Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Testing the Blogger App

I've been trying to use the Blogger app for the last year to write blog posts to no avail and I'm just wondering if it's working.

It would certainly be much more convenient for me to use the app on my phone and I think that perhaps I would post more often if I could get the app to work.

So let's see if this works and if it does I shall begin again.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

#VanLife Day 200 or Losing Weight



I thought that the 200th day of #VanLife warranted a post. So much has happened since I last made a blog entry, too much to rehash here and much of it I prefer to keep private. However, that being said I wanted to reflect on life so far in regard to weight loss, minimizing, and vanlife.

Over five years ago I began to minimize: selling off storage warehouses full of store fixtures, restaurant equipment, glass working tools, candle making tools, personal mementos, church items, and lots and lots of books.

Over five years ago I weighed over 325 pounds and I have steadily worked on reducing that figure and my overall weight.  My blood pressure was high, as was my blood sugar, and heart palpitations plagued me day and night.

Over five years ago I shepherded an historic church in the Independent Sacramental Movement as its Presiding Bishop. I had clergy scattered from coast to coast who offered various ministries within their own particular communities.

Over five years ago I was involved in a committed polyamorous relationship with two other people.  Together we had a blended happy and loving family of three adults, two kids, and three cats.

Fast forward five years...

Today, everything I own fits into a 19 foot van I converted into a little Class B RV, a van I live in full time, and a van I call home.  It carries me, my very few personal items, and my glassblowing tools, with room for not much more.  In fact, if I want to change my mind, I have to step outside.

Today I'm nearing my goal of 185 pounds in weight.  After some lifestyle changes, lots of bike riding, and ultimately living in the van and no longer cooking much, I've managed to shed and keep off an enormous amount of weight. I'm happy to say that I'm down 4 sizes.  I no longer own a scale and so I don't know what my weight is exactly but I know I'm closing in on my self-imposed target of 185. I'm no longer on blood pressure meds, nor does my blood sugar seem to get out of whack as often, and my heart palpitations have stopped completely.

Today I no longer shepherd Christ Catholic Church.  I resigned from my duties within the church a month or so ago and no longer carry that cross around.  It continues on and will find its way with yet another shepherd but that person will no longer be me.  In fact, I no longer function in any formal church capacity nor am I much of a church goer these days.  My faith is intact and always evolving and growing but I don't have much use for that which we call "the church" as such.

Today I no longer share a home with two other adults, two children, or three cats.  The two other adults no longer share a life together either, the two kids are with their mother, and the three cats are with their two kids.  A happy family that once was, is no more.

I knew I had moved to Fayetteville to lose weight.  I just didn't know how much weight I was in for losing.  I left much of my heart in Fayetteville Arkansas in particular and in the Ozark Mountains in general and now I'm on the road to find a new way to live in my lessened state, with hopes that I will find heart in my new life.

It's time to let loose of one more thing and leave it behind, my heartache. 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

#VanLife Day 121 or Coddiwomple Cares


I haven't been blogging very much and I suppose, that is a tired trait I've exhibited on many of my blogs.  I hoped to arrest that habit with this blog but old habits die hard.

A while back I stopped doing day-by-day blogs and chose to only post more inspired or at least noteworthy content and while there have certainly been some noteworthy events since my last entry, I didn't feel that I wanted to blog about them. As a result, I just didn't blog.

The long and the short of it is that I made some miscalculations in the beginning of my trip or perhaps more accurately, I made some problematic choices that had some unforeseen consequences. As a result, there have been some setbacks in regard to my income flow from the glass business as well as to my continued travels.

To help rectify the situation I took a job to replenish my depleted coffer. I haven't had a paid position in many, many, many years, at least since I was a hospice chaplain. It's been and continues to be a bit of an adjustment for me, if not also a bit humbling. I know right, welcome to the life of most folks! All in all, I'm thankful.

