Welcome to My Full-Time RV Living LifeStyle Blog!

I suppose I should mention that this is an RV blog. The picture of me standing beside a motorhome in the banner probably tipped you off to that fact already, but you know how it is with blogs, any body can put anything in the header.

Anyways, I was born, raised, and live in Maine, I have 12 cats, and some people would call me homeless. Nope, I have a home, I just don't have what people call a standard house. My house has wheels and her name is Rosebud. My backyard stretches on for thousands and thousands of miles all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Once upon a time I had a "regular home" but a flood came and took it away. Me and my cats spent the next 3 years living under a 8x6 tarp and survived through 3 blizzards and Maine's coldest winter on record when the temps hit -48F. After that me and the cats moved in a Volvo. As hard as it is to live in a tent with 12 cats, it's even harder to live in a Volvo with 12 cats, and a motorhome named No Hurry was the answer. No Hurry: my home, my office, my RV.

I plan to use this blog to share my thoughts, ideas, adventures, and advice on being self-employed, living and working a full-time RV LifeStyle with an army of cats, while boondocking in the wonderful (and sometimes sub-zero) state of Maine.

I hope to write a post a day featuring random thoughts as they pop into my head, and hopefully 2 or 3 posts per week will focus on something helpful to those seeking to live in an RV full time. If you've any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on what sort of posts you'd like to see me write, please comment and let me know.

I hope you all have as much fun reading this blog as I know I'll have writing it.

~Wendy

Monday, July 30, 2012

Basic Problems One Must Solve Soon After Becoming Homeless


I was homeless for six years (some would argue that I still am, but that's all in how you look at it). On May 9, 2006 a flood came through and took my home and family with it. The only people I knew were at church, and I was in for a surprise when I was told I was no longer allowed in church because I was homeless, and #1 was thus unable to pay tithes, and #2 must have done something terribly wicked to have been punished by God like that, and #3 I therefore must be cast out and shunned and was forbidden to return to church. *sigh* Live and learn. I now had no home, no family, no church, and no friends.  

My struggles were compounded, by the fact that I have Autism (most just say I am retarded, - to each his own) and had never lived on my own prior to the flood, had no social skills, no life skills, no job skills, no schooling, could barely speak in full sentences, and was considered by most to be "little more than a 3 year old in an adult's body". 

Today, 6 years later, I have done what psychologists said could never be done by someone like me: I got a GED, a job, a driver's license, a car, and am now in college working towards 2 degrees; and I did it all while living under a 8x6' tarp. For some reason this is considered a miraculous feat and has resulted in interviews with reporters and me becoming something of a poster child for both Autism and Homelessness. Oh well. In any case, all this means is that I am now bombarded with questions about how I did it.

How did I do it? How did I survive 6 years under a 8x6'tarp, through 5 hurricanes, 3 blizzards, 2 ice storms, and the coldest winter on record since 1817 with temps at -48F? I don't really have answers for people when they ask me these things. I just went on with my life same as I always did, only I slept under a tarp at night. But I am asked once again, could I share some advice on what to do. I am told that the economy is rocky and people are losing homes left and right. I admit I do not understand these things. Economy and money are not things I have ever had, so I have great difficulty understanding conversations about these things. When I ask what this all means, why are people losing their homes because of economy, I was told about how people are having trouble, what with jobs only paying $24,000 a year now. ????? I am now more confused than ever. How does someone with such gigantically enormous amounts of wealth lose a house? They than explained to me that the average income of a family of 4 is $64,000 a year. Well you could have floored me with that one. I could easily live the rest of my life off $64,0000. I will be 40 years old soon, and honey, I've never had that much in my whole entire life, let alone one year! The highest my income has ever been was $2,000 in one year, and that was VERY high, most years it was only $750 a year. My income is $60 to $150 per month, most months (via Zazzle) and for 8 to 13 weeks a year (around Christmas) it goes to $40 to $75 a week at Macy's.  So, you can see why I laugh at you, the idiot who can't make house payments in spite of having way more income than you could ever possible use! The simple answer to your problem is to stop being a priss wasting money on luxuries you have no need of.

But anyways, I guess there is some sort of crisis going on, with mega wealthy rich folks suddenly having no money and in danger of becoming homeless and thus coming to me and wanting to know how I survived so long being homeless, so that they can survive too. They ask, can I at least tell them a few basics that they'll have to deal with in the first few weeks after losing their home. Well, okay. I'll tell you what I know and you can go from there, how's that?

 Homelessness can be very uncomfortable until you solve some basic problems.

Basic Problem #1: Where am I going to sleep tonight?
Basic Problem #2: What am I going to eat tomorrow?
Basic Problem #3: How will I keep clean?
Basic Problem #4: What do I do when I need to use a toilet?

