Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Another Update Coming Your Way!

Hello Luvs,
You CAN'T say 'NO' to
this face can you?!?!

Of course I jumped the gun regarding my new blog site. Trying to use wordress has been quite a challenge for me. Most of the people I know that you it are either tech savvy (which I am not!) or hired someone to help them. Since the first is changing every day the latter is just not in the budget. I am looking forward to not writing/typing that!
Food reviews? I got you!

So, I researched my options. The one site that kept coming up was Wix. I have used Wix previously for my children's album. Yes, the one that I have been neglecting. As it turns out another idea came to me and I am working with an illustrator to bring you it's goodness! To make sure that I don't jump the gun on this one I will hold off til I can make sure its is coming to you soon.
Contemporary goodies for sale!

I started to craft the new site and it is coming along. I should still have it ready to pop onto this Friday (May 12th). This site will be shut down on the 11th and the new one brought to you shortly after (within hours!). I am extremely excited because the site will be a one stop place for you to take part in all the projects I am offering. Below are just a few of the pages/options you will see.
Vintage goodness too!




-YouTube Vlog
-Blog
-Vintage/Contemporary Items for Sale
-National Park Reviews
-Restaurant Reviews

Our journey together has been quite amazing thus far and my hope is that you will continue reading and watching just what goes through this fluttering mind. 

Will you join me @http://hpwtravel.wixsite.com/katsrvlifestyle

It's happening this Friday!
Join us....won't you?!?!

Til next time,

Kat

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Black & White....and RED ALL OVER!

Hello Luvs,

I warn you ahead of time that this will be a long one. I need to get some things out regarding what I've observed while traveling around the U.S. and by what is happening in the government to regarding healthcare.
The beast that looms over us.
We have been holding off relocating to another country because of my health. I've been having a tough go of it and being able to have access to needed medication to control certain aspects of it is essential. What just happened in the House (the repeal of the ACA) not only affects our family but many people I know. Contrary to what many believe, the ACA helped healthcare become affordable to people who make a living in the Arts, work full-time at a low paying job, were forced to return to work because of large medical bills, had a preexisting health issue and were continuously being turned down, and could I go on. One question has funneled itself into my brain, "Will these same lawmakers be willing to give up their government healthcare when they work less hours than most Americans in their 'Merica?" The deep heartache I feel for others who have it even worse than me but have to stay in place (versus us being able to go where we can find some relief) has become at times debilitating.

Add to all of this the fact that the money they are taking away from the ACA will go to the military and toward building a RIDICULOUS wall to keep out the very people who were in all actuality part of this land until others decided to divide it up. The U.S. and other powers were the ones to take away their land, just as they took away lands from Native-Americans. I feel so embarrassed of where 40% of this country stands.


Looking ahead for a way of change.

Ok......then there has been our interactions with people as we've fluttered along in Eartha. Admittedly I've had blinders on when it came to race relations. I knew some places were held back by primitive beliefs, but not SO MANY! From our experience (over the last 9 months) we've witnessed the true reality that this country has not come anywhere close to erasing the hatred and fear that many have toward people of color. I've seen other ethnic groups blatantly discriminate against other minorities. Speaking for myself, I've had at least half a dozen women clasp their purse, move it closer to them, or hug it tighter when they notice me coming their way. They look up and immediately grab their bag from their cart or sitting next to them. It is so blatant to me that I  have no choice but to take notice. When discussing it with Josh it was obvious that it is second nature. Meaning....they do it automatically when they notice a COLORED/NEGRO/BLACK/AFRICAN-AMERICAN Woman in their vicinity. Typing that brings a tightness to my chest that leaves behind a haunting fear for the future of my bi-racial children. Not only Myles (who will definitely face it more than Jalen), but for her too. Just like in the fifties, Women are not immune to brutality suffered by those who fear and refuse to understand what is not familiar, different,or deemed threatening.

This country has been touted as the greatest on Earth. We got the golden ticket by being born here.... right? Yes, there are countries that are worse than here, but there are also ones that are doing things better. Because money is the driving factor that oils this machine there will never be significant change.

Let's consider the ways in which today's decision will bring about negative consequences.

-Medication will no longer be affordable (not that that wasn't an issue before-but even more so).

-Preventative visits will not be done and in the end cause many avoidable conditions to skyrocket (being too late to address) hence making the cost needed for treatment to rise even more.

-A college education will either leave the graduate in heavy debt when they receive their degree, or many will not be able to afford to attend in the firs
t place.

-Children (and of course others) born with certain conditions can be denied treatment (or have the cost so exorbitant that they cannot pay for it) because it is considered preexisting....even victims of rape!

-Those who do not make enough or their job does not offer a healthcare option will not have access to the treatment they need.

-Poor families will have to choose between rent, food, light bill, etc. and the much needed healthcare their family needs.

These are things that just popped into my head....and they are way too many!

Let me tell you what won't change.

-Those elected officials will still receive their government provided healthcare.

-Wealthy individuals will vacation, get unneeded procedures, and call the police on the suspicious person walking through their neighborhood (who actually owns a home there!).

-Those who have been harboring hatred in their hearts toward people of color will continue to become more brazen and open in their actions. As a family we are starting to see it more and more everyday.

I would love to know your thoughts. Does what is happening make you sad, mad, encouraged, deflated, all of these, and/or none of these?

