Tuesday, January 3, 2017

We're moving!

Brand new location coming soon!
Okay, not to get you guys too hyped but, we're not moving physically. We've decided that with so many changes in our life (child, location, and goal wise) it would be best for us for somewhat of a start over seeing as that's what we're doing.
So head on over to The Golden Mean!
That's where the hype is now - I promise :)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Back Up On the Horse

   Or in my case, the penny horse in the front of every Meijer (like Walmart, only in Michigan). 

      Remember little man Zakai? He's up on all fours now getting into every possible crook, cranny and cupboard that mom hasn't locked him out of yet. Eight months old and he's not yet ceased to teach his mom and dad something new every few days.
      
      Today - He's instilled the the essence of TRY. We watch him crawl across the living room floor, taking a break every few feet to take in the scene around him, should he continue to his chosen point of chaos or is there a new point in his vision to crawl towards? He continues on forward towards his TMNT mini couch in front of the single large window in our small one bedroom apartment. He's just learning how to crawl up on things and cruise along them. Lately his choice has been the window seal. 
      
      There's a particular squirrel with a white patch on his head resembling a mohawk that we've name Mr. Montgomery Mitchell, or Itchy for short. He has grown fond of us, since I assume, every morning when I leave I place a few nuts up in his tree in front of our apartment complex. 
     
      Itchy is hollering at one of the other tenants barbie sized dogs taking it's morning *ahem* and a few trees down. Zakai is smiling as he strolls up his couch to the window seal trying to get a better peak at the dark and annoyed auburn squirrel. Before reaching his target point he falls down to his butt and just stares at the window; he looks back at me. He then gets back up and climbs back onto the couch and alas again he falls, this time tears and a crawl over to mommy. I pick him up and console him for the few minutes he lets me until initially trying to push away, and I set him down. Again, he crawls over to the couch and before you know it he's looking out the window and adding to the high pitched shrieks at the barbie dog. 
  
      Now, in those few moments he taught me that for someone even as small as him, there is a magnificent amount of try in his little heart. We fall down and even 25 year old me runs to my mom crying sometimes. But looking at the goal you've set whether it be helping a squirrel friend in need defending the land of Itchy against a impending doom of the fluff ball in the kingdom beyond, or your ultimate sustainable goal and all the little stuff there in, it's all so incredibly doable with the right TRY attitude. 

      As you may be able to tell, I almost stopped trying. I have a crawler, I'm working, and I'm going to school full time along with the few un-necessaries in between clouding my goals with an intense amount of stress. How have I come so far off the trail? I'd like to blame it on having my son and having to up root all our plans for a time. Maybe it was needed and I had to learn a few lessons along the way. 

      Wilson states in his blog Buddhist Mantra, "You have planted some seeds of a certain plant (in this case Karma). However, without conditions like sunlight and water, your seed no matter how plentiful will not turn into a plant."

      Now, I will not be looking at this statement from exactly his point of view with attention to karma, but the rest correlates exactly how I feel with the word TRY. You are the seed. The initial fruits that you know you can bare will only be as plentiful as how you much you encourage (sunlight) yourself, and TRY (water). 
      
      Zakai is my planter at this point. He's the one that has made be re realize my potential and what I was TRYing for. 

      BTW, plans are in effect for a solarized greenhouse finally. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Detour from the Trail