Basic Problem #5: How will I keep warm in cold weather?
Basic Problem #6: How will I keep dry in wet weather?
Basic Problem #7: What if I get sick or hurt?
Basic Problem #8: Where can I store my belongings while I am at school/work/shopping?


Basic Problem #9: How do I protect myself from the people who make a hobby of beating up and killing homeless people?
Basic Problem #10: What will happen to my body if I die?
Basic Problem #11: How long will I be homeless?
Basic Problem #12: How do I get out of being homeless?
Basic Problem #13: How will I keep from being bored?

Notice how I did not mention things like phones, TVs, etc. Why? Well, simple fact is I ain't never had a phone, not once in 40 years, so no amount of prissy fit stamping your feet, demanding I tell you how to deal with cell phone service while homeless, is going to do you a bit a good, seeing as you know about phones, and I couldn't tell you hide nor tail of a phone let alone figure out how the heck to use one, so, sorry, I can't help you out on the whole phone issue, and besides, you asked about basics, not luxuries. Keep in mind that I had Autism, and went most of 40 years without talking, find talking to be nothing more than pointless drivel, and can see no reason why anyone would want to waste their time talking into a machine. You got phone issues? Honey, if you are homeless, and you have a phone, than you got something seriously wrong with your priorities. Toss it. You don't need. A phone is a want, not a need.

MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE OF ALL: Get over yourself! Figure out right now, that things you want are rarely things you need, and things you need are rarely things you want. Learn to live only with the things you need, get used to never again having anything you want, and remember you are asking advice from a person who has never once in her entire life ever had anything she wanted. I have wanted many things in my life, I have never had a one of them. What do I want? A friend would be nice. A family. A husband. A baby. Someone to love. Someone to love me in return. These are real wants and now that you are homeless, they are thing you will never have and you will be told this, every day, told this by people who you formerly thought were family and friends. You won't be homeless long before you learn the difference between REAL wants (like friends) and stupid petty wants (like clothes and phones and foods that actually taste good).

So, let's get back to the basics, shall we?


Basic Problem #1: Where am I going to sleep tonight?

First day homeless, I sat around clueless, like a deer in the headlights. It wasn't until the sun started setting that I realized "Hey, I need to find a place to sleep." That first night, I slept on the dirt. No pillow. No blanket. Several roots in my back. I woke up at 4AM, blinded by the sunrise and soaking wet from the morning dew. I spent day #2 with a shovel and a 5 gal pail, digging and carrying soft sand up the hill to the spot I had slept the night before. Night 2, I slept in a pile of soft sand. Wonderfully comfortable, but very, very cold, like I was packed with ice! Again wet in the morning. Day 3, I found the cushion off and old lawn chair, one of those 6 foot long ones. It was rotted and molded, and had hard plastic buttons that cut my knees, and made me realize I needed a first aid kit. (It would be December before I would have saved up enough money to buy a $10 kit). The cushion on the sand was softer than sleeping on the dirt, not as soft as sleeping on the sand, but warmer than both. That night I would have slept better had it not been for the thunderstorm that sent rivers of rain all around me, washed away my sand, and turned my cushion bed-thing into a sopping sponge.  Day 4 I got a ride to the bank, took out the (there was less than $100 in the account) and than got a ride to Reny's in Saco where I bought an 8x6' tarp, a clothes line, a pillow, and a sleeping bag. I tied the rope between two 150' pine trees, threw the tarp over that, and anchored the corners with cinder-blocks that had once been the "foundation" of our house. That would be my home for the next 6 years.

Do note here, that while I was homeless and had no house to live in because a flood took it, I still had the land on which the house had stood. My advice is only going to work if you are homeless from natural diaster and not from greed and stupidity. If you are loosing your home because you bought something you did not have money for, than you will be without both a house and land. I can not advice you on how to find land to sleep on, as I had my own land, which was a farm, and still had barns, gardens, sheds, and a yard full of farm implements at my disposal. I was homeless, not yardless.

Basic Problem #2: What am I going to eat tomorrow?

I was homeless 4 or 5 days before I got hungry enough to start worrying about food. Blueberries were not even green yet, strawberrys were weeks off, fiddle-heads already gone by...there was plenty of wild food in the woods, but none of it was in season. I found a trash can filled with old rusted cans, about 30 of them, most had expired more than 2 years prior, all were rusted, some were swollen ready to explode, many did not have labels, most were soup, some were vegetables. There was also a box a Bisquik full of tiny black bugs. I had a metal trash can than had survived the flood, so stored the box and cans in that. I also had a saucepan that I found which had survived in the rumble, and also a wok. (I was one hell of a gourmette cook before the flood, back when I had a kitchen to cook in, and eventually dug out many of my old cookware out of the rumble and sludge of the flood). I filled the wok with sticks and and shreded newspapers (also brought back from trash picking) into long strips and with a box of matches bought from the dollar store, I set up a mini portable woodstove, over which I cooked dumplings made out of Bisquik and rusted soup. By cooking and eating only one meal a week I made that box and those cans last 3 months, adding to them other food scraps found in the trash. I also lost 30 pounds in those 3 months.

