Water Filter I Chose For My Off Grid Home

For years I have taken empty gallon water bottles to the machine, to refill them with drinking water. Most bottled water is just tap water in bottles, or of questionable origin and the machines offered a good reverse osmosis, plus UV treatment. The water also tasted about as good as you could get. On the other hand, tap water would leave me in about the same condition, as a bout of food poisoning and that was after only drinking half a glass. The only tap water I have ever been able to tolerate, was New York City’s and I am a long way from there. There is also an issue in the Southwest of  sulfur in the water. Not appetizing.

As I began to plan my move to the trailer, I started thinking of what I would do for water, especially if I was not able to have a helper for some time. For years people have tried to convince me to get a Britta type filter picture. I just was not convinced it would give me safe enough water. About the time I started my research on other possible options, that did not require AC power, I heard about the Berkey. It looked and seemed good but the price; not so good. I liked the fact that it would do the job that none of the pictures could do and filtered out more chemicals. The final selling point, was that the tank is stainless steel, rather than one of the bad chemical leaching plastics. After reading the reviews on amazon, I was not so convinced, it was the perfect answer. It seemed that the filters were not at all what they were cracked up to be. That being the case, the Berkey was still the best option, and I would have to change the filter every 6 months and maybe find a better filter, that would fit the unit.

While on amazon I found the Crystal Drop water filter. Looking at it, there was no difference, from the Berkey. What was different, was the price. About a third of the Berkey and the filters seemed to be much better. The AquaCera Cerametix is great on heavy metals and fluoride to boot. No having to buy a separate fluoride filter. The reviews were much better, as well. Seemed the filter actually did filter the water.

After talking to the site stpaulmercantile.com. that manufacturers Crystal Drop, I decided to go with that. At the time they were having a very good sale. The stainless body of the unit, is the same exact one as the Berkey. No matter which brand you buy, the body comes from the same plant in India. So I purchased the body and then the Cerametix filter separately. The total for the package, after UPS came to $92. I will say here that I went with the 1.2 gallon size, as I am fitting a tiny space and it would be easier to lift and manage.

 

I made one modification, as the lid just sets on and does not have a tight seal, and I live in an area that is extremely infested with mosquitoes, I place a piece of Saran wrap over the top for a complete seal. I use a half gallon picture to fill the tank. I did a couple fills to purge the system, before making actual drinking water. The first couple of times, it took a very long time for the water to get through. Now when I go back after 3 hours or so, it’s ready.

It has a spout to release the water. I usually just fill my regular bottles, as before, but since the flood, I will just go to the filter if I need some water while cooking, as the bottles are now in the living room.

As far as taste goes: It’s not as good as the water from the big reverse osmosis machine, but far far better than the tap. If I had a choice I would prefer the reverse osmosis water. With my foot and health, the way it is, it is near impossible to use the machines myself and the other option of having someone get water for me is not so great. The water from the Crystal Drop, is fine to drink and I have been drinking for about 3 months now. I do not get any ill effects, whatsoever, so that is proof that it works, as far as removing what I do not want. Taste could be better and I think a lot of it has to do with the heavy sulfur in the water. The only way to get that out is reverse osmosis. I do not find drinking it to be too bad though. I love the freedom of being able to have water on hand right in my kitchen, almost all the time. The exception is when the water pressure is too low to fill water picture.

My Crystal Drop was a good find and does the job and will make life in my RV easier, once I move into it, save space, as I do not need to room for dozens of bottles and I will be able to depend on it for filtered water, when I want and need it, even on bad days.

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Off Grid Emergency Heat, A Must For Power Outages

Last summer, all the warnings came out for the upcoming winter. They say it will be the coldest one in 48 years. It was sort of a relief to me that I would be moving into the RV, to Southern Arizona, with 2 forms of off grid propane heat. When my RV had to go into storage the first part of October, due to the problems, with Centurylink and all was put on hold, the game changed. Every year about October, I get this sense of foreboding. It’s not just fall blues, because winter is coming. It’s the feeling, of worry about the dangers of spending another winter where I am. It’s knowing that the city, who provides the gas for heating, has no one to answer to and often turns of people’s gas at whim. If there is a large power outage, they will shut the gas for sure. Not a very comforting feeling. Then I have to take into consideration, life in this “cursed house”. Everything and anything is constantly breaking.

It’s a risk to try to stay the winter, as they do want me out and by the first of every month, that I am not served a notice, I breathe a sigh of relief. It is still going to take more time, to be able to move. I have had a lot of resistance and utter nastiness in trying to get help in putting together the off grid phone/internet, I am trying to design.