I can tell you one thing. Our family of six WILL change our focus. We see and hear what lawmakers are saying. We know that the middle (us) and lower class citizens are bearing the brunt of their actions while the rich benefit. Empathy for our fellow humans does not reside in their hearts. Only if it affects them directly will they change their stance. History has proven that.
History is prepared to repeat itself via an ego driven madman (hello...on Twitter in the middle of the night) residing in the white house with two disasters (yes you...pence and ryan) riding beside him. A blatant racist on one side and an elitist without a conscious or moral bone in his body who is driven to beat down the lower class on the other. 

The rest of the world is beginning to loathe Americans because they believe that he represents our beliefs. No, there are many who do not. Because of the electoral college and the DNC branding clinton the heir apparent/next in line we have what we have. If these two things were not in place we would have been rewarded with Bernie Sanders as our President.

Maybe in an alternate universe he is. How I wish that was true...even if I do not exist in it. But I don't and he isn't.....and that my Luvs brings my slow burn to a boil. What does it do to you?

Till next time,

Kat

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Visiting Mt. Hood Natiobnal Forest & Sandy, Oregon

Hello Luvs,

Before sharing the vlog from our trip I thought I would remind you of my blog change.

My new site which will not only share my blogs but items I have available for sale. Hopefully it will take things up to the next level and allow you to pop onto one location to find out what we are up to, view my vlogs, and pick up fashionable goodies.

The new site address is https://haveparasolwilltravel.wordpress.com/. I would love it if you follow me there and continue to share my journey with me.
Field of yellow wildflowers seen along the way.


Now onto the vlog. We had lots of fun not only traveling there for the day, but on the actual drive up. You can watch the YouTube video by clicking the link below.


Thanks for popping on. We hope that you enjoy the video and glad you popped on.

Til next time,

Kat

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Quick Visit to the Beaverton Library...

Hello Luvs,

We often travel to various locations where we get to experience just how much a city or town treasures it's library. I often wonder is it lack of funding, less focus on reading in this digital age, or a combination of the two.
If ever in Beaverton....
check out the Farmer's Market!


One thing that we continue to see in this part of the country is libraries opening and welcoming people who are without a home and/or suffer from a substance abuse problem. We have never felt unsafe, and it's nice to see that they have a place to go when the weather is not so great...which has been pretty regular since our arrival. What do I mean by that? Well, it ranges from tears to crocodiles, to baby elephant wailing rain.....ARGH!

Below is a short video of our visit to the park located next to the library. Yep, I get my giggle on, Josh does his silliest dance, and Myles tries out some skateboarding moves.

All in a day's play for this family of six. Enjoy!


Til next time,

Kat

Monday, May 1, 2017

Changes to my Blog Location

Hello Luvs,

I wanted to share the news. I am switching from this site to WordPress. As of next Monday 8th this site will be closed down. I wanted to give enough notice just in case you only visit once a week.

My new site which will not only share my blogs but items I have available for sale. Hopefully it will take things up to the next level and allow you to pop onto one location to find out what we are up to, view my vlogs, and pick up fashionable goodies.

The new site address is https://haveparasolwilltravel.wordpress.com/. I would love it if you follow me there and continue to share my journey with me.

Yay! Excited and a bit nervous....! I guess that life's changes can do that sometimes!

Til next time,

Kat

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Breathing Out for Relief....

Dreaming of far off lands....
Hello Luvs,

Time for my laundry day poetry share. Today's is brought about by the pain that has been constant for the last few days. Typically it is not a constant but rather pops up, leaves, then comes back again. Unfortunately, it has decided to keep me company. Because of this I am trying to vanquish it with words and mindfulness since medication is currently not working. I hope you enjoy it.

Til next time,

Kat


Breathing Out For Relief.....

Though my instinct is to breathe in

My actions seem the polar opposite

Always breathing out for relief

That refuses to come to me

Even if I curse the day

You came into my orbit

Anchored and pulsing you remain

My friend who lives below the skin

With a pride so vain

Medicated but not sedated

Within a bubble you stay

Just under the surface

Poking your head out each day

I would love to call a truce

If that would please you

                                        ~Kat L. Wilson, 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

How Would You Like to Experience Newport, Oregon?

Hello Luvs,

We are still trying to decide where to make our home base. We do like Nevada and plan on being there for a good chunk of the winter. However, being closer to the beach has always appealed to us. After visiting Canada we aren't sure that spending a large part of the year would work. We still adore it, however insurance (or the possibility of losing it) is always on our mind.
K. Haring inspired?

Because of this Josh once again put on his researcher hat and came across the Newport, Oregon area. Since we are still open we decided to check it out. We're still a long way from deciding, but I thought I would vlog about our experience while here.


Of course we fell immediately in awe of the fact that the beach (Nye Beach in Lincoln County) is not only gorgeous, but incredibly clean and well maintained. Even the public restroom can tout that.
Eartha fits right in.





Oh, my....the clouds!






So, take a seat and take a gander at the vlog below. Simply click on the link!


Til next time,

Kat

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hillsboro, OR Main Public Library

Hello Luvs,

Today's YouTube blog/vlog is mostly about the amazement we felt while visiting the Hillsboro, OR Main Library for the third time. We took a few walks during the day, and just before lunch we got to see geese in action.

It was a major occurrence that I will hold close to my heart. Hopefully it will be the same for Jalen and Myles. Still wondering why others did not pay much attention.

I hope you like the video and don't forget to LIKE, SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE. It's a way to show me that you enjoy the content I am sharing. Simply click the link below.

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y86Jr13rztE

Mama and her ducklings....!


Til next time,
Kat

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Give It Notice....



