My Personal Paradise in Palm Beach

So for those of you that have read Allegedly, you’d know that Matt and I rode off happily into the sunset in the last chapter. Well, technically we headed East, into the sunrise, and sadly, Maya didn’t make it with us.

Matt and I have been wanting to move to Florida for so long now, and after I left my job, we just stayed in Victoria, Texas because we were comfortable. We had already sold the house in San Antonio, but we were still close to the ranch. We liked the other people in our RV park, but it was a hassle for Matt, because it was over 2 hrs to the closest airport, and he travels almost weekly. Then, our friends started to leave the park, and Matt’s work started talking about dividing his territory. He could stay with Texas/Louisiana/Oklahoma, or get Florida/Tennessee/Georgia. It was just the push we needed. We had no reason to say in Victoria, and I dreaded the thought of moving back to San Antonio. So we spent forever looking for a new RV park we liked. We had sold our house already, and lived full time in an RV. People think this means you can just pack up and move anywhere. In theory it does. In reality, not so much.

Matt really wanted to live somewhere between Miami and Ft Lauderdale. Each has a good airport, and both are big cities with lots of stuff to do. So that’s where we started looking. I’m amazed at some of the RV parks in Florida. Most were built back in the days before RVs had slideouts, so the slips are tiny. Then, in winter, they pack them in like sardines. Some RV parks double people up. The amount they charge in winter is astronomical. Some RV parks in South Florida charge as much for a tiny RV slip as an actual apartment. It’s literally just a tiny piece of land. Many of them aren’t even concreted. Miami and Ft Lauderdale fill up with French Canadians over winter. People reviewing parks said if you don’t speak French, forget it. They’ll actively exclude you. Then, the majority were either right next to a train track, or in super sketchy areas.

Matt and I drove to almost every single RV park from Islamorada in the keys to Boca Raton, and didn’t find anything we both liked. We almost gave up. Then, I found a place online that wasn’t listed in the RV guides. It was up further north in Palm Beach, which Matt had originally considered too far north, and he wasn’t sure of the airport there. But I knew it was meant to be. It was right off Australian ave. It was literally a sign. I had him look at the flights in and out of there, and he was satisfied it would work as his hub.

I had just finished reading “The Official Preppy Handbook” and it assured me that Palm Beach was THE place to be. At least in Winter. Apparently I’m supposed to summer in the Hamptons, or Europe.

So on his next trip to Florida, Matt checked out the RV park here, and it was ok. So we set a date, and we moved. We miss our friends, but, I’m so happy here. I’m glad we didn’t find what we wanted in the other cities first.

We are actually in West Palm Beach, which someone told me I should never mention to anyone out on “the island” but in reality, no one has battered an eyelid when I tell them we’re in West Palm, and not in Palm proper. Most are fascinated that we live in something smaller than their pool house. The island is absolutely gorgeous. Apparently it contains the top 1% of the nation’s money, and the top 2% of the world’s money. I told Matt I could see why. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. I said “If I was a billionaire, I’d live here” to which Matt replied, “you’re not even a millionaire, and you DO live here.”

He’s right. We might not live in a $50 million dollar house on the beach, but I live in an RV that I love only 5 minutes away from it. I have no desire to live in one of those huge houses. Or any house again for that matter. The RV life is so simple and easy. It has everything we need, and nothing we don’t. I don’t have to spend hours cleaning (or hire a maid) and the little bit of gardening I do is because I want to, not because I have to.  We got lucky and have the biggest RV slip in the park, and I have a veggie garden, and even made a tiny zen garden. We’re so close to the airport that Matt calls me as he lands, and I make it to pick him up before he’s even outside. Thankfully, as close as we are, we’re not under the flight path. Some of those big houses are though…

