We made it home… kinda.

So, it’s been a few months and a lot has happened. I think I left off at us “just getting an apartment” in Sacramento. haha Yeah…

Alright, so the house went into foreclosure, but only for like 3 days. We were going back and forth with a flipper in Tulsa and accidentally exceeded our time limit with the bank. Thankfully, we were still able to reinstate the mortgage and hand the house over – so NO FORECLOSURE. Emily saved our asses. Anyways! I left… on time.

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I’m in California! I got here March 8th, with Lennon and we’ve been here trying to get life set up. Adam was supposed to be here shortly after, but that didn’t pan out and now he’s not expected for another week and a half.

So, I’m out here trying to interview for jobs and apply for apartments. We keep getting denied though! Why? Because the credit bureaus haven’t dropped “FORECLOSURE” yet. Even though its not there, they take their sweet ass time. Maybe hoping to get every ounce of -fuck you- in there.

Ok, whatever. At this point, I’m here. Might as well make the best of it, right?! ***sobbing hysterically***

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It’s been over a month since we arrived in California and bless my Son, he still thinks we’re on some grand vacation. I think that has contributed to most of my stress because there has to be some balance. I don’t want him to know and feel the incredible weight on my shoulders right now, but dude… vacation brain for kids is like… the worst.

But, really… I can’t sleep, my heart is constantly pounding, the stress has given me indigestion so bad that my stomach is distending and feels hard. I wake up in sweats, I’m constantly 2 seconds away from a cry… I can’t handle much more rejection, any more walls and well… living with my parents – away from my husband.

I miss my life. My boring, stupid life.

Anyways, I have more to report, but it requires its own little post. It’s exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

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I was waiting for the luck to run out

… and it did. All in one day.

I’m still pretty upset, as we now have to hunt for an apartment. We can’t get a trailer and our real estate agent is saying we need to drop the price on our house. Considering all the fees shes racked up, we’re likely not to walk away with a dime before the house goes to the bank. Really, all we wanted was like a couple thousand. Nothing crazy.

Anyways, no trailer, no house sold, issues here and there and we’re left confused with life in the air.

I’m stressed. As usual.

Now I get to start filing taxes. Someone send booze.

I marched. It was awesome.

I’ve been back for 5 days already, but I really needed some time to rest! Sometimes I feel like my 30s is really catching up with me.

Either way, some pretty amazing things happened while out there.

We got in to Regan International around 6 on Friday the 20th, and made our way to the Metro. Which, is the cleanest mass transit system I have seen in a long time. Ha! Traveled out to the very last stop and met my friend, where we went further out into Virginia. First, I have never been to Virginia and I AM IN LOVE. I like trees, and outside Northern California, I’m pretty sure I found my 2nd home. You know, for when I’m rich and stuff. 😛
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Saturday morning we all got up really early to make our way into D.C. As soon as we get to the Metro station, the line to get into the platform was so long! But, everyone was happy and chatting with each other, there were random yells of excitement and then everyone would join in. Signs everywhere. It took us about 45 minutes to get on a train.

Before you get any further in this, I would like to point out that I am working on a project to document Activism in 2017 and create a book to sell for the benefit of Women’s Health and Environmental organizations. Check out my IndieGoGo here.

The ride in was.. cramped? Lets just say you could fall asleep standing up because you really didn’t need to hold yourself up. No but really… Meet Caroline – The girl who can sleep ANYWHERE. Oh, and there’s me – Apparently I was going for a goth Where’s Waldo look. Totally in.

Alright, so we finally get into the city. We left the train like an exploding can of crescent rolls and quickly made our way up the escalator. As soon as you leave the station, you feel it. There was this thing in the air. Already hundreds of people around, but they are just so happy. Everyone saying “Excuse me” or “I’m sorry”. No pushing, no anger. Just joy.
There’s laughing children and I see a little girl blowing bubbles with her siblings. Moms and dads wearing their tiny babies, men shouting “It’s not locker room talk!”

As we walk a little further, the crowd thickens and suddenly you can barely see a beginning and an end. The sounds from the stage where Ashley Judd, Madonna and the likes are echoing through the tall buildings and you actually had no idea where the stage was. But, people didn’t care. They crowded in so closer together and just stood. Yelling, chanting. One guy even climbed stage equipment. Now, I’m pretty sure he was a stage hand, but it was pretty funny watching him take selfies.

