RSS yourself for a better U

rssyourself

One of the perks of my job is that I have the chance to encourage and help people.  A lot of people who find out that I am a creative director want to know how to get such a cool job.

Over the years I have come to realize that people are not asking how to become a creative director.  People are really asking how to get a job doing something they love.

One of the biggest hurdles to  doing what you love is discovering what you love.  The problem is all have very limited imaginations.

I read a book on goal setting and they said that once you become intentional about goal setting you will find that your 5 year goal is probably a more realistic 1 year goal, and your 25 year goals are probably not big enough to be even 5 year goals.

We just don’t have the capacity to believe in ourselves like God does or sometimes even as much as our friends believe in us.

A major component of personal growth is inputing new knowledge and experiences into our life.

There is a famous quote: The difference between the you of today and the you of tomorrow is the people you meet and the media you consume.

Sitting on your duff won’t make you a better person.  You have to do something that will input new knowledge and experiences into your soul.

Commonly we all input television into our bodies.  That is usually a very shallow kind of experience.  Television is not real and even the people are not real.  Television gives us false expectations about people and life.  Yeah, I am a fan of a few shows, but in most television everyone is beautiful and no one ever has to work.  In television you get to sit around, drink, talk with friends,  and your infant children never cry or need taken care of.

So what can you do to replace television?  Reading is something worth considering.

In the past you were stuck with reading books.  Thick books written by scholars.  It could be hard to even find a book that interested you.

Reading isn’t what you grew up with in the 80′s and 90′s.  In fact reading has drastically changed in just the last 5 years.

Reading used to be a commitment.  It could take days or weeks to get through a book you may not even appreciate or agree with.  Today reading a few paragraphs could just be what you needed to completely change your entire way of thinking.

Instead of choosing between heavy thought provoking books or the fluffy and shallow works of ad filled magazines, a new medium of blogging has started becoming established over the last 10 years.

What blogging did was fill the gap between books and magazines.  It allows you access to the brightest people of any given field or subject.  Todays bloggers generate more life changing content in a year then many authors of past were able to generate in a a lifetime.

The downside is that blogging and the internet has become overwhelming.  The internet is so large you don’t know where to start, or even how to start.

At some point I started wondering how certain people on the internet had so much information.  Did companies call up bloggers to let them know what was happening?  Did bloggers spend all day dancing from site to site to gather their information and links?

At some point I discovered RSS feeds.  RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.  It is a way to automate the capture of information from a website.

A normal way to read a website is to type in the url – the www address – and wait for the page to load.  that can take 15seconds to a minute depending on your typing and internet speed.  If you visit 10 sites you could be waiting for up to 10 minutes just for the pages to load into your computer because of all the ads.

Enter your RSS reader.

An RSS reader gathers the content for you.  It categorizes the data and makes the data easy to read and use.  I can read upwards of 500 articles in about 30 minutes.  I read about RVing, self-improvement, writing, computer tricks and tips, finances, and creativity.

Everyday the articles come to me and I read the headlines.  I read the most relevant articles with purpose.  I store the best articles for later reference.

Everyday I am encouraged and learn new things.  I reach out and contact writers and creators to ask questions and engage in new discussions.

I am shaped by new media and new people.

Less then 15% of internet users use RSS.  So few people use the feeds that Google shutdown its RSS reader.

It’s the creators of what is on the internet that use RSS feeds.  Almost all sites allow the use of RSS readers.  They have a secret way to get the content.  A way to bypass the ads, bypass the load times, a way to have instant access.  A way to have all the information for free without the noise of normal internet travel.

This is post is going to be part 1.  Part 2 will be a video tutorial on how to use Feedly.com.  Part 3 will be a list of sources you should consider using.

My suggestion?  Don’t wait.  Go to Feedly.com and sign up.  Add in a few websites you like to read.  It really is not hard to do.  You will not break anything if you can’t figure it out!

Start your journey to a better you today.  Getting encouragement from outside sources is a great way to start learning more about your dreams and how to make them happen.