I drive out to the island everyday to go workout. I found a beautiful place that does barre, yoga and pilates. They do spin too, but me and cardio aren’t friends. I try to go to a class everyday Monday to Friday. The people are super nice, and even though they all drive Land Cruisers and Porsches, they all think my lifted Jeep Wrangler is awesome. (It is) I’m not trying to get a supermodel body, I just want to get healthy, and it’s happening slowly. Barre is so much harder than I ever expected it to be. It’s harder than CrossFit was. I really enjoy it though, and Matt thinks I always look happier when I go. I’ve met some really cool people there. Even some that I have weird small world connections with. (Who would have imagined two people in a pilates class in Palm Beach would have both been interviewed by Tracy Grimshaw!) There’s also a bunch of expats here, and I’ve even made friends with another Aussie. One that I would have been friends with even if we both still lived in Australia. -Hey Maggie!

The restaurants here are amazing. There’s every kind of food you could think of, and it’s all good. Downtown West Palm Beach has CityPlace and Clematis St, which are both super busy and filled with shopping and restaurants. We’ve found a few favourite places, but are still trying everything else. We even found a cute little hangout we both like called Camelot. It’s a bar, but they also do a member’s thing. Palm Beach is full of members only clubs. We can’t afford The Breakers or Mar-a-Lago, (seriously, they’re both over $100k just to apply, then there’s the yearly fee) but I totally joined Camelot, just cause I could. (It was $100 a year) They gave me a fancy metal membership card, and now I feel totally preppy, belonging to a club in Palm Beach. 😉 While Palm Beach is very seasonal, and almost empties out in Summer, (everyone really does go to The Hamptons) West Palm Beach is buzzing all year long.

We still enjoy going down to Ft Lauderdale and Miami. Matt has to go down all the time for business, so I’ll go along some days. They are both fun to visit, but I don’t think I’d like living full time in Miami. Miami is super fast, flashy and very nouveau riche. Also, the traffic sucks. Palm Beach is old money, and everyone is super laid back and totally charming and chilled. Bonus; no traffic, unless you get caught by the drawbridge as someone sails their mega yacht through the intercoastal…

So even though we majorly downsized our life materialistically, I think we did a major upgrade spiritually. My quality of life here is so much better. I’ve never been happier. I’ve never enjoyed living somewhere so much. I absolutely love it here, and I’m grateful that Matt was able to move us here. The dream of living in Florida not only happened, but turned out so much better than I ever imagined it would.

So, if there’s something you think would make you happier in life, do it. Just go for it. Maybe you adjust your expectations, or make compromises. You might find that you give up something that didn’t make you happy anyway, in return for something that gives you so much more pleasure. I have zero regrets about giving up our big house in San Antonio. I’m living large while living tiny. The trade off is totally worth it. I’m not suggesting you move to Palm Beach, but go find the place that makes you happy, and just make it happen. Be flexible with your expectations. The thing you might have thought of as a compromise might end up being the thing you end up loving the most.

And just for the record, even if I was to become a millionaire, or even a billionaire, I’d still pick Palm Beach. It’s my happy place. I think the only difference is I’d pay off someone in the council to let me park the RV out on the island. Or build an RV park out there… Or live in someone’s pool house. Then again, I’m so close right here where we are, there’s not much point. Except to make Matt happy cause then he could walk to the beach instead of driving there.

Most of these pics below are from my Instagram, but since some people don’t use it, I figured I’d share them here, so you could see how awesome this place is. If you are on instagram, go follow me (@Shrimptank) so you can see all the other amazing stuff I didn’t include here.

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Tiny Living Laundry

I bought a Laundry Pod.

laundry pod box

I’ve been living in an RV for a while now. I was originally in my vintage Airstream part time while I was working, and I would go home on weekends. Last year, we sold the house, and we bought a much larger toy hauler fifth wheel RV, and Matt is now enjoying tiny house living as well. We really love it. We live in an RV park, which is a tiny gated community, with a pool, spa, rec center and on site laundry. You know when you were a kid and you went on holidays to the caravan park, and how you could just relax and enjoy life, and you didn’t have to mow lawns, or clean the pool, or do any hard work, you just sat around playing with the other kids, and life was awesome? Well, it’s basically that. Except we’re adults, and we drink and BBQ with the other adults. (And no, it’s not a trailer park. There’s one of those down the street.)

