Thursday, December 20, 2012

Site Design Changes

Well, haven't posted much because there's not been much to post. With the rain going on it's really not feasible to uncover, dry off, load a few things, then cover everything back up. I've been going through more things and getting stuff packed inside or thrown away if possible. I got the CB installed in the truck and one Jeep, the last one needs to be a temporary setup for Ashley because I don't think she'll want one installed all the time.

What I have been doing however,

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Trailer Prep

Spent the past couple of days getting the big trailer ready to move (as well as a couple of days away) and picked up another small trailer. Hopefully I can get the two trailers packed and ready so when I come out to get this one we won't have much to get put in it. Seems like there's still a lot to do but envy day gets us closer..

On another note, what's up with the

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Little Q&A Session

I though I'd take a few minutes and answer a few of the questions we get asked frequently regarding our move to Oklahoma.

The number one question always seems to be why which in itself is a few different questions. Why move from California, Why Oklahoma? Why leave your extended family behind?

Why move from California? I'm sick and tired of the politics and ridiculous rules and regulations in this state and the social expectations of living in the city. I can't park in my front yard without risking a $75 ticket. I can't replace my windows with upgraded more efficient windows without getting permission from and paying them a fee for the privilege. My neighbors are so

Friday, November 30, 2012

Facebook Test

Well this post doesn't really have anything to do with the move. I'm just testing a new addition to Facebook that will let my RSS feed post to my wall and how long it takes.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Rain Gods Are Against Us.

Can anyone explain this one to me? I am no longer employed so that we can get things ready for the move. I had one day and then it decides to rain and it's not supposed to stop for 4 days. Granted it's not a torrential downpour nor is it even constant, but it's enough to be annoying and keep me from doing much.

On the plus side it will give me more time to get the digital side of things ready. This blog and a couple other sites we had/have in mind may get some time.

It's too cold to give the dogs a bath which they both need and most everything inside is already done and ready to be loaded or packed once we get a little closer to leaving. Guess I'll be doing some laundry today.

I did order some air shocks for the

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Time is Drawing Nigh.

Well the time for us to leave and head to Oklahoma is getting very close. So close in fact that I am no longer employed but am spending my days sorting, packing, and preparing things for the journey. I would say we will be on the road in 4-6 weeks and be starting the year out fresh.

The trailer has new tires, the solar equipment is complete (still need to buy batteries when we get there), the truck is ready and

Monday, October 22, 2012

Test post

I hate being sick. Every year since I started working here I've gotten sick during haunt. I hoped I would avoid it being out mobile but nope.... Hopefully I got a jump on it though and it won't last as long.

Anyway the real reason for this post is to see how well it works using blogsy on the iPad and tethering to my metro pcs phone. If this shows up on the blog then it works ok. Right now I have to go clock in and head back in to dispatch.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Great Adventure

Well, another huge milestone accomplished. The truck is a 1989 Ford F-250 with the factory heavy duty springs. I put the trailer on it and even without the weight distribution hitch it sits level as you can see. I'll still run it with the WD setup just for stability, and am changing the receiver just because it's not a factory or aftermarket but a home designed one. Not a major deal other than the current one is welded on so it'll take a lot of cutting and grinding to get it off.

The trailer is the same Wilderness 32 ft that we've had for awhile. It needs

Friday, September 14, 2012

Trucks everywhere but not a one for me

You would think that finding a cheap used truck to pull our big trailer out to Oklahoma would be easy but such is not the case. I have found 1 ton vans (almost bought one today) and trucks both in the 1 and 3/4 ton range but everybody thinks their trucks are gold plated. Call me cheap but I have an issue paying $2800.00 for a truck that is 25 years old. And in most cases they have let the registration lapse so there is that cost involved too. All I need is a 3/4 - 1 ton truck that will make it to Oklahoma with our trailer on the back is that too much to ask?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nothing holding us back.

I'm posting this with the blogger app for android from my phone. I figure since it's the only internet we'll have for a while once we get there I might as well get used to it. I can tether the phone to my laptop but unless I'm posting videos or a lot of pics this should suffice.
The main reason for this post is just to put some updates on here in case anyone is actually reading it. My last post was talking about my mother being in the hospital. They sent her home two days later and on May 22nd she lost the physical battle. In my mind it was the perfect way for it to happen with her husband and children around her as she took her last breath in her own bed. I will miss being able to talk to her but she will always give me the advice I need by simply remembering how she raised me and applying that to the situation.

With that said, she was one of the major things keeping us here, and now its time to get serious about getting to Oklahoma. We made the decision today to look at buying an inexpensive house within 15-20 miles of our property. That will allow us to get there sooner and be close enough we can work on things regularly and eventually have a home we can rent or re-sell. Now when I say inexpensive house I mean a 2-3 bedroom in the 1500 sq foot range that will cost anywhere from 15 to 35 thousand dollars. With 6000 down we could have a 15 year loan with payments in the 150 a month range. Yes that's house payment not rental. My biggest concern would be buying it from 1500 miles away if a deal comes up or do we just wait and head back there with the trailer and start looking after I find work?

I'll try and update a bit more often as things progress. Right now I'm just wasting time sitting in a guard shack bored out of my mind.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Off-Grid Lighting Choices.

One of the main concerns where we're going is we're far enough away from grid power that it forces us to go "off-grid" which we don't see as a negative whatsoever. It does mean though that we have to look at conserving power wherever possible. One of those places of course is lighting. We have a number of choices ahead of us. In the trailer we'll be staying in while we build it already has 12v lighting but that doesn't mean it's as efficient as possible. 

