I just know you’ve been waiting for the post on the new sleeping arrangements, lol.  A lot has happened since my last post, and that will be revealed in good time, but today I’m going to show you what was changed up in Freedom.

Previously the boys and I have been using the folded down bench seat for a bed. I never felt the need to use it as a couch, so it always stayed down as a bed, but even then there were drawbacks, such as the very small space underneath.  About the only thing that would fit were those very shallow plastic lidded boxes about 8” high.  There is a bar underneath the bench seat that allowed the seat to be folded down and back up very easily, but that bar also took up valuable real estate. Van dwellers know the value of that!

The bed was relatively comfortable; we utilized a narrow Thermarest mattress and a yoga mat together to make the padding wide enough and topped it with a cut-to-size piece of memory foam.  Pretty comfy, but always in the back of my mind was the storage that was being wasted. And needed!

I researched a couple of options to replace that bench seat, one being dismantling a plastic shelving unit I have to store my household tools and use those as a platform. Lots of measuring and envisioning what it would look like pretty much eliminated that idea.  The clincher was the fact that the width of the pieces were a skootch too small to fit over the wheel wells.  A skootch, yes.  THAT close.

That brought us to Plan B, and also utilized some things we already had on hand; my two-drawer plastic units I used for recycling.  Keeping the units together made for LOTS of storage (Eight big drawers!), but it also made the bed a bit too high. Not only would I not be able to sit up in bed comfortably, but it also blocked the only small windows–actually just wings–in the back from delivering air where it needed to be. Under the bed wasn’t where it needed to be. More importantly, The Chiweenie Brothers would not be able to jump up there very easily, and Chiweenie Brother comfort is top priority!

Discovering that those two-drawer units come apart, they were dismantled. I used four of the units (now one-drawer each) to make a sturdy platform on which to use a ¼ inch piece of cut-to-size plywood for the top.  Put together, the bed came ALMOST even with the sills under each window in the back. With the mattress in place, it would be perfect.  Half the drawer space, but a better arrangement, and the small wing windows can be opened for much needed ventilation.  The Chiweenie Brothers can easily get to their nest.


From the front, inside living area                        From the back, storage area side

I had previously purchased an extra wide sleeping bag to use as bedding, quilt, duvet all rolled into one in order to end the hassle of trying to make up that bench seat bed every morning. Those are not easy to contend with when it comes to making the bed.  Now I have a bed that will be much easier to make, but I also have this brand new sleeping bag with a sheet liner I fashioned to put inside.  We’re going with the sleeping bag. It’s easy, cozy, and big enough for The Chiweenie Brothers to snuggle into, too.  Burger has his own little spot between the two storage towers that I had enough room to install on the backside edge of the plywood. Three drawers in each of those towers face to the inside, the bottom ones I rearranged to open to the storage area in back.

The old, narrow Thermarest was replaced with a wider version which works perfectly with the new sleeping bag. Before putting the bedding in place I put a couple of extra blankets on the platform; perfect place to store unused bedding. Completely out of the way and takes up absolutely no measurable space.

The Thermarest and my memory foam were encased in a cot cover which is the perfect sized solution to keep it all together. We haven’t tested this out yet, but I think it will work just fine. There also appears to be enough room in said cot cover to add a couple more inches of memory foam if we need it.

DSC_0354 Thank you so much for stopping by today. Hugs, Shawna

“Most will give up an acre of freedom for a closet of security” ~ Dr. Idel Dreimer



A Few New Things

Hello Friends, and welcome to two new readers!  The boys and I appreciate your interest and look forward to getting to know you!

Before we get started on the really important stuff, here’s a shot of my wisteria.  It never blooms, but being frost bit twice this spring and having to start over with leaf production didn’t hurt it.  She’s now growing New Dawn roses  😉 …


Life is crazy as usual, and there’s just so much to get done. I am encouraged that I may get the house on the market this summer after all, but as in all things right now, it’s not written in stone.  The leaky roof in the sun room has been repaired (by yours truly), and a dear friend drove 250 miles to help me with the ceiling. Thank you Frannie! I could not have done it without you!  Sheetrock is heavy stuff and even with cutting it down into fourths, at times it was a rodeo getting it up there.  Hands, heads, and cut-to-length 2 x 4s all came into play. All that’s left is to finish mudding, and then texture and paint, and a few other minor things around the place.  And the on-going downsizing of all the “stuff”.  We’ll see how it goes. If our adventure doesn’t happen this year, the boys and I are fully prepared to spend another winter here, BUT we do have some little adventures planned so that will take the sting out of it.

There hasn’t been much going on in Freedom while all this sale (or rent) prep has been going on, but I did get the dash cover put in and the Ventvisors installed.  Such little things, but they make my heart sing. Progress. It’s all progress, no matter how small. I brought her home to give her a wax job, and these two items were just frosting on the cake.  The Ventvisors will allow for the front windows to be left down almost two inches when it rains, so that will be nice.  Very easy to install and the company sends along a tiny little scrubby pad and two tiny alcohol wipes to clean up the window channel before you put the visors in place. They are kept there with strong adhesive strips that are pre-applied to each vent.  We’ll see how they hold up.



Oh, I almost forgot. I got new license plates for the van after one of mine was stolen while the van was parked in storage (they tried to get the back one, too,  the one  with the current year’s sticker on it, but I had it parked as close to a building as possible, so they were unable to get to it ). The new plates were installed with screws that have an  out of the ordinary head along with another type of screw, and yet another type with a hex head thrown in the mix for good measure. Someone is going to have to be very prepared if they want to try and steal my new plates.  ;-). As long as she’s parked in my driveway, though, I am not worried, because The Chiweenie Brothers are the best little watch dogs ever.  So bring it thieves, we’ll catch you the next time! We’ll catch you anyway, no matter where she’s parked.  You guess how.

Signing off for now. A much bigger project is in the works for Freedom, so see you back here when it’s complete.  Not to be a tease, but here’s a hint: Major change in sleep arrangements. And no, it’s not a man!

Until then, happy trails.  Hugs, Shawna

“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even TRY.” Jack Canfield