The only thing I don’t love about the RV is doing laundry. We actually have a space in the RV for a washer/dryer combo unit, but we’d prefer to have the closet space. Besides, the RV park has a coin laundry. It’s not so bad in summer, when it’s just the other full timers who live here, plus, you know, people who are vacationing, but in winter, it’s crazy busy. (We’re in South Texas, and in winter all the Yankees flock to the South to get away from the cold. We call them Winter Texans, or Snow Birds.) Anyway,  there’s 4 washers, and 6 dryers in the laundry room. When Matt and I go away, we generate a fair bit of laundry, but I only ever do 2 loads at a time, because I don’t want to be that asshole that hogs all the machines. Without fail though, every time I go down john deerethere, there’s an old lady who is on her phone, slowly spraying all the delicates, and hogging all four machines. It’s become a running joke. Then you have to trek up and down the park, waiting to put your laundry in. Then walk back down again to move it over, then come pick it up. I normally walk. Matt hops on the John Deere gator to go down there…. (It’s more fun than a golf cart 😉 )

I love the tiny house movement, and all the efforts people make to downsize, make a smaller footprint, and generally go green. Most of my clothes I hand wash anyway, so I decided to get a laundry pod. I’d seen quite a few different little off grid washing machines online, but this looked like the easiest to use.

I was super excited when it arrived today. (I had ordered it online) I had just put two loads in at the laundry when it arrived. It was Matt’s cargo shorts and the towels, so not stuff I would wash in the pod, but I opened it up right away and did a couple of loads of my own clothes to try it out. I’m a fan of the Meyers Clean Day laundry soaps, especially after the owner of the park said she always knows when I’m doing laundry because the scent goes upstairs. (Thankfully she said it was a good smell!) The small bottle is easy to store in our tiny space too. It’s not super sudsy, and does handwashing very nicely, without leaving a bunch of residue.

laundry podlaundry pod inside

So basically, the Laundry Pod is like a giant salad spinner. I put the soap in, added some water, added the clothes, some more water to make sure they were covered, and gave it a spin. I let the clothes soak for a while, then gave it another spin. It’s kind of a workout, and if you spin for long enough, it’s like doing cardio. When you think they’re done, turn the knob on the bottom, and water flows out of the hose, which comes out from underneath. You can tuck it away when you’re not using it. Then, add a little bit more water to rinse. Spin again, open drain, and then spin like crazy to get all the water out. Just like the spin cycle on a regular washing machine.

I hung my clothes on one of those folding clothes dryer racks. Thankfully, I can set it up behind one of the RV slideouts so nobody else can see my laundry. The other cool thing about being in a toy hauler RV is I can put the rack back there in the garage to dry clothes even in the rain.

I wouldn’t say it was easier than washing and drying clothes in the regular laundry, but it did mean I could gently wash all my clothes and hang them to dry like I prefer to do anyway. I’ll probably still do most of Matt’s clothes, and of course the sheets and towels down there. But at least for my clothes, I’ll be saving a shit tonne of water. I only used a couple gallons of water to do a load. Apparently a regular machine can use 30 gallons of water for a load. That’s a crazy amount of water. I tried it out today in my tub, but I could also do it outside and use the grey water on my plants. So double green points. It also saves me some green. Doing laundry is expensive. It’s $1.25 a wash, and another $1.25 to dry. With this, I don’t even pay for electricity. Just the water I need to quench my thirst afterwards! (and the small amount of water for washing)

It’s probably not practical for large households, but if you’re like me, and doing the tiny living thing, or need something for camping, your holiday house, or the inevitable zombie apocalypse when we all have to go off grid, this seems like a pretty useful little gadget. It’s small enough for apartments and dorms, and probably even people fulltiming on boats. I’ll have to do laundry more often, instead of letting a whole pile of clothes build up, but that’s ok. I need to cull a bunch of my wardrobe anyway.

