Thursday, October 09, 2008
Alan's son decided he wanted the purple bus. He is trading a new computer, a laptop, and a couple of other things for the bus.
We are in the process of remodeling the MCI, still, and are still using the older bus to live in.
So the bus is not for sale anymore. Again, sorry to those who were interested.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Friday, December 28, 2007
This should be an exciting time, getting to know the girls again and their babies, too. The older girl has a daughter that will be two years old in February. The younger girl has a 6 month old daughter.
We want to go down there to find out what has been going on with the girls for the past 10 years, try to help them see that Alan isn't the "bad guy" he was made out to be, and see what we can do to help them in some way. Since they have been lied to and taught to lie for so many years, we want to show them what it is to live honestly, say what you mean and mean what you say without exaggerations.
We are nervous about the whole matter, but so happy that the girls are now able to talk to their father again. Heather already calls me "Mom" which is so fantastic. We have talked to her several times a week since she called about her mothers death. the younger daughter is a little more hesitant, but hopefully will come around sooner than later.
We are also in the process of buying a bigger bus to convert as our new home. This one is a regular coach.....MCI tour bus. It is not only a little bigger, but also has mega-storage underneath in the luggage compartments. Woo-hoo!!! We are going to take our time fixing this one up with the items we absolutely want, instead of patching it together then having to go back and fix and re-fix.
When it is all finished, it will be completely self-sufficient. We will have solar panels, 12-volt electricity, large generator, large fresh water capacity and several tanks for gray and black water. We are also planning on fitting it with a large propane tank and two roof AC/heaters.
It will take us a while, but it will be great when finished. I can't wait.
Our present bus just doesn't have enough room anymore. We will miss it, but hope it gets a good loving home. We have put so much work into it over the past 4 years. It has served us well, but it is getting to be time to upgrade. Hopefully, the next bus will be our home for many years.
Have a wonderful, blessed, happy, adventurous and love filled New Year in 2008.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
I do not think I am overly intelligent or consistently give good answers, I just use compassion and put myself in the questioners place when I answer.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
1. I had a deformed uterus which prevented me from carrying a pregnancy to full term.
2. I love snakes, lizards, and frogs.
3.I am scared to death of butterflies and moths...childhood trauma.
4. I have two extra breasts, tiny ones.
5. I was born premature, the doctor who delivered me was drunk, he dropped me, I still have a scar on one hand.
6. I can talk to ghosts.
NOW! For the six next very lucky contestants/bloggers...
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
It seems like we've been sick or ailing for much of December and into January. I guess being in this cold, changable weather and not being used to winter, is taking it's toll on us.
It is nice being this close to the "kids" for the holidays, though. We did the whole exchanging gifts thing, had a tree (fake of course, because I'm allergic to pine), baking cookies, and celebrating New Year's Eve.
Now comes long, boring January.
At least we can get wireless internet here and fill much of our time "surfing", playing games on-line, and watching TV. I help the "girls" with their housework and cook and bake sometimes.
Thank goodness, though, we can get away and into the bus. Family is wonderful, but trying at times. It's so nice to have our privacy, too. When we're all in the house, there are seven of us.....we've gotten so used to it just being Alan and me and the cats.
HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
It is a fact that the Christian church chose this time of year, only a few days later, for the birth of their God's Son, to replace the birth of the Pagan Sun God. Yule is sacred to all infant Sun/Som Gods - Horus, Apollo, Bel, Baldur, Yeshuah, Sol - as well as the Horned God as Winter King. It can also be sacred to Goddesses such as Lucina, Arinna, Amaterasu, Bast.
Our quiet time of reflection after the New Year (Samhain), following the harvest, comes to a close. We are reminded of the coming spring and thoughts turn once again to gardening and the new Spring of Life. We start looking through the seed catalogs even though there are months of cold winter left, for the new born Sun will grow in strength, lengthen the days, and bring warm
Spring once again.
This Newborn Sun is the Great Mother's gift to the world, and this is reflected in our gifts to friends and family. Giving is a statement of faith in the abundance to come and in the love that survives the coldest of winters.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Nov. 3, 2006
We started off on our way to southern Nevada for the winter. First we noticed that the pipes from the water tanks in the back (under the bed) to the kitchen sink were either frozen or had been frozen. Obviously one of the pipes or hoses on one of the water barrels had broken when it froze. We lost all of the water out of one of the barrels, which ruined part of the newly installed bedroom floor.
Nov. 4, 2006
We were close to Austin, MN when Alan looked in the mirror and said, "Something doesn't look right." He pulled onto the shoulder, went around the back of the bus and came back with our dump pipe for the toilet holding tank. OOPPPS!!! We had just dumped so it wasn't a problem as far as spilling sewage, but we were now back to using our little porta-potty until we could fix that pipe.
We were about 10 miles north of Des Moines, Iowa. I was reading, Alan driving along nicely. All of a sudden one side of the front door was flapping in the wind. The bottom had broken loose, but the top was still attached. Alan pulled over and we set about putting several bungy straps on it to hold it on until we could get it fixed.
We finally made it into Des Moines and to the Pilot Truck Stop. No one there could fix the door for us as their welding unit had broken somehow. But, they did tell us about a shop not too far away that could fix it. This was Saturday, so we had to wait until Monday morning to get it fixed.
The nice young man at the welding shop put a very good weld onto the bottom of the door, then wouldn't take any money for his work. He said he didn't know how much to charge as he had never done that kind of fix before. I gave him $10 anyway and thanked him profusely.
Nov. 9, 2006
We had been going along very nicely for several days through the rest of Iowa and Nebraska, although we had to stop several times to tighten screws on the window plates, taking our time. We had gotten over Mount Sherman in Wyoming just fine, except Alan smoked the brakes coming down and we had to stop to let them cool. We had to stop in Laramie, Wy. for a little while to again tighten the screws on the window plates (bumpy roads and high winds tend to loosen them). I felt like we should stay in Laramie overnight, but Alan wanted to keep going. So, we proceeded up Elk Mountain. Part of the way up it started snowing, big, heavy, wet flakes, and it got very cold. When the engine overheated the first time, we thought it was because of the high headwind which we had been up against. But, the engine overheated a couple more times. We finally made it to the rest area at the top of Elk Mountain. Alan lifted the doghouse to check the engine. While he poured water into the radiator, I watched the engine to see where it was leaking. We had blown the head gasket!!!
