For a Tiny Kitchen

More little things for Freedom.  It is so satisfying to get even the smallest thing done for our future “we-are-on-the-road-and-living-the-life” day. 

The small colander, enough to drain a can of vegetables or fruit or enough pasta for one person, [No boys (AKA The Chiweenie Brothers) you do not get any pasta]  caught my eye because it is “my” color and I just had to have it.  The grater–in paddle form– was a no brainer.  I prefer a box grater, but it would take up too much room, so this was a good purchase I think.  The tiny spatula was already in my sticks and brick’s kitchen as was the paring knife. 

I also bought these “blind spot” mirrors and this little pouch to store flash drives and extra  SD cards. 

These items are all over the place in relation to each other, but what I buy is dictated by how much in household goods I have sold, so it depends on what my ‘budget” for the week can handle.  I am putting the biggest chunk of dollars earned by selling items from the S/B (sticks and bricks house) into my solar fund, you know, so we can be off-grid and have a way to run all the electronics, etc. 🙂

That is what has been happening this week for the great escape plan.  Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs.  Have a good one.  Hugs, Shawna

Tape Won’t Work

Well, as life would have it, things need to be re-done because a good idea went south.

I posted a couple of weeks back about several things I had done in Freedom to make life a bit easier, and one of those was a couple of LED lights attached to the ceiling to make it easier to find our way inside after dark.  The whole precept was open the door, step up, push the light tab and voila’ LET THERE BE LIGHT.  It worked very well until the heat from our current day time temperatures (and it’s March, so even though it’s warmer than usual, it is not that hot) made the inside of the van warm enough to render the glue on the sticky tape unfit to hold the lights up. I found them on the floor. 

Experienced van dwellers know what they are talking about; tape is usually not a good choice for adhering items to any surface inside a vehicle.  It just gets too hot inside. 

Sooooooo……..  these terrific little lights will be reinstalled using screws.  Fortunately there are holes already drilled on the back plates so it was an easy fix.  And interesting that the company knew about the tape situation! Perhaps that’s why they caution against using the tape. BWAAAAAA.

I won’t bore you with another picture of said lights, but if you would like to be reminded of which ones I am talking about you can see the former post HERE.

Can’t have a post without a pic, so here’s a shot of the hyacinths that are in glorious bloom.  Ahhhhh, spring.  There’s nothing like it! 

Thank you for stopping by Two Dogs today.  Enjoy your Sunday and have a wonderful week.

Hugs, Shawna


A Nifty Little Idea

even if I do say so myself. 
I wanted some way to be able to hang up a few pictures and notes in the van, but the interior is covered in fabric and I am loathe to stick pins in it.  Yes, that will probably change, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.  Freedom is still too new (to me) and I just can’t bring myself to stick pins in her.  At this time…

What I came up with as I was lying in bed waiting for the sand man to visit and dreaming about heading out on the “Big Adventure”  was fabric-covered sheet metal attached to the little hidey-hole cupboard doors on either side of the on-board television which, by the way, is analog and useless in this digital age; but I digress.  The idea blossomed into a plan and here’s how it all went down.  It has a good ending.

I called the local lumber/steel/recycling place and asked if they carried sheet metal and if so, could they cut it to size for me….and they could.  And I was happy. 

The cuts were a little rough, but I used a heavy duty nail file to smooth them up a bit. Next step was to drill small holes in the metal so I could attach the sheets to the doors. I decided to use small nails.  Only time will tell if that was a mistake.  If it was I will have to remove the nails and use screws. 

 The next step was to add double-faced carpet tape to the sheet metal, then cut my chosen material to size leaving a hefty border around all sides, remove the backing to expose the top side of the tape and “wrap” like a present.

Before taking my little wonders out to install on the doors, I took a pair of needle nose scissors and poked a hole in the fabric where the holes were drilled into the metal.  They were easy to find by feel.  I probably could have skipped this step because I used nails, but if I ever need to use screws instead, I don’t want the fabric to wrap around the screw and I think that’s exactly what they would do and possibly pull the material out of shape or pull it away from the carpet tape on the back.                                                            

 Here’s the sheet metal, wrapped and nailed to the cupboard door.  All ready for magnets and pictures of that new grand baby!  😉

On the To-Do List will be fixing, covering, doing SOMETHING with that gaping hole left by the TV.
Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs today.  Hugs, Shawna

A Few New Items For Freedom

What do you do in the depths of winter to entertain yourself?  There’s TV, the occasional walk, playing with the dogs, the internet, and FaceBook, reading…  Yes, there’s all that, but most of my spare time has been spent dreaming about the day I get to pack up Freedom for more than just a few days’ stay somewhere.  For that time when the dogs and I pull out of the driveway of our sticks and bricks home that is no longer ours and we head out on the open road to whatever adventures come our way.  The day we make Freedom our permanent home. 

Part of getting ready for that future date is the continuing work on Freedom to make her our comfy-cozy little abode on wheels.  The desk/kitchen table I made is installed, and we have several plastic drawer units in place.  The bed is more comfortable than the one in our house, and I continue working on the little things while saving for getting a few more of the big things (think solar), and some confidence to install it, but that’s another post.

