The Fifth 90-Days of Life in the Prairie Schooner

Mid-November marks the fifth 90-days of living in The Prairie Schooner for us. The last three months have been a bit more steady than the previous three-month parcels.  We are solidly settling in to our new little town, and creating a life here. The town is charming and is one of the few little towns…

Keeping Clean (Bathing)

Keep Clean One of the most frequently asked questions is along the lines of “How do you keep clean?” or “How do you take a shower?” There are a myriad of ways to keep oneself clean, and anybody who has ever been camping can regale you with several tried and true tricks. The most popular…

Our ONE Year Vanniversary!

The Fourth 90-Days of Life in The Prairie Schooner Our ONE Year Vanniversary We made it! The Fourth 90-Days of Life in The Prairie Schooner wrapped up on 18 August – the anniversary of our living full-time as vandwellers! Time has flown by and we are surprised that it has been a year already. I…

The Third 90-Days of Life in The Prairie Schooner

May 18th marked the end of the third 90-Days of life in The Prairie Schooner. We have made it 270+ days now, and travelled over three states. Oklahoma   With my step-father expiring in January, we ended up spending most of this 90 days, off and on, helping my Mother out. From household repairs to…

Old Dog

The Second 90-Days of Life in The Prairie Schooner

The second three months of van-dwelling has been much smoother than the first three months! All the major adjustments have been accomplished, and most of the logistical issues have been worked out. Thanksgiving on the Road This year we had many things for which to be thankful! We are together. We are safe. We are…

The First 90 Days of Van Life

November 18, 2017 marked the 90th day of Team JUsT living in The Prairie Schooner. While the first few days were quite the learning curve, with a few harrowing experiences, we both think that this is absolutely the best choice for our Next Chapter! The dogs are still enjoying the never-ending car ride. The old…

Hurricane Harvey welcomes us to VanLife

We never would have imagined that riding out a Category 4 would be our first week in The Prairie Schooner! But Hurricane Harvey welcomes us to Van life… Typing this on my phone, is not the most intuitive interface. I will need to keep this brief. Bear with my issues… Internet is difficult to find……

Inspirational Picture with Slogan

Launch Day: T-Minus Two Days and Counting…

This will be a quick note. We are on the countdown and it is T-Minus Two Days and counting until Launch Day! Barring unforeseen circumstances, we should sleep our last night in the house tonight – and tomorrow night we will driveway surf to keep the house under surveillance until the new owners take possession…

Noonday Sun through the Live Oak

Colorado Bend State Park, Texas

Our first completely off-grid trip in the Prairie Schooner was to Colorado Bend State Park Texas. We had always, on prior test drives, been within close proximity to electricity/water/air-conditioning/potty/people who loved us… This was the first real Field Test of the Prairie Schooner and our preparations for #VanLife . ​Colorado Bend State Park Texas The…

DIY Reflectix Sun Shade

DIY Window Sun Shade

After spending a three-day/two-night camping trip in 100+ degree weather with blazing sunshine, we realized that we truly DID need a DIY Window Sun Shade for the front windshield and two side windows! It got unbearably hot in the Prairie Schooner! Luckily, it was something for which we had kinda-sorta planned, and we picked up…

Passion Flower

I understand.

Now, I understand. I get it. As I shuffle through the house, devoid of decades of souvenirs, collected clutter, and inherited furniture – I finally understand. When I first began the process of minimalization, the decades of training in “stuff & things” were still binding me. I am not one that I would ever have…

Prairie Schooner with screens

DIY Mosquito Window Screen

We did have enough scrap screen material to make one window screen for the front of the Prairie Schooner. The DIY Mosquito Window Screen project has one seam down it, but it was a “quick and easy” that I could squeeze in before the sewing machine was taken to storage. Had I thought about the…

DIY Mosquito Screen Doors

The quick and easy method for a DIY Mosquito Screen Doors solution for our Prairie Schooner. While the $100 price tag is not necessarily cheaper than the people who are using the single-garage bay door screens, this made an exact fit and covered both door openings with material to spare. (Pending: We will use the…

The Month Of June…

This month has completely flown by! The month of June has been a very busy month for Team JUsT. We have much news to report and a tentative launch date for the Prairie Schooner’s adventures! Minimalism and Minimizing The month started out with the minimalizing progress making huge leaps and bounds of progress. We have…

Bowl of ham and bean soup

Solar Dinner

So, one of the posts that I have been remiss in posting, was that we tested out the Solar System by (drumroll) cooking with the 120v system using the crock pot!  A solar dinner… While electricity is a poor way to create heat, one of my favorite kitchen “tools” is my old 1980’s crock pot…

Latest News! (Our Absence, v2.0)

Has it really been more than two weeks since we last updated our blog? Well, here is the latest news on the Prairie Schooner project, our minimalization progress, and our GTFO plans… Please pardon our absence, but things are really progressing right now! Prairie Schooner We have completed a few minor adjustments in the ol’…

In front of the tractor shed

The Maiden Voyage of The Prairie Schooner

We have accomplished the Maiden Voyage, albeit a brief and barely packed for it, voyage! We took a small amount of storage items and a shelving unit about four hours North and spent the weekend with my Father at his new place. Dad bought a few acres several years ago and has been building his…

Van Tetris

Ahhhhh, The Fun of Van Tetris! We have begun the endless game of how to fit two humans and two 60 pound dogs and all their accompanying stuff, into 66 square feet. Van Tetris! Clothing We figured out that all of our shoes, clothing, and personal items will fit into those little plastic drawer columns,…

Easter 2017, or The Neighbors From Hell

​Today is Easter, and while we are not active participants in Easter – we enjoyed a day off for lounging around the shack. Our day started with the neighbors having a row in their driveway. They regularly host episodes of Jerry Springer in their drive and front lawn. Today was no exception. And our bedroom…

AboveTEK 12v Dual Head Fan

Ventilation and Air Circulation Fans

Life in the Prairie Schooner in South Texas is going to become tough come August… air circulation is one thing that our Solar System will be required to support, and it is not big enough to run an air conditioner! Ventilation and Air Circulation fans will be a big item for us. We are not big fans…

Dometic Dual Zone Fridge-Freezer Test Results

We have received a few questions concerning the Dometic CFX 65DZ US that we purchased for the Prairie Schooner.  One person was under the impression that your van or RV would need to be level for it to function; and another had specific questions regarding power consumption. If we get further questions, I will update this…

Rummage Sale #1

Yesterday was our rummage sale! Although, it seems it was the first one… LOL! We had not muddled through everything, so we will be hosting another one in a few weeks when we get the rest of this place weeded out. It was a glorious day for a yard sale! Brilliant sunshine, cool breezes, happy people,…

Solar System, Roof Rack

So, when we last wrote of the Solar Solution Part 2b, we had most of the interior wiring connected, albeit temporarily to check connectivity. Since then we have had an electrician perform the final terminations on the 4 gauge lugs to guarantee that the connections were done well and could withstand the constant “earthquake conditions”…

All You Need is Less

Garage Sale

With our deadline for moving out of the house and into the Ford Transit Cargo Van fast approaching, we are deep in the throes of minimalism -ing and gearing up for The Big Garage Sale! The process of unloading half a century of household goods and accumulated consumer products has become much easier and is…

FanTastic Vent Fan Image

Fan-Tastic Roof Vent Fan Installation

Greetings to our loyal readers! Many humble apologies for the delay in getting this posted…BUT here we are! The vent fan installation has been completed!!!  Disclaimer Before I walk you through the sequence of events that completed the installation, allow me the levity of a disclaimer: The methods I used to complete this installation were…

Camp Chef Oven Image

Camp Chef Oven — The Frugal Kitchen, Part 2

The Prairie Schooner isn’t going to have a full kitchen. It isn’t even going to have a partial galley… Installing those items, changes the insurance and parking requirements of a van and makes it an RV. Those two bills would defeat our goal of über-frugal living. That said, we have to be able to cook…

Showering, Bidet, and Hot Water

Showering, bathing, and hygiene is a concern when you’re planning on living in a van full-time. While I look forward to being “HomeFree”, I don’t want to look unwashed or smell suspect. LOL!  We had discussed this in depth, before deciding to live in the Prairie Schooner, and had found several options for bathing and…

Minimalism Purging

Over the past several weeks, I have been hard at work purging and minimizing the contents of our home. Minimalism is gaining momentum at the little shack! Streamlining the process is becoming easier. It is funny.. the first thing or two that I unloaded was much harder than any of the subsequent items. It seems like…

Solar System, Part 2b

The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity around the Prairie Schooner! The Solar System is finally taking shape. Rock has addressed the ventilation issues with his installation of the reversible Fan-Tastic Fan… he will be posting his write-up and pictures in another post! The “shower” has been assembled, and we will post up…

Recent Absence of Late

Many apologies, dear Readers, for our protracted recent absence. Recently, we have been juggling several projects at once.  All of them are progressing… even if it seems that they’re moving at the speed of molasses in January! What’s Up? We are deep in the throes of minimalization.  We are liquidating all the crap in the…

Dometic Fridge/Freezer – Frugal VanLife Kitchen, Part 1

The Frugal VanLife Kitchen, Part 1 Oh yeahhhhhhh! I am one happy van-dweller-to-be… Our frugal Prairie Schooner Galley kitchen has been secured! This week, Rock surprised me with a couple of Amazon orders… He picked out the Dometic CFX-65DZUS Portable Electric Cooler Refrigerator/Freezer 61 Quarts and the Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven and stove combo… These…

Blood, Sweat & Tears

You can tell that you’ve done a good job on your project, if you shed a little blood doing it! Just a quick update to let you know that we have been hard at work… blood, sweat, and tears (for me) working on the Prairie Schooner! We should have a couple of good updates for…

Sunday Night’s Tornadoes

Sunday evening, San Antonio had a rare batch of tornadoes blow through… There were four confirmed tornadoes. Two F-0 and two F-1 category tornadoes. The shorter F-1 in the center of the screenshot is where we live… The warning came around 10:30 at night, so I had time to grab the flashlights, a gallon of water,…

Solar System, Part 2a

The Prairie Schooner’s solar system’s interior work is going to be pretty detailed, so we will break it out into a few niblets for ease of reading. Our plan is to have three 3-port outlets placed along the 12′ back wall of the Ford Transit Cargo Van that we are working to convert into our…

Solar System, Part 1

Our solar hardware has arrived, and we are working on assembling the components. I am not a carpenter; I am a low-voltage wiring chick… Rock is not a carpenter, either. You’ll have to pardon the third-grader carpentry skills. Allow me to share a few things that I have figured out… There is a LOT of…

Pets.   The Pooches…

We have my daughter’s dog, who is now an old man at 11 years old. He is a flesh-eating Pit Bull. He will piddle a little streak as he leaves the room abruptly, if you stomp your foot at him. My daughter couldn’t take him with her when she moved off to college because he…

JUsT a Frugal Valentine’s Day….

Friends…Family…My Countrymen…Happy Valentine’s day to all of you! I hope all of you spent it with the one(s) you love! I have the honor of delivering this installment of ‘this ole’ Priarie Schooner‘. I am your host, Rock…  🙂 Over the last several days we have been in logistics mode, planning the specifics on our…

Frugal Engineering, Part 2

Let’s get back to our Frugal Engineering 101 escapades! We left off last night with me dumping my drink across our Ford Transit Cargo Van when I excitedly was trying to show Rock where the solar inverter was going to be positioned. We had installed most of the ceiling insulation, and were waiting for the…

Frugal Engineering, and a Christening

Rock had two days in a row off, so we made the most of it! We spent the better part of both days, hip-deep in the transformation of The Prairie Schooner into our teeny Tiny Home. Frugal Engineering 101, at its finest! (For those of you who wish to only read the parts list and…

Employment On The Road

One of the scariest parts of The Plan to sell everything we own and move into our Ford Transit Cargo Van tiny home, is that all of my and Rock’s lives have been spent seeing the Recipe Of Life as — get a job, buy a home, get married, save for retirement, pay the mortgage, spawn…

Van Outfitting, Part 2, Bed Platform

Today was a warm and gloriously clear day with brilliant sunshine and gentle breezes… Man, I adore South Texas!  It is late-January and we were bumming around in shorts and tank tops! We made some progress on the Tiny Home conversion!  Finally!! The supplies we had on-hand for the rails are: Two 2x6x8 for the…

Oh, Brrrrrrr!

We got all enthused and had all our calculations and cipherin’ done… ran to the big orange box store to pick up the necessary supplies to get started on a little pre-project or two – and the weather turned COLD! Brrrrrrr! The high today was a frigid 48 degrees, so my skinny butt slid into…

Van Outfitting, Part 1, Bed Platform

With the arrival of our moving tiny home yesterday (see Our Tiny Home has come HOME…), the real work begins! (As if finding and securing our little place were not a big accomplishment!) We will be living in an area of space that is juuuuust about the size of most people’s master bathroom! The van is about…

Rockin' the Transit Van

Our Tiny Home has come HOME…

Drum Roll Please!!!!      Strike up the Band!!!   And…the fat Lady has Sung!!!   (Or something along those lines)   🙂 Our teeny, tiny home van is now parked in our driveway and ready to be outfitted. With a new windshield, and a few other minor discrepancies that were corrected by the dealership…We…

The New Homestead! A Tiny Home…

We did it! We found what we were looking for – and made it happen!   It took about two weeks of wrangling.  One salesman at the stealership got  removed from our sale, and we got a different one who was ~awesome~ and worked his tail off to get the numbers where we wanted them!  I spent three…

Van Selection (Ford Transit Cargo Van)

The move from a house-house to living in a moving tiny home, is going to be a tough one for me.  I have always found a sense of security, surrounded by my stuff and junk and things that I have collected over the past half a century… (Yes, I am a little old lady.) The consideration…

The Minimalist Prepper…

I figured it out this morning! I sat down to my obligatory one cup of coffee and was browsing some of the WordPress folks who have similar journeys to ours… and while Rock is on the same journey as I am, he does not suffer the same conflict.  He is not agonizing over every single…

In the Beginning…

We have decided to share our adventures with the world… Take a walk with us and let’s see what is out there! We are a decidedly eclectic mix – adventurous and grounded, down-home and worldly, well-read and unpretentious, optimistic and prepared, spontaneous planners, the masculine and feminine. Growing weary of the status quo, we have…