   As you can tell it's been quote a while since my last posting on this blog. Well, let me catch you up!
During my visit back to Michigan with my family last June, I found myself unnaturally tired, and TMI, but my tatas hurt an incredible amount. Welp, Thanks to WebMD I bought a pregnancy test and after about 4 of those saying POSITIVE I called Mike to let him know! I wish I could have been there with him to let him know, but I was going to be in MI for another three weeks and I could not contain my excitement.
   When I came back to FL, my mind when topsy turvy. I finally decided to go back home to MI to be with family for the sake of our little one not being raised with out a large support system that could be provided between our two families.
   My moms fiance was nice enough to let me take over his upstairs of his house and make a nursery and everything, a good place to start saving for our next goals. Mike came back two months later when he found another job up here. I missed him so much!! When he came back it was just in time to find out the gender of our little bundle. A BOY! <3 I worked in a butcher shop and at a gas station until I hit 7 months and was already somewhat miserable.
   I have to say - I will happily go through another 10 rough Michigan winters before I stay a whole summer in Florida again. That was the true definition of rough, I wasn't made for that weather. I'm thinking when we head back out on the road when baby boy is a little older we'll head west and hit the Colorado area.
   The day finally come when baby boy was ready to come out. And to be 100% honest he was totally ready, but mom pushed him out three days early from his due date with castor oil. I don't know if you've ever tried it and what your experience was with it, but it put me in an 18 hour miserable labor. He was born on Feb 27, 2016. He's still pretty new at this point. Zakai Valence was born 8.4 lbs and 20 inches long. He was beautiful and has continued to blossom a beautiful color and personality only at almost three weeks old (wow).
   Well, this will be my last post until he's older and we get back on our beloved road. Our path is the same, we've just taken blessed detour for a time. I may even start a new blog for my mom adventures.

                                                                     Love you all <3

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Human Experiment: Part 1 Intro and BPA


   The other night Mike and I were scrolling through Netflix taking our usual ten minutes to dispute over what looks good or not and who is going to choose this time. Being our oh so curious selves that prefer documentaries over the last sci-fi movie that got 4 stars, we stumbled upon a documentary called The Human Experiment. Although this film doesn’t go into intense detail of the thousands and thousands of chemicals that leech into our unsuspecting bodies every day, it is definitely a starting point for those of you who’d like to begin your journey of knowledge of the evil and corrupt of big pharmaceutical, plastic, and any other big money corporations only out to increase profit without the humanity to care about what damage is being done by their products. This film lifts the curtain to the many known secrets of the rich and ‘I don’t care if it causes cancer, sell it’s. You’ll be taken into some individuals lives from different walks of life and how the everyday products we use affect them in so many unnatural and unwelcoming ways; products that maybe even you use or are around every single day.
               
   I’d like to start this hopefully multiple part essay with more information on one of the chemicals
that that has been found in more products than you can imagine and the effects having it in your life. BPA (Bisphenol-A) is one of the main components found today in a variety of everyday lives. An insert from the article Use of Polycarbonate Plastic Products and Human Health by R. K. Srivastava and Sushila Godara gives an upfront statement about the dangers of BPA:

“Researchers found links between abnormal liver enzymes in the people and Bisphenol-A (BPA). Changes in insulin resistance, reproduction system, cardiovascular and brain function are also reported. BPA is used in the production of epoxy resins, polycarbonate resins, and polyester resins. BPA can leach out of certain plastic products including variety of modern goods, reusable food storage containers, eyeglass lenses, white dental fillings, sealants, medical equipment’s etc. In the body, BPA behaves as an estrogen receptor agonist and mimics estrogen hormone. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a widespread endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) used as the base compound in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics. Children and unborn and new born babies are at high risk of unwanted effects of BPA. Children suffer from chronic exposure to bisphenol A with manifestation of gastrointestinal problems, adrenal stress, immune dysfunction, toxic over load and neurological disorders. (1)”
   So from the gist of this small excerpt, I hope you still don’t get the feeling that consuming anything laced with BPA is a safe bet over time, for you, your children, and even your unborn child.  Did I say consume? Yes, I did. On top of BPA leaching into your beverages and water from the plastic bottles, canned foods being lined with it, and almost every other new plastic made that mankind uses or holds on to at any point; it’s also in some of our foods. The products and produce that we as humans hope would be safe on the shelves just because other humans placed them there is a very sad statement to find false. And if some of you won’t take this serious personally, and to be frank I tend to not when it only comes to me (I still gorge on Pizza and drink too much pop sometimes), lets place this devastation and danger on your children instead. Let’s start with your babies that haven’t even left the womb yet.

