I like to get out and away from civilization. I feel so much better mentally when I can spend time in nature. But being on a fixed income, I just can’t go out and buy a $50,000 (that’s on the less expensive side) camper.
So I decided to do some research and make my suv into a mini camper. I’m going to be building it out slow, but the first thing I wanted to do was get my power situation taken care of. I don’t want to use any of my vehicles power, to run anything other than the vehicle. It’s an old Jeep, and has a lot of miles, so I need her power system to be dedicated to just her. Her name is Daenerys btw. 😁
I could get a solar panel, controller, inverter, and battery. I was going to do that initially, but with limited space (I have a Grand Cherokee), I opted to go with just a solar panel and a solar generator. Small, nothing huge, just enough to make it possible for me to stay warm, charge my electronics, and heat food.
These are what I chose: Generator is a Ctechi portable 300w LiFePO4 299w. It has enough power to do what I need. (I also have some other small solar power stations, but this will be the main one.) Right now it has a $55 off coupon on Amazon. I’ve looked A LOT of solar generators, and it’s the same as anything…they make good ones, that you can get for less money, that don’t have a name brand. If it fails, I’ll learn, but that’s the point of all of this. This has great reviews, and I depend a lot on that. I don’t need any fancy bells or whistles, I just need it to work. I like the LiFePO4 as it has a longer lifespan. We’ll see! I’ll be posting updates as time moves forward. My first camping “trip” will be close to home, where I keep my horse, and it’s almost February, so I’ll for sure be testing how warm I stay. I’ll cover the windows with homemade thing-a-ma-jigs, but I’ll post those later as well.
The solar panel I chose was a basic polycrystalline 12v panel by Newpowa. The generator already has an inverter built in. My main concern was space, and I don’t have much of it. I’m not going to be running a water pump, or any lights, as I have that taken care of, so I really just need these to be able to power a small heater (150w), which won’t be run a lot, or for long periods of time, a food heater, (I’ll link the one I’m using as well) and electronics. This should be enough.
I’ll need a longer cord from the panel to the generator as well.
The food prep that I’ll use is this…I’ve seen videos of other van lifers/campers/truckers using this and it has a ton of good reviews.
The rest of my build will be a composting toilet, (really easy to build and won’t stink if done the right way), small sink/ cooking area, with a grey water tank and filtered water tank, supplied by a foot pump. On the other side will be another small cabinet for food storage, clothes, whatever I need it for.
I am going to move my spare tire from the floor storage area, and put it on the top of the Jeep. I’ll use that area for more storage of tools, food, misc…whatever.
This is totally new to me, I’ve never built anything out by myself so it will be a learning experience. I will share everything as I go, with all the mistakes I’m sure I’ll make, and all the things that work.
“Dandelion: Rich in antioxidants, dandelions have anti-aging benefits for the skin. Dandelion extract can help to nourish the skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and toning unbalanced skin. The plant contains detoxifying properties that rid the skin of toxins that clog pores and cause acne, as well as vitamin C to speed up the body’s natural healing process and reduce the appearance of scars and skin inflammation.
Plum Kernel Oil: Full of nourishing omega fatty acids (13 different kinds to be exact) and vitamins A and E, which heal and hydrate dry skin, hair and nails better than any other oil out there. Plum oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the appearance of—ready for it?—puffiness, irritation, dark spots, under-eye circles, wrinkles and dry skin. It’s also good for soothing skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Grapeseed Oil: Unlike other oils that may only suit certain skin types or clog pores, grapeseed oil is a lightweight oil that’s noncomedogenic, making it suitable for most skin types—including sensitive and acne-prone. anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, making it an ideal sidekick in your fight against breakouts, prevents free radical damage, reduce inflammation, and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.
Red Raspberry Oil: Red raspberry seed oil is cold-pressed from red raspberry seeds and packed with essential fatty acids and vitamins. Among its many benefits, it’s believed to offer protection from the sun.
Hibiscus Oil: Hibiscus oil supports your body’s natural collagen production, may help slow down collagen degradation, prevent elastin breakdown, and can help ease inflammation from the inside out.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: Promotes skin healing, helps relieve dry skin, enhances circulation and helps new skin form.
Blueberry Seed Oil: Blueberry Seed Oil is made from cold-pressed blueberries, it is high in the essential fatty acids Omegas 3 and 6 and alpha linolenic acid. These work with the skin’s natural barrier, helping it to function well, and improving overall tone and firmness. Omega oils reduce redness, condition and protect, and help the skin to repair itself. Blueberry Seed Oil also contains Vitamin E which helps to minimise fine lines and tackles loss of elasticity and hyper-pigmentation.