By late August I had wild fruit, fruit from our trees and bushes, and vegetables from our garden starting to ripen, making access to raw fresh food easier, but still limited as the crops had been badly damaged by the same floods which had taken the house in May.

By October I had my holiday temp job at Macy's, and with it a paid lunch at the McDonald's across the street from it. This resulted in my having an additional 3 meals a week, from October to February, each year for the past 6 years.

Basic Problem #3: How will I keep clean?

I had no running water, or did I? The brook ran, did it not? And it ran into the ocean which ran up and down the coast. I bathed fully clothes, to wash both myself and my clothes at the same time. I did not have soap or shampoo, just dirty muddy brook water which left my clothes smelling like a peaty swamp or sticky salty ocean water which left my clothes gritty and my underwear full of sand, which was a problem seeing as I had only one pair and thus could not change them. I would not have a change of clothes until October when I got my job at Macy's and they provided me with a gift card to buy a change of "all black dress suit" change of clothes to wear to work.

Macy's provided me with a $75 a week income, and the ability to buy stuff like deodorant, feminine pads, toilet paper, body lotion, hand cream, and toothpaste. You have no idea how important these things are until you live 5 months without them.

And don't ask me about frivolities like hair gel or makeup. I don't even own a brush, my hair has not been brushed or combed in near on 7 years now and my skin is free of chemicals, which explains why folks keep mistaking me for a 16 year old kid in spite of being 40 - I got news for you honey - make-up CAUSES wrinkles.

Basic Problem #4: What do I do when I need to use a toilet?

One word: trees. Bushes and trees are your friend. In populated areas, get into the habit of exploring every single business and know where every single restroom is, and keep track of which ones are open to the public, and which ones require you buy something at the business before you can use it. Commit this information to memory.


Basic Problem #5: How will I keep warm in cold weather?

I bought 2 sub-zero sleeping bags and put one inside the other. 

Basic Problem #6: How will I keep dry in wet weather?

You don't. Get used to being wet every morning, and even wetter every time it rains.

Basic Problem #7: What if I get sick or hurt?

One word: Don't! You get sick or hurt, you are done for and no doctor or hospital will treat you, because all they care about is how much money you have and how soon you'll give it to them. How do I know? Because when thgs beat me up and broke my hip I was not allowed into the hospital at all.

Basic Problem #8: Where can I store my belongings while I am at school/work/shopping?

I had my own land, on which there was a shed with a locking door. If you having got that, get a car. I did not have a car. I would not have a car until December 16, 2006, and than I would not have a driver's license until September 2011. Those 2 things changed everything. With them I suddenly had mobility and oppertunity.



Basic Problem #9: How do I protect myself from the people who make a hobby of beating up and killing homeless people?

I am a farmer, trained to protect my flock from bear and coyote with a staff, harpoon, and machete.


Basic Problem #10: What will happen to my body if I die?


A few miles from here a skeleton was found behind a dumpster. Police say it was an elderly homeless man who had died a few weeks earlier of natural causes, and his body had been stripped of it's flesh by slugs, bugs, maggots, and seagulls.


Basic Problem #11: How long will I be homeless?

It's going on 7 years for me now...

Basic Problem #12: How do I get out of being homeless?

I spent 6 years saving every penny until I had $2,000 and than I bought a motorhome:











Basic Problem #13: How will I keep from being bored?


I found 61 Star Trek books for .25c each at a local flee market. And I do this to my car in my spare time:





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Good morning Starshine! Liked this post? Looking to connect with me online? I love social networks and am on most of them. You can find me on: BloggerEtsyFaceBookGoogle+KeenMySpaceNaNoWriMoProBoardsScript FrenzySpoonflowerSquidooTwitterULC Ministers NetworkWordpress, and Zazzle Feel free to give me a shout any  time. Many blessings to you, may all your silver clouds be lined with rhinestones and sparkle of golden sunshine. Have yourself a great and wonderful glorious day!

~Rev. Wendy C. Allen aka Empress EelKat of Laughing Gnome Hollow



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This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Press and was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK's Star Log @ http://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat and http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com  If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat @ http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day! ~ EelKat



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