Holding Pattern

We are settled in at my mom’s until we can head to Portland. I have been back to my dad’s twice to work on things, but still have a mattress, my bikes and bike trailer, and the motorhome there. Oh, and the two pallets of stuff in the basement. I would prefer to have nothing to do with my dad ever again but I have no place else to store those things. That is how toxic he has become and how badly things went on the day we left. I would say moved out, but it was more like we fled.

I am still diligently trying to sell the 5th wheel. I tried Ebay twice, multiple Craigslist posts, and it is posted in 13 Facebook groups. I called a couple RV sales places and it’s too old for them to consider buying. Clearly this wasn’t the best decision on my part and I have learned my lesson and need it off my plate.

We can’t leave until it sells. I need the money from it in order to start on our way. I feel so stuck and don’t know what else to do. I won’t be starting the LC program at PSU this fall because I don’t have the last prerequisite done. I also can’t guarantee we will be there in time for the start of fall semester. I am working on admissions things for PSU but also considering I might need to do classes here at MCC. I don’t want to ignore the reality that things haven’t gone as planned but also don’t want to put my energy into a plan that keeps us here for the time being.
*The 5th wheel will sell. The motorhome will be in great working order. Things will fall into place. We will make it to Portland and get settled in before winter.*

I’m trying to keep things normal for Wallace but he was a bit traumatized by our last day at my dad’s. We went to Ikea and he insisted on going in the play area. He didn’t quite get that we weren’t staying with him and started crying 15 minutes in. After I raced back to get him, he clung to me until we got to the car. The pool at my mom’s is closed because the hot tub is broken (not sure why both have to be closed). It’s been too hot to really play outside otherwise.

We have been watching the Olympics and crocheting in the evening after we go for a walk. We have gone to my mom’s school twice. Last weekend, I went to temple (Korean Buddhist one I went to in high school) and Wallace went to the nursery at my mom’s church. I haven’t been feeling well in a week because I ate some non AIP foods so I decided not to go again this week. Wallace wanted to go to the nursery again today so I am alone in the apartment reading and writing.

Next, I will work on creating a spreadsheet of all my sales and inventory on Amazon. I have no money and no way to make more money at the moment. I had sent a shipment to Amazon and they lost my box for three weeks. I wasn’t allowed to open an investigation and they “found” it shortly before I could have. There were 8 of a fast moving, high profit, summer item that is now down in price a bit and not selling as fast. There were also 2 of a game that is now selling for half the price. Overall, I’m not pleased. I have had some sales of the summer item as well as some books so I will have a paycheck in a week but it will all need to go to bills. I don’t know what else to do.

I need to get better pictures of my sewing taken and start an Etsy page. I started one on Instagram but am a bit intimidated by the idea of a selling platform and my pictures aren’t as nice as I would like. I am open to suggestions and advice on this area. Maybe I will start with sewing and save computer work for later today.

Posted in background, family, Parenting, pictures, RV living, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | 5 Comments


After a horrible day, the likes of which I hope to never meet again, we are out of my dad’s house. I still have to go back and deal with some things as well as get the camper, but we are safe at my mom’s now. I am so exhausted inside and out.

This is all I can write without starting to cry.

Posted in background, family | 4 Comments

MicroBlog Monday: Books

I decided it would go like this: take, store, sell, donate. I knew I couldn’t bring all my books with me and I didn’t need to. I went through everything at least twice. The final result is jam packed into 2/3rds of my above bed storage.

I lugged them out in laundry basket loads and hauled them through the driver side door. The main door is blocked while parked in my dad’s driveway and it’s as fun as it sounds. Here’s what I got in last night plus I brought in one more overflowing basket today that filled to the place the shelves connect.

I have been putting Wallace’s books into magazine boxes in the cabinets above the dinette. They don’t slide as nicely in and out as I had hoped and I am out of boxes for now.

Posted in Books, Microblog Monday, Parenting, pictures, RV living | 6 Comments


Thursday, I ate tacos at the Farmer’s Market and knew I could end up with a reaction to the corn, rice, beans, and nightshades. I am still sick from it (nausea and so much more) and starting to doubt that was the cause of this. Yesterday, I felt quite a bit better but today was back to barely functioning. I’m concerned it’s food poisoning, though that shouldn’t come and go, or stress. So. Much. Stress.