End of an Era

endinganera

In something of a surprise ending for ourselves, our families, and our friends we have closed out a chapter of our lives.

We have put in our notice at my job and we are moving out.

To where, to do what, and how, I have no idea!

In one of the chapters of my book I write about the process of hearing from God.  I have found the concept of reading the Bible to tune yourself  to hearing God’s voice to be a tool that has been indispensable to my life.

The issue many Christians face is they learn to hear from God.  That is all they do hear.

I want to do more than just hear.  I want to do what God asked.

I have felt for the last 2 or 3 years God has been gently telling me to trust him and go.

I think I was passive aggressively looking for a new job, trying to line up things, and take the next step.

The problem was God didn’t ask me to do any of that.

God asked me to go.

A few years ago I took a 2 week trip to India to help with wells and churches.  The leader of the trip said something very profound.  He said “God’s word is a lamp unto your feet, not a lighthouse illuminating your future.”

Another quote I heard this year was “You don’t need to fully understand for you to fully obey.”

Honestly I have an Evernote folder full of journals were I felt like God was asking me to trust him with one more step.

I don’t really understand what is next.  I just know that I am leaving behind a deep friendship, a lot of extended loving family members, and a church family I deeply care about.

Already I see changes happening at my work that wouldn’t have happened if I had stayed.  I am slowly starting to get excited and to push down my fear.  I am learning to expect God to meet me instead of hoping he will meet me.

My friend Gigantical told me to quit worrying so much.  He said I should quit looking at this step as one I should fear.  Instead I should look at my entire life and see how God has prepared me.  He told me to look at how many crazy things I have done already, and to look at how many more crazy things I still have desires to do.

I met a new friend this week who told me a little about a similar “Life Wrecked” story he went thru.  God is continuing to bring in new people to encourage me.  People who will help strengthen us and build us up.

You may want to sign up to get this blog sent to your email.  I might not be working a normal job for a while.  Expect lots of crazy stories, crazy travels, and crazy camp sites.

God doesn’t call us to live ordinary lives.  God loves us.  He wants us to engage him fully and to learn to live in his love and Grace.

That is enough for me.

 

The RV Bedroom Remodel

bedroomremodel1

After surviving winter in an RV, we prepare to embrace the freshness of spring.

That means spring cleaning.

And spring remodeling.

Last year Tracy came up with idea of getting our bed off the ground.  In theory this is a great idea.  If the bed is off the ground, moisture will not be trapped under the box springs.  It should also be warmer because the cold air sinks under the bed.

Like many great ideas at HIWML, this idea remained an idea.  Until you write down your dreams and make them a reality, your dreams will always remain your dreams!

This freshness of spring must have inspired Tracy to implement a dream – a dream to have a clean bedroom!

Tracy enlisted my help to make this happen.  I was ok with this chore because my side of the bed had a large hole in it.

It’s a long story, but right after we moved into the RV we decided to rotate our bed from a side-to-side orientation to a front-to-back orientation.  Tracy went into the house to get more moving supplies.  While I was dragging the box springs around I stepped on one.  And I crushed the side of it.  And right then my friend Gigantical walked in and saw me do it!

I of course quickly demanded that he keep quiet.  Amidst his laughing he helped me quickly rearrange the bed and get the mattress on-top.

I knew I had gotten away with it!

Over the last year it has been getting worse and worse.  It was to the point that we would warn each other to not fall into the hole when we went to bed.

Tracy had a plan to fix this.  We would layout some wooden pallets and make a deck.  We would place the mattress on top of the deck and that would be our new bed!

Step one was to empty out the bedroom.  This was fairly easy because our bedroom is in the garage of our toy hauler.  We simply lowered the back ramp and started dragging everything out.

It was sort of disgusting.  Moisture is a major problem with RVs.  Under the box springs were puddles.  And the box springs were molding.  GROSS!

After emptying out the bedroom, I loaded the mattresses up into the Land Cruiser and headed out to the dump.  For only $38 they let me leave the moldy box springs behind.

I wish I lived in the South.  They don’t have a problem with dumping old furniture on the side of the highway!

