Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nah, I Don't Think So

Re the church letting me have room to sew, I took a good look at the feasibility of getting my sewing out of storage, and it occured to me that not only would I have to lug it back and forth from the truck, but back and forth from storage as well.  If my nice armoir had not collapsed on itself (pressboard) and I did not need to buy metal storage shelves and redo the whole thing, I would give it a shot, but until that mess is cleaned up, I think I better stop rushing ahead and deal with one thing at a time.  The damp is not obvious but it is insidious and my pressboard bookcases and the 20 year old armoir have slowly soaked it up and the shelves sagged and one broke.  I have an impending avalance of boxed up books, so that is my priority for now.  Getting storage organized as planned, and then sewing on my own.  And with that mess organized better, getting my stuff in and out will be no more difficult than taking the sewing machine into another room at our ex-apartment.

We are still following our plan to make sure the truck is running right, and save up the money for either the new shell or the van.  Then the sewing will commence with a vengence.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Maybe Some Good News Eventually

At the Christmas Eve Dinner, one of the ladies in charge of the New Hope project where we were able to register the car and insurance for it told me she has been advocating for some space for me to set up my sewing machine and do some work. She said that since the project is supposed to encourage homeless people to work, it made sense to help me work.

My problems with it are that the project office is only open 3 mornings a week, 3 hours a day, one of which the hubby has his PT appointment.  I would have to have him babysit my work if I go the restroom or to get something I forgot from the truck.  I would have to buy a sewing machine cart/dolly thing to lug the machine and all my other equipment back and forth from the parkinglot over bad paveing and sets of stairs.  The place is frequented by street people who are violent, often starting fights with each other, and bragging about hiding from the police for warrents, or in the parkinglot (against the rules) trying to con people into helping them out with money or a ride, (and getting helpful people in trouble with the police because it's all about drugs or stealing your car) and the whole thing just makes me want to back off and run away every time we go there. The only reason we go there when the office is open is every 3 weeks (or you lose your mail privileges) to check our mail.  

The upside is hey, I get to do some sewing.

I need to think about this.  I need to see the 'space' they are going to let me use.  And hot weather is out of the question as there is nowhere to park in the shade and the cat is not invited.  And if we get the larger battery for the truck soon, I can set up my awning, folding table and machine and sew in the shade in the park.  So yeah, I need to assess the good parts of the offer.  But the whole thing just conflicts me.

The other conflict is between the place that did our gasket for the camper shell and a new custom shell for 1,800$ or a trade and $1000 for the Safari Van.  Both would need to be fitted out the way I would like it, so the interior is no issue.   I talked to our mechanic today and he said keep the Ranger because it's a solid beast and get the new shell, rather than take a chance on the Safari Van being a mess of problems. So the comprimise is, spend the 85$ to get the van checked over before we make any decissions on which to buy. When ever that happens.  At least we are now at the point where we can start saving up money, and when the weather improves, get some sewing done.  Right now it is damned cold in sunny California.  And that drought, we are getting dumped on by coastal storms at least half the week for weeks now.  Technically I should be getting a lot of hand sewing done, but yeah, not happening.




Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Christmas Everyone!

It's been a very strange year, and I hope that it will be a better year for all of us in 2017.  Someone has offered us a deal for the truck in enchange with a smaller amount of money for a Dodge 1991  Safari Van already set up with electricity, etc.  Instead of over a year that puts us at a year or less to get something more roomy and workable.  I am loath to give up the truck, but the Safari is 1.5 times bigger, and with the recent rains again, I would rather walk from the front to the back, than get out and go around and get in a slide in camper.  We will see what the coming year brings! 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Has it Really Been That Long?

The library only lets you use the computers for an hour and sometimes there are lines to use one, so we do tend to drop off the face of the earth now and then.  But I can use my tablet as long as I like on the wifi, if it behaves, like just now it is downloading huge amounts of junk for apps I never use and it is lagging like crazy.

With all the car repairs, we were not able to reach our goal of getting back to some sewing in time, obviously.  The biggest problem other than the truck itself has been the shell.  It is not a slide in camper but what they call a topper.  The Brahma company went out of business ages ago, so this thing must be as old as the truck.  Before we moved out, I put in curtain rods, and caulked everything.  We finally found out that when they painted the shell and the truck, they did not put a gasket back in.  This is no problem in summer, but in winter, you might as well be inside a cooler.  We found this out just after we got our little butane heater.  So that was taken care of at a place I found by accident, but I think when they fork lifted the shell, the window cualking cracked and we still have to tarp the truck when it rains.  Other than that, yeah, a few more blankets thrown on.

There are a lot of ups and downs about this lifestyle.  The good parts are being able to see a lot of the outdoors we had no time to see before.  No gawd awful neighbors to drive us mad while we are trapped at their mercy.  Mostly we have made new acquaintences and some friends.  There are inconvieniences.  It's making and breaking camp all the time if we want to save money and cook our own meals. 

Then there are the real problems.  The people who prey on the homeless seem to think we are an easy mark.  They want money, rides, food, hot water, just because we are homeless and have something.  The drug addicts always have a sad story, but who to blame but themselves?  We call the police, or we tell them we just don't have enough to share, I mean seriously? 

But you have to not make yourself a target with some people.  We actually have some homeless older creeps pimping drugged out teen girls who hang around in the library and make it their business to make sure no one uses their space, the lounge area near the bathrooms. I have reported them, and the library staff seem reluctant to do anything about them or the more offensive crazies so now I just call the police.

One of the biggest things that upset the street people, as opposed to the just plain homeless (a lot of whom have jobs they go to and have to hide their situation from their bosses) is that they think you are one of them: that you will be interested in drugs for favors or prostution.  Then they get mad when we tell them to get lost.  They get incensed when we call the police, because somehow, it's playground rules with these nut jobs.

One woman tried to convince me that I had forgotten being 'good
 friends' with her and her husband and had given them a ride to somewhere south way out of my knowledge.  Absolutely told me I had to have had some accident because I could not remember her and she would tell me all about it and give me gas money to give her and her man a lift again.  I pointed out that there are only two seats in my truck and my husband was handicapped, where exactly had everyone sat on this long drive before?  She then told me I had a different car at the time.  I asked her what made her think I would go get said car now, being homeless and having only the one car.  This totally bollixed her, but apparently I am the one brain damaged, LOL!

Learning to accept help was hard, we had to go to church pantries, and dinners, and all the running around doing so ate up time, and gas money. You spend hours in line for very little.  They cater primarily toward the hispanic community, and I have never eaten so much 'mexican' food in my life!  We finally determined to say no thanks and shop where there are smaller portions of meat for sale, and stopped running ourselves ragged.  Too much of the food the churches get is salt and sugar ladden or past expiration. People get food poisoning on a regular basis.  The good side is they give out free flue shots (we get ours through insurance anyway) and sometimes they have the vet students look at pets for free.  But we are looking forward to not having any more repairs that we know of in the coming months to be able to fend more for ourselves again, and save up some money.

The two year wait list may be getting shorter, but we still have to save up the key money in time to get a place when it becomes available, if ever.  The shop where we got the gasket for the shell makes custom campers for our size truck for a lot less than we have seen used ones for sale.  It is just a blank shell and very well made.  If we save up and the shell price is met before the apartment, you can bet we will buy a new shell.  Big enough for a bunk bed and a work counter, with cab over storage space and no more kneeling.  My guess is that we will have this before we see an apartment, unless we go east when the weather improves.  That means loosing our insurance for health and automotive, but much less cost of living.  And I can attend the doll cons with the camper after we get a place.

In the meantime, I hope to stop running around in circles with all the holiday dinners and get back to my hand sewing!  I was hoping to get some of the projects I cut out before we moved out done in time to send out for Christmas, but yeah, who can plan?  