Hello Luvs,

Happy laundry day! With it comes another poem inspired by this moment in this life of mine. Enjoy.....
Doesn't this inspire you to DO SOMETHING?!?!
Til next time,

Kat


Give It Notice

No longer set adrift

Instead focused ahead

The remainder of doubt erased

Longing for the changes

Most remember well before

They were determined to give it notice

Don't you see your mind is blank

Deep breathes taken to calm it

                                              ~Kat L. Wilson, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What Constitutes a Life Change Is Different For Everyone

Hello Luvs,

As this family of six moves toward our next destination and hopefully a place where we feel both at home and connected I find myself evaluating just where and how our life changes have affected not only me but my family. There are the constant thoughts of...am I doing it right, failing myself or my kiddos, or should we keep trucking along. The answer has not been forthcoming, but I know it's there.

Taking the initial step of getting rid of our possessions was huge! However, from what I felt and witnessed it was freeing for the whole family. We were ready. Our unit felt the need to leave the situation that was pushing us down and mistreating us for an unknown. Wow! Just typing that reminds me of some of the feelings I had back then.

Nevermind the fact that when speaking to folks I know making such a drastic change was baffling. It was something many would never do. They would never venture toward something that had not been researched within an inch of it's life let alone get rid of the things which provide the literal walls of their cocoon. They are anchored and any shift puts them adrift.

So when really thinking about it...for each person even the tiniest shift is a life change for each of them. In the eyes of another it might not seem large and appear insignificant. They don't really need to do what we did to feel the sting of uncharted waters.

For us what was needed was a much bigger step. A decision that sometimes places a small ping of doubt which vanishes when Jalen and Myles share something that for most kids wouldn't happen til adulthood. A passion lit and expressed with full emphasis. In the end...they are the reason that we needed to make our change. For others the inspiration might be similar or the polar opposite. We decide in our own hearts what we need to do in regard to feeling fulfilled, safe, productive, emboldened, and most of all HAPPY.
Below is an update video of the small change we made for making our coffee. It saves not only gas from generator usage, but it makes for an easy yet delicious cup of joe. Check it out!
Melitta Pour Over Coffee
Maker-$4.99 at Goodwill


Til next time,

Kat

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cha...CHa...Cha...Chaaiiinnnges!

Hello Luvs,

The journey we are on has shown me many things. One of the most important is living in the person I am, yet at the same time having the aim of becoming a better me. The change that can be made within.
Behind the parasol?
Simply me....


Take a gander of my last YouTube video that shows how my shell has changed, yet the words that accompany them express that I live with the goal of both you and me being OUR BEST SELVES that embraces everything we offer from our true hearts. I hope you enjoy the poetry...and please remember to subscribe to my channel.


Til next time,

Kat

Friday, April 14, 2017

Vancouver, WA. Main Library Visit

Hello Luvs,

If you've followed the blog you know that we survive on library visits. Whenever we flutter we find at least one to use for roadschooling the kids. This was started last August and we have been lucky to find some truly amazing locations.
Isn't this just beautiful!

The Vancouver, WA. Main Library was no exception. Not only did they have a great book selection, but the building itself was a masterpiece. There was a lovely mixture of wood, metal, and cement. There was also an feature where words popped off the wall when you first enter.

There are five floors so we had no trouble finding a spot to sit. On our second visit we actually sat in one of their study pod. It has two separate pieces of curved glass which seem to help the sound remain enclosed. How does it work? Not sure, but it did.

On our way out I witnessed something disturbing. To find out what just click the link below. Afterward I would love to hear how you would have handled the situation.


Til next time,

Kat

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Quick Jaunt Up to Portland....and YES There Was Food!

Beautiful view from our drive home.
Hello Luvs,

Found myself selling some things again in the city. When there we had other option than to visit the food truck area. Maybe next time I won't devour my food BEFORE taking a picture.

This family is learning to really love Portland. Let's see what other ruckus we can get ourselves into! Until then, please check out the vlog from the visit. Simply click the link below.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Can't Find a Rug You Want? Make Your Own!

Finished project...YAY!
Hello Luvs,

So, I have been on a hunt for a new rug for the entryway on Eartha. Pippie had REALLY done a number on our previous ones. Through my search I found ones that were either too narrow or too big.

Instead of ordering one online and paying way too much I decided to make my own. Below is the process.

I picked up the following and put it together with a loop stitch.

-four from Walmart (just over two dollars each)

-matching fabric thread

-needle for sewing (curved would have made the job easier!)

-scissors

-thimble

Now....go ahead and check out the vlog! Simply click the link below.


Til next time,

Kat

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Are ALL Buy, Sell, and Trade Businesses Interchangeable?

Hello Luvs,


All thrifted and all me.
So, being in a new area and in need to thin out Eartha even more my go to option is to take them to a buy, sell, or trade business (before even thinking of donating them). Out of the all the options I tend to flutter to two specific ones. I thought I would share a little about them and what I've taken away from my recent experiences in the Portland area. All in all it has been positive. To make sure that you walk away feeling satisfied versus deflated you should read on.