We took turns staying up, turning the engine on every hour to keep the battery charged, all the time keeping the radiator as full as we could. While the fierce wind blew the temperature plunged to 12 degrees. I couldn't sleep at all, so sat up most of the night and read while tending the radiator and engine.
Next morning Alan drove to an available phone, about 6 miles away (the rest area only had one for 911 calls). We called the kids in Wisconsin to tell them what was going on and ask, if we needed it, could we borrow money from them. They said not to worry, they could help us out.
Alan found out that the closest place to get the engine fixed was in Rawlins, WY, about 44 miles west. He would drive 2-5 miles, have to stop, cool down the engine, add water, and go for another few miles. It took him close to 8 hours to drive the 44 miles.
We finally made it into Rawlins and to the Flying J Travel Center. Alan went inside to find information on engine repair shops. By then it was close to 5 p.m. on a Friday evening. But, one of the shops told him, if we could make it over to the shop, they had a place we could plug in and sit for the weekend. We did it!!
As we were sitting at Wyoming Deisel Repair in Rawlins, Wyoming, for the weekend, a police officer pulled in and wanted to know why we were sitting there. Alan told him we had permission as our engine needed fixing. NO PROBLEM. In fact, the officer stood on the inside steps of the bus and talked to us for almost half an hour. Nice guy!
On Monday morning the mechanic had to get the bus started with jumper cables, then move it to the part of the shop they would pull it into. We locked the cats in the bedroom with their litter box, large bowl of water, and food. We were told, however, that we could not stay in the bus and would have to go to the motel. Bummer!! So we got a few things together and waited for someone to take us over to the Days Inn. After the mechanic got into the engine, he said what we already knew...blown head gasket....but, also, the head was warped and a hose was blown.
It would take him a few days work to get it in driving condition.
So we were not only stuck at the motel, we also had to buy our meals, and try to sleep in an unfamiliar bed. The room was so hot and dry it was uncomfortable sleeping. The high point was that we had satalite TV with many channels to choose from...NICE. They also had a very nice breakfast for guests.
Nov. 16, 2006
The shop called Thursday morning to tell us we could have the bus back, but would have to sign a paper stating there was no gaurantee on their work as the head was warped and a few of the piston chambers were scored. We had decided to just have it put back together with a new gasket because a replacement engine would have cost $6500 plus labor. The way it was, the cost for what they had done was close to $2250, plus we had to get a new battery as the old one just wouldn't hold a charge anymore.
After calling the bank we paid the bill, with help from the kids. And we were off. The engine sounded a little rough, but it ran....good enough. We called the kids again and told them we had decided to head back to Wisconsin for the engine was still in bad shape. We were worried about continuing on to Nevada. They said they would have a bedroom ready for us for the winter.
We were worried about going back over Elk Mountain, so we took the side road of Hwy. 30. It was hilly, but bypassed the mountain. We had only gone about 3 miles on Hwy. 30 when the bus just shut off.....completely.....and would not start again.
Alan started walking back to the gas station close to I-80 when a nice gentleman stopped to pick him up. I learned later that he had passed us going east, had turned around and come back, and also had a cell phone he let Alan use to call the shop in Rawlins.
Alan came back to the bus about an hour later in the mechanics truck. The mechanic found the problem right away. Apparently a wire had been loosened on the fuel pump cellenoid, then had completely come off when we hit a bump. He fixed it, called the shop to see what the charge was, picked up our road triangles, came back to the bus and said, "Have a nice day.", and sent us on our way.
We were about 5 miles from Laramie, getting dark, and the alternator would not hold a charge. The head lights got dimmer and dimmer while we pushed on to Laramie. It was comlpletely dark when we finally made it to the Petro Truck Stop in Laramie. Alan went in to talk to the mechanics about the problem, came back to the bus and said we could wait until morning and check out the alternator ourselves.
Nov. 17, 2006
The only thing wrong with the alternator was a broken wire. It seemed the Universe was finally on our side again. Besides Mercury was now back on course. We checked the oil, added 2 quarts, then took our chances on Mount Sherman. Surprise! Surprise! No problem at all.
We took our time over the next week, traveling less than 200 miles a day most days, and finally made it back to northern Wisconsin on November24, 2006. Every day we had to check the oil a couple times, usually adding 2 quarts each day. BUT WE MADE IT!!!
The "kids" have a nice downstairs bedroom ready for us and our two cats. We are now making plans for a fun filled Yule Season.
Life is an adventure and I've learned not to make plans as the Universe may have other plans. I told myself constantly, on the way back, not to worry for I couldn't do anything about whatever was going to happen anyway. Apparently the Universe, Fate, Karma, or whatever, wants us here with family for the winter.....SO BE IT!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
In the shadow of Foley's betrayal of pages, several teachers having sex with their students, and pedophyles running rampant, I want to give my views on their excuses. So many alcoholics say they have a disease and it's not their fault. So many people use the excuse: "I was sexually abused as a child." or "I had a bad childhood and was physically abused." I say, "So what!"
Before you get angry and upset with this statement, know this. I WAS sexually abused as a child, I WAS physically abused as a child, I WAS mentally abused as a child. My first marriage was to an alcoholic whotaught me that hitting was a form of love. I WAS raped a few times (wrong place, wrong time, wrong choices).
I DO NOT sexually abuse children or anyone. I AM NOT a pedophile. I DO NOT physically abuse children, animals, or anyone. I DO NOT mentally abuse children or anyone. I AM NOT an alcoholic and did not abuse my child as a result. I DO NOT murder and blame it on my childhood. I DID NOT drink alcohol during my pregnancies and then say, "Oh dear, what's wrong with my child. It's not my fault, I have a disease."
I AM RESPONSIBLE for my own life, my own actions, the choices I make. I am an adult, who chooses to stop blaming my responsibilities on being sexually, physically, mentally abuses OR on being raped and having an alcoholic husband. I do not blame my life and problems on alcohol, the devil, or a god.
I AM RESPONSIBLE AND SO IS EVERYONE ELSE. If you have a problem dealing with your own life, get help, but stop blaming everything on your past. That is an excuse for your acting a certain way, so that you can get away with not taking responsibility for your own life.
I've become so disgusted and angry when I continue to hear: "I had a bad childhood." Those who give excuses are supposed to be adults.TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR OWN LIFE AND YOUR OWN ACTIONS.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
There is a new law that the "moral majority" is trying to put into effect in Wisconsin. It posses as an anti-gay law, but is actually against anyone who wishes to just live together rather than follow the institution of legalized marriage.
