Sunday, September 30, 2012

One Month

The time is trickling down.  31 more days and a few hours... 1 month until my new adventure.  Hopefully these people I have to depend on to get things done actually get things done.  I am waiting on my trailer which will hopefully be here before October 14 and of course I am waiting for my dog carrier which I have no idea if or when I will see that again.

I am definitely ready for my lifestyle change.  Ready for something new.  I am ready to head south for the winter, have no deadlines, need to be anywhere, need to know more than what I am doing at that moment.  Living life as it comes.  This will be the biggest improvisation I have ever done.

The great thing about improvisation, the way I try to look at my life in general, is there are no wrong choices just life experiences.

I'm almost to wherever!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Back in the Midwest

I am in Kansas for the weekend for work and I have to say it is refreshing to be back in the midwest.  I was born and raised in Nebraska and the one thing I miss are the people.  People that will say hi or smile when you pass on the street... even when you don't know them.  People who will help you when you are in need.  People who take pride in their work no matter what their job is.  You walk into a store and the employees actually speak to you.  It is always a bit shocking and I probably give a weird look the first few times since it has been over 15 years since I have lived in a place like that.  I feel like I am home even though I am still a few hours away from my home town.

I was also very excited to be in a hotel.... with indoor plumbing, internet, and temperature control.  I would have been happy with a motel 6 or a super 8... wonder what is up with the numbers.... but I am put in this beautiful historic hotel in downtown Lawrence.

For someone who is coming from nothing this is a bit extravagant.  I have 2 sinks, 2 rooms and 2 TVs that are absolutely huge.  Can't quite figure out how 1 person would use all this space.  So I sat for a few minutes in the living room and watched TV before going to bed and watching TV.  I washed my hands in both sinks... well for someone who doesn't have indoor plumbing this was very exciting.  The indoor shower was completely worth the whole trip. haha...  I just keep telling myself, now is not the time to forget where you are... I could just imagine myself forgetting where I am and walking into the hallway to pee.  Luckily, I don't think I did that last night so all is good. :D

So off to show people the rockin' time we have using the Adaptive Use Musical Instruments.  This will be a fun filled weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Missing My Boys

Today the pet sitter came and took all three of my boys to her house for the weekend while I am doing an AUMI workshop at the University of Kansas.  I miss them sooo much already.  Who is going to somewhat keep me warm tonight. :(  I have no one to talk to... I am just pathetic.

While waiting for the pet sitter I fell off my stairs into my shack... and then got stuck.  I can laugh at it now but boy was I pissed.  All three of my boys were there to just stare at me because of course 2 chihuahuas and a cat in a crate surely can't help me up.

I got stuck on the side of the stairs where there is a board that goes out a bit further than the rest and there is a huge rock and another board or something.  Of course my bum hit the rock and my feet were high in the air... it was a bit of a struggle but I got up and moving in plenty of time before the pet sitter got there... well at least she could of helped me up. LOL  Owell... just another one of those days.

I was suppose to get my dog carrier back today.  He promised he would call me at 1pm but the day has come and gone and no phone call... and he took the trunk again to make another part and so today in the rain I had to carry my really heavy backpack on my back with a garbage bag over it.  I may never see a finished doggie carrier.  Makes me quite furious but what can you expect when you need help from a stranger.  I sure hope on my trip the people I meet will give me a different view of people.  Right now my view is very grim... especially with men.  I have had to deal with a handful of men in the last two weeks that about makes me rip my hair out... oh wait... I don't have any hair.  Anyways my patience is wearing thin as the time for my departure comes closer.

I will have to practice patience and keeping my cool.  It is hard with the seasons changing and the darkness ruling the hours.  My mood always shifts at this time and it is a fight to keep the positive coming.  I will just count down to my dream ... knowing it is close will hopefully keep me afloat.

35 more days!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fixin' up Blue

This weekend I found a mechanic to come to my house to add a few things to Blue so she is ready to pull our new home.

First thing I needed was a wiring harness for the lights of the trailer.  Little Guy told me I needed a 7 pin flat connector 1 1/2 inch.  To finally get that information and to find one was more complicated than necessary but I got it.  I have to get one tiny piece and it should be ready to plug in.  I also have to figure out what kind of brake controller to get since the trailer has electric breaks and also I am told since the trailer has it's own battery that one of the pins charges the battery while I am driving... so I have to figure out what that is all about.

This is a picture of the new wiring harness from mchitch attached under the seat... then it is wired to the back where the 7 pin connector is attached.