One of the companies is Crossroads Trading Co. I used to work for them on and off for several years. Because my best friend worked (still does) there and the environment seemed more my speed I left a job that paid almost 3x's more to work there. The times spent in Northern California working at CTC were great. I fell in love with sushi and honed my vintage knowledge skills along with high end mastery. Wait, I digress....I am no longer there and this is a completely different topic. Thus far I have been to two locations with one I took in some things to and the other I scoped out to see what they are looking for. The reason why I have not been back even though I know that there are items they would buy (after taking a walk around) is because of my experience at the first. Because I was new to the area I admit that I didn't have my brands dialed in. That was part of the problem. I say part of the problem because it isn't/wasn't the reason why I will hold off on bringing things in to that specific location. With my years of experience I know the way a seller should be treated and the relaxed nature there needs to be to put the seller at ease. If the person who is buying from you seems uncomfortable, distant, and robotic it just doesn't feel right. Others might not have the same impression, and knowing the business model I give benefit of the doubt at the very start. How it goes from there is the question. Being given a rehearsed statement at the end of everything isn't the greatest end. Yes, they did buy a few things. I'll give them that, but some of the reasoning was not appropriate (age and condition) when I saw items just like them in the store in abundance. If.....I say if I was told that they found they aren't selling or have too much then ok. Anything else just doesn't work. In the end they seem to have shifted to more of a boutique resale store. I'm sure their shift (wasn't always that way) has been successful for them or they wouldn't venture there. Will I sell at their other location? Maybe....if I do I will post an update.
One of the recent goodies sold.

So, what is the key to selling at Crossroads? I would do the following in order to give yourself the best chance of success.

-If you are able to, go in and look at what they have in stock. You can visit their website to check the season they're buying for along with the brands they DO NOT BUY.
-Since each location might lean toward different items (contemporary versus vintage or long handles versus short on bags) to fit a slightly different customer. They will however let you know which labels do best for them.
- Make sure your items are clean and have all their moving parts.
-Bring in items that are within the last 2 or so years and season appropriate. Folks that are keen on wearing what is happening at the moment will do well. Fortunately, if you bought them recently and they don't fit and you can't return them while still fitting the guidelines you are in luck.

*For more information simply click the link: https://crossroadstrading.com/
Recently while in Northern CA.
ran into the lovely Melissa-
a previous CTC co-worker.

Now onto the other company I have frequented more while in the area.....Buffalo Exchange. When working for Crossroads I thought that Buffalo was not the beast for me. I had a wonky perception of just what they were. Josh always showed a preference for shopping there for his needs. Over the years my perception about B.E. has changed. Maybe it has more to do with me versus them, but I have found that they fall more toward everyone who loves the buy/sell/trade industry in addition to a quirky (for me...ALL OVER THE PLACE!) sense of style. I'm not saying that CTC or others are not great places to go. I am saying that for what I buy and later try to sell B.E. really fits me. Not only because of my love of an awesome rock tee, vintage wallet, or kicka** boots, but for the willingness to try untested items because of their gut. Yep, they follow trends just like others, but their variety of trends sets them apart from others. Not just Stephanie and Rick but for Skylar and yes....Kat. I have tried both locations in the Portland area and they buy slightly different things, however the complete experience leaves you feeling like they are about the experience. It pains me a bit to admit it, but it is how I really feel. When in this area I will frequent their locations. I know that they are not perfect (did not sell a bag there because the price was too low for it in comparison to what it retailed-better fit for Crossroads or Ebay) but they do their best to offer you the best price. Add to that the buy by mail, buying vintage (most locations that I've visited), and the Earth Day Sale (items for $1-this year it is on the 22nd) and you are in resale heaven! Oh, and I found my new FAVORITE bag there! Hello...!
Boots from store in N.C. that I
traded with.

So, what are the tricks for selling at Buffalo?

-The same list as above. But, you can take in vintage items to them. As long as they are clean and without holes., and with all their moving parts...that will never change for either. 

*For more information simply click the link: https://www.buffaloexchange.com/
Will my Weezer shirt go to B.E. soon?


I have visited strictly vintage buying businesses in the area but only once. I feel it would not be enough to get a feel for their practices. When I have more visits I will let you know my thoughts.

Speaking of thoughts....would LOVE to know yours. Leave a comment below and let me know what YOU think.

Til next time,

Kat


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Review of the Silver Reef Hotel Casino and Spa!

Hello Luvs,

Happy Sunday! Thought I would share a quick vlog about what we thought of the Silver Reef Hotel Casino and Spa that we boondocked for three nights. Because we were considering Bellingham, WA. for our new locale we thought staying near would work out the best. The Hotel is only about ten minutes away being located in Ferndale, WA.
A little cutie the kids found while
walking the dogs.


Take a gander at the YouTube vlog below.



Til next time,

Kat

Please don't forget to LIKE, SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE to my channel!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Oh Yeah....Vancouver FINALLY!

Hello Luvs,

Yay! I finally get the chance to share my Vancouver trip with you. The weather kept changing so we did a lot of driving and managed to walk down to the eatery where we had Asian cuisine.

We are hoping to travel there again sometime in the near future. When we do I will be sure to get more pictures and hopefully some museum time.

Until then, please check out the vlog from our April 1st trip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSEwSDIz2eE&t=33s


Til next time,

Kat

P.S. Don't forget to follow the channel! Your support is appreciated more than you know!


My First Birthday in Eartha!

I sooo love the moss covered trees!
Hello Luvs,

As time passes they have been some great places and special occasions. This one just happened to be my birthday. The video gives a peek into just some of the fun we had. Enjoy!


Just click the link to watch the video!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Did All Go Swimmingly in Seattle, WA.?



Hello Luvs,

Our Seattle trip started with joy and excitement. During the day we saw wonderful art, a gum filled alleyway, and ate food that will leave a lasting impression on all of us. Unfortunately, the day did not end on the same note.
Got to witness some fish throwin'!
Happy Eaters!










To find out more just click the link below. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m_xQcYt1ow&list=PLlJ0faiqVE_XGstYiOF7s90vrAMqEmicn&index=1&t=5s



To make sure that you never miss a video update, travel recommendation, or pictures of an awesome locale simply follow my channel.