The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place to be sure, filled full of interesting people but then I find people interesting everywhere I go. The flora and fauna is also of extreme interest to me. The days pass by and I enjoy the beach and the water, the people and the places, the pizza and the wine, and life moves along slowly.

That being said, I still feel like I haven't quite done what I set out to do when I came to this place, so far flung from the rest of the country and that is unsettling.

I haven't traveled much further than Port Townsend and while I've done a craftshow and sold some glass within the community, I haven't done much with the glass business or as much as I had hoped to.

I also haven't done as much with the church as I had hoped. I've been able to meet with one of the bishops of Christ Catholic Church and that was a great joy. However, I had hoped to meet with more clergy in the general area than I have to date.

Having said all of that, I have to say this, my journey thus far hasn't been pointless. It has just been more of an inward exploration than an outward exploration. Of course I knew that would be part of the sojourn IIhad embarked upon but I hadn't anticipated that that would play as a consuming role as it has.

I struggle with two deeply seated instincts. The first is to return to my beloved Ozark Mountains and my many friends and family who live there. It is an almost constant yearning. I long to return to well worn patterns and places  and to a culture that is familiar and comforting to me.

I struggle with my need to nest, to create a home and or work space that also offers those patterns, activities, and things that are familiar to me: a place that comforts and delights me where I can entertain others as well as myself and showcase my creativity.

To that end, I actually leased a very small 200 sqft studio in which to blow glass, though I did dodge a journey ending lease on an enchanted Knot House in which to dwell. Whew! It was close. I may give up my studio yet as well. It's a gateway to the world of nesting.

The only thing I know for sure is that I need to book some fall craftshows and turn my focus to Christmas. I might not blog again for a while as I'm heading into my busiest time of the year. We'll see...

Friday, June 15, 2018

#VanLife Day 38 or Brian Sells Glass Down by the Seashore

I spent the day traveling to Ocean Beach Washington and to the Port of the Peninsula for the annual Garlic Festival where I've set up as a vendor to sell my blownglass.  This will be my first craftshow in Washington and I'm excited about it.

The drive here was uneventful but beautiful.  It was a leisurely, scenic drive.  Setting up was another matter.

After having to move my booth twice I finally was placed in what hopefully will be my spot for the next couple of days.  While this festival has been going on for years, this was their fist time at this particular venue so there were some bugs to work out.  Not only did I have to move my setup twice but I helped the lady next to me reorient hers as well.

Tomorrow morning I'll finish the chore, cleaning mirrors and setting out glass.  Hopefully I'll be ready to blow glass when they open the gates.  If nothing else, I'll certainly be ready to sell glass.


Several of the vendors are staying in their RV's on the lot but they all picked a spot without a view. I split from the herd and headed to my new point lookout for the next couple of days.  It's a great view!


After I got the Kraken settled in I took Peregrine off of the back and headed off on a bike ride to a local market. Along the way Peregrine developed his first flat and I without a spare tube!

Anyway, I gathered up my groceries and walked back to the port.  It was only a few miles, so not too bad.  I had a great dinner in the way of roasted red potatoes with rosemary and a roast beast sandwich on twelve grain woowoo bread.  It was delicious.  The horseradish sauce was amazing!


I'm look forward to tomorrow.  I'm hoping the catch the sunrise.  We'll see.  I'm sure it will still happen even if I don't witness it.  ;-)

Friday, June 8, 2018

VanLife Day 30 or It's Been a Minute


You may or may not have noticed that I haven't posted a blog entry in several days. This is in part due to laziness and in part due to not liking the way the blogging was going, or perhaps the way the writing was going.  It seemed that as I struggled to do a blog post a day, the content of the posts became watered down or contrived and I began to offer very little in the way of the meaningful content.

I'd rather this blog not become a journal or simpler still, a calendar of events.  As a result I will not be pushing to blog every day.  I'll make a post when I have something worthwhile to say instead of cataloging the daily drudge.