We also had to use the ACC switch in the fairing so I would have reverse lights.  Harleys do not have a reverse so in case I need to push it backwards while on Blue in the dark I can now do that with the ACC switch.

The mechanic and I found out that the wiring to the ACC switch is under the seat.. this was very helpful but of course not the first place we looked.  Since we had the front of the fairing off we changed the headlight bulb since it was getting low.

This is what it looks like under the fairing.  So many things that can be added it is crazy.  We must of jiggled something loose while in there because at the moment my fuel light comes on and off and I lost my fuel gauge.  Well the fuel gauge is always beyond full even when I don't have any gas.  So right now I am keeping track of miles so I know when it is time to get gas.  This happened before when I replaced another bulb in one of the front blinkers.  Not quite sure why but I took it to the shop and they just took out the bulb and put it back in and all was good so that may be something I need to do with the headlight bulb.  Kind of a pain.

The next thing we needed to do was replace the rear brakes which was a breeze.

Poor Blue looked a little naked there for a while with the saddle bag, tour pack, seat and fairing off.

I started thinking of that part in the Wizard of Oz when the flying monkeys attack the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow and the Scarecrow had a piece of himself in many different places.  Kind of made me chuckle.  I could just imagine Blue saying "he took off my trunk and put it over there... he took off my fairing and put it over there... he took off my saddle bag and put it over there..."

Another picture of Blue in pieces.

We also had to install an Oil Bud oil cooler.  Since Harleys are air cooled I needed something to help keep Blue cool while pulling a trailer.  With some research this is the one I thought would do the best job.  

This is what the Oil Bud looks like.  The black part sits under the engine and fits snuggly so you don't even know it is there.  The silver part goes in between the oil filter and where the oil filter attaches to the bike.  It was pretty easy to install.  It does make a different sound when something hits it which is definitely something to get use to.  I base everything off of sound and smell so putting on a new part that smells funny when it gets hot the first time freaks me out... I think something is wrong and when it makes a new sound I have to triple check to be sure all is good before I get use to hearing the sound.

This is a picture of the new oil bud in place... this is where the oil filter goes.

It took most of the day but we got her going and is almost ready to pull our new home.  The part I need for the wiring harness should be here next week and I just need to figure out what is wrong with the fuel gauge and she will be ready.  I so can't wait to get on the road!  36 more days!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another weekend come and gone

Time has been flying by... I can't believe another weekend has come and gone. I took Saturday off from the market to get Blue ready to pull our new home... I have pictures I will post tomorrow. I found a great guy who came to my house and worked on Blue all day. There are just a few tweaks and one little part to add and Blue will be ready to go. All the parts and labor expensive but it is done and checked off the list of things to worry about. Hallelujah.

 Sunday I went to my regular market in Washingtonville... luckily the vendors there are fun to be around because we had very few customers. It is so sad to see a town not take advantage of a resource like a farmers market. Sad to see a small town doesn't even support their local vendors. I am the one coming the furthest and everyone else is pretty much local.

 Tonight I am going to relax as I have quite the busy week ahead. I have to get a weeks worth of work done in 3 days and then I am off to Lawrence Kansas to do an AUMI training. If you are in the area and want to check out the Adaptive Use Musical instruments sign up for the FREE workshops September 28 & 29.  I am also very excited to see one of my best friends who I haven't seen since my last Blue road trip in 2009.  I so can't wait!!

I am also very excited because I have the best pet sitter.  She has been a complete relief for me.  I travel a bit with my job and I hate leaving my boys behind and she has made me feel very comfortable with the process.  She is going to be keeping all 3 of my boys at her house while I am away.  I was quite excited when I realized this is really the last time I will have to leave my boys with anyone... they will be able to come with me everywhere!!!

Off to relax... have a Fabulous evening!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Fall is definitely here in the Hudson Valley. Luckily last night I had enough blankets to keep me warm. It sure is hard to get out of bed with the temperatures in the 40s and no heat or insulation in my little shack. It will be a beautiful day and I have a market this evening so I will be outside enjoying the weather... once I get myself out of bed. I so can't wait to get my new home... I'm ready for a new adventures.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

High Hopes

Anyone who knows me knows I love old TV shows and get a bit obsessed.  I have probably seen the Golden Girls (the entire series from start to finish) a few hundred times.  I will watch the entire series straight thru... it takes about a week.  I also love the Mary Tyler Moore show and have seen the entire series at least 100 times.  Right now I have been watching Laverne and Shirley.  I could go on and on about each of these shows and it's relation to Women Studies and Feminism but I won't do that today.  I thought I would share one of my favorite parts of Laverne and Shirley.  Every time Laverne and Shirley get into something that just doesn't work out the way they want Shirley is always so positive and sings this song... so in case you are a little blue or life isn't going the way you want... I hope this will be uplifting. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

43 more days

I have had this countdown of days for months now... I can't believe the time is going so fast.  I am still in shock that I am making my goal... there are a few bumps this last week but bumps are part of the process.