Below is the desk/table installed in Freedom.  In the center is the cooler cube I purchased and the cover I threw together for it.  I definitely need to make another one that is a bit bigger, or more appropriately ‘fuller’, and cover the cube with Reflectix, but for now this works.  It’s not only my ice chest but also the seat for my desk/table.

I have an on-going list of things on my wish list at Amazon and was able to purchase a couple of items earlier this month and got them installed.  It seemed I did not have enough light to my liking, especially something that was handy and something I would be able to turn on when entering the van in the dark.  These LED battery operated stick-on lights from Amazon work perfectly and throw out a good amount of light.  These are on the ceiling, one towards the front right at the side doors and the other is toward the back near the bed.

The other item I purchased was a drink holder.  I loves me some coffee or tea while on the move and Freedom, being an older gal, did not have the kind of cup holders that worked with my to-go cups.  Searching Amazon (I love that store!) I found an adjustable holder that I was able to attach over the top of the console where the integrated holders were.  It works really well and doesn’t look too bad at all. I positioned it so I have a little opening to stash a pen or two and I can put a notepad behind the holder.  Am thinking the holder on the right might be useful for the GPS.  Will try that out during the next short road trip.

Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs today and following along as we get Freedom ready to roll. 
Have a great week!  Hugs, Shawna


More Details on Freedom

Hello friends!  Happy New Year!

 Before I decided to combine Two Dogs and a Single Life with my van conversion, I bought the van (Phase One) and began Phase Two (converting her to be livable), so you are going to have to use your imagination on how she looked inside before I got my hands on her and started putting the dreaming and planning into action.  I have this need to journal the process but I got ahead of myself and didn’t take inside photos.

Freedom is a seven passenger vehicle:  Front seats, two middle seats, and a bench seat in the back which also happens to fold down into a bed.  This was very convenient as it meant one less thing to add to her and I could potentially take off on short trips right away since the necessity of a comfortable place to sleep was at the ready, just add bedding.

My oldest son was the one who checked her out for me and took her for a test drive and then called and said “Mom if you are going to do this, this is the one.  It’s mechanically sound and in very nice condition.”  OK!  Let’s get this deal done!  Thank you Scott.

My youngest son helped me get the two middle seats out and they are now in my grandson’s bedroom and he uses them as gaming chairs.  HA!  A dry place to store them and he has a a comfy chair in which to sit while playing his video games.  Thank you Jeremy!

So with the middle seats gone all that was left was to plug the holes where those seats were bolted to the floor and that was easily accomplished with some plastic plugs from the hardware store.  I vacuumed the rug and then began measuring and taking notes and trying to envision what would go where, what I would need, etc.  I have a file folder titled “The Van Plan” which had a few notes in it, but recently it has become stuffed with more notes and lists……the plan is in action!!

I knew I wanted to get some Reflectix for the windows to provide not only some insulation against heat and cold but also for privacy at night when parked.  I had never heard of Reflectix until reading some very good blogs on vandwelling, namely Bob Well’s and all the wonderful members of this group who contribute and share what they have done in their vehicles (and trailers, camper shells, you name it.)  There is a ton of information there and everyone is so generous with their knowledge.  Also, the VanDwelling group on Facebook started by the lovely Brenda Curtiss. I am honored to be part of her Vanily.  She also has a wonderful blog, that has a ton of information for vandwellers along with some really good ebooks on the subject.  I devoured all these sites had to offer, sometimes my head spinning with ideas or decisions or with just the shear magnitude of choices. 

So how to finance all these things I needed for living in a van?  At present I am unemployed and there just isn’t any extra cash. The tentative plan is to perhaps one day actually live in Freedom, but even if I just become a Snow Bird, I will have to downsize.  Bob’s suggestion is to start getting rid of things, and I felt that I should start now and not leave something like that to some last-minute-mad dash-going-crazy event, so, I began going through my home finding things that I not longer used, wanted, or needed and I posted them on our local Swap and Trade Facebook group to get some cash to get Freedom fixed up the way I want.

This downsizing isn’t something that just popped in my head.  I have been planning on downsizing and getting rid of a lot of things so that when the time comes my sons don’t have as much to deal with.  I truly want to make it as easy on them as possible.  If I am living in a van with nothing but what’s in Freedom, that should do the trick!  I’m making jokes, but truly it’s a win-win situation for all concerned.  If I don’t become a full time vandweller I have my home pared down to something manageable, and if I do become a full time vandweller, the extraneous “stuff” will be gone and the final dash to freedom in Freedom will be that much easier. 

So that’s enough for today. Once I get past the “beginning” my posts will not be so long and you can join me in the process of making my new travel home a haven of comfort and convenience; please bear with me.    I leave with a couple of photos of the area surrounding the Burney Basin/Intermountain Area. It’s a gorgeous place!

To seek and see and live life, rather than existing.  This is part of the plan. 

Burney Falls

Mt. Lassen

Mt. Shasta

I didn’t take these photos and because they were taken off the Internet and so small, they are a bit fuzzy at the medium setting.  Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs today!  Hugs, Shawna