I found out my Grandma (dad’s step mom who has always been my grandma) likely has less than 6 months. She has nodes in her lungs that are growing and something going on in GI tract that she failed to get a PET scan for over the last two months. She’s been on oxygen and steroids for a while now. Her mother, Grandma Shaw, was told she had 6 months and then lived another relatively happy and able 10 more years. So, we’ll see, but she’s not well.

My Gramma (mom’s mom who lived in Florida all of my life) is 92 and has had dementia for a few years now. She has been at a nursing home for people with memory problems for a few years now and just took a turn for the worse. When I last saw her on Easter, she could barely put a sentence together then she was unable to get up or feed herself. She got a little better but I’m not sure how long she will be holding out. It’s been really sad watching her deteriorate because she was always so spunky and fiesty and quick witted, but I know she has had a long, full life and lived it exactly how she wanted to the last 30 years.

I thought writing might help my stress but the stomach pain and nausea are worse now, ugh. I’d make a doctor’s appointment but I really don’t think she would actually help me.

I felt good enough yesterday to finish up two pairs of curtains and get them up in the camper. I also managed to take Wallace to the park and I made lunch. Today was not nearly as successful. I made dinner, read to him, and washed some dishes. I should probably go to bed and see if sleep will help.

Posted in body talk, Parenting, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | 4 Comments

Turtles & Tacos

Yesterday, we went to the farmer’s market for a presentation on turtles by the local nature preserve. It was fun but not as nearly as exciting as the frog one. My mom met us there and so did Kristy with Ellie and Baby Quinn. They got to look at and touch a couple turtles and make a turtle maraca thing.

Showing his turtle to Gramma.

Being a flirt in my old dress.

Then we had lunch, which was not AIP and I am now paying for it. The pho place was done for the day so Wallace wanted tacos. I was starving by this time and ate it with him anyway. While waiting for the tacos, I saw that a friend had posted on instagram about being at the market. I went outside to look for her and then sent her a text. Instead of finding her, I ran into another friend attempting to nurse her baby in the sun. Then the tacos were done and my mom came back and it was chaos. My other friend ended up coming back to the market since I had some books for her kids and the rest of the books I gave to the little used and new book store there.

Then it was off to the play area, where Wallace proceeded to climb the wall for the first time and Baby Quinn and Ellie joined us.

He only got a few rows up but it was impressive!

Wallace passed out in the car after and then stayed asleep when I brought him inside. He didn’t wake up until 6, so there went bedtime. We went into the camper to get some work done. I attempted to find the dead mouse I can smell by the furnace (can’t find it) and removed the drawers over the water pump so I can put in a cubby instead. I then used the drawer bottoms to make cabinet bottoms where I busted out the speakers to make room for more books.

I cut out the support between the drawer openings.

The best thing I got done I the camper yesterday was figuring out a way to hang Wallace’s hammock. It took a few tries and testing it out but it works!

We then had a very late dinner and he didn’t fall asleep until after 10pm. I am in recovery mode from yesterday’s lunch and am just trying to eat and drink enough and stay standing. I do really want to get those curtains done today…

Posted in body talk, family, Parenting, pictures, RV living | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Curtains & Arbitrage

I meant to get the kitchen and dinette curtains done yesterday but I instead went yet again to get the squeaky wheel on my (mom’s) car looked at. I had a tie rod done a while ago and then the squeaking started and kept getting worse. I went back and they said a vacuum plate had been bumped and they put it back in place. Squeaking started again so I went back again. They jacked it up and took the wheel off and insisted they fixed it this time. Still squeaking. My mom was getting concerned, so instead of curtains and chiropractor, we went back to the car shop. Oh and now it also sounded like squeaking brakes while backing down the driveway. Another guy worked on it this time and found a little metal piece that had been bent wrong and was rubbing on the rotor. The squeaking is 90% gone now!

His first and likely only Capri Sun, free from the car shop.

It took us so long to leave the house in the first place because Wallace wouldn’t eat his breakfast or stop saying poop every other word. When we got done with the car we headed home to eat lunch, which he took a few bites of and refused to eat. Oh well, I packed it up and told him when he was hungry after shopping that he could eat it. He fell asleep within minutes of being in the car.

Yep, I’ve finally let him forward face.

Thankfully, I had the foresight to bring a book so I wouldn’t waste all my phone battery. I’m reading Between Mom and Jo by Julie Anne Peters and have mixed feelings about it. Anyway, it was really hot and I couldn’t keep the car running for an hour so I cut his nap short when we both started sweating. His clothes were wet from the water bottle so I guess I should figure out how to put the cup holder on that seat.

