Why Rain Reminds Me of Zombies

apocalyptic photo of parched earth by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash
Apocalyptic photo of parched earth by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

Sitting here in the RV with the (extremely loud) A/C going because it’s about a zillion degrees outside, I hear these small popping sounds. Of course I panic that it might be the A/C breaking down, then look around and figure it’s my dog clicking her teeth in her sleep – which it isn’t, so I get up and walk around, listening more closely as it becomes more prevalent…. it’s rain!!!!!

The ground outside is parched and dry, crunchy underfoot after a couple of weeks of hot, arid weather. At last, a little rain. I fear it’s very little, though. It’s already stopped after only a few moments but the dark cloud is giving some much needed shade on this old girl Stella — the RV, not me, altho I am a bit of an old girl now.

Working on work, reformatting older website code that is obsolete to follow a more semantic style, sweating in the heat, wishing I could put an RV-port (like a really tall carport) over Stella, when it suddenly occurred to me that I’m slowly preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. (… Oh, you too, huh? Cool.) Because when SHTF, all good people need to band together and get right. We’ll need to have shelter and rainwater capture systems in place, solar powered generators and high walls, we’ll need shotguns and flare guns, crossbows and pistols and rifles, we’ll need gas cans for when we find abandoned vehicles that might need gas, and we’ll need to map out all the places that will still have gas, using our GPS search now (Hey Google, where’s the closest gas station?) then transcribing it to actual PAPER so that we can use the paper maps when our cell phones die. Because lord knows ya can’t find a decent’recent map anymore…

So here’s the deal on my quest for true frugality, the one that will take me into the next two decades without having to eat the paint off the walls: Those who can cut loose of and aren’t dependent on civilization’s commonly used conveniences – like electricity, city water, internet – will be the survivors. Ya gotta be creative, think ahead, make some slightly uncomfortable changes. Take for instance, RIGHT THE HELL NOW: I’m in WordPress typing this out when I lose my already-shitty connection to Hughes net crapola internet service. My dish that is supposed to receive the signal and get my ass up and running failed, maybe due to the rain clouds, maybe due to them being the shittiest internet service ever on the face of the planet, but it’s gone and I cannot even save a WordPress draft version of this. So I go semi-analog and copy/paste it into a local text document so I don’t lose my thoughts or lose my mind.

And right after ^ that thought ^ – BAM – the electricity goes out. Bring on the Zombie apocalypse. Anyone up for helping me build a fortress?

cryptic photo of a being behind a door in an old asylum in Berlin by Nathan Wright on Unsplash
cryptic photo of a being behind a door in an old asylum in Berlin by Nathan Wright on Unsplash

Why Rain Reminds Me of The Walking Dead

Changing Lanes

photo of landscape

The full-on intention of my writings began as a chronicle of my RV adventure, having moved from a 4 bedroom 2,240 square foot house to a 360+/- square foot 5th Wheel, and onto my sister’s property, while I search for a new place to call home.

But what’s happening in my life is far more than just that – I’ve done a 180 in so many ways that it’s been hard to contain it all. Hence, my lack of blogging and cohesion in reference to this adventure. But that’s okay. I can afford to vacillate, to switch gears, to move about the cabin and to, of course, change my mind.

I’m now following a ‘Frugality Challenge’ brought to me by the incredibly entertaining and engaging FI blog of The Frugalwoods until the end of the month and, not only has it changed my thoughts about money, it has changed me. I’ve always been frugal, saving what I can over the years, so I was interested to learn more ways to sock away more money, but deep down it is transforming me. I’ve been interested in the FIRE movement for awhile now but hadn’t put much merit in it…. until a couple of months after I moved here. THEN it all began to hit me.

I’m figuring out ways to save money, sure, but also in my search for property I am deciding on how much land (if I get acreage) and if I will get a conventional site-built house, a manufactured home, a container house – built in southeast Texas (Houston’ish!), a lake house, or maybe build one myself as I had planned on doing when I owned property in Washington County.

The sky’s the limit and my imagination can run pretty wild with such options. Stay tuned, there will be more organization here and more on how this journey will take shape soon.
Oh, and Stella the RV rig is still getting her beauty parlor treatment as the days go by. More on that, too. Here’s a little snippet of that as I continue to paint these walls

 

My favorite cow next door is marked for death so it makes me terribly sad
photo of a white cow in a pasture
She adores my white pup… maybe she thinks it’s one of her people

Inspiration, and the Before & After of Beginning

I’ve been offline for awhile, opting out so that I can search for a home. It’s been difficult and it’s been fun but I’m still on the hunt and need to get back to my responsibilities so here is an example of how I’ve managed to be creative while I find that perfect place.

