Wednesday, December 30, 2015

[Ghouls on the Go] Colorado will always be our home base

We love Colorado and it'll always be our home base! It's beautiful here and we've considered it home since Paul and I both moved here 1979 (we didn't know each other then, but...). So we are NOT abandoning Colorado AT ALL. Our plans are to keep our home base HERE and then travel extensively to see parts of the US and Canada that we maybe couldn't afford to visit otherwise if we took into account airplane, hotel, and other fees. [ 279 more words—click link below to read more at Ghouls on the Go Travel Blog. ]

Monday, December 28, 2015

Three things to be grateful for

Our friend Quinnsettia's 13-year-old daughter, Lilly, was hit by a drunk driver while crossing a street in Pueblo, CO, last night. Driver was drunk, had no license, no insurance. Lilly has broken teeth and road rash, but NO broken bones. She's a lucky young woman. They caught the driver, thank goodness. Please send healing energy and/or thoughts to the family. This tragedy could've been much worse.

Second, Britt & Tack have a new Jeep! It's a 2015 and it's black and a sleek-looking ride. Nice, low payments and (as Tack said) it looks like Darth Vader. So I'm gonna call it Vader from here on. I'll upload a pic on the post after this one (taken tonight, but more coming).

Third, since Britt & Tack now have their vehicle, we get ours back (our nearly new Saturn ION w/only 50K'ish miles on it)! New tires and ready for us to use after not having a working car to use since November 2014. Tomorrow we will take it for a drive SOMEWHERE just to enjoy riding in it again!

MAJOR thanks to a several people for making this happen—Ron S., who helped with the VIN verification for Britt & Tack, Chandra & Mark for allowing us to use their comfy minivan OR giving us rides when we simply had to have one. Also, to Britt & Tack, who coordinated and made so much of this happen. Without them, it would NOT have happened! Love all of you guys. heart emoticon

Starting the new year with a car once again—woot! First time we've ever been without a car for over a year in our lives, and we do NOT want to go through that again.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

[Dream] Cobras & Demons

Two big dreams last night. In the first, I worked in some sort of a warehouse where people would come to have dinner and watch performers do all sorts of things. A group of snake charmers were charming a shit-ton of cobras (they were a bunch of pretty colors, though).

Now, I don't like snakes and I'm scared to death of cobras and vipers! Well, one snake charmer came over to me and tapped on my right shoulder (from the front). The cobra leaned down and laid its head (or nudged its head) on my right shoulder without biting me. I was scared shitless and I remember holding my breath in terror!

Then, the snake charmer was touched by the cobra and the snake charmer ended up dying -- I tried to run around and find an antidote (something called H1-something or another, but could only find H2-something). The guy's body bloated up and died, his stomach was big and distended like you'd see in a Feed the Children ad.

I did not die from the cobra touching me, though. I felt like, somehow, I'd been blessed and protected by the cobra (not sure if that makes sense). So, THAT dream was freaky and weird. But then...

Discovery: I have a lot of dreams -- a TON of them! -- about battling and/or exorcizing demons. Most always when I forget to take my Trazodone before bed. Then I wake up with a sore body and barely able to move from having my muscles tensed up all night, as a result of fighting demons (could you get more symbolic?!).

Last night I was helping our friend Carly's neighborhood rid itself of demons and Josh P. showed up as well. I didn't want to do down into Carly's basement, because it would be a high and tenuous climb to get back out of it, but I went in there anyway.

When it was time to get out, there was no other way except to climb up a steep, rigged ladder that was unsafe and shaky. I'm terrified of heights in real life, so in the dream I had no other choice but to face my fears and climb that shaky ladder and chance falling a long way down. Since there was no other way than up that ladder, I decided to avoid looking down and climb that ladder. I was scared to death. In the end, the ladder nearly came loose, but I made it up and out of the basement and to safety again.

Funny how the demons were less scary than that damned ladder climb! Anyway, last night's dream couldn't have been more dead-on about life right now, or how I'm feeling. I've never wanted to climb 'that ladder' many times in my life. I don't want to now, either. But sometimes climbing 'that ladder,' no matter how scary it might be, is the only way out of the abyss known as the basement. Damn...helluva dream, eh? Lots to think about.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The ways things were...

My dad, Leo C. Walton, Sr., my mom Shirley Walton,
brother Barry Walton, and brother Leo C. Walton, Jr.

