Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Real Bathroom Issue: Why would you do this?!

I literally can't even...


Who does this?!?


I spent way more time than I should have in the bathroom this morning because most of it was wasted on ripping small pieces of Charmin's arse-wipe in to my hand. I had MAYBE 3 inches to actually do some weird shadow puppet move to find the end of the rainbow.

Who even puts a handrail right there?? Why couldn't they fix the darn thing after they installed it?! I KNOW the person that installed either of these must have thought this was some cruel joke. One last jab to take out on some poor, vulnerable, individual just wanting a tree, to wipe their bum with. Well, mystery person, you've accomplished it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Where to Take a Shower While Traveling: Love's Travel Stop

While traveling recently, I came across a slight problem. A cold, dark shower. No electricity. No hot water. Blegh! Too scared of the abyss, I panicked and called Love’s Travel Stop. For those unfamiliar with this, it’s a truck stop. Are you crazy?! Why yes.. yes I am.

“Isn’t it dangerous!?” “Don’t get stabbed!” “Please don’t die.”
No, I didn’t plan on dying at three o’ clock in the afternoon and I definitely did not plan on going in to an environment where I thought I was going to be stabbed. I’ve been around enough to know that if something is going to happen, it will. No matter how much forethought and planning you put in to something. This, is a wonderful example of how fear consumes us from the unknown. A reason why so many people don’t fully indulge in what life has to offer.
Well let me tell you, that was the best damn shower I’ve probably had in a long time. Just mildly scalding with enough pressure to take the paint off of your car and I LOVED every single drop!
Let’s have a recap.
I called first to see if they even offered public showers.
Love’s Travel Stop Rate: $11.00/person.
What’s included: Matching blue towel, facecloth and liquid body soap located on the wall in the shower. For my experience, there was an outlet to plug in a hair dryer, or in my case, my phone charger (because I like to live life on the edge of 2%). A toilet, to contemplate more of life’s decisions or read your Facebook on, is located next to the shower. So, if you’ve had Taco Hell, you’re in luck! There was a fan hanging on the wall, but it didn’t have any awesome features to share.
What to bring: Your nasty bits, your own towelclothes, beer, shampoo/conditioner, soap (if you’re sensitive to lab made chemicals), toothbrush/paste, and FLIP-FLOPS. *I highly recommend flip-flops in any public shower. There’s too much bacteria on the ground that could ruin your dating life or your day, if you’ve got the foot fungi. Protect yourself and just wear them in the shower, plus they dry quickly. I was just kidding about the beer, unless you’re in to that kind of thing.
The experience: I’m not going to lie, I had no idea what I was about to encounter, so I stayed in my car for a minute and thought to myself, “Do it for the blog! No, it’s for me…I stink! But blog!” I grabbed my bag of clothes and flip-flops (noted above!).
I wandered like a goldfish to the counter and shyly asked, “Where do I go for showers?” The clerk pointed with her finger as if Dumbledore (Harry Pothead I mean Potter reference) was showing the way as I continued swimming through the sheeple to the second counter. “I’d like to pay for a shower,” I said. A complete stranger standing next to me dealt his loyalty card and replied “Here, this should cover it.” Never in my life would I have imagined some completely random dude would offer to cover an $11.00 shower at a truck stop, but he did. Thank you truck stop man!
You’re given a ticket with a number, almost like waiting in the Publix deli line, but not as appetizing. I found a seat in Subway and caught up on Judge Judy. I’m fairly certain she’s a vampire because she doesn’t look like she’s aged at all. She still looks the same after all these years!
After my number was called, I was handed a blue towel that looked like it had been stolen from a Dr. Seuss book, and a long wooden sized ruler with a key. Note to self, to open the door, you must turn the lock all the way and THEN turn the handle and THEN walk through. Otherwise, you end up awkwardly close against the door.
For extra protection, I placed my trusty running shoe in the corner of the door and the wall and my small pocket key-knife on top of the soap dispenser. Who needs a gun, when you have the hands of Jet Lee?! Scrub-a-dub-dub, I was finished in the time it took to read One Fish, Two Fish.
Feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world, my first quest was to check out at the counter and let the lady know Thing One’s towel was left it in the bathroom. The second was to buy myself a chocolate bar and slave for 12 hours.


