Pic view from front seat. New sterlite drawers and bed frame.

Pic view from front seat. New sterlite drawers and bed frame.

Under bed storage

Under bed storage

I’m leaving the stick n bricks position and going to visit my family as of May 1st. This will be a Fl to Pa trip, and it’s time to devise a ‘new plan’ for the van configuration. I took many measurements, and sat in it thinking how it could be comfortable. Turns out , with my height of being 5’6′, I had room to do 9″ high legs on a bed platform.

I bought some sterlite drawer units and played around with how best they would go. I asked my friend’s sig other for a little bit of help, and he helped me…taught me…how to make a solid ,simple bed frame. We had to remove some remaining hardware from a console unit, and then a 4′ x 8′ piece of 1/2″ plywood fit perfectly on the van floor. I topped it with a $20 carpet from Wal mart. I braced the bedframe with lots of L brackets and corner brackets for added strength. I spray painted it black to match my decor. I tacked all the drawer units down with L brackets. I made velcro fasteners for the drawers to hold them shut while traveling. The outside portion was sticky, so covered it with black ribbon with a tiny tab to help grab it for opening.

I had a 6′ thick fold up chair/bed for the bed cushion. I love this thing! It can be a chair, a inclined lounger, and bed, as well as is comfortable and stylish as a couch. Now I can sit on it as a couch and use a drawer unit as a desk. I now have just enough room to navigate and not feel claustrophobic. I have about 10 ” of room behind the drawers, under the bed to put those larger loose things.

There is room for the porta potty, and a stool, towards the back. I have plenty of room to get in and out of the side door, as well as space for the 12v cooler.

These are pics of the basic configuration. Later on, after I have it loaded, we will have to see if it still looks fairly neat and homey…lol. It’s my goal anyways.

The setup empty

The setup empty

kale tub b

kale tub b

kale tub a

kale tub a



Today is 01/09/2013. I just planted my first plants in the jerryrigged, deep water culture, raft system I have come up with. This is an easy to do setup, minimal expense…as far as hydroponics go anyways.

I make a lot of green energy drinks, and use a lot of parsley, kale, choc. mint, lettuce, besides all the citrus , etc. I’m trying to go raw, as much as possible, but it’s a process. I figured , if i can grow some of the more expensive and most used plants , in an organic, hydroponic way, then I will have the best of nutrients available , and save $$$$.

For the small, simple system I have at this point in time, it should recoup the investment in 3 months, maybe less. This is what I spent:

Good 4 outlet air pump…….$27.95Bag of hydrogen…expanded clay pebbles….$10.99,                                                                                          3 inch net cups….24 @ .42 …$10.08                                                                                                                 air stones……….$6.00                                                                                                                                           25 ft. of air tubing, black…….$5.00                                                                                                                          Plants………………a couple packs and a 6″ parsley plant, I divided……..approx $8


To buy hydroponic lettuce, and herbs is out of this world in price at the grocery store, and I just won’t do it. $5 a head of lettuce…………..yeah right. But , of course I want the best, so stubborn me decided to do something about it. I watched utube for a month , seeing how other people did their simple systems.

Of course, once I get over the learning curve of making a bell siphon….much like how a toilet works, then I will do a flood and drain system, possibly above my aquarium….utilizing the pump for the aquarium. For now this raft system will do. With the raft system, if requires no water pump…only air. it’s drawbacks are……you have to plant same type plants, so one doesn’t rob another of nutrients, as the roots float in the water. Basically you do it in batches. I wanted to do a batch of lettuce, but could find no packs of lettuce to buy, and the seeds I started are not ready yet.

Sooooo…I did two tubs of kale, and one of parsley. I got the parsley from a well picked 6″ pot I have feasted on for a month. It looks very sad. I cut it up into 5 pieces, and we’ll see if the hydro system revitalizes it.

You have to rinse off all the soil from the plant’s roots, and then plant in the net cups, in the clay pebbles. I used a combination of some ‘tea’ the hydro store people gave me a sample of and some miracle grow liquid to start off. I will make my own ‘tea’ once I find a source of rabbit manure. I plan on making my own concoction with rabbit manure, compost, and some fish water.

I had 3 solid grey tubs, so used them to start. i scrounged cement blocks and three 2 x 4’s in approx 5 ” lengths for the shelf. I spray painted the shelf so it looked like I had a lick off sense, and wasn’t a redneck. Maybe a yuppie redneck…is there such a thing?????  I had styrafoam from my redneck air conditioner project, for the rafts. I did surgery on them with a vicious kitchen knife and cut the holes out with muscle and a wide mouth funnel. I cut a notch off a corner for the air tube to pass through. You have to make it snug, or alaege can grow and upset the apple cart, hydroponocally speaking. You don’t want light to reach the underside, and the air helps to keep ickiness from growing and your roots white.

I hope I did it right……will do weekly updates on the progress.