I know, I’m easily amused, but it’s always the small stuff that makes me happy.


Tiny House Movement

Joining the tiny house movement, kinda.

I’m pretty excited to see that there’s about to be a TV show starting called Tiny House Nation on FYI channel.

John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin of Tiny House Nation

I’m a huge fan of the Tiny House movement. I also love Earthships, Eco Domes and other forms of natural building. I love the idea of being off-grid, and leaving a smaller footprint. I’m not into stuff. I don’t collect designer handbags or watches. I don’t covet expensive things. I don’t need a mega mansion. I’d rather use my money to travel, or have experiences. I’d rather collect memories than stuff that will just sit on a shelf somewhere.

I first got interested in Earthships several years ago. I was wondering what we could build down at the ranch. It’s pretty remote, and I love the idea of being completely self sustained. If there ever is an actual Zombie Apocalypse, I want to be somewhere far away, and not be relying on anyone to save me. I’ve always said if there’s ever a major glitch in the system, while ATMs are down, and everyone is freaking out about no internet, or electricity, the Hamish will be fine. Well, until the guys with guns show up and take their stuff…


The Earthship is a pretty hefty investment, and one has to live in it full time for it to really work. So then I was looking at eco-domes. I thought about building one of those, until I started an earthbag kitchen at the ranch. It’s a LOT of hard, heavy work, and the summers here are just too hot for any kind of manual labour.


While I’ve been deployed, I have been living in a vintage Airstream. I loved her. She is old, and was pretty gross when I bought her. I’ve done lots of work on her, but she’s really small.

My 23' vintage 1972 Airstream Safari
My 23′ vintage 1972 Airstream Safari

I absolutely loved living in her. She was small and cozy, and had everything I needed. It’s perfect for the dog and I. However, when Matt would come visit, it wasn’t fun. It’s got twin beds, so not so romantic. It’s also very small, and Matt is claustrophobic. He would hit his head on the door every time he stepped inside, and he grew to hate it with a passion. I think it set back my quest to get Matt to join the tiny house movement.

One day though, Matt woke up, realized that since he works from home, and could work from anywhere, while I work in a city 2.5 hrs away, he decided he’d rather live small with me, than live in our 2400 sq ft house in San Antonio without me. We knew we couldn’t live in the Airsteam together, and so we started looking at more practical options.

5th wheel toy hauler

We didn’t build a tiny house. Matt is a Texan and I just don’t think I’ll ever get him in a true tiny house. We did however end up with a 5th wheel toy hauler. We wanted something to be mobile, because we still like the idea of traveling. When I’m tired of working here, we can pick the next place on the map, and just move our house there. We love the idea of moving to Florida, but not packing boxes and unpacking boxes. We ended up getting a toy hauler, because it has the garage in the back, which Matt uses as an office. After traveling in a Class C motorhome for a couple years, we understood it was important to have a separate room for him to work. Plus, when we do finally move, we can put all our outdoor stuff back there while we’re moving.


It’s not really all that tiny either. At 44′ it’s actually pretty damn big. Probably the biggest one in our RV park! But it’s certainly way smaller than our house. In fact, it’s probably smaller than our Master Bedroom at home. It’s got everything we need though, and find we are actually way happier in it than we are on the weekends we go home to our stick house. I’ve even got veggies growing in pots down here. We’re still on the grid, but figure we’ll get off grid eventually. Baby steps. At least it’s got a big generator in it for if the power goes out. It’s even got it’s own gas tank with pumps near the back.