 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hell of a Storm Here in CA

Driving back to Upland this morning was like being an extra in a thriller disaster movie. All that was missing was the wind blown sharks or something.  Thunder, lightening, pouring rain on Route 66.  And before coffee.  O_o

I thought I had caulked my camper shell windows really well, but yeah, nope.  So we had that moment every one has camping.  When the flood comes.  It is mostly dry now.  Newspaper is awesome for wicking up water.  I found that out while living in that awful flat for years with the roof not being fixed.  Nothing was damaged but my patience.  I seriously can not deal with having wet feet.  I have been living with cats too long.  You see we don't often need wellies in CA, so I don't have a pair.

It's that time of year again.  Fishcake knows the score, LOL!

You are drunk, Squirrel, go home.


My grandparents in NH used to have to deal with drunk deer every time the apples fell and fermented.  They do a lot of damage, but this guy, this guy has issues.  

I am going mad without my dollies.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Fall At Last!


We had our first really cool day in ages, so I was finally able to get into the storage unit and do some serious culling.  After all, I can always replace the book shelves later.  I have a book I want to try some furniture patterns from that I can't remember at the moment what the title is, (it’s buried in storage) but it's for making really clean lined simple modular pieces that you can change the form of.  Triangles and trapezoids and so forth that you then join with shelf or table boards.  In a small flat that can be quite useful.  

I think my tablet hates most of the internet now, the html formatting always messes up.  So yeah, still alive, still getting somewhere.  We just need a new bigger 5 year battery for the truck and an extension cord and we are going to see how the sewing goes.  A lot of people use their storage units as workshops so I am pondering that.  We would need to change to a garage door unit to make it more efficient, though.  And get an awning.  I am considering donating our fridge and freezer to the animal shelter thrift store, because they pick up and it would free up about 8 sq ft of space.  Anyway about to get thrown out of the library at closing time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Wow, Has It Been That Long?

Sorry to have dropped off the planet for a while, but the heat and car repairs, etc.  We have had more cool days than hellish lately and have just been trying to enjoy them for a change.  I am still waiting for the really cool days to start getting rid of stuff in the storage unit so we have room to move around in there.

Tama is getting very used to walking on his leash.  Unfortunately this means ever time we go to a park he has walked in, he expects to go for walkies.  If you have ever seen a spoiled brat sulk, this cat has it down.

I am vaguely considering finishing up Arita's Octoberfest outfit in time to take her to the LA county fairgrounds Octoberfest.  It is the least expensive around at 35$ total (parking, us getting in) if we can go at evening and have the cat kept cool.  Thinking.  Maybe.  We will see what happens.  Since we don't drink, we aren't going to the 75$ a person places where you get a huge boot to drink out of and all the brew you can drink.  My god, that sounds like an invitation to long lines at the portapotty.

But yes, alive much.  Reading a lot of books. I just finished up the mystery section at the library.  If this keeps up, I will have to start reading biographies and then history.


Friday, August 26, 2016

When Nature Gets Stupid

Tuesday we had an incident.  We park in the same space a lot because of the shade and this pidgeon has been sort of hanging around.  Light brown with speckles, sort of doppy, does not get out of the way when you are walking as close as two feet.  We figured it was nesting in the tree we park under.  Pigeons not being the brightest birds.  So the back of our camper shell opens up, and the tail gate goes down, not the type that opens in the middle outward, but up and down.  I am in the back of the pickup putting stuff away, and something goes Whump! and flutters in.  I guess the pigeon hit the raised tinted window back and brained itself a bit.  I scream, naturally (like a 'girly' I am informed) and the pidgeon proceeds to burrow under our folding chairs.  Tama is asleep on the front seat.
I grab a handkerchief, move a chair, toss handkerchief over the bird and gather it up all the while Hubby who was sitting on the tail gate with his coffee is laughing his butt off over my scream.  I have handled birds in the past, so I knew not to squish it and got it out of the truck.  Thankfully it did not poo, just lost a few little fuzzy feathers.  So there I am with a dazed and confused (possibly congenital with this bird) pigeon and no tree branch low enough to shove him onto.  By now my cat is awake and aware something is going on.  They prune the trees so that no one has to duck under them, so naturally, no branches to park the bird.  I ended up putting the covered bird on the cooled off hood of the truck and then Voila! pulling the handkerchief off.  Pidgeon flew off with the cat standing there paws on the dash watching wide eyed.

Then it occurred to me that I am now officially old.  I dealt with the issue rather than whipping out my phone and video-ing it for my face book or something.  So no pictures.

So now we keep an eye out for the dipsy bird in case it decides to try it again.

Tama spent the afternoon sniffing around the back of the truck trying to find the source of the bird scent.

Thank goodness for a few days of 88 rather than 108.  We are getting some things done, like nagging the doctor for referrals and sorting things in storage to make a bit more room to move in there.  Then we need to change the front brake pads (ex-neighbor is loaning us his jack and we have done it so often it's like changing a light bulb) and finding out that we have better neighbors on the road than in the entire time we lived in the apartments.  I was planning on getting something set up to sew by machine in September, but with the brakes and everything we are finding we need, it may be more like December before I have the garage do the double battery thing that will allow me to use a converter without draining the main battery.


So we will see.  I am starting to have dolly withdrawals!  



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Just a Quicky Update

It is too hot to do anything but sit in the shade and enjoy the breeze in the park.  We managed to get some of the stuff in storage sorted out.  I let go of some stuff I had been holding onto just because it was cheaper to keep than to replace, but who needs a worn out vacuum cleaner and wobbly ironing board at this point?

Let's hope that the El Nino effect does not mean having to BBQ for Christmas this year, because I need cold weather to clean out the rest of the storage unit and get that mess pared down to essentials.

My dolls have been in hellish heat in the unit and I check them every few weeks.  No discoloration.  I did have to sadly break down and toss all their precious boxes, though.  But in the long run (and with the mice infestation in the next unit gotten rid of?) they are better off in the big plastic bins.  I have never come into contact with a serious mouse problem.  Man those little b**tard stink!

We have been no where near all the fires so far. They have been all on the other side of the mountain range or in another valley so far.  This last one nearly got a gas station though.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

If the Heat Doesn't Get You...

The trees will try.   This is where we usually park to have lunch, there is a nice bit of shade and a clean set of benches.  This morning we were chatting with an acquaintance and I heard this woosh as his eyes widened.  Half the tree just slowly slid down.  We all thought it was just a branch until we drove by and saw that it would have crushed a car.  There is a huge limb buried in that foliage, the whole thing is the size of a small tree by itself.


As soon as the heat is over and we hit next month's budget, I hope to get new tires and construct an off/on awning for the tailgate.  I have found some for $130 to $300 ready made and thought, what the heck, some PVC, elbows and a tarp for less than forty would do it.  Two tarps and some upholstery zippers and we would have a tent extension for real camping.  It would really help when I am trying to deal with all the small pieces and not having to chase them all over the park.  

Walking a cat on a leash is not like walking a dog.  Cats like to think about things.  Tama will walk to where he wants to be, then lay down and 'observe' for like an hour.  He has finally made up his mind that damp grass in the shade is actually preferable to hot truck with a battery powered fan.  But he has this trick of trying to slither off in the moderately tall grass.  In his mind, if he is low enough, no one will see him, I suppose.  Either that or he is playing lion on the savanna.  He still has issues with the big blue thing, but he is okay under tree branches.  He has absolutely no fear of dogs.  He is like, 'enh, dog, big deal'.  This discombobulates the dogs, who just tip their heads and whine before being hauled off by their owners.   When some boob head has a dog off leash, Tama goes back in the truck.  
Can not wait for Summer to be over with it.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Still Alive, Just a Bit Roasted

We are just coming out of another hellish heat wave and another fire burst out here in So Cal, so it's been pretty much hit the parks, find shade and enjoy the breezes on the days when there were some.  Breezes and outright wind are not helpful to hand sewing by any means.  Having given up on shuttle tatting, I have been TRYING to needle tatt, but the wind always comes up just in time to mess up my progress!