The middle of October, I started shopping for emergency heat online. Staying without it another winter here, is just not a risk I can take. I was stuck in bed and I looked at all the big-box stores’ sites and amazon. It was a real shock to see the cost of those heaters, without the fuel to burn. Way beyond my budget. I scrolled craigslist, and found what looked like some good bargains. One of them had a barrel of fuel in the deal, for a great price. After I called and spoke with the guy, I decided that was the best deal. I arranged to call him back in some weeks, when I was out of bed again and able to drive.

81+vRFR7mVL._SL1500_

As soon, as I was well, the heater was still available and I picked it up. I got more fuel from a local hardware store and some metal gallon containers that the auto shop was discarding.

I have to say, that this kind of thing is new to me. I am used to just flipping a switch, or setting a thermostat and the heat comes on. No mess. No trouble. No thought. So messing with stinky, flammable fuel, is not my greatest joy. I can not lift the containers the fuel comes in and find even the gallons a challenge to lift. My helper, that I have had all a long, is gone now and I had her replacement pour the fuel into the metal cans, as if that’s what really took place. Really, most of the fuel poured into the street and some got into the cans. And then a huge mess to clean up. Stinky.

Later that week, I decided I would give the heater a trial run. One of the cans had a bad lid and was going out to the trash. I took that can, a funnel and an old plastic bottle and practiced with water. I treated it, as if it were fuel and was pouring it from the can into the heater fuel tank. After several tries I was able to do it without spilling any. I was so achy after that, I had to wait a couple days to actually try the heater.

When it came to actually filling the real fuel tank, that was removed from the heater, I found I spilled more fuel than I was able to get into the funnel. The gallon cans are hard to pour, when lifting them is such a challenge. I did fire up the heater. I used a long handled lighter to light the flame. Not so easy either. It takes a strong hand to hold the child safety and push the lighter button. In all it worked, lots of heat.

I then called the hardware store back to put another gallon of fuel on hold for me, since I spilled the rest and the man there suggested I go to Walmart and buy a plastic picture. I could pour the fuel, from the can into the picture. The picture being much easier to handle, would make it SO easy to pour the fuel into the heater tank. I have to say most of the kerosene heaters do not have a removable tank, as this one does. The picture work-a-round is the solution I need and it works. I am sure back in the 1800’s there were frail little old ladies doing the same thing to pour the fuel for their lamps. It just goes to show, someone with disabilities or who is frail, can do some survival preparedness, with a few work-arounds.

Heater Workaround

Overall I feel much better now. I do not have to worry so much about being in harms way if power is lost in an ice storm. I have made a trial run, to work out all the bugs.Yesterday our high, as 5 degrees less, than Newberg, NY had at 10am.  This so far has been a much warmer winter than normal, but those are the winters you have to watch out for. It stays warm and then all of a sudden the worse freeze is history comes through. It pays to be prepared, as often in situations that bad, help can not get to you. If that were to happen here, the heater would be a lifesaver.

How prepared are you?

Can I Go Wireless To Wired From MiFi 100 feet Away?

The initial plan I had when I purchased the Novatel 2200 MiFi, was to place the MiFi 100 feet away, with the wireless disabled and then run a USB cable to my computer. This worked fine, when the MiFi was plugged in with a maximum total of 18 feet of USB. I would plug in the device, without the battery installed, into the USB port of my computer and it would turn on and pull the plug from the USB port and the device would turn off. Perfect for remote operation. It also gave me speeds as fast or faster than my regular DSL connection.

It is a known fact that USB only work well up to 16 feet in length. Any longer and the standard USB cable just will NOT work. I received several suggestions, one of which included converting the USB to Ethernet to run the long distance. From what I determined, it would take some expensive devices to make the conversion from USB to Ethernet and back to USB, at each end and then only the data would be able to pass on the line. I would then need an external power source for the MiFi and that would mean the cost and trouble of installing a remote disconnect switch, solar etc..Hardly a simple remotely usable device any more.

There are some out there selling connectors out there that were supposed to work without the power supply, but there were conflicting comments and it looked to me to be very “iffy”.

The option I heard most about was using a USB booster or repeater cable. Many claimed there would be NO way for any USB repeater cable to power the device at 100 feet, without a remote power supply. Others said there could be a cable on the market. Others thought it would work, since it powered other types of devices for them.

I found several cables on amazon. 2 stood out, as they looked like they would do what I needed. One was a PTC repeater cable, at a 49 foot length and I would have to hook 2 of them together to achieve 100 feet. There were some reviews of the cable failing-too many for my comfort. But, they sure seem to power people’s devices.

Geplink cable

Geplink USB repeater cable

The other Geplink, was already 100 feet and claimed to be outdoor/UV proof, but not as many reviews or as much information. I was told by the seller it could be returned to amazon [this one fulfilled by amazon], if it did not work. So I figured it was worth a try. It’s not as if there was someone I could ask to get a real answer, that would be any better than my best guess or “wishful thinking”. Also to add to the risk, the postal service in my area is “broken”. It has been better in recent weeks, but still a risk. Sitting and guessing was not getting me any answers, nor was asking people who were supposed to be qualified. I figured I best waste no more time, order it and give it a test. The cable I went with was Geplink 100 foot repeater or booster cable.

