Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Friday, December 31, 2010

the cold is terrifying

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This morning, the sun broke through for a few hours. I quickly lifted my insulated curtains on the south side for free heat. I was grateful to see no snow on the ground and hoped the sun would warm the Earth to around freezing.

I got almost all the rest of my food, and some utensils out of the kitchen in 4 trips. I refused to pack heavy boxes to carry in the wind. The house felt evil and menacing. Frost sheeted windows and metal. Despite the cold, it smelt moldering and decayed.  I moved quickly. I went back for my audio recording equipment and important papers. At some point, I grabbed a scoop of feed for the goats. The water I'd saved into dish pans and large soup pots was frozen solid, even the 5 gallon pot. The goldfish is in the full bath tub. I hope she survived.

The aluminum frame over my bed began to sag with metal fatigue last night, so I drilled pilot holes in it and in a six foot long 1x4 board from the old couch frame and repaired it.

My kitchen is functional, fully stocked and quite charming. It is a place of nurture and creativity. I saved over a foot square of precious counter space when I realized the corner, overhead cabinet had a large enough door on it that I could slide the microwave inside it and shut the door. I have 6 window boxes, about 4 inches by a foot and a half that were on sale for seventy five cents each at a dollar store at the end of summer. They are lined along the back of the counter and hold my herbs, spices, teas, condiments and other small jars and bottles. This leaves plenty of counter space for a couple of plates, or a mixing bowl, or a large cutting board. I can work in it without feeling cramped. I still have empty cabinets. I hung bamboo Easter baskets from the overhead cabinets with huggies, napkins, coffee filters, funnels and the like, over the window boxes.

I fixed the filing cabinet over the furnace so I can begin loading my pots, pans etc. into it.

I hope they are right and that it warms this weekend. I can't stand being out there. It pulls the air from my lungs. My nose has been cold for two days now. I won't turn the heat above 60f, and try to keep it lower than that, for fear of running out of propane.

I flagged down a neighbor in the road yesterday, before the worst weather hit. I gave her four dollars and she took me to the dollar store, so I could get cat kibble. They had xmas marked down. I got a good coffee mug for fifty cents, several cans of butter cookies, some almond cookies, mint patties, etc. It fills a basket in a kitchen shelf with cheerful food. If I hadn't gone, the cats would have run out tomorrow. 

My neighbor who is on facebook did not respond to a private message, requesting a trip to the store. I'm a bit worried about her health. She hasn't posted on FB in over a week. It's too cold to walk all the way to her house.

I'm wearing 2 flannel night gowns, a fleece pajama top and a heavy, terry cloth bath robe. I'm under four blankets, one electric and flannel sheets and my feet are still cold. I dread every trip out of bed and put off eating, urinating and drinking until I can't stand it anymore before I'll unearth myself from this pile of dog and cats. 

Poor dog must now sleep on the floor; she can't climb up here and, frankly, there's no room. So, I covered an old sofa cushion in a hand-crocheted  baby blanket and put a little kid's vest on her. She was begging to go OUT, so she could climb through the cat door of the house and get up in the old bed! Even though the house is cold, I guess the floor in here was colder, or at least harder, and she was uncomfortable. She's settled now, snoring and farting on her private bed in front of the bathroom door.


The goats can come and go through the back door into their room whenever they like, but they are enduring the cold outside, in their tattered coats (they tear them, going under the house), seeking soft spots in bunches of hay or folded tarps in the yard. I've given them their evening feed already and I'm sure they'll go back inside well before dark. They miss me. They hear me in here and cry and butt the trailer, trying to get me to come out. I just shout, "I hear you!" and that seems to satisfy them.


I remember days like this, last year, when a fire in the place was no help, when the drafts were brutal as knives, when it hurt to go to the bathroom or just stand on the kitchen floor long enough to prepare a meal.


This landlord is a true sociopath. If he shows up this month and tries to apply any pressure on me to move before I am ready, I don't know how I'll resist the urge to burn it to the ground.


R surprised me by calling yesterday, just to make sure I'm safe and happy in this trailer. That was nice. She is enjoying investigating every aspect of her new job and will help me move out there, if I need it.


Fatty Watty Kitty Catty is romping on the counter tops, with a big smile on her face, flirting with the icicle xmas lights and rubbing her slobbers all over my spice bottles. I guess this means the kitchen passes inspection. Now, she's hunkering down to nap in the cabinet over the freezer.


All is well. I just hope the power doesn't go out.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Janine Benyus: What Life Knows

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Janine Benyus: What Life Knows from Bioneers on Vimeo.

Biomimicry seeks to emulate the time-tested adaptive strategies of many species of plants, animals and microorganisms to transform how we live on this planet. Janine Benyus of the Biomimicry Guild celebrates the newest ancient ideas bubbling up in the natural sciences, illuminating how evolution's wisdom can help us design benign, life-enhancing technologies while inspiring us to protect Earth's biodiversity.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hard weather's coming

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I'm SO GLAD I got this trailer livable so quickly. Blowing snow is predicted tonight and tomorrow, wind gusts 40mph. I remember windy storms in that house last year. Wind screamed through the holes in the walls. I couldn't stand having my feet on the floor, even in slippers and socks, for more than a few minutes. The front door blew open constantly and snow piled up in the entry.

I fixed that back room the goats are in so they can come in and out at will. The entry to the kitchen has a piece of plywood nailed to the door frame, so they can't get in the rest of the house. And I hung a doubled sheet up over the door to their room, so the heat from the space heater in there isn't wasted. There's already a Mexican blanket hanging over the back door.

it's supposed to be in the teens during the day either tomorrow or the next. That's the high. At night, it'll be 8f: dangerously below freezing. So, let the goats come and go as they need. Goats hate being wet. I expect they'll want to be inside that room frequently tomorrow.

I expect the power to go out. Sometimes, it stays out for a few hours. It's a rural electric cooperative. They don't have much $ for better equipment. They send crews out immediately when the power goes, but it just depends what the problem is.

I should get my wifi up and running tomorrow, because the internet goes out, too, during storms. It's just old wiring and dependence on the electric cooperative.

I have 2 battery powered lights in here. There's firewood in the house, if I absolutely have to go in there to stay warm. I hope not.

I have a propane stove, but the co2 could kill all of us, so would only use briefly, occasionally, with the vent over the stove on. 

Everybody is safe, warm and dry right now.

It's amazing how quickly and how well I've created a beautiful, nurturing and positive space in this little trailer. I love being in here and, even in good weather, really don't even want to LOOK outside, let alone leave it.

I hope the cat food doesn't run out before I can get some more. I think I have about three days' worth left. But I have a case of tuna and several more cans of salmon, in a pinch.

Dogs and goats have plenty of food, and so do I.

Weather should clear by the weekend.

I'm on vacation. 

Verison MiFi & good night's sleep

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Hi, since yesterday's forum glitch, seems I missed some replies to my progress reports, some having to do with Verison MiFi.

Well, now that I know I don't need a cell phone, I actually opened the molded box the thing is in and read the instructions. I am now charging the battery. Dang, this thing is SMALL!

I accidentally ran across another grounded outlet, right here by my left shoulder, that was covered by my mylar & fleece blanket regalia, so I'm dedicating that outlet to the mifi. Of course, I found it after weaving an elaborate construction of utility cords, surge protectors and USB cables, etc., to get my computer, which rests on the shelf over me, up and running! hah!