We are now thinking Tennessee.  We have sensibly ruled out Nevada.  The heat changed our minds real fast.

Being thrown off, more later. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Library Computers Not So Convenient: Dirndle Progress

Okay, sanity restored.  After fighting with the Library computer for an hour yesterday I thought, DUH!  Power Point!   It was driving me mad because let's face it, the doll business runs on photos, and I am not a very good photographer.  I have no aptitude for the fiddly bits of photography.

After months and having been in the back of the truck, in some pretty horrendous heat,
not only has she not changed color, but her craft foam padded joints still work!  I made
her a little finger brace with some tin from a (gasp!) pecan pie plate. >.>;; 
It could all do with an iron but yeah, too lazy to heat up the sauce pot and iron it.
That trick I learned ages ago when I had a job interview and the iron died.  I
grabbed a frying pan with a smooth bottom and ironed my skirt!  Nailed the job.
So what she needs now is the traditional necklace, some socks (burried in storage) a shawl, and the little black hat with the flowers on it.  I have some thoughts on tatting rather than crocheting a shawl, it's one of the things I have been trying to learn, but the shuttle I have is too big for my fingers to deal with or something.  I am going to try needle tatting instead, because I have the long needles from soft toy making.

Hubby has to take a lot of credit for this, since he is the one learning to do the designs on the computer program to put in the machine.  Here is the background work again for this thing.  All I had to do was learn to precisely line up the pattern and change thread or back up and re-thread when the thread broke for what ever reason.  So yeah, once we get a laptop again, and hopefully the program works in what ever system, or we can get a partitioned hard drive with windows 8 still, we will be able to continue to work on his learning to do the designs.  I seriously hope the program works still because it is an amazing program and people put a lot of work into it, just to be side lined by MicroSoft.  

So for now, Arita is in the storage unit in a plastic case.  We are slowly getting the last of the work done on the truck to bring it up to the "okay we can trust it to go longer distances shape" and then will be able to invest in some way of running the business again.  We are both healthier now, getting out and away from what ever the heck was making us so miserable in that apartment.  Tama has gotten to the point where he will go for short trots on his leash, but he is still only at ease at night, when that big scary open thing is not up there.  I would like to get him up to a jog.  

At some point, when it cools down out here, and things stop bursting into flames, I need to get the storage unit organized better.  Every time I open the door, it's like OMG do we really have all this stuff? O_o 


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Almost Ready to Show off the Dirndle Progress

I need to get some snaps (or excavate the storage unit) and sew them on and dress up Arita for the photos.  I still need the jewelry findings to make the silver latch things for her bodice, though.  And I know my camera is in the truck, but is it charged?

I hope the Social Sec office doesn't screw up again tomorrow.  Bad enough they divorced us and sent the hubby to live with his deceased parents (we wrote a letter telling them correct it!) but will they correct it?  Seems like they live for this sort of terrorizing.

I find I get a LOT more sewing done now with out all the distractions of the house to deal with.  Now that we have a daily routine worked out, it is getting more relaxing than not.  The only problem now is that I have to find a way to cut out tiny fabric pieces without the winds immediately whipping them out of reach!  We have gotten used to having everything blown about (I seriously am considering cutting my hair! I hate trying to eat with the wind blowing it in my mouth!) and have perfected the quick slap down, but it does get insane sometimes.  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Etsy Email re Canadian Postal Strike

Just a heads up I found in my email today:

"We are reaching out to inform you of the possibility of delayed shipments to Canada beginning on July 2 as a result of a service disruption caused by an ongoing labour dispute at Canada Post. The disruption will affect all shipments to, within, and from Canada that are handled by Canada Post. This includes shipments into Canada from other national carriers like USPS and Royal Mail."  

Thank goodness it is not going to be as hot this weekend as predicted.  I guess the ashes from the fire did cool things down a bit, because it was back to flannel shirts yesterday afternoon.

I am a little displeased with our post locally.  I asked if they would put our usual 'junk mail' in the PO Box.  Nope.  No third class mail.  Darn it!  At least we got the Yohshinoya coupons before we moved out.  If you have not tried the sweet walnut shrimp, you should.  Or just stir fry walnuts with shrimp and veg and toss some sweet and sour sauce on.  Walnuts go great with shrimp.  I always thought almonds were the fish nut, but the walnuts really make a different taste that enhances the shrimp even more.



Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tama is Adjusting in His Own Way

Hot days during the full moon, and this coming weekend almost as hot.  We wanted to keep Tama cool so we put the blanket in the shade at the park and were basically cool enough except for the few very hot hours when we hugged the ground and enjoyed the breeze.  Agoraphobic cat found the solution to HIS problem.

Because the ground was fairly cool and moist, we let him have
his way when he crawled under the blanket.
About 2 or so, we started to notice something odd.  It got odder, then bloomed into the big fire in Azuza and Duarte, now I find was called the San Gabriel Complex Fire.  This is why we warned people on the camping face book about California's tendency to go up in flames.  You need to be on the forestry email list for updates and so forth around here.  They have been doing it a lot longer than school campuses for crimes, fires, emergencies and lost kids (oddly, usually boy scouts.)  

By evening the mountains were behind a black cloud.  It lingered for days. 
A few days later, Tama was getting a little more bold about running back to the truck.  This time he jumped up on the hood and tried to get in through the windsheild.  We didn't managed to catch him pawing frantically at it, but we stopped laughing in time to hope in and take 'wild animal park' photos.  




We have just about got things organized, but the battery driven fan that was supposed to last a month on one set of batteries barely makes it three nights.  So today I bought Eveready, then we will try Energizer and then Duracell. 

One thing about sewing in the park, the winds knock my sewing thread all around when I am trying to sew, and I have to watch my sewing basked because it has some weird aerodynamic quality that makes it go flying.  I also feel really awkward about having the doll in the truck and stripping her to fit her outfit.  


Friday, June 17, 2016

Back to Sewing!

I took my life in my hands this morning and climbed up through the piles of stuff and got out Arita to get back to her dirndle, the embroidery of which was finished just before we bugged out, photos here and here  We decided today that since we had nothing better to do, we would make it to Octoberfest this year! Always before, Hubby was on call and could not go anywhere for special occasions. Now we can plan on buying tickets to the fireworks show.

One thing about camping (besides the early mornings, sunrises, sunsets and beautiful still moments in the parks with the cat lolling between us on the quilt on the tailgate) is learning to be methodical.  For years, it was get up, coffee on, dishes in, run run run, until I was too tired to do anything but make lunch and collapse.  Now we find ourselves having to be patient with time and do things one at a time (very Buddhist) and oddly, having more time because of it.  So yeah, time to get back to sewing.  The Dirndle project is all hand from here on.  She needs the white blouse, the jumper dress, the little black hat with flowers, the chain jewelry and the stockings are somewhere already so we might have to skip them (buried near the ceiling!)  I am hoping to find her a proportionate mug of beer somewhere.  I have my camera in a box of electronics in the truck, I need to get it out and charge it up along with everything else.

In the mean time, my cheap new tracfon has a camera I am pretty happy with.

The beautiful new military memorial at Upland Library.


"I do not like the park. Remove it from under me."

Tama is just so excited to be out in the fresh air.  Not.  He is fine under trees, but under open sky,
he does this belly crawl thing.  At night, he's fine, but during the day, nope. 