With that being said, I thought that this day, of all days, was a milestone of sorts. As of today I will have spent thirty days living and sleeping in the Kraken.  Much has evolved since the first day and night and hopefully that trend will continue as I iron out the wrinkles of living in a van.

I can honestly say that I love it as much as the first night and I'm looking forward to many more.  It has been very interesting and informative for me personally and I can only assume that will continue.


Now that doesn't mean I don't miss the people, places, things, and routines that made up my everyday life before I embarked on this adventure.  I do and sometimes it's intense.  I'm a wanderer at heart but the Ozark Mountains and my family and friends there pull at my heart strings and lure me home with a continuous tug.

So, what have I learned in 30 days?  Well, I've learned that I can tolerate not bathing daily.  While I now have access to a wonderful bath house and even more wonderful shower, for which I am thankful, I know for certain I can also find ways to feel clean and refreshed without a daily shower.  For me that was huge!  While my default is still to have my daily shower if at all possible, I take great delight in knowing that that routine is not absolutely critical for my continued comfort or cleanliness.

I've also learned that less is more.  When shopping for food I still fall back into old patterns if I'm not careful.  I'll buy multiples of things to get a better deal, even though storing multiples of things becomes exponentially harder the more items you have in your cooler or pantry.  I try to buy smaller amounts and just what I need for one to three days in an attempt to let the local grocery store or Walmart be my larger pantry to storage facility.

This works well for fitness as well.  It forces me to shop more often and that forces me to bike or walk more often and that's nothing but good for me.  I've also learned to keep my panniers on my bike!  Several times I went to the store without them and schlepping things home on my bike without my bags was no fun.  Follow the Boy Scout motto: semper paratus - always be prepared.


I'm also learning how to cook with one simple pot instead of a whole kitchen of pots, pans, dishes, and gadgets.  It's a challenge to plan a meal in a sequence that lends itself to culinary success.

Some things I'm also working on are: accepting help when it's offered, never turning down a free meal or free food, never turning down an adventure without a really good reason, never passing up an opportunity to use bathroom facilities, utilizing power facilities whenever I can for charging electronic devices, and not to be in so much of a rush to arrive that I forget to enjoy the journey.  I stop and smell the flowers more often now and it's wonderful.


These are just some of the things I've learned and am working on over these last thirty days.  This is as much an inward adventure as it is an outward adventure. To love so well the world that I try not to take a minute of my journey for granted.  Thanks for sharing it with me on this blog!




Tuesday, May 29, 2018

VanLife Day 22 or Bon Voyage


It wasn't planes, trains, and automobiles but instead it was bikes, boats, and buses.  My friend and I took off for the Walmart in Oak Harbor in order to procure some necessities.


We biked to the ferry which we caught not a moment to soon and we were off across the water to Whidbey Island.


I needed another blanket for the cool nights and a pot to cook my porridge in.  My friend needs some other sundry things and after we had made our careful purchases we headed off for lunch.

There was a T-Mobile store close by and so we made pilgrimage from T-Mobile Tuesdays only to be pleasantly disappointed that there were no freebies.  I say pleasantly disappointed because remember, I'm trying to embrace minimalism and yet my passion to collect is still strong.

Lunch was had at the Safeway and I must say, Safeway offers the most wonderful breakfast burrito of all time, in my humble opinion.  However, instead of my usual Monster chase I chose Diet Dr. Pepper.

Sadly I had neglected to put the saddlebags on Peregrine and so schlepping our goodies back home wasn't as easy as it could have been but we managed.  Once home it was time to unload and rearrange.

I will sleep much warmer tonight thanks to the added blanket.



Monday, May 28, 2018

VanLife Day 21 or Pizza, Pizza!


Pizza, glorious pizza!  Today was the day for pizza on the beach.  Is there anything more perfect?  Well maybe the bike ride to and fro.  Enough said. :-)