Full Spectrum Hemp Extract: CBD naturally elevates levels of anandamide. Higher levels of anandamide supports your body’s own natural process to reduce inflammation. Inflammation can cause redness, irritation, rashes and even breakouts. Full-spectrum CBD gives you smoother, calmer and more radiant skin”
So if this sounds like some all natural, good for your skin and extremely affordable amazing skin food, check it out if you want.
My goodies came today from my favorite store, Humble Collective CBD. (Click underlined to go to their site.)
This is one of two products I’ll be talking about over the next two days.
I’m attempting to NOT go into aging gracefully, but with the least amount of wrinkles and skin damage as possible. I was a sun queen when I was younger, and I do get a lot of sun during the summer at the ranch doing yard work, and stuff like that. But I can’t be without my Humble skincare. Yes, I’ve tried other products, on purpose, to see how my skin reacts, and it just feels better when I use all natural, additive free products. Maybe it just me, but I don’t think so. These products are good.
So let’s get into it. The Let It Glow serum is filled with everything your skin wants and needs for nourishment, and cell regeneration.
Ingredients are: organic grapeseed oil, organic camellia seed oil, organic sunflower and olive oil infused with (all organic herbs) of: comfrey, nettle, chickweed, chamomile, lavender, yarrow, calendula and arnica, organic argan oil, roman chamomile and frankincense essential oils, CBD isolate, CBG isolate.
That’s it! Not words you can’t pronounce, not water, and all GOODNESS for your face.
After I let the ingredients soak for a few weeks, I just strained the jars through some cheesecloth, and mixed half of the juice with raw honey. 1:1 ratio. You can adjust it the way you want to, there’s no “official” way it’s supposed to be done.
The syrup is powerful, and you can take a maintenance small dose everyday, or if you are sick take it up to three times a day, with lots of water… as we all know that our body can’t run without it.
Once the ingredients are done “steeping”…not sure of another word to call it, the rest is easy, just mix and store in the fridge.
Flashbacks and trauma. RE: 2017 “I’m a shitty person right now”
Want to write for Shassyswalkabout? Submit your stories via contact, with the subject line that says “Please consider my story”. Also please share. Thank you.
2017: Sometimes I use blogging as a source to blast what is going on at the core, because it’s therapy for me. Sometimes I keep them private and sometimes I share. Not sure what this blurb is going to end up as.
I try not to say negative things about my life because nobody has time to hear that, or when I do I try to make a joke of it. I do fail though. This is going to be an epic fail I’m sure. I have made so many mistakes, and I just keep on doing them. I got into abusive relationships and blame myself for what has happened to me.
There’s still some ongoing business with the trip to Alaska, and I was reminded tonight how messed up I have become. So bad that I can’t stand to be around my own damn self. Am I on a pity pot? Maybe, probably. But that doesn’t change the fact that I am just completely lost in my life right now. I just don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve let everyone down in my life because I’m an idiot, and can’t seem to get it right. Do I even DESERVE forgiveness? I mean really.
I’m going to have to do some serious soul searching and find out what is wrong with me.
****This post was from 2017. (Above the separation graphic of arrows). I repost it because it’s important for me to realize that I am not perfect, and I can at any time fall flat on my face if I am not careful. I vaguely remember this…only because it mentions “the trip to Alaska”.
I won’t get into that very much yet because it’s just a giant cluster fuck. Long story short I was a victim witness in a military court martial against a human (I say “human”, but really this person is a monster and a predator), that tried to kill another person, and had abused me as well. (I did not file a police report because I was afraid, instead I reached out to the military for help, and they declined because I was not married to the person.)
There’s a lot more to the story, but he was convicted, dishonorably discharged, and is now a registered federal sex offender for life. The trial is not my story to tell, I was not the petitioner, and my purpose was to support the petitioner in this trial (which I would do again in a heartbeat, I do not regret standing up for another woman, and in this case, women). But it was traumatic. It’s traumatic now to think about.
Trauma is weird. One minute you are feeling like “ok, I can deal with this”, and the next you are crying, snot running down your face, shaking, mind spinning, hyperventilating, and basically losing all functions of the body. I don’t know what’s best to deal with trauma…to look at it in the face and fight it, or to tuck it away far into the recesses of my mind until there comes a day where I can face it. This particular situation, my involvement in the trial, and the abuse I went through from this human, is in that category. The grey area.
