of year, so he can get his freak out on with only me and the gulls to witness.