So, my cousin Tracy posted this pic and I gotta tell you I'm pretty emo about it. Actually crying a bit. Lost my mom over a year ago from Alzheimer's and my dad when I was about seven years old. My dad, Leo C. Walton, Sr., will always be my hero. I wasn't very old when he died, but I remember it was the day before Halloween. He doted on me and often carried me in his arms.

Yes, I was a daddy's girl. I miss my dad. I use the hyphenated name, Walton-Porter, on a lot of things that I write. It's how I honor my dad. He read to me all the time. He instilled a love of words in me, so it only seems fitting to publish books using his name, Walton, as part of the author name.

The kindest, most sensitive and caring man I've met besides my dad is my husband Paul. I think that's why I feel so much in love with him. He dotes on me and loves me unconditionally. Just wish my dad could've met Paul and vice versa.

The left towhead is my brother Barry (he still loves guns!) and the smiling kid to the right is my oldest brother, Leo, Jr. I have two other brothers, but they are my birth brothers Jan and Van. I didn't know about them until 1999 when I found my birth family.

Anyway, this photo makes me happy AND sad. Brings a smile with thoughts of a long time ago. This pic was taken at my MawMaw & PawPaw's house (Hontas (Kelly) & Charles Schumaker). They always did things up right (as best I remember).

Love you and miss you, mom and dad.
Love and miss you, Barry and Leo.
Thanks for posting this, Cousin Tracy ;-)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

[Paul's blog post] The RV calculation

So, my wife Bev and I want to do something that may sound crazy to a bunch of you, but it may actually be the best way for us to live.

As many of you are aware, because of financial difficulties thanks in large part to some health issues of mine, and extenuating circumstances that I won't go into right now, we are about to lose our home. This is a dire situation to be sure since we currently have no place to go, and because no matter what, we have to keep our dogs (they are all registered Emotional Support Animals [ESA], for the record). We will, however, not be sad to leave this house because part of the reason for our financial situation, and no doubt my health issues, is due to this property. It needs too much upkeep and repair which I cannot do thanks to my back and knees, and it costs too much money because it is old and was not built well.

This was my mother’s house and she left it to me when she died. The mortgage was never in our names, Bev just kept paying it because the house had been quitclaim deeded to me. Then the mortgage company accelerated the loan, which means that unless we come up with the entire loan balance by the end of December 2015, we have to move. Bev has worked herself into a crater trying to keep up with the mortgage payments, along with the endless repairs and code upgrades that cropped up due to the age of this property. We have dumped a lot of money into this property that we will never see again.

The utilities have also been a factor in making things rougher. Those utilities were the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, because there is a cottage on the property, and due to that we were charged commercial rates whether there was a renter in there or not. Most people do not have to pay three separate utility bills – plus a gargantuan commercial deposit – as part of their bills, but that’s another thing we’ve been saddled with over the years.

In addition, once both of the kids moved out of the house, Bev and I discovered that we barely ever saw most of the place. There are whole sections of this house that we just don't need. All those places do is collect junk. We use a small bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen, a small office and a tiny corner of the front room. Occasionally we use the laundry area, obviously, but even most of that space is superfluous to our needs. Still, we have to pay to heat the whole thing, and this place is, as I have mentioned, very drafty. All of the windows are old and warped, which doesn’t help. Overall, the place isn't put together well.

I guess the question becomes, “Why move from one place with a lot of space that we are never going to use, just to move into another place with space that we are never going to use?” Even renting a house or apartment for an extended period of time (over a year or more) would lead to us paying money into something that we wouldn't use most of. Add to that the fact that most rental properties, whether house or apartment, are not going to look kindly on us having four dogs, or would charge a pet deposit for each one and then possibly higher rent on top of that. For us, it has become clear that we need to find another, more cost-efficient way.

So, why not an RV?

We've been doing some digging, and there is a lot of information out there on how to live and travel in an RV for reasonable amounts monthly, even if we had an RV payment each month. Our cars are all paid for, so we have no car payments and no monthly credit card payments to make. This would actually be the best time for us to hit the road in an RV and switch our lifestyle, in fact. Our monthly costs would be much less than they would be otherwise, even with a monthly RV payment.

Now, I'm not dumb enough to think that it will be all sunshine and roses by choosing this path. There are still a lot of considerations to take into account. We would need to have a state of residence and a place to get our mail. We would need to make sure that we could get our medicine. We would need insurance on the RV. What belongings we are going to keep, but not take on the road with us, will need to be kept in storage. We will need to make sure we have a method of staying online so that Bev can work and we can communicate with everyone. We need to afford fuel, food, propane, and maintenance on the RV. There will be times when we may need to pay for a camping spot (although there are a lot of workkamp opportunities out there, and we can boondock some times). We will need food for the dogs. Even then, if we watch our money, it would be cheaper than living in a house or apartment, and we could keep our dogs with us without paying a huge amount of deposits or extra monthly fees added to our rent.

