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Friday, January 31, 2014

New Shoes!

It doesn't take much in this nomadic lifestyle but one does need shoes! 

It all started with MiRV needing new shower shoes, then I decided I needed new shower shoes too! Old Navy here we come! Love that military discount and it's not just "military Monday" here it's everyday she said, sweet!

The NOT Crocs...

Then since MiRV was also needing some slides or knock around the campground shoes we hit up the BX. Score! And we hit pay dirt with not ONE but TWO pair, the knock arounds and a pair of Sanuks. He already has experience with this brand in flip flops so was pretty easily persuaded to try the slip ons especially since they were on sale, yep, scored again! It's the little things!

Now I am still on the hunt for black everyday shoes but never fear I have them in mind just waiting/hoping for a sale!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday Words - Wagner

Since we have taken to having less things this spoke to me!I think I have never been a thing person but it is good to have it reinforced that life including joy is NOT in things!!

"Joy is not in things; it is in us" --Richard Wagner

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

S-I-C-K and NOT happy about it...

I am sick, I am not happy, that it all...

It's been almost a week, yes, I think it's the flu and no, I did not get a flu shot.

I have NEVER gotten a flu shot, I have had the flu one other time when I lived in Italy and I blamed that on "foreign germs". I do feel some better, but I am far from100%, it is not the life for me.

That is all...praying for recovery!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday Words - Lincoln

I have to admit I have some "friends" on Facebook that need to take on this attitude...or maybe I should just delete them so I do not read about there sorry life. Choices, choices...

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
--Abraham Lincoln

Monday, January 20, 2014

Coconut Oil! Who Knew?

I recently took the plunge and bought a jar after contemplating for quite awhile. I like it.

I am cooking with it just as I would use butter/Crisco/canola oil/margarine. And for the record it DOES NOT taste like coconut. At least not to me, others have said it does, I just don't taste it! I also don't smell it so maybe this is just the way too cheap stuff!

Like I said I've cooked with it. Then the other day I put some on my face. I know BUT I had read about others using it as part of their beauty routine, so I though, what the heck? I gave it a try. I wasn't that impressed. I did not see remarkable softness like others have proclaimed; however, it did seem quite oily. Then I tried it on my slightly rough heels and I put it on my freshly shaved legs. I do think it's pretty good for those things but it did leave that little greasy feeling so you do have to really rub it in.

Anyway, I liked it for cooking for sure and I will continue to use it. They (and exactly who is THEY?) say it's better for you as far as fats go. So I'm in, at least til the jars gone!

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

RV Show

Oh my, can you say WOWsa and overwhelming? I can and it was in some respects. Other ways I was a tad disappointed. Overall, we had fun so it was all good!

We went with MiRVs brother and his wife. They have lots of RV experience and we are full timers so we felt pretty good about ourselves! We arrives early and stayed late and our legs/hips/knees/feet were screaming at the end. Weather was a bit chilly but the sun was shining so it was a really great day for this type of adventure.

 We went IN and OUT of lots and lots and lots of rigs!

There was fun entertainment too!

BIG, yes this show is certainly B I G. I think I might have heard it is the largest but that may not be accurate so don't quote me on it. While it was big I guess I had different expectations. I was looking for things to up our comfort level, increase our organization options and just general special things that would work well with RV living. What I found was lots of visit us places (VA, MI, AK, PA), which is great, again, just not what I was looking for or interested in. Also several pet lover booths and that's great there is a demand, just not our life. Overprices, and I do mean highway robbery food vendors, again, expected overpricing in this area but this was like circus pricing, unbelievable in my book! Then there were the "as seen on TV" type items. Some did have direct RV connection, such as the awning folks and outside cleaner people (many of these and which one is the best?). We were interested in both these vendors since we feel this in something we need. In fact, we did come home with a new slide topper-now to install it---THAT will be another day and another post! Got a sample of some cleaner for the outside, we'll see! Other then that we came home empty handed. We did snag several vendor bags, which are great for transporting laundry, groceries, hoses, books, you name it!

Touring the rigs was pretty educational, I know better what I think I want in our next rig should we replace/upgrade, also things I don't want.

Personally, I don't need/want:
  • Two toilets
  • Rear bath
  • A slide that moves the kitchen
  • Bed with a window behind it
  • Bigger/More Windows
  • Dishwasher
I would love/like to have:
  • Full wall slide
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Gas/Electric hot water heater
  • Micro/Convection oven combo
  • Bigger Fridge
  • Leveling Jacks
  • Day/Night Shades
  • Double Pane Windows
  • Outside Kitchen
  • Outside TV
I know there were more and I made a list even to keep, but I don't have it here in front of me so this will have to suffice! These are just things I would look for when/should we be looking!

