Blogs, random thoughts, travel

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    I’m a big fan of using someone else’s square corners so I chucked all my cuttings to the side and embraced the recycling of this bookcase.  Throughout this build we have looked for ways to use existing lumber (aka stacks taking up space in the garage) as well as creative uses of other furnishings. 
  • Phase Two (or something like that)

    We had just driven 2,400 miles fishing food, clothes, and toiletries out of plastic bins that had to be held in place with tension rods, wood slats, bungees, and other improvised tools.  Using a homemade toilet was fine but we needed some other conveniences!
  • Wanda is born

    Research shows that people who drive vans must give them a catchy or pun-intended, sometimes symbolic, name.  We struggled with this greatly—evidently more so than naming our own children and one of them was not the gender the doctors told us we were having.  
  • Maiden Voyage (II)

    This was initially the most stressful, anxiety producing trip I’ve ever taken.
  • Wrapping Up Phase One of the Build

    Electricity—did I tell you how much I dislike working with it?  So here are the basics: You need positive and negative.  Positive is usually a RED wire which is counter intuitive to an accountant who knows that NEGATIVE numbers are always RED! 
  • The Build Continues

    We learned that there are as many opinions of how to do electricity as there are users on FaceBook.  Ultimately we found a couple people to follow on YouTube who seemed to know what they were doing and didn’t mind admitting/showing when they made a mistake.  I will confess that I picked one because I liked the font they used on their website—turns out I learned A LOT about electrical from them!
  • The Build Begins

    Just picture yourself standing in your new-to-you vehicle with a metal saw in hand preparing to cut a large hole in the back door—C-R-A-Z-Y!  We did a few things right and many wrong but after considerable time we had a jagged square opening that a window sort of fit in.
  • Talking Smack

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever talked with such authority and conviction concerning something mechanical.  I felt alive.  
  • Maiden Voyage

    We threw together a bed frame that attached to the van walls.  It sounded pretty simple in my head.  Not going to lie, it took about four hours to get it up and secure enough to toss a memory foam mattress on it.  A few days later we made our first overnighter.
  • Preparing the Van

    As the day would end and we crawled into bed, we would try to recap what we learned and achieved that day.  One day was decidedly depressing when all we came up with was a failed attempt to hold thin slats in place with Neodymium magnets.
  • Driving the Van

    We were coming home with a van that day no matter what.  I don’t know if the salesman realized that or not but we did!  
  • Van Life

    One day I’m sitting in my house planning how to survive on what’s left in the pantry and three rolls of toilet paper during a pandemic and the next I’m driving a 2016 cargo van home from the used car lot.