back to school?

Maybe, maybe not. Today sis took me to the local junior college (which happens to have one of the best culinary arts programs) so we could find out where I'd need to start. The student center was closed, but there were a few people still in the building. We managed to get all the info we needed because the info desk was still manned. It's a close call and I may be able to start the spring session, but if not I can definitely start the summer one. I'm also looking into what financial aid programs can pay my way through this. Lord knows I paid more than enough into the system over the last 30 years and it wouldn't hurt to get some of that back.

In the meantime, the city community center offers a few cooking classes. They're a good starting point for me to get a feel and decide if I wanna go further. The cost is very low so I can afford to pay out of pocket for them.

So whilst I wait for the call from the sanctuary I'll take the cooking classes, apply for the culinary program/grant and/or loan, and find some crappy part time job to replenish the savings. If the sanctuary calls me with positive news I'll drop what I'm doing and head out. At least for two weeks. They do this so that we can assess each other. If they like what they see, they'll make me an offer. Likewise if I like what I see, I'll accept it. If not, then I'll return and start the program (providing I arrive before the session starts).

The more I think about the culinary program the more I'm excited by the thought of what I'd learn there. That's not to say that I would be any less excited to start working with animals. I could prioritize either as the primary since my love of both is equal, but am keeping animals at the forefront.


should I stay or should I go

I was ready to leave. I turned in my notice with the RV storage people, purchased the generator, and had everything packed. In that final hour I changed my mind and decided to stay. For how long I'm not sure yet. Nothing about leaving felt good or right to me that day. Mostly because of what's happening with my little sister. Truth be told this decision broke my heart but I knew it was the right one. I was depressed to the point where I sequestered myself in a bedroom for two days and only played Angry Birds. I finished the game. I was so stressed out about everything that that stupid game helped me to take my mind off things and re-center myself. Oddly enough, my sister was the one who consoled me. She was right in reminding me that everything happens for a reason, and to listen to your inner voice when it says something you're about to do is wrong. A few other things also came into play.

The friends I was to meet up with had to cancel for different reasons. We're still planning on meeting up out in the desert for a camping trip though. Something that's overdue, and desperately needed by me. I'm looking forward to getting out there in one of these future weekends, schedules permitting.

Since I had delayed my initial departure by two weeks I had also forgotten about my nephew's birthday. His party was this last Sunday and he turned four. Had I left on the 14th I would've returned the following weekend.

Over the last (almost) two weeks I've been looking at picking up some part time work to replenish the savings a bit. I could try for an IT job which would replenish those savings very quickly, but it's your standard 8-5pm kind of thing. I'm really looking for flexibility with my time and hoping to put it to some good use. My sister suggested that maybe I should enroll in a culinary arts program, or at least take a few cooking courses. I love cooking and it would add another skill towards earning a living while full timing. Not that I wish to make my living this way all the time, it's more of a personal passion. At this point, it's a possibility which I'm entertaining. My sister is helping me look into it since I'm now technically a non state resident.

My eye is still on working with animals. I recently applied for an entry level position with an animal sanctuary. If I got it I would be leaving to live and work there since it's in another state. I know that I stayed because of my sister, but she's doing better now. I'm feeling more comfortable with leaving, but am seeing how things progress week by week. We'll see.


blow me away

Sissy is doing better. I saw her and the nephew when we all went to lunch Monday. Yeah I know, I pushed it back again. I'm leaving on Friday, and will get back to that in a minute. She was visibly upset about something when we arrived at the restaurant. She had to step away due to an important phone call but returned looking less upset and more stressed. She's had a lot on her plate and was working out how to tackle it all in her head. This was such a good sign and really put me at ease. So now that this major concern is on the wane, I exhaled.