Lots of room inside
Lots of room inside

So now we’ve got our house in San Antonio for sale, and we hope it sells quickly so we can just enjoy being full time RVers. We love living in the RV park. No, it’s not the same as a trailer park. There’s a trailer park up the street. They are “mobile homes” but there’s really nothing mobile about them. RV parks have a great mixture of people. Where we are, there’s full timers, who are mostly retired people, and there’s a bunch of oil field workers. Then in winter, we get all the snow birds, or “winter Texans”. There’s also regular travelers who pass through for a few days while exploring the nation. We don’t have to mow the lawn, or clean the pool. Everyone is social, and people get together for pot luck dinners, or a beer after work. We pay a monthly slip fee, but it includes everything except electricity. No more property taxes, water bill, cable TV bill or trash collection fee. Being fully self contained, we got a traditional mortgage, so it’s not even a huge monthly payment for the RV. This one is high end, but my airstream was under $7k, with repairs. It was cheaper to live in that than an apartment. (Yes, I’m very frugal)

We love the RV life so much, I’m actually thinking of buying an RV park if we ever do move to Florida. Even more than that, I’d like to start a tiny home community. I’d buy some land, or an existing RV or mobile home park that has lots of green space. Then set up a tiny home park, with communal vegetable gardens. – I must sound like such a hippy!

Anyone else dream of getting rid of their solid home, and living small? Or anyone already gone off grid? Do you love it, or hate it?


Re-using Food…

Getting the most out of my groceries.

Last year sometime I bought Matt an espresso machine and I got myself a juicer. For quite a few months, I juiced everyday. I even did a couple of juice fasts. I composted my pulp into the garden and I felt pretty good. Then I tapered off and pretty much stopped juicing for a while.

When I took this job, I packed up my juicer into my Airstream, and every couple of days I juiced. Mainly when I was trying to use up the veggies in the fridge. It was a good way to get rid of stuff quickly, without making some kind of soup or stir fry. Then, a few months ago I took it off my preciously small counter space and put it under the sink. There’s like a square foot of counter in this travel trailer, and if it wasn’t getting used full time, it was taking up too much space. Of course, then it was out of sight, out of mind. It didn’t get used for several months at all.

Then right before we went to the beach, I started thinking about my juicer again. I thought about pulling it back out when I got back from my 4 day. We got down to the beach, and I got to visit my friend Vicki. She’s another Aussie Expat that used to live in San Antonio, but she moved to the beach. Sitting out on the deck, she starts talking about that movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It’s the documentary about the Australian guy who travels across the US with his juicer. I had a great weekend, then headed back to the Border, and my first night at work, the guys in the office next to us ask me if I’ve seen this movie with the Aussie guy and the juicer…. Well, I figured the universe was trying to tell me something. So that night after work, I headed to get some veggies and pulled out the juicer. I drank my first juice while watching the movie, which I had actually never seen before.

I’m not fasting like they did, but I am glad to be getting some fresh juice again. We had been on a health kick at work for a while, but this week we’ve had pizza, hamburgers then KFC… So getting some veggies in at least I’m getting some kind of nutrients….

I normally do veggies, but I’ve started making fruit juice in the morning. I tried to put the pulp in my tiny little garden down here, but then yesterday morning I looked at my pulp, which was all fruit, and thought there had to be something else I could so with it. In the past I had tried to use the veggie pulp as a soup base, but it wasn’t very good. But I thought maybe the fruit pulp would be different. So I cut up an apple, threw it in a pot and stewed it till it was softish, then added the fruit pulp. I had defrosted some puff pastry I had in the freezer, and I made 4 little fruit pies. I took them to work, along with a soup made with a tonne of veggies and some prawns/shrimp. The pastries turned out pretty good, so I tried it again today. I think they look pretty good. I had used lots of blueberries, so they’re pretty purple. But it’s got a whole mash of fruit, so even though there’s pastry, it’s still a pretty good treat. Yesterday I used some cinnamon sugar butter I had in the fridge, but I didn’t have any left today, but I think they still look pretty good.

Not sure what I’m going to make for lunch today, but at least I’ve got dessert sorted. I think this is a much better use of my pulp than just chucking it in the garden, or worse, in the trash.

Do you have any weird ways you stretch your groceries? Do you do it to save money or the environment, or just hate making trips to the grocery store?