Someone asked me the other day as to how I started and finished my goals.

I think it is just being determined like I had said in an earlier post of goals and making my life revolve around this goal of this being the year of my new adventure.  I named 2012 The Year of the RV in January.

To be honest I am in shock with myself.  I have accomplished a lot in  my life if I look back objectively... but there is still a part of me that says I haven't done anything with my life... that mean little part of me that is becoming more and more silent as I am growing stronger.

I can't believe I worked hard and actually bought my trailer and in the time frame I said I was going to.  I told myself in May I was going to raise enough money to order my trailer by the end of August/first week of September... I did just that.  I ordered my trailer the last week of August and paid in full the first week of September.  I have purchased what is needed for Blue and myself to get this trip going... now is just a waiting game.  I have to wait for everything to come in which should all be in the next few weeks and I have to get Blue fixed up and ready for travel which will happen hopefully next week.

There have been a few snags along the way.   Waiting for this doggie carrier is still a fight... I am hoping it will be done this week.  The trailer is going to be a week or 2 late but I told them I have a party in the planning for October 14 so I have to have it before then.  And then of course trying to find a good mechanic to get Blue ready to pull the trailer and for travel.  That is always difficult.  But it is all happening and I just can't believe it.  I feel like I am living in some sort of parallel universe.  Even on the days of frustration I still have a huge smile on my face because it is going to happen.

43 more days and I will be on the road.

First I will be making my way to visit my parents.  I haven't seen them since my graduation road trip in April 2010.  They live in Kentucky.  Then I am heading straight south and going west.  Maybe end up in California for a bit... but I figure it might take me all winter just to get to California and I am good with that.  I have no deadlines of being anywhere so I am in no hurry.  I am going to see as much as I can and just take life one day at a time... end up wherever I end up... well I guess I will never really end anywhere since I don't plan to settle in one place for too long.

43 more days until the life of endless possibilities.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Know what you need

I always tell people google is great because you never have to buy something you don't already know about.  This is especially important as a woman dealing with any sort of vehicle or mechanic issues.  I don't know what it is with men who work with vehicles but I have to say I am tired of being treated like I am stupid and don't know what my motorcycle needs.

For the last week I have been trying to get enough information from the trailer company to get the vehicle connector for my motorcycle.  The trailer company emailed me and said I needed a 7 pin vehicle connector.  I talked to my dad and a friend of mine about what I was looking for... they told me I needed to know if it was a round pin or a flat pin... if it was 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch.  The email I got only said a 7 pin vehicle connector with a link to a website that showed both the round and the flat pin.  It took me a week to get an answer from the trailer company and he had to go measure the connector to tell me if it was a 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch.

I go to Advanced Auto Parts to get this connector and the guy there tells me that I really didn't need a 7 pin because they don't use all 7 pins... now I know enough to know that they wouldn't make a 7 pin if they don't really use all 7 pins.  I kind of looked at the guy oddly and he told me to go to the camper store down the street.  So I did.  I found 2 of the same thing but I wasn't sure if they were different or maybe I was missing something.  So I brought both of these 7pins to this guy at the customer service counter.  He said one had a 3 year warranty and that was the difference... as the other guy there said one was for the trailer and one was for the car.  If he would of read the package they both said they were for the car... so I guess there was no difference.  So my frustration with men was growing...
I would prefer they just tell me they have no idea and I would have to figure it out myself than to give me answers that make no sense at all.

Then I go and check my tires on Blue because I am going in to the motorcycle shop tomorrow to schedule a time to add my oil cooler and wiring harness and figured they would probably have to order new tires.  I got an oil change in July and asked repeatedly if my tires and brakes were ok.  The mechanic told me over and over again that I was good to go for a while.  I thought it was kind of odd since it had been well over 15,000 miles since I got my rear tire but I thought maybe I was confused and it was 20+ thousand before needing a new tire.  So stupid me listens to the guy and didn't even worry about my tires this last month and a half.  Shame on me because my rear tire is completely bald... no treads what so ever.  Maybe it is just me but when I go and get maintenance on my bike I expect them to check everything and I leave with a safe bike but I have been proven wrong more times than not in this area.  Especially up here in the Hudson Valley.  Harley shops in general will leave something undone or what have you so you should always check your bike... I have gotten on my bike with wires loose and all sorts of things.  I did find this great mechanic in Miami who had his own private shop and I never had a problem.  He double checked everything and knew even if I had a couple thousand miles on my tires to change them because I ride every day in all weather.  So to say the least I am very disappointed that I have been driving with a bald tire... disappointed in myself for trusting the mechanic and disappointed in the mechanic to allow me to ride away with tires I shouldn't have been riding on at all.