After I got back to the RV we started arranging pallets.  The back of our bedroom floor ramps down to help make the entrance ramp shallow.  That means that the last 2 feet of the floor dips and is not level.  That meant the back two pallets kept banging around.

After we got the mattress on-top of the pallets everything seemed to stabilize itself.

bedroomremodel2

The pallets sticking out the side of the bed make for a nice shelf.

The results are what Tracy called “shabby chic”

Ok its very college dormitory feeling!  That is ok tho.  It was super cheap and it is highly functional.  Our bed is a king sized bed and almost touches both sides of the RV.

As of right now there is about 5 inches of pallet that need to be sawzalled off whenever my father-in-law gets to stop by and chop it up.

We slept on the new bed and it worked well enough.  I hate getting up off the bed because the pallet is sticking out too far.  It makes things awkward and I am afraid I will get splinters all the time!  Also the extra 4 inches of pallet sticking off the bottom of the bed really cuts into our dressing area.

All in all it was a great project for Tracy and I.  Nice and simple and no power tools needed!

bedroomremodel3

You can see the pallets extending out the bottom of the bed. That will be cut off soon. The extra length makes it hard to get out of the bed and not get a splinter!

 

Happy Birthday 2014 Edition

happy birthday 2014 edition

It is celebration season at the Homer household.  My wife’s birthday, our anniversary, and my birthday are all within 10 days of each event.  It is a very rough expensive week on the pocketbook!

With that much partying happening in such a short time, we never have any energy left for April fools day pranks.

A custom that Tracy implemented  in the family is that we have to bake each other whatever cake the other person asked for.

When Tracy asks for a cake, it is never anything like a Dairy Queen ice-cream cake.  It is usually something I can’t pronounce, it takes her weeks to save up for all the ingredients, and it involves me almost destroying a kitchen to create.

Last year I decided that I would finally choose an awesome cake of my own.  I asked for a birthday cake made from cake balls like the ones that Starbucks serves.  This was an idea that was treated with an evil eye stare.

After Tracy told me she would never make something so ridiculous she consented with one caveat.  If I would remind her of the cake, she would make it.

This is of course a great bet.  I am crazy and always am finding something new anyway.  Chances are I would completely forget about the cake.

Unfortunately for Tracy, I had an iPhone 5 with Siri!  I instructed Siri to remind me to ask for a cake-pop-cake on March 1st.

Siri did not fail me!

Siri let me know at the beginning of March that I had asked for a cake-pop cake.

I don’t know what kind of trouble Tracy had to go thru to make that cake.  All I know is she only managed to save 30 of the 80-100 cake balls she spent all day baking.

Also the conversation as you would imagine went down hill quickly.  It mostly involved things that shouldn’t be said and ended up reminding us of this famous scene, but mostly being played out in our own crazy way.

The one thing we all agree on is that it is good to not bake in an RV campstyle oven.  You can make the RV oven work, it is just not ideal.  Lucky for us we are almost parked on top of Mr. & Mrs. Gigantical’s front door, so it wasn’t a ton of work to run over and mess up their kitchen instead of ours.

Cake baking isn’t easily accessible in RV world.

I recently read in a book that a successful person understands how to enjoy things they do not own.  We all have a desire to control and own what we enjoy.  It took Tracy a few tries to get used to using other peoples kitchens.  The first time she ever used another persons kitchen was in an RV park.  In a middle of a big dish she realized that she couldn’t fit her pan into the small RV oven.

She had to ask someone in the park with a park model home if she could use the residential oven.  The RV had been there for over 5 years and the owner didn’t know how to use the stove.  Apparently they never had cooked in the RV.

That sums up a large part to being able to enjoy an RV.  You can have a great view, but you can’t keep it.  You met great people, but your time is limited.  You understand that even your home is decaying on a constant basis.

You can chose to be upset and just sit inside pouting at the temporariness of everything, or you can chose to embrace whats new and whats next.  You can chose to understand that everything is temporary, even the ending.

Something new is always coming.

The Case For RV Ready Now?

