Wait – Was That Today?

This evening I sat down to review my photos from today for a quick review of the day’s events, and saw the photo I took early this morning while we walked Frodo. At first I was fondly remembering what a nice day it was yesterday, until I remembered that I took that photo TODAY.

Oct 14 2015 Morning Photo

Have you ever had one of those days where you can barely remember what you did? It’s been nice lately using my camera roll to keep up with what we’ve been doing – there’s just been so much!

After work today we had an appointment with Habitat for Humanity to pick up some miscellaneous furniture and odds and ends from the house. As it turned out, one of the guys on the pick-up team took a cross-country trip several years ago and has been to all 50 states – which is rather impressive! We’ve met many people recently who would love to travel but I believe he was the first person we’ve met who has done it and he had some cool stories to tell us!

Oct 14 2015 Habitat for Humanity

Once the Habitat for Humanity pick-up was complete, we finished some last minute cleaning (which reminded me again how much I prefer Tiny House living and will NOT miss a “sticks & bricks” house AT ALL) and then headed to one of the local Pawn Shops for our final sale-run. Yes, we finally reached that point. We have nothing left to sell or donate! With that complete we had dinner, Frodo got another walk, and I sat down to tally some numbers.

In three months we have down-sized from 2,200 square feet to 240 square feet, and sold or donated more than 90% of our possessions. In the process we have met many amazing people in the community, helped out several individuals working to reach their goals, and, liquidated enough of our belongings to make a huge contribution in the financial impact of what we’re doing. I’m really happy with where things are ending up as we wrap up our stationary lives.

The biggest lesson I have learned from everything we have done so far is how much of a physical drain belongings can be, and the decisions involved with what to do with them when you finally decide that you do not need them. Wow. It can be debilitating. I have a much better understanding about minimalism, Tiny House living, and why various people wear uniforms (simple repeating outfits) to reduce decision making. The itty bitty meaningless decisions you make everyday DO add up, and they DO wear you out. When you make a few hundred decisions in a day it probably isn’t noticeable but if you need to make a few thousand decisions in a day, it makes a huge impact.

Though I have never considered myself a minimalist, I now realize I will always be striving to work toward becoming one. It seems like a process that will be ongoing, and something I need to do for myself for my own peace and happiness. I’m sure I will write more about the mental and psychological aspects of this decision in the future, I’ve had a lot to think about and very little time to write!

Airstream LED Light Fix: Quick, Easy & Cheap!

Airstream LED Light FixYou often hear that a fix can be quick and easy, or perhaps inexpensive, but definitely not all three at once. Not this time!

If you are familiar with the LED ceiling lights that are in the modern Airstreams, you may also be familiar with the stark daylight-blue temperature they emit. I haven’t written about color temperature yet here on this blog – which is actually surprising. I’m pretty sensitive to light variations, and often wear “computer” eyeglasses (with a yellow tint to counteract the blue), as well as run software that alters the color temperature on my computer (f.lux is awesome for this).

Ah, but back to the topic at hand. Our Airstream came with super bright LED lighting which is both awesome, and terrible. It has been a bit like living in an alien spaceship. It was just so bright and… blue. During the daytime it was tolerable, but come evening, wow. I just wanted to cower in a corner and pull a blanket over my head.

Thankfully, the couple over at Aluminarium have dealt with this issue and shared their fix! We went down the same road as them, purchasing some lighting gels from Stage Spot in a few variations to try. If we had attempted to replace the LED lights, that would be shockingly expensive, but by adding some simple lighting gels, it’s pretty cheap to purchase a few different ones to see which ones would work best for us. So, we did.

After trial and error, we actually chose the same color as Aluminarium: Color Marlene (506) from Lee (you can find it here).

Working with gels is a really easy thing to do. In rather lucky fashion, we had a vitamin bottle with a lid that was the exact same size as our LED lights (lens), so we traced a bunch, cut them out, and the popped out the lens and inserted the gel. Voila! Our Alien spaceship instantly turned into a cozy home where I can comfortably spend my time. The gel does reduce the brightness by quite a bit, but there are 14 LED ceiling lights. Yes, 14. Then there are 4 LED task lights around the couch, and a few more around the bed. THEN, there are the lights that look like car dome lights (used for the photo above, and for cutting the gels – see how bright that single light is?). Seriously, lack of light in an Airstream is not an issue. It’s well worth the time and effort to add a filter! Oh, and the cost of this improvement was $7.25! Kind of hard to believe isn’t it?

Camp Crashing

October at KOA Asheville West
The view from KOA Asheville West – October 2015

Have you ever crashed a wedding? Hmm, me neither. But lately I have been cramp crashing! Specifically, I’ve been living at a campground while we wait for our house to sell, surrounded by other people who are truly camping. It’s an interesting experience, and apparently a life-hack.

Feeling stressed? Tired? Worn out, and in need of a vacation? Surround yourself with others who are on vacation and the vibes carry over. Maybe it’s just walking past people’s campfires at night, but it’s a pretty neat trick! I don’t know what it is about campfires, but they seem to create happy, relaxed feelings. Is it just me?

This morning I awoke feeling stressed about work, and the remaining things we have left to remove from the house before we transition to completely full-time RV living. And then, I opened the window shades in our Airstream and remembered. I’m at a campground, and it’s a holiday weekend! Our “neighbor” has festive lights hanging from his RV awning and I remembered where I am and what I’m doing here. And I smiled. Life is really good. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”