Just another reason I am going to learn how to do all the maintenance on Blue.  At least I know I would triple check everything in fear I would do it wrong.  I do need to check my tires more often and trust myself when I think something is off.  I usually know when it is time just by a glance and I don't know why I didn't trust myself this last time I went in and fought for a new tire... you would think they would want my money... but I guess not.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I woke up in a panic this morning around 3am.  So many things still to do and time is flying by.  I think it really started because I have been waiting for my adapted dog carrier for Blue which was suppose to be done in August.  Here it is knocking on the end of September and it isn't done yet.  I am one that at least likes to know what is going on and what the hold up is.. but of course my phone calls go unanswered which makes me panic.  Right now I have around 2 weeks to train the dogs and maybe Randall to ride in this adapted doggie crate.  Which is completely not enough time.  I don't want it to be learning to ride with the boys on my bike and pulling a trailer at the same time... so I am in desperate need of this adapted crate this week the absolute latest... but who knows if it will get done.  Sometimes I really hate depending on people.

Then I started to panic about other things... like all of the things I would like to do promotion wise for my new adventure and getting things set at my main job so all are good when I leave and the lack of time to do any of it.  So I think I am going to have to give up the farmers market job.  It is the job that pays the least and takes up the most time.  Now I just have to figure out where the money I won't be getting from the market is going to come from... which again brings on a bit of panic.

I know all will work out however it is needed but I think once I get this dog crate situation under control I will feel back to being in control.  That is something I need to work on... not letting the lack of someone else completely throw me into a loop.

Thru the panic I am still smiling as I am imagining myself on the road.  Now every time I get on Blue a huge smile covers my face... just knowing I will be living my dream in 45 more days. :D

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Items for Blue

There are a couple of items I recently ordered for Blue to make her trailer ready.

One of course is the wiring harness for the lights and such.  Still trying to work out exactly what type of 7 pin connector I need but the wiring harness should be here on Wednesday.  With a Harley you have to order a special harness because splitting the wires doesn't work for whatever reason the way they do with other bikes... Learn something new every day.  So my dad ordered his wiring harness from MCHITCH and that is where I ordered mine.  

The other thing I needed was some sort of oil cooler since Harleys are air cooled I need something to help it stay cool when pulling.  I looked into the Harley Davidson oil cooler but it said it only cooled an average of 10 degrees.  Then I found the Oil Bud which claims to cool up to 30 degrees.  I received it from UPS today.  Pretty cool looking thing.  And the guy who makes them and sells them seems really nice. I talked to him on the phone today and he said just call if we have any questions with the installation and he will help us out.  I was actually quite shocked to call and he picks up the phone.   Kudos for that.

Hopefully I can get some time to go and get them both installed within the next week.  One step closer to my new adventure. :D

Friday, September 14, 2012

So much and need so little

Have you ever went into a store and thought this is so much stuff??

I had to go to a couple of stores for some odd and end items the other day.  I don't shop all that often and I usually don't leave with more than a handful of things that I need.  If I need anything that I can get online that is how I prefer to shop.

I walked into Target and I just couldn't believe how much stuff is in there... and not just stuff but junk really.  Everything made out of bright colored plastic.  It was just so odd.  I guess now that I live without a lot of what we think are necessities it makes me think of what is necessary.  My computer for me always seems necessary, because my job is computer based.  I use a public bathroom and watch all of that water waisted in the toilet and in the sink.  I don't use that much water in a whole day in my shack.  I guess since I actually have to fetch the water it makes you really think about how you use it.

I have tried to get rid of a lot of my stuff but it is so difficult because I tell myself "I may need that one day" even though I haven't used it in months and even years.  Maybe it has some sort of memory attached to the object...  there is always an excuse.  I have made due for most of 5 years with just a motorcycle as my form of transportation.  It was really easy when I lived in south Florida.. and doable living in the Hudson Valley, NY.  I fill up the truck I use for work with gas and I about fall over.  I have to pay over $60 for gas and on my motorcycle I could go the same amount of miles for under $20.

