The bus in 2018 made an excellent backdrop for the family Christmas card photos. Here are a few of the photos that came from the shoot.
We have had the bus now for two years, living all over Canada. A lot changes in 2 years, especially with a home, and the main thing is the clutter. The bus became our home and with it came all the items you seem to collect when you stay put in one space (not necessary for that space to stay put). Here are some photos of the bus as of July 2018.
Phil and I, along with our two dogs, lived in Ontario on my parents property for a year. In that time we had a lot of fun. I was able to start and follow through with a garden, something my nomadic lifestyle had prevented previous, we were able to make friendships and get to know my parents in a new way, and we were able to figure out some pieces of making skoolie life more comfortable.
Summer was the best part of the year for Luna and I. Phil and Bart were tree planting and so it was just us girls around. We found a great place to park the bus in the yard, slightly private and still able to get electricity from the house. Luxury.
We managed to have a pretty successful garden even though I was working a 60 hour week often.
Of course, warm weather for Luna meant less work and more panting.
When Phil and Bart got back, we got serious about the winter ahead of us. A bus is not a warm place in a Canadian winter. This winter we were lucky as we had electricity and could run an electric heater alongside our tiny fireplace. It made a huge difference, but there were still some harsh and cold realities to living in a metal box at 20 below.
As much as we prepared the bus for the winter, there were some things we just couldn’t change. Bus doors for example allow a lot of air through them and because we were still using it to drive we didn’t want to block off the view point by changing it out for a real door. We always had a thick curtain over the doors and that helped keep the frost just to the doors.You can also see the in the bottom of the right photo we insulated and built up the stair as they were only a single piece of metal initially.
To separate ourselves, even if just a little, more from the snowy outside we did build a small screened in porch. This helped to keep the wind out and the heat in.
Learning from past experience we also helped ourselves out by wrapping the bus in 110 bales of straw for extra insulation. It made for a lot of fun and kept a surprising amount of heat it. We felt a little silly when all the bales were sitting beside the bus in the fall, straw bales aren't cheap after all and the idea of covering your house in straw a common one, but come winter we knew we'd made the right call and they were worth the investment.
The dogs especially loved that they could climb up and look in the windows.
The removal of the bales in the spring was a nightmare. We were leaving for the Yukon by April 1st but the weather did not support that decision. I don't have photos of the long days we spent with axes, shovels, heaters, and crowbars, trying to pry apart the icecubes the bales has become because it was really not one of those stop and take a picture times. We had a deadline and fought to make it.
We didn't make the deadline, we stopped, took a trip to Quebec to see Phil's family and then resumed the fight when we got home. Not always can sheer determination make a difference. We did come home with our newest pet, Maestro though and proceed to make a mess of my parents yard, covering it in straw before eventually taking off.
With the truck packed we headed off to the Yukon, to our new home and new lives.
This past year in Parry Sound I worked alongside my childhood best friend to help her expand her business from a backdoor basement studio with no outdoor signage to a centre of health and wellness in our community.
She worked as a personal trainer and social worker for 3 years in our community, teaching fitness classes to a small group of dedicated women and keeping a very busy schedule. She built her self up from on again, off again, attendance, to a consistent following. Come March of 2018 it was time to expand. She had been renting one room in the basement of an apartment building with commercial offices on the ground floor and increased her rent to include a yoga studio in the subbasement and a street front accessed set of offices. Its with this new acquisition that we launched JF Fitness and Therapy.
The vision behind the expansion was to do counselling in the front offices, yoga in the new studio and fitness classes and personal training in the old, existing studio. Genius! The only problem? We were in Parry Sound. I stepped in as a studio manager and helper in all ways and together we grew the business, making it a common known centre in town.
Our open house was sparsely attended, our schedule increases small, and our extra workshops all but ignored.
Fast Forward to one year later and we are now partnering with fitness instructors, personal trainers, yoga teachers, nutritionists, and healthcare professionals. JF Fitness and Therapy came alive.
Not only did JFFAT come alive but so has Yoga with Vanessa with myself teaching anywhere from 10-20 hours of week with a mix of private and group lessons, workshops, and intensives. My personal practice has deepened, my love for the activity exploded and my reputation has surpassed any amount hoped for.
In ONE YEAR we created this, and it is now time to move on. It is with a heavy heart that I leave my yoga family and the little life created, having settled down here this past year, but at the same time, I am eagerly awaiting the thrill of hitting the road.
Check out the JFFAT website here, www.jffitnessandtherapy.com and keep updated on all the growht the studio has in store.
Its been one year since I returned to my home town of Parry Sound to teach yoga, save money and reconnect with my childhood best friend. And what a year its been. In some ways its been absolutely amazing and in other ways I feel I've become too comfortable and may have lost myself a little.
Weird right, to be a little down on getting comfortable? But I do feel a little down about it. My work schedule left me ragged all year pulling long hours as a waitress and yoga teacher, not too mention the extra little bits I've been doing here and there at the studio and for some other entrepreneurs. With the lack of time I've found myself taking the easy way out, spending mornings at Starbucks and keeping to the indoors on my down time.
Phil and I are working on purchasing a home in the Yukon finally and as the news spreads to my students so to does the realization that I've changed. People are questioning my travel experience, my ability to rough it, and my knowledge on all things off-grid. Funny, a year ago they didn't know me and those who did would nominate me number one to rock the Yukon lifestyle.
Its a bizarre little struggle to present ourselves to others in the way we want them to see us without falsely throwing ourselves into it in a fully cartoonish way.
I will try to commit to this blogging endeavour as we make the big move and adjust, though at this point nothing is finalized in the sale and no promises can be made that the funds will be available. That is all for another post entirely as the ins and outs of an off-grid purchase are a complete nightmare.
To be shared as well will be the story of our static year, the garden, the dates, the winter and the pups.