This proposal states: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."
There is already a law against gay marriage in Wisconsin, so why is this proposal being set before the people of Wisconsin? The moral majority wants to further their cause by forcing all Wisconsinites to follow their beliefs. If this proposal is made into law, what rights will be taken away from us next? How long will we allow one group to dictate to us all?
I am a woman. I was born in Wisconsin and have lived here almost my entire life. I have also been divorced twice and do not feel the need to support lawyers further in case of another divorce (which I do not foresee). I love Wisconsin, BUT do not agree with the "moral Majority". My "husband" and I have been together for almost 10 years. We were "handfasted" in our religion, Paganism, in Florida. While not recognized as a "legal" marriage, we have had all of the ups and downs of a "normal" married couple. Almost four years ago, he had a stroke and I was there for him through his recovery. Under this new law, I would not be allowed to comfort him while he was in the hospital, let alone have any say in his treatment. We choose not to marry because we are both on social security. If we were to marry legally, our monthly income would fall to half. We are barely getting by the way it is.
We have decided to either move to Canada or another state if this proposal is passed. We have many friends and family who feel the same way; therefore, Wisconsin will be losing many supporters and tax payers when/if they pass this proposal. We have also decided to give each other power of attorney and make sure we have our living wills in place--legally! That way the "State" and/or government will not be able to keep us apart in sickness and in health---even if we could be jailed for "living together without benefit of marriage". As far as I know, the jails will be filled with many senior citizens in our situation, plus many young people who choose to live together rather than legally marry.
WISCONSIN---WAKE UP!!! Move forward and with an open mind. We are a diverse people! Do not allow a few to dictate the rights of all. VOTE NO!!!!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Completely remodeled 1990 Bluebird TC/2000, converted from a working school bus (not an Bluebird RV). Have lived in this bus for two years, but buying a bigger bus. This one has traveled, with no problems, to the Southwest United States, twice from northern Wisconsin. We have boondocked throughout the winters and made it very nicely on just 12-volt. Since it was run as a northern Wisconsin school bus, it is well insulated. Steel frame, very sturdy. It has done very well over the mountains.
Automatic transmission - 4 speed; 6BT5.9 220 Cummins deisel engine; new water pump; new brakes; new air pods for air brakes; well cared for by company that bought the bus new. Owners have taken the bus back to the original owner for work and service, as they know the bus. Six 10 x 22.5 tires. Can use 11 x 22.5 tires.
Running lights along length of bus.
Original manuals on bus, engine, and transmission.
Bike racks on front and back of bus.
Multi-fuel engine for easy conversion to vegetable oil.
Hardwood pieces put in by hand. Floor is 2" thick with reinforced steel underneath.
Large food cabinet -- 3 shelves, 26" deep X 32" wide X 19"high each plus two smaller shelves in back of two of the shelves (12"deep X 32"wide X 6"high); plus some storage underneath
Smaller food cabinet with cooler: 2 shelves 16"wide X 26" deep X 15" high; plus one taller shelf with cooler 16"wide X 26"deep X 27" high; cooler holds 20 lbs. of ice for 3 to 5 days.
Cupboards on each side of kitchen: one over table, the other over sink area. Cupboard on table side: upper has doors, lowers are open...a total of 45"high X 6' 2" long. Cupboard above sink is 6' 2" long X 15" high, with a few smaller shelves underneath, plus a built in microwave. Storage under sink, plus three drawers and a fourth area for storage under drawers (5 1/2'wide X 24" deep X 35" high). Built in pull-out bread board.
Sink is a two well aluminum built into cupboard. Water is pumped from two 55-gallon barrels under the bed via a 12-volt pump. Seperate gray water tank under bus - 15 gallons. Solar hot water.
Two to four person table and benches. Two large drawers under each bench, plus more storage under back bench.
Small furnace (propane), works on 12-volt or 110-volts, with a small storage area above it.
Apartment size 4-burner stove, oven, broiler (propane). Built in lid storage shelf and a canister set shelf above the stove, plus pot hooks.
Norcold 3-way refrigerator (110-volt, 12-volt, propane) connected directly to batteries. Inside dimensions:15" X 17 1/2" X 13"
Haier 110-volt refrigerator: 4 1/2 cubic feet. Has a small freezer at the top.
Wood paneling throughout.
Book shelves above each couch: right - 6 1/2 feet long by 12 inches; left - 8 1/2 feet by 12 inches.
Two couches (6' 3" X 23") in living room (each pulls out almost double for extra sleeping areas) with storage under each.
Three deep cycle batteries under one couch for 12-volt current, with 12-volt converter and charger. These connect through a switch to the bus battery for easy charging while the bus is in operation. Also, 50' 110-volt power cord stored under couch. Plus,
500-watt inverter, carries T.V, DVD player, VCR, fans, and lights.
25" color television set on corner shelf with storage underneath.
Plant table on other side with small storage area underneath.
One swivel captain's chair with seat belt.
Drivers area: captain's chair with seat belt.
Wood paneling throughout.
Small bathtub, solar shower, toilet with holding tank, several shelves, privacy door. Solar hot water. Paneled with an ivy pattern.
Queen size bed (mattress) built in with lots of storage underneath (besides the water barrels). Step up to bed. Five drawer dresser. High TV table with storage underneath, small color TV connected to VCR in front. Shelves at the head of the bed.
All you need to make this your home are personal items, food, and pots and pans.
ASKING PRICE: $12,000
I have written about this bus and our lives on it at: http://marjorie-blegen.blogspot.com
Life In A Big Purple Bus
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Have been drying alot of vegies as they come on sale.
Spent a few weeks in Stanley on Chapman Lake...very nice park. Then we spent a couple weeks in Rib Lake at the campground. This is the first summer we have actually gone to parks with electric outlets. It is nice to have electricity sometimes, but we are planning to purchase some solar panels for 12-volt.
We've been talking about buying a different bus also. The place we got this one has a coach for sale now, a nice tour bus with A/C and lots of storage space underneath. We are going to go see about making arrangements for it soon. Then the Big Purple Bus will be for sale...everything included except personal items and food (stove, refrigerators, microwave, T.V.'s, DVD, VCR).
Not sure how much we'll ask for it yet, but probably under $10,000.
Samwise is happy to be back here again and so am I. Things are going pretty well.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I had been pregnant a few times before that one, but they usually ended early. The only pregnancy before Jed ended in premature labor and delivery, also. That time I wasn't so lucky. My twin daughters were born at 1 lb. 1 oz. and 1 lb. 4 oz. and both died within 2 hours of birth.