Cable unboxed

Repeater cable unboxed

The package got stuck in transit for some extra time, but finally showed up today. Later I unpacked it. First I was disappointed, as with all the product claims on the box, there was no mention of it being outdoor rated. One of the reasons other than length, I chose this over the other. I took the MiFi that I have tested before to the furthest corner of my bedroom and plugged it into the 100 feet of cable and plugged in the other end of the 100 foot cable into the USB port on my MAC, that was 20 feet away. When I went back to the MiFi, it was lit up and in action. So the power made it all the way from the USB on my MAC through the 100 feet of repeater cable to the device. Insert “sigh of relief” here, though that does not mean all is well.

Cable Powers Mifi

MiFi shows signs of life

Next comes restarting the computer and Firefox. I loaded a graphics intensive page, that I had so wanted to see in the past, but each time I tried, the graphics would freeze the page. I decided to wait till my next test with the MiFi, since it seemed to freeze pages less in general. It loaded. I refreshed it and it loaded again and I could actually scroll down without the page hanging up. I also tried youtube. The video was choppy at 340 pixels. The same as my regular DSL, but not as good as previous tests, with the MiFi. Overall I would have to say this is a success. Not perfect and probably not as good as it could be if I knew what the heck I was doing, but since no one seems to know any more than I do at this point, I have to say it’s decent. Will using this set up charge the battery? Probably not, as that takes more power than just keeping the device on and running. I am not interested in using the device with the battery, so that is not an issue. Using the device off battery power turns it into a wifi hotspot, which I wish to avoid at all costs.

The bottom line is to have half way decent internet and not have to be in the firing line of RF radiation blasting off some wireless device. I will want to do some more tests later, to make sure the cable is a good working cable. Now it’s off to the next phase of this invention. Setting it up so it’s dry, safe, secure and getting it wired into my trailer.

Carbon Monoxide Detector-A Necessity

The night my trailer was delivered, I found out it did not have a carbon monoxide detector and the service man recommended I get one off amazon. They had some cheap ones with good reviews and it helped complete the $35 I needed to get free shipping on another item.

It was a little bit of a challenge to find one that would meet my needs. First I will be living on DC 12 volt solar, so I do not have regular outlets to hook the thing into. I am not going to want something that is going to be a phantom load on my batteries either. Nor do I want to pay a service fee to have the detector professionally installed and wired into the electric lines. It is overwhelming enough, at this point to have to purchase yet another item. I am used to the standard smoke alarm that runs on a 9 volt battery. I was quite happy to find the First Alert, that ran on a 9 volt battery alone. The battery will not last 3 years the way it does in a smoke detector, and according to the reviews, it will have to be changed in a little under a year, but at least it does not require power consumption off my solar.

Also I must mention that this detector will also be of use to me now, if I need to break out emergency heating and cook top, as it will blare if, the carbon monoxide levels get too high.

CO alarm

You cannot see, smell or notice carbon monoxide and the only way you will notice it is if you have an alarm.

I put the battery in upon receipt of the unit and set it on the table in the living room. I have found myself very exhausted, with a lot more allergies and brain fog since the leak. Probably due to the molds.

Now for a freaky story: I was watching Evil Dead [the original], the night before Halloween. There was a scene where the demon in the house claimed it was going to take the main character, at that moment this funny image of “Uncle Sam-I want you” popped into my head. I could not help laughing.

I want you

While I was sleeping I kept dreaming about my current living situation. I woke up feeling like this house wants me dead. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Soon after I was dreaming about that same Uncle Sam poster. I woke up, rolled over and went back to sleep again. The next morning I woke up to a blaring alarm. I got the broom and kept trying to press the fire alarm off. Then in my grogginess, I realized it was my new carbon monoxide alarm. Everything seemed fine till I went in the kitchen and found that I forgot to turn the oven off, when I made dinner the night before. One result of the increased brain fog. I turned on the bathroom wall heater and opened the nearby bathroom window to clear the air. I went back to bed for most the day, due to my headache and tiredness.

Don’t know if the First Alert carbon monoxide was a good purchase, but I do know it saved my life. Certainly not a waste of $13.99!