We went into Kmart and I attempted to source for Amazon. (I really can’t remember how much I have talked about that here.) I found two fitness trackers and two monopoly games that should make me some money. I was hoping for a huge clearance section but that didn’t happen. We then went to Walmart because I needed a few things Kmart didn’t have. I also found a little Avengers puzzle for Wallace for 50 cents. When we got it home we learned that all the interior pieces are exactly the same shape! Who does that?

It was after 8 when we finally made it home so I cooked a quick dinner and called it a night. I didn’t get anything done on the curtains. Oh well.

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I asked my mom if she wanted to come over so I could have some help with Wallace and also so I could get things done that need two people. She came over, and despite the migraine, I got a lot done. As you might imagine, it’s hard to clean, fix things, and do two person tasks with a three year old. (We do have a great system for the water hose and he has been surprisingly helpful at times.)

During our first lunch, I sorted through RV manuals and was going to work on understanding the water heater and what I need to do to fix it. Instead, I found this aftermarket gem and wanted to see what condition it was in.

Basically, it goes inside the springs by the front wheels and helps with towing or carrying added weight. Since we will be loaded up beyond a week trip camping, it could be helpful. Step one was locate them. Check.

Step two was to follow the cable from the bottom (not pictured) and locate the air intake valve. It appeared to go up into the hood. So, I opened the hood. Err, nope. It wouldn’t budge no matter who yanked on the handle and who pounded and pulled on the hood. An online RV buddy sent me a video on how to open the hood manually. I used my trusty awning pull to reach up under the front bumper and release the lever. That was much less graceful than it sounds.

I then had to figure out why the hood wasn’t opening and how to make it open on its own next time. Here’s a picture of where the cable hooks into a bracket thing in order to keep the wire pulling at the right angle to release the latch. The zip tie will hold the housing in the right place. The previous handyman put electrical tape around it.

Okay, so back to the AirLifts. I found the intake valves and they were wonderfully labeled Driver and Passenger.

I took my handy dandy tire pressure gauge and tried it. Nothing. I got my bike pump and tried that for a minute. Nothing. I had my mom pump while I got under the front and listened. Pump. Whoosh. Pump. Whoosh. Busted. If it is the cable or the connection, then it could be repairable. If it is the red part that holds the air (bellows), then they’re shot.

Have I mentioned yet that I have never owned a home and I have not owned a vehicle most of my adult life?

Next up was backing up the camper so we could get access to the main door on the passenger side because there is a broken boat next to me. The mattress and tv needed to be removed and I couldn’t do that on my own. I got everything ready to go and it wouldn’t start. It sounded just like before when I needed to get the speedometer cable put in. I grabbed my flathead, opened the doghouse, and used my awning pull to hold the choke closed while I started it.

My mom is horrible at assisting with steering so I backed up just enough to clear the boat and turn a little. We got the mattress and tv out and then I loaded in some toys while they played catch-ball (those velcro mits with a tennis ball) in the yard. Then it was time for second lunch before moving the camper forward again while reading my mom’s facial expressions for when to stop. I then put my custom blackout panels up and measured for the other curtains while Wallace and my mom played play dough and mahjong, respectively.

My plan is to get the kitchen and dinette curtains done and up tomorrow and hopefully do the blackout panel for the bathroom soon too. I need more sticky velcro and a curtain rod. There’s also the big curtain over the cab area to tackle.

This last weekend, I made more room for books by busting out the speakers above the bed. I need to put in paneling for the shelf inside but it is totally worth it.

I also removed now useless sliding shower curtain rails and cleaned up a very poorly executed attempt to secure them with some kind of putty. I still need to caulk around the remaining metal and in the excessive screw holes.

We also washed most of the outside, wiped down more cabinets inside, and have been flushing the fresh water tank to get the bleach out.

I need to buy a new gas cap and install a latch on the inside of the screen door. One of these days I will get to the water heater and search for the dead mouse in the furnace. I want to put hooks in the dinette to hang Wallace’s hammock from and need to clean out the kitchen cabinets and fridge.

The list is never ending but eventually the 5th wheel will sell and we can be on our way. Hopefully I am working out all the kinks and this isn’t horrific foreshadowing.

Posted in Late Night Post, Parenting, pictures, RV living, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | Tagged , | 4 Comments