Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Yule is one more cog in the "Wheel of the Year." In fact, it means "wheel." It is also called Winter Solstice. Yule is the longest night of the year and the point when the days slowly begin to lengthen again. In Pagan theology and myth, Yule marks the rebirth of the Sun, the promise that light and warmth will return after the cold months.

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

Saga Of The Purple Bus

The past three weeks have been very stressful and interesting, to say the least. Before we left for our annual trip, I had checked the charts and found out Mercury was going to be in retrograde until the 14th of Nov. I was a little leary about traveling during that time, but it was very cold in northern Wisconsin, so we decided to leave anyway.

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.
Same Day-later:
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

50 Reasons To Not Believe In God

Found this site through a group I belong to. Take the time to go to it and look through the reasons.
Great!!! Join in and fight delusion.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Is Sexual or Physical Abuse An Excuse?
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

Wisconsin Is Moving Backwards

I wish I could go on T.V., statewide, and read this aloud.
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

Bus For Sale

FOR SALE:(pictures available)
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.
Trailer hitch.
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.

I have written about this bus and our lives on it at:
Life In A Big Purple Bus

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Back on The Bus

Been back with the old man for a month or so. Doing very well. Stocking up for the winter.
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.