I do feel like I need too much.  I really wanted this trailer I am getting but it isn't like I am using the trailer just for fun... it will be my full time home.  I am buying a privacy tent with a toilet and solar shower which really isn't completely necessary but more of a convenience.  (It will be so fabulous to take a warm shower and use the bathroom in private.)  I purchased a solar panel which is an extra but hopefully it will help me be self sustaining.

What is the line of too much?  Where is the line of being wasteful?  Have our modern conveniences changed the way we look at waste? need?

I know I waste too much and I am really working on how to be more aware and buy things that are not a one time use... and not buying things I don't need... but it is so difficult.  It is so  much easier to use a one time cloth to clean up a mess than have to wash a cloth to use again.  This has and will be difficult for me to follow thru with.  I am one that buys a soda or water while I am out... when I could refill a bottle of some sort from home with water or use it when I go to a restaurant or gas station.  I need to become more aware and more active in living a less wasteful life.  It will definitely be a a challenge but something I think I will feel really great about.

If you have any suggestions on how you went from being wasteful to more aware please share.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

All By Myself

Sunday I was dropped off at the market I was working at 2 hours before anyone even shows up to set up for the market.  So I had no vehicle and had to sit outside with all the stuff for 2 hours.  What is a girl to do???...

Here is all the stuff... I partially put up the tent so I had a place to sit under once the sun came up.

Yes I was there before the sun was even up... there was the light of dawn but no sun.  I did have a nice view of the sunrise.

The sun starting to peak thru the clouds and over the trees.

The sun really beginning to make a presents.

Anyways... luckily I came prepared.  I brought my charged up computer and a movie and bought myself some scratch off lottery things.  I brought Bridget Jones Diary for the movie since I checked it out from the library earlier in the week.

Quite appropriate if I say... this is the part in the movie where she is mouthing to the song All By Myself... and yep could totally relate since I was at the market all by myself.

this is me being quite bored but in good spirits.

At least with that scratch off ticket I won $10... pretty much the highlight of the morning... other than when the other vendors showed up.
the winning ticket.

The other vendors showed up and most of the day was spent with an empty market.
I think it is quite crazy that a small town like this one has a farmers market that no one knows about... and then when people do come they complain there aren't enough vendors... now why exactly would vendors come to a market this slow?  People need to support their local vendors and then more will come.... I just don't get it... but that is another story.

This farmers market has the worst bee situation I have ever seen.  By the end of the day... even the very few customers we did have... wouldn't go into my tent... well neither would I.  I had to have had over 100 yellow jackets in my tent.  They are insane.  They ate thru the plastic wrap on the cookies and tarts and were eating them.  I had to gear up just to pack up my stuff to go home.  Luckily it was cold that morning so I brought a scarf which I wrapped around my neck and face... had a sweatshirt on and the honey lady gave me special gloves the bees could not sting thru.  Even with that I didn't want to go in.  I had some of the other vendors help me out... just ridiculous.  I have never seen that many bees in one place.  We got it all put away and soon after I was picked up again to go back home.  The driver who picked me up and helped me load into the truck didn't even want to tie down one of my crates because there were so many bees inside everything.  I am very thankful I was not stung.  The woman who sells the honey is going to try to find something to ward off the bees for next week.  I hope she finds something. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11

I do remember like many others where I was September 11, 2001. For me September 11, 2007 is more on my heart today. I was back home at my grandmas house in Milford Nebraska spending the last moments with my grandma who died that evening of brain cancer. We just flipped to the news that was showing coverage of 9/11. Being by her side during her last breaths was the most precious moment of my life.

A little over a month later I decided it was time to live my life and I took the weekend motorcycle class and bought Blue. I wish she was here so I could show her Blue and share my new adventure with her but I know she is with me.

My mom gave me a bell for Blue that belonged to my grandma and I hear it ring when I miss her the most. (it is good luck to have a small bell on your motorcycle) I sing hymns while out on Blue and imagine her singing with me.

Miss you! Love you! Wish you were here!

BlueRoad: Grand Women from Jaclyn Heyen on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

No Good, Very Bad Day

I tried to stay positive and optimistic but I should of known when part of my cot broke in the middle of the night this day was going to be just a little off....

I had to be up at 4:15am for a market I was doing so I woke up cheerful and took the boys outside for a good 15 minutes.  It seemed like my day was going to be ok.

