Monday, January 11, 2016

Golden Rays of Power & Extraordinary Friends

When I first decided to start my road warrior life and bought my tearbaby, I knew I would need a solar system in order to do. . . well, lots of things - like charge my electronics, be able to see after dark, work on my business projects and keep warm.  I started reading about how solar power worked and found it kind of like this:

Well, thanks to my two new friends here, I am about to have my very own "Solar Array of Power" AND thanks to their amazing skills of explaining things to me, I have a little better idea of how many pancakes will fit on my roof and why aliens don't wear hats - the rest is still a bit fuzzy yet.  I also plan to conquer the properties of electricity and bend them to my will and desires so that I can run an electric space heater on high as often and long as I want and use an induction cooktop inside my trailer on my 200 watts of pure golden energy!   My friend doesn't believe I have such powers and just walks away saying "I can't hear you!".

The other project we have been working on is a minivan modification.  One of the main reasons I wanted a minivan over an SUV was so I could use it as my office / work space when I couldn't work outside.  Problem is, it turned into an overflowing storage shed nightmare inside and has been totally unusable for a work space without my having to unload half of my stuff.  Yes, I do still have too much stuff, but even with getting rid of a lot of things, I found that it still wouldn't be very conducive as a work space the way I imagined using it.  So, it has to be reconfigured and modified into what I hope will be a fabulous office.  We are almost done with both the van mod and the Solar Array of Power so very soon I will have light, computer usage anytime I want (meaning more blog posts!), an office to work in, and if I am successful with my extraordinary cosmic powers, heat anytime I want it!!!!  Bwahahahaha!!   I know, "You can't hear me!"

But seriously, I can't even begin to think how I could ever express my overwhelming gratitude for their tremendous help, kindness and generosity towards making my dream of being a successful road warrior possible.  Sometimes I wondered why my departure was delayed so long, now I know why - so that our paths would cross.  It is amazing that when you make the right decision for yourself, the right situations and people often find their way to you.  I will never understand the reason(s) why I would be so deserving of such incredible friends, but I am grateful beyond words.  Thank you!

In other news, can you guess what the weather has been like out here?  I'll give you one guess!  (Trust me, your odds of guessing correctly are pretty good - much better than your odds of winning the Powerball Jackpot!).  If you guessed cold and rainy, you'd be correct!  We haven't had a warm day since before Christmas!  I have to admit, this relentless cold weather is taking a toll on my spirits lately, and it really isn't much warmer anywhere else in this region for me to head to.  Quartzsite, about 85 miles south and where I am trying to get to, is actually COLDER than where I am now!  What's up with that!?  And this next week doesn't look like it's going to be much warmer.  It is distressing and no fun to be cold all the time and having it get dark so early doesn't help.  I can’t wait for it to warm up and stay light till at least 7 p.m.  It is like the scene in "When Harry Met Sally" where Sally is putting letters in the mail box one at a time then checking to see if they went down as Harry is waiting impatiently for her, then when he can't take it any longer he stuffs them all in.  I am ready to stuff these short, cold days into a mailbox and mail them to Guam!  I wonder how long it would take me to drive to Costa Rica?  Hmmmm, may have to look into that!

Well, as soon as we have some of the projects a little further along, I will take some pictures and post them so you can see what we've been working on.  I am so excited to have them done so I can use my office and have lights in Zelda!  I know I shouldn't complain about the cold and not having power for things like lights and computer when there are so many people who have so much less than I do.  I really am grateful for all that I do have.  I have a roof over my head, some food in my cooler, transportation, and amazing friends and family who are always there for me should I need a place to crash, a listening ear, love and support. or wisdom that I lack.  Really, what else do I need?  

"Surround yourself with people who make you a better person."
- Zig Ziglar


  1. Bahahahahahaha, your poor confused kitteh picture gave me my morning laugh.

    I am a scientist (microbiology) AND computer geek - so as much as I hate physics, I knew I could grasp the solar stuff. I installed full solar in my last teardrop and created a special cover for the rigid glass solar panel (85W) with pink foam insulation (coated with fabric and TiteBond glue) so road debris wouldn't ding the glass. The cover was held on by nylon straps and came off when I parked anywhere (tucked nicely behind front toolbox). My biggest power draw was the roof fan. The ceramic heater still needed shore power (most need 1500W to operate), but I had a 12V trucker's blanket that warmed me up and turned off automatically after 45 min. I have a Duke Power energy guide to what wattage all appliances need to run, but you don't have a place to upload a pdf. I'll try to find the url where I found it.

    My old Teardrop didn't have the amenities that I currently have in my T@B (I think her name is Lives@ver... not sure yet, but seems to be fitting). I have 100W of permanent solar on the T@B and can expand later. Right now, it's just to keep the battery maintained because the camper has phantom power pulls while it sits unused next to the house. This power drain will slowly deplete the battery without either having the camper plugged in, have a charger on the battery, or solar. It's just little things that add up - little LED lights on the propane/CO detector plus all the little LEDs all over. Those little lights drive me nuts at night and I have blackout tape on most of them.

    I admire you for jumping into solar and am glad you have 2 amazing friends that can explain it all and help you with your set up. I'm afraid I know more about deep cycle batteries now than I really want to know.

    Let me know if you want any battery advice in plain english. I promise not to geek. :)

    Warm thoughts!!!

    1. Hi Angel,

      I'm glad confused kittens bring you morning laughs! They tend to be good at that. ;O)

      A microbiologist AND computer geek - great combination! I bet no computer viruses dare to enter your house! Even with my science background, I unfortunately never took a physics class - which I now wish I had, I still have a hard time grasping all the electrical jargon. Would love to sit in on a physics class now. That is great that you installed your own solar on your teardrop - I am in awe of your skills. Your cover sounds like a very ingenious idea too. I have considered one of the 12v trucker's blankets for keeping warmer when needed, and may get one when I can afford it. Hopefully I won't need one till next winter!