I’ve learned to understand some of the things that have happened to me, and when I start experiencing symptoms of ptsd, I reach for my tools and coping skills. (The healthy ones). But I have yet to “situate” this instance and put it in its place. I’ve worked on it, a lot, and will continue to do so.
Today, and yesterday are days that I simply cannot deal…my mind is anxious, I’m picking at my fingernails, fidgety, racing thoughts, shaking. I hate to say that I’m used to it, when my brain cycles through this, but honestly I am…I feel it coming on. So I gear up to handle it in whatever way I can. Right now I’m writing about it. This is how I feel right now. It’s like being on a merry go round that’s going too fast, and everything is whizzing by, and you can’t get off.
I’ve been told to just “not think about it”. And sometimes that works, to not think about it. But the truth about trauma is that it changes your brain chemistry. It hides deep within the subconscious and remembers, even if I don’t.
Even if I “just don’t think about it”. There’s a trigger that my eye sees, or my ears hear, and it sets off a series of events in the brain that become physical body symptoms. Sometimes I don’t know what the triggers are, sometimes it’s a certain time of year that something happened. A trauma anniversary, for lack of a better way to describe it. That time comes around, and the brain and body remember, even if consciously I DON’T remember.
So for today it’s a Xanax, some gaba (amino acid) and literally checking out.
Gaba helps me. Here’s a publication from the NIH talking about ptsd and gaba. All I know is that I am 10 times worse without my gaba supplement. If that’s possible, and the answer to that question is yes. I have more morbid thoughts, and have, in the past become suicidal. I do my best to prevent those times from happening.
flashbacks and trauma, flashbacks and trauma, flashbacks and trauma, RE: I’m a shitty person right now, I have flashbacks and trauma, experiencing flashbacks and trauma, dealing with flashbacks and trauma, handling flashbacks and trauma.
I like to change things up a bit now and then. So if you see my site looking different, it’s because I was playing around with different themes, trying to find one that was easier to read, and more user friendly.
All you have to do if you leave the main (home) page, is go to the top and click on “Here’s a Story” and it will take you right back home.
If you have comments, or such, let me know what you think!
I’ve been buzzing around today…not doing much of anything other than cleaning, thinking, reading. Since I have decided to face the demons from my past, there has been an influx of emotion today. And it freakin hurts. Bad. Like so bad I want to drink a bottle of Jameson bad. The whole bottle. Right now. I physically HURT. Right in my chest, it’s like my heart actually hurts. It sucks. I hate it.
It’s dark outside now, and that’s usually when this sh*t hits. And I’m alone…naturally, I’m usually always alone. Physically anyway. So now comes the time when I have to feel this crap. It’s been a very long time since I’ve REALLY truly honestly felt pain. Logically I understand it all, so I’m trying to keep my logical mind in place, and not get carried away and become under the influence of this pain I am dealing with. Because the second I do, I’m hittin the liquor store. And I DO NOT want to do that. Sooo, I’m writing, venting, vomiting verbal sputum.
The black thick raunchy vile death that has been sitting becoming gangrenous and smelly inside my body for so long, is now being forced out. I’m feeling the loss of someone that I once loved, someone whom I never really told how much I wanted to be with them. At least I never showed it. I’m feeling the pain of all the mistakes I made, and all the bullsh*t I drug my kids through…the deep empty feeling that sits void inside my heart where my grandfather’s (and now my grandmother’s) presence once filled. All these things have been ruminating around inside me today, and to be honest, it all hurts. I’ve cried today, a lot. My eyes hurt. I’ve prayed and asked for forgiveness. I know this all will pass, but as I take things, sometimes, one minute at a time, it just seems like it’s taking TOO LONG!!
This is a post from 10 years ago. TEN. And I can honestly say that I go through this exact same thing now. I still want to go get that bottle of Jameson, I still want to numb the pain, throw myself into oblivion and feel nothing. Though I will give myself some credit that I don’t go get that bottle of Jameson, I don’t abuse my mental health and pain medication. So I’m patting myself on the back for that. But the urge is still there sometimes. Trauma and abuse are linked to addiction. But I have found better ways to deal with the bad days now. I don’t reach for that quick fix, I don’t make excuses for this or for that. I just put it all out there and ask for help. I have crisis on speed dial, I have a therapist that I’ve been seeing for 8 years, I have a support network, and protocol when it gets so bad that I can’t deal.
