Way, way back in the olden days – somewhere around November 2018 – I was at the tail end of my travels in Europe. My plan had been to return to my beloved Chico, California, get a job and save up so I could travel some more. I’d hoped to go back to South America.
But this was not to be. First, the Paradise fire had started and, naturally, most of Paradise moved down to Chico. Jobs would be scarce. And second, the friend I was going to rent a room from made a long-delayed decision to move away from Chico.
So, I contacted my sister in Salem, Oregon and asked if I could rent a room from her for about a year. I figured that would be sufficient time to save up enough money to hit the road again. Unfortunately, getting a job there proved to be difficult, too. It wasn’t until the following May that I got one – at my brother-in-law’s office. I think he either had pity on me or just wanted me out of the house! It’s a tax/accounting office and since I’ve done secretarial work for years I knew I’d learn the ropes fairly quickly.
Great – I was finally on track.
Then Covid hit.
I won’t bore you with the details (everyone’s gone through their own Covid issues), but I stayed at my sister’s house until the end of August of this year. Waaaaaaayyyyyy longer than I’d originally intended.
But earlier this year I started making plans for my eventual departure by buying a van.
The van needed plenty of work and I certainly hope she’s had all the major work she’s going to need for a while. Knock on wood.
So, having spewed all that out, I’ll now share with you my process of transforming my 2011 Chevy Express work van into my home.

Pretty, ain’t she?

Before starting on the bed, I built myself a little closet.

Bed frame

I’ve got to say, I’m pretty proud of this bookshelf. There were lots of angles to consider when building it and I think it turned out well.

So, once I got the nightstand in I installed a shelf that I got from Habitat for Humanity. I originally painted it the same reddish color but decided to repaint it green. I wanted it a bit more bright and cheery. I also painted over my design on the drawer of the nightstand. It was just too overwhelming for me. I wanted a calm space and it was just too ‘in your face.’ I also bought the cabinet doors separately at Habitat and they fit nicely. On top of the cabinet I utilized a couple of old brackets I’ve had for years to hold in boxes of my art supplies. At the back, on the wall, I pasted some old wallpaper I’ve also had forever. Under the cabinet is a cooler (not a fridge) that I can keep cool using the 12 volt battery through the van’s cigarette lighter.

So, I guess from here on out, I’ll show you the finished project. By the way, sorry for the font changing size weirdly and any other strangeness in this post. WordPress has made major changes since last time I posted anything and it’s been baffling, to say the least.

As you can see, I added a rug. I bought it at a yard sale and cut it to shape. I was amazed at how well it fit. I also made the window panels for privacy. I just used pieces of fabric (from the thrift store, of course) and sewed in magnets around the edges.

I’ve named her Clementine for a couple reasons. My grandfather’s name was Clem. I always felt so comfortable around him and safe. But, you’re supposed to give your boat (and she is a boat!) a female name, right? Hence Clementine, which is a name I’ve always liked anyway. So, here she be….

…..home sweet home.

19 thoughts on “Clementine

  1. Wow! Fantastic job! I am so glad you are going to be back traveling again, and I can’t wait to ‘follow’ you to the new places you will go! Good luck, and safe travels by beautiful cousin!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story! I’ve seen the pictures here and there but this post really puts it all together. I hope you and Clementine can get back on the road before tooo long. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I got to witness a small part of your journey 🚌What you did with the Van 😮 Your early bird 🐦 hours at the office 💻 and your WILL to make your dream happen was very inspiring🦋. I wish you safe, fun, interesting and happy travels. I am glad I got to meet you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I stand before you ” in awe!” I was before when you were heading off around Europe on your own – I was terrified something would happen. It didnt. We were supposed to meet when you came to the UK but we could not make it happen, however, I am still so impressed by your positive nature and the fact that you are using every inch of your life to make it rewarding. Good for you. Looking forward to your blog. Happy Travels

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so happy to hear from you. I do wish we could have met when I was there. I’m glad, at least, that we’re keeping in touch. Hopefully, there’ll be a ‘next time ’round’ and we can meet then. Thank you again for your kind words. Cheers, my friend.


  5. Wow! I’m sooo impressed Janice. What a great job you did, it came out beautiful! Did you know that our grandfather, Sam Kirby was a carpenter? And my Mom, your aunt Helen could draw ,and painted the inside of our whole house multiple times, she loved painting. Happy travels to you! Keep us posted.
    Love, cuz Barbara.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, cousin! I did know that about your mom, but I wasn’t aware of it about our grandfather. My dad was quite the carpenter, too. I remember watching him do various projects and I do think some of it rubbed off on me, thankfully! It certainly has come in handy. I do hope to see you again some time next year. Fingers crossed!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s