These are the patterns and colors that I’m intending for the RV ~ a sort of Hollywood Florida Key West Hemingway look (the wood would be the Hemingway; if only I had more shutters)

And the first places I’ve used a couple of them

Kitchen Island ~ BEFORE “hanging’ the tropical peel & stick wallpaper
Kitchen Island ~ AFTER the tropical wallpaper

Unfortunately, every upgrade makes the rest of the place look shabby. So I went a little further…

Before adding the backsplash ~ plain, dull, RV’ish

 

After adding the backsplash ~ pretty, dynamic, shiny, fun, even though I screwed up so badly that I’ll never unsee the mistakes

There are now only about eleven’ty more projects I need to do to spiff up the place, but my day gig beckons, we’re taking my dad and stepmom to lunch, and I’m looking at more property this afternoon when we can get some coordinates. Life is amazing, stop looking at this screen so you can go out and live it!

Floornado

Just know…
I’m about done with adulthood.

What. Have I gotten. My own self into.

There were tornadoes in the town about 15 miles away yesterday. I recorded a little twister coming down from the clouds. My sister said there was a woman right down our county road whose house was swept away. More on that another time…

My ‘Floornado’ ~ Tonight I’m tearing up carpet again, going about three feet (if that) from where I left off. What kind of DIY hell IS this? Looks so easy on other peoples’ websites and blogs. RV builders build backward from the way a house is built: they put in flooring first, walls and cabinets later. So this crap is STUCK and I’m having to figure out how much of stuck I can live with. Who’s design was this? And who wanted to tear it up like it was a damned good idea?

Thinking of walking all over someone else’s foot juice is unnerving, so getting rid of this garbage is crucial to my well-being. And the cats. And my pup. The pup’s mine; I belong to the cats. Just wanted to clarify that.

It’s late, I’m exhausted, and I doubt I’ll be driving to Houston tomorrow, though I need to. So Sunday it might be…

Here. You decide if this was a wonderful activity or a major disaster.

The “tile” is called Beauflor. It’s under the carpet in places … there is nothing Beau about it.
Progress? or pooping out?
I knew the Beauflor had to end eventually. This is very slow-going and I’m losing steam

Changes

I’ve been making a few behind-the-scenes changes (back-end stuff) on the website so I’ve opted to include the RV Life updates on the mainpage – for now. Hang with me; between a great day job, unpacking, repacking, renovating-lite, a business course, driving 200+ miles to Houston and back in a day – 6 times so far, plus remembering to eat… and sleep, I haven’t had much time to do anything else. Where’s that simple life I was after??

The latest addition has been my Redneck Gate. The bro-in-law devised a rather clever way to ‘install’ a gate so that the little fence I put up around Stella would be more effective.

At the front of my RV are two medium sized oaks, side by side, and he figured a gate would fit between them. Having done construction most of his adult life, he figured right. He had a couple of gates, brought one over, and BAM, it fit like the trees had been planted for just that kind of service.

A little Northern ingenuity coupled with a bit of Southern engineering, and my mini-farm has itself a GATE! It opens both ways and closes easily so I’m never stuck dickerin’ with it.
Take a gander and bask in awe…

The Redneck Gate (and your little Farm Dog, too!)

 

More Farm Dog, but she was shaved yesterday and looks NOTHING like this now

Spiders: 12+ … Me: -0

So about half my scalp, the left side, behind my ear but also including my ear, has around a dozen spider bites. That’s not an exaggeration and is probably an underestimation, but yeah – spider bites.

To put it in perspective, I thought there were maybe 6 or so but after a week of really incubating the toxins, it’s definitely more like a dozen. Country livin’, people.
Country. Ass. Livin’…

I believe it all started when I had to check up under my rig (my RV, in RV language) and there was a spider web. Maybe a lot of spider webs. But I had gloves on so I was protected. I crawled under the belly of Stella, which wasn’t so much a crawl as a squat and duck walk, my hair up in a bandana around my forehead, running into a web or three, whereupon some little creature – or more – hitched a ride. (Funny: My sister referred to the movie ‘Hitch’ in all this, but that’s later in the story)

It was about to rain hard all day and I was taking an early rain-free moment to dump my tanks. That’s always something fun to look forward to. It’s a streamline event, but it still required my attention to the Stella belly and, frankly, there’s not a lot of room down there. I am almost sure I rinsed whatever crawled in back out of my hair later that night, but by then it was obviously too late and the damage was done. Remember the video you saw of the mama spider with about a hundred baby spiders on her back? No? Here ya go:

Exactly what I’m picturing but with a relaxed mama and some adventuresome bebes in my hair having a field day. I had tried to kill a spider the night before, felt bad about spraying it with a natural flying insect repellent, so I immediately doused the thing with rainwater, but it was already mad and sent its henchmen… henchspiders to eat me alive. And, to be really honest, I’ve already killed two black widow spiders. So maybe it’s Spiders: 12+ and me: 2

Everything hurts. From my scalp to my jaw, my neck, the back of my arm, and even my gums when I brush my teeth, everything is crazy sore or feels bruised. Of course, because my ear has become this red, swollen appendage that is on FIRE and I itch like one giant mosquito bite, I did look at bit like Hitch trying to woo a woman during an allergic reaction. That never turns out well. And sleep? not happening. Every few seconds one of the bites STINGS like being attacked by an angry wasp. Try sleeping through that. I should probably get it looked at. I do have a doc’s appt in 4 days – soonest they could get me in – so I’m good. Let’s hope my hair doesn’t start falling out.