On the upside, if we don't like someplace that we end up, we can just leave. Also, we can travel, which is something that Bev and I both love to do but could never afford to do much of over the past ten years. We could see some of the places Bev has never been and that I haven't been to since I was a child. We could visit friends who live in other states. We could see the ocean again. We could see the badlands of Utah, Yellowstone, Upstate New York, and Maine. So many places that we've always wanted to see and just weren't able to. Or, we could end up stuck some place until we could get enough money together to move on, but that could be exciting too. We are more flexible than most of our friends, so I think that’s a definite plus. We would have to come back to Colorado Springs fairly regularly to get our mail and the like, but that would give us a chance to hang out with friends here. No need to worry about never seeing us again.

As far as how we would make a living, right now Bev is the only one who brings in any income (although I'm in the process of lining up possible work for the next few weeks), But if she gets enough article writing and editing jobs she can cover the cost fairly easily. I could do a nicely edited video blog about interesting and spooky, out of the way places that I could put up on YouTube and monetize (that's not a guaranty for making money, but it might,) plus I'm currently learning to code in PHP and Java Script, so I might be able to score some freelance work doing that. In addition, Bev has been after me to put up an Etsy shop that would sell prints of some of my artwork. Yes, Bev is the big breadwinner around here, but I have ways of bringing in money to help out.

Bev can work from anywhere that she can get a Wi-Fi signal, and a lot of the stuff that I do could be done in the same way, so that would work in our favor. Plus, as I said, there are workkamps where you do some sort of work at the campsite in return for your pad, electricity, water, and sewer. A lot of the more physical jobs I couldn't do, but I bet there would be something, even if it's walking around all night making sure that no one is up to no good.

The point is that an RV lifestyle for us is doable. It could end up being cheaper to live than a stick and brick house or apartment, plus, you know, the dogs. I guess what I'm saying is that we are committed to doing this. It's only a mater of time before we do. The truth? If I could buy an RV today and drive it off the lot, I would. It would really put my mind at ease knowing that Bev, the dogs, and I would have a roof over our heads after the first of the year. We also wouldn't have all this wasted, expensive space. It’s not just a dream of ours. It’s become our goal.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Manifesting the full-time RV lifestyle

NEWS (Yes, it's long): Paul and I are planning to hit the road, full-time, in an RV and live/work from the road in the near future, meaning within a year or two. Depends on the research and planning. And, of course, purchasing an RV. We have NO car payments because we've paid off three cars, two within the last five years. That is one good thing in our favor.

These are our goals and we firm about making them happen. I don't want to hear about why we CANNOT do this in a year or two; instead, I will only hear HOW we can make it happen -- concrete plans founded on research and info on HOW to do it. We have already begun the research and planning stage, with a year to three years as the window for making it a reality. It can be done. There is a way and we will find it -- period.

I was raised a military brat and I am familiar with traveling and moving from place to place. I've pulled up stakes and moved halfway across the US several times. Each time I planned, researched, and made it happen.

Colorado will always be our home base. That will NEVER change. However, I'm 51 and Paul T. Sninchak is 46. We have places we want to see. With my job, I'm able to work from anywhere with an Internet connection. We want to travel and see Maine, Upstate New York, Washington State, Oregon, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, New Orleans, and many others.

The best part is I'm newly approved to write travel articles for a German website (and they pay for them), so I'm building my article portfolio so I can earn income from our travels. I'll continue my existing writing and editing gigs, of course, but I can now add travel articles to my arsenal.

SO...all that said. The big thing NOW is that we need to find a place to move to for the beginning of 2016, first and foremost. Once we settle into a new place, Paul and I will spend the next year researching and planning for our upcoming RV adventures.

If you know of someone who has an RV they would like to sell, if you have resources we should check out (we are already aware of many), or if you have tips we should know about as we plan our FUTURE RV travels, comment here or e-mail me at

And yes, the dogs will go with us on our travels. They are Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and with my PTSD and GAD, plus Paul's, wherever we go, they must go. wink emoticon

Tips, resource sharing (thanks for the Workkamp group suggestions, Chandra!), and anything you think might be helpful is appreciated. We already have several RV monthly budgeting websites/blogs we're checking out.

Bottom line: In order to make certain things a reality, you put it out there...and that's what we are doing NOW so we can manifest it within a year or two.