      How awesome you have a T@B! I call them teardrops on steroids! I like them except for the dinette / bed layout. I'd want to tear all that out and redo it to fit my needs better - but otherwise, they are very nice. I like the name (and spelling) you are considering for her. It is very fitting. My friends have worked very hard to make sure I have very little voltage drop in my system, and I don't have anything that should allow phantom power pulls. I can understand how frustrating that would be, though I have to say, I don't think the little LED lights would bother me - I can sleep through pretty much anything and any amount of light. A good skill to possess, though it has gotten me into trouble when I would sleep through 3 alarms!

      Thank you for the offer of battery advice in plain English - I'm sure I will be needing some of that at some point! No problem geeking out on me - it's good for my brain cells. ;O)

      Hope you aren't in the line of the big east coast storm that is forecast to hit soon! Stay safe and well stocked with lots of warm foods!


    2. Oh my gosh.. yes, the storm is set to go straight over my house *sigh*. I'm well prepared, but went to find more rock salt. Scammers are selling bags of it for $20 cash out of the back of a truck in the parking lot of Home Depot (who had none to sell). That just burns me up. Overt greed just punches a button inside me that I need to learn to let go. I reported it to three different agencies/people who could do something about it and got pure apathy. I really need to get out of this town!

      Ugh.. sleep through 3 alarms? LOL we are opposite on the sleep scale. Sometimes I feel like The Princess and The Pea (if you remember that children's story). The pressure and anxiety I'm feeling from many difference sources probably doesn't help either.

      On a positive note - 3 more boxes of "stuff" donated and 2 huge trashcans of useless items are gone!! Yay!!

      Hugs to you and Hula Chick <3,

    3. That is terrible about people taking advantage of others by first buying way more than needed for one's self of a very necessary item in the face of a huge storm just so they can turn around & sell it for a ridiculous profit. I don't understand how people can be so horrible.

      I actually slept through one of my cats vomiting on my chest one evening! The smell finally woke me up! My brother, who was living with me at the time, couldn't believe I slept through that. Yeah, sometimes it's not a good skill to posess. Stress & anxiety don't help in getting a good, restful night's sleep, but it sounds like you are making huge progress in lessening those loads!! Wow! You are rockin' the downsizing!! I am very impressed! Way to go!

      Warm hugs from me & Hula Chick! :O)

  2. Where did u find that confused kitty picture?? That is awesome!

    Ok, I know how and why you are finding these amazing people and why they are willing to help you. Even though we have not met in person, your amazing personality and natural goodness comes through. You seem like a very genuine person who really puts their heart out there in everything that you do.

    It's funny how things work out - isn't it? :-)

    1. Hi Terri,

      Actually, I cropped the original picture a bit. It started out with "This is how I see math word problems" - which is pretty much how I DO see them; and I thought it was also appropriate for how I saw solar.

      Thank you for your very kind and generous words. They touched my heart. I wish I was more of the person you think I am. I never feel like I ever do as much as I could or should. A big part of the plan for my road warrior life is to hopefully make a difference in other people's lives by paying it forward, and I am working on making that plan a reality as I type. Just have to get the websites developed and up and running. I hope at the very least it will bring a little joy & smile to people who desperately need them.

      It is amazing how things do work out sometimes. I truly believe that when you are on the right path for yourself that things definitely do fall into place. I know they will for you too as you continue along your right path.

  3. Snow is here *sob* Took me an hour at 6am to shovel a path through 24" of snow for tri-pawed Charley (3-legged 12.5 yr old golden retriever) so he could go make yellow snow. It snowed 2" more while I was shoveling. Charley was a trooper and did fine with my narrow (not very straight) path and made it back up the stairs to the house (4 stairs to the house, no matter which entrance). More snow predicted (24"+) and drifting of what's there. Don't worry about us inside though! Alternate heat source if no power, always have hot water, gas stove and books to read. If I get desperate for internet (ha!), my phone is a hot spot. Lots of battery power and a generator (have two, but one is sorta buried inside a shed in the back yard - that wasn't a brilliant move!). Can get to other one, but don't need it for the house. Just wish I could've just moved out of the way of the storm!! This old lady doesn't like shoveling snow.

    Thinking of warm Hula Chick thoughts.


    1. Oh my gosh - 24 inches!?! Holy cow! And you had to shovel through all that? I am so sorry you had to do that. As kids we would have been overjoyed at all that snow, but it is really a whole different take when we are adults isn't it? I know Charley was grateful for your hard work. It is difficult when you have furbabies that need to go outside when there is such horrible weather. He sounds like a wonderful fur-pup. How lucky he is to have you loving him so much.

      I haven't had time to check out what's happening with the storm online. Times like this is when I miss having TV to see all the footage. I don't have enough data to watch videos online. That is one big storm if you got 24 inches by 6 a.m. & still more throughout the day! I am glad you are well prepared - it makes such a difference. It sounds like you are a good neighbor to have! ;-). After the past month out here without heat or electricity & not much in the way of hot food (cuz I'm a weenie when I'm cold) I can say it is not a fun way to live & I didn't even have it as cold as you are there & I didn't have snow either. I feel for all of you. I will hope for a quick warm-up (though not so much as to cause flooding!).

      Wouldn't it be nice to just move your house away from uncomfortable weather! Oh wait, I can! But that only works when there is someplace with more desireable weather close by to move it to! Always a catch isn't there. ;-). I'd come shovel for you but I don't think I can get there now. Just be careful. Shoveling can be dangerous. Hula Chick & I don't want anything bad to happen to you!!!

      Sending sunshine & warmth your way!