I’ve had 5 psychiatric hospital stays because I couldn’t handle my life. I am not ashamed of that anymore. I used to be, but not now. I am an imperfect human being trying to live, and I know I am flawed.
I am doing better. Understanding is key, being vulnerable is necessary. Admitting mistakes is necessary, and so is apologizing.
Don’t give up if you struggle. Reach out and ask for help. If you are in crisis you can text 988.
Exerpted from “Staying Sober” by : Terence T. Gorski
“When most people think about alcoholism or drug addiction, they think only of the alcohol/drug-based symptoms and forget about the sobriety-based symptoms. Yet it is the sobriety based symptoms, especially post acute withdrawal, that make sobriety so difficult. The presence of brain dysfunction has been documented in 75-95% of the recovering alcoholics/addicts tested. Recent research indicates that the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal associated with alcohol/drug related damage to the brain may contribute to many cases of relapse.
Post acute withdrawal is a group of symptoms of addictive disease that occur as a result of abstinence from addictive chemicals. In the alcoholic/addict these symptoms appear seven to fourteen days into abstinence, after stabilization from the acute withdrawal.
Post acute withdrawal is a bio-psycho-social syndrome It results from the combination of damage to the nervous system caused by alcohol or drugs and the psychosocial stress of coping with life without drugs or alcohol.
Recovery causes a great deal of stress. Many chemically dependent people never learn to manage stress without alcohol and drug use. The stress aggravates the brain dysfunction and makes the symptoms worse. The severity of PAW depends upon two things: the severity of the brain dysfunction caused by the addiction and the amount of psychosocial stress experienced in recovery.
The symptoms of PAW typically grow to peak intensity over three to six months after abstinence begins. The damage is usually reversible, meaning the major symptoms go away in time if proper treatment is received. With proper treatment and effective sober living, it is possible to learn to live normally in spite of the impairments. But the adjustment does not occur rapidly. Recovery from the nervous system damage usually required from six to 24 months with the assistance of a healthy recovery program. Recent research is showing that for some recovering people the symptoms of PAW often occur at regular “moon cycle” interval and without apparent outside stressors. Often those 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 1 and 2 year sobriety dates seem to be “triggering” times for PAW symptoms to increase. People recovering from long term opiate and stimulant use often have PAW symptoms for no apparent reason for up to 10 years after they have stopped using their drug of choice. Often PAW symptoms appear to come and go without apparent reason and without any specific pattern. Individuals who intend to have consistent long-term recovery must learn to recognize these symptoms and learn how to manage them.
Symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal
The most identifiable characteristic is the inability to solve usually simple problems. There are six major types of PAW symptoms that contribute to this. They are the inability to think clearly, memory problems, emotional overreactions and numbness, sleep disturbances, physical coordination problems, and general problems managing stress. The inability to solve usually simple problems because of any or all of these symptoms leads to diminished self esteem. A person often feels incompetent, embarrassed, and “not okay” about themselves. Diminished self esteem and the fear of failure interfere with productive and challenging living…”
I had studied all of this before, but as I read this, I realize that I need to keep focused. I have experienced some of these symptoms, and luckily I have not relapsed. It was very hard. I will better be able to handle recovery, if I understand what is happening.
Although, there have been times where I have fallen, face first, right off the wagon. It’s like the sticker stuck in your sock, that pokes your ankle but you can’t quite seem to find it. It’s always there. The thought of the sweet escape from whatever pain I’m feeling, is always there. Always. Dopamine is a powerful drug. Don’t ever think it’s your friend when you decide to reach for that unhealthy coping skill, because that skill could kill you. Trust me on that one. I’ve overdosed and only by the grace of God I am here to talk about it. Maybe one day I’ll write a post about it, but right now, I’m not ready.
Trigger Warning! Mentions of r*pe. I lost my virginity to r*pe. ***NOT FOR CHILDREN***
This is hard to write. Even though I’ve written about it before and have mostly processed the details, when I bring it to the forefront of my mind, all the feelings of humiliation, embarrassment, and pain all come back at once. I’ve worked hard to bring my logical mind forward in this instance, and not let my irrational mind take over. But it’s still a struggle.