Suggestions: Definitely bring your own towel. Wear flip-flops. Go during the day if you can help it. Arrive early. It could very well take 20 minutes before your number is called.

Kate, from http://www.adventurouskate.com/ recommends traveling with a big rubber door stop. For those that are unsure about the idea of using a public shower, it's one extra barrier to keep the peepers out.














 
 



If you enjoyed my article, please leave a comment below or share it with your friends. Thanks!



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Recovery Monday - Day After Carolina Rebellion 2016


This morning was interesting to say the least. I had crashed so hard, housekeeping woke me up with their taps on the door, only to leap from the bed to keep it from opening. No, I don't want your fresh pillow! Rob Zombie still playing in my head... Too tired to actually get moving, I laid back down and went through the blur of 3 days in my head.

Breakfast is calling my name. Cracker Barrel – because that’s the only thing I ever eat apparently. Unfortunately, my new partner in crime had to adult, so he left me to fend for myself. I did what any other bum would do with a car. I returned to the Hojo (Howard Johnson), found the shadiest bunch of trees located in the back of the parking lot and fell asleep right there, next to a storage container and 2 recycle bins. Hi, my middle name is crazy and you’re about to get exposed to more of it. I had a night shift that was starting in less than 6 hours and I wasn’t about to spend another $50.00+ just so I could contemplate all of my life’s decisions and then nap.  So there I slept, until I was scared awake by the garbage man.

I look at my phone, 2% charge. Lights are flickering and I’m hearing ticking. Whyyyy? Because I killed the car. I want to make a side note, do NOT call your boyfriend and tell him you killed the car, then explain you have 1% battery and then tell him you’re okay through text. I may have caused symptoms of tachycardia and increased respirations on his behalf… It only adds to the story right?

I disconnect the phone, bring it in to the lobby and charge it, while I ask for a jump. No cables available. Plan B (not the medication) – is to walk down to United Rentals and ask if they have an extra set. The lovely man behind the counter offered me his own personal cables only if I promised to bring them back. I pretty much skipped all the way back to have someone jump me.

I hear a scream as I’m exiting the lobby. First, I thought it was because of my face, but thankfully I actually looked down. One of the cleaning ladies was terrified of a dragonfly that had been hanging out on the welcome mat. I placed my finger under him and she continues to scream. The poor little guy probably ran right in to the door. Cables in one hand, dragonfly on the other, the lobby dude and I head towards the car. Screaming cleaning lady runs for shelter.

Fiddling around with the car, I became increasingly impatient because I wasn’t sure if my poor raspberry wheeled baby was actually going to run or not. Twenty minutes later, it finally worked! I returned the cables back to the wonderful gentleman. Note, if you ever want to be asked on a date, act stranded. Anyways, thank you United Rentals man and Hojo dude!

I finished off the night with a trip to Autozone and a 12 hour shift.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle


Minimalism is
          Simple
          A lifestyle - finding happiness while loving, being driven, and adapting to change.
          A choice - living with less, is more.
          A philosophy - a practice of keeping elements that only bring value and enjoyment.
          Uncomplicated - and less stressful.
          Organized - thoughts and spaces.
          A tool - to find freedom.
          Peaceful - enjoying life and focusing on what truly matters.

Minimalism is not about owning a certain number of items. The lifestyle is about being happy with less. If that means you are happy with a 20 piece wardrobe or even 288 objects, then you are well on your way to becoming a minimalist. The main idea is to erase negative influences, mainly clutter and people. Disclaimer: I do not literally mean erase people. I may not like them, but they're good to keep around. Sometimes. ARgh, you get the point. Anyways, minimalism is a choice which also has many positive benefits, which you'll understand by the end of this post, I hope.

