Before and After

Do you see how ugly this ceiling is? To fully appreciate the “after” picture, make sure you notice the ugly, exposed wires, the peeling contact paper on the ceilings, the vent fan with no vent, and the ugly color.

Glenns Camera 329

And now for the “after” picture. I did all the painting. It took us an hour to put a ceiling panel in the spot missing one. We bent and squeezed it up there, but in actuality you’re supposed to take the entire roof off and work from the top down. We just don’t have the tools and means to do that on the road. It worked out, though. Glenn found a vent fan thing, so that made it prettier, big-time.


Isn’t she a pretty ceiling? I’m so proud.

I’m excited to get on the road, but I feel like it’s never going to happen. It will, but tying up loose ends takes FOREVER. And I’m learning that if I go three days without going to a bookstore, I go mad.

Seriously, today I was disappointed because I got up late, which meant I would “only” have ELEVEN HOURS to sit in the bookstore today. ONLY! But seriously, I’d hoped to get here at 9am, which meant I would have 14 hours. Oh well.

And every time Glenn finds a campground, I ask, “How far is the closest bookstore?” At which point he often says, “About two hours.”

That’s unacceptable. As much as I love the wild, I NEED MY BOOKSTORES. I’m going to try and go without for a whole month. So we’ll see how crazy I go.

What about you? Are you addicted to bookstores? And do you think my new ceiling is pretty? :-)

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags: ,

Pics of the Old and New Life

I didn’t look back when I left. I cried, but only from sheer exhaustion and relief to be done carrying stuff up and down stairs. I did, however, take a few pictures to share with you.

This is the pile of stuff I got rid of the last week. There was one, equal in size, the week before. This pile actually doubled in size by the time I left. It’s amazing how much junk a house holds!

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Did I mention it doubled in size by the time I left? About twelve more large, black bags were added to the pile.

I also took thirty-some big black bags of stuff to the Goodwill amidst five Jeep-loads, had a garage sale, and a local neighbor took four truckfuls of stuff.

I’ve lived on this street for the last eight years:

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The last five years have been in this house:

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I can’t tell you what’s in all the black bags. I think every house has stupid stuff that can’t be donated or given away. I threw my entire junk drawer away without looking at it, LOL.

You can see in the background that the camper is halfway up: it’s a pop-up, although it has hard sides, not a tent.

This is my Jeep. Isn’t she the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen? When Glenn first came to Ohio, he was in the dog house, and he told me he bought the Jeep for me. And then he forgot.

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This is currently the view from my bed, the front window of my camper. I wake up to it every morning. Every night, I fall asleep looking at the clouds stars.

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This is the creek running behind my camper:

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My campfire and picnic table:

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The front of my camper blurred, so you get to look at the back, which I smashed on the very first day I bought it. (See the duck tape?) *sigh* It towed so well, I forgot it was there:

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This is my “bedroom:”

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This is my office and living room:

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(Don’t look behind the curtain. That’s another bed end that holds the litter box, our chests and drawers of clothes, and all the cat food/water stuff.)

This is my kitchen. You can’t see the frig down below, and that off-white metal thing is covering the stove. I haven’t done the dishes yet. Sorry!

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What home would be complete without an assortment of knick-knacks and stuff? Somewhere in the move, I lost my plates. Weird.

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So that’s my new home! I love it more than any house I’ve ever lived in. It was funny, I was standing in my best friend’s kitchen, and I realized that she has more stuff in her pantry than I probably have in my whole camper! Not quite, but close. :-)

In the middle of the top shelf, you can see a toy truck and a fifth wheel. I bought that in Michigan last spring to keep on my desk and remind me of the lifestyle I was aiming for. See the doll in the red basket? My dad got me that. It’s made of china, and I couldn’t part with it.

The only downside to my new life?

The big lug is still missing. :-(

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags: , , ,

Settling In

I want to show you my new camper, but I have to clean before I take pictures. A twenty-some foot camper requires always picking up after yourself. Two things out of place, and it looks like a disaster area.

I can’t get the water to work. See, I need a hose with two female ends, but my hose is a normal hose, with one female end and one male end. I tried cutting off the male end and doing one of those hose repair kit things to put on a female end, and it’ll work for five minutes and then the end just pops right off. Water spurts everywhere, and my cat gets wet. She doesn’t like that.

I think I need to find a picture online so I know I’m doing it right.

I was evidently muttering “female to female” in the store, and my best friend was very patient and accepting. About ten minutes later, as I’m puttering in the garden hose aisle, she goes, “Oh! So that’s what you meant by female to female!” I then imagined her setting herself up to be supportive of my coming out.

(Yes, we writers live mostly in our imaginations. I didn’t ask what she was thinking because my imagination was more interesting.)

My cats, while crawling in all the cubby holes, have disabled my 12 volt electricity. So my lights, my exhaust fan, and my furnace (all connected to the 12 volt line) are not currently working. I just have to take the time to follow the wires and figure out what’s going on. Good thing I brought electrical tape.

And I’ve lost a cat. I am trying not to be worried. He is not in a cubby hole. And the ONLY way he could have gotten out is if someone came and opened the door, because he sure as heck didn’t open it and then slam the door and latch it after he left. All the windows were closed because of rain.

He is really friendly though, so he will ingratiate himself to people, and I will find those people and get my cat back. He would not be scared outside, so that’s cool.

Still. I want my cat. Now. He’s my big lug.

On to the good news: the stove is working! I procrastinated turning on the propane for a week because I was nervous. (I don’t know why.) But it works! And I’m currently making quinoa and lentils in veggie broth. Yum, yum.

Other good news? My two and a half weeks of moving, sorting, and hauling stuff up and down stairs made me go down two pant sizes. Very cool! Hence, my first meal made in the camper will be quinoa and lentils, and not chocolate pudding made with almond milk.

I’m inordinately pleased by this. I keep standing up and looking at the flame and grinning and saying: my stove works! I feel like I’m a kid playing house. This is the first “house” I’ve owned. And it’s allllllll mine. Tee-hee.

The bathroom is nearly a football field away. I would like to think I’m getting more exercise, but I’m just getting a stronger bladder.

And finally, this campground feels deserted and dead quiet. My backyard is a cute little creek, which my niece waded in. My front yard is a cornfield. When I went out walking to look for Caesar, I was surprised to find at least two or three hundred more campers here. Astonishing. I would’ve bet I was the only one.

Oooh! My lunch is done! It cooked! Like for real and everything!

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags: , ,

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