December 15, 2012

We Made it to Florida... I think!

all of us, smooshed into the tow truck, looking inexplicably happy. 

A little over a week on the road... and holy crap!

We made it to Florida.
Just Barely!

We got here so late that the park was already closed, so we're waiting out the night in their parking lot. We're now pros at boondocking in parking lots. Without a generator even. Boom.

We made it to Milwaukee last Saturday evening without much more trouble. We noticed on Friday that our truck wasn't working to recharge the rig battery while connected, so something was up there ... but nothing that prevented us from trucking on. Even if we COULD see our breath when inside of our home that night (with no battery power our heater wasn't kicking on), in Minnesota, when outside temperatures reached single digits. Seriously fucking COLD!


Really cold!

But, we survived. And the nip in the air served to get our butts in gear quickly the next morning so we could get back in the warm truck!

We were all very excited to rummage through our storage unit for long lost *buried* treasures. And I do mean buried! My husband was in charge of moving our things into storage, and holy hell, did he make a mess of it! I was completely overwhelmed the second we flung that door open. It took a lot longer then we anticipated, between anxiety driven temper tantrums, and tired fits of rage, and hunger induced grouchiness, but we finally got everything out of there that we wanted... I think. We just sort of threw everything into the RV; with plans to slowly organize in the three weeks we'll be in Orlando. Screw Disney, we've got unpacking to do! :-/  And also, screw Disney anyway!

We had some really good, even if short, visits with family and a dear friend.
My Dad and Nick fixed the battery charging issue.
And we were back on the road a couple of days later.

We made it almost to Georgia before we stopped for the night on Wednesday. We found out pretty quickly that rest stops are not plentiful along I75... and it's REALLY not easy to find one that has space available after the sun goes down. Shit! Serious Truckerville, Batman! We woke the next morning a little less ready to roar then previous days. We were all exhausted and super appreciative of the extra hours of sleep. When we finally got rolling we were set to make it to Orlando late that night, but we only made it a couple hundred of miles before our trucks engine shut off on us. On the interstate. At night.


A quick call to the insurance company let us know that no, we infact did not have road side assistance. Whoops. We bought a service contract with our RV, and were so pleased to find out that it covers towing (to include tow vehicle). Not so pleased to find out that they only cover $100 dollars, total. We were just looking to be towed 2.3 miles up the road, to a Walmart parking lot, so Nick could figure out what was wrong ... and the tow company was going to charge us over $300 for it. For 2.3 miles. Whaaaaa??!!? AND it was going to take them about 2 hours to get to us...  on the interstate... at night.

Atleast the wait gave Nick time to look the truck over and decide he was not going to be able to fix it himself, so when the tow guys actually got to us we were able to work out a deal to be towed to their auto shop for repair. Because they would be earning our repair business, they said they'd only charge the $100 dollars in towing covered by the service contract. So that was good.  Repairs would have to wait until the next day when they opened, though, so we all crashed. Exhausted. Hopeful for a quick cheap repair in the morning.

Haaa, not!

They had their entire garage looking at our truck, trying to figure out what the problem was. Fuel pump burnt out, for sure. But replacing it didn't fix the problem. As the list of "cheap fixes" kept getting nixed, and the possibility of an expensive repair became more and more likely ... I lost it. Super freaking lost it. Locked myself in my room and cried, cried, cried. That... did not help! A roaring headache, and still no answers later ... the garage was closed for the day, and we were sleeping in their parking lot again.

In the ghetto.
With no toilet access.
But we did have electricity ... so we were warm.
Ahhhh, warm!
And who says a lady can't pee behind a dumpster?
All night long.
Because she drank a billion gallons of water trying to rehydrate after her cry.
Hoping that would help her headache.
It did not.

The truck was towed to another garage bright and early the next morning. So we waited.
And waited.
And waited.

About 4:30 that afternoon I hear the familiar sound of an engine charging into the parking lot. Sure enough. Our truck. Moving itself ... no tow necessary. Thatta girl! Or boy? I dunno ... it's technically not my truck.

Apparently when my Dad and Nick were working to get the truck to charge the rigs battery again they spliced into the wrong wire (the RV company jacked up the wiring when they installed the bed outlet plug, and it was causing a mess of problems). All of the wiring under the truck had to be replaced, and we're no longer able to use that side plug. BUT, the freakin thing works, it didn't cost the $4000 that the garage was anticipating, and we made it down to FL.

I think we're in FL.
It's dark.
We're all a bit delirious.
We could be in Kansas for all we know.
But, whatever, we're somewhere!