The effects of clutter and negative energy:
Visual stress
Anxiety
Too much time wasted looking for items
Not enough time to do anything
Working too hard and too long
Unhappy feelings and emotions
Wasted money and food
 
What is Visual Stress?
Visual stress is the difficulty in distinguishing objects due to disturbing visual patterns.
"It can be responsible for print distortion and rapid fatigue when reading."
- www.ceriumoptical.com/vistech/visual-stress.aspx
This fatigue is exactly what occurred along with anxiety, as I stated above. It mentally hurt looking at my own possessions and caused psychological discomfort because the mind is trying to organize or process all of the items, especially in the photos below. Minimalism is a philosophy and therapy needed, to reduce the clutter, and release negative influences from clouding your vision.

Before

After

http://www.theminimalists.com/minimalism/
The Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
These gentlemen work as a team to define minimalism and enjoy a meaningful life with less stuff. Their blog has a plethora of information regarding the basics of being a minimalist, getting rid of life's clutter, wardrobe essentials, money, and so much more. I highly recommend digesting all of the content these guys have to offer.
"Minimalism is a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom" - The Minimalists

http://mnmlist.com/minimalist-faqs/
mnmlist Leo Babuta - creator of Zenhabits.com
Both sites are an eye opening to a new happy lifestyle. Learning how to let go of possessions, objects and how they consume us, and distractions, are some key points in mnmlist's blog. Opening your mind to zen thoughts and keeping your life calm, zenhabits.com is extremely refreshing by way of reminding us to slow down.
"It’s a way to escape the excesses of the world around us — the excesses of consumerism, material possessions, clutter, having too much to do, too much debt, too many distractions, too much noise." - mnmlist

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/what-is-minimalism/
becoming minimalist Joshua Becker
Joshua Becker and his wife decided learn how to become minimalists and for the past couple years, they've been blogging their journey, views, and thoughts along the way. The transformation over time, including their writing, shows amazing results and progress. Not only is it motivational, it's refreshing to be able to have a connection that they were once beginners too.
"Minimalism slows down life and frees us from this modern hysteria to live faster." - Becoming Minimalist

http://lovingsimpleliving.com/2012/03/what-is-minimalism/
Loving Simple Living Lorilee Lippincott
Not only is this woman living the simple life, she's sharing it for the world to see. She's mastered writing and publishing a book of her own, wrote articles to help with the hustle and bustle of modern day consumerism, and even travels simply. This is a very admirable woman because she's in control of her life and loves it!
"The idea is to not be limited or distracted by material possessions." - Loving Simple Living

http://exilelifestyle.com/minimalism-explained/
Exhile Lifestyle Colin Wright
An extremist in owning little possessions, this man is my biggest roll model as far as living the nomadic lifestyle on 55 items and writing his own content for an income.
"What Minimalism is really all about is reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the excess stuff – the possessions and ideas and relationships and activities – that don’t bring value to your life." - Exhile Lifestyle

http://www.minimalstudent.com/minimalism-101/
minimal student Jessica Dang
Also working her way from the bottom up, Jessica is living the simple lifestyle and working on her school all while being happy with less. She's found the secret to happiness for herself and works hard to share it with others on her blog.
"It’s about finding happiness in what we have already, instead of chasing something that is always out of reach" - minimal student
   
What are some steps to help transition to a simpler life?
Write a list of 10 things that are important that you absolutely cannot live without.
Find a good friend to help you determine items necessary to keep or toss.
If you feel overwhelmed, start with one box, or a section of your room.
Keep your favorite spot in the house simple, as an example to follow for the entire house
Only focus on the list of 10 objects and separate all leftover items. Place them under your bed. If there's too many belongings, then place them in the corner of your garage. This is my 3 month plan. If you haven't reached in the bag, get rid of it.
Use samples from the internet, like I have, to keep yourself focused for the lifestyle you want.
Write down 5 goals on a dry erase board and look at it every day to help stay on task.
Also find a quiet place to meditate or at least think alone, without interruptions.



