Behind starburst eyes

Step 3: Kill it with fire

Every blog posting about buying a used trailer to fix up will tell you that more work is needed than you think.

Naively, I ignored the myriad of warnings 😦 and I ended up finding this:

While I knew from the back that one small section of floor would need to be replaced I had no idea how bad it actually was or the real reason why.

I’d been told the back corner ripped when it was moved as a deck was attached to it and not properly unattached before they moved it, the real truth was much, much worse:

Carpenter ants, hundreds of them living and swarming throughout the entire inside of the walls and floor. The more we removed hoping it was the last “bad” section the more we found 😦 Was it hard on the kids and I to realize we wouldn’t be travelling this summer and that our plan for this trailer was not going to go anything like we’d thought…yep!

But as we took the entire trailer apart, separated each type of material, recycled what we could and brought the rest in multiple loads to the dump, I was able to help them to see that even though we plan, life doesn’t always go according to plan and we have 2 choices: Give up or give it all we’ve got to create a solution.

For this specific case we simply started again but from the ground up lol. Which meant our new first step was cleaning any loose rust from the chassis and then treating it with tremclad.

Now the real building begins! With just over 5 weeks left until I begin University again and the kids start their homeschooling year again the race is on! Do I think the whole thing will be finished in 5 weeks, no I truthfully don’t. BUT we’ll have the floor, walls, and roof done at least and that will give us more time to work on the inside of it on weekends as it gets cooler.

As we build a tiny home now instead of fixing up a trailer we’ll learn lots, work hard, and grow a dream and memories together. Wish us luck! 😀

2 Comments »

Step Two: Travel Trailer

Now that we’ve got a truck with a towing capacity of 11,800 pounds we’ve got the freedom to really look at trailers and find the right one for our family of 7.

While we only have my step-daughters part-time I don’t want there to NOT be enough room for them to come along as well because they’re a part of our family at all times; not just the days they’re physically with us.

So we need something big enough to sleep 7, and since 3 of those are teenagers, we can’t squish multiple kiddos into a single bed! However, we don’t want something SO big that we barely get anywhere before we have to refill the truck’s gas tank!

After looking on Kijiji, AutoTrader, and at various dealerships’ websites we went with a used 29ft Dutchmen via private seller on Kijiji. We checked it out in person while maintaining physical distancing and wearing our masks and arranged for it to be delivered to a friend’s farm where we could continue to maintain physical distancing from everyone while we camp in a tent and work on it.

We’ll be going back and forth from the farm to our apartment throughout the summer as we work on fixing the parts that need it and getting it all ready for our first grand adventure in it 🙂

She’s a handyman special, but that makes it even more exciting to me, because the kids and I will be able to create our adventure space together 🙂

Leave a comment »

Step One: Make A Plan

Last week I wrote how I had decided to finally follow my dream and chase the sun with my husband and kids.

Well to do that I needed to make a plan. I know I could have just leapt blindly, but as a mom and still a student myself I couldn’t just have us pack a bag and hope for the best!

Logically step one was to research trucks, and insurance:

After researching we choose this awesome truck:

Stay tuned for step 2: researching and purchasing a trailer!!!

Leave a comment »

So I begin…again

When I was about 9 years old my grandfather wanted to go on a month long adventure touring down to Florida and back in an RV, and he invited my mother and us with him. He and my mom made all sorts of plans and my mom spent weeks researching various places to stay, planned routes and so on. Shortly before it was time for the 4 of us to go, he became too ill. He insisted my mother take my brother and I, and she asked a long-time friend of the family to come with us as my dad couldn’t take a month off of work (but did fly down to Florida where we spent a few wonderful days at Disney Land together).

My grandfather never got to go on his grand adventure, and as a child I missed him on our trip, but didn’t understand the way I do now how hard it must have been for him to dream, plan and then at the last moment not be able to finally experience his dream.

There were so many amazing memories for my brother and I during that month, and to this day I cherish the time we spent. Once I had my own child I decided I wanted to take them across the Americas and “chase the sun” for a year. Where we traveled based on the weather and simply went where it was warm for the year, slowly making our way out west to B.C and then down south as far as we desired only to go east and back up north to our home at the end.

Well dear readers as I last posted I am determined to live a life where I actively pursue my dreams. So while I won’t be heading out just yet as Covid-19 is still causing a pandemic (not to mention lots of researching, planning and most likely repairing to do first) I’m going to take this leap and chase the sun with my husband and children. I have read many different travelers blogs so I know such an experience isn’t always perfect, but nothing that is real is perfect. It won’t be perfect, but it WILL be amazing, because it’ll be my family and I actively living out a dream, together.

For such a large endeavour the first step for me is researching and planning. Hence my brand new research journal:

5 Comments »

NOT leaving on a jet plane

Awhile back I stated I wanted to take a figurative big leap, and I did, well I started too…I bought 5 plane tickets to Portugal, and then plane or bus tickets to 15 more countries for a trip spanning 4 months. I researched different places, museums, historical sites, UNESCO World Heritage sites, different travel sites innumerable “top 10 places/things to do” downloaded walking tour apps, street and local transit maps for each place we’d go to, and booked places for us to stay. I was SO excited!

