Hello readers! I know it’s been quite a while since my last post and so much has gone on in my life, so here’s a quick recap. First of all, I’ve actually been staying in “Savana.” The night of Christmas Eve we were having a winter storm rolling through the area and I lived in my 5th wheel at that point. It’s parked on some property up on a mountain in the Melrose, Oregon area andI didn’t want to get stuck there and miss spending time with my parents, so the three pups and I loaded up and headed to my mom and dad’s where the van is currently parked. Finally spending some time in it, sleeping, working, playing with the pups, it felt AMAZING! When my mom and I were building out the van we had tools and crap wood everywhere, things were being manhandled into place, the front seat hadn’t been removed yet…it was a mess. With most of the stuff finally having a place to call home the van feels a lot bigger now. I was able to comfortably sleep in my bed with two out of the three dogs (Tipsy chose to sleep in the dog bed on the floor close to the heater). The van holds heat remarkably well, and there were times I had to turn the heat down for fear of all of us poaching our insides while asleep, and that was even during the snowstorm. There is still some work that needs to be done before I’m able to fully “live” in it. There are a couple of items that I’d like to get done before we actually hit the road: Get a backup camera installed, Install a roof rack, and get a solar system set up so that I can continuously power my refrigerator. The Jackery works great for powering up my devices on the go, but I think having a semi permanent solar system mounted and installed would be a total game changer.
I promised I’d talk about the “New Stuff” going on and I’m so excited to tell you what’s in the works! First of all, you’ll notice in the tabs at the top that there are two new ones! One is called “Van-Tastic” reads! In that column I’ll be updating you on what I’m reading, posting up some new book reviews, gushing about my favorite authors, telling a bit about fun literary stops along my travels and pretty much everything that makes my book nerdy heart happy. I took a step back and took stock of what my main interests are in life: Travel, Family, Books, Writing and my babies…so now there are tabs for pretty much everything that makes me smile!
The second new tab is called “Pupdates!” That’s where I’ll be letting my pup’s take over and offer up their own column! For example: I’m quite certain Chloe will have a lot to say about being forced to wear diapers now. Chloe’s bladder has been questionable at best lately so I’ve now taken to calling her “Señorita Soggy-Britches.”
And lastly, our family had to say goodbye to Daisy-Lou. I’m absolutely devastated. For those of you who don’t know me in real life, Daisy was my uncle’s pup that I inherited when he passed away. He used to work at the local animal shelter and specialized in working with animals who were heavily abused and were either too scared or too aggressive to be re-homed. Daisy-Lou was one that he just couldn’t let go, it was love at first sight! She had been beaten, starved, shot at, and her spirit was broken. He worked so hard to get her to trust him and then he took her home. There was so much still to be done with her, but unfortunately he never got the chance. He died of a heart attack in January of 2019, so she came to live with me. The way I looked at it: he was then taking care of the chihuahua that I lost in 2016, and now I was taking care of his girl here.
When she passed away in January she was almost unrecognizable. Gone was the skittish girl who hid under the table and away from visitors. Gone was the food aggression and the night terrors. She now loved to go for car rides, adored being picked up and loved on and gave kisses before I put her leash on her to go for walks. She loved her “mama time” when I came home from work, some thing that I do with each of the pups to give them individual time with me to know they’re adored, safe, and missed each time I leave the house. Her happy places were under any blanket, but definitely the one I had covering myself. She was able to enjoy one last Christmas and was happily bouncing through the snow and playing with Tipsy just a couple of weeks before she passed away. In the end she passed as my mother rocked her in the recliner and told her just how loved, safe and special she was. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss my sweet sassy girl, but I take comfort in knowing that she is once again safe and happy with my uncle and that I will one day be reunited with them. Until then, heaven just gained one more angel to look over me. As sad as I am knowing that she’s gone, I’m just so grateful for the time that we did have together and knowing just how far she had come.
I’ll work on updating this blog a lot more, and I’m working on sketching out a few YouTube videos and will be filming those within the next couple of weeks. I’m going to be working on building up the channel while I’m still here so you can see what I’ve been able to do to the van before I hit the road! Thank you to all of you who have been incredibly patient while I was absent from here, and a special thank you to everyone who reached out when Daisy passed away. It was appreciated more than you know! I’ll sign off for now, but I’ll be back soon! There are special things in store for The Bran Van Adventures and I can’t wait to share them with you all!
Here’s a short video that my mom took of the pups and I outside in the snow! Tipsy (the largest of the “Floppy-eared Brigade”) and Daisy had a blast bouncing through the snow! Even Chloe (The chihuahua) had fun!