Six Hours After Placing Order For Emergency Cook Top; My Kitchen Oven Stove Breaks

What should I expect from a supposed “CURSED” house?  There is a lot of fall out after a flood. Realizing that I live in a place abundant with emergencies, I did a lot of shopping around for an emergency cook top. I do not want a camping stove, as I think they are dangerous for indoor use and half the time I am too ill to go outside, and if that were not the case I have no outside place to use a camp stove. A lot of the restaurant supply places sell cleaner burning butane burners, that are used in store demos and at tables in restaurants. I did find that all those cook tops are not equal, just as all gas heaters are not equal. Some have to be readjusted every 1 to 2 thousand feet of change in elevation. Others can work within a range of 6,000 feet. Being that I am at about 4,000 feet and planning to move much lower, I need something that can accommodate that range.

The Max Burton Burner on amazon had better reviews and a more reasonable price. It also does not have to be professionally adjusted every time I move. I also ordered a case of fuel canisters with the stove. First because I need them to operate the stove and second, the post office is my area is so poor, I may not get the package. So ordering the fuel, means it has to go UPS ground to legally ship. Sort of a guarantee the package will reach me.

Max Burton burner with carrying/storage case

Max Burton burner with carrying/storage case

About 6 to 8 hours after I hit the “place order” button on amazon, I notice a heavy gas smell in my home. I test everything. When I got to the oven it did not ignite. I left a message, as emergency maintenance did not pick up. I was really too sick in bed to leave the house and was about to call the police, when the guy called and said he would be there in half an hour. He showed up and was not able to re-start the oven pilot, so the the stove had to be disconnected from the gas completely. That meant dinner was going to be a cup of yogurt. If only I had ordered that cook top a week and a half earlier.

The following day the pilots on the stove/oven got re-lit and I was back in business again. Some days later my Max Burton Burner arrived. The thing really stinks and so it remains in the bedroom off-gassing. I think it is more the case it comes in, than the burner itself. It is handy to have a compact carry case to store it in.

I gave it a test run. It works so nice and is easy to load and use. The flame adjusts just like my regular gas range. Next emergency, I will be able to boil water or even cook if I so desire. I eat half raw foods, but some things I cook, and more so now, as I am trying to save on money, so I eat more oatmeal and stove top items.

Things like the cook top are important to have for emergencies and this winter is supposed to be a brutal one. I dread that I have to stay here another winter. I am not going to let the same thing happen with heat. I will be getting a kerosene heater locally off craigslist, as soon as I am up and around. I do not want to risk needing it while it is in the mail and the price of the new ones is more than I can spend. This is a must, as I can not risk having the power go out and then the gas, during a winter freeze, when I have severe Reynauds. During freezes help can not get to you. And no that portable electric heater is not usable, as freezes cut the power.

In the past I have not wanted to waste the money, but better to have it and not need it, than not have it in an emergency. Having hot water for my water bottle is better relief than any painkiller, that has ever hit the market. I sure would have cherished my water bottle, when my stove was down. Having heat,  that means not loosing a foot is, well, just priceless.

This is supposed to be the coldest winter in 48 years. Are you prepared for an emergency?

Floods and Problems In Current Rental-Cursed House?

When I say the house I live in is “CURSED”, that is an understatement. I am not talking about one of those rickety haunted houses, that make horror movies so scary. Yes this is scary, but another type of scary. From the day I moved in 4 1/2 years ago something has gone wrong every minute. Some say it’s because I moved in, when Mercury was in retrograde or that it really is cursed in a horror movie sense of the word. I do not really think that is the case, though I have had people stand at the doorway, with no desire to go any further. Have to say the looks on their faces were priceless. So what is it really?

I live in town where their version of good work is sheer, utter incompetence! I have experienced one case of “wreckage” after another, since moving to New Mexico. I purposely purchased my trailer in Arizona and had the work done over there as to avoid having the trailer destroyed. Things were not perfect, but at least the trailer is in good shape. I did make one blunder and that was bringing it into New Mexico. I have had one thing after another, plus my health and life savings has been destroyed by the incompetence here. My decision to leave is based on stopping the continued “wreckage”. So when things are built here, the workmanship is poor at best. As far as maintenance over time, nothing is repaired of done properly. Does not matter what a landlord is willing to do, if there is no competent workers. The weather and climate here is also harsh. That takes a toll on the buildings. And a scientist in Canada stated, the smart meter network, causes structural problems in buildings over time. Then there is the issue of just plain neglect over the time before I moved in. All these things combined, do make a house seem truly “CURSED”.

A water pumping company was only able to slow it down. Puddles still on floor.

A water pumping company was only able to slow it down. Puddles still on floor.

I have had problems with different roof leaks since day one! Each time they were supposedly fixed, but as time went on another would show up. Add that to the fact that every time I compare the weather of where I am to the weather in the dreary NY area, we have about the same amount of rain days. I am talking March, our dry time of year. So I can always count on more rain. Maybe it doesn’t do the inches level of other places, but it rains a lot and gray skies are the norm.