UPDATE:  Now it’s 04/18/2013…The project is over, and I will be hitting the road for a visit to family in Pa. It was interesting, but i didn’t really have enough light available for it, so plants didn’t thrive as well as I would have liked. Much better to do this sort of thing in a green house.

Hi folks………

As you all know, I was having issues trying to live with all my earthly possessions in the mini van, as well as not enjoying the adventure all on my lonesome. Soooo…life adjustment once more….take one step backward.

I found a position being a live-in housekeeper, for a disabled Vet. I am free to travel one week a month, if I so choose. This will allow me to take only what items I need on the trips, and therefore the mini van will be much more comfortable. It’s a better way for me to start out. I can still make plans with people, and go visit my friends and family…..yet have storage space, and comfort of the stick n brick life…..complete with Tvs, rocker, and all my craft projects.

I’m having fun decorating my ‘space’ soft and romantic this time round….roses/wicker/lace. There is a nice big porch here…more of a veranda, as well as a backyard deck, so plenty of room to enjoy. The person I am helping out has No decorations, or inclination for that sort of thing, and has given me permission to decorate, as I please.  This place is very much like the mobile home rehab projects I took on , in the past. Fortunate for me, the landlord here is being wonderful to the home as well as his tenant, in repairing and replacing broken items. In fact, he is the one that found me to help out. We need more people like that in this world.

I am now located in Palm Harbor , Florida…..a smallish town located off Hwy 19, next to tarpon Springs….known for the Greek Sponge Dock Community. I am finding the small towns around here to be fun to explore, and there are a few beaches, as well as Marinas close by. Famous Pier 60 in Clearwater, is only 20-30 min. down the road. I already know the Clearwater area well from living there a year, so day trips with girl friends are fun.

I went yesterday with my pally Dove to check out downtown Dunedin, and spent my spending money for the month in two shops…buying wicker.  Will do pics of the projects, as time goes on. Yes..I know…more furniture to tie me down in one place, but I feel this will be a long term position. Hope so anyway.

I want to take this time to profusely thank my pally Linda, for letting me be a dreaded ‘Indian Giver’, and giving me back a beloved old powder blue rocker, I had given her 6 moths ago, when I moved to Melbourne….as well as a much needed pasta pot and lots of jean material to allow me to make a nice rag rug for my room. No stopping there, she informed me of a recycling swap shop I didn’t know about in Pinellas County, where one can get free paint and other things. This is a godsend, as we all know how expensive it can be to constantly be buying paint for this and that project……   I am trying to decorate here….for free, except for my labor, as it is not my home, and I can’t make a large investment money wise.

Health is good and spirits are up….though I do look forward to the next road trip…maybe in Nov.  Always up to meet travelers on my groups for little meet n greets in the surrounding areas.


Pretty in Pink…………..

My pally Dove bought a water bottle with an ice stick and filter on it, for her ‘work water’. She asked me to make a cute cozy for it. This is a simple craft I can do on the road. Gift your friends and make while sitting around chatting. Most everyone uses water bottles or soda cans.

I stuck one crochet hook in a pen holder slot, in my laptop case.


Slip stitch 4 stitches….and join to create a circle

Crochet 6-8 stitches …as many as will fit in the first row

Do two stitches in each space in the next row……increasing

Next row….two stitches….then one the spaces

Continue till it almost goes to the bottom of the can…..usually only three rows will do it.

Then just single crochet ..not adding any stitches in rows till as high as you want.

You can end there…or make a fancier edging, by doing last row of …slip st., single cr, double cr, single cr, slip st…in pattern….makes it sort of ruffled looking. It’s what I did on this one.

I used 100% cotton yarn on this one…not a lot of stretch, but worked fine and is very absorbent of moisture.

The water bottle…neekid

Pretty in Pink Cozy

I’ve been debating on how I will make my morning java. Formerly i used a hamilton Beach Single Serving Elec . coffee maker. Simple setup, but won’t be using elec anymore. I figure on heating water on the butane stove or in a 12v travel mug.

I also have been trying to think of some way to filter water, while on the road. I am figuring to use melted ice cube water….storing it in large containers in the ice chest. Getting water from all different sources is like asking for ‘problems’.  I am not one to waste my money on buying bottled water…..only actually buy it that way if I need one in my purse to enjoy in a movie, and it needs to be sealed.

Decision made…..I must find something suitable to fit in my containers and filter things.


I found this 3″ tall  2.5 ” wide filter thingy…sitting inside a single serve glass coffee pot in a thrift store today.  It also has a button to press in case your grounds get clogged…but I will be using a paper filter.

I will either find a water filter cartridge to fit or make an activated charcoal filter out of charcoal and two coffee filters, tied with a good twisty tie. Easy Peezy!

I also found a cute blue metal cream pitcher, that will double as a single serve coffee pot….as well as a pitcher that can be used to get water out of sinks not large enough to put a larger container in. Nice spout and nice handle…unbreakable, and small enough to stick in my beach bag satchel.

Cost…$2.99 for both at the thrift store


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