So, the mifi will be charging while I watch "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," which finally came today from NetFlix. Usually, mail arrives around 11am, but I guess our usual carrier is on vacation, because Weird Mr. Pith Helmet is toodling around in his peeling mini-van, doing the honors. I noticed him yesterday, but he's also her day off relief, so didn't know.  I've been to the mail box 4 times today. But, it got here at about 1pm.

It's looking quite gloomy out now and the goats are, periodically, butting the trailer, as if that'll entice me to let them come in. They're fine; they're all wearing their coats and it's not wet yet. They're just brats. Later, I'll open the back door, turn on the space heater in their room and let them in for the night.

Fatty Watty Kitty Catty finally followed her stomach out from under the bed. To her delight, I had opened a "Housewarming" can of salmon for the cats. She found the litter box & water bowl and is now amusing herself by climbing all over everything, while my other 3 cats and my smallest dog warm me in the bed.

I brought in my NY steak roast I got on sale b4 xmas (hey, at $3.50/lb., it's as cheap as good burger, so I don't feel a bit guilty for buying about $90 worth on my food stamps to freeze!). Supper will be canned pears, stewed in their juice with powdered cinnamon & ginger, baked potato with Tillamook cheese & a dab of Mexican crema and a slice of roast with horseradish, crema, mushrooms and Worchestershire sauce, liberally dosed with powdered onion & garlic, cracked pepper and sea salt.

Some milk chocolate may squeeze into that plan, somewhere and a cup of mocha coffee can be arranged.

Even though it's a quarter to 2pm, I am back in my 2 flannel night gowns and have no plans to put on my sweats again today.  Puttering, resting my body, eating, watching movies, getting mifi working, etc. should occupy me nicely until the storm is past.

I'll tell you this: I've been waking at 2am, most mornings, freezing in that nasty, drafty house, having to wait impatiently for daylight to get to work, anxious, driven.

While I had no clock in here last night, I believe I fell asleep around 9:30pm. I'm not sure when I awoke. I assumed it would be 2 am, as usual, but I warmed a cup of coffee and sat with the animals. I became aware I was hearing doves coo outside, then noticed a rooster, then another, then a goose. So, I turned on the radio, just in time to hear it was 6:30 am and I'd missed an hour and a half of the morning news! I was so pleased that I had a whole night's sleep!

I feel wonderful, if sore.

Morning after 1st night, sleeping in trailer

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Someone just donated a HD  video camera to me, but I haven't had time to research its operation. I also bought an el cheapo, not HD, that I know takes stills. I haven't had time to unwrap it yet.

Spent 4 hrs. this morning hooking up my computer and now have internet in bed. My new monitor came last night. I removed the mounting stand and replaced it, upside down. So my flat screen monitor is hanging from the shelf/frame I built over my head at about mid thigh. I can see SO MUCH BETTER on this new monitor.

Realized I had a Brain Injury moment of logic gap. I ordered Verison's MiFi, which I finally opened (it's only been here 3 or 4 days) today, only to realize, duh, I need a Verison cell phone to work the damn thing! And my 30 day free trial started the day it was delivered. So, I'll have to call Verison, beg for some time and ask them to help me pick a cheap but functional cell phone service to use.

Mean time, I strung my phone cord out a window of the house, made sure it's high enough of the ground the goats can't eat it (goats love copper), brought it through the louvered, back bedroom window and hooked up my Qwest high speed & land line phone, mostly so I can contact Verison and be on their website while talking to customer service. Four hours.

Snow, rain and 40mph wind gusts predicted for next, 3 days; starting to seriously cloud up. Food & coffee stuff in here. Water in bottles, cuz I don't want to turn on the hose; cold water leaks all over yard, under house, in bathroom of house....

Laid strips of carpet from front porch to door of TT. I expect to be bringing stuff out here during breaks in the weather, particularly my tv and dvd player; a new movie from NetFlix is due tomorrow: "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," an appropriate title, given my circumstances.

MUCH warmer & more comfortable inside TT than old house! Cats (except Fatty Watty Kitty Catty, who is still hiding under bed) and dogs LOVE it in here! Nobody wants to escape. Dogs do business outside, but are eager to come back in.

Hung icecicle xmas lights from each end toward center: very cheerful, enough light, low energy: cost $4 for 2 15 foot strings.

Weather clears this weekend. Will rest body and just geek out & watch films & putter in new space 'til then.

Maybe I'll now have time to learn my new cameras & at least tape the interior and maybe edit a YouTube video or 2! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

can sleep in trailer tonight

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It's 12:30pm. All food is back in freezer and I've moved the refrigerator food, too.

I built my bed. It lies over 3 2-drawer filing cabinets and my tool cabinets. It is an aluminum frame from the bed that was in the back room.

I used a piece of aluminum frame , 1x6 feet, to make an overhead shelf, bolted to the overhanging cabinets. It comes from the bed conversion from the living room where the bed is now. It was a fold-out couch contraption in 2 pieces of frame. It is also bolted to the seat frames from the kitchen nook that makes a bed. They're 2 small pieces, 2x3 feet, that I've bolted to the walls on either end of the bed and bolted to the frame that runs the length of the bed, over my head. This reinforcement is necessary, as I'll use that overhead frame to pull myself into a sitting position, so I can get out of bed. it's also a great place for cats and for my hanging baskets, in which I put tv remotes, keyboard, mouse, telephone, facial tissues, lotion, a battery-powered mini-lantern that chirps like a cricket, notebooks, etc. I also hang a reading lamp, alarm clock, computer speakers and electric blanket control over my head, to save space and so I can access them easily while half asleep.

I've slept/lived in a bunk bed for over five years now and really love the overhead space, so I've replicated it in the trailer.

I'll use the original overhead cabinets to store linens. i can access them from the bed. I don't need to get in there very often, so it's out of the way. i expect cats will sneak in there, too, to sleep, so will cover everything with old cloths, to keep out hair and dirt.

The bed frame is covered with thin paneling that made the bed in the back room, topped by the "couch" cushions; one twin size, one 1x6 foot. I'll sleep on the twin part and cats will sleep on the narrow part. There's about a five inch strip of paneling and frame that extends out from the mattress, the length of the bed. that's perfect for my coffee and food.

over the foam, I put fleece blankets, which stick like velcro, to help hold the pads together. Over that, I put my goose down mattress cover, doubled up to twin size. Over that, I put a thick mattress pad, also doubled. On that, I put my linens. So, my bed is about five inches thick and very comfortable.

it's over thirty inches, off the ground. So, i put a little foot stool on the floor to pull out when it's time to sleep. I'll have to lift Weasel, my little dog, into the bed until i invent a dog ramp that won't take up much room. Cats can jump.

The bed is level with the window, so i can see the whole world from there. The old couch/bed was so low, one couldn't see out the window, lying down. The cats will really appreciate a comfortable sitting window.

i washed my electric blanket first thing this morning and hung it outside while we have some sunshine. Rain and snow are predicted for the next three days. This is my only window of opportunity to get the bed together, unless i wait until next weekend.

I've moved in all my coffee supplies and will bring in the microwave this afternoon.

While I've stowed the equivilent of 10 laundry baskets full of kitchen stuff in the trailer already, I have packed so well that I still haven't used half the existing kitchen cabinets yet.