So when I went into labor three months early with Jed, all I could think was that he would die too. He was born early one morning...breach...by ceasarean...weighing 2 lbs. 7 oz. When my husband told me that we had a boy, all I could think was that he would die soon.
But, Jedidiah Lyle didn't die. He lived even though he had hundreds of needle pricks, an intestinal disease that could have killed him, blown out lungs, apnea and bradychardia up the ying yang, and many x-rays.
When Jed was around 1 1/2 we took him to an eye specialist, as Jed was going cross-eyed. He performed surgery on Jed's eyes to correct the problem of extremely tight inner eye muscles from too much oxygen when Jed was first put on the ventilator. Jed still, to this day, has a problem with shaking eyes, but not enough to cause major problems.
When Jed was around 2 years old, we discovered that the reason he wasn't speaking was because he had damaged auditory nerves. I had tried to tell the neonatologist several times that I had experimented at home with pots and pans, loud noises, etc, but the doctor insisted that perhaps Jed was brain damanged, having been so premature. Finally Jed was sent to a child pcycologist to determine his mental abilities. Low and behold, he was three years ahead in his deductive reasoning....not mentally disabled at all. Next came the audiologist. Yup, Jed was very hard of hearing, not quite deaf, but close enough. So Jed got his first set of hearing aids at the age of 2. Then there was the struggle to have him taught sign language in the local school. I guess they didn't have anyone interested in learning ASL, so they discouraged Jed's being taught ASL even at home. Screw em'. I went to the library and got books on ASL to start teaching Jed the signs and mouthing the words so that he could understand and perhaps start lip-reading also. I'll never forget his first word. Not only did he sign it, but said "sugar" out loud. I cried I was so happy.
Since that time, Jed has been in several schools, both hearing and deaf school, but he didn't do to well in any. He's smart, just has a problem with authority, I guess. Perhaps he takes after his mother and father too much...we were both like that, too.
Jedidiah is now 25 years old, close to 6 feet tall, self-sufficient (finding and holding jobs), and living in his own place. He's very proficient with the computer and technical equipment and makes friends easily.
I'm so proud of my baby boy and happy he turned out so well, even though he had to come so many obstacles along the way.
Love you Jed!
Thursday, October 27, 2005
This year he wants to try the campground near Mesquite or some where up in the mountains. I'm not too sure, but as a life adventurer, I guess we should try something different.
The one thing we do agree on though, is going back to Mesquite to the Oasis Hotel and Casino. Great buffet!!! And fun, cheap, penny slots. We actually have a coupon for two free nights in the hotel, so we may just let the cats have the bus for a day or two, and pamper ourselves. Although, I love sleeping in the bus with all my familiar things and my babies curled up next to me. We'll see.
We've been drying so much food this summer that I think we have enough now to last us, at least, five months. As long as we can get water, we're in pretty good shape. So we will be able to spend a few weeks at a time out in the desert and just enjoy the peace and Nature.
If anyone ever has the chance to go down below St. George, Utah, and drive through the Virgin River canyon, please take the time to do so. If you are as enamored with rocks and cactus as I am, this is the place to stop and just look around. Warning: Don't touch the cactus...they are protected and very beautiful and happy right where they are. You may just see some mountain goats along the way. When we drove truck, we used to love being able to go to California, because it meant we got to go through the canyon again. It's slow going, windy, and very curvy, but a sight you'll never forget.
We do love to travel, meet new people, see new things (especially rock formations), and find out the energies of certain places. Being Pagan causes a few inconveniences, as people have funny reactions to us: fear, disgust, prejudice, anger, or recognition. This was true while we were driving truck and it is still true today. But, being "out of the broom closet" Pagans/Witches, we would just as soon be able to discuss our beliefs, or at least alleviate their distrust and the myths, than just have someone shun us out of ignorance.We are friendly, mature adults and will be happy to answer questions or just talk, as long as its a two way street and not just someone trying to "preach". We've made our decisions on many years of study, not on the spur of the moment or going along with a "fad".. Respect us and we'll respect you.
Monday, October 24, 2005
|Just watched the movie "What the (bleep Do We Know" about quantum physics, creating your own reality, shaping your own future and affecting the world around you. I recommend this movie/book to any and all my aquantances and friends, especially the Pagans among us. Even the most experienced magickian can glean some knowledge from this subject.|
Quantum physics is why Magick works, as we've been told time and time again. It takes some of us a little longer to actually "get the point" and this movie puts the subject in learnable terms.
Even our little library in smalltown northern Wisconsin has a copy, so it doesn't have to cost a dime.
"How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?"
"Create your own reality!"
Saturday, September 24, 2005
|The most recent love of my life is Samwise Gamgee Moonglow. When we were driving truck, we used to make frequent trips to Ontario, California to the 3-M plant. We often saw cats and kittens around the area as the guards were feeding the poor things that had probably been either dumped or escaped from trucks. The one female had older kittens and younger kittens hanging around with her, but they were all mostly feral. My partner saw one kitten he really liked and had tried catching him several times, unsuccessfully. (I was generally asleep because I drove at night much of the time and slept most mornings when we delivered at this particular plant.) This one morning I was still awake, so Alan came back into the truck and told me the kitten was outside right then. I grabbed some sandwich meat and went out to see which kitten he was talking about. |
Momma Kitty came right over to the fence when I dangled the meat through it. Then this beautiful, lilac point Siamese kitten came to see what Momma had. I coaxed him a little closer. (Having had managed a dog pound for a few years and had animals for my entire life, I knew how to catch them.) Pretty soon his hunger and curiosity got the better of him. As soon as he was close enough I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, held his legs, and tld Alan to open the truck door.
The kitten was about five months old, and almost feral, but since he was so pretty the guards had been paying more attention to him. At first he was terrified to be in a running semi, but after a night with us he started to calm down. He was skinny, full of fleas, had worms, and was scared. We went to the truck stop and got our first supplies for him, then later found a Wal-Mart to get the proper supplies (good food, litter box, flea powder, halter and leash, toys.).