RVREADYNOW

When you dream about full-timing in an RV you think about traveling all over the planet.  The biggest issue most people have for not being able to full-time is that they do not have a job that is location independent.

Instead people just dream about it.  What if you don’t want to give up a steady paycheck?  What if your skills don’t translate into remote work?  What if you are not ready?

I would like to suggest that maybe RV living could still be for you.

If you buy a nice RV + your park expenses + your living expenses = everything being about what it would cost for home ownership.  Even roof, floor, and plumbing repairs are all on par with normal house living.  I am sure that in some places like California or other high tax areas,  an RV could be cheaper.

Now if you are debt free and own your RV, then things get significantly cheaper.  All the sudden you don’t have to make a $500-$1000 dollars a month mortgage plus your park and and living expenses.

Often times when I research a bit deeper into full-time RV blogs I see the authors are usually debt free and have bought a gigantic piece of crap RV  for little money.  Even funnier is when you see on the about page a little tribute to a relative that has passed.  Perhaps that windfall from a relatives was just the security blanket they needed?

That being said, some people are just much wiser with time and money.  I have met some full-time RVers they were constantly working – working way more then I would ever be willing to do.  They were true entrepreneurs.  They wanted to work and travel and they were definitely working and traveling!

I moved into an RV to enjoy the simple life and to get back to nature and the basics.  Not to work non-stop for a mobile lifestyle.

So if you want to go full-time in an RV and you can’t be mobile, what are some reasons to make the jump?  Here are a few I thought of:

  • Simplified Lifestyle.  You can’t get more simplified in American then by living in less than 400 square feet!  There is no fooling yourself into thinking you are a minimalist.  You are a minimalist!
  • Back to Nature.  You are cold in the winter and hot in the summer.  You hear birds and animals.  You experience the wind and the rain in all new ways.  You are no longer cut off from the physical world.  You no longer are isolated from the outside or your neighbor by the false security of your house.
  • Mobility.  You are no longer restricted to one setting.  You can live in different areas in your community.  Even if you have very limited RV parks to choose from, you will find places to stay you had no idea existed!  If a neighbor is bothering you, then you can move!  You can pay a premium and live in a park with swimming pools in the summer, and you can move to park with access to skiing areas in the winter!
  • Vacations.  You may live in the RV, but you can also take it on vacation.  For a short vacation an RV can be expensive, but for a longer vacation, and RV can be cheaper.  At some point  hotel stays get really expensive!  Nothing is better then to not have to pack for vacation.  Move your house and your minimalist possessions!
  • Independence. Many RVs (mainly class A’s) are completely independent.  That means they can provide power, sewer, and shelter all in one package!  Granted they can only be an island for a limited amount of time, but during an emergency, those few days can mean everything.  There is a reason many charities want volunteers who own RVs – RVers are not 100% reliant on outside utilities.
  • Adventure! You see how everyone else is living – why not try something new?  You want to try out some new challenges? Why accept the status quo?

Living in an RV isn’t for everyone.  Adventure is ultimately just a bunch of problems you celebrate your success at.  Some people hate problems and conflict, and new problems and conflict are just not something they need.  Other people thrive with adventure.  They come alive at overcoming obstacles.  Some people feel that they just don’t want to live normal lives – they want to have that extra layer of independence and simplicity.

Full-time travel is definitely a dream for our family, but ultimately RVing is about rebooting.  It’s about getting close to God, ourselves, and nature.

What do you most look forward to?

The RV Heater Conundrum

winter heat conundrum

I have mentioned a few times that despite the terrible winter lows (-60F at one point with windchill) we have been nice and comfortable.

A major source of our heat is our electric fireplace.  Unfortunately our fireplace didn’t make it thru the winter.  The good news was we never paid for that fireplace.  It was a gift from Tracy’s parents.  It did a great job, it just didn’t like to run 24/7 for 6 months a year!

