So with everything coming to a halt in March of 2020 (and still shut down in many ways/states), I needed a way to get out of the house. But on a tight budget, the best we could do was stow and go our seats in the mini-van (the Caravan…or KarahVan), reconfigure a twin bed frame we bought off a neighbor for $20 (had to make it just a bit smaller), add some foam, gather the mounds of existing beach-blankets, add a few inexpensive touches and BAM! The KarahVan (or KV) was born =)
We’ve decided to chronicle our journey with this “no-build-build” (because this mini-van is in great condition so NO on the perm changes) on YouTube (Karah & KarahVan Chronicles) but I’ll also be journaling here because hey – there’s nothing easy about being someone with medical issues who wants to still enjoy the great outdoors so planning, preparation, and persistence – not to mention patience (small van, two ppl and a big dog) are necessary.
Mentally, I’m up for it LOL! We’ll just take it day by day AMEN?
Chronological (newest first)
Happy September y’all! This month’s KarahVan Chronicles update is actually going to be a blogpost so check it out here: https://journalofawarriorsjourney.com/2021/09/05/driveway-camping/
If I do have anymore KV updates, I’ll post again on this page =)
Well this has been one HOT month y’all! And I do mean the weather! August has been true to it’s seasonal position – smack dab in the middle of all things Summer in the south for sure! What’s a girl to do (who can’t be in the heat without risking overheating…dehydration…emergency room for IV fluids…)?
I wait…for moments of cloudiness. For moments of significant temperature drops…
And so it happened =) Hurricane Henri off the coast (or its almost a hurricane at this writing) gave us some incredible waves & weather! CLOUDS! WOOT! and slightly lower temps along with a nice breeze.
Granted it was about 7pm but that’s fine. I wait all year for this.
Why? Because when you live with an ostomy, it’s too easy to overheat. Especially for an ileostomate because no colon means you’re losing water via that opening in your belly – that your body needs to re-hydrate you when you get too hot…sweat…etc…So, since I don’t have a colon anymore, thanks to ulcerative colitis and cdiff, I have to be very careful what I do in the heat – and for how long. Most days, I just stay in the AC. Is it any wonder I love Autumn?
I DO love the beach though!!! There’s just something about the ocean that gets me. I was born in the sign of water….
But in case you didn’t know, you CAN splash in the waves with an ostomy. The medical grade appliance materials actually were made to get wet (you know, to shower and stuff) =) There’s a little PSA for ostomy awareness for ya just in case you heard about a certain restaurant in NY that allegedly fired an employee for not being able to tuck in his uniform – and he “shouldn’t be around food” because he was an ostomate. Yep. I gotta say, if that’s how it went down? We gotta hand out a big dose of “can’t make this stuff up” awards & seriously need some education at these training centers for managers…but back to my lovely beach moment!
OK – it was time to get in that water! And it was WONDERFUL! And yes, my stoma (Ripley) behaved and so did her swimwear.
But maybe an even cooler part was putting our minivan to some great use. To get those wet clothes off and into a bag, change clothes right there in the privacy of my little micro-camper? Sweet! Doncha just love it when a vision is realized? =)
Carpe diem y’all!
Although not much of a leisure travel month, we certainly have been busy with a lot of local (within 90 minutes one way) travel! Many doctor’s visits for both of us, hubs having double eye surgeries, our pupper getting into her holistic treatment of acupuncture, laser, and chiropractic to help with her mobility and travel anxiety – PHEW!! One more week of July and it’s AUGUST already? Well, I’m not looking forward to the heat but I am looking forward to being one month closer to Autumn LOL! Where my cold weather people at??? =)
So, I’ve mentioned I began a YouTube channel and this last few weeks, I’ve been doing a LOT of study on what makes a great channel and why to YouTube. I love to write, but connecting personally is near and dear to me. This hasn’t been much of a year for that am I right? I’m feeling it even more than ever. I figured, why not at least get something out to y’all? They say the early vid’s are not going to be the best (of course) and you know, you gotta start somewhere so as I’m slowly (I need to move a little faster here…) getting my “brand” as they call it honed in, one thing keeps coming to me: I just need to share what I know, or what I like to say, my experience, strength and hope, so that maybe someone else can find all of that and more as well.
This could mean more than one channel…I’m still exploring what that might look like with the multitude of experiences I’ve had – and I can write about all of that here as it comes to me – but it’s helpful to have a focus that is more streamlined on that platform so we’ll see where that leads but for now – COFFEE??? LOL! If you’ve not seen it yet, I made this little video because we were up before the sun, for Jay to get his first eye surgery done and I was not awake enough for coffee making! There was nothing on the way (all back roads) and nothing at the county version of a local hospital (think annex). I keep my little 5 cup coffee maker in the minivan but hadn’t tried out the power station with it – nor the car’s 110 so it was a surprise to find out even my little coffee maker was to much for my Jackery 500! I love that thing but I gotta have my coffee y’all! Well, thankfully I got ‘er done BUT I’ve also ordered a 12v coffee maker (for one) and that, my friends, will be “the rest of the story” (or part two of Minivan Coffee Time)! ❤
p.s. SORRY about the volume. I wasn’t quite awake yet as I waited for Jay to get done with his surgery and morning voice was all I was presenting =D
Wow – three months since a JWJ update! Where has the time gone?!? We did make an attempt at the big trip in May so I’ll start this update there 🙂 I did upload a video to my YouTube channel as well (see below).
There’s a wandering gene in my DNA and because of that, I’ve lived many places, met many people, and have made some incredible friendships. So, when we decided to see one of those precious families in IA, by way of other precious families in TN, we knew there’d be some planning invoked; my medical issues, Jay’s medical issues, Libby’s too – but we did.
I made two weeks of CrockPet food for Libby, planned her prescription needs etc…even started her on a new herbal anxiety supplement. Sadly, that didn’t work well and this was the defining factor on how the trip would be directed.
We made it to East TN, by the grace of God – and a trucker with a loud horn after I yawned one too many times because we left at night (never again). Libby wasn’t having any relief from her travel anxiety and after eleven hours of road trippin’ – panting all that time – she was done; we were too.
I ain’t as young as I once was…
Without making this an extremely long update, I’ll just say we immediately redirected our focus to getting some rest for her (and us) and landed in Gatlinburg, TN – which is a place we absolutely love even though we weren’t planning on stopping.
So we spent a few days there and Libby (and we) were able to enjoy the revised trip. It wasn’t camping, boon-docking, or the 20 hour trip to Iowa we hoped for, but it was what we needed. God protected us on several occasions, provided, and nourished our wandering gene with His loving grace and mercy. He cares about the details and we were so thankful – even with the challenges – that we went, stopped, and came home safely.
This past weekend was to be our first official trip but with a sick dog, we postponed, so I don’t have anything to share as yet. We are hoping Libby can get some relief from her current UTI & new meds for her recent diagnosis of Cushing’s before we attempted again.
In the meantime, I’m planning a little mini-van tour video because I’ve been so blessed by other van campers out there sharing their experiences with so much detail, that I want to do the same. There are a few “start-up” videos on the channel if you want to go there and check it out, “like” if you do, comment, and also a “subscribe” would be very appreciated! Don’t forget to hit that bell for new video announcements straight to your notifications! Also, being someone with limited means, and YouTube having a program to monetize channels with over 1,000 subscribers, every bit helps!
Stay tuned for more on this new journey =)