I put a METAL filing cabinet over the furnace housing, that used to be a seat, in the kitchen. All my METAL pots, pans, etc. will go there. I left plenty of room for air intake there, when i put the freezer next to it.

There's plenty of work room in the kitchen. It doesn't feel crowded or cramped and I can reach things without moving stuff, digging, etc. I need a fully functional kitchen; I cook from scratch, all the time, international dishes. Everything must be efficient and accessible.

I have no more large pieces to put in the trailer, just 2 small cabinets and one more steamer trunk. The remainder is kitchen stuff, bathroom, books, records and my pretty stuff.

Solar panel and flat screen computer monitor arrive via UPS today. Will set up computer tomorrow and test out Verison MiFi system. 

I CANNOT LOG IN TO RVing WOMEN FORUM!

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I've joined a phpbb support forum, to try to get a diagnosis of what's wrong with the forum. You can see the topic here: http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=2115341&p=12924046#p12924046 I don't know if you have to be a registered member of the forum to read it. They are saying your PHB has updated and is no longer compatible with what they're saying is a very old and outdated version.

Every user of that board will see this issue.

Erik Frèrejean wrote:their PHP installation was updated which become incompatible with the phpBB version they are running (which is very outdated)

The host updated the PHP version running on his server and phpBB 3.0.1 isn't compatible with php 5.3.x. The fix is updating phpBB (highly advised) or have the host downgrade the PHP installation (which they most likely/hopefully won't do).
It keeps demanding I log on, but it won't keep me logged on. It is redirecting automatically back to the log in page and will not allow me to post. I see this above the RVing women logo (I added "textarea" tags, so you can see the script I'm seeing):

heavy rain, snow next, 3 days

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I'm hurting something awful this morning, but boy, am I glad i got that freezer in yesterday! The yard will be slippery mud for days, maybe a week, starting today. I wouldn't have been able to move into the trailer until next week, if I hadn't gotten that in, so I can make the bed.

As it is, one foam pad, about a foot wide and 6 feet long, is still out in the rain. I put the pads outside because they were old and lived on by an old man. So, I'll make my bed today, one foot too narrow, and put that pad under the bedding once everything dries. It goes on the back side of the bed, by the window, and is basically space for animals to sleep. I don't want to lie on that crack between pads.

Those foam pads will be covered by other things, to make the bed more soothe and even, anyway. I have several mattress pads, one stuffed with feathers. And I have an egg crate pad to heal the crack. Most of those things, and a set of flannel sheets, are already waiting in the trailer, freshly washed, as are a few blankets.

It'll be tricky, taking things out in the rain, to make the bed, without getting too much rain or mud on them. I have strips of carpet in the back yard I can lay from the front porch to the entrance to the trailer.

More electrical outlets in the house are dying, so I'm getting out just in time. My electric blanket and the little lamp over the bed, as well as my radio, are not working any more; circuits keep blowing.

I think I should take out a small space heater, set on lowest temperature, plus my propane furnace, set on lowest setting.

 I need to clean and move in the cat litter box and dog & cat food and water, and bring cats, some of whom will be kicking and screaming, out into the trailer in the rain. I have a cat carrier for the most violent cats. They'll like it, once they get into it. It already smells a lot like me; I've brought in most of my clothing, etc. There's a 1 foot door over the back bumper for storage of jacks, stabilizers, etc. I arranged the filing cabinets in the back room so the animals can access that back corner and go in and out that door. I'll lay a board with carpet on it at the entrance, so my smallest dog can climb back inside. I won't open that tonight; they need to get used to the space first, to know it's home.

I need to bring in my coffee supplies & pot. I can't function without coffee in the mornings.

So that's the plan for today. There's no heavy lifting involved today, I hope. I may have to adjust the 2 drawer filing cabinets that make up the base of the bed and I have steamer trunks, with my writing in them, that stow under there, too. But, compared to dragging that freezer so far through dirt, that's nothing.

I'm just waiting for day light. I have a rain proof coat ready.

Oh, I almost forgot: UPS tracking says both my used, flat screen monitor and my SOLAR PANEL are coming today!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The freeser's in, you sissy mach men!

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I moved the feezer, all by myself today, off a rickety porch, down falling apart steps, drageed it nearly a hundred yards, cuz my dolly's tires are flat, washed it out, PUSHED it up into the trailer, LIFTED it onto its feet, positioned it and plugged it in. It works. I'll put the food back in tomorrow; I'm too tired and it gets below freezing in the kitchen at night, anyway. Everything's in ice chests or out on the porch in my big fridge.

Big, "macho" dudes rode past in heated cars, on the ways to their heated homes and just GAWKED at me as i pulled that freezer through the dirt so hard, I left plow marks. Useless sissies.

tired of being cold

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It's hard to keep a fire lit: too many ashes in the place for good air circulation. Why clean it if I'm moving into the trailer in a day or 2?

But I'm so warm under electric blanket, 2 dogs & 4 cats, I don't want to walk in the room and freeze my feet & legs again. I'm also very hungry. I thawed out the last of my excellent, Italian pastries from that little bakery in Albq. And there's cooked hamburger with mushrooms, but getting up? Really?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I need some atta girls

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I could have used some atta girls today. I know y'all don't know me and it's a xmas weekend and all.

I've been really scared I wouldn't be able to find something to live in or some place to live. I was planning my suicide: gathering the supplies, writing notes about my stuff & animals, 3 days before the trailer came through. I was planning it for the DAY it happened.

I was robbed, stranded, my ducks, geese and chickens were shot by my old landlord. One of my dogs came here with a bullet in her shoulder. That was the nightmare last year.

So, with the lease here running out, no local connections, impossibly high rental rates, no vehicle, no friends, no family . . . . I was ready to give up.

I am working a lot harder than my body can actually handle. When I stop for the day, I can't walk hardly at all and have come close to soiling myself because it's so hard to get to the bathroom. I'm not eating enough because it's so hard to wash dishes, to cook, etc. without running water.

I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas alone, watching people talk about their plans on Facebook, knowing I couldn't even volunteer at a soup kitchen or a convalescent hospital because I have no car and it's just too damn cold to hitch hike, although I did it last year, and because I need to conserve my strength for the trailer.

I'm trying so hard to be strong, to stay focused on hoping for a future, even though, having had my heart broken by false hopes so badly in the past, I'm afraid to hope for much more than maybe, some day, being able to take a hot shower in my own space.

I think I have the kind of emphysema that has gone on too long to be reversible, so I expect I don't have much time left: probably less than five years. Imagine working on that trailer, with coughing fits so bad I throw up or soil myself, and still working because, frankly, it's too hard to wash up, so I might as well finish working and then go through the hassle of cleaning myself.

I am desperately trying to live out what's left of my life some place safe and peaceful. Maybe I can do that with my friend's grandparents, on the reservation. 

good day's work

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Proud to say I got those 2 giant, heavy shelve from the kitchen out into the back yard today. Everything in them is stowed in the trailer, and i have plenty of room for the rest of my kitchen, too.

I didn't take the table out yet. I think, after over a week's really hard work, I need to pace myself. It's nearly 2 pm; temps will drop soon. No sense working sore muscles in the cold.

I'll bet I can remove the table, unpack freezer into ice chests, move freezer out of kitchen & into trailer and repack food in it tomorrow.