Waded through water to use the bathroom

Waded through water to use the bathroom

The last group of storms was complete havoc!  3 days of hail. Lots of damage to cars, and roofs, as the larger than marbles balls fell. The rains fell in heavy buckets. The last Wednesday of the rains was by far the worst. I was too sick to even leave the bed. I got up for the bathroom and found the whole kitchen under water. I found the entire kitchen counter full of water. Fortunately I had someone that could help rescue my stuff out of there, as I was way to sick to try. My cube got ruined and fortunately the rest my stuff had been moved out of my place some time before. Water had flooded the yard, now a lake and rushed in at floor level. The roof has a leak. The fire department was able to give me a few sandbag, but not enough to hold the water back. I was able to keep it from the other rooms.

Damaged cube

Damaged cube

My stuff had been moved to one half of the house that had never leaked and the stuff on my kitchen counters is now boxed on the piano bench in the living room. The items I am still needing like my blender and spices are on the fold up table in the living room.

Moved kitchen into living room and going to keep it that way

Moved kitchen into living room and going to keep it that way

I am not planning to move back into the kitchen or unpack any of the boxes, as I am going to leave sooner than later and I will not want  to have to worry about having to have my stuff rescued again, when the next heavy set of storms comes along. Not to mention, I do not want the plethora of mold spores getting into my stuff.

Far end of bedroom is leaking too, but not flooded

Far end of bedroom is leaking too, but not flooded

It’s hard not being able to have my rugs and it hurts my feet, but I do not use the kitchen as much anymore and won’t till I move. As if I did not have motivation to move already. Mold is unhealthy to live with and it’s far worse now. I am basically living in a “Katrina” house, which makes me more anxious to find solutions for parking and some kind of phone and internet.

At this point the idea of living in my RV looks like absolute luxury!

From Here To 216 Square Feet

Even though my move got put off, the issue of what I am going to do with everything is still on my mind. First I currently live in 600 square feet. Doesn’t sound like much? Well my RV is 216 square feet. Most of my things are actually for sale. First I want to raise money for all the costs to move to the trailer and second I am going to want to change my decor from modern to gypsy-Bohemian.  When it comes to the rest, how much do I want to part with?

Messy, smelly chicken boxes that had to be remediated.

Messy, smelly chicken boxes that had to be re-mediated.

Living room full of stuff

Living room full of stuff

When it comes to clothes, I am a clothes horse. Not an average one. I prefer quality to quantity. I have an entire collection of goth, medieval, hippy and general artistic clothing, much of which was picked up in expensive stores in New York City and surrounding areas. One of a kind beautiful items. On my up days, I am always putting together some combination I have never done before. I have pared down quite a bit. Putting the items that don’t fit or are not that unique up for sale, along with lower quality items that double other better items. Still there were racks left. I have purchased 4 “under bed” containers to put the current season’s clothes in. I am going to packed my current drawers tighter.

Some of the racks of clothers

Some of the racks of clothes

“Under bed” storage box and boxed stuff for sale

There are no moving companies where I live. The person helping me used dirty chicken boxes from the meat department, which was something I would not dream anyone would do. I found this out when the room started to stink so bad.  After getting advice from a remediation company, I had to toss the boxes and have the contents cleaned. Anything that could not be cleaned had to be discarded, including the bedroom rug and pad. Salmonella does not die in carpet the way it does in kitchens. I only allowed boxes in from then on, after I could inspect them to make sure what had been in them. Fortunately the nice stuff had not been packed yet and it was mostly things I had up for sale.

The chicken boxes are gone and most of this is for sale

The chicken boxes are gone and most of this is for sale

I purchased 2 more tubs to hold the off-season clothes and all the summer clothes went in there. I held a few out in case I was going somewhere warm like Arizona, or if there were any last warm days or early spring days. Then I started in on the racks. I placed all the long items that have to hang in the kitchen closet and all the short things that have to hang on one section of one of the racks. I then packed the rest in the “under bed” containers. I left them in an easy spot where I could access them each day. From 3 racks, I am now down to one, plus the kitchen closet. That adds up to about the same as the closet space in the trailer.

I also decided while I have the help to move out everything I want to sell: furniture, clothes, housewares, books, media, etc..and they will be sold for me by someone else. I was originally going to take everything to Arizona with me and stockpile it in the trailer, as nice things sell faster in Arizona. Since I am here now, this is a better option. It’s a lot less stuff to move, if I get a notice and do not have any help. The moving help I had will not be back for some months.

Before a portion of the kitchen is packed

Before a portion of the kitchen is packed

The

The “under bed” storage containers are packed and placed for easy access

I am grateful to the wonderful people who helped me, though some of them ran up a bill and I am now left with what I want to have in the trailer, plus several things I need for use as long as I am here.

Folding table and stool. Great for tight spots or hide them away.

Folding table and stool. Great for tight spots or hide them away.