The cat was the biggest fan of the old fireplace.  The old fireplace made a great shelf.  We kept pictures and the napkins on it.

fireplace

The biggest downside was that the old fireplace couldn’t stay put.  It was on wheels and it was too thick for its spot.  Whenever we had to move, we had to move the fireplace because it blocked the living room slider.  We couldn’t just move it into the hallway either.   The fireplace would roll around the RV when we drove.  We would end up having to stow it in the bathroom or drag it down to the sunken level master bedroom and lay it on the bed.  No matter where we kept the fireplace, it was always inconvenient.

The new fireplace is definitely sharper.  It is mounted securely to our wall and is thin enough it can stay put when we close the slide.  This new fireplace also has been doing a great job keeping the house warm.  Today we had to turn down the electric heater because it was actually making the RV  hot!

We actually went about 3 weeks without an electric fireplace.  When our old fireplace died we didn’t feel like paying $150-$300 to replace it.  What ended up happening is we were spending an additional $40-$60 a week in propane.  It didn’t take long to realize that we couldn’t wait until fall to purchase another fireplace.

We are living in Wisconsin,  sometimes winter lasts until June!

As of now I need to figure out how to plug everything in.  There is no room behind the TV, so the Roku and the Fireplace have ugly cables hanging down.  I will have to figure out how to fix things at some point.

What I do know is I am happy to have a fireplace back.  The new fireplace is super quiet and makes a great nightlight when I get up and walk around late at night.

Now we just have to solve one more problem.  I like the new fireplace to have the orange backlight, The boy wants the blue backlight, and the wife wants all the backlights turned off!

Once one problem is solved, a few more always manage to pop up :)

Home Sweet Home

tinyhouse

We went with our friend Gigantical and his wife to an RV show.  RV shows are the parade of homes event for RVers.  Instead of rushing from property to property you are in a gigantic building filled with tiny houses to tour and hotdog vendors selling you $1 bar food for $10.

The food was easy to overcome.  We packed ourselves a gigantic picnic basket full of burritos and soda.  At the end of our time touring Rvs we went into the lobby and ate a fantastic meal for free.  I think people were a little jealous!

That being said after looking around the RV show we realized a truth.  The Damon Outlaw is the perfect RV for us.  Yes, I would probably still sell it if I got a great offer, but honestly there is no other motorhome with 2 bedrooms that would work for us.  Everything else will require a lifestyle change for us to make work.

Tracy of course is still in love with teardrops.  Tracy’s dream is we buy a teardrop trailer and put a rooftop tent on it.  We would be forced to live outdoors and cook in the mini-outdoor-kitchen on the back of the teardrop.

I don’t understand how winter would work, but Tracy is pretty sure we could do it.

If we would sell this RV we would definitely get a smaller RV instead.  If we didn’t start with our current RV we never would have made it.  We have gigantic holding water tanks, huge poop tanks, and a structure that is super robust for warding off the cold weather.  We all have our own rooms.  At 38feet in length, there is plenty of room to stretch out.

We now feel we are ready to try living in a much smaller space like this or this.

The advantage of living in a smaller diesel RV would be milage.  We would be able to travel significantly more often if we had a smaller RV.

Our Class A gets exceptional milage for a gas engine RV.  We average about 8 miles per gallon.  Many gassers only get 6mpg.  The key for us is we have gigantic tires with a high rolling resistance, and we have the 8.1 vortex engine.  That engine is so big it’s stupid.  New RVs are rocking out V-10 engines.  The GM 8.1 8 cylinder engine has a lot more displacement than the current Ford V-10 engines.  Our RV hums down the highway at about 2,000rpm.  Its basically idling instead of revving up all the time.  It is very impressive.

The smaller diesel RV’s do much better than 8mpg.  They are getting closer to 18mpg.  Lots of people are reporting they are getting 20-22mpg.  That would enable us to drive the smaller RV around like a car.  We could drive it to the grocery store to get groceries or drive it to the lake just for a change of pace.  We also could hide and fit in friends driveways easier.

That being said we are in no rush to sell.  We love our current home.  We have the kinks worked out, and our house is very solid and easy to live in.

 

Great Stories Move Through Fear

Great Stories Move Through Fear

I was reminded today to “not fear”.

So much messed up things in the world.  Why fear?

