First, I'll be visiting an 'Intentional Community' toward the end of January in New Mexico. I'm checking it out to see if this is a nice place for me and my mom to settle in. We'd still live in our RV on community land.
Intentional Community is the modern term for commune. Many are also called 'Eco Villages.' Basically I'm looking to work and share with a bunch of like-minded individuals in our own small community. This could take care of my loneliness and might give me some of the purpose I'm looking for. This one seems more independent and tolerant than a lot of others I've researched.
What I want is to find a place with the following:
- Allow me to use my RV as my residence, because I still owe $64k on it and don't want to buy or build another house.
- Put me around positive friendly people who I can become involved with in the mutual goal of being frugal, healthy, Earthy, and self-sufficient.
- Give me the space, water, and permission to grow my own garden and raise poultry. Layer hens, meat birds, and turkeys. I might consider rabbits again if I really get self-sufficient and stop buying grocery store meat.
- Not require minimum labor hours, because some places want you to work 20 hours a week, and I write full-time to make my living. I will definitely pull my weight and be involved, but I need flexibility.
- Let me connect to a sewer line, power line, and potable water line for the RV. (And get a 250 gallon propane tank connected if possible). This way I won't have to keep moving the RV around. I do want to live on our solar power as much as possible, but if there's a heatwave I want the option of A/C. I'd also use shore power during the short days of winter.
- A community that won't require me to use a composting toilet, because it won't work with my health condition (no colon, loose stool 9 times a day).
- Be within 40 miles of hospital and medical facilities so my mother and I can have access to the care we need.
- Have a reasonable buy-in amount and reasonable monthly fee. (This place does!)
- Still be allowed to drive my RV or SUV as needed and wanted without violating community rules. Some communities don't allow cars, some will make you earn 'negative-carbon' points to earn the right to drive somewhere, and others require permission for trips planned out ahead so others can go with you to take care of their needs also. I don't believe this community I'm visiting has any of those rules, but this is what I need to check out personally.
- Have a community that's tolerant of Christianity and does not require adherence to any pagan religions or practices. (There are lots of communities organized around sun worship and the like.)
- Have a community that's tolerant of the GBLT community, minorities, and the handicapped.
- A community that won't care if I write erotica or gay romance for a living.
- Have a community in the desert, because humidity just destroys me and my mom. Our old bones can't take it.
I think I've found most of what I'm looking for with this community. I hope they'll let me stay a few days to really get the vibe of the place. This could be what I've been searching for! I don't know if they're okay with me blogging about them so I'm not going to give the name or exact location of the place for now. Check back at the end of January for my full report!
This is only a visit no matter how much we like it. We have to continue east because we've bought tickets to Puerto Rico and will be flying out of New Orleans in March. We're going to visit family--the first time in 12 years. Originally I was going to go to Florida, but it turns out that the flights are cheaper in New Orleans. This will give us a much shorter trip to get this major family visit out of the way.
I will give a full report on Puerto Rico in March. A lot has changed on the island since our last visit.
So, while we were here in Yuma we were basically in a holding pattern. The dark days of winter were short and depressing. We couldn't run our TV after the sun went below the mountains. We're also dieting so couldn't take solace in forbidden foods. We got wretched cabin fever and gambled too much. Every time we went out it was to a casino. There didn't seem to be any other place that we'd like to go.
I put an end to this in January. NO MORE. But how will I fight my malaise? Well, I bought a metal detector. That would get me outside, walking around, and would be something exciting I'd enjoy. We doesn't like treasure hunting? Here's what I got:
So, it's a pretty cheap metal detector, but it's usable. Not as good as the metal detectors you see them use on 'The Curse of Oak Island' though. In the beginning it was beeping all the time and only had one tone. I put the batteries in in a way that smooshed them. When I fixed this it started working properly with fewer beeps and multiple tones for different stuff.
Honestly, it's not perfect. I will wave it over a pull tab and won't hear the beep until I've swung past it, or sometimes not at all. Other times I'll get all sorts of beeps and dig and dig and not find anything. Then when I run it over again there's no beeps.
That said, I have found some interesting stuff on a few occasions, and the pinpointer is helpful (but not perfect either). I found a door hinge, a lug nut, shell casings, nails, pull tabs, and metal twine. I've taken it out a few times and I get a lot of FOMO from observers. I mean--it's something to do. I've managed to stay out of the casino the last two weeks.