Over the weekend I did absolutely nothing towards getting ready for my departure. With all that happened over the prior week I really needed to decompress. Doing so helped a little but that's when my overactive imagination took over and started scaring the shit outta me. Sometimes I really hate the human brain, mine in this case. I started playing out all kinds of the worst case scenarios of what might happen to me or worse yet, my beagle. The anchored part of me has already been out there and experienced it. So I know I love it, can do it, and will make it work. If I had to analyze it, I think what's freaking me out is that my prior outings took place with me returning to a home/job or a place where I know I could stay indefinitely. Not that I want to live with mom and dad indefinitely. They're partially responsible for my relapse into this kind of thinking. It's old world fear mongering that's culturally in them when it comes to what I am about to do. So these fears are compounded when you add the recent incurred expenses for the maintenance and generator. And to underscore the fear the latter two were already accounted for in my finances/plans too.

Today I ran around town getting a few rare items (the kind rural towns never stock). Mom had time to kill and accompanied me. She knew I was torqued about a lot of stuff and needed to regain my bearings. She listened and only made small talk the entire time. It wasn't until after we'd been home a while and she was leaving for my sister's place when I remembered. When I brought it up she said "you know you can come back here and stay if you need to, don't worry", followed by "I'll be back home tomorrow if you want me to run errands with you". Thanks mom, you're the greatest!

I'm good now. Although even though some more of her silent moral support wouldn't hurt, I'd really just like to spend some more time with her before I depart. For who knows how long this time.

Tomorow I'm picking up the generator, getting a tire rotation, and one more load to drive to the rig. After that I only have the packing/loading of stuff with me that I'm using until the last possible minute.

Yeah, I'm living in interesting times right now.

Blow Me Away by Breaking Benjamin on Grooveshark



This is gonna be a kitchen sink type post today. I've had too much to do, too much to think about, and not nearly enough time for all of it.

My packing/loading isn't complete, but I managed to catch a break. The friend I was to meet up with and I agreed to meet up next weekend. We both ran into a few setbacks where the extra time makes all the difference. I've pushed my departure to Monday or any day thereafter so long as I arrive before Friday of next week.

Before this decision was made I was seriously considering going without buying a generator (as was originally planned) to save money. I had no plans to stay anywhere with shore power, and figured on running my engine a few hours to recharge the house battery. Yeah, I know this is a bad idea. I could go solar and plan to eventually, but I've held off due to the cost. Right now I can get either solar or a generator, but not both simultaneously. The reason why I chose the generator first is because it was planned as the fallback for those times when solar isn't enough. For that reason it made more sense to get it first and then add solar. I did have funds earmarked for all of it, but staying with family kind of ate into that. Especially here in southern California where everything is ridiculously overpriced. I still have yet to pick it up, but will shortly.

Last year I got some maintenance work done on my truck. The timing belt and assorted parts were replaced along with an oil change. Unfortunately I couldn't afford to get all the work done and skipped having my CV boots replaced. I'd kind of forgotten about them. When I brought it in for another oil change two days ago, I was told that both boots were completely torn and had to be replaced. This was along with a valve adjustment, new spark plugs/wires, air filters, and oil/transmission fluids needing to be replaced. The downside was the cost, but the upside was the more expensive maint. costs would be good for the next 100k miles. Knowing I'm finally hitting the road, I got it all done. I simply can't afford to have my old girl running at nothing less than peak performance when out there. This costed me a day.

When I arrived here seven months ago I unloaded several boxes. I knew that when I left again, some would come with me while the others went into storage. In all that time I kind of forgot that I needed to go through some of them to separate out what was staying/coming. This is where it became difficult since I wasn't sure what items to leave/take. These were exactly the kind of things where it's better to have and not need than the other way around. This has also costed me quite a bit of time, and I'm still not finished.

My sister's current status has really been bothering me. Despite my inability to effectively help her, it's hard to leave someone in that state. I am feeling a little bit better today about her. I spent all of yesterday at her house while my truck was out for a spa day. I got to see how she's improved and starting to develop a routine again. The little guy is doing great and really stepping up to be mommy's little helper. I also really needed the down time, but this costed me another day.

I do enjoy those little victories life hands you from time to time. While going through my boxes I discovered at cost plus/world market gift card my sister had given me for xmas or my birthday a few years back. I gave this to my mom so she could get something nice for herself. The Honda service department gave me two free movie passes as a Thank you for choosing them for the truck's spa day. I gave them to my sister so her and the nephew could get out of the house and see something fun.