I guess the bed can wait 'til Tuesday, if I can make  the firewood hold out. It gets cold in here, even with a fire going. I need to get out of this house and into my trailer! I HATE it in here! 

planned trailer invasion

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Low on fire wood and work shoes without holes in 'em. Just ate some major NY steak roast, hamburger & tuna over the last, 3 days. Take protein to renovate a trailer.

Trying to get kitchen emptied, so I can move freezer into trailer, so I can build bed (won't be room to move in freezer, if I do bed first), so I can start sleeping in there with dogs & cats, when fire wood completely runs out (I estimate I have maybe 3 days.). Been lugging food & spices in crates out to trailer all morning, stocking shelves, to move shelf in kitchen, to move TABLE in kitchen, so I can move out freezer tomorrow, if I'm still breathing.

Yeah, I know. But I'm very motivated to get the hell out of this house trailer. It's a place of suffering and death. I've endured pretty valiantly, as a friend said, but I'm done.

The other day, although I haven't gotten the water heater to work yet, I was able to take a thorough bath for the 1st time in over a year, not at a neighbor's. The trailer was sun warmed and I heated h2o in a big soup pot on the little, propane stove. The tiny tub has a little seat. So, I really got to scrub my skin, which is a mess from neglect. I was, finally, thoroughly clean, all over.

It'll be a lot cheaper to heat the trailer than the house trailer, which has holes in floors, windows and walls. Plus, it's just MY OWN SPACE, not victimized by a neglectful slum lord. it's clean, cozy and everything works, more or less, as it should. I think my animals will be happier, too.

The dogs already ask to come in when I open the door. One cat has been in it and really likes it. The goats have snuck in a few times, but I kick them out; you can't house break a goat. i just want to be safe, warm and comfortable for the first time in YEARS!

woke at 2am on a Sunday

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It gets really cold in here at night & I sometimes wake up very early. Also, with all the work I'm doing, renovating that trailer to live in, I've been resisting the urge to go to sleep at 7pm. Last night, I gave in and slept, hoping I'd get ten hours or more. No luck; just seven; I woke just after 2am.

But I lie in bed, goofing on the computer until ME comes on and then get back to work. This morning, though, KUNM has gospel until 9am and I just can't stand it, on so many levels.

So, I'm just hanging out with all the dogs & cats, waiting for the sun to warm the yard so I can get back out there.

Today, I need to clear out the kitchen furniture, so, hopefully, tomorrow i can drag my little freezer out & put it in the trailer. That's the last, big thing to go in. once it's there, I can build my bed and start sleeping in the trailer with my critters. It will be a lot warmer and more comfortable.

Friday, December 24, 2010

soup pot bath

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I'm clean all over. The trailer got nice & warm in the afternoon sun & is well insulated. So, I brought out my big soup pot, filled it with h2o, heated it on the propane stove and cleaned out the shower.

I was extra evil: I turned the furnace full blast for a few minutes. I wanted to get completely wet and did NOT want any sort of chill, for ONCE! I mean, hell, it's xmas eve, y'know.

My shower has a small tub with a seat. I scrubbed from head to toe with brushes and scrubbers and shaved my whiskers.

Just washing my face left my skin scrubber gray, instead of blue. When I was done washing, I stood in the tub and poured warm water all over my dried out, clogged and tender skin.

Most of the pores had open, and now my legs and arms are silky, instead of rough. It was so bad, my skin was catching on my flannel gowns and electric blanket, pulling against them. It felt like I had stickers or splinters in the bed!

So, my hair's all fluffy and my scalp doesn't itch. My feet are pink, not gray. Everything's smoother and happier.

I made a big fire out of pieces of pulled-out cabinets. I have tuna steaks and rice cooking for supper and a big bag of marked-down, Hallowe'en Milky Ways. All four cats & both dogs are in bed with me. My newest NetFlix arrived and I'll watch it tonight.

I'll just build a solar water heater. On cloudy days, I can take another soup pot bath, like I did today. I never got cold. It was wonderful.

La Posada in Nueva York

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http://www.npr.org/2010/12/24/132143283/finding-la-posada-in-nueva-york?sc=fb&cc=me
See? I KNEW there were real Ugly Bettys in New York City!
By the way, America Fererra just posted on FaceBook that the finale of UB aired on British TV this week. British viewers, like those of us in the states, are very sad to see Betty go!
I wrote back & said I just hung my Ugly Betty shower curtains in the travel trailer!
I can't wait to trick out the trailer with all my decorations! It's looking fabulous. I'm almost done putting filing cabinets in. Then, it's time to load, freezer first.
http://rogiriverstone.com

Thursday, December 23, 2010

how to start on solar energy

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It all depends what you want to do and how much electricity you use. I'm moving into a 24 foot house trailer. I'll be using very low voltage lighting (marked down, LED xmas light, except for reading, sewing & cooking). My fridge is small and i have a small freezer. I'll also be using microwave, computer and water pump. I'll have to make sure all the larger items, except the freezer, are turned off when I microwave, even the coffee maker, so I don't blow a circuit. I'll need to be disciplined. Also, the battery will drain pretty fast if I run my air conditioner or little furnace with just solar.

My goal is to drastically reduce how much electricity I consume while I'm staying on another person's property, where my electrical use isn't separately metered.

Eventually, I'll want the whole trailer completely self sufficient, and will buy a second panel, battery, voltage regulator and power converter to run air and heat.

Now, if you live in a house or an apartment, doing what I'm doing will really help your electric bill, even if it's just one, cheap panel. You could probably run the living room, if people are careful, for free: tv, lights, game, computer.

So, I'd start small and add panels as you can afford.

People are telling me 2 6 volt batteries, lined up, will store more energy than 1 12 volt. They cost eighteen bucks, incl. shipping, on ebay.

I'm just going to use up my existing battery for now, as this move and renovating the trailer cost serious money.

But, in the next, few months, I'll be buying 2 6v batts.

There are LOTS of YouTube videos, especially for small projects. Search DIY for do it yourself +solar, and start weeding through.

It really isn't hard. You just need to follow instructions carefully. Also, start learning some of the basics of how electricity works, the difference between alternating current AC and direct current DC. Your car battery is direct; your house is alternating. They do NOT mix; that's why we need a power converter.

The electricity comes out of the panel too fast and too much for a battery. That's why you put a voltage regulator. Think of water: if it's too high pressure and too much, it'll break the pitcher. So, you turn the faucet to slow the water and turn it off when the pitcher is full. That's what a voltage regulator does.

Now, you have the electricity in the battery. But you need a power converter to change it from direct current to alternating, which is household.

There are videos, instruction sites and illustrations of how to do this all over the internet. And, if people see you're really interested in learning, they're happy to teach. A lot of us who are into solar energy are very passionate and enthusiastic about it, and want to share the wealth.

Beware of videos that try to sell you packages or professional products. I had a hard time finding a video by a real guy who just wanted to put solar on his RV. Most of the videos I saw wanted to install it for me, at crazy high prices. They like to keep you ignorant, so they can make a buck.

Ebay is FULL of solar stuff. You can buy everything from a tiny solar fan to clip onto your hat on hot days all the way up to solar panels for a big house, and everything in between.

I just want to take a bath

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Well, my neighbor gave me a ride to a larger town/city yesterday, to buy supplies for my TT and get some food.