The bar table and living room table have been replace by my little folding table, I used for special occasions and for sewing. I pared that with a folding stool. If one did not know it, they would think I purchased it at a tiny house furniture store. No such store exists to my knowledge, but if one did they would carry those items. I put the table and stool, where the old bar table was by the kitchen window. Note: the old bar table and the living room table are multi use pieces of furniture and would go great in a tiny house or trailer, that is using a modern decor.

Folding multi-purpose end table

Folding multi-purpose end table

I am taking the black cubes with me as they will stack and very versatile on where they can be fit in. Right now 2 of them are replacing the old TV stand. The contents of the dresser are in three boxes, one for each drawer.

One of the nightstands/file cabinets

One of the nightstands/file cabinets

The two nightstands [they are really file cabinets] are going along with the other file cabinet. Everything but the basics is already packed and ready to go when the time comes.

I am actually starting to feel hope that I will be able to fit in 216 square feet.

Centurylink Nightmare-The Whole Story

Being electrosensitive, I can not tolerate any wireless equipment or wifi.  Thus I require a wired landline and wired DSL.

I have severe symptoms such as but not limited to heart palpitations, dizziness, brain fog, vertigo, burning itching skin, TIA[mini strokes], headaches, vision problems, when exposed to RF frequencies. I have been looking high and low to find a place where I can park my trailer that does not surpass RF levels I can tolerate.  I am very astute about doing my homework to make sure, DSL and landline is available. I am bedridden over half the time and can not go most public places even when I am not, so I depend on the internet and phone to meet my basic needs: ie: food, personal and household products, living assistance help and support, as well as other basic needs. I turn down any place that does not have DSL and phone and have done so with many places. The new landlords of my current place want me out and are due to issue me a 30 day notice any day: they have let me stay so far, as I am perfect at paying timely rent and a good tenant. I had a place picked in Arizona and had confirmed with Centurylink 4 times that they had a very slow DSL there and only after renting it, did they inform me they did not. They also lied to me about having DSL service in Huachuca City, AZ at a place also. I contacted Arizona PUC and they referred me to the Arizona Attorney General to file a fraud complaint.

After this I decided it was too big a risk to spend hours driving to look at a place unless Centurylink performed a loop test on the line for DSL and I had a set order for service placed and a time set for the tech to come out and do the install, especially with running out of time to find a new place, w/ out risking being put on the street. My health is too bad to look most days. At this point I was having to scramble to find something, which means accepting a place in NM [if need be], but can not take anything without DSL and landline.

On 10/2/15 at 5:30 pm mtn time I called Centurylink and spoke with Julia:  I told her the address in NM, I was wanting to move to and asked her to do a loop test of the line for DSL on the possible space numbers I might rent. She said she tested space 51 through 59. According to her they all had service. Then I placed a phone order with her to set up service there. At that time I set up the activation date of 10/9/15 and was given the time range of 1-4 for the tech to be at my location and I was to call them with the exact space, probably 51 later.

Email Confirmation of Order for Services

Email Confirmation of Order for Services

On 10/5/15:  I went to the park where the space was and rented space 51.  This entailed paying a membership fee [required for all permanent residents], monthly space rental, 4 hours of time and a lot of money in gas and wear and tear on the car.

Later on that day I spoke w/ Randolf in Centurylink tech support to verify the loop test for space 51 and to ask a question about my modem. He did again verify there was DSL service to the space.

Before moving my trailer there I spoke w/ reps at Centurylink 2 more times: to get the space number 51 added to my order and to change my billing address.

Sheet With Notes Of People I Spoke With About The Confirmed Service

Sheet With Notes Of People I Spoke With About The Confirmed Service [Can’t say I did not confirm this enough]

On 10/7/15:  I paid to have my trailer hauled to space in New Mexico, from Arizona:  There would have been no towing bill if I had kept it where it was.  Added to this was more gas for the round trip and 5 hours of my time, plus wear and tear on the car.

More Call Notes

More Call Notes

On 10/8/15 I called Centurylink again, as I had it arranged w/ them that I was using my own modem and had received an email dated 10/7/15 that they had shipped me a modem. The CS rep was rude and I spoke with a supervisor who then said they could not do service as it did not show up in the 911 list and I was going to have to contact the owner and get the section, township and range number off their deed.  I was told I would need to give this to the tech to get service! No small task.  This Eric-Centurylink mgr, was angry with me for verifying the same thing too many times over again. I see now it was not verified enough.The owner of the space, is distant, the mgr of the property is never at the property and so the people in the office had to do back flips to get this from the owner! Upon getting me that info, they mentioned that they thought it was a weird request and that Centurylink should be responsible for getting that information.