When I was 17, my friend and I got permission from our parents to drive to Colorado to go visit some friends. I didn’t really think I would know anyone other than one person, but it was set to be a fun time, and my first ever trip as a “grown up”. Ha, I say that lightly, because I was far from grown.
We left and drove all night, listening to silly music (think “Do the mashed potato” or whatever it was called), and made it to our destination safely. I can’t remember what town it was, Estes Park? Not sure…I’ll probably remember later after I write this post.
When we arrived we walked into a fairly loud, filled apartment with music playing and laughter. I thought, ok.. this is going to be fun. I quickly realized that we were the only two females there. No worries, I had hung around with guys with no issues, and it was comfortable because they didn’t care if I wore makeup or had on the latest fashion trends.
We started drinking beer and just hanging out. I felt safe and was having a good time.
At some point my friend said she was tired and was going to go to bed. I felt the same, and was planning on crashing on the couch. Earlier in the evening I had seen one person that I new, who lived in the town that I lived in. I thought, cool.. I know three people now, my friend I came with, and her friend, and now this person….As I was getting ready to try to lay down and sleep, this person, man, asked me if I was coming with him. I thought, ok, he’s got a better place than the couch to sleep, and assumed with much naïveté that was what was going to happen.
We went to a bedroom to the back and he said that there was a makeshift bed on the floor at the end of a water bed that I could sleep on. I thought, cool… the rest of the crew was still partying and it was quieter in here. So I laid down.
Then he laid down next to me. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was going to sleep here with me because it was quieter. I thought, well, ok. I knew the guy, nothing was going to happen, and the place was crowded with people. Male and females can sleep in the same bed together as friends and not do anything. That is what I thought at the time.
The next few minutes are traumatic. Traumatic to even think about, remember, and feel. He quickly started groping me, grabbing my breasts roughly and trying to kiss me. I told him no, that I didn’t want to do that and he said, “I won’t do anything, we’ll just snuggle”. Something in my mind realized that I was in trouble.
At this point he was on top of me, and had my arms and hands pinned down. I struggled to get away but could not over power him. He then held me down, and somehow got my jeans and my panties off, and forced his penis inside of my vagina, all the while holding me so I could not get away. I kept saying “No, I don’t want to, Stop, No”. But he told me to be quiet and just “relax”.
There was a point in time where my mind left my body, and I went into a dissociative state. I stopped fighting him, and checked out. What he was doing to me was rape, and somewhere in my mind I knew that.
I was a virgin. I lost my virginity to rape. I lost my virginity to rape. I say that twice because this was not what I was told how sex should be, and part of me is still angry, and sad about it. But because of my other traumas, issues, inability to recognize what “things” were about, this is how it happened.
There is talk about fight or flight state, but there’s also a “freeze” state. It happens in animals as well, I’ve seen it with horses who have been abused when they can’t run, or fight, they freeze. This is what happened to me. I froze.
Here’s where the victim blaming kicked in.(Underlined link cited). I thought it was my fault because I had chosen to drive to Colorado and go to the party. I had not said “no” when he initially asked me to “come with me”. I thought it was my fault because I had drank some beers, but was far from drunk. I thought it was my fault period. And I made excuses for my self to self soothe at the time, because I didn’t know what else to do. I told my friend (who was a female, and who I had driven with) about it, but left out certain details, like how I kept telling him no, and that I didn’t want to do it. I made it sound like “I wanted it”. Deep down I felt like a failure, I felt violated, my body physically hurt, I had bruises on my arms and wrists. But I shared none of that.
Another way predators keep their victims in line; the man that did this to me would come around and continue to rape me. And I let him, because he was “nice” and he showed me attention, but only in the form of forcing me to have sex with him and telling me that it would ruin his life if I said anything. I was being groomed, and didn’t even know it.
It wasn’t until YEARS later that I was able to assimilate what had happened to me, and to forgive myself. It WAS NOT MY FAULT. I did not ask for it, and it was done against my will.
I lost my virginity to rape. I can never get that back. I can never recreate a loving relationship and have a do-over. It set the stage, along with other traumas, for many future dysfunctional relationships for me, and at least three other rapes. I had no idea how to love in a healthy way. Then I turned to substances when the emotional pain got to be too much, and my previous post (click here to read that post if you want) shared one of those occasions where unhealthy coping skills could have killed me.
I share this now because I understand the psychology behind the things that happened. I don’t feel like it was my fault anymore. The feelings of embarrassment, and shame do sneak in now and then, but I’m still human, still a work in progress. But it’s getting better.