Once the march finally starts, it feels like we get a little bit of room to spread out. We walked for what felt like forever, but apparently it was only maybe 1/4 of the scheduled route. Then it started getting cold. I don’t know who decided to claim it was going to be 50, but I know 50. I also totally voted against my North Face coat for fear that I’d get too hot in the crowed. I’ll tell you, a windbreaker is NOT enough. In cause you were wondering… because I may not be the only person in the world to plan poorly.

The whole march, you made friends everywhere you went – even introverts like myself. I made a bathroom friend from Portland! Ha!

We were pretty exhausted by the end of the day, but were able to get this crazy delicious dinner at National Museum of African American History. The Sweet Home Cafe in there… I’m still dreaming of the food. We were able to walk around a bit, but at the time we had made it in there, our bodies decided we were done.

And most of the ride back home on the Metro was quiet, we ACTUALLY got seats! And, we just spent quite a bit of time going through photos and relaxing. Still enjoying the sounds of those hollering in praise from the day.

In all, the day was incredible and I’m hard pressed to explain just how amazing it was. Its difficult to put into words the feeling you get when you’re surrounded by 1 million + people and you feel completely at peace. I mean, there were zero arrests for the day so, that says something, right? lol

How lucky were we all to have been able to be apart of this incredible piece of history?

We’re Outta Here!

Funny story… we just up and decided to sell the house and move. Now.

Actually, it’s not really that funny. See, my husband is a mailman. For a few years, he was a sub and made decent money. He got at least 10 hours of overtime a week, but usually more, worked 6 days a week. When Christmas came around the checks were fantastic! But then something terrible happened. HE GOT PROMOTED. Sounds crazy, right? Now he is strictly on evaluated time. 43 hours a week, but I guarantee he works close to 55 because his route wasn’t counted even though its probably busted twice over. Anyways… we lost about 1000/month.

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That basically killed us. We couldn’t afford the mortgage anymore, to the point that the bank started the process to foreclose.

Trying not to freak out, we figured out how long we had to attempt selling the house on our own – before the bank did it for us. We had a few weeks. Maybe a month. So, we did it. Spent a solid week fixing everything possible, repainting, everything. We decided to use whatever we got from the sale of the house to just buy the trailer and go. This was a little more rushed than I would like, but you know what? I don’t fucking care. I AM LEAVING OKLAHOMA. And, in March of all months. We might be crazy.

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The good part about this is, i’ve already gotten calls for interviews, we’re going to be in a more affordable part of California, Adam is in the process of getting transferred to an office there. Everything is going smoothly, and I am thankful. It’s not EASY, but it’s all kind of falling into place. That is a massive relief because I don’t think we could handle the kind of luck we had in 2016.

If you saw any of the previous posts, you’d see we did a phase one purge. This then encouraged a 2nd one. So, here are some updated photos of the house. HUGE difference, right? I’m happy with it. Actually, I like this house now. :-/ I’m kinda sad to leave it.

It’s really amazing what letting go of your crap can do for your soul. Even as a creative with hoarding tendencies, I feel so much better. Clean up takes almost no time at all anymore. We don’t have clutter.

Anyways, I love being able to transition slowly like this into trailer life. I was very much a “Love Things” kind of person. I see the err in that now.

So, wish us luck on selling the house! We’re gone by March!

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Step 1 – Purge. Step 2 – Don’t die.

So, how the hell do you prepare for living small? If you’re anything like me, the thought of getting rid of all your stuff sounds terrifying. Like, I need all that stuff. My things. All the things.

It was rough. Our house, a whopping 1048sqft (Depending on what document you’re looking at) with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, was packed full. Overflowing with shit. Crafty things, clothes I might fit into someday, stacks of mail from like…. weeks ago? I really needed those 2 week old Aldi ads. Ok, so some might say I was borderline hoarding. But I was still a great leap away from the TV show! The only dead bodies we found were a few June Bug carcasses.

So, I bought this book to help me out – The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The writer, Marie Kondo, creates her own method for giving up your possessions and living minimally. First, the lady is a total nut job and encourages you to talk to your socks before you throw them away. Second, this is not a good one for anyone with kids and/or employed in creative services. So… basically me. It can be good if you need a swift kick in the ass. But, you’ll need to improvise significantly. Which I did.

Step 1. Purge.
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Yup. That’s basically how it went.