Art all around.....


Have Parasol Will Travel @https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt-rqxxOylbvEUMDGYlM2tQ/featured?view_as=public
 
Gotta stop and smell the flowers!

Fremont Troll












Til next time,

Kat





Monday, April 3, 2017

What Did We Experience at the Birthplace of Kurt Cobain?

Hello Luvs,

We could not come to this part of the country and not visit the birthplace of Kurt Cobain.....Aberdeen, WA. It was quite the experience being in a place that he slept, wrote music, and quite simply looked upon. It was both overwhelming and spirit lifting.

Knowing that he suffered so much before his death (and for a long time before) makes his loss such a tragedy yet a respite for him.

Through my photographs and videos I hope you feel as if you looked, stepped, and admired the place that he called home. Simply click the video link below to watch. I would love it if you then SUBSCRIBED to the channel. You would ensure that you never miss an update when I am unable to place something here.....because of the lack of wifi and/or time of course!


Monday, March 27, 2017

When You Look More Deeply....

Hello Luvs,

Thought I would throw some poetry at ya! I hope you enjoy.



When You Look More Deeply......
                                         

When you look you see three

Separate yet knowing

Keeping you 'Less Likely' to see

The joy, the hurt, and the pain

Taken away from this day

No equal to others before

I know.....there will be more

Thoughts, gains, and then curses

The first being thoughts of what was

Given up while remembering to still focus

Never-mind the gains that dissipate with the new day

Tide gently washed it away

Last comes the curses that are aimed toward the clouds

Why is the SIMPLE request

When you look more deeply you see

It's just this moment of 

Dreams

Admiration

Family

Energy

Wishes

Calamity

All wrapped around two harnesses, two pairs of boots

Crocs, and some missing slip on vans

                                                              ~Kat L. Wilson, 2017

Til next time,

Kat

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What We Have Learned Recently While Towing the Prius

Hello Luvs,

If you haven't read it lately on the blog I want to say it again. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the fact that the family is riding together. It gives us time to have full conversations, point out different things during our ride which would have been missed previously, and the ability to simply be together. Before doing so I knew that it would change our experience and it has.

I wanted to share how it's been going in regard to towing the Prius. The first few days have gone like clockwork. After the first nights fiasco we learned and adjusted. One thing being that a new tow dolly sticks and needs to loosen. We have been checking the straps after 10 minutes then at gas fill up stops as directed.


Look at this cutie parasol hung at the
Medford Library!
There has been one significant take away I would like to share. In a video I uploaded onto YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt-rqxxOylbvEUMDGYlM2tQ/videos?view_as=publictoday I mention the fact that it has been raining screaming baby cheetahs and I did not exaggerate. It is definitely been taking some getting used to. The one thing it placed a damper on? Hooking up the Prius!

Of course we have yet to pick up rain ponchos. If we had them Josh and I would not have been soaked through while trying to hook it on. Wet....yes, but soaked through...no. What did we learn from the experience?

1- buy ponchos
2- park under shelter (even a gas station overhang would work)
3- if rain is expected load it the night before
4- we DO NOT like doing this while it is raining (so follow 1-3 above!)
5- make sure that the tires are still straight (and not just the straps) if you do load in the rain. Our tires seemed to slip a bit and it messed with the Prius.

What did it do? Well, when we checked just before our destination Josh noticed the wheels being a bit cockeyed. We should have taken the car off and redid it, but we didn't. Instead we drove another 30-35 miles with it like that. So, when it was backed off of the dolly warning lights lit up. All three had to do with the brake system. The brake was not on, but the wheels were not aligned properly. This would be like us trying to ride a bike with the front wheel slightly turned. We would immediately crash or stop. Since the Prius cannot do that it is up to us to make sure we check for it.

With these lights on both Josh and I thought that we damaged it. It was not a good feeling since we just put money into both vehicles. The steering wheel seemed locked up and was difficult to turn. I was getting ready to leave and grocery shop but of course I didn't. I had Josh come out and look at it. While he was there I decided to drive the car for a little bit around the parking lot. While doing this the steering wheel eased, the lights went off, and it started to drive like normal (well as much as it has been since we took it into Toyota-later blog!). We think that maybe the computer system was confused?

Is it fixed? Not sure, but right not it seems to be good. It was a lesson that taught us not to repeat anything close to it. Not sure what we did wrong if anything. We just know that water is such a powerful thing...even when sitting on top of a tow dolly.

Til next time,

Kat


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Disconnected.....

Hello Luvs,
A mosaic art piece from outside the
Salem Public Library

Different things I have experienced recently during our travels have made me feel this way. The longing to shake a few people and ask them what pushed that stick of hatred right up their bottoms. The need to pull your child or handbag close and stare me down as if I did more than simply walk by. Have I been in a true state of denial and it has always....ALWAYS been this way. Many would say yes, and others will read my words and ponder the idiocy of their race. These words may not resonate, but they will HOPEFULLY alleviate some of my heartache. Let's see where this troubled heart leads us... shall we?