   According to the Environmental Working Group, “In the month leading up to a baby's birth, the umbilical cord pulses with the equivalent of at least 300 quarts of blood each day, pumped back and forth from the nutrient- and oxygen-rich placenta to the rapidly growing child cradled in a sack of amniotic fluid. (2)” This is the life source that leads from mother to unborn infant; the infant that depends on us for everything to be perfectly safe, secure, and healthy. Once thought to be a safety net for all things harmful that went through the mother to not be passed to the child, has been proven to be a falsity. Everything, EVERYTHING, that the mother ingests, skin leeches in, and air that she breathes takes effect on the fetus. From the variety of tests done from other sources and here in, the Environmental Working Group also found that “In a study … in collaboration with Commonweal, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group (2)”.  

Here is the basic overview of the chemicals they found in the umbilical cords:
Gross, right? The majority of these things we almost simply cannot get away from as a common blue collar worker unless the stress and utmost desire is there.One statement made in the movie went along the lines of:

If I were to give you a glass of water to drink and told you that there was only a 4% chance that the poison I placed in it would kill you, would you drink it? I most definitely would not. But what if I told you that I was 94% sure that it wouldn’t kill you, high chances right? Would you still drink it? I would still say no. How about if there was a 1% chance that you would die, would you drink it?
   Now when we eat and drink the nasty things we do in our quick pace quick food lives aside from all the extra chemical crap placed in it, we know that it’s bad for us already, yet we alas do it anyways. Does that mean we should just say whatever to these facts and carry on with our lives that we hope will be full, healthy, and long? I suppose that is your decision, but to not fight for the health of the common human and the generations to come is actually a very selfish act.

   1 in 88 kids now are born with autism compared just over a decade ago when it was 1 in 500. Do you really think things are going to get better just with that statistic alone? Not to blame autism on BPA just yet without the proper research, but with the multitude of other chemicals piled up on the 4% that may provide a sarcastically wonderful dose of disease, cancer, and premature death, wouldn’t you think there is something wrong with this industrialized life and want to do something about it? If not for you, then for your children, niblings, and younger cousins?

   The wee man in the right amount of numbers can be heard over the dollar of every disgusting paying lobbyist from the corps. Not that this has to do much with bill writing at the moment, but even because of it some are being put in motion, but I’m sure you have heard of the Cecil the Lion situation and the Dentist that killed him. Lions have been killed and shipped to the US forever now, but because the people roared loud enough, Mahita Gajanan, a reporter for The Guardian, stated that “New Jersey senator Bob Menendez announced on Friday that he will be introducing an act to disincentive trophy killings, named for the internationally mourned lion. The Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (Cecil) Animal Trophies Act will extend import and export protections for species proposed to be listed under the Endangered Species Act (3)”. Now the leads being involved in the hunt are in trial and the man that paid for the hunt is being voted to be extradited.

   The power of numbers when we care about something is very strong. So if we should care so much about one lion, why shouldn’t we care about our own well-being and fight for that? Find something to care about. Do your research. Then fight for it.








1)      Srivastava, R.K., and Sushila Godara. "Use of Polycarbonate Plastic Products and Human Health." Http://www.scopemed.org. IJBCP, Jan. 2013. Web. 05 Aug. 2015. <http://www.scopemed.org/fulltextpdf.php?mno=32059>.
2)      Environmental Working Group. "Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns." EWG. EWG, 14 July 2005. Web. 05 Aug. 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/research/body-burden-pollution-newborns>.

