Here I go...

Join me on my new adventure - Van Living!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Laundry Day

This morning was a chilly 38 degrees.

It was also laundry day. Luckily I brought a 50 foot line. I hung one in from a tree and one and from my van.

I separated my items and decided to do underwear first, then blouses, then pants, then socks. I did my sheet last because I wanted to let it soak.

I put about 3 inches of hot water in my black bucket and put in my underwear. After letting it soak for maybe 10 minutes, I used the plunger “washing machine“ that I purchased to agitate the clothes. It actually worked great and I’m really happy with it. I originally brought a top for the bucket. It went to my son’s beer making kit but I quickly learned that the hole for the handle of the plunger needs to be in the center not around the outside edge. Oh doh!  When you’re getting ready to do this van dwelling trip, there are things that don’t occur to you until you’re actually in the middle of the process.

After plunging the underwear then I washed each piece separately. It’s much easier to plunge one item at a time and to try to fill the bucket and plunge it. I think the clothes get cleaner doing one item at a time. Luckily, with this lifestyle, there are not huge piles of laundry.

After everything was washed I fed my water to a local tree and put 3 inches of clean water in the bucket. I wrung as much water out of the clothes as I could and then added each piece to the clean water.This would’ve been a great time to have my great grandmother’s wringer to wring those clothes out. But I managed OK.

I used safety pins to hang my clothes out. This was a trick I learned on the Camino Santiago. It’s especially handy for here in the desert where the wind can quickly ruin your wash by knocking it off the line.

So that’s it. My laundry is finished. The sun will come around this way in about an hour and I expect everything to dry quickly in the breeze.  It feels so good to have it done and I actually enjoyed this experience. And an extra bonus is that wonderful smell of clothes that have dried in the sunshine.  I’ll sleep really good tonight!

Ma Cato used to tell me I was born in the wrong century and that I would’ve been a great pioneer. I can remember her saying, “most people couldn’t live that way, Sis, but I believe you could and you’d be happy!”

I agree with her. I love being out here in the wilderness. And I’m happy to do these menial chores without the modern conveniences.

I’m using the rinse water to give my van a quick wash on the inside and get some of the desert dust out of it. So laundry day also turned into cleaning day and I finished by 10 AM. Not bad!

View from my van door:

Monday, December 04, 2017

Cornelia White House - Palm Springs

While in Palm Springs, I visited the Cornelia White House. This is the second oldest structure in Palm Springs. It was originally a bunglow from Palm Springs' first hotel and later the home of Miss Cornelia White, a New York Native who settled in Palm Springs with her sister, Sr. Florilla White, in 1913.

I loved loved LOVED this little house and would give anything to live in something like this today.  Perfect in every way!  But then, I grew up with all those grandparents and this felt "like home" to me.

Love this kitchen!
Cornelia White about a year before her death

Anza Borrego Sunrise and Sunset

My Ma Cato loved to watch the sunrise and sunset, and I guess I got that gene from her.  I can't get enough of it.  There's just such a feeling of being grounded and of being a sacred part of the ALL that floods my soul during the time of the rising and setting sun.  They are my two favorite times of day.

My Ma Cato and I used to lie on our backs out on Sunset Rock at Sequoia National Park and watch the sunset. Or she'd toss a quilt on the grass and we'd watch the big fluffy clouds passing by. I miss these quiet, introspective times with that wise, open-hearted matriarch. I can only hope that with age, I might also lose my tendency to be judgmental and to inherit her ability to love.

And so, these times when I'm all alone in the quiet evening, watching the sun sink over a mountain, I can just hear her say, "Isn't God's good earth just a miracle, Sis?"

Yes, Ma, it is . . .

Here are some photos I took while camped on a plateau near Borrego Springs this past week. I could look east and see the moon rising, and at the same time turn west to see the sunset.

This is a pano shot showing the moon rising on the left and the sun setting on the right.

Sunrise over the flats
These photos don't do the colors justice. Right now I only have my iPhone for taking photos. If anyone has suggestions for lenses or apps to purchase for the iPhone that will do a better job of capturing color please comment below.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Anza Borrego

Loved the metal sculptures and the beautiful canyons. 

I’m almost as grizzled as this tortoise!  

This is huge!  Twice as tall as my van. 

After the morning walk, a shampoo felt good!

Then some afternoon sunbathing. 

I’m digging this place. Looking forward to the super moon tonight!

I may spend one more day here but haven’t decided. 
I haven’t quite settled into doing nothing. But the price of gas may keep me hobbled. 

Murray Canyon Palm Springs

I walked the 4 mile Murray Canyon Loop yesterday morning. It was an easy beautiful walk but I was surprised to find the 12 foot waterfall was about a 2 foot trickle. Otherwise though, a hike worth walking.