Still More Call Notes

Still More Call Notes

I confirmed 3 more times w/ Centurylink that I would be set and had what I needed and got a return RMA for the mis-shipped modem. The last person told me to call back and speak w/ customer care on the following morning of the 9th, so that I would be able to have the same name and PW on my modem as I do currently, so I could go back to where I live now without having to spend 3 hours on the phone w/ support to use my computer till the date of my move on the following Tuesday.

On the morning of 10/9/15 I called customer care and found out the appointment with the technician was cancelled as they were doing everything from the office. I informed them that there were no phone wires to my trailer, as I have stated all along to them, and I needed a tech to provide them as promised and set up my modem.  They told me I never had an appointment to begin with and made me a new one for 10/9/15 between 1-5.

I left my house at 11 am on 10/9 as I informed Centurylink several times I would have to do to be there on time. I arrived at the address around 12:30.  The tech never showed. I used a cell [that I have bad physical reactions to] to call them at 4pm and they said the tech was definitely going to be there by 5pm.  He did not show. I called them again from the cell to tell them I needed the service set up right away and that I need to make this very quick as I have severe health reactions to using a cell. The rep stopped the conversation several times to give a sales pitch for some wireless product that I had already stated caused me severe health issues. He put me on hold for a very long time: I had my cell on speaker across the room: I ended up with a severe headache, burning face, red spots on my arm, dizziness, severe problems speaking and bad brain fog-yes I had to drive home to my town after this. Barely made it home without an accident. This rep informed me the tech had come and that he was not able to get access to the box, as no one was in the office and he could not find anyone.  I can see the driveway to the park and did not see any Centurylink vehicle pull in! The rep told me he could set up for a tech to come the next day between 12 and 4. I was to call the park and make sure he had access to the box.

Again this trip to have the tech not show up cost me the bill of another round trip in gas and 7 hours of my time and wear and tear on the car.

A little before 2 am on 10/10  I found a msg left by some Centurylink tech at 11:44 the day before that there were no facilities for service at the address-note I had told them several times I needed to leave my house at 11am to be on time for the appt. and would not be at the landline number I gave them.

10/10/15: I call the office of the park to make sure the tech can get access to the box:  they inform me that they spoke to the tech and that there were no facilities for service there. Another party also spoke to the person at the park who was in charge that day to be told the same thing and advised me not to go.

First I did my homework before renting this place or moving my trailer and would not have even considered doing so had I thought for a minute that Centurylink would not provide me service as promised. Second the cost in time, delay, physical energy and lots of $$ has been tremendous.

At this point I feel like Centurylink has gutted my life and finances with an ax!  It has also taken an incredible emotional and physical toll on me.

In my case I am on a small disability income and do not have money to throw out on long road trips, wasted rent for places I can not live at, and for expensive out of state trailer tows.  They have done this to me 3 times now!  It is very evident that the CS reps at Centurylink are only interested in making that sales commission and care little about whether they give misinformation that people make life decisions based on. They do not care if what they say is not true as long as they get the immediate sale. This is an ongoing repeating thing that Centurylink is doing.  I will now have to pay several hundred dollars to move my trailer from the space where it is now, that does not have phone and DSL, to a storage lot and pay storage and then back to AZ where it came from after I find a space to live that does have services. This will cost hundreds!

Except for one offshore rep I spoke with and the tech, Centurylink has shown NO remorse what so ever.

I really need a warmer climate for my health: S. Arizona, but this area is serviced by Centurylink.  I now have no option but to chose a colder northern climate that is serviced, by Frontier or Windstream. I am too afraid to look at anymore spaces that are serviced by Centurylink, even if they are in the area that is best for health, as I am about sure they will do this to me again!

Besides you know what they say about making the same mistake twice and expecting a different result.

I have made careful records of all my calls to Centurylink: dates, exact time where the rep was located, ID numbers and names of reps. They claim that recordings are made of all the calls. I have tried to get assistance from the New Mexico PUC, Attorney General and Legal Aid. None of which cares to do anything about it, except let them get away with this. So far I have noticed, that in New Mexico, there is NO recourse for a person on a low, normal, or fixed income, but to let these companies get away with it.

There are no movers in my area and my window to have moving help is now gone. The good news is, I have until at least the end of December to stay here. I will need at least that, as I have to save back all the money I lost and sell more of my belongings, to be able to afford another space and costs to move the trailer again. I am also looking into what it would take to set up some kind of “Wireless to Wired” phone and internet system, that would be suitable for someone who is electrosensitive. This of course would be costly, but not as costly as trying to deal with Centurylink. This whole nightmare with Centurylink, has not been the first one I had with them, but it is going to be the last.

Space Search Roller Coaster Part 2

Since time was running out and my moving help would be gone the end of October [there are NO movers available in my area of New Mexico, so it’s DIY or leave the stuff behind], I gave in and rented a space in an area, of New Mexico, that I have nicknamed “Resurrection County”. Yes the nickname for this creepy area, came from the movie of the same title.