Benefits of a minimalist lifestyle and my personal observations:
Less visual stress
Less time looking for possessions
Less cleaning
Reduced anxiety
Positive energy
Minimalist Wardrobe
More time



References

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Current Life Summary

It was suggested that I should write a summary of what’s currently going on in my life since I’ve detached myself from social media. With this being said, below is a snapshot of what I’ve been up to, besides writing and slaving.



I’m in the process of purchasing a tag-a-long camper. How is this considered a minimalist move? Part of it is for pleasure, most of the decision though, is work related. I travel around the US quite often for my work. Renting hotels a month at a time becomes costly. $1,000.00/month plus, if I want my own personal space. Due to night shifts, it’s definitely easier being alone rather than waking someone else up. I know how I am and trust me, I’m a bit of a monster if woken up. Be quiet and leave the beast alone, unless you come bearing gifts of chocolate.

I’ll go in to more detail about the camper at a later time, but it’s a 2017 Forest River Grey Wolf 22RR. Check out this sweet Youtube video of it here https://youtu.be/eVJQcecN_ho. Investing in this will allow me to have my own breathing room including paying less to someone else. I will essentially be saving at least $500/month. If I use it over the next three years, it’ll definitely pay for itself. In addition, I can sell it at any time. In addition to that last addition, it’ll give me the option of renting my house out. Essentially creating more passive income and enjoying more vacation time.


I went couchsurfing for a second time. I wrote a post on this about a week ago and figured I’d talk a little about it on here too. So far, I’ve only stayed with two hosts. Both of them were completely awesome. I have connections and now they do as well to make their way to the sunny side of South Florida! I even learned people are putting CouchSurfing groups together! How awesome is that? As soon as I go to one, I guarantee there will be a full written report.


Crawfish Hunting? You betchya! This was my first time too! I had a short time to grab as many as I could. I turned out with 5. Originally, I was wanting to farm raise them and eat them, but since I enjoy taking on a thousand projects, I decided maybe it’s better to dump them in to the koi pond until I’m truly ready to take on such an adventure.

Originally finding them, I had rigged a Chick-fil-A cup on a stick to try and catch the miniature swamp lobsters. Unfortunately, I would not have made it as a contestant on Naked and Afraid. Sadly, I had an empty cup, but I went back to Wateree the next day, and triumphed with a pool net! I actually have proof of me trying to catch these mud bugs from a fallen tree. See it below!


A walk through Wateree. Want to see a real snake exhibit? Go to Wateree, South Carolina, walk on the trusses, and look down. In their natural habitat you can see water moccasins, turtles, insects, and if you’re lucky otters! I was scooped up by the parental units and brought to this magical wilderness. It was so enjoyable, I went twice in one weekend! I have to say, this is my new favorite spot besides Ocala National Forest.


Zoo is Jonny? To put it simply, I’m taken, by a man named Jonny. I went through a pretty crappy separation during a really low point in my life. I told myself, my friends, and family, I wasn’t going to jump in a relationship. I even wrote “No Boyfriends” on my goal board.


I’m perfectly capable of doing things on my own, but ultimately, I want someone in my life. Someone who is excited to see me every day as if I left for a year. Who I can create, build and grow together with. I could go on, but I’d rather save you the reading for another time.  Anyways, it’s working.


Isn’t it too personal to post about your relationships? Some might say so. This is what’s happening in my life and I did get permission to mention the mystery man! We’re actually working on some pretty awesome projects right now, including his own blog, https://www.ZooisJonny.com.  It’s still under construction, but will include animals, travel, and more animals! Make sure to check it out next month to see updates!


I’m still hanging out in the Carolinas for work. I’d tell you what I do, but we both know how that ends… I don’t see me leaving before July. In the meantime, I’m going to use couchsurfing and airbnb as much as possible between days off and explore as much as I can of this beautiful terrain!


I roamed around Wilmington and stuffed my face. If you haven’t read the last article, I made it to Wilmington, North Carolina and hung out with my couchsurfing host! It’s fairly detailed of the activities we were able to enjoy, which mostly includes shoving food in our pie holes.


“Bear Necessities.” The Jungle Book was amazing! If you haven’t seen it yet, please do. It’s so much like the original, which made it even better. What’s also fantastic? Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken are in it too!