There is this really weird braided root system on this one tree, none of the others
have it, so I had to photograph it. 

Tama is still not impressed.  
 


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Almost Sane Again

We got about one third of our deposit back from the apartment, and I was shocked that they expedited it, but we left the place so nice I guess they cut us some slack.  What bothers me is that they only charged us for cleaning the carpet.  That means the next tenant is going to be paying 1250 a month for our two year old carpet.  Um....that's not very nice, when the law is NEW carpet every tenant, now is it?

We are waiting for an information packet on moving to the middle of Nevada in the old silver and gold mining country.  I must day the answer to our query was very enthusiastic!  But we will not be going to have a look until later in Fall when we have saved up some money.  We finalized the argument with the government offices yesterday and will now await them screwing things up again.  I do not understand why the Social Security office could not give us ANY information on how a move to Nevada would affect our situation.  "We aren't supposed to do that, that would be making it easier for you to move to a state where your income would be increased."  Um...yeeeaaahhhh, could you at least tell me if the income would be commiserate with the cost of living in that county?
Clerk: Blink blink.  "It should be".   Me: That was all I was asking.  Would we be able to afford to live there is all I wanted to know.

Gees!  What a pack of maroons!  You would think they were there to help people, being part of the so called security net.

So now we have gas money and a better budget for the rest of the month just in time with the returned deposit money, and fixed the inside of the truck up a bit more with storage organization.  A so called 3 day cooler replaced the 2 lunch box coolers.  It had better work.  Ice is eating us alive and melting so that everything gets soaked, despite being in plastic baggies.  I don't remember it being this complicated when my Dad and Uncle used to take us kids camping.

As soon as I get used to the routine we seem to be establishing I will haul out my sewing packets I have sorted out.  Naturally the fact that I am outside means it has attempted to rain more than it should, and the nights are freezing and it is just weird weather for this time of year.  The wind blows like crazy, and the sun is hot and the shade cold so we are quite a lot more comfortable than we would be in the ex-apartment, and I still can not get over how nice it is to be 'homeless'.  There are always park restrooms, or Walmart, and we have no problem with sanitation and keeping clean.  The only real problem is dry bleach.  I need to buy something to put the stuff in because no matter what, it manages to spill in the bag and get all over.  And bungee cords are wonderful things.

Tama has started to recognize parks and parking lots and seems to want to go for walks at night (no visible sky, you see) than in day time when he just wants to get under the truck before the sky falls on him.  He goes nuts when we park too close to chicken restaurants.  I will have to get him some non spiced or sauced cooked chicken since he is so used to having it.  He is starting to like to sit on our laps like a small dog will when I am driving and look out the window.  This morning at the 7-11 he had it out with a miniature doberman in the next truck.  The owner was having hysterics because the dog was determined to win the argument, and Tama kept growling back at him through his gap in the window.  We all had a hard time stopping laughing to start our cars and go on our way.

One thing I have realized is that all the stuff I put in storage and thought we could not live without, half of it can go.  We have to start thinking about the long haul to Nevada and how much it will cost and what we really do want to take with us.  10 ft truck, 15, 20?  And we will need a tow dolly for the pick up, because the hubby can not drive.  Lots to think about, but at least now we can save up for it.  We would have been in serious trouble without everyone's help.  I have been paying it forward when ever I see someone who needs it now that we have a bit of lee way.  So many people are just toughing it out, there are ques at the parks to get washed up and you would never know they are 'homeless' except for the back packs and packed cars.

Anyway, times running out, library only allows one hour a day per card. O_o

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Life on the Road

So far the 'shakedown cruise' has taught us a few lessons.  One: never trust a cooler bag.  We got rid of our cooler because it took up too much room for what little it actually held after the ice was in.  The cooler bag worked great, until I had to smack on the brakes and it tipped out of its slot and the zipper allowed it to piddle melt water all over.  Good thing we had a very hot day, everything dried in hours.

Tama is going through the five stages of grief or something.  First he was in denial.  Very loud denial. He would stay in back until the truck started moving, then shoot through the window into the front like a rocket.  He is now pretending none of it is happening.  When  I find the connector cable from my phone I will put up photos of his first look at the park.  He was okay for a few days, fresh air, sunshine, birds, but now he's like OMG, not this again.  He has a battery driven fan, shade trees and food and water and the windows open a bit all around, and to hell with Nature.  The truck is now his closet (his favorite place to hide).

We got our Time Warner Cable money back, now for the apartment deposit.  Then we will feel a bit more free to go further.  The post office drove me nuts, saying that someone who had the box before us had their check clear just a moment before my online payment went through, and would I give it up.  NOPE.  Grumpy Cat NOPE.  I have battled with the government over non-residential mail and won, I will not call all of them back and change the PO number.

I still hurt all over from the move, but things are getting more organized.  The truck is like a slider puzzle, we've finally had a day where nothing dropped on my foot or got wet from melt water.  I have to go get this mysterious thing recommended on the truck camping face book called a Pool Noodle and use it to make a gasket to keep out rain and mozzies.

I keep thinking about the families that are getting the shaft from the apartment complex.  We are laughing it up in the park, watching little league baseball, finding new ways to cook without getting the pans messed up (wrap everything in tinfoil!) and making do.  There are people so much worse off than we are and if the families that are stuck in the apartments stay there, they are facing eviction.  So many people in our area are facing the same thing, the more people we talk to the more we find out this is happening.  After this month is over and things lighten up a little, we can breath easier, and then the month after the truck will be registered for another year and we will be able to start saving up money to check out Nevada.

Maybe next week I will be able to pull out the dirndle project and get back to sewing again!  


Friday, June 3, 2016

ITS ALIVE! MWAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!

It is a running truck!

But it needs a bit more work.

Does it never end?  As I just told the manager on the phone, we won't be leaving any earlier than agreed, because i need to drive the truck a few days before we are positive it will not go bang again.  It drove the poor guy at the shop nuts because who ever worked on it last was a 'moron'.  Ouch, considering the guy who worked on it last was the guy who we paid a fortune to get it past smog and are planning on taking it back to next month for the smog check.  Ouch.  Anyway, maybe he means the moron who did the other wiring, which we decided not to go back to after November 2013 and every penny of our savings was eaten up just in time to destroy us.

Right now we are waiting on one little cig lighter socket.  When will they stop making those things to heat up and just put in a PLUG IN?  Who uses those things for cigerettes any more anyway?

Hubby is hooked on Green Arrow and we need to take the DVDs back intact to the library, but omg, Capt Jack Harknesss (what ever is that actors name) will need a bit of a tightening to play the chara again if they bring back Torchwood.  Alllllthooooougggh, he did end up as nothing but a huge face in a jar.....Hmm, he might get away with it after all.

So, outside of our vote through the mail paper works not showing up and having to go stand in line for the primary and local votes Tuesday at the primary school (parking, what parking?) everything is rolling along.

Will these bruises never go away?  The entire upper part of my butt is black and blue from shoving the truck out of the garage.  I did not realize until two days later that THAT was why my lower-lower back was hurting.  When did I get so damned fragile? Is it the BP meds?  I will have to ask.

The roses survived the up-rooting, I just need to hug them goodbye and hand them over. (Yes my roses have names...)  When we go look at the place we want on the wait list for, I will ask for a layout schema so I can plot our new home.

I had this post started and forgot about it because so much was snowballing.  O_o 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Now We Wait

And wait.  And wait. 

See, when the guy at the garage says, we'll call you tomorrow, it does not necessarily mean the tomorrow you think it does.  I suspect we are now in the mad hatter's tea time.  I hope to heck we get the truck back at least by the 6th, which is when we are due to be out.