Disconnected

What is it you are thinking 
Trampling on another's dream
Of a time when we are more
Than the color of skin we bare
What is there left to do
Treasure the times when you just being you
Placed that mask upon your face
When you...in your heart....hate my race
What shaped the person you are
Where you wear that heart of scars
Refusing to let it heal
Giving into another's will
Of the simple yet complicated beliefs
We are not smart
Carry anger in our hearts
Will try to rob you blind
Then leave cockroaches in your mind
Turn your neighborhood bad
Lower house prices you had
Lesson most of your will
To recognize just how we feel
The looks
The stares
The words under angered breath
The gasps
The jumps
The roundabout way you judge
The hurt
The pain
Of what these thoughts gain
What is it you are thinking
I am more than what I seem
I share many aspirations
Like your daughters and sons
Yet my words seems disconnected
From the harm of the people YOU'VE affected....
                            
                        ~Kat L. Wilson, 2017

Til next time,

Kat

Friday, March 17, 2017

Where Is YOUR Warrior Level Strength?

Hello Luvs,

AHHHH the world without wifi! Now that I have access I am doing a lot of listing on etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ParasolWillTravel?ref=hdr_shop_menu) and ebay (http://www.ebay.com/usr/haveparasolwilltravel). Those are the two spots to go to in order to find out what goodies/bags/wallets/travel accessories I've come across on our travels. Got a moment? Pop on and take a peek!
Whiting & Davis goodie being added!

One thing I have been stewing on a lot is the proposed budget. Haven't really written any political posts lately, but hearing about what is being offered up as a budget versus what it really is (an attempt to rid of of anything good and instead program us like robots-taking the presidents and his minions word as gospel). Just thinking of it makes the back of my eyes have piercing throbs just thinking about it.

As an artist/musician/writer I know not only what access to the arts in school and the ability to turn on public radio listening (and getting lost) to classical music have affected the person I am today. The idea of turning on the radio and hearing either silence or programming that is different (administration approved) scares me. This family sits together and listens to the short stories broadcasted during the evening. Some are heartbreaking while others make us laugh out loud. What they ALL represent are ways for us to connect with others realizing that there is a commonality hidden within. There are people who've found success when their circumstance they were born into threatened to have them going down the same darkened road. They found their hope and refuge in the Arts. To realize that many may not have that option should madden even the most mild tempered individuals.

Add on top of that the fact that the want to close access to many...MANY (if not all- until they carve a trump one out of orange rock native to New Mexico) of our National Monuments and change or start to mine National Parks (remember the fear I mentioned in a previous blog?). We use them to bring our classroom outside and enjoy the natural beauty this country has to offer. As it is, the cost can be high at some places unless you have a National Park Pass which we do. It doesn't just affect vacationers, but it also affects schools who take field trips and students who are studying our affect on the wildlife's habitat. We knew it was coming because he said he would. Anyone who thought, "How or why would he do that?" should take a step back and REALLY listen to what he said/says.
Pop onto Nuime to find out what I
thought of this Trader Joe's salad.
https://niume.com/post/284729

One more thing that people who voted for him and supported his lunacy will realize is that even though he said that he would not get rid of YOUR/OUR healthcare (instead replace it with something better) will see that YES...HE LIED AGAIN! The whole insurance credit will do nothing to lesson the cost of what you pay out of pocket. It will go fast and leave you will bills that don't just go away with a wish.....no matter how many you say out loud! Those who were only able to AFFORD insurance through the ACA will no longer be able to do so. They have added the removal of treatment for substance abuse funding. What do you think will happen when this goes away? The people who have substance abuse problems will turn to dangerous ways of getting the money for their fix. It just might include mugging someone's sister, wife, husband, daughter, father, husband, cousin, child, and the list goes on. Oh, and there has been a reduction of abortions on record because of access to birth control. What happens then? Back alley or bathroom abortions were the way before...going back to that is not an option. You might think that it won't happen...no way on earth...well.... 

To think of medical care as a privilege versus a right suggests  me that the person saying it CHOSE the family they were born into. They sent their wishes (even BEFORE conception) down and said....only a family with money, acceptable race, no mental issues, and educationally (insisting on what they should do instead of them choosing) focused were an acceptable family unit. Well, folks.....it doesn't work that way. Some are born into a family where there is an endless circle of substance/physical abuse, parents received a middle school education, live where the racism threatens to kill them on a daily basis, and hence their life dealt them a bum hand. Whether they like it or not. Some break the cycle but we have to be honest and say that many don't. We could set up a chart for these folks and show them what they are ok with against early death that would have been prevented with preventative check-ups. The truth us that they were LUCKY in one way or another. They might have worked hard for it...but many work hard yet it seems as if they are trying to ride an escalator that is going the opposite direction.
Another day...another lovely
LIBRARY!

Man could I go on, but I won't. Hopefully I got most of my points across. It was not me simply rambling on. I know people whose lives will change for the worse if these things (and many other items on the chopping block) lose funding. I cry tears of frustration, disbelief, anger, and sadness. This country will betray us unless we speak out. Will you ride the wave of denial then gasp in surprise THEN stand up when something YOU LOVE is going to be attacked. Or, will you be part of this village of Humanity and have empathy, compassion, and warrior level strength for those who cannot do it themselves?

Til next time,

Kat




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How Did Our First Few Hours with the Tow Dolly Go?

Hello Luvs,

Picked up the tow dolly and set sail on land in Eartha all together for the first time! So, how did it go? Watch the video and find out.
My happy silly face!


Make sure that you never miss an update and/or photo slideshow LIKE & SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel....PPPLLLLEEEAAASSEEE!

Til next time,

Kat

Monday, March 13, 2017

When Looking Around Reminds You of Days LONG Gone...

My view from the Easy Bay....


Hello Luvs,

From me to you on this Moody Monday!