After a few days Sam settled down and started to play. After a couple of months we found out how intelligent he was and how playful. He would often sit on the dashboard and watch the scenery go by or sleep in the sun, but only on the passenger side. We only had to tell him once not to cross the center of the dash. After playing with him, throwing plushy balls for him to "chase" (how far can you chase a ball in a semi?), he created a little game of fetch all by himself. Soon Samwise wasn't satisfied with just fetch, so proceeded to hide the ball, come to the front of the truck or onto the bed, and "tell us" he couldn't find the ball. He would look around to show us he couldn't find it, meow, and go back to where he "thought" it was. Boy did he fool us. We caught on soon enough, but couldn't believe how smart he was. We also bought him a little mouse that squeeked. He loved that toy. When catch got too boring with the mouse, especially if we had decided to stop and both get some rest, he would take the mouse up to the top bunk and drop it through a little gap down unto our heads. How he figured out how todo that is still a mystery. All I can say, is when an animal is giving enough love and respect, they start to show their intelligence more and more.
In December, after we got Samwise, we took him into a veterinarian, got all his shots, testing, and neutering done. Poor baby had not been away from us one hour since we nabbed him, so you can imagine how upset he was. Of course, I was very upset also at having to leave him overnight. But, the next day he was back in his small truck home, good as new.
When we first got Sam he was, as I said before, starving. He would eat just about anything, including pickles, onions, lettuce, hot dogs, fried zucchini. At one truck stop we decided to get him his own hot dog, an all beef large one. Sam sat on the dashboard while we took turns holding the weiner for him. (He was still only about 7 months old at that time.) Samwise ate that whole hot dog....glutton!!! But, since that time he doesn't want anything to do with hot dogs.
How Sam got his name: Not to long after Sam came to live with us on the truck, the first Lord Of The Rings movies came out on DVD. Having read JRR Tolkien, I had to have the movie. Late one night, we were able to watch the movie. Sam did not have a name yet,because I felt an animal should show me their name. At the end of the first L O T R movie as Frodo is leaving on the boat alone, Samwise comes running and starts walking into the lake after Frodo because he had promised Gandalf he would not leave Frodo. Since Samwise did not know how to swim, it was almost certain he would drown. But, Frodo was able to pull him onto the boat. Sam's quote was: "I made a promise, Mr. Frodo, and I intend to keep it." And he did, regardless of his own life. I was crying so hard and thinking, "Now that is a true friend." Then it hit me, my new kitten was my true friend. He loved me no matter what I looked like, no matter what I did, because I loved him. And so he was named Samwise Gamgee in honor of true friends everywhere. A few days later the moon was full. Sam was sitting on the dash in the moonlight. The coloring on his back was the same color as the moonglow. Thus he received his full name: Samwise Gamgee Moonglow.
Today, Sam is three and a-half years old, more beautiful than ever with his lilac points and his saddle getting a little darker all the time, his big opal blue eyes, and soft fur. He has learned to talk.....really!! He says "ball", "play", "I don't wanna", "water" and a few other things. He shocks me sometimes when he says something, but I can understand him perfectly. Samwise has become picky, too. He will only eat hand fed cooked meat, Meow Mix, and a little milk now and again. He's not the skinny, starving kitten anymore, but the fat (around 20 pounds), satisfied, beautiful love of my life.
Monday, September 19, 2005
In light of recent events where many people found themselves homeless, I thought this might come in handy or, at least, helpful. As we've seen, mobile homes (homes you can actualy move distances) seem to be more practical than stationary homes
I used to think I needed all the things of the first group, too. Then I lost everything. Not just once, but four times, through divorce (twice), and theft (twice). The last couple of times was during the period of my disability, so I did not have money to replace them. Fortunately, I am now with a man who has also lost everything several times, through divorce, theft, and fire. He understands what material possessions mean, or rather don't mean.
After his stroke, we again lost much of what we had together. What with me not being able to work and he not being able to work, we had no income. But, the Goddess smiled on us and he was granted SSI plus back pay. While it wasn't a lot, we were able to buy the school bus for $1200 and an older camper for $1800. We had no money left after buying these, but we had a plan. Every month we took so much of his checks and bought the materials we needed or scrounged the recycling place and talked to people to see if they had any materials we might need that they didn't have a use for anymore. Much of our material was not new. We tore everything out of the camper and built it into the bus, including two 50 gallon plastic barrels we got for free which we use for holding water; wood from a cabinet factory (scraps actually) for shelving and the floor (pieced together, different woods, less than a foot long--it's very pretty); sale material for curtains and couch covers and so on.
The bus engine is in very good shape, so we don't have problems there, for now. Fuel is a killer right now, but we do okay. When we are traveling, we stay in truck stops, casino parking lots, and wherever we don't get kicked out of. We only stay a few days at a time, so as not to cause trouble. We are very fortuate in the fact that we have friends who have let us stay on their property for $100 a month, cheap but nice campgrounds, and free parking in the desert.
Clothing: Most of our clothes are sale items from discount stores, St. Vincent de Paul stores, give aways, and we seem to have enough. We don't have a huge closet for our clothes, so we do with very few and reuse what we can for sleepwear, rags, patches. I sew by hand everything I can.
Food: Get a food dryer and several cartons of quart jars!!! This has been a savior. You can usually find a food dryer for around $30 at a Farm and Home outlet. Our wonderful friends have, this year, allowed us to have tomatoes, onions, yams, corn, and green beans from their garden. I have dried much of this food to save for future use. Many foods can be dried raw, but corn, green beans, and potatoes should be parboiled first, then cut to sizes needed or off the cob. Other foods that can be dried are: beets, carrots, squash, spinach, beans, berries, mushrooms, and just about anything that can be rehydrated.
Canning is also a good way to save foods. When I make soup or chili, I usually make way too much, then can it and pressure cook it for the reccommended amount of time. We thought we would have a problem with these jars blowing their tops or just unsealing going over the mountains, but we've only had one do this. (Be cautious! If you think a jar has unsealed, throw the contents out. If there has been any leakage of liquid, don't use it. And boil the contents for at least five minutes before eating any home canned items, except jelly.) If you pressure cook the foods right, you shouldn't have problems.
We have canned or dried foods stored in jars and coffee cans (many the new plastic) under the kitchen benches, in many cupboards and on shelves. We keep the two 50 gallon barrels full of water to rehydrate and boil foods in. We also have bought things we can't preserve in "extra's" when we have the money. This saves in the long run, as when we don't have enough money or are caught in a "can't get to a store" situation, we have what we need.