The RV store is actually helpful! i explained that, where i THOUGHT the anode rod should be, someone had put a tiny relief valve, kinda like on a swamp cooler, with a wing nut, over the hex bolt. She said, yes, people do that to drain the heater, but that's where the rod should be. She agreed with me that it's a pretty stupid idea, since it's better to pressure wash sediment out of the inside, rather than just hope some will find its way to that little opening.

Well, that wing nut is darn near rusted through, so I'd been afraid to mess with it too much. I know now I can beat the SNOT out of it, to get it out of my way, so I can access the anode rod hex with a rachet.

Problem now is timing. I can't take it out until the day I buy a new anode rod. I can't buy an anode rod ahead of time, because there's no model number on the heater. So, beat up the hex nut, remove anode rod, get ride to RV store, get new anode rod, replace.

And, of course, the RV store doesn't have a pressure nozzle for a garden hose, so somehow, I'll have to buy one of those elsewhere, probably online, but don't know how to narrow a search, since it's such a weird piece of equipment.

Mean time, I haven't had but 2 hot showers in the past year, both at neighbors' houses. So, all I want to do, now that I have a long snouted lighter I bought yesterday, is take a dang hot bath!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

RVing Women

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Back when I was escaping Indiana, renovating an old Winnebago to drive out here to New Mexico, I joined RVing women. When you buy a membership (which I haven't done, this time, yet), you're given a directory of every member with contact info. I did it in case the Winnie broke down along the way and i might need help or shelter during repairs.

Women, as you can imagine, were not taken very seriously 20 yrs. ago in the RV living subculture. When we'd ask questions about repair issues, etc., men knew the information, but frequently treated us like we were too stupid or weak to take care of ourselves.

So, a couple decided to get together with some of their friends and start RVing women. They have camp meets all over the country, all through the year. There are chapters all over, too. They've become old friends. Most are retired and middle class.

They run a forum, which i joined, for free. I've introduced myself and described what I'm doing. Instead of thinking me some crazy hippy, they actually appreciate my situation and are very enthusiastic about my resourcefulness, determination, good attitude and sustainability ideas.

http://www.rvingwomen.org/

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

too sore to take care of self

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Well, I moved 4 full filing cabinets into trailer today, tore out bathroom cabinet, made a bed for myself, cleaned the floor I tore up yesterday, laid a new rug (from Saudi, Arabia! with coyotes on it!) over the torn- out, dog pissy carpet. That's AFTER going shopping with neighbors for supplies & food.

I forgot to bring in fire wood while light outside. It's dangerous after dark: torn out cabinets with staples and screws in them in the yard, gravel like ball bearings under foot... I can't see at night and, of course, the front porch light fixture, which has threatened to die since I moved in here a year ago, finally croaked night before last. And what happened to the moon?

ANYWAY, I dragged in 3 large logs, a piece of 2x4 (tends to burn quickly & start other wood) and really cheated by bringing in a small piece of a cabinet, even though it's got some toxic crap on it (cuz I knew it'd burn right away). So, the fire is going. I hurt soooo bad! BUT: the trailer is ready to load, and I'm loading.

Had no trouble getting goats in tonight. While it was tee shirt weather all day, tonight, it's just this side of bitter.
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answering RVing Women questions

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 Okay, gals, I thought I'd get email notifications when y'all replied, and wondered why I haven't heard from any of you. I figured it's just cuz it's xmas time & folks r busy. So, I see TEN replies and will try to answer all. I'll post elsewhere on my projects for refurbishing TT to live in, OK? Thanks all for warm welcome!

Found out about adjusting propane/air to h2o heater accidentally, while looking at YouTubes & emailing friend who lived in a HORSE trailer for several years; she had to adjust hers when she moved to Albq. from Kansas.

Cabinet removal is EASY, once I bought a set of SQUARE screw bits! They're designed to be installed fast and remove faster, once you get them to tell you how they're installed.

re: Toilet: not using it right now; may not have to where I'm moving. BUT: I could just save shower h2o by plugging tub & bale with that, for now.

Trailer was parked with covers on all tires. Checked them; they are fine & hold pressure. He only lived in it just over a year b4 he died; daughter moved for storage 6 months ago, so it has been driven at least 3 times in 2 years. It has jacks, levelers, etc. I plan to really jack her up, block her and take weight off tires when I get there.

I'm Heinz 57: African American, Cherokee and several kinds of white folks; my people are Appalachian hill folk. I don't claim to be Native & have no tribal registry, as Grandma (1/2 quantuum) was illiterate.

i started "friending" folks around Gallup as soon as I knew I would move to the area. Gallup Pride is run by a Navajo fellow named Renaldo. We've become good Facebook buddies since then. I'll be moving to his grandmother's place. She has a hogan with electricity & water.

I'm on 110. I had to put an adapter thing on the end of the electric hook up to an extension cord. Just have to be very careful with usage. Just bought a 50w solar panel and voltage converter. With it, I can power entire trailer, except furnace & a/c on solar power through battery. I don't want to buy electricity & don't want to impose large bills on my hosts.

For the anode, I have a ratchet set and a heavy pipe to extend the handle for more torque. I oiled the threads last night. yeah, I THINK it's a Suburban h2o heater; any labels gone.

For freezer door, I just bought one of those spring-locking hooks with eye. Screw it. As long as it's closed tight, I'm good.

Freezer's less weight than the cabinets i tore out to make space for it, empty. A human or 2, sitting in that breakfast nook/bed I removed, would weigh more than the food in the freezer. But that's good thinking, about the floor. Thanks!

I don't own a towing vehicle! I don't even own a car! Been out here, rural, 7 miles from nearest grocer, for over a year. I hitch hike to train to Albuquerque with a baby stroller I modified with an ice chest and rubbermaid storage tubs, get on the bus, buy groceries and push a hundred pounds back home once a month. Costs $2, round trip, as buses are free with train ticket. It's eighty miles, round trip. So, the guy who towed it down here says he'll tow it for gas $ for me. Or, failing that, I have a driver's license and planned to rent a u-haul for my goats, cats, dogs, gardening stuff, animal stuff, etc, anyway. I'll just get one strong enough to tow trailer out there.
 

A reclaimed, recycled, passive solar, tiny house on wheels

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om9LUGt6KSI
When Jenine Alexander and Amy Hutto set out to build an efficient, near zero energy home, they opted for small: to be exact, 128 square feet. To get around minimum size standards, they put it on wheels. They used as much salvaged material as possible. The result: a tiny mobile home with passive solar design, bamboo flooring, reclaimed pine ceilings, denim-cotton insulation, reclaimed granite countertops and salvaged (but new) high energy efficiency doors and windows.
Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/a-salvaged-materials-passive-solar-tiny-house-on-wheels/

progress update

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I got the trailer last Tuesday.

I have removed ALL unnecessary cabinets, fixtures except a nasty job, removing under sink & medicine chests from bath (it's a very small space, hard to see & work, but I need the room for my own shelves & hanging fixtures). I figure the bath will take a whole day.

All appliances checked & working, except h2o heater. I have to wait for trip to store today to buy one of those long lighters; it's windy here all the time. Oiled anode threads last night; hope I can get it out, cuz I'd like to buy a new one while I'm out today.

Removed a NASTY carpet & pad from living area. Former owner had a dog that peed the HELL out of that carpet!