I love these cause they’re so simple. I was already making something and it’s like it almost made itself. No set recipe, just whatever is on hand. Not store bought, so I know exactly what’s in it. No chemicals or preservatives or mounds of added sugar.

Food should be simple! (and delicious)


My Vintage Airstream Project

My Vintage 1972 Airstream Land Yacht Safari

Living small in a vintage Airstream

As many of you know, I’m into sustainable housing and the tiny house movement. I don’t feel the need to live in a huge McMansion. We have a 2 story 2400 sq. ft. house in San Antonio that we only use half of. The other rooms just gather dust.

For a while now I’ve known that I eventually want to build an Earthship. I also like Eco-Domes and had though of building one down at our ranch. If we ever built the Earthship, the Eco-Dome would become a guest house.

I’ve also looked at a lot of the tiny house movement and sustainable living designs. I love many of them, but Matt doesn’t. He wants to be earth friendly, but doesn’t want to live in 100 sq. ft. I guess that’s why we both like the Earthship. It’s bigger like he wants, but totally off grid like I want.

A lot of people in the tiny house movement have bought old Airstreams and fixed them up and live in them full time. The Airstream is a classic piece of Americana. They’re built to last and are instantly recognizable. They’re trendy with the Hollywood set too.

Celebrities and their Airstreams Here’s an Morning Show video about Airstreams

Matt and I spent several years traveling around in a Class C Motorhome when he was contracting. We liked it much better than hotels, but I didn’t like feeling like we were living in a bus. I always wanted a Travel Trailer. It’s just a little more homey.

So last year I joined the Guard. Then someone told me about one of the deployments that’s essentially a full time active duty position. There’s six locations, none of them in San Antonio. I thought it would be an incredible opportunity to work full time in the Guard. It would probably be my only chance to ever wear a uniform full time. It had always been my dream to serve in the regular full time military, so this was an awesome opportunity. Even better, the job was actually something I was skilled at. Sitting behind a computer all day! So I applied. My Commanding Officer sent in a letter of recommendation. I got an interview call. A half hour later they called back and offered me the position. I was so excited. Even better, the location I got was only 3 hours from home. So I could still go home easily on my days off. It was also in a town we had traveled to many times and actually like. Although apparently I’m one of the few people who had a positive image of the town before coming here…

We have to supply our own accommodation down here. Some of the guys share a house together, one of the other guys rents a room from someone. I knew I wanted my own space, and I was going to get an RV. I was looking at cheap ones, and they were all so blah. I knew I wanted an Airstream. So I started searching. Eventually, I drove out to Houston to look at one, and with a week to go before I deployed, I picked her. She seemed pretty good. Matt was pissed caused she weighed way, way more than what I was supposed to buy. But hey, she was $3500. Plus, she was nice and spacious inside, and I though she just needed a cosmetic make-over. That would give me something to do while I was down here by myself.

So I took her into our local RV repair place. They said it was a good thing I hadn’t just taken her with me. She was ready to explode… So $2000 later, she had new gas lines, new electrical, patched up some leaks and a new kitchen faucet. So, now I’m $5500 into her. Still not bad. The tiny 1979 Argosy I had looked at for $6000 wasn’t as nice and was half the size, so I still felt I was ahead. Of course, by this time I was staying in a hotel because I’m a procrastinator and had waited so long. After 2 weeks though, I finally got her down to an RV park and started full timing.

I was in heaven. Then, the Heavens opened, and I was in Hell. The roof leaked. The Airstream had been in an accident years before. They hit something and crashed the front. The windows were buggered up. The front corner is dented.

What I didn’t know was that there used to be an antenna up top. I guess it got ripped off. They had kinda patched it, but not that well. So there’s water pouring in. Awesome. It’s not easy fixing a roof on an Airstream. Eventually, I took off the vents from the inside and stood inside the vent and patched the roof that way.