Still exhausted and all bruised up from catching half dropped boxes and things.  We have a few truck loads to take to the storage place (the bed frame, a small table, all the extra kitchen stuff and the big Colman cooler)  when we get the truck back and then its a nice long vacation.

I saw a preview youtube of the new Alice Through the Looking Glass.  That chinese outfit is gorgeous!  I wonder if we can board the cat for a day cheaply and see it if they put the costumes in FIDM?  Or maybe by then Tama will have calmed down and clammed up and I can pass him off as a fur stole.  

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Today is the Day

What ever doesn't kill me will put big bulgy muscles on me.  Everything but the small stuff we will need for the next few days until our truck is out of the shop (fingers crossed) is going to storage today.  I will be exhausted, but the worst of it will be over.

I still have all the paper work to deal with, so this will be another week of no time to answer emails or have a life.  And like an idiot, I packed up my sewing machine perfectly and then did not mark the box with my embroidery threads in it.  Durrrp.  I swear next time I will be more organized.  I told Hubby, since we have storage, when we finally move into some place, we will organize mercilessly from the start!  Just being able to afford a life again is what is keeping me sane.  And I am beginning to see the feasiblity of leaving California after all.  Medi-cal keeps denying they make you pay everything back.  So why is the law locked in and all the law suits?  Anyway more coffee, defrost the freezer, drive a huge long truck I have no experience driving, fun fun fun!  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Insane Week

Okay, this is the week.  PO Box done, Still not packed up as much as I would like, Bank is accepting our PO Box (situation freak out) And we just have to square it with the DMV, etc.

You can not register a car or have a bank account OR A JOB or even a library card in California without a permanent residential address?  O_o  WTH?  But yeah, apparently work around can be done as the lady at Chase just proved.  Now if I can just get the DMV to stop advising me to 'just fib' and actually do something legal.  I am seriously thinking we need to visit Arizona, but if we are out of state more than 30 days, there goes the insurance.  We would have to file all over again.  And that was hell the first time.      

So here is my question.  I had a friend who worked as a traveling tech guy, he owned a house, but he was barely ever home, and ended up renting the place out for years but he had a lot of problems with tenents and things while on the road and had to hire a company to watch that ONE place (which ended up ruined).  What about people like that who give up the home owning responsibility thing, are gainfully employed and bounce from motel to hotel so often you have a 'home' in 48 states plus a few side trips to france?  Does the bank tell them no can do?  O_o  Does the DMV tell them not in our state?

And where the heck is our vote via mail forms for the primary?  Our current post worker spends more time texting on his cell phone than working.  We pass him all the time, just sitting there, well past the lunch break texting away while our mail doesn't get delivered until 4 pm, instead of between the usual 11 to 1 space.

Anyway, going mad here.  More stuff on the check list to do.  More packing, more tying to plan sane meals and use up all the food in the fridge and freezer that I normally work so hard to stock up, the habit of buying things on sale in bulk must be broken (25 pounds of Friskies dry cat food for 10$ is still being nibbled through) And tearing up my roses which have lived through 3 moves so far.  *sobs*

Bye-bye 

Friday, May 20, 2016

TracFone is Not Helpful: RIPOFF WARNING

I have had a back up emergency TracFone for a while now, since we quit T-mobile.  I let it expire about a year ago, thinking what ever, don't need it right now.  However, with the whole moving thing, I wanted to get a 30 day card.  The gas station was out of them, tried to make me buy a 30$ card for 90 days.  Nope, just need a 10$.  Went home, tried to add online. Could not find my log in code anywhere, and they would not email me a password change.  Phone is expired (I know this!) and I call the TracFone number to see about getting this solved.

1.5 hours online with a lady who was very unhelpful.  She kept putting me on hold, and telling me that my service use area was wrong, and my pass words were wrong and my codes were wrong, and I kept asking her how to fix that.  She kept trying to tell me that only the 400 minutes for 100$ for one years were available. I kept thinking she had misheard me and said no, 30 minutes 10$.  She finally said she would let me buy minutes and got all my information, THEN ASKED FOR MY DEBIT CARD PIN NUMBER.  She insisted it would be kept private but that she needed my number to process the transaction.  My head splitting I told her that's illegal and hung up.  Tried again online.  Nothing would work.  Called them again and tried technical support.  Got a clearer line and a lady who spoke more clearly. She could care less that the woman had asked for my debit card pin number.  I called the bank and ratted them out, the rats.  I will go to Walmart and get a 5$ new sim card and take it from there, *sigh*

We got all the small boxes into the storage unit Wednesday, despite the fact that once again, the 10ft truck was not there.  We settled for a 10 ft van van.  Turned out the thing got 2 miles to the gallon, ouch.  And I have reserved the 15 ft for the last weekend, and if my helper does not turn up, I am going to have a total and complete break down.  The good news is that if I pack it in right, ALL our stuff will fit into that 9'7" by 9'7" space.  10 by 10 my aunt fanny.  They didn't count the wall studs, just in between them.  The place is going to look like King Tut's tomb when I get done with it.  The only way to go is up!  And yeah, the old photos of the tomb gave me ideas, LOL!

We were going through papers that needed to be sorted and shredded yesterday (ached too much to do anything else!) and Tama was helping hold down the trash box for us.  It was hot in the aparment yesterday, hence the deshabille. Another good reason to be out by a lake or river this summer.


Oh, great news! I found both our automotive power converters while sorting things.  Now we just need to get the plug in in the truck to work.  Fortune saved right there.  I knew we had them somewhere because he had one in the towtruck and I had one for my laptop for ages, but could not find it since the previous move!  120V perfect for my sewing machine! ^_^ 

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Dirndle Project Progresses and I sort of hate Uhaul.


What with all the nonsense (Uhaul calling me late Sunday to inform me the 10ft. truck I had reserved would NOT be ready Monday morning, and having to change to Wednesday,) I was able to finally line up the flowers the way I wanted them and after a few misalignment with the skirt bottom, got the project well on it's way.  The bodice parts are done, and ready to be cut out.  The skirt is now half done, but I got lazy and decided to leave the final jump thread clipping until it was all done.  Something best done in the early morning with a cup of coffee and a LOT of patience!  I need to soak the cloth in water over night to get rid of the soluble marker I used to draw the placement lines.
 

This is done on a faux linen called Kettle Cloth, something hard to find for some reason.  It's a mix of fibers and wears really good and has a nice drape but is really super hard to find.  This piece is so old it has been in my stash literally since the last millennium.  This is good practice for the 18th century stuff I want to have designs lined up for.

So, more embroidery, more packing, and hoping I will get the larger Uhaul for the last week of the month if not the first week of June.  They said the 15 ft needed a front end alignment, and all they had was the 20 foot for Monday.  Um...yeah...have not driven my own truck since last year, 10 months ago.  Sure, I'll hop right in a 20 foot van and toodle around in it like it was no big deal!  No seriously, I need Hubby to sit next to me and tell me I am doing fine.  He is the truck driver, not me.  Unfortunately, he can not drive at this time, so I am terrified.  Not to mention, I had gotten a deal and a huge discount on the 10 foot, practically free with the waved fees since I am going to store stuff at the place for like god knows how long on automatic payments, and they wanted to yank that out from under me and hand me a 40$ truck  and all the charges that go with it, NOPE.  Especially since I only have 10 Ft of stuff ready to go!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Finishing Up Un-Finished-Objects, The Sewing Version of UFOs

One of the projects I had backlogged since 2010, and finally found the perfect pattern for and started in 2013 was a Vogue 1955 pattern that had been re-issued.  Actually the concept came from Modes Royal  1957.  Here is the start of that blog post on my Dressing Cats (people sewing) blog.