Meat can be canned or dried. We have also found many canned meats at our local dollar store and discount food places.We have hams, salmon, tuna, beef, chicken, mackerel, Spam type meat, and Vienna Sausage type meat made from chicken or turkey. We also have a small freezer in the top of our one refrigerator so we can have fresh meat at times. This refigerator is old (1973), but still works on propane, regular electricity, or 12-volt, and does a good job. We also buy fresh fruits and vegetable when we can.Two good investments are a charcoal grill and a dutch oven to make bread and other bakes items in (this usually comes with an instruction booklet). My nephew can make anything in a dutch oven. Charcoal is a pain, but you can also use wood when you can get it. One thing we bought new was a small propane stove/oven/broiler. It was under $300 on sale. This is used often for cooking and baking. We also have a large crock pot and a large roasting pan (both electric, but can be used with inverters).
Electricty: As stated in my article on living in the bus, we use the bus engine for electricity. That way we aren't "deprived" of T.V. or watching older movies when we can't get in a station. We are planning to buy a couple more deep cycle batteries and larger voltage inverters so we can run more things: microwave, another small refrigerator, roaster, food dryer, plus T.V's and DVD player or VCR, and lights. But there are many times we do not use electricity at all. During many of the days we read, go for walks, or just watch wildlife at play. I also study things I enjoy. After our evening of T.V., using electical items, and lights, we turn off the engine and use kerosene lanterns for light. I usually read or write with the lantern light until I get tired.
We have known several people who also live in a camper and stay in "free" spots, but work normal jobs. They usually have to find a few different places to stay in one area, as many free sites have time limits; such as 90 days, 45 days, etc. So it takes some planning.
(A word about the water situation: There are many places that will allow you to get free water. Campgrounds, even if you aren't a paying guest, some truck stops, friends and family, or artesian wells are good sources of free water.)
We still have little money, and have been living on around $600 a month, but with planning, giving up on the "luxeries" most of the time, and good use of the money you do have, you too can live "off the grid" much of the time. Living in a bus or mobile home has many advantages: you own it, you can take it wherever you need to go along with your pets and have what you need with you, and in case of dangerous weather in one spot you can move to another place easily and not lose everything you need. You have to take care of your home, just as you would any place you lived. Get the oil changed every 10,000 miles, make sure the tires are good, have the engine and brakes checked out at least once a year, touch up the outer paint when needed so it looks alright on the outside, and keep up the registration and licensing. There are places on the internet you can get inexpensive insurance, also.
No we don't have alot of room for our things or for too many people, but we own our home and everything in it. We have our pets with us always. We have all the food we need for a few months (not gourmet meals, but nutritional and filling). We don't have the latest styles in clothing or furniture, but it is functional. We treat ourselves every month or so to a Chinese meal or another reasonalbly priced restaurant meal. We do not have a telephone or computer (libraries or friends and relatives have them, also many truck stops). Our money goes directly into the bank and our mail goes to a Post Office box. If we still had young children they would be home schooled (yes, a mother or father can stay home and teach while the other partner works, because you are living much more cheaply in a camper).
Helping others: Even though we have little room and little money is no reason to not help others. We met people last year who were trying to live in a tent during the raining times in the desert--not a good idea. They had no jobs, no income, and little food. We invited them in and they were able to stay for three or four weeks while they got what they needed. Yes, there is always the danger of being robbed, raped, killed, but you cannot live in a bubble of fear your entire life. Helping others is a necessity in these times. Karma is always watching. Don't help to gain anything but a wonderful knowledge you have done something good for another, just do it. We have had people help us when we needed it (and still do at times) and feel we are repaying a Karmic debt by helping others.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
My heart goes out to the people of southern Louisiana, Mississippi and others effected by Katrina. I may sound callus sometimes about life in general, but have been through enough to feel empathy for others.I understand how it is to lose your home and all your possesions, having unexpected death in the family, and having no place to live but the street.
I recently lost respect for a close friend when she said, "They chose to live there, so I don't lose any sleep over it." What a heartless thing to say!
I do not have any money, no fuel to get to the south to help, but I want anyone who was effected to know there are many people who cry for them, feel their pain, and get angry at the beurocrats who did not take action.
Today is the 10th day after the hurricane and there are still people who need help. I applaud the "big name" people who have the resources and are using them to help. Not only are they giving support, but financial aid and are bringing food and supplies to those in need. Oprah Winfrey, while not the first, is certainly in the running for "saint". While polliticians talk and discuss who is to blame, people are still dying.
This is supposed to be the "FREE" country, the "best" country.....being an American citizen right now makes me ashamed at our so-called leaders. Bush doesn't watch T.V. or read newspapers, yet says everything is getting better and being taken care of. He was born into a rich family, has never had to scrounge for anything and took his sweet time going to the devestated sites.....he is so out of touch with reality that I believe he lives in his own fairy tale world where everyone has everything they need and can afford anything they want. COME LIVE WITH ME FOR A MONTH, MR PRESIDENT. I'LL SHOW YOU HOW MANY AMERICANS REALLY LIVE!!! You should be ashamed, George Bush. Take responsibility! You are supposed to be the "Leader", yet you know NOTHING of what it's like to live without a home, food, water, afraid of rape, injury, lose. You are supposed to be an adult, yet don't get in touch with reality.
SHAME ON YOU!!! YOu pat the director of F.E.M.A on the back and say "you're doing a great job" when he won't take responsibility either. I heard a news reporter quote that so-called director saying, "They didn't ask for help through the right channels in a timely fashion." SO WHAT!!! People were dying, drowning, with no leadership. Weren't he and his people supposed to step in right away and direct the efforts??? If not, who??? There was no electricity, no telephone....how in hell were they supposed to call and ask??? Bureaucratic BULLSHIT!!!
Monday, August 15, 2005
Paganism/Wicca --- these are my views alone.
The earth is my Mother, the sky my Father, the rain and sun my Life Force, the vegetation and animals my Brothers and Sisters, the Universe my Teacher.
Karma---"WHATEVER YOU DO, BE IT GOOD OR BAD, COMES BACK TO YOU TIMES THREE."
Ritual----candles, incense, herbs, the cauldron, the athame, stones and crystals, being "skyclad", the magick of the Elementals, flowers, Universal Energy, Ancestral aid, gods and goddesses.....myself as the center and receiver of all positve energy to change my life for the better, helping others through Magick, Tarot, Touch, if they request it (no, I do not do love spells---for you should never try to control another).
Being Open Minded, Non-Judgemental (except to mean people and pediphiles and rapists)
Trusting everyone, being friendly to everyone until they hurt me....then I simpley let them live their lives without my friendship and help. Soiunds egotisticle, but just a way for me to protect myself.