I get to work and I like to go to the Hess station across the street to get some fluids and a couple munchies for the day and 2 glazed doughnuts.  Normally they have to get them from the back for me but today they were all in the correct place so I took my 2 doughnuts and got in the truck to head to the market.

I was starving since I was too lazy to walk across the yard to the kitchen last night to get me something to eat before bed so I take a bite of this supposedly wonderful doughnut and it was sticky and stale.  I took it in strides and just put it back in the bag and ate the snickers I bought for my afternoon snack.

I kept telling myself today was going to be a good day.  I had a nice conversation with the lady who rides with me and I drop off at her market on the way to my market.  All seemed to go well.  I get to her market and unload and head on my way.  I was actually a little early so I thought all was right with the world.

I get to my market and I had to wait a couple minutes while another truck unloaded and moved... when they moved I saw this vehicle parked in my spot.  I thought it was one of the other vendors but it was there from the night before and the other vendors called the police a few times before I got there for it to be towed... that is really the market managers job but he is another story all together.

So the vendor across from me told me to unload all of my stuff and park my truck and when they tow the car I can set up.  So I did... but while unpacking I found out 1 of the 2 tables they gave me was broken.  I should really have 3 tables but I use a piece of wood they pack as the third table... which doesn't work so well when you only have 1 working table.

all my stuff next to the bad car

Almost an hour went by before the tow truck man came and got it towed away.  I again thought all is right with the world just a bit of a bump.

bye bye car

I go to set up my tent and something just didn't seem right... all of a sudden I hear the click of metal hitting pavement... yep, the tent was broken.  Luckily another vendor taped it up so I could use it.  By this time I thought today is just an off day but it will get better.

So I had to figure out a way to use 1 table, a broken tent and the trays the food was on to set up my market.  Well, to say the least it was less than desirable.  I could of found a way to use the 2nd table but it was in the truck parked a few blocks away... by this time I was just using what I had.

the odd looking setup of my market

then it started to rain and rain and rain

 The clouds rolling in as I was setting up... luckily got everything under the tent before it started to rain.

this was a brief break in the rain

I can deal with the rain... no problem.  I have ridden Blue through some scary storms and heavy rains... but when the tornado watch came about I wasn't too sure I wanted to be at a market with 16 tents and mine was the only one weighted down.  I have seen those tents fly across a huge parking lot... 3+ at a time.  Being right in the middle of the market it seemed like it was not the best place.  Then the tornado watch turned into a warning.  I don't know what is up with people in the east... guess they don't understand the difference between a watch and a warning.  The air was still and I knew this could be trouble... especially for someone like me who is having such an off day.  Everyone else thought the weather was all good and a tornado warning was nothing at all.

On a side note... when I went to school at Belmont University in Nashville, TN for a semester we were in a tornado warning one day... the house mother came to my dorm room and said "we are in a tornado warning... stay put and I will let you know if we need to do anything"...  no joke... as I lived on the third floor and being from Nebraska and knowing better I wandered into the bathroom where the dorm mother found me again.   She asked what I was doing and I told her "in Nebraska we learn that in a tornado warning you take cover... since you don't think it is necessary I am going to stay in here and wait til I hear the toilets suck so I know when the tornado is going to hit"... that got her attention and within minutes we were in the basement.   That day a huge tornado went thru downtown Nashville... not all that far from where I was in the dorms.

I also had a tornado go right by the place I was living in West Park, NY.  Luckily it was a small one and the guy that lived in the area said they get them every once in a while.  It took out our electricity and a HUGE tree... my boys were home alone at the time.  I came home and couldn't drive up to the house.
I had to walk thru the woods to get around this tree to get to my house.

Back to my current day... I still don't understand why people don't take tornado warning seriously... do they not know the difference between a watch and a warning??   Do they think there is going to be something after the warning before the tornado??

So for those of you who do not know the difference between a watch and warning... let me give you some life saving knowledge from Wikipedia.

Tornado Watch: is issued when conditions are right for a tornado to form.  (in my opinion still ok for a farmers market but be ready to pack up or seek shelter)

Tornado Warning:  is an alert issued by weather services to warn that severe thunderstorms with tornadoes may be imminent. It can be issued after a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted by eye, or more commonly if there are radar indications of tornado formation. When this happens, the tornado sirens may sound in that area, letting people know that a tornado was seen or is forming nearby. Issuance of a tornado warning indicates that residents should take immediate safety precautions. (in my opinion not exactly the time to be in the middle of a farmers market with tents and other projectiles all around)  

On a side note... there is also a Tornado Emergency which is usually with the severe weather statement: generally means that significant, widespread damage is expected to continue and a high likelihood of numerous fatalities is expected with a large, strong to violent tornado. (definitely not the time to be in the middle of the farmers market)

On with my story... so to say the least as I am not insured by the company and not paid well enough to be in the middle of the farmers market during a tornado I decided I was done for the day and packed up and headed to pick up the other lady.  All the other vendors said they would just go in the door way if the tornado should come... again... obviously these are people who know nothing about tornados.