Because I don't plan on attending too many cocktail parties, I wanted to translate this into a day dress that looks snazzy.  All it needs now is a nice little red bolero or a short sleeved red sweater for the cooler days and evenings but it doesn't look too dressy for just going shopping or running errands.  Alas, it is going into storage.  But it is DONE!  Having kept my dress making mannequin decent for over a year and a half now, it is on a hanger.  Oh, and Hubby tells me it fits me quite "Wow", so that's good.



 I was going to order a perfectly matching red buckle on Etsy but what the heck, I had one of my grandmother's collection of Mother of Pearl ones and called it done.  The whole bow woven into the dress thing (if you check the original post) was tricky. The fact that I must absolutely have pockets was part of that.  Annnd to bad my mannequin is permanently inebriated, and the belt is a bit high on one side, which it is not in reality, I just dressed her too fast to show it off.  Too tired for a lot of things lately.

Today I went down to secure a storage unit before they all got snatched up and good thing, too!  The lady told me it was the last one, all but the 10 by 30 are full.  AND, she gave me a discount for the new account fee, which I in turn plunked down on a small truck for Monday.  I hope to get a lot of the light weight boxes into the unit and out of my way here, then do all the big stuff the first week of June when our helper is available.

Wouldn't you know it, a few of the nice campsites in Riverside near the river that I wanted to check out, and bang, there go the rattlesnake warnings!  And up in the San Berdo mountains.  >.<;;  I am not about to expose us or Tama to the nasty things.  One woman was bitten in the middle of a dirt road, so even if you are on a well traveled path, they are out.  I have to wonder though, how the heck she missed it.  Taking a selfie with?

As soon as I get the last pair of new slacks for hubby finished, we will go back to fighting with the Dirndle embroidery.  It decided to distort with the fabric I wanted to put it on and we have to do all the little adjustments one stitch at a time to counter some of the nonsense.  I really do want to get that fabric embroidered before we bug out.

I actually managed to get rid of the big bin of scraps.  Anything that was not bigger than the palm of my hand went. Many tears were cried.  My gang is all packed up, but I plan to put them where I can get to them, especially Arita for her dirndle set.  I sincerely hope that what ever is wrong with the truck is going to also fix the cigarette plug in but I have seen some jury rigs with a battery box and an adaptor.  The thing is heaving the battery in and out of the truck to charge one, then the other.  It was easy enough with my older car, but the truck is high and my back says grumpy cat nope.  I'll go with the plug in in the dash.  





Saturday, May 7, 2016

Boxes. Lots of Boxes.

I confess, I hoard boxes.  I have boxes from decades ago.  Flatten them, bag them up in heavy duty lawn bags, garage them.  This is the first time I have had to buy boxes.  O_o  We have boxes from Pizza Hutt and Licorice Pizza (the tastiest Music in town) and a neighbor who would get his diabetes stuff in boxes.  I like to keep the boxes a certain size so we don't overload them with heavy stuff, so they would fit 3 on a dolly.  We never had to buy boxes before.  Home Depot has the best and lowest price boxes, just do not order them delivered.  Our neighbor was kind enough to give me a ride down today to buy some.  Explain to me how 20$ worth of boxes would have cost another $20 to ship?  Anyway, boxes.  The cat is having a great time running around on all the new surfaces.  But how to jam it all into a 10 by 10 foot area?

We got to Home Depot about 11 am, and the parkinglot was insane!  I have never seen it looking like the freeway at Rush Hour, or the college on the first day of Fall Sem.   A total parking lot.   We were like O_O.  Then it hit all three of us (the neighbors and myself) at the same time and we said it aloud, LOL!.  Tomorrow is Mother's Day.  The Honey Do list was in action.

Hubby pointed out today that half the packed up boxes are marked 'Sewing'.  Gee, I wonder why?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Octoberfest Prep: Or, That Darned Dirndle

Ever since I fixed the joints and slapped a shiney blond wig on Arita, my Soom Super Gem/Only Doll head hybred, I have been wanting to go all out on an Octoberfest set.

Why?  Well, the embroidery!  So for two months now, off and on, Hubby has been trying to get this sorted with the design program (while I threw in suggestions).  We left it alone for a few weeks, after the whole rent hike thing, and then decided to put every Saturday into it as a break from other worries.

What it was doing to him was refusing to sew the layers of color in the right order.  Having got that sorted finally (who ever wrote the instructions was insane, I have come to the conclusion) the leaf and vine bit kept stitching over and over up to six or seven times for ONE layer.  Solution, set each stitch one at a time. Then there was the distortion factor.  What looks good on screen is not always what you get depending on your fabric's weave.  I usually stitch out on a nice muslin, and the difference on quilting type cotton is not that much, but this was doing a number, turning all those round flowers into egg shapes.  Stitch length changes have to be done an mm at a time.  And sometimes you get stitches you do not want, no matter what, because the program says so.  And with the one program you can control jump lines, the lines between design that have to be cut, and with the other program you can't.  You have to decide which program is the one that isn't going to drive you the craziest.  One sucks power and crashes like a Mac on Photoshop, and one lets you at least listen to internet music without crashing, but sometimes the save does not take.  It's insane.

So here is a screen cap of a traditional skirt hemline design: rose, cornflowers, and edelweiss, in the actual design program.  You can right click and open in a new tab for a larger view on all the photos.


And what the resizer program (to tweak it to fit my machine's frame as well as edit other programs) does to the colors when you look in there.  Wilcom True Sizer shows you an almost virtual stitch out though I think hubby must have forgot to set the size of the thread, because my thread is usually thinner in the program.  You can see some of the jump lines on the 'blue' flowers.  



To save fancy thread for the real project, it gets stitched out with left over thread from a serger hem project I did and used embroidery thread in the same size I will be using.  All that little thread cutting is not time efficient right now.  The real project always gets de-jump threaded.  The finished design is to be stitched out at 2.75 inches, and repeated.


So now I just do a better job of lining the design up on the skirt fabric and stitch it out in the real colors.  Then I need to get the bodice of the dirndle patterned and decide what size and how many flowers to put on those pieces. I want to get everything, blouse, apron, dirndle, etc. cut out and in a ziplock bag before we hit the road so it will all be hand sewn.  I might make her the old fashioned black  and flower trimmed hat and a shawl to go with the outfit.  It's also traditional to wear silver jewelry with the outfit.

Some very good news, re the sewing.  I have been researching RV and Camping blogs and forums when I can't sleep (I have insomnia but yeah, lots more now..) and found out that a lot of people take their machines on the road.  Even industrial multi-thread machines don't suck that much power!  Most people just use a power inverter from their DC12 V battery plug in.  I checked and I have to make sure I get one that changes to 120, not 110 with a long cord that will go through to the back.  A heck of a lot of them that work for laptops and things are just 110, but the 120 are a bit more.  On the other hand, it is not the nearly 300 for the solar panel and power pack I had been thinking about.  We could put that money into getting the truck plug in fixed and maybe a dual battery set up (it puts in a smaller battery that does not get used unless you need it to start the vehicle.)  I have to ask the mechanic if he has done that before.  We know him as a long time neighbor and a tow driver, but have not gone to him for work yet. I do know he works on classic cars!  Anyway, it's rather a relief.  Once we get used to things and figure things out, I may be right back to work, apartment or not!


Friday, April 29, 2016

How the City Next to Ours Fixed their Homeless Problem Real Good

Title is sarcasm.

http://www.california-homelessness-reporter.org/

They simply got rid of them.  This is how a lot of cities deal with the homeless.  Sweep them into a camp by promising them help and aid, then tell them to get the hell out of town.  Destroying property, confiscating vehicals, taking away pets, etc.  They don't care if you are suddenly out of a job and out of a home after being a decent citizen all your life, they group you right in with the criminal element, which only increases the labeling of being homeless as a criminal activity.