Not worrying about what everyone else thinks.....this works for me in my life....yes, it is that simple.
Yes, Nature can be cruel, but not evil...it just is what it is. The cat Will tease and kill the mouse....the porcupine Will chew on the tree until the tree is ruined....animals get rabies or other killling diseases...floods do happen....people are killed.
Did you ever think that Nature is this way for a reason. People say they have to cull the deer population because there are too many.....maybe there are too many people who have killed the natural preditors.....maybe there are too many people PERIOD. Disease is Nature's way of 'culling the herd'---people are part of Nature----disease kills people---HMMMM. Now there is something to contemplate!!
It is sad when someone we love dies, but I do not believe that our energy, our life force, our "soul" ends with death. Now maybe that is just a carry over from my Christian upbringing, but I do believe that everything has a certain amount of energy that continues and, perhaps, is reincarnated.
Gods and Goddesses----they would be nothing without someone believing in them. But, the more energy that is put into a god or goddess, the stronger they become, whether it is positve or negative energy values placed upon them. We make them what we believe them to be.
WORDS MATTER---EVERYTHING you say, EVERYTHING you do has consequences. Give a child a dirty look and see how you change that childs attitude. Give a child a hug and see how they respond. Treat an animal with respect and see just how intelligent they can become (actually they are very intelligent, people don't give them the credit due), constantly berate an animal and see how cowardly or mean they become, cut down a tree and see how many insects and birds you harm.
No I am not a vegetarian! Why? Because I cannot live without meat, but then again maybe I should have died years ago. My views on using animals for food. Raise them yourself or buy free range meat. Treat the animal with respect and give them the best life you can give them. Kill humanely!!! Thank the animal's spirit for sustaining your life.
It is all Nature's way of controlling earth and the beings who live here.
PEOPLE ARE NOT SUPERIOR TO ANIMALS OR NATURE!!! We must all live together on this planet. The Native Americans had it right--we do not own the Earth, we are part of the Earth---if we decimate other species, we will be destroying ourselves.
......more views on Pagainism/Wicca to follow soon......
I have had so many different experiences with religions, mostly Christian, but am now not a Christian.
Now, before you say "You are going to hell if you don't repent and get right with the lord."- Read this! Besides, what right do you have judging me. Doesn't your own book, the Bible, tell you "Judge not, lest ye be judged"?
Jesus taught love and tolerence, yet I am very hard pressed to find a True Christian.
First of all, I was raised a lax Lutheran and then one of Jehovah's Witnesses during my childhood. What a combination that was. From, anything you do is okay as long as you go to church on Sunday and are confirmed when you are 13 years old---to everything is wrong, everything you have been taught is wrong, we are the only ones who have the truth, and you can't even watch a movie without worrying about demons.
After leaving home at 17 years of age, I was without religion of any kind for a few years, went back and tried Jehovah's Witnesses again--REALLY TRIED---but you are never good enough. Then I lost my twin daughters. One reason the doctors didn't even try to save them was because I was brainwashed into believing that blood transfusions were completely against God's Law. I blame myself for being so stupid as to believe this and going along with it, but I also blame the people who taught me that it would be a sin against their god, against the twin's souls, and against my soul, to allow the doctors to try to save my girls lives. So instead I had a funeral for them.
That was in 1977 and I still mourn for them.
After that, I went into a deep depression and finally came to the decision to either kill myself or leave my alcoholic, abusive husband and get a divorce so I could start my life over----both of which, by the way, are against Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs.
After meeting my second husband, I "found" Jesus (didn't even know he was lost). I became a born-again, tongue speaking, ultra religious, judgemental, preacher of the "Word". I taught Jesus love every where and to whom ever would listen. I prayed, went to church three or more times a week, was the best Christian I could be, studied the Bible in depth, tried to convert people, and lived everyday never being as perfect as I could be, always failing, always feeling guilty, always trying harder to be something that was impossible to be. And never getting the answers I needed. But, being told that was the mystery of faith, that all I had to do was believe harder, have more faith, give more to the church, pray more. It didn't work kids. Like I said, I was judgemental, especially against gay people. Guess what! The Universe placed several gay people in my life. My eyes were opened to the fact that sexuallity has absolutely nothing to do with being a wonderful, loving person. My best bud in the world is still my friend. He doesn't like labels, but he has struggled for years with his sexuallity. I've learned to just be there to support (no matter what), help when asked, not judge on sexuallity, just be there when needed.
The one thing I'd like to say to everyone who judges another, for whatever reason, is: Clean up your own life, be the best person You know how to be, learn, learn, learn (not just what you think you believe in, but about every lifestyle, every religion, every viewpoint)---WITH AN OPEN MIND!!!
Getting back to my experience with religion: I again became disallusioned and depressed with everything. My son was still disabled, I was still living in poverty, my second husband didn't come back to me, I still had a dibilitating disease---my life was hell and God/Jesus just didn't seem to care.
Then I met my present partner. His son had gotten a book from the library called "Wicca: A Solitary's Guide".
It taught me that we are responsible for our own lives, we make our own futures, our own happiness, but we can ask the Universe and Nature to show us the Path to Knowledge and Wisdom. I was so impressed that I copied the entire book longhand so that he could return it to the library.
We moved to Florida where I found a little shop, I guess you would call it "New Age" where I started taking classes on the Elementals, Meditation, Past Life Regressions, Tarot, Runes, Wicca and other forms of Paganism.
WOW! (Thank you, Deborah.)
I am very seldom depressed, take responsibility for my own life, past and present, learn from my mistakes, go with the flow and take every day as it comes.
I believe that Nature is our friend and Mother, not our enemy. I believe that we ARE responsible for our own lives, not some being in the heavens or a devil. We can be kind, good, caring, loving, and helpful without being "saved" or part of a group. I do believe in Universal Law---"whatever you do, be it good or bad, will comes back to you times three." I will not say that you are wrong in your belief, because if it works for you and is good for your life, wonderful. But don't tell me that what you believe is good for me. You do not know me. You have not lived in my life or experienced the things that I have experienced. IT'S ALL RELATIVE!!! What is relative and good in your life is for you and no one else, not even your children or your spouse. Each of us is an individual and have experienced our life in our own way. You can take five children raised in the same family the same way, but each has experienced their life and upbringing individually. So please don't profess to know what is right and good for anyone else. Take care of yourself...be the best you can be....and let others find their own way. Yes, you can give them information, but it is up to each person to know what works for them and it is a crime to teach only one religion to anyone. Just because I'm different than you does not make me bad or evil.