Even the Bible is full of passages of God asking us to not fear.

We all have a natural tendency to fear.  We can’t control all the variables.  We can’t control other people’s reactions.

My friend Gigantical and his wife are looking at RV’s instead of homes for a future move.

Why?  Do you know what you are getting your self into?

I have to remind myself that not that long ago we did the same thing.  I am worried they are going to buy one that doesn’t have enough cargo capacity.  Or they will just hate the life style.

Why am I worried?  They are smart.  I need to quit getting stressed out!

Every winter for 2 years I am parked quasi illegally.  Why fear?  It does nothing.

Tracy and I are working on our Diet Recovery program by Matt Stone.  We are working on letting go of stress so we can improve our overall lifestyle.  Tracy even started another blog about our process.

The month of March we are working on Sleep.  Our goal is to get 8-10 hours of sleep a night plus a nap in when we can.  Even if the nap is only 20 minutes.

Do you know how hard it is to train your body to sleep?  Its sort of embarrassing.  No wonder we are all messed up!

In the famous prayer by David in Psalm 23, David says “The Lord is my shepherd.  He makes me lay down in green pastures”

Our goal is to not be put in a position in life where we are MADE to lay down.  I want to be someone who has mastered rest.

And someone who has resisted fear.

Living in an RV has been a big help in resisting fear.  I live close to nature.  I see all the many things that could go wrong with my home.  I have to learn to put away the fear and enjoy my present circumstances.

My problems are just obstacles that will bring me joy when they are dealt with.

Do you want to do something different and meaningful with your life?  Then don’t be afraid!  Don’t let others bind you with fear!

There are only a few weeks of winter left.  So far this year we have our big move back to the RV park in April.  We also are going to take a mini vacation in a few weeks.  There is a hotel about an hour north of here that has the most amazing hot tub and swimming pool.  And an RV park.  $15 dollars a night gets us unlimited power and pool usage!

We also have our vacation approved for a gigantic 2 week New York trip.  We are going with our good friends and staying at an amazing RV park outside of NYC.  Should be a blast!

2014 is shaping up!  I have a lot of vacation time to burn this year, so let’s see where we end up!

 

 

Restart

RESTART

It has been awhile since the last post over here at HIWML.

I have been waiting on a big opportunity to share with everyone, but it didn’t happen.

Having failure happen is always an issue with all of us.

We don’t want to experience it.  We want to be successful all the time.

The biggest key to beating failure and disappointment is to not let your just your feelings control you.

So many people subconsciously let emotion control them.  When this happens you lose the ability to gain clarity and learn from the situation.

Having no emotion also is a problem.  No emotion means that you lose the ability to communicate the seriousness of the situation.  It means you can’t fully comprehend the completeness of the failure or problem.

You need to embrace disappointment with your logic and your emotions.

Only then can you begin to understand what needs to change.  What you can truly change for next time.

It is only those who can embrace their failures who can succeed.  Common sense is when someone made the same mistake you just made.  The only difference is they made the mistake before you did.

I need to always remember to take my problems and revel in them.  To appreciate the awesome power of being able to solve them.

I need to remember that success doesn’t come at the judgment of my work, or my boss, or my peers.  My success is from God, and I am here to make God my first priority.  I need to first please those who love me.  God in his perfect love for me, and my family and their grace filled love towards me.

Then after I can grasp that perfect love, I can share that grace and love with my co-workers and those around me

We all need to remember that simple truth.  Finding and accepting love and grace from others is needed before you can ever hope to share those qualities with others.

So as you make your RV plans, as you dream your crazy dreams.  Remember that you need to learn to have grace and love.

Without grace and love it is very hard to recovery from your failures.

Without failures you can never learn to be great.

Adventures are just a bunch of problems that you can enjoy your success over later.

A life without adventure is not the life for me.

Have you started your dream and goals lists yet from Finding Happiness?  If you have let me know about it!

My Cat Wants To Kill Me

mycatwantstokillme

So this winter something new happened.  Our heater would sometimes turn off.  No reason.  It would just shut down.  And the fridge.  It looked like the reason was we couldn’t get enough propane to the heater and fridge.