Bought 50v solar panel & voltage regulator on eBay yesterday. Total cost less than $150. Should power everything, if I'm very careful, but the a/c & furnace.

Almost everything I own is in 6 4-drawer and 6 2-drawer filing cabinets. Moved the heaviest & hardest into back bedroom yesterday. I took the bed cabinet out the 1st day. I'm converting that space into a radio & video recording studio. I'm putting clothes rods on top of tall filing cabinets, which are spaced with short cabinets, in between. I'll hang my clothes there to absorb sound for recording. Also, it frees up the closet across from the head, for extra, unsightly storage. I've installed shelves in those closets.

I've hung my mylar blanket/fleece blanket "curtains." I removed the lace curtains, will wash & replace over my contraptions, so not unsightly from inside cabin. It REALLY helps insulate & retain heat! At apx. 40f outside, inside temp apx. 65f, just from passive solar

rv radiant floor heater

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Here's a cheap, solar water heater: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBAi_TVNaiM

Because sunlight at 4,000 - 6,500 feet elevation is very harsh and disintegrates things, I'll be using braided, black garden hose, COVERED by sheet metal, painted black. I'll slide swimming pool "noodles," as insulation, over remaining, exposed hose: keeps heat in; keeps sun off.

I will put the coiled hosing on a piece of corrugated sheet metal, which will reflect heat back onto hose contraption, which will serve as the roof for a shed for my goats. At night, the cooling garden hose will help warm the shed and melt off snow. In a pinch, I could close the system & fire up water heater to heat floor during storms.

Although I plan no concrete, this video shows how radiant floors are, basically, constructed in a sticks & bricks house:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCgazhE3dkk

I tore up the carpet in the living area yesterday. It leaves me with an unfinished area of chip board, 4x8 feet: the exact size of a sheet of plywood I already have, outside. I'll cover underside with aluminum foil, as metal conducts heat more efficiently.

I'll attach a garden hose to the plywood, as show in the video. I'll make spacers with strips of discarded packing styrofoam and strips of wood for strength.I'll screw the plywood over the chip board flooring. I'll attach the garden hose to my "y" connector, at the water heater and attach the other end to a 'y" at my passive solar intake outside.

Water rises as it heats. Cold floor water cycles outside, onto shed roof hoses, heats, flows through h2o heater, back to floor, etc. Floor hose releases heat into cabin of trailer.

I'll just attach the garden hoses with fittings to the existing water heater. I'll need a shut-off at the inlet, as I'll need propane to heat when there's no sun.

I'll also put it on a "y" with shut offs, because I'll be running another hose Inside the trailer for my floor.

On hot days, I simply close "y" at intake and allow floor h2o to cool. I can flush cool h2o through floor grid, as needed.

The floor will only be just over an inch taller, just as one enters the front door. I'll finish the sides with sloped molding, so people won't break their toes, and cover with area rug.

I'll post videos on the project soon.
 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

to a sexist asshole on Face Book

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Jim, I wish you could read what you are writing from outside your own head. YOU know what you are thinking. I don't understand what you write. i never said my experience has to do with "sexist thinking." Please don't put words in my mouth. I can, and do, speak very well for myself.

I do not understand why you are attacking me, personally, as you have no idea who i am. You asked a series of questions; I answered them. Period. Say thank you, like a gentleman. Speak respectfully to me, as i have to you.

And you did not recognize nor acknowledge that I have BRAIN INJURIES and POST TRAUMATIC STRESS. Might these not be mitigating factors that would affect my ability to be involved in social activism, as I have no formal education, cannot hold a full-time job, live in abject poverty under extremely substandard conditions, have no car in a rural community and liv on $700/month, most months of the year?

Your "professional" pedigree means NOTHING to me, except that you are probably dangerous to psychiatric survivors, such as myself, because you cite as true, buy into and promote the medical industrial complex that is neglecting, abusing, stereotyping, shunning, drugging, controlling and taking away the civil rights of folks like myself.

I AM an activist, involved in MindFreedom.org, The Icarus Project, and PsychRights.org in which survivors support each other as peers in recovering, healing and escaping a very toxic mental "health" system. Most of us, for example, have learned to live very creative, productive lives WITHOUT ANY MEDICATIONS! We advocate on behalf of children, incarcerated adults, prisoners, survivors of lobotomy, toxic medications, electroshock "therapy," sexual and physical assault by mental "health" "professionals, etc.

My impression is that you are reactionary: just looking for an excuse to find fault, bully, abuse and argue. That's why this really will be the last time I address you, as I plan to block you right after I post this.

Your tone with me is condescending, judgmental, arrogant, invasive and accusatory. That's sexist; you know my gender and that I advocate for women.

i think your ego is very frail. I think you hold women in highest contempt, given you need to hijack this thread to get attention for your accusations toward and generalizations about an entire gender, which is not the topic of Neal's post. I think you like it when you offend women to the point where they insult you back and you can say, "don't take it personally, you ignorant, hysterical woman!" Metaphorically, of course.

Now, with all my disabilities, challenges and limitations, I have to go out to the old house trailer I just bought to live in.  I need to finish tearing out cabinets, stripping floors, repairing appliances, setting up solar energy and packing my stuff in it. I don't have TIME to waste on your trap door spider games. You don't want to learn; you want to be right and you want to fight.

See, I'm moving 2 dogs, 3 goats, 4 cats & myself across the state, to live in a traditional hogan, on the Navajo Nation reservation, and I need to do it by the end of next month, all alone, on $700/mo.

I've lived without heat, running water or sewage for over a year. I'm 7 miles from the nearest groceries, with no car or public transportation. I'm sick. I'm in a LOT of pain. I damn near committed suicide 2 weeks ago, because I could NOT find a place to live or something to live in in the entire state of New Mexico, and then I sort of MADE this trailer come through!

It's almost xmas. I'm all alone and working my ovaries off to rescue what little quality I have left. You just don't fit into my plans, bud.

What I've been through these last, five years would have killed a whiny pussy like you in ten minutes. I'm more of a man than you'll ever be. Grow a pair. Good bye.

donated camcorder!

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A sister independent radio producer sent me a camcorder. She just emailed to ask if I'd gotten it. OOPs!

I'm so sorry. It arrived several days ago. I recorded the goats, walking me back from the mail box with it.

At the same time, I was buying, moving and beginning to renovate the travel trailer in which I'll be living, which has consumed almost all my time, concentration, attention, energy and physical strength.

As you may know, I have brain injuries and trouble with memory. So, with all the hubub involved in remembering what hardware I need, how to get appliances to work, how to remove unnecessary cabinets and how to fill propane bottles on a Sunday when everything is shut down, I totally forgot to email you back. It is NOT that I'm not grateful or not THRILLED to have this recorder! Believe me!

With it, and with my minidisc and blog, I'm already beginning to document living & working in the trailer. i just this minute bought a solar panel, so I won't need utility electricity to power everything! I've joined an RV email list, which seems very pleased with my ideas for better self sufficiency & money saving to live independently in a rather small, but comfortable and functional space.

Your recorder will probably next be used to document insulating tricks with cheap, fleece blankets and mylar emergency blankets.

You've done a VERY good thing and I am truly grateful! I'll post links at AIR to video and audio when ready.