 Lunch - $5 CornDog/$3 Bottled H20

 MiRV checking out the vintage AirStreams!

All in all like I said it was pretty good, not sure I would go again for the vendor aspect but if ever I were in the market to buy NEW this is the place to be. Deals were good  great and there for the taking! It was also neat to see the inside the rigs you often see and wonder what they are like. I was surprised at the insides of many that I thought looked so neat from the outside that would NEVER really work for us; so a good place to get a good feel for things.

We are now home safe and sound and it will be early to bed for this girl! I'm tired and looking forward to my own bed!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Daughter!

You brings us unmeasurable joy...we are so proud of you!

 You can be sooooo silly!

Happy, happy, happy birthday to our one and perfectly done! Hope you enjoy an awesome, good, funtastic day! Continue to seek God and join Him in the work you see Him doing around you, you will never regret it! And never, ever, never forget you are fearfully and wonderfully made and He has a plan for YOU!!

We so love you and as I said we are sooooo very proud you and the young woman you are! You have been a blessing to us and many, many others. We could not even begin to fathom our life without you in it. You bring such joy to those around you and we are extremely grateful God made us your parents.

If you are interested you can read about her arrival into this world right here! And another great birthday post is also here when she turned 21! What can I say, she IS an incredibly amazing girl young woman!

 Love you! 

Never EVER never forget...

You is kind. You is smart. You is important!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Words - Ward

I am inspired by this thought...

“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.” 
William Arthur Ward

Friday, January 10, 2014

2013 Year End Financial Wrap Up

I know, I know another financial posting and I already did a December Money Matters but I thought it would be fun and informational to do a year end wrap up as well...again, more for me then you! Cause I like ciphering and numbers and all that sort of thing! But who knows you might also enjoy it as well. So here we go!

I wish it was a true "quarter" break down but it's not, at least no this year So a year end wrap will be for September through December. While we officially went on retiree status (and pay) on 1 July the wedding was in July which totally skewed expenses! Then in August I just didn't get on board quick enough with day to day tracking to make it official. I guess we were still in transition and settling in to truly no commitments and fully realizing we are done and we are really doing this! I think I was just trying to get organized and breath (yep, those are my excuses reasons and I'm sticking with it)!

So it looks like this...

Spent vs Budgeted  (Over or Under)

RV Parking $2025.00 / $2500.00 (U)

Groceries $1233.52 / $1000.00 (O)
Eating Out $474.27 / $220 (O)

CRV Fuel $405.70 / $600.00 (U)
CRV Upkeep $405.70 / $600.00 (U)

Clothing $37.89 / $300.00 (U)
Household $121.10 / $120.00 (O)

Entertainment $33.00 / $100.00 (U)
Charitable $180.00 / $200.00 (U)

The above does not include any of the "set expenses" as those are well, uh, set! And therefore not much room to wiggle (save)!

Some of our monthly set expenses are our Tithe($350) Medical Ins ($45.64) MiRV Life Ins ($20.90) RV Ins ($75)

It doesn't include our savings, since for 2013 we did not budget for savings, GASP, I know! However, that changed for 2014, it's in there baby!! Which makes me happy, happy, happy! There were a few other tweaks that I have already mentioned in other Money Matters postings...the highlights are that I increased Groceries, Eating Out and Entertainment. By necessity we had to raise Med Ins (premiums went up) and add Co-Pays as a line item since we have those now too! Oh and other BIG news is that we got a raise for 2014 in our retirement pay. Yes, I know a raise!!!! We will see $12.72 more per month! That's $152.64 that will see our savings account without even flinching!

In our investment outlook, well, it was good! Our ROTH IRAs increased in value and so did the TSP account. Sad thing is that we can no longer contribute to our IRAs since we no longer have "earned income". Our regular investments made small gains as well. We ended the year with more cash in savings then ever before. In fact I will be looking for higher yield accounts since we are keeping easily accessible cash on hand. I am also considering sticking some of that cash in the IRAs since we didn't max out contributions for 2013, definitely giving that serious thought!So many things to consider and think over, oy vey!

Well, there you have it the 2013 Wrap Up!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday Words - Keane

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present."
~Bil Keane

I want to be more conscious in my daily life to live in the present, therefore, this quote sort of spoke to me... maybe it will do the same to you.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Rocket Launch!

It was picture perfect! 