3)      Gajanan, Mahita. "Cecil the Lion Spurs US Lawmakers to Draft Bills to Discourage Trophy Hunting." The Guardian. The Guardian, 31 July 2015. Web. 05 Aug. 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/31/cecil-the-lion-legislation-trophy-hunting-bob-menendez>.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Niche


Sometimes it takes a little time, but sooner or later you find your personal niche in terms of how you decorate the space around you to basically reflect you. Some individuals stick to a specific color scheme their entire life; switching and swapping out green and orange colored rugs as time goes by to match those drapes their grandmother made in the 70s that they could never ever get rid of. Some spaces are filled with trinkets and music boxes collected from family members over the years and they are so used to the d├ęcor of miniature items that a collection of randoms soon turns into a hobby of sorts; with time their space becomes exhausted with so many mini glass, brass, and porcelain loves that it’s dangerous to go near their walls if you're having an off day.
The people we have met so far have introduced us to so many small homes with so much personality without having to really layout or say a lot. I feel that’s almost a large difference between having a large house compared to a small home on an average blue-collar wage. If you have a large house on that sort of wage, it’s harder to reflect your personality, unless you're a very dry person (sorry we can't be friends then ha-ha), throughout the entire home. And I don't know about some of you guys, but with my past work I was involved with, I was inside a lot of huge money filled houses; and you know what I found in not all, but the majority? A lot of blandness.
Makes me think they're thinking: “Oh my, I have a lot of money so my extra big house has to look like everyone else’s bland house. Let’s kick the fact that I have a right to having a personality that is my own and be like everyone else.”
Many of you that personally know me, know that I grimace at the thought of being like the majority of my generation. Some aspects I alas cannot run away from, but I’d say I do a good enough job. I mean come on, we live in an RV, ha-ha.



ALSO! To add to the ‘news’: Mike started his job on Monday! Woot woot! And not the one with the company that was teetering him around, instead he’s in a less stress area working with computer components; so he’s basically in his happy place. I'm so proud and happy for him! I'm behind you 100% hunny! Along with the new job we also found a new living space closer to his work. It took a little longer than we wanted to be approved, but after two work days of Monster and I waiting for him to be done with work in a truck stop McDonalds parking lot, we are much happier to wait for him in our little spot beside the small forest where we now call home on the third day. Stores are much closer if we need anything; so instead of riding a bike close to 15 miles every time we needed our whatnots, it’s a short 5-minute walk from here. Did I mention rent’s cheaper and they have a pool? Yes mam…
I also hate to say it, but we kind of took off in a hurry from where we were living to get moved on to our new place before anyone was home from work or wherever they were at the other park. I was able to say goodbye to one neighbor, that took one of my painted shells to remember me ha-ha, but she was it.  I personally feel really bad it was rushed, but I think I'll send a card to each person thanking him or her for all the help and friendship they gave us. And if any of you are reading this now: I sincerely thank you with all my heart, and apologize for the abrupt leave!
Now for me to find a source of income somewhere near by. I'm thinking I'll walk down to the shops around the corner and see if any of them are hiring.


And here is an early morning poem to kind of describe our home in which was the main starting point of this blog:

Throw pillows, lace, fake wallflowers and candles,
And over here in the little white box painted with shells is where I put my sandals.
Over the door is where I leave my bad thoughts and dreams,
And throughout the living space is filled with lace covered tropical schemes.
The oranges, grapefruit, and potatoes hang over the drivers seat,
And with monster running around in here, the floor never keeps neat.
There’s dog hair in the corners, there’s hair where we lay,
And there’s still hair in my food, no matter how many hours that vacuum is alive in a day.
The sun rises at about half past six, the Monster and I watch it bloom over the land,
And we say goodbye to my love as he rides away to work for the man.
The bathroom counter is too small to make a common me mess,
And so the counters stay clean, but the cupboards I cannot promise no less.
The shower is smaller, and from time to time usually cold,
And as we wake up in the morning, we down a cup of hot coffee to increase our ness of bold.
The kitchen is at times cramped, but quaint, yet again trivial,
And everything is within a small reach, except for the poor dishes unseen and yet to be done laying in burial.
Which in truth, the messes take a short time to be cleaned,
And as well as it takes less the time for a mess to be deemed.
The carpets of outside lay in black, blue, white, brown and Welcome,
And we have to hide them all when the rain comes, which is thankfully seldom.
The back room now holds the title of the den of the man,
And here the video games are played whenever they can.
Over the head of the gamer are cupboards of linen and books,
And when it gets too late for bang, click, and yip, the gamer gets some trifling looks.
The bed where we lay when night has come, is surrounded with colorful curtains,
And the height even is too short for our Monster, but we still love it for certain.
This ‘pad’ where we stay is petite for sure, but it’s easy to make it say us, we, he and she,
And now that I have found this way to express, there’s really no other place I'd want to be.







Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Workamping Scam


So in our vast search for another place to live to find work elsewhere, we have started looking into the world of workamping because everyone across the internet talked it up so much, and in just a short hop and skip into our journey we have found it's a world full of scammers. It's more of a dire need I-need-a-place-to-live-other-than-the-Walmart-parking-lot situation type of thing for us.

Workamping (yes, I spelled it right) involves single persons, usually couples, who are employed by RV parks for office work, housekeeping, and other odd jobs in return for a campsite to park their RV in which usually includes full hook ups (FHU), wifi (most, but not all), laundry coins, propane, and sometimes a discount at their store if they have one on site.

One issue on top of the several others that we ran into while starting our RV living journey in FL was that we are not a 55+ retired couple of snowbirds. It's not stated as a requirement in any posts online searching for workamping couples, but every job I reply to seems either to have a quick "nicely" written decline for our help our help, or they stop writing me back and all after they ask our age.
Discrimination of age much? I'd like to think we fit in quite nicely with the older generation for one, whether they all like us younglings or not. We're not rowdy, or crazy party seekers, and we even bring a great dish to the potluck and don't pig out on everyone else's stuff. But, the next following 'issue' kind of provides why they only seek old couples with nothing else to do and a chunk of change already in their bank.

The next issue was that every work post I seem to cross was either asking for a single workamper (couples can always live there regardless with the one working) to work 80 hours a month, or a couple to work an average of 15-20 hours per week per person. Now to do some math and include everything I mentioned being included in the Workamping description above:


  • Highest cost of a FHU FL RV lot per month I found browsing the Workamping help wanted's: $500 (and there was only one at this price, the rest ranged from $250 - $400, but let's see what happens when the highest price is involved in the math)
  • Average cost of 16 trips to a laundromat per month: $28
  • Average cost of standard 20gal propane RV fill up: $25 (**noted that is an every other month expense but I'll add it to the monthly expense to make the scammers look a wee bit better)
  • Average cost of high speed 15mbps which includes wifi router and home phone, not sharing: $62 (This is just what we're paying now for ours, more than likely the RV sites only offer wifi off their router shared among many other residents, but I'll include it regardless)
All the above = $615 a month

The minimum wage for FL is $8.05 

I'll do the math for a couple that's working;

So 2 people @ 15 hours per week = 120 hours of work for a 30 day period
@ Minimum wage = $966

$615/120 = $5.12 per hour 

So with all this said and done for a couple to start workamping at the average RV park, they will be completely underpaid with no time for another job unless they go work 3rd shift at some fast food restaurant around the corner in order to pay for the rest of the bills like insurance, cell phone, travel gas and your normal etc., like food and such. 

So my conclusion:
Unless you're a retired snowbird with a hardy large pocket of change looking more for something to do rather than stare at a wall and don't care that you're missing out on a couple hundred dollars a month, than workamping for a place to live is the thing for you. I guess also like I stated in my first paragraph, if you don't feel like living in a Walmart parking lot for a time and at the moment that's your only option, this is also for you, unless you're under 55, then they may not take you in... But that's just my experience. 

So this is just my opinion, but I think Mike and I can do a lot better. I doubt we'll ever be back in the Walmart phase, here's knocking on wood, so here's to a great future not having RV parks pay us scrap to work for an overpriced patch of dirt to park our RV on. 

Here's also to hoping I'll find my on the road work niche and will be able to share it with you guys. 