Living Within

When simply breathing is not enough
To stamp out this feeling of mistrust
Did that person sense to be
Reflected in the water just below me
Flash back to the day
When the wishes I made could be formed in clay
Whispered in a hush out in front of me
Beginning to realize that TRULY broke me
Broke the person simply guided by thoughts
Of rainbow and unicorns just round that corner
Humbled once again at how big it is
This place which taught me just how I could live
Expressing my dreams and longing each day
For the spirit buried way down inside...hidden away
Shaded by pretense then heartbreaking ambition
Of the person I knew I had living within

                                                                        ~Kat L. Wilson, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Was The Bay Area All That We Remembered?

Hello Luvs,

This week has been a whirlwind of the wildest kind. As we get a few things done to Eartha we have definitely made the most of the time. Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to visit with my two friends I mentioned in an earlier post. With our lives being full of things to do in such little time (definitely DO NOT miss the commutes-not that I didn't mostly take Muni, Bart, or walk). 
Dreamy architecture!

Yesterday was a day that passed with the speed of lightning. We knew all the areas we wanted to visit. There were our previous rentals and haunts, and then there were the food places. Because of the excitement we felt none of us realized that we did not eat breakfast. I did pack a bag with bars, fruit, nuts, sparking waters, etc.  that we nibbled on to tide us over til lunch.  

Photo slideshow- https://goo.gl/photos/mkHMx6rbVsN6Jzcu8

We grabbed lunch at Taqueria Cancun (https://foursquare.com/v/taqueria-cancun/49e4f160f964a52074631fe3) in the Mission. The burritos were great, however we still agree that Gordos (http://gordotaqueria.co/) in the East Bay has become our favorite.  Both are tasty and you really can't go wrong with either.

After grabbing our burritos we walked around the Mission with Gold and Pippie. Eating while strolling brings the best of all things together. You get to people watch while making your tum happy. Jalen and I popped in to the Community Thrift Store (http://www.communitythriftsf.org/) which is a non-profit. The outside of the building is as colorful as they come. Once inside one of the first things I noticed was the floor. The sound of my boots clacking and echoing was wild. Then you notice the exposed beams above your head. I had a conversation with the gentleman who rung us up (bought two shirts for Jalen and an 'M' patch/sticker for Myles) and he thinks that there's a possibility that it was a carriage house. In any case it is a wonder to behold. 
Have to stay hydrated.

While I was being rung up Josh and the kids came across an alley full of murals and graffiti. I was blown away but the talent of the artist and the detail they added lovingly to each piece. I could literally feel what many where trying to convey. There was definitely a political theme to it, and I applaud them for being brave and unapologetic for using their medium to affect people. Below is a link to the video I filmed while walking down. I might be just a bit giddy and/or ramble on. You can mute me if you feel so inclined. That way you can digest the images without my voice intruding.

Video of S.F.- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAHOpyM5yJw&list=PLlJ0faiqVE_XGstYiOF7s90vrAMqEmicn

After this we hit up the Mission, Haight St., the Castro, the Panhandle, Golden Gate Park (where my new profile picture was taken by Jalen and where we also took in the bliss of a Keith Haring Piece), the Presidio, Lombard St. (had never visited it before), SOMA, and the Tenderloin. We got out at a few places. Most notably were Haight St. where I sold a few things, the Presidio where we took pics of the Golden Gate Bridge and had fun on the cool structures they have on the grassy area next to the Visitor's Office (video of silliness below). Then South of Market where we grabbed a few Its'- It ice cream sandwiches (locally made!). I managed to get a decent pic of the moon there.
A message to all....


Going back to selling items, I started at Wasteland where I noticed how much it has changed. No longer were they buying much vintage, but it appeared more like a store that you can find anywhere in any city. They used to be distinctive and full of life. The colors and fun showed with not only displays but with the vibrancy of their employees which is no longer there. Don't get me wrong....the employees that I met were quite lovely people. One actually directed me to a place to try my vintage items. It just seemed so washed out and simply fell in line with the masses. It most likely was financial which makes sense. Now...the store that she directed me to was the opposite! She sent me to Decades of Fashion (http://decadesoffashionsf.com/). When you walk in the store you notice just how much it vibrates. Being surrounded by so much vintage goodness was overwhelming. I am pretty sure that the owner (Cicely Hansen-a fashion designer) wondered what was wrong with me. I found it hard to speak. Trying not to look up and get lost inside. While she was cutting me a check I gave in and looked up. There I spied a cape that instantly made my think of a far away magical place where fabulousness is a daily occurrence. It would just be the way you lived. If you are going to check out any store while on Haight St. you NEED to go there! Yes, you will be there for a bit, more than likely buy something, and most of all ALLOW YOUR IMAGINATION to take you back to where you are an Icon, Vamp, Trailblazer, Magician, Explorer, or whatever else your heart desires. Just sayin'.....LET THE MAGIC ROCK YOU!
Cubs, pups, and
Keith Haring!

I know that it has taken a moment to get to whether or not the city has changed. Yes, it has both in good and bad ways. Going through the Tenderloin you notice that crimes and elements that were once part of the landscape have been replaced. There is a Tesla Dealership there now. Young professionals wait in line a half block long to eat at a tiny Japanese restaurant, and many social media outlets now call the city home. There you notice Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Uber, and others. There was also a sense of homogenized change throughout the city. The only area where it seemed to not affect as much was the Castro. It still has a halo of goodness around it where you know your special type of passion, flair, fierceness, and sense of uniqueness will not only be accepted but embraced! 
LUV my mixed patterns!

I guess the main thing that changed from before was the fact that many of my friends have moves away. The friends I made there are my forever family that really gets me. No matter what time has passed we love, respect, and appreciate each other simply for ourselves. Who doesn't need that!