Being bedridden half the time, along with being electrosensitive, means I would be staying in the park at my trailer 99% of the time. So my chances of having something horrible happen would be lessened, as I would not be traveling about in the area. Still it gives me the creeps. But hey, it’s a place to live and a bit better for RF radiation than here and I would only have to stay till I find something over in Arizona. Also it’s less risky than staying in my present place and having more mini strokes from the neighbors’ wifi.

The park was really pretty. Very rural and you could see stars at night. I moved my trailer there and half the time I have been over there, I got NO reading on my meter from inside the trailer. It cost a fortune to prep my trailer to be placed in such a rainy climate. It had to have new sealant put on every last seam, window, crack and fixture. Then it was a small fortune to tow it to the spot.

On October 10th it all feel through and it had to be moved to storage the following week. Centurylink promises to provide services there were empty lies! I am trying to extend the time where I am now and using that time to recoup funds so I can move to an area that has landline/DSL services by a different provider.

Off Grid All Organic Ice Cream-No Machine Required and Can Be Made Without Sugar

A couple years ago I purchased a really nice Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, during one of my down times. After a month of not getting better, I returned the machine, as I could not use it. The reason I purchased the machine, was that I wanted clean ice cream that was organic only and with NO GMOs or hormones. The ice cream on the market today is NOT fit for consumption! Do NOT eat it. It is poison!
Also I use liquid stevia, in place of sugar most of the time. I wanted to do the same with my ice cream. Most the ice creams on the market are loaded with too much nasty sugar and, if they are not; they are loaded with the poisonous Aspartame.

I figured after I returned the machine that, if I started to have more consistent “up” days, I could purchase one again. Really even then, it is too big an item to store for occasional use. As time went by and I started making plans to go off the grid, with a safe low EMF 12 volt solar, it became evident that a plug in machine would not be practical. They have made ice cream long before electricity, so I began to look into the old fashioned ice cream makers. Big huge bucket machines with a crank. Bags of rock salt would have to be purchased and stored, along with bags of ice. Again not practical for so many reasons, starting with storage space.

For me I only want to make a couple servings for 2 people. I am not looking to make a tub of awesome ice cream, that I will end up having to eat all of it, and then loose 10 lbs afterwards, that is if I can loose it. Still there is nothing like good gourmet ice cream. I am not referring to the stand full of flavored chemical paste they call ice cream, that resides in the food court of every mall.

I ended up searching “How To Make Ice Cream Without A Machine” on youtube one day and I learned the truth. There is no need for a machine. People were making awesome ice cream, in cake pans, bowls and left over containers. One made it with a blender. Far cry from having to store a big tub or find room in the freezer to store the metal tub for the ice cream maker. I could just make a couple servings at a time in a small Tupperware container!

Shortly after I needed some vanilla ice cream for something and I used wonderful fresh organic ingredients and sweetened it with liquid stevia-NO sugar. It was the best vanilla ice cream I had ever had and I have had some good ones.

ice cream selection

Now that I am trying to clean out the freezer to pare down for moving, I have to clean out all the cartons of frozen left over cream. I made 3 more flavors. Again I only wanted a couple servings of each. I also needed to use other left overs. So I made these three:

ice cream choc peanutbutter

1. Couldn’t resist Chocolate Peanut-butter-I made it with organic raw cacao and substituted sunflower butter for the peanut-butter. That way I could keep it all organic.

A note on peanut-butter: After learning how carcinogenic regular organic peanut-butter is, I no longer could bring myself to eat it. The only safe peanuts to use, that do not have the carcinogenic aflatoxins, are Valencia peanuts and jungle peanuts [they are collected off the floor of the Amazon forest]. I began making my own from organic Valencia peanuts. Those have since become extinct and the jungle peanuts are quite hard to find and very pricey. If I made my own, it came to $25 per jar. I gave in and switched to organic sunflower seed butter.

I found the chocolate peanut-butter recipe to be way too dry and so I added more cream and milk. I ended up with way too much and was not able to seal the container very well. It got very crystallized! I had sweetened it with liquid stevia and no other sugar was used. Had it not been crystallized it would have been awesome.

ice cream strawberry cheesecake

2. I had left over cream cheese and frozen whole strawberries. So I made Strawberry Cheesecake. Sweetened with stevia again and the only sugar was the organic Graham cracker crumbs. This came out awesome.

ice cream pecan pie

3. The final flavor was pecan pie. I had a little leftover pecan pie filling from last year in the freezer and so I made a vanilla base sweetened with stevia and mixed in the left over filling into the vanilla. Also came out awesome.

So what does my ice cream maker consist of? A fork, a spoon and what ever Tupperware or left over container I wish to use. Easy for off grid. No electric required.

Yum!