Sherry [Lucy the smooth BC] spent the weekend here

1-9-19–> 1-14-19

Another beautiful day in Paradise as a former student would often say. The sunset tonight was brilliant. Couldn’t get a great picture because of so many camping rigs here. Numbers guestimates haven’t come in yet. Because of the government shutdown they are not actually issuing individual permits. Guesses are about 8K! They are tracking vehicles so there should be a real headcount at some point. Today was orientation for all. So going over rules, common courtesies, etc. I staffed the ‘free stuff’ booth for part of the day. It’s a good assignment because when you’re on duty you get first debs at anything that comes in that you want to claim. I got a slightly bigger bin to trade out for one of mine so that I was able to eliminate the footprint of one smaller container. Simple things but every little bit of space counts!. I re-organized my dish drawer tonight. I probably don’t need all I have with me. And I wish I had few more table knives [which I got the day after I drafted this]. Funny, I have not seen silverware at any of the local thrift stores. I also know I have too many clothes. I downsized a lot of tee shirts before I left home. But I still have a lot.

I’ve been approached to be interviewed for someone’s podcast on mobile living so that should be fun and I’m hoping to get interviews for a YouTube channel or two. My bus is by far the nicest one I’ve seen so far, at least on the inside. It still needs more paint on the outside. That will come when the weather is warmer and the dust less. Another frustrating day with poor /no phone or Internet or texting. ATT has my phone hostage but it should be unlocked by tomorrow. I’m gong to Verizon. Have the chip to trade out once I get notice that it’s unlocked.

Dogs still doing well. They enjoyed Sherry’s visit Friday – Monday. The cot in the isle of the bus worked well enough – better with the topper of my mattress then the air mattress I have that is cot size. That mattress just might be going to the free pile! As I type this last bit I am in a coffee shop in Phoenix after dropping Sherry at the airport. This is such a HUGE city! The good news is that I can shop at Trader Joes, get a good wifi connection, gas at Costco and picking up a few things for some other folks. And a shower at LA Fitness. Clean is good!

Last night for dinner we enjoyed a stew of whatever a variety of folks had brought to put into a big pot that one of our neighbors had found at a thrift store. Cooked over the fire, it was yummy. And then a bus residing neighbor from FL made pineapple upside down cake in a dutch oven, cooked on the coals.

This morning the session was on kitchen and other ‘hacks’ that people use to save fuel, water, etc. We all lined up and one by one we showed off our ideas and items. Mine was Parchment paper. Lots of folks use it in baking, but I use it for almost anything I cook. just a layer jammed into the pot or pan and the pan stays clean. Today for breakfast it was some pork-chops I needed to use, and fried eggs. pan was clean as a whistle, paper went in the trash although it could have been kept for fire starter as well what with a bit of grease on it. People really loved this idea.

OK, thats all for now. I’m hoping to learn to add pictures today or soon.

Please be in touch, love hearing how you are all doing. OH! and I heard from my friend Pritamo in Seattle that the Brooks trial had NO ODOR in the container search. Only 4 people trusted their dogs and were willing to call it clear. Their always coming up with something to challenge us aren’t they! This was in the elite trial BTW. We got into Deckers CO end of March. So I better start training again LOL.


Happy New Year!

I’m in the [cold!] desert between Bouse and Quartzsite in AZ. Tonight will be my 3rd night here. I have marginal and intermittent Internet connection. I’ll be evaluating whether to jump ship to Verizon or not in the next month. Att is getting better but I’m not sure it’s good enough. Time will tell.

I’m here for the Women’s RTR. A gathering of women who are living part or full time on the road in various kinds of mobile housing. It’s an educational and free event where people who have ‘gone before’ hold sessions to educate us all about all things living on the road. I’ve already learned a few things and can’t wait to dig into the ‘leave no trace’ website I learned about today. I thought I knew it all but not true!

One of the things I just hate hate hate is all the garbage so many people leave along the interstate, in off road BLM camping sites, in parks, school grounds, etc.  Travelers, truckers, the poor and the rich all seem to have excuses and reasons why they are special and can leave garbage in their wake. It’s really discouraging at times to see so much. I’ve met many amazing women already.  

Everyone here at the Womens RTR is super friendly and helpful. The real ‘gig’ starts on Friday but there are probably a couple of hundred women like myself, here early. I’m camped across a little roadlet from Cindy and Martha. Martha has been living in her LazyDaze for about a year, often staying on the property of friends and family. [If I were to buy a standard motor home verses the bus I would have gotten a LazyDaze – well build one at a time, a real cut above the many other cheesy brands out there]. Cindy just retired a few weeks ago and has sold her house, given away her dog [very sad that she did that, but live and learn and Wilson has a great new forever home]. She bought a new truck, 5th wheel trailer, and all the stuff that goes with, and hasn’t a clue how any of it works LOL. But she is a game gal and figuring things out. This afternoon Martha and I helped her get her generator going so she now has power to her ‘house’ batteries and appliances. She really got ‘taken’ by the sales folks where she bought her rig and all its accessories. But that is another story. Buyer be ware.

Hoping to be able to post some pictures on my blog as well and hoping to post regularly.  I really haven’t felt too much like I’m ‘retired and free’ yet. I worked for about 4 wks on the avocado farm and it was hard but good work and I probably worked harder and more then I needed to but I have a strong blue collar work ethic inherited from my dad and from working in my upper adolescent and teen years in the 10 acre filbert orchard that my grandfather and then my father had. It’s not a bad thing to be a hard worker LOL. I didn’t have to go to the gym to build my muscles up!