Long blog....I know! Hope you enjoyed the share and I appreciate you visiting.

Til next time,

Kat

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Where Did the Past Three Days Go?

Hello Luvs,
Yes, Myles is pretending to stop
the bike with his foot!

Holy Moly! I cannot believe that we've been here going on four days. There has been sooo much that we have accomplished yet still so much left to do. Let me catch you up with what we were up to for the last two days. 

On our second day we settled in at a local library and did some serious schoolin'. They had one large room in which groups could speak freely. Pretty good set-up. If you are wondering which library to visit in the Dublin, CA, area consider this one (http://www.aclibrary.org/dublin).
Come on...

We then found a surreal dog park named Cubby's (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cubbys-Dog-Park/1111560655560172?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE). Pretty sure that it is fairly new. The gates are in excellent condition and the mulch seems solely affected by the past rain. What really blew us away was the surrounding typography. The pictures do not do it justice. The trees that cover the bright green mountains scream movie set. Add a cool bridge to the left and you have an 'What the?' moment. The yellow of the wild flowers along with the perfectly tall reed grass (is that a thing?) and you could easily spend hours lost in thought and contemplation. Is a dog park supposed to be like that? Why not I say!

My did the color of these
speak to me!

Got a text from the Hubster asking if we wanted to go the movies right after. We have been planning to see 'Get Out' and it was playing at a theater about seven minutes away from the park. Since I am a Regal Club member I was able to receive a free small popcorn for my upcoming birthday (versus 1,500 points). We upgraded to a large for $2.00. I grabbed candy, miniature sodas, and pistachio meat from the RV (shhhhhh! don't tell anyone I do that!). Since the movie cost $40 (even for a matinee showing) this helped us avoid sticker shock. The movie? Well, all four of us loved it. Josh is pretty picky and falls asleep during many of the movies we go to, but he did not for this one. It got us with some jump scares (which is easy for the kids but not us brave adults :-)...) We also found ourselves cracking up! The best friend who worked for the TSA was a CraZy. I won't tell ya what he says that really got us just in case you're planning to see it, which is something that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

So on to yesterday. We got a little bit of a late start and the first thing on our list was burritos at Gordos Taqueria (http://gordotaqueria.co/) in Berkeley. All four of us ordered them with a spinach tortilla but with different ingredients. The main part of the process that made the burritos out of this world was that they steam the cheese and burrito together before adding the ingredients. This allows each to be filled it to capacity without it ripping because it makes the tortilla stretchy. Being foodies, and ones who love their Mexican, trust me when I say that you MUST visit them when you have the chance. The link above lets you know where their different locations are. One word....YUMMERS! Just sayin'. There are some wonderful places to shop that surround the Taqueria, so take some time to explore before or after.
Some genius wrote GO VEGAN  on this
LIVING cactus....

We then drove down to Albany Bulb. It is an area where there was previously a homeless camp. They decided to revitalize it with seeding and clean up. Not sure where the folks went. That is definitely something I wondered about. When I research it I will share. In the place of this camp are yellow flowers, succulents, and cacti. There is also an insane amount of grafitti art that surround you on the first half of the walk. At the end there is a large garden of metal work statues. The one that greets you resembles what some would call 'Jesus' with his hands to the sky. From the side it looks more feminine to me. Why don't you explore and let me know what you think? If you have been before I would love to know hear your thoughts. Below is a slideshow link which gives you a more complete picture of what we came across. This is another place I highly recommend.
Very small section of the
bookstore.

Day 2 & 3- https://goo.gl/photos/Eyz23rocgR5bC4aMA

One thing that we really wanted to accomplish while in the area was the selling and/or donating of items that we took out of storage. Wait...I didn't tell you about that! When we visited our storage we decided to donate a lot more things and get rid of the items we were holding on to but not planning to use. If you are finding yourself bogged down with items gathering dust. If it's not thought of for a year ya need to let go! Donate or sell them so another person can enjoy their goodness. For us it was freeing and necessary. The thought of storing items for six months ( while in Canada) and not sure if we would use them made no sense. We got rid of tons of things and decided to bring some boxes up with us and see if we could sell them. We had two boxes of books and a container full of comics. We got that down to less than one by selling them (I recommend family run Half Priced Books https://www.hpb.com/037). The rest was donated to a local Dublin charity. We donated some children's clothes, toys, and additional items there also. Now we only have four boxes on the RV that will be stored under our bed once we have our solar done. 
My lovely friend Melissa.

The last two things that made the day memorable were...running into a friend/past co-worked Melissa Stamberger (was Castillo) while selling at Crossroads Trading Co. on College Ave. (https://crossroadstrading.com/location/oakland-college-ave/ ). I walked in, signed up, and turned around to see her lovely face looking through the clothes. I gasped and called her name. It was as if it was yesterday that I last saw her. She is still as beautiful and spunky as ever. Such a joy to run into someone who is a free spirit with a open heart and whip smart memory! Hopefully we will have the chance to spend time together before we leave. Because there have been problems finding a place to dump and fill (details coming in another blog about the difficulties we experienced in the Bay Area) we probably won't today. 

The last thing is the fact that Josh and the kids picked up See's Candies for me! It is in walking distance of Crossroads, and they surprised me with it. Anyone who knows me knows just how much I love that there candy and the memories of joy it brings back! I was a VERY NICE girl and shared!

There ya have it! Two days of rapid fire fun....can't wait to share more!

Til next time,

Kat