Lately this had been starting to happen more often then it should.

I figured that something was wrong with the propane delivery.  At some point  I was confident it was just that the propane was freezing up.  The problem is it was only getting down to -19F.  I figured the -50F windchill was causing the freeze.  I was told it shouldn’t make a difference because windchill isn’t a real temperature.  -19F is pretty close tho – so I figured it was freezing up.

I finally got sick of the heater going off and I called up the local dealer.  I asked if they could stop over and change the regulator.  They said they would not do it.  Ever.  Or until summertime.  Maybe.

We live in a smaller community.  This is the kind of customer service I expect around here.  We need some competition!

So I called around and realized I would have to abandon my home for the winter or bring the RV in to get it looked at.

This simple task is actually a big deal.  The last time I moved the RV it was November 1st.  I didn’t even know if the RV would start up.  Or if the jacks were frozen.  Or what could go wrong!

It was starting to get cold inside so we decided to start up the RV.  Amazing the RV started up.  First try!  Yeah!  We stood around the dashboard for  awhile enjoying all the new heat!

Ok – Lets get the slide working.  I flip the switch.  Nothing.  No movement :(

We remember the slide won’t open if the engine is on.  I turn off the engine and the slide moves.

Crap – the snow!

I go outside as the slide is closing and I see that most of snow has fallen off the slide topper, but some ice is not falling off.

I tell Tracy to extend out the slide so I can clear off the last of the ice.  We get the ice off the topper and try to close the slide.

Nothing.

Ok.  Enough of this.  If the slide won’t move, I will not move the RV. I decide to get the propane working again.

No matter what I do I can’t get the fridge and heater to fire up.  I tried slow opening the propane sources.  Sometimes they need to open slowly or the lines can get fouled.  Multiple times I switched out the external canisters.  I purged the lines by lighting the stove multiple times.

No matter what I did, everything failed.

Ok – that means I have to get the slide working.  Again.

Lets try again – maybe starting up the RV will make the slide work.  It happened before right?

Nothing.

And the water heater now will not work.

And now the fans on the air conditioner will not work.

Ok something electrical is jacked up.

Check the fuses.  All look great.

Flip all the fuses.  All are fine.

Check the outside connector.  Fine.  Unplug it and plug it back in.  Lots of times.  Nothing!

Now what?

Tracy and I look thru all our manuals trying to find fuses for the slide.  Nothing.

Check YouTube.  No help.  Google? No help.

So Frustrating.

I saw online that someone was having electrical problems and said that the Air conditioner, Fridge, Heater, and Hot Water Heater all were on the same fuse.

Really?

I look at the fuse.  It’s not blown.  Its a 12volt fuse so it is a car style fuse.  I firmly push on the fuse and I feel the entire fuse panel snap into place.

The fridge turns on.  The air conditioner fans turn on.  The slide works.

The heater works!

THE HEATER WORKS!

@#$@#@#@$@#%$$%#$^$%!!!!!

It all makes sense.  This problem started in December.

One day we couldn’t find our cat.  The entire day.  Seriously – 350 square feet and we lost the cat!

Late in the evening we heard the cat crying.

Seriously?

We listen.  Is he outside?  He is in the closet?

Is is under the closet? By the fuses? What? How?

A pattern emerges.  When the cat is bored he can open the bottom drawer.  Not only did he open the drawer, he crawled behind it and spent the day sleeping.

I open the drawer.  The cat starts screaming and hissing cause he can’t get back out.

He finally breaks free.  No damage done I think.

I now know what happened.  At some point he pressed against the 12volt fuse panel and partially unset the back plain.

Unbelievable!

It’s a pattern now with this cat.

When we first got the RV the cat ran into the dashboard.  Yes, the dashboard!  It took a day to get him out.

When we first got the cat he ran into the heating duct return.  And fell into the basement.  And got stuck right next to the heater.

He has a history of trying to kill us.  Or kill himself.  I don’t know yet.

I am watching you cat.