Just in time to celebrate my birthday.

Tomorrow (today?)

In bed, probably ... because I'm exhausted!

December 7, 2012

Two Days In

We did it! 
We hit the road. On Wednesday. Like planned.

I can't say the plan was executed without a hitch, though.
2 days on the road, and we've had a bunch of excitement already.

We woke bright and early yesterday, ready to roll... right after our UPS package was delivered. Of course while waiting for that brown truck, little odds and ends kept popping up that needing tending to. Little odds and ends that added up pretty quickly to mean we didn't even have the 5th wheel hitched up before UPS came at noon. One last run to the recycle center, and we were ready to hitch and ride. Only... our landing gear busted nuts while raising it to hitch. A project that required the entire side of landing gear be taken apart and repaired. 3pm when that finally gets done. Okay, still time to make it over the mountain pass before the snow hit. All hitched up, car loaded, hugs and lots tears saying "see you later" to our grandparents, started the truck ... no lights on the trailer. Whaaa?! 


Fingers crossed for a simple fuse problem. No sir. Simple is not the way we roll. Checking this and that, taking apart this and that, and finally they decide to go under the truck to check the wiring. Still hitched up, we needed to back up a little so we could lift the front end of the truck a bit. Me, having never driven this thing before, gets tasked with backing up! The door was open so I would be able to see my Grampa, but I still couldn't really see him, so I stuck my head out further, while backing up (not gassing it... just lifting my foot off of the brake a bit to roll), so I would at least be able to hear him over the roar of the diesel engine. I had my head stuck so far out of the door that I almost fell out at the same time I hear a "STOOOOP". Too late. He was gesturing thinking I could see him, so his stop came AFTER I hit the house. Dented their gutter, put a few new holes in the back of our rig (we JUST finished repairing collision damage!), and our ladder is bent and crushed into the rig. The kids immediately ask "are we going to have to wait for moooooooore repair parts to come in now" (a 2 months process for the last repair, lol). Nope! We are LEAVING TODAY even if that means we're dropping pieces of our house from here to Florida. 

They finally get under the truck... Bingo! Faulty loose connection. A pretty quick fix after that. It was almost 5pm when we finally hit the road. We drove 6 hours before stopping from the night. Now, I've watched a lot of horror movies involving rest stops, thankyouverymuch, so the days leading up to this was a bit worrisome. Once we stopped though all my fears were immediately gone. Maybe because I was already half asleep? lol. We were all very excited for our first overnight at a rest stop, though the excitement only lasted about 10 minutes before we all passed out.

This morning I woke up at 6:30am ready to hit it! Lucy, the sweet stray pooch that adopted us a month ago, decided it was a good morning for puppies! I hoped we had enough time to get settled in FL before the arrival, but ok, lets do this! The first two puppies born were great. Same color as mama, and all kinds of wriggly. The third puppy was black and white. So cute! We were all so excited. Lucy was soon done cleaning him up, and went right into contractions for the next. I noticed that he wasn't wriggling around trying to find a teet. I looked in closer to see that he wasn't breathing! Years ago I watched some puppy show on animal planet, and I remembered them saying that if a puppy isn't breathing, hold it firmly in your hands, belly up, support it's head, and fling it! A swift motion from shoulders to knees. It's supposed to work to bring up any fluid in the lungs. Sooo, we flung him, and flung him, and flung him. He'd make grunting sounds after each fling, but then go back to not breathing. We called the closest vet (40 minutes away), but the Dr wasn't in yet. Started puppy CPR. Holy crap, tiny little puppy mouth to mouth will surely wake you up in the morning! We decided to continue CPR in the truck while we headed to the vet... at least we'd be closer if they thought they was something they could do. He was gasping for breath, which was better then not breathing at all. Atleast there was some sound there. 5 minutes into the trip I was getting worried that the pup was getting too cold, so I stuck him back in the box. I put him under the other three pups, so the body heat would warm him up, and also so their wriggling would consistently be pushing on and stimulating his lungs. 


We get to the vet clinic to check in. I look in the box... and there he was. Wriggling and climbing around. Breathing just fine. Like nothing. 


There was nothing more the vet could do, so back on the road we went with a very watchful eye on little Rocky (had a rocky start, while going over the Rockies, putting up a great fight like Rocky ... I mean, c'mon, there was no other choice in name).