Then Covid-19 struck the world 😦 As of writing this over 100,000 people have lost their lives to this pandemic…I can’t even begin to express my sorrow for the families of those who have passed from it.

Over the past two months our family has attempted to adjust and get through this time of uncertainty, fear and social distancing. It hasn’t always been easy or pretty. I chose an apartment because I didn’t want to pay more for a house with a big backyard when “the world was our backyard”. Instead we went and did all sorts of things, played at parks, used our local libraries, went on nature walks at conservations, and so on. But for many weeks now all of those options have been closed to all residents of our province (as they are in many countries worldwide).

Slowly the cancellation emails came from the airlines, only 2 flights have received refunds, the rest are credits for future travel. While there have been many messages back and forth for various Airbnb stays 3/4 of the reservations have been refunded to us, and I’m still attempting to receive the rest at least as credits.

So now what? Our grand adventure has been put on hold for an indefinite period of time, and we’re in an apt with no backyard of our own for the kids to run around in.

Well now a new adventure begins, because I can curl up and cry about our cancelled plans (okay I might have already done that a time or 2) or I can do something else. Stay tuned dear readers for my next wild plan!

Leave a comment »

Herb and Garlic Bread

With 7 people in our home we go through at least one loaf a day, but we too are trying to limit trips to a store as many are most likely doing as well during this time; so our family has been making our own bread. This herb and garlic bread gets gobbled up super fast!!!

Ingredients:

7 cups of flour
2 1/4 teaspoon of quick rise yeast
2 1/4 cups of warm water
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil
6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons of Italian Spice blend

Instructions:

1) In a large mixing bowl add warm water, then sprinkle yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Leave until the yeast has become frothy on top (about 10 minutes)
2) While yeast is activating chop 6 cloves of garlic, add to a small bowl with oil and Italian seasoning blend.
3) In a separate bowl mix 6 cups of flour, salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
4) Add oil, garlic and spice blend to water and mix.
5) Add flour to water and mix.
6) Gradually add the last cup of flour until the dough is no longer sticky. (Depending on the humidity you might be closer to 1/2 cup not a whole cup)
7) Knead the dough until soft.
8) Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise for an hour.
9) Punch down, then separate into either fist sized balls on a greased baking sheet or 2 loaf pans and let rise once more.
10) Preheat oven to 350F and bake until golden brown (buns take approximately 20-30min, bread takes approximately 45-60min).

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family does!

Leave a comment »

ASL Alphabet Memory Game

The more I try to incorporate signing into my day the more the kids are interested in it. To that end I thought why not combine a fine motor skill activity (picking up the shapes practices using the pincer grasp) with learning colours and shapes with ASL.

So I made 2 copies of the ASL alphabet that I found here: http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/topics/wallpaper1.htm

I purchased the wooden shapes at our local dollar store, but one could use card stock, cardboard from a box, or even foam blocks (if picking up almost flat shapes is too difficult for the person playing the game)

I then cut up both sets and glued one to different coloured circles and one to different coloured squares. Just like other memory games all the pieces are flipped over and you have to make a match. I tell the kids to make their matches by picking one circle and one square.

Both Miss. G and Mr. N love playing it and I’m getting some great practice before my first day of ASL class at our local college!

CAM01977

2 Comments »

TD Summer Reading Club

download (1)

 

In libraries across Canada children can join the TD Summer Reading club for free with a valid library card. Why is the TD Summer Reading Club so amazing you ask, well there are several reasons!

Such as keeping kids excited about reading every week during the summer months when many children might not be reading as often without it.
How do they do that? Each week the child goes to the library and tells a librarian about a book they have read, each library does it differently, some have roulette style boards, others have bingo style drums with balls in them with questions such as “IF you could change the ending, would you? Why or why not? Once the child has answered the question, they receive a small prize. Each city and municipality offers different things, from stickers to buttons to swim passes for the local community centre to really anything!

They have tons of fun free programs that the children can register to attend. From making Robot Key Chains, hair accessories, Magnets, popular movies such as Rio 2, Mad Science and even a community Garden club, and the list just goes on from there!

One of the greatest gifts for our family is the free bus pass each child can receive for July and August. With that bus pass we have the freedom to travel anywhere in our region, including to every single library in our town so the kids can attend as many of the libraries fantastic Eureka themed Summer Reading Club programs as their hearts desire! For 3 kids we would have to pay $186 a month for their bus passes, so it’s a huge savings for us. One that translates into even more adventures during the summer! Many of those adventures I’ll be posting about here, such as their trip to the bowling lanes.

 

So increasing reading, getting kids mentally active and engaged in a variety of fun and educational programs, plus a bus pass so we can all travel to said programs and more, is a wondrous gift. I love the TD Summer Reading Club and encourage any parent to go to their local library to sign their child/ren up 😀

 

 

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: