It’s been ages since I posted …time flys.


I’m still apartment living in Pa, at the moment, to be closer to family. Unfortunately, I just cannot take the cold weather, therefore, am waiting, for over a year now , to get back into my former Fl, senior apt. bldg. It will be nice to enjoy the Holidays with them this year, but after that…I HOPE the apt complex will finally have an apt for me…lol!


On my last post, in 2016, I was making jewelry, and selling at a farmer’s market. That whole journey created debt, instead of helping me save for a travel vehicle. Just one of those things…lesson learned, and I have been hitting it hard to pay that debt off. With the soon to be, move back to Fl and that, it will no doubt be at least another year before I can expect to get another vehicle. I have places I want to go and things I want to do, on my bucket list. 


Bucket List:

I want to travel the whole Fl coast…..metal detecting , enjoying the beach, and intensively exploring Fl  This will no doubt take several months.  Along with metal detecting, I’d like to collect my own crystals, shark teeth, etc, to use in art work. 


I’d like to camp and stay in the Sanibel Island area for a month, and just do lots of shelling and exploring.


I want to go to some permaculture /hearbalist /foraging /tiny house junkets.  Attending some Blue Grass or Country weekend events would be fun.  


If I manage to experience my fill of Fl, then I will move on to the rest of the USA.  Moving slowly, making friends, enjoying a simple life, yet comfortable.  If I ever find an ideal situation, where I can create a wonderful garden of my own, and live out retirement years enjoy a combo of that and travel….that would be a dream come true.


Merry Xmas!





Hello My Friends…….

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a post……..mostly because I’ve been apartment living and not traveling in my van. My current 2003 Ford Windstar, isn’t really a travel worthy vehicle. it does however , get me to the close by Farmer’s market, where I sell my handcrafted beach jewelry. The plan is to save enough for a better or even new Van, by spring of 2017.

I had a little fender bender this week. I was stopped at a stop light and a gent’s brakes locked up, and his truck slammed into my poor old van, and shoved me into another truck, in front of me. Thankfully , none of us were hurt. Of course my van looks a bit like a sardine can, crumpled. Amazingly, it still runs, and the air cond. still works , just like it used to….[when it feels like it…lol]

The fellow that hit me, had just bought his old truck, and hadn’t got plates yet, or insured it. I only have liability insurance. Butttttt….silver lining in the cloud………The guy took his lumps like a man should, and did the right thing by me. He put plastic on my broken window area, bungied up my front bumper, so I could drive it home, and then he settled with me on the value of my van, in cash, as repairs would have come to many thousand over value of the vehicle. I can still drive it to the market, and am looking into someone replacing the rear door/window for me. The front bumper will stay bungied, and the sliding doors don’t work perfect anymore…but it is still OK to be my hauler for the Market , which is only two blocks from home. All in all, there will be around $1500 to add to the Adventure Van Savings Account.

I feel like my faith in humanity has been restored a bit . This accident could have ruined my life both physically and spiritually, as well as taken away my only mode of transport. Guess I better think about getting full coverage and uninsured motorist coverage! I wrote this post…NOT to illicit sympathy, but to give an example of how bad things can happen to good people, and we need to be prepared for what Life throws at us.

I will probably keep my apt. and upgrade my Adventure Van, as time and funds allow. It’ll be nice to have my cozy cave to come home to , after my Adventures, and when it’s really hot or really cold outside.

Here’s some pics of my tattered Van now…………..






Now folks…….this is NOT meant to be instruction for everyone. It is only ‘MY TAKE’ and what ‘I’ve’ discovered , through the hard knocks sent my way.

So you are maybe stressed out with the ole 9-5, maybe close to retirement age, and haven’t lived as fully as you’ve wanted, or just fed up with paying ‘The man’ to live in a place, not own it, and have nothing left for working like a dog. Many reasons……we are each unique, special , and deserve to be HAPPY.


Some advice I wish I had taken in the beginning, is to go ahead and do some short stays in my current vehicle, whatever it may be…to test the waters. When I started out, I was just going to jump in both feet first. And I thought I needed the most perfectly outfitted mini rig possible. Boy was I way off!

If you are stressed out and want to take a stab at the freedom of the road, why not take baby steps. Anyone can sleep, even in their car at a truck stop, or any camp grounds that allows tent camping. While I was very comfy sleeping in my mini van in 24 hour shopping centers, a small car might stress me a bit there. It depends on your comfort level.

All you really need to take for an overnight, is a change of clothes and baggie of toiletries…maybe a lunch box cooler, if not eating out. A couple pillows and cozy throw….you are set for testing the waters. Be sure to research fun goings on. Don’t wait….go attend them….NOW. No need to wait for the perfect Van/RV…just Do IT!

STEP 2……
Ok so you’ve kept your job, saved and minimized, watched every utube vid on van conversions, and you are now mentally an expert at converting any kind of vehicle to your version of Rv Freedom. You have even figured out how to make a living on the road! You are READY to buy your Van or RV. So many choices…Ugh!

Hey…if you can afford a brand spank’in new 4 wheel drive, super cargo van…white for stealth of course,that is my first pick. Build it out exactly how you want. With this you’ll make mincemeat of those rutted roads…bla..bla..bla.

Oh….you’re just a sweet lil old lady and not going the rutted route, and can’t afford new….you need cheap, easy on gas, and don’t need a double bed. Ok… are a mini van camper….just like me! Get the best one you can afford and expect repairs. Have enough money to do any repair or replace the whole vehicle, before you start out. Boy did I learn that the hard way!

OMG……don’t buy anything till you absolutely can’t stand living without it! Then think on it a week, before buying. I know I wouldn’t buy a big cooler again, that guzzled ice. Shoot…..I ate bananas, nuts, fruit mostly and Mc Donalds dollar menu. In short….who wants to cook in a mini van? Ugh..not me. And boy did all that cook kitchen stuff take up a lotta room!

A good comfy sleeping space is crucial. 4-8″ of solid foam mattress is what most end up liking. I used a 6″ nice fold up chair/foam/twin bed, and it was great. Build a simple wood frame or use milk crates. I took lots of pillows covered in nice shams, so it looked good too. Like a couch or a bed.

I used plastic sterlite before, but this time it will be milk crates. But I am on a mission to do the next build almost for free. I have time, so will search out free postings for some or most of what is needed, just cause it’s a pet project. Of course…some folks use old wood furniture pieces. I’m on a milk crate binge, sooooooo!

GAS and Repairs………..These will be your greatest expenses. The longer you stay in one place, the less gas costs. Repairs can eat you up. You really do have to be prepared for those.

Washing…..Cheap gym membership, baby wipes, and sponge baths at restrooms………….not hard to be clean.

FOOD…..You probably won’t be baking cookies and cakes too much, but of course you can if you want! I noticed that a lot of us have gone to one main meal a day, with healthy snacks…hmmmm. Not too expensive and now we are walking a lot more….wow…..did I just go down a size in clothes! WooHoo!

HEALTH….That is what it always was for you. Same meds….be sure to prepare if traveling.

Electronics……Not even getting into THAT can of worms. Some need iphones and satelite . Others….a trac phone and library for internet. Geeks def. need their solar panels and battery banks. I was really happy to hook up at Mc D’s for some face book time. I DO LUB MOVIES…but when on the road….not so much…hang out chatting with peeps and beach and fire pit time more. When at the home stick n bricks….MOVIES and netflix every day. For me, a portable battery pack, charged as I drive is good to run a fan on me at night to be comfy.

Loneliness…..You may think mobile life will be a bowl of cherries. It CAN get lonely out there. How do you fill up all your free time now? It really pays to research via internet and travel centers to find all these neato places to Go..See..Do…at. Honestly…a Van is an ok place to sleep and store your minimal STUFF, but to live out of like a house…not so much. Some do…more power to em. Us Minivanners…..harder to turn it into a mini house full time, with all the comforts of home. I don’t know….to each his own.

Well friends…don’t bash me too hard. If I helped one person figure some things out…..YAYYYY!

Next blog will be outlining my plans for the new camper van build out.


It’s been about two years since I’ve had wheels. I was beginning to think I never would, and sink into life in the slow lane at the senior apt. complex…………………UGH!     At my one year reup time  I decided to do…….WHATEVER IT TOOK…….to have wheels again.

I made this happen in a bout 3-4 mos……so surprised myself. I clean house on anything I wasn’t using, and crafted and sold on ebay. 

This week I got………what in the 70’s we called a Hundred Dollar Van……only now they cost $1,000. Annnd you have to expect a few mechanical hiccups. My Black Beauty is a bit ruff around the edges……just like me…..and needs some TLC.    But ALL GOOD…….I have a mechanic on call…… runs…………AND IT’S A VAN. 

Oh…….she is a 2003 Ford Winstar….BLACK and Chrome.   153,000 miles…..and to be fair…..looks it. The night I bought her, she ran ok, and the air worked, tires not bald. The next day a couple issues arose, so I called the mechanic and got the low down. She’s going to need a little work………a blend door actuator……and am keeping an eye on the alternator and starter, as the mechanic believes the former owner stupidly sprayed the engine compartment out , and didn’t take care with covering things he should have. It’s charging, but intermittently the idiot light comes on. He said it may dry out and be fine, but we’re keeping an eye on it. Today the air and fan wouldn’t turn on, so maybe I blew a fuse or it has to do with that Blend door thingy. At any rate, all will be fixed soon. 

I got a craft table partner and will now be selling my hand crafted things locally, as well as ebay.   It’s been a really busy week. I can’t complain about being bored anymore. 

Once I feel BLACK BEAUTY is trustworthy, I’ll be taking her metal detecting, shell collecting, and all that fun stuff. Yaaaaay!

These pics are her in rough mode…..soon she’ll be all cleaned up and will be looking about as good as I do……lol. IMG_19800719_031913 332839176715 IMG_19800719_031923

I wanted to have on hand both a camping and SHTF cooking set up. I’ve been watching utube for all the DIY bushcraft set ups. There are a lot of alcohol burner vids out there, but I wanted as safe as I could make it , and KISS SYSTEM…EASY. Sooooo…I entered a couple auctions on ebay, and got a nice alcohol burner and set of 4 nested pans, on a separate auction, for a grand total of about $15.

I saved a #10 metal can to make a wind shield out of. I still have to drill air holes in it, or whatever modification is necessary. There is even room in it to have a 4 0z. bottle of fuel, if you want. When I’m out on the road, all I care about is heating water for coffee or dehydrated meals, so this is perfect for me. Whatever ingredient is in Heet for cars is one of the better fuels to use , or 70% alcohol. Either looks to have safe to transport containers, and pour out only an ounce at a time.

So now I’m ready to cook on the road….all I need is the Van…..working on that….selling crafts and just penny pinching. If not by this fall…for sure by next spring I will have one, once more.













Black and blue design...28" Diameter

Black and blue design…28″ Diameter


Here is a link to my ebay listing for this rug.

This rug is 28″ in Diameter, and made from blue jeans. I love to upcycle crafts from common items and nature’s bounty. Proceeds from my craft sales are going into a fund to purchase a Campervan, so I can enjoy some travel, in my retirement. Thanks for your support!

I haven’t done  a blog posting in quite some time…close to two years….wow time flys!

I’m still ‘off road….vanless’ , but I hold hopes of owning another at some future point in time, as the WANDERLUST SPIRIT still tugs at my heartstrings. I guess that’s what Peeps like me get for growing up as teens during WOODSTOCK, and all that baby boomer/free love/hippie period of time. …LOL.

I’m now safely situated for almost a year now, in a cute senior efficiency apt, with a gorgeous view of a park with fountain, and the Indian River , in the beach town of Melbourne, Fl. Living on blessed SS. now, I get by ok, but not much for extras….like a Van/Rv or travel. I promised my family I’d play it safe, and stick with the apt, so if I want to satisfy my wanderlust, it may have to be done a tad bit more creatively. 


A] Every so often, rent a car or even a U Haul van for a couple days, and just go to those special events, I’ve been missing. If camping is allowed at the events, it is very doable. One can’t really sleep stealth in a regular car though, so that is out. I love permaculture events and would love to go to some weekend bluegrass festivals and such. 

B] Go on a short trip with good friends that have RVs. I don’t have anything like that lined up, but I supposed it’s possible, 

C] Planes….yes ..fine for visiting relatives, but as I try to explain….That is just getting from point A to point B….not the enjoyment of the trip.


Even though I am Very camera shy….I am going to try to start making some utube vids of my various interest topics……weight loss/ crafting/ travel/ van-RV ing/ simple living/ frugal living/ DIY projects/ gardening/ etc. I guess after you get 1000 subscribers, you can monetize your vids and eventually actually earn a small amount for your film making efforts. Not a get rich quick scheme, but I have the time and it might be fun…so why not give it a try. At the minimum, maybe I can share some DIY’s and pass on crafting to the younger generation. 

My utube channel name is     ontheroadwith Joy          I hope you’ll enjoy it enough to subscribe! Thanks Joy

In the mearntime…here are a few pics of my kewl lil Granny Pad




As many of my friends know, I’ve experienced a challenging time the last few months, with my Mini van tranny going out, and making the decision to junk it out. My laptop broke down , as well a couple weeks ago. This leaves me with only my prepaid phone working . That’s the bad news……here is the Good News.

I was on the way to visit my kids for the summer, so have been having a fun time with them. My son in law is working on fixing the laptop, so all is not lost yet. They have graciously been letting me use their’s , as well as sharing a vehicle. My Sis also got to visit us here, so it was just great, getting to see most of the family. Butttt….this State…[Pa] is not my ‘home’ state, and I am used to flat lands and a warmer climate. I never intended to spend the winter here, and found it time to make some sort of plan for winter digs.

My bankroll wasn’t great enough to purchase a good van or rv and have extra for any potential repairs, so I opted on something else. I decided to go back to a comfort zone , area and abode. I called the mgr. at a +55 mobile home park I used to reside in, in beautiful Clearwater Beach , Fl. The park is small, simple, walking distance to shopping[need that with no vehicle], and reasonable. Even so, it would have been less expensive to rent a room share…but after being literally homeless for a while, I feel the overwhelming need to own ‘something’, for my peace of mind security.

Sounds weird, but I bought this place, sight unseen…basically over the phone. I had a trusted friend go look at it for me, and got the same verbal description the park mgr. gave me. A 3 bdrm mobile home that has been rehabbed…new flooring, paint, new water heater, and has a double roof. I flipped a couple mobile homes and know this is a move in ready situation…and the Price was Right. I wanted to be able to have a roomie or two, to off set costs, and the company can be nice, if it’s the ‘right’ roomie. Owning the home , paying lot rent, utilities, cable, buying furnishings, etc is costly. I also need to ‘get a real job’ for awhile and save for another vehicle, and get a decent nest egg built up.

I won’t be there till the 19th of Aug., but am testing the water for potential roomies. I am going for a good fit, lifestyle wise and am advertising for those compatible with ‘green living’. I have a few friends in the area, and have thrown myself on their mercies, willing to be happily surprised if they hook me up with anything and everything to stock and furnish the household, as it is empty. I am flying there. I managed to pack my beloved old drill and a few hand tools in the baggage that will go in the belly of the plane….a few clothes in the carry-on….laptop bag for my freebie carry-on [hoping the laptop gets fixed].

I’m feeling very confident now, as the whole process of finding and buying this home has gone seamlessly. I have big plans to create an example of permaculture gardening + energy saving…in small places. I will join a couple local ‘permie’ groups in Clw. It should be lots of fun. I always have to have a ‘project’ going on, as it keeps you young to keep busy.

For the future…..I’d still like to travel and either getting another van/Rv or traveling with a friend with one, will hopefully be in the cards. A ‘real job’…meaning punching a time clock, might hamper things for a while, but you never know. Working part time…one should have more days off, and short trips should be ok.

I hope to visit family more now. Miss them already , and I haven’t even left…lol

I’d love to plan meet ups with others, if they are passing through the Clw, Fl area.

A question that comes up while ‘on the road’, is: How can I eat healthy, with lack of stores around or refrigeration? So much easier to just buy canned or dehydrated foods….not?

Honestly, it’s not that much trouble to sprout seeds, for tasty greens to add to your diet. Use them in place of lettuce, raw and in cooking. make enough to use in a couple days, and no need to refrigerate. Keep two or three of my small D.I.Y. sprouter containers going, and you will have healthy greens whenever you want them.

Mix your sprout seeds for a taste variety. You can buy a mix called a ‘salad mix’. To get started fast, Just go buy a bag of mung beans or lentils in the grocery store. They make fatter sprouts, but if in a rush to start, and no health food store in sight, go for it!

How To Make A Recycled material Sprouter:

I like using empty cottage chez or sour cream containers, same diameter, but one short and one taller. Then drill holes in bottom of the short one..[5-6 holes are enough][smallest drill bit]…..or could poke with a hot nail or some such. Make holes so inside is smooth and any rough edges are on bottom. Also drill holes in the lid. Only need one lid.



STEP 1: Soak a heaping tablespoon of seeds in water, in the larger container overnight.

STEP 2: Drain in the morning , into the smaller container. Thereafter, rinse twice a day. Easiest to remember in the morning and before bedtime. In about three days, you’ll have sprouts ready to eat. When you see the first tiny leaves, they are ready. You set them in the sun for a couple hours to green them up. NOTE: While they are growing , you must simulate the effect of being in the ground, by keeping them in a dark place. Just cover your containers with a cloth to keep sunlight out , or store in a cupboard. The larger container catches the drips.

ENJOY: Toppings on sandwiches, in green juices, stir-fry, and as a salad. I love cottage chez/sprouts/sunflower seeds/and italian dressing salad.family200family201family209family210family211