I am done stressing out over this.  We are looking for housing, keeping our cat and our vehical, and not violating any laws they can use against us to drag us down even further and 'run us out of town' simply becaue we are too poor to pay the higher rent. We have researched and researched the 'mobile life' and know our rights, and how to stay clean and healthy as if we were just on a camping trip.  There is a difference.

We are not 'chronically homeless', we are going Camping, being financially responsible, living with in our means, and taking care of ourselves until we find a new place.  We can do this because wonderful people have helped us, and we are grateful and because of them will be able to stand on our own feet (if with a cane or on wheels) and not be treated like criminals.  We will work hard to get into low income housing and I will get back to work.  I am going to stop freaking out and continue to pack and get things ready for storage and Hubby is going to continue to look for the low income places that allow pets and we will have a list to go sign up for when we move out.  The police can go fiddle.  EIther that council thing will come up with help or they won't, but we are not counting on them.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Legal Aid for the WIN!

Hokay, we feel MUCH better now.  No call back from the police/community thing, so I left them a message at 4:45 pm. bascially just 'hey what up?' But I did get a call back from the Legal Aid person, who not only helped me hugely with the whole what the heck thing, but also said forget San Berdo, they only have 2 housing set ups (true, and we have both lists) but Riverside, which our insurance also covers, has hundreds!  And their shelters are more geared toward people in our situation, the economically run over and backed up on and run over again.  She gave me a lot of info; basically that we are third in line on every list, the first being over 60, second Veterans, as well it should be, and the percent we have been being quoted is wrong for SSI disabled.  It should be 30%, and we have been being told everything BUT.  She is sending us a packet of info including some business cards for legal aid, and we are going to put one on the dash board of the truck where anyone getting nosy can see it.  The police can not harrass us in public areas without our actually committing a crime, and if we are following civic laws, the old "you have bedding and clothing in your car, therefore you are vagrant" trick just does not work.  If I park in a store parking lot that is posted and we go in shopping and they target our truck, they can not legally do that.  They have to be called by the people in charge of the property after we have been there too long, not just stopped in shopping or to use the restroom.  If our head or taillights suddenly get broken, then they can give us a fix it ticket, nothing more, no towing and impounding.  No dirty tricks.  So yeah, I feel much better having spoken to a lawyer, and knowing that we will have access to a lawyer should any poo hit the fan.  But where is this call back from the community service officer re some help for us?  So tomorrow we are going to focus on Riverside county housing assistance.

And I did hear back from the management company of our current abode.  They are more than happy with the arrangement for our moving out, and are willing to pro-rating us out of the deposit for the extra days.  She just needed to know why, and I told her. Schools out, busiest moving time of the year, no rental trucks!  O_o  People got Memorial Weekend to move!  Major threat to our financial situation now over, no chance of even a backhanded eviction.

So like the lawyer said, we are now armed to deal with the nonsense.  The big pain in the behind in all this is that Hubby who worked on the road and had to be bonded to work police rotation for towing, knows ALL the rules and laws from their side and now he feels like he's on the other side by default.  We are going urban nomad temporarily, so suddenly we are the bad guys?  Talk about profiling.

We put the carpet in the truck bed and Tama was like, "Ohs, this MINES, how did it get out here?"  He sniffed it over and gave it a good bad cat clawing to teach it a lesson, then settled down to check out the view out the back window.   But he is still freaking out between the front door and the truck.  Agoraphobic cat is agoraphobic.

Cadmuss gave me permission to put the photo of her doll in the fairly outfit up on her blog post, so check it out.  I am just so smug over hubby's ability to digitize patterns.  I just hope he doesn't forget everything he has learned so far after a few months without.

Edit: Wow, I was so tired yesterday I did not make much sense.  Spelling, what spelling?  But yes, much less scared by the whole P.D. thing.  And still wondering what they intend to do with all the information they got from me.  I feel like I've been black listed for just calling and asking a simple question.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

And So, The Police

I read in our local paper online that there was a community group working to prevent homelessness, after someone had wrote a letter complaining about the homeless parking in the local park. I was looking on Google for free parking for people traveling in their truck or car, etc when this turned up.  I have read all the signs in all the parks around here, looking for places with BBQ sets ups, water fountains, and things like that that people go to parks for, along with the shade on hot days, and if we could walk Tama on his leash and clean up after him, no problem.  Park hours, and rules noted.  And there are some parks that are drug and gang loaded hell holes you really want to avoid, also noted.

Basically, I called the police looking for answers about what is legal and what is not.  It is not illegal to park on a public street, nor to spend an inordinate amount of time in your vehicle, but people will call the police for suspicious activity, which I fully understand having called them many times on people literally cooking up crack or heroin or whatever, and shooting up in front of our old apartment (they never came).  So yeah, I wanted to know what the rules were to avoid doing anything.  It is NOT illegal to be homeless, as long as you follow the civic laws. End of the matter.

However, I get shunted to this community group I had read about. No one answers, so I leave a message, and the police guy calls back, and asks me a LOT of questions and what we are looking for (NO WE WILL NOT GIVE UP THE CAT!) and yeah maybe we can get some help from this organization.  All I wanted to know was how we can be legal, and deal with our situation ourselves.  But yeah, maybe they can help us.  Though I am not all that impressed, because 7 year waiting list on low income housing in our city, and only 30 people helped in the whole time since November?

But the questions.  The whole 'would you take work if we could find you work?'  I have work, I am turning down work at the moment, because no electric, no work.  Where were they when I called in Dec 2013?  Yeah, I would like to work, but how to work and be here for Hubby?  I explained that I had a sewing business, what I needed was electricity and a roof over our head we could afford, and that any outside job would have to be part time, no more than 4 hours away from home.  I also made it clear that we were looking forward to living with in our means and getting hubby back to PT and staying in our insurance coverage area and that we have potential places we had lined up to apply for when the truck was ready to roll.  Basically, we do not need to be in a shelter; we have a shelter. We just need a freaking place to park safely some nights when we can't or don't want to pay for a motel or camp site.  It is not illegal to be homeless!  Lots of people spend some time living in their cars or campers to build up enough to make a down payment on a house, let alone the key money for a flat.

So yeah, now I feel like I have gone and done it.  Something does not feel right.  Something is broken. I feel as if I have made things a hell of a lot worse for us.  Maybe it's the whole police thing, maybe it is the feeling that we are about to be made examples of by some government agency, or religious group.  I don't know, but it feels wrong.  All the trouble we have had in the past two years plus with the Social Security Office and the Medi-Cal and everything has just really put me off this sort of thing. I mean I have had some really insane battles with Social Security that no one should have to put up with from people who are supposed to help vulnerable people.  And I still see the large groups of homeless people in the parks when I ride by to go shopping.  And why did they only take MY information rather than both of us?  That was very odd.  He never even asked my husbands name.

I hope this creeped out feeling goes away, but it has ruined my day.  I left our number with a homeless advocacy law center, just in case.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Officially on Extended Vacation Now

I shipped out Cadmuss' project today. Now I'm like, wow.  I can sit here and not worry about the business. (Loud Scream Here!)   Etsy is changing again and I don't have the inclination to stress out over it right now and I don't have to!

And then hope I get enough cooperation from the computer over the next month to get a lot of pieces embroidered that I want to throw in my hand sewing bin.  I have a large collection of freebie embroidery designs that would make cute quilt patches, and there are a few of our own we have been poking at in the process of learning to use the programs that make the stitch patterns.  So there is that to look forward too.  Once we have all the new way of living stuff settled down to a routine, I will get back to sewing at least by hand.

So most of the updates here for a while will be photos of on the road, cat photos, food Pr0n, and hand sewing projects, as well as any progress in getting back into a flat.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Very Busy

I am still working on Cadmuss's order, but we are very busy calling places and checking things out and trying to down size our possessions even further for storage.