Of course, the other problem with leaks and a known issue with Airtreams is floor rot. Mine doesn’t appear too bad, except in the bathroom. It seems like the plastic is just sitting on the trusses. The whole sub floor is rotted out. My big project is to rip out the bathroom, replace the sub-floor and then put the bathroom back in.

Some of the easier projects have been cosmetic on the inside. I pulled all the broken perspex off the front window, then cleaned the old bubbling tint on there. It was amazing the difference that small window made.

I got rid of the old broken rolling window shade in the kitchen. I painted the hideous yellowing plastic in silver, and installed mini blinds. I had found these cool plastic metallic backsplashes which worked like a champ with the curve of the Airstream. So for $20, I had a pretty new backsplash. The blinds were $8 each. Paint was $14 for the metallic and the primer I had to use first. So for under $50, I had a total kitchen make-over.

Painted Window and New Blinds.

I thought the Aistream was pretty dark and wondered why there wasn’t more lighting. Turns out the roof vents also had lights under there. I didn’t find this out till I pulled down the ugly vents when I was fixing the roof. It was pretty gross up there. About 30 years worth of mold… I had to completely sanitize everything. I had been watching a series on American Restoration and they replaced the vents.

I wanted to do the same. Matt suggested I paint them, which at first thought was silly. Then one day I grabbed the paint and tried it, and they ended up looking pretty good. Well, in the day time at least. At night when the lights are on they look a little funny.

Ugly yellow vent.

While out shopping I saw the most awesome bedroom sets. They had sheets, comforters and and matching curtains in my favourite shades of Fuschia and Cyan. I also found a shower curtain with matching colours, a floor mat and even a broom in the same shades. I figured if I couldn’t do the floor yet, I could at least make the interior bright and happy to live in. I also installed the mini blinds behind the curtains. Some weeks I work nights, and I like it dark to sleep in.

I started painting over the other ugly yellow plastic parts too. The biggest part is at the front. The end dome was this awful shade of orange yellow. I painted it silver too.

I’ve got some pretty new curtains that go with my retro theme for the front.  I haven’t put them up yet though. As I work on stuff, I’ll post it up here. It has been a pretty fun project. I finally broke down and installed a flat screen TV a couple weeks ago. Put up the swivel mount, installed the TV, then realized there wasn’t a jack on the outside to hook up to the cable… The jack on the inside went to the old antenna. Which, surprisingly, picked up two Mexican channels. So then I ran new coax and installed a jack on the outside.
I’ve always been handy, and sometimes I’m surprised at the amount of stuff I can work on myself. I’m looking forward to re-doing the bathroom and then I’ll lay new flooring throughout. The lino in here is pretty fugly.
At the end of my deployment, hopefully I’ll have her all shiny and new and I can sell her and get my money back. The vintage Airstreams are pretty trendy right now. I’ve seen some that have been restored or refurbished go for almost $20k. I know mine’s not going to sell for that kind of cash, but if I can break even on my accommodation costs I’ll be happy. In the meantime, I’m still coming out ahead. I only pay $215 a month rent on my RV space, which includes cable TV and free WiFi. My electricity is about $20 a month. (I’m constantly unplugging things if I’m not using them) Even if I shared a house I’d have to pay more than that. I take my laundry home on my days off. Best of all, I have my own space. I like the people I work with, but I probably wouldn’t if I had to live with them as well…

I see articles in the paper in Oz about the housing crisis in Sydney. Maybe if more people could downsize, or if councils weren’t so anal retentive about micro managing every aspect of building, people could have more affordable housing. Maybe younger people could look at living in RV’s and save up their money for a house. Or look at buying land and building an Eco-Dome. It’s not just the building itself, but these things cost much less in electricity and water too. People could make caravan parks where they have US style RV’s that are completely self contained. I remember staying at Kate’s caravan as a kid and we had to walk 10 minutes to pee or shower. That sucked. I can’t imagine staying in a camper now and not having a toilet and shower.

Instead of buying into the dream of owning a big home, think outside the box. Look at alternative housing. It might surprise you how comfortable it is.