The customer was happy, happy, happy and so gracious. It is always neat to be with those who are so vested in the launch. This was more of an exception though as the Thiacom CEO was such a gracious woman who was truly thankful and spoke so eloquently about the challenges of making it happen.

Thank you again to Rocket Boy who hooked us up with VIP passes again where we enjoyed a great view with nice amenities! Fun evening!!! And made even better we got to see him one more time before he headed back to the West coast. Looking forward to seeing him in February for another yet another launch!

To continued success Space X!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

December Money Matters

Another month, another wrap up...

Still looking good, IMO, as we manage life on the "retirement" income. I am sooooo pleased that we are able to make this work, it's just awesomeness!

Most areas were on budget, money went into savings.  I have taken the time to go ahead and make some changes to some of the categories for the 2014 budget. I can tell you that things are going to be leaner in a few categories by choice (gifts/Christmas). Such a world of excess we live in, we will be scaling back. It's so NOT about buying gifts and not that we have ever been extravagant but even-so we have decided it will be less from us for next year. We are also looking at a raise, yes, I know, we will have $12.72 more funds in 2014. Doesn't sound like much you say?  Maybe not, but it's $152.64 a year more and we will definitely not be turning it down!

We have also talked about life after living in Sunny...that day will come and we need to at least be thinking of an exit strategy no matter when that day is! In addition we have also talked over upgrading Sunny. Both are realities we must put some thinking into! Much, much more thought then I want to think about today, however, it must be done. Soon, soon, we will think harder on it! But honestly, we shall just have to wait and see on so many things before making any real decisions but we just want to make sure we do have a plan. We definitely do not want to be without a plan so we will continue to think it through and see what transpires! 

We did NOT move this month! Woohoo!!! So we socked away that fuel money for the future!

Over on groceries, AGAIN, but I have raised that category for 2014 so hoping to see that stay within budget soon! 

Food Out was also over, so this category is getting upped for 2014 as well. 

Nothing else was over budget...

It was actually a really slow month expense wise with the exception of Christmas.I did transfer the money out of our Christmas Club account for that. 

Speaking of Christmas I was a little taken aback when I saw the final numbers...we didn't even do that much. We had 14 on our list and that didn't include MiRV and I. Our total was $642.39 for Christmas spending, which did include MiRV and I. Sooooo I have definitely tweaked this category for next year. And honestly I even scaled it back this year; so next year will be even more lean! Just sayin'! It's just the way it needs to be. 

Also the payment of personal property taxes was this month (OUCH) but again this came out of savings since we save all year long. Next year we may not have this expense as we continue to explore the option of changing our residency.

Our breakdown for December:
RV Slot Fee $500.00
RV Upkeep/Maint $3.97

Groceries $307.83 
Food Out $60.58
CRV Fuel$137.95

Health Ins $45.64

Gifts $41.16

Household $16.33
Entertainment $9.00

Tithe $350.00

That's it, that's the monthly looksey, a bit of our bucks did make it to savings. We are doing well, thank you Lord! Excitedly looking, watching and praying about what the New Year will hold for us!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Shameless Blog Push

Much to my surprise MiRV is blogging again. He has over the years without much regularity but this time he seems gung ho, so gung ho in fact he is now manning not one but T.W.O. blogs. I know right? But who am I to discourage this new found creative energy! 

Psst...he is reading books! Which is totally not something he does by choice. It's all good. Anyway...if you are interested take a click on over and check him out. He is listed in my blogroll too!

There is one on our RV life, aptly named MiRV which is what I call him on this blog. You never know what topic you will find on there, it's not just all about RVing that's for sure!

Then he is also blogging to address his love of surfing. This one is Surfing Safari :)

So there you have it, just a shameless plug for my love! Have a great day on this day 2 of 2014!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wednesday Words - Paisley

We've wrapped up another year. I think this was one of our biggest to date. Soooooo many changes and challenges! I mean we retired from the United States Air Force after a looooong time! That was H.U.G.E. in our world. We also saw our daughter graduate college AND get married, whoa, that was REALLY, REALLY B.I.G. too! Not really sure what the future holds, but we know who holds it and we are dreaming BIG for 2014.

Not gonna list any resolutions, not much into that, don't think we ever have been. Just plan to keep on keeping on. We will continue on our journey in the RV. Plan to keep on being debt free. Spend time exploring and make memories. Nothing too fancy, nothing too far out there, just living the simple life. That's our plan. Course we know plans change and we are open to that so stay tuned and we'll see how it goes together!

I like the words Brad Paisley said.

"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one."