I get to the other market to help the other lady finish and pack up.  I told her of my off day and I was going to go across the street quick to use the restroom... I didn't get 10ft away and my bad luck struck her as her tent fell over from the wind and then it started to rain with all the products in the open to get rained on.  So we quickly packed and headed back.

Somehow thus far I was still smiling... even one of the other vendors at my market said she was impressed I was still smiling.  I just kept thinking this has got to be over soon.

We had over an hour drive back to where we drop off the truck... we get to the Kingston exit and I look down at the fuel gage and we were on empty... when normally we are half full.  Who knows how long we were on empty but thankfully we made it back to the Hess station across the street from the bakery.  

I dropped off the truck turned in my market bag and I thought for sure this no good, very bad day was going to be over.

I walk over to Blue who is parked in the parking lot at the next house over.  I take off her cover and go to put it in the saddle bag... when I open the saddle bag the handle fell off. 

A picture of the broken handle to my saddle bag... which has been leaking for over a year and have taken to multiple Harley and motorcycle shops to get fixed... they obviously did not fix the issue or even checked to see if the handle was on correctly... there were 5 places for screws with only 2 screws being used.  Talk about my screws being loose.  I really thought I was going to loose it.  Luckily my boss drove up and he told me how I could fix it quickly and gave me the tools to do so.  Very thankful for him!

I got her fixed and headed home... I decided since I was having such a no good, very bad day I would treat myself to a beer and burger at the Red Brick Tavern in of my new favorite places to go for a cold beer and burger.  It is also where my traveler friend works... but he didn't come in til later that evening... but there was another great bartender there who took great care of me.  She was having what she called a stupid day.  She kept forgetting everything so we both knew what we were going thru.

Cold Stella

My beer and burger were great and so I thought things were looking up.  

Rain had started a bit when I was eating but when I opened the door to leave it seemed to be a light rain until I stepped out from under the canopy where the clouds opened up and dumped loads of water on me.  Well, by this point in time I just started laughing... and I laughed the short ride home on Blue... and I laughed thru the rain to my little shack to drop off my stuff.  Then I thought it would be good to cover up Blue for the night with extra precaution since I didn't want my no good, very bad day to harm Blue. So I went out with a blanket and put that under her cover... while I was out there I see this bright light out of the corner of my eye and the loudest crack of thunder... I literally jumped... quickly finished covering up Blue and ran to my little shack where I stayed until the rain pretty much passed.  I surely didn't want to be struck by lightning.

Now that I look back on the day I just laugh out loud because it doesn't happen all that often but sometimes you need a no good, very bad day to keep you on your toes.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Solar Panel

I was so excited to receive the solar panel for my new home.  It was quite a surprise since I figured it would all come at once.  Little Guy told me the 40 watt should be enough to keep my battery going in the trailer.  The Panel comes from Zamp Solar.  It is a pretty nifty thing... can't wait to try it out.

It fits into this bag the size of a large briefcase.  There is a handle that is attached to the panel itself to make it easy to carry.

This is what it looks like when you open the case.  

The panel opens up so you have 2 panels.  Here is the inside gadgets... I told my housemate to put her fingers in the clamps... it probably wouldn't be all that comfortable since it was a pretty tight clamp... I thought it would be interesting to see if we could get a shock from it.  haha... ok that is the inquisitive child in me.

I don't know much about solar panels but did a little research to see if it could be of use when I am out in the middle of no where.

It has these legs to prop up the panel so you can get the best sunlight throughout the day.

And this is the front when it is out of the case and opened to 2 panels.

It also came with an adapter for the battery in the trailer... I sure hope that won't take a huge installation effort when I get the trailer... but we will find out soon enough. 

Here is a video on the larger version of this solar panel.  Mine is newer and the legs are much sturdier.