26.9 watt 1156 bulb
The lights use 1156 bulbs that are basically tail lamps for cars. They are rated at 12.8 volts, 2.1 amps, and 26.9 watts each. With 11 light fixtures having 2 bulbs each that's 22 bulbs times 26.9 watts for a total of 591.8 watts for every hour that all the lights are on. 

Granted all 11 lights will never be on at the same time, and each fixture can turn on either one or two bulbs at a time. We try now when we're at my parents place to only use the lights we need when we really need them but we still find ourselves leaving them on at times in areas where we're not. It also doesn't help that Deb can't hardly reach them up on the ceiling to turn them off and on anyway. They are also a standard yellowish color rather than the natural white light you get from the sun. 

So what are our alternatives? LED lights or course. they make LED replacement lights that will plug right in to the socket and use are rated at just over half of the 1156 bulbs. Of course this means you still have a total of about 271 watts for all the bulbs. What else can we use? Well, I found an alternative while perusing the small cabin forums for a single surface mounted LED that was ready for 12 volts and the price point was right at $1.99 each.
The LD1-x series from are as you can see a very tiny led that is wired and ready to use in a 9v-15 v system and are amazingly bright for their size. They also have a 120 degree light angle so they do a pretty good job at spreading the light out. They are rated at 15mA each which at the same 12.8 volts used above puts them at .19 watts each. That is a savings of 26.7 watts per bulb! Now in fairness they are not close to being as bright as the non LED bulb so in our tests we've decided on using two lights in each side for a total of 4 per fixture. 

So what is our power draw using these led lights? 11 fixtures with 4 lights each equals 8.45 watts for each hour that all the lights are on. These lights could run 24 hours a day and would only use 203 watts of power or roughly one third of the power the original bulbs use in one hour! We figure a usage rate of about half the fixtures for maybe 6 hours a day so we need 25 watts of power for lighting. 

We also bought two of each light color, cool white, natural white, and warm white to test out and see which one we liked. A quick note on, we received them within a matter of days from across the country and they had packaged them in three separate anti-static bags, one for each type that we ordered. We were very pleased with the service and will be buying the rest of our led supplies from them as well. 

The cool white LED's seemed very bright but are a very harsh bluish light kind of like the blinding HID lamps you see on the new cars. I personally didn't like them although they were a better choice over the warm white leds that we tried next. They have more of a yellow colring to them like the original 1156 bulbs which is supposed to be better for reading but they just didn't light things up like we wanted. The natural white however was a perfect blend between the two. They seemed very much like normal daylight and we were able to read, use the laptop, and eat under them and it felt, well natural. 

So where does that leave us? We could power the lights in our trailer with a 10 watt solar panel and a battery a small as a 7.2Ah SLA battery and have two days in reserve keeping the battery above a 50% charge. Not bad for a $100.00 investment to replace all 22 bulbs. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Life's Unplanned Journeys

I find it amazing how life can take the best laid out plans and throw a wrench in them just as you think you're fully on track. We had goals set to be on our way to Oklahoma within the next 8 weeks but we forgot to factor in a major issue, Family.

Our daughter is going with us and of course so are the dogs so that takes care of the immediate family, but what do you do about brothers, sisters, moms and dads? The wife's parents have been supportive of the move even with the apprehensions of moving to tornado town. Of course they'd rather we not leave as their other two kids live within a mile of them, but they also know we are nothing like the other kids. (In other words we're nuts.) My parents were also very supportive until about 5 months ago when my mothers liver disease took a turn for the worse.

I sit here typing this from a hospital room, where my mother is yet again in need of a blood transfusion just to keep her going a few more weeks. The current cycle is after about two weeks she can't walk by herself, within a day or two of that she can't walk at all, then she starts getting incoherent and by the end of the third week it's back to the hospital for another transfusion to get the platelet levels up and the ammonia levels down. After three or four days she's back home and the cycle starts again. I've had to spend more time away from work and here at the house helping with her as much as I can so my sister that lives with them can get a break and doesn't have to handle it all. The other sister next door helps out a bit but is having issues with the fact that her mother is dying and most of the time can't handle it. The only advantage to it is it means I've had some extra time to get the trailers ready for the move since they're stored at my parents house.

Unfortunately it's been a rough cycle for my dad. He always thought with all his Vietnam injuries he'd be the first to go and I don't know if he ever mentally prepared himself for the chance that this might not be the case. He knows now that it will most likely happen that way, but it still doesn't mean he's ready for it and frankly with his current health I don't think he'll be with us much longer after she goes.

Thus begs the question, do we put off our plans and stay here until this issue is complete, or do we set another goal of the end of the summer and go all out for it? At this point I can only talk about it with my wife or dad. My mom has taken to crying every time I mention anything about it because it's so far away (1500 miles) and she know's she'll never be able to travel there because of her health.

At this point I just keep planning as it's all that keeps me sane....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crocheted Frog Beanie

We've decided to offer some of Debbie's crocheted hats for sale. I'm still deciding on the best way to handle them on here under the Country Life Dreams name, but for now I'll just post them with a paypal button and make links to the posts on the side menu.

Hand Crocheted Frog Beanie.

This hat has ear flaps and long tails on the sides.


To buy this hat locally for cash, contact Deb via email. 

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