Tag Archives: Camping

Camping without the Stars

I’ve chipped most of the drywall mud off my fingers. Now I just have to wash off the tools and put my bedroom back together. That shouldn’t be too hard seeing as my bed consists of an air mattress, a sleeping bag, and a quilt. Living in a partially finished building is kind of like indoor camping.

I have moved past the eating off paper birthday plates stage, but my breakable dishes are still safely wrapped in newspaper and sitting in boxes stacked around the kitchen. Since I’m such a chai connoisseur, I did unpack a good portion of my mug collection. Right now they are sitting safely in my refrigerator so that they don’t break when I shuffle furniture around to mud. So far I’ve only had one causality. Sadly, it was my snowman mug.

It’s amazing how many meals can be made using a rice cooker, electric griddle, microwave, and pizza oven. I know the pizza oven is a bit of a luxury, but once you start using one it’s hard to go back. Only being able to have two appliances plugged in at once is a bit of a challenge but, like with camping, the food tastes better when you really have to work for it.

Having to slow down has been good for me. I’ve been so use to throwing dishes in the dishwasher and cooking fast meals that spending a lot of time on meal prep and clean up can be annoying. But, it’s a satisfying feeling when the pancakes are cooked and when it turns out that a Gatorade bottle works fairly well for mixing up orange juice from concentrate. I have a new respect for pioneer women and can understand why a good portion of their day was spent cooking and cleaning. For the moment it’s an enjoyable adventure cooking on what’s available, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to having a real oven again. For now, I’ll just have to adapt to living with everything, but the kitchen sink.

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Bucket Head

I washed my hair in a bucket tonight. The funny thing is I’m not living in a third world country right now but in America’s heartland. It’s a long story. I’ll spare you the long drawn out details. The heart of the story is: my lease ran out last month, I’d arranged to move into an apartment that my dad has been renovating, plans changed so he had to stop working on the apartment and switch to a higher priority project which will take him about another month. My stuff and I had very limited options. I lived at my parents house for a week, but that didn’t work out very well for a variety of reasons, so I decided to just move into the apartment ready or not.

The apartment is on the second floor of a hundred year old building. After you climb 23 steps, it’s on the left. Three eight foot windows over look main street and face the railroad tracks. The first night I slept here I found that, yes, the train does go by at three in the morning.

But, back to the bucket experience. I’m determined to meet the challenges of  living in a half finished building. It’s an odd combination high speed internet: check (shared by the three surrounding  buildings) electricity: partially—a string of temporary lights running on an electrical cord which comes out of the floor, plumbing: partially—a bucket flush toilet and a tub but no running water. So, I got a half filled bucket of water, a mug, my shampoo, and set to work. The water was very cold. I got conditioner in my eyes, and the hardest part was making sure my hair was fully rinsed. Once I was done, I realized my towels are still packed in a box, but fortunately I had my hair cut fairly short recently, so my extra wash cloth worked pretty well.

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