Is my life all hugs and kisses? No. But, I can choose to be happy in whatever situation life hands me. Do I still get depressed? Sometimes. When things go wrong, my partner is being a craphead, if someone I love doesn't seem to care, the usual life things.....yes, sometimes I get depressed. BUT (and that's a big but) it doesn't last long. It seems when things aren't going well, the Universe puts something beautiful in my life.
To learn more on Paganism go to www.witchvox.com or contact me and we'll discuss.....NO PREACHERS PLEASE (I mean people who will judge me and want to talk at me without listening to anything anyone else has to say, i.e. closed minded people), I have, as previously stated, done much study and have made my choice based on knowledgable education.
Religion is here to teach us some ways to make a better life for ourselves, not to rule our lives. No one religion is right for everyone. Even each sect within a religion is not right for everyone. So don't tell me you have all the answers, I sure as hell don't, and do not believe that anyone does. Each of us learn in our own fashion. All we as individuals do is try to make life happier for those around us and ourselves. We can cooperate with anyone, as long as they don't try to "be the boss and know-it-all."
Manifest Destiny and Divine Right is just someone's way of saying: "I want to control what you believe and I have the right to lord what I believe over everyone. If you don't believe the way I do, I'll kill you, put you in jail, and persecute you into changing." What a crock!!!!
Fifty-three year old female, 220 lbs, graying short dirty blonde hair, green eyes, glasses. some day I mi8ght put up a picture, but do not believe in judging others by their looks, so appreciate the same in others. I am a light smoker, do not drink alcohol except A glass of wine or A beer once in a while.
I went to high school in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Did not graduate due to a horrendous home life and many emotional upsets at the time. Since then I have gone back to college for a aemester,after receiving my G.E.D., and proved to myself that I was not stupid as I had been led to believe. Grade point average was 3.7 woo-hoo. I would have graduated from high school in 1970, by the way.
I was married the first time to a man from Coon Valley, Wisconsin. It was a way for me to get out of working-ha ha. This proved to be a disaster! I stayed with him for 9 miserable year, had several miscarriages, lost twin daughters (born three months prematurely), had a few affairs, put up with his alcoholism, and finally decided to either leave or kill myself.
After this I joined a carnival for a season which was a trip in itself. At the last stop of the season I met my second husband. We were together for almost 16 years and had one son, who is now 25 years old. My second husband was my dream man, but I guess I screwed it up when I became ill with severe fibromyalgia and depression. He got tired of me always being tired and sick, became unhappy with our marriage, and decided to divorce me. I still miss him terribley, but have come to understand that, if ever given the chance again, I will know how to treat a wonderful, caring gentleman.
After this I went through several men, several changes, and met my present partner. We have been together for over eight years. It hasn't been altogether great, but not horrible. My present partner is somewhat emotionally detached, but treats me okay. We do have fun traveling. He brings me my coffee in the morning and is constantly trying to improve our home to make me comfortable.
One thing I have learned and decided is that each life experience should be looked at as a learning experience. I've also decided that you cannot go through life judging others, picking on the small stuff, being negative, or worrying about what everyone else wants or thinks of you. I'm short, fat, and not very good looking, but I have excepted that fact and am happy with myself. I have alot to offer in the way of friendship, knowledge on many subjects (including religion and cats), have not just "sat there", but have enjoyed and experienced life rather than expecting someone to make happiness for me.
On the negative side-- miscarriages, loss of children to death, sexually abused, physically abused, mentally abused, divorced twice, lost the love of my life, parental death, parental detatchment, having a child with a disability, having a troubled child who stole from me and was physically abusive, depression, tried commiting suicide, being judged because of appearence, being judged because of demeaner....lots of experience in life that could possibley help others. But, I do not believe that you should keep rehashing bad experiences over and over and over. All that does is keep you depressed. Rather, what I have done, is learn from the past, become responsible for my present situation, take care of ME, and enjoy every little beauty. Find love and enjoyment in the simple things of life--a cat's purr and the feel of their soft coat, a flower, the taste of honey right from the hive, a pretty stone, laughing, baking a tasry treat, being proud of your own talents, helping someone learn.
I titled my blog "Life in a Big Purple Bus" because that is exactly what I live in now. My present partner loves buses and has had several. Two and a-half years ago he had a stroke and had to give up his life work. When he got his settlement we bought an older (1990) Bluebird from the local bus company and then proceeded to convert it into our present home. It has all of the amenities, including a portable toilet.
Anyway, he and I and our two babies (feline children), live in the bus and travel between northern Wisconsin and southern Nevada, depending on the season.
First of all we bought a small pull-along camper, tore everything out, and built the couches, cupboards, tub, and table into the bus. Then we built a bedroom and bathroom in the back using scrape wood and a corner table we all ready had.
We have it set up for 110, 12 volt and propane usage on the furnace, refrigerators (two small ones), t.v.'s, and gas stove/oven. We only have plumbing for the kitchen sink as of yet, but hope to have a shower soon, even though we don't have hot water yet. We have two 50 gallon tanks under the bed for water, filling them about every three weeks and heating water for dishes and sponge baths on the stove. Most of the time we shower at his son's home, at truck stops, or campground facilities, which can be a pain, but works okay.
We finally decided (I think) that instead of a generator we would go with a few marine deep-cycle batteries, inverters, and the bus engine for power when we don't have a place to "plug-in". We have been looking at generators, but have found that we can run the diesel engine cheaper than many generators we have found and batteries and inverters will give us much of the power we need. Most of the time, in the winter when we are down south, we do not use power during the day and only use electricity after dark for television, roaster or microwave, then only for about four to five hours. This generally burns about two to three gallons of fuel, close to a half gallon an hour. The refrigerators stay cool enough with just that little bit of power throughout the day.
Last winter we spent at Lake Mead, outside of Las Vegas, with no electricity and very little water, but made it just fine with running the engine a few hours a day, getting water from the large expensive campsites (free water), showering for $2 each and sponge baths, and dumping at the campsites and restrooms. It worked out very well. The temperature was between 45 degrees Fahrenheit and 80, so we did not have to use the furnace very often.
We had to find different places to park every fifteen days, but there are plenty out there. And the best part of staying in the desert by the lake is IT IS FREE!!! Since we are on a very fixed income, we saved money by not paying for a site, especially near Vegas!!