About an hour later, another puppy was born.
How in the hell did 5 puppies fit inside of this tiny little dog?!
And also, holy freakin nut house up in this RV when they all start running around.
SEVEN dogs in an RV?!
TWO cats. FIVE people.
Get the straight jacket ready.
Also... who wants a puppy in about 8 weeks? 

Speaking of the Rockies. Holy fucking snow, Batman. I wanted to leave early on Wednesday to avoid it, but our late start wednesday, and then all the excitement and late start this morning equals we didn't miss it. At all. Like seriously ... NOT.AT.ALL. We were in snow all day today. Up and down mountain passes. Our truck fishtailed a couple of times. I had a few minor heart attacks. My toes froze. My freshly washed RV is covered in mud. 


When we were planning which day to leave I said 
"I don't want to travel with newborn puppies", and 
"I don't want to drive over mountain passes in the snow".


A week ago I should have said 
"I don't want to win this epic powerball lottery".
I'd be swimming in benjamins right now.

... only two days in.

December 3, 2012

tougher then that

That fear that was holding me in one spot.
Preventing me from answering the calls of the open road.
Stalling me from living my dreams.

Yea, that fear...
I flipped it off and walked away from it.

"cause I'm as free as a bird now"

Always have been; I just needed a little reminder.

You see. My husband and I ... we've had (have) a rocky relationship. PTSD and TBI and a whoooooole lot of selfish choices on his part and protective reactions on mine make for some pretty steep mountains to climb. We're climbing, but steep sheer rocks lend themselves to a lot of slipping. Sometimes it's 2 steps forward; 1 step back. Sometimes it's 1 step forward; 20 steps back. A process. A hard, rocky, often tumultuous process. The thought of being on the open road definitely has potential to scare me to my core. And I have let it on numerous occasions. Scare me. The thought of him walking out, again. Leaving us stranded in the middle of no where. With no savings account. It's a real possibility. And it's scary.


I refuse to let fear dictate my life.
It may have stalled me up for a moment or two,
but it won't win.

I'm made of shit way tougher then that, baby!

We're rolling out Wednesday!

December 2, 2012

Sunday's Songbird ... Ganja Babe

In honor of Washington State bringing weed to the adult masses; I find this fitting ;-)

Annnnnnnd this song has been a long time slow hooping favorite of mine. I haven't hooped much since the rains have taken over, but I stare longingly at them on a regular basis. This song goes out to them ... I'm slow hooping in my head with you, my little round gods!

Ganja Babe ~Michael Franti
heavy medicine
ya see my eyes are feeling red again
i'm bringin' light
like thomas funky edison
been in the desert for forty seven days
purple haze
the poison that I tasted never changed
turn up the woofers, so I can feel the beat
my belly like a bomb in harmony
summer heat
my back is sticking to me to the seat
bare feet, tank top, and shorts is all ya need
summer breeze
i'm feelin' kinda fine
i'm rollin with my shorty all the time
wind and grind lovely shake your behind
cinnamon skin be bringing sin to my mind
but whether or not the weather's hot
or the weather's cold
i'm wrapping her like a blanket with my whole soul
so that she can feel me
like coca cola I'm the woo-o-oh oh 
sweet thing, my girl lollipop 
she growing mad crops
she rollin' herbs everyday
at about 4 o' clock
tick tock
strike the hammer while the iron's hot
ooh girl 
whatcha got cooking in the pot
see mary mary quite contrary
how does your garden grow
hydroponic, ultra supersonic
or does it grow naturally slow

ganja babe 
my sweet ganja babe
i love tha way ya love me and the way ya misbehavin'
ganja babe 
my sweet ganja babe
come wake body-ody take my mind away

everybody get down, and do the boogaloo
just like the cover of I want you
yoo hooo 
look whatcha gonna do
whatcha gonna do when the rent comes due
round up the posse, and call up the crew
5 bucks at the door, and ya bring ya own booze
call ya neighbors, 'cause they can come too
be sure and bring ya records 'cause I only got a few
so baa baa black sheep have you any wool
yes sir, yes sir a nickle bagful
some for my partner, some for my crew
some for my ganja baby she needs too
cuz just like me they long to be... high

ganja babe 
my sweet ganja babe
i love tha way ya love me and the way ya misbehavin'
ganja babe 
my sweet ganja babe
come wake body-ody take my mind away

ganja babe 
my sweet ganja babe
i love tha way ya love me and the way ya misbehavin'
ganja babe 
my sweet ganja babe
come wake body-ody take my mind away

take my mind away, ahh
take my mind away, ahh
take my mind away, ahh