TTFN! <3









Monday, March 30, 2015

Trailer Town Gold

I've lived in Michigan the majority of my life. My small hometown in the middle of a cornfield held only a small amount of personalities. There were the 'no-see-um' townies, the druggies, the 'try to get out of town, but always come crawling back to mom'-ers, the successful at getting out of town-ers, the 'this is my kingdom and my child owns the area'-ers, and the small amount of people with warm hearts that weren't out to hurt anyone, get anything, and just gave happily in their small little life that they loved.
For a brief period of time I was Indiana for college, and I must say the mass of the place was filled with egotistical rich kids that had a little knack for God. 
After Indiana, I got my own place in a large college town with a friend about an hour from the small town I grew up in. Tell you what, it was a bit rough. The neighbors never knew you existed until the days they decided to call the cops for noise complaints because your phone music was 'too loud'. The bars we're filled with hot to trot college kids that only want to talk to you if you were going to be their scratch and burn. The 55+ community hated everyone that looked under 30. Then the new friends that you finally managed to make, whether it was from a bar or thrice removed acquaintances of other friends, they always seemed to drink all your beer and be gone until you were ready to buy a new pack. Not everyone of course fit these, but the majority. I was out and about quite a bit and those that were ready to 'mingle' never were there for your best interests. I can say the only friends that I got out of living there for that bit were the ones through work and through Mike, since that was about the time I met him. 
After that hole in the wall in the college town, I moved about 15 minutes away in with Mike. Made a lot more friends through him, and vice versa. The neighbors still didn't talk to us and once in a while we would have a saint come by and pull us out of our ditch of a driveway in the middle of the winter even though I know most would have rather to keep driving past. 
Now Florida. This is the best place I have ever spent a time. It's a small quant trailer/RV park. There's about 200 lots, but you'd never know it, that are adorably kept trailers in the 55+ area and in the front there is about 20 or so RV lots for some that are permanent and some for the just stopper-bys. To the left of us is our manager and her husband. Too Cute Tina and Dashing Dave have been a complete help from the pipes busting and through our entire process of getting used to living in a tiny box. Behind them is Mr Big Hearted Bubba. This is the guy most people should strive for in a personality. He works hard everyday and then comes home just to help the neighbors out with projects and payment being only sharing a laugh or two. Oh! And his baby girl Gypsi is Monsters new bff/crush. She's an older Rottweiler with as much enthusiasm and personality as Monster, hence why I'm sure they make the best of friends.  
On the other side of Bubba lives the middle aged Cheery Brenda. Always a smile on her face even when some sort of aliment is in effect for the day.
There's a bit of randoms spread out through the park who are always outgoing enough to throw a 'hello' and such with a smile as we pass by as well. When we first arrived we were told that everyone is pretty decent, but there's the few that have a bit of a humbug with their step, happily we haven't run into any of those.
Whenever a hand is needed or someone just wants someone to converse with, you bet your bottom dollar someone will be there.
Last night we started the summer cookouts with a bang. The ones I above mentioned and a few others came over with their dishes and I tell you the truth when I say that we FEASTED! On top of being Mr Big Heart, Bubba is an absolute god when it comes to grilling. The Boston Butt melted off the bone and the chicken never lost an ounce of juice. To top my cooking off, I finally managed not to burn something in my oven. With a little inspiration from Chili's new jalapeno cheddar corn biscuits, I tried to copy the recipe. Turned out awesome if you ask me and the other 10 folks that could handle the fire.
Anyways, I'm loving the all around environment here. So far, it has been the best placed I have basically lived. If I had more of my close friends and family around, I'd be in RV girl heaven.

Work on the other hand has still been trifling. The main company Mike has had his hopes up for has been so unprofessional and has proved time and time again that they may not be the company that he should work for just with how awful they treat potential employees and customers.  He's technically employed, they just keep pushing his start date back.
And me? After the now 14 applications I've put in from part-time Subway to  full-time Home Health care positions to building modular homes, I'm losing hope just a tiny bit. Thankfully a friend that lives down here recently brought that hope back up telling me I haven't heard back mostly because I don't have a FL license as of yet. Makes sense, who wants to hire someone that looks like they won't be in state long. Fixing that next time I have a chance to get into town.