Wednesday, March 30, 2016


That's pretty much what I've been feeling for the last week. I guess there is never really a perfect time but it is pretty overwhelming trying to work on the van, manage daily life, work on our business  and trying to find the freedom that we genuinely hoped and foolishly expected at the very beginning. It's been almost non-stop work work work or unavoidable delays in work - be holidays or other people's schedule. I miss working on my art projects and designs and my daily work routine. However, we are are steadfast in our commitment to the van and it's progress.

Needing a little beach, we worked on the van with an ocean view.

We started adding insulation to the ceiling. 

Added a radiant barrier & insulation but there are big gaps.
Planning to add insulation type stuffing.

We needed a day off from the van so we headed over to the The High Desert Pirate Renaissance Faire for a light day of piracy. 

Saw some friends and acquaintances, picked up a couple of new treasures and discovered an artist that will be making a custom Captain's Log Book for us. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016


You really do need faith - in whatever spiritual belief you have but most importantly yourself.

This past couple of weeks I have definitely had my doubts. I've woken up in the middle of the night and wondered "what the Hell am I'm doing?" "We should have stayed in the apartment another month." "I'm dragging him down" "I should break up with him & let him go back to normal life."

Thankfully we can talk to each other about our insecurities and concerns and really say how we feel so that we can work them out. Sometimes loudly, but they get said. I told my partner exactly how and what I was thinking including the breaking up part. He assured me that he was on this journey to test himself, discover a new way of life, to break long established bad habits and save money for his dream - a house / home of his own.... and of course also for me. He assured me that even though he went through a lot of anxiety and fear of change, he was here with me in this 100%.

The first occurrence of serendipity was when we went to Home Depot for Reflectix (Double Reflective Insulation.) We knew we needed it but had no idea which aisle it would be in. I finally said "just ask someone." As he was looking for someone to ask, a Home Depot employee walked around the corner and I said "there he is."  Turns out he spent ten years living in his converted van and got the job partly at Home Depot because of his conversion experience. He gave us advice on temporary and permanent glues to use for the insulation as well as how best to put it in and what to stay away from because I have severe asthma.

The second occurrence of serendipity was at a park. I spent the afternoon removing the fabric and old and rusty paneling from the top of the high top. Unfortunately I had the van radio playing for half of the time which turned out to be a mistake. While waiting for AAA to arrive to jump my battery, I decided to give the rest of my apple to the squirrels across from me. As I'm walking back to the van a park security guard or employee drove up along side me and asked about my van. I said I was still working on it to be ready to sleep in and he complimented me on taking care to do it right and briefly mentioned his time in his homemade camper van.

The third occurrence of serendipity ... in one week in case I needed any more convincing.
I'm back at Home Depot because there is a piece of van paneling I can't remove unless I cut the driver's side seat belt or cut through 3 inches of hard plastic paneling. I'm in the Tool Rental department to explain and show the picture of the panel I need to cut. After some discussion about how to best do it he asks me why was I removing all of the paneling? I explain that my partner and I are gutting out the van and rebuilding it inside to be a pirate captain's quarters. Turns out he is a former pirate community member (or at least rarely attends events) and knows a guy who just did the same thing to his truck with a camper fact he's currently at Irwindale location building constructions for  the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. He's also a freelance photographer for Renaissance  and pirate fair related events and extraordinary / unusual theme places or things. He wants to photograph the van once it's done.

What people call serendipity sometimes is just having your eyes open. 

Most discoveries even today are a combination of serendipity and of searching. Siddhartha Mukherjee

In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love. The other 99 percent is due to our efforts. Peter McWilliams

I believe all three are correct.