running to stand still

It's been almost a month and I've not yet gone to visit a single friend of mine. This is killing me because one of the ones I really want to see had their first babies a few months ago and I've got some gifts for the little ones. It's not without good reason as you'll read but I do still feel a little guilty for not having made it out. You already know about half of what has kept me occupied so here's the other half.

I've been going through and over everything my parents do and/or need done while I'm here. One of those things is their backyard. Small as it may be, there's a huge (slowly rotting) gazebo which takes up half the yard. Both my mother and sister nixed my plans to slowly take it apart because they're worried about me possibly being injured without health insurance. The folks don't have the money to hire someone to handle it so I don't see any other way. Besides I have a truck and can haul the dismantled lumber away easily enough. I would've started already (regardless of their concerns) but am waiting on my cousin to remove the big lamp attached to it. Electricity is one of those areas I simply won't take a chance with, and best left to him since he's the electrical engineer. What I have done so far was removed the excess stuff that had accumulated. In truth it wasn't much stuff but it was still an eyesore. The other thing I did back there was to till/water the small L shaped corridor of soil there because it hasn't been touched in about six years. They gave up planting anything because sissy's dog kept on peeing on and/or attacking whatever was there. I've been doing roughly every 3 days which seems to have freshened up the place a bit. There's no longer a strong stench of urine coming from the dirt even tho there are two dogs fertilizing it now. Oddly enough I've read that urine is one of the best things for plants to grow and helping the soil retain nutrients. In the next week or so I'm going to plant some summer veggies and see if there's any truth to the urine thing. I'm ready to plant but first me and Oreo are going to have a long talk about what we do not do to the nice plants. I can't help but feel I'm about to embark on a lost cause.

Oreo in her anime pose

The other big thing that has occupied my time has been going through the kitchen with my mom. Mostly we're been getting rid of whatever is no longer used and reclaiming a lot of lost space. I'm also glad to say that watching all eleven seasons of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (UK & US editions) has payed off. Most of it was stuff I had personally put into practice based on preparing for this lifestyle, but I also learned a lot of things I did not know about. This knowledge is getting put to use on not only mom's fridge, but also sissy's kitchen too. It's nothing as nightmare'ish as you see on the show. Some of the practices are mildly unhealthy but mostly I'd like the family to be around as long possible. Standards!

Now that things have settled down a bit I've also had a chance to review (yet again) my list of stuff to buy to go fulltime. Mainly the solar power stuff and portable genny. Everything has thankfully remained the same pricewise along with the usualy few minor improvments that come with time. The plan is to start buying when I'm a month away from departing and getting eveything setup while I'm someplace where I can fix it if need be. I hate trying to make repairs while on the road and hope to mitigate that pain by doing this.

That's all I got for now.


  1. Add ash, as in wood ash from someones fireplace. The addition of dog pee, or any pee will be like miracle grow. I always like to dump the ash in a pile on the garden, then I can just kick ash.

    1. Thanks for the tip! Everyone around here has gas fire places (yuck), but I know there's someone around here who uses those backyard firepit things you get at home depot.

      I suppose I could find someone named Ash kidnap and bury them neck deep in a sort of vegan version of motel hell.