Here is a nerdy video on how Solar Panels work

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Traveler Friend

I went to a local restaurant the other day in the late afternoon.. I like to get in and out before the dinner crowd.  I was talking to the bar tender about my new adventure and he is a biker adventurer too.  He took his motorcycle to Europe 6 months after he started riding.  He said he spent over a month there.  He said it was great after he got going... he had some troubles with shipping the bike that postponed his travels a bit.  So I am excited to learn more about his travels the next time I go for a drink.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


We have running water.... well running water out of an outdoor hose.  I am pretty excited because I won't have to go down to the stream (I have enjoyed going down there but not always convenient).  So the first thing I needed was to find a way to take a shower.  Luckily there was an outdoor shower already in place so I hooked it up right away.  The shower is really cold but it is the first shower I have had since I moved in on July 31... so I was completely excited.

We even have one of those shower curtains in a ring... we just need to prop it up somehow.  This shower is behind part of the house so it isn't viewable from the road... at this point I could care less if it was....  if I had to give a peep show to have the chance to shower I would be all good with that. :D

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

More Backwoods Duo Pictures

Here are more pictures of the Backwoods Duo at The Stone.  These pictures were taken by Angela Villa.  Her and her partner Thollem McDonas are world travelers and it was great to talk to them about living on the road.  I love to meet fellow travelers and learn about their experiences and get a few tips for when I am out on the road as a way of life.  I so can't wait.  Thollem had the 10pm show and he is an amazing pianist totally recommend hearing him if he is ever in your area.

 Deciding it is time to play

 My new favorite instrument... the sifter.  Had a great squeak that I learned to control a bit.

 MaryKate with our organic drum sticks.

 MaryKate with the kazoo and me just beating away on whatever... the license plate was my favorite sound but those tins had a great sound and different types of sounds for each side.

 Back with the sifter and MaryKate on the chimes... those chimes remind me of Greece... tuned to get your attention.

 Yes, I actually sang and made sounds with my voice.

 Cool picture of MaryKate

 We only had 6 people in the audience but it was a good time.

Big smiles after we finished our set.  We had a blast.  Ready for the next gig.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Not always a morning person

I have been quite surprised at myself for getting up every morning with no problems.  I guess it helps that I fall asleep before 11pm every night.  It is dark out here in the woods and it feels so late when it is not late at all.  There are some mornings though my boys sure make it hard for me to get up.  All 3 of my boys have to touch me in some way when we sleep... it can be quite annoying at times but other times it is a comfort.  There have been some wild nights where they get wild.

One night a few years ago we were all sleeping sound and I rolled over on my back and Poco and Nube decided to fight over who got to lay on my stomach.  As they started to brawl I jumped out of bed and landed on Randall's tail.  Randall jumped straight in the air, claws out and I had two sets of puncture wounds on my chest.   The joys of pets.

 Nube giving me a look because I woke him when I was trying to get up.

Now why would you ever want to move with Poco laying at your side.

Randall usually jumps out of bed as soon as I begin to awake... I wonder why? haha

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rail Trail

Everyone has been telling me I live near the Rail Trail.  Of course I had no idea what they were talking about or where it was.  My housemate showed me the other day and it is right by where I live... on the same street... in walking distance.  I was expecting some sort of street sign to lead me to it but there is none because I guess it is still under the works... but you can use it.  So Poco, Nube and I have been walking the trail the last few days.  Nice and quiet.  

 Wallkill Valley Rail Trail

 Poco just loves going on adventures outside

Nube on the other hand is an indoor dog... at this moment he is walking by my side but most of the time he walks behind and when he has had enough he just sits knowing I would pick him up and keep on going. 

 Nice quiet path... not too many people have been on there when we are on there which is fabulous because Poco and Nube think everyone should stop and play with them.

 The sun peaking thru the trees

I never knew I was such a risk taker.

I looked at the map and this trail goes on forever so you can pick it up anywhere along the way.  My housemate said she found a cave just off the trail.  Could be a new adventure in the making.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Good Call

I have been cooking a little more... but you have to realize I cook like someone just out of their parents house and never cooked before.  So I put together odd and end things that take no effort.  This one actually came from my friend Lisa.   Lisa and I had some of the really yummy jalapeno and cheddar hot dogs a few weeks ago.  She suggested I put them in Mac & Cheese and I have to say... Good Call.  It was very yummy... not too fancy but very yummy.  I also made this with my camping burner.  I feel so outdoorsy.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Outdoor Beauty Day

The other day I thought it was time for a beautification day.  Even a girl like me likes to do a facial mask and treat myself like a queen.   Since we have no running water the treating myself like a queen is more like treating myself like a gypsy but we all deserve a little love yourself time.  So here is a picture of me with a facial mask and shaving cream as I was about to shave my head (not my face). hahaha