THANK you and happy holy days.

solar panel for trailer

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the solar place in Albq. wants twice as much for both panel and voltage reg. I'm waiting to hear back from Gallup Solar. If they haven't replied by xmas eve, I'm buying the eBay panel. Did you look at that video of the guy who installed one on his Rv??? He can power his whole unit on a fifty watt! No furnace or a/c, though! but everything else.

I'm a LITTLE scared to spend the money, but, on the other hand, y'know????? I could get off line pretty quickly. By the way, the six v batteries, that I'd put  in series? they're eighteen bucks each, postage included. I'll fiddle with batteries next month. I need moving money now. And I'd like to see what the battery on that thing has left in it, anyway. So, it'd be another twenty five with the voltage regulator. a hundred and fifty? to go almost completely off the grid??? and I could buy another panel before summer, to run air conditioning, etc.
 
 

photovoltaic generator options

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I want a solar panel on the trailer. A built panel of 50-60 watts will cost me about $250, plus a voltage regulator (so I don't fry battery while charging) for between $23 - 44. That size panel should just about power everything in the trailer, except air conditioning or furnace.

The following is the BEST do it yourself diy video on solar installation for an Rv. i don't want mine mounted on the roof. I want to stow it inside the trailer when not in use, then set it outside, angled for maximum sun exposure. i can even wire it so it plugs in.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEWHkn5ZjSI&p=D62FCEFFC7F1702A
 


Now, I can build my own solar panel. Manufacturers sell damaged chips. They are functional, but have blemishes or breaks that, of course, reduce the electrical output of each. But the relative cost difference is less than half what I'd pay for a prebuilt panel. They're easy to assemble, with some thought and patience. The ones I'm looking at are pre-tabbed. This is to say they are already individually wired; they just need assembly. i could buy cells without tabbing, but that's a long process with delicate chips. I don't want to solder tabbing wire to individual chips: too much chance of damage.

Here's a video of a solar panel, assembled from broken chips, apx. 1/2 the size/wattage as what I'm considering. He's using untabbed, but the assembly (front to back in a line) is the same. He has a 10v panel, made with 33 chips. So, had he used large chips, he might have 20-30v: half my total need.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z3P-Vv6BAI
 


I have a soldering iron and will need solder & a flux pen, which will cost under twenty bucks.

I can buy this kit of 36 NEW cells, plus wire, with an output of 64.8 watts, enough to power the camper
http://cgi.ebay.com/36-3x6-Solar-Panel-Cells-FACTORY-Tab-BOTH-SIDES-tab-/220595249783?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item335c806277
 


I can buy 75 (he also has bundles of fewer) broken, large cells for $60, but that doesn't include wire. These are pre-tabbed. I'm guessing the maximum output would be around 75 watts: enough to power air & furnace, with caution.
http://cgi.ebay.com/75-Solar-Cells-3-x-6-up-1-7W-ea-LARGE-broken-pcs-/320491081501?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4a9ec1cf1d
 


I can buy a kit, with wire & flux pen, of 72 fully functional cells for $120. That is 80 watts: powers everything in trailer.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Kit-72-3-x6-1-8W-5V-3-6A-split-solar-cells-wire-pen-/320488064954?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4a9e93c7ba
 


Finally, I can buy 72 brand new cells, with diodes & wire, for $124. It's also 80 watts, enough to power everything, if I'm very careful with furnace & air conditioning.
http://cgi.ebay.com/72-NEW-WHOLE-Solar-Cells-3x6-75-Tab-Wire-2-Diodes-/220594792545?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item335c796861
 


Since the panel can be protected from storms, as it would be movable, I can be less cautious about the window treatment. I have storm door glass and plexiglass large enough. I have plywood, etc., to build the box. I even have silicone sealant. Basically, I have everything I need, EXCEPT DIODES, which cost very little.

What should I do?

rv internet

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I think I'll be using Verison's "mifi," to get internet to my PC. The reason is that Qwest services that area and partners with them. It's thirty five a month, all fees & installation waived. I'm test driving for a month, before I leave.

Waiting for Gallup friend to return from family trip to Calif. before asking details on where, on the Navajo reservation, his Grandma lives. That's where I'll be staying. So, uncertain if there's cell tower coverage out there, but it's only fifteen miles from Gallup, and just about everybody out there accesses FaceBook from cell phones, esp. Navajos, who seem always to be driving!

Anyway, given my limited budget, providing Verison covers me, do you think it's my best option? I don't watch television. I watch media on the PC, so don't need a cable or satellite internet.

solar battery chargers, battery lights

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I have solar battery chargers that work with AA, AAA, C and D batteries. Be careful! I'm in New Mexico and MELTED one, leaving it outside in summer for too many hrs.
Here's a selection at eBay, where you can also buy rechargable batteries, IN BULK, rather cheaper than even Walmart. Be careful which kind you get, so it's compatible with your charger:
http://electronics.shop.ebay.com/Battery-Charger-Combos-/50603/i.html?_nkw=solar+battery+charger&_catref=1&_fln=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282
 

Here's their battery powered xmas lights.
http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=battery+christmas+lights&_sacat=0&_odkw=solar+battery+charger&_osacat=50603&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313
 

If you study some online websites, you'll find ways to take standard AC xmas lights and wire them directly into an old battery case of

Mylar blanket insulation

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I don't use mylar blankets on my BED. I hang them from curtain rods over my windows, with my cheap, fleece blankets.

There are some fancy ones, quilted, but i just need sun blocking and vapor barrier, so I use the cheap, dollar ones. Bought 12 for eight dollars, incl. ship, on ebay. They're BIG; cover lots of area, can be doubled up over windows.
http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=emergency+blanket&_sacat=0&_odkw=LED+lights&_osacat=20697&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

I have 2 sets of curtain rods on each window. In winter, I hang the blankets closest to window, with mylar inside cabin. Blankets heat in sunlight, push drafts back out. Mylar reflects internal cabin heat & light back into cabin.

In my unheated house, I've hung them on the walls of the room in which I live/sleep: keeps wall drafts out, reflects heat & light back into room. Wish I could have thumb tacked them to ceilings, too. Will do in trailer.

The dollar store had those quilted, mylar windshield covers for cars, so i bought 4 and thumb tacked them to windowsills in my house last summer. Didn't cover whole area, so let light in on sides. But, with windows cracked, let out most of desert heat all day long.

In summer, Mylar hangs closest to window, to reflect sunlight back outside. I leave a window cracked. When air conditioning, blankets are drawn on rod closest to cabin, as extra insulation to keep cool air inside.

Mylar also works as a 1-way mirror: you can see out; others can't see in.

As to LED lights, they come in MANY forms. I simply use xmas lights, stapled to ceiling, to light entire trailer, all night long, for about the same as a conventional nightlight.

http://home.shop.ebay.com/Lamps-Lighting-Ceiling-Fans-/20697/i.html?_nkw=LED+lights&_catref=1&_fln=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282

Saturday, December 18, 2010

this ain't Little House on the Prairie

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I think I have now earned my right to call myself a frontier woman. I found what looks like a complete set of Louis Lamour paperbacks out in the trailer I'm fixing up to live in yesterday. Today, I used 4 as kindling, to heat the house & boil some water to take a bird bath in the kitchen sink.
 

