The Beast – A Love/Hate Relationship

Our first ever motor home was a 1978 Georgie Boy. Need I really say much more. It had the classic 70’s red carpet throughout, with the striped upholstery to match.

thebeast thebeast Yes, it was ugly. The first thing we did was rip all that red carpet out. Whoever installed it really enjoyed using their staple gun. I’ve never seen so many freaking staples! We pulled staple after staple for hours. But finally, the floor was clean and we laid down a wood laminate.

thebeast

thebeast

This was a huge improvement. We had plans to replace the upholstery also, but it never got that far.

We scrubbed her down inside and out. We turned the rear seating area into our bedroom by adding our mattress and hanging a new divider curtain. A shopping trip to Walmart got us new dishtowels and linens. We were ready.

Pleased with all our hard work, and excited to give this beast a try in a campground, we scheduled a weekend with my parents at Jamestown, just an hour from our house.

On the highway, at 70 mph, she ran like a champ. Jim says you can’t beat a Ford motor.

After working late Friday, we didn’t pull onto our site until 11 pm, so we decided to wait until morning to fill up with water. At the water station the next morning, Jim shut her down while we filled the tank. When we were ready to return to our site, he turned the key and nothing. Nothing. Not a click, not a sputter. Nothing. What. The. Hell. I call my dad and he comes to our rescue. He crawls under the motor home and starts touching different things with a screwdriver while Jim tries turning it over. Finally, she fires up. It’s an electrical problem.

Jim spent the entire weekend buried in the dog box rewiring the starting system. We had no idea if she was going to start again so we could drive her home. We discussed and worried over the cost of a tow for 40 miles for something that big. And Jim was cranked because my parents only eat bagels or sweet rolls for breakfast on Saturday morning. He has to have meat. Bacon, sausage, whatever. (Seriously, he’s unbearable.)

Regardless, on Sunday morning, after a hearty breakfast of grilled sausage and keilbasa, Jim, in a much better mood now, got her fired up. Thank goodness. She drove home with no problem and we were so relieved he had fixed the issue. I’m so very glad I married a mechanic.

Our next trip, over the fourth of July, was just as much fun as the first. We met Jim’s parents at Bayshore campground in Andover, OH. This time we didn’t even get out of town before we broke down. Now, mind you, she was running great when we pulled out of the driveway. Heading up the hill out of town, however, she sputtered and stalled. What. Now.

So, we’re near the top of a very steep hill. It’s 4 lanes, and it’s rush hour. We’re in the left lane, and we can’t move. Knowing this was a fuel issue, all Jim wanted to do was get to level ground. There was a side road behind us to our right. Now that the police were present, Jim asked them to block the road for a moment and allow us to coast backwards onto this street. Oh no, that was too dangerous. So, our only option was to call for a tow truck. It cost $150 for the tow truck to pull us 50 yards to the top of the hill. Once there, she started up just fine and Jim pulled off onto a side street and changed the fuel filter in just a few moments. We were on our way again and had a great weekend with his parents.

Our third and absolute final trip in “The Beast” was to Tionesta State Park. This was our longest trip, and we had the whole family there. My parents, Jim’s parents, and Jim’s daughter and her husband, all agreed to meet at the park around 4 pm. We left home around noon that Friday. It’s roughly 20 miles to I80 and we had no issues. Just as we started to breathe easy, the beast began to overheat. Pulling over on the side of the interstate, Jim eliminated the heater core from the cooling system. This seemed to solve the issue and we were on our way again. Ten miles down the road, she overheated again. Jim took the next exit, found an auto parts store, removed the thermostat, and installed a new gasket to allow better water flow. After this, she was running great and we made it to Tionesta by 6 pm. It’s normally a two hour trip.

We had a great weekend. Sunday afternoon, on the way home, we start struggling with the hills. She’s running, but there’s no power on the upswing. We’ve got a line of angry motorists behind us, so we pull over every so often and let everyone pass. Once we get into Oil City, we stop and Jim replaces the second fuel filter (yes it has two.). Now we’re cruising. Jim’s smiling and says “Honey this is the best she’s ever run! I think we finally got it!”

Then my mother, who chose to ride home with us (this is a whole story on it’s own.), exclaims “What’s all that green foamy stuff coming out from under the dash!” You’ve got to be kidding me right? So, there we are on the side of I80 once again. This time it’s the radiator and there’s no quick fix for that. Luckily Jim’s son-in-law and his family own Watson’s Towing and they cut us a huge break towing it back to their yard. At this point I didn’t ever want to see “The Beast” again. So we sold it to Watson’s for $150. It is now used for practice by towing companies from around their area. They knock it over on it’s side and learn how to strap it up and pull it upright kind of thing. So she’s been put to good use. The best use rather than a junkyard, because I sure wouldn’t have sold her to anybody.

This sounds like it would have been a nightmare of a summer, but we had the best time. Yes, it was beyond frustrating but we handled it with as much humor as we could muster. We laugh about it now, and part of us really misses “The Beast”. Despite breaking down every. single. time. we drove her, she made a lot of great family moments possible. Listening to your 5 year old grandson fart and giggle before falling asleep is priceless. That was also the summer we learned that we absolutely loved this way of life. So here’s to “The Beast” for being a life changer. May she rest in peace.

Since then, we have definitely upgraded. We moved up a few years to a 1995 class c. I know I’ve posted a pic or two, but I will share some of the inside also. Clementine is classic 90’s rose and blue. I’m over that too, but I like it way better than red. The great thing about her is that everything works and she is very cozy. No matter where we are in the country, she’s home to us.

clementine

clementine

clementine clementine4

clementine

 

We’ve made a few changes since we got her. I updated the wall lamps in the living room. The love seat is no longer there. It’s been replaced by two space saving recliners. And, that tiny little t.v. in the front is now a 42″ smart t.v. with storage in the hole behind it. Jim also added a surround sound system so movies sound great when we have the time to watch one. We replaced the kitchen sink faucet with a fancier model and Jim added a sprayer for me.

We’ve had a couple small problems but nothing like we experienced with “The Beast”. One thing I’ve learned since we began travelling is never, never waste your money on a brand new motor home. I’ve met so many people with brand new motor homes dealing with so many issues. I’ve seen them have to return for repairs over and over again. It’s best to buy a used motor home a few years old. By then, the first owner has all the kinks worked out. It’s sad that the quality of work nowadays is so poor. Just a bit of advice if you’re thinking of purchasing a motor home. Save yourself the headache.

Wishing you a magic filled day,

BethAnne

 

Advertisements

17 Inexpensive Tools for a Well-prepared Witch

 

17 Inexpensive Tools for the Well-prepared Witch

This is a list of everyday mundane items we may not give much thought to, but have very practical uses in our magickal workings. These inexpensive, even dollar store, tools will give you a witch’s toolkit ready for just about any spell you can find a need for. This is by no means a complete kit, but makes a great starter kit or you can put together a beautiful gift basket for your favorite witch.

  1. Salt- Salt is as ancient as the earth and has been revered by many cultures for different reasons. Salt sprinkled around the exterior of your home offers protection. Used on the altar it can represent the element of earth. Sprinkle salt around your circle to protect your magickal workings.
  2. Hemp twine – I love hemp twine for it’s naturalness. Use hemp twine in binding spells, knot work, protection spells, and prosperity spells just to name a few.
  3. String – Very much like twine in it’s uses, it can also be strung with beads or woven through candles.
  4. Chalk – Chalk, white or colored, is wonderful in it’s versatility. It can be used to draw symbols, talismans, runes, sigils on just about anything without the worry of causing damage. Draw your circle on the floor or an amulet for protection on your front door. Chalk can also represent earth on your altar.
  5. Glue – Great for binding spells, of course, among more practical uses.
  6. Glitter/Glitter pens-A beautiful and fun way to add symbols to your spells or altar.
  7. Ribbon – Braided, woven, or knotted, ribbon is perfect for binding, protection, love, and healing.
  8. Wax – Use wax for amulets, seals, divination, spell work, ointments, and balms. Seal the tops of jars or bottles used in spells.
  9. Ink – Ink can be purchased in many colors and scents. The most popular is red. Wicca Spirit Book of Shadows has a nice list of ink recipes and uses. Write out your spells, sign contracts, and draw symbols and amulets.
  10. Matches – Always handy for the fire element. Seems witches are always burning things. Use for incense, candles, burning herbs, paper, etc.
  11. Ball jars – Ball jars are so handy for spells. Sweeten someone with a sour disposition by filling a ball jar with honey or sugar water and plopping their photo in there. Seal it up, say a few words, and toss it in the freezer.
  12. Rubber bands – Seal mojo bags and talismans, wrap candles, or anything else you can think of.
  13. Candles – White or colored to be used on their own or in addition to other elements of your spell.
  14. Charcoal – Charcoal is used for inscribing much like chalk but with more mess. Herbs can be burned on charcoal blocks.
  15. Feathers – Representative of the air element, feathers can be placed on the alter or used in cleansing spells.
  16. Cord –  Cord is the strongest for knot work and binding/releasing spells.
  17. Hat pin or Needle – Use a needle or pin for inscribing symbols in wax or candles. Pins or needles can be added to witch bottles and buried or strung up for protection. I’m sure the image of a poppet of your ex with pins sticking out all over has crossed your mind already. Just remember the rule of three.

mortarpestle

So there you have it. Seventeen simple items that will give you a complete arsenal of spells. I would like to add that most of us, when thinking of a witch’s proper tools, think of a cauldron, athame, wand, crystal ball, tarot cards, bolline, etc. These items, while unnecessary, are worth investing in. However, I would not want to receive these items as a gift, nor would I purchase them as a gift for someone. This is solely my preference and personal opinion, but I feel that these items should be personally chosen by the user. It’s important to feel the energy of these items for yourself. I have a mortar and pestle that I picked up in an antique mall and it literally gives me chills when I hold it. I have no idea of it’s origins or handlers, but I can feel the energy this item carries.

As always, you should cleanse your tools before use to remove any negative energy they may have acquired. Even the simple ones. Smudging or moon bathing are the simplest and quickest methods.

Wishing you a magic-filled day,

BethAnne