Homemade steamed and slow cooked dinners. Absofreakinlutely! I literally steam or slow cook everything. So far, I’ve mastered Cheeseburgers, chicken and dumplings, cabbage kielbasa, and chili. Being on the road really puts a damper on your eating habits. Especially staying in a hotel. But it doesn’t have to mean you eat terribly. I also try and stay away from the microwave as much as possible. There’s no nutritional value after your food has been zapped. Eventually I’ll make a post on all of the options you can try while traveling.


Carolina Rebellion. Are you going to be there?! It’s not often that I go out of my way to watch concerts, but this is going to be filled with magic. Three days of bleeding ears, multiple bands, multiple drinks, and awesome memories! There will be tons of pictures and most definitely a blog post to follow! Here’s some quick information if you think you can make it up, or down, or sideways by the weekend.


May 6, 7, 8


7301 Bruton Smith Blvd, Concord, North Carolina




Monday, May 2, 2016

Wilmington, NC

04-29-2016 1352 Wilmington, NC


Morning.

It’s spring. Warm sun, cool breeze, and the sound of nature. Birds speaking a language only Mother Nature understands. I look up. 3 yellow triangles are reaching for the roof of the porch I’m sitting on. They’re freshly hatched baby Cardinals, screaming for a regurgitated meal. Yes, I had to add that in there.

I’m getting ready to explore my favorite quaint little town with my host turned bestie! While I wait, the shade offers me serenity while gazing at the sun glistening off of my Honda FIT. The plan is to hit downtown and enjoy a wonderful lunch, eventually returning to craft handmade pasta noodles.
I am all smiles as I finally have a day off to catch up on appreciating the little things life has to offer. Including nature therapy and writing my little heart out. I can think clearly now that my car has some organization, my clothes are clean, and this last job is complete.

Transitioning into a minimalist lifestyle has allowed me to concentrate on opportunities and experiences rather than worrying about gathering countless belongings. I’d still be doing laundry if I was the same person 2 years ago. Instead, I’m sitting on a hardwood floor, creating and sharing my stories, while listening to Thievery Corporation on Pandora. This outlet provides me a medium to enjoy reading what I’ve experienced and I couldn’t be happier, besides my foot going numb on occasion.

This morning, I’ve been able to learn about other bloggers, start a plan for budgeting and meals while on the road, and enjoy a beautiful “movie scene.”

Afternoon.

I could hug the Earth fur I'm so happy, especially having 24 hours of freedom from the Man. I was brought to Wayfarer, in downtown Wilmington, and had it in my mind that I was going to order a mouth-watering sandwich and dip. Well, our waitress ended up seducing both of us into ordering the Special. Said special included oven-baked fried chicken, layered with bacon, layered with a hard-boiled egg, layered with cheese, lettuce, and other special sauces of which, I've since forgotten due to the food induced coma we were left in.

Waddling down a couple blocks, we made our way to a local family-run book store and the Cotton Exchange - which includes a conglomerate of smaller businesses along the river. Fun fact, yes the building was actually used during the Cotton Exchange periods of our lovely American History.

After spending more than I cared for, I made it back to the house with rocks, a face tube, sage, essential oil bug spray, and books. It was time to make epic handmade spaghetti noodles! The ingredients - just flour and eggs.

Evening.
It's a little after 6pm. Craving tacos from a food truck, the noodles were left on the counter to harden while the two of us ladies were off again to the Fly Trap! We met with her gang and played Old Maid, waiting on the deliciousness to come rolling in. Literally. I had myself a taste of blueberry sour beer, not my favorite. It kind of reminded me of the Kombucha I had, for the first time, when I was valleyganting the Cotton Exchange. I, instead, chose the Farmhouse Ale. A little hoppy for me, but would suffice until the meat-stuffed tortillas were placed in my icy hands.

Alas, after devouring said tasty steak cilantro filled tacos, it was time for me to go. I said my goodbyes to everyone and started preparing for my 4 hour drive back to Chapin, SC.


Till we meet again Wilmington!