Friday, December 17, 2010

demolition

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Yesterday, I removed the bed cabinet in the back bedroom. I now have a 6x5 foot space for my recording studio. The electrical system, a heating vent and storage for tools with outside access are under the bed. I unbolted everything to move it from the middle of the room. I also removed a nasty, little end table that did not want to come out and was so small and dark, it was hard to see where the screws were. I took out these ugly window valances: orange, almost burlap, full of dust, backed in thin plywood. The whole trailer has same window treatment. Yuck.

Everything in filing cabinets that could get damaged by rain/snow is now inside the trailer, too: photos & clothing.

Today, I took out the breakfast nook that turns into a bed: 2 bench cabinets, a table and a WALL that was glued in with the meanest glue I ever saw, but she's out in the yard now, darn it! So, there's no divider between kitchen/living area anymore. I'm putting my freezer there, opposite the counter & refrigerator, and also some short filing cabinets to serve as extra counter space.I removed all valances from kitchen and living room.

I removed the upper half of another, nasty, corner cabinet, right by the front door. I'll put a filing cabinet there, too. I'll have to take out the bottom either later today or tomorrow. Again, just can't see inside it, so it's hard to find the screws.

I measured the couch that turns into a bed. The space is big enough for my bunk bed frame: double on bottom, twin on top. It's welded bars and I like it because I can grab an upper bar to help pull me out of bed, and can hang baskets overhead with remotes, telephone, books, kleenex, etc. and a lamp, electric blanket controls, etc. The upper bunk is storage and cat beds.

I am leaving all hanging cabinets for linen storage, etc. and also for cat hideouts. I discovered today that these cabinets all have false bottoms, with a one inch empty space. This will be good for hiding money, etc. inside metal boxes. Nobody will find it.

Even with a 6x4 foot bed in the living area, there should be plenty of room to walk to kitchen on one end and studio/closets/bath on other end.

My back is mad at me, but I keep working. Next week, after the ground dries, I'm going to drag that freezer out of the back door, through the gravel and goat head stickers and LIFT, drag and push it into the trailer. Then, I can bring in everything that goes around it.

It's the opposite with the bed. Everything else has to go in first and the bed last, so I have room to maneuver. I don't have the propane heating system checked out yet, nor electricity for a space heater running to it, anyway. So, I'll stay in here and use up firewood.

I found all the appliances: electric box, water heater, furnace. I haven't found the fresh- or black-water tanks yet, but know where the switches are to operate them an where the sewage discharge is.

Maybe, by the end of next week, I could take a shower!

Rachel's coming Sunday to go over all the appliances, etc. so I know how to use them. Mean time, I'll try to look them up online, if I can find model #s, brands, etc.

I'm necessarily covering one kitchen window with the freezer, filing cabinets, etc. So, I'll hang mylar & one of those cheap blankets (I bought eight fleece blankets at 2/$4 for insulation), so sun won't heat freezer. Summers, I'll vent air through louvered windows there to keep things cooler. Winters, I'll enjoy the extra heat retention.

There's a big window in the living room: about 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide. I think I'll build one of those aluminum can heaters and put it in that window. That means trailer will need to face so that window is south.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I wouldn't mind real conservatives

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I wouldn't mind real conservatives, but we don't have any. Real conservatives would conserve our beautiful land, water and air. Real conservatives would conserve our funds and not go to war on such flimsy pretexts. Real conservatives would conserve our standing internationally by practicing diplomacy instead of coercion. Real conservatives would conserve our children's peace of mind & security, saying, "if it isn't good for our kids, it isn't good." Real conservatives wouldn't allow corporate welfare and bailouts to their cronies, lobbyists and campaign donors. Real conservatives would preserve the Constitution and Bill of Rights from witch burners and corporations as "individuals." Real conservatives would conserve our youngest and bravest, rebuilding our infrastructure, rather than coming home with PTSD or in body bags. Real conservatives would conserve our cultural heritages, ethnic roots and multiplicity of traditions. Real conservatives would cherish our elders and harbor them safely. Real conservatives would find the concepts of homelessness, starvation, torture, abuse, rape, etc. too inhuman to allow. Real conservatives would preserve heirloom seed stocks, eschew chemicals on crops and in livestock. Real conservatives would conserve the environment, cultural diversity, social infrastructure.... real conservatives would come from a place of love and hope. Reactionaries come from a place of hate and fear. Where are the conservatives?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

hyperbolic headline from Mother Jones

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Obama Goes Medieval on the Left

He's right, even IF his motives are calculated to win back independents. You armchair philosopher types, looking down your noses at us low income folks, demanding we conform to YOUR Whole Foods/Whole Paycheck standards have driven off alleys you could have registered as voters, worked with to design programs we REALLY need (not PhD thesis/grant writing proposals that never saw life on the ground first), built a huge base of INFORMED democracy and really transformed things. Instead, you sit on your free range butts, sneering at Palin & Beck, while the real social activists in this nation get NO press coverage, NO moral support and NO platform as role models for the rest of us as to participatory democracy. I'm as sick of you as I am of the Tea Parody lynch mobs. A pox on BOTH YOUR HOUSES! You can't stop wars, repair Katrina damage, stop GMOs and other poison agribusiness, teach science in schools or truly love your neighbors. You just blow smoke and hot air in your ivory towers. You won't let me drive an old beater car, cuz of the pollution, but won't help me have access to GREEN transportation! Eat that, you sprout muching neo-hipsters. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jumping through hoops

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i will not "jump" through their hoops. 1 NO medication; I need every brain cell I have left and my so-called "hypervigilence" from PTSD (in other words, knowing what can go wrong, where I'm vulnerable and how to work around that) is probabl...y the only thing that's kept me alive so long. 2 NO "faith" based "help." I am Queer; they discriminate. I can, and would not, change the fact i'm Queer if i could, any more than i can change my race or eye color and i will NOT hear condemnations about "sin" and "perversion" from superstitions hypocrites for a baloney sandwich and a dirty, old coat. 3 The assumption I need mental "health services," which no longer provide real psychotherapy, but only 12 step bumper sticker slogans, religious platitudes and DRUGS, required as clinics are funded more by grants from Big PhRMA lobbying groups, no longer provide healing services for us so-called "high functioning" people. 4 Every concession I've ever made to a corrupt, inept system has only exacerbated my vulnerability and eroded my civil rights. Example: Adult "Protective Services" can demand an illegal, warrentless search of a person's living space, based soley on an anonymous rumor of need, no matter that the "report" may have been made out of vengeance, attempts to control the individual reported, etc. My landlord recently "reported" the conditions of this house to APS and said I was not mentally competent to take care of myself, in order to try to get me thrown out, to break my lease and save him the $ of filing court fees for an eviction. i had to submit to an "inspection" of my home, or be taken away for a psychiatric examination, without a warrant, without probable cause. Fortunately, it is easy to distract them from the real issues of the property. APS left satisfied I am competent and not in danger. They made half a dozen promises of help, did not follow through and will not return my phone calls, seeking information about what they offered. Case closed. I nearly ended up in a mental hospital, my home vulnerable to robbery and my animals dead, because the land lord could gossip about me? THE SYSTEM KILLS PEOPLE and that is not hyperbole. That's why I'm trying to find a trailer or camper and rent some land to live on. I want to live the rest of my life out in peace. I'll be dead soon enough and I want no further abuse. i won't even go to a food pantry. I'd rather dumpster dive. I eat very well on my $3 a day. I don't NEED their junk food, sermons and hoops.