The idea here is that we need get used to living with only necessities. I mean, the closet in a travel trailer is like a foot wide. Currently, that would house MAYBE 25% of my clothing. Furthermore, I run an business. I have a ton of shit. It’s overwhelming.

So, I started in the rooms with our clothes. Like the book said to do. I got every damn piece of clothing I could find in this entire house. My sons, daughters, husbands, dogs, mine and all the random items that have been forgotten over the years.

It took me 2 days to get through it all. My husband was not so thrilled to see this when he got home, so like a good and understanding wife – we had a yelling match and I threw to damn cleaning book at him and said “You fucking read it! Help me!”.

After just this section, I wanted to die. But, I needed to move on! I coordinated a garage sale to unload to bulk of what we needed to get rid of. TAKE IT ALL! And, maybe we will make some extra cash. The book says to throw it all in the trash, but that didn’t sit right with me.

But first….. we drink.
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We drank way too much. Actually, I was supposed to have my garage sale the next day but what ended up happening is I took all the bags of clothes I had finished and made a mad dash around the house to try and throw out all the things I could find and couldn’t justify in 3 seconds.

After about 2 hours – the hangover kicked in. I posted it all up on facebook and said FREE just take it. Alright, mistakes were made. But, in my stupor I discovered a slightly better system for US than literally just using the KonMari method. I upped to to 5 seconds and done. If it couldn’t be justified outside “I might need it someday”, it went.

Through the next week I went through every room in the house. I saved my office for last. I knew it’d be a difficult one emotionally. So, I took a moment to take the edge off.

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Alright! A few hours later and it was DONE. 60 gallon tub full of fabric, shelves of vases, props, felt, stuff and stuff and stuff. I found so many useful things in the process! Like hundreds of dollars in office supplies that I bought to make a cute little productive space for myself!

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The space isn’t exactly something you’d see on Apartment Dwellers, but hey… 75% of my stuff is gone and the 1 room in the house that my husband got anxiety about, is clean. Seriously, the guy wouldn’t even look at it when he walked passed. Which, made it hard because it was an access point to the kitchen. You’d think I had won the lottery when I told him the space was complete.

This whole STUFF issue really affected the whole house. Living in constant clutter, dishes overflowing, laundry…. so much laundry! I can absolutely guarantee that half the clothes weren’t actually dirty, they either got thrown in because I didn’t want to put it back on a hanger or the dirty piles and clean piles intermingled. I was stressed! And to be honest, I’ve lived my entire life in clutter. But it all finally came to a head.

My husband, who is incredibly Type A, seems much happier and a ton more comfortable. The big one though, my 4 year old son. He made comments about it for like 2 weeks and actually started cleaning up after himself! It used to be like pulling teeth just to get him to stop throwing his dirty socks on top of the curtain rods. Now, he enjoys cleaning.

Anyways, so there’s the first step. First phase in all of this. Eventually, there will be another purge . But, the improvement we’ve already made is incredible.

 

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…going back to cali…

Not yet, but we are. I am.

My husband, bless him… entertains a lot of my ridiculous ideas. I don’t think this one was very ridiculous. It seems economical and really good for us as a family. Buying a travel trailer and living in it for a year on the road sounds amazing – and equally as terrifying.

We are a blended family of 4. My husband Adam and his daughter, and me (Brittany) and my son. My son is with us full-time, but Adams daughter is here (If we’re lucky) 4 days a month. Currently, we’re living in Tulsa, OK but I’m from California. Everyone else is born and raised Okies.

I spent a majority of my life moving from city to city – state to state. Whether it was because my parents were like gypsies or because I got bored orrr more than likely because I was totally broke and irresponsible. Either way, I’m now a 31 year old mom and wife and have spent the last 6 years of my life wasting away in Oklahoma. It’s not all bad, I mean we did buy a house for under $100,000 and its really cute. I have made some wonderful, sweet, supportive friends. I learned a lot about myself and where I’m going with my life.

…… but let’s be real. A liberal, atheist in Oklahoma is not exactly easy.

So here we are. Last month, we made the final decision and have started the planning process. If everything goes well, we will set out by August 2017. In the obessive amount of research I’ve been doing, one thing I am NOT finding is where people were when they started. How did you make the decision? What did you do to prepare? So, I figured I would do just that.

I might be wrong, or going about things in a way that makes it more difficult, but all I can do is keep reading and keep trying. Hopefully my screw ups will save someone else some time. ozark-adventure-3-of-4