After/if the truck is repaired, I hope to put some of that non-rent money into getting a portable power pack and solar panel to charge it.  Then I might be able to run my sewing machine for a few hours every other day.  The best one I could find was the Duracell 1300 and the recommended solar panel to go with it.  Pricey but in the long run, with our electric bill, I can't help thinking even when we have a new place, this will be a handy thing to have. Still, I will get a lot of hand sewing done and put things up on the Etsy shop via the library if they allow me to plug in my camera.  Otherwise, I do have a flash drive thing adaptor, they don't seem to mind flash drives.  We'll see.  The problem being that you need a residence address to get a library card, so we are going to be out of luck this month next year if we don't get a laptop and wifi.  I am still looking into that for the future when haha--we have no rent to pay.  I must say, it's a lose/win situation, as long as we can get the truck fixed!

I hope to get the 'cigarette lighter' plug in in the truck fixed along with the other problems.  It stopped working after all the work last year to get the thing to pass smog.  I have had a converter for ages for my laptops and having it not work now would be a right kick in the teeth.

Tama has been out to the truck twice in two days now and he hates it.  He spends all his time sitting on a piece of cardboard rather than put his dainty little mitts on the rubber mat in the back.  He did not react this badly to the apartment when we moved, but the truck, OMG.  Does he REALLY still remember going to the Vet?  After all this time?  Because he went to get chipped in his little stroller not the truck. He is getting used to his leash, though.  He walks forward when he can and stops when I hold him back, but that is only in the house because I don't want to put his flea collar on him just yet.  I need to let it air out for a day or two first after I take it out of the package.  But he isn't doing that rolling chewing frantic thing with the leash and harnass some cats do.

Frankly, I am a little insulted that he does not trust us to protect him and instead yells for help to the whole world. After nearly 9 years.  Ungrateful child.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tama Is a Couch Potatoe

I packed away the gang, except for the ones currently working or going to be clear coated for protection and in all the years Tama has tried to swipe the pleather sofa, today was his day!  He got on it and spent the entire day lounging around, until just a little while ago, when he sat up, yawned and called it quits.  Every time I came into the bedroom (which is a mess) I snapped him.  He was so cute. So here is a photo story of Tama's entire day.

I haz sopha.

MINE!

Getting the hang of it.

Stop flashy thinging me...

Having bonded with the sofa completely.

Good lord is that the time.  Food!
I finally stopped being insane and got a nap this afternoon and got to work on the sewing again.  I need to make black out curtains for the truck.  The screens are in the camper shell.  Slowly slowly we are gaining on the getting things done part.  Hubby has a doctor appointment next week and then it's more applications for waiting lists.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Shutting Down My Shop

Wow, after all the hard work I did to build up my reputation, I am now sitting here closing my DoA commission post and putting my Etsy in stasis.  I will be putting hand sewn entirely stuff up occasionally, but wow.  Bitter much?

I was so over tired from yesterday, that I still have not gotten LilsGirls outfits on Karen for their finished photos, took all day to answer an email and am just wondering around like a zombie, looking for ways to stuff more things into boxes, despite the fact that we are not moving until June 1.  I like to be prepared well in advance no matter what.  I have to get back on track to do that and start working on Cadmuss' order tomorrow.  I just need another good night's sleep.

So here was my thought for a general conversation post on DoA.  If you figured out the combined weight of all your dolls, how much would it be?  I was thinking, okay, fabric bins, dolls, seat them in the fabric, toss the fabric back in and yeah, that would protect them.

Except that six of my big guys in a box with fabric means a 60 pound plus box.  Nope.  Have to think something else up.  Especially since I want to be able to go to the storage unit and switch out dolls as I work on things on the road.

Ah well.

People might wonder why I have not just sold all of them.  Being raised in a family where you do not give up your means of making a living ever, I have not.  Everything is temporary.  We have no idea how long we will be in between housing, it could be months, it could be years.  But when that time has passed, I will be able to set up my sewing room and start work again, with all my equipment right there.  I may never be able to afford a collection like this again.  I don't have the data to make that decision.   I just know I would no more give up my gang than go without a vehicle.  It's not economics; they are family, my coworkers, they supported me when I could not find a job, they are the ones who put food on the table and bought me shoes when I needed them.

Thank goodness we did not listen to people who told us we could not afford to run a car so we should junk it or sell it. As if being 'poor' we should just sink like good little rocks.  We scraped by for two years, nine months of that with it in the garage for ages, but now it is our lifeline, keeping us out of shelters and the grinding poverty and exposure to crime that not having that independence can lead to.  And it would have gone into storage still, if not for wonderful people helping us get it fixed.  Now it will be going to be fixed June 1 when we no longer have to worry about rent.

The fact is, once we are out of here, and the truck is fixed, we will be living with in our means for the first time since my hubby's stroke.  Crappy thing is, we will get extra for being 'homeless' too.  Not only that, but we will more than likely get bumped up any housing wait lists.  It is a most stupid maze to run.

But at least now I can stop bitching about not having a dishwasher!

Friday, April 8, 2016

My On Going Disdain For the Bus Is Still On Going.

Summonsed to the Social Security Office for the Imperial Explain Yourself a week after the big rent bomb struck, and knowing how crappy they treated us the first whole year Hubby had been handicapped, the double whammy had me sick for two weeks running.

It poured on us.  Note that gas is around 2.75 a gallon in our area right now, and I saw one station at 2.59.  7.50 for two bus passes.  Sure we got to ride all day, but you know, 7.50 in the gas tank of our truck had it been running would have lasted us two weeks of shopping, appointments, quick jots up to the fabric store, yeah, economic my fundamental muscle set.

It rained. That sort of rain that makes Ireland well, irey.  Slow, thorough soaking rain, the sort of rain that makes your soul grow moss.  We spent 8 hours in various stages of either soaking wet, or steaming on buses and running uphill pushing the wheel chair.  The sidewalks are often busted up tarmac, or not at all in the area we had to go in, with a mix of broken glass, sand and the inevitable god knows what people were thinking medical type waste.  I had to put a hex screw back in the little front wheel of the wheel chair with my bare fingers because I had left my veritable chatlaine of keys home and hadn't my little finger nail clippers to make a make shift clamp to turn the thing or just jam it in and use for a wrench.  Good thing the wheel started wobbling before it came out all the way and we noticed it!

The big horror show of the Social Security Office, think Beetlejuice with out so much blood.  The blasted toilet was stopped up, as usual.  Never fails, government building, horror show in the toilets.  We get called in.  "I don't want to hear it, just answer the questions."  We answer the questions.  Any questions?  Yes, we are going to be homeless, how do we deal with you guys and that.  We plan to get a P.O. Box and what ever that thing with the homeless shelter is where you can have your DMV stuff and all that sent to it and be legal still.  Nothing, just let us know. But prices will be coming right back down again soon," the fed says.  He did think it was cool that I was at least running my own business, but yeah, not without electricity.

Advice: Get rid of the cat, and save all your receipts from the shelters.

But even if we got rid of the cat, we would STILL have to wait 2 years for a place, so what ever. And yeah, it's obvious we have not sold a yacht or won the lottery.

Screw it, we are going camping. Just getting away from the apartment for most of the day had us laughing and looking forward to being capable again. Wheel chair crises and all, we basically had fun, survived, and even though the crazy older lady at one bus stop totally invaded our personal space, we ignored her valiantly 

I will pull myself together for the rest of the evening and then tomorrow, I will go NO WHERE, and get something done around here!   I need to get Karen dressed up for LilsGirls order and photos, but I have been too shakey tired to deal with that, and after Arita's crash, yeah, not when I am bone tired.