I’ll be here till the 6th when I head down to Quartzsite to the all gender RTR [stands for Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. I hate that word cause I can never spell it well enough for google to tell me the real spelling!] to help with set up. That one starts on the 9th and is about 10 days long. My head should be exploding with info and ideas by then. My friend Sherri [Lucy the smooth coated Border Collie] is coming on the 10th to spend a few days with me and soaking up the knowledge. Don’t forget everyone, that I have a cot and blow up mattress so a guest bed!

OK, headed back to camp to drive into Quartzite with Martha and Cindy.

What Joyce is up to

Hello friends, students, family. 

Since not all my friends, students and family are on Facebook etc. I’ve decided to use a blog format to let anyone who is interested know what I’m up to! Also gives me the ability to sort of have a journal/diary. Now all I have to do is keep it fairly up to date!

So if your not on FB which I am seriously contemplating getting off of entirely, you can still know what I’m up to. My brother [I’m in the San Diego area right now – Dec. 7th 2018] is more into podcast then even I am and he turned me onto this one that I am really liking. RECODE DECODE is by Kara Swisher and she is pretty interesting. She interviews many folks in the tech and political world. Very enlightening content and she has a good sense of humor as well. 

I’m currently living on a three acre avacado and other fruits farmetett that a friend of my brothers recently bought. He is getting a fab deal. I am working 20 hours a week digging weeds and invasive growth and doing a lot of cleanup garden work. Beats going to the gym LOL. Which btw is only about 7 minutes down the road in Escondito so I can go there [LA Fitness] to shower and even soak in the jetted tub and sooth my aching muscles. I’ll likely be in the area till end of Dec. when I travel about 5 hours to Western AZ where there is lots happening in the mobile [van life] world. Big educational event there including several days just for women.

Generally I’m thinking I don’t want to just be a traveler. I like the idea of doing some sort of work and have found out about several organizations that help connect workers with property owners and trade room and board for work. Through one of these organizations I met a women in Arroyo Grande who has a certified organic farm. 10 acres. We really hit it off and I was actually able to help her with some mobility issues with her 97yo father. I’ll likely be back there in Feb. to hang out, work, and also care take [paid position] her father while she goes on a vacation out of the country. Should be interesting. he is a raving consertive, christian scientest. Watches Fox news all days and loves Mr. T. Uggh. I’m so glad I’m not related to him lol!

My bro has been helping me with some tech stuff mostly related to establishing a one password system for my website memeberships etc. 

The company in Eugene who installed my breaking system for my Honda while towing totally screwed it up and my Fit is in the shop to get it re-installed. I had funky breaking while driving it and finally figured out that it was some of the newly installed cables interfering with each other. It’s a mechanical not electrical system and it is in the shop down here now having a complete new install done. I have a dispute going with the Discover card folks and they guy in Eugene totally lied about what they did and thinks I think it is an electrical problem etc etc etc. What a pain in the tush. 

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Oh my, we are already done with what is probably 'hump day' of our drive to Springfield MA from PDX so that Martha Schostal and her teammate Sunny Delight can participate with some 46 other teams. Today we called it a day a bit earlier then we have been. We debated about trying to figure out how to beat the weather, as there is a storm including snow due to blow into the NE over the weekend. Then we decided we should just keep taking it day to day so we got our digs in Newton IA. 

We had fab BBQ for dinner tonight at Moo's BBQ and Blues [the later of which neither of us like]. It was worth it for the BBQ though LOL. So it was a good stop! Martha loves good food, and I love just about any food so we are a good pair!

Our previous nights we have been in Boise ID, Rock Springs WY, & North Platte River NE. 

We have evolved into a great routine – up around 6:30, Martha feeds Sunny after a brief break outside then I walk her for about half an hour while Martha showers etc. Then i grab a quick shower, we eat our hotel breakfast, and we are on the road between 845 and 930 depending on what might be up with the Hiace, Martha's 25yo Toyota van. We have done some fluid replacements and dealt with a blown fuse that runs the heat/AC.  

Yesterday we met an Airedale puppy at a rest stop. This was part of the conversation: "He's from a really good breeder" "we got him from in front of the Cabala's". Apparently people sell their dogs there every weekend. "He was for $500. but when I walked away and walked back and offered her $100.00 she took it, she said she had been told to get rid of them". Yes, from a really good breeder. Which begs the question, what is a really good breeder?? I'm sure we all would have varying opinion about that one, even though we are a pretty savvy bunch! 

Today we had very strong winds all day. Corn husk parts flying across the freeway. Brief voids of wind when trucks passed us, and a lot of hanging on tight to the steering wheel. We learned in talking to someone that sometimes they close the freeway due to the wind. We thought the road barriers were for snow, so much for what we know. Trucks go down the road with the back end closer to the white line then the front end due to the wind blowing the back end. Guess that's why we were seeing a lot of windmill farms today too. 

Nose Work gave us a nice little perk today too. When we checked in at our motel, we were chatting with the woman at the desk. The reason for out trip came up and we told her a bit about Nose Work. And she spontaneously waved the $20. pet fee because we had a working dog!

Well, that is the word from the Midwest for today. I'm going to try to start writing more regularly. We want to get east of Chicago tomorrow, maybe as far as